Design flaws support evolution


This is a nicely done lecture on design flaws in our anatomy and physiology, to refute claims of intelligent design.

Part 2 Part 3

I know exactly how creationists will reply, though, since I’ve heard it often enough. She’s making a theological argument, they’ll say, claiming to know God’s intent and making an assumption of his goals. It will be a restatement of the old chestnut, “God works in mysterious ways.”

However, that’s not the argument here. Imperfections and sub-optimal properties are an outcome of evolutionary theory; this is a positive argument that observations of the world best fit a model positing a history of accidents and refinements constrained along lines of descent. If the creationists want to complain, they first have to propose a set of predictions that would discriminate between accident and design, and starting from a god who can do anything at any whim is not a fruitful source of hypotheses.

Comments

  1. JohnHamilton says

    “Evolution is the best explanation for the facts that we observe.
    Unless you have a better explanation? Remember “magic” is not an explanation.”

    Evolution theory is based on magic, so if magic is not an explanation, then evolution is not the best explanation for the facts that we observe.

    “Self organization”, “selection pressure” and “convergence” are some of the magical explanations (magical processes) of evolution theory.
    These are what people here have described to us as metaphors.

  2. WowbaggerOM says

    JohnHamilton wrote:

    You call it “evolution” and that is a trick that evolutionists play. Call it “change” and we have no problem.
    You should have no problem calling it “change” because you have agreed that that is all we observe.

    Why would we simplify it so? It’s far more complex than that – which you’d know if you actually bothered to learn anything about it before assuming it’s not true.

    Yes, evolution is change – but it’s change plus a whole bunch of other stuff, including the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’.

    Using your ‘logic’ we shouldn’t call gravity ‘gravity’ – we should just call it ‘falling’ because that’s all we can observe. Are you agitating to change gravity to ‘falling’ also?

  3. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    We do not observe “evolution” as that word is understood by scientists and by the general public.

    Except we do observe evolution. Google “Lenski e coli” for an example.

    You’re either pretending we don’t observe it or you’re too stupid to understand we don’t observe it. Which is it, pretense or stupidity?

  4. Usagichan says

    JohnHamilton @ 500

    OK… Change then. So the proposition from the gallery here is that Evolutionary Theory best explains the changes of form over time observed in living organisms.

    The question still stands – can you provide an example where it doesn’t explain the change?

    Can you provide an alternative explanation that better accounts for the change?

    If you can do either of the above, there will no doubt be fewer ‘evolutionists’ tonight.

  5. Kel, OM says

    No JohnHamilton, you’re missing the distinction between the fact of evolution and the theory of evolution. Change over time is a fact. How that change comes about, that’s the theoretical framework in which the facts need to fit in order to have a successful theory.

    The theory of evolution as it stands has the ability to explain the facts of evolution as it is observed. It also has the capacity to explain the fossil record, the genetic code, the geographic distribution of life, embryology, vestigial structures, morphology, speciation. The theory explains the facts. You don’t observe the theory, the theory is the framework in which the observations must sit. If the observations sit outside the theory, then the theory must either be modified or discarded.

    This is basic stuff, why can’t you grasp this simple distinction?

  6. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    My last paragraph in #503 should read:

    You’re either pretending we don’t observe it or you’re too stupid to understand we do observe it. Which is it, pretense or stupidity?

    This revision is given due to the slim chance that JohnHamilton is actually stupid rather than pretending to be stupid.

  7. Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger says

    We do not observe “evolution” as that word is understood by scientists and by the general public.

    wrong. scientists understand evolution as the change in animals over generations.

    the general public’s opinion and understanding might be something else, but that’s irrelevant. evolution is change. and the Theory of Evolution is the explanation for how the change happens. Doesn’t matter what name you give that change.

  8. JohnHamilton says

    “Yes, evolution is change – but it’s change plus a whole bunch of other stuff, including the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’.”

    A very honest statement. “Evolution” is indeed a lot more than just change.
    But all we observe is change.
    Agreed?

  9. Kel, OM says

    “Evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.” – Stephen Jay Gould

    “Scientific understanding requires both facts and theories that can explain those facts in a coherent manner. Evolution, in this context, is both a fact and a theory. It is an incontrovertible fact that organisms have changed, or evolved, during the history of life on Earth. And biologists have identified and investigated mechanisms that can explain the major patterns of change.” – Richard Lenski

  10. Rey Fox says

    This Hamilton guy is as thick as Facilis. Probably a presuppositionalist. No wait, of course he is. He’s got this “truth” that apparently we could all see if we just ignore all the scientific thought of the last 150 years and stuck our heads up his ass. Presuppositionalist all the way.

  11. Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger says

    “Yes, evolution is change – but it’s change plus a whole bunch of other stuff, including the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’.”

    that’s the Theory of evolution. evolution is really just change. those are two different things, as I and other have repeatedly explained

  12. Kel, OM says

    But all we observe is change.
    Agreed?

    No! We observe plenty more than change. We observe different stages in embryonic development. We observe the genetic code. We observe fossils. We observe morphology. We observe natural selection in action. We observe the geographic distribution of life. We observe genetic barriers being raised. We observe homologies.

    Any theory of evolution needs to explain all those facts. It’s not just explaining the microcosm of chance over time, it’s explaining all biological evidence found and is to be found. Every time a new piece of evidence is put forth into the scientific literature, it has the power to change or even destroy the theory. Every time a fossil is dug up, every time a gene or genome is sequenced, every time a new species is found, etc. The theory is the explanation for the observations, if the observations don’t fit the theory then the theory is in trouble…

  13. JohnHamilton says

    Gould and Lenski have made the same mistake that I mentioned earlier.
    Most evolutionists make that mistake.
    They do not distinguish between observation of change and their evolution explanation.
    This is an error that can be easily fixed by calling what we observe by the word “change”. Which of course is all that we actually observe.

    I am not going to continue arguing this simple basic fact.

  14. Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger says

    for the last time. evolution is the same thing as what you call “change”. the reason it’s not referred simply as “change” is because the word change can also mean development (i.e. the difference between a baby and an adult), or change in non-life, like the change in weather. the reason scientists say “evolution” is because they want to be precise. evolution is “change over generations of living things”. that’s what the definition is, nothing more and nothing less.

  15. Kel, OM says

    Gould and Lenski have made the same mistake that I mentioned earlier.

    And you’re wrong. Your mistake is one of basic science that has been explained to you. Both of those quotes mention the distinction between the observations and the proposed explanatory mechanisms for those observations.

    I am not going to continue arguing this simple basic fact.

    You’re not understanding. Somehow you think you know better than all those who practice science, and just how exactly?

  16. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    You’re fucking arguing semantics, not biology.

    If it makes you happy to call evolution “change” then do so. The entire rest of the world will continue to call it “evolution.” If this doesn’t meet with your approval then that’s your problem. The rest of the world will call evolution “evolution” whether you approve or not.

  17. WowbaggerOM says

    JohnHamilton, you avoided answering my question in #502. Here it is again:
    Using your ‘logic’ we shouldn’t call gravity ‘gravity’ – we should just call it ‘falling’ because that’s all we can observe. Are you agitating to change gravity to ‘falling’ also? If not, why not?

  18. articulett says

    Ugh, does goat blowing cause the mental masturbation we see with JH here? What about the projection and smarmy dishonesty? Or is it the creationism that causes that? Surely not every goat blower is dishonest. Maybe JH is a natural asshole. All sorts of variances can evolve. If he comes by his assholishness naturally, I hope he hasn’t spawned.

    Everyone seems to understand everyone else except JH seems to understand no-one and no-one can find a point that John has made. He’s never going to state his alternative explanation for the changes we observe. And he says he’s been “down this road before”. So that means he goes to various scientific websites and tries to convince himself that someone other than himself takes his crap seriously. I’m not complaining, mind you. I love reading the responses creationist trolls generate. (I joke that their “intelligent designer” sends them to smart folk for our amusement.) Plus, I know lots of folks learn stuff even if the goat-blowing creationist is incapable of such. My guess is that creationists don’t even understand each other– and none of them want to be seen as foolish or unintelligible as all those “other” creationists they can’t make sense of.

    What do you guys think of JH’s messianic complex? I think that’s hilarious. It’s like he’s one of the schizophrenics that imagine themselves a prophet– or like Tom Cruise in his wacky Scientology tape. How many times has this “I-have-special-knowledge” meme evolved and how many people have fallen victim to it? It probably is the start of every religion and every creation story. (It must be funny when there are several “gods” in the same mental institution.) Does JH really think he, alone, knows more than everyone here– and more than all those scientists everywhere in the world? Does he really think there is some “better explanation” than evolution for design flaws? Or does he just not think of suboptimal design as “design flaws”? Who knows what the hell a creationist thinks, eh? –or even IF they think.

    In any case, when you can’t talk to them (and who can?), you can always talk about them.

  19. JohnHamilton says

    Wowbagger seems to be the only honest one here:

    “Yes, evolution is change – but it’s change plus a whole bunch of other stuff, including the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’.

    “Evolution” is indeed a lot more than change.
    When everyone is honest enough to acknowledge that then we will have a basis for discussion.

    I am more familiar with the evolutionist trick than you realize.
    Evolutionists in one sentence will say that “evolution” only means change. But thereafter they will use it to mean exactly what Wowbagger said.
    Call it “change” and I have no problem.
    Call it “evolution” and you are trying to gain something through a verbal trick that you are not entitled to. If your theory is correct you ought to be able to be honest. Right?
    But I am not continuing to argue this point.
    I will only respond to a post that is honest enough to use the word “change” when referring to what we observe.

  20. Kel, OM says

    I don’t get how JohnHamilton can keep saying observations and explanations are distinct, then when it is put in that framework the ability to make explanations is somehow discounted. Like I said earlier, by that standard there are no theories in science. Relativity doesn’t make sense. We observe time dilation. We observe the bending of light around heavy objects. But we can’t explain it. Gravity doesn’t make sense. Heavy objects have a gravitational attraction to one another, but we can’t explain that. Just observe that.

    This is where his complete lack of understanding of science is apparent. By his reckoning we can’t detect patterns in nature and form connections. We can’t make predictions based on observation for what observations there should be in the future. And we certainly can’t test the validity of a framework by making such predictions.

    Sure, the cosmic background radiation might have been predicted by the big bang theory long before it was observed, but all that shows is that there is cosmic background radiation. Just as the ratio of hydrogen to helium to lithium might have been predicted by the theory, but all that shows is the ratio of hydrogen to helium to lithium. Most cosmologists make this basic mistake…

  21. WowbaggerOM says

    JohnHamilton, you haven’t answered an important question if asked on several occasions – if evolution is not fit to be called a theory because it is only ‘change’, why cannot this same argument be applied to other scientific theories?

    If we should call the theory of evolution ‘change’, why don’t we call the theory of gravity, ‘falling’? Why don’t we call the theory of flight ‘floating’? Why don’t we call germ theory ‘sickness’?

    Alternatively, does anything scientific theory meet the standards you have yet to cite?

  22. articulett says

    Dammit, the goatblower has caught on to our evolutionist tricks. And, here, we had almost managed to fool the entire world of scientists and other smart people with a clever use of language. We even had courts of law using molecular DNA to solve crimes!

    But JH, alone, has seen through our shenanigans and he will bring us down and lift up the world with his really truly true explanation of how the various species came to be… But first everyone has to get on the same page so that the words mean what JH says they mean and they shift meaning when he says they shift meaning. Then, and only then, will John reveal HIS explanation for what we observe!

  23. Kel, OM says

    If I’m getting this right, JohnHamilton would prefer if we don’t refer to observations of change over time as evolution because he thinks it a rhetorical trick. We see change over time, therefore evolution is proved. Yay for equivocation. Even though people are going to great pains to distinguish between the observed phenomenon of change over time and the theoretical mechanisms that seek to explain such facts, JohnHamilton just can’t see it as anything other than a rhetorical trick.

    At great pains I have tried to distinguish between the observations and the theoretical framework that is meant to explain the observations. Evolution is a fact, that life has changed over time and that we all share a common ancestor is no linguistic trick. The evidence is overwhelming that this is so. As for how, that’s what theories are attempting to explain.

    And if JohnHamilton wasn’t so hung up over definitions, then he might see that people here aren’t trying to prove evolution by peppered moths or AIDS resistance to drugs. They are putting the observed evidence into the neodarwinian framework and seeing how it fits. But since JohnHamilton is so caught up on the supposed linguistic trick he can’t see that. And by virtue of his rhetoric here has decimated any ability for scientists to know anything about anything. All we can have is observations – the explanations which the observations fit in don’t matter. Whether or not Neil Shubin et al. used a combination of evolutionary theory, previous palaeontology findings and geology in order to find a transitional fossil between fish and tetrapods doesn’t matter. That tiktaalik exists is just one more fact that needs to sit inside a theoretical vacuum.

  24. articulett says

    Kel saidL

    I don’t get how JohnHamilton can keep saying observations and explanations are distinct, then when it is put in that framework the ability to make explanations is somehow discounted. Like I said earlier, by that standard there are no theories in science.

    When has a creationist (who claims not to be a creationist) ever made sense? All creationists use their ignorance to claim that scientists don’t know what they are talking about. What else CAN they do? It’s not like they have evidence or anything to back up the story they’ve been told they are “saved” for believing.

  25. Owlmirror says

    You pretend that simply observing something happening is the same as knowing that it is organizing itself.

    Why is that wrong?

    If you observe something falling, do you say that somebody is pushing or pulling it?

    If you observe magnets attracting, do you say that somebody is pulling them?

    Do you really have that much trouble with the concept of parsimony?

    ====

    “Dolphins, sharks, tunas and ichthyosaurs”

    So whales should be the same shape. Right?

    No. Evolution is not prescriptive.

    Observing that convergence has happened does not mean that it will always happen.

    You select those creatures that seem to satisfy the assumption and ignore the ones that don’t.

    Or rather, we pay attention to reality.

    ====

    Call it “evolution” and you are trying to gain something through a verbal trick that you are not entitled to.

    Why not?

    See #316. Which of those is so wrong we are not “entitled” to use it? Why is it wrong?

    Now, “higher intelligence” is indeed a verbal trick — it implies something that has not been observed at all in evolution, or changes in life over time, outside of human breeding and genetic tinkering.

    But I am not continuing to argue this point.

    What point, if any, are you arguing?

  26. Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger says

    *sigh*

    I can’t believe the troll is hung up on the difference between evolution the observable fact, and the Theory of Evolution, the deduced explanation.

    I think this goes back again to the word essentialism that I wrote about once in regard to Alan Clarke: for them, a word is a real object, and since an object cannot be two different objects at once, for the essentialists a word can only be one thing. so “evolution” is always everything that his mind associates with this word; it can’t be two different things described using the same words. it’s similar to how Alan Clarke couldn’t tell that “natural” has two different, distinct meanings (as the opposite of artificial, and as the opposite of supernatural), and how creationists can’t imagine “theory” having different meanings in the vernacular and in scientific contexts.

  27. WowbaggerOM says

    Owlmirror asked (of JohnHamilton):

    What point, if any, are you arguing?

    While he’s been far too slippery to admit to it, from where he was going it seems like he’s trying to say that the fact that something can be observed to happen; that it has been observed to happen over and over and over again; that predictions can be made based on those observations; that those predictions can (and have) been shown to have accurately predicted what was hypothesised doesn’t mean we can assume it’s going to happen the next time the process occurs.

    Which, in real terms, is about as useful as Last Thursdayism.

  28. Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger says

    oh, and it reminds me of how fuckosaurus (i think) was incapable of understanding that perfect translations are impossible: after all, if words are things, then the things should be identical for everybody, in every language. After all, if I wrap a cup in red giftpaper, it’s exactly the same cup as if I wrapped it in purple giftpaper: the content of the wrapping is still the exactly same thing.

  29. Kel, OM says

    To shift JohnHamilton’s argument into another setting.

    If there is a murder with no witnesses, then the crime is unsolvable. There might be DNA and fingerprints left at the scene, but they can’t lead to anything. Just as there might be bullets lodged in the body, but one cannot say that the victim died from gunshot wounds. There might have been CCTV footage of a man holding a gun entering the building, then tossing the gun away while leaving the building but that doesn’t mean anything. That the gun was found with what would indicate recent gunfire doesn’t indicate that it was the murder weapon. That the gun is registered to the same person whose DNA and fingerprints were found at the scene of the crime doesn’t tell us anything.

    In other words, all we have observed are a series of facts. The theory that explains the facts cannot be known…

  30. desertfroglet says

    John Hamilton is so welded to his teleological view that it will be impossible to prise him away from it. He does seem incapable of contemplating an alternative. Whether his view is an alloy of ignorance and arrogance or just a failure of imagination, I can’t determine.

    His adamantine coating is impervious to reason. Here’s what he (or someone else with the same monicker) said on another site some time ago.

    Well, here’s what I say, we are here….why is not for any of us to think we can explain…I mean we can try lol….but what I’m saying is God has left us with many hints of his intelligence….our DNA for example would take billions of years for its make up to be as evolved as it is today…

    If only our DNA had been around for billions of years … Oh, wait. It has. I voted for ignorance + arrogance.

  31. Kel, OM says

    Where we are today has too much chance and stroke of luck involved…ie Earths perfect atmosphere with its perfect balance of gases to supply life…..etc

    If this is the same person, then lol. I wonder if he realises the reason the gas composition of the atmosphere is as it is today is because of life. It’s no accident that any of it is like it is today, but of course someone wedded to a teleological explanation will never see it. The nose is designed for wearing glasses indeed…

  32. desertfroglet says

    It’s a fairly common name, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it were the same one. The misapprehensions fit.

  33. maureen.brian#b5c92 says

    Thor preserve us, JohnHamilton, are you still here? Surely it would be more to your benefit to sue – for several million in a currency of your choice – whoever it is that claims to have educated you.

    Why do I say that? Because much of what has been explained to you above is infant school stuff and someone has sent you out into the world ill-equipped to operate in this century, or the previous two for that matter.

    JohnHamilton, you are definitely not allowed to read the next bit …..

    ——–

    ……. but for the amusement of the majority and the marginal possibility of engaging those lurkers who might be inclined to think JH is onto something, a story.

    As soon as we were reckoned to be big enough to make the trip, each school class set off about a mile up the hill in spring to collect frog spawn. I want you to imagine us as we went up hill onto wet moorland, each with a jam jar with a string handle, each with sagging socks as we climbed – elastication of sock yarn and of bought socks still a couple of decades in the future – to a series of ponds, each to collect half a jar of the spawn which had appeared in the previous couple of days.

    We were not allowed to get it from the deeper ponds in which we could have drowned but only from the shallow ones – selection pressure.

    Then off we went back to school with at least 50% of our booty lost en route – more selection pressure – to tip what remained into a vast enameled bowl full of tap water which did not match the chemistry of the ponds – even more selection pressure. The bowl sat in the classroom as we watched for frogs to grow.

    We were able to ask questions. Why did this one not have a black spot in the middle? Because it had not been fertilised. Why is the black spot getting bigger? Cell division. Why is it changing shape? After a certain point the cells start to specialise, to create legs and heads and that sort of thing.

    At a small country school in a post-war depression we had no microscope but the answers we were getting made sense in the light of what we were observing. If we had thought about it we also knew that all our teachers had been trained in the basics of science.

    We noticed as they grew that some of the “baby frogs” were malformed and that those tended to die rather than continuing to develop.

    We also observed that too much intervention by us – hearty poking by small fingers, for the most part – tended to have wholly negative effects. The bloody things died again. In a good year we might get 3 or 4 actual frogs, kept for observation for a couple of days then carefully returned by a teacher to whichever of the ponds had not by then dried up.

    (The school is still there and thriving but such things are no longer done. All sorts of environmental factors, probably including what we got up to, mean there is no longer an abundance of frogs.)

    So there I was, aged 7, with enough of a grasp of animal biology and the mechanisms of evolution – probably didn’t know the word at that stage – that much later when the structure of DNA is discovered – thank you, Rosalind Franklin – and the genomes are sequenced and the theory of evolution is used both to predict and to find, say, Tiktaalik I don’t experience meltdown, I don’t spend two days arguing with an army of scientists without adducing a single fact or theory myself. It just all fits neatly into place. I can even understand some of PZ’s research-based posts, though I couldn’t explain them to anyone else.

    I’m still not a scientist. I never will be. But I got a better deal out of education than some we could mention.

    ——-

    So, off to the lawyers like a good boy, JohnHamilton, and stop bugging the rest of us. Please.

  34. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Gould and Lenski have made the same mistake that I mentioned earlier.
    Most evolutionists make that mistake.

    The only mistake going on here is the one you are making. You are making yourself a fool of by showing your ignorance. You obviously are an idjit without scientific training. What a loser. Can’t even understand what change means.

  35. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    When everyone is honest enough to acknowledge that then we will have a basis for discussion.

    We are honest. You aren’t, which makes you a liar and bullshitter. As long as you lie to yourself that we aren’t honest, there cannot one an honest discussion. But the fault, dear brutus, lies with you, not us. You still haven’t shown any reason we should consider you an authority. And we don’t.

    Call it “evolution” and you are trying to gain something through a verbal trick that you are not entitled to. If your theory is correct you ought to be able to be honest. Right?

    WRONG. YOU ARE WRONG AND DISHONEST. YOU. YOU. YOU.

    But I am not continuing to argue this point.

    Bullshit, it is your only point. A WRONG inane and idjit sophist point.

    I will only respond to a post that is honest enough to use the word “change” when referring to what we observe.

    What in the name of arrogance makes you think we want to debate your points? What in the name of arrogance makes you think you define terms for the scientific community? You don’t. You have no points as they have been thoroughly refuted. We aren’t interest in your points. Your attempts to pretend to be some super intelligent guy make you look like an arrogant idjit loser. Which you are.

  36. Kel, OM says

    Just remember, from now on we can’t refer to gravity when things fall to the earth. We have to call it change in the z-axis over time. Change in the z-axis is the observation, not the explanation. A lot of gravityists make that mistake. Because from the observation, you can’t make an explanation. Otherwise you’re going beyond the observation…

    Once you gravitationists are honest and acknowledge that, then we can move on. And things falling on the z-axis without an intelligence? That’s just ludicrous. You can’t have movement over time without some intelligence involved. So while you gravitationists take the Einsteinian explanation on faith, Intelligent Falling is the only way to explain it. I’m not a gravcreationist, I just don’t buy the Einsteinian dogma. If you were honest and weren’t pretending otherwise, you’d know I’m right.

  37. Malcolm says

    Kel @526 responding to something earlier,

    What else CAN they do?

    Science?

    I think that JH has conclusively shown that the one thing that he can not do is science.

  38. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Amount of conclusive evidence provided by JH to show he is right:

    *crickets chirring*

  39. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Kel #537

    Thank you for giving JohnHamilton’s semantic argument in another context.

    He’s so proud of his ignorance and so condescending in his pontification to the hoi polloi*. It’s a pity his arrogance can’t be stuffed and mounted above the mantle piece.

    *I’m familiar with the argument that hoi is the Greek article “the” and therefore “the hoi polloi” is repetitiously redundant. But phrases borrowed from other languages are often reanalyzed in English as single words or phrases. For example, a number of Arabic noun phrases were borrowed into English as simple nouns. The Arabic element al- means “the,” and appears in English nouns such as alcohol and alchemy. Thus, since no one would consider a phrase such as “the alcohol” to be redundant, criticizing “the hoi polloi” on similar grounds seems pedantic.

  40. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I will only respond to a post that is honest enough to use the word “change” when referring to what we observe.

    oh good grief

    Do we need to start using smaller words and dumbed down phrases for you now?

  41. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    No Rev, the idjit will only respond to folks he thinks is agreeing with him. His dishonesty and arrogance are transparent.

  42. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    John Hamilton says, “I will only respond to a post that is honest enough to use the word “change” when referring to what we observe.”

    Great, then, stay ignorant.

    Guys, I think it’s time to starve the troll. The learning curve on this one does not have a positive slope.

  43. WowbaggerOM says

    No Rev, the idjit will only respond to folks he thinks is agreeing with him.

    Since I am one of the people he responded to – and never at any point did I ‘agree’ with him – I obviously don’t think that’s accurate; it would be fairer to say that he was responding to anyone whose approach to the issue suited his rather bizarre attempts to make it more about semantics than science.

    Trust me, I don’t think any more of him than you do – I just wanted to know what his game was.

  44. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space #545

    Guys, I think it’s time to starve the troll. The learning curve on this one does not have a positive slope.

    Hi, my name is ‘Tis and I’m a SIWOTI-holic.

  45. Knockgoats says

    Kel, OM@530,

    Well put!

    I can’t believe the troll is hung up on the difference between evolution the observable fact, and the Theory of Evolution, the deduced explanation.

    I think this goes back again to the word essentialism that I wrote about once in regard to Alan Clarke: for them, a word is a real object, and since an object cannot be two different objects at once, for the essentialists a word can only be one thing. – Jadehawk, OM, Hard-Core Left-Winger

    Yes, I agree, essentialism is a (if not the) key error not only in theism, but in glibertarianism, Leninism, racism, fascism, sexism…

  46. JohnHamilton says

    People are still pretending to have trouble with the difference between observation and explanation.
    When people persistently make a mistake of that kind there is more going on.
    And what is going on is the verbal trick I was mentioning.
    If people have agreed that evolution JUST MEANS change then why the reluctance to just call it “change”?
    Of course we all know the reason.
    When people persistently make a substitution of that kind there is more going on.
    It is hard to have an honest discussion with people who are slyly dishonest, as evolutionists often are.
    And evolutionists really resent it when someone calls them on it.

  47. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    If people have agreed that evolution JUST MEANS change then why the reluctance to just call it “change”?

    Because, you incredibly arrogant asshole, evolutions does NOT just mean change. Change is part of evolution but there are other parts. What part of this do you fail to understand, fuckwad?

  48. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    And evolutionists really resent it when someone calls them on it.

    Oh, science and evolution is still safe and secure from your sophistry. The problem you have, is that you have no evidence. As professional scientist, I am waiting for you to prove, without these inane semantic games, that your ideas are valid science. I suspect I will be waiting for a long time, as it appears you have nothing but hot air.

    JH, here’s the authority you have to make unilateral changes to definitions of words used by science and scientist:

    *crickets chirring*

    Your arrogant attempts to play like you know more than scientist is nothing but a loser ploy. Everytime you use it, you are essentially screaming “I am an ignornat loser”. Grow up and lose the arrogance.

  49. Feynmaniac says

    If people have agreed that evolution JUST MEANS change then why the reluctance to just call it “change”?

    How did your brain master human speech?

  50. Matt Penfold says

    The USA is in North America, therefore North America and the USA are the same place.

    Have I got Hamilton’s logic right ?

  51. Jessa says

    If people have agreed that evolution JUST MEANS change then why the reluctance to just call it “change”?

    By your logic, we should stop using words such as evaporation, velocity, growth, etc. because they all JUST MEAN “change”, too.

    After all, precision of words isn’t important, amirite?

  52. JohnHamilton says

    Funny some posters say that evolution is just change and others say that it is more.
    And this is the game that evolutionists play.
    They want to have it both ways.
    I will refer to the change we are talking about as “development’ and you can call it “evolution”.
    In both cases we are talking about the same observed phenomena.
    What we see in the fossil record and in DNA studies etc is development. It is evidence of development because it is development. (Do you start to see the difference. If not, then maybe eventually it will dawn on you).

    What we see in phenomena that you label as convergence, self organization etc is development.
    Now we have a basis for discussion.

  53. KOPD says

    Funny some posters say that evolution is just change and others say that it is more.

    Some of them thought if they used small words they’d get through to you, the others knew that was useless.

  54. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Now we have a basis for discussion.

    Only in your delusional, arrogant and ignorant mind. We will teach you. You will learn. You have nothing to teach us except how to be arrogant. Otherwise, you would have present your whole theory by now, with supporting evidence. What a unscientific loser.

  55. JohnHamilton says

    To be absolutely precise we see both evolution (in the evolution theory sense) and also development.
    Evolution as just natural selection plays a part.
    But the larger part by far is development.

    Very small aspects of evolution theory are in fact correct.
    So it is a matter of scientifically analyzing the observed phenomena in total and seeing the different forces in action.

    By the way I am very familiar with Lenski and have spent a lot of time studying the report and discussing it. Random mutation occurs. But it is not the driver of the origin and development of species. Lenski studies prove that.
    But this is not the place for a lengthy discussion on Lenski and what those studies actually mean.

  56. JohnHamilton says

    The fact that evolution theory is to a very small extent correct, is one of the things that makes a discussion about development over time so difficult.
    It is not a complete either/or.
    But it requires a lot of analysis to see the subject properly.
    For example, natural selection occurs.
    It is a way of ensuring the vitality of species.
    So any correct theory has to include natural selection.

  57. Jessa says

    So any correct theory has to include natural selection.

    Good thing that the Theory of Evolution includes natural selection, then.

  58. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Lenski studies prove that.

    WRONG Fuckwit. Your reading comprehension is very small. Your scientific comprehension is non-existent.

    You have presented no other theory. The TOE is the scientific theory until you put another scientific theory out there. By presenting it at professional meetings, and publishing it in the peer reviewed scientific literature. Neither of which has been done. Which means you are afraid to have your ideas challenged.

    You are attempting to refute science without using science. Which means you will fail before you start. As you have been repeated doing. In fact, your success rate is zero.

    But this is not the place for a lengthy discussion on Lenski and what those studies actually mean.

    Actually it is. This is a science blog. There are professional scientists here. Which doesn’t include you. We will teach you.

  59. JohnHamilton says

    Jessa:
    Natural selection was recognized well before Darwin.

    I am not here to present the complete analysis of evolution theory for you. I have many better things to do with my time.

  60. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    I am not here to present the complete analysis of evolution theory for you. I have many better things to do with my time.

    But you have to present and show a new scientific theory works better than the TOE to refute the TOE. Your inane and unscientific semantic games do nothing to ding the TOE. They only show your ignorance and arrogance. If you had something better to do, you would be doing it instead of infesting this thread with your nonsense. We both now that.

  61. JohnHamilton says

    So I have established that what we see in the fossil record and in DNA studies etc is development (change over time).
    So now we can analyze that development.
    FOR EXAMPLE, we can see how the organization that we all observe in Nature (and in the development process over time) is a natural part of Nature’s development (what evolutionists call “self-organization”). And we can see how Nature employs natural selection (Nature’s selection) as a tool for ensuring the vitality of species and the vitality of its development process.

    Everything so far s completely consistent with the development we see in Nature.

  62. Jessa says

    Ooooh. I feel duly chastised now.

    To think that I could have saved all that time researching evolution for my Ph.D., when I could have just had JohnHamilton, random guy on the internet, explain it to me. And now he decides to withhold his obviously deep and well-supported expertise from me!

  63. Sven DiMilo says

    WTF?
    This guy’s still at it?

    And we can see how Nature employs natural selection (Nature’s selection) as a tool for ensuring the vitality of species and the vitality of its development process.
    Everything so far s completely consistent with the development we see in Nature.

    Huh? Reifying Nature? Nature personified, emplying tools, ensuring vitality of stuff?

    And yet you get all hinky about the term “selection pressure”?

    You’re a piece of work, Hamilton. You couldn’t “present the complete analysis of evolution theory” if your life depended on it. You don;t even understand the extremely simple and straightforward concept of natural selection.

    (hint: it has nothing whatsoever to do with “ensuring vitality of species.”)

    Prove me wrong. Type something that makes sense.

  64. JohnHamilton says

    So in the development we see in the fossil record and DNA studies where does the evolutionist idea of convergence fit in? Or is there even such a thing?

    Near identical characteristics and structures appear in animals (that according to evolution theory are unrelated). That is a fact. It is a fact of the development we observe.
    Evolution theory has never been able to explain this. Perhaps the problem is with the evolution theory IDEA that the animals are unrelated. If they were related then we would not be surprised to see the same characteristics and structures appearing in different places.
    So how are they related?
    THEY ARE ALL PART OF THE LIVING BEING OF NATURE.
    Just like all the parts of your body are part of YOU.

  65. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Yawn, still playing semantic games, and presenting no hard evidence. What an arrogant ignorant fuckwit. Come on JH, present your theory, or shut the fuck up. You are wasting your time with your inane semantic approach to a scientific discussion. “Where’s the beef?

  66. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Hamilton…I explained both the evidence of convergence and its disproof. You ignored this and continue to make the same retarded argument over and over. You are a troll. Go to church or something.

  67. Feynmaniac says

    So how are they related?

    THEY ARE ALL PART OF THE LIVING BEING OF NATURE.
    Just like all the parts of your body are part of YOU.

    I’m getting a contact high just reading this.

  68. JohnHamilton says

    The idea of Nature as a living being is one powerful way of understanding the development we see in the fossil record and DNA studies etc.
    There are multiple ways of seeing it.
    But starting with the idea of Nature as an intelligent being is an excellent way to start.
    But keep in mind that that is just one way to understand the development process. It is akin to “self-organization” if you think about it.

    Jessa, there is plenty of material in these ideas already, without sarcastically worrying yourself about what is being “withheld” (as you put it).

  69. Feynmaniac says

    The idea of Nature as a living being is one powerful way of understanding the development we see in the fossil record and DNA studies etc.

    Well, someone just finished watching Avatar.

  70. kantalope says

    Near identical characteristics and structures appear in animals (that according to evolution theory are unrelated). That is a fact. It is a fact of the development we observe.
    Evolution theory has never been able to explain this.

    Except that it can explain it. The organisms adapt to the environment. Similar environment – similar adaptation. And the organisms are all related — but just farther apart. The last common ancestor did not have similar adaptations – or even similar body forms to their current offspring. Marsupial and mammal “flying squirrel like critters” for example. But both critters have adapted similar survival strategies – while many other species that are also offspring of the last common ancestor have not. Evolution explains it quite nicely. Different populations of the original ancestor diverged down different paths. Some of them ended up in similar environments and ended up with similar adaptations.

  71. Sven DiMilo says

    Why, oh why am I are we spending time with this brickwall?

    Almost every evolutionist makes the same mistake.

    Dude. You really don’t see the distinction between “evolution” the fact, that organisms (not “things”) change over generations (not just “time”), on the one hand–an observation, and “evolution theory,” the mechanistic explanation of the observed fact of evolution this specifc type of “change over time”?
    Really?

    I have explicitly indicated the assumptions.
    Scroll up and take a look.

    Fuck you. Tell me where to look. As I recall, you listed “convergence” and “self-organization” as such assumptions. But they are neither assumptions nor foundational to the theory. Be specific, please. Asshole.

    You call it “evolution” and that is a trick that evolutionists play. Call it “change” and we have no problem.
    You should have no problem calling it “change” because you have agreed that that is all we observe.
    We do not observe “evolution” as that word is understood by scientists and by the general public.
    We see CHANGE.

    For fuck’s sake, you idiot.
    We see a very specific and particular type of change. We call it ‘biologicalevolution’ because it is different in some ways from other types of change over time.
    Different in involving reproduction and inheritance.
    And “evolution” is exactly what we do see when we look. All of it–foundational assumptions and predicted consequences. All of it. Where are you looking? (oh yeah: up your own ass)

    Evolution theory is based on magic

    That is the single stupidest thing I have read in months. It’s not even wrong.

    But all we observe is change.
    Agreed?

    No, asshole, we also observe the details of some particular mechanisms of “change,”
    You are fucking pig-ignorant and you bring your arrogant ignorance here to parade?

    I’m out of here. There is no argument in good faith in this asshole.

  72. JohnHamilton says

    I have not seen Avatar but I look forward to doing so.
    It would be better to consider the ideas I am presenting (which of course are not new) and not relate them to a movie.

  73. Sven DiMilo says

    Hamilton, with an apparently straight face, chastizes all of Biology for using the term ‘evolution’ when of course what we mean is simply ‘change’, and then has the ignorant gall to substitute the term ‘development’ instead?

    oh I am so out of here

  74. JohnHamilton says

    Jadehawk already explained “convergence”;
    “that’s because the ones that don’t have similar features obviously haven’t undergone convergent evolution. d’uh.”

    That is the quality of the explanation of “convergence”. And it says it all.
    There is really no more to it than that.

  75. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    It would be better to consider the ideas I am presenting

    Your inane ideas were considered and rejected for unscientific fuckwititry. Nothing cogent there, just semantic nonsense. Just the inane ramblings of an arrogant but ignorant idjit. Still no evidence. Which means you have nothing but attitude; bad attitude.

  76. JohnHamilton says

    At least Sven sees the game – and resents it being played against him rather than him playing it himself.
    Is it dawning on anybody else?

  77. JohnHamilton says

    Sven:
    “Hamilton, with an apparently straight face, chastizes all of Biology for using the term ‘evolution’ when of course what we mean is simply ‘change’, and then has the ignorant gall to substitute the term ‘development’ instead?”

    It is hard for evolutionists to see themselvs and the trick they play around the word “evolution”.
    It is easier for people to see it when the trick is played against them.
    Is anybody else starting to get it?

  78. articulett says

    Hi, my name is ‘Tis and I’m a SIWOTI-holic.

    You can mollify the guilt by telling yourself you are drawn to the great responses to the troll. #534, for example, was awesome. (My teacher made me throw away the tadpoles I had shoved in a thermos during a field trip–hmph)

  79. JohnHamilton says

    Remember that I am using the word develop to mean change.
    (Just as you use the word evolve to mean change.)

    For example, the fossil record shows the development of animals over time. Species develop over time.
    There can not be any objection to my saying these things.
    It is no different than what you do.

  80. Sastra says

    John Hamilton #585 wrote:

    It is no different than what you do.

    Meaning, you accept “microevolution,” but not “macroevolution?”

    I’m starting to wonder if John Hamilton is some sort of New Age version of creationist, working off one of the loopier versions of the Gaia hypothesis.

    Well, I can’t hang around this morning to find out. I’m off to the gravel pit, to count the pebbles. I daresay John Hamilton plans on doing the same.

  81. JohnHamilton says

    I was just looking at post #534.
    That is a great story of learning about the development of frogs and what obstacles there are to their development.

  82. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Still no evidence from JH, still no total idea presented. Still an arrogant ignorant idjit who can’t go away. What a fuckwit.

  83. JohnHamilton says

    Sastra.
    You don’t need microevolution and macroevolution.
    It is all development.
    The development we see in the fossil record. Development is a fact.

    (I hope you enjoy your time at the gravel pit).

  84. articulett says

    Sastra, that was my call early on– I think he’s a Deepak Chopra type woo… which would explain why he’s at his keyboard on Zombie Day.

  85. Jessa says

    Let’s just leave him to babble to himself now.

    Agreed. It’s useless to have a meaningful discussion with someone who thinks it a “trick” to prefer using a word with a more precise meaning over one that is vague.

    On that note, I’m off to enjoy the day. It’s much too beautiful outside to spend my day engaging in SIWOTI.

  86. JohnHamilton says

    I have read and like Deepak Chopra but that is not my way of thinking. You do not need to relate what I am saying to a movie or to Deepak Chopra.
    You are allowed to look at this fresh with your own native intelligence.

  87. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Still no evidence or idea. There is no scientific discussion going on. Woo, maybe. But woo isn’t science, and never will be. So many posts about nothing by JH. Yep, Woomeister.

  88. JohnHamilton says

    Here is what Jadehawk explained about “convergence”;
    “that’s because the ones that don’t have similar features obviously haven’t undergone convergent evolution. d’uh.”

    I said:
    “That is the quality of the explanation of “convergence”. And it says it all.
    There is really no more to it than that.”

    So with the evolution idea of “convergence” you have a perfectly circular argument.

    Nobody has followed up on this. Has it dawned on everybody that the evolution idea of “convergence” explains nothing?
    If that is hard to remember then just remember these illuminating words:
    “that’s because the ones that don’t have similar features obviously haven’t undergone convergent evolution. d’uh”.

  89. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Still nothing. No evidence, no theory presented. We can’t have a scientific discussion until JH presents his ideas of the replacement for the TOE and the evidence to back it up. His continued avoidance of this tells us a lot. None of it good for his theory, or his intelligence.

  90. PZ Myers says

    There’s only one thing at all interesting about JohnHamilton.

    His ‘arguments’ are vacuous and uninformed, he is completely unresponsive to criticism, and he comes across as a plodding moron.

    But notice! He has been unimpeachably civil throughout all 96 comments he has left here! And he probably thinks that is a compliment.

    (Note: he was also here a short while ago, posting as “JackSpratt”, and made exactly the same dull, dumb comments).

  91. Glen Davidson says

    he is completely unresponsive to criticism

    He has been unimpeachably civil throughout all 96 comments he has left here!

    Civil, if you don’t count the lack of meaningful responses to incisive criticisms of his BS.

    And I do count that as uncivil, the primordial incivility that enables the whole rotten pseudoscience of ID, which explains nothing that evolution doesn’t explain without it, let alone anything beyond evolution (a real fertile idea would do both, or show potential for doing both).

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  92. JohnHamilton says

    Someone earlier mentioned that evolutionists prefer the word evolution rather than the word “change” because development refers to the kind of change we see in the development of an embryo.
    Evolutionists claim that by calling the changes we see in the fossil record “evolution” they are simply being more specific.
    That is either a joke or a trick.
    By calling it “evolution” they are specifically saying it is not development. They are going beyond simply saying it means change. But they are hiding that fact.
    This is the point I am making.
    Is there anyone here honest enough to acknowledge this point?

  93. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Still no evidence presented by JH. Still no new theory presented. Still harping on the same inane and irrelevant semantic tricks. Still nothing new. Same old pony show long refuted. Just more arrogant ignorance.

  94. JohnHamilton says

    PZ Myers has made one valid observation. I have been civil.
    I leave it to others to judge how others have been.
    And I leave it to others to think about whether that is meaningful.
    But people will pretend they don’t understand this either.

  95. amphiox says

    ‘Civil’ PZ?

    I disagree. In virtually every single one of his posts, JohnHamilton has all but explicitely called his detractors liars.

    Veiled in polite language, perhaps. But civil? Not in my book.

  96. Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger says

    I will refer to the change we are talking about as “development’ and you can call it “evolution”.

    absolutely not, you illiterate idiot. development is the change that happens within a single object/life-form (i.e. the development of a star, or the development of a baby into an adult); evolution is the change that happens from generation to generation of living things. you don’t get to play humpty-dumpty with words, you dishonest fuck.

  97. JohnHamilton says

    Someone earlier mentioned that evolutionists prefer the word evolution rather than the word “change” because development refers to the kind of change we see in the development of an embryo.
    Evolutionists claim that by calling the changes we see in the fossil record “evolution” they are simply being more specific.
    That is either a joke or a trick.
    By calling it “evolution” they are specifically saying it is not development. They are going beyond simply saying it means change. But they are hiding that fact.
    This is the point I am making.
    Is there anyone here honest enough to acknowledge this point?

    This is as clear as the point can be made.
    By calling the changes that are observed in the fossil record by the word “evolution” evolutionists are not only saying that it is change, but that that change is not developmental change, such as in the development of an embryo.

    By using the word “evolution” you are making a statement that it is NOT development.

    Correct?
    Yes or no?

  98. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    More inane and utterly irrelevant semantic games. Still no scientific evidence, still no replacement theory. Nothing, zip, nada, zero. Just the mindless mental masturbation of a fool.

  99. Jessa says

    PZ Myers has made one valid observation. I have been civil.
    I leave it to others to judge how others have been.
    And I leave it to others to think about whether that is meaningful.
    But people will pretend they don’t understand this either.

    Here’s a hint for you, JH: PZ wasn’t paying you a compliment.

    Now, off to go visit my niece and nephew. Keep up the good work, Nerd of Redhead.

  100. Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger says

    Nobody has followed up on this. Has it dawned on everybody that the evolution idea of “convergence” explains nothing?

    that’s because it isn’t an explanation, as we’ve been telling you constantly. it’s the name given to an observed phenomenon, which occurs in some but not all animals. you’re dumber than a moldy piece of toast.

    By calling it “evolution” they are specifically saying it is not development. They are going beyond simply saying it means change. But they are hiding that fact.
    This is the point I am making.

    it’s a non-point. everybody is fully aware development and evolution are two completely different things. it’s just that we are skeptics, not weird-ass, pantheist gaia-worshippers. unless you’re going to claim that all fossils are part of the same life-form, the change that is visible from them cannot be development.

  101. Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger says

    I have been civil.

    you missed the part where that’s not something to be proud of. “civil” lies are still lies, and that’s all that matters.

  102. JohnHamilton says

    It is always surprising to me, in what is supposed to be a rational scientific forum, that insults and swearing and ridicule are so highly valued.
    When I see those things I know that the individual is completely stuck for anything worthwhile to say. They have no way to counter the ideas another person has posted.
    It is an admission of weakness and an inability to control yourself.

  103. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    I have been civil.

    We find your brand of civil uncivil, as you fail to respond to genuine questions that would poke holes in your ideas. That type of avoidance is passive-aggressive, which is uncivil. We would rather you take the bull by the horns, and actually say something about your overall ideas, and the evidence behind them. But your vague, but civil meanderings sounds like you are talking to yourself. Either respond to all questions or go away. Either present you ideas in toto, or go away. Either cite the peer reviewed scientific literature, or go away. Civil is for inane ignorant losers.

  104. Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger says

    When I see those things I know that the individual is completely stuck for anything worthwhile to say. They have no way to counter the ideas another person has posted.
    It is an admission of weakness and an inability to control yourself.

    tone trolling is a sign on lack of substantive arguments. get over your pearl clutching

  105. PZ Myers says

    That was my point. He has been superficially civil, but he’s doing nothing but hiding his stupidity and arrogance behind bland words. And not hiding it very well, either — on content, he’s the most uncivil, nasty person posting to this thread.

  106. maureen.brian#b5c92 says

    You are missing something, JH.

    Most of us spend or have spent our working lives writing reports and proposals, teaching, leading teams etc, etc. where we have to be Very Serious Indeed.

    We come here for fun.

    —-

    Cheers, articulett!

  107. raven says

    Well I skipped this thread seeing as it was going nowhere.

    Hamilton is just trolling, playing a passive-aggressive game. He makes vacuous, moronic statements to get a reaction from people.

    That is all he has. You won’t get anything intelligent or honest from someone who isn’t capable of it.

    raven 2 days ago 189:
    .
    Waste of time trying to reason with a religious fanatic like Hamilton.
    .
    You can’t reason someone out of a belief that they didn’t reason themselves into.
    .
    Really, all you can do is watch them closely as a matter of common sense and personal and national survival. If they break the laws, arrest them, try them, and send them to prison. Even then, most of them never really get that reality thing.

  108. articulett says

    It is always surprising to me, in what is supposed to be a rational scientific forum, that insults and swearing and ridicule are so highly valued.

    It is always surprising to me, in what is supposed to be a rational scientific forum, creationists come here and think that they can fool people into thinking they understand science.

    By the way, it’s not that swearing and ridicule are highly valued, it’s just that there is little else creationists (who claim not to be creationists) are good for other than amusement and stress relief. When life gives you lemons… (Bright people tend to be resourceful.)

    Here, you can get a taste of your own medicine and see how civil you can be. Go inflict your woo on the Scientologist http://10cities10years.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/rationalism-vs-irrationalism-why-i-will-not-apologize-for-questioning-your-faith/

    You woos need to duke it out and find a winner before you are ready to sit at the grown-up table.

    As far as science is concerned, your magical beliefs are on par with theirs. You have given us no reason to respect your magical beliefs more than we’d respect theirs. You are equally impenetrable, arrogant, and scientifically ignorant.

  109. otrame says

    You are allowed to look at this fresh with your own native intelligence.

    Damn damn DAMN. Why the hell didn’t any of you, my so-call Pharyngula friends, warn me he was going to say things like that. I am a rapidly aging woman who had two kids, so my continence requires a little assistance from time to time, like not reading JH when I have a full bladder. I mean, I only have time to skim this thread, so I didn’t know.

    I still admire the way you guys have slowly tricked JH into actually telling you something about what he believes. When this started he knew that would be a tactical error and didn’t do it, but you wore him down.

    And what do we see? Deepak and souls. Oh my.

    Actually it’s kind of sad. I get the feeling that JH would love to find people to talk to about this idea he has worked out about the higher intelligence and all, but no one seems to want to just listen and say, “Wow, JH you’ve figured it all out, you are a genius and I want to be your friend.” It must be so disappointing. All he has left is arrogance (a poor substitute, to be sure) and the sad little thrill that the attention gives him. And he doesn’t even know that he gets that attention only because ProfDendy and the Birdman finally stepped over the line and got banned and we need something to sharpen our claws on and keep our coats sniny until something better comes along.

    I tell you, the quality of trolls these days…

    Remember good old Earl Curley? Now there was an moron you could really sink your teeth into. You youngsters are probably too young to remember him. Too bad. The phrase malignant batshit-crazy sub-idiot was coined just for him.

    Ah, well, back out to the garden. My peas are taking off and I expect flowers any day now. The carrots are looking all ferny and the earliest tomatoes are starting to bloom. Spring is wonderful.

  110. Sastra says

    John Hamilton #610 wrote:

    It is always surprising to me, in what is supposed to be a rational scientific forum, that insults and swearing and ridicule are so highly valued.

    Irrelevant. I have also been civil, and yet have made essentially the same points as the others have, with no more success. Style isn’t a substitute for substance.

    I do recognize your own style, however. It is what I call “guru.” The guru does not debate: they proclaim Truths, or ask gentle but persistent questions which are supposed to lead others to Truth. They treat dissent as a problem in personal relationship, a matter of being ‘closed.’ Those who are open, will see.

    By calling the changes that are observed in the fossil record by the word “evolution” evolutionists are not only saying that it is change, but that that change is not developmental change, such as in the development of an embryo.
    By using the word “evolution” you are making a statement that it is NOT development.
    Correct?

    There is no good reason to think that life on earth is a single animal that has been developing like an embryo. That’s what might be called bad poetry.

  111. Stanton says

    It is always surprising to me, in what is supposed to be a rational scientific forum, that insults and swearing and ridicule are so highly valued.
    When I see those things I know that the individual is completely stuck for anything worthwhile to say. They have no way to counter the ideas another person has posted.
    It is an admission of weakness and an inability to control yourself.

    And how does whining about tone and civility excuse the fact that John Hamilton conflates “I’m too lazy to understand” with “imaginary”?

  112. David Marjanović says

    Homo sapien!

    Homo sapiens! The s is part of the name, and in Latin terms it’s the nominative singular ending.

    The answer is not outside you.

    If it’s inside my head, I’m just imagining it, which means it’s not real.

    “Life self-organises for one.”

    This is a statement of faith. It is not something that you or anyone can present evidence for.
    Right?

    Wrong.

    Learn some molecular biology and some development genetics. Gene regulation boils down to electrostatic attraction and repulsion. Even DNA replication boils down to electrostatic attraction and repulsion. In fact, even the way Escherichia coli swims towards attractants and away from repellents boils down to electrostatic attraction and repulsion. Life self-organizes the same way snowflakes do.

    Learn about the one amino acid residue that causes sickle cell anemia…

    […] for some reason, evolutionists are very reluctant to admit the unproven and unprovable assumptions that underlie the theory.

    For some reason, you are very reluctant to admit you don’t know enough about the theory to have noticed that there aren’t any untested or untestable assumptions underlying it.

    Hasn’t anybody linked to the Dunning-Kruger effect yet?

    How could self organization be disproven?

    By finding some process in embryonic development that requires a miracle? See comment 425.

    Palaeontologists should be viciously railroaded into doing anatomy courses more often. Apparently.

    I think you’re joking, though I don’t quite get what your point is. In any case, most palaeontologists actually teach anatomy at medical or veterinary colleges – simply for lack of jobs elsewhere.

    The assumption that unrelated animals just happen to “evolve” near identical structures independently.

    How often do I need to repeat it?

    To prevent different lineages (not necessarily animals) from evolving near-identical structures under near-identical or identical selection pressures would require a fucking miracle. When mutations with the same effects on the phenotype lead to reproductive advantages, individuals with those mutations will make up a greater proportion of the next generation; there’s just no way around it.

    Really, what did you imagine? That the DNA polymerase of a microscopic flatworm says “oh no, if I mistakenly insert a G here instead of an A, the spawn will look too much like a ciliate, I mustn’t do that”?

    That would be crazy.

    So whales should be the same shape. Right?
    How can you tell which animals to include?

    The shape requirements are hydrodynamic; they’re for fast swimming.

    Whales other than dolphins* do look similar, but not identical. That’s because they’re shaped for efficiency more than for speed; they don’t need raw speed that much, because they’re not pursuit predators.

    Isn’t this obvious?

    Incidentally, penguins and sea lions count, too. They, too, are pursuit predators. That they use their forelimbs instead of the tail for propulsion is mere distraction. The same holds for seals using their feet like a tail fin.

    * Come on. Did you really not know that dolphins are whales?

    You will get into talking about “ecological niches” and even how creatures in exactly the same geographical area can be in different “ecological niches”.

    Oh for crying out loud. Did you not even know that the ecological niche is what an organism does, not where it is? It’s how it gets its energy.

    In fact, no two species that live at the same time in the same place have identical ecological niches. If they did, they’d compete, and after a few hundred or thousand years (at the most) only one of them would be left!

    You don’t even understand the uttermost basic terms. So… what are you doing in this discussion?

    Why should we expect every animal to come up with the same solution? Again you’re mistaking explanatory power for predictive power.

    No, in such rough terms it is predictive. What it can’t predict are things like whether there’ll be hindfins (yes in sharks, tuna, ichthyosaurs, sea lions, and arguably penguins; no in dolphins and arguably seals), whether there’ll be a tail fin or wing-like forefins (penguins, sea lions), or whether the tail fin, if present, will beat side-to-side or up-down. (In fact, as far as I can tell, the reason why no tail fin beats in an oblique plane is that the inherited constraints of biology work against that.)

    And even more intriguing is the fact that there were a large variety of warm blooded, viviparous ichthyosaurs – with some that looked like whales and others that looked like dolphins.
    And tunas are warm blooded.
    But sharks are cold blooded.

    Again you show how superficially you’ve thought about these topics.

    Not all ichthyosaurs were pursuit predators. Those that were look like pursuit predators – like dolphins. Those that weren’t don’t.

    Being warm- or cold-blooded (or something more complicated like some tuna species or the lamnid sharks) doesn’t change the facts of hydrodynamics. That’s also why it doesn’t matter that we don’t know if any ichthyosaurs were warm- or cold-blooded or whatever. (What little evidence there is is circumstantial.)

    Palaeontologists should be viciously railroaded into doing anatomy courses more often. Apparently.

    *whistles innocently*

    What is your point? The spelling? AJ Milne is Canadian. :-)

    Evolution is not an observed phenomenon. Things change over time – that is what we observe. Evolution theory is a theory that attempts to explain that change over time.

    Why am I not surprised that you confuse evolution with the theory of evolution?

    Evolution is defined as descent with heritable modification, and that’s an observed fact. The theory of evolution by mutation, selection, and drift is the theory that explains this fact.

    scientists understand evolution as the change in animals over generations.

    Well… no. Doesn’t need to be animals (or indeed living beings in general), needs to be heritable.

    “Evolution” is indeed a lot more than just change.
    But all we observe is change.
    Agreed?

    No.

    In addition to the above, take what I saw with my own eyes in the lab course Molecular Biology I B: I took a petri dish and let a lawn of E. coli grow on it; I added a virus; overnight, the lawn was gone, except for three small, disk-shaped colonies that seemed to be growing happily.

    The theory predicts that one in a couple of tens of millions of cells would have a mutation that rendered it resistant to the virus. Each of those cells would not merely live on, but reproduce as if nothing had happened, yielding colonies visible to the naked eye overnight. This prediction was borne out…

    Natural selection: those that weren’t resistant to the virus died ( = lack of resistance was selected against); those that were able to deal with these new conditions lived on and prospered ( = resistance was selected for).

    So, I observed evolution, and I observed natural selection.

    I didn’t observe the mutations, but I could have inferred them by doing a bit of (time-consuming and seriously expensive) sequencing…

    Funny some posters say that evolution is just change and others say that it is more.
    And this is the game that evolutionists play.
    They want to have it both ways.

    You utter moron. We’re not an organization that discusses internally how best to respond to you before each one of us posts a comment. We’re just random people on the Internet. Some (like Sven DiMilo and me) are evolutionary biologists, but most aren’t, and even the people who actually work with the theory of evolution don’t necessarily care a lot about its terminology.

    In short, not all of us are right about everything. When we contradict each other, it just means some of us are wrong!

    Random mutation occurs. But it is not the driver of the origin and development of species. Lenski studies prove that.

    How?

    Surely you’re not stupid enough to claim the proof is that no new species appeared in that experiment? (Never mind that whether a new species appeared depends entirely on the definition of “species”. There are 147 of those out there as of February 2008.)

    But this is not the place for a lengthy discussion on Lenski and what those studies actually mean.

    LOL. Where else is the place? You’re just evading an occasion to learn.

    For example, natural selection occurs.
    It is a way of ensuring the vitality of species.

    It isn’t “a way of” anything. Those species whose traits are selected against die out – that’s all.

    And we can see how Nature employs natural selection (Nature’s selection) as a tool for ensuring the vitality of species and the vitality of its development process.

    “Nature doesn’t dictate anything. And don’t anthropomorphise her, she hates that.”
    – Zarquon, here on Pharyngula, on 21 April 2008 or maybe a day or two earlier.

    THEY ARE ALL PART OF THE LIVING BEING OF NATURE.
    Just like all the parts of your body are part of YOU.

    And you really can’t see how limited this metaphor is? How soon it breaks down?

    I pity you. Seriously.

    Marsupial and mammal “flying squirrel like critters” for example.

    ARGH! Both marsupials and placentals are mammals!

    It is hard for evolutionists to see themselvs and the trick they play around the word “evolution”.

    There is no trick. There’s only a misunderstanding, and it’s on your side.

    That is a great story of learning about the development of frogs and what obstacles there are to their development.

    And each one of these obstacles is a selection pressure, because each one of them has different impacts depending on certain heritable traits.

    Has it dawned on everybody that the evolution idea of “convergence” explains nothing?

    So you didn’t read comment 318? Nor any of the others that explicitly said convergence is a conclusion, not an explanation?

    Dude, if you don’t read what we write, how do you hope to ever convince us of anything???

    In virtually every single one of his posts, JohnHamilton has all but explicitely called his detractors liars.

    Repeated for truth. Add to this the arrogance of the Dunning-Kruger effect, of the argument from personal incredulity, of the argument from ignorance, and of the stunning refusal to explain even the most remarkable claims – implicitly telling us to take them on faith instead, one of the biggest possible insults to a scientist.

    By using the word “evolution” you are making a statement that it is NOT development.

    Correct?

    Yes: evolution is not the same as what biologists call development. Development in that sense is programmed, it’s determined by the genes before it actually happens. Evolution is not programmed; mutation is simply random, and while selection is not random, it depends on the environment, which changes in all sorts of (often random or as-good-as-random) ways.

    you’re dumber than a moldy piece of toast.

    And that’s sugary, American, toast she’s talking about. <barf> :-)

    It is always surprising to me, in what is supposed to be a rational scientific forum, that insults and swearing and ridicule are so highly valued.

    Again your observations are superficial. They aren’t really valued in themselves; we merely set priorities. Calling someone “a dishonest fuck”, “dumber than a moldy piece of toast”, or a goat-blower pales in comparison to making arguments from ignorance or personal incredulity. What you say matters, not how you say it.

    And this, again, should be obvious. Why should how you say something matter at all? Just so that you can feel confirmed in your laughable assumptions you make in comment 610?

  113. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    It is an admission of weakness and an inability to control yourself.

    No, it is trying to provoke idjits like you into actually saying some meaningful. We have a 3 post rule here, and if you checked, the name calling came after many posts were you refused, with your passive-aggressive incivility, to respond. You started it with your passive-aggressive attitude. If you responded politely to our questions, we would have remained polite too. In this case, we responded to your passive-aggressive incivility. Happens all the time, including trying to play the victim when you are the aggressor. Total civility is for ignorant idjit trolling losers. Emphasis on the loser…

  114. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    You rock David.

    You don’t even understand the uttermost basic terms. So… what are you doing in this discussion?

    A question many have been wondering this whole time I’m sure.

  115. David Marjanović says

    Irrelevant. I have also been civil, and yet have made essentially the same points as the others have, with no more success. Style isn’t a substitute for substance.

    Repeated for truth.

  116. Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus says

    Dear Brother John Hamilton,

    I’m just stopping by this thread very briefly to deliver a little Easter message from Jesus. The Son of God is extremely angry with you right now. Please get with the program!! Your civility to the evilutionist atheists is totally last-millennnia. Don’t you know that we are now in the days of the end times and it’s the final countdown? Forget the New Testament and the Gospels, the Old Testament is now the only Testament and Gentle-Jesus-Meek-and-Mild is busy fitting a fiery sword to his tongue, prefaratory to jamming it right up this evil world’s fundament.

    What this means for you is that your deformed creationist apologetics are a waste of your God-given braincell. Don’t waste time arguing with people vastly more intelligent than you, verily the time for being fools for Christ is over. It’s now the time for pogroms, book-burnings, inquisitions and similar divinely sanctioned pursuits. Take a leaf out of the Pope’s book–you won’t find him apologising for aiding and abetting child rapists. Fuck no! He’s a victim, can’t you see? As persecuted as the Jews were during the Holocaust. And so he’s gonna fight back.

    You should be fighting back too John Hamilton! This passive, aggressive attempt to argue something you don’t know shit about is making Jesus really angry. Grow a pair of Biblical balls and get out there and help bring about this planet’s complete destruction. Do your darndest to get Sarah Palin elected as president, and maybe you’ll be able to stand in her prayer circle on the day she fulfills God’s will and presses the button that obliterates his entire creation. Pray hard enough, John Hamilton, and the President might even give you hand relief as the atomic rain falls and the Pearly Gates part before you God-deluded eyes.

    But first things first, JH. Get down on your knees and pray for forgiveness for being such a namby-pamby, pseudo-intellectual gobshite, and beg YHWH for the stones to become a muscular Christian born in rapacity and shaped in stupidity.

    Yours in anticipation of the destruction of us all,

    Smoggy Batzrubble
    Prophet of the Fucking End

  117. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    John Hamilton,
    You know, I live in Howierd County, Maryland, ground zero for the “Choose Civility” movement. I cannot tell you how many times we get passed on rural tow-lane roads on blind curves, going up hill… And you know what, invariably, they’ve got one of those damned green “Choose Civility” bumperstickers. Now, I realize that these people are clueless, but I’m not allowed to lift a finger–a particular finger–to help them.

    I really desperately want a bumpersticker that says: “I’ll choose civility when you learn to f***ing drive.” Now that would be educational…though not civil.

    You don’t realize that people calling you civil are damning you with the faintest of praises. As in: “He may be dumber than a sack o’ hammers, but he’s civil;” or “Well, he’s a serial pig rapist, but he’s unfailingly civil…and hi has written lucidly on the Congo.”

    You know what virtues Heinrich Himmler tried to instill into his Waffen SS? Yup! Civility. Kind of makes you all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it? Even genocidal storm troopers can be civil!

    John/Jack or whatever your real name is, real allies aren’t civil to you. When you are involved in counterproductive, fuzzy thinking, they call you on it, and often none to gently.

    So you can keep spouting the same dim, vague platitudes based on your misunderstanding of the scientific method or you can try to fucking learn something.

    You can start by abandoning that silly shit about the scientific method being about “interpretation”. It’s not. It is about prediction. You use the clues to guide you in coming up with a theory. However, the whole purpose of that theory is to predict how the system under study will behave. Evolution has an astounding track record or confirmed prediction. It even predicted the characteristics of the genetic code a century before that code was found!

    Explanation and interpretation of Just-So stories. Science is about understanding!

  118. amphiox says

    re# 613

    Oops. I completely missed the implication there.

    Dang it, that’s the seventeenth irony meter that I’ve lost on this thread alone!

    But I think I am finally understanding this JohnHamilton character.

    It isn’t that he’s an idiot, or a liar, or incapable of comprehending the most elementary principles. Rather, it’s that HE DOESN’T SPEAK ENGLISH!

    No, he actually speaks a language that he made up himself, which sounds like english, but in which all the important words actually mean something else!

  119. WowbaggerOM says

    Sigh.

    Yes, JohnHamilton, you can argue that it’s possible that the TOE doesn’t explain why evolution occurs – but in doing so you’re forgetting (or, more likely, deliberately ignoring) parsimony; by positing some mysterious, nebulous guiding force controlling all of this ‘change’ for its own purpose you’re adding an element which then needs an explanation. An element which you’ve not managed to provide any rationale for – other than your ‘woo-of-the-gaps’ assertions about flaws in TOE.

    How came you by your knowledge of this process, JohnHamilton? What methods have you used to test its validity? How would you know if you were wrong?

  120. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    DM: Methinks that you have blasted a sparrow with a cannon. I would wager that the sparrow, scattered throughout space and smeared on an article of spent munition as he might find himself, molecules here and there over some radial distribution of destruction, will interpret the event as a clear victory over the cannon.

    Sparrows.

  121. Kel, OM says

    No, he actually speaks a language that he made up himself, which sounds like english, but in which all the important words actually mean something else!

    It’s amazing how hung up he got on using particular definitions. Our dishonesty apparently is not recognising the way he uses words is the only way to understand the topic. Nevermind going to great pains to distinguish between observation and explanation, he just couldn’t handle meaning. It’s all about dishonesty through the words you use, not what you meant.

    I wonder if he’s from the British Chiropractor Association ;)

  122. mswzebo says

    It’s worthwhile to educate people that want to learn, and people who completely don’t get it are worth responding to because we get the chance to more fully clarify our own thoughts and reasoning. I was hoping Johnny would start to pursue a more jaques derrida/deconstruction approach, because I would like to learn more about deconstruction analysis, and because I think we might learn something about evolutionary theory. But this is just dumb – I’m not learning anything except that Johnny isn’t very bright and probably has some serious emotional issues to deal with.

    So – has anyone participated in a deconstruction give-and-take focused on evolution? Any suggestions for good reading?

    Some wikipedia background on Deconstruction…

    Deconstruction is an approach, introduced by French philosopher Jacques Derrida, which rigorously pursues the meaning of a text to the point of undoing the oppositions on which it is apparently founded, and to the point of showing that those foundations are irreducibly complex, unstable or impossible. It is an approach that may be deployed in philosophy, in literary analysis, in other fields, or in a way that transcends the boundaries of such fields.
    Deconstruction generally attempts to demonstrate that any text is not a discrete whole but contains several irreconcilable and contradictory meanings; that any text therefore has more than one interpretation; that the text itself links these interpretations inextricably; that the incompatibility of these interpretations is irreducible; and thus that an interpretative reading cannot go beyond a certain point. Derrida refers to this point as an aporia in the text, and terms deconstructive reading “aporetic.” J. Hillis Miller has described deconstruction this way: “Deconstruction is not a dismantling of the structure of a text, but a demonstration that it has already dismantled itself. Its apparently-solid ground is no rock, but thin air.”[1]

  123. Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus says

    AE @ 631 “Methinks that you have blasted a sparrow with a cannon.”

    Yes, but what a cannon! I think David Marjanović deserves re-naming.

    I’d like to propose John Holmes Marjanović.

  124. WowbaggerOM says

    Kel wrote:

    It’s amazing how hung up he got on using particular definitions. Our dishonesty apparently is not recognising the way he uses words is the only way to understand the topic. Nevermind going to great pains to distinguish between observation and explanation, he just couldn’t handle meaning.

    Now he’s revealed his true colours, I don’t think it is all that amazing. It’s annoying because he could have saved everyone the time and effort of extracting it from him when he could have just come out and stated his position from the beginning.

    But someone upthread compared him to a ‘guru’, and they’re right – he seems to think he has more chance of converting people if he eases them into it. It may have worked for him before – but this, as they say, is Pharyngula, and we know that sort of shit just doesn’t fly around here.

    He’s not saying evolution doesn’t occur in exactly the way we describe it, he’s saying that the reasons it occurs is not the result of natural selection but is instead a guided process of development. He hasn’t mentioned any specifics of this mysterious guide, but I imagine that’s part of the ‘journey’.

    That’s what the word games are about. ‘Our’ words exclude whatever nebulous guiding force he claims exists, so he wants to convince us to stop using them.

  125. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Mswzebpo, my apologies with your moniker.
    *Shakes fist at Rev. BDC’s typo cooties…

  126. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    mswzebo

    Having read some of Derrida’s musings, I agree with John Searle that Derrida indulges in dadaist sophistry.

    I am not a fan of postmodernism. It is intellectually diverse, yet it promotes a quite reactionary obscurantism. I really dislike its anti-rationalist “critiques” (aka attacks) on science. It also has a fascination with authoritarianism, particularly fascism. I am particularly unimpressed by Derrida, Martin Heidegger (not just because he was a Nazi) and Richard Rorty (whose disdain for social justice and dislike of science annoy the fuck out of me). I do think Sokal’s Hoax showed postmodernism is more involved in sophistry and anti-rationalism than trying to advance social organization and understanding.

  127. Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger says

    Deconstructionism is not useful in the natural sciences, because text is not important in them.

  128. SC OM says

    I really desperately want a bumpersticker that says: “I’ll choose civility when you learn to f***ing drive.” Now that would be educational…though not civil.

    :D

    Or just “Civility is knowing how to f***ing drive.”

  129. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    mswzebo,
    I am afraid that most deconstructions of science I’ve seen were utter bullshit. In part, this derives from the fact that science works very hard to be unambiguous, and in part, it is because the practitioners of said technique do not bother to try to actually understand the subject matter they are “deconstructing”.

    I’ve generally been underwhelmed by the analyses.

  130. mswzebo says

    It’s that desire to be unambiguous which makes me want to see what a deconstructionist would do with evolutionary theory. Intuitively, I can see that it is likely anti-rationalism, but if there are areas where I’m not fully fleshing out a train of thought I’d like to know about it. Does ‘text’ have some specific definition that would lead to the statement that text wasn’t important in science? For example, I was thinking that text here would consist of things like the scientific method, model-building in science, natural selection, experimental design elements, specific observations, etc.

    But you don’t think there’s much worthwhile there, huh?

  131. Kel, OM says

    It’s that desire to be unambiguous which makes me want to see what a deconstructionist would do with evolutionary theory.

    We’ve had that happen here already, it wasn’t a pretty (nor coherent) sight. Though perhaps I’m judging a legitimate discipline by the morons who proclaim it, leading to my reaction against anyone decrying science while using a computer as a massive hypocrite.

  132. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    mswzebo,
    My objection to deconstructionism and indeed to most things “postmodern” is that they are confident that they can apply the technique whether or not they know anything about the subject they are applying it to.

    If perhaps you made a real study and looked to see how evolution works and which aspects of the technique might be applicable, you might get something interesting. Most of the “analyses” I’ve seen were just attempted takedowns of scientific objectivism by whinging liberal arts weenies who were afraid of science.

  133. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    But you don’t think there’s much worthwhile there, huh?

    Scientific literature isn’t some literary or philosophical pursuit. The methods used and evidence are the important part. The scientific method hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years, and is still very successful. Science is designed to try to remove cultural and personal biases as much as it can, and it mostly succeeds in doing so. So no, deconstruction of science usually leads to nothing different than what is there. Also, unlike the scientific literature, where there is peer review, philosophy and literature is mostly unreviewed.

  134. JohnHamilton says

    In post #605 I asked a question which could be answered with a yes or no.
    Nobody has answered that question.
    Is it yes or no?

  135. otrame says

    It may have worked for him before – but this, as they say, is Pharyngula, and we know that sort of shit just doesn’t fly around here.

    Not, mind you, that shit doesn’t fly here. Just not that shit.

  136. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Is it yes or no?

    John Hamilton, quit playing you inane sophistry/semantics game. You are wrong as far as the science is concerned. Deal with that elsewhere if you aren’t willing to learn.

    Either put out your theory, or shut the fuck up. You are a boring inane passive-agressive idjit.

  137. mswzebo says

    Well, the point is that creationists, homeopaths, urine therapists, etc, are all great learning tools – by understanding where they have gone wrong in their thinking, we can avoid their mistakes and sharpen our own understanding regarding evidence, interpretation, and trains of logical thought. Intuitively, it seems to me that there is probably something useful to be learned by looking at how a deconstructionist would analyze evolutionary theory. I say intuitively, because I don’t know very much about derrida at all. Clearly, some people think there’s nothing there.

    I frequently have my students in my intro bio course and upper division genetics course write essays responding to arguments put forth by creationists et al,, and I think it’s a great learning technique. In responding to claims by Ken Ham that science can’t study historical events and hence can’t study science, or that naturalism is an assumption of science taken on faith and hence science is akin to religion, or that biblical revelation should be considered empirical evidence, they (and I) learn how to think much more clearly about science. This year (inspired by a Pharyngula post) in intro bio, the students analyze the outcome of double-blind, placebo-controlled homeopath studies–a few of which had results where the homeopathic treatment was more effective than the placebo. I had students write things along the lines of “Of course some studies show that homeopathic treatments are more effective – if you do enough studies you expect that sample error will give you that result in a few of them”. It led to discussions about self-deception and affirmation bias.

    You can’t just lecture about that stuff and have them get it. And when some of the students realize that people are actively lying to them, and they become much more skeptical. They otherwise tend to shy away from controversy, and they tend to think that if there is active controversy, there must be something to the arguments on both sides.

  138. nothing.beside.remains says

    And of course we all see that you are doing that.

    It looks like the voices in his head were louder than usual when he was typing that message.

    Did JohnHamilton ever address others’ responses to his inane conclusions about evolution? It seems he never understood convergent evolution at all, nor anything else for that matter. He succeeded in ignoring every argument against him, and seemed to give up offering any arguments for his own viewpoint after others refuted him at the beginning (without ever addressing their refutations) beyond “look around you” which isn’t really an argument.

    Anyway, it seems tone-trolling is and has always been the last refuge of scoundrels.

  139. WowbaggerOM says

    JohnHamilton wrote:

    In post #605 I asked a question which could be answered with a yes or no. Nobody has answered that question. Is it yes or no?

    We’ve worked out what your game is, JohnHamilton – you’re pretty much done here.

  140. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Oh, and JH, PZ’s talk earlier was your banhammer warning. Quit playing your inane game, or you will likely be banned for gross stupidity, insipidity, and just plain being boring.

    So, either advance your theory, or go away.

  141. mswzebo says

    I meant
    claims by Ken Ham that science can’t study historical events and hence can’t study evolution

    but you probly got that

  142. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Did JohnHamilton ever address others’ responses to his inane conclusions about evolution?

    No, and if he wants to continue posting, I’m sure PZ is watching to see if he actually answers questions. If not, PLONK.

  143. JohnHamilton says

    A couple of posters have responded in a way that seems to be answering “yes” to my question – that by using the word “evolution”, evolutionists are making a statement that it is NOT development.

  144. Owlmirror says

    By calling the changes that are observed in the fossil record by the word “evolution” evolutionists are not only saying that it is change, but that that change is not developmental change, such as in the development of an embryo.

    By using the word “evolution” you are making a statement that it is NOT development.

    Correct?
    Yes or no?

    Yes.

    Just as speed, velocity, and acceleration are distinct terms in physics; just as “rotational period” and “orbit” are distinct terms in astronomy; so too “evolution and “development” are distinct terms in biology.

  145. Rey Fox says

    “Nobody has answered that question. ”

    Sastra @#618, David Marjanovic @#620. It’s called reading, you might want to try it.

  146. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    John, your question is irrelevant, and you are still playing your passive-aggressive semantic game. Cease playing that game. Otherwise, PLONK. PZ warned you.

    You want a discussion, start this way: “This is what I believe, and this is the evidence to back it up”. Then debate honestly, and answer all questions. If you aren’t capable of doing that, go away.

  147. Sven DiMilo says

    Are we still here?

    OK, evolution is not development.
    They are two different kinds of biological change.
    next idiotic point?

  148. Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger says

    In post #605 I asked a question which could be answered with a yes or no.
    Nobody has answered that question.

    liar. if you’re not even gonna bother reading the thread, stop wasting our time and go away.

  149. Glen Davidson says

    By calling it “evolution” they are specifically saying it is not development.

    Just another lie, tardboy.

    Development is a consideration in all of paleontology. It isn’t always easy, so that recently it has been proposed that we have found rather less dinosaur than we thought, because some “species” are almost certainly younger version of “other species.” But progress is made over time, as such things become known.

    You’re just dancing around all of the issues by bringing up such “important issues.” You’re an uncivil IDiot who won’t deal with the real issues, which is why you want people to chase your red herrings.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  150. Stanton says

    It appears that John Hamilton has absolutely no understanding of biology, and looks down on everyone else who doesn’t care to wallow in his ignorance.

    Why hasn’t this turd been plonked for insipidity already?

  151. WowbaggerOM says

    You’ve only got the one option, JohnHamilton – be honest and expand upon the vague claims you’ve made in such a way that makes your position – and your rationale for that position – clear.

    Otherwise you’re going to be banned.

  152. articulett says

    Yeah, John, drop the “riddle-me-this” talk. It’s buffoonish. You have not convinced anyone here that you have expertise in anything. Moreover, you never asked anyone here about their own expertise. You’ve just assumed that you know more and that you have something to teach and nothing to learn.

  153. truth machine, OM says

    Methinks that you have blasted a sparrow with a cannon.

    The whole thread is like a nuclear attack on a tick.

  154. truth machine, OM says

    A couple of posters have responded in a way that seems to be answering “yes” to my question – that by using the word “evolution”, evolutionists are making a statement that it is NOT development.

    Here’s what David Marjanović wrote, you stupid fucking piece of putrid garbage:

    Yes: evolution is not the same as what biologists call development. Development in that sense is programmed, it’s determined by the genes before it actually happens. Evolution is not programmed; mutation is simply random, and while selection is not random, it depends on the environment, which changes in all sorts of (often random or as-good-as-random) ways.

    Now shut the fuck up and go away.

  155. truth machine, OM says

    Someone earlier mentioned that evolutionists prefer the word evolution rather than the word “change” because development refers to the kind of change we see in the development of an embryo. Evolutionists claim that by calling the changes we see in the fossil record “evolution” they are simply being more specific. That is either a joke or a trick. By calling it “evolution” they are specifically saying it is not development. They are going beyond simply saying it means change. But they are hiding that fact. This is the point I am making. Is there anyone here honest enough to acknowledge this point?

    There is no one here stupid enough to credit your idiocy, dishonesty, and vile accusations. Biological evolution is “the change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms through successive generations”. No one is hiding this, you ignorant moron.

    If you value civility over truth, you’re in the wrong place, fuckface. Move along.

  156. truth machine, OM says

    It is always surprising to me

    Being too stupid to understand or predict something is not a virtue.

    in what is supposed to be a rational scientific forum, that insults and swearing and ridicule are so highly valued.
    When I see those things I know that the individual is completely stuck for anything worthwhile to say. They have no way to counter the ideas another person has posted.

    Ad hominem fallacy, asshole.

    It is an admission of weakness and an inability to control yourself.

    Faulty inference, moron.

  157. Militant Agnostic says

    John Hamilton on convergent evolution

    The assumption that unrelated animals just happen to “evolve” near identical structures independently.

    Except as Amphiox pointed out, these structures are only superficially similar – in fact, they are as different as Nascar stock car (or even “Sportsman” stock car running on your local short track) is different from the vehicles available at the car dealership. They only look similar from the outside. A bird’s wing is more or less like an arm while a bat’s is like a hand. If these wings were created by an intelligent designer through a process of “development” the same best choice should have been made for both. This is why ID shies away from making predictions – it would fail if it did. Science on the other hand does stick it’s neck out and make predictions. So far the theory of evolution has done very well in that regard (Tiktallik, Ambulocetus etc.) Making predictions is what makes science useful and makes sophistic wankery useless.

    It would probably be very advantageous for a dolphin to be able to breathe under water, but it can’t because of where it started from. In the Arctic, whales die every year because they get trapped under ice although they have enough fat reserves to make it open water, they don’t have enough air – this is not intelligent design.

    The theory of Evolution fits the observations, has made predictions which have been subsequently confirmed and makes predictions that we can test. This is hardly a structure “built on sand”.
    It’s validity does not depend on whether or not it’s proponents are nicer or whether or not it is more comforting to our psyches by telling us it want we want to hear. In fact it’s value lies in telling us things we don’t want to hear, but need to know such as; if we use antibiotics excessively they will stop working and we are not the purpose of the universe, the earth was not created for our benefit. Life, the universe and everything can get along just fine without us.

    I think all male Intelligent Design proponents should be repeatedly head-butted in the testicles by a rambunctious Newfoundland dog in order to convince them that biological “design” is far from intelligent. However, perhaps this might only convince them that they have spelled the name of the “designer” backwards.

  158. Militant Agnostic says

    When I see those things I know that the individual is completely stuck for anything worthwhile to say. They have no way to counter the ideas another person has posted.

    Or perhaps, they have said everything worthwhile that they had to say and seen it fall on deaf ears. As a result, they be a wee bit frustrated. The first step in dealing with dishonest arguments should be to point out how and why the arguments are dishonest. When the same dishonest arguments are repeated, the more “civil” individual may advise the dishonest sophist to enjoy sex and travel*, the less “civil” individual may recommend that the sophist go fuck themselves with an air chisel. Both approaches have their merits.

    *”sex and travel” = “fuck off”

  159. truth machine, OM says

    these structures are only superficially similar

    This isn’t a good counter; the similarities can be arbitrarily close. Your response is like answering a Creationist who says that God made each mountain just as it is 10,000 years ago and that that is obvious because they are so similar by saying that the similarities are only superficial, rather than pointing out the common geological processes. Contra Hamilton, convergent evolution isn’t an “assumption”, it’s an observation, and the ToE of course provides an explanation: natural (i.e., environmental) selection.

  160. nothing.beside.remains says

    JohnHamilton, state what your position is and stop dodging questions, answers, and just about everything else. After you state your position, offer evidence for it. Honestly, how much more clear can I make it? It’s not that difficult. You’re becoming absolutely tedious with all of your rhetorical acrobatics.

    For example (as others have pointed out), this link (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19591859), one of the few non-creationist links you posted (when you were still attempting to provide evidence for something), does not support your position at all. Notice that it says that the inverted retina “still benefits especially small and highly visual species” and is most advantageous “in small eyes.” Notice that humans are not small, nor are they highly visual, nor do they have small eyes. Notice the word “still” in the first quote, implying it is much less advantageous in larger and less visual species. An intelligent designer would have designed eyes so that the inverted retina would not appear in larger mammals because it is a sub-optimal configuration for them. Evolution is a much better explanation for why the eyes are not optimal in larger mammals (because they evolved from organisms in which the trait was optimal and retained the trait through the course of evolution since it still worked well enough).

    Explaining why an intelligent designer would not do that would be a nice start to the “providing evidence” part of your argument, assuming you state what exactly your position is first.

  161. shonny says

    Posted by: Iris Author Profile Page | March 31, 2010 1:55 PM

    @36 Me: HTML fail.

    Do Jerry Coyne a favor and buy a copy.

    *sigh*

    Hm, the one you really do a favour is yourself.
    When you read it, that is.

  162. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    mswzebo,
    It is clear where anti-vaxers, climate denialists, IDiots, etc have gone wrong: They refuse to consider the evidence, or if they consider any evidence, they fixate on a single tiny piece that they can twist and torture to seem to support their position. They utterly forget that the entire purpose of science is prediction–that is THE criterion for success.

  163. JohnHamilton says

    From #496:

    OK, something to agree upon – things change over time. This phenomenon we call evolution. The change from one form to another over time. You agree that evolution takes place (evolution being the change over time).

    From #499:

    JohnHamilton has been told evolution is an observation and evolutionary theory is an explanation.

    From #523:

    Evolution is a fact

    From #576:

    You really don’t see the distinction between “evolution” the fact, that organisms (not “things”) change over generations (not just “time”),

    It seems that people are saying that “evolution” is a fact. And “evolution” is distinguished from “evolution theory” which is an explanation.

  164. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    It seems that people are saying that “evolution” is a fact. And “evolution” is distinguished from “evolution theory” which is an explanation.

    Yes.

    Evolution is a fact.

    The theory of Evolution explains the fact of evolution.

    it’s really not that hard of a concept to grasp.

  165. Matt Penfold says

    It seems that people are saying that “evolution” is a fact. And “evolution” is distinguished from “evolution theory” which is an explanation.

    Good grief, you have got it.

    Took you a long time, but you have finally understood.

  166. nigelTheBold says

    It is an admission of weakness and an inability to control yourself.

    Non sequitur, and a strawman.

    I can certainly control myself, you puss-swelled piece of severed monkey penis. For instance, I do not curse around my nieces, out of respect for both my sister-in-law and her charming and intelligent children. I would not wish to be a contributing cause if they were to be expelled for referring to another student as a box of ignorant sweaty loin gristle.

    You, however, deserve no such respect, as you are not here to discuss ideas, but to preach and ignore. Also, your momma dresses you funny.

    Honestly. Jumping into a pool of intelligent people, many of whom are lifetime students and practitioners in the field, and proudly showing off your ignorance is far more insulting than a few strong words meant to insult. Then, as if you are completely oblivious to the fact you are poorly educated in the field yourself, you do so in such a way that indicates you are convinced your understanding is superior.

    Your willful ignorance makes you a wanker. Your arrogance makes you a dickweed. Your lack of intellectual rigor makes you a fucking tedious moron.

    “Inability to control yourself,” my freckly left buttocks. You mistake a lack of control with the desire to precisely illustrate our deep and abiding lack of respect for your rather sophomoric understanding of that which you wish to criticize.

  167. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    JH, ready to present your ideas with supporting evidence yet? And defend those ideas like a real man? We are waiting….

  168. Celtic_Evolution says

    Holy squid!… JohnHamilton has not embarrassed himself enough yet? You are persistent and stubborn in your ignorance… I’ll grant you that…

    I see now you are trying to win points by playing word games.

    It seems that people are saying that “evolution” is a fact. And “evolution” is distinguished from “evolution theory” which is an explanation.

    Evolution is a fact (in the same way that we cosider “gravity a fact). It is also a scientific theory (as is gravity). That you don’t have the wherewithal to understand those terms within the proper vernacular is your own problem. This isn’t really an issue for any of us.

    Here, please read this for further explanation.

  169. Celtic_Evolution says

    dammit… blockquote fail in #684… apparently my weekend hasn’t ended yet.

    The blockquoted text should end after “…which is an eplanation”

    Oh well.

  170. JohnHamilton says

    It also seems that people are saying that “evolution” is just another name for change over time.
    That where an evolutionist uses the word “evolution” someone could simply substitute the word “change” since that is all the evolutionist claims he is saying.

    But as I have pointed out evolutionists are not willing to just use the word “change” – they insist on using the word “evolution” even though they say they mean the same thing.

    That seems odd. Why would an evolutionist be so adamant about that?
    If the word “evolution” just means “change” then why the unwillingness to just use the word “change”?

    Well the answer has already been given. Evolutionists don’t really mean simply “change”. They mean only a certain kind of change. For example they are ruling out developmental change. And they rule that out because their theory rules it out.
    The facts themselves don’t rule it out. What we observe doesn’t rule it out. Only the evolutionist’s theory rules it out.

    But just a minute, didn’t people already say that “evolution” was a fact and evolution theory was something else? Yes, that is what people have also said.

    So evolutionists are so adamant to use the word evolution and claim it is a fact only because they believe that. Let me say that again – ONLY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT.

    So evolutionists world like to state their belief and claim it to be a fact. But not mention that they are doing that.

    I imagine I will soon be banned here because evolutionists do not want this verbal trick to be exposed.
    And they certainly don’t want that trick to be known by too many people.
    So I expect I will be forcefully removed for exposing this dishonesty.

    But that will just confirm everything I have been saying.

    Now I expect a whole bunch of rationalizations and excuses and distractions from the people here. But that does not change the facts of the matter.

  171. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    John Hamilton,
    Oh so close. Evolution is a fact. We observe it in the wild and in the laboratory.

    The theory of evolution tells us HOW an organism will evolve in response to environmental changes.

    Got it?

    It is the predictive power of a scientific theory that sets it apart!

  172. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    JH, still no hard evidence for your inane theory. Still no hard evidence period. Just inane word games. A word of advice loser passive aggressive idjit fuckwit: PLONK, PLONK, PLONK.

    Time for the banhammer.

    And you are WRONG! Prove otherwise with solid scientific evidence, not semantic games.

  173. Matt Penfold says

    So evolutionists are so adamant to use the word evolution and claim it is a fact only because they believe that. Let me say that again – ONLY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT.

    No, they have evidence.

    Why do you insist on lying about this ?

  174. nigelTheBold says

    I imagine I will soon be banned here because evolutionists do not want this verbal trick to be exposed.

    Really? That’s the argument you’re going with?

    There’s no dishonesty. Read just about any book on evolution written by a reputable biologist (or even half-way educated journalist), and you’ll discover one of the first things they do is distinguish between the fact of evolution, and the theory of evolution through natural selection.

    Most do so because, during the telling of the history of Darwin’s theory, they point out that evolution was already known. They are all quick to point this out. What wasn’t known was the mechanism by which evolution occurred.

    Might the theory of evolution through natural selection be displaced at some future time? Perhaps. But at the moment, there is no other viable hypothesis. At the moment, evolution through natural selection is the only game in town. (In point of fact, the “evolutionary theory” as we understand it today is far advanced beyond Darwin’s original proposition. So in a way, the theory of evolution through natural selection has been replaced by the theory of evolution through genetic change adapted by natural selection. But that’s a mouthful.)

    So, please do. Expose our sophistry. “Oh noes! Those evilutionists are misleading you! Don’t read their books, because they explain what I’m about to reveal to you! When they say evolution, and the theory of evolution, they mean two related things!”

    Are you seriously going to go with this one?

  175. Celtic_Evolution says

    More word games from ignorant JohnHamilton… don’t know what you think you’re proving with all this…

    It also seems that people are saying that “evolution” is just another name for change over time.

    Emphasis added to point out that you added that little qualifier in there. Yes, in a most basic, rudimentary way, the quickest and easiest way to explain what evolution is to a lay person is “change over time”… but only a simpleton would believe that such a description aptly describes the full depth and breadth of the Theory of Evolution. Are you a simpleton, JohnHamilton?

    Here’s another gravity analogy for you… do you think the complete and comprehensive definition of “gravity” is “what comes up must come down”? Of course not… well, maybe you do… but no person with any understanding of science would.

    That seems odd. Why would an evolutionist be so adamant about that?
    If the word “evolution” just means “change” then why the unwillingness to just use the word “change”?

    Once again, because only an idiot wouldn’t be able to parse that “change” is an apt, succinct description of evolution, but hardly comprehensive enough to actually make the terms interchangeable. Really… are you that desperate that your arguments have gotten this stupid?

    But just a minute, didn’t people already say that “evolution” was a fact and evolution theory was something else? Yes, that is what people have also said.

    No… that’s merely a product of your inability to understand that the two terms are not contradictory and both apply. That you can’t grasp that is just more evidence of your ignorance.

    So your entire argument built off of this silly and false premise simply falls apart.

    Again, JohnHamilton, you aren’t going to win any debate regarding the fact that evolution has and does occur by playing word games. It just makes you look ignorant and desperate.

    Let me say that again – ONLY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT.

    Again… more wanton ignorance…

    Now I expect a whole bunch of rationalizations and excuses and distractions from the people here. But that does not change the facts of the matter.

    Facts don’t include the shit you pull out of your as and assert because you are too stupid to know any better. Which basically describes your entire post at #689, which frankly is the most embarrassing and clearly desperate attempt at smearing evolution… using your own failure to understand common parlance as a staging point to launch criticism is a pretty strange tactic.

  176. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    But as I have pointed out evolutionists are not willing to just use the word “change” – they insist on using the word “evolution” even though they say they mean the same thing.

    My goodness you are dense.

    Evolution is change but it’s not just any old change. Its a type of change relating to inherited traits of populations over generations.

    Decent with modification.

    Changes in gene frequency in a population from generation to generation.

    So it’s more than just “change” and therefore has a term that addresses this. And that term is … Evolution.

    Now stop being a dumbass.

  177. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    John Hamilton@689

    Oh, dear. Major setback. First, scientists use evolution to describe changes in the genetic makeup of a population over time in response to environmental pressures. It is a technical term referring to a particular phenomenon.

    Now, I am afraid that you will have to define what YOU mean by developmental change. In biology, development usually refers to how a particular organism changes as it goes through its lifecycle.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_biology

    Different things. I’m not even sure that you know what you mean by the term.

  178. Sven DiMilo says

    It also seems that people are saying that “evolution” is just another name for change over time.
    That where an evolutionist uses the word “evolution” someone could simply substitute the word “change” since that is all the evolutionist claims he is saying.

    Oh FFS. This is fucking square one with this guy.

    Read carefully, Hamilton: Biological evolution is a SPECIFIC TYPE OF ‘change over time’.

    Specifically, change in living organisms* over generations.

    See? Not. Just. ‘Change’.

    *(or, what amounts to the same thing, change in the gene-variant frequencies of a population’s gene pool, but I fear I am skipping ahead too quickly here)

  179. JohnHamilton says

    Change is a fact. Evolution is not a fact.
    Evolution is an interpretation of what is going on.

    But because evolutionists believe their theory so strongly they no longer make the distinction between facts and theory.
    They claim evolution is a fact. They claim their belief is a fact.

  180. nigelTheBold says

    Why do you insist on lying about this?

    I think it’s because, deep in his heart, JH knows his epistemology is based on shaky ground. I think most intuitionists know this, but don’t have the intellectual wherewithall or discipline to apply the epistemology of science.

    (Penguin knows I don’t have the discipline, which is why my physics education rots, while I scratch my living writing programs.)

    Deep in his heart, JH wants the knowledge gained by science to suffer the same fatal flaw as his “knowledge.” I find it interesting he applies “belief” as a flaw in the case of science (though science attempts to mitigate belief as much as possible), yet “belief” is so fundamental to his own “knowledge.”

    Oh, well. Those that are ignorant of science are doomed to deny it.

  181. Zabinatrix says

    Oh damn. I dared to be optimistic for just a second… When I first read

    It seems that people are saying that “evolution” is a fact. And “evolution” is distinguished from “evolution theory” which is an explanation.

    I thought – just for a moment – that JohnHamilton had finally been able to start challenging his preconceptions and actually listen to what people tell him. Apparently I was wrong.

    It also seems that people are saying that “evolution” is just another name for change over time.

    You’ve been told repeatedly that it is a specific type of change, and that it is over generations – not simply time. Heredity is a key concept. Individual things that change, like a baby JohnHamilton growing into a bigger JohnHamilton-baby, are changing over time, not evolving.

    They mean only a certain kind of change. For example they are ruling out developmental change. And they rule that out because their theory rules it out.

    I’m not sure exactly what you’re on about here, but yes – evolutionary theory only deals with certain things. Just because it deals with one type of “change”, it does not deal with every type of change.

    As have been pointed out in comments above, something falling is a change in velocity and position, but when scientists talk about gravity they do not simply call it “change.” Do you understand this point? Also, just because they are talking about something changing, they do not include every other type of change, because that’s not what they are dealing with.

    The theory of evolution deals with a specific type of “change” – why in the name of all that is good and gooey would you think that this is something that is wrong? And why do you think that evolutionary biologists should use the very general word “change” when they have more specific words? Do you understand the need for being specific in science?

    I imagine I will soon be banned here because evolutionists do not want this verbal trick to be exposed.

    There’s nothing more annoying than people trying to play the “Look, I’m so oppressed! That means I’m right!”-card. Especially when you aren’t oppressed.

    Look at this thread. Look at it. You have posted many dozens of stupid, stupid comments. You have not been banned.

    You repeat the exact same things even after they have been refuted by others. You do not address the refutations. You do not give evidence for your assertions. You do not seem to consider the meaning of any comment but only inject your own preconceptions into them and misrepresent what people said. You build strawmen and straight out lie about what other people say to you.

    If you are banned, it will be for those things. You have not “exposed” anything. You are not being “silenced” (if there was a need to silence you, wouldn’t you have been banned yesterday?)

    If you are banned, it will not prove your point.

    And really, if you are banned, I don’t think any more people will even understand what your point is.

  182. Celtic_Evolution says

    Change is a fact. Evolution is not a fact.
    Evolution is an interpretation of what is going on.

    What the hell is wrong with you?

    Again to gravity… what you are saying is the equivalent of this:

    “Shit falling to the ground is a fact. Gravity is not a fact. Gravity is an interpretation of what is going on.”

    They are the same thing, yet even you would consider anybody saying that regarding gravity an idiot. The only difference between the two is that one of them doesn’t offend your religiously indoctrinated sensibilities. Do you not realize that?

  183. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Evolution is not a fact.

    Sorry loser, it is until your present hard scientific evidence otherwise. So for, you are empty, zero, nada, zip, zero in physical evidence. Your word games are not evidence. They are mental masturbation on your part, and are meaningless to science and scientists. We don’t let losers like you define things for us. Oh, and be sure to wash your hands and use mental floss after posting.

  184. PZ Myers says

    This thread has about 700 comments. I ought to shut it down and open a new one, but I don’t think JohnHamilton is worth it.

    Here’s an ultimatum for Hamilton: you’ve got 5 more comments to say something substantive and worth discussing — and that does not mean more ignorant whining about what you think evolution is, but some positive statement about what you think the actual explanation for the history of life is — in order to convince me that you are actually making an honest attempt to discuss and communicate.

    If you can do that, the thread will be closed and a new thread opened for continuation of the discussion.

    If you can’t, this thread will be closed, you will be banned, and no further threads will be dedicated to your mindless babbling.

    One thing I cannot abide is the kind of clueless moron who does nothing but shit-stirring. So far, that’s you. I have no confidence that you can actually meet my challenge, either, because it’s so far obvious that you’ve got nothing to say.

  185. Matt Penfold says

    Change is a fact. Evolution is not a fact.

    We see gene frequencies change in populations over time. This is an observed fact.

    That change is called evolution.

    Why lie ?

  186. nigelTheBold says

    But because evolutionists believe their theory so strongly they no longer make the distinction between facts and theory.

    *sigh*

    “Facts” are merely measured data points. Verified observations. Facts are mundane, and commonplace, though often people mistake “what someone told me” with “facts.”

    “Theories” are explanations of the systemic patterns found in facts. Profound theories help provide understanding of those systemic patterns. They provide predictive power, which is how theories are tested — they predict where you will find new facts, and what those facts will be.

    “Theory” > “fact.” I can’t make that “>” big enough. Theories are far greater than facts, though all you need to slay a theory is one well-verified fact that contradicts the predictions of the theory.

    You make the common (though inexcusable) mistake of assuming a theory is just some wild-assed guess with no grounding in reality. Perhaps you’d like to help put “just a theory” to the test, and jump off a rather tall building? The theory of gravity is, after all, just a theory.

  187. JohnHamilton says

    I do not mind if evolutionists say that there are changes in the fossil record and here is how your theory explains that.
    There is no problem in that case.
    The problem is when evolutionists go further and say that “evolution is a fact”.

    I am not arguing the validity of evolution theory. That is a separate discussion
    I am pointing out the verbal trick that evolutionists do whenever they use the word “evolution”.

    So since I do not adhere to the belief system of evolutionists, I am certainly not going to agree to accept your belief.
    Simply call it “change” and we have no problem.

  188. nigelTheBold says

    Wow. Is it just me, or is JH’s flawgic getting more and more removed from concepts, and more directed towards his misunderstanding of words?

    Isn’t this sophistry?

  189. Celtic_Evolution says

    The problem is when evolutionists go further and say that “evolution is a fact”.

    Alright… time to put an end to this… if that is what you are saying is the crux of your problem (which would be interesting considering the sheer number of your previous posts that don’t at all agree with that sentiment) then we can deal with it quite simply, but it will require an answer to the following… provide it, or go away for good.

    Is gravity a “fact”? If not, why not, and if so, how is that any different from evolution being a “fact”?

  190. JohnHamilton says

    Well there is the threat to forcefully remove me. I predicted that.
    I have a theory that makes correct predictions.

    When people have their dishonesty exposed it is not pleasant for them.
    Oh well. That is the way life is.
    But evolutionists can no longer pretend to have the moral high ground. At least that is something.

  191. Sven DiMilo says

    It just dawned on me that Hamilton is this guy.

    He was nattering about chimeras and convergence in that thread, too, but at least there he was honest enough to cite his source.
    Marjonovic , uh, dealt with that.

    It seems important for Hamilton/Spratt to conflate evolution with development. This suggests some kind of Davisonesque/frontloading argument is being aimed at. I guess. Who cares?

    he’s not worth any time at all

  192. Matt Penfold says

    Hamilton,

    No, we will call it what it is, which is evolution. We see specific types of changes happening in populations over time. This is a fact. We call those specific changes evolution. This is also fact. We have a specific name for those specific changes because to simply call them “change” is not accurate enough. It does not say what type of change. Using the term evolution does say what type of change.

    If you do not like that, then fuck off.

  193. Celtic_Evolution says

    So since I do not adhere to the belief system of evolutionists, I am certainly not going to agree to accept your belief.

    Simply call it “change” and we have no problem.

    Because an idiot with a problem distinguishing fantasy from reality can’t understand common parlance and is too stupid to understand the fairly basic and simple reason why the terms “change” and “evolution” are not simply interchangeable?

    BWAAAhahahahaaaa… yeah… we’ll get right on that.

  194. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    The problem is when evolutionists go further and say that “evolution is a fact”.

    Why? It is an observed fact.

  195. Sastra says

    John Hamilton #689 wrote:

    If the word “evolution” just means “change” then why the unwillingness to just use the word “change”?
    Well the answer has already been given. Evolutionists don’t really mean simply “change”. They mean only a certain kind of change. For example they are ruling out developmental change. And they rule that out because their theory rules it out.
    The facts themselves don’t rule it out. What we observe doesn’t rule it out. Only the evolutionist’s theory rules it out.

    No; the facts which we observe do not fit into the ‘theory’ that evolution is a pre-programmed development. Nothing was assumed beforehand, or placed out of due consideration because it was ‘forbidden.’ One of the mechanisms of evolution could have turned out to be a magical unfolding of some sort of embedded code. There is no evidence for that, no code embedded in anything, so it’s not currently part of the theory of evolution. Or likely to be — unless strong new evidence comes to light. Don’t hold your breath.

    So the sort of “development” you’re hinting at isn’t ruled out in advance by the use of the word “evolution.” It was cut out of evolution by Occam’s Razor, as an unevidenced, unnecessary, and implausible mechanism. Justifying its insertion into the present scientific theory is not going to be a simple matter of just considering things from some other perspective. It will require doing the sort of real work that is involved in science.

    A belief that the seemingly random selection, mutation, and drift processes of evolution are really coming from a secret plan — and unfolding as scheduled and expected — is a bit of nonsense that’s added on top of everything, for emotional reasons which involve ego. Nobody is trying to “trick” you with words. You are tricking yourself — and flattering yourself — that your speculations are being deliberately hidden by a vast conspiracy, because they are so dangerous.

    Ego, unchecked.

  196. nigelTheBold says

    Simply call it “change” and we have no problem.

    But we do have a problem.

    Mountains change. The chemical composition of our sun changes. The salinity of the ocean changes. The development of a baby into an adult is change.

    None of these changes are in any way related to the change in gene distribution in populations over time. (This is an observed fact — gene distributions change over time. Observed and documented and verified.)

    You seriously deny that which has been observed and documented?

  197. Celtic_Evolution says

    Well there is the threat to forcefully remove me. I predicted that.
    I have a theory that makes correct predictions.

    Yes… congrats… you’ve just affirmed the Theory of Assholution: Assholes that don’t change their obviously stupid ideas over time will eventually become tedious to the point of complete dismissal.

    But I’m sure you’ll insist it be simply called “failure to change”.

  198. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    But evolutionists can no longer pretend to have the moral high ground. At least that is something.

    Your mental masturbatory semantics are meaningless, and change nothing. Certainly no minds are changed here. The only thing you show is that you are a delusional fool without evidence. You have nothing.

    Science and evolution still hold the high ground. Science uses consistent internal definitions, derived by folks much, much smarter than you, that you keep trying to insist aren’t the case. But you never show hard evidence. Just keep asserting the same idiocy over and over, which doesn’t make it true. You know that. And it makes you look stupid and foolish.

  199. Zabinatrix says

    Well there is the threat to forcefully remove me. I predicted that.
    I have a theory that makes correct predictions.

    No it was not a theory and it was not accurate – again you refuse to see the actual reason for being evicted. You also ignore that you are being given a chance to redeem yourself and stay on – if you would really want to.

    You are not being oppressed. You are being held to a certain standard of discourse that is expected by everyone here.

  200. JohnHamilton says

    Here is an honest statement from Zabinatrix:
    “I’m not sure exactly what you’re on about here,”

    At least there is a recognition of a lack of comprehension about what I am saying.
    That is honest.
    Everyone else is either not understanding or pretending to not understand.
    And it may well be that it is in fact a lack of understanding and not simply pretense.

    It is not an easy point to grasp. And I will say again that it is not a point about the validity (or invalidity) of evolution theory.
    It is purely a conceptual issue.
    And the only time that someone seemed to get it was when they objected to my using the word “development” in the same way you use the word “evolution”. Then he/she saw the issue. I even said that it is easier to see it when someone else plays that game on you, rather than you playing the game on others.

    So people have 5 posts to indicate that they either get it or are willing to try to get it.
    If not I am off.
    And you can cackle and ridicule amongst yourselves.

  201. nigelTheBold says

    Well there is the threat to forcefully remove me. I predicted that.

    So. You are told the conditions under which you will get banned. They are reasonable, as all they do is ask you be intellectually honest, and engage in debate when your assertions are confronted. Defend yourself intelligently and honestly, and you won’t get banned. You can even call us fucking morons or otherwise insult, as long as you intelligently and honestly defend your position.

    You ignore those guidelines, predict you will get banned, further ignore those guidelines, and then adopt a martyred tone?

  202. Ben in Texas says

    I think all of JH’s cousins are currently serving on the Texas state board of education.

  203. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Well there is the threat to forcefully remove me. I predicted that.
    I have a theory that makes correct predictions.

    When people have their dishonesty exposed it is not pleasant for them.
    Oh well. That is the way life is.
    But evolutionists can no longer pretend to have the moral high ground. At least that is something.

    You moron. You might be removed because you are repeating the same nonsense over and over after it has been shown to you exactly how wrong you are.

    Your theory may make predictions but it’s leaving out a specific cause for the event that it is predicting. Namely your continued inability to read for comprehension and denial of the things being shown to you.

  204. nigelTheBold says

    Everyone else is either not understanding or pretending to not understand.
    And it may well be that it is in fact a lack of understanding and not simply pretense.

    It is not an easy point to grasp.

    Or, alternately, you are not making any sense. Perhaps you have a perfectly valid concept rattling around in your head like a dried pea in a coconut shell, but are unable to express it clearly. That’s possible.

    Or maybe it just doesn’t make any sense.

  205. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Everyone else is either not understanding or pretending to not understand.

    No, others and myseld understand exactly what you are saying and it is fucking stupid.

  206. Sven DiMilo says

    And the only time that someone seemed to get it was when they objected to my using the word “development” in the same way you use the word “evolution”.

    Yeah, that was me. But you don’t seem to realize what’s going on here. We–or, let me speak for myself– I understand perfectly well your ‘point’.

    I understand it better than you do. Because I also understand why it’s so utterly fucking stupid.

    It really is. Development, evolution, and decay are three distinct types of change over time. Their empirical–empirical, NOT theoretical–differences are well understood and painstakingly documented.

    YOU don’t get this. It’s YOUR problem. Not mine.

  207. Celtic_Evolution says

    I do not mind if evolutionists say that there are changes in the fossil record and here is how your theory explains that.

    I am not arguing the validity of evolution theory.

    You know what… I think I’m just going to take those two little nuggets from JohnHamilton and call it good.

    He is still trying to play word games with “change” and “fact”, is completely ignorant of common parlance in reference to those words as they pertain to evolution…

    He has refused to answer my question regarding gravity (this is obviously intentional) in the same light.

    Meh. Just getting him to say what I quoted at the top of this post is about as much as I think we’ll ever get from someone this god-soaked.

  208. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    John Hamilton,
    You have utterly ignored what I have posted about prediction being the criterion for a scientific theory. I’d grab on to that as it would at least indicate that your learning curve has a positive slope…but given that you’ve wasted 3 of 5 comments you had left, I think you are a goner… and dumber than owlshit besides!

  209. JohnHamilton says

    Sastra:
    So the sort of “development” you’re hinting at isn’t ruled out in advance by the use of the word “evolution.” It was cut out of evolution by Occam’s Razor, as an unevidenced, unnecessary, and implausible mechanism.

    That is your belief. And you are certainly entitled to your belief. But you are not entitled to put your belief in as if it were a fact.
    That is the point I am making.
    And you put your belief in when you say that evolution is a fact. You bring in the word “evolution” right into the beginning of the discussion as if it were a fact.
    That is called “begging the question”.
    Just use the word “change” and there can never be a problem.

  210. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    When people have their dishonesty exposed it is not pleasant for them.

    The dishonesty that has been exposed here is your vain attempt show evolution is false by semantics. Real physical evidence and a new theory is required. You have nothing.

    But evolutionists can no longer pretend to have the moral high ground. I am a ignorant fuckwit. At least that is something.

    Fixed it for you loser.

  211. Matt Penfold says

    Just use the word “change” and there can never be a problem.

    So the fact my neighbour has just changed his car is the same thing as gene frequencies changing in populations over time ?

    So yes, OK, let us call evolution simply change. And then we will laugh at you, and take the piss since you will think someone getting a new car is the same thing biologists refer to as evolution. We know there is a difference, but you clearly do not.

    You are not sane.

  212. PZ Myers says

    NO. You don’t get to make ultimatums here, Hamilton or Spratt or whoever the hell you are. And once again, you’re repeating yourself, making the same damnable assertions about evolution, without proposing any sensible alternative on your part.

    You are gone. This thread is closed.

    And it’s entirely because you are a tedious git who has bloated up this discussion with nonsense and are refractory to reason.

  213. Celtic_Evolution says

    Just use the word “change” and there can never be a problem.

    Ok… have it your way.

    Now that we’re done with this thing, when when you’re done doing the thing you can stop going to the place with the other thing, or else you might have to say the word to the person with the thing. And that might cause you to do something like the thing you did when you said the word you said the day after the other day.

    In your world, that should make perfect sense.