Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm Just Askin'...

1. Given the fact that hominids, in something approaching modern forms, have walked the Earth for between 100,000 and 200,000 years, why did god, who ostensibly is interested in human salvation, wait so many tens of thousands of years to reveal himself and explicate the means by which to be saved?

2. Why do atheists who otherwise make consistently good arguments, and seemingly have a firm grasp on the issues, choose to believe, and advocate on behalf of, the superstition of objective, prescriptive morality, when, clearly, scientific investigation of the natural order can only tell us what is, while telling us nothing of what ought to be?

3. Inasmuch as, according to the Christian religion, sinful man is redeemed--is granted salvation--by his saving faith in Jesus Christ, if there is an eight-year-old boy who lives in a remote, tribal part of Africa, or perhaps South America, and who dies at that young age with Jesus' message of salvation having never penetrated his village, what becomes of him?

4. Why do atheists who are intimately acquainted with Darwinian theory, and who comprehensively understand universal common descent, persist in the superstitious, speciocentric belief that humans, apart from the rest of our Tree of Life brethren, are special and, in some nebulous way, meaningfully different from everything else that has evolved?

5. Why do some Christians, when they hear that a prominent atheist, such as Christopher Hitchens, has gotten sick, fall all over themselves to declare (seemingly gleefully) that god has inflicted the disease as a "public humbling" when, in nearly every case, the same Christians would probably decline an offer to walk around a cancer ward and inform the patients that they are being humbled by the deity?

92 Comments:

Blogger Lvka said...

1). It is written that Adam, the primordial man [symbolizing the earliest humans, the hunter-gatherer society], walked together with God in Paradise. That Abel and Cain [symbolizing the first shephards and land-tillers] sacrificed their first-fruits unto God. That Noah, during the Great Flood [at the end of the Last Ice Age] held converse with God. -- So the Bible paints a picture of a continuous relationship between God and makind throughout all ages.

3). Acts 14:16 and 17:30.

4). Because no other species are equipped with reason, feelings, conscience, self-consciousness and will in the same way humans are.

12:37 AM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Lvka,

Thanks for the response.

With respect to point one, I give you credit for not adhering to the scientifically untenable Young Earth creationist position, but I think your explanation still leads to problems. Looking at this summary of hominid evolution, your position provokes several questions.

* Did god have a relationship with Australopithecine species, or did god's involvement not begin until the genus Homo developed?

* When you refer to walking together with god in paradise, are you referring to species like Homo erectus and Homo ergaster? Was Homo neanderthalensis part of this communion with the deity?

* If god waited until modern forms of Homo sapiens first appeared about 195,000 years ago, did he have little to no interaction with Earth for the billions of years preceding modern Homo sapiens' development?

* If modern forms of Homo sapiens are so important--so central--to god's purposes with respect to Earth, why have humanlike creatures been around less than one-hundredth of one percent of Earth's natural history?

With respect to point three, I want to home in on Acts 17:30, which reads, "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent." Inasmuch as the phrasing "all people everywhere" seems comprehensively inclusive, I would have to think that the boy to whom I referred would not be forgiven for his ignorance, as this is no longer "the past" and god no longer "overlooks such ignorance." The tribal boy I posited was not historical, but contemporary (or, at least, post-biblical).

With respect to point four, why should reason, feelings, conscience, self-consciousness and will be judged "special" or "value-adding" as traits? I mean, why not deem number of legs the principal value-adding trait? Why not deem number of offspring the principal value-adding trait? What is the objective standard according to which reason, feelings, conscience, self-consciousness and will are important? Ultimately, to me, the standard, whatever it is, seems arbitrary.

6:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Lvka said...

As Eastern Orthodox, I have no problem with mystery, so my answer to many of your first questions from the list is "I don't know".

Another answer would be something like this: our parents also took care of us eversince we were in the womb, but we weren't aware of that until we've developed better self-conscience and memory at about three years of age.

I've seen you repeat this question in many of your posts, and I don't recall if I've actually posted the answer to it or not before, but here it is [again?]: the Bible also has mankind appearing at the very close of creation, on the eve of the sixth (and last) day.

(Why not sooner than that, you ask? Well, why do you first build the oven, kindle the fire, buy the rolling-pin, get the flour, water, and salt, AND ONLY THEN prepare the bread, bake it, and FINALLY eat it, if it was *bread* that was actually so important this whole time?)

"The boy" did not hear the Gospel. The "times past" refer to the period prior to hearing & becoming acquainted with the Gospel. (The Gospel never spread to China, most of India, and Sub-Saharic Africa, let alone Australia or the two Americas, until fairly reccently in human history).

Sentience is fundamental, and so is life. (That's even why God is a Trinity: because His Sentience and His Life are Persons, not something impersonal -- but I digress).

2:01 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

As Eastern Orthodox, I have no problem with mystery, so my answer to many of your first questions from the list is "I don't know".

Another answer would be something like this: our parents also took care of us eversince we were in the womb, but we weren't aware of that until we've developed better self-conscience and memory at about three years of age.


Of course, inasmuch as our knowledge is far from comprehensive, we must accept the existence of puzzles for which we do not yet have the answers. However, my purpose in introducing the hominid evolutionary timeline was twofold: I also wanted to show the basic, fundamental incompatibility between the bible and the actual evolutionary record. Nothing in the bible - nothing at all - alludes to ape-like hominids who slowly, over a few million years, become more like modern humans. I mean, the Adam and Eve tale was not written with Australopithecines in mind. Clearly, the bible authors knew nothing of human origins.


I've seen you repeat this question in many of your posts, and I don't recall if I've actually posted the answer to it or not before, but here it is [again?]: the Bible also has mankind appearing at the very close of creation, on the eve of the sixth (and last) day.

(Why not sooner than that, you ask? Well, why do you first build the oven, kindle the fire, buy the rolling-pin, get the flour, water, and salt, AND ONLY THEN prepare the bread, bake it, and FINALLY eat it, if it was *bread* that was actually so important this whole time?)


The respective histories of this planet and this planet’s biodiversity are not at all similar to a recipe for making bread, inasmuch as there is no reason to think that Earth’s formation, and subsequent Darwinian evolution thereon, was all building toward humanity’s existence. Something like 98% of all species that ever existed have gone extinct. The Tree of Life is anything BUT a steady progression to humanity. Humans, instead, are one tiny branch, off a tiny branch, off a tiny branch, off a tiny branch. When Earth has been around for 4.54 billion years, and modern humans have been around for about 195,000 years, one should be careful about positing humanity’s centrality to anything - whether earthly or, especially, cosmic.


"The boy" did not hear the Gospel. The "times past" refer to the period prior to hearing & becoming acquainted with the Gospel. (The Gospel never spread to China, most of India, and Sub-Saharic Africa, let alone Australia or the two Americas, until fairly reccently in human history).

I think you are reading implications into the verses that are not actually there.

Acts 17:30-31 says this: "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

If the bible meant to say what you did, why did it not just say that? Why did it not just say, "In the past, God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people who have heard the message to repent"?


Sentience is fundamental, and so is life. (That's even why God is a Trinity: because His Sentience and His Life are Persons, not something impersonal -- but I digress).

I do not see how this addresses the original question. Remember, the original question was posed to atheists, just as three of the questions were posed to Christians. On an atheistic worldview, what could possibly be the objective standard by which to judge "special" or "value-adding" traits?

4:10 PM EDT  
Blogger Lvka said...

Because as far as matter is concerned, the whole universe is made of it. But nothing in this vast universe, except for humans, possesses these things that we talked about.

The vast majority of matter is lifeless, senseless and unsentient (99% of it is hydrogen and helium burning at obscene temperatures).

- Only plants, animals, and humans have life.
- Of these, only animals and humans possess senses.
- of these, only humans possess sentience (self-awareness, consciousness, reason, will, and feelings).

As far as other characteristics are concerned, every thing has them. Every thing has color, or dimensions, or time of existence. But life and senses and sentience are different categories altogether; they are not degrees of other properties. -- Do you understand now? (i.e., they constitute "fundamental" or "independent" things... they're not combinations or intensities of other things). -- Am I making myself clearer?

8:11 PM EDT  
Blogger Lvka said...

No, the biblical authors were obviously not aware of evolution, but why do you think that such an obscenely-detailed narration of pre-human history would've helped their readers become holier and purer persons?

Another thing I wanted to say: you must see Genesis in the same light as Daniel or Revelations: namely as a prophetic book, only this time about a very distant past, not the future.


The reason I interpreted the passage in Acts that way is because of other things written in the Bible which go hand in hand with it. E.g., "those to whom much is given, much is asked of", or -another one, more to the point-: "if I hadn't have spoken to you, you would have no sin in you", etc.


Something which comes at the end is usually the "conclusion" or `epithome' of the things that have gone before. (technological and scientifical modernity vs. the knowledge and tools of times past; etc.) -- The same for human beings.

8:27 PM EDT  
Blogger Lvka said...

I'm sorry to hear Hitchens has cancer. (I've only now clicked the link). :-(

3:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

1. B/c He wanted to.
2. Good question. I'd suggest applying it to question 1.
3. God hasn't informed us of this fact. And you'll probably never know unless you repent of your own sin and trust Christ.
4. Great question. I'd suggest applying it to question 3.
5. B/c Hitchens is an arrogant, blasphemous mocker and a boor. It probably IS a humbling, an indicator to Hitchens that he needs to repent.
At the same time, many many people have called for prayer for him. I haven't seen one dancing on his grave until this link.
I'm sorry you don't know too many consistent Christians, but I would certainly include that as part of a presentation of the Gospel to a dying person. At the same time, most people in the cancer ward are not arrogant blasphemous boors like Hitchens, and so they're less outlandish in their arrogant rebellion against God.

11:54 AM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

However offensive Christopher Hitchens might have been to Christians - or to their deity, for that matter - I continue to believe that, whenever a disease or an affliction is portrayed as “righteous justice,” “a public humbling” or someone “getting his just deserts,” it is a slap in the face to every individual who is suffering from that disease, inasmuch as the clear implication, at least to me, is that each of them, too, must have done something considerably heinous to have been stricken with an affliction that, ostensibly, is a recognized form of celestial punishment for boorishness, arrogance, blasphemy and mockery.

5:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

it is a slap in the face to every individual who is suffering from that disease

The consistent nihilist wouldn't say that. He'd shrug.

9:17 AM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

At the very least, with respect to castigatory diseases, we are both consistently inconsistent.

11:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

How am I inconsistent? The Bible allows for both of these facts, so I affirm both.

11:42 AM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Insofar as, unless you want to open yourself to the charge of an ad hoc assault against Christopher Hitchens, you must hold that esophageal cancer - as well as, presumably, other cancers - is a recognized form of celestial punishment for boorishness, arrogance, blasphemy and mockery, it would seem that any attempt to separate the punitively afflicted from those who, by sheer, unfortunate circumstance, came up ill would be inescapably arbitrary, a consequence of which, I feel, is to insult and demean everybody who suffers from god’s preferred castigatory diseases.

12:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

esophageal cancer - as well as, presumably, other cancers - is a recognized form of celestial punishment for boorishness, arrogance, blasphemy and mockery

It is a result of the Fall of Man, and man is vulnerable b/c of sin. We all ratify the Fall when we sin, and we sin abundantly.
The Bible speaks of diseases that are for the glory of God (John 9), b/c God just plain wanted to (Exodus 3), and also for punishment (Miriam, Gehazi). It could be any of these, could be a combination. I affirm that all 3 are possibilities, w/o specific knowledge of why Hitchens has cancer.


sheer, unfortunate circumstance

This might be your disconnect in understanding and in falsely accusing me of inconsistency. The Bible knows nothing of "misfortune" - God ordains all that comes to pass.



to insult and demean everybody

So what?
1) This doesn't demonstrate my inconsistency. I thought that's what you were trying to do.
2) The consistent nihilist would shrug.

12:39 PM EDT  
Blogger Andrew said...

(1.)The assumptions underlying this question are the truthfulness of evolutionary theory and that it would be wrong (granting your first assumption) for God to wait as long as he did. I reject evolutionary theory as 19th century philosophical quackery superimposed onto things like the fossil record. But granting the evolutionary worldview for the sake of argument I must ask: How would a "morally nihilistic" person have any basis upon which to question God's timing?


(2.) You are correct that it would be more consistent of an atheist to not affirm objective, but rather subjective morality. But again the underlying assumption in your question is the existence of an "ought" or "ought not". From where does this come in a nihilist's thinking? Why does it bother you? I would argue that the atheist (you included) is not able to be consistent in this area because he/she is created in the image of God and therefore has an awareness of objective morality whether it is wanted or not. The inconsistency is a result of the fight which the atheist has picked with his or her conscience.

(3.) Again what underlies your question is an errant assumption. In this case the assumption is the innocence of the eight year old. (You've also implied an objective morality again) The scripture (confirmed by experience) affirms the sinfulness of man from his conception. This eight year old may or may not be mature enough to have engaged in full on rebellion against his creator. If this is the case then he will spend eternity in Hell. I confess theological ignorance when it comes to the state of those too young to have a mature understanding of right and wrong as it pertains to their own rebellion against God.

(4.) Is it wrong to think this way? If so, why; and how would a nihilist come to that conclusion? To answer your question: Because we are created in God's image and the athesistic, darwinian, evolutionists know it. This is the same internal fight I spoke of in my response to question 2.

(5.) More implied "oughts and ought nots". Are you really a nihilist? Furthermore, I read the article and the author did not refer to Hitchen's cancer as a public humbling. He spoke hypothetically of Hitchen's repentance and how that would be a public humbling. You've completely misrepresented what was said. For now I will assume that it was an honest mistake on your part. Was it? Lastly, I watched part of an interview of Christopher Hitchens recently and he seems to think that while there are some christians taking a certain perverse pleasure in his illness, there are more who are praying for him to get well, saved, or both. So I think your broad generalization is unwarranted.

I hope these answers from a mostly unlettered layman are in some way edifying or useful.

1:17 AM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

1. I appreciate your refreshing honesty vis-à-vis your rejection of Darwinian evolution by natural selection as “19th century philosophical quackery.” In turn, I should make clear that I reject the bible as the mostly lunatic ravings of semi-stupefied, pitifully ignorant, mostly primitive Bronze Age desert tribesmen. I quibble with god’s timing because, as I wrote in the question, according to the aforereferenced lunatic ravings, god ostensibly is interested in human salvation, which would seem to provide some impetus to lay out that path.

2. My question is not meant to imply an “ought” or “ought not,” but merely to inquire as to why somebody would hold beliefs, including moral ones, that are devoid of supporting evidence (in this case, the non-existent evidence to support objective morality). Theists love to psychoanalyze atheists, pretending that, rather than calling out religion for its lack of evidence, we are rebelling against god: it is untrue and, to the extent that your worldview entails said rebellion, your worldview is wrong. Morality has evolved considerably over the millennia, from what I would deem the barbarity and tribalism of the Old Testament to the consensus view today, which, incidentally, mostly exists across faiths and geographic areas.

3. Aside from your curious choice to subscribe to the doctrine of hell, which, even in the sea of ludicrousness that is Christianity, seems especially rooted in primitivism and the ignorance of its time, you have mistaken my purpose in asking the question. If the Christian message, as I have often heard, is that sinful man is redeemed through saving faith in Jesus, it would seem to me practically obligatory for god—omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, etc.—to ensure the message penetrated everywhere, so people...you know...would know of Jesus. However spiritual they might previously have been, isolated populations begin to worship Yahweh (and can have saving faith in his son) when believers in Yahweh arrive at their shores.

4. It is “wrong” to think this way because it is contrary to the established facts; perhaps, rather than “wrong,” it would be better to say “incorrect.” Similarly, your explanation for the phenomenon is also incorrect. I chalk it up to intrinsic human speciocentricity and self-importance. Much as we had to learn that Earth holds no special place in the cosmos, we also must accept that humans hold no special place in the evolutionary Tree of Life.

5. The only implied “ought” and “ought not” to be found in the question is a wink toward consistency, which some Christians rather flagrantly betray when they attribute Hitchens’ illness to “sinfulness” when, if their grandmother suffered the same fate, that would probably not be their first explanation for her malady. Your accusation of misrepresentation is false and questioning of my motives tiresome. The writer says, given Hitchens’ public rebellion against god, a public humbling might be required. He implies that esophageal cancer, through which the deity could force Hitchens to his knees, might be the perfect avenue to do that.

Keep making rejection of Darwinian theory and fidelity to young Earth nonsense integral parts of your faith. When you do so, taking down Christianity becomes immensely easier.

11:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

I quibble with god’s timing because, as I wrote in the question, according to the aforereferenced lunatic ravings, god ostensibly is interested in human salvation

Then it's a good thing I'm a Calvinist.


My question is not meant to imply an “ought” or “ought not,” but merely to inquire as to why somebody would hold beliefs, including moral ones, that are devoid of supporting evidenc

Why not? You do.



it would seem to me practically obligatory for god—omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, etc.—to ensure the message penetrated everywhere, so people...you know...would know of Jesus.

Suppose God didn't want everyone to know of Jesus. (Ie, Calvinism.)


when they attribute Hitchens’ illness to “sinfulness” when, if their grandmother suffered the same fate, that would probably not be their first explanation for her malady.

It could be b/c of sin or it could be for that plus other reasons, in both cases.
Just b/c ppl who are ignorant of the Bible prognosticate, that's not a good reason to feel guilty myself.

11:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

Andrew said: "I reject evolutionary theory as 19th century philosophical quackery superimposed onto things like the fossil record."

LOL (and I'm sorry, in the derogatory sense). If the most thoroughly scrutinised science in existence counts only as "philosophical quackery", you might like to fill us in on what should replace it. You'll need to do much better than Bronze Age creation mythology, which didn't even have the benefit of anything the 19th century conjured up.

As to point #2:

I would say that humans do possess special attributes, and that, contra to what most atheists would say (but, if pushed, would concede), humans are in fact not "just another type of animal". I myself have often made the claim, but I think it's a rather greedy-reductionist type of claim, and I now retract it. First of all, while it's true that human consciousness, mind, and society are ultimately grounded in physical processes, one can't understand these things at the lowest levels of abstractification. To take an extreme (and uncontroversially clearly absurd) case: one can't understand the difference between British imperialism in the 19th century with British imperialism in the early 20th century through quantum dynamics, even though both ultimately "rest upon" quantum events. It would make no difference whether we knew hardly anything at all about quantum mechanics, or everything about it. Imperialism needs to be understood in terms that have relevance to the highly organised arrangements of matter called human beings - that is, through recourse to phenomena that only take place once certain structures and, as a consequence, dynamics and interrelationships are in place. Coming back to humans: if we want to understand them at the "interesting" level, why assume that this level will only manifest itself as something approximating to "the animal"? Why shouldn't these higher level (more abstract) phenomena have dynamics that have nothing to do with our biology? I'm phrasing this in a very inelegant (and probably misleading) way, but do you get the gist of what I'm saying? While humans ARE animals (by virtue of their evolution and physiology), they are not "just" animals. They possess attributes that are qualitatively different to anything else in the known universe (by that, I just mean everything we know about, not everything that might exist in the space-time region we know about). Human society has become a system that, while continuing to bear the hallmarks and influences of the biology of its participants, has developed new processes that are entirely its own; it's a different type of thing. This is why humans - or at least, human society - is special (in the sense of qualitatively different, and probably also in the sense of rare. If by "special" you mean "having cosmic significance", then of course we aren't special - but then, nothing can be special anyway as it's all part of the same universe, which means that the question has no possibility of being answered in the affirmative. I'm simply using special to convey "what we would take to be significant").

11:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

Hi Luis,

If the most thoroughly scrutinised science in existence counts only as "philosophical quackery", you might like to fill us in on what should replace it

What God said happened. After all, He was there. You weren't, and neither was Dick Dawk.
Your "Bronze Age" comment commits the genetic fallacy and also the bias of modernity. Logical fallacies and prejudicial bias are no place to begin a rational conversation, but that's generally par for the course for Internet naturalists/selective skeptics.

And I'd like to know what makes you think evolution happened the way most modern Darwinians think.
How does their "support" for their hypothesis usually go down?
Let's see.
Assume uniformitarianism without argument? Check.
Failure to interact with Henry Gee's _In Search of Deep Time_ and mindlessly repeat old canards about the utility of the fossil record? Check.
Failure to interact with Cambrian explosion? Check.
Assume that, when you lack fossils to form even a feeble defense, it is definite that they were NEVER there and NEVER went extinct and that we just haven't yet found their fossils? Check.
Failure to recognise that any experiment performed by intelligent agents is actually evidence of intelligent design? Check.

As for the old age of the Earth, what about that?
Assume uniformitarianism without argument? Check.
-With respect to tectonics? Check.
-With respect to half-lives? Check.
Assume you have any useful info about the quantity of decay at the time of creation. Check.
Circular self-reference as argument (à la Jerry Coyne and appeal in between isotopes)? Check.

So, what was your argument, again?

9:01 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

The Swiss psychoanalyst and philosopher Erich Fromm wrote a book back in the 50's called The Sane Society (which I highly recommend to absolutely everyone). In it, he basically expounded the view that the essence, as it were, of our humanity is our creative impulse, and that all of life is, in his terminology, a quest to "understand the problem of human existence".

Personally, I think that any description of what humans are and certainly where we're heading will need to include the creative impulse as one of its central points, and that this need (and I think it is a need) forms part of what makes us special in the sense I was alluding to. Basically: we're creative beings, "at once part of nature but separate from it...man finds himself as the freak of the universe." (Fromm).

9:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Andrew said...

Luis,
Call me crazy, but I am not that impressed with the scientific community's claim to self-scrutiny. The darwinists are just as dogmatic as any religious institution.
As to your point on point #2: I don't see how you position differs in substance with that of the consistent, materialistic atheist who says we are not special in any way.

11:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

"Luis,
Call me crazy, but I am not that impressed with the scientific community's claim to self-scrutiny. The darwinists are just as dogmatic as any religious institution."


Then you don't know the scientific community. Granted, some (many?) scientists cling onto their ideas with dogmatic zeal. However, most scientists would LOVE to be the harbingers of some radical new shakeup that overthrows the prevailing orthodoxy. That's what science is really about for a lot of them: not just "discovering new things", but having their name attached to a new way of thinking. The dogmatism of some is no match for the boundless egotism of others.

As for Darwinism (or at least the fact of evolution): the basic tenets are not in error. They've been confirmed to such an extent by masses of overlapping evidence from disparate fields that there's no longer any real doubt about their veracity (though the exact mechanisms are still open to discussion, and the relative importance of some process over another in any given situation is also being debated - which also points to a related point about dogmatism: controversy and debate within science is routine to the point of being banal. Even if particular scientists can be said to be dogmatists, the institution and system of science is the antithesis of this. Religiously inspired anti-evolutionists, of course, are pretty much obligated to invoke "dogmatic scientists" as the reason for the continued domination of evolutionary theory in the life sciences. The actual problem, of course, isn't that Darwin was wrong, it's that the critics are, but they just won't admit it, because they've attached their "skepticism" to metaphysical "truths" that must be defended even at the expense of science. In fact, anti-evolutionists have become exceedingly proficient at being wrong).

Finally, being dogmatic doesn't preclude one from being right. While you take exception to the dogmatism of Darwinists, can you marshal any arguments against Darwinism? You don't like their tone; can you find fault in what they actually say?

"As to your point on point #2: I don't see how you position differs in substance with that of the consistent, materialistic atheist who says we are not special in any way."

I can't help that. You won't be able to see it because my philosophical materialist, atheistic outlook is notably devoid of any notions of spirits and other logically incoherent entities that are somehow imagined to embody "true meaning" outside of the humans who contemplate it, or some such nebulous notion - and, even more astonishingly, to "solve" questions of morality and meaning when they simply bump the problem up another notch without actually explaining anything.

8:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

"What God said happened."

* chuckles to himself *

"After all, He was there."

...said your prescientific nomads. I'm truly humbled by your source.

"You weren't, and neither was Dick Dawk."

And neither were you, meaning that you have no "objective basis" for being able to say that God was there, other than believing that he was based on the rantings of some desert tribe folk who thought that bats were birds.

"Your "Bronze Age" comment commits the genetic fallacy and also the bias of modernity."

Translation: using reason is beyond the pale, and we must revert back to modes of thinking from a time when people believed that diseases were caused by demons (using those very modes of thinking, no less). Again, truly humbling.

"Logical fallacies and prejudicial bias are no place to begin a rational conversation,"

While rejecting the whole field of evolutionary theory is? Yeah, creationists really do say the darndest things. Unlike the kiddies, though, they're not endearing. But then, there's nothing endearing about the intellectual turds that are served up with such nonchalant ease.

"but that's generally par for the course for Internet naturalists/selective skeptics."

And the world's most proficient scientists, apparently. But they don't know what they're talking about either. Not enough Bible study (or something. Whatever. They're probably too ignorant to know), which makes them less qualified to talk about the universe than you are.

So, bats are birds, right?

(Boy, you can't make this stuff up. :) The pathetic thing is that you're for fucking real.)

9:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

"And I'd like to know what makes you think evolution happened the way most modern Darwinians think."

Overlapping evidence from disparate fields that all fits the predictions derived from Darwinian theory, as I've explained to you at length on The Atheist Experience. Now, I'm not saying that you're obligated to like that (I know that you don't). I'm saying (as I have before) that that's what "makes me think" that evolution happened the way Darwinian evolutionists say it did, and why the Bible story, taken literally, is a pathetic hodgepodge of make-believe and propaganda.

"Assume uniformitarianism without argument? Check."

Are you going to play this disgusting game again, Rhology? Okay then. Once more for the slow ones:

Uniformitarianism, in the sense of laws of nature that remain constant over an appreciable length of time, aren't an "assumption", they're a requirement of our existence. Why? Because if we lived in a universe that was precariously unstable, we wouldn't be here to talk about it since the requisite processes needed to bring us about wouldn't have been able to get under way. Not a hard point to grasp, but I suppose that for someone who doesn't actually care about physics and chemistry, the way in which the physical universe actually behaves won't matter since the non-physical mind-stuff vapor cloud called God can always come along and tinker as Rhology sees fit.

Funny, also, how when one DOES apply uniformitarianism, the Darwinian narrative fits the actual observations beautifully. Not just rather well or rather closely: beautifully. As in: when predictions are made from Darwinism, and the observations are then made, the two go together like chicken and Coca-Cola. The creationist alternative - even when you assume that God slowed down the decay rate or some bat-shit crazy notion like that - falls apart like a house of cards, unless you just look at one small portion of that house and ignore the rest. Evolution? Not so much. The whole house holds together in a way that's sublime. Lesson: creationists are wrong, evolution is right.

"Failure to interact with Henry Gee's _In Search of Deep Time_ and mindlessly repeat old canards about the utility of the fossil record? Check."

Right, because Tiktaalik roseae, a transitional form of the sort that evolutionary theory PREDICTS should exist, doesn't count, and using it as evidence is to "mindlessly repeat old canards about the utility of the fossil record" - because you say it is (since, apparently, using anything to verify evolution is disqualified on the basis that uniformitarianism is an unfounded "assumption" - even though you don't see any need to justify your own (genuine) assumption that the unstable God universe is more plausible than the stable Godless one I'm purporting. Does not compute. You're going to have to do a lot better than that).

9:50 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

Another point: your cognitive faculties have been utterly decimated by years of religious indoctrination and self-reinforcing guff, wherein you've dug yourself deeper and deeper into a whole so deep that you're now unable even to see - let alone acknowledge - that the science used to construct the very computer you're using to spout your asinine propaganda is itself a product of the "assumption" laden science that you so swaggeringly attack (oblivious to the implications for your own "philosophy", since this very SAME science tells us that Mr Darwin knew quite a bit more than the ancients. If humanity had been constrained to use your "logic", we'd frankly still be burning witches. No thanks. You can be sure that I'll have my eyes gouged out defending reason before I let people like you domineer our culture with your filth).

"Failure to interact with Cambrian explosion? Check."

The Cambrian explosion? Did you just mention the Cambrian explosion?

Hang on. The Cambrian Explosion? As in: the whole Burgess Shale shebang? Surely not. If so, you'd know that it bares NO RESEMBLANCE WHATSOEVER to Genesis, as 1) the motherfucker was spread out over millions of years, 2) representatives of many of the phyla present today don't even APPEAR until much later than the Cambrian, which kind of makes a mockery of your "God dunnit" mouth-noise, 3) there was plenty of stuff happening BEFORE the CE (including plenty of transitional forms that you folk say shouldn't exist, but which do, but which don't count anyway since you can always fall back on Sky Daddy to patch things over), and 4) the real clincher: mammals (that is, the group we belong to) don't touch the Cambrian explosion with a ten foot pole, because the whole thing happened UNDER WATER (ha, how about that?), long before mammals even arose from their reptile-like ancestors (which themselves hadn't even appeared yet). A bit of advise: don't try using science to bolster your Bronze Age mythologies, because it makes you look just a tad silly. The ladies don't appreciate an ignorant braggart either.

I'll "interact with" the Cambrian explosion any day of the week. You just let me know. Mmmm-kay?

9:52 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

Sorry, this is too annoying. Whenever I address someone's points, this blog tells me that I must have at most 4,096 characters, which presumably means I have to go back and cut it down to size, even though it then tells me that the message was accepted for blog owner approval. I'll see what actually went through and include the remainder of my rebuttals to Rhology if need be.

9:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

Hi Luis,


Then you don't know the scientific community

Hahaha, I know it all too well.



Granted, some (many?) scientists cling onto their ideas with dogmatic zeal.

So you take with one hand and give back with the other.
Yeah, Luis, it's MANY.



However, most scientists would LOVE to be the harbingers of some radical new shakeup that overthrows the prevailing orthodoxy.

Blah blah blah. I don't blv stuff like that until I see evidence of it.
Since ID has defeated Darwinism and since since pretty much all your "evidence" is actually evidence for ID, I have every reason to disbelieve that faithful, pious statement from you.



As for Darwinism (or at least the fact of evolution): the basic tenets are not in error.

I've never heard anyone argue that, say, mosquitos don't in fact evolve into...mosquitos.
What I"m looking for is evidence that amœbæ evolved into giraffes or sthg. You know, evidence that your position actually takes place.



They've been confirmed to such an extent by masses of overlapping evidence from disparate fields

Prove it. Give me your best 5.



being dogmatic doesn't preclude one from being right.

Oh, can I quote that back to you the next time you whine about those evil creationists?



You don't like their tone

You must enjoy shadowboxing. Where did I say that?


So, bats are birds, right?

So, you're a novice at this, right?


spirits and other logically incoherent entities

Prove that spirits are logically incoherent entities. I'm chuckling at you now. You're emoting. You're a good acolyte. They've got you right where they want you, man - you're their tool.



...said your prescientific nomads

1) Please prove God didn't ALSO say that, THROUGH said prescientific nomads.
2) You have quite a butt-clenched definition of science. You think they never did any experiments at all? None? Never saw repeated events and drew conclusions from those observations? How could you possibly prove that?
Oh wait - you can't and don't care to. We've seen that many times here already.



And neither were you, meaning that you have no "objective basis"

That's just a stupid statement. GOD WAS THERE and He said how it went down. The text is objective and static. Doesn't depend on me at all.

8:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

Overlapping evidence from disparate fields that all fits the predictions derived from Darwinian theory

1) Question-begging doesn't count as evidence.
2) If a given datum is explicated under Darwinism AND under YEC (I'm YEC, FYI), it's not evidence for either side.



Uniformitarianism, in the sense of laws of nature that remain constant over an appreciable length of time, aren't an "assumption", they're a requirement of our existence. Why? Because if we lived in a universe that was precariously unstable, we wouldn't be here to talk about it since the requisite processes needed to bring us about wouldn't have been able to get under way

Doubt I could've said it better myself.
Now, you can take un-ism on blind faith, and that's OK - just admit you're doing it. It's pretty clear but y'all usually prefer to smokescreen and cover up that fact.
The question is: If naturalism is true, how can you acct for that assumption? Saying "We're here, so, you know, duh" isn't an answer - it's an expression of blind faith. The Muslim could just as easily say "Allah is real. How do I know? We're here, so, you know, duh."


but I suppose that for someone who doesn't actually care about physics and chemistry

Not a big fan of correctly characterising opponents, eh?



the way in which the physical universe actually behaves won't matter since the non-physical mind-stuff vapor cloud called God can always come along and tinker as Rhology sees fit.

1) Another strawman. Not as *I* see fit.
2) You're just begging the question wrt uniformitarianism, and also you fail to recognise the challenge that the problem of induction offers to your position. But that's OK - you have faith!



also, how when one DOES apply uniformitarianism, the Darwinian narrative fits the actual observations beautifully.

1) Then it's just as funny how, when one DOES apply the Bible, the Christian narrative fits the actual observations beautifully.
Huh - crazy how that works. Now justify your assumption. All you're saying so far is that if you make a so-far-unjustified assumption that y'all made up, it all works out.
2) And the facts DON'T fit.



when predictions are made from Darwinism, and the observations are then made

That sounds a lot more like ID than Darwinism.



because Tiktaalik roseae, a transitional form of the sort that evolutionary theory PREDICTS should exist

Prove that Tiktaalike had any children. Go ahead.
I'd encourage you to actually read Gee's book.



even though you don't see any need to justify your own (genuine) assumption that the unstable God universe is more plausible than the stable Godless one I'm purporting

Right, that's why I have a 5-year old blog doing just that all the time.
Don't these strawmen ever tire you a bit?



your cognitive faculties have been utterly decimated by years of religious indoctrination and self-reinforcing guff

Coming from someone who has no reason to think ANY human's cog faculties reliably produce true beliefs, that you think that doesn't bother me.



that the science used to construct the very computer you're using to spout your asinine propaganda

OOoh, Strawman #4! You must be under the mistaken assumption that the Xtian worldview does not support science. Or you're being dishonest b/c you're apparently a bit of a stuck-up jerk.



since this very SAME science tells us that Mr Darwin knew quite a bit more than the ancients.

Or maybe the ancients knew not to make the same unjustified assumptions Darwin did.

9:04 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

If humanity had been constrained to use your "logic", we'd frankly still be burning witches.

1) Prove you know anything about Xtianity beyond your skewed strawman, and prove it.
2) Prove there's sthg morally wrong with burning witches, on naturalism. Why is that a bad thing? After all, if they weren't strong enough to avoid such a fate, it's more like a helpful thing that they were removed from the gene pool.
If you can't prove either, let the reader note how ridiculous you sound - why should anyone listen to you?



The Cambrian Explosion? As in: the whole Burgess Shale shebang? Surely not.

Um, yes. The very one.



If so, you'd know that it bares NO RESEMBLANCE WHATSOEVER to Genesis...there was plenty of stuff happening BEFORE the CE

1) You're apparently having difficulty following the argument so far. Let me help - we're talking about NATURALISM, not YEC. So what's your explanation ON NATURALISM?
2) I'm YEC. God created Adam and the rest of the organisms, and Eve, and the Earth, as mature specimens. Not as fetuses.



representatives of many of the phyla present today don't even APPEAR until much later than the Cambrian, which kind of makes a mockery of your "God dunnit"

Why? Uh oh, not more self-referential question-begging about the age of fossils that you can't prove had children. You're not doing that, right? You'd look like a fool if you were, so hopefully you'll think a bit deeply and give a good reason.


don't try using science to bolster your Bronze Age mythologies

Man, thank God you're here to tell me not to do what I'm not doing!


I'll "interact with" the Cambrian explosion any day of the week.

Please do. Start now. I'll give you a mulligan on your first 4 tries just now.




"Your "Bronze Age" comment commits the genetic fallacy and also the bias of modernity."

Translation: using reason is beyond the pale, and we must revert back to modes of thinking from a time when people believe


So, no answer. Noted.
I mean, you don't even care that you re-committed the genetic fallacy! What conclusion should a truth-seeker draw about you when you don't care that you engage in fallacious reasoning?



"Logical fallacies and prejudicial bias are no place to begin a rational conversation,"

While rejecting the whole field of evolutionary theory is?


1) You know, maybe I have good reason to do so.
2) Go ahead, prove that evolutionary theory is as well-attested and foundational as is logic itself. Have fun.



"but that's generally par for the course for Internet naturalists/selective skeptics."

And the world's most proficient scientists, apparently


1) Yes, it's quite obvious that many, especially the most loud-mouthed, scientists are complete novices when it comes to logic and philosophy.
2) And you couldn't have thrown them under the bus any better than you just did! Luis gives good backhanded compliments - "the world's most proficient scientists" care little for their logical fallacies and prejudicial biases. Hahahahahaa. That's pretty funny stuff.

9:04 AM EDT  
Blogger David said...

Rho,

In answer to "you might like to fill us in on what should replace it", you said, what God said happened." How do you know that God said that the earth was created with all species in place about 6000 years ago? What if you're wrong? How would you know?

10:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Andrew said...

"Then you don't know the scientific community........ However, most scientists would LOVE to be the harbingers of some radical new shakeup that overthrows the prevailing orthodoxy."

Oh, you mean like I.D.? Yeah, you're right. There has been no dogmatically motivated backlash against that idea. Oh, before you say it, I.D. proponents are not all young earth creationists with a religious agenda. So save that little canard for an argument with someone else.

"Finally, being dogmatic doesn't preclude one from being right."

Thank you.

"can you marshal any arguments against Darwinism?"

Yes. The information stored in DNA is unmistakable evidence for creation. In fact, I go so far as to say it is proof and not mere evidence; as evolution from one thing to another (even a simple jump like scales to feathers) requires new information. Information doesn't just happen. It must be given. In other words evolution is not even possible.

6:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Andrew said...

I should clarify that when I say "evolution isn't even possible" I refer to the idea of gradual, upwardly mobile permutation of the natural order from simple to complex.

6:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

“Hahaha, I know it [the scientific community] all too well.”

Apparently not, since you’ve managed to get just about everything wrong so far. But let’s see how you go this time.

>Granted, some (many?) scientists cling onto their ideas with dogmatic zeal.<

”So you take with one hand and give back with the other.
Yeah, Luis, it's MANY.”


Back that up with some evidence. I was merely granting the possibility of it, and making the point that, even GIVEN this, it makes no difference at all to whether the actual arguments on offer are true or not. There’s no doubt that some scientists are dogmatic. If you’re going to get hung up on the importance of many scientists being dogmatic (though I do think that this is a genuinely important issue), then show that to be the case. I don’t know how one would actually demonstrate this, but you could suggest experiments or studies to test the idea.

>However, most scientists would LOVE to be the harbingers of some radical new shakeup that overthrows the prevailing orthodoxy.<

Blah blah blah. I don't blv stuff like that until I see evidence of it.

I think that you assume scientists to be too much like yourself: wedded to dogma. Speaking for myself, I’d love to be the harbinger of a radically new idea that forces a major rethink in the life sciences. Having worked in the life sciences (unlike you), it’s perfectly clear to me, at least, that scientists are a rather impetuous and rowdy lot. At my uni, there’s a seminar every week by some person trying to sell their new idea. The cover of Nature and Science always have some new, exciting discovery that’s touted as importantly changing some aspect of our understanding of the world. These journals won’t even allow you to publish something unless the reviewers think it’s novel enough.

Since ID has defeated Darwinism and since since pretty much all your "evidence" is actually evidence for ID, I have every reason to disbelieve that faithful, pious statement from you.

I must have missed the memo about the collapse of Darwinism. By the way, I’m truly humbled by your source (one wonders why you’re not at the dizzying heights of human intellectual endeavour). Too bad that the ravings of a creotard blogger don’t mean squat to the actual practise and process of doing science (ha, how about that?). Nice try though. Next time, try at least to get to first base.

>As for Darwinism (or at least the fact of evolution): the basic tenets are not in error.<

I've never heard anyone argue that, say, mosquitos don't in fact evolve into...mosquitos.

A non-point. You’re talking about microevolution, not the macroevolution clearly visible in the fossil record and discernible (unavoidably so) from comparative genetics, morphology, biochemistry, and the biogeographical distribution of animals and plants (which utterly destroys the expectations of the Genesis dispersal model).

10:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

What I"m looking for is evidence that amœbæ evolved into giraffes or sthg.

An odd request, which exposes your nigh-on-nil understanding of even the most basic and well known tenets of evolution. Nowhere does evolutionary theory say that an amoeba “evolved into” a giraffe in the caricatured sense you’re clearly trying to invoke. What it does say (for those who actually care about the facts) is that these organisms share a common ancestor, and that less complex life evolved into more complex life in a branching process whereby numerous lineages diverged, and eventually, in one of those lineages, produced giraffes. The affinities of these lineages can be discerned from indirect evidence (see later). What sort of evidence did you have in mind, though? Surely not that an amoeba would literally turn into a giraffe? Or, somewhat less idiotic, that giraffes could be produced from amoebae within a human lifetime? Such things would do more to verify creationism than Darwinian evolution. If these are the sorts of “evidence” you’re after, then you’re asking for things that have nothing to do with evolution. At least learn the barest rudiments of what it is you think you’re critiquing before doing of. Thanks.

You know, evidence that your position actually takes place.

It’s not my position, therefore the challenge isn’t mine to assume. It’s a caricature invented by liars, such as the tax-dodging preachers you get your “science” from.

10:10 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

Prove it. Give me your best 5.

The following things are all predicted by evolution (and, while strictly allowed by creation – not your version, though - supposing this to be the case would lead us to the inexorable notion that God made things to look as though they evolved and not to look as they’re depicted in the Genesis story. In other words, he made them look in such a way as to confirm the predictions of evolutionary theory many, many times over: a weird design strategy since he was under no obligation to undertake. He could easily have produced a myriad of things that would leave us in no doubt about his Creation and the falsehood of evolution, rather than making everything so amenable to being explained by it. A rather devious God, surely)

1) the biogeographical distribution of animals and plants. For example, the presence of most of the marsupials in Australia, even though placentals could just as easily have lived here (as verified by dingoes and rats, which came to Australia much later). The distribution of organisms on oceanic islands and archipelagos, which happen to most resemble, firstly, one another most strongly (as we would expect), and secondly, the organisms on the nearest mainlands (as we would expect, if they dispersed from these mainlands and subsequently evolved on the islands). A creation model predicts no such thing. After dispersing from Mount Ararat, there was no reason for all the koalas (all two of them J) to migrate en masse to Australia along with the kangaroos and Diprodonts and wallabies and Tasmanian devils. Darwin wrote eloquently about these patterns of distribution. Creationists, to this day, have had hardly anything at all to say about them, so they act as though these patterns don’t exist. But we find endless examples. The Great Lakes of Africa and their fauna of cichlid fishes (with hundreds of species), the distribution of the giant tortoises in the Galapagos and their relatives on the South American mainland, the platyrrhine and catarrhine monkeys and their relative distributions across South America, Asia and Africa (analogous story to the marsupials: why all the platyrrhine, and not a single cararrhine, in South America?), and so on and on, with those organisms that most closely resemble each other found closer to one another, and those more different to one another found further away, and at every temporal resolution we wish to zoom in on and out of, down to the fossil record (with similar fauna found along previously joined landmasses like India and Madagascar – yet another prediction confirmed. There were once platypuses in what is now Argentina, before what is now South America broke away from Gondwana and became separated from what would become Australia. The Creation model wouldn’t predict such patterns; there would be no obligation for purportedly closely related animals to live closer to each other, especially when they share vastly different lifestyles. Hence, no need for carnivorous kangaroos (which used to live in Australia and are now extinct) to live in the same place as other marsupials like the giant (and plant eating) Diprotodonts (which were like giant wombats – also marsupials, and which are a sort of placental analogue of the anteater found in the Americas). Placental lions could have sufficed rather than marsupial lions. Instead, the placental lions went to Asia, Africa and the Middle East. There is nothing about the marsupials that should make sense for them to all “bunch together” geographically – except common ancestry and local evolution and diversification. That is, a species (or a few species) were isolated from Australia, which carried its cargo and saw its marsupial fauna evolve and diversify.

10:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

2) the convergent phylogenies of molecular markers, corroborating the prediction of common ancestry (but NOT creation, as I’ll explain) well beyond anything attributable to statistical error. If we construct a tree from the nucleotides of redundant codons (that is, codons that, if changed, have no phenotypic consequences for the individual organism, and hence no fitness cost, and can therefore act as neutral markers for degree of relatedness – crucially, if there be such relatedness), we get trees that corroborate the trees constructed from other such codons. On the creation model, there is no reason for this to be the case. There is no reason for the trees constructed from one marker to resemble another, because these markers change independently. Their convergence, if we find it, is thus a signal of common inheritance. When comparing the codons of, say, amphibians and horses, there is no reason to expect frogs to be more like salamanders or newts than they are to horses in most of these codon sequences, because the changes that accrue through random mutation in these sequences since the time of the Creation don’t make any difference to fitness. If they’re random, it doesn’t matter if a particular sequence that is “invisible” to selection looks the same in horses and frogs, but different in salamanders and frogs. Hence, the frogs don’t “care” if their redundant codon sequences are more like those of horses than they are to salamanders, as it doesn’t make any difference one way or the other. That they ARE more similar to those of salamanders is a powerful signal of common ancestry, and, importantly, is an actual prediction of evolutionary theory. It isn’t a prediction of creation. A creation model would predict a chaotic mismatch of phylogenies, because such phylogenies wouldn’t reflect common ancestry since it wouldn’t be there. Common “design” doesn’t do a thing to save this, because we’re talking about redundant sequences, remember. Finding radically non-matching trees would have been fatal to evolution, because the latter says that animals are related to one another through actual genealogical affinity, and therefore that more closely related animals inherited their genetic signature from ancestors that they shared with one another. These hierarchical patterns are found when one looks at other sequences, like pseudogenes and endogenous retroviruses. ERVs are essentially viruses that have become part of the genome, and now constitute some 5 percent of it. They are shared between humans and chimps to a degree well, well outside of statistical error. Again, common design can’t save the creationist model, because the thing about ERVs is that, while they are more like to settle on some parts of the genome than on others, the place they settle on within a region is random. On creation, we would need to assume either that the many ERVs that are present in humans and chimps chanced to land in the same locations in the same chromosomes (not feasible), or that God just put them there (maybe for the fun of it. He sure did a neat job of once again saving evolution from falsification, because if these sequences hadn’t arranged themselves in the manner they did – in other words, the exact manner predicted by evolution – then the theory would have been in trouble. Clearly, the Creation model is useless as a hypothesis, because it doesn’t state what would count against it, i.e. what evidence would we expect to find if creationism is wrong?)

10:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

3) Observable evolution and its mechanisms. Creationists grant that microevolution and natural selection are real (the least retarded ones will also acknowledge that speciation can occur, as has been documented, but will still claim that animals come in different “kinds”, which represent boundaries beyond which they cannot change, even though they can’t come up with any rigorous definition for what constitutes a kind, because it changes for whatever suites the needs of the creationist. Thus a beetle can qualify as a kind, even though the beetles constitute an entire Order of some 350,000 species. That’s a LOT of allowable evolution for one “kind”, especially in only 6,000 years – well outside the range of allowable evolution that evolutionists would allow! Or are we to believe that God created multiple kinds within the beetles? If so, what are the delineation criteria?). But in so doing, they pretty much give the whole game away, because natural selection provides a mechanism for evolution to take place over long periods and for small changes to accumulate over these time spans, eventually leading to large changes (the expectation of mainstream evolutionary theory). Of course, to get around this, creationists have to lie about the age of the Earth so that there isn’t enough time for macroevolution to take place, but they do this at the cost of ignoring the evidence from geology.

10:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

4) The underlying structures found in animals shared with other animals, again in a hierarchical pattern similar to that found in genes. One doesn’t find mammals with bird-like wings, because the history of the lineage didn’t inherit these structures for them to be expressed in mammals. God wouldn’t have been constrained by this; he could have made bats to have bird-like limbs rather than limbs that closely resemble the arrangements found in non-flying mammals. Or he could have made a mammal with its photosensitive cells the right way around, like what we see in the cephalopods. This “mixing and matching” is prohibited by evolution – because animals are constrained to inherit what they get from their parents. This is not a constraint on Creation, however. Finding a dog with a different genetic code, or a bat with feathers, would put the theory of evolution in grave jeopardy. We simply don’t find gratuitous discontinuities of this sort. We always find animals with features that clearly share deep structural commonalities (rather than the trivial convergent commonalities often found between, say, marsupials and placentals when they are doing similar things) with similar structures in organisms that are purportedly closely related. The closest one does find to mixing and matching is with some genes through a process called horizontal gene transfer, where, for example, an enzyme is expressed in some species of mammal even though it is not present in purportedly closely related mammals, but IS found in a more distantly related organism. These small exchanges are rampant in microorganisms, which routinely swap genetic material. In the “higher” organisms, however, it is comparatively rare. And one certainly doesn’t find the sorts of striking, Creationism-friendly things like mammals with feathers, because these represent much more profound changes to the embryological processes in organisms, which, on evolution, must work through time across the generations for them to be selected and survive to the present day. God could just start off with a clean sheet of paper for each organism, and could have produced something that would clearly falsify a key tenet of evolution: genealogical affinity. We can draw an analogy with human technology (and this is appropriate, since creationists talk so often about “common design”). What we see in animals is emphatically unlike what we see in cars, or houses or computers. While it’s true that a BMW will have more commonalities with its “cousins” produced in a Munich plant, the engineers aren’t constrained to installing equipment that is found only in other BMWs. They can borrow stuff in its entirety from, say, a Porsche or an Audi. And while engineers will have constraints imposed upon their choices, based upon assembly plant requirements, transport costs and industrial relations, a deity would not have been so hampered, and would have had far more degrees of freedom to mix and match. This isn’t what we see in animals, but it could have been if God were the designer. Again, if we suppose that God made animals, then God made everything to look as though it evolved by designing things to conform powerfully to a prediction derived from evolutionary theory and which, if counter-examples were produced, would have fatally wounded the theory.

10:16 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

5) The fossil record. The existence of things like Tiktaalik roseae, which show a mosaic of features from two groups, are exactly what we would EXPECT should exist if evolution is true. They need not have existed if God made life. It’s odd that creationists talk about created “kinds”, and then, when provided with an example of a species that shows how two major groups can be linked, they simply declare that newly discovered organism to be a new “kind”, or a member of a previously established kind. God sure loves gradients! (certainly more so than his more Platonically inclined followers, who are rather fond of discontinuities and “boundaries”). God could have given creationists a helping hand by simply enforcing strict discontinuities in his designs. Instead, we’re served with a myriad of wonderful transitional forms that leave no doubt about a key tenet of evolution: the kinship of the major groups of animals through common ancestry. These transitional forms have been found hundreds of times, all throughout the strata, and linking many groups. If God is responsible for T. roseae, he must have been absolutely hell-bent on making life look as though it’s evolved. These animals scream evolution, as do the transitional whales that have been found in Pakistan, as do the so-called mammal-like reptiles, as do the various hominids, and so on and on, example after example.

>being dogmatic doesn't preclude one from being right.<

Oh, can I quote that back to you the next time you whine about those evil creationists?

Please feel free to do so, but try to understand what I actually implied: that dogmatism doesn’t preclude the veracity of one’s claims. The lack of veracity of creationist claims is what I tend to whine about, not the smug arrogance with which they are conveyed, which is a secondary issue, however much I might sometimes lament it. If it was the only thing I lamented, then you’d be right to call me on that.

>You don't like their tone<

You must enjoy shadowboxing. Where did I say that?

I wasn’t talking to you when I said that. Hence no shadowboxing. Apparently you enjoy it, though.

>So, bats are birds, right?<

So, you're a novice at this, right?

Okay, I’ll throw you that bone (finally! Something). That wasn’t hard at all, incidentally. Acknowledging when I’m wrong is my pleasure, not the bane of my existence.

>spirits and other logically incoherent entities<

Prove that spirits are logically incoherent entities. I'm chuckling at you now.

That’s because you’re irrational enough to think that minds can exist outside of physical media like brains, in spite of all the evidence that physical processes in the brain produce consciousness. Trust me, the chuckling is coming mostly from me (and that chuckling is partially inspired by your chuckling, as this shows that you actually imagine spirits to be half-way plausible things. So much of philosophical rigour, eh?). For me to “prove” that spirits are logically incoherent entities, of course, you first have to clearly define what you even mean by a spirit, rather than vacillating between different definitions having nothing to do with each other. Presumably (for starters at least), you’re talking about a conscious entity outside of a physical body. Show how this can make any sense. How do you imagine that this non-physical mind interacts with the physical universe?

You're emoting. You're a good acolyte. They've got you right where they want you, man - you're their tool.

Make sense, please. Speaking in tongues is surely beyond the pale even for a Bronze Age mythology enthusiast like you.

10:23 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>...said your prescientific nomads<

1) Please prove God didn't ALSO say that, THROUGH said prescientific nomads.

I don’t have to prove a thing. You’re the one making the claim that the Bible is God’s word. All we have evidence for is the prescientific nomads (the existence of whom I wholeheartedly acknowledge. Now show me why I should go further and grant God the same status).

2) You have quite a butt-clenched definition of science. You think they never did any experiments at all? None? Never saw repeated events and drew conclusions from those observations? How could you possibly prove that?

They of course had SOME conception of what we would call the scientific method (nothing like the brilliant insights of the Greeks, though), but it didn’t suffice to move them past the ravings of liars, charlatans, and received dogma, something replicated today when we see tricksters and frauds fleecing their flocks (and not just in the domain of religion). Prove that the things in the Bible could not have been invented by people at the time or been misinterpretations of natural events (which we see plenty of example of today). Prove that we need to go to the more extraordinary claim that supernatural forces were at work, rather than human folly (for which there is plentiful evidence everywhere, but which, somehow, didn’t apply there).

Oh wait - you can't and don't care to. We've seen that many times here already.

Because you don’t seem to understand the elementary point that I’m not the one under any obligation to disprove your claims. You’re the one who has to demonstrate them to be more rational and likely than the naturalistic, mundane alternative.

>And neither were you, meaning that you have no "objective basis"<

That's just a stupid statement. GOD WAS THERE and He said how it went down.

Something you can’t show (what I said), because you weren’t there. What’s your point? Stripped of its disingenuous armour, it boils down to nothing more than this whopper of an “argument”: that since people claim that Sky Daddy was there (recorded in the Bible, which was written by people “inspired by” or “spoken to” by God – it says so in the Bible!) he was (how you know that they weren’t bullshitting is left unexplained, but then, I never credited you for being logical). Well, that doesn’t make it so, bro. Your only reference point for being able to say that God was there was the book you claim “shows” it, but how do you do this? By believing what the book itself says! This is what qualifies as “logic” to you? Be serious, just for once.

The text is objective and static. Doesn't depend on me at all.

“Objective”, on the basis that its adherents say it is, which “therefore” makes it so. So go on and prove it (without reference to the Bible; invoking the Bible would be cheating, and then your lament about my own “self-referential” claims would be exposed as putrid hypocrisy at best). In other words, formulate an argument that doesn’t make your claim completely circular and worthless.

10:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>Overlapping evidence from disparate fields that all fits the predictions derived from Darwinian theory<

1) Question-begging doesn't count as evidence.

Question begging it isn’t. Each piece of evidence is taken against a backdrop of other evidence, and it’s the mutual agreement of these data that together
corroborate evolution. There is no obligation for predictions derived from evolution to subsequently come true. That they have a knack for doing so simply shows how ill-conceived your conception of science is.

2) If a given datum is explicated under Darwinism AND under YEC (I'm YEC, FYI), it's not evidence for either side.
It’s explicated by Darwinism in a way that YEC can’t even touch: Darwinism also says what would count against evolution; YEC doesn’t stick its neck out in this way, and instead retreats to safety when the storm gets too rough by simply invoking “God did it”. This is why your take is so laughable. Whenever something that doesn’t derive from any predictions of YEC is found (but which IS derived from evolution), you say that God did it, imagining that to be an “explanation”. And you’re yet to show how things like the convergence of ERV-derived phylogenies, the biogeographical evidence, and the other things I mentioned are “derived” in any way from YEC. I certainly look forward to that.

>Uniformitarianism, in the sense of laws of nature that remain constant over an appreciable length of time, aren't an "assumption", they're a requirement of our existence. Why? Because if we lived in a universe that was precariously unstable, we wouldn't be here to talk about it since the requisite processes needed to bring us about wouldn't have been able to get under way<

Doubt I could've said it better myself.
Now, you can take un-ism on blind faith, and that's OK - just admit you're doing it. It's pretty clear but y'all usually prefer to smokescreen and cover up that fact.


Blind faith? Good heavens no, child. Uniformitarianism is a) more simple and less question-begging than the ridiculous alternative, in which, for example, South American and Africa are imagined to have parted ways in 40 days, and in which endless epicycles must be invented and introduced to keep everything “consistent”, and 2) there’s no a priori reason to suppose that the alternative is more likely, since we have no reference point of other types of universes to decide which sort of universe we should expect from first principles (if we do, please let me know). I therefore take the simpler approach – uniformitarianism – and toss the Crazy Clown Universe in the bin where it belongs.

10:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

The question is: If naturalism is true, how can you acct for that assumption? Saying "We're here, so, you know, duh" isn't an answer - it's an expression of blind faith. The Muslim could just as easily say "Allah is real. How do I know? We're here, so, you know, duh."

Wrong. I was invoking a weak anthropic claim, nothing more. In other words: we exist, so the universe must necessarily have been amenable, in some capacity, to foster that existence. We can then decide which model is the most appropriate to account for this, like some version of what I’m saying, or some version of what you’re saying. We lack a reference point for deciding which is the more likely from first principles (that is, which is the universe most likely if we knew nothing else about it), so we have to see what happens when we try to fit the facts about the world into the two frameworks, and then decide which one more parsimoniously allows for the explication of newly discovered facts (that is, which one requires fewer epicycles). As it happens, one is gratuitously ill-fitting (yours) because it does require endless epicycles and makes the creator look like a bit of a schizophrenic goose who should be an embarrassment to theists. That leaves me with little choice than to go with the version adopted by sane people.
>but I suppose that for someone who doesn't actually care about physics and chemistry<

Not a big fan of correctly characterising opponents, eh?

A huge fan, hence my claim that you care nothing for chemistry or physics. Or biology, for that matter. Or astronomy. Or geology. Hence the diametrical opposition of what your “theory” says and what these fields all say. Rest assured that the people in the sciences are extremely grateful for the breathing space afforded to them by the fact that people like you can be kept at bay and largely quarantined to rant on blogs, lest you do any real damage as you did in the past when you held back humanity’s progress in the service of stultifying, boring and miserable platitudes you so long espoused and imposed on others.

>the way in which the physical universe actually behaves won't matter since the non-physical mind-stuff vapor cloud called God can always come along and tinker as Rhology sees fit.<

1) Another strawman. Not as *I* see fit.

Right, just the God that YOU need to invoke whenever you have no real answer, and need to crawl your way out of having to provide one. So you invoke him, and then say "It's not as I see fit". Calling up Sky Daddy to fight your fights doesn’t qualify as an answer. YOU have to show how such-and-such is more appropriately dealt with by invoking God, not just that doing so “can” deal with it.

2) You're just begging the question wrt uniformitarianism, and also you fail to recognise the challenge that the problem of induction offers to your position. But that's OK - you have faith!

The question begging is your preserve, since you’ve not yet justified how you get away with claiming that the Bible - your "foundation" - is God-authored – without, that is, first having to invoke the Bible as your authority. But that’s okay: you’re a fundamentalist, which means that faith is ALL you have, so circular traps of the sort you indulge in on an utterly routine basis will be viewed by you as a way out of anything that looks like trouble.

10:33 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>also, how when one DOES apply uniformitarianism, the Darwinian narrative fits the actual observations beautifully.<

1) Then it's just as funny how, when one DOES apply the Bible, the Christian narrative fits the actual observations beautifully.
A complete lie (and a particularly disgusting one, given what we actually know about biology), since it DOESN’T fit the actual observations even remotely like anything a sane person would call “beautiful”. Part of the reason is that YEC makes no risky predictions – which means it’s a worthless hypothesis. Thus, anything automatically counts as “fitting” into the Christian narrative, since one can simply say “God did it” (the Bible says so, after all, so it must be true. Case closed for the slow ones). You have a very weird conception of “beautiful”. Creationism is pure intellectual cowardice.

Huh - crazy how that works.

It doesn’t, for the reasons I’ve explained. But keep telling yourself it “works” if it makes you happy.

2) And the facts DON'T fit.

Right, so convergent phylogenies, a prediction of evolution, don’t fit with evolution. Interesting take (and did you say I’m the illogical one? How does that work again?) But examples, please. “LALALALALA….I’m not listening” isn’t an argument.

>when predictions are made from Darwinism, and the observations are then made<

That sounds a lot more like ID than Darwinism.

No, it’s exactly what I said: predictions made from Darwinism. If someone making an argument against Darwinism is “really” “proof” of Intelligent Design, then why all the challenges for me to justify Darwinism in the first place? Something tells me that you’re being rather more sly than you’d like to let on. You truly are a broken specimen, and limp-dicked even by creationist standards.

>because Tiktaalik roseae, a transitional form of the sort that evolutionary theory PREDICTS should exist<

Prove that Tiktaalike had any children. Go ahead.

You really are one disgusting charlatan. Here’s the prediction, moron: things like Tiktaalik should exist. A fundie like you can always move the goal-posts and mouth “Now prove it had children”, or some other disingenuous dodge like that. Doesn’t change the fact that the Darwinian prediction was proven correct, while your narrative still hasn’t a leg to stand on. Deal with it. Seriously though, are you really this dumb, or is this a joke?

>I'd encourage you to actually read Gee's book. <

I’d encourage you to adopt some honesty, as your favourite philosopher would have implored of you.

>even though you don't see any need to justify your own (genuine) assumption that the unstable God universe is more plausible than the stable Godless one I'm purporting<

Right, that's why I have a 5-year old blog doing just that all the time.
Don't these strawmen ever tire you a bit?


If the arguments so far on offer are the best you’ve got, then I can safely consign your blog to the category of “Worthless Pile of Excrement”. With arguments like these, defeating fundie religion is going to be a piece of cake (then again, the fact that there are plenty of people daft enough to take your arguments seriously suggests that much of the advantage I’d otherwise enjoy will be neutralised)

10:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>that the science used to construct the very computer you're using to spout your asinine propaganda<

OOoh, Strawman #4! You must be under the mistaken assumption that the Xtian worldview does not support science.

The YEC one certainly doesn’t, hence its constant disagreement with nigh-on everything discovered by science. Smarter Christians (i.e. those not stupid enough to think that snakes could talk) would take exception to your equivocation of YEC garbage with their own beliefs.

Or you're being dishonest b/c you're apparently a bit of a stuck-up jerk.

I didn’t make you angry, did I? :)

>since this very SAME science tells us that Mr Darwin knew quite a bit more than the ancients.<

Or maybe the ancients knew not to make the same unjustified assumptions Darwin did.
Nah, just that Darwin knew not to make the same unjustified assumptions (complexity = design, for instance) that the ancients did (and which you’re still falling for with such nonchalant ease and pathetic ease).

(Jolly, you advertised this guy as a “worthy” contender? WTF? Oh well, we can at least agree on the “misguided” part).

If humanity had been constrained to use your "logic", we'd frankly still be burning witches.

1) Prove you know anything about Xtianity beyond your skewed strawman, and prove it.

Skewed strawmen don’t come in the form of actual observations of the historical record. Prove that history is wrong, rather than your sugar-coated version of it.

2) Prove there's sthg morally wrong with burning witches, on naturalism.

Not the claim being made. I said that this stupid and cruel practise would still be performed if your worldview was in charge of the world, as it was for so long.
>The Cambrian Explosion? As in: the whole Burgess Shale shebang? Surely not.<

Um, yes. The very one.
Then you’ve got your work cut out for you. Let’s see if you’ve done your side proud.

10:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>If so, you'd know that it bares NO RESEMBLANCE WHATSOEVER to Genesis...there was plenty of stuff happening BEFORE the CE<

1) You're apparently having difficulty following the argument so far. Let me help - we're talking about NATURALISM, not YEC. So what's your explanation ON NATURALISM?

Evolution (you know, that thing that you’re trying to refute). Or rather, to be more precise, the evolution of the eye. This led to an evolutionary arms race among species to adopt better and better methods of locomotion, detection, and defence. Well, that’s one possibility. Don’t like that? Well, then show why in principle it can’t work “on naturalism”. Do you think that the CE is precluded from being explainable by evolutionary means? If so, lay out your case. Otherwise, the CE doesn’t do squat in your favour. Remember, you’re trying to refute evolution here.

2) I'm YEC. God created Adam and the rest of the organisms, and Eve, and the Earth, as mature specimens. Not as fetuses.

* Sniggers at stupid caricature * Ummmm….fetuses. Yeah, because that’s what evolutionists think the CE was all about. Okay. Whatever, crazy person.

>representatives of many of the phyla present today don't even APPEAR until much later than the Cambrian, which kind of makes a mockery of your "God dunnit"<

Why? Uh oh, not more self-referential question-begging about the age of fossils that you can't prove had children. You're not doing that, right?

Nice dodge. However, let’s look at the actual content of my claim and its implications, rather than your sleazy side-step. The failure to find ANY mammals in the CE is evidence against the Genesis story, if you see the CE as in any way corroborating the Genesis story. So try again, please.

>don't try using science to bolster your Bronze Age mythologies<

Man, thank God you're here to tell me not to do what I'm not doing!

So you ADMIT that the Cambrian Explosion doesn’t bolster your case? I’m glad we got that sorted. So then bring it up in the first place?

>I'll "interact with" the Cambrian explosion any day of the week.<

Please do. Start now. I'll give you a mulligan on your first 4 tries just now.

What about it, then? I’m not going to dive into a treatise for you (I’ve already spent way too much time addressing your stupidity, which means that you’re over-achieving by a long shot). What exactly do you want to know about the CE? Apparently, though, I should be asking YOU about the CE, since you present yourself as more knowledgeable about it than I am.

"Logical fallacies and prejudicial bias are no place to begin a rational conversation,"

>While rejecting the whole field of evolutionary theory is?<

1) You know, maybe I have good reason to do so.

You’ve not presented a single such reason beyond the incompatibility of it with the Bible, which you can’t justify without a self-referential “foundation”.

2) Go ahead, prove that evolutionary theory is as well-attested and foundational as is logic itself. Have fun.

Well, proving that evolutionary theory is at least more well-attested than the “logic” you’re using is child’s play. Getting you to actually acknowledge that is the real trick.

"but that's generally par for the course for Internet naturalists/selective skeptics."

>And the world's most proficient scientists, apparently<

1) Yes, it's quite obvious that many, especially the most loud-mouthed, scientists are complete novices when it comes to logic and philosophy.

So, pretty much all of them, then. Have fun blogging, by the way. That’s as far as you go from here.

10:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

2) And you couldn't have thrown them under the bus any better than you just did! Luis gives good backhanded compliments - "the world's most proficient scientists" care little for their logical fallacies and prejudicial biases. Hahahahahaa. That's pretty funny stuff.

While blogger creotards like you think that “God made the world, which we know is true because it says so in the Bible, which is true because God was there to say how everything went down, which we know because he conveyed that message to prescientific nomads who wrote the Bible, which says God made the world, which is true because it says so in…” is a water tight case for God and the Bible (“pretty funny stuff”, as you say. Actually, pretty sad, and I’m not actually laughing. Tales of wasted youth rarely have that effect on me). Yeah, I think I’ll do without that “logic”, thanks. Keep it to yourself, by all means. And kudos to anyone who goes along with me on that one, including the loud-mouthed scientists with their novice grasp of philosophy.


Andrew

>"Then you don't know the scientific community........ However, most scientists would LOVE to be the harbingers of some radical new shakeup that overthrows the prevailing orthodoxy."<

Oh, you mean like I.D.? Yeah, you're right.

I was actually talking about your “dogmatic Darwinians”, but whatever. IDists are certainly free to come up with something original, which they’ve consistently failed to do.

There has been no dogmatically motivated backlash against that idea. Oh, before you say it, I.D. proponents are not all young earth creationists with a religious agenda. So save that little canard for an argument with someone else.

Okay. But their idea still sucks, which is my main point.

”In fact, I go so far as to say it [DNA] is proof and not mere evidence; as evolution from one thing to another (even a simple jump like scales to feathers) requires new information.

Provided by mutations, which are then filtered by selection. What’s your point? This is known to the point of tedium.

Information doesn't just happen.

Apparently it does, since you think that God doesn’t require an explanation. In which case, why should anything else?

It must be given.

Except, of course, when we consider God, which is just sort of...there.

In other words evolution is not even possible.

I’d recommend that you actually read a book about evolution written by a scientist. Or just read this.

10:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

Andrew:

"I should clarify that when I say "evolution isn't even possible" I refer to the idea of gradual, upwardly mobile permutation of the natural order from simple to complex."

In spite of the following:

* the convergent phylogenies attesting to exactly such an upward, gradual permutation of the natural order (or rather, a subset of it. Most of life is still bacterial. Even if we focus our gaze on complex, multicellular organisms, we can conclude that God had a fixation for parasites, as about one quarter of all species make a living this way)

* the multitude of plausible extant analogues that show how various stages in the transition between simple to complex could have taken place (and we find this even WITHIN groups, like the wasps fro example, where there are different gradations of complexity in wasp-virus interactions, all the way from viruses infecting wasps and doing them harm, to wasps that have viruses integrated into their genomes and that the wasp uses to help parasite the hosts for their eggs)

* the complete nonstarter that is ID, which tries to "explain" complexity by invoking a massive wallop of it from the outset in the form of an intelligent artificer. ID not only fails to provide a satisfactory ultimate account for complexity, it fails to do so with a vengeance.

10:58 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

(1)

hi Luis,

it makes no difference at all to whether the actual arguments on offer are true or not.

True, so I won't belabor it, since even producing the requested evidence wouldn't change your mind.



Having worked in the life sciences (unlike you)

Haha, I love how you assume you know anythg about me.


The cover of Nature and Science always have some new, exciting discovery that’s touted as importantly changing some aspect of our understanding of the world.

And? Are you under the mistaken impression that the Xtian worldview looks down on science as a good way to discover truth?
As a matter of fact, all science under a naturalistic worldview commits a logical fallacy, so I'm not too impressed by your fallacious discoveries.


I must have missed the memo about the collapse of Darwinism.

Yep. But since it's fallacious reasoning and b/c the very premise of evolution argues against naturalism, and b/c there's no evidence for Darwinism, you really have nothing going for you. Sorry. :-(


Too bad that the ravings of a creotard blogger

Hmm, didn't you just finish telling me: "even GIVEN this, it makes no difference at all to whether the actual arguments on offer are true or not"?



not the macroevolution clearly visible in the fossil record

Please prove that ANY organism found in the fossil record had children. Don't assume it. Prove it.


comparative genetics,

All that comparative genetics proves is that two or more organisms share similar genetic structure. Prove (w/o assuming) that this is relevant to Darwinism.


morphology

Proves that two or more different organisms share similar...morphology. So what?


biogeographical distribution of animals and plants (which utterly destroys the expectations of the Genesis dispersal model).

How so?


Nowhere does evolutionary theory say that an amoeba “evolved into” a giraffe in the caricatured sense you’re clearly trying to invoke.

Either you're dodging very obviously or you're very ignorant of what creotards like me are asking when they say that.
Where is your evidence that organisms turn into other organisms over time? Don't assume it exists. Prove it.

2:41 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

(3)


why all the platyrrhine, and not a single cararrhine, in South America?

Why? All YOU can tell me is that they happened to end up there. My explanation is at minimum the same. How is yours any better?


There were once platypuses in what is now Argentina, before what is now South America broke away from Gondwana and became separated from what would become Australia.

1) Ah, b/c you found what you think is a fossil there?
2) What precisely about species going extinct or 2 diff populations ending up in diff places militates against YEC?



2) ...molecular markers...can therefore act as neutral markers for degree of relatedness

I'm looking for an argument to the effect that this proves Darwinism and is inexplicable on YEC. See, molecular markers prove...that these molecular markers exist. W/o your assumptions in place, they tell you nothing in particular. You assume the conclusion before you arrive at your conclusion.
So do I, but only I recognise it.


There is no reason for the trees constructed from one marker to resemble another

Hahhaa, even on the weak sister of Xtianity - ID - this is easily explainable! Please.
Ready? God used the same code for multiple species. Not that hard, Luis.


A creation model would predict a chaotic mismatch of phylogenies, because such phylogenies wouldn’t reflect common ancestry since it wouldn’t be there.

1) An assertion in search of an argument.
2) Who among YEC-ers thinks DNA doesn't degrade over time?
3) If you think it's weird that DNA would degrade in the same way, that's just another argument from ignorance. Tiresome.



what evidence would we expect to find if creationism is wrong?

That's a great question. Why not bring some fwd and let us know? That's YOUR job, not mine.


3) Observable evolution and its mechanisms...

I'd love for you to show me Darwinian mechanisms in action, doing what you claim it can do. Show me a beetle that evolved into something that's not a beetle. YOu know, sthg that's actually in question. So far, this is a big fail on your part.


Thus a beetle can qualify as a kind, even though the beetles constitute an entire Order of some 350,000 species. That’s a LOT of allowable evolution for one “kind”

Now give me an argument why I should accept the oft-changing Darwinian taxonomy you're assuming here.



That’s a LOT of allowable evolution for one “kind”, especially in only 6,000 years

Like I said, why would anyone be concerned that a beetle evolved into...a beetle? Help me out.



but they do this at the cost of ignoring the evidence from geology.

1) Um, that's your 6th. Cheater.
2) Please prove that rocks tell time.
3) If you appeal to radioactive dating, please prove that you can know with certainty how much decay was present at the starting point.



4) The underlying structures found in animals shared with other animals, again in a hierarchical pattern similar to that found in genes. One doesn’t find mammals with bird-like wings

Again... hahhaa, even on the weak sister of Xtianity - ID - this is easily explainable! Please.
Ready? God used the same structures for multiple species. Not that hard, Luis.

2:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

(4)



God wouldn’t have been constrained by this; he could have made bats to have bird-like limbs rather than limbs that closely resemble the arrangements found in non-flying mammals. Or he could have made a mammal with its photosensitive cells the right way around, like what we see in the cephalopods.

1) OK, now I am going to throw out a Hovind-ism. Cephalopods like octopuses live in the water. Did you know that?
2) Why would He do so? Go ahead and make the argument. Of course He COULD have. How is this an argument for your position?


Finding a dog with a different genetic code, or a bat with feathers, would put the theory of evolution in grave jeopardy.

Um, a bat with feathers wouldn't be a bat. It'd be a diff kind of organism. That is one of the dumbest things I've heard in quite a while, I'm sorry to say.


These small exchanges are rampant in microorganisms, which routinely swap genetic material.

1) Again, you ASSUME they did. You can't observe it.
2) If you can observe it within a human lifetime, please prove that your human intervention and observation did not affect the outcome. That's going to be hard, since you have to observe it, thus introducing intelligent intervention...which makes ID more plausible than your own fantasy. Sorry.



God could just start off with a clean sheet of paper for each organism, and could have produced something that would clearly falsify a key tenet of evolution: genealogical affinity

Yawn. You haven't given us any reason to accept your position yet; to give more would be a bit of overkill, I should think.


What we see in animals is emphatically unlike what we see in cars, or houses or computers.

Hahahahahaa! Yep, and those are designed. LOL @ fideist Darwinist.


if we suppose that God made animals, then God made everything to look as though it evolved by designing things to conform powerfully to a prediction derived from evolutionary theory and which, if counter-examples were produced, would have fatally wounded the theory.

This assumes your own conclusion, that the evidence actually does point to Darwinism's truth. You have to prove that first before you can move on to figuring out why fundies think like they do. I'm getting more and more pessimistic.


5) The fossil record.

Again, prove any fossilised organism had children. Prove it, don't assume it.
Let's see - below you sort of address it -

Prove that Tiktaalike had any children. Go ahead.

You really are one disgusting charlatan. Here’s the prediction, moron: things like Tiktaalik should exist.


Haha, fail. No argument given, just mockery. Now, why would that not be "invoking Mammy Nature and Papa Darwin" on your part?




OK, your "best 5 evidences" are over. Wow, that was refreshing - nothing new, and nothing good.
Moving on...

That’s because you’re irrational enough to think that minds can exist outside of physical media like brains

Prove it's irrational.
You know what else exists immaterially? Thoughts, colors, numbers, logical laws, desires, dreams, ideas, value, meaning, morals, and many other things. This is a novice move; try again with more sophistication.

2:43 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

(5)



clearly define what you even mean by a spirit, rather than vacillating between different definitions having nothing to do with each other.

1) Which I of course haven't done (vacillate, that is).
2) You know, since you're on teh 1nterwebz, you could go to dictionary.com just as easily as I. A spirit is a conscious, incorporeal (and I'd add immaterial) being, as opposed to matter.


How do you imagine that this non-physical mind interacts with the physical universe?

1) Thru spiritual power. He's the Creator - He can do what He wants.
2) The God I posit is far, far bigger than I or anyone can fully understand. How would pointing out that there's sthg I don't understand about Him be an argument against His existence?


1) Please prove God didn't ALSO say that, THROUGH said prescientific nomads.

I don’t have to prove a thing. You’re the one making the claim that the Bible is God’s word.


Um, you made the positive claim. So, you refuse to back it up, eh?
As for me, my position is that nothing is comprehensible w/o God's existence and His revelation. I don't conclude it, I presuppose it. You'd have to show an alternative worldview that accts for rationality to compete.



They of course had SOME conception of what we would call the scientific method (nothing like the brilliant insights of the Greeks, though), but it didn’t suffice to move them past the ravings of liars

So the presence of liars and the fact that some, or even many, ppl fall for them is a reason not to think that a population conducted science?
I give you the massive amt of ppl who hold to astrology in the modern West! Science is now disproven!


Prove that the things in the Bible could not have been invented by people at the time or been misinterpretations of natural events

Fulfilled prophecies couldn't've been.
Further, until you can bring fwd an alternative to explaining rationality, I'm not concerned with your long-range mudslinging. Your worldview is irrational, so I yawn at such uppity talk.


You’re the one who has to demonstrate them to be more rational and likely than the naturalistic, mundane alternative.

You're a philosophical naïf. Again you beg the question that the naturalistic explanation is "mundane", that "mundanity" is the key to truth, and that your position is even possible, let alone probable. Probable compared to what, exactly?



That's just a stupid statement. GOD WAS THERE and He said how it went down.

Something you can’t show (what I said), because you weren’t there.


I'm sorry you're having trouble following here, but do try at least. IF my position is correct, God's telling me how it went down is a perfect explanation.
What I'm pointing out to you is that you claim a superior level of knowledge but you weren't even there; you have zero access to how it went down. Your explanation is an argument from ignorance, a Darwinism of the gaps.



“Objective”, on the basis that its adherents say it is, which “therefore” makes it so.

...And a category error. The fallacies just keep on coming.
It's objective in the sense that text is objective. The Bible is not changing. It's not ad hoc. Anyone can read it. Just like your (and my) comments.



Each piece of evidence is taken against a backdrop of other evidence, and it’s the mutual agreement of these data that together corroborate evolution

And since inductive reasoning is always fallacious, you prefer a huge heap of fallacious reasonings rather than just one. Hahaha, OK.



Darwinism also says what would count against evolution; YEC doesn’t stick its neck out in this way

I'd settle for ANYTHING. 'Twould be a great start for you.
Besides, since YEC is true, I would indeed expect it to acct for everythg. Up to you to bring sthg fwd to get us started.

2:43 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

(6)


instead retreats to safety when the storm gets too rough by simply invoking “God did it”.

Really? Quote a YEC-er doing that. Just one.
(Since you can't, will you be intellectually honest to admit that you were pulling stuff out of the air and out of atheistic prejudices you've picked up from other bigots?)



Uniformitarianism is a) more simple and less question-begging than the ridiculous alternative

Now all you need is an argument!



South American and Africa are imagined to have parted ways in 40 days

Another argument from ignorance.
1) I don't know and neither do you know whether they were like that before the Flood.
2) You don't know what a worldwide Flood, 1000s of feet deep, could do. You just ASSUME it couldn't do what you think I'm claiming it did. Yawn.



2) there’s no a priori reason to suppose that the alternative is more likely

There's no a priori reason to suppose that uniformitarianism is more likely.
In fact, on naturalism, there's no reason to suppose that ANYTHING is likely. You have no reason to trust that the future will be like the past. So this is just about you assuming stuff, for reasons one can only guess at.



we exist, so the universe must necessarily have been amenable, in some capacity, to foster that existence

Boy, aren't we lucky?!
Please indicate how you get past the gross improbability of that occurring.


then decide which one more parsimoniously allows for the explication of newly discovered facts

Please prove the principle of parsimony is the best way to discover truth, or even a good way. Or are you just assuming again?
(No need to answer - it's clear already.)


makes the creator look like a bit of a schizophrenic goose who should be an embarrassment to theists.

1) Yeah? Please point out sthg that would embarrass me.
2) That He'd be embarrassing to other so-called theists is in fact predicted by the Bible - it's called sin.



Not a big fan of correctly characterising opponents, eh?

A huge fan, hence my claim that you care nothing for chemistry or physics. Or biology, for that matter. Or astronomy. Or geology


1) Now you're just resorting to playground trash talking. Have fun with that mind-reading.
2) So, do I need to accept fallacious reasoning to be taken seriously by you? That's sorta ironic.



1) Another strawman. Not as *I* see fit.

Right, just the God that YOU need to invoke whenever you have no real answer, and need to crawl your way out of having to provide one.


Please quote me doing so.



The YEC one certainly doesn’t, hence its constant disagreement with nigh-on everything discovered by science.

Please make an argument that disagreement among YEC-ers gives any credence to your position, or hurts my position.




2) Prove there's sthg morally wrong with burning witches, on naturalism.

Not the claim being made. I said that this stupid and cruel practise would still be performed if your worldview was in charge of the world, as it was for so long.


1) Oh, OK. So you didn't make a moral claim about burning witches. So, why do you seem upset about it? Why'd you single it out, as opposed to, say, eating McDonald's food?
2) Sigh. Please prove that "cruelty" objectively exists.
3) Do you have any idea how many witches were burned in Salem?

2:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

(7)



2) I'm YEC. God created Adam and the rest of the organisms, and Eve, and the Earth, as mature specimens. Not as fetuses.

* Sniggers at stupid caricature * Ummmm….fetuses. Yeah, because that’s what evolutionists think the CE was all about.


Um, that was an explanation of MY position, given the question you asked me. Do try to keep up.


don't try using science to bolster your Bronze Age mythologies

Man, thank God you're here to tell me not to do what I'm not doing!

So you ADMIT that the Cambrian Explosion doesn’t bolster your case?


You got lost somewhere along the way, Luis.



Information doesn't just happen.

Apparently it does, since you think that God doesn’t require an explanation.


1) Strawman - God didn't "happen". He is the fundamental, the necessary being.
2) Speaking of dodges... want to answer the question?



It must be given.

Except, of course, when we consider God, which is just sort of...there.


1) Oh, is "information" like "God" to you? Has information always been? How did that work?
2) Does it matter that minds haven't always been around, for info to have always been?
3) Minds and info aren't material. Weren't you just telling us that such things weren't real?


I’d recommend that you actually read a book about evolution written by a scientist.

Read several, thanks. They all suffered from the same assumptions you've displayed here. You're a dogmatist.


Peace,
Rhology

2:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

The more I read through your responses, Rhology, the more I'm reminded of some advice that I haven't been wise enough to take on board but that I'm increasingly coming around to: not to waste my time talking to idiots, because of the utter futility of doing so. Your responses were a crystalline example of why I should heed that advice. You served up an avalanche of crimes against logic on a scale that truly beggars belief. One gets the impression that your only interest here is to try to gum up the works and shut down rational minds. I'd be surprised if anyone were to take you at all seriously, for you’ve quite literally lost your senses.

>The cover of Nature and Science always have some new, exciting discovery that’s touted as importantly changing some aspect of our understanding of the world.<

And? Are you under the mistaken impression that the Xtian worldview looks down on science as a good way to discover truth?

You should really desist from equivocating "the" Christian worldview with a fundamentalist take. A lot of Christians would take exception to it, you know.

>I must have missed the memo about the collapse of Darwinism.<

Yep.

Sorry, but creationist pamphlets handed out by drooling cretins at train stations don't count. Moving on.
But since it's fallacious reasoning and b/c the very premise of evolution argues against naturalism

Right, the premise of natural processes goes against the premise of natural processes. If you ever wondered why most people think you’re a shitbag, you can now stop wondering.

and b/c there's no evidence for Darwinism

Other than the evidence I actually showed you, that is.

you really have nothing going for you. Sorry. :-(

Other than the entirety of biology, there’s truly nothing going for me. No holy book to tell me otherwise and to lift me out of the morass of having to provide evidential arguments. Gotta get me some of that.

>Too bad that the ravings of a creotard blogger<

Hmm, didn't you just finish telling me: "even GIVEN this, it makes no difference at all to whether the actual arguments on offer are true or not"?

See, you didn’t provide an argument, you just linked me to a creotard blogger. I hope you don’t seriously expect me to trawl through pages of stuff I’ve read a million times before, and that is as unconvincing now as it was then (in fact, more so than ever, if your lame defence is any indication of the quality of argumentation that is wielded to come to creationism’s aid).

>not the macroevolution clearly visible in the fossil record <

Please prove that ANY organism found in the fossil record had children.

A disingenuous request, because that’s not what anyone has to prove. The criterion is to prove whether or not what evolution PREDICTS can actually be found is found. So, ineluctably, you lose.

Don't assume it. Prove it.

Not relevant. I proved the clincher. Hence you lose.

>comparative genetics,<

All that comparative genetics proves is that two or more organisms share similar genetic structure.

Nope, it doesn’t just prove that at all. See below.

Prove (w/o assuming) that this is relevant to Darwinism.

Hang on, without assuming that it’s relevant to Darwinism? What the fuck does that mean? I thought the whole point was for me to show how it IS relevant to Darwinism, but now I’m not even allowed to do that? In other words, I should assume as you do: that Darwinism is false (since, according to your contorted scenario, nothing can even in principle count in favour of it), and coming to the conclusion you like? I think not, child.

5:09 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>morphology<

Proves that two or more different organisms share similar...morphology. So what?

Nope, doesn’t just prove that at all. See below.

>biogeographical distribution of animals and plants (which utterly destroys the expectations of the Genesis dispersal model).<

How so?

See below.

>Nowhere does evolutionary theory say that an amoeba “evolved into” a giraffe in the caricatured sense you’re clearly trying to invoke.<

Either you're dodging very obviously or you're very ignorant of what creotards like me are asking when they say that.

No, I’m perfectly well aware of what at least most creotards try to conjure up, but I’ll concede that you have a half-way accurate conception of what Darwinian evolution actually entails here. Let’s see where this goes, then.

Where is your evidence that organisms turn into other organisms over time?

See below.

Don't assume it exists. Prove it.

See below. Oh boy, this is going to be fun : )

Exhibit A: failing to engage with the qualitative aspect of the evidence for evolution:

>why all the platyrrhine, and not a single cararrhine, in South America?<

Why? All YOU can tell me is that they happened to end up there. My explanation is at minimum the same.

At “minimum”? No. You have to explain why it is that God should have required that these monkeys all bunch together geographically in a manner utterly indicative of the predictions of evolutionary theory. On evolution, this is easy to explain, and is in fact the type of thing that we should actively expect to find if evolution is true: that more similar animals tend to be closer to one another geographically, because they have had less time to diverge and fan out. You’ve not explained why God would require this pattern to be the case. What about monkeys being catarrhines should make you expect, in a creationist framework, for them to be confined outside of Latin America? About about being a marsupial would require marsupials, in a creationist framework, to have moved, en masse, almost exclusively to Australia? Again, on evolution, this is easy to explain. Why does God keep doing this, over and over again, in example after example: making more similar animals live closer together or confining them to isolated landmasses?

How is yours any better?

Because it’s predictive, that’s why. Pretty simple. Your “hypothesis” offers no predictions, mine does. The predictions of my hypothesis have been confirmed. There could have been things that falsified my hypothesis (like finding NO positive correlation between similarity and geographical overlap) and which would have been consistent with creation. We don’t find this. We find the opposite. So you have to keep leaching off the opposition, and then claiming it as your own.

>There were once platypuses in what is now Argentina, before what is now South America broke away from Gondwana and became separated from what would become Australia.<

1) Ah, b/c you found what you think is a fossil there?

I didn’t; palaeontologists did, and they presented their results in reputable scientific journal. You can go look it up if you have a problem with it. I don’t need to know if you do.

2) What precisely about species going extinct or 2 diff populations ending up in diff places militates against YEC?

I see that you’re back to red herrings. I didn’t say that species going extinct “counts against YEC”, retard. I said that the pattern of biogeography we see even in the fossil record is one that exactly fits the expectations of evolution.

5:15 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

Exhibit B: failing to engage with the relevance of something to evolution, even after it's explained to you clearly and unambiguously:

>2) ...molecular markers...can therefore act as neutral markers for degree of relatedness<

I'm looking for an argument to the effect that this proves Darwinism and is inexplicable on YEC.

Yeah, exactly what I expected: that you’d have to lie through your teeth and play dumb with this one. Absolutely unbelievable sophistry.

I'll rephrase it again though, in the vain hope that you'll get it this time: the fact that these codons are neutral with respect to selection is precisely what makes them amenable to testing for the presence of genealogical affinity because they avoid the confounding effect of selective advantage (which can be construed as common design), because the only thing that can account for convergent phylogenies constructed from different independent codons (independent; read that again if you need to) is either 1) actual genealogical affinity, or 2) God made them that way to make them look as though there is such affinity (even though this serves absolutely no design criteria since the actual codon nucleotides at these sites don't make any difference to organismal function. Making these sequences line up in the way predicted by evolution, God knew, would make the evolutionists look less fuckwitted than creationists. He must really hate you guys : ) ).

See, molecular markers prove...that these molecular markers exist.

Ummmm….yes. Everything that exists does exist (awesome insight). Not much of an argument there, though. I was of course talking about the particular type of patterns
that exist, but anyway.

W/o your assumptions in place, they tell you nothing in particular.

Except I don’t bring assumptions into this (that’s another lie of yours): I ALLOW for YEC to be true, derive a prediction from it (mismatching phylogenies, since genealogical affinity isn’t there under that framework), and then test to see if its prediction comes true. It doesn’t. Again, as an ineluctable consequence of adhering to basic logic, you lose.

You assume the conclusion before you arrive at your conclusion.

Refer to above.

So do I, but only I recognise it.

And BOOM. There goes the last vestige of credibility you had. Testing for genealogical affinity can provide a signal for relatedness if it’s actually there (that’s the reason we can do DNA tests for paternity, incidentally. Be sure never to trust the technology if you’re ever in doubt about the paternity of a love child. You need to be consistent, remember, rather than just sucking on the fruit of science when it suites you and then shitting on it when you're defending your worldview).

I gotta say, you’re not doing too well so far. Let’s see if you can register some improvement.

5:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>There is no reason for the trees constructed from one marker to resemble another<

Hahhaa, even on the weak sister of Xtianity - ID - this is easily explainable! Please.
Ready? God used the same code for multiple species.


Yep: even though there was no REASON for him to do so, since these codes – the ones I’m talking about, which are redundant, not codons that make a difference to phenotypic expression – don’t have fitness consequences. Hence when God set all the codes to be the same at Genesis across species, they were later allowed to change randomly, since doing so would make no change to phenotype. That’s the prediction from CREATIONISM: initially all codes should be the same, so frogs will be the same as horses at these sites but will later be allowed to change randomly with respect to one another, such that the sites at frogs and salamanders have no reason to look more similar to each other than either does compared to those in horses. See what I mean? Frogs and salamanders, which aren't the same thing, STILL look more closely related to one another at these sites, even though that has no functional significance.

Seriously, you CAN’T be this disingenous. You just fucking can’t.

Not that hard, Luis.

Then why don’t you get this lesson in basic genetics?

>A creation model would predict a chaotic mismatch of phylogenies, because such phylogenies wouldn’t reflect common ancestry since it wouldn’t be there.<

1) An assertion in search of an argument.

Ummm, no actually, since I presented the argument earlier. So far, you haven’t found a flaw in it. You’ve simply and mindlessly assumed that God would do something in such a manner to exactly replicate a pattern predicted by evolution.

2) Who among YEC-ers thinks DNA doesn't degrade over time?

Not the issue, on two fronts. Firstly, this isn't about the degradation of DNA AT ALL. These sequences aren’t being “degraded” since changes in them HAVE NO EFFECT. Secondly, I’m talking about the very particular pattern of change, not the FACT that change can take place.

3) If you think it's weird that DNA would degrade in the same way, that's just another argument from ignorance. Tiresome.

If you think that this even counts as degradation, that’s just another argument from ignorance. Tiresome.

Seriously, go pick up a biology textbook sometime. You might even learn something. I’m sorry that the Bible didn’t cover any of this.

Exhibit C: failing to acknowledge the importance of falsification criteria:

>what evidence would we expect to find if creationism is wrong?<

That's a great question. Why not bring some fwd and let us know? That's YOUR job, not mine.

Actually, it’s YOUR job, and your job only, as you’re the one making the rather shit-faced assumption that you don’t need to provide any falsification criteria for your hypothesis. Disgusting (does it ever get tiresome coming off as such a creep, Rhology?). But have it your way. Since nothing can in principle count against your hypothesis, nothing can count for it either. I’ve got no problem with that if that’s how you want to play it : ) (in the mean time though, you really should pick up that biology textbook, so as to learn the barest rudiments of scientific practise)

5:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

Most creationists are at least rational enough to say that such-and-such is what one should expect to find if the Genesis narrative is true. Of course, when their predictions are blown to hell (as they invariably are), they lie and backtrack, move the goal posts, or just ignore the evidence. You, on the other hand, don't provide any criteria by which to test Genesis (disgustingly, you even gloat about this), either because you're too stupid to understand that a hypothesis that allows for everything and anything is worthless (since it can't be distinguished from something that anyone can make up on the spot, like the Invisible Overlord Unicorn who created the universe), or because you actually know that Genesis has been falsified by every bit of evidence science has mustered and you don't want to admit it, so you simply make your "theory" so elastic and vague that it can retrospectively accommodate anything at all (what you then call "fitting beautifully with the Christian narrative", : ) just like anything I can pull out of my arse fits "beautifully" with everything if I say it does. It’s absolute child’s play to run rings around you. You might as well not be moving).

>3) Observable evolution and its mechanisms...<

I'd love for you to show me Darwinian mechanisms in action

You mean like natural selection, sexual selection, and drift? They’ve all been demonstrated ad infinitum. Again, you can verify that by picking up any reputable scientific biology journal and flip to the relevant study. Or pick up that textbook, like Futuyama’s “Evolution”, which is choca-block with examples. I’m not spoon-feeding you.

, doing what you claim it can do.

Changing the mean value of traits? Plenty of studies. Look ‘em up.

Show me a beetle that evolved into something that's not a beetle.

Disingenuous request, because that’s obviously a long-term process, and since you don’t in principle allow for this (you’re a YECtard), anything I show you about the natural history of the Coleoptera will be deemed irrelevant. By the way, what would count as “not a beetle”, anyway? What’s the delineation criteria? Your “created kinds” scheme is useless in this, since the criteria are never clearly defined. What would be allowed to count as “not a beetle”? You have no conception of how discontinuities work, either, because you’re still stuck in a Platonic essentialist way of thinking, like all creationists, who assume that everything comes packaged in neat pigeonhole (even when they’re not). How about this: next time you have coffee, mark the EXACT point at which it turns from hot to cold. Thank about that, and you’ll eventually start to get it.

YOu know, sthg that's actually in question. So far, this is a big fail on your part.

Actually, a big failure of comprehension of yours, still stuck as you are in archaic modes of thinking that assume Platonic essences of clear and insurmountable delineation (in other words, utterly outdated notions with no relevance to modern biology).

>Thus a beetle can qualify as a kind, even though the beetles constitute an entire Order of some 350,000 species. That’s a LOT of allowable evolution for one “kind”<

Now give me an argument why I should accept the oft-changing Darwinian taxonomy you're assuming here.

I’m not. I’m saying that your scheme of created kinds sucks, and that, however messy and wrong the Darwinian alternative is, it’s light years ahead of anything you lot have ever come up with.

5:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>That’s a LOT of allowable evolution for one “kind”, especially in only 6,000 years<

Like I said, why would anyone be concerned that a beetle evolved into...a beetle? Help me out.

No, stupid. Not “a” beetle: 350,000 beetle species. Did you have a problem getting through all those zeros? Well, at least now I know that you’ve no problem with speciation. One wonders what you might (inadvertently, of course) concede next. How’s that created kinds scheme going for you so far, by the way? Especially given that you’ve now implied rather carelessly that there’s nothing shocking about 350,000 species coming from one (catch a clue: that’s called evolution, and since you’re a YEC, you’re allowing a shitload more of it than any evolutionist would allow in a span of only a few thousand years. And yet you have trouble believing that something like a beetle can give rise to something unlike a beetle. These contradictions boggle the rational mind).

>but they do this at the cost of ignoring the evidence from geology.<

1) Um, that's your 6th. Cheater.

Sorry, the geologists have as much contempt for you as biologists do. Can’t pretend you’re mainstream when you ain’t. You’re sniping at biology and you’re sniping at geology. Facts.

2) Please prove that rocks tell time.

Geology textbook. I’m not a geologist. I trust what they say because they know more about rocks than you do. Sorry ‘bout that, but the meek shall not inherit the Earth.

3) If you appeal to radioactive dating, please prove that you can know with certainty how much decay was present at the starting point.

Interlocking parsimony of geology with astronomy and stellar formation, the facts of biology, thermodynamics, plate tectonics, continental drift, and so and on. Makes a lot more sense than assuming that the whole shebang was put together in the space of six days. Absent any evidence that the laws of physics have changed in a massive way throughout time, I’ll stick with this far neater, more elegant, and less question-begging framework, rather than one in which one must assume that every meteorite impact that ever befell Earth happened within a space of only 4,000 years and that the locals didn’t record these events (they kinda missed the impact that created the Chixculub crater off the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, even though it released as much energy – in order to have produced a crater that large – as 100 million Hiroshima bombs. Kind of a biggie, but maybe they were too busy with their laundry or something. Never mind, God can always be whipped out to sort out these minor wrinkles, a right that us “irrational” materialists don’t have).

Exhibit D: failing to address the numerous times that evolution has passed the aforementioned falsification gauntlet, and what the implications of that are for your narrative:

>4) The underlying structures found in animals shared with other animals, again in a hierarchical pattern similar to that found in genes. One doesn’t find mammals with bird-like wings<

Again... hahhaa, even on the weak sister of Xtianity - ID - this is easily explainable! Please.

Yep, and again, only if you assume that God did things in order to make them look EXACLTY as predicted by evolution.

Ready? God used the same structures for multiple species. Not that hard, Luis.

Why don’t you understand it then? Especially since the challenge wasn’t for me to prove creation wrong, it was for me to show evidence for evolution. Kinda funny how God’s design criteria ALWAYS seems to line up so well with making evolution smell like a rose, when he didn’t have to, and could have produced a tonne of stuff that would ONLY make sense if evolution wasn’t true and would instantly show creationism to be true. He pretty much dissed you guys, and left you flopping around like fish out of water.

5:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

Having failed to provide any testable predictions for Genesis (that is, failing to provide anything that would make Genesis a better explanation than evolution, even though there are a variety of such predictions to choose from – none satisfied, of course), you then systematically play down the fact that every major prediction derived from evolutionary theory has been confirmed to an overwhelming extent. Again, you seem incapable of comprehending (or unwilling to acknowledge) that a hypothesis that makes a risky prediction is far superior to one that makes no such predictions, because the latter hypothesis conveys no information about what to say of different conceivable states of the world. In other words, you’re not actually talking about anything, just blowing hot air and hoping that I’ll be impressed. I’m not.

(4)

>God wouldn’t have been constrained by this; he could have made bats to have bird-like limbs rather than limbs that closely resemble the arrangements found in non-flying mammals. Or he could have made a mammal with its photosensitive cells the right way around, like what we see in the cephalopods.<

1) OK, now I am going to throw out a Hovind-ism. Cephalopods like octopuses live in the water. Did you know that?

Yes. And that has ABSOLUTELY NO RELEVANCE to the placement of the directionality of their cells. Did you know that fish also live in water, and that THEIR cells are arranged like ours as would be expected if we share more recent ancestry with them than we do with cephalopds)? Nice try, though. Failing to draw a logical conclusion isn’t the same as drawing one, you know. Perhaps a Hovind-ism isn’t what you want.

2) Why would He do so?

Because presumably he’s not retarded.

Go ahead and make the argument.

He’s presumably not retarded, so he’s not expected, on the creation model, to design things as though he’s on an acid trip.

Of course He COULD have.

So on your view, he just chose to throw in gratuitous design oddities for no good reason. In fact, design oddities all throughout the animals that are wasteful, prone to infection, and that could have been designed much more elegantly (like the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which takes a ridiculous detour down the throat even though it could have just nipped across from one side to the other – that is, if God didn’t want us to think we as share our ancestry with fish). So the only conclusion to be drawn from creationism is that God was a bad designer. That would at least explain the even worse logic deployed by his most rabid followers.

How is this an argument for your position?

Because things that look like bad “design” are also exactly what we should expect to find if evolution is true. Evolution never starts off with a clean sheet of paper. It must always used the materials at hand, and that means it is constrained to using structures that have to be modified but that still need to work while they’re being modified. God wouldn’t work under such constraints. Evolution has to, so it’s often stuck with these bad “designs”.

>Finding a dog with a different genetic code, or a bat with feathers, would put the theory of evolution in grave jeopardy.<

Um, a bat with feathers wouldn't be a bat.

Call it whatever then; it would still be a mammal with something a mammal shouldn't have on evolution, which is the relevant point here (I was using a bat as an example, but allow it to be a dog or a cat).

5:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

It'd be a diff kind of organism. That is one of the dumbest things I've heard in quite a while, I'm sorry to say.

That’s because you don’t quite get the argument (at all, actually), which is that finding such organisms would be FATAL to evolution, because evolution predicts that they CAN’T exist. A mammal that sprouted feathers is a deeply un-evolutionary notion. It would not fit into any cladogram. Creationism would be able to easily account for it though: God created it. Do we find such organisms? No, we don’t. We only find the types of organisms that evolutionary theory predicts can actually exist.

>These small exchanges are rampant in microorganisms, which routinely swap genetic material.<

1) Again, you ASSUME they did. You can't observe it.

Hahaha: retarded comment. (this is how I know that you can’t possibly have worked in the life sciences, because no one even slightly clued in about biology would say something so embarrassing). Methods of gene transfer among microbes are known to be routine by all geneticists and microbiologists. There are even names for these processes, like conjugation. You might also look into bacteriophages, which are viruses that parasitise bacteria, and when the bacterium lyses (essentially, disintegrates) its genetic innards are adopted by other bacteria, which can then transfer them vertically (that is, to its “offspring”). And a whole bunch of evidence now strongly points to gene transfer being rampant, not just routine. Again, there is plenty of material on this in the scientific literature, and you’re free to look into it if you’re at all interested.

2) If you can observe it within a human lifetime, please prove that your human intervention and observation did not affect the outcome.

Change it compared to what? First you ask for observation of evolution (change through time), then you demand that this evolution (which is what it is, by definition) not have been “changed” by human intervention. How do we compare observed and non-observed evolution if the former can’t be observed in the first place? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. You should think these things through a bit.

That's going to be hard, since you have to observe it, thus introducing intelligent intervention...

Naked assertion. You simply assume that by observing something, it will be statistically significantly changed from what it otherwise would have been. Sometimes it might be (scientists are always wary of this possibility, and strive to eliminate any potential effects they might impose on the system, so that they can see the system behaving as close as possible to how it would otherwise be behaving).

which makes ID more plausible than your own fantasy. Sorry.
Yeah, sorry, you just made that up.

>What we see in animals is emphatically unlike what we see in cars, or houses or computers. <

>Hahahahahaa! Yep, and those are designed. LOL @ fideist Darwinist.<

Which is why I'm saying that animals AREN’T designed, slow-poke, otherwise the analogy used by creationists would be a far more fitting one; hence my differentiation from human technology to show how the two are utterly different. Your laughing makes you look like a complete imbecile, since you can’t even think past the most elementary implications of what it is you think you’re laughing at. Sad and gay.

5:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>if we suppose that God made animals, then God made everything to look as though it evolved by designing things to conform powerfully to a prediction derived from evolutionary theory and which, if counter-examples were produced, would have fatally wounded the theory.<

This assumes your own conclusion, that the evidence actually does point to Darwinism's truth.

It doesn’t assume anything. It simply states a fact: that evolution can produce some things and not others, and that finding the things it can’t produce – but which would be readily compatible with creationism – would instantly falsify the theory. So far, you’ve provided no such examples. You should in fact be desperately searching for them. Nice try, through.

You have to prove that first before you can move on to figuring out why fundies think like they do. I'm getting more and more pessimistic.

I already did prove it: that evolution can produce some things and not others, and that finding the things it can’t produce – but which would be readily compatible with creationism – would instantly falsify the theory. So far, you’ve provided no such examples. You should in fact be desperately searching for them. That you’re not leads me to think you're committing one of the seven deadly sins: sloth.

Here’s a triple whopper:
>5) The fossil record.<

Again, prove any fossilised organism had children. Prove it, don't assume it. Let's see - below you sort of address it –
Prove that Tiktaalike had any children. Go ahead.

>You really are one disgusting charlatan. Here’s the prediction, moron: things like Tiktaalik should exist.<

Haha, fail. No argument given, just mockery. Now, why would that not be "invoking Mammy Nature and Papa Darwin" on your part?

Red herring; failure to acknowledge confirmation of basic tenet of evolution; making impossible-to-fulfil request which, in any case, has zero relevance to aforementioned prediction.

5:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

It gets much, much, much worse for YEC morons from here. Not only does the fossil record confirm the prediction of transitional forms (which you have to vacillate around, as we’ve just seen. By all means, keep arguing like that. It makes the job of rationalists an order of magnitude easier). The fossil record also provides the following rather inconvenient fact: mass extinctions. 15 of them, and 5 of which wiped out over half the species then present on Earth. Five. So in other words (gather around everyone), Rhology - the adult - believes that in a span of 6,000 years (actually, even less, since he's talking about things that happened BEFORE the Bible was written, so let's say, very charitably, in the space of 4,000 years) five mass extinctions occurred. Kinda funny that these weren't documented in the Bible, all except the Great Flood (which failed to inundate cultures that were living at the time, oddly enough, making it the only non-existent mass extinction thus far known). Kind of a biggie, you know. And their causes would have been pretty apparent to anyone actually living on this planet. For example, the gigantic crater off the Yacatan Peninsula in Mexico, which I mentioned earlier, required a bolide the size of Mount Everest to have kicked up that much sediment. And that's just one collision. Something even more monstrous happened at the Permian mass extinction. So you think that all these catastrophic events, which decimated entire ecosystems, ALL happened in a tiny window of 4,000 years. Every meteorite strike, every volcanic eruption, every continental shift that has been detected by science, all took place in this pathetic little window. And yet no one seemed to notice. This alone means that your entire worldview doesn't even rise to the level of a joke. I hope you realise that, because you’ll need to get used to people looking at you funny.

OK, your "best 5 evidences" are over. Wow, that was refreshing - nothing new, and nothing good.
Yep: you’re stupid, Rhology. Simple as that.

>That’s because you’re irrational enough to think that minds can exist outside of physical media like brains<

Prove it's irrational.

Minds all exist in brains. You’ve not shown how they can possibly exist outside of brains. Hence your only reference point is something WITHIN the physical universe, which you then, without evidence, assume has efficacy “OUTSIDE” the physical universe. Next you’ll be telling us that computer programs don’t necessarily need to be ultimately grounded in computers.

5:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

Take a look at your gems of ineptitude:

”You know what else exists immaterially? Thoughts, colors, numbers, logical laws, desires, dreams, ideas, value, meaning, morals, and many other things.”

Nope, they don’t exist “immaterially” at all, except in a specially defined sense: as high-level abstract views of evolving physical systems. All these things are ultimately grounded in physical processes in the brain and body, and there’s no evidence to suggest otherwise. All the things you’ve mentioned are things, by the way, that are representations, in one form or other, of things that go on in the physical universe. Take away the physical universe, and they become meaningless – partly because there are no agents to conceive of them, and partly because there is no stuff for these thoughts to “be about”. All these things ultimately exist as patterns in physical media, just as any change in a software program requires a change in the pattern of a physical hardware storage device/circuit. In fact, the fields of neuroscience and computer science might be your next way stations of discovery after you’ve learned some basic biology and scientific methodology. I wonder why you imagine that humans require such complex brains if they don’t need them to achieve consciousness. Such a brain is absolutely required on materialism, but on philosophical idealism, it isn’t, because “soul” and “spirit” can exist independently of the physical but still (somehow) interact with matter (conveniently, once again; you need the physical to affirm the non-physical). Why not just have small, more “primitive” brains for basic bodily hormonal and chemical chores and leave the consciousness stuff to the immaterial ghost, which can nevertheless interact with and control the body? If thinking doesn’t require the brain, then here’s a challenge: shoot yourself in the head, and use your soul to tell your body to walk around. Shouldn’t be a problem, since it’s not the brain that’s really controlling the body’s movements.

This is a novice move; try again with more sophistication.

Sorry, simply intoning that minds can exist outside of brains doesn’t count as sophisticated. You should really retrace your steps and come to some realisation that is actually grounded in logic that commit you to attempting explanations for things through entities that explain precisely nothing (that is, “spirits”, which presuppose that mind can exist outside of physical media and can be invoked willy-nilly to save you from any tight spot, rather than breaking the mind down and understanding how it works as a system. Your mystical mumbo-jumbo just won’t do, I’m afraid).

(5)

>clearly define what you even mean by a spirit, rather than vacillating between different definitions having nothing to do with each other.<

1) Which I of course haven't done (vacillate, that is).

Holy Trinities aren’t compatible with God being “simple”, as you’ve tried to argue on The Atheist Experience.

2) You know, since you're on teh 1nterwebz, you could go to dictionary.com just as easily as I. A spirit is a conscious, incorporeal (and I'd add immaterial) being, as opposed to matter.

Yeah, so a completely nonsensical proposition in other words. Thanks. Note that YOU added “immaterial”! : ), thus making it even less worthy as a proposition that one should imagine can explain anything.

5:47 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>How do you imagine that this non-physical mind interacts with the physical universe?<

1) Thru spiritual power.

That’s just jumbling words together and then assuming that they represent something real. You’ve no evidence of it, and worse, you’ve no logical structural framework by which to justify such extraordinary assertions. It’s always amusing to see how the proponents of philosophical idealism propose the goofiest things with no embarrassment for their nakedness.

He's the Creator - He can do what He wants.

Great explanation. If you’re irrational, that is. For rational people, that all sounds rather like “It’s so, because Rhology says it is.” Okay, I know: the BIBLE says it is. But Rhiology has still given us nil reason to take that book seriously as a guide to metaphysical claims.

2) The God I posit is far, far bigger than I or anyone can fully understand.

So big, in fact, that he doesn’t require any explanation or accounting, and one can always invoke him safe in the knowledge that these won’t ever be forthcoming. Hence, a nonsensical being that one might as well not bother talking about.

How would pointing out that there's sthg I don't understand about Him be an argument against His existence?

Because you’re not actually talking about anything. You’ve just got some airy, vague notion of something “immaterial” which you can’t explain (but which gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside).

Exhibit E: helping yourself to "self-referential foundations" while lamenting others for (supposedly) doing so:

1) Please prove God didn't ALSO say that, THROUGH said prescientific nomads.

>I don’t have to prove a thing. You’re the one making the claim that the Bible is God’s word.<

Um, you made the positive claim. So, you refuse to back it up, eh?

Yeah, that’s because there’s a mundane alternative to your supernaturalism: nomads said God did such and such. But since you can’t even find anything to discriminate against that, I think I’ll stay where I am, thank you: with the mundane choice, as I would when considering the Koran.

As for me, my position is that nothing is comprehensible w/o God's existence and His revelation.

Argument from consequence. Not once have you provided an objective criterion for demonstrating that the Bible was authored by God beyond the claim that it was so authored (in the Bible, of course, making your claim that it was authored by God an example of self-reference par excellence. Funny how fundies deride the sin they sare so adept in seeing in others, when they themselves are so often the biggest violators) and that your worldview requires this as its central reference point. Yours, in other words, boils down to an argument from consequence: if the Bible isn't true, then we have no foundation for judging reality, "therefore" the Bible is true (pretty odd - or rather, telling - that you choose the Bible, rather than some other book that adherents of other religions claim was authored by a divine intelligence, like Islam with the Islam. But never mind. Since you have faith in the veracity of the Bible, I suppose that settles it for you, though you mistakenly imagine that it should settle it for everyone else as well. News flash for dumbfucks: it doesn't). In other words, you assume that the Bible is true in order to be able to say it is. That's the heart and soul of your sophistimucated theology: pure, unadulterated and transparent fraud.

5:53 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

I don't conclude it, I presuppose it.

Finally, some honesty.
You'd have to show an alternative worldview that accts for rationality to compete.

No, I don’t, because you haven’t demonstrated why the Bible should act as the default reference point. Firstly, there are plenty of other reference points one could choose: the Koran, the Hindu texts, etc. Or one could choose a scientific reference point based in the methodology of science (“what works provides some approximation of what’s real, as we would expect”). Self-flattery seems to become you.

>They of course had SOME conception of what we would call the scientific method (nothing like the brilliant insights of the Greeks, though), but it didn’t suffice to move them past the ravings of liars<

So the presence of liars and the fact that some, or even many, ppl fall for them is a reason not to think that a population conducted science

“A population doing science”. Yeah, that’s what they were doing. Science. Okay. Moving along.

I give you the massive amt of ppl who hold to astrology in the modern West! Science is now disproven!

You kinda left out two things: the population always lags far, far behind in their understanding of science than do the scientific community (you know, the people who actually do it for a living rather than just spouting their opinions about it), and secondly, astrology gives us reasons to think that lots of people can believe in crazy, unscientific shit, which provides a nice matching set to the God-belief of your “scientific” population.

>Prove that the things in the Bible could not have been invented by people at the time or been misinterpretations of natural events <

Fulfilled prophecies couldn't've been.

I didn’t ask you to state that miracles happen; I asked you to state why these miracles can’t have been explained by more mundane things (for example, someone read the Old Testament and then lived up to something stated in it, thus “fulfilling” a prophecy. Or someone changed the Bible after the fact to make something look like it had been foreseen. Until you can show that these things can’t have happened – that is, show that there were no possible avenues for fraud, deceit, misunderstanding, and role-playing to make themselves felt - you’ve no business trashing common sense and rushing to miracles).

Your worldview is irrational, so I yawn at such uppity talk.

Unlike yours, which is presupposed rather than argued for, that tells you that Earth is younger than the domestication of the dog, and that predisposes you to having a very low threshold for being impressed by prophesy stories.

Pig fart, anyone?

>You’re the one who has to demonstrate them to be more rational and likely than the naturalistic, mundane alternative.<

You're a philosophical naïf.

This coming from someone who thinks that disembodied minds and a 6,000 year old Earth are serious scientific propositions. Smile City : ) Nuff said, really.

Again you beg the question that the naturalistic explanation is "mundane",

No I don’t. I simply state what’s uncontroversial: that the physical universe is what we experience everyday, and that all sorts of misunderstandings are experienced in it on a routine basis, which should provide (for the rational person) a backdrop against which to consider extraordinary claims. In your eagerness to believe in God, you simply jump to the most question begging “explanations” – namely, those that involve self-admittedly mysterious entities outside the physical universe.

5:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

that "mundanity" is the key to truth,

You’ve failed to show otherwise. Indeed, you’ve failed to show anything that would discriminate between naturalism and divinity (except for “fulfilled prophecies”, which you haven’t justified anyway – see above - and hence have no basis for saying that they were miraculous at all. You sure have a penchant for tying yourself in logical knots).
and that your position is even possible, let alone probable. Probable compared to what, exactly?

Not compared to what; in the context of what. The answer is what happens in nature and its structural regularities. Refer to previous examples about evolution, which you dodged and vacillated around.

That's just a stupid statement. GOD WAS THERE and He said how it went down.

>Something you can’t show (what I said), because you weren’t there.<

I'm sorry you're having trouble following here, but do try at least. IF my position is correct, God's telling me how it went down is a perfect explanation.

Oh right, so now YOU’RE allowing yourself to see what happens when a framework is fitted against the facts? I guess some comrades are more equal than others. Check this out:

What I'm pointing out to you is that you claim a superior level of knowledge but you weren't even there; you have zero access to how it went down.

Except via recourse to the evidence left behind. You know, like a detective at a crime scene. Surely you’re not saying that the police should never be allowed to arrest people unless eyewitness testimony is found? Because you kinda seem to be (that is, if you're consistent).

Your explanation is an argument from ignorance, a Darwinism of the gaps.

Pure garbage. My explanation looks at what was left behind and then builds an edifice to parsimoniously account for these happenings, taking into account processes that can be understood, quantified and tested (and hence can provide grounds for modifying the edifice). Yours does nothing remotely like this, so it sucks. It simply assumes that the writings of the ancients reflected God’s word, because the ancients said so. There’s a word for that: irrational.

>“Objective”, on the basis that its adherents say it is, which “therefore” makes it so.<

...And a category error. The fallacies just keep on coming.
It's objective in the sense that text is objective.


You haven’t shown that at all. You’ve simply shown that you believe it to be the case. Not good enough.

The Bible is not changing. It's not ad hoc. Anyone can read it. Just like your (and my) comments.

And they can draw conclusions from it based upon how well the Bible describes the physical universe. Pretty badly, as it turns out. But that, in your narrative, just means that there must be something wrong with the physical universe, since the book is “right”, and hence everything else must be wrong by definition. What’s it like to live in 1984?

>Each piece of evidence is taken against a backdrop of other evidence, and it’s the mutual agreement of these data that together corroborate evolution<

And since inductive reasoning is always fallacious, you prefer a huge heap of fallacious reasonings rather than just one. Hahaha, OK.

No actual reason has been shown to demonstrate the fallaciousness of evolutionary reasoning. Hence your claim is trash.

5:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>Darwinism also says what would count against evolution; YEC doesn’t stick its neck out in this way<

I'd settle for ANYTHING. 'Twould be a great start for you.

The burden is 100 percent on YOU to decide what would count against creationism, since you’re the one who wants to claim that it provides a good fit with reality. Too chicken to let it stick its neck out? Yeah, thought so. Without proposing something that could in principle count against it, you’re not actually proposing anything that could discriminate against the alternative (naturalism). But since you’d settle for anything, try what I already alluded to on for size: mismatching phylogenies from different redundant codon sites. So there, creationism is wrong. That wasn’t hard.

Besides, since YEC is true

Naked assertion, corroborated by zero evidence and lack of attempt to provide said evidence.

, I would indeed expect it to acct for everythg.

You would. You need to, after all.
Up to you to bring sthg fwd to get us started.

Fat chance. The burden’s still on you, and will remain so for as long as you claim any semblance of rationality or any desire to be taken seriously by those with a modicum of respect fro hypothesis evaluation.

>instead retreats to safety when the storm gets too rough by simply invoking “God did it”.<

Really? Quote a YEC-er doing that. Just one.

The blogger called Rhology, in posts here and on The Atheist Experience, where all evolution-confirming facts were brushed off as “God did it”. I guess you’re also senile. Have a look at your postings on this thread for confirmation.

(Since you can't,

I just did, but anyway.

will you be intellectually honest to admit that you were pulling stuff out of the air and out of atheistic prejudices you've picked up from other bigots?)

No, because the only liar here is you. You should read up on that hypocrisy stuff that Jesus talked about. Might even make you a better Christian.

>Uniformitarianism is a) more simple and less question-begging than the ridiculous alternative<

Now all you need is an argument!

Already provided one (see evolution-confirming evidences above). Now all you need is some functioning rational faculties semblance of honesty to acknowledge it!

>South American and Africa are imagined to have parted ways in 40 days<

Another argument from ignorance.

Okay, so they separated over millions of years as all the geologists say it did then. That was easy. I’m glad you don’t actually take the YEC position on this seriously.

1) I don't know and neither do you know whether they were like that before the Flood.

Yes we do, since the equivalent strata on both continents show the same fossil fauna and the rock types are the same, and the Mid-Atlantic ridge has magnetic patterns that fan out from the ridge on both sides like a mirror to each other (thus confirming a prediction of old-Earth geology, which is that the rock captured magnetic field reversals of the Earth at the time that the magma was coming out of the ridge and solidified). Hence, they were joined together.

2) You don't know what a worldwide Flood, 1000s of feet deep, could do.

Geologists do, which is why they think that calling the Flood story a pile of vomit is an insult to piles of vomit.

You just ASSUME it couldn't do what you think I'm claiming it did. Yawn.

Yeah, knowledge is boring, isn’t it. Typical fundie attitude. Keep it up; people need to see your true colours.

6:04 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>2) there’s no a priori reason to suppose that the alternative is more likely<

There's no a priori reason to suppose that uniformitarianism is more likely.

Which I wasn’t claiming anyway. But anyway. So if we presume that they’re equi-probable, that leaves us with what happens when we try to fit the data against the two frameworks. Uniformitarianism works better, 100 percent of the time. YEC doesn’t, resulting in an ocean of epicycles and pathetic narratives that a child couldn’t take seriously (evidently, that hasn't broken your stride). End of story.

In fact, on naturalism, there's no reason to suppose that ANYTHING is likely.

Naked assertion that simply assumes the necessity of God because the respective theological framework requires it. “Therefore” naturalism doesn’t allow for anything. Great argument.

You have no reason to trust that the future will be like the past.

Naked assertion. Uniformitarianism allows for the maintenance of the laws of physics. You have no independent confirmation to suppose that God wasn’t lying in the Bible and that he won’t change everything tomorrow. You simply assume that he’s an honest guy because (the ancients said) he told you that he is.

So this is just about you assuming stuff, for reasons one can only guess at.

See above few paragraphs for refutation of this naked assertion.

>we exist, so the universe must necessarily have been amenable, in some capacity, to foster that existence<

Boy, aren't we lucky?!

Obviously. Like any other intelligent life form that happens to exist, or that might, for all we know, exist in regions of the universe with different parameters. I guess that by your logic, nothing can count as luck, since anything that happens is for a reason (since it leads to stuff, after all, which must necessarily mean that it happened in order for that stuff to happen. How do you know this? Well, we know why).

But boy, aren’t we lucky that a sentient, incorporeal entity with spiritual power exists?! See, what your douched-up brain can’t get is that we’re lucky either way. Adding God into the mix doesn’t mitigate that luck one iota.

Please indicate how you get past the gross improbability of that occurring.

A vast universe with hundreds of billions of planets. You know, like a vast set of lottery entrants, only one of whom actually wins (I suppose that, to be consistent, you must also invoke divinity to account for lottery winners, since they can’t otherwise get “past the gross improbability of that occurring”).

6:07 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>then decide which one more parsimoniously allows for the explication of newly discovered facts<

Please prove the principle of parsimony is the best way to discover truth, or even a good way. Or are you just assuming again?

Well, the principle of gross incompatibilities that have to be patched over with endless epicycles is surely a bad way of getting to the truth if ever there was one (don’t agree? Oh well, I can’t help that), but if you’re comfortable with that, then for each his own. You sort of shot yourself in the foot, by the way. General explanations are supposed to account for lots of things, not just single things. If any explanation has to be constantly and gratuitously tweaked, then it’s a bad explanation because it has poor fact-accounting power; it can’t stand on its own without being constantly assisted by interventions from the ad hoc fire brigade. Hence creationism is a bad explanation, because it constantly needs to be pulled out of the fire in order for its components to hold together. And that’s assuming that we’re dealing with a falsifiable creationist framework; the one you’re alluding to doesn’t explain jack-shit because it doesn’t discriminate between one conceivable state of the world and another. Hence, there’s no reason anyone should pay the slightest bit of attention to it.

(No need to answer - it's clear already.)

I’ll say : )

>makes the creator look like a bit of a schizophrenic goose who should be an embarrassment to theists.<

1) Yeah? Please point out sthg that would embarrass me.

The recurrent laryngeal nerve. Look into it. It’s pretty damn embarrassing. Oh, and God’s knack for always saving evolution from falsification, by exactly replicating patterns that are precisely predicted by evolutionary theory. Off you go then.

2) That He'd be embarrassing to other so-called theists is in fact predicted by the Bible - it's called sin.

Tht totalitarian mindset will always see the primary sin as dissent, a platitude that is replicated quite nicely in that statement of yours just there. This should show anyone reading this the type of mentality I'm dealing with.

Not a big fan of correctly characterising opponents, eh?

>A huge fan, hence my claim that you care nothing for chemistry or physics. Or biology, for that matter. Or astronomy. Or geology<

1) Now you're just resorting to playground trash talking. Have fun with that mind-reading.

It’s not mind reading, it’s observation. Nowhere have you shown the slightest degree of interest in seriously addressing anything from these fields. Your only interest is in bolstering your theological framework. A desolate and ugly intellectual experience, I imagine.

2) So, do I need to accept fallacious reasoning to be taken seriously by you? That's sorta ironic.

Of course not. If you stopped doing that, then I’d start taking you seriously.

1) Another strawman. Not as *I* see fit.

>Right, just the God that YOU need to invoke whenever you have no real answer, and need to crawl your way out of having to provide one.<

Please quote me doing so.

“God did it”. Numerous examples above and on The Atheist Experience. Amazing how often you abdicate your obligation to think, while you hurl accusations of irrationality at others. Hypocrisy isn't really when Rhology does it, for he's serving a higher "troof".

6:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

>The YEC one certainly doesn’t, hence its constant disagreement with nigh-on everything discovered by science.<

Please make an argument that disagreement among YEC-ers gives any credence to your position, or hurts my position.

Disagreement among YECers? Re-read what I wrote. You’re either slow or tired.

2) Prove there's sthg morally wrong with burning witches, on naturalism.

>Not the claim being made. I said that this stupid and cruel practise would still be performed if your worldview was in charge of the world, as it was for so long.<

1) Oh, OK. So you didn't make a moral claim about burning witches. So, why do you seem upset about it?

Do I? Well, I suppose I am. But I’ve no interest in “justifying” my moral system to someone like you, who will simply discount it. Waste of time. No, what I actually was centrally concerned about in that statement was the stupidity, not the evil, of burning witches.

Why'd you single it out, as opposed to, say, eating McDonald's food?

Admittedly I didn’t have McDonalds on my mind, since that came rather later than the burning of witches, which is a monstrous practise done for the sake of religion, whereas eating McDonalds is a foolish practise done for the sake of satisfying a craving for fries. Like I said, though, I have no interest in justifying my moral system to you, as I think that your moral system is stupid beyond repair anyway, so yours will sound just as alien to me as mine does to yours.

2) Sigh. Please prove that "cruelty" objectively exists.

Nonsensical, meaningless request. Cruelty, “objectively”, means nothing more than the needless administration of suffering on another sentient being. In some moral frameworks (like the Christian one of the Middle Ages), cruelty was seen as a moral obligation in many situations. Hence, systems of morality and the use of cruelty aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Under some systems of morality, cruelty is in fact a prerequisite.

3) Do you have any idea how many witches were burned in Salem?

Just a few, and those burnings were facilitated by the Rhologies of the time, who never questioned their presuppositions and could therefore gleefully and calmly practise acts of barbarism.

(7)

2) I'm YEC.

LOL

God created Adam and the rest of the organisms, and Eve,”

And hominids. Don’t forget the hominids, some of which looked eerily like Homo sapiens. Again, no mention in the Bible of these rather disturbing “created kinds”.

and the Earth, as mature specimens. Not as fetuses.

>* Sniggers at stupid caricature * Ummmm….fetuses. Yeah, because that’s what evolutionists think the CE was all about.<

Um, that was an explanation of MY position, given the question you asked me. Do try to keep up.

Then why the gratuitous and utterly unnecessary reference to fetuses, which no one was even alluding to anywhere? Who knows. I doubt you do either.

>don't try using science to bolster your Bronze Age mythologies<

Man, thank God you're here to tell me not to do what I'm not doing!

>So you ADMIT that the Cambrian Explosion doesn’t bolster your case?<

You got lost somewhere along the way, Luis.

Yeah, I thought so. An inability to acknowledge defeat. Talk about the CE as though it presents a fundamental problem for evolution, then fail to address my counterpoint about possible mechanisms to account for it, and then pretend that you weren’t using it to bolster your Bronze Age mythologies. Tis how fundies argue.

6:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

Information doesn't just happen.

>Apparently it does, since you think that God doesn’t require an explanation.<

>1) Strawman - God didn't "happen". He is the fundamental, the necessary being.<

So I got it right the first time: he doesn’t require an explanation in your view. The fact that he simply exists as a thinking being is exempt from requiring explanation because he’s just imagined to be there (because you need him to be). I wish I could simply intone constructs that magically whisk away any obligation to explain. Of course, the universe can’t ever be allowed to “just exist”, while God is allowed that privilege (probably has something to do with that “spiritual power” business).

2) Speaking of dodges... want to answer the question?

No one knows for sure yet. But it’s almost certainly something like the RNA world hypothesis. All the basic building blocks can be produced; it’s putting them together that’s the real trick.

It must be given.

>Except, of course, when we consider God, which is just sort of...there.<

1) Oh, is "information" like "God" to you? Has information always been? How did that work?

It didn’t. It’s how YOU and Andrew see it: God, who can store information in his…whatever… See how we’re not even talking about anything with this spirit bullshit? Now God isn’t even information, in your narrative. He’s not matter, he’s no tangible, he’s not visible, he’s not limited. One gets the impression that Rhology doesn’t know what he’s saying, but that’s par for the course in theology.

2) Does it matter that minds haven't always been around, for info to have always been?

"Always been around". Don't know where you got that notion. if you mean DNA, though: information, in the DNA was here long before minds were around. And crucially, it doesn’t require minds to interpret it, because it’s defined as a particular type of pattern that acts as a register about some quantity or state of the world. What's information is, not some mystical thing or other.

3) Minds and info aren't material.

Now there’s a juicy whopper if ever there was one. Information isn’t material? Hmmmm. Then show me a software program that doesn’t ultimately reside as some pattern on a physical medium. Yeah, see, you can’t do it. Same for mind. The computer-mind analogy is deep and unavoidable. Take away the medium, and you’re left with literally nothing. Information isn’t a standalone entity that can exist on its own; it’s a pattern that is a representation or register of something else. You’re talking pure wank, and you know it.

Weren't you just telling us that such things weren't real?

No, I didn’t say they weren’t real. You’re the one saying that mind and information are “non-material” and can exist independently of matter (you haven’t even hinted at how this could be realised, only that you think it can). I’m saying they exist, but that they need to be understood as ultimately residing on physical media as patterns.

>I’d recommend that you actually read a book about evolution written by a scientist. <

Read several, thanks.

And yet…all this. Another tragic tale of wasted youth.

They all suffered from the same assumptions you've displayed here.

A lack of deference to Sky Daddy, I know.

You're a dogmatist.

You’re a self-admitted dogmatist (presuppositions, remember), which makes it a bit rich for you to lament me for being one. And unlike you, I can actually test my ideas, rather than being strait-jacketed by an unalterable, “objective” text that commits me to interpreting everything through its tiny and mind-shrinking lens. Hence, the above comment by you is laughable at the very best.

6:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Luis said...

You’ve sure served up a tour de force of non-stop failure, Rhology. I’m now more convinced than ever that you’ll be consigned to the dustbin of irrelevance, because you represent how utterly stupid it’s possible for a human being to be, a sort of zenith (or low point, as it were) of the degree to which a human mind can be corrupted and disabled, probably beyond repair in your case. Everything I’ve said is stuff that a moron could figure out on his own with enough material on hand. Your brain, unfortunately, is stunted well beyond hope by years of religious infection and corrosion. The infantile nature of the arguments on offer from you is truly, quite frankly, pathetic. But then, if you knew something, buddy, you'd be something. Don't expect anymore back-and-forth from me. Now back into your jar of self-imposed irrelevance.

Good-bye, and good riddance.
(Jolly, I'll leave it to you to deal with this superfluous moron from here on in. I've got more useful and productive things to do with my time, like masturbating to Internet pornography. I shan't be checking back on this thread)

Andrew, if you want to ask me any questions about evolution, I’m happy to answer them. You can contact me and I’ll answer all questions to the best of my ability.

6:29 AM EDT  
Blogger Tommykey said...

Jolly, I'll leave it to you to deal with this superfluous moron from here on in.

Luis, I don't think you appreciate the efforts Rhology is making to try and save your soul from eternal damnation. If I had a less firm grip on reality, he might have had a chance with me.

But seriously, there's no reason to get bent out of shape over Rhology. He does what he does because that's what he's passionate about. That some of us get upset with him or become reduced to spittle-flecked rage says more about us than it does about him. I learned that lesson myself.

You gave it your best shot Luis. And who knows, maybe some of it will seep in and gradually erode that edifice of belief he has like tiny streams of water going through seams in a rock. But regardless of whether it does, we have our lives to live. Speaking of water and erosion, while you two were having your tete-a-tete, my family and I were experiencing the power and majesty of Niagara Falls.

11:08 AM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Although, having interacted with Rhology on (seemingly) hundreds of occasions over the past few years, I am acutely aware of how frustrating it can be to debate the issues with somebody who, seemingly, is impervious to evidence-based reasoning when said reasoning is in conflict with his pre-existing suppositions derived from his First Principle (that being, the god of the bible exists and the bible is his inspired, inerrant word), I also, apparently like Tommy, am a bit uncomfortable with the personal, vitriolic anger into which this discussion has descended, in spite of the fact that, between the harsh words, Luis has been an admirably clear expositor of irrefragable scientific truth.

Speaking solely for myself, I do not think Rhology is stupid or moronic at all; indeed, interacting with him can be a rather depressing experience for me because, in my judgment, he is not insignificantly more intelligent than I am, but his considerable brainpower has been hijacked, corrupted and tortured into submission by his unyielding (and willful) adherence to a book of Bronze Age desert mythology as the sole and inerrant source of ultimate truth, effectively blinding him to actual information about the natural order (or necessitating frantic harmonization schemes that are equal parts unparsimonious, unconvincing and transparent).

I recall a passage written by Douglas Wilson in his debate with Christopher Hitchens in which Wilson wrote, “I am quite prepared to cheerfully grant (and not for the sake of the argument) that you are my intellectual superior. But our discussion is not about who has more horsepower under his intellectual hood--the point of discussion is whether your superior car is on the right road. A fast car can be a real detriment on a dark night when the bridge is out.” To the extent that Rhology, unlike, for example, William Lane Craig, doggedly clings to a Young Earth interpretation of the bible--an interpretation that, unfortunately for him, cannot withstand even the most cursory scrutiny and, indeed, has been comprehensively disproved--he dooms all his arguments to be, at best, elaborate houses of cards that, although a seductive siren song to some, will collapse in a tired, dusty heap should an unfortunate wind arise.

6:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

It's true that Luis hovers near the category of "most unpleasant people I've dealt with on teh Interw3bz", but if he's the same as "Lui" here, then it's not at all surprising.
If he's not, well, let's say that I have experience therewith.

Back next week.

11:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Tommykey said...

Wow, even back then I told him to chill out.

1:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

Hi Luis,

Wow, that's a lot to respond to. In the interests of time, I'll do my best to cut out repetitions of the same subject matter. I'll also overlook the numerous insulting and rude comments, which will alone shorten my comments by about half.


You served up an avalanche of crimes against logic on a scale that truly beggars belief.

OK, big boast noted. Now let's see if you can back it up.



You should really desist from equivocating "the" Christian worldview with a fundamentalist take. A lot of Christians would take exception to it, you know.

1) As if atheism, naturalism, or Darwinism are monolithic.
2) You have my permission to take my meaning as "my position", and let's leave arguing about what the biblical position is up to those who are actually qualified. You're not.



Right, the premise of natural processes goes against the premise of natural processes.

Uh oh, you're ignorant of this, aren't you? But that didn't stop you from making a naked assertion. That should give everyone a clue about your position's credibility. Reflexive defense mechanism.
Here you go.



Please prove that ANY organism found in the fossil record had children.

A disingenuous request, because that’s not what anyone has to prove. The criterion is to prove whether or not what evolution PREDICTS can actually be found is found.


So you're saying that you don't care about proving what happenED in the past? Sorry, THAT'S disingenuous. Why talk about common ancestry all the time if what you're saying were true?



I thought the whole point was for me to show how it IS relevant to Darwinism, but now I’m not even allowed to do that?

?? You're allowed to do it, of course. In fact, I insist! With an argument, not an assumption.


You have to explain why it is that God should have required that these monkeys all bunch together geographically in a manner utterly indicative of the predictions of evolutionary theory.

1) He didn't REQUIRE it. You're playing fast and loose with language.
2) That's how it happened. The question is how to explain it. You say your position can explain it. Let's say I grant it, fine. But YEC can too. Just b/c you don't know why God might've "allowed" it (ie, why it happened) doesn't change that YEC accts for it just fine. You need to prove why it can't acct for it, not question how I know why, etc.


On evolution, this is easy to explain

It's easy to IMAGINE and tell us a just-so story. That's not the same.
I'm not saying that YEC has a better answer, but it's just as good - just-so. Point is, YEC can acct for it.


that more similar animals tend to be closer to one another geographically, because they have had less time to diverge and fan out.

And YEC's answer is yet simpler. Hello Occam's Razor.
YEC answer - that more similar animals tend to be closer to one another geographically, because they have had less time to fan out.
(What, did you think YEC has no concept of MICROevolution?)

11:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

You’ve not explained why God would require this pattern to be the case.

Wrong question.


What about monkeys being catarrhines should make you expect, in a creationist framework, for them to be confined outside of Latin America?

Good question, and if I were a scientist, I might be interested in it. But since I'm interested in TRUTH about what happenED, I'm looking for which framework can acct for a given datum.


How is yours any better?

Because it’s predictive, that’s why.


I guess it comes down to this - you're solely interested in predictive power, which is keenly subject to the problem of induction, for one thing (of which you show no recognition, which is a sign of intellectual arrogance), whereas I'm interested in truth. Very, very interesting.



The predictions of my hypothesis have been confirmed.

You mean, you THINK they have. Problem of induction. Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism. Start working.



We don’t find this. We find the opposite.

2) In a framework that you simply made up. I don't accept your just-so story. Prove your fossils are correctly in order.
2) See, NOW you're interested in what happenED. It's disingenuous to talk like "predictive power only" one moment, then change a little later.
3) You haven't made an argument why this would be inconsistent with YEC. You just ask a dumb question and then trumpet your victory.



Ah, b/c you found what you think is a fossil there?

I didn’t; palaeontologists did, and they presented their results in reputable scientific journal.


Argument from authority, as if that takes away the sting of my question. Answer the question.



I said that the pattern of biogeography we see even in the fossil record is one that exactly fits the expectations of evolution.

And it fits YEC too. What's your point, then?
Why bring up stuff that fits perfectly within YEC as if it helps you?



2) God made them that way to make them look as though there is such affinity (even though this serves absolutely no design criteria

Assumption; argument from ignorance. This is Darwinism of the gaps. You have no idea whether it serves no design criterion. You're not the Designer, and as a naturalist have no idea of an overriding telos. You deny it, in fact. Your bias is showing.



See, molecular markers prove...that these molecular markers exist.

Everything that exists does exist (awesome insight). Not much of an argument there, though.


Do try to keep up. The point is that the PRESENCE Of such markers means nothing unless you throw your Darwinist assumptions on top. But I can do the same with YEC and it makes perfect sense too. But you cited them as evidence for your position. I'm showing you it's not evidence for your position.



W/o your assumptions in place, they tell you nothing in particular.

Except I don’t bring assumptions into this


You're amazing blind. Your assumptions shine thru clearly.



Testing for genealogical affinity can provide a signal for relatedness if it’s actually there

Fine, and relatedness proves nothing for you! That's the point! You keep agreeing with me and then expecting that to go somewhere!



Be sure never to trust the technology if you’re ever in doubt about the paternity of a love child.

Relevance?

11:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

God used the same code for multiple species.

even though there was no REASON for him to do so, since these codes – the ones I’m talking about, which are redundant, not codons that make a difference to phenotypic expression – don’t have fitness consequences.


Assumption; argument from ignorance. This is Darwinism of the gaps. You have no idea whether it serves no design criterion. You're not the Designer, and as a naturalist have no idea of an overriding telos. You deny it, in fact. Your bias is showing.



You’ve simply and mindlessly assumed that God would do something in such a manner to exactly replicate a pattern predicted by evolution.

Simply, yes, b/c it IS simple. You choose mockery to try to overturn it. How about an argument instead of ignorant questions?




2) Who among YEC-ers thinks DNA doesn't degrade over time?

Secondly, I’m talking about the very particular pattern of change, not the FACT that change can take place.


God likes patterns. Once again, you assume YEC is wrong and go from there. How about an argument?



Exhibit C: failing to acknowledge the importance of falsification criteria:

That's not a great test for truth, you know. The principle of falsification is itself unfalsifiable. So's logic. Try a logical argument.



Most creationists are at least rational enough to say that such-and-such is what one should expect to find if the Genesis narrative is true.

Yawn. I'm more interested in which framework is consistent with its own presuppositions.
But bully for "most creationists". If you want to talk to them, go to AiG or sthg.



You, on the other hand, don't provide any criteria by which to test Genesis

Demonstrably false. How about you make a good argument against it, one that's logical, and then show why atheistic naturalism is more consistent and thus to be preferred? Start by solving the problems of induction and solipsism, then dealing with the EAAN.



the Invisible Overlord Unicorn

Old, tired joke. Try again.
Is that really your best shot?



I'd love for you to show me Darwinian mechanisms in action

You mean like natural selection, sexual selection, and drift?


Specifically, I'd like you to show me where those work to the extent that Darwinists say they DID IN THE PAST. Prove it.



Again, you can verify that by picking up any reputable scientific biology journal

I already asked this, but let me ask you again to provide your favorites. LEt's go 2 this time. Show me where these processes produce what Darwinians say they can, in an observable manner. Don't appeal to fossils, either, since you've conceded that the question of whether fossils had children is unimportant.



By the way, what would count as “not a beetle”, anyway? What’s the delineation criteria?

How about you produce your best example and we'll examine it?



Platonic essentialist way

Um, covering up your philosophical ignorance by throwing out misused big words doesn't help you.



2) Please prove that rocks tell time.

Geology textbook.


Hahahahahahahahhahhaa! Thanks.

11:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

3) If you appeal to radioactive dating, please prove that you can know with certainty how much decay was present at the starting point.

Interlocking parsimony of geology with astronomy and stellar formation, the facts of biology, thermodynamics, plate tectonics, continental drift, and so and on. Makes a lot more sense than assuming that the whole shebang was put together in the space of six days.


Hahahahahahahahhahhaa! Thanks.
Riiiiiiighhht, all that is WAY more parsimonious than God's creating it. Hhahahaha, whooof, I haven't laughed that hard in quite some time.



Absent any evidence that the laws of physics have changed in a massive way throughout time...less question-begging framewor

Assumption. Darwinism of the gaps. It all rests on this unprovable axiom of yours. On the contrary, it's VERY question-begging.



Chixculub crater off the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, even though it released as much energy – in order to have produced a crater that large – as 100 million Hiroshima bombs.

Prove it. See, this is precisely what I mean by begging the question. Neither you nor anyone else were there.



only if you assume that God did things in order to make them look EXACLTY as predicted by evolution.

ID does a very capable job of showing that this assertion is garbage.
Besides, man is very adept at taking God's creation and twisting it to his own purposes. This too is predicted in the Bible. Yawn.



Especially since the challenge wasn’t for me to prove creation wrong, it was for me to show evidence for evolution.

Yes, and it's quite ironic how you keep not doing so, but instead introducing data that are just as easily accted for under YEC. When are you going to start?



He’s presumably not retarded, so he’s not expected, on the creation model, to design things as though he’s on an acid trip.

Uh oh! A BEAR!


How do we compare observed and non-observed evolution if the former can’t be observed in the first place?

GREAT question. Yet such is the strength of your assumptions that you don't allow it to faze you! You tell me you can provide evidence for evolution, and then admit you can't, but then steamroll on and forget that you ever conceded it! It's amazing.



Which is why I'm saying that animals AREN’T designed, slow-poke, otherwise the analogy used by creationists would be a far more fitting one; hence my differentiation from human technology to show how the two are utterly different

1) Assumption that you know what the signs of design are. As if there's some sort of telos to which to appeal, as I've said.
2) Other Darwinians feel very free in comparing organisms to "motorcycles" and "computers". Maybe you should clean your own house.

11:01 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

Prove that Tiktaalike had any children. Go ahead.

>You really are one disgusting charlatan. Here’s the prediction, moron: things like Tiktaalik should exist.<

Haha, fail. No argument given, just mockery. Now, why would that not be "invoking Mammy Nature and Papa Darwin" on your part?

Red herring; failure to acknowledge confirmation of basic tenet of evolution


Haha, fail AGAIN. Um, of COURSE I "fail to acknowledge 'confirmation'" of it. Where is the confirmation? Don't assume it, prove it.
I'm going to have to conclude that, given 2 chances and 2 failures, you can't. Thanks.



The fossil record also provides the following rather inconvenient fact: mass extinctions.

And that's a problem for YEC how?



Kinda funny that these weren't documented in the Bible, all except the Great Flood

1) So what?
2) How do you know that a huge global flood couldn't acct for most of them? Evidence, please? Or at least an argument?



Minds all exist in brains.

Relevance? Prove that minds ONLY exist in brains and we'll get somewhere.



You’ve not shown how they can possibly exist outside of brains.

Ideas, concepts, colors, numbers, logic, and many other things exist immaterially.
If minds don't exist outside of brains, your "mind" is nothing more than chemical reactions, the same as a soda can shaken up and fizzing. Why trust a fizzing soda can? What would make me think that brain-fizz would be a reliable producer of true beliefs? Help me out here.


Next you’ll be telling us that computer programs don’t necessarily need to be ultimately grounded in computers.

Um, don't programs come from OUTSIDE the computer?
And don't the INFORMATION and IDEAS they express come from outside? Nice.



they don’t exist “immaterially” at all, except in a specially defined sense: as high-level abstract views of evolving physical systems.

Oh, where can one find "The Number 4"? What is it made of? What does it smell like? What is its molarity? How do you know?



All these things are ultimately grounded in physical processes in the brain and body,

So in what part of the brain is The Number 4 produced? Can a hard blow change it to The Number 5?
What does it mean that all people have the same concept of The Number 4?



Take away the physical universe, and they become meaningless

Argument from ignorance. How could you possibly know that?



Why not just have small, more “primitive” brains for basic bodily hormonal and chemical chores and leave the consciousness stuff to the immaterial ghost

1) It's not a "ghost".
2) B/c God likes physical stuff too. This is the same dumb question as you've been asking above, but it's irrelevant.

11:01 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

If thinking doesn’t require the brain, then here’s a challenge: shoot yourself in the head, and use your soul to tell your body to walk around.

1) Why would that respond to my position? My position states that the souls of the dead don't have control or even all that much interest in the physical world for a time until the Eschaton.
2) Hmm, seems like God did just that when Jesus rose from the dead. But no, you don't accept that b/c you assume it's false.
3) This WILL happen in the resurrection. 1 Cor 15.
4) You'll whine "Evidence?" but that will simply illustrate my point - you're selective on what evidence you'll accept.



Holy Trinities aren’t compatible with God being “simple”

1) Assertion in search of an argument.
2) When compared to the untold trillions of coincidences that against all probability conspired to produce a planet like Earth in a pretty brief amount of time and to produce life on Earth, um, yeah, not that that complex.



Note that YOU added “immaterial”! : ), thus making it even less worthy as a proposition that one should imagine can explain anything.

So please explain the existence of ideas, colors, information, numbers, laws of logic, laws of mathematics, thoughts, dreams, desires, evil and good, forces, humor.



So big, in fact, that he doesn’t require any explanation or accounting

Anyone can see that I've spent more than my share of time discussing just that, in fact. Luis is a windbag.


How would pointing out that there's sthg I don't understand about Him be an argument against His existence?

Because you’re not actually talking about anything.


Watch this.
Luis doesn't understand how everything in evolution occurred, much less explain how each organism (or, ahem, any organism) evolved from its lowly predecessors, but that doesn't stop him from arguing for evolution.
Thing is, he's not actually talking about anything. See how easy it is to dismiss naked assertions like that? Where does that get anyone? Why did Luis "argue" that way?



I think I’ll stay where I am, thank you: with the mundane choice, as I would when considering the Koran.

1) Luis has apparently never studied the Qur'an with any depth.
2) Luis begs the question about what is mundane, as I've already pointed out. No response to that.


Funny how fundies deride the sin they sare so adept in seeing in others, when they themselves are so often the biggest violators)

Is that supposed to mean sthg to me? Where have I denied that I am a great sinner?
1 Timothy 1:15It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
It's a tu quoque fallacy to point to someone else's sin in order to distract from one's own guilt.

11:02 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

Firstly, there are plenty of other reference points one could choose: the Koran, the Hindu texts, etc.

So, you know, we analyse those critically, too. Luis acts like he's never met a Christian before. But I know he has, so our most probable conclusion has to be that he is unteachable and doesn't care to learn. He just likes to lob insults and first-level shallow retorts, as if they haven't been dealt with over and over.


So the presence of liars and the fact that some, or even many, ppl fall for them is a reason not to think that a population conducted science

“A population doing science”. Yeah, that’s what they were doing. Science.


Note the bias toward modernity. Only modern people are smart. All ancient people were idiots.



the population always lags far, far behind in their understanding of science than do the scientific community

While a great deal of the scientific community is also religious. Funny he should open himself up like that.



I asked you to state why these miracles can’t have been explained by more mundane things

1) Why prefer more mundane things? Luis can't give us a reason apparently. The explanation of miracles from God give me a good reason to think that mundanity is not exactly what He was after.
2) How would one explain Christ's resurrection in mundane terms? Witness the many many failures of alternative explanations, the way they founder against, say, William Lane Craig's apologetic for the resurrection.



You're a philosophical naïf.

This coming from someone who thinks that disembodied minds and a 6,000 year old Earth are serious scientific propositions.


How does that respond to what I said?
Do I claim that those things are "serious scientific propositions"? Or did Luis just commit aNOTHER philosophical gaffe, that of strawmaning me? Yep, it's that.



Again you beg the question that the naturalistic explanation is "mundane",

No I don’t. I simply state what’s uncontroversial: that the physical universe is what we experience everyday


Don't be so disingenuous - that's far from what you're doing. You've been making mundanity a measure of preference for truth claims.
Who denies that the "physical universe is what we experience everyday"? What is this supposed to prove?



What I'm pointing out to you is that you claim a superior level of knowledge but you weren't even there; you have zero access to how it went down.

Except via recourse to the evidence left behind. You know, like a detective at a crime scene.


1) Note that he concedes that my characterisation of his position is correct.
2) So he can't repeatedly observe things, can't test them. But he has faith that his way-after-the-fact examination can reach truth. But he can never confirm it. Whereas we have recourse to an infallible eyewitness.

11:02 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

Surely you’re not saying that the police should never be allowed to arrest people unless eyewitness testimony is found? Because you kinda seem to be

No, I'm not. Again, Luis appears just to be a bit of a buffoon and a novice when it comes to engaging Christians.
Where did God speak with respect to this or that crime that occurred last week?
How does a crime last week compare with the millions of yrs that have transpired since the events in question?



1) I don't know and neither do you know whether they were like that before the Flood.

Yes we do, since the equivalent strata on both continents show the same fossil fauna and the rock types are the same, and the Mid-Atlantic ridge has magnetic patterns that fan out from the ridge on both sides like a mirror to each other (thus confirming a prediction of old-Earth geology


1) More question-begging. How does Luis know they weren't created like that? He doesn't. He assumes it.
2) Did I rule out that the Flood split the two apart? Nope. That would also explain what happenED.
So how is this evidence for old-earth geology against YEC?



But boy, aren’t we lucky that a sentient, incorporeal entity with spiritual power exists?!

That's stretching "lucky" far beyond its meaning. God is a necessary being, not a coincidentally-existing one. He didn't pop into existence.



Please indicate how you get past the gross improbability of that occurring.

A vast universe with hundreds of billions of planets.


100,000,000,000 = 1X10^11 does not compare to the much higher improbability along the lines of 1X10^60 or so of life arising. But does that stop Luis? Nope.



1) Yeah? Please point out sthg that would embarrass me.

The recurrent laryngeal nerve.


BEAR!


1) Oh, OK. So you didn't make a moral claim about burning witches. So, why do you seem upset about it?

Do I? Well, I suppose I am. But I’ve no interest in “justifying” my moral system to someone like you, who will simply discount it.


So Luis won't defend his moral claim. OK, then I'll simply dismiss it.
From experience I'm pretty sure that any defense he could make of his moral framework would be silly, but if he doesn't care enough about it to take it seriously, who am I to argue?



No, what I actually was centrally concerned about in that statement was the stupidity

1) Naturalistic fallacy.
2) What precisely is stupid about removing people from the gene pool who were stupid/inept enough to allow themselves to be burned to death by religious zealot idiots?



In some moral frameworks (like the Christian one of the Middle Ages), cruelty was seen as a moral obligation in many situations. Hence, systems of morality and the use of cruelty aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Under some systems of morality, cruelty is in fact a prerequisite.

Still no answer to the question. Luis doesn't tire of throwing out buzzwords and working the emotions. Like a politician who is stalling for time and reelection.

11:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

those burnings were facilitated by the Rhologies of the time, who never questioned their presuppositions

Ah, now Luis is reading my mind. He has no idea what struggles I've experienced, both intellectual and emotional, in my journey. But why would that stop a nasty antitheist like him from insulting and unfounded speculations about someone with whom he disagrees? Demonisation is part of the plan, after all.



2) Speaking of dodges... want to answer the question?

No one knows for sure yet. But it’s almost certainly something like the RNA world hypothesis.


But Luis has faith.
Luis could do worse than to check out Stephen Meyer's discussion of the RNA world in "Signature In the Cell".



information, in the DNA was here long before minds were around.

How is information information when no one is around to understand it?



And crucially, it doesn’t require minds to interpret it,

Haha - I'd like to see just one example of that.


Information isn’t material? Hmmmm. Then show me a software program that doesn’t ultimately reside as some pattern on a physical medium.

Umm, RESIDING and EXISTING are two different things. Patterns aren't material - they can be EXPRESSED materially, sure, but that's not their essence.
So if I destroy all CD copies of a software program, is that program now non-existent? Can it be reproduced from memory?


Thanks for all that, Luis!

Peace,
Rhology

11:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

It appears Blogger ate some of my comments. See the full comments tomorrow at my blog.

11:28 AM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Sorry about that, Rhology.

A total of nine comments were available for my moderation.

I approved all nine, and none is left.

12:55 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Despite Luis’ invitation for me to pick up where he left off with Rhology, I do not intend to intrude into their tête à tête. However, I shall articulate why Young Earth creationism is a bankrupt, incorrect, actively disproved notion that no one could defend except through willful adherence to an unyielding, inflexible dogma.

#1 Radioactive dating disproves Young Earth creationism.

Carbon-14 decays to Nitrogen-14; its half-life is 5730 years. Uranium-238 decays to Lead-206; its half-life is 4.5 billion years. Uranium-235 decays to Lead-207; its half-life is 704 million years. Other unstable isotopes include Potassium-40, Thorium-232, Rubidium-87 and Samarium-147. Several radioisotopes usually occur together, so the dates can be cross-checked, and the ages invariably agree. To put the lie to the Young Earth position, and demonstrate why the oft-repeated “uniformitarian assumptions” objection rings hollow, consider this: If a hunk of rock is radioactively dated at, say, 250 million years old, but in actuality it is only 6000 years old, per YEC, that would entail that the multiple radioisotopes present, all of which converge on an age of 250 million years, would have all had to change differently. Uranium-238 would have had to change differently from Uranium-235, and both would have had to change differently from Samarium-147. If several radioisotopes usually occur together, and they have different half-life values (those half-life values frequently crossing orders of magnitude), there is nothing in the cross-checking process that would require the separate calculations to converge on the same age. Yet, despite the fact it very well could be otherwise, it is not; the ages, across radioisotopes, invariably agree. The changing-decay-rate YEC hypothesis, barring a deceptive creator twist in which the creator wants to impart incorrect information, would be the equivalent of Rhology, Barack Obama, William Lane Craig and me all agreeing to meet at a particular diner “sometime in 2011” and, by sheer and utter coincidence, all four of us arriving at the diner on exactly the same day at precisely the same instant.

#2: Astronomic knowledge disproves Young Earth creationism.

Gaze up into the night sky. Proxima Centauri, the star nearest to our Sun, is 4.3 light years away, meaning that light from it takes 4.3 years to reach us. Our galaxy is approximately 100,000 light years across, meaning that it can take tens of thousands of years for light from some stars in our galaxy to reach us. For stars that we can see in nearby galaxies, it can take millions of years. The farthest objects we can see are quasars, which are so distant that the light we see from them today left billions of years ago. If the universe were merely 6000-some years old, the light simply would not have had the requisite time to reach us. Although I have heard the “god created the stars as well as light beams” response, I recognize it as a frantic harmonization scheme in which the YEC proponent is confronted with a fact that is utterly contrary to what the bible would predict and, thus, the creationist must confect an unparsimonious, tortured “explanation” that bespeaks not so much understanding as slavish, willful, dogged adherence.

#3: Dendrochronology disproves Young Earth creationism.

An 11,500-year dendrochronological record, existing wholly independently from radiocarbon dating and that is to-the-year accurate, has been achieved through a daisy-chaining process having to do with characteristic tree-ring sequences in a particular geographic area. Utilizing those characteristic tree-ring sequences, scientists can daisy chain their way back thousands and thousands of years, thus disproving a young Earth. Furthermore, those to-the-year-accurate dendrochronological records can be, and indeed are, used to calibrate our radiocarbon dating, thereby allowing us to date many things of the relatively recent past (but considerably beyond 6000-some years).

12:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

That turned out better than I could have hoped.
Thanks, JN.

And about Blogger, OK, thanks. It does look like they all came thru.

1:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

BTW, I applaud you, sir, for correctly spelling tête à tête. Most people get that wrong. As a francophile, I appreciate such things. :-D

8:14 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Your appreciation is appreciated. :-)

I must admit, both in my professional life and personally, I am an insufferable stickler for spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Indeed, in the rather lengthy reply I posted to your blog this evening, I made a couple of errors, which are now unreasonably vexing to me.

12:37 AM EDT  

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