Are Creationists Anti-Science?

An interview with historian of science Ronald Numbers has been posted. It has already attracted some blog attention. P. Z. Myers rightly criticizes Numbers for some rather bizarre statements about the relationship between science and religion. Over at Telic Thoughts, Krauze offers this typically dopey reply.

The interview contains a lot of bloggable items, but I will focus on just one:

QUESTION: So, in a certain sense, doesn’t this represent some sort of divide between religion and science?

MR. NUMBERS: To me, the struggle in the late 20th Century between creationists and evolutionists does not represent another battle between science and religion because rarely do creationists display hostility towards science. If you read their literature, you’ll rarely come across an anti-scientific notion. They love science. They love what science can do. They hate the fact that science has been hijacked by agnostics and atheists to offer such speculative theories as organic evolution. So, they don’t see themselves as being antagonistic to science any more than many of the advocates of evolution – those who see evolution as God’s method of creation – view themselves as hostile to Christianity.

Surely you jest, Dr. Numbers.

Rarely come across an anti-scientific notion? Creationists believe that the Bible is a source of evidence that trumps anything a scientist might discover. For example, in his book The Lie: Evolution, Ken Ham writes:

My parents knew that evolution was wrong because it was obvious from Genesis that God had given us the details of the creation of the world.

When I attended a major YEC conference last year, a frequent refrain was “God said it. That settles it.” Another common imprecation was, “Do not let evidence fuel your appreciation of God. Let your appreciation of God influence your view of the evidence.”

It’s hard to imagine anything more anti-scientific than that.

Furthermore, there comes a time when the allegedly scientific arguments you are making are so weak and ignorant that you brand yourself as anti-science simply by offering them. Creationists love science and love what it can do? Then why do they persist in arguing that the second law of thermodynamics contradicts evolution? Why do they argue that natural selection is a meaningless tautology, or that the fossil record contains no transitional forms, or that elementary probability theory proves evolution is false, or that all of the hominid fossils paleontologists have collected are either fully ape or fully human? If you love science then you pause a moment to educate yourself about the basics of the subject. You try to understand what evolution actually asserts before producing countless books condemning it. You don’t routinely quote scientists out of context for the purpose of distorting what they believe.

Referring to creationists as anti-science is not meant as a description of how they see themselves. It is meant as a description of what they are. Just as the Devil can cite scripture for his purposes, so too can creationists use scientific sounding jargon in making their case. The fact remains that in both word and deed their actions drip with contempt for science and scientists. It is terribly naive for Numbers to pretend otherwise.

Comments

  1. #1 Coin
    June 26, 2006

    “Hijacked by agnostics”?

    How does that even work?

    Is there, like, a group of militiant agnostics that run around forcefully not knowing things?

  2. #2 Miguelito
    June 26, 2006

    I’d go even farther and say that they are anti-rationality. Whenever they are faced with any fact that contradicts with what their bible says, whether scientific, historical, or whatever, they can fall back on the old “it’s in the bible, so it must be true” argument and not need to present any other form of evidence.

  3. #3 Jim Harrison
    June 26, 2006

    Numbers points out in his book that fundamentalism borrows a lot of its worldview from the late 19th Century, including the then prevalent version of scientism with its cult of the Fact. I think he’s right. Earlier forms of Protestantism were not so focused on the literal truth of scripture because they didn’t think of faith as consisting in belief in a series of propositions but as a certain disposition of the heart.

    If you only recognize one variety of Truth, you’ve got to assume that all roads lead to it, including empirical science. Unfortunately, actual science comprehensively refutes a literal reading of the Bible. As a result, the fundies don’t so much live in faith as in denial.

  4. #4 CBBB
    June 26, 2006

    The Prime motive of Creationists is, and has always beem, to “defend the faith”. If Numbers can’t see that he’s a blind fool. The idea that Creationists are motivated by their feelings that evolution is considered too speculative to be science is ridiculous. What about the strong creationist objects to modern cosmology and geology?

    If you read the major creationist websites you’d get the impression that not only biologists but many of the greatest physicists and astronomers of the 20th Century were utter fools who lacked even elementary skills in logic and reasoning. That’s your standard creationist world view.

  5. #5 Jianying
    June 26, 2006

    Skepticism is what tethers faith to reason, advancing both.
    Fear is what tethers reason to faith, stunting both

    Fundamentalists, live in essential fear. They fear reason, and the essences of their very being. They fear these things for if the truth was revealed, they would have no more security blankets of certainty.

  6. #6 Ichneumon
    June 26, 2006

    Some of the things listed (e.g. “Bible trumps evidence”) might more properly be called “non-scientific” rather than “anti-science”, but anyone who has discussed things for any length of time with creationists (at least the anti-evolution variety), as I have for over thirty years, has encountered endless examples of true ANTI-science attitudes and arguments — that is, a true hostility towards science, the scientific method, and/or scientists as a group.

    Even the spewers of the most vicious rancor against science, though, swear up and down that they’re actually “pro-science”, but what they mean by that is that they only support the results of science which they approve of, even while denouncing the methods and practitioners and supporters of science, as well as anything scientific which they don’t like or don’t want to hear (and thus denounce as “not ‘real’ science”). Another sign that their “we love science” act is but a facade is how savagely they attack “evolutionists”, biologists, etc.

  7. #7 H. Humbert
    June 26, 2006

    Saying creationists are not anti-science is like saying criminals are not anti-law. It’s just an absurdly false claim.

  8. #8 Michael Tuite
    June 26, 2006

    Having attended that same conference, I came away with a slightly different perception of the YEC relationship to science. These are people who, despite their medieval theological views, reside and even prosper in the modern world. They are well aware of the accomplishments and merits of modern science and appreciate the prestige and authority that science enjoys in our culture. They desperately long for the legitimacy they know that science could bestow upon their beliefs. So, they are not anti-science in the sense that they oppose all science – just science that contradicts their beliefs. They are genuinely anti-science in the way they conceive science as a series of non-interacting, isolated jars of knowledge from which they can pick and choose supporting morsels while ignoring the overwhelming totality of inconveniently contradictory facts.

  9. #9 H. Humbert
    June 26, 2006

    “Some of the things listed (e.g. “Bible trumps evidence”) might more properly be called “non-scientific” rather than “anti-science”…”

    No, that would be anti-science. Science is a method of testing reality to determine truth. Biblical literalism is taking a pretermined truth and forcing reality to fit it. It is as antithetical to the process of science as it is possible to be.

  10. #10 Larry Fafarman
    June 26, 2006

    I am thoroughly disgusted with these attempts to stereotype, pigeonhole, categorize and Procrusteanize people according to particular labels. People have all kinds of beliefs about the origins of species — we have atheistic evolutionists, theistic evolutionists, biblical creationists, scientific creationists, young-earth creationists, old-earth creationists, day-age creationists, intelligent designists, unintelligent designists, irreducible complexitists, punctuated equilibriumists, phyletic gradualists, common descentists, prescribed evolutionists (John A. Davison), anti-coevolutionists (me), and what have you, plus various combinations of the preceding. People believe what they believe, and no one has the right to say that someone else believes something just because of a particular label. Like the old Bob Dylan song “All I Really Want to Do” says, “All I really want to do is, baby, be friends with you” —

    I ain’t lookin’ to compete with you,
    Beat or cheat or mistreat you,
    Simplify you, classify you,
    Deny, defy or crucify you.
    All I really want to do
    Is, baby, be friends with you.

    No, and I ain’t lookin’ to fight with you,
    Frighten you or uptighten you,
    Drag you down or drain you down,
    Chain you down or bring you down.
    All I really want to do
    Is, baby, be friends with you.

    I ain’t lookin’ to block you up
    Shock or knock or lock you up,
    Analyze you, categorize you,
    Finalize you or advertise you.
    All I really want to do
    Is, baby, be friends with you.

    I don’t want to straight-face you,
    Race or chase you, track or trace you,
    Or disgrace you or displace you,
    Or define you or confine you.
    All I really want to do
    Is, baby, be friends with you.

    I don’t want to meet your kin,
    Make you spin or do you in,
    Or select you or dissect you,
    Or inspect you or reject you.
    All I really want to do
    Is, baby, be friends with you.

    I don’t want to fake you out,
    Take or shake or forsake you out,
    I ain’t lookin’ for you to feel like me,
    See like me or be like me.
    All I really want to do
    Is, baby, be friends with you.

    The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics example is a straw man — most creationists do not accept this criticism of evolution.

    Regardless of whether creation science and intelligent design have scientific merit, at least their proponents — unlike the Darwinists — do not use the courts to try to suppress competing scientific ideas.

  11. #11 Anonymous
    June 26, 2006

    fararman says
    Regardless of whether creation science and intelligent design have scientific merit, at least their proponents — unlike the Darwinists — do not use the courts to try to suppress competing scientific ideas.

    so does Ann Coulter

    neither have read the Dover full transcript
    STUPIDITY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL

  12. #12 Michael Buratovich
    June 26, 2006

    Jason,

    I attended the same creationist conference you did, but I did not come away from it with those particular battle cries. It seems to me that the speakers at this conferene were not adverse to evidence, but were adverse to what they perceived as (pardon the expression) the present “atheistic spin” placed upon the interpretation of the data.

    It also seems to me that these same speakers were interested in reinterpreting the data in a very different manner than mainstream scientists. Sound interpretations of the data should make sense to any reader, regardless of their religious commitments. Many of the concepts presented at the AIG Conference in Lynchburg also represented out-of-date concepts that were no longer entertained by researchers in the field or fringe interpretations of data.

    I think that these people THINK that they love science, but their “practice” and presentation of it leaves much to be desired.

    MB

  13. #13 GvlGeologist
    June 27, 2006

    “…at least their proponents — unlike the Darwinists — do not use the courts to try to suppress competing scientific ideas.”

    What a crock.

    (1) The Scopes trial was a successful confirmation via the courts, of the Tennessee legislature, to outlaw the teaching of evolution. It was not until the 1960s (IIRC) that the courts finally acknowledged that this was unconstitutional and outlawed the ban. If not for that, there would have been many more cases where evolution was legally banned, if not by the courts, then by legislatures.

    (2) If you would bother to read and understand peer-reviewed scientific literature (as opposed to the drivel that the DI puts out), you would see that competing ideas that are in fact scientific in nature (i.e. supported by evidence, potentially falsifiable, and tested) are not suppressed but encouraged and discussed intensively.

    (3) It has been proved many times in court and directly to you, Larry, in fora such as Pandas Thumb, that ID and creationism are not, in fact, scientific, but religious in nature, and properly and constitutionally suppressed in the attempts to teach it in public schools.

    (4) If ID or creationism was in the slightest bit scientific, it would be published and welcome in the scientific literature. As a matter of fact, at least one creationist-leaning paper has been published in a geological journal (Geology, IIRC) which contained good data, a testable hypothesis, and a controversial conclusion. But ID has not, and is not willing to try, because its leading proponents know it is really just religious apologetics.

  14. #14 truth machine
    June 27, 2006

    They hate the fact that science has been hijacked by agnostics and atheists to offer such speculative theories as organic evolution.

    This is a “fact”? No wonder Numbers defends the anti-science creationists … he apparently is one. Or perhaps he’s just rather stupid … religion tends to do that to people.

  15. #15 truth machine
    June 27, 2006

    They are well aware of the accomplishments and merits of modern science and appreciate the prestige and authority that science enjoys in our culture. They desperately long for the legitimacy they know that science could bestow upon their beliefs.

    They are pro-technology, pro-having prestige, pro-having authority, and pro-having legitimacy, but they are deeply and thoroughly anti-science, and not just evolution. How could they not be, when the epistemology, ontology, methodology, and claims of science are so contrary to their own?

  16. #16 truth machine
    June 27, 2006

    It seems to me that the speakers at this conferene were not adverse to evidence

    You need to get your perceptual apparatus tuned up.

  17. #17 Larry Fafarman
    June 27, 2006

    GvlGeologist said | June 27, 2006 12:16 AM —

    “…at least their proponents — unlike the Darwinists — do not use the courts to try to suppress competing scientific ideas.”

    What a crock.

    (1) The Scopes trial was a successful confirmation via the courts, of the Tennessee legislature, to outlaw the teaching of evolution. It was not until the 1960s (IIRC) that the courts finally acknowledged that this was unconstitutional and outlawed the ban.

    My statement is not a crock. I am talking about today.

    According to the best records, only four states ever had laws completely banning the teaching of evolution in the public schools. Oklahoma’s law lasted for just a few years in the 1920’s. The Supreme Court banned such laws in 1968. In the 1920’s, the legislatures of two states, Texas and Florida, passed resolutions against the teaching of evolution. So essentially we are talking about ancient history in just a few states. See

    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/06/herr-fuhrer-esley-welsberrys-big-lie.html

    and

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/06/three_million_a.html

    (2) If you would bother to read and understand peer-reviewed scientific literature (as opposed to the drivel that the DI puts out), you would see that competing ideas that are in fact scientific in nature (i.e. supported by evidence, potentially falsifiable, and tested) are not suppressed but encouraged and discussed intensively.

    Wrong — mainstream scientific journals are generally hostile towards papers that are critical of Darwinism.

    Also, there are scientific non-ID criticisms of evolution, such as criticism of co-evolution — see http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/04/co-evolutionary-paradox.html

    (3) It has been proved many times in court and directly to you, Larry, in fora such as Pandas Thumb, that ID and creationism are not, in fact, scientific, but religious in nature, and properly and constitutionally suppressed in the attempts to teach it in public schools.

    On the contrary, the establishment clause is being abused for the suppression of scientific ideas that some people disagree with.

    =========================================================

    Anonymous said | June 26, 2006 11:16 PM —

    fararman says
    Regardless of whether creation science and intelligent design have scientific merit, at least their proponents — unlike the Darwinists — do not use the courts to try to suppress competing scientific ideas.

    so does Ann Coulter

    neither have read the Dover full transcript
    STUPIDITY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL

    The Dover case is the poster child of the misuse of the courts to suppress criticism of evolution. I read large parts of the Dover decision but not the whole thing — I felt that the parts I did not read were irrelevant because they represented a “Monday morning battle of the experts” that did not illuminate the purpose of the school board or the perceptions of the public. See Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 596 (1987) at

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0482_0578_ZO.html

  18. #18 N.Wells
    June 27, 2006

    Creationists and IDists would love to be able to don the mantle of science and have it support their faith. However, they are in no way scientific in their goals or methods. In particular, they are profoundly and dangerously anti-science in the way that they act as “science-stoppers”: in both cases, their goal is to find something unexplained and, rather than working harder to explain it, to declare it unexplainable, and therefore proof of God at work.

  19. #19 Ginger Yellow
    June 27, 2006

    To build on what N Wells says, ID is arguably even more anti-science than standard creationism. It’s dressed up in scientific sounding terminology and is careful to avoid mention of scripture (at least when its proponents aren’t talking to creationists), but it is founded on the principle of a “science stopper”. ID says that as soon as we find a feature for which we don’t have a clear, detailed explanation, we should stop looking and assume it is designed by something and through a process which we’re not allowed to define in any way. It’s hard to think of something more anti-science. If ID and ID style thinking were actually to take over science, progress would grind to a halt almost instantaneously.

  20. #20 Dave S.
    June 27, 2006

    Although Creationist notions like intelligent design are certainly anti-scientific (and what could be more anti-science than the mission statements of the YEC organisations), I don’t think the creationists themselves see it that way. And I believe this is what Numbers is getting at. They actually believe that science can’t possibly say anything about “origins”, and so when evolutionists start alking about common descent or whatever, they go ballistic. They whine about materialism, but don’t see the inconsistency between accepting materialism for some science and rejecting it for others.

    They aren’t thinking about the evidence in terms of “what’s the best testable explanation?”…they’re thinking about it in terms of “how can I explain this knowing what the Truth is already?” And no, they don’t see the inconsistency in that either. That’s just a difference in ‘interpretation’ of the evidence to them.

    In short, they don’t see evolution as a science which is doing them wrong, they see it as an abomination of science altogether.

    Larry says:

    Regardless of whether creation science and intelligent design have scientific merit, at least their proponents — unlike the Darwinists — do not use the courts to try to suppress competing scientific ideas.

    They are far too busy trying to dupe the scientifically naive like state and federal legislators, local school boards and folks like yourself, using PR tactics into forcing the issue for them. Clearly, that part of the plan is working. The part where they are supposed to be actually providing evidentiary support for a positive model of design (or creation)?….meh, not so much. But then again, that’s something that would be nice to have, although it’s almost as good not to have it but to say you do. Your target audience will never ask you to demonstrate this.

    Of course once religion trying to disguise itself as science gets in, the only way to root it out is through legal recourse. Much to the financial and credibility detriment of the district, which has to pick up the tab and the pieces.

  21. #21 SLC
    June 27, 2006

    The bottom line here is very simple. The born-again attitude is that their minds are made up and the facts are irrelevent.

  22. #22 Fernando Schuh
    June 27, 2006

    So, the scientists said that, the scientists said… what scientist? With a simple PR job the “scientists” (this word is looking more and more to me as “darwinists”, that thang I really donīt know what it means) could become “biologists” (reference to biological science, evolution included, of course). Have to have speciation, in this case! Because, using the “scientists” word… for the layman, he believes every scientist knows exactly the same as others! (Yeah, incredible stupid, I personally believe someone so stupid should die instantly for lack of mental capacity to stay alive, but thatīs just angry me…) Thatīs why the cretinists use those lists of “scientists” to support their stupid claims. For the general public, any scientist is as good as another… Blame the movies also, where the magicl scientist (modern mage?) is capable of genius on all areas. I see an opportunity to clarify roles here. You donīt hire an electrical engineer to build a bridge, do you? What does an M.D. has to say about evolution? Is he specialized on that? Maybe that self neurosurgery went wrong… Anyway, my points are:
    – Speciation! (hehehe)
    Forget about “scientists”. Start to use biologists, donīt need to go all the way to evolutionary biologists – I believe some will think of the “evo” part as an statement, not as a definition of area of study – and make sure people know that those are people who study this and are the right people to say something about that.
    – Counter attack using same weapons
    Donīt they use the “Iīm too stupid to understand this so goddidit” ? Ooops, no, no, they masquerade that for “itīs so complex that it must have been designed”? So… use the “itīs so stupid it COULD NOT have been designed”!! Male animals (including man) lack of protection for genitals, for example, and anything that is silly on our bodies. It should provide great fun and make for great debates among students, for example.
    – Keep doing like P.Z.
    When he made the challenge to the “coulterites” (I love that word, should make sure it would stick to them and also carry together “souless, ruthless, brainless” and other stuff to mean that being a coulterite is akin to be ten times dumber than Homer Simpson), they all vanished… only saw some stupid guy blabbering nonsense like “you liberals suck”. It only makes then look dumber… stop providing evidence for our side. They donīt want to know, to listen, to read. Give them the ball, ask for THEIR evidence. Just ask, “how?”. And keep asking… evolutionary biology can answer that “how?” question to a greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat length, but they canīt.

    I had some other ideas, but I forgot for now… not much sleep lately!

    PS: Brazil is going to win the world cup!

  23. #23 ivyprivy
    June 27, 2006

    More from the Numbers interview:

    QUESTION: In fact, creation scientists are themselves very concerned to make their views scientific. Could you explain their idea of “flood geology”?
    .
    MR. NUMBERS: The primary theory underlying creation science is something called flood geology, which attributes virtually all of the geological fossil bearing strata to Noah’s flood, a timsespan of about one year. Now, this means that all of the history of life on Earth can be telescoped down to a mere six, seven, or ten thousand years. The most vocal advocates of this position have been scientists themselves, especially in recent years, and they see this as an alternative scientific model, rather than as a refutation of science.

    Bolding added for emphasis. He makes it sound respectable, doesn’t he? They tell me Numbers testified in the “Creation Science” trials of the 1980s – against the Creationists. It’s hard to square with what I read in this interview.

  24. #24 ivyprivy
    June 27, 2006

    “Hijacked by agnostics”?
    .
    How does that even work?
    .
    Is there, like, a group of militant agnostics that run around forcefully not knowing things?

    No one expects the Unitarian Jihad.
    .
    That’s why it’s so successful.

  25. #25 Bryson Brown
    June 27, 2006

    Creationist rhetoric is pro-science, so it’s no surprise to see these claims made. This in itself is nice to see, in a perverse sort of way– it represents a reversal of the authority hierarchy, which once would have place religion above science unequivocally. Now, in order to attack science, the creationists have to pretend to be pro-science and only against a ‘bad’ kind of science that really isn’t scientific at all. Of course, a weird, selective sort of skepticism about particular scientific claims is essential to this line. It’s a desperate rhetorical turn, and it only works with people for whom the well is so poisoned (in terms of their attitude towards actual scientists) that they really don’t think the thing to do when they want to know something about biology is to ask a biologist. That said, it sells only with the rump of religious fanatics who put religion above science anyway. Their only long term winning strategy is to impose a theocracy– something I think they know perfectly well.

  26. #26 Fraser
    June 27, 2006

    In fairness, I don’t think all creationists are anti-science: Some simply don’t know enough to realize they’re wrong (I’ve heard accounts of students in anatomy classes who are convinced male and female skeletons have the same number of ribs), and some simply cling to creationism the way all kinds of crackpots (including some scientists) have clung to all kinds of theories in the face of the evidence. It’s not that they don’t believe in evidence, or science, or rational ways of finding proof, it’s that they’ve convinced themselves that Of Course what they believe fits the evidence (like the delightful theory that the earth is not only hollow, we’re on the inside, and that the visual proof otherwise is an “optical illusion”).
    That being said, obviously a lot of Creationists are genuinely anti-science (or at least anti-evolutionary science, cosmology and anything else that contradicts their world view), particularly those in the forefront of the movement who’ve shown their willingness to lie, distort opposing positions and hide their true agenda.

  27. #27 Salvador T. Cordova
    June 27, 2006

    Neither AiG nor Ken Ham speak or represent all creationists. To generalize AiG to all others who believe in special creation (irrespective of the age of the universe) is logically misplaced.

    I point this out here:
    http://idea-gmu.blogspot.com/2006/03/my-personal-philosophy-and-theology.html

    and regarding the 2nd Law I second out Larry’s assertion:
    http://idea-gmu.blogspot.com/2006/03/bad-arguments-from-2nd-law-of.html

    Salvador

  28. #28 wamba
    June 27, 2006

    Neither AiG nor Ken Ham speak or represent all creationists.

    This is true. Some Creationists are represented by Kent ‘Dr. Dino’ Hovind.

  29. Or perhaps he’s just rather stupid … religion tends to do that to people.

    Now, now. We don’t need to throw that into the mix. For one thing, a pro-evolution voice that insults all religion everywhere will only play right into the ID’er’s hands. For another thing, the insult is unmerited. The majority of religious people world-wide have no quarrel with science or evolution. Hell, the majority of religious people world-wide aren’t even Christian, and I’d wager the majority of Christians aren’t biblical literalists. At least, not when it comes to Genesis 2.

    Perhaps you meant to say “Christian biblical literacy tends to do that to people”?

  30. Ha hah. I typo. Please accept this humble errata:

    Perhaps you meant to say “Christian biblical literalism tends to do that to people”?

    (Christian biblical literacy is in fact a good thing, or at least preferable to that sort of Christianity that has no clue what’s in the Bible in the first place.)

  31. #31 Moses
    June 27, 2006

    Posted by Internet Crank: Larry Fafarman | June 26, 2006 11:07 PM

    The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics example is a straw man — most creationists do not accept this criticism of evolution.

    Currently out-of-fashion, but still used, it’ll rear its ugly head again. No bad idea ever goes completely out style with creationists.

    Regardless of whether creation science and intelligent design have scientific merit, at least their proponents — unlike the Darwinists — do not use the courts to try to suppress competing scientific ideas.

    Still mixed up and ill-informed as ever. No one is suppressing any competing scientific idea. Just religion pretending to be science.

  32. #32 Albion
    June 27, 2006

    “They hate the fact that science has been hijacked by agnostics and atheists to offer such speculative theories as organic evolution.”

    I suppose there’s an outside chance that he’s looking at things from the creationist’s point of view and when he says “the fact that science has been hijacked” he’s talking about the way creationists see things, not about the way he sees things. If he does mean it this way, it certainly isn’t clear but it does make some sense (I mean, we’ve all heard creationists going on about how much they love “true science” but reject the faith-based religion of evolution etc etc). If he’s really stating his own viewpoint, he seems to have undergone a major change of opinion in the last few years.

  33. #33 Jason Rosenhouse
    June 27, 2006

    Salvador-

    I’m glad you reject the second law argument. But I’m sure you’re aware that when Granville Sewell revived the Second Law argument for The American Spectator, William Dembski, who you blog for, enthusiastically linked to the article. Furthermore, when I was at the YEC conference in Lynchburg, I purchased a book entitled “Thermodynamics and the Development of Order” all about thermodynamical arguments against evolution. I don’t think it was unfair of me to attribute that argument to creationists.

    Furthermore, the arguments I listed were merely examples off the top of my head. The fact is virtually all of the arguments that are ever offered in creationist literature achieve the same level of foolishness. (And even the ones that aren’t comepltely foolish, are still totally wrong). Saying that some creationists reject the second law argument hardly refutes the point I was making in that paragraph.

  34. #34 Jason Rosenhouse
    June 27, 2006

    It has been called to my attention that certain comments got placed in a queue awaiting my approval. I don’t know why this happened; they should have been posted immediately without any interference from me. At any rate, all of those comments have now been posted, and I apologize to the commenters for the delay.

  35. #35 Larry Fafarman
    June 27, 2006

    GvlGeologist said | June 27, 2006 12:16 AM —

    “…at least their proponents — unlike the Darwinists — do not use the courts to try to suppress competing scientific ideas.”

    What a crock.

    (1) The Scopes trial was a successful confirmation via the courts, of the Tennessee legislature, to outlaw the teaching of evolution. It was not until the 1960s (IIRC) that the courts finally acknowledged that this was unconstitutional and outlawed the ban.

    My statement is not a crock. I am talking about today.

    According to the best records, only four states ever had laws completely banning the teaching of evolution in the public schools. Oklahoma had such a law for just a few years in the 1920’s. The Supreme Court banned such laws in 1968. In the 1920’s, the legislatures of two states, Texas and Florida, passed resolutions against the teaching of evolution. So essentially we are talking about ancient history in just a few states. See

    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/06/herr-fuhrer-esley-welsberrys-big-lie.html

    and

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/06/three_million_a.html

    (2) If you would bother to read and understand peer-reviewed scientific literature (as opposed to the drivel that the DI puts out), you would see that competing ideas that are in fact scientific in nature (i.e. supported by evidence, potentially falsifiable, and tested) are not suppressed but encouraged and discussed intensively.

    Wrong — mainstream scientific journals are generally hostile towards papers that are critical of Darwinism.

    Also, there are scientific non-ID criticisms of evolution, such as criticism of co-evolution — see http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/04/co-evolutionary-paradox.html

    (3) It has been proved many times in court and directly to you, Larry, in fora such as Pandas Thumb, that ID and creationism are not, in fact, scientific, but religious in nature, and properly and constitutionally suppressed in the attempts to teach it in public schools.

    On the contrary, the establishment clause is being abused for the suppression of scientific ideas that some people disagree with.

    ================================================

    Anonymous said | June 26, 2006 11:16 PM —

    fararman says
    Regardless of whether creation science and intelligent design have scientific merit, at least their proponents — unlike the Darwinists — do not use the courts to try to suppress competing scientific ideas.

    so does Ann Coulter

    neither have read the Dover full transcript
    STUPIDITY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL

    The Dover case is the poster child of the misuse of the courts to suppress criticism of evolution. I read large parts of the Dover opinion, but not the whole thing — I felt that the parts I did not read were irrelevant because they represented a “Monday morning battle of the experts” that did not illuminate the purpose of the school board or the perceptions of the public. See Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 596 (1987) at

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0482_0578_ZO.html

  36. #36 Pierce R. Butler
    June 27, 2006

    I hope that Fraser skipped a word or two:

    …I’ve heard accounts of students in anatomy classes who are convinced male and female skeletons have the same number of ribs…

    And so they should be: it’s the ones who insist that males are short a pair who will need de-convincing.

  37. #37 Adam
    June 27, 2006

    It is my understanding that the Discovery Institute here in Southern California still has an exhibit that discusses how evolution violates the 2nd law.

  38. #38 wamba
    June 27, 2006

    Are Creationists Anti-Science?

    If a bear in the woods ate the pope, would it be appropriate to holler, “Holy shit!” ?

  39. #39 Salvador T. Cordova
    June 27, 2006

    Jason,

    I don’t think you were being wilfully unfair or malicious. I was simply providing some more input and data points for you to consider. But let me for the sake of discussion clarify ideas.

    We have

    0. Darwin Doubters (David Berlinski, others)

    1. IDers who accept or are sympathetic to common descent (Behe, Dembski, John Davison, Mike Gene, etc.)

    2. IDer OECs (Walter Bradley, Charles Thaxton, Walter ReMine, etc.)

    3. IDer YECs (Paul Nelson, Timothy Standish, John Sanford, Walter Brown, myself, etc.)

    4. ICR YECs

    5. AIG YECs

    6. Kent Hovind, Karl Baugh YEC’s

    The AiG YECs are not universally loved or appreciated, even by other creationists.

    I would expect the next generation YECs to be more similar in outlook and temperment to Timothy Standish, Paul Nelson, John Sanford, Walter Brown, or myself….not Ken Ham.

    I think you may still view us as “anti-science”, but I don’t think that argument will be as easy for us as you have made with Ken Ham and the AiG folks.

    For the record, I didn’t attend the YEC mega-conference. I don’t like AiG, and several of their devotees aren’t exactly enthused with me. You are however, familiar with the crowd I hang around with, and I thank you for visiting the IDEA meetings at your school and hearing John Angus Campbell. The ID community is a nicer tent to camp under….they are generally more articulate and scholarly and charming.

  40. #40 Andrew Lee
    June 27, 2006

    Jason —

    You give Salvador too much credit. Larry only claimed that “most creationists reject the 2LoT argument” (an assertion that any regular reader of TO will find dubious on his face). The link Salvador supplied only asserts that “not all creationists accept the 2LoT argument”.

    In other words, nothing there about actually having the intellectual integrity to come out and reject the argument, just some weasel-phrasing about “not necessarily accepting it by definition.”

    It would be a breath of fresh air to see an IDist actually come out positively against such a bad creationist argument, but that hasn’t happened in this comment thread.

  41. #41 wamba
    June 27, 2006

    It is my understanding that the Discovery Institute here in Southern California still has an exhibit that discusses how evolution violates the 2nd law.

    The Discovery Institute is in Seattle. I’m guessing you mean the Institute for Creation Research.

    It is amazing how many anti-creationist debaters and writers try to “sidestep” this serious problem with such a simplistic clichïŋ― as this. Creationists who cite the entropy principle against the evolutionary philosophy are, time and again, dismissed as either ignorant of thermodynamics or dishonest in their use of the second law. Such charges are inappropriate, to say the least.

  42. #42 wamba
    June 27, 2006

    The AiG YECs are not universally loved or appreciated, even by other creationists.

    I would expect the next generation YECs to be more similar in outlook and temperment to Timothy Standish, Paul Nelson, John Sanford, Walter Brown, or myself….not Ken Ham.

    Would it break Salvador’s heart if we told him he is not universally loved and appreciated?

  43. #43 Coin
    June 27, 2006

    The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics example is a straw man — most creationists do not accept this criticism of evolution.

    For a “straw man” I seem to run across it in the wild with staggering frequency.

    The basic problem here is that “most creationists” don’t agree with each other on nearly anything at all. Creationists either do or don’t believe the earth is seven thousand years old, either do or don’t believe in microevolution, either do or don’t believe in universal common descent, either do or don’t believe in a universal flood, either do or don’t consider Charles Darwin responsible for the holocaust, either do or don’t think creationism and/or “intelligent design” should be taught in schools, and either do or don’t have enough of a basic grasp of science to know what the second law of thermodynamics says. The only common threads are (1) the agreement that the Theory of Evolution is bad and wrong, and (2) a funding trail that mysteriously enough always seems to originate with fundamentalist religious groups.

    The obvious intuition here would be to interpret all this disagreement as signs of a movement with a healthy internal debate comprising a range of viewpoints; but oddly enough when we look at the actual creationist movement, this is not what we see. In fact, we barely see any internal debate at all. YECs occasionally take snipes at the ID crowd for abandoning biblical literacy, AIG does has that page up where they have a list of arguments they don’t think creationists should use (though as it happens, they don’t mind using the second law of thermodynamics argument). But in general the creationist reaction to divisions within their ranks is to just not talk about it. Creationists rarely show any qualms about allying with persons whose arguments they wouldn’t even consider espousing themselves, and the creationist movement has no mechanisms (such as those we find in the scientific community) for finding flaws in arguments other creationists have made and discarding them once they have been shown to be lacking. The overarching goal of proving Darwinism wrong is more important than little details like exactly why it is (“Irreducible complexity”? “Information”? The second law of thermodynamics? The earth is only 6000 years old?) that Darwinism is supposed to be wrong in the first place.

    In practice the inconsistency of argument between creationists becomes nothing more than another way of hiding from debate. “Intelligent Design” proponents get all the benefits (funding sources, well-poisoning, Phyllis Schlafly etc) of the existence of the YEC framework, without having to bear any of the messy consequences of the YEC arguments. Rather than ever having to commit to or properly defend a single argument, creationists can freely make use of long-since-rebutted arguments and then just evaporate if anyone actually shows up to point out they have been rebutted, leaving behind only an oh-so-reasonable “Intelligent Design” creationist who can go oh who me golly, I don’t believe that, that’s not what creationism says. The IDC “good cop” is then free to accuse the evil Darwin defender of ignoring the real problem with evolution, which is [flavor of the month].

    This, as it happens, is basically one of the best justifications we have for a statement like “creationism is anti-science”: becuase Creationism certainly isn’t anything else. The different branches of creationism neither agree with each other’s positions, nor hold fundamental objections to each other’s positions, on practically any matter of scientific fact, leading one naturally to conclude that none of those positions are ultimately particularly important to the creationist movement itself. But we do see all these different groups unified in attacking the propositions and methods of science, and we see them doing so with an intensity which makes it clear that this part is important. Being “anti-science” isn’t just a property of creationism, it’s the movement’s major common thread.

  44. #44 Alann
    June 27, 2006

    In a way I can see where he is coming from. Religion and science are broad terms. Its is only a subset of science (astronomy – age of the universe / solar system, biology – evolution, and geology – age of the earth) which is at war with a subset of religion (Christian fundamentalist / Creationists). don’t see themselves at war with physics, just as evolutionist are do not see themselves at war with main stream Christianity (for example the roman catholic pope has openly accepted evolution).

    Where he jumps off the deep end is in his phrasing: “They hate the fact that science has been hijacked …” as opposed to something like: They believe that science has been hijacked …
    Its more appropriate to say that: Evolutionists hate the fact that religion has been hijacked by fundamentalists.

    The issue that religion has been hijacked can be demonstrated, and is a phenomenon isolated to north american Christianity. Religious opposition to evolution is virtually non-existent in other parts of the world. On the other hand I think you will find that the ratio of atheists / agnostics among scientists while perhaps larger than among the general populace is still relatively small.

  45. #45 tiredofTSOS
    June 27, 2006

    Your blog seems to have been infected by one of the dumbest and least funny of all science-related blog asses. I won’t invoke its name, but the initials are the letters between “k” and “m” and “e” and “g.”

    It’s your show, and I really do rarely give advice, but simply banning this bore might someday lead to its doing useful work somewhere, as well as saving thousands of hours of other readers’ time spent scrolling past (much less reading and responding) to its drooling, embarrassing masturbations.

  46. #46 Ed Darrell
    June 27, 2006

    Fafarman, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you were blogging from Rush Limbaugh’s comedy club.

    Fafarman said:

    According to the best records, only four states ever had laws completely banning the teaching of evolution in the public schools. Oklahoma’s law lasted for just a few years in the 1920’s. The Supreme Court banned such laws in 1968. In the 1920’s, the legislatures of two states, Texas and Florida, passed resolutions against the teaching of evolution. So essentially we are talking about ancient history in just a few states.

    More than 100 times since 1925 state legislatures have proposed various measures to ban the teaching of evolution or parts of it. Creationists have been relentless in their efforts to hijack public policy and make kids in schools suffer from mis-statements of the facts. The ONLY court cases brought by friends of science were brought to overturn illegal actions by state legislatures (Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Arkansas) or school boards (Georgia, Pennsylvania, etc.). In a select few cases, creationists were stopped from hijacking the schools (Minnesota, California), and they sued, unsuccessfully. The point is that it has ALWAYS been the illegal actions of ID/creationists that have prompted lawsuits. These attempts at illegal hijackings have continued to this week in many places — Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina, New York, Texas, Oklahoma — and creationists have pledged to continue such bizarre assaults on learning, education and science.

    To claim, as Fafarman does that it is only scientists who use the courts, is to fail to understand either the issues or the way the U.S. justice system works. To claim, as Fafarman does, that these events are ancient history, is to turn a blind eye to the news over the past decade, and today.

    Ignorance is what creationists like Fafarman urge, and what they practice. They will ultimately be unsuccessful, I believe. I and many others have sworn, with Thomas Jefferson, “eternal opposition to every form of tyranny over the mind of Man.”

    Stalin and Lysenko were able to enforce their brand of anti-Darwinism because the lack of civil and human rights in the Soviet Union. While we have such rights here in the U.S., knowledge will win out.

    Which is why it is important for science advocates to support civil rights for Americans — knowledge wins only so long as freedom reigns.

  47. #47 Doc Bill
    June 27, 2006

    Salvador,

    Nobody really cares what you think because you continually write stupid statements, demonstrate abject ignorance and are, basically, irrelevant as far as the advancement of Science is concerned. You continue to trot out the same old stupid arguments and, like Dembski and Behe, appear to derive some kind of machochistic pleasure from the derision you receive.

    What’s the point, Sal? Do you really think that after 30 years of research people like me are going to read your excrement and say, “Oh my God! Sal’s right! How could I have been such a fool?” Not likely, my poor demented idiot. Although, I must say, that by your existance you do challenge the notion of evolution. I mean, how could a creature who acts as stupidly as you be at the TOP of the food chain? Really, you should have been eaten by a vole years ago!

    So, Salvador you numbskull, enjoy this: your comments are so idiotic that they are an insult to idiocy. However, all that said, your entertainment value as an idiot is superb. My advice to you, though, would be to work up some new material.

    Flesh this out for a start and I think you’ll be on your way: Dembski, Behe and a penguin walk into a bar. And the bartender looks at Behe and says…

  48. #48 Stuart Weinstein
    June 27, 2006

    Farfaman wrote :

    “Wrong — mainstream scientific journals are generally hostile towards papers that are critical of Darwinism.”

    So Larry, can you post links to PDF’s of some papers that were rejected because they were critical of Darwinism?

    Put up or shut up.

  49. #49 truth machine
    June 28, 2006

    Perhaps you meant to say “Christian biblical literalism tends to do that to people”?

    I meant to say exactly what I did; religion tends to make people stupid. Of course one can be stupid, or make stupid comments like your non sequiturs, even without religion, so I’m not asserting that you are religious.

  50. #50 truth machine
    June 28, 2006

    I believe this is what Numbers is getting at

    Rather than projecting onto Numbers what you would like him to be getting at, try dealing with his actual stated views, as Jason did.

  51. #51 truth machine
    June 28, 2006

    In fairness, I don’t think all creationists are anti-science: Some simply don’t know enough to realize they’re wrong (I’ve heard accounts of students in anatomy classes who are convinced male and female skeletons have the same number of ribs)

    You mean they’re convinced that they don’t have the same number of ribs. But these folks don’t abandon their beliefs when they learn that the evidence doesn’t support them, so your talk of “fairness” is misplaced. Not that the phrase “in fairness” is proper when expressing an opinion in any case.

  52. #52 truth machine
    June 28, 2006

    suppose there’s an outside chance that he’s looking at things from the creationist’s point of view and when he says “the fact that science has been hijacked” he’s talking about the way creationists see things, not about the way he sees things.

    Oh, I’m fairly certain that’s what he meant. But I think his miswording reflects, at some level, his own hostility toward atheists and agnostics.

  53. #53 truth machine
    June 28, 2006

    “you would see that competing ideas that are in fact scientific in nature (i.e. supported by evidence, potentially falsifiable, and tested) are not suppressed but encouraged and discussed intensively.”

    Wrong — mainstream scientific journals are generally hostile towards papers that are critical of Darwinism.

    Scientific journals are generally hostile toward papers that aren’t scientific in nature, not supported by evidence, not potentially falsifiable, not tested. Since virtually all papers critical of “Darwinism” fall into that category, scientific journals are indeed hostile toward them. But this basic point of set theory may be too advanced for Fafarmans and other categories of morons.

  54. #54 Larry Fafarman
    June 28, 2006

    truth machine said | June 28, 2006 01:42 AM —

    Wrong — mainstream scientific journals are generally hostile towards papers that are critical of Darwinism.

    Scientific journals are generally hostile toward papers that aren’t scientific in nature, not supported by evidence, not potentially falsifiable, not tested. Since virtually all papers critical of “Darwinism” fall into that category, scientific journals are indeed hostile toward them. But this basic point of set theory may be too advanced for Fafarmans and other categories of morons.

    Insults will get you nowhere.

    A lot of evolution theory is philosophy, not science. For example, the controversy over punctuated equilibrium v. phyletic gredualism is just philosophy — these are just two different philosophical ways of interpreting the data. My blog has an article raising questions about co-evolution, but it is all just philosophizing. Nothing in it is testable or falsifiable. The article is at —

    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/04/co-evolutionary-paradox.html

    ================================================

    Stuart Weinstein said | June 27, 2006 11:41 PM —

    can you post links to PDF’s of some papers that were rejected because they were critical of Darwinism?

    Some organizations that publish mainstream scientific journals — e.g., the American Association for the Advancement of Science — have openly expressed hostility towards criticism of Darwinism.

    ==============================================

    tiredofTSOS said | June 27, 2006 07:40 PM —

    Your blog seems to have been infected by one of the dumbest and least funny of all science-related blog asses. I won’t invoke its name, but the initials are the letters between “k” and “m” and “e” and “g.”

    It’s your show, and I really do rarely give advice, but simply banning this bore might someday lead to its doing useful work somewhere

    In my book, tiredofTSOS , commenters who ask that other commenters be banned or deleted are beneath contempt.

    I have put up with a lot of crap on my blog because of my policy of no deletions and no bans. I instituted this policy in response to the gross arbitrary censorship that occurs on the Internet. This censorship undermines one of the great potential advantages of the Internet — a quantum-leap enhancement of the free exchange of ideas.

  55. #55 L. H. Franzibald
    June 28, 2006

    I instituted this policy in response to the gross arbitrary censorship that occurs on the Internet.

    Places keep banning you for spamming, huh?

  56. #56 Larry Fafarman
    June 28, 2006

    L. H. Franzibald said | June 28, 2006 04:25 AM —

    I instituted this policy in response to the gross arbitrary censorship that occurs on the Internet.

    Places keep banning you for spamming, huh?

    Wrong — I was banned because bloggers disagreed with me. Ed Brayton of “Dispatches from Culture Wars” banned me permanently because he disagreed with my interpretation of a federal court rule. I was also banned from Panda’s Thumb because the bloggers there disagreed with me — they tried to claim that I was banned for using multiple names, but I did not use multiple names there until after I was banned.

    If you want to see some real forum spam, I invite you to visit my blog (to find my blog, click on my name). Some of the posts there are devoted to a silly guessing game of trying to identify some commenters who post under aliases. Many other posts just consist entirely or mostly of insults, ad hominems, and/or breathtakingly inane wisecracks. The only reason why all that stuff is still there is that I have bent over backwards to keep my no-deletions pledge. I receive about 10 pieces of spam for every post worth answering.

  57. #57 Dave S.
    June 28, 2006

    Larry Farfarman writes:

    Wrong — mainstream scientific journals are generally hostile towards papers that are critical of Darwinism.

    Science is always hostile to any new idea that conflicts with well established (read – well supported based on empirical tests) theories. It demands the new ideas be demonstrated based on the evidence, and many have (plate tectonics, bacterial theory of ulcers), even anti-Darwinian ones (see endosymbiosis for example). What the Creationists (and I include the ID creationists as well) want is a free pass to allow their arguments (which are by in large stupendouly poor) to stand without them having to support them first. Sorry, it don’t work that way Larry. If it did, we’d be flooded with bad arguments and no way to tell the good ones from the bad!

    Also, there are scientific non-ID criticisms of evolution, such as criticism of co-evolution — see http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/04/co-evolutionary-paradox.html

    I’ll waste no time in reading this critique.

    The Dover case is the poster child of the misuse of the courts to suppress criticism of evolution.

    So you say. Unfortunately no-one with a molecule of actual legal expertise agrees with you there Larry. Fact is it was Dover parents, concerned that the school was taking it upon themselves to teach their kids religious notions, that sparked it all. And there is no scientific criticism of evolution here Larry. None at all. They are religious arguments merely posing as scientific.

    The science of evolution can stand on its own. The critics are too cowardly or ignorant to try and do the actual science, or they have no theory from which to do any science. So they try to sneak it in schools like theives in the night using lawyers and lobbists and public relations firms.

    I read large parts of the Dover opinion, but not the whole thing — I felt that the parts I did not read were irrelevant because they represented a “Monday morning battle of the experts” that did not illuminate the purpose of the school board or the perceptions of the public.

    The purpose of the original school board was abundantly made crystal clear. ‘Somebody’ died on a cross 2000 years ago, and so somebody had to stand up for Him. The fact that the school board even after the fact still had no clue what intelligent design actually was and the fact they used as their textbook a book which used “intelligent design” and “creation” identically, tells you all you need to know about their intent to just bring “science” to the students.

    What a bunch of liars.

  58. #58 Dave S.
    June 28, 2006

    Larry Fafarman writes:

    Wrong — I was banned because bloggers disagreed with me. Ed Brayton of “Dispatches from Culture Wars” banned me permanently because he disagreed with my interpretation of a federal court rule.

    No, you were banned for spamming nonsense and repeating it ad nauseam regardless of how many times you were debunked.

    If you want to see some real forum spam, I invite you to visit my blog (to find my blog, click on my name). Some of the posts there are devoted to a silly guessing game of trying to identify some commenters who post under aliases. Many other posts just consist entirely or mostly of insults, ad hominems, and/or breathtakingly inane wisecracks. The only reason why all that stuff is still there is that I have bent over backwards to keep my no-deletions pledge. I receive about 10 pieces of spam for every post worth answering.

    Why would anyone want to read such a thing? Personally, I’d have no interest in your blog. You seem to be using this blog to pimp for yours. Is that your intent?

    Yes, I know this comment wasn’t addressed to me, and I know I misspelled your name on the first post. The latter was accidental.

  59. #59 A trilobite
    June 28, 2006

    Why are you evolutionists so hysterically foam-flecked?
    Since you have such a grip on science, you’ve got little to worry about. Your time is a long way from up.

  60. #60 Dave S.
    June 28, 2006

    No worries in science trilobite. ID creationism and the other forms of creationism are no threat there whatsoever. But the worry is science education, and there people with no science background and a strong sense of religious entitlement have real power to influence cirriculae, and can really muck up young minds for a long time in their ignorance and zeal for their faith.

  61. #61 Ginger Yellow
    June 28, 2006

    Curse those scientists with their grip on science!

  62. #62 Dean Morrison
    June 28, 2006

    Larry Faroutman wrote:

    “I was also banned from Panda’s Thumb because the bloggers there disagreed with me — they tried to claim that I was banned for using multiple names, but I did not use multiple names there until after I was banned.”

    .,… Not true Larry – you’re bearing false witness here – doesn’t that rather go against you?

    You first threatened to post under multiple names (on the famous ‘1000 post’ thread) – and came up with some nonsense about how you were going to do it. It was pointed out to you that this would be in breach of the board rules – and that if you did so you would be banned.

    If the creationist are worried about ‘agnostics hijacking science’ this is nothing compared to Larry hijacking Dylan. Still here’s one of his just for you Larry:

    “Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,
    Blowing down the backroads headin’ south.
    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
    You’re an idiot, babe.
    It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.”

  63. #63 quork
    June 28, 2006

    Are Creationists anti-science? Let’s see what Chuck Colson has to say:

    According to Stark, the answer ultimately lies in European Christianity. While other religions emphasized “mystery and intuition,” Christianity “embraced reason and logic as the primary guides to religious truth.” From the start, the Church Fathers “taught that reason was the supreme gift of God and the means to progressively increase understanding of Scripture and revelation.”

    I leave it as an easy exercise for the reader to verify that Chuck Colson’s version of Christianity includes Creationism.

  64. #64 Larry Fafarman
    June 28, 2006

    Dave S. wrote —

    Also, there are scientific non-ID criticisms of evolution, such as criticism of co-evolution — see “>http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/04/co-evolutionary-paradox.html

    I’ll waste no time in reading this critique.

    Well, I guess that shows how open-minded you are, doesn’t it?

    The Dover case is the poster child of the misuse of the courts to suppress criticism of evolution.

    So you say. Unfortunately no-one with a molecule of actual legal expertise agrees with you there Larry.

    Wrong — a lot of people with legal expertise have criticized the Dover decision. And legal expertise of the author does not make legal arguments any stronger — the arguments must stand on their own merits. When judges read a brief, they couldn’t care less if the brief was ghost-written by a legal secretary (indeed, it is claimed that some unpublished judicial opinions are ghost-written by court clerks).

    The science of evolution can stand on its own.

    Yeah — like a house of cards.

    The purpose of the original school board was abundantly made crystal clear. ‘Somebody’ died on a cross 2000 years ago, and so somebody had to stand up for Him.

    Which was exactly my point — so why was it necessary to have the expert witness testimony? This testimony took up about half of a six-week trial and added considerably to the legal expenses.

    No, you were banned for spamming nonsense and repeating it ad nauseam regardless of how many times you were debunked.

    Well, I am glad to see someone admit that I was banned because of my ideas and not because I broke any of the rules. Ed Brayton permanently banned me from “Dispatches from the Culture Wars” as soon as I introduced a court rule interpretation that he didn’t like. It was a literal interpretation of FRCP Rule 12. Also, a pedantic, dogmatic teacher of constitutional law, a friend of Ed’s, responded to my interpretation with nothing but insults and ad hominems.

    Also, you Darwinists think that you always win your debates just by presenting arguments. Anyway, you don’t have a leg to stand on because you said that you would not even consider the ideas that I have presented on my blog.

    You seem to be using this blog to pimp for yours. Is that your intent?

    So what is wrong with that? The bloggers on Panda’s Thumb use PT to “pimp” for their own blogs. Ed Brayton and Jason Rosenhouse even redirect commenters to their own blogs rather than having the comments posted on PT. Anyone who wants to use my blog to “pimp” for his blog is welcome to, particularly if the pimping is on-topic. Also, the present blog automatically gives commenters the opportunity to “pimp” for their own blogs or websites — that is what the “URL” entry option is for. Clicking on the name in a comment brings up the commenter’s blog or website.

    Dean Morrison wrote —

    “Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,
    Blowing down the backroads headin’ south.
    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
    You’re an idiot, babe.
    It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.”

    Those Dylan lyrics can be applied to anyone, including you. But the lyrics of “All I Really Want to Do” apply specifically to Darwinists who stereotype and pigeonhole critics of Darwinism.

  65. #65 matthew
    June 28, 2006

    you’re stupid!
    – no you’re stupid!
    you’re stupid!
    – no you’re stupid!
    you’re stupid!
    – no you’re stupid!
    you’re stupid!
    – no you’re stupid!

    “Never offend people with style when you can offend them with substance.” –Sam Brown

  66. #66 Dave S.
    June 28, 2006

    Larry says:

    Well, I guess that shows how open-minded you are, doesn’t it?

    I’m waiting for it to appear in the mainstream literature. Maybe a made-for-TV movie.

    Wrong — a lot of people with legal expertise have criticized the Dover decision.

    Oh yeah, Casey Luskin and a few other lawyer types who work for the DISCO Institute were up in arms. *L* Mostly though they avoid the decision itself (it was so powerfully executed, who can blame them?) and instead try to snipe from the gutter, attacking the broadness of the ruling (as you do) or otherwise denying the judge the right to decide as he did.

    My favourite part is where you hurl spittle at the new school board for not using their emergency power to rescind the old board’s decision, when absolutely everyone of note…the judge, plaintiffs lawyers, defendants lawyers, their own lawyers, constitutional scholars, said such an act would have no mooting effect whatsoever.

    And legal expertise of the author does not make legal arguments any stronger — the arguments must stand on their own merits. When judges read a brief, they couldn’t care less if the brief was ghost-written by a legal secretary (indeed, it is claimed that some unpublished judicial opinions are ghost-written by court clerks).

    Wise words. But unfortunately their arguments (and especially yours) failed miserably on the merits. Indeed, most of the DI people jumped that sinking ship like rats rather than stand up and defend their views. Behe stayed behind, and his reputation (what’s left of it) got smoked like a bad Peruvian cigar.

    Yeah — like a house of cards.

    Pretty strong house of cards that’s stood for 145 years with no contenders in sight (only pretenders). Must be Super-Glued together. :)

    Which was exactly my point — so why was it necessary to have the expert witness testimony? This testimony took up about half of a six-week trial and added considerably to the legal expenses.

    Well the school board insisted…insisted they were just wanting to add more science for the kiddies. Makes sense that we’d want to find out if that were really true. Maybe they added valid science despite their total ignorance.

    Turned out…not really.

    Ed Brayton permanently banned me from “Dispatches from the Culture Wars” as soon as I introduced a court rule interpretation that he didn’t like. It was a literal interpretation of FRCP Rule 12. Also, a pedantic, dogmatic teacher of constitutional law, a friend of Ed’s, responded to my interpretation with nothing but insults and ad hominems.

    I read the thread Shemp. Even added a few comments. You were banned for incessant idiocy in the face of reality. You weren’t just banned for “disagreeing” or “offering a different interpretation”.

    Also, you Darwinists think that you always win your debates just by presenting arguments. Anyway, you don’t have a leg to stand on because you said that you would not even consider the ideas that I have presented on my blog.

    Wow Larry…you speak for the entire anti-evolution community now? We have to read Larry to be knowledgable about this?

    It’s a real shame that the facts are biased towards “Darwinism”. That’s hardly fair.

    But to be fair, OK…I’m reading your blog entry right this second. And bezeesus Larry, you are totally clueless as to how evolution works! Oh, and I noticed in one of the comments you simply dismissed the references offered (at the end of a TO article) to counter your claims. Very open minded of you. The commentor CJ O’Brien more than adequately answers your drivel. You simply don’t understand evolution, and so you project that onto the evolutionists. And to add insult to injury, it’s not even an original idea. I’ve heard other creationists use it for years.

    I knew I was better off not looking at that. I think I lost a few IQ points just reading it. Co-evolution is a wonderous thing readily explicable and perfectly expected in evolution. Indeed, other organisms are part and parcel of an organisms environment and thus can easily contribute to its adaptations. My favourite example is orchids evolving to look like female wasps…when the male goes to courtin’, all he gets for his trouble is a packet of pollen stuck to his back. Now that’s clever evolutionary design.

    So what is wrong with that? The bloggers on Panda’s Thumb use PT to “pimp” for their own blogs. Ed Brayton and Jason Rosenhouse even redirect commenters to their own blogs rather than having the comments posted on PT.

    But the difference is that they know what they’re talking about Larry.

  67. #67 Coin
    June 28, 2006

    .,… Not true Larry – you’re bearing false witness here – doesn’t that rather go against you?

    You first threatened to post under multiple names (on the famous ‘1000 post’ thread) – and came up with some nonsense about how you were going to do it. It was pointed out to you that this would be in breach of the board rules – and that if you did so you would be banned.

    Well, y’know. This is the basic Creationist methodology. Refuse to follow the rules (use testable and falsifiable predictive theories, don’t use the public schools to promote religious viewpoints, don’t sock-puppet in debates), and then when not following the rules has its natural consequences (scientific journals won’t publish your papers, courts bar your school board policies, blogs ban you) complain and yell and insist it’s because people hate you for what you are SAYING and you are being OPPRESSED.

    If you get really skilled at this tactic, and practice your hurt-feelings pouty face real good, you can derail basically any debate (scientific, internet, or otherwise). Just sit down in the center of attention and refuse to budge, and any issues of substance are drowned in endless discussion over whether you should have to follow the rules of a sane and rational discussion.

  68. #68 Salvador T. Cordova
    June 28, 2006

    Doc Bill wrote:

    ….my poor demented idiot. Although, I must say, that by your existance you do challenge the notion of evolution. I mean, how could a creature who acts as stupidly as you be at the TOP of the food chain? Really, you should have been eaten by a vole years ago!

    I’m amazed at all the sweet things people say upon reading what I have to write (note the sarcasm).

    Do you have any other invectives you would like to hurl? I’ll be happy to appraise my fans of your assessment of me.

    Doc Bill wrote:
    ….Do you really think that after 30 years of research people like me are going to read your excrement and say, “Oh my God! Sal’s right! How could I have been such a fool?” Not likely…

    The prosect that you’ve been wrong all these years would understandably be too much to admit, therefore denial is a highly probable outcome. So I agree, it’s unlikely you’ll see the light.

    Well, I see it’s time for me to bail from this thread….

    have a pleasant day,
    Salvador

  69. #69 Larry Fafarman
    June 28, 2006

    Dave S. said —

    My favourite part is where you hurl spittle at the new school board for not using their emergency power to rescind the old board’s decision, when absolutely everyone of note…the judge, plaintiffs lawyers, defendants lawyers, their own lawyers, constitutional scholars, said such an act would have no mooting effect whatsoever.

    Let’s look at these one at a time:

    The judge: — improperly if not illegally gave legal advice to the new board members by telling them that the election results would not affect his decision.

    The plaintiffs’ lawyers: Obviously biased and were silent anyway.

    The defendants’ lawyers: Obviously biased. Also, the new board members did not follow their advice to appeal the decision (which would have been quite cheap compared to the cost of the district court action), so the new board members obviously did not care that much about their opinions.

    Their own lawyers: the board’s former solicitor had just returned to the board’s employ. There is no evidence that he ever gave the board any legal advice about this matter.

    Constitutional scholars: Obviously you do not consider the justices of the Supreme Court to be constitutional scholars. In a similar case, Buckhannon Board & Care Home, Inc. v. West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources, 532 U.S. 598 (2001), the Supreme Court not only declared the case to be moot but also denied the plaintiff’s claim to an an attorney fee award. See — http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/two-timing-new-members-of-dover-school.html

    The only unbiased legal expert known to have given the new school board advice prepared a written report and urged the board to repeal the ID policy prior to the judgment.

    Also, credentials count for nothing in legal arguments. Plenty of people with no legal training throw in their two cents on these blogs, and their opinions are as worthy of consideration as anyone else’s.

    <

    Which was exactly my point — so why was it necessary to have the expert witness testimony? This testimony took up about half of a six-week trial and added considerably to the legal expenses.

    Well the school board insisted…insisted they were just wanting to add more science for the kiddies.

    I don’t know if the Dover defendants ever agreed to the idea of expert witness testimony. Anyway, in Edwards v. Aguillard, the state of Louisiana wanted to introduce expert witness testimony but the district court judge said no because none of the experts that were offered had participated in the enactment of the statute and hence they could not illuminate the legislature’s motives — and the Supreme Court said that the judge acted “properly” here.

    you don’t have a leg to stand on because you said that you would not even consider the ideas that I have presented on my blog.

    Wow Larry…you speak for the entire anti-evolution community now? We have to read Larry to be knowledgable about this?

    I was talking specifically about my ideas about co-evolution — you “rejected” (hardly the proper term) those ideas posted on my blog without even reading them. There has been practically no discussion of the co-evolution issue on Panda’s Thumb, and I initiated what little discussion there was.

    The commentor CJ O’Brien more than adequately answers your drivel.

    No he didn’t. My concept is very simple — in the co-evolution of two corresponding features in two co-dependent organisms, there is nothing for either organism to adapt to because the corresponding feature is initially absent in the other organism. Thus, co-evolution is much more of a problem than adaptation to the widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, air, and climate. Furthermore, a particular co-dependent feature could be detrimental when the corresponding feature is absent in the other organism. Even a five-year-old would have no trouble in understanding this reasoning.

    And to add insult to injury, it’s not even an original idea. I’ve heard other creationists use it for years.

    Though creationists have challenged co-evolution, I could not find my particular line of reasoning anywhere on the Internet. I also inquired about this matter on Panda’s Thumb, and no one could provide me with any record of my particular line of reasoning.

    Indeed, other organisms are part and parcel of an organisms environment and thus can easily contribute to its adaptations.

    Yes, other organisms are a regular part of the environment — but organisms with the corresponding co-dependent feature are likely to not be part of the environment, and then there is nothing to adapt to. One of the problems with you Darwinists is that you talk in broad, sweeping generalizations and do not get down to specifics.

    But the difference is that they know what they’re talking about Larry.

    So you are the great all-knowing guru who knows which people know what they’re talking about and which people do not!

    Coin said —

    You first threatened to post under multiple names (on the famous ‘1000 post’ thread) – and came up with some nonsense about how you were going to do it.

    I made that threat only once in response to a banning threat — and I did not actually post under a different name until after I was banned.

  70. #70 Doc Bill
    June 28, 2006

    Shut up, larry, or I’ll be forced to use my Rapier Wit on you like I did on Sal who is now having nightmares about being chased by voles.

  71. #71 Coin
    June 28, 2006

    The only unbiased legal expert

    It is quite clear you have a nonstandard definition of the word “unbiased”.

    in the co-evolution of two corresponding features in two co-dependent organisms, there is nothing for either organism to adapt to because the corresponding feature is initially absent in the other organism

    What if it is not the case that the corresponding feature is initially absent in both organism?

    Or what if the structure as it eventually evolves is absent, but a non-specialized, homologous structure is present?

    So you are the great all-knowing guru who knows which people know what they’re talking about and which people do not!

    I don’t think anybody needs to be an all-knowing guru to tell quite clearly that you don’t know what you’re talking about. One just has to spend two minutes independently researching things on google.

    Coin said –

    That was a quote.

  72. #72 kfnyc
    June 28, 2006

    La La La La Larry…..

    do not use the courts to try to suppress competing scientific ideas.

    ha ha ha ha

    try do not use private publications to push unscientific ideas……

  73. #73 Larry Fafarman
    June 29, 2006

    Coin said —

    The only unbiased legal expert

    It is quite clear you have a nonstandard definition of the word “unbiased”.

    He was certainly far less biased than the judge, the defense attorneys, and the plaintiffs’ attorneys (who gave no advice anyway). The only other legal expert involved who was equally unbiased was the board’s solicitor, and there is no evidence that he ever gave legal advice to the board on the matter.

    What if it is not the case that the corresponding feature is initially absent in both organism?

    And what if it is the case that the corresponding feature is initially absent in the other organism? And if that feature is present, how did it get there — did it “evolve”? What if a co-dependent feature is deleterious in the absence of the corresponding feature in the other organism? For example, there are different kinds of pollen, e.g., wind-carried pollen and insect-carried pollen, and each kind is not well suited to be carried by the other means. There is even buzz pollination, where the pollen is shaken loose by the vibration of the insect’s wingbeats.

    Also, another consideration is that co-dependent organisms often can interact only in large numbers — e.g., a bee visits many flowers and a flower is visited by many bees — so large numbers of both co-dependent organisms with the corresponding co-dependent features would miraculously have to appear in the same place at the same time.

    Or what if the structure as it eventually evolves is absent, but a non-specialized, homologous structure is present?

    So you are trying to apply the “exaptation” idea to co-evolution. I find it no more persuasive in co-evolution than I found it in irreducible complexity. Here you are taking a happy coincidence — exaptation — and not just treating like the norm, but treating it like more than the norm — you are treating it like it happened 100% of the time. In evolution theory, there is no such thing as the exception that proves the rule — Darwin said that his whole theory would break down if a single exception to it could be found.

    I don’t think anybody needs to be an all-knowing guru to tell quite clearly that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    On the contrary — it is obvious that you Darwinists are the ones who don’t know what you’re talking about.

    One just has to spend two minutes independently researching things on google.

    I found no relevant material about co-evolution on Google.

  74. #74 Dave S.
    June 29, 2006

    The judge: — improperly if not illegally gave legal advice to the new board members by telling them that the election results would not affect his decision.

    We’re talking abot this case Larry, where it was the defendants who deliberately tried to jam ID and that horrific ID “textbook” into the classroom. Anyway, what’s improper about telling someone what the law allows when they ask? Should he have lied? Your opinion is not fact Larry.

    A funny part of this is that before the trial the ID’ers (someone at Dembski’s blog, I think DaveScot) were happily going on about how the judge was a good old boy Bush Republican appointee and would seal the deal against those “Darwinists”. Afterwards of course the judge was criticised for his activism, activism meaning he wasn’t biased in their favour.

    The only unbiased legal expert known to have given the new school board advice prepared a written report and urged the board to repeal the ID policy prior to the judgment.

    Was that the real estate lawyer? Yeah, only he was unbiased and could give good advice. Guess what, he was wrong. There was no way mooting was going to happen. He had no legal argument to support that, and neither did you.

    Also, credentials count for nothing in legal arguments. Plenty of people with no legal training throw in their two cents on these blogs, and their opinions are as worthy of consideration as anyone else’s.

    I know Larry, as that what you’re doing. But you still failed miserably on the merits. Your arguments were considered, and rejected. Repeating the same tired old claims over and over won’t make you right.

    Which was exactly my point — so why was it necessary to have the expert witness testimony? This testimony took up about half of a six-week trial and added considerably to the legal expenses.

    Well you need such testimony to determine if indeed there is anything to this science they wanted taught. If you want someone to blame for setting back ID 10 years, blame the old Dover school board and the legal eagles that egged them on and enabled the district to lose big time. The judge was well within his rights to rule broadly, and by golly he did.

    I don’t know if the Dover defendants ever agreed to the idea of expert witness testimony. Anyway, in Edwards v. Aguillard, the state of Louisiana wanted to introduce expert witness testimony but the district court judge said no because none of the experts that were offered had participated in the enactment of the statute and hence they could not illuminate the legislature’s motives — and the Supreme Court said that the judge acted “properly” here.

    How else can we find out if they were right that ID is sound science, despite their religious motivations? If it’s sound, bring on the experts to prove it. Except the experts on the ID side either took off or fell flat.

    I was talking specifically about my ideas about co-evolution — you “rejected” (hardly the proper term) those ideas posted on my blog without even reading them. There has been practically no discussion of the co-evolution issue on Panda’s Thumb, and I initiated what little discussion there was.

    But now that I’ve read them, I still reject them.

    No he didn’t. My concept is very simple — in the co-evolution of two corresponding features in two co-dependent organisms, there is nothing for either organism to adapt to because the corresponding feature is initially absent in the other organism. Thus, co-evolution is much more of a problem than adaptation to the widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, air, and climate. Furthermore, a particular co-dependent feature could be detrimental when the corresponding feature is absent in the other organism. Even a five-year-old would have no trouble in understanding this reasoning.

    But you’re assuming your basic missunderstandings of biology are facts.

    Yes, other organisms are a regular part of the environment — but organisms with the corresponding co-dependent feature are likely to not be part of the environment, and then there is nothing to adapt to. One of the problems with you Darwinists is that you talk in broad, sweeping generalizations and do not get down to specifics.

    It’s called evolution Larry. These organisms evolve together, each supplying adaptive pressure to the other for one trait or another. As has been explained, such relationships can start off as merely one of several possibilities, but over time the specificity can be such that one or both organisms can now no longer survive withiout the other. A trait which starts off as merely part of the normal variation of an organism evolves into a necessary function. It’s not a mystery. It’s not magic. It’s evolution.

    But you’re the one who wants to talk specifics. So please give a specific example using specific organisms and explain how your argument precludes their having evolved. Remember…be specific! Show us an example of an actual pair of organisms where “…the corresponding feature is initially absent in the other organism”.

    Now logically, there are two possibilities. It could be that a certain behavior evolved independently in two different organisms, perhaps for reasons unrelated to that particular relationship, and when they happened to meet, this activity was reinforced. Or they could have co-evolved together, each supplying adaptive pressure to the other, until this relationship becomes critical to their very existance. To separate these possibiliies, you look at all the related organisms and how they relate to each other and their environment.

    But as I say, please pick a specific example that cannot be attributed to evolution. That means real organisms, not hypothetical ones. You seem to think these relationships just *poof* into place all at once and demand to know how that could happen. The answer is, it doesn’t happen that way.

    So you are the great all-knowing guru who knows which people know what they’re talking about and which people do not!

    Not in every case, but your arguments speak for you.

  75. #75 Alann
    June 29, 2006

    Get over it. Dover was a fair case, it is representive of the what ID-creationsist are trying to do, and it set a clear precedent of failure.
    1) The judge was not biased, the information presented in the trial was very compelling that in this case the motivation was religious, and that the principle ID material in question “Of pandas and people” was written as a creationist text.
    2) The trial portion ended before the new school board could change the policy. Changing the policy at such a late point would not mute the grievance. If the judge advised the board that the election results would not change the outcome, this would essentially state that he would not accept repealing the policy as grounds for dismissal (nor would any judge be required or even likely to do so, since the damage was already inflicted).
    3) The whole idea that setting a precedent should have be avoided is ridiculous. Regardless of the outcome there is no sense in going back to square one.
    4) ID is only constrained by this loss so long as it refuses to change. So long as ID supports young earth creationism it essentially is just a venue for creationists. As long as ID tries to encompass everything from “Of Pandas and People” (young earth creationism) to “Darwin’s Black Box” (theistic evolution) it really is nothing more that a two faced bastard.

  76. #76 matthew
    June 29, 2006

    Larry said: “– Darwin said that his whole theory would break down if a single exception to it could be found.”

    No, that’s over simplifying and misrepresenting what Darwin said, the actual quote is: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”

    Obviously, Darwin was talking about a specific, radical exception — not ANY exception.

    That said, I’m pleased that this thread is still going.

  77. #77 Larry Fafarman
    June 29, 2006

    Ed Darrell said | June 27, 2006 08:26 PM —

    More than 100 times since 1925 state legislatures have proposed various measures to ban the teaching of evolution or parts of it.

    Yes, but how many times in recent years? My records show that most of this stuff happened in the 1920’s, and all the laws completely banning evolution had either been repealed or struck down by the courts by 1968. For the whole story, see
    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/06/herr-fuhrer-esley-welsberrys-big-lie.html

    Creationists have been relentless in their efforts to hijack public policy and make kids in schools suffer from mis-statements of the facts.

    Darwinists have been relentless in their efforts to prevent school kids from even hearing mention of scientific criticism of Darwinism.

    The ONLY court cases brought by friends of science were brought to overturn illegal actions by state legislatures (Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Arkansas) or school boards (Georgia, Pennsylvania, etc.).

    In all of the recent court cases, only Darwinism was actually being taught in the classroom. The so-called “friends of science” brought suits to ban even the mere mention of scientific criticism of Darwinism in the classroom. It looks likely that the Selman v. Cobb County textbook sticker decision in Georgia is going to be overturned. Also, the Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish decision came within one vote of being granted an en banc (full court) rehearing in the appeals court and within one vote of being accepted for review by the Supreme Court — in both instances, there were long dissenting opinions. In Freiler, all seven dissenting judges joined in the dissenting opinion — see
    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/close-votes-in-freiler-case-show.html

    To claim, as Fafarman does that it is only scientists who use the courts, is to fail to understand either the issues or the way the U.S. justice system works.

    OK, it is true that teachers have sued over a requirement that they teach evolution — see http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/3747_8_major_court_decisions_agains_2_15_2001.asp
    However, there is no organized campaign to ban the teaching of evolution, whereas there is an organized campaign to ban the mere mention of criticism of evolution in public school classrooms. The Discovery Institute and the Thomas More Law Center are not trying to ban evolution, but the ACLU, the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, etc., are trying to ban mere mention of criticisms of evolution. It is extremely hypocritical of Darwinists to accuse anti-Darwinists of abusing the courts.

    To claim, as Fafarman does, that these events are ancient history, is to turn a blind eye to the news over the past decade, and today.

    Efforts to ban the teaching of evolution theory are mostly ancient history. The US Supreme Court outlawed such bans in 1968. The only recent such ban that I am aware of was in Cobb County, Georgia, and the school board there voluntarily reversed the ban.

  78. #78 Jon
    June 29, 2006

    You people are funny. This is a never ending debate over two religeons. One supported by a church and another supported by a humanist educational system. You could argue for years and neither prove or disprove anything. If you think you’ve reade more than me- jonnyman73@hotmail.com (PhDs welcome if you really think you learned something in “college”- I’ve went to four of them)give me a mail

  79. #79 Larry Fafarman
    June 29, 2006

    Dave S. said | June 29, 2006 09:38 AM —

    Anyway, what’s improper about telling someone what the law allows when they ask?

    The defendants did not ask for Judge Jones’ opinion — why should they have? (“Hey, Judge Jones, is it OK with you if we repeal the ID policy prior to your decision?” ) It was a newspaper reporter who asked him.

    Should he have lied?

    He should have kept his big mouth shut. When a judge gives predictions on how he is going to rule, he could influence litigants’ behavior in a way that could be detrimental to them.

    Afterwards of course the judge was criticised for his activism, activism meaning he wasn’t biased in their favour.

    Criticism of Judge Jones has been well-reasoned — it is not just a case of saying, “we’re against him because he ruled against our side.” Believe me, if he had ruled against your side, you would be criticizing him. Instead you are praising him because he ruled on your side and did so on overly broad grounds.

    Was that the real estate lawyer? Yeah, only he was unbiased and could give good advice. Guess what, he was wrong. There was no way mooting was going to happen. He had no legal argument to support that, and neither did you.

    How do you know what his legal argument was?

    Buckhannon Board & Care Home, Inc. v. West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources, 532 U.S. 598 (2001) was a case that the so-called “experts” said was not possible — the courts ruled that (1) the voluntary cessation by the government mooted the case AND (2) the plaintiff was not eligible for an attorney fee award. See
    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/two-timing-new-members-of-dover-school.html

    Which was exactly my point — so why was it necessary to have the expert witness testimony? This testimony took up about half of a six-week trial and added considerably to the legal expenses.

    Well you need such testimony to determine if indeed there is anything to this science they wanted taught.

    All the court was supposed to do under the Lemon and endorsement tests was just determine the “purpose” (motives) of the school board and the perceptions of the public (i.e., the “effect” ). Doing a detailed study of the scientific merits of ID — with about 3 weeks of expert testimony — was completely inappropriate.

    These organisms evolve together, each supplying adaptive pressure to the other for one trait or another. As has been explained, such relationships can start off as merely one of several possibilities, but over time the specificity can be such that one or both organisms can now no longer survive withiout the other. A trait which starts off as merely part of the normal variation of an organism evolves into a necessary function.

    This is the kind of vague generalization that is typical of Darwinist arguments.

    But you’re the one who wants to talk specifics. So please give a specific example using specific organisms and explain how your argument precludes their having evolved.

    Consider deep flowers and long-nosed insects. Without long-nosed insects, deep flowers could not survive; long-nosed insects could survive without deep flowers, but having a long nose in the absence of deep flowers would not confer any particular evolutionary advantage. Finding cases where both corresponding features are detrimental in the absence of the other would be a nice research project.

    There is a big difference between adapting to the fixed physical features of the environment — e.g., developing legs for locomotion on land or wings for flying in the air — and “adapting” to future but currently non-existent features of a co-dependent organism. Also, many co-dependent relationships involve complete groups of pairs of features, e.g., flowers produce nectar for bees to consume, colors and scents to attract the bees, and insect-carried pollen, and the bees have a set of corresponding features. In some cases, these groups of corresponding features may be irreducibly complex, compounding the problems of co-evolution and irreducible complexity! Also, as I said, some pairs of co-dependent organisms can interact only in large numbers, so large numbers of both kinds of co-dependent organisms with the necessary corresponding features would have to miraculously appear in the same place at the same time.

    It could be that a certain behavior evolved independently in two different organisms, perhaps for reasons unrelated to that particular relationship, and when they happened to meet, this activity was reinforced.

    Unlikely.

    Or they could have co-evolved together, each supplying adaptive pressure to the other, until this relationship becomes critical to their very existance.

    The term “supplying adaptive pressure” is just a vague generalization. What is the mechanism of this adaptive pressure? How, for example, could a single mutation in a large population supply “adaptive pressure” to other organisms?

  80. #80 Larry Fafarman
    June 30, 2006

    Alann said (June 29, 2006 10:31 AM} —

    Get over it.

    Where did you Darwinists get this “get over it” crap?

    Dover was a fair case, it is representive of the what ID-creationsist are trying to do, and it set a clear precedent of failure.

    “Clear precedent of failure”? This is the first time I’ve heard that one.

    1) The judge was not biased

    He was definitely biased. He is a megalomaniac who thought the decision would make him famous. He is a demagogue who accused the defendants of “breathtaking inanity.” His Dickinson College commencement speech’s remarks about the founding fathers’ “true religion” showed him to be hostile towards organized religion — see http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/judge-jones-flunks-history-and.html

    the principle ID material in question “Of pandas and people” was written as a creationist text.

    The case was supposed to be about ID and not about a particular book about ID. Kenneth Miller’s Finding Darwin’s God is probably more openly religious than Of Pandas and People — does that mean that Darwinism should be banned from public schools?

    Changing the policy at such a late point would not mute the grievance.

    How late is too late?

    If the judge advised the board that the election results would not change the outcome, this would essentially state that he would not accept repealing the policy as grounds for dismissal

    He was not supposed to give legal advice to the defendants. He should have left open the possibility that the defense could persuade him or an appeals court that repeal of the ID policy was reason to declare the case moot and deny an award of attorney fees to the plaintiffs — see the Buckhannon case in http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/two-timing-new-members-of-dover-school.html

    3) The whole idea that setting a precedent should have be avoided is ridiculous. Regardless of the outcome there is no sense in going back to square one.

    Courts often do go back to square one — for example, there was the Marco DeFunis case, which the Supreme Court declared to be moot because he was about to graduate from the law school that he sued on charges of reverse discrimination.

    The courts have no general constitutional or legal authority to settle scientific debates. I feel that the courts should not decide scientific questions unless it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to reach a decision in a case (as in product liability cases).

    4) ID is only constrained by this loss so long as it refuses to change. So long as ID supports young earth creationism it essentially is just a venue for creationists. As long as ID tries to encompass everything from “Of Pandas and People” (young earth creationism) to “Darwin’s Black Box” (theistic evolution) it really is nothing more that a two faced bastard.

    ID is not necessarily a religious concept just because it is not inconsistent with young earth creationism and theistic evolutionism. In his book Finding Darwin’s God, Kenneth Miller argues that Darwinism is not inconsistent with religion, but that does not necessarily make Darwinism a religious concept.

  81. #81 Larry Fafarman
    June 30, 2006

    matthew said ( June 29, 2006 10:54 AM ) —

    Larry said: “– Darwin said that his whole theory would break down if a single exception to it could be found.”

    No, that’s over simplifying and misrepresenting what Darwin said, the actual quote is: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”

    Obviously, Darwin was talking about a specific, radical exception — not ANY exception.

    I think that you are quote mining Darwin — logically, he was only giving an example of an exception, that example being the non-evolvability of an irreducibly complex organ. Showing that a particular example of co-evolution is virtually impossible would also cause Darwin’s theory to break down, and my arguments against co-evolution do not assume that any irreducibly complex system is unevolvable — see http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/04/co-evolutionary-paradox.html An example of a co-dependent relationship where co-evolution would be virtually or nearly impossible would be where two corresponding co-dependent features are both detrimental when the corresponding feature in the other organism is absent. Co-evolution would be difficult even where neither feature is detrimental in the absence of the other, because each feature would still offer no evolutionary advantage when the other is absent.

    Also, finding an exception to Darwinism would not necessarily cause all of Darwinism to break down — e.g., showing that a particular example of co-evolution or IC system evolution is virtually impossible would not disprove the Darwinian ideas of changes through time, common descent, and natural selection.

    It is possible for a scientific law or theory to have exceptions and still not break down. For example, the ideal (perfect) gas law is quite accurate at relatively low pressures but deviations occur at higher pressures. A graph of high-pressure deviations from an ideal gas are shown on http://230nsc1.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/kinetic/waal.html For oxygen, the deviation at 20 atmospheres pressure is about 3%.

    ===========================================

    Jon said ( June 29, 2006 03:33 PM ) —

    You people are funny. This is a never ending debate over two religeons. One supported by a church and another supported by a humanist educational system. You could argue for years and neither prove or disprove anything.

    The problem is that the Darwinists want to have their religion taught in public schools as the gospel truth and at the same time want mere mention of the other religion to be banned.

  82. #82 matthew
    June 30, 2006

    In regards to the example of long-nosed insects, a quick google search hints that that issue has been pretty well written about. Here is a very readable example: http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/0305/0305_feature.html . The explanation for such organic forms goes back to the very basic principles of natural selection.

    As an aspiring expert, it seems to me that I’m always seeing the same argument rehashed (using different examples) that goes back to the watchmaker and the eye: If something is too complex to immediately be explained, then I must invoke a supernatural element. I just don’t understand the logic behind this old, old argument. No one has explained to me why it is impossible for such complex forms and systems to arise, only that it “seems unlikely” to them that such things could have happened. Lots of things are unlikely, I’m unlikely, but the world has been around long enough for a lot of funky things to happen.

    Unfortunetly, this debate won’t be settled in a comments thread, but I think that’s ok, I still like it as long as arguments are supported with refs.

  83. #83 Dave S.
    June 30, 2006

    Larry writes:

    He should have kept his big mouth shut. When a judge gives predictions on how he is going to rule, he could influence litigants’ behavior in a way that could be detrimental to them.

    This was not a “prediction” Larry. He was simply saying what the law demanded.

    Get over your fantasy that the case could have been mooted Larry. And neither was it going to be settled.

    Criticism of Judge Jones has been well-reasoned — it is not just a case of saying, “we’re against him because he ruled against our side.”

    Where’s this well-reasoned you speak of?

    Of course that’s what it’s been Larry. Here’s DaveScot from Dembski’s blog bragging before the start of the case (hat tip to Ed Brayton):

    “Judge John E. Jones on the other hand is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks. He was state attorney for D.A.R.E, an Assistant Scout Master with extensively involved with local and national Boy Scouts of America, political buddy of Governor Tom Ridge (who in turn is deep in George W. Bush’s circle of power), and finally was appointed by GW hisself. Senator Rick Santorum is a Pennsylvanian in the same circles (author of the “Santorum Language” that encourages schools to teach the controversy) and last but far from least, George W. Bush hisself drove a stake in the ground saying teach the controversy. Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies.”

    Now of course that the ruling didn’t go his way, he’s suddenly a “judicially activist” judge.

    Believe me, if he had ruled against your side, you would be criticizing him. Instead you are praising him because he ruled on your side and did so on overly broad grounds.

    I praise him because he got the facts and the law just right.

    As for how I’d respond if the ruling were the opposite, depends on the actual basis for that ruling. I, unlike you, would be criticising the ruling based on the specific cited arguments and not simply trying to deny his right to judge. The judge had the right to rule broadly, regardless of which way it turned out.

    How do you know what his legal argument was?

    Buckhannon Board & Care Home, Inc. v. West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources, 532 U.S. 598 (2001) was a case that the so-called “experts” said was not possible — the courts ruled that (1) the voluntary cessation by the government mooted the case AND (2) the plaintiff was not eligible for an attorney fee award.

    Which case has no relevance to Dover. All you’re doing here is showing some cases can be mooted. But Dover was much different than this case. Real damage was already done in Dover (by the original boards stupidity in violating the Constitution), furthur damage was done since the trial was virtually over and money spent in defending against said violations, and there was little grounds to think the policy would not simply be re-instated, perhaps in a different and more deceptive guise. In the case you cite, there was no trial (only discovery and briefs) and with the rescinding of the law itself, there was no realistic possibility the situation would arise again.

    Stop playing legal whack-a-mole Larry, where you parade one irrelevant case after another in your defence. I have no interest in your pathetic game.

    All the court was supposed to do under the Lemon and endorsement tests was just determine the “purpose” (motives) of the school board and the perceptions of the public (i.e., the “effect” ). Doing a detailed study of the scientific merits of ID — with about 3 weeks of expert testimony — was completely inappropriate.

    Unfortunately for your side, the school board made it an issue and the judge was perfectly within his rights to look at it. Besides, for great science, it didn’t fare very well. Even the guys arguing for it were pretty luke-warm. That’s the problem. The more people see of intelligent design, the worse it looks. Like a bad date the morning after the night before.

    Me: But you’re the one who wants to talk specifics. So please give a specific example using specific organisms and explain how your argument precludes their having evolved.

    Consider deep flowers and long-nosed insects. Without long-nosed insects, deep flowers could not survive; long-nosed insects could survive without deep flowers, but having a long nose in the absence of deep flowers would not confer any particular evolutionary advantage. Finding cases where both corresponding features are detrimental in the absence of the other would be a nice research project.

    Don’t you already have such cases? I said specific cases with specific organisms. Which long-nosed insects? Which flowers? How do you know having a long nose is absolutely detrimental in the absence of deep flowers? Maybe it’s a sexual thing Larry. Why do you think male peacocks have such extravagant feathers? It’s because the female peahens like it!

    Don’t be a hypocrite Larry…you’re the one talking about how you dislike vague generalities.

    What about lichens? They are an organism that consists of an algae and a fungus, both of which require the other to survive. Are lichens a problem for evolution?

    By the way Larry, which critiques of evolution should we teach? Should we teach any critique whatsoever? What’s the standard for choosing if we don’t?

    There is a big difference between adapting to the fixed physical features of the environment — e.g., developing legs for locomotion on land or wings for flying in the air — and “adapting” to future but currently non-existent features of a co-dependent organism.

    I’m waiting for a specific example of such an adaptation. You see Larry, I prefer to deal with the real world rather than mythical non-existant examples.

    But I can think of examples of ‘pre-adaptation’, if you want to call it that. You provided one example — that of wings, specifically the feathered wing of birds. Feathered wings are well adapted to flight, but by no means was this the “plan” when feathers first arose. Indeed, feathers have other uses too … camoflage, display, steamlining, and of course insulation (who hasn’t heard of down filled jackets). Turns out they are also quite useful for leaping, gliding, and ultimately flying, in conjunction with other modifications. But that came later as we have many examples of dinosaurs with feathers that couldn’t fly.

    Also, many co-dependent relationships involve complete groups of pairs of features, e.g., flowers produce nectar for bees to consume, colors and scents to attract the bees, and insect-carried pollen, and the bees have a set of corresponding features.

    And?

    In some cases, these groups of corresponding features may be irreducibly complex, compounding the problems of co-evolution and irreducible complexity!

    Not at all. Irreducibly complexity is no bar to evolution. In fact, I’d be surprised if irreducibly complex structures didn’t evolve.

    Also, as I said, some pairs of co-dependent organisms can interact only in large numbers, so large numbers of both kinds of co-dependent organisms with the necessary corresponding features would have to miraculously appear in the same place at the same time.

    Yes, it’s a miracle that cows are made of meat, just the material man needs to eat!

    Unlikely.

    Well check and mate!

    The term “supplying adaptive pressure” is just a vague generalization. What is the mechanism of this adaptive pressure?

    Ever hear of natural selection?

    How, for example, could a single mutation in a large population supply “adaptive pressure” to other organisms?

    Evolution occurs over populations with many genes, not one gene in one individual.

    F’rinstance. Consider the evolutionary arms-race between the garter snake Thamnophis sirtalis and the rough-skinned newt Taricha granulosa, a prey animal which the snake eats. Obviously the newt is not a fan of being eaten, and one of the means used to avoid that fate is to excrete a toxin in its skin. One newt can kill a dozen humans or more with this toxin. But because of genetic variation modifying Na ion channels, the snakes became immune to the toxin’s effect. This supplied the adaptive pressure to the newt, which responded by increasing the potency of the toxin, which in turn spured the evolution of the snake to greater resistance until we get to the point we’re at now, extremely deadly newts but also extremely resistant snakes. Some varieties of this snake are less resistant to the poison, but live amoung newts that are also less poisonous (Oregon). The more resistant varieties living among the more toxic newts (California). Just the relationship you’d expect if it came about through evolution.

  84. #84 fnxtr
    June 30, 2006

    Farfar, what is wrong with you? Why is it so important to you to nitpick at a systematic and useful explanation of the world that has been so successful for the last 150 years???? No, all the answers aren’t there yet, and if it’s real science, they never will be. But the alternative you are proposing is… well, nothing really. If you come up with a better testable explanation for why life is the way it is and how it got to be that way, present it. Otherwise stop whining and suck it up like a big boy.

  85. #85 fnxtr
    June 30, 2006

    The other blind spot LF has is the idea that these adaptations sprang fully-formed like Athena from Zeus’ forehead. They develop, Larry. They evolve. The word is a clue. Get one.

  86. #86 Dan S.
    June 30, 2006

    I’m suprised nobody’s ripped into this . . . ah, interesting statement yet:

    “A lot of evolution theory is philosophy, not science. For example, the controversy over punctuated equilibrium v. phyletic gredualism [sic] is just philosophy — these are just two different philosophical ways of interpreting the data.”

    ” (PhDs welcome if you really think you learned something in “college”- I’ve went to four of them)”

    I have to say, I’ve never been to “college” – although I did go to college.
    The use of (apparent) scare quotes is fairly amusing.

  87. #87 Larry Fafarman
    June 30, 2006

    Dave S. said ( June 30, 2006 02:14 PM ) —

    This was not a “prediction” Larry. He was simply saying what the law demanded.

    He should have left open the possibility, however remote, that the defense could persuade either him or appeals courts that his initial perception of what the law demanded was wrong. What is the difference between what Jones did and a judicial nominee giving “previews” of future rulings when testifying at a Senate committee hearing?

    I am really surprised that judges do not have a code of conduct prohibiting them from giving predictions about future rulings.

    Of course that’s what it’s been Larry. Here’s DaveScot from Dembski’s blog bragging before the start of the case

    I am not responsible for DaveScot’s pre-decision opinion of Judge Jones. And I am talking about post-decision opinions of Judge Jones, not pre-decision opinions of him.

    My blog has several articles criticizing Judge Jones, and not one of those articles criticizes him just on the grounds that he ruled against the defendants. Just enter “Jones” in the “search” option window in the top bar of my blog at http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/

    The judge had the right to rule broadly, regardless of which way it turned out.

    Not only was his ruling much broader than what was minimally necessary to decide the case, but his ruling was broader than what was authorized by the Lemon and endorsement tests that he applied. Those tests authorized him to determine only the motives (purpose) of the defendants and the general effects upon the public — he was not supposed to become an expert on ID and evolution. The courts have no general constitutional or legal authority to settle scientific issues — the courts should settle scientific issues only when it is absolutely necessary to decide the case (as in product liability lawsuits).

    Which case has no relevance to Dover. All you’re doing here is showing some cases can be mooted. But Dover was much different than this case. Real damage was already done in Dover (by the original boards stupidity in violating the Constitution),

    The case has a lot of relevance to Dover. Buckhannon was a case involving voluntary cessation by the government and the only issue by the time the case reached the Supreme Court was the issue of an attorney fee award.

    The only damage that was done in Dover was violation of the right to not be offended. In contrast, the plaintiff in Buckhannon had suffered large financial losses because of a law passed by the state legislature. The plaintiff in Buckhannon originally filed a claim for substantial damages but dropped that claim because of the state’s defense of “sovereign” immunity.

    In the case you cite, there was no trial (only discovery and briefs) and with the rescinding of the law itself, there was no realistic possibility the situation would arise again.

    How do you know that there was no courtroom trial in Buckhannon? I cannot recall the Supreme Court opinions saying anything about that, and it does not matter anyway. Anyway, there was really nothing to prevent the state legislature from passing the same law again.

    Anyway, the relevance of Buckhannon to Dover would have ultimately been something for the courts to decide. By not repealing the ID policy before the decision, the school board destroyed the possibility that the issue of mootness could ever be considered by any court.

    Unfortunately for your side, the school board made it an issue and the judge was perfectly within his rights to look at it.

    I am not aware that the defense ever wanted Jones to rule on the scientific merits of ID and/or irreducible complexity. And even if both sides wanted Jones to rule on those merits, he was not required to oblige and was not required to hear expert testimony on the subject. In Edwards v. Aguillard, the district court judge refused to hear what was called a “Monday morning battle of the experts,” and the Supreme Court ruled that his refusal was proper — the SC did not merely rule that he had not abused his discretion.

    How do you know having a long nose is absolutely detrimental in the absence of deep flowers?

    I never said that — I said that being deep is detrimental to a flower when long-nosed insects are absent.

    What about lichens? They are an organism that consists of an algae and a fungus, both of which require the other to survive. Are lichens a problem for evolution?

    Lichens are a special case, and therefore some of my arguments may not apply. According to Wikipedia, the algae can exist independently in nature while the fungus cannot, and the relationship may actually be parasitic rather than mutualistic — “There is evidence to suggest that the lichen symbiosis is parasitic rather than mutualistic (Ahmadjian 1993). The photosynthetic partner can exist in nature independently of the fungal partner, but not vice versa.” However, the fungus can apparently exist independently in a laboratory — “When grown in the laboratory in the absence of its photobiont, a lichen fungus develops as an undifferentiated mass of hyphae.”

    By the way Larry, which critiques of evolution should we teach? Should we teach any critique whatsoever? What’s the standard for choosing if we don’t?

    That is a very good question! There has been so much hoopla over ID that some people think that ID is the only scientific criticism of evolution. So maybe we could start by just teaching ID (or irreducible complexity) and then add other criticisms as they become better known.

    I’m waiting for a specific example of such an adaptation…..But I can think of examples of ‘pre-adaptation’, if you want to call it that. You provided one example — that of wings, specifically the feathered wing of birds.

    I was not talking about the adaptations themselves — I was talking about the things that are to be adapted to. In the case of widespread fixed physical features of the environment — e.g., water, land, air, and climate — these features are always there to immediately accommodate or offer an advantage to organisms that adapt to them. A lizard that suddenly sprouts wings can fly immediately. But co-dependent features of other organisms are different, because those features are often initially absent in the other organisms. For example, a mutation in a bee might give it the ability to see color or smell scents, but that ability is of no benefit when colored and scented flowers are absent, and vice-versa. And as I said, there are some cases when a co-dependent feature is detrimental in the absence of the corresponding feature in the other organism. I don’t see how I can make things any plainer than this.

    In some cases, these groups of corresponding features may be irreducibly complex, compounding the problems of co-evolution and irreducible complexity!

    Not at all. Irreducibly complexity is no bar to evolution.

    Even if irreducible complexity is no bar to evolution, it does make evolution much more difficult, and the same is true of co-evolution. So when you combine the effects of both of them — i.e., co-evolution of irreducibly complex systems — whammo!

    The term “supplying adaptive pressure” is just a vague generalization. What is the mechanism of this adaptive pressure?

    Ever hear of natural selection?

    For starters, there is often no such thing as “adaptive pressure.” For example, land, water, and air exert no adaptive pressure — they merely accommodate organisms that adapt to them. Mutations are random occurrences and cannot be pressured. Slow changes in the environment can create an adaptive pressure, but the changes must be slow enough for organisms to adapt to them by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    That “evolutionary arms race” that you spoke of between the toxic newts and the toxin-resistant garter snakes may appear to be a form of adaptive pressure. Consider a mutation in a newt creating a stronger toxin, and another mutation in a garter snake creating stronger toxin resistance. However, if these two mutations occur many miles apart and/or many years apart, as is likely, then these two mutations might never interact and so might never have the effect of mutual adaptive pressure or an “evolutionary arms race.” Also, to better answer the question, I need more information about the effect of this toxin — does it merely kill or sicken organisms that eat the newt or does it prevent or discourage the organisms from attacking the newt?

  88. #88 Larry Fafarman
    June 30, 2006

    matthew said ( June 30, 2006 10:39 AM ) —

    In regards to the example of long-nosed insects, a quick google search hints that that issue has been pretty well written about. Here is a very readable example: http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/0305/0305_feature.html .

    I have seen the above article before — it is one of three articles about co-evolution that I cite on my blog, at http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/04/co-evolutionary-paradox.html

    This article just takes co-evolution for granted, and does not actually discuss any possible mechanisms for co-evolution. The article just makes passing references to co-evolution. A lot of articles just take evolution for granted and then get false credit for “supporting” the theory of evolution.

    As an aspiring expert, it seems to me that I’m always seeing the same argument rehashed (using different examples) that goes back to the watchmaker and the eye: If something is too complex to immediately be explained, then I must invoke a supernatural element.

    The post about co-evolution on my blog does not assume that anything is irreducibly complex. Irreducible complexity would of course make co-evolution more difficult.

  89. #89 Larry Fafarman
    July 1, 2006

    fnxtr said ( June 30, 2006 05:41 PM ) —

    Farfar, what is wrong with you? Why is it so important to you to nitpick at a systematic and useful explanation of the world that has been so successful for the last 150 years????

    I just got mad at the efforts to suppress criticism of Darwinism. I had no interest in Darwinism before the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial.

    Unfortunately, some of my comments here have been delayed in posting. One large comment has been held up for over 30 hours. Jason told me that this is probably due to a glitch in the software, as his settings on this blog do not delay anything.

  90. #90 Larry Fafarman
    July 1, 2006

    Alann said (June 29, 2006 10:31 AM} —

    Get over it.

    Where did you Darwinists get this “get over it” crap?

    Dover was a fair case, it is representive of the what ID-creationsist are trying to do, and it set a clear precedent of failure.

    “Clear precedent of failure”? This is the first time I’ve heard that one.

    1) The judge was not biased

    He was definitely biased. He is a megalomaniac who thought the decision would make him famous. He is a demagogue who accused the defendants of “breathtaking inanity.” His Dickinson College commencement speech’s remarks about the founding fathers’ “true religion” showed him to be hostile towards organized religion — see http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/judge-jones-flunks-history-and.html

    the principle ID material in question “Of pandas and people” was written as a creationist text.

    The case was supposed to be about ID and not about a particular book about ID. Kenneth Miller’s Finding Darwin’s God is probably more openly religious than Of Pandas and People — does that mean that Darwinism should be banned from public schools?

    Changing the policy at such a late point would not mute the grievance.

    How late is too late?

    If the judge advised the board that the election results would not change the outcome, this would essentially state that he would not accept repealing the policy as grounds for dismissal

    He was not supposed to give legal advice to the defendants. He should have left open the possibility that the defense could persuade him or an appeals court that repeal of the ID policy was reason to declare the case moot and deny an award of attorney fees to the plaintiffs — see the Buckhannon case in http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/two-timing-new-members-of-dover-school.html

    3) The whole idea that setting a precedent should have be avoided is ridiculous. Regardless of the outcome there is no sense in going back to square one.

    Courts often do go back to square one — for example, there was the Marco DeFunis case, which the Supreme Court declared to be moot because he was about to graduate from the law school that he sued on charges of reverse discrimination.

    The courts have no general constitutional or legal authority to settle scientific debates. I feel that the courts should not decide scientific questions unless it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to reach a decision in a case (as in product liability cases).

    4) ID is only constrained by this loss so long as it refuses to change. So long as ID supports young earth creationism it essentially is just a venue for creationists. As long as ID tries to encompass everything from “Of Pandas and People” (young earth creationism) to “Darwin’s Black Box” (theistic evolution) it really is nothing more that a two faced bastard.

    ID is not necessarily a religious concept just because it is not inconsistent with young earth creationism and theistic evolutionism. In his book Finding Darwin’s God, Kenneth Miller argues that Darwinism is not inconsistent with religion, but that does not necessarily make Darwinism a religious concept.

  91. #91 Dave S.
    July 2, 2006

    Larry says:

    He should have left open the possibility, however remote, that the defense could persuade either him or appeals courts that his initial perception of what the law demanded was wrong. What is the difference between what Jones did and a judicial nominee giving “previews” of future rulings when testifying at a Senate committee hearing?

    It wasn’t his “perception” of the law either Larry. It is the law.

    I am not responsible for DaveScot’s pre-decision opinion of Judge Jones. And I am talking about post-decision opinions of Judge Jones, not pre-decision opinions of him.

    But that was someone from your side Larry, deliberately and openly expecting a federal judge to rule based on political lines. Do you have an example from someone on the “Darwinist” side saying anything so stupid?

    Not only was his ruling much broader than what was minimally necessary to decide the case, but his ruling was broader than what was authorized by the Lemon and endorsement tests that he applied. Those tests authorized him to determine only the motives (purpose) of the defendants and the general effects upon the public — he was not supposed to become an expert on ID and evolution. The courts have no general constitutional or legal authority to settle scientific issues — the courts should settle scientific issues only when it is absolutely necessary to decide the case (as in product liability lawsuits).

    Complete bull. Courts decide scientific issues all the time, and the Lemon test doesn’t “authorize” any such thing. The defendants forced the issue Larry and the judge was perfectly right to decide on it. Too bad for your side that ID fared so incredibly poorly, but then again, that was expected from the start.

    The case has a lot of relevance to Dover. Buckhannon was a case involving voluntary cessation by the government and the only issue by the time the case reached the Supreme Court was the issue of an attorney fee award.

    More nonsense Larry. The cases were not the same at all. In addition to the differences aleady listed, in the Buckhannon case they were trying to get recompense based on something called “catalyst theory”. Was that the basis in Dover?

    But if you think it’s relevant, let’s see what the appeal brings. There will be an appeal based on these claims, won’t there?

    The only damage that was done in Dover was violation of the right to not be offended.

    Bull. Establishment of religion (even via devious means like ID, whose advocates try to hide their religious motivations, with varying degrees of competence) is a violation of the constitution. I find that very offensive indeed, but its more than that.

    How do you know that there was no courtroom trial in Buckhannon? I cannot recall the Supreme Court opinions saying anything about that, and it does not matter anyway. Anyway, there was really nothing to prevent the state legislature from passing the same law again.

    Passing the same law you just eliminated is not exactly an easy thing Larry. Much more difficult than a school board simply reinstating a policy. Look what happened in Kansas.

    Anyway, the relevance of Buckhannon to Dover would have ultimately been something for the courts to decide. By not repealing the ID policy before the decision, the school board destroyed the possibility that the issue of mootness could ever be considered by any court.

    More bull Larry. There was never any possibility that case was going to be mooted. I’m bored with your continual assertions to the contrary using irrelevant cases. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Well I’ve said all I plan to say on the legal issues. You may re-assert as you wish.

    I am not aware that the defense ever wanted Jones to rule on the scientific merits of ID and/or irreducible complexity. And even if both sides wanted Jones to rule on those merits, he was not required to oblige and was not required to hear expert testimony on the subject. In Edwards v. Aguillard, the district court judge refused to hear what was called a “Monday morning battle of the experts,” and the Supreme Court ruled that his refusal was proper — the SC did not merely rule that he had not abused his discretion.

    I’m also bored with your ridiculous assertions that because the judge wasn’t required to do something that therefore he was precluded from doing it. Nuff said.

    I never said that — I said that being deep is detrimental to a flower when long-nosed insects are absent.

    But how do you know that? I keep asking for a specific example but you refuse to provide one. Show me such a flower where the insect is absent. You see Larry, real science like evolution actually has to answer real questions about real organisms. Now there’s obviously a lot of organisms, so there’s still a lot of questions. It’d be great if all we had to do was to sit back and take ill-informed potshots at someone else’s theory to get support like the IDers do, but real scientists are hampered by the fact they actually have to do real work and find real evidence in positively supporting their theories.

    Me: My the way Larry, which critiques of evolution should we teach? Should we teach any critique whatsoever? What’s the standard for choosing if we don’t?

    That is a very good question! There has been so much hoopla over ID that some people think that ID is the only scientific criticism of evolution.

    Some people might think so, although in fact ID is not a scientific notion at all. It’s a philosophical/religious notion that uses scientific jargon. Not only does ID not offer a scientific model, it offers no positive model of any kind.

    The young earth creationists also say they have a scientific model. The irony is, they actually do have a positive model (of sorts) that can be tested, unlike intelligent design. The model fails miserably of course and they have to retreat into untestable miracles…but at least they do have one.

    So maybe we could start by just teaching ID (or irreducible complexity) and then add other criticisms as they become better known.

    But why Larry?? Why should the say-so of a few people, most of whom know precious little about biology, who think ID is a valid scientific idea be worth more than all the people in all the organizations who say it’s worthless twaddle? Why does irreducible complexity get a pass when there has not been a single scientific paper published making any discoveries in nature using a notion, which is not even coherently defined? Not even by Behe. What little work Behe has done which is even remotely related (Behe and Snoke) seems to indicate that IC can evolve naturally. Behe solved that though…by re-defining irreducible complexity for such systems.

    So I ask again Larry, what standard do we use?

    Should we teach geocentrism too Larry? I know for a fact that some people consider that a scientific model. I know for a fact some people don’t think germs cause diseases like AIDS, and this is also based firmly on scientific grounds they say, so surely we need to teach that too, right? Even the IDers tell us that ID is only scientific if you change the definition of science, and if you do so then astrology is also scientific in the same sense. So we should also teach astrology as science?

    A lizard that suddenly sprouts wings can fly immediately. But co-dependent features of other organisms are different, because those features are often initially absent in the other organisms. For example, a mutation in a bee might give it the ability to see color or smell scents, but that ability is of no benefit when colored and scented flowers are absent, and vice-versa. And as I said, there are some cases when a co-dependent feature is detrimental in the absence of the corresponding feature in the other organism. I don’t see how I can make things any plainer than this.

    Larry, the fact that you can imagine such cases doesn’t mean they exist! How do you know that the ability to see colour is of no benefit or detrimental to the bee in the absence of flowers? How do you even know such a situation existed? Ever.

    Air and water are constantly in the environment, but so is food and predators. Larry, you keep bringing up mythological examples and pretending these exist in nature, and therefore evolution is in trouble. Do you have the slightest evidence whatsover that bees developed to see flowers before there were flowers? What evidence would you expect to see? You keep saying that co-dependent feature is detremental, but you have yet to show that this is true. Darwin said “If it can be shown” Larry. It’s not enough just to imagine something into existance! Sheesh. Flowering plants evolved some 135 million years ago, but the bee fossil record is fragmentory. Bees appear to have been pollinators for maybe 90 million years, although there could be older examples. There is no evidence to my knowledge that there even were bees prior to flowers, let alone that these bees were already adapted to the flowers which didn’t exist yet.

    When Darwin actually encountered the comet orchid, where nectar is bizarrely stored at the bottom of a foot long tube, he didn’t say “Gee, this must be detremental as nothing can reach the nectar.”. Instead, he predicted using evolution that there would be a moth with a proboscis long enough to reach it, even though no such creature was known at that time. The flower and moth would have provided evolutionary pressure on each other. This moth was not found for decades later, but it was found. That’s prediction and confirmation using actual data that we can see Larry. That’s what real scientists do.

    A good question might be, why is the nectar placed so as to be virtually unobtainable. Wouldn’t it be better to have it where pretty much any insect can get at it? But there are advantages to this arrangement too that have to factored in. For instance, assuming you’re such a flower, if any insect could get your nectar, you have no guarantee that that insect will carry your pollen to another of your species any time soon. It might just go a different flower and your pollen is lost. But if you’re in an exclusive relationship, then you increase your chances that that insect will go to another of your species. And from the insects point of view, it’s good to have a reliable source of nectar that you know is off limits to every other insect as they can’t reach it.

    From the flowers perspective, its best to have a nectar tube that just barely longer than the insect feeder. If the tube is too long the insect can’t reach it and so will ignore those flowers altogether, and if its too short the insect may be able to get at the nectar without picking up much pollen in the process. But by having the above arrangement the flower forces the insects to push their bodies hard into the flower to get at the nectar, which makes them pick up more pollen. But the insects show variation in feeder length, and those with slightly longer feeders can feed more efficiently and so there is pressure for longer feeders in descending generations. This in turns provides pressue on the flowers, selecting those with slightly deeper tubes, and the process continues. This is just the extreme example of this evolutionary relationship.

    Far from being a challenge for evolution, evolution explains why such relationships exist in the first place! Your non-existant, hypothetical examples to the contrary.

    Even if irreducible complexity is no bar to evolution, it does make evolution much more difficult, and the same is true of co-evolution.

    Wrong on both counts. It might make it more difficult for you to understand how evolution works, but it doesn’t make evolution itself more difficult.

    For starters, there is often no such thing as “adaptive pressure.” For example, land, water, and air exert no adaptive pressure — they merely accommodate organisms that adapt to them.

    For starters, I’m not saying every feature of every organism is the result of adaptation.

    Mutations are random occurrences and cannot be pressured. Slow changes in the environment can create an adaptive pressure, but the changes must be slow enough for organisms to adapt to them by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    Mutations are not selected. Natural selection works on variation. The ultimate source of variation is mutations, but its variation that is selectable.

    That “evolutionary arms race” that you spoke of between the toxic newts and the toxin-resistant garter snakes may appear to be a form of adaptive pressure. Consider a mutation in a newt creating a stronger toxin, and another mutation in a garter snake creating stronger toxin resistance. However, if these two mutations occur many miles apart and/or many years apart, as is likely, then these two mutations might never interact and so might never have the effect of mutual adaptive pressure or an “evolutionary arms race.”

    Mutations don’t interact. Organisms interact. And part of the organisms environment is eating and being eaten. It as as important as breathing or drinking.

    Also, to better answer the question, I need more information about the effect of this toxin — does it merely kill or sicken organisms that eat the newt or does it prevent or discourage the organisms from attacking the newt?

    Again, there is variation. As already mentioned, the newts have different degrees of toxicity, and the snakes have different degrees of immunity to the toxins. In this case the toxin does seem to stun the snake for a while, but it recovers and moves along.

  92. #92 Dave S.
    July 2, 2006

    Larry says:

    I just got mad at the efforts to suppress criticism of Darwinism. I had no interest in Darwinism before the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial.

    And I get madder when creationists and their equally benighted dupes try to get their bogus criticisms accepted as valid scientific critique by circumventing that very science; and then trying to get their views taught in schools by sneaking them in, using vague language and elected officials with demonstrated religious agendas to do the dirty work.

    Cowards.

  93. #93 Larry Fafarman
    July 2, 2006

    Alann said (June 29, 2006 10:31 AM} —

    Get over it.

    Where did you Darwinists get this “get over it” crap?

    Dover was a fair case, it is representive of the what ID-creationsist are trying to do, and it set a clear precedent of failure.

    “Clear precedent of failure”? This is the first time I’ve heard that one.

    1) The judge was not biased

    He was definitely biased. He is a megalomaniac who thought the decision would make him famous. He is a demagogue who accused the defendants of “breathtaking inanity.” His Dickinson College commencement speech’s remarks about the founding fathers’ “true religion” showed him to be hostile towards organized religion — see http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/judge-jones-flunks-history-and.html

    the principle ID material in question “Of pandas and people” was written as a creationist text.

    The case was supposed to be about ID and not about a particular book about ID. Kenneth Miller’s Finding Darwin’s God is probably more openly religious than Of Pandas and People — does that mean that Darwinism should be banned from public schools?

    Changing the policy at such a late point would not mute the grievance.

    How late is too late?

    If the judge advised the board that the election results would not change the outcome, this would essentially state that he would not accept repealing the policy as grounds for dismissal

    He was not supposed to give legal advice to the defendants. He should have left open the possibility that the defense could persuade him or an appeals court that repeal of the ID policy was reason to declare the case moot and deny an award of attorney fees to the plaintiffs — see the Buckhannon case in http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/two-timing-new-members-of-dover-school.html

    3) The whole idea that setting a precedent should have be avoided is ridiculous. Regardless of the outcome there is no sense in going back to square one.

    Courts often do go back to square one — for example, there was the Marco DeFunis case, which the Supreme Court declared to be moot because he was about to graduate from the law school that he sued on charges of reverse discrimination.

    The courts have no general constitutional or legal authority to settle scientific debates. I feel that the courts should not decide scientific questions unless it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to reach a decision in a case (as in product liability cases).

    4) ID is only constrained by this loss so long as it refuses to change. So long as ID supports young earth creationism it essentially is just a venue for creationists. As long as ID tries to encompass everything from “Of Pandas and People” (young earth creationism) to “Darwin’s Black Box” (theistic evolution) it really is nothing more that a two faced bastard.

    ID is not necessarily a religious concept just because it is not inconsistent with young earth creationism and theistic evolutionism. In his book Finding Darwin’s God, Kenneth Miller argues that Darwinism is not inconsistent with religion, but that does not necessarily make Darwinism a religious concept.

  94. #94 Larry Fafarman
    July 2, 2006

    I wonder if this is even going to be posted. I have two comments that have not been posted in over two days. And this problem is all due to a malfunction of that stupid comment moderation option. The comment moderation option ought to be outlawed — there is no big problem about deleting intolerable comments after they are posted. Commenters ought to be able to concentrate on just writing posts and not have to worry about finding ways to get around various bans and blockages. Nothing is so annoying as getting one of those lousy comment moderation messages after spending a long time writing a post. I will try submitting posts without links and see if that helps — links often cause a comment to be held up for moderation (on Panda’s Thumb, a comment is held up for moderation if it has more than four links).

    Dave S.said ( July 2, 2006 08:50 AM ) —

    It wasn’t his “perception” of the law either Larry. It is the law.

    You still have not answered the question — how is what Judge Jones did any different from a judicial nominee giving “previews” of future rulings while testifying at a Senate committee hearing?

    But that was someone from your side Larry, deliberately and openly expecting a federal judge to rule based on political lines. Do you have an example from someone on the “Darwinist” side saying anything so stupid?

    You just did.

    Complete bull. Courts decide scientific issues all the time, and the Lemon test doesn’t “authorize” any such thing.

    Courts have no general legal or constitutional authority to decide scientific issues. IMO, they should decide scientific issues only when absolutely necessary to decide the case (as in a product liability case). The Dover opinion’s analysis of ID’s scientific merits is just a philosophical essay — it is not law.

    Some of the problems are: (1) scientific issues are outside the judges’ areas of expertise, (2) judgments on scientific issues are often highly subjective and arbitrary, and (3) the answers to many scientific questions should just be a matters of opinion. Also, in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (92-102), 509 U.S. 579 (1993), which concerned the rules for admissibility of expert scientific testimony, the opinion of the court said,

    “It is true that open debate is an essential part of both legal and scientific analyses. Yet there are important differences between the quest for truth in the courtroom and the quest for truth in the laboratory. Scientific conclusions are subject to perpetual revision. Law, on the other hand, must resolve disputes finally and quickly.”

    And in the same case, CJ Rehnquist said in an “other” (neither dissenting nor concurring opinion) —

    Twenty two amicus briefs have been filed in the case, and indeed the Court’s opinion contains no less than 37 citations to amicus briefs and other secondary sources.

    The various briefs filed in this case are markedly different from typical briefs, in that large parts of them do not deal with decided cases or statutory language–the sort of material we customarily interpret. Instead, they deal with definitions of scientific knowledge, scientific method, scientific validity, and peer review–in short, matters far afield from the expertise of judges. This is not to say that such materials are not useful or even necessary in deciding how [Federal Rules of Evidence] Rule 703 should be applied; but it is to say that the unusual subject matter should cause us to proceed with great caution in deciding more than we have to, because our reach can so easily exceed our grasp.

    The cases were not the same at all. In addition to the differences aleady listed, in the Buckhannon case they were trying to get recompense based on something called “catalyst theory”. Was that the basis in Dover?

    If the school board had repealed the ID policy prior to judgment and the judge had then declared the case to be moot, then the catalyst theory would have been the only basis for awarding attorney fees to the plaintiffs, but the catalyst theory was struck down by the Supreme Court in Buckhannon. According to the catalyst theory, the plaintiff is entitled to fees where there is voluntary cessation by the defendant, on the grounds that the lawsuit supposedly caused the voluntary cessation.

    The only damage that was done in Dover was violation of the right to not be offended.

    Bull. Establishment of religion …… is a violation of the constitution.

    This particular application of the establishment clause concerned only a right to not be offended. There was no money involved and no other right of the plaintiffs was affected.

    Passing the same law you just eliminated is not exactly an easy thing Larry.

    What is there to stop the West Virginia legislature from re-enacting the law that the plaintiff challenged in Buckhannon?

    I’m also bored with your ridiculous assertions that because the judge wasn’t required to do something that therefore he was precluded from doing it.

    If the Supreme Court had merely said in Edwards that the district court judge had not abused his discretion when he refused to hear a “Monday morning battle of the experts,” that would be different, but the SC said that his refusal was proper.

    I keep asking for a specific example but you refuse to provide one. Show me such a flower where the insect is absent.

    That was exactly my point — a deep flower could not have evolved independently, because it could not procreate unless long-nosed insects were already present.

    ….. ID is not a scientific notion at all. It’s a philosophical/religious notion that uses scientific jargon.

    Just like Darwinism.

    Why does irreducible complexity get a pass when there has not been a single scientific paper published making any discoveries in nature using a notion, which is not even coherently defined?

    There have been whole books — not just papers — written in favor of and in opposition to ID. And the opposing literature also counts as ID literature.

    Air and water are constantly in the environment, but so is food and predators.

    I was looking at mutually beneficial relationships, not predatory relationships.

    Flowering plants evolved some 135 million years ago, but the bee fossil record is fragmentory.

    Do flower and bee fossils even exist? I thought that soft tissue does not preserve well in fossilization.

    he predicted using evolution that there would be a moth with a proboscis long enough to reach it, even though no such creature was known at that time.

    No, evolution was not necessary to make that prediction. Darwinists assume that evolution is the only explanation just because it is a possible explanation.

    Far from being a challenge for evolution, evolution explains why such relationships exist in the first place!

    I disagree that the idea of co-evolution explains co-dependent relationships, because the mutually reinforcing mutations are not likely to occur in the same place at the same time.

    Even if irreducible complexity is no bar to evolution, it does make evolution much more difficult, and the same is true of co-evolution.

    Wrong on both counts. It might make it more difficult for you to understand how evolution works, but it doesn’t make evolution itself more difficult.

    What in the hell are you saying? Are you saying that evolution of reducible systems is no more difficult than evolution of irreducible systems and that co-evolution is no more difficult than isolated evolution?

    Mutations are not selected. Natural selection works on variation. The ultimate source of variation is mutations, but its variation that is selectable.

    What in the hell are you talking about? The mutations are the variations.

    Mutations don’t interact. Organisms interact.

    The mutations of the organisms also interact.

    Again, there is variation. As already mentioned, the newts have different degrees of toxicity, and the snakes have different degrees of immunity to the toxins.

    So these variations in toxicity and toxin-tolerance appear to just be normal variations which have nothing to do with mutations.

    In this case the toxin does seem to stun the snake for a while, but it recovers and moves along.

    How is the toxin beneficial to the newt if the toxin does not prevent the newt from being attacked?

  95. #95 Larry Fafarman
    July 2, 2006

    This is one of my comments that failed to post, and I suspect that it was the two URL links that caused the problem, so I removed the http prefix from the links so that they would not be recognized by the blog. Hopefully it will go through now.

    Alann said (June 29, 2006 10:31 AM} —

    Get over it.

    Where did you Darwinists get this “get over it” crap?

    Dover was a fair case, it is representive of the what ID-creationsist are trying to do, and it set a clear precedent of failure.

    “Clear precedent of failure”? This is the first time I’ve heard that one.

    1) The judge was not biased

    He was definitely biased. He is a megalomaniac who thought the decision would make him famous. He is a demagogue who accused the defendants of “breathtaking inanity.” His Dickinson College commencement speech’s remarks about the founding fathers’ “true religion” showed him to be hostile towards organized religion — see ://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/judge-jones-flunks-history-and.html

    the principle ID material in question “Of pandas and people” was written as a creationist text.

    The case was supposed to be about ID and not about a particular book about ID. Kenneth Miller’s Finding Darwin’s God is probably more openly religious than Of Pandas and People — does that mean that Darwinism should be banned from public schools?

    Changing the policy at such a late point would not mute the grievance.

    How late is too late?

    If the judge advised the board that the election results would not change the outcome, this would essentially state that he would not accept repealing the policy as grounds for dismissal

    He was not supposed to give legal advice to the defendants. He should have left open the possibility that the defense could persuade him or an appeals court that repeal of the ID policy was reason to declare the case moot and deny an award of attorney fees to the plaintiffs — see the Buckhannon case in ://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/two-timing-new-members-of-dover-school.html

    3) The whole idea that setting a precedent should have be avoided is ridiculous. Regardless of the outcome there is no sense in going back to square one.

    Courts often do go back to square one — for example, there was the Marco DeFunis case, which the Supreme Court declared to be moot because he was about to graduate from the law school that he sued on charges of reverse discrimination.

    The courts have no general constitutional or legal authority to settle scientific debates. I feel that the courts should not decide scientific questions unless it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to reach a decision in a case (as in product liability cases).

    4) ID is only constrained by this loss so long as it refuses to change. So long as ID supports young earth creationism it essentially is just a venue for creationists. As long as ID tries to encompass everything from “Of Pandas and People” (young earth creationism) to “Darwin’s Black Box” (theistic evolution) it really is nothing more that a two faced bastard.

    ID is not necessarily a religious concept just because it is not inconsistent with young earth creationism and theistic evolutionism. In his book Finding Darwin’s God, Kenneth Miller argues that Darwinism is not inconsistent with religion, but that does not necessarily make Darwinism a religious concept.

  96. #96 Larry Fafarman
    July 3, 2006

    This is the last of my articles that were not posted — it is about three days old by now. I have removed http from the links in case these links are causing the problem. Hopefully it will go through now.

    matthew said ( June 30, 2006 10:39 AM ) —

    In regards to the example of long-nosed insects, a quick google search hints that that issue has been pretty well written about. Here is a very readable example: ://www.naturalhistorymag.com/0305/0305_feature.html

    I have seen the above article before — it is one of three articles about co-evolution that I cite on my blog, at://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/04/co-evolutionary-paradox.html

    This article just takes co-evolution for granted, and does not actually discuss any possible mechanisms for co-evolution. The article just makes passing references to co-evolution. A lot of articles just take evolution for granted and then get false credit for “supporting” the theory of evolution.

    As an aspiring expert, it seems to me that I’m always seeing the same argument rehashed (using different examples) that goes back to the watchmaker and the eye: If something is too complex to immediately be explained, then I must invoke a supernatural element.

    The article about co-evolution on my blog does not assume that anything is irreducibly complex. Irreducible complexity would of course make co-evolution more difficult.

  97. #97 Dave S.
    July 4, 2006

    —Continued ignorant legal rantings snipped—

    Larry further writes:

    That was exactly my point — a deep flower could not have evolved independently, because it could not procreate unless long-nosed insects were already present.

    Then show me an example of just such a flower!!! You keep using imaginary examples and then treating these like established fact Larry. How do you know this relationship didn’t start off with short flowers and short nosed insects and evolved from there? Who here is claiming that one evolved in the absence of the other? Darwin found a deep flower and predicted, using “Darwinism”, that there was such an insect, and lo and behold there was!

    Now you show me a specific example (not a made up one) that shows the opposite. How you would do this I have no idea. Probably neither do you, so that’s why you simply assert imaginary examples and pretend they exist.

    Just like Darwinism.

    No, evolution makes actual predictions that can be tested by actually observing something real. If you knew what you were talking about, you’d know that.

    There have been whole books — not just papers — written in favor of and in opposition to ID. And the opposing literature also counts as ID literature.

    So what? There have been pop books written for the lay audience that contain untested and untestable notions. Big deal. The astrology literature is much greater than that. The psi literature is vastly larger. Kevin Trudeau writes whole books on his bogus medical ideas, does that make them valid medicine too?

    And I have to laugh at the notion that when people say things in opposition to ID, that’s part of the ID literature. Yeah Larry, we have to teach it as valid because all those people wrote criticising its validity. Makes sense in your fantasy world I suppose. And I suppose if those Darwinists had said nothing instead, why then you’d just say the Darwinists have no answer and so what Behe must have a valid point. Heads you win…tails you win!

    I was looking at mutually beneficial relationships, not predatory relationships.

    But both are examples of co-evolutionary relationships. The textbook case of mutualism is of course yucca moth and yucca plant or the fig and the fig wasp. Can you show that one arose through a mutation without the other Larry? Please be as specific as you can in explaining how this relationship could not have evolved.

    Do flower and bee fossils even exist? I thought that soft tissue does not preserve well in fossilization.

    Yes Larry, they exist. Hard parts do fossilize better, but we still have soft organisms too. Have you ever heard of amber? Amber often preserves insects like bees or ants. Have you ever heard of the Burgess Shale? That’s a famous soft-bodies fossil site (although not flowers). As for flowers, he’s one fossilized 50 million years ago. Beautiful, isn’t it.

    No, evolution was not necessary to make that prediction. Darwinists assume that evolution is the only explanation just because it is a possible explanation.

    But it is a prediction of evolution, and it was confirmed. Now if you have a superior predictive explantion, what is it? We’re all ears Larry.

    I disagree that the idea of co-evolution explains co-dependent relationships, because the mutually reinforcing mutations are not likely to occur in the same place at the same time.

    That’s because you have no clue of basic biology, and in your ignorance you assume evolution must work as you think it should. You think that one mutation pops fully developed into existance specific traits in organism A and another mutation specific traits in organism B, whereby each is suddenly dependent on the other. And if they don’t happen to leave close by and find each other, its curtains. That’s not how evolution works at all. That’s Larryvolution. I agree that this can’t work, and so Larryvolution is disproven. Evolution remains established though.

    We’re still waiting for that specific example.

    What in the hell are you saying? Are you saying that evolution of reducible systems is no more difficult than evolution of irreducible systems and that co-evolution is no more difficult than isolated evolution?

    Yep. You can get either kind of relationship in evolution. Just depends on which processes happen and in which order. But all the processes are evolutionary. And for co-evolution, it also depends on how strongly the adaptive pressure is of the paired organisms.

    What you mean by “more difficult” is not even coherent. Is it “more difficult” for gravity to make a pencil fall off a tilted table than it is to make the Moon orbit the Earth or vise versa?

    What in the hell are you talking about? The mutations are the variations.

    No jackass, mutations cause variation. Or rather, they can. Usually at the organism level they don’t have any phenotypic effects, and are neutral. And whether the ones that do have effects are detrimental or beneficial depends to an extent on the environment.

    The mutations of the organisms also interact.

    Really? Show me an example of two mutations in two different organisms interacting. Remember, be specific!

    So these variations in toxicity and toxin-tolerance appear to just be normal variations which have nothing to do with mutations.

    The mutations caused the variations in the first place.

    How is the toxin beneficial to the newt if the toxin does not prevent the newt from being attacked?

    Because not every attack results in death Larry. Sometimes the attacker just gets a taste of very nasty juice that allows the prey to escape, and leaves the attacker with the desire not to try that again. Other organisms still can even use this to their own advantage. Viceroy butterflies for instance mimic the appearance of the monarch butterfly in a process called Mullerian mimicery.

    The case was supposed to be about ID and not about a particular book about ID.

    But that was the textbook the lying school board wanted and purchased, although they also tried to lie about where the money came from. That textbook lays pretty bare the claim ID is different from creationism. They are the same thing. they use the same arguments. They use the same strategy. The only difference is that the creationists used to be more honest.

    Kenneth Miller’s Finding Darwin’s God is probably more openly religious than Of Pandas and People –does that mean that Darwinism should be banned from public schools?

    Finding Darwin’s God wasn’t a textbook Larry.

    ID is not necessarily a religious concept just because it is not inconsistent with young earth creationism and theistic evolutionism.

    As used by the DI fellows and as used in the Pandas book, it is religious.

    Irreducible complexity would of course make co-evolution more difficult.

    So you say. But since co-evolution is already impossible in the absence of irreducible complexity, then one wonders how it can be made more difficult.

  98. #98 Larry Fafarman
    July 4, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 4, 2006 10:08 AM ) —

    —Continued ignorant legal rantings snipped—

    If I took that attitude, I would just “snip” your whole post.

    That was exactly my point — a deep flower could not have evolved independently, because it could not procreate unless long-nosed insects were already present.

    Then show me an example of just such a flower!!!

    How can I give an example of something that does not exist?

    And I have to laugh at the notion that when people say things in opposition to ID, that’s part of the ID literature.

    There have been whole research projects for the purpose of countering ID.

    I was looking at mutually beneficial relationships, not predatory relationships.

    But both are examples of co-evolutionary relationships.

    Predatory relationships are not regarded as being co-evolutionary. Co-evolutionary relationships are regarded as co-dependent, and the prey is not dependent on the predator.

    You think that one mutation pops fully developed into existance specific traits in organism A and another mutation specific traits in organism B, whereby each is suddenly dependent on the other.

    Some co-dependent relationships are all or nothing — often there cannot be half-assed co-dependence. But sometimes different co-dependent features could evolve separately — for example, there could be separate co-evolution of flower colors and scents and bee sight and smell. But even for partial co-evolution, the changes would have to occur at around the same place and the same time.

    What in the hell are you talking about? The mutations are the variations.

    No jackass, mutations cause variation

    OK, moron, there are two different definitions of mutation — it can be just a change in the genes, which may or may not be expressed, or it can be a change in the organism’s traits.

    How is the toxin beneficial to the newt if the toxin does not prevent the newt from being attacked?

    Because not every attack results in death Larry. Sometimes the attacker just gets a taste of very nasty juice that allows the prey to escape, and leaves the attacker with the desire not to try that again.

    There is still the problem that mutations are rare and two mutations must occur at around the same time and place in order to interact.

    The case was supposed to be about ID and not about a particular book about ID.

    But that was the textbook the lying school board wanted and purchased, although they also tried to lie about where the money came from.

    So why didn’t Judge Jones just pick an ID textbook that he liked?

    Finding Darwin’s God wasn’t a textbook Larry.

    So? It still shows that Darwinism could be considered to be a religious idea.

    Irreduciible complexity would of course make co-evolution more difficult.

    So you say. But since co-evolution is already impossible in the absence of irreducible complexity, then one wonders how it can be made more difficult.

    Why should co-evolution be impossible in the absence of irreducible complexity? Why couldn’t there be co-evolution of reducible features?

  99. #99 Dave S.
    July 5, 2006

    If I took that attitude, I would just “snip” your whole post.

    Except that I’d be justified.

    Anyone wanting to see Larry’s latest falling on of the legal sword need only look as far as HERE.

    How can I give an example of something that does not exist?

    So if it doesn’t exist Larry, how does it present a challenge to evolution? Or “Darwinism” as you continue to say, whatever that means. If you want to advance your argument, you’ll have to do more than simply repeat it ad nauseam and hope it gets better with age.

    There have been whole research projects for the purpose of countering ID.

    No, there have been no research projects since ID does not generate any hypotheses which can be tested either way.

    There have been many articles countering ID and exposing the utter vacuousness of that notion, but these do not count as supportive of ID since – well – they are countering ID.

    Predatory relationships are not regarded as being co-evolutionary. Co-evolutionary relationships are regarded as co-dependent, and the prey is not dependent on the predator.

    Maybe you don’t regard them as such Larry, but I’m talking about evolutionary biology. Coevolution is defined as the change in the genetic composition of one species in response to the change in genetic composition of another. Mutualism is just one of the forms it can take.

    Some co-dependent relationships are all or nothing — often there cannot be half-assed co-dependence. But sometimes different co-dependent features could evolve separately — for example, there could be separate co-evolution of flower colors and scents and bee sight and smell. But even for partial co-evolution, the changes would have to occur at around the same place and the same time.

    Are we ever going to see an actual example using data for this wondrous claim of yours where you don’t start with “there could be”? Apparently not, we just have to assume it must exist for evolution to be true. Maybe flowers developed colouration for reasons totally unrelated to bees, and afterwards some flowers coevolved with bees until variations in each made the relationship exclusive.

    Come back when you have some actual data to talk about Larry.

    There is still the problem that mutations are rare and two mutations must occur at around the same time and place in order to interact.

    There is still the problem that you haven’t a single piece of data to show this. Variation already exists in nature. It’s one of the first things Darwin observed about it.

    So why didn’t Judge Jones just pick an ID textbook that he liked?

    It’s not the judge’s place to pick a text Larry. A responsible school board should do it. Unfortunately, Dover had a very irresponsible one. Is there even another ID textbook anyway? Why did the school board pick that one in the first place? We know the answer to that thanks to the Kitzmiller trial, they picked it to proselytise, not to educate. Too bad it set ID back to the drawing board. It will never get any further till it gets rid of the likes of Dembski, Behe and others of their ilk stinking up the joint. Oh, and it needs to have an actual tested theory too.

    Finding Darwin’s God wasn’t a textbook Larry.
    So? It still shows that Darwinism could be considered to be a religious idea.

    We could also consider chemistry religious then. But unlike ID, “Darwinism” is also a scientific idea.

    Why should co-evolution be impossible in the absence of irreducible complexity? Why couldn’t there be co-evolution of reducible features?

    But Larry, you keep telling us how terribly unlikely it is already. What’s IC supposed to add to it?

  100. #100 Larry Fafarman
    July 5, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 5, 2006 05:10 PM ) —

    Anyone wanting to see Larry’s latest falling on of the legal sword need only look as far as HERE.

    And I demolish that cowardly hypocrite Ed Brayton HERE and in several other places on my blog.

    So if it doesn’t exist Larry, how does it present a challenge to evolution?

    The reason why it does not exist is what presents a challenge to evolution, and that reason is that many co-dependent organisms — e.g., deep flowers — cannot evolve independently.

    There have been many articles countering ID and exposing the utter vacuousness of that notion, but these do not count as supportive of ID since – well – they are countering ID.

    But the research and articles were inspired or motivated by ID — that’s the important thing.

    Coevolution is defined as the change in the genetic composition of one species in response to the change in genetic composition of another. Mutualism is just one of the forms it can take.

    Wikipedia defines co-evolution as the evolution of mutualistic relationships.

    Maybe flowers developed colouration for reasons totally unrelated to bees, and afterwards some flowers coevolved with bees until variations in each made the relationship exclusive.

    So you are saying that evolution was the result of millions of these odd and fortuitous coincidences.

    There is still the problem that you haven’t a single piece of data to show this. Variation already exists in nature. It’s one of the first things Darwin observed about it.

    Evolutionists do not have a single piece of data to support a lot of their claims, too. A lot of evolution theory is just speculation and conjecture.

    It’s not the judge’s place to pick a text Larry. A responsible school board should do it.

    OK, then Judge Jones should have asked the school board to submit another ID book for approval.

    We could also consider chemistry religious then. But unlike ID, “Darwinism” is also a scientific idea.

    ID is more scientific than Darwinism because the scientific claims of ID do not go beyond what can be demonstrated by science.

    But Larry, you keep telling us how terribly unlikely it is already. What’s IC supposed to add to it?

    I only said that co-evolution is hard enough to begin with, and adding irreducible complexity only make it harder.

  101. #101 latsot
    July 6, 2006

    “Wrong — mainstream scientific journals are generally hostile towards papers that are critical of Darwinism.”

    In what way? How does this hostility manifest itself? The only way I can think of is by not publishing papers that are critical of Darwinism. There are plenty of papers in the literature that criticise various aspects of Darwinism. Or do you mean that they don’t publish ID (etc.)? If this is what you mean, how do you know this is down to hostility, rather than to the quality of the papers?

    If, as the scientific community at large (and who better to judge it) believes, ID has no scientific basis, then ID papers would have no scientific content and be published in no (or next to no) scientific journals. Hostility wouldn’t be required at all.

    “On the contrary, the establishment clause is being abused for the suppression of scientific ideas that some people disagree with.”

    How does this happen? Seriously – as a member of ‘the establishment’ (whatever that means), how do I go about suppressing an idea I don’t like?

    You have to ask yourself what is the most likely: that all scientists all over the globe are deliberately and ruthlessly suppressing alternative ideas, *even though* alternative ideas are the lifeblood of science and *even though* if ID were shown to have value it would make the scientist who discovered it one of the most famous of all time and *even though* paper reviews are generally speaking honest and based on scientific merit rather than resuls….or simply that ID is bollocks.

  102. #102 Anonymous
    July 6, 2006

    “In short, they don’t see evolution as a science which is doing them wrong, they see it as an abomination of science altogether.”

    I’m not convinced that they are this rational. Religion is a delusion and one of the purposes of science is to dispel delusion. In the same way that they ignore blatent contradictions in the bible and incongruities between the bible and reality, they go to extraordinary lengths to rationalise their delusions. Hence their ignoring evidence for evolution and clutching at straws like ID. Hence their frequent ad hominem attacks on evolutionists. Hence ID not proposing a single testable hypothesis despite claiming to be scientific.

    ID seems to be just a rather pathetic attempt to buy some more time for creationists to keep their heads in the sand.

    “Gaaaahhhh! this science has us on the run! They have, like, facts and things instead of just a bunch stuff we made up!”

    “No problem, all we have to do is *say* our stuff is scientific and it will be as legitimate as anything the scientists say. Yes it will. It *will*. La la la I’m not listening”

    Its just a crutch to further support an increasingly lame set of delusions. The statement that evolution can’t say anything about origins is a good example. How many times have you heard a creationist say “HA! but evolution doesn’t explain where the universe came from, therefore it is invalid!”? The argument is completely meaningless and creationists *know* it (seriously – how could they not?) but they use it anyway – it’s a crutch. If they attack evolution, they feel justified in clinging on to their delusions with their fingernails.

  103. #103 latso
    July 6, 2006

    “”Or perhaps he’s just rather stupid … religion tends to do that to people.”

    Now, now. We don’t need to throw that into the mix. For one thing, a pro-evolution voice that insults all religion everywhere will only play right into the ID’er’s hands. For another thing, the insult is unmerited.”

    Hm…I think I have to agree with the first poster. Religious people believe all kinds of preposterous things that they could see for themselves are not true. They choose to ignore the facts in order to cling to their delusions.

    I would call this pretty stupid. Willful stupidity, perhaps, but a kind of stupidity nevertheless.

    As for religion tending to make people stupid…in this sense, it probably does. Once you have bought into a set of delusions, it becomes increasingly easier to create more and more insane justifications in support of those delusions than to let go of the delusions and admit you were wrong.

    So if you count willful disregard of facts when they do not support a particular delusion as stupid (I do, but I can see why people might classify it differently) then it certainly seems as though religion leads to stupidity.

  104. #104 Dave S.
    July 6, 2006

    Larry continues:

    And I demolish that cowardly hypocrite Ed Brayton HERE and in several other places on my blog.

    Sure you do Larry. Sure you do. I can’t understand why these arguments haven’t been used to overturn that ruling already. What’s the hold-up Larry?

    The reason why it does not exist is what presents a challenge to evolution, and that reason is that many co-dependent organisms — e.g., deep flowers — cannot evolve independently.

    Except you have not presented the slightest evidence for this. You still haven’t explained how they could not have co-evolved Larry, you merely assert that there must be examples of this.

    But the research and articles were inspired or motivated by ID — that’s the important thing.

    I see. So ID must be valid, otherwise they wouldn’t be talking about it. Nice bit of logic there Larry.

    Problem is Larry, there is no actual reaserch done that has flowed from a positive theory of ID. Being inspired by a shoddy philosophical notion to make inane attacks on evolution does not a research program make, even less does others criticising said notions. Even some IDists admit there has been no actual research yet.

    Wikipedia defines co-evolution as the evolution of mutualistic relationships.

    The say its a mutual evolutionary influence. Total mutualistic dependence is one form it can take. It’s the most extreme example of it.

    So you are saying that evolution was the result of millions of these odd and fortuitous coincidences.

    What I’m saying is that total mutualism doesn’t just pop into existance between two random organisms as you seem to think it has to. The relationships between organisms evolve as the organisms evolve.

    Evolutionists do not have a single piece of data to support a lot of their claims, too. A lot of evolution theory is just speculation and conjecture.

    Like what Larry? Besides coevolution (we already have your thoughts on that) what parts of evolutionary theory are speculative and and involve mere conjection? I happen to agree some facets are more speculative than others (mainly due to lack of evidence), but I want to know your views.

    OK, then Judge Jones should have asked the school board to submit another ID book for approval.

    I ask again…which ID textbook?

    And it’s not the judge’s place to have textbooks submitted to him for vetting either. It’s still the responsibility of a responsible school board, in conjunction with their science teachers, science advisors and legal advisors, all of whom were totally ignored in this case. It’s only when the school board failed to do its job and tried to push religious notions and parents complained that they crossed the line.

    ID is more scientific than Darwinism because the scientific claims of ID do not go beyond what can be demonstrated by science.

    Not only does ID make no scientific claims in any sence of that word, the science of evolution makes only scientic claims that can be and have been sucessfully tested time and again. ID still has a score of 0 on that front.

    I only said that co-evolution is hard enough to begin with, and adding irreducible complexity only make it harder.

    Still don’t know what “hard” is supposed to mean as far as nature is concerned. Is it “harder” for gravity to roll a bolder or a pebble down a hill? Is it “harder” for climate to make a hurricane than it is to make a summer shower?

  105. #105 latsot
    July 6, 2006

    “Wikipedia defines co-evolution as the evolution of mutualistic relationships.”

    No it doesn’t. This is an out-and-out shameless lie. Did you think nobody would check? The wikipedia article clearly states:

    “Co-evolution does not imply mutual dependence. The host of a parasite, or prey of a predator, does not depend on its enemy for persistence.”

    As if your arguments aren’t lame enough without blatently lying.

  106. #106 Larry Fafarman
    July 6, 2006
    “Wikipedia defines co-evolution as the evolution of mutualistic relationships.”

    No it doesn’t. The wikipedia article clearly states:

    “Co-evolution does not imply mutual dependence. The host of a parasite, or prey of a predator, does not depend on its enemy for persistence.”

    Oops! Wikipedia’s definition has changed since I last looked at the article (many Wikipedia articles are subject to editing by readers). Here is another authority —

    Coevolution is the the mutual evolutionary influence between two species (the evolution of two species totally dependent on each other). Each of the species involved exerts selective pressure on the other, so they evolve together. Coevolution is an extreme example of mutualism. (emphasis added)

    — from http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio303/coevolution.htm

    And next time please do not be so uptignt when responding to my comments.

  107. #107 Dave S.
    July 6, 2006

    Larry:

    I don’t know how that guy is using it, but according to the five biology dictionaries I’ve just looked at, it’s the other way around. One even specifically mentions predator and prey as coevolutionary. Maybe in his research, this is the focus.

    Now if all you want to talk about is obligate mutually benficial relationships then that’s fine. My only point there is that there are many ways in which species can impact the evolution of others and vice versa to one degree or another. That type of obligate mutualism is just one of them.

    How these relationships defy evolution in your mind, that’s still not at all clear.

  108. #108 Larry Fafarman
    July 6, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 6, 2006 09:09 AM ) —

    I can’t understand why these arguments haven’t been used to overturn that ruling already. What’s the hold-up Larry?

    Well, one reason that should be fairly obvious is that Kitzmiller v. Dover cannot be overturned because it was not appealed. Another reason is that the courts work very, very slowly — the Selman v. Cobb County textbook sticker case was remanded to the district court sixteen months after the decision because of missing evidence.

    Except you have not presented the slightest evidence for this.

    It should be fairly obvious that when flowers are insect-pollinated, the flowers cannot procreate without insects capable of pollinating them. Sheeeesh

    I see. So ID must be valid, otherwise they wouldn’t be talking about it.

    Nope. Never said that. I only said that ID has inspired research.

    Even some IDists admit there has been no actual research yet.

    I doubt that there are any really serious IDists who will say that there has been no actual research yet.

    Wikipedia defines co-evolution as the evolution of mutualistic relationships.

    The say its a mutual evolutionary influence. Total mutualistic dependence is one form it can take. It’s the most extreme example of it.

    Wikipedia’s definition has changed — see my preceding post.

    I ask again…which ID textbook?

    It did not have to be a textbook, because it was just supplemental reading.

    OK, I agree that the school board should have consulted the teachers.

    And it’s not the judge’s place to have textbooks submitted to him for vetting either.

    Why did he become involved with book selection in the first place? The case was supposed to be about ID — not about a particular book about ID. His decision was actually invalid as a general decision about ID because he focused on just one book about ID. As I said, it is like a judge looking at the book Finding Darwin’s God, concluding that Darwinism is religious, and then kicking Darwinism out of the public schools. Jones is a lousy judge who ought to go back to the state booze commission.

    Definition of a federal judge — a lawyer who knows a senator.

    Not only does ID make no scientific claims in any sence of that word, the science of evolution makes only scientic claims that can be and have been sucessfully tested time and again.

    ID does make scientific claims — it claims that some biological systems are unevolvable because of irreducible complexity. A lot of evolution theory is wild and untestable speculation — e.g., punctuated equilibrium. And a lot of the “predictions” made by evolution theory are just predictions of possible future finds of more circumstantial evidence of evolution — e.g., the fossil record is used to make predictions of possible future finds of “missing link” fossils.

    Still don’t know what “hard” is supposed to mean as far as nature is concerned.

    It should be obvious that irreducible complexity and mutualistic co-evolution — especially when combined — make evolution much harder.

    Anyway, I have lots of company in my questioning of ID.

  109. #109 Larry Fafarman
    July 6, 2006

    Oops — I meant “questioning of evolution.”

  110. #110 Alann
    July 6, 2006

    I don’t see the problem with co-evolution.
    Two species which were originally independent evolved in a manner which eventually became dependent.

    It does not seem illogical take the following hypothetical:

    A flying insect species with the ability to consume pollen, where mutation randomly alters its ability to consume pollen versus other food. Given abundant pollen it is not hard to image a selectable strain of insect which has become dependent on pollen.

    At the same time consider plants which use wind pollination. The pollen can be spread by insects or by wind. Mutation alters how attractive the plant is to the insect, and how much pollen it produces. Given a large number of pollen eating insects, it is not a stretch to select a strain of plant which produces less pollen and is more attractive to insect, such that it is on longer able to sustain itself through wind pollination.

    For this new symbiotic system to become more specialized over time is actually quite logical. Mutations which favor the co-dependence are likely to prove more beneficial than mutations which move away from it.

    It seems to me, that over specialization is a natural direction for evolution which periodically results in extinction as the changing conditions suddenly and briefly favor adaptability over specialization.

  111. #111 Dave S.
    July 6, 2006

    Larry carries on digging:

    Well, one reason that should be fairly obvious is that Kitzmiller v. Dover cannot be overturned because it was not appealed.

    But I’m sure if it was appealed, the ruling would be overtured in a heartbeat.

    If. :)

    It should be fairly obvious that when flowers are insect-pollinated, the flowers cannot procreate without insects capable of pollinating them. Sheeeesh

    We already know that such exclusive relationships exist today Larry. But you’re trying to argue these relationships could not have evolved in the first place. Where’s your evidence for that? Which flowers requiring specific insects evolved before the insects that pollenate them? If you don’t have any specific examples to discuss, then why are you wasting my time with this?

    You still haven’t told us about this other explanation you mentioned.

    You: “No, evolution was not necessary to make that prediction. Darwinists assume that evolution is the only explanation just because it is a possible explanation.”

    I’m still waiting for you to tell us some other possible explanation. If you say “design”, then how do we test for design and how does it really explain anything?

    Nope. Never said that. I only said that ID has inspired research.

    Criticising bad arguments is not research Larry. Strange how your standard changes when ID is concerned. You’d probably laugh, and rightly so, if I had the audacity to insist that Dembski’s blog provides scientific validation of “Darwinism” because they criticise it all the time.

    I doubt that there are any really serious IDists who will say that there has been no actual research yet.

    Query…which ID “theorist” and DI fellow said, “We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’- but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.”?

    A: Paul Nelson.

    At least, they don’t have any of those consarned scientific-y theories. Now if we just re-define science, then it becomes an amazing scienctific theory! Except of course it’s still vacuous nonsense. But hey, you can’t have everything.

    I’d ask you what this “actual research” consists of Larry, but you’ve already answered that simply criticising ID ideas counts as ID “inspired research”.

    It did not have to be a textbook, because it was just supplemental reading.

    It’s unconstitutional no matter what you call it. I’m sure the next such book won’t have so many direct connections back to old school creationism.

    OK, I agree that the school board should have consulted the teachers.

    Problem is Larry, the teachers made their views perfectly well known and the board drove ahead any way. The teachers even refused to read the statement because they had, like, professional ethics that prevented them from purposefully lying to students. The board didn’t give a crap what the teachers thought.

    Why did he become involved with book selection in the first place? The case was supposed to be about ID –not about a particular book about ID.

    He never was involved in book selection. The liars on the school board selected it, and then tried to hide the money trail after they bought it. But they were sticking up for Jesus, so apparently that’s OK.

    His decision was actually invalid as a general decision about ID because he focused on just one book about ID.

    Are you forgetting the testimony of Dr. Forrest? She tied the trail up nicely, including the history of the Pandas ceationism=ID book.

    As I said, it is like a judge looking at the book Finding Darwin’s God, concluding that Darwinism is religious, and then kicking Darwinism out of the public schools. Jones is a lousy judge who ought to go back to the state booze commission.

    But the school board didn’t try to insert that book in the classroom Larry. Stay focussed!

    ID does make scientific claims — it claims that some biological systems are unevolvable because of irreducible complexity.

    There are many things wrong here. First, Behe claims such systems cannot directly evolve. To avoid indirect evolution he resorts to the tactic of dismissing the evidence as not good enough for him with a regal wave of the hand. That’s how he countered the stacks of papers and book chapters on the evolution of the immune system, even though he hadn’t read most of it. I wish I could do that! Behe’s own paper with Snoke shows that in fact such complex systems do evolve, and do so when you do everything you can think of within reason not to get that result as Behe did.

    Finally, this is not a scientific claim at all…it’s a semantic claim. Whether a system is IC or not is subjective and depends solely on how you define the system. You choose what a “part” is, you choose what a “basic function” is, you choose what it means to be “well matched”. There is no objective criteria. It’s not even clear what IC has to do with ID. Just because it’s anti-evolutionary in intent doesn’t mean its evidence for design, even if there were anything to it.

    A lot of evolution theory is wild and untestable speculation — e.g., punctuated equilibrium.

    PE is about modes of speciation, not about the large scale macroevolutionary patterns, and is testable by looking at the appearance of species in the fossil record. The original paper for instance looked at gastropods and trilobites, so I don’t know what you’re talking about. Ironically, some even call it “non-Darwinian”, just the kind of argument you say doesn’t get a fair hearing in the mainstream literature. It’s not really non-Darwinian as Darwin had similar ideas, but some have called it that.

    And a lot of the “predictions” made by evolution theory are just predictions of possible future finds of more circumstantial evidence of evolution — e.g., the fossil record is used to make predictions of possible future finds of “missing link” fossils.

    And when those fossils are found, where and and at what level and in the configuration predicted, doesn’t that constitute powerful evidentiary support? What has ID ever done which is even remotely close to this??

    It should be obvious that irreducible complexity and mutualistic co-evolution — especially when combined — make evolution much harder.

    It’s obvious that the Sun revolves around the Earth too.

    Anyway, I have lots of company in my questioning of ID.

    Oops — I meant “questioning of evolution.”

    Oh….so you don’t think ID needs to be questioned?

    I think evolution needs to be questioned. It needs to be tested over and over and over again. It needs to make testable predictions and to pass those tests. It needs to explain the data we can actually see from the vastness of out biological understanding, and we need to be able propose new empirical tests which flow from the theory and which we can use to test it still more.

    Why don’t you expect that of ID Larry?

  112. #112 Alann
    July 6, 2006

    I have a question for Larry:
    Where exactly do you stand on evolution and ID?

    Its clear you disagree with evolution, but there is a pretty wide spectrum and I was wondering.

    I mean, do you believe that evolution is significantly right but has flaws, or are you arguing that evolution is fundamentally flawed?

    To put it another way, would you say you are arguing in favor of design influence in the mutation; that macro-evolution does not take place; or something else entirely?

  113. #113 Larry Fafarman
    July 6, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 6, 2006 10:56 AM ) —

    Now if all you want to talk about is obligate mutually benficial relationships then that’s fine. My only point there is that there are many ways in which species can impact the evolution of others and vice versa to one degree or another. That type of obligate mutualism is just one of them.

    OK, there is disagreement in the definitions of co-evolution. I agree that restricting co-evolution to mutualism is too restrictive. I gave those definitions only because they were the quickest responses.

    I think that there are substantial differences between the evolution of a mutualistic relationship and the evolution of a predatory or parasitic relationship. It is more likely in mutualism that a beneficial co-evolutionary mutation in one organism will require an immediate co-evolutionary response from the other organism in order to be effective. For example, in the case of a mutation that increases the depth of an insect-pollinated flower, long-nose insects must be available immediately at the same place and the same time or otherwise the flower could not procreate, and furthermore, large numbers of both kinds of organisms must be created immediately because the co-dependent insects and flowers interact in large numbers. However, in the so-called “evolutionary arms races” of predator/prey or parasite/host relationships, one organism can suddenly develop a comparative advantage over the other without needing any co-evolutionary response from the other, and the other organism generally has some time to make a co-evolutionary response. Also, if the organism gaining the advantage is entirely dependent on the other, the effect of the advantage is self-limiting because the extinction of the disadvantaged organism will cause the extinction of the other.

  114. #114 Larry Fafarman
    July 7, 2006

    Alann said ( July 6, 2006 02:57 PM ) —

    I have a question for Larry:
    Where exactly do you stand on evolution and ID?

    Its clear you disagree with evolution, but there is a pretty wide spectrum and I was wondering.

    I mean, do you believe that evolution is significantly right but has flaws, or are you arguing that evolution is fundamentally flawed?

    I really have not looked at all criticisms of evolution. It may very well be that such parts of evolution theory as “changes through time” and “common descent” are well supported by the evidence. However, IMO, the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection does not appear to be well supported by the evidence.

    Also, I think that we should look seriously at non-ID criticisms of evolution — e.g., criticisms concerning co-evolution, the propagability of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction, and chromosome counts. I discuss these criticisms on my blog at
    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/

    A lot of Darwinists think that I am a crackpot, but I believe that more people think like I do than think like they do. So if I am a crackpot, I have lots of company.

  115. #115 Dave S.
    July 7, 2006

    Larry F. says:

    I think that there are substantial differences between the evolution of a mutualistic relationship and the evolution of a predatory or parasitic relationship. It is more likely in mutualism that a beneficial co-evolutionary mutation in one organism will require an immediate co-evolutionary response from the other organism in order to be effective. For example, in the case of a mutation that increases the depth of an insect-pollinated flower, long-nose insects must be available immediately at the same place and the same time or otherwise the flower could not procreate, and furthermore, large numbers of both kinds of organisms must be created immediately because the co-dependent insects and flowers interact in large numbers.

    But as I keep saying, there is already variation present in both flower and insect, and its this variation which is worked on by evolutionary forces. Some insects had slightly shorter “noses”, some slightly longer. Some flowers had slightly shorter tubes, some slightly longer. In this relationship, the insects with the slightly longer noses fare better (meaning they leave more offspring) than the ones with slightly shorter noses, and consequently their progeny had slightly longer noses on average. On the flower side of the ledger, the ones with the slightly longer tubes also fared better than their shorter tubed relatives. Over time, this relationship is reinforced as both nose and tube grow longer and longer. At first those insects may have been just one pollenator among many for the flower, and the tubed flowers may have been just one nectar stop among many for the insects. But over time the relationship on both sides becomes more and more exclusive, each side selecting for organisms that favoured itself more, until the very existance of both depended on the other. In the flower/insect pair this is seen in the small scale, but there’s larger scales too as animals can’t live without plants, and plants can’t live without animals.

    However, in the so-called “evolutionary arms races” of predator/prey or parasite/host relationships, one organism can suddenly develop a comparative advantage over the other without needing any co-evolutionary response from the other, and the other organism generally has some time to make a co-evolutionary response.

    Whether the response is one sided (predatory) or two sided (mutualistic) is determined after the fact in retrospect. The organisms don’t decide in advance what kind of relationship they’ll have with other organisms. This is contingent upon what works at that place and time.

    Also, if the organism gaining the advantage is entirely dependent on the other, the effect of the advantage is self-limiting because the extinction of the disadvantaged organism will cause the extinction of the other.

    Oh I agree that this is a distinct disadvantage of this kind of relationship. But again, the organisms don’t get to pick and choose, any more than you got to choose to be you. All relationships have their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, is it better to have few offpring but to care for them, or many and let them fend for themselves? Both can work depending on the environment, and both have their pluses and minuses. The key is getting one that works well enough for the time being. And extinction is a problem for organisms regardless their relationships.

    I really have not looked at all criticisms of evolution. It may very well be that such parts of evolution theory as “changes through time” and “common descent” are well supported by the evidence.

    “Changes in time” is a very poor descriptor of biological evolution. Evolution is about a specific kind of change in kind, in particular dealing with populations and their heritability.

    However, IMO, the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection does not appear to be well supported by the evidence.

    This is a straw-man one often hears from creationists. Evolutionsts do not claim that variation and natural selection all by themselves are solely responsible for evolution. An important mechanism (its a matter of debate how important in which lineages) to be sure, but not the sole driver.

    Also, I think that we should look seriously at non-ID criticisms of evolution — e.g., criticisms concerning co-evolution, the propagability of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction, and chromosome counts. I discuss these criticisms on my blog at
    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/

    Acually, ID is nothing more than a series of criticisms on evolution, none of which are new (although recast in different form). Virtually every new advance in evolution these days is simply met by a flurry of press releases and articles by ID advocates very critical of it. You can’t tell the difference between them and the old time creationists, except that the creationsist admit what they are whilst ID advocates try to hide it, usually badly.

    Scientists are always prepared to look at any serious claims. ‘Serious’ however does not mean untestable philosophical handwaving or “critiques” that have been debunked repeatedly but still come back unchanged time and again.

    A lot of Darwinists think that I am a crackpot, but I believe that more people think like I do than think like they do. So if I am a crackpot, I have lots of company.

    Being part of a population of crackpots may make one feel less isolated, but it doesn’t make the arguments any better.

  116. #116 Alann
    July 7, 2006

    I really have not looked at all criticisms of evolution. It may very well be that such parts of evolution theory as “changes through time” and “common descent” are well supported by the evidence. However, IMO, the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection does not appear to be well supported by the evidence.

    Also, I think that we should look seriously at non-ID criticisms of evolution — e.g., criticisms concerning co-evolution, the propagability of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction, and chromosome counts. I discuss these criticisms on my blog at http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/

    A lot of Darwinists think that I am a crackpot, but I believe that more people think like I do than think like they do. So if I am a crackpot, I have lots of company.

    Thank you for your answers.

    I think you should decide what parts of evolution you agree with and make that clear, in order to be taken more seriously. A number of your posts leave the impression that since some aspects of evolution are shaky, the whole of evolution is brought into question.

    Much of the public debate over evolution is based disagreement that evolution (development of species) has happened. This is primarily a creationist view, but has not been rejected by ID-ists, because they really want their support.

    The true scientific discussions about evolution are in the details of the mechanism. The evidence that evolution has happened and continues to happen, has been very well established.

    In many cases individuals appear to be using the scientific discussions in an attempt to incorrectly bolster the religious side of the public debate. This applies particularly to school curriculums, where the level of evolution science presented is essentially not under debate. Its the equivalent of denying the teaching of basic Newtonian Physics because of the issues raised by Quantum Mechanics or Relativity. Or as a simpler analogy it is arguing the world is six thousand years old because scientists cannot agree if it five or six billion.

  117. #117 Larry Fafarman
    July 7, 2006

    Dave S. save ( July 7, 2006 09:23 AM ) —

    Some insects had slightly shorter “noses”, some slightly longer. Some flowers had slightly shorter tubes, some slightly longer. In this relationship, the insects with the slightly longer noses fare better (meaning they leave more offspring) than the ones with slightly shorter noses, and consequently their progeny had slightly longer noses on average. On the flower side of the ledger, the ones with the slightly longer tubes also fared better than their shorter tubed relatives.

    If a long-nose on an insect and great depth in a flower are such great advantages, then why aren’t all insects long-nosed and all flowers deep?

    Also, where co-evolution consists of incremental changes –e.g., slightly deeper flowers on insects leads to slightly longer noses on insects, and vice-versa — then the evolutionary process is greatly slowed down because each organism must wait for the other organism to catch up before moving on to the next incremental step. And the mutations are random and all of this co-evolution has only a few million years to take place.

    Also, some co-evolutionary changes cannot be done incrementally — they must be all or nothing.

    Whether the response is one sided (predatory) or two sided (mutualistic) is determined after the fact in retrospect. The organisms don’t decide in advance what kind of relationship they’ll have with other organisms.

    What I am saying is that the relationship is already predatory and one of the organisms suddenly develops a comparative advantage.

    “Changes in time” is a very poor descriptor of biological evolution.

    “Changes in time” is the “big tent” term that can be used by people who do not believe in gradual evolution driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    This is a straw-man one often hears from creationists. Evolutionsts do not claim that variation and natural selection all by themselves are solely responsible for evolution. An important mechanism (its a matter of debate how important in which lineages) to be sure, but not the sole driver.

    What other possible natural drivers of evolution are there?

    ID is nothing more than a series of criticisms on evolution, none of which are new

    Wrong. There are non-ID criticisms of evolution — the ones on my blog concern co-evolution, propagability of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction, and chromosome counts. So far as I can see, my arguments about co-evolution are new — I have not seen them elsewhere. Darwinists try to give the false impression that all criticism of evolution is ID because ID was the criticism that was condemned in the Dover decision. The Darwinists are only showing that either they do not know what ID is or they do not care.

    Being part of a population of crackpots may make one feel less isolated, but it doesn’t make the arguments any better.

    I never said that I am a crackpot, but if I am one, then I assert that there are more crackpots like me than there are crackpots like you.

  118. #118 Dave S.
    July 7, 2006

    Alann –

    Actually scientists agree the age is pretty close to 4.55 billion yeras (give or take a percent or two), based on a number of convergent lines of evidence.

  119. #119 Larry Fafarman
    July 7, 2006

    Alann said ( July 7, 2006 04:29 PM ) —

    uch of the public debate over evolution is based disagreement that evolution (development of species) has happened. This is primarily a creationist view, but has not been rejected by ID-ists, because they really want their support.

    I don’t think that the ID-ists should tell the fundies, “we don’t want your support because you are giving us a bad name.” People should feel free to support whatever they want to support.

    I think it is unfortunate that religion is such a big part of the debate over ID and irreducible complexity. One of the reasons why Darwinists insist that ID is just a religious concept is so that they can use the Constitution’s establishment clause to attack it.

  120. #120 Dave S.
    July 10, 2006

    Larry says:

    If a long-nose on an insect and great depth in a flower are such great advantages, then why aren’t all insects long-nosed and all flowers deep?

    Because there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

    Also, where co-evolution consists of incremental changes –e.g., slightly deeper flowers on insects leads to slightly longer noses on insects, and vice-versa — then the evolutionary process is greatly slowed down because each organism must wait for the other organism to catch up before moving on to the next incremental step. And the mutations are random and all of this co-evolution has only a few million years to take place.

    Personal incredulity is not evidence. In the Galopagos, the Grants found measureable differences in finck beak sizes, which had been modified via natural selection, in just a few years. Even if the selective pressure was very weak, there would have been ample time to evolve these structures.

    Also, some co-evolutionary changes cannot be done incrementally — they must be all or nothing.

    Which ones must be all or nothing? Please refer to specific organisms. Your say-so is unacceptable.

    What I am saying is that the relationship is already predatory and one of the organisms suddenly develops a comparative advantage.

    And if the other organism could respond to this advantage, say by evolving a counter-measure or branching out into a new niche. Another possibility is that it winds up going extinct.

    “Changes in time” is the “big tent” term that can be used by people who do not believe in gradual evolution driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    Which people? I know Creationists sometimes use such terms to equivocate (either in their ignorance or on pupose) the definition of evolution with specific evolutionary theories, and then blame the “evolutionists” for the confusion.

    What other possible natural drivers of evolution are there?

    Neutral drift. Sexual selection. Endosymbiotic effects. Extinction.

    ID is nothing more than a series of criticisms on evolution, none of which are new

    Wrong. There are non-ID criticisms of evolution

    I said ID is nothing more than a serious of criticisms and you respond by posting that there are also non-ID criticisms. Even if you’re right, and there’s not the slightest evidence to indicate you are, then that has nothing to do with whether ID is nothing more than criticisms of evolution. You are simply offering still more criticisms, but apparently without offering any “theory” in replacement.

    You say there are other explanations, but you won’t say what they are. If not evolutionary, and not ID, then what is your explanation Larry?

    Darwinists try to give the false impression that all criticism of evolution is ID because ID was the criticism that was condemned in the Dover decision. The Darwinists are only showing that either they do not know what ID is or they do not care.

    The fact that there are other “criticisms” of evolution besides those made by ID advocates does not mean ID does nothing but make such criticisms. It’s basic logic Larry. Sheesh.

    I never said that I am a crackpot, but if I am one, then I assert that there are more crackpots like me than there are crackpots like you.

    Whether you say you are a crackpot or not is irrelevant as to whether you are one. The consensus on your own blog is that you are.

    And who am I to argue with that?

    I think it is unfortunate that religion is such a big part of the debate over ID and irreducible complexity. One of the reasons why Darwinists insist that ID is just a religious concept is so that they can use the Constitution’s establishment clause to attack it.

    The entire ID movement is nothing more than an extension of existing Creationist dogma with attempts to try and remove the overtly religious bits, its hardly a shocker that religion cropped up. Indeed, ID is nothing more than a poor religious notion (and can only be understood in religious terms) with absolutely no scientific use whatsoever. The great unwashed masses (like the old Dover school board) are just less good at hiding their religious ferver than are the likes of Behe. The “Darwinists” don’t insist on it Larry. It’s a simple fact.

  121. #121 Alann
    July 10, 2006

    I think ID gets a bad name not because it is supported by fundies, but because it accepts the creationist principles espoused by the fundies.

    Religion is the root of design theory and intelligent design. The primary criticism of evolution is based on perceived theological need instead of a scientific goal.

    In its present state ID is a religious concept, belief in a creator is by definition religious (even if the designer is aliens, it is still theology about aliens); however the establishment cause only bans ID so long as it does not have a true secular purpose.

    So long as ID tries to debate even the most well supported evidence (age of the earth, fossil records, macroevolution) instead of focusing on those areas which still have unanswered questions, there is no reason to doubt that its primary goal is theological.

    In fact in all of the cases I am aware of where ID has been introduced or considered for science education, it was intentionally misused (assuming you believe this was not IDs purpose in the first place) as an avenue to really teach creationism.

  122. #122 Dave S.
    July 10, 2006

    Alann writes:

    In its present state ID is a religious concept, belief in a creator is by definition religious (even if the designer is aliens, it is still theology about aliens); however the establishment cause only bans ID so long as it does not have a true secular purpose.

    Although you’ll occasionally hear one of the main ID advocates mentioning the possibility that the designer(s) are “aliens” (or time travellers), none of them actually seriously hold to this possibility. You don’t see the Raelians invited to contribute.

    And it’s not also consistant with their many other statements. For instance their continual attacks on scientific “materialism”, and that design ‘theory’ is free of materialistic constraints (unlike “Darwinism”) suggest that aliens and time-travellers are not serious candidates, as they are both (if they exist) still purely material entities. In addition, their own definition of ID (from the Discovery Institute’s creationist branch) is that the designer is responsible for features of the universe itself, which again cannot be attributed to something that exists within the universe, no matter how alien. This is no more than mere lip-service, trying to provide a non-religious alternative where as far as they are concerned, none exists. It’s like Jon Stewart says, the Designer can only be God or something with the same skill-set. This conclusion is not at all surprising, as the ‘theory’ was rigged that way from the start.

  123. #123 Alann
    July 10, 2006

    I recognize that the non-supernatural alternatives mentioned by ID are nothing more than lip-service.

    I was trying to point out that even a non-supernatural designer would still be subject to the establishment clause because it is still by definition religion and theology.

    At one point cats were worshiped. If you started teaching about cat based design, it would still be theology even though cats are material entities.

  124. #124 Dave S.
    July 11, 2006

    I was trying to point out that even a non-supernatural designer would still be subject to the establishment clause because it is still by definition religion and theology.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with positing design for any given feature per se. In fact, forensics, archeology and cryptology are all scientific fields that use intelligent agency all the time to explain one feature or another. But they do so using standard scientific methodologies, which ID does not. Those fields have a positive design theory, whereas ID relies on inferring design based on alleged insufficiencies of evolution and the personal incredulity of the adherents.

  125. #125 Alann
    July 11, 2006

    Perhaps I was unclear I was not referring to the designers responsible for buildings, toasters or even genetically engineered tomatoes.

    The distinction which makes the ID designer theology is not the methodology, but the idea that this designer is responsible for humans. Any discussion of an intelligent origin of human life is theology, even if in some case it also proved to be scientific.

    The designer of humans is a working definition of God regardless of the designer’s super-natural status. In this sense humans are the gods of toasters. Unfortunately for us most toaster appear to be atheists.

  126. #126 Dave S.
    July 11, 2006

    I have to say Alann, that I don’t agree with your statements. The origin of human life is something which is entirely amenable to scientific investigation – whether it arose through evolution or was sparked by aliens from another world is not germane. The point is that both could be made as scientific accounts, as long as both used the scientific methodologies. If we found evidence under a rock that the aliens left us, and they told us how to confirm for ourselves that they did indeed place us here, then that would not by itself be religious in nature merely because these aliens were intelligent by our standards. It would certainly present an interesting problem for some religions, but then again, evolution already does that, as does geology and physics and other branches of science (depending on the religion…YE creationism is especially sensitive to scientific advancement).

  127. #127 Alann
    July 11, 2006

    First let me say that I completely agree that the origin of human life is an area for scientific investigation.

    I meant to say that an item can be both theological and scientific. In fact many people think of evolution in just those terms concluding (incorrectly) that evolution demands an absence of God; which would constitute a form a theology (its an entirely separate discussion if atheism should be treated in the same context as religion, or in a separate context as the absence of religion).

    Setting that aside, I return to my original conjecture: Regardless of whether ID uses a truly scientific method, since it invokes an intelligent origin of humans, that is inherently a possible definition of God, and cannot avoid being considered theology. In this sense it will always be a potential establishment issue.

    However under the same principles an idea which is essential theology, but has true scientific merit, would not be banned under the establishment clause because it had secular value.

    This leads me back to the point which I think we both agree on. It is the scientific vacuity of ID which results in its ban. If ID truly followed the scientific method to obtain real results, it could and would be taught in schools despites its theological implications.

  128. #128 Doc Bill
    July 11, 2006

    Alann,

    ID requires a supernatural Intelligent Designer. Full stop. Forget aliens and time travelers, please.

    Therefore, ID can’t possibly follow the scientific method. Therefore, your statement “if Id truly followed…etc” is false. Can’t happen. Full stop.

    The Establishment Clause is totally irrelevant to ID. This clause only pertains to teaching religion in public schools in the United States. It has nothing to do with “preventing” people from investigating ID or submitting the results of “ID research” to accredited journals or to free speech.

    ID will never be taught in schools and it will never be adopted as a scientific theory because it is witchcraft. And if you can prove otherwise, please do. Personally, the demon sitting in my living room claims I’m wrong but I’ve bet my soul otherwise!

  129. #129 Dave S.
    July 12, 2006

    The phrase “inherently a possible definition of God” when invoking intelligent origins in not coherant. If I invoke intelligent origin for the appearance of a rock artifact dug out of a dirt mound I am not making a theological distinction of any kind. I am simply positing a possible positive explanation to explain certain features of that rock. I am not using an ID approach. I am comparing that specimen to features of other known specimens and the skills and motivations of a specific designer (i.e. people).

    I would agree that ID is scientifically vacuous, but more than that, it does not have a positive model of any kind. Even if we were to give ID a freebie into the tent of science, it has nothing to offer us as far as our goal of understanding nature is concerned. Once “design” is invoked, there is nothing more for us to do but speculate as far as design theory is concerned. Unless we want to pretend we never concluded design in the first place, but then that eliminates any use for design. IOW, “it shows evidence of design” is not the beginning of design ‘theory’, its the end. Design (the ID brand) actually kills science instead of advancing it. It’s like a Gorgon, turning whatever it looks at to stone.

  130. #130 Alann
    July 12, 2006

    Some much to respond to:

    ID does not require a supernatural designer, although to be fair in practice thats what IDists mean.

    In any case a supernatural element does not void the scientific method. Look at it this way:

    It is possible to show that a pattern of mutation suggests an external influence without being able to identify the cause (imagine seeing the effects of radiation or chemical induced mutation without the ability to detect the radiation or chemical itself).

    It is scientifically possible to indicate (but not necessarily prove) that a pattern denotes intelligence without making assertions about the intelligence itself. (for example we consider the pattern of prime numbers to be something which would not occur without an intelligent source)

    I don’t think for a second that this is what IDists are doing in practice. I’m just saying that it is possible to approach ID in a scientific manner.

    The Establishment Clause is relevant to ID, when we are discussing teaching ID in public schools, or obtaining government research grants. It of course has no relevance to private schools, research, or publications.

    About the phrase “inherently a possible definition of God” I said earlier. If you invoke an intelligent origin A for object B, then A is the conceptual god of B. Specifically an intelligent origin for humans is one definition of God. As humans we would not consider the sculptor of a statue to be a god, on the other hand the statue would probably feel otherwise.

    It is correct that the ID typically discussed is a scientific dead end. If you cannot predict, measure, quantify, or trace the designers influence, it is essentially equivalent to being random.

    On a less serious topic here is my own personal solution to the missing design mechanism for ID, now taking pre-orders for paid lectures and book deals:

    “Systematic induced mutation and the search for divine radiance.”

    I’ll argue that radiation which is already know to induce mutation, could be used to induce specific controlled mutations when applied precisely. This divine radiance directs the true course of evolution.

    Then depending on my mood I can argue that this divine radiation comes from:

    a) Space aliens and there diabolical plans for goats.
    b) The Sun, which explains why the first religions focused on sun-worship, and our need to re-evaluate these traditional beliefs.
    c) The center of our galaxy, and how the future of space exploration is essential in bringing us closer to God. Also I could discuss the polytheistic ramifications of multiple galaxies, and our need to prepare for the inevitable intergalactic holy war.
    d) Dark matter, and how this unexplained phenomenon which constitutes the greater potion of our universe is actually the presence of God himself.
    e) A reflection and refraction of energy from the creation of the universe itself, and how the phrase “let the be light” at the beginning of Genesis is a direct reference to this divine radiance.

    As this is the most complete work on the intelligent design mechanism to date, I may be the most successful ID theorist ever.

    ID science is fun you get to skip all those tedious steps like collecting evidence or performing experiments.

  131. #131 Dave S.
    July 12, 2006

    (for example we consider the pattern of prime numbers to be something which would not occur without an intelligent source)

    Not quite. Cicada species for instance may have periodic cycles of 7, 13 or 17 years. At one time it was thought that these times were coincidentally prime, but population dynamics studies showed that for circadas, this is also way of avoiding predation, as they then coincide with predatory population booms less often, since primes don’t have factors (other than N and 1 of course). If a circada had a life cycle of 12 years on the other hand, then any predator (they are easy to catch and defenseless) with cycles of 2, 3, 4, and 6 years could catch them when they emerge.

  132. #132 Larry Fafarman
    July 14, 2006

    I thought that this thread had ended, but I see that it is still going, so I will add a few comments.

    Dave S. said ( July 10, 2006 09:18 AM ) —

    Also, where co-evolution consists of incremental changes –e.g., slightly deeper flowers on insects leads to slightly longer noses on insects, and vice-versa — then the evolutionary process is greatly slowed down because each organism must wait for the other organism to catch up before moving on to the next incremental step.

    Personal incredulity is not evidence.

    And I suppose that Darwinists are never incredulous of the arguments of Darwinism’s critics?

    In the Galopagos, the Grants found measureable differences in finck beak sizes, which had been modified via natural selection, in just a few years.

    That is not an example of co-evolution.

    Also, some co-evolutionary changes cannot be done incrementally — they must be all or nothing.

    Which ones must be all or nothing? Please refer to specific organisms. Your say-so is unacceptable.

    And Darwinists’ say-so is always acceptable?

    I gave the example of wind-carried and insect-carried pollen. Pollen carried by insects is often unsuited for being carried by the wind. There must be other examples of all-or-nothing co-evolution — finding other examples would make an interesting research project.

    “Changes in time” is the “big tent” term that can be used by people who do not believe in gradual evolution driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    Which people?

    Like I said — it is a term that can be used by people who believe in changes with time but not in evolution driven solely by RM and NS.

    I said ID is nothing more than a serious of criticisms and you respond by posting that there are also non-ID criticisms. Even if you’re right, and there’s not the slightest evidence to indicate you are,

    I’m right — my arguments against co-evolution, for example, have nothing to do with “design.”

    You are simply offering still more criticisms, but apparently without offering any “theory” in replacement.

    Where is the rule that a scientific theory may not be criticized unless a replacement scientific theory is presented at the same time?

    Whether you say you are a crackpot or not is irrelevant as to whether you are one. The consensus on your own blog is that you are.

    That is because most of the commenters on my blog are just hecklers, many of them from Panda’s Thumb and Dispatches from the Culture Wars. Most of the commenters who support my views are busy commenting on other blogs, particularly Uncommon Descent.

    The entire ID movement is nothing more than an extension of existing Creationist dogma with attempts to try and remove the overtly religious bits, its hardly a shocker that religion cropped up.

    Many ID’ers have done their best to keep religion out of the discussion — the Darwinists are the ones who keep raising the issue of religion because it is to their advantage to do so.

  133. #133 Larry Fafarman
    July 14, 2006

    Alann said ( July 10, 2006 09:47 AM ) —

    I think ID gets a bad name not because it is supported by fundies, but because it accepts the creationist principles espoused by the fundies.

    You Darwinists are always misrepresenting ID because it is to your advantage to do so. ID does not accept fundy creationist principles.

    Religion is the root of design theory and intelligent design.

    Wrong. The most important scientific principle behind ID, irreducible complexity, does not mention religion at all.

    So long as ID tries to debate even the most well supported evidence (age of the earth, fossil records, macroevolution) instead of focusing on those areas which still have unanswered questions, there is no reason to doubt that its primary goal is theological.

    Wrong — ID disputes macroevolution but does not dispute the age of the earth or fossil records — you have no idea what ID really is.

    In fact in all of the cases I am aware of where ID has been introduced or considered for science education

    In the last three big lawsuits over evolution education — Kitzmiller v. Dover, Selman v. Cobb County, and Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish — only Darwinism was actually being taught in the public schools.

  134. #134 Dave S.
    July 14, 2006

    Larry limps along:

    And I suppose that Darwinists are never incredulous of the arguments of Darwinism’s critics?

    Yes, they are often incredulous that people obviously able to type and read could make such god-awful arguments in all seriousness.

    That is not an example of co-evolution.

    But it is an example showing that measureable changes can happen in short time frames.

    I gave the example of wind-carried and insect-carried pollen. Pollen carried by insects is often unsuited for being carried by the wind. There must be other examples of all-or-nothing co-evolution — finding other examples would make an interesting research project.

    Often is not always, and you still haven’t named a single specific organism where this idea of yours applies. How do you know there must be examples? The simplest (and by far the most likely) possibility is that you are wrong.

    Like I said — it is a term that can be used by people who believe in changes with time but not in evolution driven solely by RM and NS.

    Which people?

    I’m right — my arguments against co-evolution, for example, have nothing to do with “design.”

    But that demonstrates nothing about what the ID arguments are. It’s a complete non sequiur Larry. It’s like me saying “Everyone in the pool is wearing a red bathing suit”, and you replying with, “Well I’m sitting in the hotel lobby, and I’m wearing a blue suit”.

    Where is the rule that a scientific theory may not be criticized unless a replacement scientific theory is presented at the same time?

    But you were the one who complained that there were other testable explanations besides evolution. So I ask you to name one…and of course you don’t. Because you can’t?

    That is because most of the commenters on my blog are just hecklers, many of them from Panda’s Thumb and Dispatches from the Culture Wars. Most of the commenters who support my views are busy commenting on other blogs, particularly Uncommon Descent.

    Then your blog is irrelevant. We can just read that one then.

    Many ID’ers have done their best to keep religion out of the discussion — the Darwinists are the ones who keep raising the issue of religion because it is to their advantage to do so.

    They’ve done their best to hide their religious motivations (some better than others), but they just keep running into the indisputable facts that make ID inherently religious. Plus, their own words to the contrary keep coming back to haunt them.

    Damn you facts!!

    And the rank-and-file, people like the old Dover board, knew full well that ID is really all about standing up for Jesus. Goodness knows there is not been a single scientific discovery made using it in decades, nor can there be (which is kinda the problem)!

    Now if they could just keep to the script that they have to hide those inconvenient facts.

  135. #135 Dave S.
    July 14, 2006

    More Larryisms!:

    You Darwinists are always misrepresenting ID because it is to your advantage to do so. ID does not accept fundy creationist principles.

    Of course it does. Have you not heard of the “Big Tent” doctrine? Who could possibly read that and come away with the slightest notion that ID has anything at all to do with religion?? *L*

    ID encompasses a wide variety of evangelical positions, including “fundy creationist”. In addition, you can find a wide variety of evangelicals among the main ID proponants, including again, fundy creationists. Granted some fundies don’t like it, because its not explicitly God-invoking enough for them. But for legal reasons, they have to try to avoid G-o-d speak as much as possible. *wink*

    I think it is you who doesn’t understand ID Larry.

    Wrong. The most important scientific principle behind ID, irreducible complexity, does not mention religion at all.

    Irreducible complexity also doesn’t mention ID Larry. It’s a purely negetive argument against evolution, not an argument for design. It doesn’t even matter if Behe has a valid argument or not.

    Hint….not.

    Wrong — ID disputes macroevolution but does not dispute the age of the earth or fossil records — you have no idea what ID really is.

    But you just got done telling us all that Behe’s arguments are the scientific core of ID. Surely you know that Behe does not dispute macroevolution. Here, let me quote him for you, “Usually it [evolution] means common descent — the idea that all organisms living and dead are related by common ancestry. I have no quarrel with the idea of common descent, and continue to think it explains similarities among species.” How can that be Larry? Does Behe reject ID?

    Again, I think it’s you who has no idea what ID is. It’s enough that it’s somehow opposed to “Darwinism”.

  136. #136 Alann
    July 14, 2006

    Larry, I feel your response is off base.

    You Darwinists are always misrepresenting ID because it is to your advantage to do so. ID does not accept fundy creationist principles.

    Wrong. The most important scientific principle behind ID, irreducible complexity, does not mention religion at all.

    Wrong — ID disputes macroevolution but does not dispute the age of the earth or fossil records — you have no idea what ID really is.

    There are two primary representation of ID that I am familiar with “Of Pandas and People” and “Darwin’s Black Box”.

    I will agree with you that to my knowledge irreducible complexity as outlined in “Darwin’s Black Box” does not invoke religion, question the age of the earth, the fossil record, or even for the most part macroevolution. It debates the mechanism for specific evolutionary steps. For instance it argues flagella did evolve tails, but this cannot be explained through natural selection.

    On the other side “Of Pandas and People” (specifically referenced in the Dover case) takes a very different stance on ID. Although this book discusses the orign of all life, it deliberately avoids mentioning the age of the earth, or provide a timeline for the appearance of different species. (it implies that a date of 6-10k years is equally acceptable as a few billion). It does attack macroevolution in its entirety, and doing so requires misrepresenting the fossil record.

    “Of Pandas and People” is intentionally a creationist frienfly version of ID. It really is creationism trying to disguise itself as something else.

    ID is using a “big tent” approach to try to bring in as many people as possible. In order to do this it treats the age of the Earth as either irrelevant or unestablished.

    Also the philosophy behind ID does have its origin in religion, even irreducible complexity correlates to an earlier creationist argument, and design theory has its philosophical roots hundreds of years ago. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does and should raise the concern that this may primarily serve a non-secular purpose.

    In the last three big lawsuits over evolution education — Kitzmiller v. Dover, Selman v. Cobb County, and Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish — only Darwinism was actually being taught in the public schools.

    Technically correct. Even in the Dover case ID was not taught, instead it was only references as a school supported alternative. My point was that the people who sought to insert reference to ID, critisms of evolution, or otherwise support ID in this example where actually creationists (generally young earth creationist at that), and not really IDist or even theistic evolutionists.

    Young earth creationists see ID as just a vehicle to slip their ideas into schools.

  137. #137 Larry Fafarman
    July 14, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 14, 2006 11:04 AM ) —

    That is not an example of co-evolution.

    But it is an example showing that measureable changes can happen in short time frames.

    That’s irrelevant — I was talking about the special problems presented by co-evolution.

    you still haven’t named a single specific organism where this idea of yours applies

    I just did — wind-cariied and insect-carried pollen — and you have not stated what is wrong with this example. And even if I presented a bad example, that does not mean that other examples are not out there.

    You Darwinists have the attitude that all of your arguments — like “exaptation” — make perfect sense while all the arguments against Darwinism are absurd.

    But that demonstrates nothing about what the ID arguments are.

    I was not discussing what the ID arguments are — I was showing that there are non-ID criticisms of evolution.

    But you were the one who complained that there were other testable explanations besides evolution.

    Evolution theory is not testable. The only predictions that evolution theory can make are predictions of likely future discoveries of more circumstantial evidence of evolution — e.g., the fossil record can be used to predict likely future finds of “missing link” fossils.

    Then your blog is irrelevant.

    Not necessarily.

    They’ve done their best to hide their religious motivations (some better than others), but they just keep running into the indisputable facts that make ID inherently religious.

    Arguing that all anti-Darwinists are motivated by religion is like arguing that all Darwinists are motivated by atheism.

    Dave S. said ( July 14, 2006 01:03 PM ) —

    ID encompasses a wide variety of evangelical positions, including “fundy creationist”. In addition, you can find a wide variety of evangelicals among the main ID proponants, including again, fundy creationists.

    Religious questions are beyond the scope of ID, just as the creation of first life is beyond the scope of evolution theory.

    Irreducible complexity also doesn’t mention ID Larry. It’s a purely negetive argument against evolution, not an argument for design

    I am not sure that Behe’s books on irreducible complexity do not mention ID — but even if they do, it doesn’t matter to me. And there is no rule saying that a scientific theory may not be criticized unless an alternative theory is presented at the same time.

    But you just got done telling us all that Behe’s arguments are the scientific core of ID. Surely you know that Behe does not dispute macroevolution.

    Behe does dispute the idea that macroevolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

  138. #138 Larry Fafarman
    July 14, 2006

    Alann said ( July 14, 2006 01:13 PM ) —

    On the other side “Of Pandas and People” (specifically referenced in the Dover case) takes a very different stance on ID. Although this book discusses the orign of all life, it deliberately avoids mentioning the age of the earth, or provide a timeline for the appearance of different species.

    I have no idea why Of Pandas and People discusses the origin of all life. Since scientists have no theory or hypothesis for explaining the origin of all life, it cannot even be discussed in scientific terms. Anyway, it is outside the scope of ID, just as are the age of the earth and a timeline for the appearance of different species.

    “Of Pandas and People” is intentionally a creationist frienfly version of ID.

    Regular biology textbooks are atheist-friendly because they discuss evolution but not the origin of all life.

    My point was that the people who sought to insert reference to ID, critisms of evolution, or otherwise support ID in this example where actually creationists (generally young earth creationist at that), and not really IDist or even theistic evolutionists.

    Different people have different reasons for supporting ID, and people should not be punished because of the religious beliefs of others who support ID.

    Also, even if ID were strictly a religious concept, it would not necessarily be unconstitutional to merely mention ID in public school science classes. The judicial “endorsement test” prohibits government disapproval of religion as well as government endorsement of religion, and if ID is religious then the courts are expressing disapproval of religion when they prohibit the mere mention of ID in public school science classes where evolution theory is taught. It does no good to argue that evolution is not incompatible with religion, because to some people a literal interpretation of Genesis is part of their religion. An important issue in the endorsement test is that of favored “insiders” and disfavored “outsiders,” and Darwinists are the favored insiders because only Darwinism is actually being taught, regardless of whether or not there are evolution disclaimers that mention or don’t mention ID.

  139. #139 Alann
    July 14, 2006

    I just did — wind-cariied and insect-carried pollen — and you have not stated what is wrong with this example. And even if I presented a bad example, that does not mean that other examples are not out there.

    The thing is, in general co-evolution is not really a conceptual problem at all.

    The general case is that for species An and Bn which are presently codependent there exists predecessors A0 and B0 which are not dependent. A mutation of A0 -> A1 is selected which is slightly dependent on B0, then a mutation B0 -> B1 is selected which is slightly dependent on A1. Specialization can be very beneficial to a species, so it is not irrational for this process to continue to a point where neither A or B can exist without the other.

    I tried hypothesizing (someone with a better biology background can probably provide a detail explanation) about insect/pollen evolution in a previous post. Here is the simple version:

    Plant exists which produce wind pollen.
    Insects exists, and some insects can eat pollen.
    Insects can vary to favor pollen eating.
    Insects evolve which specialize in eating pollen.
    Some wind pollen can be spread by insects.
    Pollen can vary to favor insect spreading.
    Plants evolve which specialize in insect pollen.

  140. #140 Alann
    July 14, 2006

    I understand the viewpoint that disapproving of ID is potentially just as much an establishment issue as approving of ID. Personnaly I believe it is possible to have a version of intelligent design theory that has secular value, I just don’t think its any of the ones I’ve heard so far.

    Specifically in the Dover case the court sided against ID for good cause:
    -Adding a special preface to the biology classes, while not teaching, is still a clear endorsement. (clearly a potential establishement issue)
    -The prinicple proponents of ID, did so out of a religious rejection of evolution. (religious motivation)
    -The material in question “Of pandas and people” (The might have gotten away with “Darwin’s Black Box”) represented an outright rejection of evolution, as well as significant factual errors. (questionable secular value)
    -The material in question was in fact originally a creation science text (already ruled unconstitutional)
    -The principles outlined in the material in question clearly favored a particullar religious view (religous purpose).

  141. #141 Larry Fafarman
    July 14, 2006

    Alann said ( July 14, 2006 05:46 PM ) and ( July 14, 2006 06:30 PM ) —

    The thing is, in general co-evolution is not really a conceptual problem at all.

    A lot of Darwinists just won’t concede that co-evolution — even if possible — is often more difficult than the kind of isolated evolution which is adaptation to widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, air, and climate. The reason why co-evolution is more difficult is that two corresponding co-dependent features may initially be absent in both organisms and hence initially there is nothing for either organism to adapt to. Also, another problem is that co-dependent relationships often involve whole sets of “irreducibly complex” pairs of features, thus compounding the problems of irreducible complexity and co-evolution as barriers to evolution ! Bees and flowers are an example — the flowers produce nectar which is consumed by the bees, and the bees and the flowers must also have a means for the bees to find the flowers: the sight and/or sense of smell of the bees and the colors and/or scents of the flowers. Also, the two co-dependent organisms often interact in large numbers, so it is necessary for large numbers of both kinds of organisms to simultaneously appear in the same place at the same time.

    Some wind pollen can be spread by insects.

    A lot of insect-plant relationships are so specialized that it is difficult to imagine them co-evolving. One example is buzz pollination, where the pollen is shaken loose by the vibration of the insect’s wings. Another is where female wasps emerge later than the male wasps and hence the male wasps spread pollen by having “sex” with the flowers. See http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/04/co-evolutionary-paradox.html

    I understand the viewpoint that disapproving of ID is potentially just as much an establishment issue as approving of ID.

    A lot of Darwinists do not understand that.

    Adding a special preface to the biology classes, while not teaching, is still a clear endorsement.

    It is possible to mention ID in a way that does not appear to be an endorsement — unfortunately, the Dover ID statement sounded like an endorsement. And teaching Darwinism is a much bigger endorsement than mere mention of ID, and Darwinism is contrary to the religious beliefs of some people and contrary to the scientific beliefs of others. The ID statement was just a sop to those who disagree with Darwinism for religious or scientific reasons.

    The prinicple proponents of ID, did so out of a religious rejection of evolution.

    I feel religious motivation should not count — otherwise we are going to need to have the courts judge the motivations of every state legislature, school board or school administration that introduces an evolution disclaimer. And public officials are going to start trying to cover up their religious motivations — e.g., some may become satanists just to show that they were not influenced by the bible.

    The material in question “Of pandas and people” (The might have gotten away with “Darwin’s Black Box”) represented an outright rejection of evolution, as well as significant factual errors. (questionable secular value)

    The judge did not just ban the book Of Pandas and People, but banned all mention of ID or any other criticism of Darwinism.

    The material in question was in fact originally a creation science text

    It doesn’t matter what it once was — what matters is what it is now.

    The principles outlined in the material in question clearly favored a particular religious view

    It is wrong to declare something unconstitutional just because some people support it for religious reasons.

  142. #142 Dave S.
    July 15, 2006

    Larry goes on dodging:

    That’s irrelevant — I was talking about the special problems presented by co-evolution.

    It’s relevant because the problem you were talking about regarding your evidence free argument was that the changes were too large to have happened in real time.

    I just did — wind-cariied and insect-carried pollen — and you have not stated what is wrong with this example. And even if I presented a bad example, that does not mean that other examples are not out there.

    That’s because it’s yet another entirely hypothetical situation you made up in your own mind Larry and not a real example at all. I can’t challenge whatever is passing for reality in your head Larry. I can only address actual arguments made about real organisms. Organisms with big Latin names.

    I was not discussing what the ID arguments are — I was showing that there are non-ID criticisms of evolution.

    Which is totally irrelevant to the point I made that ID arguments are nothing more than “criticisms” of evolution.

    Me: But you were the one who complained that there were other testable explanations besides evolution.

    And you respond:

    Evolution theory is not testable.

    Larry dodges.

    So in conclusion, you have no other explanation, and when you tried to chastise “Darwinists” for believing there were no other explanations, you were just bluffing.

    P.S. Evolution theory is testable. You are wrong.

    The only predictions that evolution theory can make are predictions of likely future discoveries of more circumstantial evidence of evolution — e.g., the fossil record can be used to predict likely future finds of “missing link” fossils.

    Even if this were correct (it isn’t) then you have just refuted your own statement that evolution theory is not testable, as you’ve just provided a test. Well done Larry!

    Me: They’ve done their best to hide their religious motivations (some better than others), but they just keep running into the indisputable facts that make ID inherently religious.

    Arguing that all anti-Darwinists are motivated by religion is like arguing that all Darwinists are motivated by atheism.

    Larry, don’t lie about my position. We’re talking about ID here, and they have demonstrated time and again the religious nature of their “theory”. That you choose to believe them when they complain about that is your business, but I prefer to stick to reality.

    Religious questions are beyond the scope of ID, just as the creation of first life is beyond the scope of evolution theory.

    It’s right there in the link Larry, ID completely encircling good old fashioned creationism. Their own words give them away. You want us to believe them when they say ID is not about religion, but dismiss them when they say ID is just the Logos of the gospel of John written in information theory or that ID is all about bringing in a theistic science. I can’t pick and choose reality Larry, unlike you. Their own self proclaimed first textbook defined creationism and ID identically. In fact, one of that authors of that text was also a old fashioned creationist, and he testified that old fashioned creationism wasn’t religious either. Their own definition of ID claims the universe itself shows evidence of design, meaning whatever did the designing can’t be part of the universe. Their constant attacks against “materialism” must mean the designer is also non-material. All adds up to metaphysics, not physics.

    I’m sure though that the next textbook won’t make that blunder. They’ll hide it better. Then they’ll feign being shocked…SHOCKED I say, that someone could possibly mistake ID with religion. Where do they get those crazy notions?

    I am not sure that Behe’s books on irreducible complexity do not mention ID — but even if they do, it doesn’t matter to me.

    But Larry, you tell us that your anti-Darwinian arguments have nothing to do with ID. What makes you think Behe’s do, his say so? And if they don’t, where does that leave the supposed scientific basis for ID? Couldn’t any IDer simply use your arguments and call them ID arguments? If not, why not?

    And there is no rule saying that a scientific theory may not be criticized unless an alternative theory is presented at the same time.

    Let me remind you once more what you said Larry: “No, evolution was not necessary to make that prediction. Darwinists assume that evolution is the only explanation just because it is a possible explanation.”

    So…why won’t you tell us about one of those alternate explanations you mentioned? You said explicitly that evolutionary theory wasn’t necessary, so you must have some other testable explantion in mind Larry.

    Behe does dispute the idea that macroevolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    Screech!!! There go those goalposts. You just got done saying point-blank “ID disputes macroevolution”. Ooops, looks like you were wrong there. But rest assured it does dispute the idea that “macroevolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection”. Of course then we still have the problem of finding someone who actually holds this position that ID supposedly refutes. Maybe they’re out there standing beside those organisms that you know are a problem for co-evolution even though you can’t point to anything except hypothetical examples in your head, that are a problem by definition.

    Actually most IDers do dispute macroevolution. They do so because of their creationist roots. On the one hand they tell us ID is totally consistant with macroevolution, but on the other hand every time a new piece of the evolutionary puzzle is found they immediately fire off a press release in response criticising it. That’s because ID really is nothing more than criticising evolution, and no different from creationism.

    I have no idea why Of Pandas and People discusses the origin of all life.

    Well it’s supposed to be a biology textbook, and most biology textbooks do discuss this.

    Since scientists have no theory or hypothesis for explaining the origin of all life, it cannot even be discussed in scientific terms.

    Complete bull. What we don’t have as a comprehensive consensus model of how life arose. May never have that. But it most certainly can be discussed scientifically.

    Anyway, it is outside the scope of ID, just as are the age of the earth and a timeline for the appearance of different species.

    Everything is outside the scope of ID from a scientific standpoint. It’s completely vacuous.

    Funny thing though…the Dover disclaimer reads in part, “Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view.”. But I suppose this is another case of believe what we say, not what we say, eh Larry?

    Regular biology textbooks are atheist-friendly because they discuss evolution but not the origin of all life.

    Maybe you should actually read one some time Larry. They do discuss the origin of life. It’s valid science.

    And all textbooks are “atheist friendly”, since all textbooks ignore non-material supernatural causation. At least the good ones do. Sometimes creationist garbage like Of Pandas and People sees the light of day.

    Different people have different reasons for supporting ID, and people should not be punished because of the religious beliefs of others who support ID.

    Except ID, at least as we know and love it from the goobers at the DISCO institute for the renewal of science and culture, is inherently religious in nature. Even beyond the admissions of the major proponants.

    Here’s an idea. Formulate a scientific theory of design instead of formulating a religious one and whining about it not being accepted as scientific.

    Also, even if ID were strictly a religious concept, it would not necessarily be unconstitutional to merely mention ID in public school science classes.

    But it wasn’t “merely mentioned” Larry. It was portrayed as valid scientific critique.

    A lot of Darwinists just won’t concede that co-evolution — even if possible — is often more difficult than the kind of isolated evolution which is adaptation to widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, air, and climate. The reason why co-evolution is more difficult is that two corresponding co-dependent features may initially be absent in both organisms and hence initially there is nothing for either organism to adapt to.

    Yes Larry, just keep repeating it over and over. It gets more convincing with each repetition!

    A lot of insect-plant relationships are so specialized that it is difficult to imagine them co-evolving.

    That’s a failure of your imagination Larry. But we don’t have to accept your imaginings as reality.

    It is possible to mention ID in a way that does not appear to be an endorsement — unfortunately, the Dover ID statement sounded like an endorsement.

    That’s because it was an endorsement. And since what was being endorsed was a religious viewpoint, trouble ensues.

    And public officials are going to start trying to cover up their religious motivations — e.g., some may become satanists just to show that they were not influenced by the bible.

    That sounds rational Larry. *L*

    Except Satanism is still religious, isn’t it?

    The material in question “Of pandas and people” (The might have gotten away with “Darwin’s Black Box”) represented an outright rejection of evolution, as well as significant factual errors. (questionable secular value)

    It had no secular value, and was blatantly religious as the evidence made clear.

    The judge did not just ban the book Of Pandas and People, but banned all mention of ID or any other criticism of Darwinism.

    I call bullshit. Show us where in the ruling the judge banned all mention of ID and banned criticisms of Darwinism in any other form.

    Either show us exactly where this is in the ruling or retract this. I am not interested in your handwaving as to what the judge “really meant”.

    To refresh our memories, this is what the judge actually said: “With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.”

    It doesn’t matter what it once was — what matters is what it is now.

    It’s the same text, except that “created” was replaced with “designed”. Only an idiot would think this makes it totally different.

    It is wrong to declare something unconstitutional just because some people support it for religious reasons.

    Have you read the Dover ruling? You should.

  143. #143 Larry Fafarman
    July 15, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 15, 2006 08:53 AM ) —

    Larry goes on dodging:

    That’s irrelevant — I was talking about the special problems presented by co-evolution.

    It’s relevant because the problem you were talking about regarding your evidence free argument was that the changes were too large to have happened in real time.

    You are the one who goes on dodging. You obstinately refuse to concede that there is any difference between adapting to widespread fixed physical features of the environment — e.g., land, water, and air — and “adapting” to an initially non-existent feature in another kind of organism. It is all the same to you.

    That’s because it’s yet another entirely hypothetical situation you made up in your own mind Larry and not a real example at all.

    It is not a hypothetical situation — it is a real situation.

    Which is totally irrelevant to the point I made that ID arguments are nothing more than “criticisms” of evolution.

    There is nothing wrong with criticizing a scientific theory without offering an alternative theory or hypothesis. When Thomas Edison was accused of not making any progress in his efforts to develop a practical electric light, he, said, “I’ve made lots of progress — I know lots of things that won’t work.”

    The only predictions that evolution theory can make are predictions of likely future discoveries of more circumstantial evidence of evolution — e.g., the fossil record can be used to predict likely future finds of “missing link” fossils.

    Even if this were correct (it isn’t) then you have just refuted your own statement that evolution theory is not testable, as you’ve just provided a test.

    This is not a “test” of the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection. And a lot of “missing links” have never been found.

    Me: They’ve done their best to hide their religious motivations (some better than others), but they just keep running into the indisputable facts that make ID inherently religious.

    And me: The Darwinists have done their best to hide their irreligious motivations but they just keep running into the indisputable facts that make Darwinism inherently atheistic.

    But Larry, you tell us that your anti-Darwinian arguments have nothing to do with ID.

    That’s true. Some of my anti-Darwinian arguments — those concerning co-evolution, propagation of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction, and chromosome counts — have nothing to do with ID ( though ID systems can be involved ). All of these things may involve features that do not appear to be designed.

    What makes you think Behe’s do, his say so?

    Behe’s irreducible complexity does not necessarily include the concept of ID. All IC says is that evolution of particular irreducibly complex systems was unlikely because the systems are non-functional if any part is removed and hence the system could not have evolved by adding one part at a time. ID is the additional idea that the system appears to be designed because of the system’s complexity and the unlikelihood that it could have evolved.

    Couldn’t any IDer simply use your arguments and call them ID arguments? If not, why not?

    I already explained why not — because my arguments are generally unrelated to ID (though ID systems could be involved).

    On the one hand they tell us ID is totally consistant with macroevolution

    Wrong — ID’ers do not say that ID is totally consistent with macroevolution — you are totally confused.

    I have no idea why Of Pandas and People discusses the origin of all life.

    Well it’s supposed to be a biology textbook, and most biology textbooks do discuss this.

    What is there to discuss? There is no complete scientific explanation for the origin of life. There have been attempts to fill in pieces of the puzzle — e.g., the Miller-Urey experiment, where organic compounds were created in what was believed to be a simulation of a primeval atmosphere.

    Everything is outside the scope of ID from a scientific standpoint. It’s completely vacuous.

    The idea that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection is completely vacuous. There is no evidence supporting it.

    But it wasn’t “merely mentioned” Larry. It was portrayed as valid scientific critique.

    Scientifically vacuous Darwinism is not just mentioned but is actually taught.

    The reason why co-evolution is more difficult is that two corresponding co-dependent features may initially be absent in both organisms and hence initially there is nothing for either organism to adapt to.

    Yes Larry, just keep repeating it over and over. It gets more convincing with each repetition!

    It was convincing the first time!

    That’s a failure of your imagination Larry. But we don’t have to accept your imaginings as reality.

    And why should we accept your imaginings as reality?

    It is possible to mention ID in a way that does not appear to be an endorsement — unfortunately, the Dover ID statement sounded like an endorsement.

    That’s because it was an endorsement.

    That is what I said — the ID statement was worded in such a way that it sounded like an endorsement of ID. But the statement did not have to be worded that way.

    Except Satanism is still religious, isn’t it?

    Satanism is a mockery of Christianity, hence Satanism is a good religion for public officials who promote anti-Darwinism.

    I call bullshit. Show us where in the ruling the judge banned all mention of ID and banned criticisms of Darwinism in any other form.

    ” ….we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID.

    I thought you read the Dover opinion.

    It’s the same text, except that “created” was replaced with “designed”. Only an idiot would think this makes it totally different.

    Judge Jones not only banned Of Pandas and People, but he also banned all other books containing ID or other criticisms of evolution. He never reviewed any of these other books that he banned.

    Have you read the Dover ruling?

    I have read only important parts of it — it is long (139 pages) and it is too boring to read the whole thing. Anyway, I seem to know its contents a lot better than people who claim to have read the whole thing. The Dover opinion is not law or science — it is just one man’s philosophy, and not a very good philosophy at that. Judge Jones is just a buffoon. I invite you to come to my blog and read my comments about him. My blog is at http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/ Articles about Jones may be found by entering “Jones” in the search window in the top border of the blog.

  144. #144 Dave S.
    July 16, 2006

    Larry the Dodger carries on:

    You are the one who goes on dodging. You obstinately refuse to concede that there is any difference between adapting to widespread fixed physical features of the environment — e.g., land, water, and air — and “adapting” to an initially non-existent feature in another kind of organism. It is all the same to you.

    And you’re the one who keeps insisting this “initially non-existent feature in another kind of organism” must exist and have not provided a single actual instance of it. Except your made up examples where your starting assumption is that they could not have evolved of course.

    It is not a hypothetical situation — it is a real situation.

    Real to you.

    There is nothing wrong with criticizing a scientific theory without offering an alternative theory or hypothesis. When Thomas Edison was accused of not making any progress in his efforts to develop a practical electric light, he, said, “I’ve made lots of progress — I know lots of things that won’t work.”

    But you claimed there were alternatives Larry.

    This is not a “test” of the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection. And a lot of “missing links” have never been found.

    A notion held by nobody apparently. And thanks for agreeing evolution is testable, even though you said it wasn’t.

    The Darwinists have done their best to hide their irreligious motivations but they just keep running into the indisputable facts that make Darwinism inherently atheistic.

    Nope. It’s methodologically naturalistic if that’s what you mean. Of course, all sciences are methodologically naturalistic. Because we’ve found science works that way – that it produces results. Creationists keep insisting there’s a better way, but for some reason they never get around to proving it. They spit on naturalistic science … until they need it of course it as in medicine, then they hypocritically fall over themselves accepting it.

    That’s true. Some of my anti-Darwinian arguments — those concerning co-evolution, propagation of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction, and chromosome counts — have nothing to do with ID ( though ID systems can be involved ). All of these things may involve features that do not appear to be designed.

    But since ID itself is nothing but arguments against evolution, then they can simply steal your arguments (if they wanted to) and call those ID arguments.

    Behe’s irreducible complexity does not necessarily include the concept of ID. All IC says is that evolution of particular irreducibly complex systems was unlikely because the systems are non-functional if any part is removed and hence the system could not have evolved by adding one part at a time. ID is the additional idea that the system appears to be designed because of the system’s complexity and the unlikelihood that it could have evolved.

    But the “system’s complexity and the unlikelihood that it could have evolved” is exactly what IC is Larry. There’s no additional idea there.

    I already explained why not — because my arguments are generally unrelated to ID (though ID systems could be involved).

    But any IDer could simply steal your objections and call them ID. Why is your idea any differnt from Behe’s in this regard? Both of you are saying evolution is “hard” (whatever that means) because of some feature in life. Your ideas are just as much ID as his, whether you call them that or not.

    Wrong — ID’ers do not say that ID is totally consistent with macroevolution — you are totally confused.

    Are you saying the intelligent designer could not create using evolution? How can you know that Larry, given that we know nothing about the designers abilities or motives according to ID “theory”?

    What is there to discuss? There is no complete scientific explanation for the origin of life. There have been attempts to fill in pieces of the puzzle — e.g., the Miller-Urey experiment, where organic compounds were created in what was believed to be a simulation of a primeval atmosphere.

    For starters, they could and do discuss just that. Why don’t you actually read a book and find out what else they discuss Larry?

    The idea that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection is completely vacuous. There is no evidence supporting it.

    Another dodge. Who holds this idea Larry? Give me a name and a reference. Just one will do for starters.

    Scientifically vacuous Darwinism is not just mentioned but is actually taught.

    That’s because evolution is scientific and you are wrong. What else is new?

    It was convincing the first time!

    To you Larry, no doubt. But I’m talking about the real world, not your fantasy biology.

    And why should we accept your imaginings as reality?

    You’re the one who refuses to leave the hypothetical Larry. I’m the one who keeps asking for actual evidence.

    That is what I said — the ID statement was worded in such a way that it sounded like an endorsement of ID. But the statement did not have to be worded that way.

    What should the wording have been?

    Satanism is a mockery of Christianity, hence Satanism is a good religion for public officials who promote anti-Darwinism.

    Another dodge. Yes, Satanism is still a religion, and you were wrong again.

    ” ….we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID.

    He’s talking about their ID POLICY Larry, which was rejected. Where does the judge say the theory of evolution cannot be scientifically critiqued? I’m talking about the actual scientific theory, not your fantasy version, so you may be unable to answer.

    Judge Jones not only banned Of Pandas and People, but he also banned all other books containing ID or other criticisms of evolution. He never reviewed any of these other books that he banned.

    Since ID was itself found to be inherently religious, then any book advocating ID must also be. Changing the name won’t make a difference.

    Anyway, I seem to know its contents a lot better than people who claim to have read the whole thing. The Dover opinion is not law or science — it is just one man’s philosophy, and not a very good philosophy at that. Judge Jones is just a buffoon.

    The people of Dover would be very surprised to know it’s not law. Apparently it’s just some guy yammering stuff wearing a funny robe.

    I invite you to come to my blog and read my comments about him. My blog is at http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/ Articles about Jones may be found by entering “Jones” in the search window in the top border of the blog.

    Sorry Larry, but you have said nothing here that would interest me in spending time reading your blog. You just go round and round with the same tired assertions, over and over again. There are far too many interesting people writing about real science out there, with well crafted opinions backed by actual evidence. You don’t compete. Too bad if that makes me not “open minded” in your eyes. I’ll risk missing out on something amazing you might have to say. I think the risk is minimal.

    Bye Larry.

  145. #145 Larry Fafarman
    July 16, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 16, 2006 08:26 AM ) —

    And you’re the one who keeps insisting this “initially non-existent feature in another kind of organism” must exist and have not provided a single actual instance of it.

    So you are assuming that all organisms in co-dependent relationships were always the way they are today, and all that was necessary was for the pairs of co-dependent organisms to find each other?

    One of the reasons why I do not have more examples is that scientists have not recognized the potential weaknesses of co-evolution theory and so did not bother to search for evidence of those weaknesses. For example, co-evolution would be virtually impossible where the co-dependent traits in both organisms are non-viable when the corresponding trait is absent in the other organism, but scientists did not bother to search for such instances.

    And have you backed up all of your assertions with evidence?

    But you claimed there were alternatives Larry.

    I never claimed that there is a scientific alternative to Darwinism as an explanation for the origin of species.

    And thanks for agreeing evolution is testable, even though you said it wasn’t.

    How can I both agree to something and deny it at the same time? You really are crazy.

    But since ID itself is nothing but arguments against evolution, then they can simply steal your arguments (if they wanted to) and call those ID arguments.

    How can they “steal” something that is clearly not ID?

    But the “system’s complexity and the unlikelihood that it could have evolved” is exactly what IC is Larry. There’s no additional idea there.

    ID is the additional idea that something appears to be “designed.”

    But any IDer could simply steal your objections and call them ID. Why is your idea any differnt from Behe’s in this regard? Both of you are saying evolution is “hard” (whatever that means) because of some feature in life. Your ideas are just as much ID as his, whether you call them that or not.

    Wrong. In co-evolution, the individual traits do not necessarily appear to be “designed.”

    Are you saying the intelligent designer could not create using evolution?

    I am saying that an “intelligent designer” could not create by means of natural causes and mathematical probabilities as we know them.

    There is no complete scientific explanation for the origin of life. There have been attempts to fill in pieces of the puzzle — e.g., the Miller-Urey experiment, where organic compounds were created in what was believed to be a simulation of a primeval atmosphere.

    For starters, they could and do discuss just that.

    But it is not a complete explanation — it does not even begin to be a complete explanation. Any attempt at a complete explanation would sound as foolish as the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    That’s because evolution is scientific and you are wrong.

    An awful lot of people do not consider Darwinism to be scientific.

    The idea that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection is completely vacuous. There is no evidence supporting it.

    Another dodge. Who holds this idea Larry? Give me a name and a reference.

    Do you give names and references for people who agree with your assertions?

    What should the wording have been?

    The ID statement said that Darwinism has “gaps.” The statement did not have to say that.

    Another dodge. Yes, Satanism is still a religion, and you were wrong again.

    Yes, but it is not based on the bible and is actually contrary to Christianity, so there could be no claim that a Satanist was influenced by belief in the biblical account of creation.

    He’s talking about their ID POLICY Larry, which was rejected. Where does the judge say the theory of evolution cannot be scientifically critiqued?

    I just quoted it, but you didn’t comprehend it — ” ….we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants …… from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution.”

    Since ID was itself found to be inherently religious, then any book advocating ID must also be.

    That is like saying that Darwinism is inherently religious because of Kenneth Miller’s book, “Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution.”

    The people of Dover would be very surprised to know it’s not law.

    On the contrary, they would be surprised to hear that it is law.

    Apparently it’s just some guy yammering stuff wearing a funny robe.

    You got it.

    Sorry Larry, but you have said nothing here that would interest me in spending time reading your blog.

    I am not surprised.

    There are far too many interesting people writing about real science out there, with well crafted opinions backed by actual evidence.

    A lot of these “interesting people” just discuss science in vague, nebulous terms, like discussing co-evolution in terms of “mutual evolutionary pressure” instead of looking at the details of the evolutionary mechanisms. Also, my blog discusses much more than science — for example, I discuss how Judge Jones made a fool of himself by saying at a commencement speech, “The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry.” That statement shows such hostility towards organized religion that Jones should recuse himself in any court case involving religion.

    Bye Larry.

    I hope this ends our discussion. I have been quite bored by our discussion for some time but I just felt obliged to respond to you to show that I have not conceded anything.

  146. #146 Dave S.
    July 17, 2006

    Larry dodges on:

    So you are assuming that all organisms in co-dependent relationships were always the way they are today, and all that was necessary was for the pairs of co-dependent organisms to find each other?

    You’d know the answer to this already had you read and comprehended my previous posts.

    One of the reasons why I do not have more examples is that scientists have not recognized the potential weaknesses of co-evolution theory and so did not bother to search for evidence of those weaknesses. For example, co-evolution would be virtually impossible where the co-dependent traits in both organisms are non-viable when the corresponding trait is absent in the other organism, but scientists did not bother to search for such instances.

    Maybe it’s not an issue since the situation you describe has never existed except in your mind. We already know that non-viable organisms die, or they leave no fertile offspring, which in evolution amounts to the same thing.

    And have you backed up all of your assertions with evidence?

    Well? Have I?

    I never claimed that there is a scientific alternative to Darwinism as an explanation for the origin of species.

    Need I quote you yet again Larry?? “No, evolution was not necessary to make that prediction. Darwinists assume that evolution is the only explanation just because it is a possible explanation.”

    You are full of it Larry.

    How can I both agree to something and deny it at the same time? You really are crazy.

    I think we know the Crazy Train stopped and stayed at Fafarman Junction.

    Me: But since ID itself is nothing but arguments against evolution, then they can simply steal your arguments (if they wanted to) and call those ID arguments.

    You: How can they “steal” something that is clearly not ID?

    Easy. They just use your argument and claim it supports ID. All IC does is make it “hard” for evolution, just like your argument. If IC is an ID argument, then so is yours. It’s irrelevant that you personally don’t make that claim.

    ID is the additional idea that something appears to be “designed.”

    So what. Co-evolutionary relationships appear designed too.

    Wrong. In co-evolution, the individual traits do not necessarily appear to be “designed.”

    They could not look more designed to me Larry.

    I am saying that an “intelligent designer” could not create by means of natural causes and mathematical probabilities as we know them.

    Wrong. You are in no position to claim what the designer could or could not do. That’s what the IDers keep telling us.

    But it is not a complete explanation — it does not even begin to be a complete explanation.

    So what? No scientific theories are ‘complete’ to such an extent that there are no more questions to ask. This one however is a good deal more speculative than most, but that’s not saying there is nothing at all scientific to discuss.

    Any attempt at a complete explanation would sound as foolish as the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    A foolish notion still looking for someone who actually holds it.

    The idea that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection is completely vacuous. There is no evidence supporting it.

    Why are you telling me Larry? I never said evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection. Did I?

    Do you give names and references for people who agree with your assertions?

    Dodge!

    The ID statement said that Darwinism has “gaps.” The statement did not have to say that.

    But it did.

    Yes, but it is not based on the bible and is actually contrary to Christianity, so there could be no claim that a Satanist was influenced by belief in the biblical account of creation.

    So it’d be just fine for teachers to teach the Lakota Creation myth as scientific fact since that’s not based on the Bible, eh Larry?

    I just quoted it, but you didn’t comprehend it — ” ….we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants …… from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution.”

    No Larry. It’s obvious its you who do not comprehend. A great many things.

    That is like saying that Darwinism is inherently religious because of Kenneth Miller’s book, “Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution.”

    No it isn’t Larry. That’s because supernatural causation is an integral of ID methodology. The same is not the case for Darwinism.

    A lot of these “interesting people” just discuss science in vague, nebulous terms, like discussing co-evolution in terms of “mutual evolutionary pressure” instead of looking at the details of the evolutionary mechanisms.

    Unlike the rock solid loaded with data arguments you make about co-evolution.

    Also, my blog discusses much more than science — for example, I discuss how Judge Jones made a fool of himself by saying at a commencement speech, “The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry.” That statement shows such hostility towards organized religion that Jones should recuse himself in any court case involving religion.

    Yes Larry, I’ve already seen your laughable interpretations of the law, where you dance from case to case, each one either not supporting you or directly refuting you. No thanks, not interested.

    I hope this ends our discussion. I have been quite bored by our discussion for some time but I just felt obliged to respond to you to show that I have not conceded anything.

    You can’t be half as bored as I am with you Larry. But I’m writing not for you, since that is quite pointless, but for the lurkers out there who are wondering if Larry is talking out of his hat or not.

  147. #147 Alann
    July 17, 2006

    Let me be fair to Larry:
    The principle that an external intelligent agent has influenced the process of mutation and natural selection, is a reasonable philosophical discussion. I even agree that such a discussion can be rooted in a scientific analysis of the statistically viability of different evolutionary paths. (the philosophy of irreducible complexity) If an argument can show that is well reasoned and well supported it should not be arbitrarily weeded out it for theological or popularity considerations.

    Perhaps ironically your primary argument for critism of evolution, is exactly the reason evolution is being so vehemently defended.

    I want to be clear that an irrational attack the best scientific explanation without a viable scientific alternative should never be tolerated.

    To my knowledge there has yet to have been a single case where reasonable criticism of evolution has been the underlying issue (do you believe for a second that Dover wasn’t really about creationism instead of the criticisms you are talking about?). I assure you the ACLU, AU, and NCSE would be just as quick to jump in to protect scientific freedom favoring real scientific debate.

    On a separate note I will try to explain my understanding of coevolution to the best of my ability. I admit to be reaching a bit beyond my true scientific depth, but here is what I see as the principle pieces for discussion, and why I think they are all viable:

    evolution of dependency – this is very similar to the so called “isolated” evolution, but includes the presence of another species as an environmental factor. Species A evolves in a manner which increasingly depends on the presence of species B, and vise versa. This part at least should not present any real controversy.

    simultaneous mutation – both species A and species B must produce variants which interact with each other, since a variant of A would not interact with normal B, nor would a variant of B interact with normal A. This does have a significantly lower probability; however it is not as bad as it might seem at first. We are not talking about a mutation within a single generation happening to coincide with a like mutation in the other species. A particular variation is generally not weeded out in a single generation, it typically comes to represent a percentage of the population. At any given time there is a wide degree of variations within a single species. The variant of A could persist for even hundreds of generation prior to it becoming selectable due to the appearance of a variation in B.

    indirect selectability – the trait is not selectable in the individual, rather it benefits the general population in the longer term. An example of this may be the bees with pollen, if you consider a trait to spread pollen which does not benefit the individual directly, rather it propagates the food supply ultimately serving the general population. Again this type of development is slower and perhaps less likely then other kinds, but not irrational. It represents selection of population blocks over individuals. A colony which supports a greater percentage of the pollen spreading variant becomes selectable over a colony which has a smaller or zero percent.

    In any case I do see a fundamental flaw in the irreducible complexity argument. The idea is that a particular selectable trait would require an exceptionally unlikely mutation to occur. Its kind of like saying this species just won the genetic lottery. The flaw as I see it is that with every species on the entire planet playing this genetic lottery since the beginning of life on earth, there are bound to be a few winners out there. We should be expecting a few cases where the selected mutation is significantly altered (seemingly miraculous).

  148. #148 Dave S.
    July 17, 2006

    Alann says:

    I want to be clear that an irrational attack the best scientific explanation without a viable scientific alternative should never be tolerated.

    I would suggest that irrational attacks have no place whatsoever in the discussion.

    And I would also point out that Larry definetly implied there were alternate explantions. Otherwise, it makes no sense to chastise evolutionists for suggesting their explanation is the only one and to ploclaim that you don’t need evolution to make the predictions.

  149. #149 Larry Fafarman
    July 17, 2006

    Alann said ( July 17, 2006 12:24 PM ) —

    I want to be clear that an irrational attack the best scientific explanation without a viable scientific alternative should never be tolerated.

    Here is where we disagree — I see nothing wrong with criticizing a scientific theory without presenting a viable scientific alternative at the same time. Under your principle, anyone could come up with some cockamamie theory for some unexplained phenomenon and claim that this theory may not be criticized unless a viable alternative is presented at the same time.

    To my knowledge there has yet to have been a single case where reasonable criticism of evolution has been the underlying issue (do you believe for a second that Dover wasn’t really about creationism instead of the criticisms you are talking about?).

    Some Dover school board members were motivated by religion, but I nonetheless consider irreducible complexity to be a reasonable scientific criticism of evolution.

    evolution of dependency – this is very similar to the so called “isolated” evolution, but includes the presence of another species as an environmental factor.

    My point was that the other species is not necessarily just another widespread environmental feature like land, water, and air, because all or almost all of the members of the other species are initially likely to be missing the corresponding co-dependent trait (e.g., the color of flowers and pollinators’ ability to sense those colors). Where neither of the corresponding traits is harmful in the absence of the corresponding trait in the other organism, the traits could evolve independently but when evolving independently would not have the benefit of natural selection. Without natural selection, a trait would propagate slowly if at all. Natural selection is supposed to be one of the foundations of evolution, so how could there be evolution without natural selection?

    simultaneous mutation – both species A and species B must produce variants which interact with each other, since a variant of A would not interact with normal B, nor would a variant of B interact with normal A. This does have a significantly lower probability; however it is not as bad as it might seem at first.

    If individual beneficial mutations are rare, then the occurrence of two mutually beneficial mutations in two different species in the same area is greatly rarer. And coevolutionary processes have only a few million years to take place — that may seem like a long time to us, but it is not forever.

    The flaw as I see it is that with every species on the entire planet playing this genetic lottery since the beginning of life on earth, there are bound to be a few winners out there.

    There are more than just a few winners — huge numbers of species have each supposedly won this lottery many times against incredible odds in just a few million years. What is the mathematical probability of that happening?

  150. #150 Alann
    July 18, 2006

    You are right, my statement was too broad and a bit unfair. There can be significant validity in criticism even if no alternative is discussed. I do feel that lack of establishing an alternative can drastically weaken the criticism.

    Lets clear up some confusion over the Dover case. Despite Behe’s testimony during the trial, “irreducible complexity” has very little to do with the actual case. It was ID as represented by “Of Pandas and People” which was really on trial. This book is literally a creation science textbook with the word designer substituted for creator. No matter how reasonable an argument you make about irreducible complexity, or co-evolution; there is pretty much no way to defend the actual garbage they were trying to pass off as science.

    While ir is also true that there are problems with Behe’s book as well, some of which was brought up at the trial. I do believe that had the Dover statement not been so ridiculously worded, and had the book in question been “Darwin’s Black Box” there would not have been nearly as much of a stir.

    Back to co-evolution:

    evolution of dependency – I defined this sub-category to include only those cases where the matching trait is already present, the cases you are referring to I referred to as simultaneous mutation. Although some of what you consider to be a missing matching trait was actually originally there serving a different purpose. For example coloration did not necessarily begin as a way to attract insects, instead insects evolved to find flowers by color, and only later did flowers evolve to specifically appeal to this trait in insects.

    simultaneous mutation – the mutation in species A is not beneficial by itself, it can even be harmful. Even a harmful mutation can still be incorporated into the general population and persist as a small but significant percentage for generations. It is a second mutation in species B (most likely a neutral one) which turns a neutral or harmful trait in A into a beneficial one.

    The purpose of the lottery analogy is this. When you are the one who hits the jackpot it seems like a miracle. When somebody wins the lottery that’s just statistics. If you try to trace one species for only a thousand years you may see a miraculous lottery winner. When you trace a million species for a hundred million years its only statistics.

  151. #151 Larry Fafarman
    July 18, 2006

    Alann said (July 18, 2006 03:52 PM ) —

    Lets clear up some confusion over the Dover case. Despite Behe’s testimony during the trial, “irreducible complexity” has very little to do with the actual case. It was ID as represented by “Of Pandas and People” which was really on trial.

    Wrong. Judge Jones did not just ban Of Pandas and People but banned ID and all other criticisms of Darwinism. The Dover opinion said, “… we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID. ”

    For example coloration did not necessarily begin as a way to attract insects,

    What other natural function does color serve in flowers?

    instead insects evolved to find flowers by color, and only later did flowers evolve to specifically appeal to this trait in insects.

    But if the flower colors were not there to begin with, an insect’s ability to sense those colors would not have benefited from natural selection, and natural selection is supposed to be one of the cornerstones of Darwinism.

    Even a harmful mutation can still be incorporated into the general population and persist as a small but significant percentage for generations.

    But a harmful mutation is not likely to spread, and if it doesn’t spread, it is much less likely to interact with mutations in the other species.

    Evolutionary adaptation to widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., land, water, and air, is unlikely enough. Co-evolution is even more unlikely. The limits of probability are really being stretched.

  152. #152 Alann
    July 19, 2006

    ID openly accepts the creationist text “Of Pandas and People” as a significant reference. It is not the judge’s place to sub-divide ID into good ID and bad ID. While his decision may seem overly broad, I believe that if it were ever taken so badly out of context as to actually prevent the teaching of good science that application would be quickly overturned.

    As to flowers I probably went down the wrong path. Bright colors can be a defense mechanism (it is in most animals); however in this case it is insects which probably developed the ability to see color first (many animals developed this as a defense mechanism to spot predators).

    In the end I don’t think this argument is going to go anywhere, its outside the scope of a laymen like myself.

    There is a simplified version of evolution and a complicated version (like newtonian physics versus relativity and quantum mechanics). The simple version is correct in principle and provides a useful tool. The complicated version is very difficult to understand and requires alot of study. If you only understand the simple version, you will eventually find there are problems. To talk realistically about probability you have to understand the complicated version, which is outside my area of expertise. For example when talking about certain insects you would have to get into hive dynamics because the worker insects are not directly in the reproductive chain.

  153. #153 Larry Fafarman
    July 20, 2006

    Alann said ( July 19, 2006 02:14 PM ) —

    ID openly accepts the creationist text “Of Pandas and People” as a significant reference.

    There are lots of ID books out there and I don’t know how well Of Pandas and People is accepted among ID supporters. In any case, Judge Jones should not have relied almost exclusively on one book in judging the scientific merits of ID. A lot of Darwinists might accept Ken Miller’s Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution, but does that mean that Darwinism is a religious concept?

    in this case it is insects which probably developed the ability to see color first (many animals developed this as a defense mechanism to spot predators).

    Were the predators colored? And if the prey could sense color, wouldn’t the colors have been a disadvantage in the predators?

    There is a simplified version of evolution and a complicated version (like newtonian physics versus relativity and quantum mechanics). The simple version is correct in principle and provides a useful tool. The complicated version is very difficult to understand and requires alot of study.

    In general, things that depend on chance (e.g., evolution) tend to be simple, because chance is capable of doing only simple things.

  154. #154 Alann
    July 20, 2006

    Judge Jones reached his decision based on the material presented at the trial. The fact that ID presented such a poor case is not his responsibility. Also it is not like the results are etched in stone for all time, this precedent can and likely will be challenged in the future.

    Were the predators colored? And if the prey could sense color, wouldn’t the colors have been a disadvantage in the predators?

    Initialy predators colors where simply different than the foliage. It is a disadvantage to predators to varying degrees, thats why some predators later developed camouflage colors and patterns.

    Things which are dependent only on chance tend to be simple. Randomness / chance is itself very complicated, many systems rooted in chance and probability distributions and things become very complicated. Try simulating and predicting global weather patterns.

    What I mean to say is that assuming a parallel to other sciences like physics, then the underlying science is more complicated than it appears to a casual observer. I don’t have the personal knowledge to do more than speculate about the more advanced scenarios.

    In the end your choice is to either trust in those people who have spent years on the subject, or to spend those years yourself.

  155. #155 Larry Fafarman
    July 21, 2006

    Alann said ( July 20, 2006 12:54 PM ) —

    Judge Jones reached his decision based on the material presented at the trial. The fact that ID presented such a poor case is not his responsibility.

    The trial was supposed to be about ID and not about a particular book about ID. The book’s publisher did not realize for several months that the book would be a central issue in the case.

    Anyway, I believe that judges should avoid ruling on scientific controversies unless absolutely necessary for deciding a case, and it was not necessary in this case.

    In the end your choice is to either trust in those people who have spent years on the subject, or to spend those years yourself.

    Evolution is not rocket science — it is something that lay people can understand.

  156. #156 Alann
    July 21, 2006

    Blame the defense for making ID look like creationism, not the judge.

    Evolution is not simple, here is part of the definition for Genetic Drift from Wikipedia:

    Genetic drift is the term used in population genetics to refer to the statistical drift over time of allele frequencies in a finite population due to random sampling effects in the formation of successive generations. In a narrower sense, genetic drift refers to the expected population dynamics of neutral alleles (those defined as having no positive or negative impact on fitness), which are predicted to eventually become fixed at zero or 100% frequency in the absence of other mechanisms affecting allele distributions.

    Does that sound simple to you?

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.