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.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Evolution controversy is reminiscent of Bob Dylan song

In the evolution controversy, both sides try to stereotype, pigeonhole, and misrepresent the other side. For example, the anti-Darwinists use "quote mining" in an alleged effort to misrepresent Darwinists and the Darwinists insist that intelligent design is just "repackaged Creationism" (never mind that the Bible does not mention irreducible complexity, bacterial flagella, blood-clotting cascades, etc.). All of this stereotyping, pigeonholing and misrepresentation is reminiscent of a Bob Dylan song titled "All I Really Want to Do," which has the following lyrics:

I ain't lookin' to compete with you,
Beat or cheat or mistreat you,
Simplify you, classify you,
Deny, defy or crucify you.
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.

No, and I ain't lookin' to fight with you,
Frighten you or uptighten you,
Drag you down or drain you down,
Chain you down or bring you down.
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.

I ain't lookin' to block you up
Shock or knock or lock you up,
Analyze you, categorize you,
Finalize you or advertise you.
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.

I don't want to straight-face you,
Race or chase you, track or trace you,
Or disgrace you or displace you,
Or define you or confine you.
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.

I don't want to meet your kin,
Make you spin or do you in,
Or select you or dissect you,
Or inspect you or reject you.
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.

I don't want to fake you out,
Take or shake or forsake you out,
I ain't lookin' for you to feel like me,
See like me or be like me.
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.

I can just hear Bob Dylan's drawling, off-key voice now --
"All I really want to do-o-O-O-O-O ....."

LOL

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11 Comments:

Blogger jujuquisp said...

We have now attained DefCon level "Batshit Crazy".

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 1:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> Darwinists insist that intelligent design is just "repackaged Creationism" <

As it clearly is.

> never mind that the Bible does not mention irreducible complexity, bacterial flagella, blood-clotting cascades, etc. <

Not everything that is religious is included in the Bible or any other religious work. This doesn't seem to be relevant.

> All of this stereotyping, pigeonholing and misrepresentation <

I don't think that supporting a case with logic and facts is any of these three.

Your citation of Bob Dylan's song doesn't seem to have anything to do with the logic of Darwinism or the illogic of ID. It just looks like a note of recognition from someone who realizes that they have overplayed their hand. You will be welcomed back on your return to Earth.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 2:01:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice In the Wilderness said --

>>>>>Not everything that is religious is included in the Bible or any other religious work.<<<<<

Yes -- Darwinism is a good example.

>>>>>> All of this stereotyping, pigeonholing and misrepresentation <

I don't think that supporting a case with logic and facts is any of these three.<<<<<

I agree -- that is very true of the support for ID and other scientific criticisms of Darwinism.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 2:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

>>>>>Not everything that is religious is included in the Bible or any other religious work.<<<<<

> Yes -- Darwinism is a good example. <

I know you have claimed this before. Darwinism is not a religion. ID is.

> ID and other scientific criticisms of Darwinism. <

I can't call ID scientific. I am still waiting to hear how you can have ID without a designer. As for irreducible complexity, it seems to be based on a misunderstanding of the systems that are claimed to be irreducible.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice In the Wilderness said --

>>>>>I can't call ID scientific. I am still waiting to hear how you can have ID without a designer.<<<<<<

And I can't call evolution theory scientific. A lot of people -- and I am one of them -- believe that macroevolution cannot occur without supernatural causation. The International Theological Commission, which was headed by Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope) said in point 69, "In the Catholic perspective, neo-Darwinians who adduce random genetic variation and natural selection as evidence that the process of evolution is absolutely unguided are straying beyond what can be demonstrated by science." I feel that ID is often more scientific than Darwinism because ID does not stray beyond what can be demonstrated by science.

>>>>>>As for irreducible complexity, it seems to be based on a misunderstanding of the systems that are claimed to be irreducible. <<<<<<

The main argument against irreducible complexity is "exaptation," and I don't buy it. The following discussion is from my post titled "Views on Intelligent Design" --

Claim -- the concept of "exaptation" has completely refuted ID.

Answer -- "Exaptation" is the concept that features that evolve for one function may be converted to serve another function and that hence many of the parts of irreducibly complex systems may have come ready-made or nearly so. However, exaptation does not change the fact that all of the parts of an irreducibly complex system must come together simultaneously in their final forms to create the complete system, and that is very unlikely. Also, a feature that is already serving an essential or important function may not be available to help form the irreducible system unless a duplicate is created.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 2:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> A lot of people -- and I am one of them -- believe that macroevolution cannot occur without supernatural causation. <

You at one time believed that the Los Angeles Times could not be written, printed, and distributed without supernatural causation. You further claimed that there were too many consumer goods on the shelves of stores than could be accounted for by the existing factories. Are you backing off of those claims? If so, could you also be wrong on evolution?

Since you refer to your article on "Views on Intelligent Design", I will comment on some of your assertions:

> Claim -- ID is just a religious concept -- it is just creationism in disguise <

True. It is interesting that in support of your claim that ID doesn’t require a designer, you cite previously Hitler Youth member Ratzinger whose job description requires belief in a designer.

> it often does no good to explain that ID is not supposed to speculate about a designer. <

Why not? ID implies a designer.

> But why should science be arbitrarily limited to complete scientific explanations? <

They don't have to be complete. They do have to have some scientific basis.

> macroevolution in progress cannot be directly observed <

That depends on what you mean by directly. While earthquakes, volcanoes, and floods can be directly observed, much of Geological theory cannot. The indirect evidence is compelling, just as it is with evolution.

> the "predictions" that evolution theory makes about macroevolution are just predictions of likely future finds of more circumstantial evidence of macroevolution <

Not at all. They are predictions of evolutionary processes.

> "missing link" <

The term "missing link" has been overused by the IDers. There are not that many really “missing” links.

> If evolution in fact occurred solely by "natural" occurrences, then those occurrences would have been either extremely unlikely or not "natural" in the usual sense. <

This implies that the current evolutional situation is the only one that would be obtained by "natural" occurrences. That is like describing an observed 7 on two dice and saying that the other 11 other possibilities are not also "natural" outcomes.

> Claim -- ID is the only scientific (or pseudoscientific) challenge to evolution theory <

ID is not a scientific challenge to evolutionary theory.

> Answer -- Of course, Darwinists do not make this claim outright -- they only imply it because the Dover decision explicitly banned only ID. <

This shows a misunderstanding of what the Dover case was about. It did not ban scientific challenges to evolution. It banned mixing religious conjecture with science.

> Some other challenges to evolution theory involve -- (1) co-evolution <

Co-evolution does not seem to challenge evolution. In fact it seems to show how it may have occurred in some cases.

> (2) the propagation of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction <

Ditto.

> (3) the mathematical probability of evolution. <

Only people who have no understanding of statistics would say that mathematical probability can disprove evolution in any way. The odds are against turning up a 7 in a throw of two dice. That doesn't make throwing 7, or any other possible number, against the laws of statistics.

> Claim -- ID is scientifically vacuous and makes no worthwhile contribution to science <

That is a fact.

> Answer -- Even if ID is false, it nonetheless expands scientific knowledge <

Would you say that claiming that the earth is flat would expand scientific knowledge? ID seems to have no redeeming features.

> We should not place artificial boundaries on scientific inquiry. <

Again you are misusing the term "scientific".

> exaptation does not change the fact that all of the parts of an irreducibly complex system must come together simultaneously in their final forms to create the complete system <

Also from your current post:

> The main argument against irreducible complexity is "exaptation <

This only shows a lack of understanding of the process. That we don't know how these features reached their final form doesn't mean that it was not an entirely natural and evolutionary process.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

ViW said:
< It is interesting that in support of your claim that ID doesn’t require a designer, you cite previously Hitler Youth member Ratzinger ... >

Hi, Voice. It's kind of unfair to tar Ratzinger with having been a Hitler Youth member, as he has explained the circumstances of that and quite repudiated it.

< ... whose job description requires belief in a designer. >

:-) Well put! LOL.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

> A lot of people -- and I am one of them -- believe that macroevolution cannot occur without supernatural causation. <

<< You at one time believed that the Los Angeles Times could not be written, printed, and distributed without supernatural causation ... >>

You also claimed that men did not land on the Moon and the whole NASA thing was a giant hoax. I really have to wonder about your standards for accepting evidence.

> it often does no good to explain that ID is not supposed to speculate about a designer. <

<< Why not? ID implies a designer. >>

Indeed it does; it's absurd otherwise.

> But why should science be arbitrarily limited to complete scientific explanations? <

Most of science is still incomplete, some is open-ended and will never be complete, and some of it may even be wrong. That doesn't affect the need to follow the Scientific Method.

> macroevolution in progress cannot be directly observed <

<< That depends on what you mean by directly. While earthquakes, volcanoes, and floods can be directly observed, much of Geological theory cannot. The indirect evidence is compelling, just as it is with evolution. >>

Good point. For instance, no one has ever seen a mountain range built either.

> "missing link" <

<< The term "missing link" has been overused by the IDers. There are not that many really “missing” links. >>

Did you read the article that ViS linked yet? -- http://www.jci.org/cgi/content/full/116/5/1134

> Some other challenges to evolution theory involve -- (1) co-evolution <

<< Co-evolution does not seem to challenge evolution. >>

Co-evolution is actually a demonstration of evolution and a refutation of notions like "Irreducible Complexity". It is an example of something supposedly IC that is not even under the control of a single genome, so whatever method the designer might have used to create a single genome would not be relevant.

It also suggests some very odd proclivities of the "designer" -- he not only concerns himself with important and urgent matters like creating human beings, but also has a hobby of creating matched pairs of insect noses and flowers (no doubt of equal importance). And not once, but many matched pairs.

> (3) the mathematical probability of evolution. <

This "tornado in a junkyard" view completely ignores the possibility of bootstrapping. Probability does apply, but not the way the IDiots use it.

From a slightly different viewpoint, sometimes babies are born with two heads, three or four arms, and various other mutations. Some of these are not as harmful as one might think. Don't you think it is "irreducibly complex" to have another entire head? These mutations occur in a single generation. If they conferred adaptive advantage, they would be likely to propagate.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Ambrose Bierce said...

The idea of Intelligent Design brings to mind and entry from my work,The Devil's Dictionary:

“OSTRICH, n. A large bird to which (for its sins, doubtless) nature has denied that hinder toe in which so many pious naturalists have seen a conspicuous evidence of design. The absence of a good working pair of wings is no defect, for, as has been ingeniously pointed out, the ostrich does not fly.”

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Reply to Fake Dave Fafarman ( 6/28/2006 12:08:05 PM ) --

I am not going to continue responding to you, Fake Dave, if you continue your false ad hominem attacks. And even if your allegations were true, they would have no bearing on the present discussion. Also, as I said, stop impersonating my brother.

>>>>><< Why not? ID implies a designer. >>

Indeed it does; it's absurd otherwise.<<<<<<

Darwinism is also absurd without assuming supernatural causation. Though ID may imply the existence of a designer, ID -- unlike Darwinism -- does not make explicit assumptions that go beyond what can be demonstrated by science.

>>>>>> But why should science be arbitrarily limited to complete scientific explanations? <

Most of science is still incomplete, some is open-ended and will never be complete, and some of it may even be wrong. That doesn't affect the need to follow the Scientific Method.<<<<<

It's OK to require complete scientific explanations to follow the scientific method -- but what about criticisms of scientific theories? Why should those criticisms have to follow the scientific method?

>>>>>> macroevolution in progress cannot be directly observed <

<< That depends on what you mean by directly. While earthquakes, volcanoes, and floods can be directly observed, much of Geological theory cannot. The indirect evidence is compelling, just as it is with evolution. >>>>>>>>

Some parts of evolution theory -- e.g., the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection -- are contradicted by the evidence.

>>>>>>Good point. For instance, no one has ever seen a mountain range built either.<<<<<

But the mechanisms of building mountain ranges are not contradicted by the evidence.

>>>>>> "missing link" <
<< The term "missing link" has been overused by the IDers. There are not that many really “missing” links. >><<<<<<

Thousands of missing links would have to be found to prove evolution.

>>>>>>Did you read the article that ViS linked yet? -- http://www.jci.org/cgi/content/full/116/5/1134<<<<<

Yes -- and a lot of it is crap.

>>>>>>Co-evolution is actually a demonstration of evolution and a refutation of notions like "Irreducible Complexity". It is an example of something supposedly IC that is not even under the control of a single genome, so whatever method the designer might have used to create a single genome would not be relevant.<<<<<<

Co-evolution is not supposedly IC. The individual co-dependent features in each organism are not necessarily IC (though they can be IC -- but that only greatly increases the unlikelihood of co-evolution).

I don't know why it is necessary to get into a high-falutin discussion of genomes here. My concept is very simple -- in the co-evolution of two corresponding features in two co-dependent organisms, there is nothing for either organism to adapt to because the corresponding feature is initially absent in the other organism. Thus, co-evolution is much more of a problem than adaptation to the widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, air, and climate. Furthermore, a particular co-dependent feature could be detrimental when the corresponding feature is absent in the other organism.

Also, another consideration is that co-dependent organisms often can interact only in large numbers -- e.g., a bee visits many flowers and a flower is visited by many bees -- so large numbers of both co-dependent organisms with the corresponding co-dependent features would miraculously have to appear in the same place at the same time.

The problem with you Darwinists is that you treat extremely unlikely occurrences as much more than the norm -- you treat these extremely unlikely occurrences as though they happen 100% of the time. In evolution theory, there is no such thing as the exception that proves the rule -- Darwin said that his whole theory would break down if a single exception to it could be found.

A lot of Darwinism consists just of arm-waving and just-so stories.

>>>>>It also suggests some very odd proclivities of the "designer" -- he not only concerns himself with important and urgent matters like creating human beings, but also has a hobby of creating matched pairs of insect noses and flowers (no doubt of equal importance). And not once, but many matched pairs.<<<<<<

Yes -- very odd.

The Wikipedia article on co-evolution says, "Few perfectly isolated examples of evolution can be identified." Previously, this article also said, "essentially all evolution is co-evolution," but that statement has been deleted (most Wikipedia articles can be edited by anyone). I think that these statements are exaggerations -- I can think of many examples of evolution where a co-evolutionary response from another organism would not be required. Nonetheless, I think that alleged co-evolution is a far more important concept in evolution theory than has been recognized and that co-evolution should be an important part of the debate over evolution.

>>>>>> (3) the mathematical probability of evolution. <

This "tornado in a junkyard" view completely ignores the possibility of bootstrapping. <<<<<<

Bootstrapping is a very vague concept.

>>>>>Probability does apply, but not the way the IDiots use it.<<<<<

The probability of a string of very unlikely events is virtually zero.

>>>>>>From a slightly different viewpoint, sometimes babies are born with two heads, three or four arms, and various other mutations. Some of these are not as harmful as one might think. Don't you think it is "irreducibly complex" to have another entire head? <<<<<<

This might explain the evolution of centipedes, but these duplicative mutations have never established a species in the higher animals.

Thursday, June 29, 2006 5:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

Reply to Fake Dave Fafarman ( 6/28/2006 12:08:05 PM ) --

There were no posts by the Fake Dave Fafarman on this blog yesterday or if there were, you have removed them. I notice that there were nine posts yesterday before your reply and nine now including it. It looks like you have broken your no-deletions policy.

> I am not going to continue responding to you, Fake Dave, if you continue your false ad hominem attacks. <

What have you been smoking? There are no ad hominem attacks contained in any of his posts. We know that you don't understand the meaning of the term, but no stretch of the imagination could find any personal attacks in anything that I have ever seen posted by the real Dave, the one who has posted here. As for attacks by the fake Dave, since you write those, and haven't made any for a week or more, it doesn't seem like an issue.

> And even if your allegations were true, they would have no bearing on the present discussion. <

The "allegations" about which you are bleating must be the true statements about your doubting that man had landed on the moon, etc. This is quite believable giving your other delusions, for example your belief that the Los Angeles Times is published and distributed by supernatural forces, that meteors come from within the atmosphere, etc. They show the operation of what is left of your mind. Your brother's posts have always been honest and sincere. There is a lot you could learn from him.

> Also, as I said, stop impersonating my brother. <

Stop pretending that he isn't your brother. It is one of the more obvious evidences of your growing insanity.

> Darwinism is also absurd without assuming supernatural causation. Though ID may imply the existence of a designer, ID -- unlike Darwinism -- does not make explicit assumptions that go beyond what can be demonstrated by science. <

Two unsupported proclamations (both false) in one paragraph. You are regressing.

> Why should those criticisms have to follow the scientific method? <

Why should those criticisms not have to be subject to the same standards? Religious pronouncements are not valid criticisms of scientific theories.

> Some parts of evolution theory -- e.g., the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection -- are contradicted by the evidence. <

You have had this blog going for months and posted on other blogs a great deal longer. If you had any evidence that contradicted the above, why have you never brought it up and why do you continue to hide it?

> But the mechanisms of building mountain ranges are not contradicted by the evidence. <

Nor are the mechanisms of evolution.

> Thousands of missing links would have to be found to prove evolution. <

What is missing?

> a lot of it is crap. <

That is profound! Another unsupported pronouncement.

> in the co-evolution of two corresponding features in two co-dependent organisms, there is nothing for either organism to adapt to because the corresponding feature is initially absent in the other organism. <

This just shows a lack of understanding of co-evolution.

> so large numbers of both co-dependent organisms with the corresponding co-dependent features would miraculously have to appear in the same place at the same time. <

This also just shows a lack of understanding of co-evolution.

> you treat these extremely unlikely occurrences as though they happen 100% of the time. <

No we don't. The current biological and plant evolution is just one of a myriad of possibilities. It is just the results of one roll of the dice. There are many other possible outcomes.

> A lot of Darwinism consists just of arm-waving and just-so stories. <

That is purely in the eyes of the beholder.

> The Wikipedia article on co-evolution says <

As you say "most Wikipedia articles can be edited by anyone". I have myself written or edited several articles in Wikipedia but there are people with no more knowledge of a subject than yourself also writing and editing. There is an excellent article on the evolution of the horse.

> The probability of a string of very unlikely events is virtually zero. <

No. The probability of a string of events is 100%. The probability of any particular string of events may be low but that just demonstrates your lack of understanding of evolution (and math).

> but these duplicative mutations have never established a species in the higher animals. <

Perhaps you are not a higher animal, but your brother and I am. All three of us are the result of evolution. Yours just didn't progress as far.

I am reminded of the story of an Englishwoman in the past century when told of man's decent from an ape like creature. She is reported to have said: "First I would hope that it isn't true, but if it is true, I would hope that it does not become widely known.”

Thursday, June 29, 2006 6:39:00 AM  

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