I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ed Brayton falsely labels Michigan bill "pro-ID"

According to Ed Brayton, the following language in the Michigan legislature's HB 5251 is "pro-ID":

10) Not later than August 1, 2006, the state board shall revise the recommended model core academic curriculum content standards in science to ensure that pupils will be able to do all of the following:

(a) Use the scientific method to critically evaluate scientific theories including, but not limited to, the theories of global warming and evolution.

(b) Use relevant scientific data to assess the validity of those theories and to formulate arguments for or against those theories.

Nothing in the above bill mentions or even implies ID -- the bill only talks generally about using scientific methods to argue against evolution. There are arguments against evolution that have nothing to do with design -- I have presented some such arguments in this blog (arguments concerning co-evolution, chromosome counts, and the propagability of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction). Of course, if the Darwinists can succeed in persuading enough people to believe that (all criticisms of evolution) = ID = creationism, then the Darwinists can succeed in discrediting all criticisms of evolution and having them banned from public schools.

It is obvious why I was banned from Ed's blog -- he can't stand to have anyone there who tells the truth. I could try to post comments there under false names, but it would not do any good because the comments would be deleted anyway.

I agree with Ed about the Michigan legislature's unfairness of allowing short public notices of hearings and giving special treatment to some public commenters: special advance notice of the hearing and more time to speak than opposing commenters. However, even California's Brown Act, possibly the most stringent open-meetings law in the USA, evidently does not apply to the state legislature: the preamble of the Brown Act says, "54950 In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly." Anyway, Ed, where were you when Herr Fuhrer Esley Welsberry (pronounced "Velsberry") of Panda's Thumb banned further discussion of my idea that the Ohio Board of Education should have heard public comments before rather than after voting on the evolution lesson plan, his reason being that he was not aware that any of the Ohio public commenters had complained about it?

If the Michigan legislators are concerned about the possible expense of a lawsuit, my article titled "Often the best defense is a good offense" has suggestions for minimizing the expense. And certainly a big state like Michigan should not be intimidated by the potential expense of a little lawsuit.

Another Darwinist fallacy is that ID is not scientific. The principal scientific component of ID, irreducible complexity, is based on scientific observations, and irreducible complexity deals with the probability and possible mechanisms of the evolution of complex biological systems that appear to be irreducible. Something does not have to be testable, falsifiable, and a complete explanation of observed phenomena in order to be considered to be scientific -- macroevolution theory is not testable or falsifiable. Something can be just a criticism of a scientific theory and still be scientific.

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23 Comments:

Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

Here is yet another thread about to die from disinterest without my input, but here I come on my white charger to save Larry's blog.

> It is obvious why I was banned from Ed's blog <

Yes. Rob Serrano has already explained it, as have others.

> he can't stand to have anyone there who tells the truth. <

How would this affect you? You have lied about many things, your brother Dave for example.

> I could try to post comments there under false names, but it would not do any good because the comments would be deleted anyway. <

Yes. Your ranting is just too identifiable.

> If the Michigan legislators are concerned about the possible expense of a lawsuit <

While I am sure that Michigan is deeply grateful for your advice, the expense may be no more than what it cost to dismiss all of your failed lawsuits.

Thursday, June 08, 2006 8:37:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

VIW said --

>>>>>Here is yet another thread about to die from disinterest without my input, but here I come on my white charger to save Larry's blog.<<<<<

Yes -- it is interesting that the Darwinists cannot even put up an argument when their opposition is not censored. And you have not addressed any of the issues here but have only attacked me personally.

<<<<<<> he can't stand to have anyone there who tells the truth. <

How would this affect you? You have lied about many things, your brother Dave for example.<<<<<<

Ed lied about my brother Dave.

Anyway, let me put it this way, then -- Ed cannot stand to have any comments on his blog that have opinions differing from his own, because Ed does not believe in the free exchange of ideas. In contrast, I allow opinions here that I disagree with, because otherwise a lot of the comments that have been posted here would not be here.

>>>>>While I am sure that Michigan is deeply grateful for your advice, the expense may be no more than what it cost to dismiss all of your failed lawsuits.<<<<<

So? You have no idea how much it cost. But if it cost governments little money to defend themselves against my lawsuits, then your statement says that the Michigan state government may have little to lose by risking a lawsuit. And if it cost governments a lot of money to defend themselves against my lawsuits, then I have good reason to be very proud of myself. Either way, you lose.

Thursday, June 08, 2006 6:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> you have not addressed any of the issues here <

What have you been smoking?

> Ed lied about my brother Dave. <

Ed never lied. He very easily figured out who was the real Dave and which was you. You are continuing to lie about this.

> You have no idea how much it cost. <

It couldn't cost much to give you the time to stamp your trash "DISMISSED".

> But if it cost governments little money to defend themselves against my lawsuits, then your statement says that the Michigan state government may have little to lose by risking a lawsuit. <

Something is wrong. You actually read that one accurately.

> And if it cost governments a lot of money to defend themselves against my lawsuits, then I have good reason to be very proud of myself. <

Then you have no reason to be proud.

> Either way, you lose. <

Who is losing? I am having a great amount of fun while you make a fool of yourself.

Thursday, June 08, 2006 6:56:00 PM

Friday, June 09, 2006 3:16:00 AM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

Once again, Larry focuses on an isolated factoid or phrase to support his warped reality while ignoring all other data. Larry oh so conveniently "forgot" to mention that the testimony in favor of the bill featured all of the major ID arguments. Also, the sponsor of the bill has been trying to inject ID into Michigan schools for several years now. Finally, the language of the bill appears to be crafted around avoiding the previous court cases while still advancing the same agenda. The history of the bill shows it to be a pro-ID bill.

>>>So? You have no idea how much it cost. But if it cost governments little money to defend themselves against my lawsuits, then your statement says that the Michigan state government may have little to lose by risking a lawsuit. And if it cost governments a lot of money to defend themselves against my lawsuits, then I have good reason to be very proud of myself. Either way, you lose.<<<

Congratulations, you are indeed an asshole and proud of it.

Friday, June 09, 2006 6:00:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

W. Kevin Vicklund said --

>>>>>Larry oh so conveniently "forgot" to mention that the testimony in favor of the bill featured all of the major ID arguments.<<<<<

Well, it wasn't my fault that I wasn't there to point out that there are also significant non-ID arguments against Darwinism.

>>>>>> Also, the sponsor of the bill has been trying to inject ID into Michigan schools for several years now.<<<<<<

And it looks like he is close to succeeding.

>>>>>> Finally, the language of the bill appears to be crafted around avoiding the previous court cases while still advancing the same agenda.<<<<<

Omitting the term "ID" specifically avoids only one previous court case: Kitzmiller v. Dover, a lousy unreviewed district court decision.

Friday, June 09, 2006 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

I will be gone for the weekend but my kindred souls, Rob Serrano and W. Kevin Vicklund seem more than able to more than fill in.

I know that you will miss me badly. Please don't self-destruct until I return on Tuesday.

Friday, June 09, 2006 8:49:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

>>>Well, it wasn't my fault that I wasn't there to point out that there are also significant non-ID arguments against Darwinism.<<<

Which happen to be known creation science arguments. Edwards covers those.

Saturday, June 10, 2006 4:45:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

W. Kevin Vicklund said ( 6/10/2006 04:45:23 PM ) --

<<<<<>>>Well, it wasn't my fault that I wasn't there to point out that there are also significant non-ID arguments against Darwinism.<<

Which happen to be known creation science arguments. Edwards covers those. <<<<<<

Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, covers nothing. The Edwards opinion makes no mention of any specific scientific or pseudoscientific arguments against Darwinism. There was no expert witness testimony in Edwards. Also, the Edwards opinion said, "We do not imply that a legislature could never require that scientific critiques of prevailing scientific theories be taught."(page 593) See http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0482_0578_ZO.html

Saturday, June 10, 2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Rob Serrano said...

>> <<<<<>>>Well, it wasn't my fault that I wasn't there to point out that there are also significant non-ID arguments against Darwinism.<<

Which happen to be known creation science arguments. Edwards covers those. <<<<<< <<

>> Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, covers nothing. The Edwards opinion makes no mention of any specific scientific or pseudoscientific arguments against Darwinism. There was no expert witness testimony in Edwards. Also, the Edwards opinion said, "We do not imply that a legislature could never require that scientific critiques of prevailing scientific theories be taught."(page 593) See http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_C <<

And once again Larry pulls a quote to support him and actually shoots himself in the other foot.

To wit:
"We do not imply that a legislature could never require that scientific critiques of prevailing scientific theories be taught."

Note the bolded words. There have been no scientific critiques of evolutionary theory, just creationist garbage and repackaged creationist garbage. Intelligent Design is not science, it's inculcated ignorance. It is, in fact, anti-science because it teaches that, once you get to a point where you don't know something, you simply posit god (or designer which is implicitly understood to be god because only god can have the characteristics we believe the designer should have though we can't even enumerate those characteristics ourselves) and leave it at that. Science is exploratory, it seeks explanations for observed phenomena. ID/Creationism seeks to limit human understanding to "God did it." Are their scientific "controversies" (more like possible new avenues of research that may provide better understanding about the process and its pathways) concerning aspects of evolutionary theory? Yes, as is the case with all scientific theories. But, and this is the point that you and IDists overlook, there is NO controversy regarding Evolution itself. Evolutionary theory has stood the test of time, which is something that ultimately will not be said of your notions or the Intelligent Design assertion.

Sunday, June 11, 2006 2:12:00 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

Larry said...

Another Darwinist fallacy is that ID is not scientific. The principal scientific component of ID, irreducible complexity, is based on scientific observations, and irreducible complexity deals with the probability and possible mechanisms of the evolution of complex biological systems that appear to be irreducible. Something does not have to be testable, falsifiable, and a complete explanation of observed phenomena in order to be considered to be scientific -- macroevolution theory is not testable or falsifiable. Something can be just a criticism of a scientific theory and still be scientific.

At the heart of it, ID is looking at a system or phenomenon, and says "it defies all logic, and therefore must just be...outside intelligence must be involved." Appealling to an unknown/unknowable higher force is not considered terribly scientific, mainly because it's a bit hard to say what this higher force is going to do next.

What does ID predict? It infers design and then goes a hides behind the couch: no predictions, no explanations about how it fits into the rest of scientific history.

Trying to rationalise ID tends to send my rather elegant mental-map of the history of the universe into a tail-spin. Consider:

...Big bang. First atoms form. First stars form. First galaxies coalesce. Somewhere here the Sun and the Earth form. Life begins. Life evolves populating the earth with a biosphere that changes as the years go past until what we see today.

If evolution is incorrect, there's a huge gap in my "history of the universe" that intelligent design does not fill. When and how did this designer do his thing? Either we use a creation account like Genesis, which is a load of bollocks, or we explore a history of the universe that looks a little like this:

...Big bang. First atoms form. First stars form. First galaxies coalesce. Somewhere here the Sun and the Earth form. An intelligent designer populates the Earth with a menagerie of animals and other life, and as the years go by drop in a few more species as others become extinct.

It's a little Deus Ex Machina, eh?

By-the-bye, testability and falsifiablity are not the only definitions of "what is a science." There is also ontological thinking (ie, how does this theory hold as being a 'law'? What predictions can I make from it that I can observe in the evidence?)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Sean said ( 6/13/2006 12:20:32 AM ) --

>>>>>>At the heart of it, ID is looking at a system or phenomenon, and says "it defies all logic, and therefore must just be...outside intelligence must be involved."<<<<<

ID need not postulate the existence of a designer. ID could be concerned solely with the question of the probability or improbability of the occurrence of evolution. I myself never liked the name "intelligent design" because it implies the existence of a supernatural "designer." I think that they should have just stuck with names like "irreducible complexity."

>>>>>What does ID predict? It infers design and then goes a hides behind the couch: no predictions, no explanations about how it fits into the rest of scientific history.<<<<<<

And what does evolution theory predict? Not much. Evolution theory predicts the existence of some "missing links" (it does not even do that very well, because many missing links have never been found), but cannot predict the existence of unknown branches of the evolutionary tree. Also, evolution theory predicted that some long-nosed insects exist for the purpose of pollinating deep flowers -- big deal. Also, as I said, something does not have to be a complete scientific explanation of observed phenomena in order to be considered to be scientific -- something that is just a criticism of a scientific theory can also be scientific.

Also, a lot of evolution theory's "predictions" are not predictions at all, but are just explanations of known facts. It is like saying that irreducible complexity "predicted" the general absence of transitional fossils just because that absence is consistent with irreducible complexity.

Even if irreducible complexity does not actually exist, it is still a worthwhile subject because it forces scientists to confront weaknesses in evolution theory. Many of the studies that allegedly contradict irreducible complexity are themselves studies of the subject of irreducible complexity -- irreducible complexity can be considered to be apparent irreducible complexity as well as actual irreducible complexity. In the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, 85 scientists submitted an amicus brief urging the judge to not discourage scientific inquiry by condemning the concepts of irreducible complexity and/or intelligent design.

Irreducible complexity is not a new or recent concept -- the idea of "what good is half an eye" has been around for a fairly long time. However, interest in the concept of irreducible complexity has increased as a result of recent discoveries of the existence of great complexities in microbiology and biochemistry (sometimes called molecular biology).

>>>>>>By-the-bye, testability and falsifiablity are not the only definitions of "what is a science."<<<<<<

I agree -- but many Darwinists try to use those definitions to argue that ID and irreducible complexity are not science. Actually, Darwinism is not testable or falsifiable, either.

>>>>>There is also ontological thinking (ie, how does this theory hold as being a 'law'? What predictions can I make from it that I can observe in the evidence?) <<<<<

I think that your discussion here is not consistent with the definitions of "ontology" and "scientific laws."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 3:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> something that is just a criticism of a scientific theory can also be scientific. <

Something could be, but ID is not. I hope you are not trying to say that because something is a criticism of scientific theory that it is therefore also scientific. You have not done that yet but with your continually deteriorating attempts at logic, you might do just that.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 7:26:00 AM  
Anonymous John Comelately said...

> It is obvious why I was banned from Ed's blog <

Yes. Many people have explained why both there and on this blog. Why do you continue to claim that there were other reasons?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 7:07:00 AM  
Anonymous John Comelately said...

> I allow opinions here that I disagree with <

Otherwise your blog would be blank, save your own writings.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 7:09:00 AM  
Blogger Rob Serrano said...

larry fafarman said...

>> Sean said ( 6/13/2006 12:20:32 AM ) --

>>>>>>At the heart of it, ID is looking at a system or phenomenon, and says "it defies all logic, and therefore must just be...outside intelligence must be involved."<<<<<

ID need not postulate the existence of a designer. ID could be concerned solely with the question of the probability or improbability of the occurrence of evolution. I myself never liked the name "intelligent design" because it implies the existence of a supernatural "designer." I think that they should have just stuck with names like "irreducible complexity." <<

The problem with the probability argument is that it has been shown to be meaningless. IDist simply pull convenient numbers out of whichever orifice happens to be most convenience. They do no research to support their claims, and simply hope that the use of mathematical-sounding jargon will somehow protect them from criticism. Likewise, "irreducible complexity" is meaningless and unscientific. It is nothing more than the old argument from ignorance which has been the cornerstone of ID since its inception as the good ship Creationism. Indeed IC has been refuted because pathways have already be found for several of Behe's key example of IC systems (the clotting system, and the eye, for example).

>> >>>>>What does ID predict? It infers design and then goes a hides behind the couch: no predictions, no explanations about how it fits into the rest of scientific history.<<<<<< <<

>> And what does evolution theory predict? Not much. Evolution theory predicts the existence of some "missing links" (it does not even do that very well, because many missing links have never been found), but cannot predict the existence of unknown branches of the evolutionary tree. Also, evolution theory predicted that some long-nosed insects exist for the purpose of pollinating deep flowers -- big deal. Also, as I said, something does not have to be a complete scientific explanation of observed phenomena in order to be considered to be scientific -- something that is just a criticism of a scientific theory can also be scientific. <<

Let me see, Evolutionary theory has predicted disease evolution, what will happen when certain stresses impact a population, and other phenomena. But, even if Evolution has predicted ONLY the evolution of long-nosed insect, that is still countless times greater than the entire output of the Intelligent Design Movement, which has proposed no theories whatsoever and therefore has predicted nothing.

And no, a "science" that is merely a proposed "critique" of a science cannot really be considered a science. It has to actually propose alternative theories, and be able to show that it has as great, if not greater, explanatory power as the original theory. ID doesn't have any of this. ID is based strictly on a false dichotomy ("if evolution is wrong then ID must be right") and an assertion that is not supported by the evidence ("evolution is wrong"). That is not science, that is politics.

It is funny, though, how once again, you try to place yourself in the position of arbiter of all that is science, given your, once again limited grasp of the subject as has been demonstrated over and over again by people who actually do science for a living.

>> Also, a lot of evolution theory's "predictions" are not predictions at all, but are just explanations of known facts. It is like saying that irreducible complexity "predicted" the general absence of transitional fossils just because that absence is consistent with irreducible complexity. <<

That IS a part of being science, being able to explain the data that is already present. Please, Larry, before you start spouting off on things of which you know nothing, might I suggest taking a remedial course at a Community College, you know, the place you got the Golly Gee Awesome Neato CS Certificate that you swear makes you knowledgeable about Computer Science. Yeah, maybe you could go back and get a Science Certificate to really impress all those Ph.D. who think you're full of it.

Again IC has been debunked because it is not really a defined thing. Your leg is Irreducibly Complex if you are talking about the leg as a single piece. If you break it down to the individual bones, tendons, blood vessels, nerves, etc. then it is no longer IC. IC is nothing more than the latest step in the evolution of IDCreationists to attempt to turn their woeful lack of imagination into some sort of alternative to science.

>> Even if irreducible complexity does not actually exist, it is still a worthwhile subject because it forces scientists to confront weaknesses in evolution theory. Many of the studies that allegedly contradict irreducible complexity are themselves studies of the subject of irreducible complexity -- irreducible complexity can be considered to be apparent irreducible complexity as well as actual irreducible complexity. In the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, 85 scientists submitted an amicus brief urging the judge to not discourage scientific inquiry by condemning the concepts of irreducible complexity and/or intelligent design.

Irreducible complexity is not a new or recent concept -- the idea of "what good is half an eye" has been around for a fairly long time. However, interest in the concept of irreducible complexity has increased as a result of recent discoveries of the existence of great complexities in microbiology and biochemistry (sometimes called molecular biology). <<

So, now Larry's become a Behe booster. Yippee. It still doesn't actually counter the fact the IC is as empty as the whole of ID. IC is a justification for the intellectually lazy to just say, "well I don't know how this happened, so it must have been designed." Again, not science. It is, in fact the antithesis of science because it seeks to stifle scientific inquiry with the notion that you go as you can without saying I don't know. When you say I don't know, you know that God Did It. The same weakness plagues all of Dembski's handwaving, as well. They are not interested in science, or they would do some actual research and propose some actual theories. What they want is the respectability science has to be granted to their particular religious fixations. And people like you, without the knowledge to know the difference between good arguments and bad will continue taking the intellectually laziest route you can think of.

>> >>>>>>By-the-bye, testability and falsifiablity are not the only definitions of "what is a science."<<<<<< <<

>> I agree -- but many Darwinists try to use those definitions to argue that ID and irreducible complexity are not science. Actually, Darwinism is not testable or falsifiable, either. <<

Actually testability and falsifiability are REQUIREMENTS of any scientific theory. And, sorry to have to burst your bubble again, Larry, but Evolution is testable and falsifiable. It has been tested over and over again over the last 150 years. Just because it has not been falsified in that testing does not mean that it is not falsiable, it just means that you need to stop doing all of your research at the Creationist Talking Points shop.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 9:56:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Rob Serrano said ( 6/14/2006 09:56:15 PM ) --

>>>>>The problem with the probability argument is that it has been shown to be meaningless.<<<<<

The problem is that it is difficult to define evolution in terms of probability -- but based on what we know, the probability of evolution is close to zero.

>>>>>Let me see, Evolutionary theory has predicted disease evolution, what will happen when certain stresses impact a population, and other phenomena.<<<<<<

That's microevolution -- not macroevolution.

>>>>even if Evolution has predicted ONLY the evolution of long-nosed insect, that is still countless times greater than the entire output of the Intelligent Design Movement,<<<<<

I am not convinced that evolution predicted even that much -- that is an example of co-evolution, and I have a lot of doubts about co-evolution (see "The Co-evolutionary Paradox")

>>>>>>a "science" that is merely a proposed "critique" of a science cannot really be considered a science.<<<<<<

That rule is completely arbitrary.

>>>>>It is funny, though, how once again, you try to place yourself in the position of arbiter of all that is science, <<<<<

I thought that is what Judge Jones was trying to do.

>>>>>>That IS a part of being science, being able to explain the data that is already present.<<<<<

That is not the same as predicting the unknown. And often the theory is forced to fit the data.

>>>>>Again IC has been debunked because it is not really a defined thing.<<<<<<

Lots of things in biology are not well-defined.

>>>>>IC is a justification for the intellectually lazy to just say, "well I don't know how this happened, so it must have been designed." It is, in fact the antithesis of science because it seeks to stifle scientific inquiry with the notion that you go as you can without saying I don't know.<<<<<

The ones who are stifling scientific inquiry are those who are trying to suppress IC.

>>>>>And people like you, without the knowledge to know the difference between good arguments and bad will continue taking the intellectually laziest route you can think of.<<<<<

More ad hominem attacks.

>>>>>sorry to have to burst your bubble again, Larry, but Evolution is testable and falsifiable.<<<<<

The notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection is not testable or falsifiable.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger Rob Serrano said...

larry fafarman said...

>> Rob Serrano said ( 6/14/2006 09:56:15 PM ) --

>>>>>The problem with the probability argument is that it has been shown to be meaningless.<<<<< <<

>> The problem is that it is difficult to define evolution in terms of probability -- but based on what we know, the probability of evolution is close to zero. <<

You've been looking a little too much at them thar ID/Creationist web-sites. The argument from probability is not an argument, especially when it is used in the way the Creationists try to use it. Again, for those not quite attuned to the IDC argument from probability. Take any natural phenomenon. Assert that it has an astronomically high probability against it having happened. Assert that therefore there was intervention by a Designer/God. Lather, rinse, repeat. You can usually tell when one of these arguments is under way because you start seeing a lot of "common sense" thrown into the argument.

Even throwing out the non-scientific nature of these claims, they are also a very poor excuse for philosophy. They rely on arguments from St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas and they don't even put the thought into them to make anything of them. Proponents of ID make teleological argument ("There is order in the universe, therefore there must be a being responsible for that order"), variants of the Cosmological Argument ("To all things there must be a beginning, there can be no chain of events that goes back forever, there must therefore be a first link in the chain, a first cause of all that is in the universe, that first cause is God"), and a number of other philosophical claims for the existence of God. Unfortunately IDists are either ignorant of the sources of their arguments or simply so intellectually dishonest that they cannot stand to actually give credit to the actual thinkers responsible for the thoughts they are spouting off in mind-numbing monotony. Here's the real skinny on what has come to call itself Intelligent Design. It is nothing more than an attempt at putting a scientific veneer on philosophical notions that have existed for centuries, if not millenia. It adds nothing new to the gamebook from the Creationist movement, except that it attempts to dazzle the uninitiated with copious loads of bullshit in an attempt to hide the Augustinian, if not the Platonic origins of its "thought." And if you, Larry, knew anything about philosophy, you would not have hopped into bed with the likes of Bill "immoral slug" Dembski. Intelligent Design is not new, it is not novel, it presents no startlingly original way of looking at the world. It is not even good as philosophy, consisting primarily of the eviscerated thoughts from real thinkers of the past, sewn and stitched together to form an unholy union of dead philosophies. ID has, in its arrogance, attempted to play God and has created "Frankenthought." Now this modern-day Prometheus, born without a real soul, has been set loose upon the land and it, unlike the original literary creation's is a malevolent beast indeed, seeking to destroy the children in a wave of nauseating ignorance the likes of which only pseudoscientific cretins could ever accomplish.

>> >>>>>Let me see, Evolutionary theory has predicted disease evolution, what will happen when certain stresses impact a population, and other phenomena.<<<<<< <<

>> That's microevolution -- not macroevolution. <<

Hate to break it to you, yet again, but the two are the same. It is only Creationists who make up this distinction.

>> >>>>even if Evolution has predicted ONLY the evolution of long-nosed insect, that is still countless times greater than the entire output of the Intelligent Design Movement,<<<<< <<

>> I am not convinced that evolution predicted even that much -- that is an example of co-evolution, and I have a lot of doubts about co-evolution (see "The Co-evolutionary Paradox") <<

Coevolution is a part of evolutionary theory, so it's not really a challenge to evolution. But if you have your doubts, please feel free to do your own research on the topic. I'm sure that it'd be a fascinating read (must stifle sarcasm). Until then, your doubts are your opinion, bolstered by nothing and worth about as much.

>> >>>>>>a "science" that is merely a proposed "critique" of a science cannot really be considered a science.<<<<<< <<

>> That rule is completely arbitrary. <<

Okay, then, Mister "this rule is completely arbitrary," how do you test a "science" that is nothing but a critique of another "science." Scientific theories are self-critiquing, if they are falsified experimentally, they must be rethought. What kind of predictions can such a "science" make? What can you do with this supposed science? Can you model anything with it? A "theory" that is nothing more than a critique of another theory is not really a theory. It has no explanatory power (witness the IDists false dichotomy of "Evolution wrong therefore We're right"). It models nothing, it predicts nothing. All it provides is a claim that the original theory is somehow wrong. But if the original theory had been wrong, the research into that theory would have shown it to be wrong and the theory would have been rethought, or discarded. Why is it so hard for you IDists to understand that concept. An external "theory" which does nothing but critique a theory is not what leads to the validation or disproving of a theory. It is research into that theory that will provide any falsifying evidence that may exist. Unfortunately for the IDists, there hasn't been any such evidence.

If a new scientific theory proves itself better able to model and predict phenomena, then it usually supplants its predecessor. ID has produced nothing that better explains or models anything than Evolutionary Theory. And it never will because IDists are not actually interested in doing research. Their sole purpose is to place their religious beliefs into the classroom, where it does NOT belong.

>> >>>>>It is funny, though, how once again, you try to place yourself in the position of arbiter of all that is science, <<<<< <<

>> I thought that is what Judge Jones was trying to do. <<

Actually, oh he who is unable to actually create and maintain a cogent thought for any length of time, Judge Jones did nothing more than he was asked to do. By both sides in the case. But don't let reality get in the way of your little pity party.

>> >>>>>>That IS a part of being science, being able to explain the data that is already present.<<<<< <<

>> That is not the same as predicting the unknown. And often the theory is forced to fit the data. <<

Who said that was "the same as predicting the unknown." Analyzing extant data is also a part of science. And unless you can show me some great big experimental anomaly in the research, your "fitting" claim is just more of your bull. Fitting can mean any number of things. I mean, are you talking about curve fitting -- taking the data you have and finding a function that approximates the data? That's not really a big deal.

>> >>>>>Again IC has been debunked because it is not really a defined thing.<<<<<< <<

>> Lots of things in biology are not well-defined. <<

I didn't say IC wasn't "well-defined," I said that it was not defined. Whether a system is IC in Behe's claim, is entirely dependent upon the granularity upon which you decide to break down the system. In the text you cut out in your dishonesty, I mentioned that the leg can be IC or not, depending upon how you break it down. You can break the leg, as a system in one part (the leg), three parts (upper, lower and foot) or several hundred parts (the various bones, nerves, tendons, blood vessels, muscles and skin). Whether or not the leg is IC though, depends on how you want to define the system. That is a fatal flaw in the whole IC concept, and one that will not corrected by handwaving and wishful thinking. Sorry, thanks for playing, but next time get a better deck of cards.

>> >>>>>IC is a justification for the intellectually lazy to just say, "well I don't know how this happened, so it must have been designed." It is, in fact the antithesis of science because it seeks to stifle scientific inquiry with the notion that you go as you can without saying I don't know.<<<<< <<

>> The ones who are stifling scientific inquiry are those who are trying to suppress IC. <<

No one's stopping Behe and Dembski from actually getting off of their lazy asses and doing research into the fields in which they like to claim that they are experts. Their choice no to do so is more telling of their lack of belief in their own claims than in any "vast conspiracy" of evolutionists. IC is incapable of proving itself as science because it is, at its rotten core, nothing more than an assertion, much like your own argument. And it was used to make a name for a nobody, that would be Michael Behe who truly deserves to be kicked to the curb of obscurity with Dembski and the rest of the Intelligent Designistas. If either of these two clowns had the courage of their convictions, they would be vigorously researching the concepts that they have asserted, instead of playing Dembski's little game of handwaving and asserting that he doesn't have to actually do research to support his flights of fundraising -- er fancy.

>> >>>>>And people like you, without the knowledge to know the difference between good arguments and bad will continue taking the intellectually laziest route you can think of.<<<<< <<

>> More ad hominem attacks. <<

You really need to look up ad hominem. It is not ad hominem to point out behaviors that you have expressly exhibited. You are ignorant and you are intellectually lazy, and those traits are exemplified each and every time you post.

>> >>>>>sorry to have to burst your bubble again, Larry, but Evolution is testable and falsifiable.<<<<< <<

>> The notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection is not testable or falsifiable. <<

Since, the last time I read, Evolutionary theory doesn't say that these forces are "solely" responsible for evolution, but that they are some of the forces that are responsible for it (as you would have gleaned from the many, many posts to that effect when you were making an ass of yourself on PT), you are, once again (surprise, surprise) engaging in the Strawman fallacy. You're challenging Evolution on something it does not claim. Again, not surprising, given your demonstrated lack of honesty, but something I would have thought you'd want to avoid being so blatant about.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 3:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

Rod Serrano said ...

> You really need to look up ad hominem. It is not ad hominem to point out behaviors that you have expressly exhibited. You are ignorant and you are intellectually lazy, and those traits are exemplified each and every time you post. <

Larry,

If you check back you will find that it is you who have almost exclusively been the first one to resort to ad hominem attacks. This is because, unlike other posters on this blog, you rarely have any logical arguments to back your pronouncements and you quickly lose any debate.

As Rod says, it is not an ad hominem to say that you are ignorant or intellectually lazy. These are statements of demonstrated fact just as it is a statement of fact to say that you are delusional and insane.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 8:33:00 AM  
Anonymous proofreader said...

Rob said (repetition omitted for brevity):

<< You've been looking a little too much at them thar ID/Creationist web-sites. ... likes of which only pseudoscientific cretins could ever accomplish. >>

I apologize for giving Rob a hard time (on another thread) for leaving a word out (to the detriment of his argument).

His phrasing is more often extremely careful and well-conceived, as shown by this example.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

>>>>>sorry to have to burst your bubble again, Larry, but Evolution is testable and falsifiable.<<<<<

< The notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection is not testable or falsifiable. >

I would agree with Larry here.

Dr. Eugenie Scott of NCSE (among others) has admitted that it is not possible to prove that God didn't influence evolution. (This is akin to the difficulty of trying to prove a negative.)

To see what is really wrong with ID you have to step back to a larger philosophic view of what the "origins" investigations are trying to achieve. Most people would agree that the hardest to digest (as well as most important) concept is how intelligence would arise -- perhaps the ultimate in "irreducible complexity".

Postulating an "intelligent designer" is an example of the logical fallacy called "begging the question". (Please see http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?s=beg+the+question&gwp=13 for the definition of this, so that we're on the same page). Where is the benefit of deferring the issue to a postulated "intelligent designer"? You still have all the same issues, plus a few more.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Rob Serrano said...

said...

>>>>>sorry to have to burst your bubble again, Larry, but Evolution is testable and falsifiable.<<<<<

< The notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection is not testable or falsifiable. >

I would agree with Larry here.

The problem is, though, that no one, well, no one besides ID/Creationists, argues that those two factors are the sole drivers of Evolution. They have found and proposed other forces that drive it, as well.

>> Dr. Eugenie Scott of NCSE (among others) has admitted that it is not possible to prove that God didn't influence evolution. (This is akin to the difficulty of trying to prove a negative.) <<

True, there is no way of proving that something didn't happen, especially when the event in question is the interference of some supposedly omnipotent, omniscient (oh, and don't forget sentient) being that has the quality of having willed itself into existence at the beginning of time.

This is the reason why God can never be science. In science you need to be able to measure or at least describe in definite terms the various factors for which you are searching. How do you measure omnipotent? You can't measure infinite capability. How will you know the difference between Infinite Capability and simply "More Capable than I am able to conceive of." Even seemingly God-like abilities could be remedial technologies of some more advanced civilization. Similar problems exist for Omniscience. How can you know that something actually knows all that there is to know versus simply knowing more than you are capable of knowing, or even possibly being the greatest bullshitter ever known? The only way you can accept that something is omnipotent and omniscient is to take it on faith. I don't know about you, but I would have a problem believing that a being is all-powerful and all-knowing based solely on its say-so.

But the ID/Creationists can't even be consistent on the moral disposition of their Designer. Sometimes He's this nice guy who has a special place for us humans and who always tell the truth. Other times, He's this perverse joker, planting fossils to throw people off the scent of His existence (sometimes, but not always, ID/Creationists attribute this to Satan).

And quite frankly, I don't see how anyone can take solace in believing that the universe is basically run by really powerful person who is prone to wild mood swings, has anger management issues, and likes to arbitrarily test his most faithful by destroying all that they have or telling them to sacrifice their children.

An we won't even get into the notion that this designer could be a space alien.

>> To see what is really wrong with ID you have to step back to a larger philosophic view of what the "origins" investigations are trying to achieve. Most people would agree that the hardest to digest (as well as most important) concept is how intelligence would arise -- perhaps the ultimate in "irreducible complexity". <<

The same problem follows the Intelligent Design groups, though. Namely, if this Designer/God is the ultimate cause of all things in the universe, including the universe, how did this God create itself from non-existence, AND attain sentience, if sentience is something that must be designed. ID just kind of skirts around this issue. If intelligence/sentience requires a designer, who/what designed it into the Designer/God. If this God is the first cause, what created/caused the first cause. This is not snark, this is a problem that has plagued ID/Creationists since the very beginning. And it is a fatal flaw in ID's armor, such as it is. While Evolutionary theory goes along, explaining those aspects of the universe that it concerns itself, ID would have to not only prove that God/Designer exists but that God/Designer is the First cause of all that is the universe we live in.

So, basically, the ID movement is hoist with its own petard. Its proponents have spent so much time trying to shoot down Evolution because it doesn't explain EVERYTHING, and now, the only way they will ever be able to support their idea is to somehow explain EVERYTHING, including how the Designer Designed itself from nothingness. But because of the nature asserted for the designer (namely sentient and emotional), they will always be frustrated in their endeavors, not by anything scientists may do, but by the fact that the Designer they propose acts in extremely arbitrary ways, sometimes benevolent, sometimes malicious. How can you study a phenomenon when you posit the existence of this arbitrary creature that can randomly alter the results of any experiments you may run? I personally find it funny and sad that so many people are wasting time on this whole exercise.

>> Postulating an "intelligent designer" is an example of the logical fallacy called "begging the question". (Please see http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?s=beg+the+question&gwp=13 for the definition of this, so that we're on the same page). Where is the benefit of deferring the issue to a postulated "intelligent designer"? You still have all the same issues, plus a few more. <<

True. I think the problem most of the ID/Creationist crowd has is that they just accept that there is a God. They have never had to argue for God's existence, they simply assumed that God existed with all the qualities attributed the Him/Her/It. Then here comes science saying that God is not a given and that you can't use God as a reference point, and there's this disconnect that's almost audible. In many, if not most, religious people the disconnect results in them reconciling their faith with science. Basically they work to fit scientific theory into their religious framework. Others separate their faith from science, realizing that religion is primarily a moral framework while science is a means of learning about the world around us. Some people have no interest in science at all and simply ignore it as not applying to their lives. To many fundamentalists, though, since whatever religious text they use must be read literally, the reaction often turns hostile ("How dare you question the existence of God and the inerrency of the Bible?!"). The fundamentalist types then, aided by charlatans such as Dembski and Behe, proceed to try gutting and destroying science, in the name of their religion.

Science is ultimately neither pro- nor anti- God (though there are some who argue one way or the other). Science simply has no use for God. Science seeks reproducibility in its results and it seeks the simplest explanation that fits the data. How does postulating God help either of these goals? It doesn't. In this case, God amounts to the moral equivalent of a coefficient of 1. It serves no real purpose and can just as easily be dropped out, which would probably just aid the readability of the equation in the first place. That is the religious reason why ID/Creationism should be avoided: because it serves to render their God a superfluous addition to a theory.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 3:04:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

< Even seemingly God-like abilities could be remedial technologies of some more advanced civilization. >

I often wonder what people of even, say, 75 years ago would have made of our cell phones, personal digital assistants, deep space probes, cubic zirconia "diamonds", and the like. It's an intriguing mental exercise.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 3:46:00 PM  
Blogger Rob Serrano said...

dave fafarman said...

>> < Even seemingly God-like abilities could be remedial technologies of some more advanced civilization. > <<

>> I often wonder what people of even, say, 75 years ago would have made of our cell phones, personal digital assistants, deep space probes, cubic zirconia "diamonds", and the like. It's an intriguing mental exercise. <<

I've a feeling that a time traveler from earlier in the industrial age would be impressed with the technology that is now ubiquitous, but that, after a time, they would come to realize that most of us are nothing more than consumers of the technology. That is to say, our technology is far in advance of what has come even a few short decades ago, but our relationship to the technology is about the same. Well, actually, that's probably not true. Much early technology had the "feature" that it required a great deal of maintenance to keep it running regularly, though there was a scarcity of people with the skills to fix things. So many people had to have at least a passing familiarity with the inner workings of the technology. Early adopters of the automobile, for example, had to, by necessity, have a level of familiarity with their vehicles, just to get them from one place to the next. Nowadays, there are repair shops on practically every corner and maintenance is mostly limited to 3000 mile oil changes and 30000 mile tuneups. So on some levels, we are probably less knowledgeable about the technology that we use on a daily basis. The technology's still pretty amazing, though. We are the ones who are probably less so.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 5:05:00 PM  

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