Pharyngula

More bad science in the literature

That sad article on gyres as an explanation for everything has had more fallout: not only has it been removed from Science Daily’s site, not only has Case Western retracted the press release, but one of the editors at the journal Life has resigned his position over it. The editorial board of the journal was completely surprised by the wretched content of the paper, which is not encouraging; apparently they exercise so little oversight at the journal that they were unaware of the crap their reviewers were passing through. One board member thinks it is a hoax, and laughed at off. Think about that; your shiny new journal has just published total garbage, and instead of being brought up short and questioning the quality control of the review process, you think it is amusing that what you consider an obvious hoax slipped in? There’s something seriously wrong there.

Add this to the list of failures at Life: the paper immediaely after Andrulis’s is this one, “Is Life Unique?”, by David Abel. Guess what? It’s Intelligent Design creationism crap. Here’s the abstract:

Abstract: Is life physicochemically unique? No. Is life unique? Yes. Life manifests innumerable formalisms that cannot be generated or explained by physicodynamics alone. Life pursues thousands of biofunctional goals, not the least of which is staying alive. Neither physicodynamics, nor evolution, pursue goals. Life is largely directed by linear digital programming and by the Prescriptive Information (PI) instantiated particularly into physicodynamically indeterminate nucleotide sequencing. Epigenomic controls only compound the sophistication of these formalisms. Life employs representationalism through the use of symbol systems. Life manifests autonomy, homeostasis far from equilibrium in the harshest of environments, positive and negative feedback mechanisms, prevention and correction of its own errors, and organization of its components into Sustained Functional Systems (SFS). Chance and necessity–heat agitation and the cause-and-effect determinism of nature’s orderliness–cannot spawn formalisms such as mathematics, language, symbol systems, coding, decoding, logic, organization (not to be confused with mere self-ordering), integration of circuits, computational success, and the pursuit of functionality. All of these characteristics of life are formal, not physical.

It’s drivel. The whole thing is one long windy argument from assertion, as in the penultimate sentence above, which is simply the bald claim that higher order functions of human functions like cognition cannot be derived from chemistry and physics. The paper itself contains no data at all — no experiments, measurements, or observations — but it is full of novel acronyms. Apparently, all you need to do to make it as a big time creationist is to make up new words and phrases and string them together. I checked out some of his other papers — he seems to be some kind of computer science guy, and this is all he does, is write impenetrably glib papers full of pretentious acronyms, posing as an expert on biology while saying nothing credible about biology at all.

But he certainly has an impressive address and affiliation!

Department of ProtoBioCybernetics and ProtoBioSemiotics, Origin of Life Science Foundation, Inc., 113-120 Hedgewood Drive, Greenbelt, MD 20770

Whoa. Sounds major. Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of this foundation, and all I could find out about it is a webpage in which they announce a million dollar prize for “proposing a highly plausible natural-process mechanism for the spontaneous rise of genetic instructions in nature sufficient to give rise to life.” This sounds suspiciously like standard creationist dodging — they’ll never have to award this prize. So I looked at their judging, and at first glance it seems impressive: they have over 200 judges, including Jack Szostak, Peter Atkins, Paul Davies, and Edward O. Wilson. But then, they mention that judging will be in 5 tiers, and only the ones that pass all other reviews will reach the Nobel prize winners and famous scientists…and the first tier is an “in-house review”. I suspect the big names will never be pestered by this prize committee. Actually, I wonder if most of these judges know that their name is on this list. Maybe you should look in case you’ve been drafted.

I started wondering about this “in-house staff” who would be doing the initial judging, and about the Origin of Life Science Foundation itself. It’s awfully hard to track down — its only web presence is the prize page, and its only employee seems to be…David L. Abel. So I looked it up in google maps to see where the foundation’s majestic headquarters might be.

i-341698b26216db10749090560eeb703a-olsf.jpeg

It’s a house in a residential neighborhood of a Maryland suburb. It made me wonder if maybe the Department of ProtoBioCybernetics was located in the master bathroom, while he Department of ProtoBioSemiotics was in the hall closet, or whether both were consolidated into a sunny corner of the kitchen. At least it seems to be a step above Patriot University, but it’s still some guy’s house that he’s calling a Foundation with multiple implied Departments with fancy titles.

That’s not all! Mr Abel seems to be a linchpin of the Intelligent Design movement, who manages to work his rambling, incoherent publications into all kinds of journals. In fact, the Discovery Institute just bragged about all their peer-reviewed scientific publications, and there, in their list of over 70 works published over the last 25 years or so, which includes papers by such famous scientists as William Lane Craig and John A. Davison, and prestigious journals like Rivisti di Biologia and their own in-house pet journal, BIO-Complexity, and also seems to include books that were not peer-reviewed at all, are twelve papers by Mr Fancy-Titled-Suburban-House. 17% of the Intelligent Design creationism movement’s ‘scientific’ output comes out of that dwelling in Maryland.

I’d love to see the gigantic laboratory he must have in there.

For your edification, I’ve included the official complete list of Intelligent Design creationism’s publications below the fold. It’s an impressively short list of hackery.

And may I suggest that the journal Life has deeper problems than simply accidentally allowing one bad paper to slip into publication? I think it needs a negative impact factor.

(Also on FtB)


The Discovery Institute’s very own list of the entirety of the intelligent design literature

Publications Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals, Conference Proceedings, or Scientific Anthologies.

  1. Joseph A. Kuhn, “Dissecting Darwinism,” Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, Vol. 25(1): 41-47 (2012).

  2. David L. Abel, “Is Life Unique?,” Life, Vol. 2:106-134 (2012).

  3. Douglas D. Axe, Philip Lu, and Stephanie Flatau, “A Stylus-Generated Artificial Genome with Analogy to Minimal Bacterial Genomes,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2011(3) (2011).

  4. Stephen C. Meyer and Paul A. Nelson, “Can the Origin of the Genetic Code Be Explained by Direct RNA Templating?,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2011(2) (2011).

  5. Ann K. Gauger and Douglas D. Axe, “The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzyme Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2011(1) (2011).

  6. Ann K. Gauger, Stephanie Ebnet, Pamela F. Fahey, and Ralph Seelke, “Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2010 (2) (2010).

  7. Michael J. Behe, “Experimental Evolution, Loss-of-Function Mutations, and ‘The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution,’” The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 85(4):1-27 (December 2010).

  8. Douglas D. Axe, “The Limits of Complex Adaptation: An Analysis Based on a Simple Model of Structured Bacterial Populations,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2010(4):1 (2010).

  9. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, “Mutagenesis in Physalis pubescens L. ssp. floridana: Some further research on Dollo’s Law and the Law of Recurrent Variation,” Floriculture and Ornamental Biotechnology, 1-21 (2010).

  10. George Montañez, Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, and Robert J. Marks II, “A Vivisection of the ev Computer Organism: Identifying Sources of Active Information,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2010(3) (2010).

  11. William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “The Search for a Search: Measuring the Information Cost of Higher Level Search,” Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics, Vol. 14 (5):475-486 (2010).

  12. Douglas D. Axe, “The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2010 (1) (2010).

  13. Winston Ewert, George Montañez, William Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “Efficient Per Query Information Extraction from a Hamming Oracle,” 42nd South Eastern Symposium on System Theory, pp. 290-297 (March, 2010).

  14. David L. Abel, “Constraints vs Controls,” The Open Cybernetics and Systemics Journal, Vol. 4:14-27 (January 20, 2010).

  15. David L. Abel, “The GS (genetic selection) Principle,” Frontiers in Bioscience, Vol. 14:2959-2969 (January 1, 2010).

  16. D. Halsmer, J. Asper, N. Roman, and T. Todd, “The Coherence of an Engineered World,” International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(1):47–65 (2009).

  17. William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “Bernoulli’s Principle of Insufficient Reason and Conservation of Information in Computer Search,” Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, pp. 2647 – 2652 (October, 2009).

  18. William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success,” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics-Part A: Systems and Humans, Vol. 39(5):1051-1061 (September, 2009).

  19. David L. Abel, “The Universal Plausibility Metric (UPM) & Principle (UPP),” Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, Vol. 6(27) (2009).

  20. David L. Abel, “The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity,” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol. 10:247-291 (2009).

  21. David L. Abel, “The biosemiosis of prescriptive information,” Semiotica, Vol. 174(1/4):1-19 (2009).

  22. A. C. McIntosh, “Information and Entropy – Top-Down or Bottom-Up Development in Living Systems,” International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(4):351-385 (2009).

  23. A.C. McIntosh, “Evidence of design in bird feathers and avian respiration,” International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(2):154–169 (2009).

  24. David L. Abel, “The ‘Cybernetic Cut’: Progressing from Description to Prescription in Systems Theory,” The Open Cybernetics and Systemics Journal, Vol. 2:252-262 (2008).

  25. Richard v. Sternberg, “DNA Codes and Information: Formal Structures and Relational Causes,” Acta Biotheoretica, Vol. 56(3):205-232 (September, 2008).

  26. Douglas D. Axe, Brendan W. Dixon, Philip Lu, “Stylus: A System for Evolutionary Experimentation Based on a Protein/Proteome Model with Non-Arbitrary Functional Constraints,” PLoS One, Vol. 3(6):e2246 (June 2008).

  27. Michael Sherman, “Universal Genome in the Origin of Metazoa: Thoughts About Evolution,” Cell Cycle, Vol. 6(15):1873-1877 (August 1, 2007).

  28. Kirk K. Durston, David K. Y. Chiu, David L. Abel, Jack T. Trevors, “Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins,” Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, Vol. 4:47 (2007).

  29. David L. Abel, “Complexity, self-organization, and emergence at the edge of chaos in life-origin models,” Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Vol. 93:1-20 (2007).

  30. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, Kurt Stüber, Heinz Saedler, Jeong Hee Kim, “Biodiversity and Dollo’s Law: To What Extent can the Phenotypic Differences between Misopates orontium and Antirrhinum majus be Bridged by Mutagenesis,” Bioremediation, Biodiversity and Bioavailability, Vol. 1(1):1-30 (2007).

  31. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, “Mutations: The Law of Recurrent Variation,” Floriculture, Ornamental and Plant Biotechnology, Vol. 1:601-607 (2006).

  32. David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors, “Self-organization vs. self-ordering events in life-origin models,” Physics of Life Reviews, Vol. 3:211–228 (2006).

  33. David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors, “More than Metaphor: Genomes Are Objective Sign Systems,” Journal of BioSemiotics, Vol. 1(2):253-267 (2006).

  34. Øyvind Albert Voie, “Biological function and the genetic code are interdependent,” Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, Vol. 28:1000–1004 (2006).

  35. Kirk Durston and David K. Y. Chiu, “A Functional Entropy Model for Biological Sequences,” Dynamics of Continuous, Discrete & Impulsive Systems: Series B Supplement (2005).

  36. David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors, “Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information,” Theoretical Biology and Medical Modeling, Vol. 2(29):1-15 (August 11, 2005).

  37. John A. Davison, “A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis,” Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum, Vol. 98: 155-166 (2005).

  38. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, “Mutation Breeding, Evolution, and the Law of Recurrent Variation,” Recent Research Developments in Genetics & Breeding, Vol. 2:45-70 (2005).

  39. Douglas D. Axe, “Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds,” Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 341:1295–1315 (2004).

  40. Michael Behe and David W. Snoke, “Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues,” Protein Science, Vol. 13 (2004).

  41. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, “Dynamic genomes, morphological stasis, and the origin of irreducible complexity,” in Valerio Parisi, Valeria De Fonzo, and Filippo Aluffi-Pentini eds., Dynamical Genetics (2004).

  42. Stephen C. Meyer, “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117(2):213-239 (2004) (HTML).

  43. John Angus Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer, Darwinism, Design, and Public Education (“DDPE”) (East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State University Press, 2003).

  44. Frank J. Tipler, “Intelligent Life in Cosmology,” International Journal of Astrobiology, Vol. 2(2): 141-148 (2003).

  45. David L. Abel, “Is Life reducible to complexity?,” Fundamentals of Life, Chapter 1.2 (2002).

  46. David K.Y. Chiu and Thomas W.H. Lui, “Integrated Use of Multiple Interdependent Patterns for Biomolecular Sequence Analysis,” International Journal of Fuzzy Systems, Vol. 4(3):766-775 (September 2002).

  47. Michael J. Denton, Craig J. Marshall, and Michael Legge, “The Protein Folds as Platonic Forms: New Support for the pre-Darwinian Conception of Evolution by Natural Law,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 219: 325-342 (2002).

  48. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig and Heinz Saedler, “Chromosome Rearrangement and Transposable Elements,” Annual Review of Genetics, Vol. 36:389–410 (2002).

  49. Douglas D. Axe, “Extreme Functional Sensitivity to Conservative Amino Acid Changes on Enzyme Exteriors,” Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 301:585-595 (2000).

  50. Solomon Victor and Vijaya M. Nayak, “Evolutionary anticipation of the human heart,” Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Vol. 82:297-302 (2000).

  51. Solomon Victor, Vljaya M. Nayek, and Raveen Rajasingh, “Evolution of the Ventricles,” Texas Heart Institute Journal, Vol. 26:168-175 (1999).

  52. W. A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

  53. R. Kunze, H. Saedler, and W.-E. Lönnig, “Plant Transposable Elements,” in Advances in Botanical Research, Vol. 27:331-409 (Academic Press, 1997).

  54. Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (New York: The Free Press, 1996).

  55. Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley, Roger L. Olsen, The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories (New York: Philosophical Library, 1984; Dallas, Texas: Lewis & Stanley Publishing, 4th ed., 1992).

  56. Stanley L. Jaki, “Teaching of Transcendence in Physics,” American Journal of Physics, Vol. 55(10):884-888 (October 1987).

  57. Granville Sewell, “Postscript,” in Analysis of a Finite Element Method: PDE/PROTRAN (New York: Springer Verlag, 1985) (HTML).

  58. William G. Pollard, “Rumors of transcendence in physics,” American Journal of Physics, Vol. 52 (10) (October 1984).

  59. Peer-Edited or Editor-Reviewed Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Scientific Journals, Scientific Anthologies and Conference Proceedings

  60. A. C. McIntosh, “Functional Information and Entropy in Living Systems,” Design and Nature III: Comparing Design in Nature with Science and Engineering, Vol. 87 (Ashurt, Southampton, United Kindom: WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, WIT Press, 2006).

  61. Jonathan Wells, “Do Centrioles Generate a Polar Ejection Force?” Rivista di Biologia /Biology Forum, Vol. 98:71-96 (2005).

  62. Heinz-Albert Becker and Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, “Transposons: Eukaryotic,” Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (John Wiley & Sons, 2005).

  63. Scott A. Minnich and Stephen C. Meyer, “Genetic analysis of coordinate flagellar and type III regulatory circuits in pathogenic bacteria,” Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Design & Nature, Rhodes, Greece, edited by M.W. Collins and C.A. Brebbia (Ashurst, Southampton, United Kingdom: WIT Press, 2004).

  64. Four science articles in William A. Dembski and Michael Ruse, eds., Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2004) (hereinafter “Debating Design”).

  65. Granville Sewell, “A Mathematician’s View of Evolution,” The Mathematical Intelligencer, Vol. 22(4) (2000). (HTML).
  66. Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Philosophy Journals, or Peer-Reviewed Philosophy Books Supportive of Intelligent Design

  67. Michael C. Rea, World without Design : The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism (Oxford University Press, 2004).

  68. William Lane Craig, “Design and the Anthropic Fine-Tuning of the Universe,” in God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, pp. 155-177. (Neil Manson ed., London: Routledge, 2003).

  69. Michael Behe, “Reply to my Critic: A Response to Reviews of Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution,” Biology and Philosophy, Vol. 16, 685–709, (2001).

  70. Del Ratzsch, Nature, Design, and Science: The Status of Design in Natural Science (State University of New York Press, 2001).

  71. William Lane Craig, “The Anthropic Principle,” in The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition: An Encyclopedia, pp. 366-368 (Gary B. Ferngren, general ed., Garland Publishing, 2000).

  72. Michael Behe, “Self-Organization and Irreducibly Complex Systems: A Reply to Shanks and Joplin,” Philosophy of Biology, Vol. 67(1):155-162 (March, 2000).

  73. William Lane Craig, “Barrow and Tipler on the Anthropic Principle vs. Divine Design,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 38: 389-395 (1988).

  74. William Lane Craig, “God, Creation, and Mr. Davies,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 37: 168-175 (1986).

Comments

  1. #1 David Marjanović
    February 18, 2012

    This is a clear example of what is wrong with you atheists. You confuse opinions with reality!

    I’m a scientist. Six of my papers are published in peer-reviewed journals, the seventh has been accepted for publication by another peer-reviewed journal and will come out in the next few weeks or months.

    Don’t believe me? Find my papers in http://scholar.google.com !

    You are… what exactly? What, if anything, do you know about science publication?

    According to you here, if journals didn’t exist NOTHING would happen in science, eh? Gordon Bennett!

    If journals didn’t exist (…that’s counting online-only journals as journals…), scientists would have to write books, and science would happen a lot more slowly.

    Again: you can do all the science you want – if nobody else can read about it, it’s all for nothing; it might as well not exist. Publication is what happens in science.

    (And who is Gordon Bennett? Is that a desperate way of avoiding saying “God”?)

    Are ALL of you on hard drugs or what?

    What are you on that makes you SO ANGRY!!!?

    Some journals, however, don’t reject manuscripts for not being newsworthy. One of the most prestigious journals, PLoS ONE, is one of these.

    My point is NOT about what journals actually do – MUCH OF WHICH IS WRONG! It is about what journals SHOULD be doing to be of proper service to science and academia in general.

    Good. You know, Abel’s paper would be newsworthy, extremely newsworthy, if it were right – but it isn’t. Newsworthy or not, it shouldn’t have been published because there are so many mistakes in it.

    So far, you haven’t even tried to disprove this claim of ours.

    Anyway, you clearly also don’t know what the word “prayer” means if you think it is something that only happens in the context of religious worship. If you want some help with this, let me know.

    Yes, please. When you use words differently than anyone else, I do want to know how you use them – otherwise I can’t understand what you’re SCREAMING!!!.

    Look at the attitude of you atheists towards people like Dawkins and PZ. Is it not as if Dawkins is the Pope of Atheism and PZ one of the junior Bishops?

    *blink*

    No, you’re projecting. Both Dawkins and PZ have said things I disagree with. Dawkins showed himself, to my shock, as completely unwilling to learn during Elevatorgate (look it up if you must), and PZ occasionally misrepresents stuff outside his subdiscipline in his blog posts and then doesn’t go back and correct it because he doesn’t read most of the comments.

    Nothing is sacred; nobody is beyond reproach.

    The fundamental fact here is that, you CANNOT claim that the atheists under Stalin, Mao, etc. did what they did because they superficially resembled religious people and not because of their worldviews. That is intellectual contortionism of the most extreme kind! And we shall soon here your intellectual spine cracking should you persist with this sort of argumentation.

    I burp in your general direction. There is no logical way from “there is no god” to “kill those who haven’t understood that yet”.

    The worldviews you mean are Leninism/Stalinism/Maoism, not atheism. Atheism isn’t a worldview; it’s just the statement that there’s apparently no god.

    What a load of mendacious shite! Nazism was as far away from spirituality as it is possible to be!

    That’s a good joke. National Socialism was a crusade against rationalism. The Nazis even identified rationalism with being Jewish!

    They were DARWINISTS TO THE CORE!

    If you shout it louder, maybe your vocal cords will take damage or your heart will act up, but what you shout will still not become true.

    So, ok, do you also believe the words above Auschwitz@ “Arbet Macht Frei”? Do you believe that Auschwitz was merely a work camp? Do you believe Hitler was telling the truth when he said after taking the Sudetenland that he had no further territorial claims in Europe?

    No, why?

    Also, it’s Arbeit macht frei. Macht with a capital letter means “political power/might”; German doesn’t have separate capitalization rules for headlines.

    You’re basing your ENTIRE argument here on the words of an inveterate LIAR!

    You wish!

    I’m not basing my argument on Hitler’s words alone, but on the words and deeds of the whole NSDAP! Never mind the other kinds of fascism – Mussolini himself was big on “action good, thought bad”.

    “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Don’t be silly.

    Besides, nobody’s career is destroyed from one rejection! If that were the case, mine would have been destroyed twice before I got my first postdoc position!”

    You’re just LYING barefacedly here. Anyhere where are your statistics to back this up?

    Your ignorance is showing. Again.

    It is normal for scientists that their manuscripts are rejected. It happens all the time – because, as I already wrote, most journals only publish manuscripts they deem newsworthy! As I also said, the most prestigious ones reject almost everything, yet people keep submitting their manuscripts to them first, because they’re so prestigious!

    Maybe you should try to write and submit a manuscript once, just to learn how this works.

    And are you sugesting that if Behe did not already have tenure his career would not have been destroyed?

    It wouldn’t have been destroyed from having one paper rejected. Had he kept writing stuff that contradicts known facts, he wouldn’t have got tenure – that’s it.

    Oh, wait, he’d of course have got tenure at a Bible “college” like Liberty “University” or Oral Roberts “University” or “Patriot” Bible “University”… this is the USA we’re talking about; anything can call itself a university and offer tenure.

    Because he went against darwinist DOGMA to which most journals have sold their souls – ALL FOR MONEY!

    How does the theory of evolution make money for journals?

    That’s what I don’t understand.

    Disproving it would make money – for the author (go look up how much money comes with a fucking Nobel Prize!) and for the journal (because it would suddenly get a lot more prestige).

    Right, so when you read in Merriam-Webster’s:

    Definition of GOD

    1 capitalized :

    Sorry. I had so many SCREAMING comments by you to read that I managed to overlook that word.

    How do you know they’re mistakes rather than DELIBERATE actions?

    Given the absence of raster tunnel microscopes in anyone’s cells, any such deliberate action would have to be magic. Well, add to this the fact that there’s no reason to suspect deliberate action in the first place, because we can explain it all already (see below)…

    And what is the source of these mistakes anyway? Some mysterioous force – perhaps of “supernatural” origin? Or perhaps it is “the enivironment”?

    Brownian motion along with electrostatic attraction and repulsion, you dolt.

    Why do you act as if the entire science of biochemistry didn’t exist?

    Have you no shame?

    Here is the Wikipedia article on what mutations are at the molecular level, and here is the article on DNA repair and what can go wrong in it.

    And how are mistakes even conceivable for “undirected forces” which are completely lacking in intelligence?

    *sigh* That was a slightly metaphorical use. In this case it means “uncommon result”, you know, “abnormal result”, instead of “wrong result”.

    You’re not any better with intellectual subtleties than I am, evidently.

    Sheeeeeesh!

    Sheesh is from Jeesh, which is from Jesus.

    As far as I can see, they are only able to grasp the COARSEST CORPUSCULAR MATERIAL! And also that in their immediate spatio-temporal vicinity.

    Evidence, please.

    Right! So, IN YOUR OPINION, activites are NOT things, are they not? They’re NOTHING then, eh dolt?

    *eyeroll* Stop playing with the English language and confusing etymology with meaning. “No thing” doesn’t mean “nothing”.

    Let’s put this in German: “no thing” = kein Ding, “nothing” = nichts.

    Or better yet, in French: “no thing” = aucune chose, “nothing” = rien.

    Activities are not things. Gravity isn’t a thing either. They still exist. Matter isn’t the only thing that exists.

    In philosophical terms, the world doesn’t consist of things, but of facts. “The world is all that is the case.”

    Furthermore, how does the brain doing something bring about Consciousness?

    That’s a good question that is being worked on. However, haven’t you noticed that restricting the activity of the brain restricts consciousness?

    “A blow to the head can confuse a man’s thinking; a blow to the foot has no such effect; this cannot be due to an immortal soul.”
    – Heraclitus in 500 BCE. Yet, 2500 years later, you dolt still haven’t noticed this. Sad.

    And, given it has NO FREE WILL, how is the brain able to do ANYTHING?

    Man, are you stupid.

    “Do” doesn’t mean “do out of magical free will”. It just means “do”.

    And how does the brain even KNOW to do ANYTHING – BEFORE it has acquired Consciousness?

    The metabolism of any cell produces an electric potential across the cell membrane. Link cells together, and you have activity.

    Really, learn about how nerve cells work. Where I come from, the basics of this are taught in highschool. Where do you come from?

    The point is, would they have been WRONG to suppose that because they had no evidence then about America that it did not exist? And therefore are you not today like they were then in claiming that ANYTHING you have no evidence of does not eixst?

    I only claim it doesn’t exist as far as I can tell.

    Can you tell otherwise? Then please show us how. What is it that I’ve overlooked?

    Right so when Merriam-Webster’s begin ALL their entries concerning words with: “Definition of..etc.” they’re really lying to us

    Frankly, yes. Only technical terms actually have definitions. Other words don’t have definitions, they only have usages.

    That must be why no other dictionary begins its entries with “definition”. And I bet the printed version of Merriam-Webster’s doesn’t either.

    and YOU alone actually are the authority here on the meanings of words, eh?

    No, why? Why do you always jump to laughably unjustified conclusions?

    Usage is the authority on what words mean. The only exception to this are technical terms; on those, the people who work in the field where it’s used define it.

    What causes the mutations and what causes the “mistakes”? And how do you know these are not done DELIBERATELY? What experiments have you conducted or do you know of that eliminate the possibility of these observations being the effects of DELIBERATE actions?

    See above.

    There are textbooks on this stuff, and have been for decades. And yet you pretend all this knowledge, all this research, doesn’t exist.

    And, by the way, what on earth – or anywhere else – is an “undirected force”?

    *eyeroll* In this context, that just means there’s no purpose, no deliberate action, behind it.

    Work on your English.

    And also, actions – as distinct from mere RE-ACTIONS – are INDEPENDENT VARIABLES – and therefore can ONLY be brought about by some agency with FREEDOM OF ACTION – i.e. DELIBERATELY!

    You have been sleeping since 1927. Here, learn about the Casimir effect. Your eyes will pop out.

    Radioactive decay doesn’t have a cause either. Radioactive nuclei decay just because they can.

    Ok. How did you check for evidence then? You HAVE checked, haven’t you – or are you just LYING? How did you check?

    By trying to find anything that clearly cannot be explained by (ultimately) physics. So far, I’ve failed – which means I have no reason to suspect there’s a god.

    Feel free to tell what I’ve overlooked. I can always learn.

    What makes it not science – YOUR say so, period? Get out of it! Do you even know the definition of “science”?

    Haaaaaaa! *gleeful smile* *rubbing hands* Do you know the definition of science?!?

    If so, tell it to us. We’re waiting. *toothy grin*

    Why don’t you comment in YOUR atheistic way and let me comment in mine. I have my very good reasons – whether a bonehead atheist can understand them or not – for commenting the way I do. If you don’t like that, GO HANG!

    So much anger. *headshake*

    Why?

    “I’m too lazy to do the math on the tooth fairy. The math on Santa Claus has been done – as you may have expected, he’d need to move faster than light, among many, many other impossible things.”

    This is because in your infantile way you ASSUME – COMPLETELY WITHOUT WARRANT – that Santa Claus is a being of physical flesh and blood, eh dolt?

    No, why? Even information cannot spread faster than light. This has been confirmed in many experiments.

    So, to summarize:
    1) Everything explained by Santa can also be explained in other ways.
    2) Those other ways don’t require the assumption of any extra beings or forces or whatnot.
    3) There are even facts that cannot be explained by Santa. For instance, why does the number and quality of the Christmas presents children get correlate so much more closely to how rich their parents are than to how good they were (as the Santa hypothesis would predict)?
    4) Math sez Santa either doesn’t exist or is magical.

    Given 1) through 3), we really have no reason to assume magic. So, 4) forces us to conclude that Santa doesn’t exist.

    Pretty much the same for the tooth fairy.

    Any more questions?

    How about the rest of comment 58, huh?

    What about it?

    As far as I can tell, you’re deliberately ignoring it.

    …which would make you an intellectually dishonest asshole. I’m just saying.

    “A paper can be “contrary to dogma”. It’s just that it cannot be nonsense.

    And WHO decides whether a paper is nonsense or good sense -

    BZZZT! Wrong.

    Don’t you notice you’re slipping into postmodernism again? Once again you act as if there were different truths for different people.

    Not “who”, but “what”: facts and logic decide whether a paper is nonsense. The reviewers’ job is to find those facts and trace the logic.

    Where in ALL of the Intelligent Design is there ANYTHING that has not been clarified?

    Oh, for one thing, all the IDologists’ attempts to define “information” and “complexity” have failed – if applied, they don’t fit their “conclusions” (which are really a-priori assumptions, but I digress).

    But how do you propose to recognise evidence of ANYTHING not of the GROSSEST matter? You’re quite INCAPABLE of apprehending ANYTHING subtler than a piece of rock, aren’t you? I mean, this is why you ask for “SOLID, PHYSICAL, evidence” for something Which is of a COMPLETELY NON-PHYSICAL Nature – having ALREADY BEEN IN EXISTENCE PRIOR to the coming into being of ANYTHING physical. Is this not so?

    If a god has any effects on the physical world, those effects are discoverable.

    No such effects have been discovered so far.

    If a god has no effects on the physical world…

    …then what sense does it even make to say it exists?

    You try to hide your true nature but it comes out anyway. You sound like a blind man askinng for evidence of the beauty of the paintings of Michelangelo or Leonardo da vinci.

    Beauty is subjective; it is in the brain of the beholder and doesn’t exist outside of the beholder’s skull.

    Are you saying God is subjective and doesn’t exist outside the skulls of believers?

    First rule of holes, Zaki: if you’re in one, stop digging.

    you, a-priori, insist that ANYTHING that doesn’t meet with your expectations doesn’t exist

    You’re projecting again.

    But anyway, ALL of the physical evidence IS evidence of the Existence of God – singly and jointly! It could NEVER have come to be if its existence were not already a POSSIBILITY which existed before it manifested. And that possibility existed in God! Who alone could have brought it into being SPECIALLY! For there is NOTHING unconditional about the coming to be of the physical universe – otherwise it would be of infinite age, would it not?

    No, why?

    Again: you’ve been sleeping since 1927. You don’t even know Heisenberg’s uncertainty relation. Go learn elementary quantum physics instead of talking about issues that you don’t understand.

    Darwin was an Englishman and the Germans were at war with England. So what is strange about them burning Darwin’s book?

    How about the fact that the works of other Englishmen were not burned?

    You just keep embarrassing yourself again and again and again and again and again.

    The fact remains that Hitler’s philosophy and that of Darwin are virtually IDENTICAL!

    Darwin had a philosophy? Do tell.

    *mock*
    *mock*

    In fact, I’m not aware of ANY significant differences – and I should know.

    That I want to see.

    And the correct title of that book is “On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”. Now, pray tell, isn’t that what Hitler and Mein Kampf were all about?

    LOL! Hitler didn’t want to make a new species! In fact, he believed that wasn’t even possible – he believed only God could do that.

    Darwin’s book was science. As such, it described an “is”, not an “ought”. The Nazis were all about “ought”; they only cared about “is” if it was in the way – if then.

    Darwin compounds this in his other book: The Descent of Man – where he predicts (one might even say RECOMMENDS) GENOCIDE

    He predicts some kind of genocide by neglect, yes, from what I’ve read about that book.* But how do you get to “recommends”?

    * I haven’t read any of Darwin’s books. Why should I? They’re only interesting as history of science anymore. Oh, sure, they’re still a quite good introduction into the subject, but I don’t need an introduction anymore!

    How is that different from what Hitler and the Nazis were about?

    Again: Darwin: “this is what happens”. Hitler: “this is what we must do, and thanks to Providence we’ll succeed in it”.

    Besides, how do the Nazis count as natural selection? They didn’t outbreed the Jews because they were better suited to the European environment or anything.

    Oh yes, Hitler believed in love and compassion and the brotherhood of man which Christ taught, didn’t he?

    Do you know what Christ taught about the Jews according to the Gospel of John?

    Apparently you don’t.

    You’re not very bright, are you? A worlview based on “them” and “us” is ALWAYS going to lead to xenophobia and the sort of stuggles that are supposed to be endemic and natural in Darwinism, is it not?

    *blink*

    Seriously? Is this the straw you grasp? Could it possibly get any thinner?

    Here is the beginning of chapter III of Origin of Species. It is titled “Struggle for Existence.” The first subheading is “The Term, Struggle for Existence, Used in a Large Sense”. And then comes the explanation…

    “I SHOULD premise that I use this term in a large and metaphorical sense including dependence of one being on another, and including (which is more important) not only the life of the individual, but success in leaving progeny. Two canine animals, in a time of dearth may be truly said to struggle with each other which shall get food and live. But a plant on the edge of a desert is said to struggle for life against the drought, though more properly it should be said to be dependent on the moisture. A plant which annually produces a thousand seeds, of which only one of an average comes to maturity, may be more truly said to struggle with the plants of the same and other kinds which already clothe the ground. The mistletoe is dependent on the apple and a few other trees, but can only in a far-fetched sense be said to struggle with these trees, for, if too many of these parasites grow on the same tree, it languishes and dies. But several seedling mistletoes, growing close together on the same branch, may more truly be said to struggle with each other. As the mistletoe is disseminated by birds, its existence depends on them; and it may methodically be said to struggle with other fruit-bearing plants, in tempting the birds to devour and thus disseminate its seeds. In these several senses, which pass into each other, I use for convenience’ sake the general term of Struggle for Existence.”

    Don’t use terms when you don’t know what they mean. It only makes you look like a… dolt.

    So, Hitler took great care not to say things that were unpopular with the German masses – who were mostly Catholic.

    More than half was Lutheran. Why can’t you even get the simple facts right?

    “The aim of propaganda is not to try to pass judgment on conflicting rights, giving each its due, but exclusively to emphasize the right which we are asserting. Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side.
    It was a fundamental mistake to discuss the question of who was responsible for the outbreak of the war and declare that the sole responsibility could not be attributed to Germany. The sole responsibility should have been laid on the shoulders of the enemy, without any discussion whatsoever.”

    See? Here’s Hitler himself saying “action good, thought bad”.

    Hahahahahahahah! So you’re now abandong Survival of the Fittest and Natural Selection which Darwinism claims eliminates the weakest, eh? Hahahahahahaha!

    Tsk, tsk. Natural selection = those who have an advantage in a particular environment will have a greater number of fertile offspring than others, so their offspring will be overrepresented in their population in coming generations; those who have a disadvantage in a particular environment will have a smaller number of fertile offspring than others, so their offspring will be underrepresented in their population in coming generations.

    “Survival of the fittest” isn’t even by Darwin, it’s by Spencer Galton, an economist who published earlier than Darwin (comment 133 is wrong, IIRC); Darwin didn’t like it much.

    Hitler stating his christian beliefs.

    To be fair, those quotes alone only establish monotheism.

    Try to understand this simple thing: Darwin (and not forgetting Wallace!) only contributed a part of the Theory of Evolution.

    That’s why the Modern Synthesis is a synthesis.

    Darwin only contibuted a few pieces to the puzzle (he did not even apply Gregor Mendel’s information on genetics for god’s FSM’s sakes)

    Yeah. Darwin had a theory of heredity, and it was utterly wrong. That’s why you’ve never heard about it, Zaki: when an idea is disproved, scientists unceremoniously drop it. They don’t pretend it’s true out of respect for its founder or anything.

    …(Several sakes? One for each Noodly Appendage? :-) )

    If I recall, Mendel’s research was pretty much lost for 40-odd years. Its rediscovery and application to natural selection resulted in “neo-Darwinism”.

    …in the sense of “the theory of evolution as it existed in the 1930s, before the Modern Synthesis”.

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