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The Irony of Intelligent Design January 17, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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I was watching some videos recently where an evolutionary biologist, and a doctor were discussing “intelligent design”. The first thing that struck me was the fact that the human body is often described as “designed”, or as “a machine.” This tends to subconsciously create the idea that there is a specific intent in the current human design, as though it has a blue print. Machines have blue prints, humans, not so much. We have a genome, and unless both doctors in the video are wrong, the genome is not a blue print, simply because there isn’t a single blue print. And also because there is no such thing as a “normal” genome that each human follows.

The other idea that they touched on rather eloquently, was the fact that human mammals have flaws, that when taken at face value, would frankly be sent back to the manufacturer as defective – had they been designed and created according to some accurate blue print. When intelligent design proponents talk about the human eye, and claim that it must have had a designer, they fail to completely understand the useful mechanics of translating light into an image, such as with a camera, and how the human eye has multiple failures in comparison. For example, the human eye has a blind spot. This blind spot has a cause, which points to a flaw in its design, when compared to a camera lens for example, or when compared to other animals without a similar flaw.

Another problem mentioned in the video was back pain, as a result of walking upright and not having a properly evolved backbone to sustain such a posture for our entire lifespan. There are plenty of other areas where the human body is clearly lacking when compared firstly to other animals, and then compared to actual machines, where design and manufacture by blueprint is a standard that the recipient of the machine has every right to demand be correct!

The irony is that a simple understanding of the fragile human body, with its strengths, weaknesses, beauty, ugliness, and obvious shortcomings in many unfortunate cases, is that any god that is capable of creating a universe and everything in it, should be held accountable for the poor design and workmanship evident in humans. If God designed humans, then perhaps we need some sort of return policy, trade-in policy, or better yet, a replacement policy when things don’t turn out right for us individually with respect to our “perfectly designed” bodies.

Disclaimer: I am not an evolutionary biologist, nor am I a doctor, so the above blog represents my opinion only. When it comes to claiming that some god designed me, as a human, I don’t need to be an expert to see the poor design, feel the back pain, go get glasses to adjust my failing eyesight, or see the evidence of diseases, infections, and birth-defects that this “perfectly deigned” god supposedly created. I am living proof that humans are a direct result of evolution, just like all life on our lonely planet.

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Comments»

1. creationbydesign - January 17, 2010

You cite “this perfectly designed god”. Can you point to a reference?

jetson - January 17, 2010

I was referencing what I have heard from some intelligent design and/or creationists who say that the human body is perfectly designed by God. That’s why I quoted “perfectly designed” within the sentence. I also added “supposedly”, to make sure it was not considered my personal assertion.

2. Tim Cooley - January 18, 2010

God created us perfect, but then Adam sinned, that’s why we are now imperfect.

You lose, athiseists!

Jetson - January 18, 2010

Hey! There’s a lot to be said for being on the losing team! Think of the parties you’re going to miss with us heathens in hell!

At least you get to blame Adam when your eyes start to fail, or when you get old and experience serious back pain. I can just go one step further and blame God!

To be perfectly clear, wasn’t it Eve that sinned?

3. creationbydesign - January 18, 2010

Hi Jetson … Ok, I was assuming that you had some actual statement somewhere which claimed that there was a “perfectly designed God”. My point here is that you’re arguing against “a god”, but that assumes that you know enough about the nature of “the god” that you’re arguing against. In this case, you’re jumping on some unfounded claims about how “a god” is designed — or how the human body is “perfectly designed”. In the ID literature, these claims don’t exist — although someone you talked to might have said it.

Beyond that, Tim Cooley’s blog gives the 15 year-old’s view on these matters (supporting your views, Jetson) — and in the interest of age-appropriate communication on the web, I’ll have to withdraw from the discussion.

Ah well … but I’ll repeat, it’s very good to learn the theology that you’re arguing against, especially on the nature of God.

zebulonthered - January 18, 2010

creationbydesign – You are right, Jetson should know more about god before he can argue against him… He should see that a horribly sick god could design things with numerous design errors just for fun… How can he say that god is imaginary with all the “evidence” that shows god is real and a sicko? A real sicko.

Jetson - January 18, 2010

I know plenty about the god I am referring to. After all, I was a Roman Catholic who went through all of the sacraments, how could I possibly have missed out on who that god is!

Anyway, This particular blog is just noting the irony of the claim from some Christians that humans are not animals, they are God’s special creation, created in his image, perfectly. And they mix that assertion in quite nicely with Intelligent Design. To which I promptly say there is really no way that humans were “intelligently designed.” No matter how you slice it. We are lacking in many ways. Most of which we try to make up for with our own brainpower.

Unfortunately, our brain power isn’t enough to allow us to get along with each other on this planet. So, in the end, we look a lot like animals – the direct result of evolution of life. No design, no particular goal.

4. Tim Cooley - January 18, 2010

I’m 15. Oh wow. Sick excuse for not wanting to engage in a debate with me.

Give me one piece of evidence for Intelligent Design. Just one.

Jetson - January 18, 2010

You’re age doesn’t matter to me. Critical thinking and healthy skepticism, that’s what really matters. If one simply accepts things on faith, without examining them critically, then one deserves whatever they get from that thing.

5. mynym - January 18, 2010

…such as with a camera, and how the human eye has multiple failures in comparison. For example, the human eye has a blind spot.

The human eye is far more sophisticated than any camera designed by man, not to mention the fact that man is reliant on and often merely imitating the technology already in use in biology. The blind spot in your argument is in your own mind of synaptic “gaps.” You cannot claim to speak for science (i.e. knowledge) based on sight and insight while denying design in biology for the simple reason that you are a biological being. Perhaps there is a flaw in the biochemical state of your brain having to do with natural selection operating on the reproductive organs of ancient ape-like creatures which causes you to mistake ignorance for knowledge, blind processes for sight and imbecility for intelligence.

Another problem mentioned in the video was back pain, as a result of walking upright and not having a properly evolved backbone to sustain such a posture for our entire lifespan.

Natural selection has been observed to act as a preservative and destructive force, which is to be expected given that it is a theory of preservation and destruction and not creation. It may be that natural selection has caused back pain, theories vary. It’s difficult to develop a robot with bipedal motion as intelligent homo sapiens currently, let alone one that can run for days on water and bits of plants and animal products. Yet we are to believe that natural selection (a theory of preservation and destruction) created bipedal organisms based on blind events and ignorant processes.

Creation myths vary:
“What might a non-locomotor benefit [for bipedality] look like? A stimulating suggestion is the sexual selection theory of Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, of the University of Oregon. She thinks we rose on our hind legs as a means of showing off our penises. Those of us that have penises, that is. Females, in her view, were doing it for the opposite reason: concealing their genitals which, in primates, are more prominently displayed on all fours. This is an appealing idea but I don’t carry a torch for it. I mention it only as an example of the kind of thing I mean by a non-locomotor theory.”
(The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution
By Richard Dawkins :91)

6. mynym - January 18, 2010

“Give me one piece of evidence for Intelligent Design. Just one.”

The way that we see empirical evidence can be said to be designed, if anything at all is designed. For example, is your sentence intelligently designed or did it come about based on the biology of your brains which trace back to the mating habits of ancient groups of worm-like creatures? If it does trace back to worms then why shouldn’t I study worms rather than your words? On the other hand, if something supposedly intelligible and knowledgeable is being communicated then what is its cause?

7. mynym - January 18, 2010

He should see that a horribly sick god could design things with numerous design errors just for fun… How can he say that god is imaginary with all the “evidence” that shows god is real and a sicko? A real sicko.

There is a lot of evidence for malevolent and benevolent intelligent agency. It’s simply ignorant to deny basic facts of life/biology based on the imaginary evidence typical to Darwinism. Darwin’s “reasoning,” such as it is, can be summarized this way: “If I could be shown an organism which I could not imagine coming about in a series of gradual events then my theory would absolutely break down. I can always imagine things, therefore my theory is verified.” His reasoning allows for imaginary evidence despite our experience and knowledge of both malevolent and benevolent intelligent design.

If someone builds a bridge we can recognize the work of a knowledgeable or sentient being similar to ourselves. We know that they are intelligent, can think and see. Similarly if someone murders someone and tries to portray it as an accident brought about by natural causes then we can still often detect the work of intelligent agency which can see and design, as opposed to blind mechanistic processes. It is often easier to recognize benevolent design and the true version of things than malevolent design or a perversion of things because one type of mind tries to remain hidden/occult and the other does not.

8. Tim Cooley - January 18, 2010

“If someone builds a bridge we can recognize the work of a knowledgeable or sentient being similar to ourselves.”

A complicated bridge like the Golden Gate is not built of living cells, therefore you’re right, it has no potential of “forming itself”. But your metaphor fails because living cells can replicate and have been observed to evolve new functions. Secondly, your argument is as valid here as “lightning is created by Zeus because we can’t explain it” was some many years ago. What a a great piece of circular logic it is to say that “life appears to have been created” therefore “life has a creator”. This is not what I call evidence, and it is certainly not empirical.

9. mynym - January 18, 2010

The complexity and function of the Golden Gate bridge is trivial compared to that observed to be built into living cells which include a capacity for adaptation and duplication:
“One of the accomplishments of living systems which is, of course, quite without any analogy in the field of our own technology is their capacity for self-duplication. With the dawn of the age of computers and automation after the Second World War, the theoretical possibility of constructing self-replicating automata was considered seriously by mathematicians and engineers. Von Neumann discussed the problem at great length in his famous book Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata, but the practical difficulties of converting the dream into reality have proved too daunting. As Von Neumann pointed out, the construction of any sort of self-replicating automaton would neces sitate the solution to three fundamental problems: that of storing information; that of duplicating information; and that of designing an automatic factory which could be programmed from the infor mation store to construct all the other components of the machine as well as duplicating itself. The solution to all three problems is found in living things and their elucidation has been one of the triumphs of modern biology.
So efficient is the mechanism of information storage and so elegant the mechanism of duplication of this remarkable molecule that it is hard to escape the feeling that the DNA molecule may be the one and only perfect solution to the twin problems of information storage and duplication for self-replicating automata.
….
It is astonishing to think that this remarkable piece of machinery, which possesses the ultimate capacity to construct every living thing that ever existed on Earth, from a giant redwood to the human brain, can construct all its own components in a matter of minutes and weigh less than 10^16 grams. It is of the order of several thousand million million times smaller than the smallest piece of functional machinery ever constructed by man.”
(Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton :337-338)

jetson - January 18, 2010
10. mynym - January 18, 2010

“Secondly, your argument is as valid here as “lightning is created by Zeus because we can’t explain it” was some many years ago….”

That’s not why people said that Zeus threw lightning bolts. It’s certainly not what philosophers and educated people generally said.

At any rate, the argument is not that we cannot explain something therefore it is designed. Design is not an argument, it’s a logical deduction.

jetson - January 19, 2010

I think it is clear that creationists and intelligent design proponents (one in the same) are only interested in supporting their personal god beliefs. They are trying to argue that God designed everything, and that argument fails at every level.

Whether a thing appears designed or not is not evidence of design, especially with intent. The appearance of design, in my personal opinion, is in the eye of the believer – the same believer who holds tightly to the belief that humans are special.

There is no evidence that we are special. We are mammals, and we are imperfect.

11. Tim Cooley - January 19, 2010

Design is not a logical deduction for complex things. Complexity can be broken down, and DNA is no exception. Intelligent Design basically says “because it is too complex it can’t be explained by natural terms therefore there is a designer”. Circular logic is not good logic. The complexity of life is not an excuse to turn to magic, just as the complexity of lightning bolts is not an excuse to turn to Zeus, which is why I pulled the Zeus analogy in the first place.

Evolution has occurred over billions of years. Computer technology, less than a century since its infancy. On a lighter note, science has been and is continuingly filling the gaps of knowledge. Logic tells me that because something cannot yet be fully explained, there is no reason to say “God did it”. Intelligent Design is not a logical deduction, it is a refusal to search for true explanations.

12. mynym - January 19, 2010

I think it is clear that creationists and intelligent design proponents (one in the same) are only interested in supporting their personal god beliefs.

ID is not sectarian or personal as Christians, Jews, Muslims, Deists, Aristotelians and so on all think that there is evidence of intelligent design in nature or “intelligence in the design” as Thomas Jefferson put it.

On the other hand the rejection of ID does tend to be personal. The cultural script of the provincial Christian who goes on a journey and finds his answers to his religion in the Darwinian creation myth is so common that it is provincial itself. The mythology of Progress that typifies his new creation myth just happens to match his own supposed progress from ignorance to knowledge, although unfortunately he becomes an imbecile who mistakes illusions of knowledge based on little more than imagining things about the past for science. Blogs written by people of this sort are named after theological arguments like the “panda’s thumb” which has more to do with their own sectarian religious past than science and ID. Yet the theological arguments typical to Darwinists seem to be rather puerile and shallow: “God wouldn’t make a panda’s thumb like this because we all know that the Bible says that creation is perfect or somethin’.” And so on. Perhaps that’s because they typically leave their original faith as an ignorant schoolboy. The evidence for ID stands regardless, and sectarian religious arguments about what a Christian God would or would not do have absolutely nothing to do with what natural selection actually does. If God would not create a panda’s thumb a certain way that is not evidence that natural selection or evolution, whatever evolution may be, did. The only reason that Darwinists are making theological arguments about what God would or would not do is because they lack a scientific theory similar to the theory of gravity with which to predict a trajectory of adaptation in a group of organisms which can then be verified empirically. Physicists need not make theological arguments about objects falling on people and killing them to “verify”* their theory because they are dealing with science as opposed to the pseudo-science typical to Darwinists, i.e. imbeciles.

*”Why would God make this object fall on someone? Since it did fall on them my theory is verified!” Etc.

13. Tim Cooley - January 19, 2010

“The evidence for ID stands regardless”

Do carry on. What evidence are you referring to exactly?

14. mynym - January 19, 2010

Design is not a logical deduction for complex things. Complexity can be broken down, and DNA is no exception.

If there are no exceptions to the notion that everything is explicable in terms of a series of past events then you’re no exception. It does leave one wondering exactly what is going on at present if everything is reducible to the past but there it is. If you are correct then your thinking is an illusion brought about by blind processes. Yet if that’s the case then you may as well have excrement for brains, so why should anyone listen to thoughts emerging as naturally as excrement from brains created by blind ignorance as if you are a thinking knowing being at present?

No one should be surprised that the history of systematic scientia/knowledge shows that it came about as a result of ID and not the search for ignorance that typifies Darwinism.

Intelligent Design basically says “because it is too complex it can’t be explained by natural terms therefore there is a designer”.

That’s not what Aristotle said. Perhaps a creationist rube said something along those lines at one time or another but if you’re going to disagree with something like ID then you should focus on the arguments of its strongest proponents.

The complexity of life is not an excuse to turn to magic…

The impression that an artifact is evidence of “magic” may itself be evidence that the artifact in question is actually an instance of an intelligent mind using logic to create technology which mediates the impact of its intelligence on the world. When ignorant minds see the artifacts of a mind that is beyond them then they tend to see it as an issue of “magic” and so on.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
–Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of The Future

…just as the complexity of lightning bolts is not an excuse to turn to Zeus, which is why I pulled the Zeus analogy in the first place.

Actually you used that analogy to invoke a mythology of Progress based on naturalism which does not exist. The main reason that things like the old superstitions and witchcraft are largely done away with in the West is as a result of the ID typical to the Greek philosophers and Christendom in general. Naturalism and mythologies of Progress have not led to progress in knowledge, science and civilization, if anything they have destroyed it just as it destroys your own mind of the synaptic “gaps” and civility/civilization/language. I.e. everything you say here reduces to past events like natural selection operating on the excretory organs of ancient ape-like creatures. It’s not clear why you believe that everything can be or must be reducible to “physical” mechanisms or past events but if that’s what you believe then you should be the first to admit to it.

Intelligent Design is not a logical deduction, it is a refusal to search for true explanations.

Actually ID admits to the possibility of natural explanations, it has only been the naturalists who begin their argument with naturalism itself. They are not searching for the truth, only natural explanations which they deem to be “scientific.” In this way they have shifted science from the pursuit of the truth to the search for natural explanations. The irony is that people of this sort often seem surprised that they keep finding the only explanation that they were looking for due to their limited intellects.

15. mynym - January 19, 2010

What evidence are you referring to exactly?

The eye that was made to see, as Thomas Jefferson put it. If you can’t see that then you’re blind to the evidence.

16. mynym - January 19, 2010

Michael Denton – not.

I didn’t see that at first. Shrug, you’re citing the charlatans at talk.origins? They’re so anxious to crawl back into the womb of their Mother Nature thanks to the Darwinian urge to merge that they can hardly bring themselves to let go of Haeckel’s forged embryos.

But this part is amusing:
….these long discussions seem to amount to little more than saying: “We haven’t told an evolutionary story for it yet, and it seems difficult to me to believe that such a story could exist, therefore there is not one.” This is the type of reasoning that Richard Dawkins has dubbed the “Argument from Personal Incredulity”(Dawkins, 1987, p. 38).

Imagining things about the past is hardly a scientific theory, although it may be telling that many things are difficult to merge even with unfalsifiable hypothetical goo that comports with all possible observations. Perhaps biologists think that physicists sit around after an object as come to rest and then “predict” that it would be there using stories and creation myths that seem “natural” to them? This would be amusing if so many people were not stupid and ignorant enough to mistake Darwinism for an actual scientific theory with testable predictions supported by empirical evidence.

It seems that all critics of Darwinism find themselves being critical of imagining things about the past, naturally:

…the anthropological fable is a work of imagination, a historical scenario, yet offered as an explanation of one or another social phenomenon of either that time or our own. It is a kind of reverse science fiction, situated in the past rather than in the future. …

What claim can this kind of historical fiction make to be scientific? It simply cannot, even in the loosest sense of science. It is just that the anthropological fable appeals to ideas of competition, struggle, selection, etc., ideas of Darwinian biology–or rather, socio-economic ideas that Darwinism borrowed and naturalized, thus giving them scientific backing. Returned to the sociology from whence they came, they are endowed with a kind of scientific aura, and their use in anthropological fables confers on the latter a dignity to which they have no right.

The problem is that Darwinism, properly speaking, resorts to just this kind of historical scenario in its explanation of the origin of species. The simplest of these scenarios, in its modern form, sees a certain characteristic as appearing by chance mutation and, once shown to be favourable to its individual bearer, being preserved by natural selection. This basic model can be given added sophistication, mathematical for example, but the fact remains that the Darwinian explanation still consists in imagining a historical scenario… To criticize the explanatory principle that the anthropological model provides in social Darwinism [i.e. Nazism] is equally to criticize the Darwinian principle that explains the evolution of species by reconstructing historical scenarios. It thus amounts to an attack on science (since Darwinism is deemed scientific, at least among biologists)….
(The Pure Society: from Darwin to Hitler by Andre Pichot :47-49)

jetson - January 19, 2010

Well, I’m not the expert, so I cite those who I think have got it right. Tell me why there are no peer reviewed papers with evidence supporting intelligent design. Tell me why no credible science groups, universities or academies support intelligent design as a plausible scientific theory.

Honestly, nothing you have written or cited is evidence of intelligent design. If so, it would be supported by many scientists, and it is not.

As far as I can see, there is no reason to assume that something designed any of what we see. At least not so far. I am open to real evidence though, as opposed to special pleading.

I respect your right to reject the position of the peer reviewed science, but until something substantial is discovered that makes science stand up and take notice, with regard to design, you’re left with nothing more than wishful thinking.

Do you think humans are special – from the perspective of our signifcance and place in this universe?

17. Tim Cooley - January 19, 2010

Evolution is science because it presents its testable/repeatable observations and empirical evidence.

Intelligent design operates on the basis that “complex things need to be designed”, which is clearly a false (as well as a very unscientific) assumption. Because ID has no evidence of its own, it constantly picks on evolution, bombarding real science with downright lies and obvious pseudoscience.

If you have any real evidence for ID, present it now.

jetson - January 19, 2010

Tim – if he could produce the evidence, he wouldn’t be wasting time with people like us! The Nobel prize awaits…

18. mynym - January 21, 2010

Tell me why there are no peer reviewed papers with evidence supporting intelligent design. Tell me why no credible science groups, universities or academies support intelligent design as a plausible scientific theory.

For the same type of reasons that there was little opposition to the eugenics consensus only a short time ago. The pseudo-science typical to naturalism has generally been fused to people’s professional identities as scientists*, therefore to disagree with naturalism is to place oneself outside of science. This is why criticism of the old consensus based on naturalism could just as easily be advanced against the general consensus today. E.g.:

The scholars whom we shall quote in such impressive numbers, like those others who were instrumental in any other part of the German pre-war and war efforts, were to a large extent people of long and high standing, university professors and academy members, some of them world famous, authors with familiar names and guest lecturers abroad…
If the products of their research work, even apart from their rude tone, strike us as unconvincing and hollow, this weakness is due not to inferior training but to the mendacity inherent in any scholarship that overlooks or openly repudiates all moral and spiritual values and, by standing order, knows exactly its ultimate conclusions well in advance.
(Hitler’s Professors: The Part of Scholarship in
Germany’s Crimes Against the Jewish People
by Max Weinreich
(New York:The Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1946) :7)

What “credible scientific” groups refuted the eugenic consensus then? If the consensus about evolution (whatever evolution is) was wrong then, then might it be wrong now?

Even if your mythological narratives of naturalism and creation myths were correct, wouldn’t that mean that what you’re supposedly right about now may be proven wrong tomorrow? If so, then why do you seem so certain that you have a knowledge of origins now? At any rate, as Einstein said of the “peer reviewed” consensus that German scientists marshaled against him, all it would take to refute his reasoning is for one to be right based on facts, logic and evidence.

*An example from the past:

For the biologists, the test of a scientific outlook was generally identified with a society’s attitude towards eugenics; that is, its willingness to adopt a genuinely scientific stance towards questions of what used to be called “race betterment.” The Marxist and Fabian biologists believed that Western societies had largely failed this test.
(Eugenics and the Left by Diane Paul
Journal of the History of Ideas,
Vol. 45, No. 4. (Oct. – Dec., 1984), pp. :569)

19. mynym - January 21, 2010

I respect your right to reject the position of the peer reviewed science, but until something substantial is discovered that makes science stand up and take notice, with regard to design, you’re left with nothing more than wishful thinking.

There is no sentient being called science which will inevitably create progress in knowledge. There are scientists and they may or may not have anything to do with progress of any sort. I’m interested in the truth, not the manufactured consensus typical to scientists seeking the patronage of the State just as they used to have to patronize the King. It’s ironic that Tim used magic as a stigma word based on his naive and ignorant view of progress given that the alchemists, astrologers, shaman and magicians of old were generally reformed by the influence of theism into the chemists, astronomers, doctors and scientists of today. Don’t mistake your mythological narratives of naturalism for actual history, it is only Darwinists who cite their own imaginations as the equivalent of evidence with respect to the history of things, historians need actual evidence.

Do you think humans are special – from the perspective of our signifcance and place in this universe?

We are more significant than most atheists seem to think but not as significant as most people seem to think.

But I can actually agree with you that you are quite insignificant. In fact, you’re so insignificant that I need not listen to what the atoms colliding in your head just caused you to say as if it signifies or communicates knowledge. I can even write a little creation myth based on naturalism with respect to your insignificance and apparently that’s enough evidence for imbeciles to mistake ignorance for knowledge. So I would say that the brain events which caused you to think yourself significant enough to make assertions about the entire universe are caused by atoms and physical energy which traces back to a primeval explosion. This explosion came from an abyss of nothing as far as we know. That is the scientific explanation for your abysmal ignorance.

jetson - January 21, 2010

This entire message tells me that you already have the truth, much like many ID proponents claim to have. Therefore, I can only conclude that you are NOT looking for anything. I have already admitted that I am open to REAL evidence regarding intelligent design. So far, there is none. You have not brought a single piece of peer reviewed evidence to show that intelligent design is at work in the universe. You also have the added burden of showing exactly what or who is the designer.

Can you admit that you may be wrong?

20. mynym - January 21, 2010

I found this humorous.

We are mammals, and we are imperfect.

You continually fail to apply your philosophy to yourself. You argue that we are insignificant, yet think yourself significant enough to have a transcendent knowledge of the entire Cosmos and perhaps multiple universes as well. You argue that we are imperfect, yet claim a knowledge of perfection. When have you designed a bipedal, self-replicating automaton that can run on water and plant or animal products which occasionally sings, dances and writes Mozart?

I agree that you are imperfect, in fact much of what you say may have more to do with the common Darwinian urge to suckle at the teat of a metaphoric Mother Nature than with evidence of evolution or ID (whatever evolution may be). The very term mammal is not the purely objective term that you seem to feel it is:

…Aristotle over two thousand years ago called land animals Quadrupedia (four-legged) and divided them into those that lay eggs and those that give birth to live offspring. And “four-legged creatures that give birth to live offspring” gives you basically the same constellation of animals, with a few exceptions, like the duck-billed platypus.
Mammals have a lot of features that distinguish them from reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds. Hair, for one thing. And some scientists in the eighteenth century did call this group “Pilosa,” or hairy things. But Linnaeus called us mammals, based on an anatomical feature that’s only functional in half of our species, and then only occasionally.
So why did he do that?
….
It turns out actually to have been a political gesture. …. The European middle and upper classes at that time mostly sent their babies off to be breast-fed by poor women in the countryside, rather than nursing their own babies themselves. Linnaeus was active in the movement that opposed this practice. In fact, he wrote a book on the virtues of breast-feeding your own children, asserting that it was natural for mothers to do so, and therefore wet-nursing was unnatural and bad. up to that time, he had been calling mammals simply Quadrupedia, like Aristotle. Now he called mammals Mammalia, using his scientific classification to make a point.
….
The point of all this is to show that what a biology student takes for granted as a fact of nature-that we are essentially definable as a lactating species-was actually historically produced: it is an eighteenth century political stand encrypted into biology.
(What It Means to be 98% Chimpanzee by Jonathan Marks: 49-50)

jetson - January 21, 2010

I make none of the claims that you accuse me of making about the universe. My only claim is that science currently has the best answer. The entire blog is my opinion (as a non-scientist) that those who follow the idea that we are here because of any sort of intelligent design are in denial of the overwhelming evidence that we are a result of natural phenomenon. To me, everything we know about the universe, and our own planet, support the very plausible idea that there is no intended design whatsoever behind anything.

If it is possible that the big bang was the catalyst for everything that we see (the current best theory about the origin of the universe), then I submit that it remains possible that whatever came before the big bang does not need to be intelligent.

And let’s get down to the meat of this discussion – all gods are imaginary – therefore, intelligent design by any god invented by man is false.

21. mynym - January 21, 2010

Tim – if he could produce the evidence, he wouldn’t be wasting time with people like us! The Nobel prize awaits…

You seem to be asking for a reductionist account or physical evidence of something which is not physical or reducible, i.e. intelligible information known by sentient beings. If you take a book and rip it up then its information content is destroyed even if a physical or chemical analysis is blind to any difference or distinction. Similarly, if your brain was pulverized a reductionist or physical account would be blind to some of its most important characteristics and the impact of intelligence on physical things.

The importance of information, function, adaptation and so on in the case of biology as opposed to physics and chemistry has been noted for some time:

Electrons and nucleons are not known to be sentient, while the higher animals are. If a rat laps up a solution of saccharine, the rational ex planation of this lies in the fact that the solution tastes sweet and that the rat likes that. The tasting and liking are facts that physics and chemistry as known today cannot explain.
And this conclusion gives the whole show away. Because it acknowledges a conscious desire by an individual capable of such desire, it leads on further to the recognition of deliberate actions by individuals and the possibilities of error on their part. Thus a whole series of conceptions emerges that are absent from physics and chemistry as known today. Indeed, nothing is relevant to biology, even at the lowest level of life, unless it bears on the achievements of living beings: achievements such as their perfection of form, their morphogenesis, or the proper functioning of their organs; and the very conception of such achievements implies a distinction between success or failure—a distinction unknown to physics and chemistry.
But the distinction between success and failure is present in, and is indeed essential to, the science of engineering; and the logic of engineering does substantiate in fact what I am saying here of biology. No physical or chemical investigation of an object can tell us whether it is a machine and, if so, how it works. Only if we have previously discovered that it is a machine, and found out also approximately how it works, can the physical and chemical examination of the machine tell us anything useful about it, as a machine. Similarly, physical and chemical investigations can form part of biology only by bearing on previously established biological achievements, such as shapeliness, morphogenesis, or physiological functions.
A complete physical and chemical topography of a frog would tell us nothing about it as a frog, unless we knew it previously as a frog. And if the rules of scientific detachment required that we limit ourselves exclusively to physical and chemical observations, we would remain forever unaware of frogs or of any other living beings, just as we would remain ignorant also by such observations of all machines and other human contrivances.
The achievements which form the subject matter of biology can be identified only by a kind of appraisal which requires a higher degree of participation by the observer in his subject matter than can be mediated by the tests of physics and chemistry. The current ideal of “scientificality” which would refuse such participation would indeed destroy biology but for the wise neglect of consistency on the part of its supporters.
(Scientific Outlook: Its Sickness and Cure
by Michael Polanyi
Science New Series, Vol. 125, No. 3246 (Mar., 1957), pp. 482)

The false ideal of “scientificality” long supported by naturalists not only destroys biology, it destroys all scientia/knowledge because we our knowledge is biological given that we are biological beings.

As far as the Nobel price, your ignorance and naivete with respect to established creation myths and paradigms is humorous. Isn’t seeking the truth more important than your professional identity, power and prestige.

22. mynym - January 21, 2010

Evolution is science because it presents its testable/repeatable observations and empirical evidence.

What biological observation does the theory of evolution predict? Better yet, what trajectories of adaptation have been predicted based on the theory and verified empirically?

Intelligent design operates on the basis that “complex things need to be designed”, which is clearly a false (as well as a very unscientific) assumption.

Scientific or not, if you are American then it’s the basis of the civilization in which you live in more ways than one. The Founders were very clear in their support for ID and their philosophy found its way into patent law as well. These laws treat the impact of a conceptual mind on physical matter as objectively detectable and open to analysis. Admitting to intelligent agency and its existence in and/or impact on matter has much more to do with science and progress as we know it than the Darwinian creation myths you are supporting. In contrast, your mythology and the denial of design by imagining things about ignorant and blind processes has led to the destruction of civilization in the past.

With respect to patent law, consider that we know that mouse traps are designed by people that can see and think to link a specified form and function by design. Yet it is has been argued by many Darwinists that they can imagine a way in which a mouse trap comes about based on blind or “random” processes similar to natural selection. This indicates that Darwinists are capable of imagining that things which we know to be designed with a function in mind, are actually not designed. They generally do this merely by imagining things about the past and then conclude that their own imaginations are evidence of some sort. But if imagining things is just that and we take our actual experience as rational, sentient beings into account then we quickly see that imagining things about the past has nothing to do with reality.

23. jetson - January 21, 2010

What biological observation does the theory of evolution predict? Better yet, what trajectories of adaptation have been predicted based on the theory and verified empirically?

I hope you are kidding? Are you seriously going to claim that the theory of evolution has no predictive power? I really have never run across a statement with this much ignorance of the theory involved. I’m going to hold off on posting the predictive power of the theory of evolution in the hopes that you thought you could just make this claim and consider it valid (I’m no scientist, but I’m not an idiot.)

24. Tim Cooley - January 21, 2010

“What biological observation does the theory of evolution predict? Better yet, what trajectories of adaptation have been predicted based on the theory and verified empirically?”

That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read all day. Thank you.

25. mynym - January 21, 2010

On the one hand:
This entire message tells me that you already have the truth, much like many ID proponents claim to have. Therefore, I can only conclude that you are NOT looking for anything.

On the other:
…that those who follow the idea that we are here because of any sort of intelligent design are in denial of the overwhelming evidence that we are a result of natural phenomenon. To me, everything we know about the universe, and our own planet, support the very plausible idea that there is no intended design whatsoever behind anything. (emphasis added)

First, I said that science is the pursuit of the truth and I never claimed to already have a knowledge of the truth. I am pursuing it, you are only pursuing explanations that seem natural to you or that fit a current consensus. How is the smell from the back of the Herd?

Second, you are projecting (thanks to certain psychological dynamics) from within the womb of your Mommy Nature exactly what your mind is attempting to judge. You are the one who is claiming to know all there is to know about knowledge, naturally. Of course there never could be evidence for (unnatural?) design because all evidence is always natural, whatever that means to you, and what it means to you probably has more to do with your own psychology than reality. If the reality is that there are multiple universes and one is sentient and designs others, then would each be natural? If aliens in another universe evolved to reach a technological singularity and designed this one, would they be natural? Given that many scientists have admitted to the possibility of multiple universes and some even include them in evolutionary creation myths it’s not even clear what the term natural means.

At any rate, if the dogma that comes naturally to you thanks to your personal religious history the evidence is clear. After detailing it Michael Denton notes:

In the discoveries of science the harmony of the spheres is also now the harmony of life. And as the eerie illumination of science penetrates ever more deeply into the order of nature, the cosmos appears increasingly to be a vast system finely tuned to generate life and organisms of biology very similar, perhaps identical, to ourselves. All the evidence available in the biological sciences supports the core proposition of traditional natural theology——that the cosmos is a specially designed whole with life and mankind as its final goal and purpose, a whole in which all facets of reality, from the size of galaxies to the thermal capacity of water, have their meaning and explanation in this central fact.
Four centuries after the scientific revolution apparently destroyed irretrievably man’s special place in the universe, banished Aristotle, and rendered teleological speculation obsolete, the relentless stream of discovery has turned dramatically in favor of teleology and design, and the doctrine of the microcosm is reborn. As I hope the evidence presented in this book has shown, science, which has been for centuries the great ally of atheism and skepticism, has become at last, in these final days of the second millennium, what Newton and many of its early advocates had so fervently wished—the “defender of the anthropocentric faith.”
(Nature’s Destiny: How the Laws of Biology
Reveal Purpose in the Universe by Michael Denton :389)

jetson - January 21, 2010

Please, explain how you are pursing the truth?

As to what you quoted from me, reading comprehension 101 is in order here, let me break it down:

To me, everything we know about the universe, and our own planet, support the very plausible idea that there is no intended design whatsoever behind anything.

To me (in my personal opinion)

everything we know about the universe, and our own planet (does not mean everything there is to know, can you see the difference?)

support the very plausible idea
(leaves room for correction, something science does very well)

26. mynym - January 21, 2010

I hope you are kidding? Are you seriously going to claim that the theory of evolution has no predictive power? I really have never run across a statement with this much ignorance of the theory involved. I’m going to hold off on posting the predictive power of the theory of evolution in the hopes that you thought you could just make this claim and consider it valid…

I seldom get to talk to people who appeal to consensus and so on anymore. I’m curious what the view from the back of the Herd looks like. Again, what biological observations does evolution predict and what biological observations would falsify the “theory of evolution”? Are you sure there is a singular theory of evolution? Has it been encoded in the language of mathematics and been given general application in predicting trajectories of adaptation?

Recall that the charlatans at talk.origins who you cited have conflated their creation myths with science for so long that they wrote:
We haven’t told an evolutionary story for it yet, and it seems difficult to me to believe that such a story could exist, therefore there is not one.” This is the type of reasoning that Richard Dawkins has dubbed the “Argument from Personal Incredulity”(Dawkins, 1987, p. 38).

Yet in another section they claim to posses a singular “theory of evolution” which is the epistemic equivalent of the theory of gravity. Well, if it is the scientific equivalent of the theory of gravity then what is ridiculous about predicting trajectories of adaptation in groups of organisms based on it? At any rate note that imaging things about the past and telling stories about the past typifies creation myths, not scientific theories.

That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read all day. Thank you.

That’s an argument from puerility, yet that’s to be expected I suppose. Since you can’t seem to answer that question, here’s another. What sort of biological observation would falsify the “theory of evolution”? On a wider scale, what sort of observation would supposedly falsify “evolution” in general?

ID would be falsified if it was observed that little or no fine tuning was necessary for life and knowledge to exist, yet that is not what is observed:

The combined circumstance that we live on Earth and are able to see stars— that the conditions necessary for life do not exclude those necessary for vision, and vice versa—is a remarkably improbable one.
This is because the medium in which we live is, on the one hand, just thick enough to enable us to breathe and to prevent us from being burned up by cosmic rays, while, on the other hand, it is not so opaque as to absorb entirely the light of the stars and block any view of the universe.
What a fragile balance between the indispensable and the sublime.

—Hans Blumenberg
To truly appreciate our good fortune, at least once everyone should stand on a mountaintop under the open sky, on a clear, moonless night. The air is so clear, and the stars so vivid, that only your lungs will remind your eyes that you’re on a planet with an atmosphere.
Consider the atmosphere’s transparency, which is actually just part of the story. Our atmosphere participates in one of the most extraordinary coincidences known to science: an eerie harmony among the range of wavelengths of light emitted by the Sun, transmitted by Earth’s atmosphere, converted by plants into chemical energy, and detected by the human eye.
[…..]
As it happens, our atmosphere strikes a nearly perfect balance, transmitting most of the radiation that is useful for life while blocking most of the lethal energy.
(The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in
the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery,
by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards :65-67)

jetson - January 22, 2010

Wow. We are not making much progress are we!

I’m still picking up my jaw on your question about the predictive power of the ToE. And now you’re asking what sort of observation would falsify the ToE. Seriously? You can’t think of a single observation that would falsify the ToE? Really? Nothing?

I will quote an internet friend: “parroting blind assertions does not constitute evidence”

27. mynym - January 21, 2010

To me (in my personal opinion) everything we know about the universe, and our own planet (does not mean everything there is to know, can you see the difference?)
support the very plausible idea (leaves room for correction….

So how would “everything” that you know be corrected in theory? What evidence could supposedly be discovered scientifically that would cause you to think that there is an intended design?

jetson - January 22, 2010

I will go where the scientific evidence that is peer reviewed and generally accepted, until something else comes along that fits better. ID does not fit ANY scientific model – it is simply a defense mechanism from god believers to protect their religious dogma.

28. Tim Cooley - January 22, 2010

Here, catch.

http://ncse.com/rncse/17/4/predictive-power-evolutionary-biology-discovery-eusociality-

“What sort of biological observation would falsify the “theory of evolution”? On a wider scale, what sort of observation would supposedly falsify “evolution” in general?”

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA211.html

Thanks you.

29. Tim Cooley - January 22, 2010

“ID would be falsified if it was observed that little or no fine tuning was necessary for life and knowledge to exist, yet that is not what is observed”

Okay. Easy. I blogged about this a few weeks ago.
http://timcooley.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/intelligent-design-and-the-fine-tuned-universe/

thank you

30. mynym - January 31, 2010

I will go where the scientific evidence that is peer reviewed and generally accepted, until something else comes along that fits better.

Then it’s little wonder that you’re so susceptible to charlatans like the writers of talk.origins. It’s also worth noting that you would have agreed with the scientific consensus typical to the eugenics movement and scientific racism only a short time ago. Despite the mythology of Progress and Darwinian creation myths which just happen by happy happenstance to fit the progressive worldview, quite naturally enough, the old consensus of scientific racism was done away with by the Holocaust and a continent generally reduced to cinders, not by an empirical or scientific discovery.

At any rate, you made numerous statements about ID as if you actually understand the science and are not simply following the consensus from the rear of the Herd, so what evidence could supposedly be discovered “scientifically” that would cause you to think that there is intended design? After all, you seem to think that you’ve found evidence, overwhelming no less, that there is no design. But if it is possible to falsify design scientifically then it is possible to verify it. So what would?

31. mynym - January 31, 2010

http://ncse.com/rncse/17/4/predictive-power-evolutionary-biology-discovery-eusociality-

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA211.html

Thanks you.

With respect to your first link, it is deeply ironic that someone begins their paper on the falsifiability of the so-called “theory of evolution” with this quote:
“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (Dobzhansky 1973)

In other words “evolution,” whatever it is, explains everything. Again, what type of biological observation would supposedly falsify a singular theory of evolution? It would seem that it explains normal rats just as easily as it explains the naked mole rat. It explains why your parents love you but it could just as easily explain if they do not. It might even explain why you had a cheeseburger for lunch, yet also why you did not. The real question is, what wouldn’t it explain? If it explains everything, as is typical to creation myths and pseudo-science, then it actually explains nothing scientifically. Biologists typically compare their field to others because they have a long way to go in this respect. The supposed rigorous specification and largely imaginary/”overwhelming” verification of a singular theory of evolution is generally an illusion, as is illustrated in this case by the fact that it “predicts” the exact opposite observation equally well. So it would seem that if a eusocial vertebrate was never found then evolution, whatever it is, would still be equally “overwhelming” to imbeciles. The lack of scientific specification in such predictions would be easier for you to see if someone predicted the existence of an organism based on the old creationist doctrines of plenitude and unity.

I may as well predict that you will not understand how a theory should be rigorously specified and verified yet also predict the exact opposite, as it seems that you are easily overwhelmed.

32. mynym - January 31, 2010

With respect to your second link, their first claim is that “a static fossil record” would falsify their supposed specification of the theory of evolution, whatever evolution is. Yet stasis is the “most prominent signal from the fossil record.”* The people that wrote talk.origins are generally charlatans, at the level of PZ Myers, the sort that proves that the moral degenerate tends to be the intellectual degenerate.

*

Stasis is data.
So if stasis could not be explained away as missing information, how could gradualism face this most prominent signal from the fossil record? The most negative of all strategies-a quite unconscious conspiracy of silence-dictated the canonical response of paleontologists to their observations of stasis. Again, a “culprit” may be identified in the ineluctable embedding of observation within theory. Facts have no independent existence in science, or in any human endeavor; theories grant differing weights, values, and descriptions, even to the most empirical and undeniable of observations. Darwin’s expectations defined evolution as gradual change. Generations of paleontologists learned to equate the potential documentation of evolution with the discovery of insensible intermediacy in a sequence of fossils. In this context, stasis can only record sorrow and disappointment.
Paleontologists therefore came to view stasis as just another failure to document evolution. Stasis existed in overwhelming abundance, as every paleontologist knew. But this primary signal of the fossil record, defined as an absence of data for evolution, only highlighted our frustration-and certainly did not represent anything worth publishing. Paleontology therefore fell into a literally absurd vicious circle. No one ventured to document or quantify-indeed, hardly anyone even bothered to mention or publish at all-the most common pattern in the fossil record: the stasis of most morpho-species throughout all their geological duration.
(The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (Harvard College) by Stephen Jay Gould :759-760)

So it would seem that observing stasis in the fossil record does not falsify the so-called “theory” of evolution, mainly because science generally cannot falsify or verify creation myths. Take your own example and make it marginally more reasonable, even if the ancient Greeks had observed aliens/gods landing on mountains and represented this in their mythology and art as Zeus throwing lightning bolts and so on there might be no way of knowing scientifically what happened. Indeed, there may be no way of knowing much scientifically about basic aspects of human existence like being sentient Homo sapiens. This does not mean that we are not sentient or that sentience and intelligence has never had any impact on the physical world or that all sentience and sight as we experience it must be reduced to blind, unknowing processes. All it really means is that science is either too myopic in its scope to see the whole truth or that we must admit that scientists must be open to the pursuit of the truth and aware of their limitations.

33. Tim Cooley - February 1, 2010

testing. testing. I can’t seem to submit a long comment…

34. Tim Cooley - February 1, 2010

“Evolution proceeds in two major modes. In the first, phyletic transformation, an entire population changes from one state to another. …. The second mode, speciation, replenishes the earth. New species branch off from a persisting parental stock.

“Eldredge and I believe that speciation is responsible for almost all evolutionary change. Moreover, the way in which it occurs virtually guarantees that sudden appearance and stasis shall dominate the fossil record.” Gould, The Pandas Thumb p183

I can only assume that TalkOrigins means an entirely static fossil record in which speciation cannot be traced.

35. mynym - February 1, 2010

I can only assume that TalkOrigins means an entirely static fossil record in which speciation cannot be traced.

Talk.origins doesn’t mean anything because there is no theory of evolution, there is only a collection of hypotheses and creation myths which trace back to the sort of unfalsifiable hypothetical goo that Darwin originally sought to formulate into a specified theory which actually makes predictions. Evolution, whatever it is, was around long before Darwin tried to make it into a scientific theory and it seems the mental illusions it generates with respect to evidence will be equally overwhelming to imbeciles no matter what evidence is found in the future. Proponents of the “theory” are still trying to specify it, still trying to define its structure as even its opponents are left searching for the “edge of evolution.” Whatever it is it explains everything, overwhelmingly no less, yet therefore explains nothing scientifically. It might even be true but even if so it could not be counted as scientific knowledge if no experimental or empirical evidence can falsify a nebulous notion like evolution. Many proponents claim that evolution, whatever it is, encompasses anything from minute changes in the size of bird beaks to a change in the formation of stars, to all change that has ever happened in the entire Cosmos. Change happens, excrement happens, evolution happens, but if you believe that natural selection operating on an ancient group of worm-like creatures shaped some genes which then generally cause you to love your family or to think about the origins of the Cosmos then you may as well have excrement for brains. Despite great successes like “predicting” the existence of the naked mole rat (as well as all rats and every single organism that exists) the process of explaining life as we know it in terms of processes based on death and ignorance has generally been a failure. The irony is that although the scientific process has generally been perverted into a paradigm in which knowledge/scientia must be explained in terms of ignorant processes, little evidence has emerged that the information which we experience and observe to exist in neural nets and so on can be reduced to ignorance. And if we can observe it to exist and feel its impact then there is no reason to assume that other animals must be reduced to blind and ignorant processes based on Darwinian creation myths.

Darwinian creation myths and the mythology of Progress that they are woven into will continue to overwhelm imbeciles no matter what, mainly because imbeciles are easily overwhelmed, but rational explanations for biology must admit to the impact of information and sentience. This has been noted for some time, although the theory of “evolution” will most likely never be changed in this respect:

Electrons and nucleons are not known to be sentient, while the higher animals are. If a rat laps up a solution of saccharine, the rational ex planation of this lies in the fact that the solution tastes sweet and that the rat likes that. The tasting and liking are facts that physics and chemistry as known today cannot explain.
And this conclusion gives the whole show away. Because it acknowledges a conscious desire by an individual capable of such desire, it leads on further to the recognition of deliberate actions by individuals and the possibilities of error on their part. Thus a whole series of conceptions emerges that are absent from physics and chemistry as known today. Indeed, nothing is relevant to biology, even at the lowest level of life, unless it bears on the achievements of living beings: achievements such as their perfection of form, their morphogenesis, or the proper functioning of their organs; and the very conception of such achievements implies a distinction between success or failure—a distinction unknown to physics and chemistry.
But the distinction between success and failure is present in, and is indeed essential to, the science of engineering; and the logic of engineering does substantiate in fact what I am saying here of biology. No physical or chemical investigation of an object can tell us whether it is a machine and, if so, how it works. Only if we have previously discovered that it is a machine, and found out also approximately how it works, can the physical and chemical examination of the machine tell us anything useful about it, as a machine. Similarly, physical and chemical investigations can form part of biology only by bearing on previously established biological achievements, such as shapeliness, morphogenesis, or physiological functions.
A complete physical and chemical topography of a frog would tell us nothing about it as a frog, unless we knew it previously as a frog. And if the rules of scientific detachment required that we limit ourselves exclusively to physical and chemical observations, we would remain forever unaware of frogs or of any other living beings, just as we would remain ignorant also by such observations of all machines and other human contrivances.
The achievements which form the subject matter of biology can be identified only by a kind of appraisal which requires a higher degree of participation by the observer in his subject matter than can be mediated by the tests of physics and chemistry. The current ideal of “scientificality” which would refuse such participation would indeed destroy biology but for the wise neglect of consistency on the part of its supporters.
(Scientific Outlook: Its Sickness and Cure
by Michael Polanyi
Science New Series, Vol. 125, No. 3246 (Mar., 1957), pp. 482)

Occasionally even biologists have noticed that what they are studying is actually sentient, therefore it makes little sense to try to play pretend that it is not. E.g.

The viewpoint of Coyne et al. (1988) is one in which past events are argued to explain, in a causal sense, the world around us. Such explanations cannot be verified or tested, and the only biological observations they require are that variation and differential reproduction occur. This is not a caricature, as a reading of Coyne et al. will verify. In keeping with this general viewpoint, proponents claim that species are explained with reference to history. Important characters are hence “mechanisms” that have established and maintained the separation between diverged lineages of an ancestral population. According to Coyne et al., even the adaptive purpose of the changes that resulted in these mechanisms is irrelevant.
We would ask where biology enters into this schema. The answer is that it does not. Rather, biology is interpreted in terms of a range of historical processes, including selection of variation over time. This could, with equal relevance, be used to understand any nonbiological phenomenon such as the development of the automobile, agricultural methods, culture, or men’s suits (Lewontin, 1976).
(Points of View
Species and Neo-Darwinism
by C. S. White; B. Michaux; D. M. Lambert
Systematic Zoology, Vol. 39, No. 4. (Dec., 1990), :400-401)

This goes back to citing their own imaginations as the equivalent of empirical evidence. What is observed empirically is the impact of information and sentience, what is being imagined is that it all can be reduced to blind and ignorant processes. This is the same sort of imaginary evidence (included by Darwin himself, despite his attempts to reform “evolution” into a scientific theory) that Andre Pichot and others criticizes in Nazi scholarship.

Jetson - February 1, 2010

As much as I can read and comprehend your position, it seems to me that you are rejecting the theory of evolution, and that you don’t consider it even a valid theory. Is that correct?

If so, I’m afraid you’re wasting a lot of time and energy because the theory is quite solid, and well supported by the vast majority of scientists. Are you working on debunking the theory of evolution and winning a Nobel Prize or something?

36. Tim Cooley - February 2, 2010

Yeah man. Go claim your Nobel Prize.

You’re so ignorant it hurts.

37. mynym - February 2, 2010

As much as I can read and comprehend your position, it seems to me that you are rejecting the theory of evolution, and that you don’t consider it even a valid theory. Is that correct?

There is no theory of evolution to reject, falsify or verify. There is a collection of hypotheses combined with a few valid theories. The few valid theories, e.g. natural selection, refute the storytelling and mythology often woven into the hypotheses. Natural selection predicts preservation and destruction, not construction, and this is what is observed in the fossil record in stasis and extinction.

As far as the Nobel Prize goes, you have merely woven your mythology of Progress into science. There is little historical evidence that people are more interested in the truth and actual knowledge than their professional identities and “survival of the fittest” as scientists and so on. This shouldn’t be surprising, as being more concerned with their status and usefulness or fitness in society comports with their creation myths. History indicates that their focus is the opposite of the pursuit of truth and that those who question Darwinism (even if they still support “evolution” of some sort) find out that there is little reward of any sort in doing so, let alone the Nobel Prize. E.g.

[Kammerer’s] results inspired determined opposition from disciples of the new Mendelian genetics, particularly from its spokesman William Bateson. After years of exhausting controversy, Kammerer allowed the American herpetologist G. K. Noble to examine his last specimen of modified Alytes. The toad had no nuptial ‘pads; moreover, the black coloration on its left hand had been produced (or at least erhanced) by the injection of India ink.
Seven weeks after the publication of Noble’s report Kammerer killed himself. This seeming admission of guilt created his legend with its obvious moral on the dangers of zealous advocacy.
Koestler, with his usual richness of style and intelligence, has convinced me that this common reading is, indeed, legend in the derogatory sense. He combines an analysis of published sources, the testimony of living witnesses, and even some scientific experimentation of his own to argue (i) that the injection was more likely performed by one of Kammerer’s numerous enemies than by Kammerer himself; (ii) that, in any case, it was done after Kammerer’s famous demonstration of the specimen in England in 1923; (iii) that Kammerer probably succeeded in producing nuptial pads in his water-bred Alytes (though Koestler seems unaware that, as I shall mention later, this provides no confirmation of Lamarckian inheritance); and (iv) that Kammerer’s suicide was due as much to the mundane passions of unrequited love and economic failure as to the burden of tragic deceit. Moreover, Koestler has drawn an inference from the debate that is profoundly disturbing because it is probably of general application: the mistrust that established professionals felt for Kammerer arose more from his unconventional personality—his “artistic” temperament, his verbal ability, his unpopular politics—than from any legitimate doubt about the validity of his methods.
(Review: Zealous Advocates
The Case of the Midwife Toad by Arthur Koestler
Review author: Stephen Jay Gould
Science, New Series, Vol. 176, No. 4035.
(May 12, 1972), :623)

Jetson - February 2, 2010

Interesting perspective. I have to say that I have never seen anyone speak about the theory of evolution quite like you. Of course, I disagree with your conclusions.

38. mynym - February 2, 2010

You’re so ignorant it hurts.

You do not have the knowledge that you claim to have. And your support for charlatans/talk.origins who seek to pass off their creation myths and imagining things about the past as the equivalent of science creates ignorance. A Darwinian philosophy in which everything must be explained by or reduced to past events in an unbroken chain of cause and effect (otherwise there are “gaps” of supposed ignorance) leads one to mistake storytelling and imagining things about the past for experimental or empirical knowledge in the present. I.e. it leads to mistaking ignorance for knowledge. In the past the results of allowing an ignorant Herd to form around a consensus of this sort has been disastrous. (I debate these issues with people that are willfully ignorant for some of the same reasons that I debate Holocaust deniers.)

In any event, it would seem that I could simply agree with you that you are insignificant mammals sniffing at the rear of the current Herd and following along. If you do not agree, then it would seem that you do not agree with your own positions.


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