Pharyngula

Design flaws support evolution

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

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

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

Comments

  1. #1 MolBio
    March 31, 2010

    PZ Pity you didn’t come to Perth when you were in Aus. Found a mutant magpie on the UWA campus, has a hooked beak where it shouldn’t. I think it unfortunately might have been killed off in the hailstorm.

  2. #2 Jerry Coyne
    March 31, 2010

    It’s more than just imperfections and suboptimal properties are predicted by evoulution: it’s that the NATURE of the “imperfections” we see are understandable only as a result of evolution. The recurrent laryngeal nerve, for example, is badly “designed,” but you can explain its bad design–the fact that it loops down around the aorta on the way from the brain to the larynx–is explainable because it used to be aligned with that aorta. Evolution explains that bad design; creationism does not. This is not a theological argument.

  3. #3 mikerattlesnake
    March 31, 2010

    when god’s “mysterious ways” so closely mimic randomness, what allows believers to presume that he wouldn’t write a book that tells them to do the opposite of what he wants?

  4. #4 Sastra
    March 31, 2010

    I once tried to get this import of this argument across to a creationist by using an analogy to a “path.” Assume you are climbing a mountain, and come across a bit of smooth ground leading upwards, which lets you climb more easily. The question is, is this “path” a man-made road, specifically made for the purpose? Or is it a dried river bed, which can be used for the purpose, but wasn’t designed for human benefit?

    An experienced geologist who held the latter view could draw attention to feature feature after feature which was typical of the way rivers cut through rock; he could show places where it was very hard to manipulate indeed. These areas of course made perfect sense if the path had once been a river. You can explain it using basic geology and physics. But no path designer would have put in areas where you had to scamper over sharp rocks, say.

    Not so, a critic could respond. You don’t know what the road might have been used for. Maybe there were parts of it that were an obstacle course. Or it could have been for some reason we don’t know. It only seems like it ‘makes no sense,’ if you think you know everything about what people are like, and what they are likely to do. But that’s really all speculation, isn’t it? You’re not a psychologist. You haven’t met every single person in the past, including those who might have done this, and left no record other than the path. Think you’re smart, do you?

    In this example, it’s made clear that the geologist not only had an explanation, he had an explanation which explained the reason for, and mechanism behind, specific features — especially, the areas of the path which were almost impossible to climb. The alternative explanation can only deal with the rough area of the path by hypothesizing that the purported “designer” is an inscrutable crank, and pretending that the path question calls for an expertise in psychology which nobody has.

    As I recall, it didn’t work on the creationist, but I don’t recall where it broke down for him.

  5. #5 RayM
    March 31, 2010

    #1 Found a mutant magpie on the UWA campus, has a hooked beak where it shouldn’t

    I am *so* tempted to ask where the beak was… but I won’t.

  6. #6 Zeno
    March 31, 2010

    I think this argument completely neglects the possibility that God is an incompetent screw-up. There is ample evidence for this theory in the Bible!

    God moves in mysterious ways his blunders to perform.

  7. #7 vanharris
    March 31, 2010

    The evolution of the bible bogey is something that creationists should be aware of. The ancients, (Mesopotamians, Greeks) had gods that were physical, or at least had an ability to take on physical form. The bible bogey derived from Mesopotamian religion, & is just the same. It is in part a ghost or spirit, which therefore implies that it is, in part, physical. The ancients also had their abode of the gods peopled by lesser gods – nymphs, dryads – which seem to live on as ‘angels’.

    What i’d like to know is, given what we now know of space, where exactly do the physical manifestations of the Christian, Jewish, Moslem gods & lesser gods live? We deserve an answer.

  8. #8 Glen Davidson
    March 31, 2010

    The point, really, is that no known designer would make either the “good designs” or the “bad designs” as we find them to be in nature.

    No kid would be constrained by heredity as evolution is, even when making a kludge. The kid would take parts of disparate origins, and while the whole thing might suck, it would still betray thinking.

    Evolution just adapts what it gets hereditarily (including via horizontal transfers in some lineages), and does not exhibit cleverness at all, not even when it makes the peacock’s tail feathers.

    Even “good design” is nothing like what humans make.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  9. #9 Glen Davidson
    March 31, 2010

    Btw, nothing intrinsically wrong with writing design flaws in the title (after all, “design” is not something that is said only about what is intelligently made), but rhetorically it would be better to include “design” in scare quotes.

    You know some IDiot is going to say, well, if you’re arguing about design, only how good or bad it is, then what’s the problem? Design is design. Sure it’s obtuse, and likely in part the obtuseness is deliberate, but when rhetorical “points” are all you can ever make, you take what you can get.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  10. #10 James Sweet
    March 31, 2010

    Imperfections and sub-optimal properties are an outcome of evolutionary theory; this is a positive argument that observations of the world best fit a model positing a history of accidents and refinements constrained along lines of descent.

    Well said, especially the “positive argument” bit. Imperfections in the design are not a “disproof of God” per se; rather, they are an argument in favor of an evolutionary explanation, from which follows the “I have no need of that hypothesis” argument against the existence of a creator.

    It’s not a “proof” of God’s non-existence, it’s just a very very very convincing argument.

  11. #11 Lynn Wilhelm
    March 31, 2010

    I’m a designer. An intelligent designer, I think.
    (landscape designer, that is)

    As a designer I follow the classic “form follows function” basis for design.

    I’m a better designer than god!

    Horrible audio, but this first part is funny. Loved the testicle part. I wouldn’t have designed them that way!

  12. #12 JohnHamilton
    March 31, 2010

    I was surprised the woman in the video mentioned the appendix. Even a quick glance at wikipedia gives current information about the possible uses of the appendix:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermiform_appendix#Possible_secondary_functions

    There are also other references to look at:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090820175901.htm

  13. #13 Matt Penfold
    March 31, 2010

    It’s more than just imperfections and suboptimal properties are predicted by evoulution: it’s that the NATURE of the “imperfections” we see are understandable only as a result of evolution. The recurrent laryngeal nerve, for example, is badly “designed,” but you can explain its bad design–the fact that it loops down around the aorta on the way from the brain to the larynx–is explainable because it used to be aligned with that aorta. Evolution explains that bad design; creationism does not. This is not a theological argument.

    For those who have not yet read it, Jerry uses a number of examples of “bad design” as evidence for evolution in his book, Why Evolution is True. Do yourself a favour, and beg, borrow or steal a copy and read it.

  14. #14 JohnHamilton
    March 31, 2010

    Concerning the video’s reference to the “poor design of the eye”:
    It may be that the eye is actually well designed. Here is one indication and there are other references available on various sites:
    http://www.trueorigin.org/retina.asp
    “The inverted retina has, therefore, long been regarded as inferior. Here, we provide evidence that the inverted retina actually is a superior space-saving solution, especially in small eyes. The inverted retina has most likely facilitated the evolution of image-forming eyes in vertebrates, and it still benefits especially small and highly visual species.”

  15. #15 simonator
    March 31, 2010

    God works in mysterious ways….Except when he’s telling ME how YOU should live your life. THEN he’s crystal clear.

  16. #16 JohnHamilton
    March 31, 2010

    In my previous post I gave the wrong link. Here is the correct link:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19591859

    The link I did give is a site that also presents a case for the idea that our eye is well designed: Here is that link again:
    http://www.trueorigin.org/retina.asp

  17. #17 Matt Penfold
    March 31, 2010

    JohnHamilton,

    Can you provide a link that is not a paper from an organisation that does not require members to reject naturalistic explanations ?

  18. #18 symbiosis
    March 31, 2010

    Wow! I have made the testicle argument against ID for years! The only reason it’s the way we know it is because of the need to produce sperm at slightly lower than body temperature. An intelligent designer would have adjusted the chemistry before compromising on the psyiology!

  19. #19 RamblinDude
    March 31, 2010

    Sastra,

    I once tried to get this import of this argument across to a creationist by using an analogy to a “path.”

    I am so going to remember that one.

  20. #20 daveau
    March 31, 2010

    JC (more than a coincidence?)@2

    It’s more than just imperfections and suboptimal properties are predicted by evoulution[sic]: it’s that the NATURE of the “imperfections” we see are understandable only as a result of evolution.

    See? Imperfection is predicted by evolution. (Luv ya Jerry)

    (I know, typos. It just shows that Jerry isn’t a Firefox fan.)

  21. #21 Knockgoats
    March 31, 2010

    JohnHamilton,
    The creationist garbage you link to makes crass and elementary errors, e.g. “For example, cats have no colour vision.” False, and known to be so for some time. Since the purveyors of this crap can’t get such elementary stuff right, it is absurd to take them seriously.

  22. #22 JohnHamilton
    March 31, 2010

    Here are the links I have presented so far:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermiform_appendix#Possible_secondary_functions

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090820175901.htm

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19591859

    http://www.trueorigin.org/retina.asp

    Each of these has given scientific information at odds with the points given by Abigail Hafer in the video presentation.
    Perhaps she is just not up to date with the field she is speaking about.

  23. #23 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 31, 2010

    JH, if you link to any creationist/design site, you lower your credibility to less than zero for anything else you post. Welcome to real science.

  24. #24 The Other Ian
    March 31, 2010

    The evolution of the bible bogey is something that creationists should be aware of. The ancients, (Mesopotamians, Greeks) had gods that were physical, or at least had an ability to take on physical form. The bible bogey derived from Mesopotamian religion, & is just the same. It is in part a ghost or spirit, which therefore implies that it is, in part, physical. The ancients also had their abode of the gods peopled by lesser gods – nymphs, dryads – which seem to live on as ‘angels’.

    What i’d like to know is, given what we now know of space, where exactly do the physical manifestations of the Christian, Jewish, Moslem gods & lesser gods live? We deserve an answer.

    I get what you’re saying, but to me this seems akin to confronting an astronomer over Keplerian motion and demanding to know the elements of the orbit of Jupiter around the Earth. The fact that a person’s belief is partially derived from an older belief does not require the person to also accept the older belief, nor is it evidence that the newer belief is wrong.

  25. #25 stevieinthecity#9dac9
    March 31, 2010

    Hamilton. Our eyes suck when compared to other animals. They aren’t well designed. Plus they degrade over time. The eye is a poor argument for design. Well actually they all are, but the eye is particularly bad.

    Creationists with tired worn out ideas are really boring.

  26. #26 JohnHamilton
    March 31, 2010

    I am not getting into an argument about which sites people here think are worthwhile.
    An argument stands on its own wherever it is posted.
    Also I am amused that people ignore the links to wikipedia and sciencedaily and
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and only focus on the one site they think they can dismiss.
    The woman in the video has ignored reasonable scientific counter arguments to her position.
    I am simply pointing that out.
    Her comments about the appendix and the eye are unfounded.
    And I do not even want to talk about the absurd idea that a marsupial has a better birthing process. That is just laughable.
    Her talk may go over well at a Humanist meeting but otherwise it is just poor science.

  27. #27 nigelTheBold
    March 31, 2010

    Ah, yes. The, “We can understand the mind of god enough to know he hates homosexuals,” followed quickly by, “How do you know it’s a bad design? You can’t know the mind of god.”

    I simply love contradictory logic. It just shows that logic is so versatile. Especially when compartmentalizing.

  28. #28 daveau
    March 31, 2010

    Each of these has given scientific information at odds with the points given by Abigail Hafer in the video presentation.1
    Perhaps she is just not up to date with the field she is speaking about.2

    1. Just because you can find a website that disputes a point, doesn’t make that website, or that disputation, correct.

    2. Ms Hafer seems to be working with information from this century, not 2000 years ago, as you appear to be.

  29. #29 https://me.yahoo.com/a/2Cpr09BisvAGE8xTLScKqHa9oE8qMtok#e64de
    March 31, 2010

    I was surprised

    I bet that happens a lot…

    the woman in the video mentioned the appendix. Even a quick glance at wikipedia gives current information about the possible uses of the appendix:

    Understanding the argument fail…

    When the secondary function list of the appendix should also include death, it’s not generally something you want.

    (BTW, John, death is generally something you want to avoid if you plan on reproducing…)

  30. #30 The Other Ian
    March 31, 2010

    @JH,

    The links about the appendix are irrelevant. Regardless of whether it has an actual function, it still has an annoying tendency to get inflamed and cause death when not treated with surgery. Whatever function it has doesn’t seem to be terribly important compared to that. Ergo, bad design.

    The space-saving advantage of the inverted retina as an argument for creationism is easily refuted just by reading the abstract of the article you linked to. “The inverted retina has most likely facilitated the evolution of image-forming eyes in vertebrates, and it still benefits especially small and highly visual species.” By “small and highly visual”, they’re talking about, e.g., zebrafish. Not humans.

  31. #32 Knockgoats
    March 31, 2010

    I am not getting into an argument about which sites people here think are worthwhile. – JohnHamilton

    If you cite creationist crap, knowledgeable people are not going to take you seriously; deal with it.

    The fact that the appendix may have some secondary functions does not mean it could be considered “good design”, considering that people can undoubtedly be healthy without one, and the death rate from appendicitis before modern surgery.

  32. #33 maureen.brian#b5c92
    March 31, 2010

    JohnHamilton,

    Have you ever given birth?

    No, I thought not. Then who are you to say that the marsupials are not, perhaps, one up on us humans?

  33. #34 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 31, 2010

    An argument stands on its own wherever it is posted.

    No, that just means you don’t understand what real evidence is. If there is true support from the peer reviewed liteature, it is good solid evidence. If it is creationist/designer lies, bullshit, and distortion of the scientific work, no, it is not real evidence. Science has standards. Creationists and ID’ers don’t.

  34. #35 rob
    March 31, 2010

    let’s take a vote.

    all in favor of evolution say “eye.”

    .
    .
    .

    the “eye’s” have it.

  35. #36 Iris
    March 31, 2010

    Why Evolution is True. Do yourself a favour, and beg, borrow or steal a copy

    Do Jerry Coyne a favor, and a copy. You won’t be disappointed – it’s a keeper.

  36. #37 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 31, 2010

    The woman in the video has ignored reasonable scientific counter arguments to her position.

    No scientific evidence is found at creationist/ID cites. Lies, bullshit, and distortions of reality are found there. That makes you a liar too if you think it is scientific.

    Her talk may go over well at a Humanist meeting but otherwise it is just poor science.

    I am a 30+ practicioner of science. The woman talked science. What are your credentials to be talking about science? From your evidence, I would say you have very little or no scientific training. That makes you an ignoramous thinking you can play a science authority to this crowd.

  37. #38 nigelTheBold
    March 31, 2010

    As for the retina, the cephalopod eyes are superior, and they aren’t any larger than a cat’s eyes, say. Or even a hawk’s eyes. And then there’s the blind spot, as well as the reduction of effective light.

    And still to be address: the recurrent laryngeal nerve. The panda’s thumb. The human spine. The lack of vitamin C synthesis in humans. Wisdom teeth. The small size of the human pelvis compared to the head of the emerging baby. Nasal passages that drain in the wrong direction.

    Finding one small advantage in wrong-way-’round eyesight (one that doesn’t benefit humans at all, so we’re still stuck with an inferior design) does not negate the fact that, if it was intentionally designed, it was done so by a poor engineer.

  38. #39 Glen Davidson
    March 31, 2010

    Arguing against ID using “design” flaws is theological.

    Predicting in ID that there will be little junk DNA is science, uh, theological by the same standard.

    Ergo, ID is theological.

    Of course ID in fact predicts nothing at all, since it has no causes for its “design effects,” meaning that they can’t even predict that life will be complex (do they know of a designer 4 Gya that was intelligent enough to make complex life? I mean aside from an evidence-free “god”). But it’s absurd to pretend that you make scientific design predictions about “junk DNA” based on function while claiming that “design flaws” are theological, not scientific.

    And actually, they are somewhat correct in saying that the “design flaw” argument is theological. What other kind of argument can you make against theistic apologetics?

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  39. #40 FordPrefect
    March 31, 2010

    The link JohnHamilton provided about small vertebrate eyes seems to be strong evidence for the tinkering of evolution to adapt what worked for our small vertebrate ancestors rather than start from scratch with our big human eyes.

    Rather than a piece of damning evidence to the contrary…

  40. #41 Iris
    March 31, 2010

    @36 Me: HTML fail.

    Do Jerry Coyne a favor and buy a copy.

    *sigh*

  41. #42 amphiox
    March 31, 2010

    re: #12

    None of the proposed functions of the human appendix even comes close to compensating for the risk of death and infertility accrued from appendicitis. Ergo bad design.

    Indeed, the functions for which we have evidence for are exactly the kinds of functions that could have arisen by cooption of a pre-existing structure with a different original function, or a residual function that was far more important in the ancestral past but is almost irrelevant in the present.

    All fully consistent with what evolutionary theory predicts and expects.

    re: #14

    Simple binary logic should have told you that this argument goes nowhere. If the vertebrate inverted retina is the optimal design, then the cephalopod non-inverted retina must be bad design. Or vice versa. And the two retinas are used by fish and squid who live in the exact same environment and in fact compete directly with each other, and prey on one another, in overlapping niches.

    So either the vertebrate eye is bad design, or the cephalopod eye is bad design, or both are bad designs, and the best design should have been a combination of the best elements of both, without the specific weaknesses of either. Note that this hypothetical eye does not exist in nature, at least not on earth.

    Note how evolutionary theory easily explains why each of these two eyes are different from the other, and why each has its own particular advantages and disadvantages.

    All you can say with designer theory is either he hates vertebrates, or he considers cephalopods abominations unto the lord, or he’s an arthopod and despises both.

    re: #26

    So you admit then that the marsupial way of giving birth is inferior to the placental way? That it is badly designed?

    Thanks for conceding the whole argument, sir.

  42. #43 Menyambal
    March 31, 2010

    I once had a fellow tell me that the human body is perfectly designed. While he stood there sniffling, peering through glasses, flashing a gold tooth, wearing shoes, wearing clothes, leaning on a cane, tapping his hearing aid, sporting a five-o’clock shadow, and bulging with fat.

  43. #44 Brownian, OM
    March 31, 2010

    I see the creationists have come a long way from likening anatomy to a watch with its intricate mechanism of gears and penduli to “if you squint just right and under some conditions the vertebrate eye isn’t as shitty as once thought.”

    Must be hard to shoehorn YHWH into these increasingly vanishing gaps. Is He on Aktins or South Beach?

  44. #45 nigelTheBold
    March 31, 2010

    Must be hard to shoehorn YHWH into these increasingly vanishing gaps. Is He on Aktins or South Beach?

    God lives on sin. That was his purpose in Leviticus for making pretty much everything sinful. It’s no coincidence when we talk about a rich chocolate cake, it’s “sinful.” (BTW: the cake is a lie.)

    To god, sin tastes like chocolate cake. That was his whole purpose for creating us, so that we would sin, and bake him a chocolate cake.

  45. #46 raven
    March 31, 2010

    John Hamilton the creationist kook:

    The woman in the video has ignored reasonable scientific counter arguments to her position.

    Like what?

    Goddidit but he is a clumsly inept Designer.

    Goddidit but he made everything look like it evolved so people wouldn’t believe in him and go to hell to be tortured for eternity.

  46. #47 Iris
    March 31, 2010

    @19 RamblinDude:

    I am so going to remember that one.

    Good for you. Me, I only wish I knew one tenth of what Sastra forgot. :-)

  47. #48 simonator
    March 31, 2010

    To god, sin tastes like chocolate cake. That was his whole purpose for creating us, so that we would sin, and bake him a chocolate cake.

    So hell is a giant oven, and we’re driven to sin so that we can fuel it and He can eat cake? Makes about as much sense as the trinity if you ask me.

  48. #49 raven
    March 31, 2010

    google screen:

    Whale legsBones from the atavistic hind-limbs of a humpback whale. A. From top to bottom, the cartiliginous femur, tibia, tarsus, and metatarsal, arranged as found in …
    daphne.palomar.edu/ccarpenter/whale_legs.htm – Cached – Similar

    Kludgy design and vestigal features aren’t the only evidence for evolution.

    Whales are occasionally found with atavistic legs. Humans are occasionally born with fur or tails.

    Creationists cover their eyes and claim they didn’t see them while their little minds explode.

  49. #50 vanharris
    March 31, 2010

    Other Ian @ 24. Okay, but the Christians, (who believe in the Trinity, i.e. that their god [the bible bogey] is composed of a ghost or spirit & two other ‘persons’), need to explain something. If part of it’s a spirit, then the rest of it must surely be material? So where the fuck does it (or them) live?

  50. #51 nigelTheBold
    March 31, 2010

    So hell is a giant oven, and we’re driven to sin so that we can fuel it and He can eat cake?

    Yes. And if you do not believe in my culinary god, you are doomed to a lifetime of gastro-intestinal distress. This is not a result of poor design, and ulcers. This is a result of you not baking a chocolate cake, and sending it to:

    nigelTheBold
    1212 Eastwick Street
    Branson, OH 44931

    You have been warned.

  51. #52 Insightful Ape
    March 31, 2010

    Look, john the creationist,
    even the most useless and harmful object can have some use under certain circumstances. For instance, if your watch doesn’t work you can take a glass out and use it as a cup.
    The appendix in humans may have a certain function. But it does a lot more harm than good. People who lose it never miss it. But its existence predisposes you to a deadly disease. Is this too complicated for you to grasp?
    As for the retina, if you want to argue the blind spot is a good thing, that’s up to you. The question, though, is why would your god never, ever create a vertebrate without a blind spot, or a squid with one? (unless he was trying to fool us into thinking that the vertebrates had a common ancestor, and so did the squids, but the two were different,since you know, such anatomical features are inherited).
    I can’t read your god’s thoughts. If he wants to come across as a useless drunk he can be my guest. By why did he have to leave all those patterns that suggest he are related to other life forms by descent?
    Unless he did create vertebrates with blind spots and you creationists have been too lazy to find them.

  52. #53 raven
    March 31, 2010

    https://notes.utk.edu/bio/greenberg.nsf/0/0765bb50d404455385256f0000680854

    VOMERONASAL ORGAN
    A tiny pit on each side of the septum is lined with nonfunctioning chemoreceptors. They may be all that remains of a once extensive pheromone-detecting ability.
    ——————————————————————————–

    EXTRINSIC EAR MUSCLES
    This trio of muscles most likely made it possible for prehominids to move their ears independently of their heads, as rabbits and dogs do. We still have them, which is why most people can learn to wiggle their ears.
    ——————————————————————————–

    WISDOM TEETH
    Early humans had to chew a lot of plants to get enough calories to survive, making another row of molars helpful. Only about 5 percent of the population has a healthy set of these third molars.
    ——————————————————————————–

    NECK RIB
    A set of cervical ribs?possibly leftovers from the age of reptiles?still appear in less than 1 percent of the population. They often cause nerve and artery problems.

    THIRD EYELID
    A common ancestor of birds and mammals may have had a membrane for protecting the eye and sweeping out debris. Humans retain only a tiny fold in the inner corner of the eye.

    DARWIN?S POINT
    A small folded point of skin toward the top of each ear is occasionally found in modern humans. It may be a remnant of a larger shape that helped focus distant sounds.

    SUBCLAVIUS MUSCLE
    This small muscle stretching under the shoulder from the first rib to the collarbone would be useful if humans still walked on all fours. Some people have one, some have none, and a few have two.

    PALMARIS MUSCLE
    This long, narrow muscle runs from the elbow to the wrist and is missing in 11 percent of modern humans. It may once have been important for hanging and climbing. Surgeons harvest it for reconstructive surgery.

    Humans have a lot of vestigal features. Some of these are so useless and atrophied that they don’t even occur in some people. The Palmaris muscle in the forearm is well developed in primates who swing through the trees. It’s been a while since humans did that.

    The vomeronasal organ is why your cat wrinkles its nose while checking out some patches of ground. Humans have one packed with olfactory receptors. None of which work any more. Some humans don’t even have one.

  53. #54 llewelly
    March 31, 2010

    had to google “film”. Apparently it was a what cameras used before there were CCDs and flash RAM, back in the late neolithic. Some kind of photosensitive chemical paste smeared on glass, mylar, or animal skin, apparently. The chemicals would undergo a reaction when hit by light, simultaneously capturing and storing the image. Later a chemistry lab would “develop” the film to turn it into a picture. In other words you’d have to wait days or weeks to look at your pictures. What a drag.

  54. #55 Kevin
    March 31, 2010

    @nigelTheBold, Simonator

    I think I like that theology better than the Christian one. You should make a religion.

  55. #56 guntis.rat
    March 31, 2010

    Have you heard something from Kerrigan Skelly?
    He have this clam that atheist can’t be right if they relay to senses which evolved in process of evolution.

  56. #57 raven
    March 31, 2010

    He have this clam that atheist can’t be right if they relay to senses which evolved in process of evolution.

    This is stupid. If atheists rely on senses that evolved, so do xians.

    We are all the same species, hard as it is to admit sometimes.

    If atheist’s evolved senses are unreliable, the xians are equally unreliable.

    No I haven’t heard of Skelly probably because he is a moron and no one pays any attention.

  57. #58 Glen Davidson
    March 31, 2010

    Goose-flesh is one of the coolest vestigial features of humanity, IMO. Forget the cretins/IDiots, what a weird thing to raise our pathetic little body hairs when we’re scared, as if we were trying to look bigger. And when we’re cold we erect our hairs in a (virtually) useless attempt to keep warm.

    It’s all so ape-like, and if perhaps not completely and entirely useless and functionless, clearly it exists for no reason other than ancestry. You almost wonder how it can still exist after all this time that we’ve been hairless (almost certainly over a 100 thousand years, could be a lot longer), but most likely it is genetically shared with a number of other still-crucial developments, so not easy to dispense with. And the cost is fairly low.

    Takes some faith (stupidity/denial) to avoid such clear indications of our much hairier ancestors.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  58. #59 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 31, 2010

    No, I thought not. Then who are you to say that the marsupials are not, perhaps, one up on us humans?

    indeed they do. added bonus that if humans were marsupials, abortion wouldn’t exist, since apparently (some?) marsupials can hit the pause button on fetal development for long periods of time, and then finish the pregnancy when it suits them better.

    clearly, god hates humans.

  59. #60 https://me.yahoo.com/a/2Cpr09BisvAGE8xTLScKqHa9oE8qMtok#e64de
    March 31, 2010

    Yes. And if you do not believe in my culinary god, you are doomed to a lifetime of gastro-intestinal distress. This is not a result of poor design, and ulcers. This is a result of you not baking a chocolate cake, and sending it to:

    nigelTheBold
    1212 Eastwick Street
    Branson, OH 44931

    Is that a real address because for that culinary god thing with hell and chocolate cake, I might just send you one… or at least a chocolate pudding.

  60. #61 https://me.yahoo.com/a/2Cpr09BisvAGE8xTLScKqHa9oE8qMtok#e64de
    March 31, 2010

    added bonus that if humans were marsupials, abortion wouldn’t exist, since apparently (some?) marsupials can hit the pause button on fetal development for long periods of time, and then finish the pregnancy when it suits them better.

    I haven’t heard about being able to “pause” on fetal development, but I really only know about sugar gliders.

    As an owner and caretaker of these little animals, I have read a lot about them and have personal experience with them, and I can tell you for a fact they have a more efficient system, not only because the interal gestation period is only 16 days long, they only stay in the pouch for about 2 months after that, which means the child is much less of a burden on the mother than the 9 month gestation period of a human.

    Becuase of the external gestation, that also means that if the mother has a multiple birth (generally 2), they aren’t a detriment to eachother, unlike humans can generally end up with complications caused by low blood sugar, low body fat, etc.

    There’s virutally no such thing as a premature birth or complication like an umbilacle cord getting wrapped around the child’s neck, choking it to death. (There’s something very poorly designed in humans and accidental death by way of the path of sustainence… first the cord, then eating… it’s silly.)

    There’s also none of the complications during childbirth for a sugar glider like a human has, especially by means of danger to the mother.

    As an added bonus, the males have a forked penis which basically goes right up into both the tubes of the female and almost makes impregnation a certainty if she’s in heat.

    Score one for sugar gliders? Definitely.

  61. #62 nigelTheBold
    March 31, 2010

    #60,

    Alas, that is not a real address. The thought of posting my real address on the innertubes gives me the heebee-jeebees. Instead, I will gladly accept your intent to send me a cake, or pudding.

    I will have to obtain my hell-cake elsewhere.

  62. #63 Kevin
    March 31, 2010

    @nigelTheBold

    I will, too, then intend to send you hell-cake. Although it may be difficult for me to bake, as I have no hell-cake-pans.

    Perhaps a nice batch of hell-cookies will suffice?

  63. #64 Steven Mading
    March 31, 2010

    Raven, excellent post of examples.

    I had another explanation for this one though, that I think works well or better:

    WISDOM TEETH
    Early humans had to chew a lot of plants to get enough calories to survive, making another row of molars helpful. Only about 5 percent of the population has a healthy set of these third molars.

    I think the following two explanations work better than the “used to be herbivores” explanation:

    1) We used to have a wider mouth. If you look at the skulls of our ancestor apes, they had bigger mouths. The health problems we face from our wisdom teeth are almost all universally caused by the fact that there isn’t room for them in our jaws anymore. So sometimes they appear so far back they can’t be reached by your tongue (or a modern toothbrush) and are hard to keep clean so they rot out easily. Sometimes they cause crookedness because the jaw has too many teeth jammed in it. But in any case these problems go away if you have a bigger jaw like our ancestors did.

    2) Once upon a time, we didn’t have dentistry and we didn’t have toothpaste. If you have several gaps in your jaw from missing teeth, then the wisdom teeth won’t have these sorts of problems because there is plenty of room for them by the time they arrive. In fact, one might argue that the existence of wisdom teeth is an evolved response to the tendency to lose some teeth by the time you’re 20 years old in the wild. They’re meant to replace some of the teeth that, statistically, you should have lost by then.

  64. #65 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    March 31, 2010

    Nicely done.

  65. #66 nigelTheBold
    March 31, 2010

    Perhaps a nice batch of hell-cookies will suffice?

    Oooo. With chocolate chips of vice? Yes, please.

    I believe I may have to throw my scruples to the wind, and start my own religion. I shall never lack for tasty treats, the labor of sin!

    I don’t think L. Ron Hubbard thought grandly enough, grubbing after mere money.

  66. #67 Tulse
    March 31, 2010

    I once had a fellow tell me that the human body is perfectly designed. While he stood there [...] peering through glasses, [...] wearing clothes

    “Pangloss gave instruction in metaphysico-theologico-cosmolo-nigology. [...] It is clear, said he, that things cannot be otherwise than they are, for since everything is made to serve an end, everything necessarily serves the best end. Observe: noses were made to support spectacles, hence we have spectacles. Legs, as anyone can plainly see, were made to be breeched, and so we have breeches. . . . Consequently, those who say everything is well are uttering mere stupidities; they should say everything is for the best.”

  67. #68 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawk-hJ6aelBEWJnvYkT1CAi1ecRlijsT8iY
    March 31, 2010

    Im wondering how you can have “design flaws” if there is no designer???

  68. #69 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 31, 2010

    Im wondering how you can have “design flaws” if there is no designer???

    By design, we are referring to the formation of an organism through natural selection. No divinity needed.

  69. #70 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawk-hJ6aelBEWJnvYkT1CAi1ecRlijsT8iY
    March 31, 2010

    I figured that. I was just trying to point out the language thingie. ;)

    I guess thats just part of my design, oops, formation through natural selection.

  70. #71 Peter H
    March 31, 2010

    Think of “design flaw” as a metaphor.

    grins

  71. #72 ckitching
    March 31, 2010

    Goose-flesh is one of the coolest vestigial features of humanity, IMO. [...] And when we’re cold we erect our hairs in a (virtually) useless attempt to keep warm.

    Operating those tiny muscles does actually generate some heat, so it does help heat us. Of course, it’s terribly inefficient and largely ineffective (as you rightfully pointed out), and never mind the fact we already have better mechanisms to keep warm, including shivering.

    None of this changes its status as a vestigial feature, of course. Just because something can still provide a function in some limited way, that doesn’t mean it isn’t unnecessary. It just means the cost of natural selection eliminating them is higher than the cost of producing them anyway. Evolution is both merciless and sloppy as hell.

  72. #73 Vinnie
    March 31, 2010

    I thought this was a great video with the exception of the childbirth part. I think a Creationist would swat that away with Genesis 3:16; not that that makes the childbirth any more evidence of “design”.

  73. #74 Peter H
    March 31, 2010

    No, Vinnie, that would only reinforce the bible’s general and hateful misogyny.

  74. #75 Egaeus
    March 31, 2010

    All I hear is “wah wah wah wah wah wah.” It’s like I’m trying to understand Charlie Brown’s teacher. The MacBook White speakers aren’t exactly helping either.

  75. #76 EdinAnn
    March 31, 2010

    This reminds me of one my favorite jokes, with a nod to the Salem Hypothesis: Three engineers were finishing lunch at the Discovery Institute cafeteria and were engaged in a heated debate over what type of engineer God must be, based on his “intelligent design” of the human body.

    “Well, said the first, “take a look at our musculo-skeletal system–all those bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments connected and moving together so smoothly–no doubt about it, I say the Big Guy is a Mechanical Engineer!”

    “Nah”, said the second, “consider the brain and spinal cord–it’s the central nervous system that controls all we do–that is definitely the work of an Electrical Engineer!”

    “You’re both wrong,” said the third–God’s gotta be a Civil Engineer–after all, who else but a C.E. would design a waste water treatment facility right through the middle of a recreational area?”

  76. #77 the_manxome_foe#a0503
    March 31, 2010

    Van, #50

    If part of it’s a spirit, then the rest of it must surely be material? So where the fuck does it (or them) live?

    In the wafer tin. Obviously.

  77. #78 kantalope
    March 31, 2010

    John Hamilton: posting links to creosites won?t get you a response around here. Most folks have been there and read that and just don?t have the stomach to digest that much stupid in one setting anymore. You will have better luck posting the argument, as you see it, reference the sites and then peeps will take the time to tear you a new one.
    Luckily for you, I have not checked out the verted (opposite of inverted) argument for the creation reason for screwed up eyes so I did go check it out.
    First off ? calling the Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, peer reviewed was not the way to start things off. Having your lab partner proof-read your article does not make it ?peer reviewed?.
    After describing the function of the retina we are given this:

    It is evident therefore that for the human retina to function, the presence of both the RPE [retinal pigment epithelium] and the choroid are essential. But both structures are opaque, the RPE because of its melanin and the choroid because of its blood and melanin. It follows that for light to reach the photoreceptors, both RPE and choroid have to be located external to the neurosensory retina; hence we can conclude that there are sound reasons for the inverted configuration of the human and vertebrate retina.

    Let?s break that down a bit:
    1) For eye to function; for photoreceptors to work ? must have Retina and choroid
    2) For Retina and choroid to function they must be opaque
    Q) Therefore Retina and Choroid need to be in front of photoreceptors
    &) Oh, and we should assume this is so for good reason
    How does it follow that for light to reach the photoreceptors there should be an opaque structure in front of it? That?s just crazy or inverted, take your pick. The conclusion is not warranted by the evidence ? unless you are going for circular reasoning. And even worse ? it is demonstrably untrue because there is a perfectly functioning eye that does not have opaque tissues external to the photoreceptors. This does not refute that the eye is poorly designed. That is why 1 + 2 != Q and ?&? has nothing to do with anything. If there are good reasons then they should be argued not just concluded.
    But the best part , really can?t make this stuff up, the author of the article takes it all back in the next section of the article:

    Moreover, the foveolar cones [in the macula] differ from those elsewhere in being taller, more slender, perfectly straight and accurately oriented to be axial with respect to incident light, for maximal VA and sensitivity. In this area, blood vessels are absent and the retina is much thinner, being reduced to only photoreceptors (cones) with minimal supporting tissue.

    Or to be blunt, where greater sensitivity and direct light hits there are fewer opaque structures external to the light receptors; Or all the arguments that explain why the retina is in front of the photoreceptors that your were just told about are not true.
    What about the blind spot?

    suppose the Creator had sought to avoid the situation described by Williams [where having a blind spot means you might not see something that you should] by creating a very large single eye with two identical optical systems capable of converging their visual axes and two foveae far enough apart to achieve the level of stereopsis we enjoy. The result would be manifestly impractical. Indeed such a hypothetical one-eyed creature would be the more vulnerable should its only eye be injured or covered.

    Where to even begin with this strawman? The only solution the omniscient creator of everything can think of is a Cyclops? How about putting the eye together without a blind spot? Wouldn?t that fix the problem? Put the plumbing behind the photoreceptors and poof no more Cyclops. (Sorry Ulysses.)
    File this part under WTF

    The human visual system cannot register motion as accurately and sensitively as that of a fly, but if it did, we would see all fluorescent lighting and television flickering continually. We cannot see at night as well as a cat, but we surpass it in some other areas. For example, cats have no colour vision. The human eye represents an excellent balance between versatility and performance, which has enabled man?s astonishing technological achievements in antiquity. Latterly, man?s capacity to construct devices to see the far distant, the microscopic, and to see in the darkest night, has augmented the practical scope of our vision to exceed that of any other creature.

    The current frequency of fluorescent lights would be irritating ? therefore good design
    Cat can?t see colors (even if they can) ? therefore good design
    Because humans can compensate for bad design ? therefore good design.
    The next part about the invertebrate eye makes even less sense. (I know hard to believe but work with me here.)

    Some evolutionists claim that the verted retinae of cephalopods, such as squids and octopuses, are more efficient than the inverted retinae found in vertebrates. But this presupposes that the inverted retina is inefficient in the first place. As shown above, evolutionists have failed to demonstrate that the inverted retina is a bad design, and that it functions poorly; they ignore the many good reasons for it.

    Prove putting the eye together in a straight forward manner is really better! Which is the point of this argument in the first place. What? No switching the burden of proof at the end the article, it is bad form. The argument was not toward final functionality, it was based on design principles: if an intelligent designer were to design an eye, where would the plumbing go, in front of the eye or behind? Check out your TV, are the electronic bits in front of the screen or behind? How about a camera, how much stuff should go in front of the lens and how much behind?
    Finally it is good design cause it works –

    Although it would appear at first sight that the inverted arrangement of the retina has disadvantages and is inefficient, in reality these objections amount to little. Even evolutionists concede that the inverted retina serves those creatures that possess it, very well

    Well, no. It is evolution because the eye works good enough. If it was design, you would expect good design and it works good enough.

    If the human retina were ?wired? the other way around (the verted configuration), as evolutionists such as Dawkins propose,2 these two opaque layers would have to be interposed in the path of light to the photoreceptors which would leave them in darkness!

    There is no reason to believe that putting the structures at the back of the eye would result in more opaque layers and not less. In fact, it makes more sense that there would be fewer opaque layers and that may explain why our cephalopod friends who live in lower light environments got lucky when they got more efficient eyes. The article itself posits that there is less protection for the eye in the exact places where more and more direct light is focused. The conclusions do not come from the evidence (color me surprised).
    There you go mr hamilton ? that is why most folks won?t be bothered to read that creationist drivel. It just ain?t worth the effort.
    Hey, if the rest of you read this and correct for spelling etc. Can we call this ?peer reviewed? too?

  78. #79 the_manxome_foe#a0503
    March 31, 2010

    “You’re both wrong,” said the third–God’s gotta be a Civil Engineer–after all, who else but a C.E. would design a waste water treatment facility right through the middle of a recreational area?”

    You know, that’s the first time I’ve heard that joke from that angle. Usually it’s that the recreation area is between the waste outflows. I had to think about your version for way too long before I got it.

  79. #80 Kel, OM
    March 31, 2010

    I thought the main thing about the human eye was that it shared “design properties” with all other vertebrates. While an octopus has a comparable eye to ours, it does not share that same design flaw. As an example of contingency, what better illustrates the point of common descent?

    As for vestigial structures – humans born with tails! Nothing more needs to be said (though I did love that bit in Coyne’s book about the Vitamin C pseudogenes)

  80. #81 augustine771
    April 1, 2010

    that video makes no sense how could those things be flaws?

  81. #82 Owlmirror
    April 1, 2010

    @#81 — Nice timing.

    ========

    You know, I’ve heard the hypothesis that maybe the appendix does have an actual “use”, as at the Wikip link. But let’s think for a couple of seconds about the “functions” offered…

    I think we can ignore the whole “lymphoid cells” suggestion. The appendix is not the only source of those, so that’s really kind of redundant. Training the immune system? Again, it’s redundant for that as well. The immune system pervades the whole body; the appendix isn’t necessary to get working.

    How about the gut flora one? That’s actually kind of interesting. There you are, burbling happily along, when you suddenly contract some nasty infection that makes you SHIT YOUR GUTS OUT. And after this happens, you somehow manage to avoid DYING FROM DEHYDRATION. So now you’re crawling along, having survived this near-hit, but wait! The human body requires certain nutrients that are produced by the commensal microbes that you just shat out of your gut, so that you don’t DIE FROM VITAMIN K MALNUTRITION. So there’s the appendix, acting as a commensal microbe hangout, from whence they can go forth and recolonize the gut.

    Pop quiz for JohnHamilton: Is the above “function” of the appendix something “intelligently designed” by a benevolent and loving God (who mercilessly kills 2 million+ babies per year from the dehydration caused by the diarrhea that necessitates the “function” in the first place!), or is the purported “function” of the appendix something that ONLY MAKES SENSE IN LIGHT OF EVOLUTION?

    No hints from the choir!

  82. #83 defides
    April 1, 2010

    Sorry, unwatchable.

    I’ve never been able to understand why people who produce videos like this don’t do a bit of audio editing on the soundtrack. Just removing the horrible high-volume bass hum would be a 100% improvement.

    Wouldn’t take much to remove the echo, either.

  83. #84 Randy Crum
    April 1, 2010

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

    It is, of course, a very obvious contradiction for a Biblical creationist to claim that “God moves in mysterious ways”. These very same people claim to inerrantly understand a book written by that same God. That would hardly be possible if God moved mysteriously.

    So any Biblical creationist should ALWAYS be able to inerrantly answer any question about anything that God did in nature or elsewhere. Or else they must accept the fact that they may not understand the Bible inerrantly.

  84. #85 ButchKitties
    April 1, 2010

    The excuse I’m most used to hearing is “We didn’t have that flaw until after The Fall of Man.”

    Adam and Eve eat a piece of fruit and POOF! Inverted retinas.

    *headdesk*

  85. #86 Peter H
    April 1, 2010

    @ kantalope #78

    You’re clouding the issue with demonstrable facts and sound logic. These are things folks like Hamilton can’t find on their own and can’t comprehend when given them outright.

    @ ButchKitties #85

    I’ve encountered that same “reasoning” to assert that humans were strictly vegetarians – until the “fall.”

  86. #87 peterdvm
    April 1, 2010

    The design flaw that seems obvious to me but rarely mentioned, why do the airway and food passage cross. Even worse why have the airway pass from dorsal to ventral such that aspiration or choking become a risk?

  87. #88 Menyambal
    April 1, 2010

    Speaking of crossed design: Why does our evolution do that right-side-of-brain-controls-left-side-of-body business? Was there somewhere along the line a twist in the system?

    I read something about evidence that the body plan is actually that of an upside-down swimmer, and specualtion that an earlier ancestor of all chordates flipped over long ago. What I wondered is if, maybe, our bodies flipped but our heads stayed right side up, twisting the nervous system.

    That just sounds crazy, but I can’t write it any better.

    Thanks.

  88. #89 amphiox
    April 1, 2010

    #88

    I think that idea dates all the way back to Goethe, of all people, who thought that such a twisting could produce the dorsal-ventral vs ventral-dorsal arrangement of the nerve cord relative to the digestive tract as seen in vertebrates vs arthropods (and all of their respective relatives among the deuterostomes and protostomes). Don’t know what the current thought on that would be.

    It is interesting to note that thanks to this cross-over, there is a very small area at the base of the brainstem/top of the spinal cord, where the motor fibres cross over, where a very, very small injury, such as from a very tiny stroke that might otherwise not have resulted in much significant injury, results in total paralysis, with retention of consciousness – the infamous “locked-in” syndrome. (There are other causes for the syndrome as well)

    Since injury to this area even slightly larger than this hypothetical scenario pretty much spells guaranteed rapid death, I wouldn’t necessarily call it “bad” design. But it certainly can’t be considered “good” design.

    #87

    And humans are particularly vulnerable to this because of modifications in the shape of our pharynxes that help provide a greater resonance chamber for speech. It’s not really such a problem in any other animals.

    In humans, of course, the selective advantage of speaking articulately over-rode any disadvantage from the increased risk of choking.

    Which makes it an excellent example of a disadvantage resulting from evolutionary contingency.

  89. #90 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkS6LOQiMR3pAUKi18JWMjlDjR9_w9nH-o
    April 1, 2010

    The Eye Sounds Nothing Like Intelligent Design. It Is Backwards & Upside Down.

  90. #91 OnePumpChump
    April 2, 2010

    It’s not a fruitful source of hypotheses, but it’s a great source of just-a-theories.

  91. #92 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    “It’s more than just imperfections and suboptimal properties are predicted by evoulution[sic]: it’s that the NATURE of the “imperfections” we see are understandable only as a result of evolution.”

    “See? Imperfection is predicted by evolution. (Luv ya Jerry)
    (I know, typos. It just shows that Jerry isn’t a Firefox fan.)”

    Imperfection is predicted by evolution.
    The imperfection in the original post (the misspelling of “evolution”)is predicted by evolution.
    Mindless, random evolution explains these imperfections – in Nature and in Jerry Coyne.

  92. #93 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    And yet there is an oddity here.
    The “imperfect” human thinks he/she knows the true nature of reality.
    And certainly evolutionists think that they know the true nature of reality.

    Interesting – evolutionists on the one hand correctly proclaim their own imperfection while at the same time claiming insight into truth for themselves.

  93. #94 Celtic_Evolution
    April 2, 2010

    And certainly evolutionists think that they know the true nature of reality.

    “Evolutionists” claim to “know” no such thing.

    Assertion =/= fact. Making up shit and proclaiming it as some sort of profound insight isn’t all that impressive to me.

    Interesting – evolutionists on the one hand correctly proclaim their own imperfection while at the same time claiming insight into truth for themselves.

    And repeating the same bullshit assertion, reworded, isn’t actually interesting, it’s repetitive.

  94. #95 Sven DiMilo
    April 2, 2010

    Interesting – evolutionists on the one hand correctly proclaim their own imperfection while at the same time claiming insight into truth for themselves.

    You know nothing of science.
    The imperfection of knowledge is the whole point.
    Any claims of insight are backed by observable evidence and rigorous logic.

    Now from your use of the term ‘evolutionists’ I infer that you think there are other ways of knowing stuff, even imperfectly. The difference between your imperfect ‘knowledge’ and mine is that a) mine is supported, as indicated, by empirical evidence and b) mine is testable and teakable in the face of new observations or more accurate logic.

  95. #96 Celtic_Evolution
    April 2, 2010

    Oh, and… since this need to be pointed out repeatedly and often…

    Interesting – evolutionists on the one hand correctly proclaim their own imperfection while at the same time claiming insight into truth for themselves.

    Therefor, god?

  96. #97 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    Interesting – evolutionists on the one hand correctly proclaim their own imperfection while at the same time claiming insight into truth for themselves

    Interesting – science denier thinks he has a clue what he is talking about, yet continues to display things that directly contradict that thought.

  97. #98 Sven DiMilo
    April 2, 2010

    ^w

    tweakable

  98. #99 SteveM
    April 2, 2010

    re 89:

    And humans are particularly vulnerable to this because of modifications in the shape of our pharynxes that help provide a greater resonance chamber for speech. It’s not really such a problem in any other animals.

    In humans, of course, the selective advantage of speaking articulately over-rode any disadvantage from the increased risk of choking.

    Which makes it an excellent example of a disadvantage resulting from evolutionary contingency.

    It is also interesting to note that this “design flaw” does not exist in babies, who can drink and breathe at the same time without choking (an obvious advantage during nursing). It is only in the course of development that the “crossover” moves around to make choking (and speech) possible.

  99. #100 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 2, 2010

    John Hamilton,
    And yet there is an even greater oddity here.

    The utterly clueless poster thinks he can regurgitate Alvin Plantinga’s clueless sophistry and appear clever.

    Dude. Perfection and imperfection isn’t the issue. Sufficiently accurate perception of reality to survive is the issue, and evolution has no trouble explaining either where our perception works or where it fails.

  100. #101 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    I see a response from an imperfect evolutionist. But he/she continues to respond as if he/she knew.
    Perhaps there is an imperfection in the level of mind that is being used. Perhaps the survival level of mind is not capable of understanding the true nature of reality. And evolution theory is solely about the survival level of mind.
    Perhaps we have a level of mind above the survival level that evolution theory does not account for.
    Evolutionists take the philosophical position that there is no level of mind beyond the survival level.

  101. #102 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    JH, do you mind showing some physical evidence for your imaginary deity? Evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. An eternally burning bush would be a good place to start. Without that physical evidence for your imaginary deity, it remains imaginary, and of no consequence except in your delusional mind. And based on your inane posts, you are very delusional.

  102. #103 Celtic_Evolution
    April 2, 2010

    I see a response from an imperfect evolutionist. But he/she continues to respond as if he/she knew.

    Well that’s nothing more than a complete reading comprehension failure on your part. Certainly imperfect, but fixable.

    Perhaps we have a level of mind above the survival level that evolution theory does not account for.

    And perhaps there’s a hidden tribe of truffle gnomes buried 200 feet below the Arc de Triomphe… why don’t you go start digging…

    Evolutionists take the philosophical position that there is no level of mind beyond the survival level.

    fap fap fap fap….

  103. #104 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    Question JohnHamilton

    Do you have a point beyond a public display of mental masturbation?

  104. #105 Sven DiMilo
    April 2, 2010

    And evolution theory is solely about the survival level of mind.

    Clue: when you demonstrably have no earthly idea of what ‘evolution theory’ actually entails, pronouncements about what it is ‘about’ look very, very silly.

    Evolutionists take the philosophical position that there is no level of mind beyond the survival level.

    My eye-rolling muscles!!! Ouch!!! Make it stop!!!

  105. #106 SteveM
    April 2, 2010

    Perhaps there is an imperfection in the level of mind that is being used. Perhaps the survival level of mind is not capable of understanding the true nature of reality.

    Science assumes that we are “imperfect” and makes no claims about the “true nature” of reality. Science is about developing accurate models of reality that reflect and reasonably predict what we can measure. So maybe your statement is true, but it is completely irrelevant. There may well be aspects to reality we are incapable of understanding, that in no way imples GOD. Science is about organizing and understanding what we are capable of understanding. Your statement is like criticising a painting as imperfect because it does not use colors we cannot see.

  106. #107 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    Such automatic hostility and ridicule from the people here. So automatic, so unthinking. The stimulus response level of mind in action.
    Those are the manifestations of the level of mind that evolution theory is solely about.
    The stimulus response level of mind. The survival level of mind.

  107. #108 Rey Fox
    April 2, 2010

    “Such automatic hostility and ridicule from the people here.”

    There’s his point, Rev. BDC. Should have seen it coming a mile away.

  108. #109 Sven DiMilo
    April 2, 2010

    Those are the manifestations of the level of mind that evolution theory is solely about. The stimulus response level of mind. The survival level of mind.

    You are ignorant.
    Do you suppose that there might be circumstances under which something more than simple stimulus-response reflexes might enhance survival? Or, more to the point, reproduction?

    You should probably start with Pinker, but somehow I am certain you won’t.

  109. #110 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    Such automatic hostility and ridicule from the people here.

    Because you science deniers are a dime a dozen and not nearly that entertaining.

    So automatic, so unthinking.

    Automatic, yes. I automatically get annoyed with science deniers who think their mental masturbation is a better door to reality that what we can actually show via the scientific method.

    Unthinking? No I think you’re annoying and boring.

    The stimulus response level of mind in action.
    Those are the manifestations of the level of mind that evolution theory is solely about.
    The stimulus response level of mind. The survival level of mind.

    What sort of dressing would you like with that word salad? I suggest a nice get over yourself vinaigrette.

  110. #111 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 2, 2010

    John Hamilton says

    “Perhaps the survival level of mind is not capable of understanding the true nature of reality.”
    Oh, you’re so close here. No, we do not understand the true nature of reality. This becomes clear as soon as you look at the quantum realm. We can describe it only imperfectly–precisely because we did not evolve to perceive it.

    JH: “And evolution theory is solely about the survival level of mind.”
    Not even clear that we’ve achieved survival level. Your mind is clearly in denial, and that is not conducive to survival.

    “Perhaps we have a level of mind above the survival level that evolution theory does not account for.”

    Again, given that we may not even have what it takes to negotiate the threats we create (e.g. climate change, nuclear weapons, etc.), it would be charitable to even call this wild speculation.

  111. #112 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    Concerning #106.
    Your posts are interesting SteveM.
    I did not say there are aspects of reality we are incapable of understanding. I am saying that the survival level of mind is insufficient for comprehending the true nature of reality.
    And I do not criticise a painting as imperfect because it does not use colors we cannot see.
    I am not talking about the painting. I am talking about the level of mind you bring to the perceiving of the painting (to the perceiving of reality).

  112. #113 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    Such automatic hostility and ridicule from the people here. So automatic, so unthinking.

    No, that describes you to a tee. Especially the unthinking part. You still have presented no physical/scientific evidence, and your assertions are nothing but hot air without that evidence.

  113. #114 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    There’s his point, Rev. BDC. Should have seen it coming a mile away.

    Oh I figured as much. It’s another one of those public masturbation types who gets off on others watching him.

    If he was interested in actually making a connection he would.

    But he’s not.

  114. #115 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 2, 2010

    Rev. BDC asks JH: “Do you have a point beyond a public display of mental masturbation?”

    I rather doubt he has sufficient bloodflow to achieve an erection of his frontal lobes. Alas, they lie there limp.

  115. #116 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    Concerning post #99.
    Very interesting information SteveM.
    It appears that the breathing and eating overlap does make sense, right down to the baby.

  116. #117 SteveM
    April 2, 2010

    re 112:

    I did not say there are aspects of reality we are incapable of understanding. I am saying that the survival level of mind is insufficient for comprehending the true nature of reality.

    Fine, you got me there. I am incapable of perceiving the difference between those two statements.

  117. #118 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    I did not say there are aspects of reality we are incapable of understanding. I am saying that the survival level of mind is insufficient for comprehending the true nature of reality.

    You sure like that baseless assertions don’t you?

    First you can yet to establish that “evolutionists” think the mind operates only in survival mode.

    Second you have yet to establish that even if that were true that a survival only mind would be incapable of comprehending “the true nature” of reality

    third and most importantly you have not established what the “true nature” of reality is.

    Fourthly you are implying there is another way or ways of knowing that allow you to know the “true nature” of reality.

    fifthly you seem to imply that you know which way of knowing will open that door to the “true nature” of reality

    So JohnHamilton

    Tell us

    What is the True Nature of reality and what path must we take to be able to know it?

  118. #119 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    that = those

    pfft

  119. #120 Sven DiMilo
    April 2, 2010

    Damn it.
    The pharynx, too, turns out to be perfect if you look at it the right creationist’s way.

  120. #121 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    I find these coy creobots very dumb. They can never get to a point, which shows a lack of intelligence in its own right, primarily because they don’t have one. The presuppose their imaginary deity, and must manufacture inane “evidence”, usually some sophist philosophical meanderings to back it up. But, the minute they put their ideas out there it is refuted soundly, as science doesn’t care about philosophy, just the evidence, preferably physical evidence.

  121. #122 kantalope
    April 2, 2010

    We see what you did there JohnHamilton

    You started off posting links to people who allegedly knew more about the eye than the speaker in the video. Then, when any third rate hack with an hour to waste can tear those sources apart you retreat into sophistry.

    Original argument = these guys know more
    response = obviously these guys are wrong
    JH rebuttal = well no one can know anything

    As a public service JH, since you don’t know anything about evolution (maybe you are taking yourself as an example to prove your hypothesis about evolution preventing minds from developing higher function) we’ll look into the actual theory of evolution and not the one you made up.
    REAL Evolution has a process where a primarily survival based function can be adopted to other uses(maybe for reproduction or for another survival strategy – like socialization or communication). For example, a brain that is used primarily to remember where food can be found (your “response level”) could then be used to remember other things – like which people are smart and which are not so much. So, a “response level” brain can…and has apparently in some hominids, attain higher functions.

    You can google: exaptation
    but you should probably start slow and just look up evolution first. And don’t look at those sites you cited before – it is proven that they are not that reliable.

    If you know how, maybe you could read a book. The Greatest Show on Earth will give you a quick overview.
    Good Luck and we all hope the medications start to kick in soon.

  122. #123 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    Holy shit the typos here flying up there.

    First you can have yet to establish that “evolutionists” think the mind operates only in survival mode.

  123. #124 amphiox
    April 2, 2010

    It appears that the breathing and eating overlap does make sense, right down to the baby.

    No it doesn’t. Which you would realize if you actually stopped to read the post carefully and think.

    The overlap occurs because speech was jury-rigged by evolution on top of a pre-existing breathing system.

    The overlap does not occur in human babies because speech was jury-rigged by evolution to develop on top of a pre-existing breathing system after infancy, and natural selection did not favor extending the jury-rigging to a period before the brain and throat musculature was developed enough to actually speak.

    But there is NO INTELLIGENT REASON WHY THERE SHOULD HAVE EVER BEEN SUCH AN OVERLAP IN THE FIRST PLACE. A simply decoupling between the feeding pathway and the breathing pathway is ALL IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN, such that one breathes and speaks through one orifice, and eats through another. All the benefits of speech. NO risk of choking. There is no circumstance where this hypothetical setup is not massively superior to the existing one. Ergo, bad design.

    Note also that the breathing/eating overlap occurs ONLY in vertebrates. No other animal group (to my knowledge) has it. A speaking arthropod would never choke (they would probably generate sound by rubbing specialized appendages together rather than expelling air across a resonance chamber attached to their breathing apparatus). A speaking cephalopod would never choke (and cephalopods would probably actually communicate visually with skin pattern changes instead). A speaking jellyfish would never choke. A speaking earthworm would never choke.

    Only a speaking vertebrate, thanks to the historical contingency of the first fish lung evolving as an outpouch of the pre-existing esophagous, would ever, ever be at risk of choking!

  124. #125 Celtic_Evolution
    April 2, 2010

    It appears that the breathing and eating overlap does make sense, right down to the my reading comprehension skills are equivalent to that of a baby.

    Fixed that for you…

  125. #126 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    Concerning #120:
    That is a very interesting link.
    http://creation.com/is-the-human-pharynx-poorly-designed
    One by one, we see that the points made in the video do not stand up.

    By the way I am not a creationist. But I know from long experience, that you claim I am one in order to dismiss and ignore the philosophical and scientific issues involved.
    That is as transparent as the bullying and insulting techniques you also resort to.
    But keep them up if you wish. It only makes your case look weak.

  126. #127 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    By the way I am not a creationist. But I know from long experience, that you claim I am one in order to dismiss and ignore the philosophical and scientific issues involved.

    No any claim that you are one is because you are demonstrating that you think just like a creationist.

    Oh and that you keep linking to creationist sites.

    Kind of a telltale.

  127. #128 Celtic_Evolution
    April 2, 2010

    By the way I am not a creationist.

    Huh. Interesting that… you believe “creation_dot_com” to be, in any way, a viable site to refute claims of evolution (peer-reviewed evidence anyone over there? No? Hello? Anyone?)… you parrot all the oft-repeated and oft-refuted talking points of creationists… you have spent your entire time here arguing against the merits of evolution… but no… you’re not a creationist.

    So, you don’t accept evolution, and you don’t believe in creation. Care to divulge what the heck it is exactly you believe to be the explanation for the diversity of life on earth?

  128. #129 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    Care to divulge what the heck it is exactly you believe to be the explanation for the diversity of life on earth?

    Please make it be large lizard aliens, please make it be large lizard aliens, please make it be large lizard aliens…

  129. #130 Walton, Liberal Extremist Dumpling of Awesome
    April 2, 2010

    So, you don’t accept evolution, and you don’t believe in creation. Care to divulge what the heck it is exactly you believe to be the explanation for the diversity of life on earth?

    We were all sneezed out of the nose of the Giant Green Arkleseizure. And must fear the Coming of the Great White Handkerchief.

  130. #131 SteveM
    April 2, 2010

    re 126:

    That is a very interestingstupid link.
    http://creation.com/is-the-human-pharynx-poorly-designed
    One by one, we see that the points made in the video do not stand up.

    So the creationist argument that the human pharynx is not poorly designed is that choking is rare and usually due to people eating too fast?
    So I guess they’d also say that Toyota’s sticking gas pedals are not poor design because they only stick rarely and the drivers panic.

  131. #132 Celtic_Evolution
    April 2, 2010

    One by one, we see that the points made in the video do not stand up.

    Ok… time to get down and dirty…

    you provided the link… now pick any one of the points from the video that the link you provided definitively refutes, and explain why you believe that to be the case, in your own words…

  132. #133 SteveM
    April 2, 2010

    re 131:

    oh crap, html fail, should have been:

    That is a very interestingstupid link.
    http://creation.com/is-the-human-pharynx-poorly-designed
    One by one, we see that the points made in the video do not stand up.

  133. #134 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    But I know from long experience, that you claim I am one in order to dismiss and ignore the philosophical and scientific issues involved.

    First of all, evolution is a scientific theory with a million or so paper backing it, directly and indirectly, in the peer reviewed scientific literature. That literature is found at institutions of higher learning world wide. And science is only refuted by more science. Which requires evidence, and publishing it in the peer reviewed literature. In a scientific discussion, a point is often reached that is essentially “put up or shut up”. If you can’t present the proper scientific evidence for you ideas, you must keep quiet until you can do so.

    Philosophical meanderings mean nothing to science, and cannot in any way refute science, except in the minds of delusional fools.

    It only makes your case look weak.

    Compared to your total lack of a case? What a fool. You have nothing. Present your ideas with peer reviewed scientific evidence, or go away. And your linking to a creationist web site shows your lack of intelligence, cogency, and understanding of what is necessary to refute science. In other words, you have nothing but hot air, which is found at creationist sites, and is spewed by ignoramouses like yourself.

  134. #135 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    People here are making themselves look silly.
    Look at post #120.
    I was not the one who introduced the link to creation.com.
    People are so desperate to score cheap points that they grasp at anything – even when it makes them look silly.
    Do people not have anything constructive or scientific or philosophical to contribute?

  135. #136 SteveM
    April 2, 2010

    re 135:

    Look at post #120.
    I was not the one who introduced the link to creation.com.

    120 posted it to ridicule it, you reposted it as a good argument. It is you making yourself look silly.

  136. #137 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 2, 2010

    Steve M. summarizes the argument from Creation.com:
    “So the creationist argument that the human pharynx is not poorly designed is that choking is rare and usually due to people eating too fast?”

    Yeah, it’s kind of like Bill Donohue telling the little kiddies that being raped by a priest isn’t that bad and they should all stop whining.

    Like deity, like apologist!

  137. #138 SteveM
    April 2, 2010

    re 135:
    Do people not have anything constructive or scientific or philosophical to contribute?

    You certainly don’t.

  138. #139 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    Do people not have anything constructive or scientific or philosophical to contribute?

    You can start by answering my question in #118

    And you can ignore the typos. It happens.

  139. #140 Celtic_Evolution
    April 2, 2010

    Oh, and just for fun… if you follow our deluded little friend’s link, have a look at the “About us” link and click on “who we are”…

    Then get a good chuckle out of some of the listed “degrees” and “credentials”:

    To go along with a few degrees in Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, “Medicine”, Geology (for shame!) and a couple in zoology, we have

    “Noah’s Ark Specialist”
    “Licentiate in Theology”
    “Diploma in Electronics”
    “M. Div”
    “M.Th”
    “Ph.D. in science” (really)
    “B.A. in Bible” (what??) “with a minor in Pulpit Speech” (wait… WHAT?????)

    You know what’s severely lacking? Biologists. They list two. One a Marine Biologist and the other Peter Sparrow, the loony from the “Creation Bus”.

  140. #141 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    People want more from me.
    You have not even attempted to understand what has already been said.
    And people think they can insult me and then I will just answer their questions.
    You are living in a dream world if you think that way.

  141. #142 Walton, Liberal Extremist Dumpling of Awesome
    April 2, 2010

    “So the creationist argument that the human pharynx is not poorly designed is that choking is rare and usually due to people eating too fast?”

    Yeah, it’s kind of like Bill Donohue telling the little kiddies that being raped by a priest isn’t that bad and they should all stop whining.

    a_ray, that was a bit of a tasteless comparison. Not that I’m defending creationist stupidity in any way, but there can hardly be a moral comparison between JohnHamilton’s (apparently sincere) blithering and Donohue’s morally repugnant defence of child abuse.

  142. #143 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    People here are making themselves look silly.

    No, you are making yourself look silly.Do people not have anything constructive or scientific or philosophical to contribute?This is a scientific debate. That requires evidence which you aren’t producing. If you want some, try:

    Neil Shubin Our Inner Fish
    Jerry Coyne Why Evolution is Real
    Richard Dawkins The Greatest Show on Earth

    And, of course, the peer reviewed scientific literature, found at institutions of higher learning world wide.

    This is not a philosophical debate, which is nothing but mental masturbation. Besides, you have presented nothing concrete anyway.

    The burden of proof is upon you to prove your ideas. We are satisfied with the scientifice evidence for evolution. Show us otherwise…

  143. #144 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    When someone has something constructive to contribute I will respond. Till then I have other things to do.

  144. #145 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    You have not even attempted to understand what has already been said.

    Yes many have and found what you are saying to be utter garbage.

    You obviously do not think it is garbage.

    So one way to defend that is to ANSWER QUESTIONS.

  145. #146 kantalope
    April 2, 2010

    The last site you recommended for showing design in the eye proved to be idiotic. Why should this one for the pharynx be any different?

    writes like a creationist;
    links like a creationist;
    argues like a creationist

    but you are right, that is correlation and not causal. Other options include troll or idiot – but none of those is mutually exclusive and they correlate quite a bit too. There are probably other possibilities too but those are the only ones that I have observed. So, for now — I’ll with the the evidence: creationist-idiot-troll like creature.

    choking is rare is the defense?

    In the United States, deaths due to mechanical suffocation and asphyxiation by foreign bodies are estimated at 4,700 annually. Among children less than 1 year of age, they account for almost 40 percent of unintentional injury deaths.

    According to link
    but even if it is ‘rare’ it seems pretty important to those it effects. If Toyota was killing 5000 per year with crappy design a recall would be their least concerns.

  146. #147 Celtic_Evolution
    April 2, 2010

    People want more from me.
    You have not even attempted to understand what has already been said.
    And people think they can insult me and then I will just answer their questions.
    You are living in a dream world if you think that way.

    Translation: “I am a mindless god-bot and my head is filled with birdseed, therefor I am unable to answer actual questions that might indicate my level of understanding of anything I’m talking about… so instead I’ll keep on fap-fapping about how mean and insulting you are… maybe that will distract you from my total ignorance”.

    For future reference… it doesn’t.

  147. #148 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    When someone has something constructive to contribute I will respond. Till then I have other things to do.

    What constructive have you said or done? Zip, nada, nil, zero, zilch. Trash talk by a evidenceless idjit.

  148. #149 articulett
    April 2, 2010

    Never underestimate the mendacity of one who is convinced their “salvation” rests on not accepting evolution.

  149. #150 Celtic_Evolution
    April 2, 2010

    When someone has something constructive to contribute I will respond.

    No you won’t, liar.

    You’ve been asked several fair questions and you can’t be bothered to answer any of them.

    And continuing to argue about the tone with which you are being addressed isn’t going to get you anywhere… not after you came in here with your cock-sure arrogance and willful ignorance put on display…

    You want to appear witty and intelligent around here? You’d better be able to defend your position with more than rhetoric and meaningless sophistry.

    If you can answer the very simple, basic questions we’ve asked, then put down the pearls your clutching and engage in an honest, intellectual debate, and you’ll find the treatment will change drastically…

    If you can’t, then simply admit you were here just to mentally masturbate all over the place, but actually have no idea what you’re talking about, and then go away.

    Or, you know, just go away.

  150. #151 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    When someone has something constructive to contribute I will respond. Till then I have other things to do.

    In other words, you’re taking your ball and going home?

    Typical creationist behavior when their idiocy is confronted.

    I know I know. You’re not a creationist.

    yep

    not

    a

    creationist

  151. #152 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 2, 2010

    John Hamilton @144

    When danger reared it’s ugly head;
    he bravely turned his tail and fled;
    Yes brave Sir Jonny turned about;
    and gallantly, he chickened out.

    And suddenly, the information content of the board increased!

  152. #153 kantalope
    April 2, 2010

    The pharynx site is even sillier than SteveM indicated:

    The pharynx connects the air channel to the alimentary canal. This design allows disposal of both excess moisture in the air channel, and the debris in the lung system that is filtered from the air by bronchial mucus. The mucus is moved up out of the lungs by cilia and is then swallowed. The design allows the creation of air pressure bursts, a response called coughing or sneezing that is necessary to remove irritants from the throat and nose. This system is critical to force out objects, such as food which can occasionally get stuck, in the area of the food tube above the epiglottis or in the back of the mouth.

    So – need to swallow lung-snot in the third sentence but does not need to swallow it in the next one?
    This whole article misses the point. The point is not that the current evolved system does not work – it is that a differently designed system would work better. There is no reason to have the air path attached to the alimentary canal. In fact, if the air path was separate – it could manage itself. And the food path could manage itself. Not a fish physiologist but I don’t think gills attach to the stomach…so there is a design that would work—separate airholes that come in through the side.

    Unless…God is Rube Goldberg.

  153. #154 Sven DiMilo
    April 2, 2010

    Look at post #120.
    I was not the one who introduced the link to creation.com.

    oh, my.
    Yes, it was me. I linked it.

    Irony. Look it up.

  154. #155 articulett
    April 2, 2010

    With evolution, JohnHamilton, we expect design flaws. Evolution explains these design flaws very well. With a “perfect” god, there is no valid explanation for suboptimal design.

    With those who think their “happily ever after” depends upon faith in a particularly unbelievable creation story, we expect excuses and semantic silliness like yours. With an omnibenevolent, omnipotent, omniscient god, we’d expect he could “know” your faith by looking into your thoughts and not need you to “prove” it by posting silly things on scientific blogs.

  155. #156 Sven DiMilo
    April 2, 2010

    Not a fish physiologist but I don’t think gills attach to the stomach…so there is a design that would work—separate airholes that come in through the side.

    Well, the gill slits do in fact perforate the pharynx, but the respiratory water flow ‘goes out’ through the sides. The respiratory and digestive systems of fish therefore do still share the pharynx (differently) and it is possible for a fish to do something analogous to choking to death, if an item taken into the mouth as “food” gets tangled up in the gills enough to interfere with gas exchange.

  156. #157 articulett
    April 2, 2010

    JohnHamilton, did you realize that those with conflicting creation stories (like Mormons or Scientologists) could use the same semantic nothingness to support their very different creation stories? And we’d treat them the same way for the same reasons.

    Science recognizes this human propensity to fool oneself, and so takes this into account and develops error correction mechanism so that we can have a clear understanding of the truth as possible– the objective truth– the kind that doesn’t need to be “believed in” to still be true.

    All creationists are liars (but that doesn’t mean that all liars are creationists.) They lie to themselves and they lie to those that they are attempting to inflict their memes upon just as was done to them. So claiming not to be a creationist is a pretty good sign that you ARE a creationist. Even Behe claims not to be a creationist. (Creationists often change the meaning of terms as needed to support their shifty argument.)

    But real scientists don’t appeal to magical stories (or websites that promote magical thinking) to support their claims. It would be akin to claiming that a “missing person” could have been abducted by aliens. It’s silly and non-explanatory to anyone interested in the facts. Pointing to gaps in knowledge is not a point in favor of alien abduction or any other fanciful story. It’s self-serving way for people to feel like the things they have been indoctrinated to “believe in” are rational. It’s what you’ve done here and what all creationists do to try and convince themselves their “woo is true” (–even the creationists with conflicting creation stories!)

    The only people who seem to have problems with evolution are those who fear damnation or some other “punishment” for accepting it. I think those were the same people who had trouble with Galileo’s discoveries too. You are transparent.

  157. #158 Antiochus Epiphanes
    April 2, 2010

    Alternative Titles:

    Intelligent Design? Bollocks!

    Microcephalic Babies Demonstrate Intelligent Design, or, Is the Evidence for ID all in Dembski’s Skull?

    ID: Choking Since 1984

    The Creator Demonstrably Favors Cephalopods: Kneel Before Your Tentacled Overlord!

    An example of a “design flaw” from the plant world: The holoenzyme that reduces carbon dioxide (Rubisco) will alternatively bind free oxygen at its active site resulting in photorespiration, which costs energy and does not benefit the plant. Plants in high temperature/high oxygen environments have evolved a complex solution to this problem (C4 photosynthesis) that requires significant anatomical restructuring. Rubisco’s abilty to bind oxygen doesn’t make sense at all from a design perspective–however, anoxygenic photosynthesizers used this enzyme for ~800 million years before oxygenic photosynthesis evolved. Rubisco evolution began in an environment in which high oxygen levels were not a danger. Evolution provides an explanation that design does not.

  158. #159 Sven DiMilo
    April 2, 2010

    huh.
    plants you say?

  159. #160 kantalope
    April 2, 2010

    Thanks Sven. Well there you go–hooking the breathing parts to the food eating parts is never a good idea – if you don’t want the subject to die that is.

  160. #161 KOPD 42.7 FM
    April 2, 2010

    hooking the breathing parts to the food eating parts is never a good idea

    I’m not sure putting the entertainment center in the outhouse is so great, either.

  161. #162 Kel, OM
    April 2, 2010

    Perhaps JohnHamilton you could answer a couple of questions I had about Intelligent Design:

    1. What did the designer do
    2. How can we test for it?

    The problem I have with ID proponents is that there is no positive theory. There’s no positive evidence, there’s just “Darwinism can’t explain X”. The logic is akin to if all cars aren’t red they must be blue.

    Even in Expelled where ID proponents had a chance to explain their case, all they could muster was “Darwinism can’t explain the complexity we see in nature” – That’s it! All it is from my observation is a negative position. And because of that, no matter whether evolutionary theory has explanations for X (e.g. interlocking complexity) or that an explanation may come about in the future – the ID proponents position relies wholly on an argument from ignorance. Or even at times an argument from personal incredulity.

    So please JohnHamilton, illustrate the validity of ID as a scientific hypothesis. What is the positive case for ID? If it looks designed, therefore designer doesn’t work if we don’t have an observed designer to make it. Otherwise you have a circular argument…

  162. #163 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    Kel.
    If you come to realize that Darwinism can’t explain the origin and development of species then perhaps you will turn and look for the answer.
    Till then you will just play at this and get nowhere.
    Nobody can be convinced against their will.

  163. #164 Kel, OM
    April 2, 2010

    If you come to realize that Darwinism can’t explain the origin and development of species then perhaps you will turn and look for the answer.

    Again, all you’re doing is pointing out a negative. You’re making an argument from ignorance!

    What’s the positive evidence for your position?

  164. #165 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 2, 2010

    Sometime I’d like the ID creationists to explain the Intelligent Design theory. I don’t want them to give an overview (GOD er, we mean INTELLIGENTDESIGNERDIDIT) but an actual explanation of how ID works and how it can be tested.

    What we see from the ID creationists are usually attacks on evolution or denunciations of us for “believing” in evolution. But the cdesign proponentsists never even try to justify their theory.

  165. #166 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    If you come to realize that Darwinism can’t explain the origin and development of species

    But it does. Very, very, well. You are just too afraid (beawk, beawk, beawk) to acknowledge it. What else is new from creobots? Still no theory or evidence presented by JH. What a scared loser.

  166. #167 raven
    April 2, 2010

    John Hamilton the xian fundie kook:

    Kel.
    If you come to realize that Darwinism can’t explain the origin and development of species then perhaps you will turn and look for the answer.
    Till then you will just play at this and get nowhere.
    Nobody can be convinced against their will.

    Acceptance of evolution among scientists runs over 99%. Over half of those scientists are religious, mostly xians.

    The majority of xians worldwide don’t have a problem with evolution. Creationism is a cult belief of a few US sects and has nothing to do with science or xianity.

    Until you learn to think and tell truth from lies, you will always be a blind, hate filled religious fanatic. The difference between your kind and a Moslem suicide terrorist is very, very thin. If it even exists. Ask Scott Roeder the xian assassin or the Hutaree militia about that difference.

    Since you refuse to learn any science or tell the truth, here is a nonscience question for John H.

    We scientists created modern 21st century civilization. We have increased life spans by 30 years in the USA in a century and feed 6.7 billion people. What in the hell have you fundie xian death cultists ever accomplished besides murdering more than a few MDs and trying to overthrow the US government?

    Won’t get an answer but it is obvious. The fundies are just baggage being dragged along by our society.

  167. #168 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    What evolutionists do not acknowledge is that evolution theory is INTERPRETATION of evidence. It is not evidence itself.
    Take for example, the same characteristic being found in two unrelated animals. This is fact. This is evidence.
    How do you INTERPRET that evidence?
    You interpret that as “convergent evolution”.
    Is that a fact? Is that evidence? No, it is interpretation of facts.
    That is the first thing that must be understood.
    The issue is not disagreement on facts – it is disagreement on INTERPRETATION.
    Until a person starts to understand this they are in the dark.

  168. #169 articulett
    April 2, 2010

    Yes, John’s whole argument is that the design is not as flawed as the lady on the video would have us believe; therefore “god” (or so we are to infer).

    (And everyone who doesn’t agree is mean.)

  169. #170 Kel, OM
    April 2, 2010

    If you come to realize that Darwinism can’t explain the origin and development of species then perhaps you will turn and look for the answer.

    Funny that because that was exactly what I asked from you. What does ID explain? What does ID answer. Because from all I’ve read on ID all I get is that ID is a pseduo-intellectual way of saying “Goddidit”. It doesn’t explain how the bacterial flagellum came about, it doesn’t explain how the immune system was put together, it doesn’t explain the eye. It just says “a designer did it” and leaves it at that.

    In other words ID is a non-answer masquerading as one. It doesn’t explain anything!

    And that’s not even to say that the basic premise (That Darwinism cannot explain X, therefore ID) is valid. This logic is absurd, because exactly the same statement can be made before Natural Selection (Lamarkism cannot explain X, therefore ID). It’s a false dichotomy, and one that leads you and a score of other ID proponents to misunderstand how evolution work. Because you’ve set your minds that the only thing stopping a teleological explanation is the Darwinian one. Hence your entire position is a rejection of evolution, you don’t have a positive case.

    Meanwhile evolutionary biologists are doing experiment after experiment and making observation after observation that so far has all fit into the evolutionary framework. And what does the IDist do? Go anomaly hunting and think that if they can find just the right unexplained structure that they can dismiss the whole thing. That there’s now a detailed explanation for the evolution of eyes and the evolution of wings shows the frivolity of the exercise.

    If you want to make a scientific argument, you need to do science!

  170. #171 Kel, OM
    April 2, 2010

    What evolutionists do not acknowledge is that evolution theory is INTERPRETATION of evidence. It is not evidence itself.

    What are you talking about? Of course it’s an interpretation of the evidence, to see where it fits into a particular framework. This is why theories make predictions. Whether a particular trait or particular behaviour fits into that framework or not.

    Just because you’re ignorant of how science works, it doesn’t mean that you can pass off your ignorance as knowledge to people here. This kind of stuff might go down well on a creationist forum, but here people are educated enough to see past your superficial rhetoric and look at the underlying issues.

    In short, get an education on the matter before continuing to argue it please.

  171. #172 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 2, 2010

    The issue is not disagreement on facts

    What facts do cdesign proponentsists use? The only “facts” you folks use are feeble attempts to sneer at evolution. GODDIDIT is not a fact. It’s not even an interpretation. It’s a myth.

  172. #173 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    is INTERPRETATION of evidence.

    No, it is what the evidence says. Show otherwise by citing the peer reviewed scientific literature.

    Take for example, the same characteristic being found in two unrelated animals. This is fact. This is evidence.

    Yep, you got that right.

    How do you INTERPRET that evidence?

    Using science, not religion, which is not scientific. Loser for not recognizing that fact.

    Is that a fact?

    Scientific fact. Which is as good as a fact.

    No, it is interpretation of facts.

    Wrong religion breath. You are the one with the interpretation based on presupposition that your imaginary deity exists.

    No, it is interpretation of facts.

    Only in your relgion warped and deluded mind. You have produced no evidence your imaginary deity exists. Therefore, it doesn’t. Science is simple that way. Science, in any case, is adeistic, and ignores your imaginary deity. Your interpretation is religious. Either acknowledge that fact, or shut the fuck up.

  173. #174 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    Kel, get an education on the matter I am discussing before continuing to argue it please.

  174. #175 SteveM
    April 2, 2010

    re 168:

    The issue is not disagreement on facts – it is disagreement on INTERPRETATION.

    So, John, what is your interpretation? Until you tell us, you will continue to be mocked. You keep saying that we don’t understand the “true nature” of reality. Well what is the “true nature” of reality. Your statements clearly indicate that you think you know. And if you retreat into that tired old “I don’t know, but neither do you” then all your words really are just mental masturbation and completely pointless. At least our “interpretation” actually produces useful stuff like technology and medicine instead of just useless rhetoric.

  175. #176 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    Kel, get an education on the matter

    He has one, you don’t. You learn some science. Get real religious twit.

  176. #177 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 2, 2010

    John Hamilton, Sheesh, did you even read what Kel wrote? He asked you to come up with a testable hypothesis for ID, rather than simply asserting that science can’t explain it.

    We know that GODDIDIT can explain anything–that is precisely the problem. Because it can explain anything, it can predict nothing. Therefore it is not science.

    And you don’t even have the courage to honestly stand up for what you believe. You keep denying that you are a creationist–come on, you can do it once more before the cock crows, can’t you. Just once!

  177. #178 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    JH, get real. Either your imaginary deity exists or not. If you feel he exists, show us conclusive physical evidence for it. Otherwise, what is your point? You have none without a deity. And you know it, and a deity is a religious idea. Science rightly ignores imaginary deities, since there is no physical evidence for any of the 1000+ deities invented by man. The odds of Yahweh being the one true god are rather slim…

  178. #179 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 2, 2010

    JohnHamilton,

    Instead of telling us what’s wrong with evolution, how about you explain what’s right about cdesign proponentsism? You cdesign proponentsists have to do two things, show the flaws in evolution AND show how cdesign proponentsism explains the same things evolution explains only better.

    You’re poorly equipped to expose problems with evolution. To do so you’d have to have a good understanding of evolution and you lack such an understanding. So rather than continue to display your ignorance of evolution, why don’t you try to explain cdesign proponentsism?

  179. #180 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    Odd, nobody has acknowledged the simple truth about INTERPRETATION that I mentioned. And I even gave the example of “convergent evolution”.
    People cry out for answers but ignore the first basic point that I have presented.
    If someone acknowledges the first basic point, there is a starting point for discussion.
    Take “convergent evolution”.
    Acknowledge that that is simply INTERPRETATION.
    Till then I have better things to do.

  180. #181 WowbaggerOM
    April 2, 2010

    JohnHamilton wrote:

    Kel, get an education on the matter I am discussing before continuing to argue it please.

    Irony meter go boom!

    JohnHamilton, Kel’s demonstrated that he understands the science supporting the fact of evolution and the interpretation that supports the theory to explain that fact – while you have yet to do so.

    I think you need to show us that you actually understand both ‘sides’ of the evolution ‘debate’, JohnHamilton – using some examples of what those who accept evolution argue for.

    Because, based on the fact you’ve avoided presenting any substantial refutations of the questions Kel and others have asked I sincerely doubt you understand what it is you’re claiming doesn’t explain life as it is on this planet.

  181. #182 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    Odd, nobody has acknowledged the simple truth about INTERPRETATION that I mentioned.

    Your interpretation is wrong. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Show us hard core physical evidence for your imaginary deity, or shut the fuck up. Welcome to real science, where parsimony puts deities in the dumpster.

  182. #183 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    Till then I have better things to do.

    Then you will never post here again, as you have no cogent point if we don’t accept the concept of your imaginary creator. Which we don’t by parsimony. Show us otherwise with hard scientific (not religious, ie, delusional fool) evidence. What a evidenceless loser…

  183. #184 raven
    April 2, 2010

    Hamilton fundie cultist lying:

    What evolutionists do not acknowledge is that evolution theory is INTERPRETATION of evidence. It is not evidence itself.

    Standard Ken Ham type creationist lie. Presuppositionalism. “We have the same evidence but interpret it differently.”

    But you religious kooks don’t. You ignore the vast majority of the facts and twist and distort a few of them.

    Creationism is a cult belief held up by lies.

    Till then I have better things to do.

    Another lie from Hamilton. You fundies are just baggage being dragged along by our society. It could be worse. In the Moslem societies, the load of toxic religion is much larger than ours and holds them way back.

  184. #185 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 2, 2010

    The cdesign proponentsist whines “nobody has acknowledged the simple truth about INTERPRETATION” but fails to realize Kel “acknowledged” the point in post #171. This tells me the cdesign proponentsist is either an idiot or a liar.

    So, cdesign proponentsist, which are you, an idiot or a liar?

  185. #186 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 2, 2010

    John Hamilton says, “What evolutionists do not acknowledge is that evolution theory is INTERPRETATION of evidence.”

    Uh, no. Evolution is a SCIENTIFIC THEORY. It looks at the evidence to frame general conclusions AND THEN it makes testable hypotheses. If the hypotheses are found to be true, THAT is evidence in favor of the theory. Mere explanatory power doesn’t provide support for a theory. A quadratic function can always fit 3 points exactly, but it cannot predict what the fourth point will be once it is measured.

    Your GODDIDIT theory is not science.

    LEARN WHAT A SCIENTIFIC THEORY IS.

  186. #187 WowbaggerOM
    April 2, 2010

    JohnHamilton

    Acknowledge that that is simply INTERPRETATION.

    Sure – in the same way 2+2=4 is simply INTERPRETATION. Or that the earth is (roughly) spherical is simply INTERPRETATION. Or the said spherical earth orbits the sun rather than the other way around is simply INTERPRETATION. Or that objects falling to ground is because of gravity and not the refusal of invisible, undetectable lifting fairies to keep them afloat is simply INTERPRETATION.

    INTERPRETATION isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card, JohnHamilton. There’s only one INTERPRETATION that’s actually correct, and that’s evolution.

    But you still haven’t demonstrated you understand what evolution is – so I feel you should stop trying to argue against something you’ve really go no idea about beyond not liking the fact it’s yet another reason to do away with your archaic, nonsensical god.

  187. #188 SteveM
    April 2, 2010

    re 180:

    Odd, nobody has acknowledged the simple truth about INTERPRETATION that I mentioned

    Yes I did (@175), and asked you for your interpretation since you did not provide one. Well, what is it?

    If someone acknowledges the first basic point, there is a starting point for discussion.

    And why the hell do you need acknowledgement? Just discuss already. Stop with the coy little remarks about how you know something we don’t. JUST TELL US WHAT IT IS. What, are you 5 years old?

    So yes John, science, all science, is just an interpretation of the facts. NOBODY disputes that. You have been acknowledged. Now discuss.

  188. #189 raven
    April 2, 2010

    Waste of time trying to reason with a religious fanatic like Hamilton.

    You can’t reason someone out of a belief that they didn’t reason themselves into.

    Really, all you can do is watch them closely as a matter of common sense and personal and national survival. If they break the laws, arrest them, try them, and send them to prison. Even then, most of them never really get that reality thing.

    Scott Roeder was sentenced to life for murdering an MD. He is still ranting and raving. FWIW, everyone who knew him including his family thought he was mentally ill. That pretty much sums up xian death cult religion.

  189. #190 WowbaggerOM
    April 2, 2010

    raven wrote:

    You can’t reason someone out of a belief that they didn’t reason themselves into.

    Indeed. Christians – at least those few who actually engage in some sort of introspection – don’t really use these arguments to explain their Christianity, they use them to try and justify it and attempt to negate the cognitive dissonance an irrational belief system necessarily creates.

  190. #191 articulett
    April 2, 2010

    Scientologists have an “interpretation” of the age of the earth based on their religion just like the young earth creationists. There are lots-o-interpretations but only one actual age for the earth. I trust science for finding that actual age because it is the only method with a proven track record. So, too, with the explanation of how various species came to be.

    So far, science is the only method that finds, refines, and explores the truths that are the same for everybody– no matter what their “interpretations” of the facts are. Like technology, it only gets better with time.

    There is no evidence that there are such things as “religious truths” just as there is no evidence that any invisible forms of consciousness exist. Never once has a supernatural explanation turned out to be correct, but many times it has delayed the discovery of the correct answer. Humans have a strong history of fooling themselves with religious type myths and beliefs.

    Your semantic jibberish, JH, is as useless to science as any other kook’s similar jibberish would be to you. If you have a point, state it clearly– otherwise we will treat you, the way you’d treat a nutter trying to inflict their delusions on you.

    Your childish posturing hasn’t fooled anyone.

  191. #192 Zabinatrix
    April 2, 2010

    JohnHamilton:

    You interpret that as “convergent evolution”. Is that a fact? Is that evidence? No, it is interpretation of facts.

    Convergent evolution is a theory that explains the facts found. A very important point though is that it also explains a lot of other facts that you didn’t care to mention.

    It sufficiently explains the similarities and differences in the genetic makeup. It explains “design” flaws. Etcetera.

    It also fails to be in conflict with observable facts. It isn’t in conflict with what is known about the age of the earth, how organic chemistry work, and so on.

    A theory that explains all the facts that have been found over centuries of human research and fails to be in conflict with them is probably as close to the correct interpretation as we are likely to come (of course the theory is still refined, but you know, in general terms). Especially when there is no hint of a competing theory that would also explain all the facts while failing to be in conflict with known facts (or do you have one? If so you can expect your Nobel Prize shortly.)

    That is how science works. It works that way when biologists study evolution, and it works the same way when other scientists do other things. And the important word here is “works” – because science does work.

    Modern electronics, nuclear power, spaceships, modern medicine… all products of a process of discerning knowledge that works. The scientific method works and is the reason you can live the modern, relatively comfortable life that you enjoy today.

    I trust that you understand that science works. Why do you think that science doesn’t work in this particular instance? Do you bleet about “it’s just an interpretation!” when it comes to other scientific theories that have nothing to do with religious views of the world? Or do you then accept that this method of interpreting facts does in fact work?

    If the above things are true, why do you treat the science behind the theory of evolution differently than you treat other science?

  192. #193 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 2, 2010

    I think that it is very important to emphasize the predictive power of a theory rather than just its explanatory power.

    GODDIDIT is a theory that can explain anything, but it cannot predict anything–unless you want to try and psychoanalyze the deity.

    There is a very fundamental statistical quantity called the Akaike information criterion (AIC), and using it you can prove that ID cannot be a scientific theory because it has an unlimited number of parameters (e.g. decisions by the designer). AIC essentially expresses Occam’s razor.

  193. #194 Rey Fox
    April 2, 2010

    “I think that it is very important to emphasize the predictive power of a theory rather than just its explanatory power. ”

    Pay attention, Hamilton. Here’s how this “interpretation” thing works. The flaws we see in the “design” of organisms are the sort of thing we expect in a process of continual tinkering with previous forms and genomes. That’s the predictive power of the theory of evolution.

    Design has nothing to say about these flaws. If an organism had some potentially fatal flaw, then the design people could just point to how the organism usually survives, and so obviously the designer made it just fine. If we could find absolutely no flaws in the design of an organism, well then that’s even better for the design proponent to proclaim “Godidit.”

    We know how evolution works. Nobody knows how this supposed designer works, least of all the people who go on the loudest about the designer and how we can’t hurt the designer’s feelings by leaving him/her/it out of legitimate science classes. Everyone’s too cagey to actually put forth any hypotheses so that they could have it tested. It’s just a big magic “get out of criticism free” card. Design has in one way or another been posited as an explanation for life, the universe, and everything for thousands of years, and yet nobody has made any progress in figuring out who or what this supposed designer is and how he/she/it designs. And it doesn’t even matter to them as long as they can fleece the rubes with their happy little stories.

    Oh, and by the way,
    “Kel, get an education on the matter I am discussing before continuing to argue it please.”
    “Take “convergent evolution”.
    Acknowledge that that is simply INTERPRETATION. ”

    You got a LOT of nerve. Could be why people here aren’t giving you flowers. That and we’re quite tired of the peanut gallery sniping at science.

  194. #195 kantalope
    April 2, 2010

    Hamie – Had to retreat from postings to creosites claiming authority;
    Resorted to Sophistry – where there is no knowledge;
    That didn’t work and went for Interpretation.

    But interpretation got torn apart earlier when it was shown that the creosites authority was based on bad interpretation. What does that leave?

    nuthin nuthin nuthin

  195. #196 ask-who-knows
    April 2, 2010

    191 – 194

    Beautiful. Separately and together, simply beautiful.

  196. #197 kantalope
    April 2, 2010

    Oh, forgot. Here is a prediction: next stop – different way of knowing.

  197. #198 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    Here is a prediction: next stop – different way of knowing.

    Correct, but without any definition of what that really means, or concrete examples of it. Yawn, these IDiots are all the same. Boring and vague.

  198. #199 Antiochus Epiphanes
    April 2, 2010

    Well said, Rey Fox.

  199. #200 Celtic_Evolution
    April 2, 2010

    I came to the conclusion many many posts ago that our ignorant friend Hamilton here suffers from an acute case of TSTKTS…

    There’s really no helping him, so I’ve decided to ignore him…

  200. #201 JohnHamilton
    April 2, 2010

    People here think that if someone shows the incorrectness of evolution theory that they are against science. That does not follow.

    And nobody has yet acknowledged that “convergent evolution” is simply an interpretation.
    It is not even an explanation.
    It is an excuse masquerading as an explanation.
    But there is no point in arguing this. Either people are honest about this or they are not.
    Evolutionists pretend they have the moral high ground but it is built on dishonesty.
    But it is too big an ego thing to admit it.

  201. #202 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 2, 2010

    JohnHamilton,

    Instead of whining about “evolutionists” why don’t you explain how your theory is ever so much better. Or don’t you know enough about it to even try to explain it to us?

  202. #203 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    People here think that if someone shows the incorrectness of evolution theory that they are against science. That does not follow.

    If folks actually debate the science, and not their religion, like you are trying to do, you would have a point. Try citing the peer reviewed scientific literature (PRSL), or shut the fuck up. That is what separates the science from the idjits with religion and its non-scientific presuppositions.

    And nobody has yet acknowledged that “convergent evolution” is simply an interpretation.

    Sorry idjit, it is the scientific interpretation. If there is another scientific interpretation, cite the PRSL the prove your point. A creationist or ID web site is not scientific and cannot be cited in a scientific debate. And scientists, not lay people like you, decide what is and isn’t science.

    It is an excuse masquerading as an explanation.

    Only in your inane and unsubstantiated opinion. Which is worthless if it isn’t backed by scientific evidence, found in the PRSL.

    But there is no point in arguing this. Either people are honest about this or they are not.

    We are honest, you are not, but you can’t acknowledge that fact.

    Evolutionists pretend they have the moral high ground but it is built on dishonesty.

    No, it is built on the honesty and double checks that occur in the PRSL. Checks like following the protocols of science that creationist and IDiots don’t follow. Which is why they aren’t scientific, and can’t be used to substantiate a scientific argument. Starting with their imaginary deity. If they don’t have evidence for that, they have nothing.

    But it is too big an ego thing to admit it.

    No, any scientist can admit they are wrong with the proper evidence. IDiots like you cannot show the proper evidence from the PRSL, and try to pretend their religious interpretations equals science. They don’t. Only more science can refute science. And IDiots have no science.

  203. #204 Celtic_Evolution
    April 2, 2010

    JohnHamilton

    fap fap fap fap…

  204. #205 kantalope
    April 2, 2010

    Doh – prediction fail.

    Dead Horse flogging first.

    Hamie says debate on my terms. No reason given. No response to people saying his terms suxor. No response to fact that his interpretation is inferior to evolutionary interpretation: Indicates 1) did not even read responses 2) bag of tricks is running empty.

    Martyrdumb next?
    I still think he will go for different knowing at some point.

  205. #206 articulett
    April 2, 2010

    JH,

    Do you think you’ve shown the incorrectness of evolution?

    Where? I missed it. (You really ought to submit it for peer review.)

    And the only dishonesty I’ve seen on web page is from you. You think that if you show that a flaw isn’t really that big of a flaw, it counts as a point in favor of “goddidit” and against evolution. That’s like saying the fact that the oceans don’t spill out counts in favor of the bible’s flat earth and against the spherical earth.

    It’s just too silly to argue with. You’re scientifically ignorant and too ignorant to know how obvious your ignorance is.

  206. #207 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2010

    I will predict that JH will present no scientific evidence in his next post. He is incapable of understanding what scientific evidence is. I also predict he will not explain his ideas. That would definitely leave him open for refutation, which must be avoided at all costs. Not a winning strategy. The only winning strategy here starts with the statement “this is what I believe, and this is the evidence why”.

  207. #208 Owlmirror
    April 2, 2010

    People here think that if someone shows the incorrectness of evolution theory that they are against science. That does not follow.

    Sure it does.

    Evolutionary biology is a science.

    Those who assert — not show — that evolutionary biology is incorrect are just denialists, making logically fallacious arguments and demonstrating their failure to understand logic, scientific epistemology, or the basis of the scientific consensus based on empirical evidence.

    Therefore, those who deny one of the branches of science are against science.

    QED.

    And nobody has yet acknowledged that “convergent evolution” is simply an interpretation.
    It is not even an explanation.

    What are you talking about?

    Birds exist.

    Bats exist.

    Birds and bats have a common ancestor in the distant past (a tetrapod), but derive from completely different evolutionary paths (dinosaurs and mammals, respectively).

    Flight, in both of these organisms, is explained as being the result of convergent evolution in very different non-flying parent species, not of birds and bats deriving from a recent common ancestor that had flight.

    Are you arguing otherwise? If so, based on what?

    But there is no point in arguing this. Either people are honest about this or they are not.

    So far, you’ve been either dishonest or incompetent.

    Evolutionists pretend they have the moral high ground but it is built on dishonesty.

    Evolutionists necessarily have the moral high ground, because they have the evidence and logic to back up their arguments.

    Science denialists — like you — have neither evidence nor logic, and are far too dishonest to admit this.

  208. #209 WowbaggerOM
    April 2, 2010

    JohnHamilton wrote:

    People here think that if someone shows the incorrectness of evolution theory that they are against science.

    No, people here know that when someone keeps asserting – that is, claiming with any evidence or argument – that there is an ‘incorrectness’ to evolution, that they are ignorant of science, because by the ‘rules’ of science, evolution has been supported by evidence thousands and thousands and thousands of times over.

    We’ll happily listen to your claims of where evolution fails to explain something its proponents claim is explains – but you haven’t yet given us anything except unsupported, vague assertions that it has somehow failed.

    Cough up, JohnHamilton. What does evolution fail to explain?

  209. #210 articulett
    April 2, 2010

    And “convergent evolution” shows that workable solutions such as flight and sight can evolve via different paths… which is why they’ve evolved more than once. It’s kind of like how humans have “evolved” helicopters, jet planes, blimps, and other modes of flight… and all sorts of cameras too. Different paths can lead to similar places.

    This is really easy to understand if you’re not indoctrinated to imagine yourself saved for your ignorance on the subject. How is god did it in a less-than-perfect manner a better explanation exactly?

    Of course, if you think believing “goddidit” is the key to “happily ever after”, all the evidence in the world is unlikely to make a dent. I think it’s time for you to admit that– at least to yourself.

  210. #211 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 2, 2010

    JohnHamilton,

    I’ll give you some help. In post #209 WowbaggerOM asked the following question:

    What does evolution fail to explain?

    Here’s some answers:

    Gravity.

    Why when you turn on the radio the first thing you hear are the last four bars of your favorite song.

    Why, if given a 50-50 chance of picking the right answer, you’ll be wrong 90% of the time.

  211. #212 Kel, OM
    April 2, 2010

    Kel, get an education on the matter I am discussing before continuing to argue it please.

    Just where do you think I’m lacking in education? Do you think my general science knowledge is lacking? What about my specific knowledge of evolutionary theory? What about my understanding of intelligent design? What about my understanding of logic? Philosophy perhaps? No doubt I’m lacking in some areas generally, and definitely on specifics that can only come with study on the topic. But I digress.

    Can you show me where I lack knowledge? Please enlighten me as to where I’m ignorant and I’ll do my utmost to correct it. After all, that’s how I learn. Find out where areas of my knowledge are lacking and seek to change that.

    But just for fun JohnHamilton. Let’s take your earlier assertion: If you come to realize that Darwinism can’t explain the origin and development of species. This as a statement can’t just exist on its own, it needs to be demonstrated. So here’s the challenge. Since you are arguing the negative, demonstrate how biologists think evolutionary theory explains the origin and development of species. Then once you have shown you understand what is being argued (so as not to argue a straw-man), then proceed to show where the flaws in the current explanations are and how they demonstrate that evolutionary theory as it currently stands not only has a gap in knowledge but a contradiction as well.

    Otherwise you’re just making a bare assertion, which from my position looks like nothing more than an argument from personal incredulity. Demonstrate that Darwinism cannot explain the origin and development of species, show how its wrong instead of merely asserting it.

  212. #213 Owlmirror
    April 2, 2010

    (Of course, it has been argued that bats are bugs…)

    (And, oddly enough, was immediately refuted. Go figure.)

    References:
    ===========

    Calvin and Hobbes. 1989. Science report on bats. Communications from Elementary School Studies.

    Susie and rest of Calvin’s class. 1989. BATS AREN’T BUGS!! Ibid.

  213. #214 articulett
    April 2, 2010

    Yeah– what Kel said.

    And then show us how you can explain it better.

  214. #215 Feynmaniac
    April 2, 2010

    Kel, get an education on the matter I am discussing before continuing to argue it please.

    NO U

    People here think that if someone shows the incorrectness of evolution theory that they are against science. That does not follow.

    You haven’t shown anything, buddy. And your postmodern chant of evolution being just an “interpretation” means you are anti-science.

  215. #216 Kel, OM
    April 2, 2010

    And nobody has yet acknowledged that “convergent evolution” is simply an interpretation. It is not even an explanation.

    Simplu an interpretation? Just like saying “Evolution is only a theory”. Why is it that moles and cavefish both have lost eyesight? Why is it that there are marsupial mole-like creatures as well as placental moles? Why is it that sharks, ichthyosaurs and dolphins all have a similar body shape even though an ichthyosaur is a reptile and a dolphin is a placental mammal?

    “Simply an interpretation”? I don’t think so. That doesn’t do justice to the scientific method, it doesn’t do justice to the theory of evolution, and the only reason to put it that way is to try to diminish the role of something that clearly shows evolution in action.

  216. #217 Owlmirror
    April 2, 2010

    Oops. Typo in the References…

    Take 2:
    ========

    Calvin and Hobbes. 1989. Bats: The Big Bug Scourge of the Skies. Communications from Elementary School Studies. 1989-11.

    Susie and rest of Calvin’s class. 1989. BATS AREN’T BUGS!! Communications from Elementary School Studies. 1989-11.

  217. #218 articulett
    April 2, 2010

    What is your alternate “interpretation”, JH?

    God “poofed” things into existence as is– kludginess and all? Do you even know how convergent evolution differs from homologous structures? Can you give an example of each, the scientific explanation, and your alternative explanation? What about vestigial genes (pseudogenes)? What is the creationist alternative “interpretation” (or is that just one of those mysteries it’s arrogant to try and understand.)? Evolution has a pretty convincing explanation for these facts. –For ERVs too. I can’t imagine how you work a flawless invisible creator into the explanation, however. Do tell.

  218. #219 Zabinatrix
    April 2, 2010

    Hamilton said:

    But there is no point in arguing this. Either people are honest about this or they are not.

    Wow – Graeme Bird flashbacks. He came in here all cocksure that he and the rest of the world really knows that the theory of relativity is obviously wrong. He was so sure that he didn’t find it useful to even argue the matter – it’s so obvious that the theory is wrong.

    He could somehow believe that more or less every single physicist can be incompetent enough to support an obviously wrong theory, but still perform well enough to give us nuclear power and GPS-systems – despite using the very theory that’s so obviously wrong and proves that they are so incompetent.

    Now our friend Hamilton here think that more or less every single biologist is incompetent enough to support a theory that is obviously wrong, but they are still good enough scientists to provide us with predictions (about things like Tiktaalik, for instance), medical advances and so on.

    So, Hamilton, what is it? Are all biologists incompetent enough to miss something that is obvious to you? Or are they so dishonest and rotten that they would all collectively lie about it?

    And before you answer, do you realize that the scientists who could overturn an extremely well-established theory like evolution would have every reason to do so? They would be famous, win scientific prizes and be able to sell as many books as they can write – they’d have no reason to lie.

    So, what is it? Is every single “evolutionist” extremely incompetent (but still able to come up with good results) or extremely dishonest (against their own self-interest)? What’s your thoughts?

  219. #220 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    But there is no point in arguing this. Either people are honest about this or they are not.

    Either the glass is completely full or it is empty.

    For the record, I’ve been nothing but honest. I’ve tried engaging you on the arguments, but you won’t actually bite.

    Evolutionists pretend they have the moral high ground but it is built on dishonesty.

    This isn’t an issue of morality, it’s an issue of scientific validity. Where’s the science supporting your position?

  220. #221 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    Of course, perhaps JohnHamilton wishes to argue that the scientific consensus that bats are in fact mammals and Calvin’s assertion that they are bugs are both equally valid INTERPRETATIONS of what bats are.

    If so, I would not dream of stopping him.

    How dare those arrogant scientists think that “words” actually have “meaning”; that “facts” and “evidence” can only be interpreted in ways limited by logic and other known evidence ! Clearly “chiropteran” can mean anything anyone wants, including being nested phylogenetically within the arthropoda !!

  221. #222 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Owlmirror #217

    Calvin and Hobbes. 1989. Bats: The Big Bug Scourge of the Skies. Communications from Elementary School Studies. 1989-11.

    You neglected to state the report had a professional looking plastic cover.

  222. #223 WowbaggerOM
    April 3, 2010

    I’ve always felt the existence of defence mechanisms in animals to be a simple (yet effective) argument against design – i.e. why do we see ‘arms races’ (of sorts) between predator and prey? Or one organism having to ‘trick’ another in order to pass on its DNA?

    For the first a (cute but appropriate) example: why go to all the effort of making the clownfish invulnerable to anemones so they could shelter there to avoid danger when he could have just as easily made the other kinds of fish not want to eat them?

    For the second: why make certain plants have to release scents to attract insects in order to cross-pollinate? Why not just make the insects want to do that?

    Really, even if we hadn’t discovered DNA or fossils or any of the other ‘hard’ evidence for evolution, there’s a heck of a lot of stuff out there that tears giant holes in the idea of design by a perfect being.

    An incompetent and/or asshole being, sure. But that’s not the Christian god, is it?

  223. #224 articulett
    April 3, 2010

    Yes, John, what is it?

    Are all the Natural History Museums, the Smithsonian, PBS, BBC, and biologists, archeologists, etc. all over the world–dishonest or incompetent? Why do they all speak of evolution as if it were as factual as germ theory and atomic theory and the earth being a sphere? Why do they all treat your creation story like creation myths of yore?

    How is it that they have ignored the “interpretation” that could allow them to live “happily ever after”? What evidence have they missed that you have accessed? If there was such thing as an immortal soul whose happiness depended on something that the “soul owner” did or believed in this life, don’t you think every scientist in the world would be refining and honing information on the subject? What could be more important? They wouldn’t just be benefiting themselves and their own ETERNITY– but also the ETERNITY of their loved ones– plus they’d have people like you singing their praises and the Templeton Foundation would be flinging money at them. Who doesn’t want to live “happily ever after”? How could they have missed what you think you’ve seen so clearly?

  224. #225 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    This isn’t an issue of morality, it’s an issue of scientific validity.

    I disagree that these are necessarily separate, Kel.

    Remember the point about science being a way to not fool yourself and not fool others?

    Fooling yourself is not necessarily dishonest — but not being willing to check if you are fooling yourself, or acknowledge that you are or have been fooling yourself and others, is dishonest.

    And fooling oneself and others — and/or not being willing to acknowledge doing so — are what religious revelation, pseudoscience and science denialism have in common, and that’s why they are fundamentally dishonest.

    The scientific method is fundamentally honest.

  225. #226 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Perhaps, though for the sake of argument that seems taking the argument back to beyond where it needs to go. If the scientific method is fundamentally honest, then evolution if its valid needs to adhere to it. If there are huge problems with evolutionary theory as JohnHamilton is suggesting, then he needs to demonstrate those holes within the scientific framework. Just as if Intelligent Design is a valid hypothesis, it also needs to operate within the scientific framework.

    If JohnHamilton doesn’t operate within science, then I agree that he’s being dishonest about it. But the issue (supposedly) at hand is the scientific validity of evolutionary theory as it stands today, and the scientific validity of the Intelligent Design conjecture. The moral issue at play is in how the debate is framed, so if it is framed correctly then it really isn’t necessary to make it a moral issue.

  226. #227 Rey Fox
    April 3, 2010

    196, 199: Thank you, you’re too kind. Too bad Hamilton didn’t read a word of it. Or anyone else’s comments.

  227. #228 Menyambal
    April 3, 2010

    Bravo, articulett. Well said, and a good argument that I have tried to put into words but never done so well. Thank you.

    Er, John Hamilton? Guy? I assume you are a guy, anyhow. Do me a favor, eh? Take your shirt off and take a look at your chest. See those two round weird sorta-pointy things? Your…um…nipples? Why do you have nipples? Why did your designer put nipples on men?

    Oh, for God’s sake, man! Put your shirt back on! Nobody wants to see that!

  228. #229 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Too bad Hamilton didn’t read a word of it. Or anyone else’s comments.

    The way I see it, there’s only so many rhetorical diversions one can employ before starting over. Eventually JohnHamilton is going to fall into insipidity, have to actually engage in cogent argument, or leave in futility. The sad thing is that I’m betting out of this whole experience he has learned nothing at all.

  229. #230 WowbaggerOM
    April 3, 2010

    Kel wrote:

    The sad thing is that I’m betting out of this whole experience he has learned nothing at all.

    Maybe he’s learned that coming to a place like Pharyngula and spouting assertions based on nothing more than ignorant woo-soaked drivel is going to result in getting his stupid clown shoe ass kicked all the way up one side of the internet and back down the other one.

    Then again, pissants like him usually require a couple of beatings (figurative beatings, for any obsequious Intersection squealers who happen to be reading this) before he gets the picture.

  230. #231 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    “It’s kind of like how humans have “evolved” helicopters, jet planes, blimps, and other modes of flight… and all sorts of cameras too. Different paths can lead to similar places.”

    Agreed. It is a very good analogy.
    It is human intelligence in action. If people accept that idea then we have the basis for a discussion.

  231. #232 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    It is human intelligence in action. If people accept that idea then we have the basis for a discussion.

    Sorry, it is not intelligent or scientific. It is religious. So there won’t be a scientific discussion, since the idea is unscientific. You must prove your creator separately from your inane idea. Show us your physical evidence or your imaginary deity, or do the honorable thing, and just go away. You are a pitiful evidenceless fool.

  232. #233 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    JH, the only thing stopping you from saying “this is what I believe, and this is the evidence to support it”, is your cowardice. Craven cowards play your coy game, afraid to say something because they might be refuted. Grow a pair and actually say something that can be refuted. Then take your refutation, which will happen, like a man too. At some point you need to acknowledge your cowardice and deal with it, preferably by going away.

  233. #234 David Marjanovi?
    April 3, 2010

    Assuming JohnHamilton will come back… he hasn’t “threatened” to leave, so maybe he has actually left…

    The scientific method consists of falsification and parsimony. Falsification: if an idea predicts that X will not occur under Y conditions, and X does occur under Y conditions, the idea is wrong. Parsimony: if several ideas explain all of the data, those that require the smallest number of extra assumptions must be preferred as long as they aren’t falsified.

    The existence of a Designer (or several) is a huge, complex assumption; any idea that can do without it, for instance the theory of evolution, must be preferred as long as it isn’t falsified.

    “The inverted retina has, therefore, long been regarded as inferior. Here, we provide evidence that the inverted retina actually is a superior space-saving solution, especially in small eyes. The inverted retina has most likely facilitated the evolution of image-forming eyes in vertebrates, and it still benefits especially small and highly visual species.”

    Well, yes. This is probably among the reasons why there are plenty of adult vertebrates that are considerably smaller than the smallest adult cephalopods. Furthermore, it is good evidence for a hypothesis that is already suggested by other data ? that the first vertebrates were small animals.

    But why do all vertebrates share this inversion, then? Why do cats, humans, lorises share it? Why do elephants and whales share it? Why do birds, all birds, share it? Birds have up to 3 or 4 foveae per eye (I forgot which it is), rather than the usual 1, but the entire cephalopod eye is a single fovea… no, better still, because the retina is arranged the right way around.

    It is very easy to derive an answer to this question from the theory of evolution: the first vertebrates were small, and their larger descendants are simply stuck with an architecture that is stupidly disadvantageous for them.

    Intelligent Design? The Designer wasn’t intelligent enough to give big vertebrates eyes that are built the right way around? Or what?

    Intelligent Design predicts that all vertebrates the size of a cephalopod or above have eyes that are built the right way around. That is not the case. Therefore, ID is wrong.

    What have I overlooked?

    And I do not even want to talk about the absurd idea that a marsupial has a better birthing process. That is just laughable.

    I notice you never tried to defend this… laughable assertion. Do so or retract it.

    He have this clam that atheist can’t be right if they relay to senses which evolved in process of evolution.

    Evolutionary epistemology: those who were not able to recognize and understand the world well enough have already died out.

    The theory of evolution explains both why our senses and our reason are not always equally reliable, and in which situations they make which mistakes.

    For instance, we’re incredibly good at recognizing patterns. So good, in fact, that we often see patterns where there aren’t any.

    Well, if you see a leopard in the bush in front of you, and there isn’t any leopard there, all you get is a bit frightened. A few seconds later, your life simply goes on. If, on the other hand, you don’t see a leopard when there is one, you’re dead, and that means you won’t have any more children; this is called natural selection.

    I read something about evidence that the body plan is actually that of an upside-down swimmer, and specualtion that an earlier ancestor of all chordates flipped over long ago.

    That’s an old and tenacious idea, but wrong; arthropods and chordates clearly developed their up-down (dorsal-ventral) axes independently.

    Mindless, random evolution explains these imperfections – in Nature and in Jerry Coyne.

    Mutation is random, but selection is not ? it’s determined by the environment.

    Do you even know what you’re talking about?

    The “imperfect” human thinks he/she knows the true nature of reality.
    And certainly evolutionists think that they know the true nature of reality.

    Dude, if we already knew everything, we wouldn’t need science anymore.

    I think you need to read about the relativity of wrong.

    Perhaps we have a level of mind above the survival level that evolution theory does not account for.

    Perhaps.

    Perhaps, on the other hand, such an assumption is utterly unparsimonious.

    You make such an assumption; this means you need to show that it’s not unparsimonious, that it’s needed to explain data that cannot be explained more parsimoniously another way.

    We’re waiting…

    Evolutionists take the philosophical position that there is no level of mind beyond the survival level.

    Would you marry someone completely stupid?

    Sexual selection…

    Darwinism can’t explain the origin and development of species

    What? How did you arrive at this… startling conclusion?

    Nobody can be convinced against their will.

    My will aligns with what Thomas Henry Huxley said over a century ago:

    “Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.”

  234. #235 David Marjanovi?
    April 3, 2010

    Turns out he came back while I was writing! And again with an argument for either Stupid Design or evolution ? what kind of designer would give the same type of eye to all vertebrates, while refusing to give it to any cephalopods?

  235. #236 Zabinatrix
    April 3, 2010

    Since Hamilton might be back, I have to make another attempt at asking a question I asked yesterday – just because I accidentally read one of his earlier comments again.

    People here think that if someone shows the incorrectness of evolution theory that they are against science. That does not follow.

    And nobody has yet acknowledged that “convergent evolution” is simply an interpretation.

    So, Hamilton, what is it? You imply that you are not against science. You haven’t “shown” us the incorrectness of evolutionary theory, you have simply asserted it without any evidence or scientific argument. But I guess that’s what you mean – so I’m guessing that the implication is that you do recognize that science works and you’re saying that you trust it in general.

    Then you say that when it comes to evolution, “simply an interpretation” isn’t science. So I’m still so very curious – do you give the same “that’s just an interpretation, that’s not science!” when it comes to other areas of science?

    It’s always easy to come up with an alternative “explanation.”
    All we know about why a ball falls to the ground when we drop it are just interpretations – it could be invisible pixies pushing it down.
    The accepted knowledge about how electricity works is just an interpretation – there could be demons running in the wires, giving power and sparks as they fly through at demon speed.
    Our understanding about how germs can cause disease is just an interpretation – it might be voodoo curses at play, just happening to coincide with infections.

    So, what is it? Do you go on about “it’s just an interpretation! The supernatural explanation is just as valid!” in cases like those? Or is it just when it comes to evolution? How do you decide that evolution is “just an interpretation” while other science is not?

    And before you say that the examples above are different because we have evidence for our interpretations in those cases, I want to ask you… Have you ever, with an honest and open mind, read about the evidence for evolution?

  236. #237 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 3, 2010

    “And then a miracle happened” is not science.

  237. #238 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    “It’s kind of like how humans have “evolved” helicopters, jet planes, blimps, and other modes of flight… and all sorts of cameras too. Different paths can lead to similar places.”

    “Agreed. It is a very good analogy.
    It is human intelligence in action. If people accept that idea then we have the basis for a discussion.”

    People seem to have ignored the idea that helicopters, jet planes etc are the result of intelligence.
    But I have other things to do so there is no rush.
    Take your time. Think about it.

  238. #239 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Take your time. Think about it.

    We already have. You are full of shit.

    Now, either grow a pair and say “this is what I believe, and this is the evidence to back it up”, or shut the fuck up. Your little inane mind game isn’t going to work on this crowd, as ID isn’t scientific.

  239. #240 Zabinatrix
    April 3, 2010

    People seem to have ignored the idea that helicopters, jet planes etc are the result of intelligence.

    Now this is what I would present as an example of why we should be careful with metaphors – like in the discussion about “Chapter one, verse one of Genesis” in regards to the LHC.

    JohnHamilton has dozens of good, important questions that he could/should answer to defend the position that he came here to present. But he acts like none of it is there, because he found one little thing to latch onto. The mere mention of a process with intelligence behind it gets us the “Hah, humans design things with intelligence, you admit it yourselves! So people must be designed, even if it is done in an unintelligent matter! I don’t understand the concept of a comparison with limited scope!”

    Seriously man, we know that helicopters and jet planes are intelligently designed. It was just a comparison to show that there can be different ways to tackle the same problem, leading to similar things because they work in the same environment. All flying machines work in air with the properties of aerodynamics, so there is “convergent design.”

    This is not an admission that design is needed for life – it was just an attempt to make a point about convergence.

    Now have you taken your time to think about any of the other dozens of comments directed at you? Have you been thinking about your alternative theory?

    Have you managed to find some evidence to support your various assertions? Have you thought about why you treat “interpretation of facts” differently when it is about evolution than when it is about other science? Have you acknowledged that there is still a lot you don’t understand about evolution and that you might be wrong?

    Have you found any consistent explanation as to why an intelligent designer would do things that just barely work and are prone to malfunction? Have you thought seriously about the responses to arguments about why various parts of the human body are actually good design?

    Take your time. Think about it. Be honest with yourself and really think about it, try to find out if you have been reading about the science of evolution with an open mind or if you have just been listening to creationist rhetoric.

    And if you come back after all the other things you have to do, please try to reply to at least one of the questions posed to you by the people here, or at least reply to the refutations of your arguments if you think that those refutations for some reason do not stand. Coming in to give just baseless assertions and empty rhetoric while ignoring counterarguments does not make you any friends among the scientifically minded.

  240. #241 amphiox
    April 3, 2010

    re: #238

    1. Prior to learning about helicopters, jet planes, and blimps, we already had a prior, solid evidence, for the existence of humans. And we already knew that humans were capable of designing and producing things like helicopters, jet planes, and blimps. So it is legitimate to consider the possibility of intelligent design for helicopters, jet planes, and blimps.

    Others have repeatedly told you this, but you seem not to comprehend, so I will repeat it. Produce evidence for a possible designer first. ONLY THEN IS IT LEGITIMATE TO CONSIDER DESIGN.

    2. Helicopters, jet planes, and blimps DO NOT SELF-REPLICATE (god help us if they did!). Therefore, they CANNOT evolve. Thus evolution is never even in consideration when speculating about their providence. Others have said this repeatedly, but you seem to be unable to comprehend, so I will repeat it again. Technology or any other phenomenon that does to reproduce itself is an irrelevant analogy.

    3. Helicopters, jet planes, blimps, etc, ALL have interchangeable parts. ALL are made of interchangeable materials, some of which were produced from IDENTICAL manufacturing processes. ALL take advantage of innovations originating from multiple disparate sources “lineages” of technologies, of you will.

    They are CHIMERAS, as nearly ALL technology is. Chimeric design is an indication of intelligence (doesn’t completely prove it, but is very strong evidence in favor). No one disputes that.

    But, THERE ARE NO CHIMERAS IN NATURE. There are no bats with flight feathers, no mountain goats with bird lungs, no chameleons with cephalopod chromatophores.

    Find a chimera, any chimera, and you have positive evidence for design. There’s your research program, JohnHamilton. Go.

  241. #242 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Platypus.

  242. #243 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    Wowbagger )M #223 wrote:

    I’ve always felt the existence of defence mechanisms in animals to be a simple (yet effective) argument against design – i.e. why do we see ‘arms races’ (of sorts) between predator and prey? Or one organism having to ‘trick’ another in order to pass on its DNA?

    This is an excellent point, and has an even more general application. When you look at the kinds of things God is supposed to “explain,” they’re all considered to be wise solutions to problems. The antelope needs to run fast, so Someone made it so it can run fast. The fish needs to stay in the water, so Someone made it so it can stay in the water. Life needs certain conditions in order to exist, so Someone made it so the universe has those conditions.

    In each case, the situation is considered in human terms: an ‘intellect’ is needed, to figure something out, and change the environment, so that a problem is resolved. But the difficult environment is also assumed — in advance, as a preexisting condition to get around. We infer that God must exist, then, because we see a problem that was solved. It must take an intellect to shoot an arrow, and hit a small target.

    But why is there a small target in the first place?

    The God inferred from the Design Argument is just like a problem-solving human. But you can’t have a God which solves problems that it makes itself. A Perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing God should not have, or make, difficulties. This is an anthropomorphic God, more akin to the kinds of Gods the Greeks believed in, than to the Transcendent Being that is the Ground of Being. Creationists are guilty of self-contradiction.

  243. #244 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    There is an acknowledgment that things like helicopters are the result of intelligence.
    Progress!
    Now think about “convergent evolution”.
    The words “convergent evolution” explain nothing.
    Perhaps we can make further progress and have somebody acknowledge that.
    No rush.

  244. #245 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Progress!

    Read further fool, he refuted you. Illiterate.

    The words “convergent evolution” explain nothing.

    The word “god” explains nothing either. Because “god” doesn’t exist.

  245. #246 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #244 wrote:

    Progress!

    Are you implying that, prior to your arrival, the commenters on Pharyngula were under the impression that helicopters evolved naturally, and were captured in the wild, by their pilots?

    Stop using the rhetorical trick of pretending that there’s been a major concession, when there’s been nothing of the sort. That doesn’t work with people who aren’t easily flummoxed by a show of confidence.

  246. #247 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    We are still waiting for your conclusive physical evidence, like an eternally burning bush, for your imaginary deity. Until you show that evidence, you are a delusional fool.

  247. #248 Menyambal
    April 3, 2010

    The talk about helicopters above reminds me of the Eagles Perch helicopter and its unintelligent design. It can serve as an illustration of evolution.

    Two brothers had a desire to build a helicopter, but knew fuck-all about designing one. They had an idea that was new and different (kinda like a mutation), and just started trying to build it. They tried variations of everything (genetic variation and mixing) kept what worked and tossed out what didn’t (like natural selection), and tried out new ideas and new variations until they had a working helicopter that was different in arrangement from every other helicopter, except of course it used many of the same parts and all the same materials.

    There was a helicopter engineer in the same town who got wind of the layout the brothers were trying to make a helicopter in, and helpfully went over to explain to them why it would never work. He explained it all to the brother he found, and was asked to hang around to explain it to the other brother, “as soon as he gets back from flying the helicopter”.

    That helicopter was not intelligently designed, from the viewpoint of a helicopter engineer. It evolved through mutation and selection. It is weird looking, but it flies. It is different, but similar. And the helpful engineer is the business manager for the brothers.

    (All events from memory about twenty years old.)

  248. #249 Zabinatrix
    April 3, 2010

    There is an acknowledgment that things like helicopters are the result of intelligence.

    Yet there is no acknowledgment from you that this was never the point of the analogy.

    Of course the person making the analogy knows that there is intelligent design behind things that are designed… The point was about convergence and how things doing similar thing in the same environment will have similarities.

    Can you acknowledge that there is no analogy between the development and design of aircraft and the “design” of animals, since aircraft do not reproduce? Do you understand the difference?

    There is no possibility for biological evolution of aircraft, therefore an analogy to aircraft will always be superficial. Now I thought that it was a good analogy and it points out some important things – but of course you latch onto something that is not in any way inherent in the comparison.

    We know that aircraft are designed. We can see the designer, we know how it happens, we can follow the process of the design. And we know that they cannot evolve since they do not reproduce and there is no known process for evolution of things that do not reproduce.

    We can see evidence of evolution. We can directly observe the evolution of short-lived beings. We know that living things can evolve since there is a process for it.

    See the difference? Do you see that you are harping on a point that is stupid and just blind rhetoric?

  249. #250 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 3, 2010

    There is an acknowledgment that things like helicopters are the result of intelligence.
    Progress!

    Praise be to the big sky daddy that JohnHamilton dropped in to teach the dim evolutionist a lesson. If only he could get a room full of biologists in order to teach them his extraordinary insights. They never heard of any of these objections.

    Could JohnHamilton be getting credit from Demski? Is he the product of Patrick Henry University? Or did he get his degree from Patriot University?

  250. #251 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton says “Now think about ‘convergent evolution’.
    The words ‘convergent evolution’ explain nothing.”

    Um, actually, John, they do. You just don’t understand them.

    You say Platypus, John. I say aye-aye. Look it up, John. It’s a lemur that evolved in an environment where there are no woodpeckers. So what happens? It develops long skeletal fingers ideally suited for finding, digging out and skewering fat, juicy grubs…kind of like a woodpecker’s bill, but completely different. Environment shapes the genetics for success in the environment. All there is to it, John. A simple idea that not only explains, it also predicts. It predicted the characteristics of the genetic code decades before it was discovered. It has predicted with amazing accuracy when different species diverged. It has predicted transitional fossils, and on and on.

    So, JH, got any predictions from your GODDIDIT theory?

  251. #252 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    A question for John Hamilton:

    Here are two opposite situations. Which one ought to lead to the conclusion that God must have had a hand in the outcome?

    1.) An animal which flies swiftly through the air is examined, and we discover that all the parts of this animal are well-adapted for swift flight.

    2.) An animal which flies swiftly through the air is examined, and we discover that it has no parts which explain how it can fly at all, let alone so swiftly. It appears to have been kept aloft by magic.

    Now, if you found that both those situations lead to the same conclusion, I think you need to examine your assumptions. They’re opposite situations; they can’t be switched with each other, and not shake an explanation. At the very least, one ought to provide a better case for the existence of God.

    And if that one is a better argument, doesn’t that take away from the emotional impact of the other one?

  252. #253 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    Platypus.

    Are you offering this as a supposed chimera?

    How ignorant are you?

    Do you actually know anything about Monotremata, besides the fact that they are funny-looking?

    Are you suggesting that the platypus was designed as a chimera?

    How stupid are you?

  253. #254 Menyambal
    April 3, 2010

    The platypus is not a chimera. It is a mammal.

    The “duck bill” is not a hard bird bill, it is a soft, flexible thing with electro-sensors all through it. Yes, that is strange, but it isn’t a bird’s bill, it is a rather closer to whiskered lips.

    The eggs it lays are not hard-shelled, but soft, not that much different than the caul that covers some human babies.

    The poison spurs are odd, yes, but not that much stranger than a skunk’s spray.

    All in all, platypi are not as bizarre as they first appear, and are most clearly not chimeras. They are an offshoot of earlier mammals, with a long time to evolve in their own way. (Notice that they are found in Australia, with marsupials and other “strange” animals on different paths.)

    The platypus is not a stumbling block for evolution. It is an example of the “transitional species” that creationists babble about. It is, in short, the “crocoduck”.

    And everyone who studies evolution knows about the dear little things, and has figured out where they fit. Honestly, John Hamilton, is that the level of cognitive dissonance and stupidity that you accept as normal? You think that evolution is some damned weird cult with scientists ignoring the obvious? And that you are smarter than all those folks? If your world is so full of self-deluded time-wasters, John, you need to accept that you might be one.

    Projection. Look it up.

  254. #255 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    Now think about “convergent evolution”.
    The words “convergent evolution” explain nothing.

    Sure they do.

    They explain superficial similarity in organisms when far deeper differences between those organisms exist.

    Perhaps we can make further progress and have somebody acknowledge that.

    Why should anyone “acknowledge” the trivially false?

  255. #256 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 3, 2010

    So, JH, How ’bout if I try and help you out. Let’s see if we can come up with a GODDIDIT prediction. I’m presuming you posit design by a perfect being, right?

    Well, I’d presume that a perfect being is going to design beings that are pretty damn near perfect, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you judge a helicopter’s design by how good the helicopter is?

    Or does said being design in flaws–e.g. the pharyngeal flaws alluded to that kill thousands. Gosh, I thought your designer was a loving designer whose eye was on the sparrow. And yet, either he makes an error in design or he designs in a flaw–a booby trap.

    It seems, JH, that if you have design, you have to either a very fallible designer or a malicious one. Which do you choose?

    Of course, no such difficulties arise in evolution. Evolution doesn’t care if a few individuals–or even a few thousand–die. What matters is passing on a sufficiently representative sample of the genetics that the population remains healthy. And gosh, that’s kind of what the world looks like, isn’t it?

    But, hey, good luck with your choice on the designer.

  256. #257 Zabinatrix
    April 3, 2010

    Owlmirror:
    No, the platypus is not a chimera. It is evidence of a stoner creator god! I mean, it’s obvious that He was high as a freaking kite when he did that thing… Woo!

    Oh wait, I’m confusing evidence with fanciful fantasy again, aren’t I? Damn, been listening too much to JohnHamilton.

  257. #258 Menyambal
    April 3, 2010

    Oh, yeah.

    The platypus bill looks like a duck’s bill because of convergent evolution. Both evolved for feeding on bottoms of muddy waters.

  258. #259 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 3, 2010
  259. #260 Menyambal
    April 3, 2010

    Just stumbled across this supposed quote from House, M.D.:

    “If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.”

  260. #261 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    There is something which is considered to be a “chimera” — but it doesn’t help the case for God. On the contrary.

    Sometimes a pair of fraternal twins will merge at a very early stage of development, and you get one person who has two different patterns of DNA. This has been discovered when a paternity test is done on a child, and they find out that it doesn’t match the mother’s DNA – and yet the baby was not switched at birth. Her eggs (and sometimes things like her liver) have different DNA, than the rest of her.

    Of course, that’s not the kind of chimera we’re talking about here. But it does pose a problem for people who think that God ensouls individuals at conception. It’s also rather difficult to come up with a “reason” God would have chosen to do something so bizarre and pointless. Two became one: was one twin ‘naughty,’ so she doesn’t get to have the part of the body that has the self-aware identity?

  261. #262 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    The posts about platypus are very enjoyable.
    Someone asked for an example of a chimera. That seemed to be a very important question.

    “Find a chimera, any chimera, and you have positive evidence for design”

    So I gave one. And people still do not acknowledge it. But please feel free to make up as many stories as you like.
    I enjoy your creative stories.

  262. #263 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Concerning #261

    “Of course, that’s not the kind of chimera we’re talking about here. But it does pose a problem for people who think that God ensouls individuals at conception.”

    I am interested in leqrning from you about the ensouling of individuals at conception.
    Could you say a little bit about that and indicate why the fraternal twins scenario you mentioned is a problem please?

  263. #264 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    I enjoy your creative stories.

    We also enjoy your creative story that your imaginary deity exists. You know, the one you keep tacitly positing, but have absolutely no physical evidence for. Unlike evolution and its million or so papers in the peer reviewed scientific literature. Now that is conclusive evidence!

    Typical arrogant godbot with illogical and inconsistent bullshit. Want to keep playing the attitude game?

  264. #265 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    “Find a chimera, any chimera, and you have positive evidence for design”
    So I gave one.

    No, you demonstrated your ignorance in what was being asked for, and in what it was you were giving.

    And people still do not acknowledge it.

    Why should we “acknowledge” the trivially false?

    please feel free to make up as many stories as you like.

    Please feel free to continue being a disingenuous hypocritical moron.

  265. #266 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #263 wrote:

    I am interested in leqrning from you about the ensouling of individuals at conception.
    Could you say a little bit about that and indicate why the fraternal twins scenario you mentioned is a problem please?

    I think that, for people who believe that souls are ‘given’ to individuals at conception, it is going to be hard to say whether the ‘chimera’ is now two people, or one. Do they have one soul, or two? Any answer, is problematic.

  266. #267 Zabinatrix
    April 3, 2010

    Someone asked for an example of a chimera. That seemed to be a very important question.

    I see a pattern in how you choose what seems important. You thought that the “helicopters and planes”-analogy was very important, because you believed you had an answer for it. So you ignored all the other comments challenging you.

    Now you continue ignoring the majority of the comments challenging you, because you believe that you have an example of a chimera – so you think that that’s important.

    But if you read some of the comments you see that you don’t have an example of a chimera. You choose to not even address the science in those comments though. You just assert that they are “creative stories” instead of coming with any actual counterarguments.

    More empty rhetoric.

  267. #268 Zabinatrix
    April 3, 2010

    Janine:

    This is the big sky daddy?

    Yes, exactly. I know this because the platypus is evidence. And it is evidence because I say that it is. I will not explain my reasoning, since “there is no point in arguing this. Either people are honest about this or they are not.”

    And please note that my theory is Highly Scientific

  268. #269 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 3, 2010

    Ah, I see, JH, has descended to the level of troll. Well that was predictable.

  269. #270 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 3, 2010

    The flora and fauna of Australia and Madagascar must be proof of the big sky daddy’s special creation for JohnHamilton. Just ignore the millions of years of isolation those large islands had from the rest of the world, thus giving the species time to fill different niches.

    JohnHamilton, your arrogance and dismissive attitude stands in contrast to your utter ignorance.

  270. #271 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Sastra.
    If there is no longer room for two souls perhaps one returns to where it came from.

    How do you understand the idea of a “soul”?
    I ask because you have spoken about it.

  271. #272 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    amphiox #241 wrote:

    They are CHIMERAS, as nearly ALL technology is. Chimeric design is an indication of intelligence (doesn’t completely prove it, but is very strong evidence in favor). No one disputes that. But, THERE ARE NO CHIMERAS IN NATURE. There are no bats with flight feathers, no mountain goats with bird lungs, no chameleons with cephalopod chromatophores.
    Find a chimera, any chimera, and you have positive evidence for design.

    You shouldn’t have used the phrase “any chimera,” because John Hamilton will, of course, take that phrase very literally, and not recognize that you’re talking about a certain kind of extreme species-to-species chimera. There are what’s termed ‘chimeras’ in nature, as quick check with Wikipedia will show. I suspect John Hamilton is getting his biology on the fly, by doing things like checking with Wikipedia. And he’s not looking at the import of what’s being said, but the actual wording. “You said ANY — I win!!!”

    The platypus is not a chimera, of course. Unless, I suppose, it’s a chimera platypus.

  272. #273 David Marjanovi?
    April 3, 2010

    Convergence has to be expected: when there are 4 ways to do something, and 10 groups evolve into a niche that involves doing that thing, several of them will hit the same solution(s).

    Let’s go back to the aye-aye for a second. Three ways for a climbing and/or flying vertebrate to get at insect larvae that live in wood are known:

    • Strong beak, long, spiky tongue;
    • gnawing teeth, long fingers;
    • neither special teeth nor a beak, but still long fingers.
    • The first is the solution used by woodpeckers and by a parrot that lives in the Solomon Islands where there are no woodpeckers.

      The second is used by the aye-aye from Madagascar and the marsupial Dactylopsila from New Guinea, where there are no woodpeckers, as well as the apatemyid ?placentals which lived in the northern continents when woodpeckers hadn’t evolved yet ( > 35 million years ago).

      The third was used by the scansoriopterygid dinosaurs.

      It’s also interesting which fingers are put to special use in the last two solutions: the 3rd out of 5 in the aye-aye; the 4th out of 5 in Dactylopsila; the 2nd and 3rd out of 5 in the apatemyids; and the 3rd out of 3 (sort of the only one that was available) in the scansoriopterygids.

      The poison spurs are odd, yes, but not that much stranger than a skunk’s spray.

      There is evidence from the fossil record that the spurs (though perhaps not the poison, that’s unknown) is normal for mammals ? just the marsupial-placental clade has lost it.

      Incidentally, the platypus doesn’t lay bird eggs. It lays specifically mammal eggs: normal, soft-shelled, amniote eggs (without the specializations found in lizards, crocodiles, birds and so on), plus special mammal features (the eggs are laid late and hatch early).

      Your knowledge of that beast is very superficial, JohnHamilton.

      Sometimes a pair of fraternal twins will merge at a very early stage of development, and you get one person who has two different patterns of DNA.

      The wonders of the messiness of placental reproduction. =8-)

  273. #274 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    JH, Sastra is an atheist. There is no soul, except as an irrational concept by those who are delusional fools like yourself and believe in imaginary deities. It is trap for your little mind. You still need to present physical evidence for your imaginary deity. As of the moment, you look like a raving delusional fool.

  274. #275 Rey Fox
    April 3, 2010

    Perhaps it’s time to rename the Dunning-Kruger effect the John Hamilton effect.

    I await with palpable joy the part where Hamilton glibly dismisses any actual facts about animal anatomy and evolution, but goes on and on about the “soul”, something no one has ever seen, heard, or detected in any way. Should be a very productive line of discussion, if you can call any kind of verbal interaction with John Hamilton to be “discussion”.

  275. #276 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #271 wrote:

    If there is no longer room for two souls perhaps one returns to where it came from.

    But why would the Designer have put the soul there, in the first place? It’s a very bizarre thing to do, if you assume it’s all part of a deliberate plan.

    How do you understand the idea of a “soul”?
    I ask because you have spoken about it.

    My understanding is that “soul” is supposed to be composed of “spirit,” and is the essence or identity of a person. The Christian version of Soul is somehow entered into the fetus, cohabits during life, is sentient, and is reunited with resurrected body at Judgment.

    The soul or pneuma is the “creative in-breathing of God.”

  276. #277 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    I am not a creationist. But I do work with the idea that there is intelligence involved in Nature.
    The evidence I would provide are the situations you call “convergence”.
    I do not lack for evidence.

  277. #278 Menyambal
    April 3, 2010

    As was said, John Hamilton, the platypus is NOT a chimera. It is not a mammal with a duck bill–it is a mammal with a thing that looks like a duck bill, but is a much, much different bill in everything but looks, as is well known.

    By the way, I mentioned earlier that both platypus and duck bills evolved FOR feeding on muddy bottom. I dislike the word FOR in that context, as it could be taken to imply a purpose. I will now say the bills evolved BY feeding, or some other word I haven’t decided on yet. Yes, the bills are tools for that job, but I don’t like the word FOR. They evolved THROUGH feeding works, too.

  278. #279 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Sastra, thank you for post #276.
    I work with the idea that if there is a higher intelligence that it still has to work within the uncertainties that are an unavoidable part of the physical world.
    So for example, I would think in terms of the higher intelligence intending to provide twins with each having a soul but things did not work out at the physical level. So an adjustment would be made.
    This does not have to be as hard as people tend to think.

  279. #280 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    I do not lack for evidence.

    Matter of opinion. You have cited no peer reviewed scientific literature (PRSL), which means no evidence as far as science is concerned. Alleged evidence outside of the PRSL means it does not touch/refute any scientific theory. Which is your problem. You have nothing to touch or refute evolution. So, why are you wasting your time here?

    And still no conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity. Ergo, still the bullshitter. Present your evidence or go away.

  280. #281 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #277 wrote:

    I am not a creationist. But I do work with the idea that there is intelligence involved in Nature.

    There is a difference between saying that there is an intelligence behind Nature, which structured an original plan that has only to unfold — and an intelligence which directly involves itself inside of Nature, tweaking and making little miracles here and there, to guide things along the way, lest they go awry.

    While they could both, technically, be called creationism, only the second one is designated that way in common parlance. Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, and Intelligent Design Creationism differ from “Theistic Evolution.”

  281. #282 Rey Fox
    April 3, 2010

    “This does not have to be as hard as people tend to think. ”

    It is pretty easy when you’re just making stuff up.

  282. #283 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    This does not have to be as hard as people tend to think.

    Right, you can shut up at any time. You have nothing cogent to say, just your inane sophistry. No science there.

  283. #284 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 3, 2010

    The evidence I would provide are the situations you call “convergence”.
    I do not lack for evidence.

    If you do, whip it out and change the course of biology.

    But if you lack in evidence, if you obfuscate enough, you could win a Templeton Prize.

  284. #285 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    I am not a creationist.

    You’re a science denialist, no matter what you actually call yourself.

    But I do work with the idea that there is intelligence involved in Nature.

    “Evolution is cleverer than you are.” — Leslie Orgel

    The evidence I would provide are the situations you call “convergence”.

    Birds and bats both evolving flight is evidence that evolution is cleverer than you are.

    I do not lack for evidence.

    You do lack anything more than a pathetic argument from ignorance.

  285. #286 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 3, 2010

    If there is no longer room for two souls perhaps one returns to where it came from.

    if there’s no room for two souls in a chimera, there’s no romm for a soul in an embryo. wtf sort of stupid reasoning is that? just how much room does a soul need?

    This does not have to be as hard as people tend to think.

    indeed. remaining ignorant of science and answering every question with “goddidit” is the lazy, easy answer. it’s also been shown to be the wrong answer every single time someone who really wanted to know went out and researched the problem. everything that has historically been answered with “goddidit” has been shown to be an entirely natural process; nature doesn’t need a god.

  286. #287 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    “There is a difference between saying that there is an intelligence behind Nature, which structured an original plan that has only to unfold — and an intelligence which directly involves itself inside of Nature, tweaking and making little miracles here and there, to guide things along the way, lest they go awry.”

    Let’s take your own intelligence.
    Is it “behind” you or “inside” you? Or neither?
    Or both?
    Perhaps the question does not really matter.

  287. #288 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #279 wrote:

    I work with the idea that if there is a higher intelligence that it still has to work within the uncertainties that are an unavoidable part of the physical world.

    ‘Unavoidable’ even to God?

    Does this mean that you don’t believe that God is either All-Knowing, or All-Powerful? God encounters unexpected problems, his plan doesn’t work out, so He has to do the best He can, and adjust?

    So for example, I would think in terms of the higher intelligence intending to provide twins with each having a soul but things did not work out at the physical level. So an adjustment would be made.
    This does not have to be as hard as people tend to think.

    I think this issue is going to be a lot harder than you think, if you want the higher intelligence to be Very High Indeed, and not just some darn clever space alien.

  288. #289 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    JH, if you have real science, I suggest publishing a manuscript in Science or Nature. I have linked submission information for you. If you aren’t willing to go through peer review, you have nothing to offer us. In the meantime, it will be easier to wait for your manuscript to be published.

  289. #290 Sven DiMilo
    April 3, 2010

    That’s an old and tenacious idea, but wrong; arthropods and chordates clearly developed their up-down (dorsal-ventral) axes independently.

    What?
    What about
    this? and this?
    I thought these genetic homologs were best interpreted as an actual ancestral flip-over.

    Or is this what you mean?

    The idea that there was an inversion between chordates and arthropods (and that chordates are probably the derived form) is pretty much the consensus. John Gerhart wrote an interesting speculative review about alternatives to that model, but I didn’t find the alternatives too persuasive, simply because they weren’t parsimonious. They involved things like multiple nerve cords and differential loss, or different patterns of migration and coalescence of primordia. Basically, there are other possibilities, but none as simple as an ancestor with a fairly indeterminate top/bottom, with one lineage committing to one side as dorsal, the other making that side ventral.

    I guess I’d have to opine that if bilateral symmetry is homologous, and if before the protostome/deuterostome split there were already asymmetries in gene expression, then these were highly unlikely to have been functionless and that an animal with “a fairly indeterminate top/bottom” is wishful conjecture.

    The words “convergent evolution” explain nothing.

    Fortunately nobody is trying to explain anything with those two words alone. Please identify an actual case of putative convergent evolution that you doubt, and we can talk about the specifics of the case. Did you know that modern biologists have things like microscopes and DNA sequencers that can offer knowledge unavailable to the average armchair observer of platypuses from afar?

    (Of course the platypus is a weird, weird mammal indeed, but no chimaera. Your last common ancestor was something like 165 million years ago! Yes, we can know stuff like this!)

  290. #291 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 3, 2010

    Is it “behind” you or “inside” you? Or neither?

    intelligence is a function of my brain.

    are you positing some giant brain with invisible tentacles floating out there in space, tweaking nature? because there cannot be brain activity without a brain, and there cannot be action without physical contact.

  291. #292 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    And JH, still no conclusive evidence for your imaginary deity, without which a soul is a null concept. Absolutely no idea of how to present an argument.

  292. #293 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    I work with the idea that if there is a higher intelligence that it still has to work within the uncertainties that are an unavoidable part of the physical world.

    So this “higher intelligence” is not omnipotent?

    Do tell.

    So for example, I would think in terms of the higher intelligence intending to provide twins with each having a soul

    Why do you think they have a soul in the first place?

    but things did not work out at the physical level.

    Because this “higher intelligence” has no power over the physical level.

    What makes you think this supposed “higher intelligence” has anything to do with evolution, then?

    So an adjustment would be made.

    Which means what?

    This does not have to be as hard as people tend to think.

    Everything is easy when you can just make up answers with no test in reality.

  293. #294 Menyambal
    April 3, 2010

    an unavoidable part of the physical world

    But why are there unavoidabilities for your omnipotent creator?

    He could have done any damn thing at all, but he can’t make an appendix that works, or tuck my testicles safely inside?

    Once you start looking at the physical world, and speculating on the nature and purpose and intelligence of the forces that shape it–truly looking–you wind up with evolution and without a god. And I mean truly looking, with an open mind and dedication to truth, sharing and checking your work with others and making a coherent picture…you know, SCIENCE!

    John Hamilton, the scientific world started off where you are–intelligent designer, yap, yap, yap–and has gradually and carefully approached truth. The way that science works it must approach truth, it can do no other, from its very premises. If you want to disprove science and scientific methods, you must use science. Just whining that you don’t like it is childish.

  294. #295 Antiochus Epiphanes
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton–The evidence supporting convergence: Two structures appear to be similar and are used similarly. Yet they are derived through different developmental pathways, are encoded by different gene complexes, and clearly evolve independently in the best supported phylogenetic hypothesis based on multiple characters/sources of characters. Even then, “evolutionary convergence” is always hypothetical–I suppose in your limited understanding of science this is what you would refer to as an INTERPRETATION. I’m sure that someone has already explained this, although I lack the endurance to search the thread thoroughly (this thread is painful to read, because the stupid burns so darkly). However, I thought I would put it as simply as possible, so that you might understand. There are volumes written about these things for those with an initial knowledge base similar to yours. You should find some of these books now, and leave the nice, smart people alone until you have some real questions.

  295. #296 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #287 wrote:

    Let’s take your own intelligence.
    Is it “behind” you or “inside” you? Or neither?
    Or both?
    Perhaps the question does not really matter.

    I’d probably say that my intelligence is “inside” me, since it’s an aspect or property of my brain.

    Questions about what intelligence is, do matter when it comes to God, because God is supposed to be “an intelligence.” But, intelligence is “the ability to achieve goals despite obstacles,” as one neurologist defined it. This means that God is “an ability.”

    You can’t talk about “an ability” as if you were talking about a thing, or a person. That’s a category error. Something may have an ability: it can’t actually be an ability.

  296. #297 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Sastra.
    Just for discussion sake let’s take it as given that the physical level is somewhat messy. Accidents can happen. Plans can go astray.
    And again for the sake of discussion let us say that a higher intelligence has to accept that reality. (If you like, you could say because it chose to set things up that way).
    Now we have a much stronger model to work with.
    Now we can use our own intelligence to see how this higher intelligence might operate.

    You may not be interested in looking at things that way. That would be fine also.

  297. #298 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 3, 2010

    Now we can use our own intelligence to see how this higher intelligence might operate.

    anthropomorphism FTL. non-omnipotent, human-like deities are so Last Era

  298. #299 Menyambal
    April 3, 2010

    Now we can use our own intelligence to see how this higher intelligence might operate.

    We fucking DID that! And we figured out that it operated through evolution through natural selection and that it had no intelligence at all.

    We. Fucking. Did. That.

  299. #300 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Now we have a much stronger model to work with.

    There is no model. You have presented none. What a fool.

    Now we can use our own intelligence to see how this higher intelligence might operate.

    What higher intelligence (god)? Your deity/intelligence is imaginary until you show the conclusive physical evidence otherwise. What a loser. No evidence whatsoever. Misguided theist sophist from the looks of it.

  300. #301 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    I remind people that when evolutionists offer up the phrase “convergence” that they have not offered up any explanation whatsoever.
    Those situations are evidence for the idea of a higher intelligence.
    So it is unnecessary for me to present new evidence. The evidence has already been identified.
    Repeatedly.

  301. #302 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    Just for discussion sake let’s take it as given that the physical level is somewhat messy. Accidents can happen. Plans can go astray.

    Why do you think there even is a plan?

    And again for the sake of discussion let us say that a higher intelligence has to accept that reality.

    You’re making a lovely case for this “higher intelligence” being nothing more than the process of evolution!

    Yes, of course evolution has to accept reality.

    (If you like, you could say because it chose to set things up that way).

    Or rather, it has to deal with what it has.

    Now we can use our own intelligence to see how this higher intelligence might operate.

    Yes, we can see how evolution might operate. Science works!

  302. #303 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Sastra.
    Are you your brain or do you have a brain?
    Are you your thoughts? Or do you have thoughts?
    Who is this being that has a brain? that has thoughts?
    I am not looking for a philosophical dissertation.

  303. #304 Menyambal
    April 3, 2010

    That flip-over business started with a question I had, and I appreciate all the info.

    Something related that I thought of while reading Stephen Jay Gould on the Edicarian and all: At some time in the early development of life, while everything was still aquatic, the surface of the water would have been a good thing to have at your back, so to speak. There would have been no predators at all in the air. I saw a couple critters that looke like they took advantage of that safety.

    Speaking of the water’s surface: Have you noticed that there are no animals equivalent to human-built ships? There is nothing that floats permanently on the surface of the water except man-o-war jellyfish, and they just drift, they don’t move themselves about. Everything else dives underwater, walks up on land or flies away, or two or more. Only us humans makes something that sits on the surface and goes nowhere else except around on the surface. How’s that for intelligence?

  304. #305 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    I remind people that when evolutionists offer up the phrase “convergence” that they have not offered up any explanation whatsoever.

    You mean, you’ve ignored the explanations offered.

    But then, you’ve been dishonest from the beginning, so why start being honest now?

    Those situations are evidence for the idea of a higher intelligence.

    Yes, if by “higher intelligence” you mean the process of evolution operating without intelligence, but constrained by reality.

    So it is unnecessary for me to present new evidence.

    You have presented no evidence that distinguishes this “higher intelligence” from the process of evolution operating without intelligence.

    The evidence has already been identified.
    Repeatedly.

    You’ve demonstrated your ignorance and dishonesty.

    Repeatedly.

  305. #306 Sven DiMilo
    April 3, 2010

    Those situations are evidence for the idea of a higher intelligence.

    What? How? Explain. Choose one such situation to make it easier. We’ll agree on the evidence, fine, and then you’ll offer your INTERPRETATION about higher intelligence and I’ll offer mine about well-known natural processes.

  306. #307 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #97 wrote:

    Just for discussion sake let’s take it as given that the physical level is somewhat messy. Accidents can happen. Plans can go astray.
    And again for the sake of discussion let us say that a higher intelligence has to accept that reality. (If you like, you could say because it chose to set things up that way).
    Now we have a much stronger model to work with.

    No; it’s both a weaker model, and a stronger one.

    It’s weaker because you’ve changed it to meet the problems in a way that loses the important aspects of your original claim. Whenever this is done, it weakens a case.

    example:
    “I can prove that space aliens landed in my backyard, because they left one of their transporters behind — and we have no such sophisticated devices on our planet.”
    “That’s not a transporter — that’s an old refrigerator.”
    “Well then, maybe the space aliens left an old refrigerator.”

    The person has gone from having good, convincing proof — to trying to rescue a theory.

    But your model of God-and-the-chimera is now “stronger,” because it’s more familiar. We know what it’s like when people have to work around problems. Because that’s what happens, with us.

    You’re re-forming God in the image of man.

    Now we can use our own intelligence to see how this higher intelligence might operate.

    Meaning, it operates just the way we do.

    You may not be interested in looking at things that way. That would be fine also.

    Since I’m not already a theist, I’m not interested in finding ways to keep believing in something I don’t want to stop believing in. Your way, is basically that of the guy who now thinks the refrigerator from next door might have been dragged there by space aliens, because it could have happened. Or, maybe they beamed some mind-control rays into the neighbor’s head, and made him drag the old refrigerator over to someone else’s house so it could be their problem, and not his. If they’re from another planet, you don’t know how they might work, or what they might be able to do.

    It’s the difference between taking evidence and trying to derive a conclusion — and having a conclusion before you start, and trying to go back and see if you can figure out some way to fit the evidence into it. If you are either creative, or allowed to use magic-and-mystery, you will be successful.

    Or, rather, it will be good enough, to those who want to believe.

  307. #308 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 3, 2010

    I remind people that when evolutionists offer up the phrase “convergence” that they have not offered up any explanation whatsoever.
    Those situations are evidence for the idea of a higher intelligence.
    So it is unnecessary for me to present new evidence. The evidence has already been identified.
    Repeatedly.

    you really have no fucking clue how science works, do you.

    here’s a hint: before you can posit extra-terrestial magical intelligences, you have to show that the null hypothesis is insufficient to explain the data.
    here’s another hint: if you only look at the evidence that might be used to support your point, you aren’t doing science
    and one more hint: evidence that supports multiple hypotheses is not conclusive evidence for any one of them.

  308. #309 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    that they have not offered up any explanation whatsoever.

    We don’t have to. You are the one making the claim, so the burden of proof (evidence) is upon you. You are wrong until you show you are right with scientific evidence.

    So it is unnecessary for me to present new evidence. The evidence has already been identified.

    Why keep lying fuckwit? Evidence is required, and you must cite the peer reviewed scientific literature to show the evidence to refute science. Which you have pointedly failed to do. What a loser. You have nothing but your unsubstantiated opinion. Which is worthless as evidence.

  309. #310 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Sven, please feel free to choose one yourself.
    But I know from experience that this exercise will not work out.
    Because you will bring in magical properties in the environment such as “selection pressure” etc and other non-explanations. And you will expect everybody to just accept those non-explanations. But of course I won’t.

  310. #311 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 3, 2010

    Because you will bring in magical properties in the environment such as “selection pressure” etc and other non-explanations.

    selection pressure is magical? you’re a fucking idiot; a proudly ignorant idiot with delusions of adequacy.

  311. #312 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #303 wrote:

    Are you your brain or do you have a brain?
    Are you your thoughts? Or do you have thoughts?
    Who is this being that has a brain? that has thoughts?

    I’d say that I am a brain, in the sense that I could not have a “brain transplant,” and walk away me. I’m the aggregate or collection of the thoughts I have.

    Though you’re not looking for a philosophical dissertation, you might really enjoy a book called The Mind’s Eye: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul. It’s “philosophical fun and games of a very high order” which deal with puzzles on what is self, and the problems with defining where “we” start, and stop. By Dan Dennett, and Doug Hofstadter. It’s challenging, but fun. And, as I recall, it has no definitive, easy, simplistic answers. Life, is complicated and messy.

  312. #313 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    But I know from experience that this exercise will not work out.

    Yep, repeating your evidenceless lies and bullshit gets you nowhere. DUH.

    And you will expect everybody to just accept those non-explanations.

    Like what you call non-explanations.

    But of course I won’t.

    As if we care what a delusional fuckwit thinks. You have nothing but your inane opinions. You must be or think you are a philosopher the way you avoid real evidence. Which means you are a practiced bullshitter. Your word is meaningless now. Hard evidence will be required.

  313. #314 David Marjanovi?
    April 3, 2010

    The evidence I would provide are the situations you call “convergence”.

    Unparsimonious.

    Again, convergence has to be expected from the theory of evolution anyway.

    I dislike the word FOR in that context, as it could be taken to imply a purpose. I will now say the bills evolved BY feeding, or some other word I haven’t decided on yet.

    Perhaps the best way to say it is that those who didn’t have such a bill weren’t able to live on in this kind of ecological niche. Natural selection always boils down to “the others died or moved away”.

    “Evolution is cleverer than you are.” — Leslie Orgel

    Or in more general terms… reality is stranger than fiction.

    Or in just as general but perhaps more impressive terms…

    “Argumentation cannot suffice for the discovery of a new work, since the subtlety of Nature is greater many times than the subtlety of argument.”
    ? Francis Bacon

    What?
    What about
    this? and this?
    I thought these genetic homologs were best interpreted as an actual ancestral flip-over.

    That was a typical case of drawing conclusions from looking at too few taxa. IIRC, it’S cephalopods that completely trounce the idea ? they have all the homologs but use them differently again. Looks like they didn’t have such specific functions in the first triploblast, and the dorsoventral axis was specified in a somewhat different and simpler way.

  314. #315 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 3, 2010

    Are you your brain or do you have a brain?
    Are you your thoughts? Or do you have thoughts?
    Who is this being that has a brain? that has thoughts?

    of course I am my brain. personality, intelligence consciousness etc. are brain functions. I’m the function of my brain.

    neurology; look it up sometime.

  315. #316 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton:

    I’m going to post something rather long, but it might prove valuable. It’s a cut-n-paste I stole from one of the other commenters, many moons ago.

    Evolution doesn’t rely on big, sweeping generalizations which have little detail, and invoke new properties. In fact, it can be simplified into 14 points. If you have a problem with the science in the theory of evolution, then there would be one — or more — of these points where you find a flaw. Something that is wrong, or makes no sense.

    Could you glance through the list below, and then tell us the number of the point, which you think unsupported by evidence, or invalid or implausible inference?

    VARIATION:
    1) Variation exists in all populations.

    2) Some of that variation is heritable.

    3) Base pair sequences are encoded in a set of self-replicating molecules that form templates for making proteins.

    4) Combinations of genes that did not previously exist may arise via “Crossing over” during meiosis, which alters the sequence of base pairs on a chromosome.

    5) Copying errors (mutations) can also arise, because the self-replication process is of imperfect (although high) fidelity; these mutations also increase the range of combinations of alleles in a gene pool.

    6) These recombinations and errors produce a tendency for successively increasing genetic divergence radiating outward from the initial state of the population.

    SELECTION:

    7) Some of that heritable variation has an influence on the number of offspring able to reproduce in turn, including traits that affect mating opportunities, or survival prospects for either individuals or close relatives.

    8) Characteristics which tend to increase the number of an organism’s offspring that are able to reproduce in turn, tend to become more common over generations and diffuse through a population; those that tend to decrease such prospects tend to become rarer.

    9) Unrepresentative sampling can occur in populations which alters the relative frequency of the various alleles for reasons other than survival/reproduction advantages, a process known as “genetic drift”.

    10) Migration of individuals from one population to another can lead to changes in the relative frequencies of alleles in the “recipient” population.

    SPECIATION:

    11) Populations of a single species that live in different environments are exposed to different conditions that can “favor” different traits. These environmental differences can cause two populations to accumulate divergent suites of characteristics.

    12) A new species develops (often initiated by temporary environmental factors such as a period of geographic isolation) when a sub-population acquires characteristics which promote or guarantee reproductive isolation from the alternate population, limiting the diffusion of variations thereafter.

    SUFFICIENCY:

    13) The combination of these effects tends to increase diversity of initially similar life forms over time.

    14) Over the time frame from the late Hadean to the present, this becomes sufficient to explain both the diversity within and similarities between the forms of life observed on Earth, including both living forms directly observed in the present, and extinct forms indirectly observed from the fossil record.

    ——————–
    That’s what Evolution IS. And this is the scientific consensus of the experts.

    Now, tell us where it breaks down for you. And, your evidence for it being incorrect.

  316. #317 Zabinatrix
    April 3, 2010

    Hamilton:

    I remind people that when evolutionists offer up the phrase “convergence” that they have not offered up any explanation whatsoever.

    Please explain why you ignore every comment that does contain an explanation. Are you being blind or severely dishonest?

    And I’ll have you know that it’s fine (at least it’s fine with me) if you disagree with the explanations offered. But if you do you have to somehow address them with your own counterarguments – otherwise you aren’t having an honest, adult conversation.

    If you keep just asserting that no explanations have been given when they clearly have, we must assume that you are nothing but a dishonest troll.

    And seriously? Selection pressure is a magical non-explanation? Seriously? Selection pressure is very readily observable. Please, please provide any evidence you have for selection pressure being a myth. That ought to be entertaining.

    Not that you ever present any evidence whatsoever. But still, it would be entertaining to see you try. Come on, educate me, please! I am yearning for the knowledge that you hold.

  317. #318 David Marjanovi?
    April 3, 2010

    I remind people that when evolutionists offer up the phrase “convergence” that they have not offered up any explanation whatsoever.
    Those situations are evidence for the idea of a higher intelligence.

    Convergence isn’t an explanation, it’s not a separate process. It’s a conclusion. When two lineages evolve in a similar direction (because of similar environments ? what else), that we call convergence.

    Really, if you get confused by basic terminology, you haven’t understood anything at all.

    here’s a hint: before you can posit extra-terrestial magical intelligences, you have to show that the null hypothesis is insufficient to explain the data.

    What “null hypothesis” means depends on the statistical test in question, but it’s always something like “nothing has happened”, “there is no correlation whatsoever; the data are the result of pure random”, or the like.

    magical properties in the environment such as “selection pressure” etc

    Translation: everything I don’t understand is magical!!!1!

    Man, are you embarrassing yourself. If a population lives in water and needs to move around between food sources, there will be selection for the ability to swim, because those that can’t swim will starve. It really is that simple.

    it’S

    Typo on a German keyboard ? ‘ is Shift+#.

  318. #319 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    I am really not interested in a long discussion on “selection pressure”.
    It is an “abstract force”. You believe in it through faith or you do not.
    I do not.
    Also note how some foxes turned out quite differently under exactly the same hypothetical “selection pressure”.
    “Selection pressure is a non-explanation used to support the non-explanation of “convergence”.

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-selection-pressure.htm
    Selection pressure is an abstract force that shapes organisms as they evolve due to mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. For instance, a selection pressure on the ancestors of giraffes for longer necks led to modern giraffes. Selection pressures on small mammals living in open plains led to muscular legs and adeptness at running. Selection pressure operates over durations as short as a few generations, and as long as millions of generations.

    A selection pressure can derive from practically anything, as long as it acts in a relatively consistent fashion over long timeframes, and actually impacts the reproductive or survival rates of a species. Potential sources of selection pressure may include availability of prey, presence of predators, environmental stresses, competition with other species (including humans), and intra-species competition. In the eyes of evolution, differential reproductive capacity is all that matters — if a certain predator only consumes old animals that are already incapable of reproducing, the predator will have no impact on the evolution of the prey species whatsoever.

    It is important to know that selection pressure has no intelligence, foresight, rhyme, or reason. The locus of selection is the individual, not the species. Thus, new adaptations do not appear “for the good of the species” — new adaptations only become fixed in a population if they are good for each individual that has it, even if it collectively makes life worse for the species. New adaptations can be partially self-destructive, as long as their net effect promotes the inclusive fitness of the organism. Accordingly, animals like the Komodo Dragon bite down into their own gums with their sharp teeth when they feed, increasing their likelihood of lethal infection, but providing an advantage because their contaminated, blood-filled mouths poison prey.

    Selection pressure can operate more quickly than one might think, and this is especially true under conditions of selective breeding, when the selection pressure is intelligently applied by humans. One of the most striking examples are seen in a series of experiments in the Soviet Union by scientist Dmitri Belyaev. The object of the experiments was to domesticate the silver morph of the Red Fox, which was achieved in just 10 generations of selective breeding. These foxes lost their distinct musky smell, wagged their tails like domestic dogs, and showed no fear of humans, even licking their hands to show affection. Less frequently mentioned is that these experiments also produced a group of highly aggressive foxes which would leap at their cage walls ferociously when humans walked by. In short, selection pressure can operate in significant ways over short time periods.

  319. #320 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    It is difficult to discuss these issues with evolutionists because you accept things on faith.

  320. #321 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    I am really not interested in a long discussion on “selection pressure”.

    I do not.

    Then you are a fuckwit. As has been shown by your complete lack of scientific evidence.

    In short, selection pressure can operate in significant ways over short time periods.

    If short, why not long, then your whole pile of sophist and evidenceless argument goes away, and evolution occurs. What a loser.

  321. #322 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 3, 2010

    It is difficult to discuss these issues with evolutionists because you accept things on faith.

    liar.

    we have evidence, falsifiable hypotheses, and the scientific method. you have sophistry and ignorance.

    stop projecting.

  322. #323 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    There is nothing that floats permanently on the surface of the water except man-o-war jellyfish

    And their predators…

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

    Which, incidentally, float upside-down.

  323. #324 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 3, 2010

    It is an “abstract force”. You believe in it through faith or you do not.

    false. you are really ignorant of science.

    selection pressure is not a magical “force”; it’s just a term for an observable occurrence in nature: things with advantageous mutations tend to die less and reproduce more than things without, or with deleterious mutations.

    it’s really that basic.

  324. #325 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    It is difficult to discuss these issues with evolutionists because you accept things on faith.

    Wrong fuckwit. You can change my mind with the proper scientific evidence. Which you have totally failed to present, due to your lack of citation of the peer reviewed scientific literature. You have nothing but an inane idea and no hard (scientific) evidence. That makes you a bullshitter.

  325. #326 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    It is difficult to discuss these issues with evolutionists because you accept things on faith.

    No; it’s difficult to discuss these issues with evolutionists, because we are very specific on the mechanism and process — and you want to stay at the level of wide generalities and speculations. You can’t do that in science. Evolution isn’t a science theory because it talks about biology: it’s a science theory because of the way it talks about biology.

    Evolution could have been falsified, over and over again, if we had not made the discoveries we did.

  326. #327 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    JH, keep in mind there are a million or papers in the peer reviewed scientific literature that support evolution, both directly and indirectly. The number of unrefuted papers for ID is in the single digits or zero. You must refute all those other papers to change my mind. Get cracking on producing the evidence…

  327. #328 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Sastra.
    I am not interested in showing the shortcomings of evolution theory. You had declined my offer to a discussion in the direction that interests me – I will decline your offer.
    I know that people who accept things on faith like the people here are not open rational discussion.

  328. #329 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton,
    Do you disagree that some traits possessed by some individuals are conducive to survival and passing on ones genetics while others are counterproductive to those ends?

  329. #330 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    I know that people who accept things on faith like the people here are not open rational discussion.

    There is no faith. The million+ papers in the peer reviewed scientific literature says otherwise. Compared to your lack of evidence, which requires faith. You are the one with faith. You are the one avoiding rational (evidence) based discussion. What a loser.

  330. #331 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 3, 2010

    I know that people who accept things on faith like the people here are not open rational discussion.

    stop lying, both to us and to yourself.

  331. #332 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    Because you will bring in magical properties in the environment

    “Magical”, of course, meaning anything you don’t like.

    such as “selection pressure” etc and other non-explanations.

    And “non-explanation” means anything you don’t like and don’t understand.

    And you will expect everybody to just accept those non-explanations. But of course I won’t.

    Because you don’t want to be bothered with learning or thinking about anything you don’t like.

    I am really not interested in a long discussion on “selection pressure”.

    Translation: I am not interested in learning!

    It is an “abstract force”.

    Translation: It is something I don’t understand and do not like !!

    Also note how some foxes turned out quite differently under exactly the same hypothetical “selection pressure”.

    Translation: I do not understand what selection pressure is or means, so I assert that foxes turned out quite differently under very different selection pressures !!

    [Editor's note: The ignorant moron does not realize that two breeding lines are being discussed: the aggressive foxes were bred using (obviously) different selection criteria -- not from the criteria of breeding for tame behavior.]

    It is difficult to discuss these issues with evolutionists because you accept things on faith.

    Translation: Have some false equivalence from me, who accepts a “higher intelligence” on faith!

  332. #333 Stanton
    April 3, 2010
    There is nothing that floats permanently on the surface of the water except man-o-war jellyfish

    And their predators…

    ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glaucus_atlanticus

    Which, incidentally, float upside-down.

    You forgot their other predators, like the violet sea snail, Janthina, that lives under a raft of chitinous bubbles, and their relatives, like the By-the-wind-sailors, and sea buttons.

    Or these pelagic goose barnacles that secrete their own buoys.

  333. #334 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 3, 2010

    It is difficult to discuss these issues with evolutionists because you accept things on faith.

    There you have it, JohnHamilton has to reduse everything to an issue of faith. When one does not have to know how anything works, one does not have to know any facts in any field in order to debated those who spent years studying and experimenting. Why spend time learning when all is just faith.

    Once an opponent gives in to JohnHamilton’s myopic view of existance, JohnHamilton wins. That is because his faith is unwavering, given from a “higher” being while the opponent is in quicksand because knowledge is subject to change because of new facts.

    JohnHamilton is the product of ID. Behold, a being with the mental capacity of a brick yet is able to communicate.

    I wish that JohnHamilton would lose faith in the knowledge of electronics and not use his computer. I also wish that JohnHamilton and Daniel Smith could get in a debate about the nature of science. Than again, maybe not. The shock waves of stupidity and arrogance could stunt the intellectual growth of nearby children.

  334. #335 David Marjanovi?
    April 3, 2010

    I am really not interested in a long discussion on “selection pressure”.
    It is an “abstract force”. You believe in it through faith or you do not.

    It’s an abstraction, not an abstract force. I think you’re just trolling.

    Also note how some foxes turned out quite differently under exactly the same hypothetical “selection pressure”.

    If you had actually read the stuff you quoted, you’d understand what you’re talking about.

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

    WTF. I guess it’s true: “the only thing gastropods can’t do is to fly”…

    things with advantageous mutations tend to die less and reproduce more than things without, or with deleterious mutations

    What “advantageous” and “deleterious” mean depends on the environment. Thus, different selection pressures on different starting points in different environments.

    I am not interested in showing the shortcomings of evolution theory.

    Come on.

    You came in here saying that the theory of evolution is an insufficient explanation for what we see. It logically follows that you either put up or retract your claim.

    “You’re all wrong, but I won’t even try to explain why, not even when asked”?!? How crazy can one be?

  335. #336 amphiox
    April 3, 2010

    You shouldn’t have used the phrase “any chimera,” because John Hamilton will, of course, take that phrase very literally, and not recognize that you’re talking about a certain kind of extreme species-to-species chimera.

    And it looks like he already did!

    And I guess we can the platypus to the list of things John Hamilton is unable to comprehend and refuses to even try.

  336. #337 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #328 wrote:

    I am not interested in showing the shortcomings of evolution theory. You had declined my offer to a discussion in the direction that interests me – I will decline your offer.

    I did? I assume you’re talking about ensoulment and chimeras.

    IF we assume that God is not all-knowing and all-powerful, then would it make sense to explain human chimeras by saying that God would “take back” the soul He originally put inside a twin, when it became clear to Him that this twin was going to be absorbed by the other twin?

    That is, can we now explain why God put in a soul, and then took it back, if we allow that God makes mistakes?

    The answer is yes. Yes, we now have an explanation that works for people who believe in God, but see God as Someone who makes mistakes.

    I would have thought that was a rather small group among creationists. Why Bad Things Happen to Good People was a popular book written by a liberal rabbi, and he took that basic approach. God is not all-knowing, or all-powerful, and He isn’t in control of everything — it’s too messy and complicated. In the situation you’re talking about, God is not even in control of cell division during conception — a much smaller, and, one would think, easier venue over which to exercise control.

    But this doesn’t fit with denial of evolution. This liberal rabbi — and the liberal Christians who found this theodicy comforting — saw nature as often dominant over God, a fierce force which works on its own, and which God cannot always “fix.”

    I can’t figure out how someone who doesn’t think that nature unfolds in a way that cannot be planned — would also be able to throw out a scientific explanation because it shows that nature unfolds without sufficient planning, and that can’t be.

    Are you really in the group of people, that think that God makes mistakes?

    And if you are, are you then in what must surely be a miniscule group of people, who think that God makes mistakes, but intervenes in evolution with miracles which correct what would otherwise be nature’s mistakes?

    If so, it’s very interesting.

  337. #338 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Sastra.
    I am not interested in showing the shortcomings of evolution theory. You had declined my offer to a discussion in the direction that interests me – I will decline your offer.
    I know that people who accept things on faith like the people here are not open rational discussion.

    Sastra, I hope you are done wasting your time on a fool who will not respect the intelligence and experience of other people.

    Asshole, if you had any prove of any shortcomings of evolution, you would cause a revolution in the field. Whining that other people are not playing by your rules and claiming that the ball is yours and no one else can play with it proves nothing. Unless we take your vast wisdom and knowledge on faith.

  338. #339 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 3, 2010

    And I guess we can the platypus to the list of things John Hamilton is unable to comprehend and refuses to even try.

    JohnHamilton is unable to comprehend his own navel.

  339. #340 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #328 wrote:

    I am not interested in showing the shortcomings of evolution theory.

    Aside from our tangent discussion on souls-and-chimeras, I thought that was what you came in here for.

    Unless you mean that you weren’t interested in showing the shortcomings of evolution theory, only in proclaiming them — as a kind of announcement from the Mount, to all those who have ears to hear.

  340. #341 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 3, 2010

    I think it’s getting to be time to stop feeding this troll. He’s said that he’s not interested in evidence-based discussion. I think it is time to let him start talking to himself and watch as his personality disintegrates…kind of like ish.

    Anyone up for joining the discussion of bacon, cider and lesbians over on the open thread?

  341. #342 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    JohnHamilton is unable to comprehend his own navel.

    Now, now, Janine, even someone who is as rotund as me can still contemplate my navel. (If I look in the mirror.) ;)

    Yeah, I get the metaphor. JH is one idjit par-excellance…

  342. #343 amphiox
    April 3, 2010

    There is probably a Nobel Prize, a statue in the Smithsonian, a Congressional Medal of Honor (if you’re American?), a Knighthood and a reservation for a future spot in Westminster Abbey right between Darwin and Newton (if you’re British?), a likely sainthood, several million dollars in a speaking tour and maybe several tens of millions of dollars in various endorsements for the man or woman who overturns the theory of evolution.

    Hell, most of the above would be given to anyone who even just adds a single important and currently unrecognized mechanism to the existing theory of evolution, in addition to natural selection, genetic drift, endosymbiosis(?) and the rest we currently have.

    Of course, intelligent design, even if proven true, cannot overthrow evolution – it would just add one more mechanism to the existing theory of evolution, and then we’d have to sort out its relative importance with respect to natural selection and the others.

    Such a circumstance could even happen in the near future if humans obtain the ability (and choose to use it) to design synthetic organisms on a sufficiently large (foolhardy?) scale as to result in measurable ecological impact.

  343. #344 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 3, 2010

    contemplate
    ?
    1)to look at or view with continued attention; observe or study thoughtfully: to contemplate the stars.

    2)to consider thoroughly; think fully or deeply about: to contemplate a difficult problem.

    3)to have as a purpose; intend.

    4)to have in view as a future event: to contemplate buying a new car.

    ?verb (used without object)

    5)to think studiously; meditate; consider deliberately.

    comprehend
    -verb

    1)to understand the nature or meaning of; grasp with the mind; perceive

    2)to take in or embrace; include; comprise

    I am sorry, Nerd. You were so asking for this. And I could not resist. JohnHamilton is fully able to contemplate his navel. Comprehend is a different matter.

  344. #345 Zabinatrix
    April 3, 2010

    Have you noticed what a strange definition of faith these science-deniers have?

    They come in here again and again and just assert things without providing any evidence and very few arguments for their beliefs. Then, if we do not immediately blindly believe what they say, they claim that we “believe in evolution on faith.”

    Riiight. I get it. Trusting blindly in a random goofball on the internet = not faith. Trusting in a scientific process that has given mankind all the advances of the modern world and the multitude of articles and experiments done to show and explain evolution = faith.

    It makes me sad – people like Hamilton really seem uneducable. I mean, ignorance doesn’t make me sad, but this complete refusal to learn is really disheartening.

    I was once extremely ignorant about biology and evolution. I like to believe that I am a bit less ignorant now.

    I used to have those flashes of questioning all of evolution because I felt that something didn’t make sense. I was so extremely ignorant that I even thought about some of the stupidest “challenges” to evolution that we know – like “if we came from monkeys why are there still monkeys?”

    But unlike creationists I never stopped there. I never, ever assumed that I know and understand the world better than all the biologists of the world. I never assumed that I had, through a few minutes of thought, stumbled upon something that would give a scientist fame and glory.

    Instead I sat down to read. Every time I had one of those stupid questions stuck in my head I’d read about evolution. Invariably there would be a facepalm-moment (when I realize why the question was incredibly stupid in the first place) and a moment of exhilaration when I learn something new.

    And at one time, before I started talking with creationists on the Internet, I thought that was how people work. Now it saddens me that so many don’t see the joy of actually studying something and truly understanding, instead of just assuming things. It just feels like you must feel somehow isolated when you must constantly fight (consciously or unconsciously) to keep out knowledge that would challenge your faith.

    Hamilton accuses me of taking things on faith. I have never been so happy to see a creationist troll be wrong, because I so enjoy the feeling of not taking things on faith. I love the rush of studying the world and learning new things that challenge the preconceptions I had. I revel in the opportunity to learn and understand. With faith that process stops. With faith you can only proclaim “this is what I believe” and then nothing else follows.

  345. #346 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    But I do work with the idea that there is intelligence involved in Nature.

    Where does this intelligence come from? The problem with all teleological analogies is that intelligence doesn’t exist ex nihilo. To think of this simply, yes a watch has a watchmaker but a watchmaker itself has a maker – the watchmakers parents. The design of the watch has only happened in the last few hundred years, it has taken hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of years of R&D in order to be able to build a watch.

    This is why you need to account for a designer in nature. The amount of order in the brain needed to be a designer is immense. So while we can account for helicopters and watches as being designed, it is only because there is a designer we know can account for them. Homo sapien! If we found a watch-like device in 100,000,000 year old rock, we would be at a loss as to how it got there. We’d have to posit aliens or time travel because there’s no species even remotely capable of explaining such a device.

    What designer is there in nature? Any analogy we give to design cannot apply to God because our familiarity to design is the complete opposite to what we propose for God (Read: David Hume – Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion [section 5]). You are in effect trying to explain complexity and order by positing something even more complex and even more ordered. In order for you to make a simple statement, your brain is firing in a very precise and ordered manner.

    So what are we left with? Well, there’s aliens. There’s always the possibility that there are aliens who have travelled to earth and have tinkered with the evolutionary process. But again, those aliens can’t exist ex nihilo. They have to have come about somehow, and the same problem remains.

    This is why I bring up the same two damn questions for an ID proponent to answer.

    1. What did the designer do?
    2. How can we test for it?

    . Current evolutionary agents have a mechanism for action, it works purely within the confines of the laws of physics. If you want to believe that there is an intelligence acting in evolution, then you have every right to hold that belief. But if you want to have that view considered as science, then you need to turn it into a scientific framework – and this is done through making falsifiable predictions and looking for causal mechanisms.

  346. #347 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    I am not interested in showing the shortcomings of evolution theory.

    You’re just asserting it and we’re expected to take your word for it? Did you not say this? If you come to realize that Darwinism can’t explain the origin and development of species then perhaps you will turn and look for the answer.

    So let me see if I have this straight. You’re the one who is arguing against the consensus view among modern biologists. So instead of demonstrating why those learned men and women are wrong, you merely assert it and aren’t interested in demonstrating it? Even though, if you are successful at overturning evolutionary theory, you’d be hailed as a revolutionary.

    So it seems there are two options here. The first is that you really do know the flaws of evolutionary theory. In that case, why not share it with the world? You’ll start a new biological paradigm, your name will go down in history, money and accolades will flow in. You’d be set for life! The second option (this I think is far more likely) is that you have nothing. You think evolution is wrong, but you speak out of ignorance. You make bare assertions because you have no idea how to defend them. You don’t understand the basics of biology, nor of the philosophy needed. In other words, you’re advocating a position you don’t actually understand.

    This is why I said for you to get an education on the matter. Not to be insulting, because you’re so blindingly ignorant on the matter and at least an education could help with that. Read Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True. Read Neil Shubin’s Your Inner Fish. Read Donald Prothero’s Evolution: What The Fossils Say And Why It Matters. Read Ernst Mayr’s What Evolution Is. Read Ken Miller’s Only A Theory. Read any Richard Dawkins, especially The Selfish Gene. At least familiarise yourself on the matter before continuing.

    To be ignorant is nothing to be ashamed of, to continue to be so while arguing on a topic is. Earlier I asked you where you thought my ignorance lied and you didn’t respond. Come on, show me where my knowledge on such matters is flawed.

  347. #348 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    I am not interested in showing the shortcomings of evolution theory.

    Because you cannot.

    And since you can’t do that, why not just shut up?

    I know that people who accept things on faith like the people here are not open rational discussion.

    You’re not offering rational discussion, either — instead, you’re being the opposite of rational. And you’re making hypocritical false accusations, too.

  348. #349 articulett
    April 3, 2010

    “It’s kind of like how humans have “evolved” helicopters, jet planes, blimps, and other modes of flight… and all sorts of cameras too. Different paths can lead to similar places.”

    Because you latched onto this phrase, I’m going to expand on the idea with the hopes that you can get a clue. I know this is extremely unlikely because creationists (who claim not to be creationists) think they already know more than the very people who might give them knowledge so they would not be so clueless. I’ve never seen a creationist get a clue, myself, and I’m skeptical that it is even possible (though it must be, since I do know former creationists who now understand and accept evolution, –but I did not know them in their ignorant days as creationists).

    –So–Why does our technology (like that mentioned above) get better and better with time? The atoms that make our flying machines existed when our earth was formed… why did it take so long for them to come together to make today’s airplanes? Why does technology not devolve so that today’s “flying machines” are the same as their prototypes? Why will tomorrow’s flying machines be better? Selection pressure! It isn’t imaginary. Flying machines don’t reproduce, but humans copy and hone the designs for such things based on what works the best in the environment. We copy the best designs and “tweak” them to make them better.

    Don’t you see that nature is doing the same all the time? It’s “allowing” for the copying of those that survive and reproduce best in the environment. The rest become obsolete–they are surpassed by the winners. And new mutations are “tweaks” that are then tested in the environment so that the winners keep evolving. In nature, if your aren’t part of a species that is evolving, you are part of a species that is dying out. The environment is constantly selecting and culling.

    Distorting facts, analogies, semantics, etc. in a manner that supports what you wish were true is dishonest–it’s why creationists (who lie about being creationists) are reviled by the honest. You may be making a convincing case for something or other in your head, but to the readership out in cyberspace you are as arrogant and ignorant as any believer in any woo that posts here. Believers in supernatural things tend to lie to themselves and others in very similar ways.

    I think it’s becoming clearer and clearer to everyone here that talking to you about evolution is like trying to discuss calculus with someone who still hasn’t mastered the mathematics basics such “borrowing” in subtraction.

    Selection pressures aren’t imaginary. They describe what we observe in the real world. Gods and souls are imaginary, however– or at least they are indistinguishable from the imaginary. Invoking them in scientific explanations is the equivalent of saying “it’s magic”. You can’t make them true by believing in them and you can’t make evolution false through ignorance. Reality doesn’t care what you think or want to be true. You need to prove that some sort of consciousness can exist absent a brain before anyone here cares what you have to say on the subject.

    It’s not clear exactly what your point is. You clearly “need” evolution to be wrong, but you’ve said nothing about your alternative explanation, and I think it’s because you know we’d find it as risible as YOU find Greek myths, Scientology, or other superstitions. And for the same reasons. I’d say the fact that you’ve failed to make your point this far into the comments section means that you never are going to make it. You are just here to convince yourself that “science is wrong; therefore your “woo is true”. And so you get the treatment of every other “woo” whose come here to play the same mental masturbatory game. We can’t educate you, but we can use you as fodder for stress relief and amusement.

    Does it matter to you that the the only person you are making sense to is you? In science we endeavor to delineate the truth that is the same for everyone. It’s why we have strict standards for evidence while believers latch onto anything that confirms their bias. Tsk.

    Oh, and you still haven’t told us your alternate explanation for the less than optimal designs we observe in nature. Rest assured, our flying machines aren’t optimal either. They will get better– but that’s because we are compelled to build upon that which works in the present– just like nature. There is no top-down designer.

  349. #350 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    I know that people who accept things on faith like the people here are not open rational discussion.

    The irony being that several people here have brought forth rational discussion on the topic of evolution and JohnHamilton has not. Is this his way of saying that he holds his position because of faith?

  350. #351 articulett
    April 3, 2010

    I wonder if John Hamilton is one of those new-agey Deepak Chopra type creationists who imagines himself enlightened and on a mission to enlighten others–

  351. #352 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    I am sorry, Nerd. You were so asking for this. And I could not resist.

    Remember, the straight person gets top billing… *say goodnight Gracie* ;)

    *Applause to Zabinatrix and Kel. Now, where’s my lists*

  352. #353 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 3, 2010

    No Kel. He is saying that faith is all he has. And that he wins because he does not need to change his mind. The joys of revealed knowledge, no fuss and no muss.

  353. #354 WowbaggerOM
    April 3, 2010

    JohnHamilton, let me get this straight: you have the evidence to support the assertions you’ve made which means you can overturn evolutionary theory and over 150 years (and something like a million scientific papers on the topic) – but you won’t present it?

    Why not?

  354. #355 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Remember, the straight person gets top billing…

    But Costello was the brains of the operation.

    He-ey Ab-bbo-ott!

    (Damn. One could not escape those movies in Chicago in the seventies. The Bowerie Boys on 32 and A & C on 9.{At least I understood where Rick Neilson [Cheap Trick] got his look.})

  355. #356 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    *grumbles, and adds articulett to his lists.*

  356. #357 articulett
    April 3, 2010

    *blushes fetchingly*

  357. #358 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    *blushes fetchingly*

    Dang, looks like the twelve sided die again next Molly time (hint, hint, PZ), unless I come up with a different selection method.

    *wheazy voice*We old farts must be on the lookout for new talent*/wheazy voice*

  358. #359 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Could JohnHamilton be getting credit from Demski?

    lol, I had forgotten about that!

  359. #360 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    One more thing to add regarding teleological explanations.

    As others have mentioned earlier, watches, blimps, helicopters, etc. don’t actually reproduce. These are structures that exist on their own. How else do you get a watch but through a watchmaker? How else do you get a muffin but through a baker?

    But how do you get a watchmaker? How do you get a baker? Both are made when two people have sex, and the resulting offspring grows up and learns a trade. A watch indeed as a watchmaker, as does a watchmaker have a maker – the person’s parents.

    Think about that for a minute, because it is a really profound points. If you want a pet dog, you don’t conjure up one from the dirt, you get two other dogs to reproduce and from that you get a puppy.

    Now comes the important inversion of reasoning. When a man and a woman have a baby, do they know how to make one from scratch? No, they don’t. They know how to have sex, they may know the consequences of sex, they may even have a basic awareness of the development of a foetus – but if you asked them to make one from scratch in a laboratory they would have no idea.

    That’s a very profound point. In order to make a baby, it’s not necessary to know how a baby is made. Think about the implications of that statement. Angels don’t fly* into a woman’s uterus and cause structure to come about. The genetic code within determines how the process unfolds. The genetic sequence is responsible for the structure, and so all that needs to happen is the process repeated again and again and it can happen without anyone being the wiser as to how to make a baby.

    Think about the implication for this, all that needs to happen from our point of view is getting a male and female to behave in a particular way from which new males and females come about to continue the process over again. A dog may or may not know that sex leads to babies, but they are more than capable of having sex. An insect may not even know that its having sex, but its behaviour means that sex results and the genetic code is carried on. Plants do not know at all, yet can reproduce and bring forth new plants.

    So where does that leave life as distinct from cars and computers and other designed objects? Life self-organises for one. To posit a designer as being involved is to break the cycle. Meanwhile the evolutionary explanation is able to take us back to the first replicating protocells some 3.8 billion years ago. The complexity of life is inherent in the explanation for it, making the design hypothesis both unnecessary and intrusive. If we are positing a designer of life, we are positing a break in the life cycle.

    So the strange inversion of reasoning that evolution seems to make is pointing out the obvious. You want a watch? Go to a watchmaker. You want a watchmaker? Have a baby then train it to make watches. Agency can and does beget structure, but not all structure requires agency. Sometimes positing an agent gets in the way of natural processes. And for what?

    *subject to evidence to the contrary

  360. #361 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Concerning #354.
    Wowbagger.
    The evidence is right in front of you. But there is no way that someone else can show it to you.
    You have to make the effort yourself. The answer is not outside you. But as long as you are satisfied with the ideas you have now, then you have no incentive to go on a long search.
    If the answer could just be given, it would have been given centuries ago.
    This search is not for everyone. But that is also fine.

  361. #362 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    The evidence is right in front of you.

    Not until you cite the peer reviewed scientific literature. What a loser.

    You have to make the effort yourself.

    More loser talk. You have to prove your case. Nothing, zip, nada, zilch, zero to date.

    This search is not for everyone.

    Only for delusional fools who don’t understand evidence like we do. Which is all that is necessary to consign you to the dumpster as a dumbster.

  362. #363 Antiochus Epiphanes
    April 3, 2010

    The answer is not outside you.

    And that’s why it isn’t science.

  363. #364 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    #360
    “Life self-organises for one.”

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

  364. #365 Zabinatrix
    April 3, 2010

    Nerd – I’m not good at blushing in any sort of fetching way, but thank you kindly.

    JohnHamilton…. Man. You’re going to make me repeat myself again. Apologies to the rest of you, but hey, now I just have to try one more time.

    You have to make the effort yourself. The answer is not outside you.

    So – you’re saying that the answer is inside of us? The old “special way of know” thing?

    That makes me go back to this: Do you acknowledge that science works? The process of science has given you modern medicine, electronics, etcetera – so it obviously works. All of those advances have come because we have learned about how the world works through the scientific method.

    But in this case, just this case, you people are going “No… That can’t work. You can’t find the answer outside you through normal means.”

    Why? Why do you treat evolution differently? Can you in any way define why this special way of know applies to evolution but not to other areas of science?

    Now be honest to yourself. Please, for both of our sakes, be completely honest, sit down and think about this question: Have you ever considered that you might be treating evolution differently than other science? If so, do you think that this can be because you’ve simply been taught that it is somehow different? What would it take for you to challenge your faith that evolution is not scientific?

    Just think about it, with an open mind.

  365. #366 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

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

    Wrong, it’s observed every time new offspring are born. The mechanisms behind heredity are well established, as are means for new variation to arise.

    It’s not a statement of faith, it’s a statement of stupidity to deny it.

  366. #367 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #364 wrote:

    “Life self-organises for one.”

    What does this statement mean to you?

    That is, when Kel gave an example of life “self-organizing,” he was quite specific. You don’t seem to have understood what he was saying.

    Could you describe a hypothetical situation where life really is self-organizing, and then contrast that with a description of what it looks like, when it doesn’t?

  367. #368 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 3, 2010

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

    wrong. go take a biology class sometime. or at least learn that thing about the birds and the bees…

  368. #369 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    That is, when Kel gave an example of life “self-organizing,” he was quite specific. You don’t seem to have understood what he was saying.

    I’m not surprised at all, it’s in his interests not to understand what I was saying. He just wants to call it a faith because otherwise he’d actually have to understand what he’s talking about.

  369. #370 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Having to understand what one is talking about is not for everyone.

    {JAZZHANDS!}JohnHamilton.{JAZZHANDS!}

  370. #371 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2010

    The evidence is right in front of you. But there is no way that someone else can show it to you.

    Then it’s not evidence.

    You have to make the effort yourself. The answer is not outside you.

    The evidence for evolution is both inside and outside of the human body.

    But as long as you are satisfied with the ideas you have now, then you have no incentive to go on a long search.

    Hypocritical liar. You’re obviously satisfied with your “higher intelligence”, and have no incentive to actually study that about which you know nothing, and yet claim you know something about.

    If the answer could just be given, it would have been given centuries ago.

    Do you realize how ignorant that makes you sound, in more ways than one?

    ==========

    “Life self-organises for one.”
    This is a statement of faith.

    It’s a parsimonious inference. Pity you don’t know what that is.

    It is not something that you or anyone can present evidence for.

    It arises from the evidence, and from logic.

    Two things you don’t know, and have no interest in learning.

  371. #372 Rey Fox
    April 3, 2010

    #361:

    In short, just make stuff up.

  372. #373 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    This is a statement of faith.

    The only statements of faith have been made by you. We have evidence, not faith. You don’t. Loser.

  373. #374 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Shorter JohnHamilton:

    Ignore reality. Make shit up.

  374. #375 Malcolm
    April 3, 2010

    JohnHamilton is a perfect example of what happens when extreme ignorance combines with extreme arrogance.
    To someone like him, anything that he can’t understand is obviously incomprehensible. The reason that he doesn’t know an answer must be that that answer can not be known.

  375. #376 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 3, 2010

    To someone like him, anything that he can’t understand is obviously incomprehensible.

    Yep, he’s the walking argument from personal incredulity

  376. #377 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Kel, #360
    “life self organises”

    In other words it organizes itself. How could someone disprove that idea?

  377. #378 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    In other words it organizes itself. How could someone disprove that idea?

    Obviously you can’t. Or prove your own inane ideas. Just like an evidenceless philosoph. Nothing but hot air. Time to shut the fuck up like an intelligent person who got in over their heads…

  378. #379 Antiochus Epiphanes
    April 3, 2010

    Will Not Engage Internet Retard…

    SIWOTI and I Don’t Care.

  379. #380 WowbaggerOM
    April 3, 2010

    JohnHamilton wrote:

    Wowbagger.
    The evidence is right in front of you. But there is no way that someone else can show it to you.

    Do you know what the word ‘evidence’ means? As others have intimated, if you can’t demonstrate it somehow then it’s not evidence.

    Not understanding evolution ≠ evidence.
    Not liking evolution ≠ evidence.
    Repeated unsupported assertions ≠ evidence.
    Vague claims ≠ evidence.
    Riddles ≠ evidence.

    Does that help?

  380. #381 Malcolm
    April 3, 2010

    NOR,
    I have yet to see a shred of evidence that JH qualifies as an intelligent person.

  381. #382 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    I have yet to see a shred of evidence that JH qualifies as an intelligent person.

    I was trying to appeal to his vanity, as he has little else. ;)

  382. #383 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    “Self organization”.

    Not an idea that can be disproven.
    It is taken as an assumption. An unproven and unprovable assumption.
    Which would be okay if everybody just admitted that fact.

    If someone were honest and admitted that fact, we could then go on to look at the other unproven and unprovable evolution assumptions – like “convergent evolution”.

  383. #384 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    In other words it organizes itself. How could someone disprove that idea?

    You can’t really, it’s part of the life process. It’s like asking to disprove that babies are born.

    That’s the elegance and power of the evolutionary argument. It’s look at how life works and asking what would happen if the process was allowed to run. Logically evolution must take place.

  384. #385 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    JohnHamilton:

    Could you define what you mean by “self-organization?”

  385. #386 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Which would be okay if everybody just admitted that fact.

    Except, the only person here who has trouble with that is you. The non-scientist. The evidenceless philosoph. What else is new? Your ideas are not scientific. They are just inane opinions without solid backing. Philosophy without evidence is sophistry. Meaning worthless mental masturbation. You commit the intellectual crime of sophistry. Until you acknowledge that fact you will remain a loser.

  386. #387 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Sastra.
    Ask Kel. He mentioned the idea here.
    If you are not familiar with the idea look it up.

  387. #388 Stanton
    April 3, 2010

    If someone were honest and admitted that fact, we could then go on to look at the other unproven and unprovable evolution assumptions – like “convergent evolution”.

    Then please explain how similar-looking but unrelated organisms are supposed to be evidence of an unknowable, unapproachable Intelligent Designer who works in ways puny mortal researchers could never understand.

    Or, you can stop babbling about things you are too lazy to understand.

  388. #389 SteveM
    April 3, 2010

    at nearly 400 comments and JohnHamiltotallystupid is still harping on “convergent evolution” and providing absolutely no actual discussion of what his alternative “interpretation” of evolution is. Just vague word salad about “the evidence is in front of you”, “no one can show it to you but yourself”, “science is just faith”. He has nothing to say and is not interested in what we say. He merely wants to see how many turds he can squeeze out in this thread. Goodbye John, you are a boring twit.

  389. #390 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    This will go on for a while with people doing there best to evade the point.
    The point is that the underlying evolution ideas are simply unproven and unprovable assumptions.
    When people admit that that is the case, we will have made some real progress.
    But for some reason, evolutionists are very reluctant to admit the unproven and unprovable assumptions that underlie the theory.

  390. #391 WowbaggerOM
    April 3, 2010

    JohnHamilton wrote:

    If you are not familiar with the idea look it up.

    Perhaps you should do the same for the word ‘evidence’.

  391. #392 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    JohnHamilton #387 wrote:

    Ask Kel. He mentioned the idea here.
    If you are not familiar with the idea look it up.

    I read his explanation earlier, and understood it. But I asked what your definition is. I want to understand what you mean, when you talk about the “self-organization” of life.

    I don’t know if both sides, mean the same thing.

  392. #393 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    It is taken as an assumption. An unproven and unprovable assumption.

    No, it’s an observed reality. It’s an empirical fact as much as any fact can be. Do you not know anything about how you get from an unfertilised ovum and sperm to a living, breathing human?

  393. #394 SteveM
    April 3, 2010

    re 390:
    This will go on for a while with people doing there best to evade the point.

    fap fap fap

  394. #395 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    The point is that the underlying evolution ideas are simply unproven and unprovable assumptions.

    You’re wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! The reason people will not admit its the case is because you’re completely and utterly wrong. And people here have tried explaining to you just how it works. Instead of actually engaging in the rational discussion, you’ve continued to make your wrong assertions, trying to get people to concede to a point that has been demonstrated repeatedly to be fallacious.

    People won’t concede the point because the point you want people to concede is incorrect. JohnHamilton, please get an education on the matter before continuing. Being ignorant is one thing, asking others to take your ignorance as knowledge is another!

  395. #396 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    This will go on for a while with people doing there best to evade the point.

    That is you. You have no evidence, and we know it.

    The point is that the underlying evolution ideas are simply unproven and unprovable assumptions.

    Your unsubstantiated evidenceless opinion. Which is worthless. What a loser.

    When people admit that that is the case,

    Why are folks who understand the scientific process going to listen to an evidenceless loser like you?

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

    Says the evidenceless idjit without the million or so scientific paper showing evolution is solid science. What a loser

    JH, either put up the evidence from sources outside of yourself, or shut the fuck up. Since the can’t do the former, the latter is your only option. But that requires intelligence to do. Which also leaves you out. Your are a dumbster.

  396. #397 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Kel. How could self organization be disproven?

  397. #398 Antiochus Epiphanes
    April 3, 2010

    Failing…to…disengage…

    Lots of info here you are ignoring JH…let’s do this again
    #295

    John Hamilton–The evidence supporting convergence: Two structures appear to be similar and are used similarly. Yet they are derived through different developmental pathways, are encoded by different gene complexes, and clearly evolve independently in the best supported phylogenetic hypothesis based on multiple characters/sources of characters. Even then, “evolutionary convergence” is always hypothetical–I suppose in your limited understanding of science this is what you would refer to as an INTERPRETATION. I’m sure that someone has already explained this, although I lack the endurance to search the thread thoroughly (this thread is painful to read, because the stupid burns so darkly). However, I thought I would put it as simply as possible, so that you might understand. There are volumes written about these things for those with an initial knowledge base similar to yours. You should find some of these books now, and leave the nice, smart people alone until you have some real questions.

    What don’t you understand?

  398. #399 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    How could self organization be disproven?

    Show solid and conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity/designer. DUH. What a loser.

  399. #400 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Ask Kel. He mentioned the idea here.

    I explained exactly what I meant, and not just in a single sentence either. I laid out carefully what I meant in several paragraphs. Do you need me to make it even simpler for you? Baby dogs come from adult dogs. Baby dogs gradually become adult dogs which in turn make more baby dogs.

    It’s really really really simple to grasp.

  400. #401 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    While Kel is pondering how one could disprove “self organization” perhaps somebody else could tell us how “convergent evolution” could be disproven.

  401. #402 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #390 wrote:

    The point is that the underlying evolution ideas are simply unproven and unprovable assumptions.

    Look, you do understand that the theory of evolution — while it may hold implications on the existence of God — does not directly address the existence of God, right? It is possible to accept the “underlying evolution ideas,” and still believe that God is somehow guiding it, or working through it, or watching it. Evolution is not atheism.

    Consider that long post of mine at #316, with all the small, little steps that evolution theory weaves together into one explanation. Which one of those small steps is the “underlying idea” which you think, is unproven or unprovable?

    If you want to address the existence of God, that is a different argument.

  402. #403 AJ Milne
    April 3, 2010

    … chiming in to add recommendation re Shubin’s Inner Fish.

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

    Oh, but said palaeontologists, don’t even try to come looking for me as revenge for this. I’ll just move to some actually habitable part of the world containing actual coffee shops, and you won’t have a fucking chance at ever finding me… Suckers!

    Okay, yes, I know this really isn’t representative of all that discipline’s fieldwork. But fuck, Shubin, seriously? Has that guy ever worked anywhere there were, say, other people present*?

    (/*Northern Pennsylvania? Hrm… Well, I guess that sorta counts…)

  403. #404 Antiochus Epiphanes
    April 3, 2010

    The disproof of convergent evolution is synapomorphy, dingbat.

  404. #405 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    could tell us how “convergent evolution” could be disproven.

    You must be the one to disprove it. Use proper evidence. Like cite the peer reviewed scientific literature, or shut the fuck up. What a loser.

  405. #406 amphiox
    April 3, 2010

    “Life self-organises for one.”

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

    Wrong.

    You know we have made videos of embryos growing, don’t you? From single cell to fully formed organism, the whole process has been observed, documented, and recorded, in real-time, with all external factors controlled for.

    I guess we can add “self-organization” to the list of concepts you cannot or refuse to or pretend to be unable to comprehend.

    I’m beginning to think that the concept of “faith” needs to be added as well, since you demonstrate a pretty fuzzy understanding of that, too.

  406. #407 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 3, 2010

    While Kel is pondering how one could disprove “self organization” perhaps somebody else could tell us how “convergent evolution” could be disproven.

    By sticking your index fingers in your ears and yelling at the top of your lungs; LA! LA! LA!LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA!

  407. #408 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Kel. How could self organization be disproven?

    The same way you disprove the existence of spiders. The same way you disprove that day and night occurs. The same way you disprove that babies are born. The same way you disprove the existence of dinosaur fossils.

    Again, you’re asking me on how to disprove an observational fact. Didn’t your parents give you the talk about the birds and the bees? Do you think that babies are delivered by storks?

    The facts are not up for debate here, they are the facts by which the theoretical framework works around. The theoretical framework explains the facts, and it the theoretical framework that makes predictions. This is where evolutionary theory comes in, and why you need to grasp what evolutionary theory is saying. It’s in the predictions about the fossil record, the genetic code, in embryological development, in geographic distribution, in sexual displays, in behaviours, in morphology, etc.

  408. #409 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Well in spite of themselves, people are slowly admitting that “self organization” and “convergent evolution” are unproven and unprovable assumptions. That is just a fact. There can be no dispute about the fact. The only issue is whether people admit it or not.
    And as I have said, evolutionists are very reluctant to admit it.
    So why are they reluctant to admit it and try to hide this fact?
    Because it shows that underneath all the edifice of evolution theory and all the articles and all the stories, evolution theory is based on very odd assumptions.
    The assumption that things just organize themselves.
    The assumption that unrelated animals just happen to “evolve” near identical structures independently.
    If these facts were made more open, more often, people would start to see that the theory is based on sand.
    And then people would no longer be programmed and bullied and would start to look for more reasonable explanations. People would start to think for themselves.

  409. #410 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    JohnHamilton:

    Would you also say that chemical reactions are not an example of natural organization? Or is there something special about life?

    Self-organization is what we observe. Cells divide naturally — unless someone in a lab cuts them apart with a small knife or something. I suppose self-organization might be falsified if we observed tiny little knives coming out of nowhere, or from some tiny little bug, cutting and arranging, and somehow we missed that.

    The idea that there is a Giant Mind behind it all, willing things to happen in a way that not only looks natural, but can be broken down into smaller, comprehensible components, is an unnecessary and unfalsifiable hypothesis. The dull, boring, parsimonious position, is the default.

  410. #411 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Well in spite of themselves, people are slowly admitting that “self organization” and “convergent evolution” are unproven and unprovable assumptions.

    Have you actually been reading what other people are writing here? You really don’t have a clue…

  411. #412 WowbaggerOM
    April 3, 2010

    JohnHamilton asked:

    Kel. How could self organization be disproven?

    By observing something that exists but which cannot be explained by self-organisation, i.e. a series of steps from simple to complex. Or, alternatively, evidence of a designer.

    Have you any examples? Or just more wild assertions?

  412. #413 amphiox
    April 3, 2010

    It is interesting also that when one compares technology like airplanes and the like with biology, the difference between the two very clearly demonstrates yet another fundamental example of “poor design” that is generally never directly mentioned.

    Compared to technology, biology is remarkably impoverished in terms of the types of raw materials and processes it uses. It’s almost entirely restricted to carbon-based and/or water-soluble chemistry.

    Nothing made of metals. Nor anything that I know of made of glass. Not even obsidian.

    Even among carbon chemistry, there is a huge selection of useful carbon polymers that biology has never exploited. No nylon. No kevlar. No plastics.

    Biology never mastered fire, despite the fact that oxidation of carbon compounds was developed very early and became the dominant mode of energy generation.

    No lighter than air ballooning, even though the production of hydrogen gas was also a very early development.

    No macroscopic wheels (And thus no powered flight via the helicopter mechanism!). No jet propulsion in air either (and what cephalopods do that is often called jet propulsion in water is actually more akin to rocketry).

    No steam engines. No electric motors. No silicon transisters (despite silicon being one of the most abundant elements in the earth’s crust).

    This is easily explained by evolution as a contingency of self-replication first appearing in systems of aqueous carbon-based molecules, leaving life constrained to these raw materials and processes ever since.

    Kind of trickier to explain with an intelligent designer. One can’t escape the nagging inkling that the designer missed a trick or two, some pretty simple ones, too. Not a higher intelligence at all, but one, in some very obvious ways, grossly and demonstrably inferior to even stone-age humans.

  413. #414 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Well in spite of themselves, people are slowly admitting that “self organization” and “convergent evolution” are unproven and unprovable assumptions.

    Only in your delusional mind. The evidence in the posts says otherwise. But you lying, par for the course.

    That is just a fact. There can be no dispute about the fact.

    Yes, the fact that you are wrong. What else can there be from an evidenceless fool.

    The only issue is whether people admit it or not.

    Correct, can you admit you are wrong? Or is your ego to big to allow the logical gesture?

    So why are they reluctant to admit it and try to hide this fact?

    Hide what fact? You have presented assertions without evidence. You are not an authority. Ergo, you have nothing but hot air opinion like any loser.

    Because it shows that underneath all the edifice of evolution theory and all the articles and all the stories, evolution theory is based on very odd assumptions.
    The assumption that things just organize themselves.

    Wrong again assclam. It proves, not disproves evolution. What an unscientific loser.

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

    That’s what the genes say. Where is your evidence loser? Nothing but hot air and attitude from the loser.

    If these facts were made more open, more often, people would start to see that the theory is based on sand.

    The facts are found in the peer reviewed scientific literature, found at institutions of higher learning world wide. What is your excuse for not knowing this?

    People would start to think for themselves.

    You think for yourself. You think very badly, and ignore scientific evidence like any religious loser. No cogency to your statements, and no authority behind you attempt to pretend to be an authority. What a loser if that is all you have.

  414. #415 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    Sastra and Kel and the others here are hiding something. You are pretending to not understand something.
    You pretend that simply observing something happening is the same as knowing that it is organizing itself.
    You are mistaking observation for explanation.
    And of course we all see that you are doing that.
    So again it is just a question of whether people will admit it or not.

  415. #416 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    JohnHamilton, ask the wrong questions and you won’t get any answers of value. Do you think for a minute that maybe the problem here is your own misunderstanding? Because from what I’ve seen of your posts, that would be the most likely scenario. You don’t seem to understand the distinction between fact and theory. You don’t seem capable of the difference between explanatory framework and predictive. You don’t seem to know how falsification works and where to apply it. You don’t even seem to grasp the basics of what other people are telling you, even when they spell it out in the simplest terms possible.

    And this is the same person who is adamant that “Darwinism can’t explain the origin and development of species”. How can you say that when you don’t even understand what the evolutionary explanation is?

  416. #417 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #409 wrote:

    The assumption that things just organize themselves.
    The assumption that unrelated animals just happen to “evolve” near identical structures independently.
    If these facts were made more open, more often, people would start to see that the theory is based on sand.

    No, those are not evolutionary assumptions; they are conclusions.

    Once again, I’m going to ask you to please point to the specific step, in the list at #316, which you find problematic. Asking you to get specific, is not an unfair request. It is a very reasonable request, because science deals in mechanism. The direct how and why.

    And we can’t address your disagreement, unless we can all understand where you disagree. Saying you disagree with “self-organization” is just too vague — especially since you don’t seem to mean the same thing we do, because you can’t be denying that dogs have puppies without sitting down and putting them together with their paws.

    Look at the list, under VARIATION and SELECTION in particular. Give us the number of a sentence where you say “no, not right.”

  417. #418 Menyambal
    April 3, 2010

    Regarding convergent evolution:

    I went off to do something else a while, and don’t know if this has been covered, but I did some thinking and want to write it out.

    John Hamilton keeps saying that convergent evolution is evidence of design. Which is just loony, but reveals an underlying assumption that I was missing earlier. He thinks that evolution is random, and the results of evolution are random. He thinks that a shark, say, “just happens” to look like it does, and therefor that winding up with a dolphin looking much like a shark is impossible under random conditions. It’s like rolling dice repeatedly–you will get a string of random numbers. But if you roll the same damned string of random numbers the next day, something is going on.

    Stephen Jay Gould says if we re-ran evolution we wouldn’t get the same results, but he means in a larger sense we might not get mammals and would never get humans. Evolution is random in that way, but that doesn’t make John Hamilton right, because in examples of convergent evolution, we aren’t re-running from scratch, and conditions are the same.

    What I mean to explain is that in similar conditions evolution produces similar results. Dolphins, sharks, tunas and ichthyosaurs all look alike because they live(d) in similar conditions doing similar things. At about 200 pounds, a fast marine predator MUST be shaped like that for maximum efficiency. Heck, I was sketching an attack submarine once, figuring out the best location for control surfaces and stabilizers, and realized I had drawn that same damned shape.

    A spindle shape with a dorsal fin, pectorals and a tail isn’t random, it is what the laws of physics require of a vertebrate aquatic predator of that size.

    There’s more, but it’s too long.

    John Hamilton seems to assume that evolution is random, giving random results. If it were, getting the same results twice would be impossible.

    But the level of randomness of evolution allows for the development of the best functioning shape within present conditions. And the best damned shape for a marine predator has been converged on from several different paths.

    Convergent evolution is like all other evolution–converging on the best set-up for the situation.

    Convergent evolution is proof, John Hamilton, not a problem.

  418. #419 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Sastra and Kel and the others here are hiding something. You are pretending to not understand something.

    What am I pretending not to understand exactly?

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

    I explained how it is organised. The genetic code within. Scientists have been studying for decades about how the genetic code works during development. There’s nothing controversial about such a statement, that the genetic code controls the developmental process is known fact. It’s not an assumption, it’s empirical reality.

    You are mistaking observation for explanation.

    No, you just have a reading comprehension problem. I’ll explain again: the fact is that life begets life. Babies come from adults reproducing which in turn become adults and reproduce themselves. This is primary school education, just where do you think you came from?

    Evolutionary theory takes this life-cycle and explains it in the greater context. Life begets life, so any variation that gives the organism an advantage will more likely be carried on into the next generations. Conversely any deleterious mutation will most likely not. So within the structure of a spider is the code to make baby spiders. In the code to make baby spiders is further code to make baby spiders. And so on and on and on.

    The theoretical framework explains the facts. But the facts sit on their own. Asking me to disprove that a fertilised ovum turns into a baby is like asking me to disprove that dinosaur fossils have been discovered. It’s the fact. The theoretical framework is what needs to explain the facts, evolution needs to explain how that process works – and it does very eloquently.

    Until you grasp that distinction, you’re going to be a deer caught in headlights.

  419. #420 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Sastra and Kel and the others here are hiding something.

    No, again the only hiding is your ignorance. Your arrogance is front and center.

    You are mistaking observation for explanation.

    No, you are making the mistake. We know that. Loser.

    So again it is just a question of whether people will admit it or not.

    No, the question has always been will you acknowledge your ignorance, presupposition, arrogance, and unscientific thinking. Due to your arrogance, no. What a loser.

  420. #421 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    “Dolphins, sharks, tunas and ichthyosaurs”

    So whales should be the same shape. Right?
    How can you tell which animals to include?
    But I am not getting into a long drawn out argument with you providing a whole bunch of stories.
    We both know the game here. You select those creatures that seem to satisfy the assumption and ignore the ones that don’t.
    You will get into talking about “ecological niches” and even how creatures in exactly the same geographical area can be in different “ecological niches”.
    I have been down this road before. It is a waste of time.

  421. #422 Sastra
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton #421 wrote:

    But I am not getting into a long drawn out argument with you providing a whole bunch of stories.

    Hey! Progress!

    Does this mean that now you’re going to go back to the list at #316, and mention specific points of disagreement? Oh thank you.

  422. #423 Malcolm
    April 3, 2010

    Moron @415,

    You pretend that simply observing something happening is the same as knowing that it is organizing itself.
    You are mistaking observation for explanation.

    I think that this statement shows how little our latest troll knows about biology.
    It seems to think that we simply observe a cell dividing and assume self organisation. It obviously doesn’t realise how much is known about molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics.
    It also doesn’t realise that the reason we know so much about how cells work, is that we don’t make assumptions about magic sky fairies. We actually study the processes involved. Self-organisation isn’t an assumption it is a conclusion.

  423. #424 Kel, OM
    April 3, 2010

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

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

  424. #425 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 3, 2010

    “Self organization”.

    Not an idea that can be disproven.

    *facepalm*

    it can’t be disproven because it’s true. it could have easily be falsified by complete failure of in vitro fertilization (i.e. life would have proven not to self-propagate if sticking live sperm and live ova in a medium didn’t automatically result in embryos, or failure of bacteria to propagate, or whatever. “life self-organizes” simply means it propagates and grows without external input. this could have been falsified a million times, if it weren’t true.

    I suspect Hamilton is trying to pull an “if it floats” on us: if it cannot be disproven, it’s not science, but if it can be disproven, it’s wrong.

    way to lie about/misunderstand falsifiablility.

  425. #426 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    We both know the game here

    Yep, you ask fuckwit questions, and we refute you.

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

    Scientists and science looks at all creatures. Read the peer reviewed scientific literature if you think otherwise. It is obvious you are NOT acquainted with real science.

    I have been down this road before. It is a waste of time.

    Yes, it is obvious that you can’t fight reality of the peer reviewed scientific literature. No non-scientist can. It will trump your inane ideas each and every time. So why don’t you stop pretending you have anything cogent to say with your unscientific ideas. You will get nowhere here because you can’t present the required scientific evidence. And you have no idea of what scientific evidence really is.

  426. #427 AJ Milne
    April 3, 2010

    It’s a fascinating fact that when all you’re doing is grinding an axe, and have long lost all interest in the reality of the world, you really can generate prose you personally believe is vaguely persuasive and meaningful completely without recourse to any single external reference. Nor any hope of ever convincing anyone who hasn’t already swallowed the same bullshit you have yourself.

    Indeed, through the use of heavily cliched and generally meaningless boilerplate phrases you are personally fond of, you can generate suprising volumes of it at the very drop of hat.

    For example, one could argue that it is self-evident that John Hamilton blows goats. And that in spite of themselves, people are slowly admitting that it is perfectly clear that John Hamilton does now, and always has, blown goats.

    And yet, oddly enough, John Hamilton himself, along with his long-suffering family, are reluctant to admit this.

    So why are they reluctant to admit this fact?

    Because it shows that John Hamilton blows goats. And there’s a general concern that if this becomes more generally known, the goat farmers will either (a) run him out of town, or (b) move out of town themselves, and either way, he’ll have to buy his own goats, for the purpose of blowing them. Which would inconvenience him. And show up in his chequing qccount. Thus leaving a trail.

    Indeed, if these facts were made more open, more often, people would start to see that really, on balance, it’s better off that John Hamilton be kept a long, looong way away from any goats.

    And then people would no longer be programmed and bullied and would start to look for more reasonable explanations. Like: the goats are so skittish because John Hamilton keeps blowing them. And, apparently, he’s stunningly bad at it.

    Anyway, as seriously as this rube deserves, we are, at least, somewhat amused by his pretty little ‘you are mistaking observation for explanation’ bit. Nay, suckah. You are mistaking your own rhetorical, hilariously emptyheaded, childishly stubborn and generally facile rejection of an actually pretty comprehensible explanation–a rejection crafted just as transparently obviously to lead to your own pet idee fixee–for an actual counterargument. And no one else present is buying.

    … Because, actually, he kinda sucks at persuasion, too. Which is a bad thing, when the position you’re defending is so utterly silly that only the silverest of tongues has even the fucking faintest of hopes at success.

    (/Shorter: need better trolls. Where’s Soapy Sam? He still dead?)

  427. #428 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    “What I mean to explain is that in similar conditions evolution produces similar results. Dolphins, sharks, tunas and ichthyosaurs all look alike because they live(d) in similar conditions doing similar things.”

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

  428. #429 amphiox
    April 3, 2010

    The assumption that things just organize themselves.

    Not an assumption. AN OBSERVATION.

    You can posit millions of molecules each obeying the laws of chemistry and physics, or you can propose tiny invisible elves cutting, pasting, dragging and assembling with teensy invisible ropes and tiny invisible rivets, but either way the observation is UNCHANGED.

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

    Not an assumption. AN OBSERVATION.

    Seriously. How many people have already explained this to you? And you are still harping over this discredited canard. How thick is your skull? Or are you just pretending not to get it for rhetorical reasons? Because that is just despicable.

    You’re also wrong about the “near identical” part. The majority of the features that are considered to be convergent features only superficially resemble each other, and in fact much more similar to the homologous structures with which it shares descent.

    A bat’s wing is much, much more similar to a mouse’s paw than it is to a bird’s wing.

    A platypus’ “bill” (it’s not actually a bill) is much, much more similar to any other mammal’s lips than it is to a duck’s bill.

    A dolphin’s torpedo shaped body is much, much more similar to a hippo’s non-torpedo shaped body than it is to a shark’s torpedo shaped body (the superficial torpedo shape is just about the only thing that is similar at all)

    Even among some of the more spectacular molecular convergences, where there are the same amino acids in the same relative positions, the rest of the proteins in question are different, and each more similar to different related proteins with different functions.

    You can explain this as the result of similar environmental challenges resulting in the similar differential survival of similar variants, among a limited number of possible advantageous solutions allowable by the laws of physics and chemistry, or you can dream up a designer with a peculiar penchant for doing stuff like designing a retina that he puts in every cephalopod but in no fish, and then designing a completely different retina, using a different organization and a different set of photosensitive cells, that functions exactly the same, and giving it all the fish, but no cephalods (and for some inexplicable reason NOT giving a lens to the poor nautilus, which lives in just the type of environment where a lens would be a MOST helpful adaption), or like designing a excellent wing that he puts on all pterosaurs and then turning around and designing another (in fact slightly inferior) wing with an entirely different construction and putting it on all the birds, and then doing it again with yet a third type of wing and putting it on all the bats. Or make a gene for vitamin C production, and then deliberately wreck it in all monkeys, apes and humans, but leave the rest of the gene and the rest of the enzyme pathway intact. And then also wreck the same gene, but in a different place, in guinea pigs.

    And this is a pattern of behavior that is IRON CLAD CONSISTENT. The supposedly intelligent designer NEVER utilizes his own free will to choose to act differently.

  429. #430 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    I see no evidence whatsoever from JH. Nothing to refute science, nothing to get his ideas, whatever they are forward. It’s like he’s talking nonsense to himself at this point. Nothing cogent there. His grand plan to convince us fell totally flat and was ground into dust. He just can’t go away.

  430. #431 AJ Milne
    April 3, 2010

    John Hamilton is hiding something…

    Is he blowing a goat right now1111!!!???

    (/Cue faint, pained, bleating sounds…)

  431. #432 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    “Self organization” is claimed by one poster to be a conclusion and by another poster to be an observation.

    In fact it is just an assumption.
    An unproven and unprovable assumption.

    Ironically it is presented by evolutionists as an explanation. And other evolutionists go along with the game.

    And the same applies to “convergence”.

  432. #433 WowbaggerOM
    April 3, 2010

    JohnHamilton wrote:

    But sharks are cold blooded.

    From WikiAnswers: Actually, some sharks (like the Great White and the Mako) are partially warm-blooded. They can raise their body temperature above the ambient temperature of the water around them.

    But that’s not really the point.

    Anyway, while we’re on that, JohnHamilton – if sea creatures were designed, why would the designer choose both cold-blooded and warm-blooded creatures to do the same thing? That there are both doing the same thing is an argument for evolution – descent with modification, in order to survive better in a particular environment – not for design.

  433. #434 Stanton
    April 3, 2010

    Mr Milne, it is grossly unfair, if not disgustingly cruel for you to assume that John Hamilton is a goat blower.

    What horrible crime did goat blowers do to you deserve such odious slander?

  434. #435 Sven DiMilo
    April 3, 2010

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

    Gah!!! GAH!!!
    Your are treading dangerously near to my bailiwick, Hamilton, and I’m going to tell you where you’re wrong now and get it over with. Nobody has any clue about the physiology of ichthyosaurs. Yes, they were viviparous. So are garter snakes. Dolphins are, quite simply, small whales. Tunas are endothermic–they raise their body temperature with heat produced metabolically–but so are lamnid sharks.
    Please shut up about biology.
    You don’t know shit.

  435. #436 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    In fact it is just an assumption.
    An unproven and unprovable assumption.

    Only in your inane and unscientific opinion. Which means nothing to us. So, stop making the inane claim. It gets you nowhere.

    And the same applies to “convergence”.

    Right, your inane and unscientific opinion is meaningless to us. You are no authority. You are an ignorant fool who needs to read some science. We don’t listen to ignorant fools. Stop these claims. They just show your inanity.

  436. #437 JohnHamilton
    April 3, 2010

    “Anyway, while we’re on that, JohnHamilton – if sea creatures were designed, why would the designer choose both cold-blooded and warm-blooded creatures to do the same thing? That there are both doing the same thing is an argument for evolution – descent with modification, in order to survive better in a particular environment – not for design.”

    Do you see that the point you are making applies to evolution theory in exactly the same way?

  437. #438 AJ Milne
    April 3, 2010

    The notion that John Hamilton does not blow goats, natch, is presented by some posters as (a) silly, and (b) really, incredibly silly…

    So, seein’ as I can vaguely imply through my brilliant Rhodes scholar-level rhetorical skillz™ this is some kinda contradiction, eat it, suckahs! I win!!111…

    What horrible crime did goat blowers do to you deserve such odious slander?

    (Looks shocked…)

    Forgive me. I am a bad person.

    (/Hangs head.)

  438. #439 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2010

    Do you see that the point you are making applies to evolution theory in exactly the same way?

    This from an unscientific liar and bullshitter. Meaningless inane question. Expected from someone who can’t cite the literature, or even explain his claims properly. DUH. Your word JH, is worth less than nothing at this blog. That is what you get for being wrong all the time. Your pretense of being right adds to your wrongness.

  439. #440 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

    In fact it is just an assumption.
    An unproven and unprovable assumption.

    Again, where do you think babies come from?

    Ironically it is presented by evolutionists as an explanation. And other evolutionists go along with the game.

    Again, that babies come from adults is not the explanation. It’s the observation that fits into the greater theoretical explanation. That the process of life begins by an ovum being fertilised by a sperm. That this starts a process of cell division and organisation, which over a process of about 9 months develops into a baby. That is the observation! The evolutionary framework explains why that is so.

    That’s the difference. You’re mixing the observation with the explanation. The explanation explains the observation. You can’t falsify the observation any more than you can falsify that there have been dinosaur fossils found. How embryo development and dinosaurs fit into evolutionary framework – well that’s another story entirely.

    This has been explained repeatedly to you. Do you have a comprehension problem?

  440. #441 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    So evolution theory is based on absurd assumptions like “self organization” and “convergence”.
    These assumptions are presented by evolutionists as if they were explanations.
    It is a sleight of hand to present an assumption as an explanation. But evolutionists go along with the game. And let’s not forget “selection pressure” as well.
    It is quite a game all together. Make up a label and a story and pass it off as an explanation. That is what sets evolution theory apart from actual science.

  441. #442 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

    These assumptions are presented by evolutionists as if they were explanations.

    Could you stop persisting with this straw-man please? It has been explained to you repeatedly in this thread the difference between facts and theory. Between observations in nature and the theoretical explanations of how / why that is.

    Do you have reading comprehension problems?

  442. #443 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    could tell us how “convergent evolution” could be disproven.

    um. sure. if no two critters shared a superficially similar feature that they didn’t also share with a common ancestor, then convergent evolution would be disproven.

    you do not understand falsifiability.

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

    *whistles innocently*

    That is just a fact. There can be no dispute about the fact.

    your ignorant opinion and misunderstanding of falsifiability (and your mistaken belief that convergent evolution is a theory, rather than an observation) is not a fact. You do not understand the meaning of the word “fact” apparently.

    The assumption that things just organize themselves.

    this is an observation, not an assumption

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

    “happen to evolve”? no. but then, you’ve already made it clear that you do not understand natural selection, and don’t want to even try to understand it. you’re wilfully ignorant.

    You pretend that simply observing something happening is the same as knowing that it is organizing itself.
    You are mistaking observation for explanation.

    um… no that’s what you’ve been doing. self-replication and convergent evolution aren’t explanations, they’re observations. self-replication doesn’t explain anything. various theories in organic chemistry and molecular bonding explain self-replication. self-replication itself is an observation. similarly, the Theory of Evolution explains convergent evolution, but convergent evolution itself is merely an observation. so is evolution itself, btw.

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

    so which is it? is evolution supposed to be completely random, since you don’t believe in selection, or completely deterministic, since you think all things living in the same niche have to come up with the exact same solution, even if 2 or 3 solutions are possible?

    are you incapable of understanding that evolution is neither 100% random nor 100% deterministic, but rather random within the constraints of the environment?

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

    that’s because the ones that don’t have similar features obviously haven’t undergone convergent evolution. d’uh. this is not an either-or situation in which things either must ALL be convergent, or none of them are. convergence is a simple observed phenomenon, and obviously not present in every single animal within a niche, since most niches support more than one strategy. d’uh.

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

    and so? one again, you’re thinking in absolute either-or terms. a single convergent feature doesn’t mean the whole animal is convergent. now THAT would be evolutionarily unlikely. different traits of an animal usually evolve independently of each other.

    In fact it is just an assumption.
    An unproven and unprovable assumption.

    you don’t know what any of the words in those two sentence fragments mean.

    Ironically it is presented by evolutionists as an explanation.

    liar. we’ve been repeatedly telling you it isn’t an explanation, but an observation.

    Do you see that the point you are making applies to evolution theory in exactly the same way?

    of course not, because it doesn’t. evolution is not teleological. it doesn’t design for a purpose, and it can’t design from scratch. when a coldblooded animal benefits from being torpedo-shaped, it’s not going to randomly get warm-blooded just because other torpedo-shaped animals evolved from warm-blooded animals.

  443. #444 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    Is there anyone here who can distinguish between an observation and an explanation?
    Kel seems to have trouble with this and others seem to as well.

  444. #445 AJ Milne
    April 4, 2010

    The notion that John Hamilton does not blow goats is based on absurd assumptions like ‘technically, we haven’t actually seen him doing this’ and ‘seriously, that picture you provided of him doing so looks a lot like it was ‘shopped…’

    These are presented as if they were explanations. It’s a sleight of hand to present an assumption as an explanation. But the non-goat-blowing people go along with the game…

    And let’s not forget that ‘he was with me the whole time’ gambit, either…

    (/It’s quite a game, altogether. That is what sets the ‘oh come on, he does not blow goats; they wouldn’t even let him’ people apart from actual scientists…)

  445. #446 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    That is what sets evolution theory apart from actual science.

    Only in your inane and unscientific opinion. A meaningless opinion that nobody here will take as anything other than a lie. And definitely not what professional biologists think DUH. You are very obtuse.

    You aren’t impressing us at all with repeating your previous lies and attitude ad nauseum. That reeks and smells of a desperate loser ploy, so you should stop doing it. Either put up the right evidence from the peer reviewed scientific literature, or shut the fuck up. That is what men and women of honor and integrity, like scientists would do, in your case. But then, with your baldfaced lies, we know you have no honor, logic, integrity or cogency.

  446. #447 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    So evolution theory is based on absurd assumptions like “self organization” and “convergence”.

    wrong. evolution theory is based on the fact that critters have offspring, and on the fact that some members of a species have more offspring than others.

    very basic.

  447. #448 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    Is there anyone here who can distinguish between an observation and an explanation?

    everybody except you, evidently.

    self-replication and convergent evolution don’t explain anything. they’re names for observed phenomena, that’s all.

  448. #449 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

    Well that explains it.
    I am pretty sure this was not intended as humorous.
    Hard to tell though.

  449. #450 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

    Is there anyone here who can distinguish between an observation and an explanation?
    Kel seems to have trouble with this and others seem to as well.

    No, I do not have trouble with this. You do. You’re routinely asking for falsification on empirical facts. If you want to disprove an empirical fact, then you need to show that the evidence which is presented of the fact is invalid. In the case of dinosaur fossils, you need to show that the fossils are fraudulent.

    The theory, the explanation for the facts, is where science lies. The observation that parents have sex to produce a baby, which in turn grows up with the potential to start that cycle over again is an observation. Why that is can be explained in the context of evolutionary theory. In fact, such a process should give particular genetic markers if it were true.

    Stop projecting your personal ignorance onto me. Just because you misunderstand how science works, it doesn’t mean that restating your ignorance time and time again constitutes an argument. Please please please please please go and read some books on the matter. Go and read how the process of fertilisation works. Go and read about the genetic experiments done. Go and read about how evolutionary theory works and what evolution predicts. Because until you do, all you can ever do is argue a straw man. Hence when people explain to you over and over where you are wrong, you will never see it because you don’t understand what you are talking about.

    Please look up: The Dunning-Kruger Effect. Then go read Your Inner Fish

  450. #451 Sven DiMilo
    April 4, 2010

    Do you see that the point you are making applies to evolution theory in exactly the same way?

    But it doesn’t. As always you clearly have no clue what you’re talking about. Endothermic lineage evolves to swim and eat fish. Ectothermic lineage evolves (independently) to swim and eat fish. They share some similar adaptations–convergence–to fish eating and swimming (because certain traits benefit anything that sims and eats fish) and yet they still differ in lineage-specific ways. This is evolution–descent with modification. Why an intelligent designer would choose to create three or four different types of animals with similar lifestyles but different lineage-specific traits is not clear. Why it happens from evolution is clear.

    About selection pressure. You are confused. Natural selection is a statistical correlation between variation in phenotype and reproductive success (add heritability–a genetic basis–to the phenotypic variation and you get evolution). This correlation is environment-specific, and “selection pressure” is just a way to talk about these environmental effects on the phenotype/reproductive success relationship.
    It’s not the meaningless abstraction you seem to imagine.

  451. #452 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    Well that explains it.

    why should convergent evolution make all animals in a niche identical? that’s a pretty anemic strawman, I must say.

  452. #453 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    Still no conclusive evidence from JH for anything. His opinion is unscientific trash. Attitude = desperate loser. And all he has left is attitude.

  453. #454 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    “self-replication and convergent evolution don’t explain anything. they’re names for observed phenomena, that’s all.”

    That is exactly what I have been saying from the beginning. They are labels masquerading as explanations.

    They are what I have called non-explanations.
    They are intended to hide the fact that evolution theory cannot actually explain the phenomena.
    I think we may be getting a little closer to the truth now.

  454. #455 Rey Fox
    April 4, 2010

    “So evolution theory is based on absurd assumptions like “self organization” and “convergence”. ”

    No, convergence is just one of the outcomes of evolution. And self-organization, again, is an observation. If you are going to posit that some magic man performs all of the cell divisions and developmental steps between fertilization and birth (and beyond), then YOU have to supply the evidence.

    Stop trying to tell us what evolution is based on. You don’t have a clue. Knowing what you think are important buzzwords doesn’t make you an expert on the subject, it just makes you a weasel.

  455. #456 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    That is exactly what I have been saying from the beginning. They are labels masquerading as explanations.

    you’re the only one who’s insisting that some straw-scientists are using them as explanations. here in the real world, we know they’re observations.

    They are intended to hide the fact that evolution theory cannot actually explain the phenomena.

    except that it does, regardless of what you call convergent evolution. the evolutionary theory explains animals in similar niches evolving some similar but not identical traits excellently. what evidence do you have that contradicts this?

  456. #457 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    That is exactly what I have been saying from the beginning. They are labels masquerading as explanations.

    They are what I have called non-explanations.
    They are intended to hide the fact that evolution theory cannot actually explain the phenomena.
    I think we may be getting a little closer to the truth now

    More inane and unscientific opinions from the idjit. The lies and the attitude crop up again as a desperate loser ployu. Still no evidence you are anything other than wrong. Still no idea of what you are doing. Still no refutation of the science which requires more science. It’s almost like he has taped responses, and the above idiocy is one of them. What a loser.

  457. #458 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    People are really having trouble distinguishing between observations and explanations.
    It seems every poster trips on that.
    But it is interesting that they all trip in the same direction. In a direction that hides the flaws of evolution theory.
    But then we all know that people are just pretending.

  458. #459 Rey Fox
    April 4, 2010

    >”self-replication and convergent evolution don’t >explain anything. they’re names for observed >phenomena, that’s all.”

    “That is exactly what I have been saying from the beginning. They are labels masquerading as explanations. ”

    That’s what he SAID. They’re not MEANT as explanations.

    I got Samuel L. Jackson in my head now. “ENGLISH, MOTHERFUCKER! DO YOU SPEAK IT?!”

  459. #460 Sven DiMilo
    April 4, 2010

    Evolution by natural selection is the explanation. Differential reproduction due to heritable traits that affect reproductive success in an environmental context.

    Similar environmental contexts–”selection pressures” to use the metaphor you dislike without understanding–often yield similar adaptations (traits that evolve because they enhance reproductive success in an environmental context). When this happens, we call it “convergence.” It’s not an explanation–natural selection under similar environmental selection pressures is–it’s an interesting empirical phenomenon.

    What’s your explanation, asshole? “Intelligence”?

  460. #461 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    People are really having trouble distinguishing between observations and explanations.

    No, you do idjit.

    But it is interesting that they all trip in the same direction. In a direction that hides the flaws of evolution theory.

    Only in your delusional mind. You have shaken nobodies confidence in the science of evolution with your inane and unscientific meanderings. If there are flaws, why are you afraid to publish a paper pointing them out in Nature or Science? Or, do you know you are a blathering unscientific idjit?

    But then we all know that people are just pretending.

    The only one pretending here is you. In a typical desperate loser ploy. You must certainly be desperate, and you are certainly losing.

  461. #462 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

    They are intended to hide the fact that evolution theory cannot actually explain the phenomena.

    Bullshit. Absolute bullshit. That there are convergent traits on different taxa is an observation. The question is whether or not that fits into the evolutionary framework. And then you’re looking whether it can be explained in terms of the observed mechanisms.

    This is what you fail to grasp. The observation is convergent traits among different taxa. The explanation is how those traits come about. In the case of the different predators in the ocean, the trait comes about because particular shapes are better for moving fast through the water. In the case of darkness dwellers, there’s no need for sight so there’s no selection either for or against sight and eyes can be knocked out.

    Mimicry is a similar phenomenon. There are animals that look well camouflaged in their environment, that is the observation. Whether that is compatible with the evolutionary framework is the explanation. If a particular butterfly tastes bad, then predators will avoid eating it. Otherwise they will get the bad taste. So if another butterfly looks the same as the butterfly that is avoided, then it should pass on those genes.

    The distinction you’re missing is between the observations themselves and the explanation for such observations. There are plenty of observations that wouldn’t fit into an evolutionary framework. Convergent evolution is not one of them. That similar solutions exist for particular environmental constraints is perfectly consistent with evolutionary theory. Feathered bats on the other hand are not. Centaurs are not. Cats giving birth to dogs are not.

    You’re mistaking the observation and the theoretical framework to explain said observation. Stop it!

  462. #463 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    People are really having trouble distinguishing between observations and explanations.

    you’re the only one who can’t tell the difference.

    some animals who live in similar niches have some similar but not identical traits = observation

    live replicates and grows without external input = observation.

    The theory of evolution explains the former observation, but it is not based on it. i’ve already explained above that the ToE is based on critters having different survival rates and breeding rates, and that some of the vectors that cause these differentials are heritable.

    which part of this are you disputing?
    1)critters have offspring
    2)some critters are have more offspring that survives to have offspring itself.
    3)some traits are heritable.

    if you’re not going to dispute any of these three, I’ll have to conclude that you accept evolutionary theory, since that’s all there is to it.

  463. #464 Malcolm
    April 4, 2010

    I think we may be getting a little closer to the truth now.

    You mean that you have misunderstood another comment.
    Yawn.

  464. #465 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

    JohnHamilton wrote:

    Do you see that the point you are making applies to evolution theory in exactly the same way?

    Are you high? It’s one of the thousands of smoking guns of evolution. I’ll see if I can explain it to you; I am not, however, a scientist – no doubt one of the many regulars here who are can point out any mistakes I make.

    Okay, so evolutionary theory says that the offspring of organisms will ‘develop’ (via natural selection) the means, through descent with modification, to survive better in an environment.

    In this case we can surmise that at one point in time a set of warm-blooded ancestors and – at another point in time – a set of cold-blooded ancestors both found themselves spending more time in the water. Those offspring that survived better in the new environment bred more descendants. That there are certain common features – streamlined hydrodynamic shape and so forth – reflects the reality that physiology is bound laws of physics.

    Hence the existence of superficially similar – but historically profoundly different – creatures in the same place in present day. It’s why you’ll find in the sea all kinds of vastly different organisms surviving in the same environment.

    That’s a far more parsimonious and therefore intellectually satisfying explanation than your alternative – that a mysterious superpowerful being created millions of different kinds of creatures for absolutely no reason whatsoever other than his/her own amusement.

    If there were one kind of fish, and one kind of bird and all humans looked the same then maybe a creator would be responsible – but they don’t. Evolution explains diversity perfectly; creationism does not.

  465. #466 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    Time for bed. I predict that JH will repeat his unscientific thoughts with arrogance, ignorance, saying nothing new, and probably saying it ad nauseum. Just like any liberturd.

  466. #467 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    “selection pressure” is a metaphor?

    That explains a lot.
    Is convergence a metaphor?
    Is self organization a metaphor.
    If that is all that is being claimed I have no problem.
    But we are closer to English Literature (and marketing) than science.

  467. #468 Usagichan
    April 4, 2010

    JohnHamilton @ 444
    - Observation is what is seen (observed). Thus, when someone describes an observed phenomenon (an event such as the division of a cell or the birth of a child, the characteristics of an object such as the structure of an organ, or the interactions between objects).

    An explanation is a the application of a logical framework which can be used to interpret observations. Be careful, because ‘interpret’ here doesn’t mean provide a personal opinion about the observation, but to place it in the context of the logical framework.

    Thus, I observe JohnHamilton making unsupported assertions to an audience of scientists, and explain this as the parroting of well known creationist straw-men pending further observations which may reinforce or disprove this explanation.

  468. #469 Sven DiMilo
    April 4, 2010

    Evolution explains diversity perfectly; creationism does not.

    Evolution explains both the diversity and the unity of life.

    Palm trees, platypuses, toadstools, leeches, slime molds, kelp, and Salmonella share an identical genetic code, cellular organization, and many many other perimolecular similarities. Unity.

    In organismal diversity.

  469. #470 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    But we are closer to English Literature (and marketing) than science.

    I fucking hate literalist trolls.

    no, “selection pressure” is not a metaphor. it’s a name for a complex environmental process”; a name, a phrase, a term, a label, an abstract description.

  470. #471 Sven DiMilo
    April 4, 2010

    Yes, John, “selection pressure” is a metaphor. There is no actual physical force applied to an actual physical area, you fucking moron.

    Were you an English major, Hamilton?

  471. #472 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    “Observation is what is seen (observed). Thus, when someone describes an observed phenomenon (an event such as the division of a cell or the birth of a child, the characteristics of an object such as the structure of an organ, or the interactions between objects).
    An explanation is a the application of a logical framework which can be used to interpret observations. Be careful, because ‘interpret’ here doesn’t mean provide a personal opinion about the observation, but to place it in the context of the logical framework.”

    This pretty close to what I have been saying.
    But I have never claimed that interpretation was personal opinion.
    Now there is confirmation that evolution theory explanations are interpretations.
    And the interpretations are based on absurd assumptions.
    We are getting even closer to the truth.

    It is good to get closer to the truth but the result will be that people here will become even more desperate.
    We are getting closer to the things that evolutionists do their utmost to hide from others and even from themselves.

  472. #473 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    For one poster “selection pressure” is a metaphor and for another poster it is not a metaphor.

    Perhaps we will find the same contradiction when looking at convergence and self organization as well.

  473. #474 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    Yes, John, “selection pressure” is a metaphor. There is no actual physical force applied to an actual physical area,

    lol, I didn’t even think of pressure as a physical force (like atmospheric pressure, for example). I suppose with enough squinting, the pressure part of selection pressure is a metaphor of sorts.

  474. #475 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

    We are getting closer to the things that evolutionists do their utmost to hide from others and even from themselves.

    What am I hiding exactly? This I find quite condescending. While people here have gone to great pains to explain to you the basics of what they’ve argued, you’ve repeatedly insulted them, made bare assertions and refused to even argue among those grounds.

    From my perspective, you’re the one being dishonest. I’ve put my arguments up to be criticised, what I hold to be true and rational is there for criticism by anyone who chooses. Yet instead of actually trying to take the arguments down, you just keep asserting that I’m hiding something. What am I hiding? Why can’t you actually explain where the flaws in the evolutionary process are? I was good enough to put up how I felt teleological explanations fail. Where are the flaws in those arguments. I don’t get that, just accusations that I’m hiding something and being told that basic empirical facts are just assumptions.

    Are you ever going to be honest in this exchange?

  475. #476 Malcolm
    April 4, 2010

    Why is it the people who talk about “flaws of evolution theory” seem to be completely incapable of pointing to a single one?

  476. #477 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    ah, I’ve learned something. “selection pressure” is a “dead metaphor”.
    :-p

  477. #478 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

    For one poster “selection pressure” is a metaphor and for another poster it is not a metaphor.

    People are disagreeing on the application of english. It must mean that animals that blend in better with there environment don’t really have a survival advantage over those who don’t…

    Are you honestly that petty and moronic that you’re looking for disagreements among people here as to the invalidity of 150 years of accumulated empirical evidence?

  478. #479 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

    JohnHamilton wrote:

    People are really having trouble distinguishing between observations and explanations.

    Perhaps you should demonstrate for us the correct way to discriminate between the two. You have provided an observation – ‘My understanding of evolution makes it unable to explain the diversity of life on this planet’; now you’ve a chance to provide the explanation for why that is.

  479. #480 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    Perhaps we will find the same contradiction when looking at convergence and self organization as well.

    there is no contradiction. I just wasn’t familiar with the concept of a dead metaphor. Sven is right, it is a metaphor.

    stop being a literalist troll

  480. #481 Malcolm
    April 4, 2010

    Re my #476,
    JohnHamilton, your scientific illiteracy doesn’t count as a flaw of evolution theory.

  481. #482 Sven DiMilo
    April 4, 2010

    And the interpretations are based on absurd assumptions.

    oops!
    you forgot to mention what these absurd foundational assumptions might be.

    Here are the necessary and sufficient assumptions for derivation of evolution by natural selection by logic alone. Call it the ontological argumant for evolution.
    Reproduction
    Genetics
    Mutation (imperfect genetic replication)
    Phenotypic consequences of genetic mutation
    Environment-specific correlation between phenotypic variation and reproductive success

    Now note that each of those “assumptionms” is also empirical fact, verified thousands of times over.

    That’s it. Evolution by natural selection must happen; does happen. Convergence is an interesting outcome, but not the only one.

    None of this is very hard.
    What don’t you get, Hamilton?

  482. #483 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    “I suppose with enough squinting, the pressure part of selection pressure is a metaphor of sorts.”

    Perhaps you could squint at “convergence” and “self organization” as well and tell us what you see.
    Do you see invisible forces at play?
    Or do you not see invisible forces at play?
    If things are metaphors what do you actually see?
    Like it or not these are legitimate questions when you get right down to the guts of what we are talking about.

  483. #484 Usagichan
    April 4, 2010

    JohnHamilton @ 472

    Now there is confirmation that evolution theory explanations are interpretations.

    Not at all. Evolution is an observed and observable phenomenon. Evolutionary theory (by which I assume you mean natural selection) provides the simplest explanatory framework. Observations fit the framework, and thus it is generally accepted by the scientific community.

    In order to refute this one must either provide verifiable observations that contradict the theory, or provide an alternative theory which accounts for the observations more aptly (with fewer assumptions). I can’t see anything in your earlier posts that attempt either.

    One more point to ponder – contradiction is NOT argument.

  484. #485 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    Do you see invisible forces at play?
    Or do you not see invisible forces at play?

    there are only four forces: he Electromagnetic force, the Strong nuclear force, the Weak nuclear force, and the Gravitational force.

    everything else are names for various properties, observation, phenomena, etc.

    example: peer pressure. also not a physical force, but rather a name for an aspect of social interaction among humans.

    btw, I’m still waiting for you to tell me which part of the ToE you’re disputing, Hamilton:

    1)critters have offspring
    2)some critters are have more offspring that survives to have offspring itself.
    3)some traits are heritable.

    if you don’t pick one soon, and explain what’s wrong with it, I’m gonna have to assume that you actually agree with the ToE

  485. #486 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

    And the interpretations are based on absurd assumptions.

    Which assumptions are absurd?

  486. #487 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    “Evolution is an observed and observable phenomenon. Evolutionary theory (by which I assume you mean natural selection) provides the simplest explanatory framework. Observations fit the framework, and thus it is generally accepted by the scientific community.”

    You are again not distinguishing between observation and explanation.
    Evolution is not an observed phenomenon. Things change over time – that is what we observe. Evolution theory is a theory that attempts to explain that change over time.

    But you are not alone. Almost every evolutionist makes the same mistake.

  487. #488 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

    JohnHamilton wrote:

    If things are metaphors what do you actually see?

    I predict for his next trick JohnHamilton is going to insist the sun doesn’t exist because we describe it as ‘rising’ – which is a metaphor.

  488. #489 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

    If things are metaphors what do you actually see?

    By that reckoning, no-one has seen relativity either. By that reckoning, no-one has seen the orbit of planets around the sun.

    Observations are made, and the observations are put against a theoretical framework. In terms of relativity, one should expect to see light being affected by gravity. This has been observed. Just as one would expect atomic clocks at the poles and equator to show different results. They do. In terms of planets orbiting the sun, we should be able to predict their position night after night relative to our own position around the sun. We do.

    The theoretical framework of evolution predicts certain things. Through observations of nature, one can see whether they fit into the theoretical framework. Look at the Lenski experiment for example. By putting the bacteria into a particular environment, it was able to breed bacteria better suited for that environment.

  489. #490 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    “Which assumptions are absurd”?

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

  490. #491 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

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

    evolution IS an observable phenomenon. read up on the lenski experiment, or take a biology class with lab, and watch evolution happen with your own eyes.

    The Theory of Evolution on the other hand is an explanation of how evolution happens.

    evolution and the Theory of Evolution are two competely different things. the former is an observable fact, the latter is an explanation of that fact.

  491. #492 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

    But you are not alone. Almost every evolutionist makes the same mistake.

    Yep, and there is the “I know better than the experts” card that inevitably had to be played. When you’re going up against the consensus view of learned men and women, eventually you have to claim they are all making such a simple mistake that should be obvious to anyone…

    Funny how all these “experts” have missed it. Perhaps that says something about the conjecture?

  492. #493 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    Change is an observable fact.
    If that is what you mean then I agree with you. If you go beyond that then you are going beyond observation.

  493. #494 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

    Again, JohnHamilton, you can save time by giving us an example of a scientific theory that is explanatory – rather than continuing to assert that evolution is not.

    So, which scientific theory would you choose as your example?

  494. #495 articulett
    April 4, 2010

    I had heard that goat-blowing causes a person to be unable to distinguish an explanation from an observation. Those who blow lots-o-goats have trouble distinguishing an assumption from an observation as well. The most extreme goat-blowers will develop anosognosia because there’s something about the ingestion of goat semen that crosses the blood brain barrier and makes a person stupid while being utterly unaware of his stupidity.

  495. #496 Usagichan
    April 4, 2010

    JohnHamilton @ 487

    Things change over time – that is what we observe.

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

    Now, the question is over the theory accounting for evolution. Can you either provide irrefutable evidence contradicting natural selection, or provide a substantial theoretical alternative that accounts for the observations equally well? Any peer reviewed scientific literature that does either of these things will receive serious consideration of its merits. Unsubstantiated assertion is not an acceptable alternative for this audience.

  496. #497 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

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

    so, “none of the above” then? because none of the things you’re arguing against are on that list.

    so you Agree with the ToE then. ok.

  497. #498 articulett
    April 4, 2010

    JH,
    I know you are impenetrable, but let’s try again:

    Evolution is the best explanation for the facts that we observe.

    Unless you have a better explanation? Remember “magic” is not an explanation. (I understand that you have problems understanding what an explanation is.)

  498. #499 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 4, 2010

    JohnHamilton has been told evolution is an observation and evolutionary theory is an explanation. He’s pretending (or is too stupid to understand) the people telling him these two things are confused about the difference.

    So which is it, John? Are you pretending or are you stupid?

  499. #500 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  500. #501 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  501. #502 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

    JohnHamilton wrote:

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

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

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

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

  502. #503 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  503. #504 Usagichan
    April 4, 2010

    JohnHamilton @ 500

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

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

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

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

  504. #505 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  505. #506 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 4, 2010

    My last paragraph in #503 should read:

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

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

  506. #507 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  507. #508 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  508. #509 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  509. #510 Rey Fox
    April 4, 2010

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

  510. #511 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  511. #512 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

    But all we observe is change.
    Agreed?

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

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

  512. #513 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  513. #514 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

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

  514. #515 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

  515. #516 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 4, 2010

    You’re fucking arguing semantics, not biology.

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

  516. #517 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

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

  517. #518 articulett
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

  518. #519 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    Wowbagger seems to be the only honest one here:

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

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

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

  519. #520 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  520. #521 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  521. #522 articulett
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  522. #523 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  523. #524 articulett
    April 4, 2010

    Kel saidL

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

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

  524. #525 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

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

    Why is that wrong?

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

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

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

    ====

    “Dolphins, sharks, tunas and ichthyosaurs”

    So whales should be the same shape. Right?

    No. Evolution is not prescriptive.

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

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

    Or rather, we pay attention to reality.

    ====

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

    Why not?

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

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

    But I am not continuing to argue this point.

    What point, if any, are you arguing?

  525. #526 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

    What else CAN they do?

    Science?

  526. #527 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    *sigh*

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

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

  527. #528 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

    Owlmirror asked (of JohnHamilton):

    What point, if any, are you arguing?

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

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

  528. #529 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

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

  529. #530 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

    To shift JohnHamilton’s argument into another setting.

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

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

  530. #531 desertfroglet
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

  531. #532 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  532. #533 desertfroglet
    April 4, 2010

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

  533. #534 maureen.brian#b5c92
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

    ——–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ——-

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

  534. #535 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  535. #536 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

    But I am not continuing to argue this point.

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

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

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

  536. #537 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  537. #538 Malcolm
    April 4, 2010

    Kel @526 responding to something earlier,

    What else CAN they do?

    Science?

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

  538. #539 Malcolm
    April 4, 2010

    HTML fail

  539. #540 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

    *crickets chirring*

  540. #541 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 4, 2010

    Kel #537

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

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

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

  541. #542 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    Amount of semantic points won by JH:

    *crickets chirring*

  542. #543 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 4, 2010

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

    oh good grief

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

  543. #544 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

  544. #545 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 4, 2010

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

    Great, then, stay ignorant.

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

  545. #546 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  546. #547 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 4, 2010

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space #545

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

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

  547. #548 Knockgoats
    April 4, 2010

    Kel, OM@530,

    Well put!

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

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

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

  548. #549 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

  549. #550 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  550. #551 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

    *crickets chirring*

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

  551. #552 Feynmaniac
    April 4, 2010

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

    How did your brain master human speech?

  552. #553 Matt Penfold
    April 4, 2010

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

    Have I got Hamilton’s logic right ?

  553. #554 Jessa
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  554. #555 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 4, 2010

    Fuck this arrogant bastard. I’m going for a sail.

  555. #556 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  556. #557 KOPD
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  557. #558 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    Now we have a basis for discussion.

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

  558. #559 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  559. #560 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

  560. #561 Feynmaniac
    April 4, 2010

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

    Good decision. The last creationist to challenge Lenski’s results got his ass kicked, royally.

  561. #562 Jessa
    April 4, 2010

    So any correct theory has to include natural selection.

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

  562. #563 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    Lenski studies prove that.

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

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

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

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

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

  563. #564 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

    Jessa:
    Natural selection was recognized well before Darwin.

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

  564. #565 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  565. #566 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  566. #567 Jessa
    April 4, 2010

    Ooooh. I feel duly chastised now.

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

  567. #568 Sven DiMilo
    April 4, 2010

    WTF?
    This guy’s still at it?

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

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

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

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

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

    Prove me wrong. Type something that makes sense.

  568. #569 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  569. #570 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

  570. #571 Antiochus Epiphanes
    April 4, 2010

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

  571. #572 Feynmaniac
    April 4, 2010

    So how are they related?

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

    I’m getting a contact high just reading this.

  572. #573 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  573. #574 Feynmaniac
    April 4, 2010

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

    Well, someone just finished watching Avatar.

  574. #575 kantalope
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  575. #576 Sven DiMilo
    April 4, 2010

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

    Almost every evolutionist makes the same mistake.

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

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

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

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

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

    Evolution theory is based on magic

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

    But all we observe is change.
    Agreed?

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

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

  576. #577 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

  577. #578 Sven DiMilo
    April 4, 2010

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

    oh I am so out of here

  578. #579 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  579. #580 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    It would be better to consider the ideas I am presenting

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

  580. #581 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

  581. #582 Rey Fox
    April 4, 2010

    “I have many better things to do with my time. ”

    I don’t think you do.

  582. #583 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  583. #584 articulett
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  584. #585 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  585. #586 Rey Fox
    April 4, 2010

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

  586. #587 Sastra
    April 4, 2010

    John Hamilton #585 wrote:

    It is no different than what you do.

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

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

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

  587. #588 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

  588. #589 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

  589. #590 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  590. #591 articulett
    April 4, 2010

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

  591. #592 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    Still no evidence. Still no idea. Still a meandering fool.

  592. #593 Jessa
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  593. #594 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

  594. #595 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

  595. #596 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

  596. #597 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

  597. #598 PZ Myers
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

  598. #599 Glen Davidson
    April 4, 2010

    he is completely unresponsive to criticism

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

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

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

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  599. #600 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

  600. #601 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

  601. #602 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

  602. #603 amphiox
    April 4, 2010

    ‘Civil’ PZ?

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

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

  603. #604 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  604. #605 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

    Correct?
    Yes or no?

  605. #606 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

  606. #607 Jessa
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  607. #608 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

  608. #609 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

    I have been civil.

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

  609. #610 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

  610. #611 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    I have been civil.

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

  611. #612 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  612. #613 PZ Myers
    April 4, 2010

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

  613. #614 maureen.brian#b5c92
    April 4, 2010

    You are missing something, JH.

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

    We come here for fun.

    —-

    Cheers, articulett!

  614. #615 raven
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

  615. #616 articulett
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

  616. #617 otrame
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

    I tell you, the quality of trolls these days…

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

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

  617. #618 Sastra
    April 4, 2010

    John Hamilton #610 wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

  618. #619 Stanton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  619. #620 David Marjanovi?
    April 4, 2010

    Homo sapien!

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

    The answer is not outside you.

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

    “Life self-organises for one.”

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

    Wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

    How could self organization be disproven?

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

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

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

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

    How often do I need to repeat it?

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

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

    That would be crazy.

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

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

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

    Isn’t this obvious?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    *whistles innocently*

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

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

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

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

    scientists understand evolution as the change in animals over generations.

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

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

    No.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    How?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I pity you. Seriously.

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

    ARGH! Both marsupials and placentals are mammals!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Correct?

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

    you’re dumber than a moldy piece of toast.

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

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

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

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

  620. #621 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  621. #622 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 4, 2010

    You rock David.

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

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

  622. #623 David Marjanovi?
    April 4, 2010

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

    Repeated for truth.

  623. #624 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    April 4, 2010

    Dear Brother John Hamilton,

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

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

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

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

    Yours in anticipation of the destruction of us all,

    Smoggy Batzrubble
    Prophet of the Fucking End

  624. #625 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    *Applauds and toasts Smoggy’s efforts at conversion* ;)

  625. #626 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  626. #627 RamblinDude
    April 4, 2010

    Man, I love this blog.

  627. #628 amphiox
    April 4, 2010

    re# 613

    Oops. I completely missed the implication there.

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

    But I think I am finally understanding this JohnHamilton character.

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

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

  628. #629 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

    Sigh.

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

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

  629. #630 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

    I go to sleep for a few hours and wow… just wow!

  630. #631 Antiochus Epiphanes
    April 4, 2010

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

    Sparrows.

  631. #632 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  632. #633 mswzebo
    April 4, 2010

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

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

    Some wikipedia background on Deconstruction…

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

  633. #634 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    April 4, 2010

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

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

    I’d like to propose John Holmes Marjanovi?.

  634. #635 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

    Kel wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

  635. #636 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    mswzebp. That sounds terribly pomo. Science ignores pomo.

  636. #637 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

  637. #638 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 4, 2010

    mswzebo

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

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

  638. #639 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

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

  639. #640 SC OM
    April 4, 2010

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

    :D

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

  640. #642 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 4, 2010

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

    I’ve generally been underwhelmed by the analyses.

  641. #643 Bryan Foster
    April 4, 2010

    I agree

  642. #644 mswzebo
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  643. #645 Kel, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  644. #646 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  645. #647 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  646. #648 Malcolm
    April 4, 2010

    mswzbo,
    Why bother?
    I’m serious. What would be gained?

  647. #649 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

  648. #650 otrame
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  649. #651 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

    Is it yes or no?

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

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

  650. #652 mswzebo
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

  651. #653 otrame
    April 4, 2010

    Speaking of deconstruction, how ’bout a little poetry by Tim Minchin.

  652. #654 nothing.beside.remains
    April 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

  653. #655 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

    JohnHamilton wrote:

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

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

  654. #656 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

    So, either advance your theory, or go away.

  655. #657 mswzebo
    April 4, 2010

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

    but you probly got that

  656. #658 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  657. #659 JohnHamilton
    April 4, 2010

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

  658. #660 Owlmirror
    April 4, 2010

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

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

    Correct?
    Yes or no?

    Yes.

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

  659. #661 Rey Fox
    April 4, 2010

    “Nobody has answered that question. ”

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

  660. #662 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  661. #663 Sven DiMilo
    April 4, 2010

    Are we still here?

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

  662. #664 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  663. #665 Glen Davidson
    April 4, 2010

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

    Just another lie, tardboy.

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

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

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  664. #666 Stanton
    April 4, 2010

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

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

  665. #667 WowbaggerOM
    April 4, 2010

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

    Otherwise you’re going to be banned.

  666. #668 articulett
    April 5, 2010

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

  667. #669 truth machine, OM
    April 5, 2010

    Methinks that you have blasted a sparrow with a cannon.

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

  668. #670 truth machine, OM
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

    Now shut the fuck up and go away.

  669. #671 truth machine, OM
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

  670. #672 truth machine, OM
    April 5, 2010

    It is always surprising to me

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

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

    Ad hominem fallacy, asshole.

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

    Faulty inference, moron.

  671. #673 Militant Agnostic
    April 5, 2010

    John Hamilton on convergent evolution

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

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

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

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

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

  672. #674 Militant Agnostic
    April 5, 2010

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

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

    *”sex and travel” = “fuck off”

  673. #675 truth machine, OM
    April 5, 2010

    these structures are only superficially similar

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

  674. #676 nothing.beside.remains
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

  675. #677 shonny
    April 5, 2010

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

    @36 Me: HTML fail.

    Do Jerry Coyne a favor and buy a copy.

    *sigh*

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

  676. #678 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 5, 2010

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

  677. #679 JohnHamilton
    April 5, 2010

    From #496:

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

    From #499:

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

    From #523:

    Evolution is a fact

    From #576:

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

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

  678. #680 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 5, 2010

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

    Yes.

    Evolution is a fact.

    The theory of Evolution explains the fact of evolution.

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

  679. #681 Matt Penfold
    April 5, 2010

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

    Good grief, you have got it.

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

  680. #682 nigelTheBold
    April 5, 2010

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

    Non sequitur, and a strawman.

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

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

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

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

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

  681. #683 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 5, 2010

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

  682. #684 Celtic_Evolution
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

    Here, please read this for further explanation.

  683. #685 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 5, 2010

    Not sure why I chose to cap varous E’s up there and not others.

  684. #686 Celtic_Evolution
    April 5, 2010

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

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

    Oh well.

  685. #687 Celtic_Evolution
    April 5, 2010

    *sigh*

    Typo in my correction. This is going to be a long day…

  686. #688 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 5, 2010

    muhahahaha

    /rubs hands together

  687. #689 JohnHamilton
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    But that will just confirm everything I have been saying.

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

  688. #690 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 5, 2010

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

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

    Got it?

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

  689. #691 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 5, 2010

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

    Time for the banhammer.

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

  690. #692 Matt Penfold
    April 5, 2010

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

    No, they have evidence.

    Why do you insist on lying about this ?

  691. #693 nigelTheBold
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Are you seriously going to go with this one?

  692. #694 Celtic_Evolution
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Again… more wanton ignorance…

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

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

  693. #695 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 5, 2010

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

    My goodness you are dense.

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

    Decent with modification.

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

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

    Now stop being a dumbass.

  694. #696 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 5, 2010

    John Hamilton@689

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

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

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

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

  695. #697 Sven DiMilo
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

    Specifically, change in living organisms* over generations.

    See? Not. Just. ‘Change’.

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

  696. #698 JohnHamilton
    April 5, 2010

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

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

  697. #699 nigelTheBold
    April 5, 2010

    Why do you insist on lying about this?

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

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

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

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

  698. #700 Zabinatrix
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  699. #701 Celtic_Evolution
    April 5, 2010

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

    What the hell is wrong with you?

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

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

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

  700. #702 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 5, 2010

    Evolution is not a fact.

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

  701. #703 PZ Myers
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

  702. #704 Matt Penfold
    April 5, 2010

    Change is a fact. Evolution is not a fact.

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

    That change is called evolution.

    Why lie ?

  703. #705 nigelTheBold
    April 5, 2010

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

    *sigh*

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

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

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

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

  704. #706 JohnHamilton
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

  705. #707 PZ Myers
    April 5, 2010

    Oh, and if all you can do is repeat yourself again…GOODBYE.

  706. #708 nigelTheBold
    April 5, 2010

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

    Isn’t this sophistry?

  707. #709 Celtic_Evolution
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

  708. #710 JohnHamilton
    April 5, 2010

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

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

  709. #711 Sven DiMilo
    April 5, 2010

    It just dawned on me that Hamilton is this guy.

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

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

    he’s not worth any time at all

  710. #712 Matt Penfold
    April 5, 2010

    Hamilton,

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

    If you do not like that, then fuck off.

  711. #713 Celtic_Evolution
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

  712. #714 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 5, 2010

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

    Why? It is an observed fact.

  713. #715 Sastra
    April 5, 2010

    John Hamilton #689 wrote:

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

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

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

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

    Ego, unchecked.

  714. #716 nigelTheBold
    April 5, 2010

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

    But we do have a problem.

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

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

    You seriously deny that which has been observed and documented?

  715. #717 Celtic_Evolution
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

  716. #718 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

  717. #719 Zabinatrix
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

  718. #720 JohnHamilton
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

  719. #721 nigelTheBold
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

  720. #722 Ben in Texas
    April 5, 2010

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

  721. #723 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

  722. #724 nigelTheBold
    April 5, 2010

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

    It is not an easy point to grasp.

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

    Or maybe it just doesn’t make any sense.

  723. #725 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 5, 2010

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

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

  724. #726 Sven DiMilo
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

  725. #727 Celtic_Evolution
    April 5, 2010

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

    I am not arguing the validity of evolution theory.

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

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

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

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

  726. #728 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 5, 2010

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

  727. #729 JohnHamilton
    April 5, 2010

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

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

  728. #730 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 5, 2010

    myseld is myself of course

  729. #731 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

    Fixed it for you loser.

  730. #732 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 5, 2010

    This guy is positively Kwokian in his cluelessness!

  731. #733 Matt Penfold
    April 5, 2010

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

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

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

    You are not sane.

  732. #734 PZ Myers
    April 5, 2010

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

    You are gone. This thread is closed.

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

  733. #735 Celtic_Evolution
    April 5, 2010

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

    Ok… have it your way.

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

    In your world, that should make perfect sense.