Pharyngula

Another day, another creationist

My conversation with Perry Marshall about “evolution 2.0” is now online on the radio show Unbelievable.

Marshall is sales and marketing guy who has written a book titled Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design, in which he claims to have worked out a reconciliation between science and religion based on arguments he had with his missionary/theologian brother, that hints at the quality of the science you’ll find in it. He has a superficial view of a few biological processes, like DNA error repair and transposition, and has shoehorned them into his religious belief that these are the tools used by some kind of engineering force that makes them purposeful.

He has a challenge with a $100,000 prize. All you have to do is show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. Basically he’s making the clueless argument that there are no processes in genetics that produce novel information. I think Jeffrey Shallit ought to step up and claim it. Actually, he might have to fight through a mob of information theorists to get his money (if it exists, and if the judging wasn’t rigged).

Comments

  1. #1 The Peak Oil Poet
    New Zealand
    January 1, 2016

    “a reconciliation between science and religion”

    science and religion have no problem with reconciliation – lots of stuff religions do are quite easily within the fields of psychology, sociology and even neuroscience, a few others no doubt

    it’s not religion that must be reconciled with science but some aspects of most religions – most usually “God”

    and that can not ever be reconciled for if it could then one could imagine experiments that would absolutely show that there was no God (a la Popper)

    sadly, there are no such experiments and so science, which has to do with trying to understand reality, can never be reconciled with something that starts with something that transcends reality

    perhaps we could one day prove that in every observable case of someone in a state of “belief”, while being scanned by some high-tech device, the area(s) of their brain that light up are indistinguishable from areas that light up when, for example, a person is lying, and/or they are certifiably mad, and/or they are under the influence of some drug

    of course, as much as this would be proof beyond doubt to the rational

    it would be meaningless to the deluded, deceitful and drugged

    God bless you all

    😉

    pop

  2. #2 Robert Dunning
    January 2, 2016

    I believed in evolution until I was in my 40’s then realized that the purpose of that theory was to eliminate sin and to give a theory that there is a more highly evolved strata (10 percent ) of society that should rule the less evolved. The old nihilism and present progressives. Evolution has three parts, spontaneous creation of life, microevolution and macroevoluion. Spontaneous creation of life is silly, microevolution is true, and is what is used to prove evolution , while macroevoluion is not conclusive. I published a Kindle enovel addressing the problems that had to be solved for creation to have occurred. “Eye of God : Before the Big Bang the Kings is “

  3. #3 dean
    January 2, 2016

    I believed in evolution until I was in my 40’s then realized that the purpose of that theory was to eliminate sin and to give a theory that there is a more highly evolved strata (10 percent ) of society that should rule the less evolved.

    At first I thought you were simply a liar, then an idiot, then I remembered that since there is a huge intersection in those two groups, especially in the creationists, you’re likely both.
    Spontaneous creation of life is part of evolution? Nope.
    Macroevolution not conclusive? Sorry – you are not even trying.

  4. #4 Jim Jones
    Anderson, IN
    January 3, 2016

    Creationism as a religious concept is an interesting, nonscience theology. Nothing could be farther from scientific applications. Science does not deny the existence of God. The concept of God lies outside scientific methodology, that is scientists cannot observe God, cannot experiment with God, cannot repeat experiments. In other words the concept of God lies outside (beyond if, if you will) the application of scientific methodology. Attempting to rag science into the dogma of Creationism is ludicrous. Scientist participating in this concept are doing so as a sect participant, not as a scientist. In fact, to accept the religious concept of Creationism you must ignore legitimate scientific research. It is unfortunate that creationists are looking at biblical myths (extreme fundamentals interpretation), thus causing an irreversible wedge between religion and science.
    The Catholic Church historically has made this mistake, and to their credit have recanted their position and apologized. Hopefully the Creationists eventually will do the same

  5. #5 Peter Kinnon
    New Zealand
    January 3, 2016

    Among the many ill-informed assertions made by “Intelligent Design” nitwits is:

    “The only known source capable of producing information is a mind.”

    This is, of course, utter nonsense! In fact, the only KNOWN source of producing information is gravitation.

    The possibility of others cannot be discounted – randomness, when allied with a rectification process of some kind, is a very strong contender.

    Minds merely process information. As does, for instance, your PC. They don’t generate it. And, inevitably, an increase in entropy is associated with their function.

    The broad evolutionary continuum of which this is part is the subject of my latest book “The Intricacy Generator: Pushing Chemistry and Geometry Uphill”.

  6. #6 A.D.
    January 4, 2016

    What I don’t understand is why people feel this compelling need to ‘reconcile’ religion and evolution and not, say, religion and solid state physics, or religion and Keynesian economics.

    I suspect it’s because the basic tenets of evolution are both easy to read about and easy to misinterpret.

  7. #7 Darren Saunders
    New Zealand
    January 10, 2016

    Started receiving Perry Marshall emails for some inexplicable reason but my interest was piqued when I saw the link for the Myers-Marshall discussion which i read. Unfortunately I feel Mr Marshall did not present anything new with arguments that echoed finding a watch on a heath and concluding it must have been designed because that is how other complicated, data rich stuff comes about… same argument, different frock.

    In rely to Peak Oil Poet above, “and that can not ever be reconciled for if it could then one could imagine experiments that would absolutely show that there was no God (a la Popper)”.

    Not to my mind entirely true. The bible for example does make some empirical statements that can be tested e.g. age of the earth. Bible ways 6000 years (take literally) nature says billions. The book of nature trumps scripture as far as i am concerned hence the literal interpretation of the bible (and the god presented therein) is disproven or at least a portion of it is and thus the rest becomes suspect.

    There can be no honest reconciliation between religion and science. Their philsophies and means of obtaining “truth” and diametrically opposed. Religion says accept this random revealed authority and do not question on pain of expulsion, death etc In religion, truth is absolute and determined by faith. In science truth is the theory that hits the data best at any given time. New hypothese are to be tested and critiqued to better prove their worth or lack therein, if disproven they are rejected whereas in religion facts are ignored so faith may be preserved.
    .

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