My Review of Creation

Blogging will continue to be sporadic for a while, sorry about that. But having dragged myself down to Washington D.C. last weekend to see the new movie Creation, I figured I should at least get a blog post out of it.

Short review: Excellent! Completely engrossing, and historically accurate on the important things.

Longer review, and minor spoilers, below the fold.


Creation is a biography of Charles Darwin, focusing specifically on the years leading up to the publication of The Origin of Species. The emphasis is on the death of Darwin’s ten-year-old daughter, and the subsequent family strife this caused.

Darwin famously became an agnostic later in life, though it was not, as is sometimes reported, the theory of evolution which led to his crisis of faith. Instead it was a combination of his grief over the loss of his daughter (and later an infant son), and his acute awareness of the wanton cruelty and wastefulness of nature that made him question the idea of divine providence. This is all compellingly portrayed in the film. Paul Bettany as Darwin is well-cast; physically he is a dead ringer for the middle-aged Darwin. Jennifer Connelly continues her long-standing streak of exemplary portrayals of dour, unhappy women by playing Emma Darwin.

There is very little of the scientific context for Darwin’s work. There is also one potentially serious omission from the film. As Darwin was slowly writing his big book on evolution (of which the Origin was a short abstract), he received a paper from Alfred Russell Wallace, outlining all of the main elements of evolution by natural selection. As things are portrayed in the film, Darwin decides he has been scooped and seems inclined to abandon the project altogether. Joseph Hooker persuades him to reconsider, pointing out that Wallace’s paper was 20 pages long, while Darwin was over two hundred pages into his book. Darwin then gets moving and finishes the book.

Absent from the film is any mention of the joint paper between Darwin and Wallace, which was the first public explication of the theory of evolution by natural selection. This paper was presented in 1858, to little notice. The following year Darwin published his book, and that is when things really took off. This is potentially a serious omission. To this day creationists are fond of repeating the myth that Darwin stole the idea of evolution by natural selection from Wallace, and this film could justify the conclusion that Wallace was treated unfairly.

My favorite aspect of the film, however, was how hard it is on religion. I would not go so far as to say that this is an anti-religion film, but it certainly does not soft pedal the extent of the challenge Darwin was posing.

For example, early in the film there is a scene where Hooker and Thomas Huxley visit Darwin at his home, intending to pressure Darwin into finishing his book. Huxley is especially exultant, and tells Darwin that his theory is of critical importance in diminishing the church. “You’ve killed God!” he exclaims. Darwin is plainly uncomfortable with this idea, but he does not reply with some vapid bromide like, “Nonsense! Science tells you how the heavens go, religion tells you how to go to heaven. Theologians have long recognized that God’s will might be achieved through secondary causes.” Instead he points out that the church plays a critical social function, and that its imminent demise is not necessarily something to celebrate.

Near the end of the film there is a scene between Darwin and Emma. Darwin has completed a first draft of his book and presents it to the religious Emma for her opinion. He even puts the fate of the manuscript in her hands. “Someone should take God’s side in all this,” he quips. Once again, it is simply taken for granted that the Origin is something over which theologians should worry.

Religion is also represented by the minister of Darwin’s church. Said minister is portrayed as a simple-minded sadist. Early in the film he makes Darwin’s daughter kneel in rock salt for in some way challenging him. Darwin is all set to give him what-for, until Emma talks him down. Later in the film there is a confrontation between the minister and Darwin. At this point Darwin has just received the paper from Wallace. The minister offers some platitude about God’s ways not being for us to question, but that he loves us no matter what. Darwin tells him off, saying something like (I am doing this from memory) “Yes, I have often been moved to consider the goodness of a God who blessed us with not one but nine hundred species of intestinal worm. Or the love he shows for the caterpillar in creating a species of wasp that paralyzes it before laying its eggs, so that its young may have live meat on which to feast. As for Wallace, perhaps it is good that he is in the Spice Islands. Were he to return to England with his present views he would no doubt be made to kneel in rock salt!” I can promise you that no in the theater was sympathizing with the minister during this outburst.

All in all, I liked the film very much. It is not clear how widely distributed it will be, given that in this country its subject matter is considered controversial. The theater in which I saw the film was sold out, but it was a fairly small theater. It is a hugely important film for portraying Darwin as a normal human being, as opposed to some sort of icon or villain, depending on your point of view. If you have the chance, go see it.

Comments

  1. #1 Erp
    February 1, 2010

    I haven’t seen the movie.

    IIRC historically Charles got on well with an early minister of the Down Church and not so well with a later one (there were several between who came and went quickly). Emma, herself, was not exactly orthodox in her faith though she was devout.

  2. #2 Dennis Keller
    February 1, 2010

    The movie will not likely be widely distributed, and not only because of subject matter. It is overwrought, and mostly a sad account of grieving the loss of a child.

    And like most treatments of the subject, there’s a little too much walking on eggshells around the sensitivities of the religious view. While perhaps true within the Darwin family, I’d have preferred lots more Huxley, who was said to have replied to Samuel Wilberforce in their famed debate that he’d rather come from apes than from a man who’d deny what is true.

    Popular accounts always play it a bit too safe, and we don’t get to see enough of the bulldogs.

  3. #3 Bob Carlson
    February 1, 2010

    I’m across the river from DC, and I just looked at the web pages for all the theater complexes in the Arlington and Alexandria areas and don’t see any showing Creation. :(

  4. #4 L. E. Alba
    February 1, 2010

    Good stuff. Saw the movie in NYC. Was puzzled why no distribution companies picked it up over here. I thought it would provoke animated debate. The scuttlebutt is that Americans are ecclesiastically challenged. Hence, they’re too spiritually vulnerable to be assaulted by science. The vast majority of heads in our anti-egghead culture have a hard enough time focusing on this week’s TV Guide.

  5. #5 Amber
    February 2, 2010

    I haven’t seen the movie, yet, but I’m dying too. Unfortunately, I live in Utah. So, I’m betting there won’t be theaters here playing the movie. So, I’ll likely have to wait. Thanks for the review, though. It sounds great, even with some of the inconsistencies in the REAL story.

  6. #6 Darwin's Beagle
    February 2, 2010

    Nitpick … Sorry, but it is a pet peeve of mine. Wallace’s middle name ends in a single “l”. Alfred Russel Wallace.

  7. #7 denniscav
    February 2, 2010

    Hopefully, if the theaters do not show this film, tv networks will.

  8. #8 josef johann
    February 2, 2010

    A few points.

    1. Given the cultural context of the film’s release, why why why why why call it Creation? That’s like Newsweek’s sorry “Was Darwin Wrong” cover article. And how does touching the monkeys finger integrate with any specific point being made in the story of the film?

    2. The few, too few, conversations between Darwin and his various skeptics were well done, in that they represented the respective sides without caricaturing them.

    3. Maybe it’s because we aren’t ready, but the film didn’t do enough. Ideas can be dramatic, and films can be powerful because they are intellectually compelling, and this was the perfect opportunity for a climactic debate that was driven by the force of an idea. Sadly, we didn’t see this.

    As Feynman said: “This value of science remains unsung by singers, you are reduced to hearing not a song or poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age.”

  9. #9 Fred Seiler
    February 2, 2010

    I also just saw the movie in DC (at the E Street Cinema). Jason, you made a lot of good points. But the overwhelming focus of the movie seemed to be on Darwin’s suffering — both physical and mental. While these both were actually part of Darwin’s life, this focus of the movie ruined my enjoyment of it.

    Fred

  10. #10 Anton Mates
    February 3, 2010

    Religion is also represented by the minister of Darwin’s church. Said minister is portrayed as a simple-minded sadist.

    Which was, I have to say, entirely unfair. Innes, the parson in question, was a lifelong friend of the Darwins. Although he never accepted evolution, he discussed it frequently and amicably with CRD, praised his books highly, and and often wrote to him with observations and anecdotes he thought would be helpful to Darwin’s research. (Which they usually weren’t–Innes didn’t exactly have a naturalist’s eye–but it’s kind of adorable that he tried.)

    In one of his letters to Innes a decade after the Origin, Darwin mentions how well they got on. (But note Darwin’s skepticism here about whether any kind of NOMA is possible.)

    I hardly see how religion & science can be kept as distinct as he desires, as geology has to to treat of the history of the Earth & Biology that of man.— But I most wholly agree with you that there is no reason why the disciples of either school should attack each other with bitterness, though each upholding strictly their beliefs.

    You, I am sure, have always practically acted in this manner in your conduct towards me & I do not doubt to all others. Nor can I remember that I have ever published a word directly against religion or the clergy. But if you were to read a little pamphlet which I received a couple of days ago by a clergyman, you would laugh & admit that I had some excuse for bitterness; after abusing me for 2 or 3 pages in language sufficiently plain & emphatic to have satisfied any reasonable man, he sums up by saying that he has vainly searched the English language to find terms to express his contempt of me & all Darwinians.

    Innes responds by both lavishing praise on Darwin and defending NOMA:

    Lately I was at our Church Congress at Dundee, where a Bishop and some Parsons were assembled as guests in a hospitable house, and one evening when the subject was introduced I said “I have the pleasure of the intimate friendship of one of the very first Naturalists in Europe. He is a most accurate observer, and never states anything as a fact which he has not most thoroughly investigated. He is a man of the most perfect moral character, and his scrupulous regard for the strictest truth is above that of almost all men I know. I am quite persuaded that if on any morning he met with a fact which would clearly contradict one of his cherished theories he would not let the sun set before he made it known. I never saw a word in his writings which was an attack on Religion. He follows his own course as a Naturalist and leaves Moses to take care of himself”.

    This in substance is what I said then and on other occasions and I believe it is both true, and the proper way in which Scientific studies should be pursued. I have always (and I must say I am indebted to you for much confirmation of the view) held, as Pusey says now, that Science and Religion should go on separately, and not contest in any way.

    Nor was Emma particularly respectful of church authority. On the contrary, as a proud Unitarian, she and her kids would face away from the altar in silence while the congregation in reciting the Nicene creed. And we know that she viewed the Bible as a historical and imperfect document, and annotated it with speculations on which passages were authentic or inauthentic.

    Which is all just to say, the idea of Innes fiercely defending creationist dogma and physically punishing the Darwin children for failing to accept it–let alone Charles and Emma letting him get away with this–is absurd. If you want to do a movie about hardcore science/religion battles in the Victorian era, there would be many more appropriate characters to use–Huxley and Wilberforce, for example. Darwin and most of his close religious acquaintances simply weren’t very interested in that fight.

  11. #11 Jason Rosenhouse
    February 3, 2010

    Darwin’s Beagle -

    Thanks for the correction. I’ll be more careful in the future.

    Anton –

    Thanks for the information. I was not aware of that particular letter of Darwin’s. It makes a point that has often occurred to me in discussions of NOMA. That while it sounds great in theory to say that science and religion are just separate domains of knowledge, in practice it just is not so. Religious claims can not be completely separated form an understanding of nature.

    As for the movie, I suspect the filmmakers would say that the character of the minister was representative of a common sort of religious faith (as much today as in Darwin’s time) and that making the character the minister of Darwin’s church was a bit of dramatic license. I don’t recall if the minister is actually identified by name in the film. As I implied in the review, I would have enjoyed things even more if people like Huxley and Wilberforce had been given a larger role, and more generally if more of the scientific and cultural context had been portrayed. Perhaps someday we will get a Huxley biopic. This is still a good movie, though, and one I am happy to recommend.

  12. #12 John S. Wilkins
    February 3, 2010

    As Anton said, Darwin and Innes were lifelong friends, and Innes helped get Darwin interred in Westminster Cathedral. There’s a line in the Autobiography that “we never agreed but once, and then we stared very hard at each other as if one of us must be ill”, which I just love.

    As to this:

    Darwin famously became an agnostic later in life, though it was not, as is sometimes reported, the theory of evolution which led to his crisis of faith. Instead it was a combination of his grief over the loss of his daughter (and later an infant son), and his acute awareness of the wanton cruelty and wastefulness of nature that made him question the idea of divine providence.

    while I agree with the latter part, about wastefulness and the cruelty of nature, I do not think he became an agnostic based on Annie’s or Charles’ Waring Darwin’s death. Darwin was a pretty good philosopher in his own way, and he came to this conclusion based more on the way the world was, than upon his personal griefs, as he knew that what matters to one personally doesn’t imply anything about what matters to the universe in general. It is a myth, founded upon Desmond and Moore’s book and Randall Keynes’ book, that these personal tragedies made him an agnostic. He had begun that process well before either event. See here.

  13. #13 John S. Wilkins
    February 3, 2010

    Sorry, that line is not from the Autobiography, but the Life and Letters, vol 2, page 289:

    “On my last visit to Down, Mr. Darwin said, at his dinner-table, ‘Brodie Innes and I have been fast friends for thirty years, and we never thoroughly agreed on any subject but once, and then we stared hard at each other, and thought one of us must be very ill.’”

  14. #14 Anton Mates
    February 4, 2010

    It makes a point that has often occurred to me in discussions of NOMA. That while it sounds great in theory to say that science and religion are just separate domains of knowledge, in practice it just is not so. Religious claims can not be completely separated form an understanding of nature.

    Well, it depends who’s making them, of course. For someone like Darwin, the only religious doctrines which would be worth accepting would be those which provided insight into the natural world. It’s not coincidental, I think, that he was one of the more “literalist” Christians in his family in his youth–he could either believe in Scripture as a testable guide to how the world actually worked, or not at all.

    For someone like E.B. Pusey, the churchman and professor he was responding to in that letter, religion has nothing to say on geology or biology but does make important claims about trends in human history and social development. Innes’ faith didn’t seem to do even that much, and the only thing Emma seemed to think was important was belief in Christ’s supernatural power of salvation. Lots of different positions on the spectrum between Ken Ham and Karen Armstrong.

    As for the movie, I suspect the filmmakers would say that the character of the minister was representative of a common sort of religious faith (as much today as in Darwin’s time) and that making the character the minister of Darwin’s church was a bit of dramatic license.

    Which would be fine in a fictional drama, but it’s not very helpful IMO to actually understanding Darwin and his work. That sort of religion was one Darwin was familiar with, certainly, but it’s definitely not the sort that shaped the Darwin-Wedgwood family and Darwin’s own youth.

    I don’t recall if the minister is actually identified by name in the film.

    IIRC he is, and they borrow dialogue from the historical Innes-Darwin correspondence–again, in rather unfair ways. For instance, in a recollection Innes wrote after Darwin’s death, he mentioned that Darwin once told him, “We often differed, but you are one of those rare mortals from whom one can differ and yet feel no shade of animosity, and that is a thing which I should feel very proud, if any one could say of me.” In the movie, Innes says this to Darwin and then adds (somewhat paraphrased) “…but now I don’t feel that way anymore, so up yours.” That’s a bit of a nasty twist.

    As I implied in the review, I would have enjoyed things even more if people like Huxley and Wilberforce had been given a larger role, and more generally if more of the scientific and cultural context had been portrayed. Perhaps someday we will get a Huxley biopic.

    That would be fascinating, if done well. I think Huxley had a considerably greater direct role than Darwin in secularizing modern society and popularizing science.

    This is still a good movie, though, and one I am happy to recommend.

    Yes, I must say that Paul Bettany and Benedict Cumberbatch were excellent as Darwin and Hooker, and the scenes with Jenny the orangutan were marvelous.

  15. #15 eric
    February 4, 2010

    Jason R: Religious claims can not be completely separated form an understanding of nature.

    Well, some can, some can’t. A claim to a worldwide flood cannot be separated from an understanding of nature; this religious claim will overlap with science. A claim that the trinity represents a single diety in three parts rather than three dieties is utterly irrelevant to nature, science, and probably has no overlap. IIRC, Gould addresses this problem by saying religion should only make claims like the latter. But its pretty silly to proscribe what a religion can and cannot say. A god isn’t going to limit the content of their divine revelations out of some worry that they might break NOMA. That’s absurd.

    Within a religion, different believers will have slightly different sets of claims. And they may weight the importance of common claims differently. Was there a worldwide flood? Some christians say yes, some say its allegory. Does christianity collapse if it turns out Mary wasn’t a virgin? For some, probably yes, for others, probably no.

    The conclusion I draw from this is that it is better to address incompatibility at the level of claims, not at the level of religions. Arguing “religion X is incompatible because…” rather than “religious claim x is incompatible because…” makes a generalization that will probably muddle and confuse the conversation more than it helps.

  16. #16 Jason Rosenhouse
    February 4, 2010

    If a religion claims that humans are made in the image of God, then it is going to have to reckon with a theory that says they are actually the result of billions of years of evolution by natural selection. If a religion claims that God is all-loving, all-powerful, and all-knowing, then it will have to reckon with the brutality of nature and the wastefulness of the evolutionary process. If a religion claims that humans exist in a sinful state because of the actions of one original pair of human beings, then it will have to come to terms with a theory that implies that no such pair ever existed.

    I could go on of course. The point is not that every religious claim is of the sort that can be adjudicated by science. Nor is the point that theologians can not reconceive their notions of original sin or of God’s actions to bring them into line with modern science. The point is simply that enough of the most common religious claims address topics about which science does have something to say that positing NOMA as a general principle is not very helpful. Religion as it is actually practiced very often does overlap with the magisterium of science.

    I would think that is essentially what Darwin had in mind in writing:

    I hardly see how religion & science can be kept as distinct as he desires, as geology has to to treat of the history of the Earth & Biology that of man.

  17. #17 image share
    February 5, 2010

    Which would be fine in a fictional drama, but it’s not very helpful IMO to actually understanding Darwin and his work. That sort of religion was one Darwin was familiar with, certainly, but it’s definitely not the sort that shaped the Darwin-Wedgwood family and Darwin’s own youth

  18. #18 Anton Mates
    February 6, 2010

    The point is simply that enough of the most common religious claims address topics about which science does have something to say that positing NOMA as a general principle is not very helpful. Religion as it is actually practiced very often does overlap with the magisterium of science.

    I think that’s quite true; but as eric says, that’s a special case of the fact that positing almost anything as a general principle of religion is not very helpful. Religious claims are all over the map, and I’m not sure anyone’s come up with a generalization that holds up to scrutiny for all or even most of them.

  19. #19 Neal
    February 18, 2010

    The heart and emotion that drove Charles Darwins’ arguments were very much based on a kind of negative religion that says ‘God would not have created things the way they are’. Some of his ‘scientific’ writing contain more references to God than many Sunday morning sermons. In debating evolutionists I find that it is not too long until their arguments come down to basically this same kind of negative religious stuff. I find it rather curious that this happens over and over like clockwork.

    Evolutionists are totally blind to the fact that the “God wouldn’t have created stuff this way” concept is a religious opinion not a scientific one. They have a keen eye open for trying to confirm their theory by straining to find inefficiencies in nature and say that a creator would not have done it that way. Really? Who said that a creator wouldn’t do that? Is science supposed to tell us what God should and shouldn’t do? What about the great marvels in nature and the efficiencies of design that beat anything man has devised?

    Evolutionists somehow think that they are smart enough to tell us what a creator should or shouldn’t have done. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but please spare us the baloney that this opinion is somehow an unprejudiced pronouncement of the greater minds of science.

  20. #20 eric
    February 18, 2010

    Evolutionists are totally blind to the fact that the “God wouldn’t have created stuff this way” concept is a religious opinion not a scientific one.

    Scientists aren’t blind to this. We understand that from a logical point, “God chose to do it this way” is fully consistent anything we discover.

    That’s one of the reasons its unscientific. Creationism could be made more scientific if there was a way God definitely would not have done it, since then we could test it. But as you say, this isn’t the case – no test is possible, God could do anything, which means creationism is theology, not science.

  21. #21 JT Alden
    February 24, 2010

    Not quite Eric.

    Intelligent Design has been tested and proven thousands of times. You & your fellow evos in-breds simply ignore the results. That’s nobody’s problem but your own.

    Oh and thanks for the confirmation. You stated above :

    ” We understand that from a logical point; God chose to do it this way; is fully consistent with anything we discover.”

    You just admitted that science DISCOVERS what the Designer created in the first place. Thanks for the validation. Just don’t let your in-bred friends find out about it. You might get kicked out of ” the fraternity.”

    Second, you then stepped in it again, by saying :
    ” Creationism could be made more scientific if there was a way God definitely would NOT have done it, since then we could test it. ”

    Really. Done what ? Designed something ? Anything ?

    OK, how about Nitrogen gas. Explain how the Designer would NOT have designed Nitrogen gas ? How then do we test that, my dear Eric ?
    We don’t, because we can’t. Therefore, your lame attempt at making your point becomes pointless. Par for the course.
    Same evos idiot’s logic on parade, as always.

  22. #22 Anton Mates
    February 24, 2010

    You just admitted that science DISCOVERS what the Designer created in the first place.

    No. Do you understand the difference between “fully consistent with” and “implied by”?

    Science discovers stuff. That stuff may have been created by a Designer or Designers with unspecified/unlimited powers and goals; or it may not have been created by anybody. The findings of science are fully consistent with either option.

    OK, how about Nitrogen gas. Explain how the Designer would NOT have designed Nitrogen gas ? How then do we test that, my dear Eric ?
    We don’t, because we can’t.

    Yes, that’s exactly what Eric said. Read his post again. Please pay special attention to the “no test is possible, God could do anything, which means creationism is theology, not science” bit.

  23. #23 JT Alden
    February 24, 2010

    Sorry Anton.
    Strike two for you.

    You just cracked the foundation of the whole evos movement. Keep this up and the entire house of cards will soon come tumbling down. Proving how something could not have happened is pointless, for both Intelligent Design AND evolution.

    Anton stated above :

    ” Science discovers stuff. That stuff may have been created by a Designer or Designers with unspecified/unlimited powers and goals; or it may not have been created by anybody. The findings of science are fully consistent with either option. ”

    Therefore, as you say, since the findings of science are fully consistent with EITHER option, then you too, just validated the need for the study of Intelligent Design !

    Thanks to Anton, we now must teach Creationism, side by side with evolution. They are equal, according to Anton.
    Remember, he said, the findings of science are consistent with EITHER option.
    That first option is, according to you,
    ” that….. stuff MAY HAVE been created by a Designer, with unlimited powers and goals…….”
    You just validated what hundreds of scientists have discovered & confirmed worldwide.
    Randomness, combined with natural selection, mixed with monster mutations, sprinkled with co-evolution, in-bred with Abiogenesis, could NEVER account for all of the life forms on earth, both plant and animal. It’s impossible. To make all of the puzzle pieces fit, you need to combine them into one, faith based, belief system, aka the religion of darwinism. It’s based on the collective assumptions and imaginary thoughts of a movement, who choose to believe in what fits their dogma. And, if it doesn’t fit, or if the pieces of the puzzle don’t jive, folks like you, simply hammer them into place, with yet another bogus excuse like Stevie Wonder’s punctuated equilibrium nonsense.

    Therefore, evolution is merely a religion unto itself. Nice work Anton.
    You too have validated the need to ” …. discover the stuff made by the Intelligent Designer.”

  24. #24 Anton Mates
    February 24, 2010

    Anton stated above :
    ” Science discovers stuff. That stuff may have been created by a Designer or Designers with unspecified/unlimited powers and goals; or it may not have been created by anybody. The findings of science are fully consistent with either option. ”
    Therefore, as you say, since the findings of science are fully consistent with EITHER option, then you too, just validated the need for the study of Intelligent Design !

    …no. If the findings of science are fully consistent with either option, then scientific study of Intelligent Design is impossible, and always will be. Any experiment you could possibly run, any test you could possibly conduct, will always return the answer, “Maybe this was created by a supernatural Designer and maybe it wasn’t.” Do you understand that, in that case, research on the question can’t go anywhere?

    You just validated what hundreds of scientists have discovered & confirmed worldwide.
Randomness, combined with natural selection, mixed with monster mutations, sprinkled with co-evolution, in-bred with Abiogenesis, could NEVER account for all of the life forms on earth, both plant and animal. It’s impossible.

    This isn’t true, of course–you could just ask a few biologists and find that out–but more importantly, even if it was true, it wouldn’t help your argument. Here’s the thing: Disproving Evolution Would Not Prove Intelligent Design. There is a literally infinite number of possible explanations for modern life in a universe without a supernatural designer. Lamarckism, orthogenesis, DNA sequences falling through engineering by time-traveling human geneticists from the future, an infinite regress of aliens uplifting aliens uplifting aliens….

    Heck, let’s just take your “randomness” one. Could a random, no-rules universe account for all of modern life? Of course! True randomness could account for anything–that’s what “random, no-rules” means. If you could show that random processes can’t produce modern life, then they aren’t actually completely random, are they?

    Now of course the scientific community doesn’t accept any of these alternatives, since there’s no need for them–evolutionary theory is much more parsimonious, has more predictive power and fits the evidence better. But even if you magically managed to overthrow all that evidence and blew evolutionary theory to smithereens…you still wouldn’t have shown that life must have been designed by a deity.

    Sorry. On the up side, evolutionary theory doesn’t say that life wasn’t designed by a deity, so knock yourself out being a theistic evolutionist anytime you want to acknowledge science but still feel that everything was designed.

  25. #25 JT Alden
    February 25, 2010

    Wrong again Anton.

    Your lame attempt at circular logic is easily exposed.
    In your original responsive post, you stated and I quote :

    ” Science discovers stuff. That stuff may have been created by a Designer …..with unlimited powers …..
    The findings of science are fully consistent with either option.”

    Now that you’ve been caught, you’re backpedaling in your second post. In addition, your next attempt is to reduce all options, to a common demoninator of utter nonsense. Time travel for one, is the most insane argument, as a potential foundation. You say that science rejects it however, because ” evolutionary theory is much more parsimonious, has more predictive power and fits the evidence better, blah, blah, blah.” Fits the data better ? Like using the hammer to make the pieces fit. Right.
    Again my point thus proven.

    Sorry Anton, but there are not 65 different levels of plausibility, for modern life forms. There are only two.
    Either Intelligent Design or darwinian based natural selection. Either the Supreme Creator exists or it doesn’t.
    This is the entire foundation of evos idiot’s logic.
    The TOE survives on the atheistic principle for denial of a Supreme Designer. If the evidence could NOT be made to fit the TOE model, you have readily admitted that another bogus theory would be promoted, like time travel, since you would never accept Intelligent Design. It DEFIES your blood-borne principal of promoting atheism. Anything but the Supreme Designer, would fit your warped view of science.

    Please keep repeating the lies to yourself and your fellow evos in-breds. It’s all you have left. If you ever stop chanting the propaganda to yourself, you would only be left with having to deal with scientific fact. This would obviously drive the collective evos movement to the lowest level of insanity. However, like the global warming scam now being exposed as well, after years of falsified, junk science, it’s only a matter of time………

  26. #26 Modusoperandi
    February 25, 2010

    JT Alden, you may want to consider heeding your own advice.

  27. #27 Anton Mates
    February 25, 2010

    JT,

    
In your original responsive post, you stated and I quote :

    ” Science discovers stuff. That stuff may have been created by a Designer …..with unlimited powers ….. 
The findings of science are fully consistent with either option.”

    Now that you’ve been caught, you’re backpedaling in your second post.

    No, I’m saying that exact same thing again and again, because you don’t seem to be following the implications. Evolution may be the work of a supernatural designer. We have no positive evidence that it isn’t. It also may not be the work of a supernatural designer. We have no positive evidence that it is. Scientifically, there’s nowhere to go from here. You can have whatever opinion you want on the question, and that’s fine, but science can’t help you out. That’s why you don’t see “…and that’s how we know God created it all” or “…and that’s how we know there is no God” in an undergraduate bio textbook.

    In addition, your next attempt is to reduce all options, to a common demoninator of utter nonsense. Time travel for one, is the most insane argument, as a potential foundation.

    Okay. Can you disprove the time travel hypothesis? Or find strong evidence against it? How about the new-genes-fall-through-wormholes-from-alternate-earths hypothesis?

    Because “that’s insane nonsense” isn’t actually a refutation of it. And if you want to position ID as the only alternative to evolution, you have to actually knock down all the other alternatives, not just ignore them. That’s the price you pay for making a really, really strong claim like “Nothing but a Supreme Being can explain this phenomenon.”

    Of course, you could always go look for evidence for ID instead…that’s how scientific theories are usually defended. But that would require ID to make predictions, like eric was asking for. And you don’t seem to want to give us any.

    It DEFIES your blood-borne principal of promoting atheism. Anything but the Supreme Designer, would fit your warped view of science.

    See, again, you’re having this problem because you don’t actually talk to any scientists. In the life science departments where I’ve hung out, there have been Catholic researchers and Evangelical researchers and Mormon researchers and Muslim researchers and Jewish researchers and atheist researchers and agnostic researchers and researchers who just don’t care about the question of a Supreme Designer enough to have an opinion. They all work on evolutionary questions just fine, and nobody much cares about anyone else’s opinions on God. I mean, it might be fun to talk about over drinks after work, but in the lab there’s research to be done.

    I’m sorry. I know you really want there to be a vast scientific conspiracy bent on destroying your faith, but we have neither the time nor the inclination.

    I’d suggest you ease into recovery by striking up friendships with scientists in some other field, but…

    However, like the global warming scam now being exposed as well

    …no, I guess not.

  28. #28 eric
    February 25, 2010

    JT: Either Intelligent Design or darwinian based natural selection. Either the Supreme Creator exists or it doesn’t.
    This is the entire foundation of evos idiot’s logic.

    This either/or argument is called contrived dualism and has been used by creationists since at least 1982, when it was explicitly used by the creationist side in McLean vs. Arkansas. So you’re just factually wrong here. Creationists are the ones using such either/or logic. Its the entire foundation of your argument, not ours.

    When a hypothesis fails to explain some observed phenomena, what scientists conclude is simply ‘we don’t know what caused that.’ No contrived duality is needed, no either/or choice is invoked.

    *****

    For reference, the ruling from McLean can be found here, and section IV(a) provides a good summary of my point:

    The approach to teaching “creation science” and “evolution-science” found in Act 590 is identical to the
    two-model approach espoused by the Institute for Creation Research and is taken almost verbatim from ICR writings. It is an extension of Fundamentalists’ view that one must either accept the literal interpretation of Genesis or else believe in the godless system of evolution.
    The two model approach of the creationists is simply a contrived dualism (22) which has not scientific
    factual basis or legitimate educational purpose.

    What I personally find most amusing about creationists’ use of the contrived dualism is that they first claimed biblical creationism or evolution were the only two possible options. Now they claim ID or evolution are the only two possible options. But they also claim ID is not creationism. Heh.

  29. #29 Neal
    February 25, 2010

    Darwinists think that they can just wave the magic wand of “natural selection” and poof complex anything is possible. Somehow they never get down to the complex details, just a lot of wand waving and generalizations. Waving the wand does not explain the gaps. Darwinists may respond, how does creationism or ID explain it then? By ascribing intentional Design by an intelligent creator rather than fanciful and unrealistic explanations to natural processes that just don’t have that much capability to do what they say it can. You’ll never see an Olympic event where a man can high jump unaided 10 miles into the atmosphere. Yet Darwinists ascribe unrealistic capabilities to “natural selection”.

    The Best explanation for digital code in DNA is intelligence because digital code in other areas of science is produced all the time by intelligent beings. Furthermore the digital code in DNA has artifical intelligence capabilities built-in to it so that environmental levers can trigger a response by the DNA to cause the species to adapt to the changes in a methodical fashion.

  30. #30 Modusoperandi
    February 25, 2010

    And by “methodical” you mean “sometimes, elephant ears get smaller. Other times, you just get a bunch of dead mammoths”.

  31. #31 eric
    February 25, 2010

    Neal: Darwinists may respond, how does creationism or ID explain it then? By ascribing intentional Design by an intelligent creator

    That is not how. Try again. The answer to “how” would be: via selective breeding. Or: using a billion year old genetics lab. Or: using a star-trek replicator to make new critters. Or: God poofed them into existence by miracle.

    Those are “how” explanations. Now, why don’t you try again and tell us your explanation as to how your hypothetical designer created new species.

  32. #32 JT Alden
    February 25, 2010

    Nice try guys, but your worn out, evos propaganda is, as always, simply laughable !
    Let me quickly respond to your inept remarks:

    1.) Anton stated “ Evolution may be the work of a supernatural designer. We have no positive evidence that it isn’t.” Really ? We have NONE ? Who says so Anton, YOU ?
    Who made you the gatekeeper as to what information is accepted scientifically ?

    THAT’S THE DEBATE ITSELF ! This is at the core of the discussion. Evos fanatics always claim this as their mantra. “ Only OUR side determines what POSITIVE INFORMATION is. ” This is simply Bogus evos BS.
    Tell that to the hundreds of scientists, who join the Intelligent Design movement each and every year. These are men and women with PhDs from all disciplines of the scientific community. It is THEIR combined research that provides the evidence. And spare me the lame, worn out nonsense about PEER review. That argument ended years ago. Evos in-breds controlled the rules as to what got reviewed. If they saw ID posted on the front cover, they rejected it OUTRIGHT. Therefore, ID-based scientists have been forced to self-publish. It’s an academic shell game, run by the in-breds themselves.

    2.) Next, Anton continues with “ It also may not be the work of a supernatural designer. We have no positive evidence that it is.” Really ? You Don’t ? This is simply an argument over semantics. You might want to re-think this position dear Anton. Pure blood Evos claim their position is the ONLY answer. Your movement has been losing members from the Theistic branch, for several years now. In the old days, the followers of Lord Charles had a big tent. They welcomed everyone, even liberal religious folks. However, a problem arose. The leaders of your movement continued to bash religion at every turn, while promoting atheism every day. As a result they’ve driven off millions of former evos comrades, many from the Catholic Church, who got fed up with all the religion bashing. NOW, you want the big tent again. Therefore, you state things like “ we’re not quite sure if there is positive evidence or not, it may be Divine intervention, OR it may be a simple case of natural selection, based on atheism. Gosh, we’re just not sure anymore. Blah, blah blah. ” This PROVES my point yet again. Your numbers are dwindling, so you now have to play the game of semantics.

    3.) Anton then follows with “ Okay. Can you disprove the time travel hypothesis? ” Are you serious Anton ? Time travelers ? Aliens ? Since YOU brought up these bogus claims at potential alternatives, the burden of proof is on YOU dear Anton, NOT ME ! Time travel doesn’t answer ANYTHING in the debate over evolution. You can waste your time here;
    I choose not to.
    4.) Next Anton says “ But that would require ID to make predictions, like eric was asking for. And you don’t seem to want to give us any.” WRONG AGAIN Anton ! Show me where Eric has asked me for ANYTHING, in prior posts. He did not. You are a blatant liar. This is yet ANOTHER bogus response. The scientific testing method for Intelligent Design has been discussed for years. After it’s presented, evos in-breds ALWAYS respond with the same mantra : “ we reject the hypothesis and conclusion of your testing method, blah, blah, blah.”
    5.) Anton follows with “ See, again, you’re having this problem because you don’t actually talk to any scientists.” Strike Three Anton ! How would YOU know who I talk to ? Tell me, please. Your self-centered arrogance prevents you from any logical thought. The truth is, I am a high school science teacher, with 3 university degrees. I conduct scientific research on a regular basis. In addition, I communicate with dozens of colleagues throughout the scientific community. You sir, are nothing more than a typical, evos in-bred pawn, who regurgitates the same old, worn out defense mechanisms, with your continued projectile vomiting of bogus, darwinian fallacies.

    6.) My last proof, exposing the blatant ignorance of Anton Mates, is as follows : your final comment was :
    “ I’d suggest you ease into recovery by striking up friendships with scientists in some other field, but…
    ( In reference to the global warming scam now being exposed ) …..no, I guess not. ”

    So you’re inferring that man-made global warming is real ? That’s funny. TONS of scientific evidence says otherwise. This is why John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, is considering legal action against Al Gore, for his continued fraud & falsification of scientific data. Mr. Coleman now has 30,000 scientists in agreement with him, who have signed on to defeat the fallacy of global warming. It takes someone with basic level of adult intelligence to comprehend the data.
    Does Anton possess this capability ? No, I guess not either.

    8.) Last, to eric, who whined “ ……Now they claim ID or evolution are the only two possible options. But they also claim ID is not creationism. Heh.” You are INCORRECT as well, eric. Here’s a clue eric. Is Botany the same as Astronomy eric ? No, they are two separate disciplines. However, they are BOTH part of Science. In contrast, ID is NOT Creationism, as you falsely stated above. However, Creationism IS a sub-set of Intelligent Design. Creationism is mainly organized by YEC-Fundys. In contrast, I am an Old-Earther, and have been for many years. Intelligent Design has many divisions. You don’t have to be RELIGIOUS, to accept ID. Some do, yet many do not. ID proponents often reject various organized religions, bases on political differences. However, they DO agree on the existence of a Supreme Designer as the driving force, for all things in the universe. They reject outright, the collective nonsense, that everything came about via randomness, driven by natural selection, supplemented with co-evolution, and propped up with a fallacy of beneficial genetic mutations, as the justification for all plant & animal life, here on Mother Earth.

  33. #33 Modusoperandi
    February 25, 2010

    JT Alden “It is THEIR combined research that provides the evidence.”
    ID doesn’t do research. It writes pop-level books about how complicated things are, smears Darwin and suckers schoolboards in to making decisions that result in lawsuits which they lose.

  34. #34 eric
    February 25, 2010

    ID is NOT Creationism, as you falsely stated above. However, Creationism IS a sub-set of Intelligent Design.

    If creationism is a sub-set of ID, then ID may be a sub-set of some future hypothesis X, and the dichotomy still fails. Once you admit that (hypothetical) evidence against evolution may not support biblical creationism, it may instead support some other form of ID, you open yourself to the parallel claim that (hypothetical) evidence against evolution may not support ID, it may instead support some other form of X.

    But that’s all beside the point. You started off claiming that this dichotomy was “idiot’s logic” used by mainstream scientists. When I demonstrated that it is used by creationists, you did an about-switch and decided to defend it.

    Given this behavior, it appears to me that you don’t actually care about the validity of this argument or any other: you are going to maintain your conclusion regardless of evidence, and merely adopt and discard such arguments as convenient.

  35. #35 Anton Mates
    February 26, 2010

    JT,

    1.) Anton stated “ Evolution may be the work of a supernatural designer. We have no positive evidence that it isn’t.” Really ? We have NONE ? Who says so Anton, YOU ? 
Who made you the gatekeeper as to what information is accepted scientifically ?

    Um, I said there that we have no positive evidence that there isn’t a supernatural designer. Do you really want to argue with that? You realize you’d be arguing in favor of strong atheism then, right?

    But no, I’m not the gatekeeper of anything. It’s not me you have to convince, it’s the scientific community.

    It is THEIR combined research that provides the evidence. And spare me the lame, worn out nonsense about PEER review. That argument ended years ago. Evos in-breds controlled the rules as to what got reviewed. If they saw ID posted on the front cover, they rejected it OUTRIGHT. Therefore, ID-based scientists have been forced to self-publish. It’s an academic shell game, run by the in-breds themselves.

    It’s the Internet Age. Really, the “we can’t publish because the mean evolutionist editors won’t let us” excuse doesn’t work anymore. If you’ve got the research, you can easily show the world. Heck, you can show us right here on this forum, right now.

    And seriously, Luria and Delbrück got a freakin’ Nobel Prize for coming up with a test that could have falsified the hypothesis of random mutation, one of the pillars of modern evolutionary theory. The results of that test didn’t falsify the hypothesis, which is one more piece of evidence that it’s–well–true, but the development of the test itself is rightly viewed as an awesome scientific accomplishment. The scientific community loves challenges to mainstream theory…as long as they’re supported by evidence.

    Your movement has been losing members from the Theistic branch, for several years now.

    Now that would be an interesting sociological discovery. Cite?

    In the old days, the followers of Lord Charles had a big tent. They welcomed everyone, even liberal religious folks. However, a problem arose. The leaders of your movement continued to bash religion at every turn, while promoting atheism every day.

    Yyyeah, they tried that argument at Dover already. Nobody bought it.

    3.) Anton then follows with “ Okay. Can you disprove the time travel hypothesis? ” Are you serious Anton ? Time travelers ? Aliens ? Since YOU brought up these bogus claims at potential alternatives, the burden of proof is on YOU dear Anton, NOT ME !

    Nope. See, I’m not the one claiming that my hypothesis is the only possible explanation for what we see. You’re the one saying that ID and evolution are the only possibilities, and evolution’s disproven, so the answer must be ID. As long as you argue that way, dealing with all the possible alternatives is your problem. You can avoid them if you want to, but in that case, arguing for ID by attacking evolution is pointless.

    Next Anton says “ But that would require ID to make predictions, like eric was asking for. And you don’t seem to want to give us any.” WRONG AGAIN Anton ! Show me where Eric has asked me for ANYTHING, in prior posts. He did not. You are a blatant liar. This is yet ANOTHER bogus response.

    C’mon, now you’re just messing with me. I know you can read–look up at #20. eric said, “That’s one of the reasons its unscientific. Creationism could be made more scientific if there was a way God definitely would not have done it, since then we could test it.” So there you go. Eric wants a falsifiable prediction–”God would have made stuff this way, not that way” sort of thing. We’re all just a little skeptical one’s ever going to appear. It’s been so long…

    The scientific testing method for Intelligent Design has been discussed for years. After it’s presented, evos in-breds ALWAYS respond with the same mantra : “ we reject the hypothesis and conclusion of your testing method, blah, blah, blah.”

    Well, yeah, because the “discussion” never actually gets around to giving us a testable prediction and suggesting how to predict it. Do you want to give us one now? I’m happy to listen.

    The truth is, I am a high school science teacher, with 3 university degrees. I conduct scientific research on a regular basis.

    That’s nice, if not really to the point. I’ve got three degrees too, I’ve taught math and physics at the college level, I can wiggle my ears, and I enjoy long walks on the beach. So what?

    In addition, I communicate with dozens of colleagues throughout the scientific community.

    Now we’re getting somewhere! So have you accompanied these colleagues to their bio departments and taken a look at all the evil atheists doing their evil atheist things? Maybe mentioned that you believed in God and been promptly evicted from the building? That sort of thing?

    You sir, are nothing more than a typical, evos in-bred pawn, who regurgitates the same old, worn out defense mechanisms, with your continued projectile vomiting of bogus, darwinian fallacies.

    I so am! I’m probably fat, too. And smelly.

    So you’re inferring that man-made global warming is real ? That’s funny. TONS of scientific evidence says otherwise. This is why John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, is considering legal action against Al Gore, for his continued fraud & falsification of scientific data. Mr. Coleman now has 30,000 scientists in agreement with him, who have signed on to defeat the fallacy of global warming.

    …so your example of the tons of scientific evidence is that a TV weatherman is thinking about suing a politician over global warming? And has a petition with 31,000 self-reported, externally unverified names of people with degrees who agree with him?

    No offense, but this isn’t really helping your claim to be familiar with the practice of science.

  36. #36 eric
    February 26, 2010

    JT: Show me where Eric has asked me for ANYTHING, in prior posts. He did not. You are a blatant liar. This is yet ANOTHER bogus response.

    Anton Mates: C’mon, now you’re just messing with me. I know you can read–look up at #20.

    My post was more in the way of an explanation (as to why creationism isn’t science) than a request, but yeah, Anton’s right. I would like JT to tell me what future observable, what bit of evidence we could realistically collect that would be inconsistent with creationism.

    Moreover I’d like to point out the pickle you’ve put yourself in, JT, by bringing this up. If you claim there is no such evidence, you are essentially confirming my point that creationism isn’t science. If you claim there is, we’re going to ask you to describe it.

    And please, no demands that the only evidence you’ll accept is if we manufacture a time machine and go back and videotape evolution happening from day 1 to today. Such ridiculous demands are pretty much equivalent to saying no bit of evidence we could collect is inconsistent with creationism.

  37. #37 JT Alden
    February 27, 2010

    My dearest Anton : Sorry my boy, for the delayed response.
    I had to take a break.
    I’ve been very busy…………ROFLMAO !
    Your collective responses have become quite comical !
    Is this the best you can come up with ?
    Oh well, ……. nothing like jousting with evos lunatics. Here we go, …. yet again :

    A – Anton says in post 35 : “ Um, I said there that we have no positive evidence that there isn’t a supernatural designer. Do you really want to argue with that? You realize you’d be arguing in favor of strong atheism then, right ? ”
    Incorrect. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm……….. the words “ no positive and isn’t ” are BOTH negative connotations. ( This is too easy. ) Ummm… Anton, um…., I’m the guy in the debate saying we HAVE positive evidence, that there IS a Supreme Designer, OK ? ? So you asking me to realize, I’d be arguing in “ favor of strong atheism ” is, yet again, your complete, incompetence on display. Here’s a hint….. it’s the evos in-bred side of the debate, that promotes atheism. That’s YOUR part of the equation, OK ? Try & keep this in perspective. The original thread, that Jason started above, had to do with Lord Charles REJECTING organized religion. OK ? I take it that basic word comprehension was never one of your claims to fame. And yet, ( supposedly) , your teaching of college level courses was. ……… Right…….

    B – Next, Anton states : “ ……… I’m not the one claiming that my hypothesis is the only possible explanation for what we see. You’re the one saying that ID and evolution are the only possibilities, and evolution’s disproven, so the answer must be ID. As long as you argue that way, dealing with all the possible alternatives is your problem.”
    Incorrect. See Anton, ONCE AGAIN, and hopefully for the last time, it was YOU who brought up the pathetic garbage, about all the potential fallacies of somehow generating life on earth. NOT ME. As I have already stated, time travel, or Lamarckism, or epigenetics, or midget theory, or tooth fairy theory, or the Star Trek theory, or whatever theory you want to regurgitate, are all BOGUS ! I don’t have to prove them wrong, YOU DO ! It was YOUR original, inept comment to defend; not mine.

    C- Further proof of Anton’s mental instability : In post 24, he had the audacity to say, and I quote directly “ ………Could a random, no-rules universe account for all of modern life? Of course. True randomness could account for anything–that’s what “random, no-rules” means.” Ummmm…….This is just more evidence of Anton’s delusional rants. Someone might want to get the straightjacket ready. What size do you wear again, Anton ? Small minded & Feeble sounds about right. Ummmm…….. Anton……. If randomness could account for ALL modern life on our planet, why then would you clowns have ever needed ANYTHING more than natural selection, based on RANDOM mutations ? Hmmmmmm ?

    We would never have NEEDED the additional layers, to prop up the theoretical house of cards. You know, all the science fiction stuff, that came later, like co-evolution, or monster mutations, or abiogenesis, or punctuated equilibrium, or the incomplete fossil record, or neo-darwinism, or Piltdown man, or Nebraska man, or anything else, that evos inbreds have used for decades as an excuse, when the previous data is proven to be inadequate. Your loons just keeping coming up with more excuses, aka junk science.

    See Anton, I hate to break the news to you, but “ a random, no-rules universe ” as you put it, could NEVER account for the development of complex things like a central nervous system, complex reproductive organs in both plants and animals, the family of carnivorous plants, the human eye, you name it……..Randomness would never generate complexity. Those so-called beneficial genetic mutations, that you boys like to reference all the time, would be non existence. Therefore, a totally random, no rules universe, as YOU put it, could never achieve ANY type of complex life form, plant OR animal. And YOU had the audacity to say it could account for ALL modern life. Would you like a padded room as well Anton……..?

    D – Next, Anton says “ C’mon, …. I know you can read ”…… Uhhh…. Yes Anton, I read quite well, thank you. See, Anton says I dodged a question put to me by his partner in crime, aka Eric. He claims that Eric asked me a question in previous post number 20.

    Incorrect, yet again Anton. I challenge ANYONE witnessing this joust, to go back and look at previous post number 20. First of all, there is NO question posed to ANYONE in Eric’s comments, let alone me. And, second, Eric was responding to a previous post from a gentleman named Neal. Ummmm……. Sorry Anton, you just got exposed as a bumbling fool.

    E- Finally, Anton responded to my claim that global warming is a total scam, with the following dribble “ …… so, your example of the tons of scientific evidence is, that a TV weatherman is thinking about suing a politician over global warming? And has a petition with 31,000 self-reported, externally unverified names of people with degrees who agree with him ? …..” In response. Yes I am Anton. You have since proven yourself incapable of defending your position on evolution, based on my list of INCORRECT responses from above. I have duly noted many, but not all, of your incorrect statements, comments, rants and or dribble, in my examples.

    Thus………would you now like to shift gears and debate Global Warming ? OR, how about the Bogus “ Project Steve ” propaganda, that the NCSE continues to pimp every month…Hmmmmm ? Just say the work Anton, and I’ll gladly take up the cause.

    I’ll even let you decide Anton.. Go ahead and pick your poison,… I mean… preferred topic…. The Global Warming Scam or the Project Steve Scam ?

    C’mon…………Everybody deserves a second chance.

    Adios for now.

  38. #38 Anton Mates
    February 28, 2010

    JT,

    A – Anton says in post 35 : “ Um, I said there that we have no positive evidence that there isn’t a supernatural designer. Do you really want to argue with that? You realize you’d be arguing in favor of strong atheism then, right ? ”
    Incorrect. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm……….. the words “ no positive and isn’t ” are BOTH negative connotations. ( This is too easy. ) Ummm… Anton, um…., I’m the guy in the debate saying we HAVE positive evidence, that there IS a Supreme Designer, OK ? ?

    Right! So when I use a double negative–you remember that two negatives make a positive, right?—I’m making a point in your favor. Sheesh, you’d think an ID guy would realize that “no positive evidence against God” is a good thing from his POV.

    Incorrect. See Anton, ONCE AGAIN, and hopefully for the last time, it was YOU who brought up the pathetic garbage, about all the potential fallacies of somehow generating life on earth. NOT ME. As I have already stated, time travel, or Lamarckism, or epigenetics, or midget theory, or tooth fairy theory, or the Star Trek theory, or whatever theory you want to regurgitate, are all BOGUS ! I don’t have to prove them wrong, YOU DO !

    So they’re bogus, but you don’t have to say why they’re bogus. Not big on burden of proof, eh? Hokay, but this is exactly the false dichotomy that scientists are never going to buy. You can’t say “Every other possible hypothesis is crap, but I don’t have to prove it, but they are, so my hypothesis wins” and expect the scientific community to take you seriously. (I mean, I realize that’s not really your goal, but still.)

    …….. Anton……. If randomness could account for ALL modern life on our planet, why then would you clowns have ever needed ANYTHING more than natural selection, based on RANDOM mutations ? Hmmmmmm ?

    Because scientific theories have to do more than just “account for” things, of course! Think about it—accounting for things is far too easy. How do you account for, I dunno, Saturn’s rings? Well, they just randomly happened to appear. Or, a god made them appear. Or, there exists a previously unknown law of physics which made them appear. Or, aliens made them. Or, a mad scientist made them. Or whatever.

    But in science, your hypothesis needs to be testable, and it needs to be parsimonious. And “It just randomly happened” is no more testable than “God did it” or “it’s magic,” and roughly equally imparsimonious.

    We would never have NEEDED the additional layers, to prop up the theoretical house of cards. You know, all the science fiction stuff, that came later, like co-evolution, or monster mutations, or abiogenesis, or punctuated equilibrium, or the incomplete fossil record, or neo-darwinism, or Piltdown man, or Nebraska man, or anything else, that evos inbreds have used for decades as an excuse, when the previous data is proven to be inadequate.

    Just FYI, Darwin mentioned the incompleteness of the fossil record in the Origin of Species. In fact, there’s an entire chapter called “On the Imperfection of the Geological Record.” It isn’t exactly a recent addition to our understanding of the world.

    As for the rest of it…yes, damn that science for constantly discovering new things and further developing its theories! I mean, look at physics—first they acted like they had something worth using with Newtonian mechanics, and then they kept throwing in all this weird new stuff with electromagnetism and relativity and neutrinos and gamma rays and quantum mechanics and string theory and whatnot! Clearly it was all Satanic lies from the get-go.

    See Anton, I hate to break the news to you, but “ a random, no-rules universe ” as you put it, could NEVER account for the development of complex things like a central nervous system, complex reproductive organs in both plants and animals, the family of carnivorous plants, the human eye, you name it……..Randomness would never generate complexity.

    Never? Really? So you haven’t ever heard of the Infinite Monkey Theorem, then? If a monkey sits at a keyboard and hits letters at random for long enough, it will eventually—with probability 1—produce a perfect copy of Hamlet. Isn’t Hamlet complex?

    Roll a ten-sided die over and over again. If the die is unweighted, and the results of the rolls are truly random, then it will eventually produce any finite string of digits—any string at all, no matter how “simple” or “complex.” Including your credit card number. Including your entire genetic code, transcribed with the digits 1-4. Anything at all.

    Have you ever heard of Monte Carlo methods in numerical analysis? Why do you think computer scientists spend so much time coming up with random number generators? Randomness can generate just about anything; it’s one of the most limitless engines of creation imaginable. It often takes a long time to get there—unless filtered by selection, of course—but it’ll get there in the end.

    You know, if you teach high school science, some of your kids are probably getting introduced to probability right now. I bet they could help you out on this concept, if you’re having trouble with it.

    Incorrect, yet again Anton. I challenge ANYONE witnessing this joust, to go back and look at previous post number 20. First of all, there is NO question posed to ANYONE in Eric’s comments, let alone me. And, second, Eric was responding to a previous post from a gentleman named Neal.

    Did I say that Eric had asked you? Nope. But now Eric himself has kindly returned and asked you, personally. So c’mon and give us a test for godly design already! You’ve told us there are all those ID researchers out there coming up with awesome design tests all the time, so why not describe a couple?

    I’ll even let you decide Anton.. Go ahead and pick your poison,… I mean… preferred topic…. The Global Warming Scam or the Project Steve Scam ?

    Hey, if you’re done with ID we can talk about whatever you’d like to talk about. Your take on Project Steve will probably be funnier, though.

  39. #39 Anton Mates
    February 28, 2010

    SLC,

    It would be very interesting to know if there exists anywhere in the world an evolution denier who is not also a global warming denier.

    Yup, there does: Ted Haggard and Rick Warren, among others. American evangelicals are split on climate change just like they are on evolution–see the Evangelical Climate Initiative, for instance. Obviously liberal evangelicals are more likely to accept both and conservatives are more likely to deny both, but you get some moderates like Haggard and Warren who accept one but not the other.

    I’ve a feeling that climate change will eventually be more accepted among conservative believers than evolution. It’s less emotionally threatening–nothing seems to be scarier than We Came From Monkeys!!!–and the evidence is increasingly harder to deny. You can ignore any amount of genetic, anatomical and paleontological evidence for evolution as long as you don’t do anything crazy like peek in a textbook or visit a museum, but you can see clear evidence of climate change just by turning on the news…and that’ll only get more obvious, of course.

  40. #40 eric
    February 28, 2010

    Anton: I’m not the one claiming that my hypothesis is the only possible explanation for what we see. You’re the one saying that ID and evolution are the only possibilities, and evolution’s disproven, so the answer must be ID. As long as you argue that way, dealing with all the possible alternatives is your problem.

    JT: Incorrect. See Anton, ONCE AGAIN, and hopefully for the last time, it was YOU who brought up the pathetic garbage…

    Actually, you, JT, were the first one to bring this up in #25, and I challenge you to find an earlier example. There you claimed mainstream scientists used it and it was “idiot’s logic.”

    That was incorrect: creationists claim this dichotomy, not scientists, and I showed that creationists have been using this crap since 1982.

    Now you seem to agree with Anton and I that this false dichotomy is pathetic garbage. Which is great. Unfortunately for you as an OEC, your recognition that the supposed dichotomy between ID and evolution means you must come up with positive evidence for ID for ID to have any support. Negative evidnece evolution won’t cut it, because there’s no dichotomy – which you seem to recognize.

  41. #41 eric
    February 28, 2010

    Typo in last paragraph –
    “…between ID and evolution means…” should read
    “…between ID and evolution is false means…”

  42. #42 tresmal
    February 28, 2010

    Project Steve is a scam? I gotta hear more.

  43. #43 JT Alden
    March 1, 2010

    Yo Anton !

    Wow, This is just too much fun……. !

    OK, to all of the devoted evos in-breds,
    collectively holding your breath ……. I hope you can be patient.
    Here we go. Now, …… pay attention kids.

    FIRST, Anton quotes my following statement and then responds.

    JT said above “ …….. Anton……. If randomness could account for ALL modern life on our planet, why then would you clowns have ever needed ANYTHING more than natural selection, based on RANDOM mutations ? Hmmmmmm ?

    Then Anton replied above : …… “ Think about it—accounting for things is far too easy. How do you account for, I dunno, Saturn’s rings ? ”

    Ok, hang on to your hats. Here we go. Ummmm…… Anton…..would you mind going back to my quote above ? ………. I specifically said … All…….Modern……Life….on ……Our….Planet……… And you came back
    with “ How do you account for, uhhhh, I dunno, Saturn’s rings ?

    Ummmm …. Anton,…. are Saturn’s rings included ANYWHERE in the concept of “ all modern life on our Planet ” ? …….No ……….. Thus it appears,….. that Anton…… is once again, ……..shown to be responding…….. with yet another ……..delusional rant. We’ll call this rant number One.

    But wait, there’s more………..

    SECOND, Anton then dribbles out the following ….saying ” It just randomly happened is no more testable than God did it. ” …… Wait, did I read that correctly ? Again, I’m just a high school science teacher and Anton is the big, bad college prof. BUT, Anton now says …. “ it just randomly happened is no more TESTABLE than God did it.” Wait. Anton is the one who’s claiming that randomness can account for anything. And yet , he NOW equates it to NOT being TESTABLE ? I think they call that ……….. Double Speak. Aka Delusional rant number Two.

    Need further proof kids ? ……… No problemo !
    Which leads us to delusional rant number Three,……. the old reliable ITM.

    THIRD, I, JT Aden then said above ……….“ Anton, I hate to break the news to you, but a random, no-rules universe as you put it, could NEVER account for the development of complex things like a central nervous system, complex reproductive organs in both plants and animals, the family of carnivorous plants, the human eye, you name it ……..…”

    To which Anton responded above with………..“ Never ? Really ? So you haven’t ever heard of the Infinite Monkey Theorem, then ? If a monkey sits at a keyboard and hits letters ….AT RANDOM….. for long enough, it will eventually—with probability 1—produce a perfect copy of Hamlet. Isn’t Hamlet complex ? ”

    Let’s see……. a Copy of Hamlet….. is that a modern life form Anton ? NO……Strike One.

    BTW Anton, regarding your old ITM crutch ? Ummm, … you might want to erase that part out of the propaganda script. See, some very smart folks , called Mathematicians, like our good host here, Mr. Jason R., ran the numbers on the whole Monkey business, several years ago. The BEST anyone could come up with, is that it would take about 10 billion years, just to get the FIRST PAGE CORRECT. Now, since there are well over 100,000 characters in a printed form of Hamlet, this translates to well over 100 pages of print. If it would take 10 billion years just to get the first page correct, all 100 pages would take 1,000 Billion years to complete. However, that now leaves us with a major problem :
    Since dear Mother Earth is only what, like 4 . 5 Billion years old ? Heck, let’s help out old Anton and stretch it out to a full 5 Billion. Ummmmm…. That leaves your little exercise in futility about 950 Billion Years Too Short.

    Sorry.

    We continue……
    Anton then swings the bat again, and spews …….“ Roll a ten-sided die over and over again. If the die is unweighted, and the results of the rolls are truly RANDOM, then it will eventually produce any finite string of digits—any string at all, no matter how “simple” or “complex.” Including your credit card number………
    OK, ….. is a credit card, a modern life form Anton ? NO……… Strike Two.

    But hold on boys and girls, he’s gonna try REAL HARD on this third attempt.
    Anton then says………. “ Randomness can generate just about anything………..”

    Ummmm…. Obviously not Anton, …. Based on your two previous mistakes above, …… added together with your first BIG mistake above …. and you get Strike Three. Remember ? …….The one where you said ……“ it just Randomly happened is no more TESTABLE than God did it.” Wait, Anton also just said that Randomness can generate just about anything, but it’s also not TESTABLE.
    But wait, ………OK Anton… I remember………..DOUBLE – SPEAK…… Right……….

    Are you dizzy yet kids ?

    BTW Anton, my students and I are doing just fine with probability right now, but thanks anyway.

    OK, now for a Quick Sidebar……. Attn eric……..you’ll have to wait…. You seem to drift in and out of this joust, so you’ll have to be patient. For now, you might wanna crawl back over to Panda’s Thumb and play with the In-Breds over there.

    Thanks…..OK, now back to Anton……..

    Our dearest Anton then brings his post to a close by saying…… “ we can talk about whatever you’d like to talk about. Your take on Project Steve will probably be funnier, though.”

    OK, it sounds like the poison he picked was the Project Steve Scam.

    But Wait….. he then remarked on Climate Change.

    Notice he switched the wording.

    SO, …… Stop right now and go back and look at my original post regarding this topic, where I specifically said….. “ man…made…. Global….Warming…..OK ? Everybody go back up to post number 32 and note in the second to the last paragraph, …. the first line, where I SPECIFICALLY said Man Made Global Warming.

    Go ahead,…. I can wait……Go Now…..Hurry… RUN……… You too Anton !……

    OK, did you find it ? Got it now ? Man Made Global Warming, NOT Climate Change.
    Got that Anton ? It is very important.

    Great….. Now… I saved the best for last….. You kids are just gonna love this.
    Anton then signs off by saying…….“ but you can see clear evidence of climate change just by turning on the news…and that’ll only get more obvious, of course.”

    OK……..Ummmmm. you mean……. that’s all it takes ? ………. is to turn on the Telly and watch the news ? Wow…. Ummmm ……Anton ? Ever heard of a little concept called propaganda ?
    It pretty common with folks like Al Gore and his devoted Komrades. He has his in-breds too.

    SO, …..since you seem to have an affection for commenting on both, for brevity, I’ll have to ask you, yet again. The Man Made Global Warming Scam OR The Project Steve Scam.
    Pick only One please. This is a Blog, not a Book Publishing Outlet.

    Take your time Anton…. I’ll be waiting……..patiently.

    Cheers.

  44. #44 eric
    March 1, 2010

    JT: Attn eric……..you’ll have to wait….

    An 1,100 word screed and you can’t spare a yes or no for me? Yes – the dichotomy idea is crap and ID must rest on positive evidence for ID. Or: No – the dichotomy idea is great and evidence against evolution = evidence for ID.

    No elisions or editorial asides necessary, just a yes or no.

  45. #45 Jason Rosenhouse
    March 1, 2010

    Anton -

    American evangelicals are split on climate change just like they are on evolution.

    To say that evangelicals are “split” on the question of evolution is a bit of a stretch. According to a recent Pew survey it is 24 percent of Evangelicals who accept evolution, with some single-digit percentage in the don’t know category. That’s a split, I suppose, but a large majority are on one side.

  46. #46 Anton Mates
    March 1, 2010

    Jason,

    That’s a split, I suppose, but a large majority are on one side.

    Yeah, “split” doesn’t imply 50/50 to me. I mean only that there’s a significant fraction of evangelicals who are very much for accepting it and a significant fraction who are very much against.

    Ditto on anthropogenic global warming; according to Pew about 37% of evangelicals accept it, 10-12% don’t know. That seems to support my suspicion that (as a group) they’ll be able to reconcile themselves to accepting climate change before they do so with evolution.

  47. #47 Anton Mates
    March 2, 2010

    JT,

    OK, to all of the devoted evos in-breds, 
collectively holding your breath ……. I hope you can be patient.

    Not to burst your bubble, but I think there’s like four people still reading this. But they’re four lovely people.


    Ok, hang on to your hats. Here we go. Ummmm…… Anton…..would you mind going back to my quote above ? ………. I specifically said … All…….Modern……Life….on ……Our….Planet……… And you came back 
with “ How do you account for, uhhhh, I dunno, Saturn’s rings ?

    And in between those two things, I said, “Accounting for things is far too easy.” That was a general claim, covering both All Modern Life On Our Planet and lots of other cases, and I brought up Saturn’s rings just for an example of it. I picked that at random, hence the “I dunno.”

    But if you’re having trouble with analogies today, we can do the exact same thing with All Modern Life On Our Planet, no problem!

    What accounts for All Modern Life On Our Planet? Well, it just happened to develop as it did, due to totally random chance. Or, a supernatural designer of unlimited ability and unknown goals made it. Or, a wizard of similarly unknown nature made it. Or, the Fundamental Natural Law of Life-Making-ification caused it to develop.

    All of these explanations can account for All Modern Life On Our Planet. They can also account for anything else we could conceivably detect, so they’re untestable, so they have no place in science.

    Other explanations are more testable. Lamarckism, modern evolutionary theory, a fair chunk of young-earth creationist doctrine, maybe even the aliens-did-it and time-travelers-did-it hypotheses if those are sufficiently constrained and detailed. Not all of these are equally supported by the evidence, of course, nor do they have equal parsimony and predictive power. But they can make some testable predictions, so they can all compete in the scientific arena to some degree even if they end up losing hard (as both Lamarckism and YEC geology have done at this point.)

    See? Now you don’t have to think about Saturn at all!

    Again, I’m just a high school science teacher and Anton is the big, bad college prof.

    Ha, I’m flattered, but no, I’m just a lowly grad student.

    BUT, Anton now says …. “ it just randomly happened is no more TESTABLE than God did it.” Wait. Anton is the one who’s claiming that randomness can account for anything. And yet , he NOW equates it to NOT being TESTABLE ?

    Exactly! See, if there was something it couldn’t account for, then we could go look for that something. And if we found it, we’d know the “randomness” theory was wrong. So it would be testable.

    But if it can account for anything, we can’t go look for evidence against it–so in fact nothing can really be evidence for it either. It can’t make any predictions. It’s not testable.

    Let’s see……. a Copy of Hamlet….. is that a modern life form Anton ? NO……Strike One.

    Hmm, you’re really down on this whole “examples” thing. You said, “Randomness would never generate complexity.” Monkeys typing Shakespeare is one of the world’s most famous examples of how randomness could generate complexity. No, a copy of Hamlet isn’t a rabbit, but I was hoping you’d be willing to follow the general reasoning. No luck?

    BTW Anton, regarding your old ITM crutch ? Ummm, … you might want to erase that part out of the propaganda script. See, some very smart folks , called Mathematicians, like our good host here, Mr. Jason R., ran the numbers on the whole Monkey business, several years ago. The BEST anyone could come up with, is that it would take about 10 billion years, just to get the FIRST PAGE CORRECT. Now, since there are well over 100,000 characters in a printed form of Hamlet, this translates to well over 100 pages of print. If it would take 10 billion years just to get the first page correct, all 100 pages would take 1,000 Billion years to complete. However, that now leaves us with a major problem : 
Since dear Mother Earth is only what, like 4 . 5 Billion years old ? Heck, let’s help out old Anton and stretch it out to a full 5 Billion. Ummmmm…. That leaves your little exercise in futility about 950 Billion Years Too Short.

    Oh dear. Where to start….

    Okay. Your first and most important mistake: It may require 1,000 billion years (actually that sounds way too short to me, but whatever, you haven’t given the parameter values you’re using for the problem anyway) to have a high probability of getting Hamlet out, where “high” means 10% or 50% or 90% or somewhere in there. But if you’re just interested in the possibility, you only need as long as the monkey needs to type one book. Because it could get it exactly right on the first try.

    It’s just like–and I know you don’t like analogies, but bear with me–it’s just like the lottery. If you want to be sure of winning the lottery at least, you better buy a ton of tickets and play a ton of times. But you don’t have to do that to have a chance at winning–for that, all you need to do is buy one ticket! In fact, lots of people win the lottery on their first try. Really, you should check with your students on this.

    Now, as a science teacher, you’ll of course understand the difference between “randomness would never generate complexity”–which is what you claimed–and “randomness will generate complexity, but it’s very unlikely to do that except after a very long time.” I agree entirely with the latter, which is why I mentioned that evolution requires a combo of selection and random variation to work at a reasonable speed. But right now we’re just talking about what could possibly account for complexity, right? Not what can do it fast and above a certain probability threshold.

    Second: Yep, as far as science can determine, the Earth’s about 4.5 billion years old. But we were talking about a hypothesis that’s not part of science: the hypothesis of total randomness, remember? If the universe is really just particles bouncing around totally at random, then we can’t have any idea how old the Earth was. How old the Earth looks is irrelevant; that’s just us trying to apply various physical and geological theories to our observations of the Earth, and if everything’s random, then those theories are all wrong anyway. So it could be 10^100 years old, or it could have appeared last week–no way to tell.

    Not to mention, how many planets besides Earth are we allowing for our hypothetical monkey to type on? How many universes has he been toiling away in before this one? Who can say? And the longer we give him, or the more monkeys we hypothesize to assist him, the higher we can raise the probability of success, until it’s not just possible that we get Hamlet, but virtually certain.

    So let’s summarize and take this back to the All Modern Life example. If all the world’s just randomness–and no one can prove it isn’t–then All Modern Life could have popped up randomly in 4.5 billion years, or two weeks, or 10 googolplex years, or however long you want. And if the universe is sufficiently big, sufficiently old, part of a sufficiently rich multiverse, or all three–and again, no one can prove it isn’t–then not only could All Modern Life have done this, but it’s a near-certainty that it would pop up on some planet somewhere.

    Is that a scientifically workable hypothesis? Heck no. But it accounts for everything.

    OK, ….. is a credit card, a modern life form Anton ? NO……… Strike Two.

    I notice you didn’t mention the other example I gave…your genetic code. Why is that?

    Man Made Global Warming, NOT Climate Change.

    Ah, so this is one of those things where you ignore the fact that, say, “IPCC” stands for “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” and instead set up a strawman for us to defend? Yeah, that doesn’t sound all that productive.

    OK……..Ummmmm. you mean……. that’s all it takes ? ………. is to turn on the Telly and watch the news ? Wow…. Ummmm ……Anton ? Ever heard of a little concept called propaganda ?

    That’s why you watch the news through your special 3-D specs while wearing the layered mylar-tinfoil helmet, duh! I swear, it’s like people don’t know the first thing about filtering the Global KKKonspiracy taint out of all available information sources anymore.


    It pretty common with folks like Al Gore and his devoted Komrades. He has his in-breds too.

    I dunno why you keep talking about Al Gore. He’s just a politician who occasionally has good ideas. None of us are citing him as an expert on climate change or a source of any actual data in the first place, so it doesn’t make that much sense for you to attack him as an incestuous Soviet agent or wherever this is going.

    The Man Made Global Warming Scam OR The Project Steve Scam.

    Steve! Steve!

  48. #48 SLC
    March 2, 2010

    Re Anton Mates

    One really gets a kick out of climate change deniers that like to beat up on Al Gore because he’s not a scientist but then turn around and cite Climate Audit which is run by a fat slob named Marc Morano who is not only not a scientist but has a checkered past having been involved in the Swift Boat campaign in 2004.

  49. #49 Wowbagger
    March 2, 2010

    Not to burst your bubble, but I think there’s like four people still reading this.

    I tried to read JT’s post but his ‘style’ – using the term loosely – made my head hurt. About the only positives I could draw from it is that it’s probably a good thing he’s not an English teacher.

  50. #50 tresmal
    March 2, 2010

    Well, I’m one of the 4 and I am curious about this ‘Project Steve is a scam’ business. I have a good idea what he has to say about climate change – excuse me, human caused, climate change. It’ll be the same nasty stew of unsupported assertions, refuted “facts” and conspiracy mongering that all the other denialists serve up. Seasoned, no doubt, with his own idiosyncratic version of logic and in his inimitable (we hope) style.
    Give me a choice between stale and old tiresome ignorance or fresh and new tiresome ignorance I, being the adventurous novelty seeker that I am, will opt for the new.
    Bring on the Steve Scam!
    So…. ummmm Wowbagger,….. what’s wrong with Alden’s…. ummm style hmmmm?

  51. #51 JT Alden
    March 3, 2010

    Anton.

    I must admit. You are definitely a sadist when it comes to blog jousting.
    You probably should have taken your friend’s advice and quite while you were behind.

    The collective list of delusional rants simply grows in magnitude. By LEAPS and BOUNDS.

    FIRST , Anton says he picked Saturn’s rings in response to my request for an example of “ all life on earth” , because he chose it…… at random, get it ? Wow. I think a five year old could have come up with something more believable.

    SECOND, he then rambles on for several paragraphs, with all of the “ what could have been” examples, which leads to Anton trying to argue both sides of the argument. First, I simply quoted him, nothing more. He first says ….. “ it just randomly happened is no more TESTABLE than God did it.” But Wait. Anton was the one who’s claiming that randomness can account for anything. And yet , he NOW equates it to NOT being TESTABLE ? “

    Here is his response. Folks you can’t make this stuff up. This is too juvenile to even begin to take serious. Anton tries to back himself out of the corner by responding with “
    …….. See, IF there was something IT couldn’t account for, then we could go look for THAT something. And IF we found IT, we’d know the “randomness” theory was wrong. So IT would be testable. But IF IT can account for anything, we can’t go look for evidence against IT – so in fact nothing can really be evidence for IT either. IT can’t make any predictions. IT’S not testable.”

    I’m not kidding folks. Go back to his last post above and read this for yourself. This is now diminished to the point of actually becoming sad.

    Anton, I really feel sorry for you dude. And you’re in Grad School ? Geez. God help us all.

    THIRD, his comeback to the whole IMT debacle, continued by saying …… “ Monkeys typing Shakespeare is one of the world’s most famous examples of how Randomness COULD generate complexity. ” No….. it’s not Anton. As I shared with you before, Our Math Pros ran the numbers for all of us to see, years ago. That entire fairy tale isn’t even used as an evos in-bred defense anymore. It has since been added to the list of absurdity.

    Fourth, he continues this insane monologue with the whole probability nonsense by saying ……… “ you have a high PROBABILITY of getting Hamlet out, where “high” means 10 % or 50 % or 90 % or somewhere in there.” Incorrect. Now you’ve been caught in direct lie. Dishonesty doesn’t sell very well to the crowd. You might want to remember this in future jousts.

    Our dear grad student said, back up in post number 38, that his original version of the Monkey business deal, included a probability of ONE. For those kids who haven’t taken their Statistics course yet, that translates to 100 % certainty.

    NOW,…… he finds out the whole monkey business BS was NOT calculated with a probability of ONE, so he merely throws in handful of probabilities, i.e. 10 % or 50 % or 90 percent. Sorry Anton. ……This is not how the game is played. ….. You cannot continue to be PROVEN WRONG, again and again, time after time, with delusional rants and THEN come back with, ……….“ what I ACTUALLY MEANT to say was this…..”

    FIFTH, he then continues the insanity with the monkey typing BS by saying…. “ Because it could get it exactly right on the first try.”

    Maybe in a Trillion years, but Not in 4.5 BILLION YEARS, IT COULDN’T ! ! Our Math experts said so Anton.

    The probability is so close to ZERO, it is ZERO.

    It’s a Fraction that is MUCH LESS than the Number One OVER One Trillion !

    BUT, he doesn’t stop there. He THEN digs himself deeper, by bringing up the Lottery, of all things. Anton says ….. “ to have a chance at winning, ….. all you need to do is buy ONE ticket ! …… In fact, lots of people win the lottery on their first try……..”

    Ummm……. Anton….. I asked about life forms on earth, remember ? That’s what I asked for. Both Plant and Animal…. Remember ?

    Your Lottery example is Insanity on Parade. Here’s the MAJOR problem with your reasoning. It’s idiot’s logic. With the Lottery, if you lose, you can simply play again tomorrow.
    In the growth cycles of life, if a species doesn’t get it right THE FIRST TIME, IT DIES ! There IS NO SECOND CHANCE.

    SIXTH, Anton then tries to cover his misdeeds, by saying…………. “ which is why I mentioned that evolution requires a combo of selection and random variation to work at a reasonable speed. ” ALAS, the second crutch in the whole house of cards, the beloved SELECTION nonsense ! He was proven wrong in the PREVIOUS FIVE posts above, but NOW tries to bring in SELECTION to rescue himself, from his own insanity.
    Sorry Anton.
    Everybody go back up to post number 38 AGAIN, where Anton said RANDOMNESS, could account for the complexity of all things, and NEVER, EVER mentioned Selection.

    SEVENTH, he THEN dives head first, off a 10 story building, directly onto a concrete slab below, by saying the following statement. …. “ But we were talking about a hypothesis that’s NOT part of Science: the hypothesis of total randomness, remember ? ”

    Wow. That’s just sad. Umm…. Anton……If it’s not even part of Science, then why the **** are you even mentioning it ! This is a Blog about Science, Anton……..
    This is a Blog about the debate over biological evolution. This is NOT a Blog about the Dog chasing his Tail inside Anton’s skull. But, that’s not the worst of it folks. What happens next is even more unbelievable. After Anton hits the pavement, with his unfortunate statement above,
    a Grand Piano then falls off that same 10 story building, right smack dab on top of him !

    Anton, then mutters the following …“ we can’t have any idea how old the Earth was… if everything is random……it could have appeared last week – no way to tell. ” …………Really…….Wow……….This is………..so…..sad.
    Ummm….Anton….. I was born several years ago…….. So, Ummmm…I really don’t think it just appeared last week.

    Hey Anton ? ……. Ummm …… Are you still taking your medication, like the Doctor told you to ?
    I mean, …..we could probably all take up a collection to pay for them, if money is a problem. I mean, ….. heck ……. I would even be willing to chip in a few bucks myself.

    EIGHTH, What follows next is even more serious. Now a can of Petrol falls off the roof and lands on top of the Grand Piano, which is now lying on top of Anton.
    Our dear devoted evos in-bred, THEN continues with ……. “ If all the world’s just randomness ………… then not only COULD All Modern Life have done this, but it’s a near-certainty that it would pop up on SOME planet, SOME – where.”

    Hold your breath,…… it gets even worse, ………. I know, I know……but Anton next says…..
    “ Is that a scientifically workable hypothesis? Heck no. But it accounts for everything……”

    Ummmm…… Anton……I…..uhhh …. went over to see your fellow in-breds over at Talk Origins …… and asked them this. Ummm……. Turns out, your OWN people don’t even agree with you, and you are supposedly on THEIR TEAM ! Sorry, ……. but they probably won’t be asking you for advice anytime soon.

    The folks over at Talk Origins refuted your claim above, by stating the following……..
    “ ……….. Because it is NOT part of Evolutionary Theory, Abiogenesis is NOT considered in the discussion of Macroevolution.” Geez. ……. Now why the heck did Talk Origins have to go and make a claim like that ! ……….. This just makes Anton’s dilemma even worse that we all thought.

    NINTH, then, Anton thinks he’s got me stumped. However, that can of Petrol just got lit up by a Spark and now we’ve got an even bigger mess. Anton comes back, will all the energy he can muster …. and says……… “ I notice you didn’t mention the other example I gave…your genetic code. Why is that ? ”

    Well, probably because I was trying to give you a sporting chance.
    I mean, really Anton. C’mon. …….. Do you REALLY think your argument becomes easier, to defend Randomness, with the whole genetic code thing ? On the contrary, it becomes even MORE DIFFICULT. Ummmm…. Anton, since the genetic code is again, not a life form, but simply a component part, you need to examine it in conjunction with everything else it coordinates life with. Your Monkey business example was just proven wrong, by Mathematicians remember ? , Not by me. That example included, at a BARE minimum, 27 input variables ; i.e. the 26 keys AND the space bar on a Typewriter, because you need to include the space bar, to prevent all letters from simply running together. Remember Anton, you said in your fantasy world post above, that Randomness could produce a PERFECT copy of Hamlet. Therefore, the space bar is needed.
    Now consider the genetic defense. Ummmm…..well, in order for EVERTHING to work properly, you also need to include the various necessary components, like Proteins, amino acids and DNA, at a BARE, BARE minimum. When you add these variables together, with all of their variables in place, you get, Not 26 keys on a typewriter, but HUNDREDS of variables in your calculations. Now you apply these numbers to your whole Fantasy World of ……..“ Randomness can account for anything” …….and your mathematical calculations become even WORSE for your defense Anton, not better ! Now getting all those things to work in harmony would take trillions of trillions of years to achieve, RANDOMLY that is. And remember, we are talking about Life forms on Mother Earth, which is only 4 to 5 Billion years old.

    Unless of course, all the Proteins, and all the amino acids, and all the DNA, ALL TOGETHER WON the Lottery, ALL ON THE SAME DAY. Well then heck, you might be on to something……………However…….. I SERIOUSLY DOUBT IT.

    To close Anton, after ALL you have been through, in my post above, do you REALLY want to continue ? …… I mean, ….. I would LOVE to go on to the whole Project Steve Scam, ….. but do you REALLY think you have ANY energy left in your body, to even deal with that joust ?

    I mean… Dude… Seriously…. You and your Evos In-Bred Logic just fell off a Ten Story Building, for goodness sake ! And then, ……. had all to deal with all the problems that followed. You might want to take a few months off and rest up.

    Postscript – You mentioned earlier that only 4 people were even following this thread.
    Well, for the sake of your reputation, you’d better hope and PRAY, that you are correct.

    Let me know when you get out of the hospital.
    I’ll be happy to continue on to the next joust.

    That is, if you ever happen recover from this one.

  52. #52 tresmal
    March 3, 2010

    Now about Project Steve…

  53. #53 JT Alden
    March 3, 2010

    OOOOOOOOoooooooo. I’m soooo Scared.
    Now tresmal is watching me.

    Looks like tresmal has been biting his fingernails,
    waiting for me to post.
    He reponds ONE minute after I do !

    Wow. Paranoid, ey tresmal ?

    You Must be a speed reader, my feeble one.

    In One minute, you read my entire post ?

    Oh I get it, Evos Double Standard Number 8,465.

    In-breds can write book on a blog, but not IDers.

    Right……. As always.

    I’ll wait for Anton to recover.
    He’s created a major problem for himself.

    If he responds, he has to backtrack a million miles.
    If he DOESN’T, he admits defeat.
    What a shame, either way, wouldn’t you say ?

    This is too much fun.
    Thank God for a sense of humor.

  54. #54 Wowbagger
    March 3, 2010

    Good grief, more inanity. Is anyone else reminded of Dogberry from Much Ado About Nothing? I’m going to need more aspirin.

  55. #55 Marc K.
    March 3, 2010

    Anton,

    Just wanted to let you know that I am also one of the folks still reading this thread and laughing my socks off.

    It is hard to tell whether “JT Alden” is for real or a brilliant parody; but it is funny either way.

    Keep it up, I have the popcorn on stand-by.

    But remember,….Ummmm……communist evo in-bred,….Ummmmm…..your opponent……Ummmmm……is relentless!

  56. #56 eric
    March 3, 2010

    JT: IF there was something IT couldn’t account for, then we could go look for THAT something. And IF we found IT, we’d know the “randomness” theory was wrong. So IT would be testable. But IF IT can account for anything, we can’t go look for evidence against IT – so in fact nothing can really be evidence for IT either. IT can’t make any predictions. IT’S not testable.”

    Yes, this is what we’ve been saying for several posts now. The question for creationism is: is there something it couldn’t account for – which makes it testable but we’re going to ask you to name that thing. Or, can it account for anything – in which case it isn’t science.*

    After you select one of those options, you can tell us what makes Project Steve a scam. Because it looks like we have a number of lurkers who would also be interested in your opinion on that.

    Lastly, can I make one more request for cogent posts – leave the elisions and editorializing at home. Please?

    ****

    *The example hypothesis that Anton gave you is unscientific and untestable, since it can account for any observation. Unfortunately you do not understand that it was meant as an example, and you now appear to think that this toy, this example meant to illustrate how some hypotheses may be unscientific, is what we are actually defending. It isn’t.

  57. #57 JD
    March 3, 2010

    Interesting rants…can’t compete with the scientists in this crowed, but i’ll say this: it seems that given enough time, probably anything is possible. i gather that was sort of ricky’s theory in blind watchmaker (didn’t actually read it)?

  58. #58 Anton Mates
    March 3, 2010

    JT,

    You are definitely a sadist when it comes to blog jousting.

    Er…do you mean a masochist? Because I’m not trying to hurt you, I swear….

    I genuinely appreciate your numbering the issues under discussion, by the way. Makes it easier to keep track. On points FIRST and SECOND, I didn’t actually notice any counterargument coming from you. Does that mean you’re conceding, or just changing the subject?

    THIRD, his comeback to the whole IMT debacle, continued by saying …… “ Monkeys typing Shakespeare is one of the world’s most famous examples of how Randomness COULD generate complexity. ” No….. it’s not Anton.

    It’s not what? Famous, or an example of how randomness can generate complexity?

    That entire fairy tale isn’t even used as an evos in-bred defense anymore. It has since been added to the list of absurdity.

    I didn’t say it was ever used to support evolution (and I can’t imagine how it would be, since the evolutionary model is not remotely analogous.) I was using it to support the randomness hypothesis, which is not the same as evolutionary theory. That’s the whole reason I brought it up, remember? To point out that evolution and ID are not the only two possible alternatives?

    Our dear grad student said, back up in post number 38, that his original version of the Monkey business deal, included a probability of ONE. For those kids who haven’t taken their Statistics course yet, that translates to 100 % certainty.

    NOW,…… he finds out the whole monkey business BS was NOT calculated with a probability of ONE, so he merely throws in handful of probabilities, i.e. 10 % or 50 % or 90 percent.

    C’mon, look at what you just wrote. I presented a version of the monkey-typing scenario in which a Hamlet-production probability of one was required. You then responded by quoting a number from a different version in which a probability of one clearly wasn’t required. (In case it isn’t obvious how I know this: you quoted a finite period of time–10 billion years. But no finite period is sufficient to push the probability to 1 if we’re talking about a single monkey, as I was. That’s why I said “long enough” and “eventually” rather than naming a specific minimum period of time.) So I pointed out that your sources must be talking about a version where the desired probability was 10% or 50% or 90%–something less than one.

    That’s not being dishonest, it’s being charitable. An alternative hypothesis would be that you didn’t understand the problem, and honestly thought the number you quoted applied to the probability-one case. But if I went with that I’d be assuming that you didn’t know what you were talking about, and that would be unkind, don’t you think?

    Maybe in a Trillion years, but Not in 4.5 BILLION YEARS, IT COULDN’T ! ! Our Math experts said so Anton.
    The probability is so close to ZERO, it is ZERO.
    It’s a Fraction that is MUCH LESS than the Number One OVER One Trillion !

    Oh, dear. The math expert you consulted wasn’t this guy, was it? I know he looks really authoritative and all, but his understanding of the subject is pretty shallow.

    Saying that a probability is “so close to zero it’s zero, so it couldn’t happen” doesn’t work. Incredibly low-probability events happen all the time. I know you hate examples, but:

    Say you’re playing Monopoly, and you roll the dice 20 times during the course of play. That gives you a sequence of 20 numbers between 2 and 12. What’s the probability of getting that particular sequence of dice outcomes, whatever it is? Why, it’s roughly 10 ^-21, which is MUCH LESS than One over One Trillion! Clearly, by your reasoning, any possible sequence of dice rolls just couldn’t happen and Monopoly must be a mass hallucination.

    In a complex system like a Monopoly game–let alone the Earth, or the universe–any element of randomness will give just about every possible outcome have a tiny tiny almost-zero probability, because the event space is so huge. But one of those outcomes still has to happen.

    With the Lottery, if you lose, you can simply play again tomorrow.
    In the growth cycles of life, if a species doesn’t get it right THE FIRST TIME, IT DIES ! There IS NO SECOND CHANCE.

    Doubly irrelevant. As I said, people do win the lottery the first time, and a species can get it right the first time. And we’re still talking about the “total randomness” scenario here, in which case it doesn’t matter whether the species gets it right or not. In this scenario its fitness and reproductive success don’t have any impact; it appears at random and disappears at random.

    Everybody go back up to post number 38 AGAIN, where Anton said RANDOMNESS, could account for the complexity of all things, and NEVER, EVER mentioned Selection.

    Evolution requires selection. For the twenty-third time, evolutionary theory and the “everything-is-random” hypothesis are not the same thing.

    Wow. That’s just sad. Umm…. Anton……If it’s not even part of Science, then why the **** are you even mentioning it ! This is a Blog about Science, Anton……..
    This is a Blog about the debate over biological evolution.

    Ah, the old “Why are you talking about this on a SCIENCE blog gambit?” That’s usually aimed at PZ; points for originality.

    You haven’t been reading EvolutionBlog long, have you? The subtitle is “Commentary on the endless dispute between evolution and creationism.” That includes science, politics, religion, lit-crit, random personal observations and anything else remotely related to the subject. If this blog were science-only, we wouldn’t be discussing creationism at all, and then we wouldn’t be having this lovely conversation, would we? Which would be a shame.

    Ummm….Anton….. I was born several years ago…….. So, Ummmm…I really don’t think it just appeared last week.

    You might want to read this and this. Then ask yourself, how do you know you were born several years ago, and in a universe where things happened totally at random, what would make your opinion of your age remotely reliable?

    Ummmm…… Anton……I…..uhhh …. went over to see your fellow in-breds over at Talk Origins …… and asked them this. Ummm……. Turns out, your OWN people don’t even agree with you, and you are supposedly on THEIR TEAM !

    Really? Cool, got a link to the conversation? I ask only because I think there’s just a smidgen of a chance that you might have slightly misinterpreted or misrepresented my argument. Just want to be sure.

    The folks over at Talk Origins refuted your claim above, by stating the following……..
    “ ……….. Because it is NOT part of Evolutionary Theory, Abiogenesis is NOT considered in the discussion of Macroevolution.”

    Wait, what? I propose an unscientific alternative to evolution which could account for modern life, and you respond by quoting TO to the effect that evolutionary theory doesn’t cover abiogenesis? How does that remotely address my point?

    Now consider the genetic defense. Ummmm…..well, in order for EVERTHING to work properly, you also need to include the various necessary components, like Proteins, amino acids and DNA, at a BARE, BARE minimum. When you add these variables together, with all of their variables in place, you get, Not 26 keys on a typewriter, but HUNDREDS of variables in your calculations.

    That’s nice, but it has nothing to do with what I said. Do you agree or disagree that your genetic code (which has only four variables, really) could be produced by random processes?

    Aside from that, the number of variables really doesn’t matter. If the probability would be above zero in the four-variable case, it’ll be above zero in the hundred- or thousand-variable case too.

    To close Anton, after ALL you have been through, in my post above, do you REALLY want to continue ? …… I mean, ….. I would LOVE to go on to the whole Project Steve Scam, ….. but do you REALLY think you have ANY energy left in your body, to even deal with that joust ?

    STEEEEEEVE! Do it! Show us all!

  59. #59 Anton Mates
    March 4, 2010

    My next response will be along whenever it gets out of moderation (it had a couple of links in it, and it would end up obnoxiously long if I stripped them and double-posted it.) In the meantime…Steve! Steve!

  60. #60 JT Alden
    March 5, 2010

    Anton,

    You’re still breathing ! Thank God !
    Well, at least for one more post.
    Pay attention gang. This will be the Coup De Grace !
    Anton Mates has been exposed as a Liar, several times over.
    After this post, I refuse to communicate any further with this particular In-Bred. Jousting with Liars is like watching paint dry. I’ve got better things to do in life.
    He has no credibility left as a human being.
    In fact, it now looks like somebody unplugged his feeding tube, there in his hospital room and he’s now resorted to simply Projectile Vomiting all over this Blog.
    Here we go……..
    FIRST – I stated previously…. “ You are definitely a sadist when it comes to blog jousting.
    And Anton replied ……. “ Do you mean a masochist? Because I’m not trying to hurt you……”

    No, I stand by my Sadist tag, I’m doing just fine, my feeble minded one.
    The PAIN you’re inflicting is on your fellow evos in-breds !

    Every single time, you respond with even more worthless BS. Your fellow darwinist are getting tired of seeing you get publicly drawn and quartered on this Blog. It pains them so much.
    They’re having a hard time, just trying to keep up with your pathetic, Psycho-Babble.

    SECOND – Anton next said, …….. “ On prior points FIRST and SECOND, I didn’t actually notice any counterargument coming from you. Does that mean you’re conceding, or just changing the subject ? ”
    Neither. I’ve already claimed Victory in this joust, several posts ago. I’ve just been enjoying the comic relief that you’ve continued to provide all of us. I’ve already listed the collective works of Anton’s delusional rants, Anton’s idiot’s logic, Anton’s strike outs, and various other proofs, for all to bear witness to. In all prior posts, it has been successfully documented, that Anton Mates lives in a fantasy world, reserved only for the mentally insane.

    THIRD – Anton next relies on his good old Dishonesty, to try and sell his snake oil, yet again. Let’s take a quick look for proof : Anton says …… “ C’mon, look at what you just wrote. I presented a version of the monkey-typing scenario in which Hamlet probability of One was required. …….. In case it isn’t obvious how I know this: you quoted a finite period of time – 10 billion years………”
    INCORRECT Anton, YET AGAIN .
    I DID NOT quote a finite time period of 10 Billion years to produce a Perfect Copy of Hamlet. It appears you are suffering from major delusions. It’s probably from all the morphine you have ingested, remember ? After you and your idiot’s logic fell of the 10 story building ? Let me go real slow this time Anton. Follow closely. I will state it exactly like I did in my prior post.
    Here we go. Everybody watching ? I correctly stated in previous post number 43 , that it would take ……. 10 ….. Billion….. Years…… just to produce…… the ….FIRST….. PAGE …. of ….. HAMLET. Thus, your continued use of blatant dishonesty, makes you nothing more than a pathetic piece of human garbage.

    To produce the ENTIRE written transcript of Hamlet would take …… ONE …… TRILLION……. Years, at a minimum, you moronic fool. The ENTIRE UNIVERSE has only been around for 14 or 15 Billion years. Once again, and, for the last time, …….. that leaves your Bogus, POINTLESS, Exercise in Futility, about 985 BILLION YEARS TOO SHORT. Randomness could never have produced all life forms on our celestial home, if Earth itself is only 4 – 5 Billion years old. NEVER. As to your, “ well they could have all got it right the first time, … blah, blah, blah, …… just like Lottery winners……. INCORRECT AGAIN. That would mean that ALL FORMS of LIFE on EARTH, ALL SPECIES of both PLANT and ANIMALS, have ALL have WON the Lottery, based on Randomness, EVERDAY, for the PAST …..FOUR …… Billion Years. PURELY ………… IMPOSSIBLE !
    Anton then mumbles “ That’s Not being dishonest……………”.
    YES, ….. That is the BEST EXAMPLE OF YOUR CONTINUED DISHONESTY, coupled with your blatant insanity. You no longer have ANY credibility. None whatsoever.

    FOURTH – Anton next reverts back to his old tried and true method of arguing his point, via the beloved Analogy. He says ……… “ Incredibly low-probability events happen all the time.
    …… Say you’re playing Monopoly …….” Stop right there everyone. We don’t need to go any further with this bogus example. Why ? Easy. Yet ANOTHER Pro-Evos source says Anton’s method of arguing via Analogy, is Pointless. It’s based on fraud and deceit.

    The source ? Allen MacNeill, of the Evolution List BlogSpot, who is PRO-EVOS, meaning he is on YOUR team. He agrees with ME and makes the same criticisms of Anton as well.
    He TOO says :
    “…….. Arguments by Analogy are generally NOT considered valid in Science.”

    FIFTH – Anton continues with ……… “ it doesn’t matter whether the species gets it right or not. In this scenario, its fitness and reproductive success don’t have any impact; it Appears at Random and disappears at random.”

    Of course, …… life forms just ……APPEAR….. at random ……all the time. Of course they do. ……More…. Mindless…..BS.

    SIXTH – I, JT Alden, then followed with……. “ Anton….. I was born SEVERAL YEARS ago…. So, Ummmm…..I really don’t think the Universe JUST APPEARED LAST WEEK. ”

    To which Anton came back with ………… “ ask yourself, how do you KNOW you were born several years ago ? And, in a universe where things happened totally at random, what would make your opinion of your age remotely reliable ?

    Reliable ? This is just too insane to even provide a response. Everyone’s age in now based on their own personal opinion ? This is ABSURD beyond reason. It now looks like the Dog chasing his Tail, inside Anton’s skull, ……. has decided to lie down and take a nap.

    SEVENTH – Next, Anton says the genetic code is easy to accomplish, Randomly or course, by spewing the following : …… “ Do you agree or disagree that your genetic code (which has only four variables, really) could be produced by random processes ? ”

    No, I totally DISAGREE with your Bogus claim. Why ?
    Anton says, “ It only has four variables, …..” Uhhh…… Not quite.
    A quick review : The four components of DNA are simply the blueprints that direct all cellular activity. DNA is a CARRIER of genetic information in a Cell. In reality, it’s the proteins that do the bulk of the work. Proteins can contain as many as 20 different kinds of amino acids. Each Cell contains THOUSANDS of different components within, i.e. enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and much more. The genetic code carried by DNA is what determines the SPECIFIC ORDER and NUMBER of amino acids, PLUS the SHAPE and FUNCTION of a protein. NOW, add to this complex recipe, the fact that there are an estimated ……… 75 ……… TRILLION ……. CELLS … in the human body alone. In addition, add to this complexity, the fact that some of them, like Red Blood cells, are programmed to live for only about 4 weeks. Programmed ? Yes, they are DESIGNED, for a specific purpose.
    Therefore, NONE of these processes can happen, based on mere RANDOMNESS.
    More proof ? Easy. The human body contains over….. TWO…….TRILLION …..Red Blood cells, …… at any given moment. To maintain this number, over ……Two……Million…NEW cells…….. are produced, within your bone marrow.…. EVERY…… SECOND.
    PLUS, Considering all the tissues and cells in your body, over …..TWENTY…MILLION ….NEW Cells……. are being produced……..EVERY….. SECOND…… as well.
    Mere “ Randomness ” cannot account for this One, Specific, Complex, Biological Process.

    Wait ? ……. Maybe …… Red Blood Cells ……….are……. REALLY, REALLY GOOD…. at winning the Lottery. You know ? …..Every second……of every day….. They play the Lottery and Win…. EVERY TIME,…….. in EVERY HUMAN BEING….. Based on ……Randomness.

    If anyone else STILL believes this all happens by Chance ? I’m sure we can get you a straight-jacket and padded room too !

    Thus, our resident, delusional dolt, aka Anton Mates, has ONCE AGAIN, been exposed as a moronic fool.
    He will soon be changing his identity and entering the WIT- LESS Protection Program, just to prevent his fellow in-breds, from stoning him at the village square.

    ———————————————————-

    Postscript – As for the Project Steve Scam.

    I have a better idea. I’m going to email Jason and see if he will start a new thread.
    Since he owns this blog, I’ll let him set the stage with his review of the current situation and then we can discuss the concept, on a much larger stage, in front of a much bigger audience.

    Therefore, be patient, my beloved evos in-breds.

    All in good time, boys and girls…… all…in… good… time !

  61. #61 eric
    March 6, 2010

    JT Your fellow darwinist are getting tired of seeing you get publicly drawn and quartered on this Blog.

    I’m not. While your prose is painful to try and read, its very amusing watching you write thousands of words yet completely miss the point.

    One more time: the total-randomness hypothesis you’ve been so vociferously arguing against is an example of a third hypothesis, neither evolution nor design. Anton introduced it to demonstrate that (hypothetical) evidence against evolution does not support design, because the two concepts are not logical compliments of each other (probability of TOE + probability of ID /= 1). Somewhere along the way, you confused this example of an alternate hypothesis it with evolution, and you’ve been flailing about trying to show how its a bad hypothesis ever since. Guess what? It is a bad hypothesis. We agree with you. But the point is, holes in other hypotheses or the improbability of them occurring do not strengthen the case for design. Design still has no evidence supporting it, no matter how improbable some other explanation is.

    As for your Project Steve non-reply: boooo! Show some honor and decency – make your argument public or withdraw your accusation.

  62. #62 Anton Mates
    March 7, 2010

    JT,

    Pay attention gang. This will be the Coup De Grace ! 
Anton Mates has been exposed as a Liar, several times over. 
After this post, I refuse to communicate any further with this particular In-Bred.

    So your coup de grace is to…leave? A masterstroke! This is going to be like Fist of the North Star where you walk away while saying “You are already dead!!” and then my head explodes from your rhetorical pressure-pointing, right?

    No, I stand by my Sadist tag, I’m doing just fine, my feeble minded one.
The PAIN you’re inflicting is on your fellow evos in-breds !

    Oh. Alrighty then!

    I DID NOT quote a finite time period of 10 Billion years to produce a Perfect Copy of Hamlet.

    You know what, you’re right! You quoted 10 billion for the first page and a trillion for the whole thing. Mea culpa.
    Not that it matters to your argument. As I said before, if you’re demanding a Hamlet-production probability of one, any finite amount of time is the wrong answer here. Not ten billion years, not one trillion or eleventy squintillion. The probability only approaches one asymptotically, as time goes to infinity. (I’m sure your students have encountered asymptotes in algebra by now. Ask ‘em about them when they’re helping you brush up on probability.)

    Thus, your continued use of blatant dishonesty, makes you nothing more than a pathetic piece of human garbage.

    Mercy me, such language! Casey Luskin’s dream of restoring civility to the debate on evolution and intelligent design will never be realized at this rate.

    That would mean that ALL FORMS of LIFE on EARTH, ALL SPECIES of both PLANT and ANIMALS, have ALL have WON the Lottery, based on Randomness, EVERDAY, for the PAST …..FOUR …… Billion Years.

    Well yeah, exactly. That’s what the “randomness” hypothesis would tell you. (Although technically, they didn’t need to win the lottery every day, they just needed to win it in the last ten seconds or whatever, when you actually made your observation. Total randomness makes contingent history irrelevant.

    PURELY ………… IMPOSSIBLE !

    Quick question. Is it the capitalization that makes this an airtight argument, or the ellipses? I always thought there had to be, like, assertions and inferences and evidence and stuff, but this way seems much faster.

    
…… Say you’re playing Monopoly …….” Stop right there everyone. We don’t need to go any further with this bogus example. Why ? Easy. Yet ANOTHER Pro-Evos source says Anton’s method of arguing via Analogy, is Pointless. It’s based on fraud and deceit.

    The source ? Allen MacNeill, of the Evolution List BlogSpot, who is PRO-EVOS, meaning he is on YOUR team. He agrees with ME and makes the same criticisms of Anton as well. 
He TOO says :
“…….. Arguments by Analogy are generally NOT considered valid in Science.”

    This is a tri-cornered hat of fail. First, my Monopoly case wasn’t an analogy; it was a direct counterexample to your claim. You said that events of really low probability are actually of probability zero, and therefore can’t happen. Monopoly games contain events of really low probability. Monopoly games happen. Therefore your claim is wrong.

    Second, you misunderstand Allen. The “argument by analogy” is a label for a specific type of argument, which he also calls “transduction” after Jean Piaget; it does not refer to every argument that uses analogies in any way. In fact, if you bothered reading his site carefully, you’d see that he holds analogical reasoning in very high regard, and in fact considers it to be integral to all logical reasoning.

    For instance:
    “Our ability to detect (and construct) analogies is, IMO, the core of our intelligence, as demonstrated by the fact that identifying analogies has been traditionally used as one of the most sensitive gauges of general intelligence in intelligence tests (such as the Miller Analogies Test).”

    and:
    “As we will see in the next sections, all forms of logical argument (i.e. transduction, induction, deduction, and abduction) necessarily rely upon non-tautological analogies.”

    Finally, I know Allen and have talked to him before, and I know that he’d be the first to point out that “You’re wrong because Allen MacNeill disagrees” (even if he did disagree, which he doesn’t) is not a particularly powerful argument. Especially coming from a creationist who believes that Allen’s a lying moronic inbred piece of garbage evolutionist and all.

    Reliable ? This is just too insane to even provide a response. Everyone’s age in now based on their own personal opinion ?

    Er, no, I said your personal opinion of your age isn’t reliable in a random universe. And no other indicator of your age is reliable either. Ye gods, how did you make it through your teens without having at least one drunk chat with your friends about all the standard wacky philosophical possibilities that can never be disproved? Solipsism, Last Thursdayism, brain-in-vat-ism…

    No, I totally DISAGREE with your Bogus claim. Why ?
Anton says, “ It only has four variables, …..” Uhhh…… Not quite. 
A quick review : The four components of DNA are simply the blueprints that direct all cellular activity. DNA is a CARRIER of genetic information in a Cell. In reality, it’s the proteins that do the bulk of the work. Proteins can contain as many as 20 different kinds of amino acids. Each Cell contains THOUSANDS of different components within, i.e. enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and much more. The genetic code carried by DNA is what determines the SPECIFIC ORDER and NUMBER of amino acids, PLUS the SHAPE and FUNCTION of a protein. NOW, add to this complex recipe, the fact that there are an estimated ……… 75 ……… TRILLION ……. CELLS … in the human body alone. In addition, add to this complexity, the fact that some of them, like Red Blood cells, are programmed to live for only about 4 weeks. Programmed ? Yes, they are DESIGNED, for a specific purpose.

    Yeah, none of this has anything to do with the fact that your genetic code has four variables. ACGT, that’s it. I didn’t ask about the rest of it, really.

    So you don’t agree that the full sequence of your genetic code could be generated by random processes? Not was, not could with some specific probability via some specific generation mechanism, but could, period?

    Wait ? ……. Maybe …… Red Blood Cells ……….are……. REALLY, REALLY GOOD…. at winning the Lottery. You know ? …..Every second……of every day….. They play the Lottery and Win…. EVERY TIME,…….. in EVERY HUMAN BEING….. Based on ……Randomness.

    Sure, maybe! Or maybe, as per the Occasionalists, God makes them win the lottery every second of every day, in every human being. Who knows? You still haven’t disproved any of these options.

    Since he owns this blog, I’ll let him set the stage with his review of the current situation and then we can discuss the concept, on a much larger stage, in front of a much bigger audience.

    Why think so small? Public access TV! Late-night infomercials! Rent the Goodyear Blimp! You can crack this Steve thing wide open in front of the eyes of billions!
    …but if that doesn’t work, come back here and at least tell us, okay?

  63. #63 JT Alden
    March 10, 2010

    It appears our resident degenerate, aka Anton Mates, has since attempted yet another lame comeback.
    However, it resulted in the same, lame psycho – babble.

    FIRST, he began by admitting his lack of any intelligent thought to date. About the only thing that made sense was when Anton said of himself……… “ my head explodes from your rhetorical pressure-pointing, right JT ?”

    Sure Anton, if you say so. In fact, I think your head exploded about 4 posts ago, when your idiot’s logic took a Ten Story Tumble.

    SECOND, he comes back with the dull, worn out, dishonesty defense. Perjury, via Blog jousting is yet another proof of Anton’s guilty plea, as a darwinian deviant. Anton says “ Mea culpa ” which in evos – speak translates to “ I just got my teeth kicked in by an IDer, ….. Yet Again.”
    To which I always reply “ Your Welcome, Anton.”

    THIRD, he steps in his own schijt AGAIN, and LIES through the one-tooth he has left, by saying, ……… “ if you’re demanding a Hamlet-production probability of ONE, any finite amount of time is the wrong answer here. ”

    Wait, What did he say? He says I demanded a probability of One ? Uhh……. Not quite, our resident Liar. Way back in post number 38, Anton said, and I quote….. “ Never ? Really ? So you haven’t ever heard of the Infinite Monkey Theorem, then ? If a monkey sits at a keyboard and hits letters at random for long enough, it will eventually—with a probability ONE — produce a perfect copy of Hamlet. Isn’t Hamlet complex ?”

    OOOOOOooooooo. Looks like our resident Schijt for Brains, Anton Mates, JUST GOT EXPOSED, ……..ONCE AGAIN, ……..as a PATHOLOGICAL LIAR.

    Truth is, it was ANTON MATES WHO SAID A PROBAILITY of ONE existed in the whole monkey typing BS analogy. And yet, 20 posts later, he tries to claim it was I, JT Alden, who demanded the probability of one. INCORRECT, ….Yet AGAIN.

    Need more proof of Anton’s insanity plea.
    No problemo ! Anton then resorts to his usual projectile vomiting and says ……
    “ Total randomness makes contingent history irrelevant…..”

    Really ? Irrelevant ?
    Geez. Who was it again, that let this Clown out early on parole ?

    FOURTH, Anton then poses a question about using all caps whenever people type words within sentences. “ Quick question. Is it the capitalization that makes this an airtight argument, or the ellipses? ”
    Uhh….. Actually, it’s BOTH.

    FIFTH, Anton then tries the whole science fiction defense called …….“ I love analogies, but I call them counter examples.” See, Anton never passed Statistics 101, since he cannot seem to get the game of Monopoly out of his pea brain. Anton says “ You said that events of really low probability are actually of probability zero, and therefore can’t happen. Monopoly games contain events of really low probability. Monopoly games happen. Therefore your claim is wrong.”

    This statement has been added to Anton’s List of LIES. It is number 45 on the list. Nobody ever said events with really low probability are actually equal to zero. Never was this statement ever made. What WAS said, was that they are SO low, that STATISTICALLY, they approach zero.
    Here’s what our feeble-minded Anton will NEVER understand. Just because an individual event has a given probability, he thinks that at some point, it therefore HAS to happen. This is Incorrect. In fact, it may NEVER happen, not even in a trillion years. Just because an event CAN happen, does not mean that it WILL happen at some point in time. In addition, events with VERY LOW probability fall well within this category. They are so close to Zero, they may never happen in reality.

    A PROOF ? Easy. Throughout history, a few fortunate souls have survived a skydiving fall to earth, when their parachute failed to open. The odds of someone surviving this traumatic event is very close to ZERO. In contrast, what Anton Mates is trying to regurgitate is this. All skydivers should now burn their parachutes and just jump out of planes at random. After all, since SOME people HAVE survived, therefore the danger is non-existent. People can survive falls from 10,000 feet, therefore they HAVE to survive at some point in time.
    This why Anton resides within his own fantasy world.
    Understanding the concept of Reality is not within his mental capacity.

    SIXTH, Anton then forgets to take his sedatives, and rambles on for hours, with a collection of nonsense about how Allen MacNeill is a friend of his and he too loves analogies.
    NOT.

    This is just another one of the blatant falsehoods , aka LIES made by Anton Mates.
    This is now Lie number 46 for Anton.

    In his writings called Logical Arguments in Science, Allen MacNeill was talking strictly about Tautologies. For those like Anton who don’t know the meaning of the word, it has to do with Redundancy. This is EXACTLY was Anton was arguing from, …. A position of Redundancy, i.e. the whole …..“ Randomness can account for all complexity in the Universe, blah, blah, blah ” nonsense. Anton’s maniacal rants were all about pure RANDOMNESS in itself.
    Anton tried to claim analogies are useful in his lame replies. And yet, he lied, which is no big surprise, right ?

    Here is the factual, TRUE quote from Allen MacNeill, when having SCIENTIFIC discussions on topics, such as evolution.

    “ The simplest and least effective form of logical argument is argument by Analogy. The Swiss child psychologist Jean Piaget called this form of reasoning transduction and showed that it is the first and simplest form of logical analysis exhibited by young children.

    In Science, this kind of reasoning is usually referred to as “anecdotal evidence,” and is considered to be INVALID for the support of any kind of generalization. For this reason, Arguments by Analogy are generally not considered valid in Science.”

    Therefore I, JT Alden, was telling the truth, as always.

    Thus, I rest my case, yet again.

    AND, Anton Mates simply replied with post full of Nonsensical Lies, …… as expected.

    SEVENTH, Anton then continues with the same old insanity plea. He mumbles …….. “ I said your personal opinion of your age isn’t reliable in a random universe. And no other indicator of your age is reliable either. ”

    What is this, more psycho-babble ? Of course. Anton Mates says that no indicator of our age is reliable. ….Right………No documentation is real………. Right………No tangible evidence whatsoever, is valid…..Right……….. See what I mean folks ?

    This dude is definitely INSANE.

    EIGHTH, Anton then admits he could not comprehend my direct example, regarding the complexity of Red Blood Cells in the human body.
    Therefore, he tries to hide his ineptness, by saying……… “ So you don’t agree that the full sequence of your genetic code could be generated by random processes? Not was, not could with some specific probability via some specific generation mechanism, but could, period?”

    The answer is NO, …….for the TENTH time.

    Finally, he attempts one last desperate move, by saying… “ You still haven’t disproved any of these options.”
    Uhh…. I think it’s now very self evident at this point, for all to see.

    I, JT Alden, have since disproven EVERY SINGLE ONE of the BOGUS CLAIMS made by Anton Mates, over the last 30 posts on this blog.

    He is a PERFECT example of a typical, evos in-bred.

    However, Anton Mates gets a Gold Star for being a Pathological Liar as well.

  64. #64 Anton Mates
    March 12, 2010

    JT,

    I’m afraid this will be kind of terse. Work beckons, and your last post just didn’t have a lot of actual argument in there when I finished clearing away the upper-case underbrush and digging up the random insults.

    THIRD, he steps in his own schijt AGAIN, and LIES through the one-tooth he has left, by saying, ……… “ if you’re demanding a Hamlet-production probability of ONE, any finite amount of time is the wrong answer here. ”
    Wait, What did he say? He says I demanded a probability of One ?

    Sigh…no, I didn’t. Google “indefinite you.” It’s a pretty well-known feature of the English language.

    Truth is, it was ANTON MATES WHO SAID A PROBAILITY of ONE existed in the whole monkey typing BS analogy.

    You realize I already pointed this out to you back in post #58, right?

    “ Total randomness makes contingent history irrelevant…..”
    Really ? Irrelevant ?

    Yes. If a system’s current state is in any way determined by its history, then to that degree it’s, well, deterministic. Which is the opposite of random, right? Historical information is irrelevant and undetectable in a totally random system.

    FOURTH, Anton then poses a question about using all caps whenever people type words within sentences. “ Quick question. Is it the capitalization that makes this an airtight argument, or the ellipses? ”
    Uhh….. Actually, it’s BOTH.

    …whether that was serious or self-parody, well played, sir!

    Nobody ever said events with really low probability are actually equal to zero. Never was this statement ever made.

    Except when you said “The probability is so close to ZERO, it is ZERO. It’s a Fraction that is MUCH LESS than the Number One OVER One Trillion !” in post #51, of course. But other than that!

    What WAS said, was that they are SO low, that STATISTICALLY, they approach zero.

    You get that this is a mathematically nonsensical statement, right? Infinite sequences can approach limiting values. A single number—like the probability of a single event—doesn’t approach anything. “Low” and “zero” don’t amount to the same thing, no matter how much you’d like them to.

    Here’s what our feeble-minded Anton will NEVER understand. Just because an individual event has a given probability, he thinks that at some point, it therefore HAS to happen.

    Nope, I don’t think that. As a matter of fact, even events of probability one need not happen. Just as a probability of zero doesn’t mean “never happens,” a probability of one doesn’t mean “always happens.” (If this seems weird to you, go look up probabilities over uncountably infinite sample spaces.)

    Just because an event CAN happen, does not mean that it WILL happen at some point in time.

    Yep. But can happen is good enough, since I’m merely pointing out that the “randomness” hypothesis can account for the observable universe.

    In his writings called Logical Arguments in Science, Allen MacNeill was talking strictly about Tautologies.

    No, he was talking about non-tautologies. As when he says, “As we will see in the next sections, all forms of logical argument (i.e. transduction, induction, deduction, and abduction) necessarily rely upon non-tautological analogies.” Which I already quoted, and you apparently didn’t read.

    PROTIP: “Non” means “not.”

    For those like Anton who don’t know the meaning of the word, it has to do with Redundancy. This is EXACTLY was Anton was arguing from, …. A position of Redundancy, i.e. the whole …..“ Randomness can account for all complexity in the Universe, blah, blah, blah ” nonsense.

    Apparently some people are unclear on the meanings of both “tautology” and “redundancy.”

    In logic, a tautology is a statement that is necessarily true—that is, true “by definition.” But the “randomness” hypothesis is not necessarily true; you think it’s false, and the rest of us think it’s untestable (and scientifically bankrupt for that reason, just like ID). So no, it’s not a tautology. If you really want to argue that it is, you’ll be arguing for its unassailable truth, so please, don’t.

    Here is the factual, TRUE quote from Allen MacNeill, when having SCIENTIFIC discussions on topics, such as evolution.
    “ The simplest and least effective form of logical argument is argument by Analogy. The Swiss child psychologist Jean Piaget called this form of reasoning transduction and showed that it is the first and simplest form of logical analysis exhibited by young children.
    In Science, this kind of reasoning is usually referred to as “anecdotal evidence,” and is considered to be INVALID for the support of any kind of generalization. For this reason, Arguments by Analogy are generally not considered valid in Science.”

    And according to Allen himself, as I already said, not every argument that involves an analogy is an “argument by analogy.” So continuing to point to his criticisms of the latter is not particularly helpful to your case.

    EIGHTH, Anton then admits he could not comprehend my direct example, regarding the complexity of Red Blood Cells in the human body.

    I’m not entirely sure you comprehend it yourself. Why are you bothering to argue the complexity of components of the human body when the hypothesis I raised is that randomness is responsible for the entire universe? I’m more than happy to agree that the universe is really really complex.

    Therefore, he tries to hide his ineptness, by saying……… “ So you don’t agree that the full sequence of your genetic code could be generated by random processes? Not was, not could with some specific probability via some specific generation mechanism, but could, period?”
    The answer is NO, …….for the TENTH time.

    Okay then. That, I think, speaks for itself.

    Sooo…no revelations forthcoming on Project Steve? No testable predictions of ID to be provided? Just checking.

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