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.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Theistic evolutionists

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My thanks to FortheKids of the Reasonable Kansans blog for this one.

Real Evolution Sunday sermons are listed here.

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Important Update below -- comments censored on Jackass Jason's blog are added here

Jason Rosenhouse wrote on his blog "Evolutionblog,"

Theistic evolutionists have made great concessions to achieve their reconciliation of Christianity with evolution. Perspicuity of scripture? Gone. Natural theology? Pointless. Argument from Design? Fuhgeddabout it. The sort of beliefs that are justified by evidence and defended rationally are granted to science. Religious beliefs are justified by recourse to ill-defined “eyes of faith” and the desire of believers to feel at home in the universe (whatever that means). They've conceded about ninety percent of the territory on which science and religion clash. But still a lot of scientists won't even give them that last ten percent. How frustrating that must be for them.

I have left comments on Jason's blog and may continue to add comments there.

When I first became interested in intelligent design, I felt that religion should be kept out of the discussion, but the hypocritical Darwinists, who claim that evolution is just about science, have insisted on including religion in the discussion.

Jason has a related post here.

Update: That lousy dunghill Jackass Jason censored my comments, so I am posting them here below:
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COMMENT #1

[FYI] I am surprised at how old the term "theistic evolutionist" is. A pamphlet written by William Jennings Bryan of Scopes trial fame said --

The tendency of Darwinianism, although unsupported by any substantial fact in nature, since no species has been shown to come from any other species, is to destroy faith in a personal God, faith in the Bible as an inspired Book, and faith in Christ as Son and Saviour. "The so-called theistic evolutionists refuse to admit that they are atheists, contending that they believe in a God back of creation; they argue that evolution is God's method, but they put God so far away as to practically destroy a sense of God's presence in the daily life and a sense of responsibility to Him. At least, that is the tendency, and since the so-called theistic evolutionists borrow all their facts from atheistic evolutionists and differ from them only in the origin of life, the istic (sic) evolution may be described as an aesthetic administered to young Christians to deaden the pain while their religion is being removed by the materialists.

William Dembski has called theistic evolutionists intelligent design's "most implacable foes." He wrote,

Theistic evolutionists hold that Darwinian evolution is God’s way of bringing about the diversity of life on earth. They used to be content to criticize ID on scientific grounds. But that’s no longer enough. They are now charging ID with undermining the very fabric of civilization and even the Christian religion itself. Ken Miller’s most recent book, just out, makes this point in the title — Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul.

. . . . Ever since Phil Johnson began publicly voicing his criticisms of Darwinism in the early 90s, his biggest detractors and most vicious critics have been — surprise, surprise — fellow Christians.

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COMMENT #2

Jason Rosenhouse said,
I can just picture some young-Earth creationist reading this with a smirk. “You see!” he will say. “You compromise the faith, cede to science the right to answer the grand questions of human origins, and then act surprised when they still don't want you. Serves. You. Right.”

Winston Churchill defined an "appeaser" as "someone who feeds a crocodile in the hope that it will eat him last."

The sort of beliefs that are justified by evidence and defended rationally are granted to science. Religious beliefs are justified by recourse to ill-defined “eyes of faith” and the desire of believers to feel at home in the universe (whatever that means).

The Catholic church also insists that human souls were created by god.

Tyler DiPietro said,
If they made the kind of political demands that religious believers are known for, and attempted various ways of bullying others into deference to their habit, that would be a different story.

Theistic evolutionist Ken Miller is one of the biggest bullies around -- he tries to use the power of the courts to ban scientific (pseudoscientific to some) ideas that he disagrees with. He was a plaintiffs' expert witness in both the Kitzmiller v. Dover and Selman v. Cobb County evolution disclaimer cases. And I am astonished that the plaintiffs in a monkey trial would choose a theistic evolutionist as an expert witness -- and that the courts would accept such a choice!
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Labels:

44 Comments:

Anonymous jim said...

"but the hypocritical Darwinists, who claim that evolution is just about science, have insisted on including religion in the discussion."

Maybe because ID is such a thinly veiled attempt at getting creationism into public schools we feel this should be pointed out at all possible opportunities.

Now, Larry, I know you and others actually believe ID can exist without naming a creator...I mean designer, but you're not a mover and shaker of the ID movement. The fact of the matter is the big whigs in the ID movement think the designer IS the Christian God and they're relying on people like you who are gullible enough to believe them when they say they have no intentions of introducing God into science. If you don't personally want to introduce God into science and truly believe that ID doesn't need a named designer, you are willingly allowing yourself to be used as a pawn by not calling out the overtly religious ID proponents around you. Once they've used people like you get ID into schools, how difficult will it be to incrementally introduce God as the designer? The big obstacle is to first get ID in the door. Everything else would follow in short order.

Friday, August 01, 2008 1:08:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Maybe because ID is such a thinly veiled attempt at getting creationism into public schools we feel this should be pointed out at all possible opportunities. <<<<<<

One of the main reasons why you Darwinists insist that ID is just religion is to enable use of the establishment clause to attack it.

Friday, August 01, 2008 1:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Friday, August 01, 2008 2:08:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Friday, August 01, 2008 2:08:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Larry, it seems that you gravitate toward the worst of both worlds -- the spiritual transcendence of nuts and bolts science, and the scientific discernment of religious superstition.

Friday, August 01, 2008 3:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry said: One of the main reasons why you Darwinists insist that ID is just religion is to enable use of the establishment clause to attack it.

We say it because it's true. One only needs to look at the lack of publications in serious scientific journals to realize that Intelligent Design has no scientific merit, and yet legislators keep trying to stick it into the science curriculum. Why? Because it's nothing more than a "don't ask, don't tell" variant of creationism.

Friday, August 01, 2008 3:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

"A desire to foist one's beliefs on others seems a central part of the [religious] enterprise," writes Jason Rosenhouse.

Especially for those who, like Rosenhouse, seem to want to use public school science classes to indoctrinate other people's kids in materialism: which is their religion.

Darwinism is an arbitrary, incoherent pseudoscience, a dogma that helps to prop up materialism. So it may also be a religion.

Friday, August 01, 2008 4:13:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"don't ask, don't tell" variant of creationism

Well put, MB. Clever.

Friday, August 01, 2008 4:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

'Nonymous:

I can't take credit for another's work, but I can't remember where I first saw that phrase, either. It seemed like such an apt description of their tactics that I just had to steal it. ;)

Friday, August 01, 2008 4:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

I don't think that basically ignorant, extremist buffoons such as PZ, Rosenhouse, Dawkins, etc., do much to help to spread the Darwinist and materialist creeds that they adore: or to force those arbitrary dogmas into the public schools. Their fanatical ranting repels the public. So that's one good thing to be said for them, in a backhanded sense. Carry on, guys!

Friday, August 01, 2008 4:29:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "Darwinism is an arbitrary, incoherent pseudoscience"

You have provided absolutely no evidence whatsoever for this claim. You've been challenged to provide some. Do so if you want us to take you seriously.

Jim Sherwood wrote: "I don't think that basically ignorant, extremist buffoons such as PZ, Rosenhouse, Dawkins, etc., do much to help to spread the Darwinist and materialist creeds that they adore: or to force those arbitrary dogmas into the public schools."

First: learn to use a colon.

Second, the majority of people haven't even heard of PZ Myers or even the more famous Ricard Dawkins. Most people don't care about the issue. Look at how well, I mean, poorly, Expelled did at the box office. Sure, most people think God created us in some way, many of them according to how the Bible says. But most people don't go to church every Sunday (despite their overtly religious views on this topic) and probably don't understand what contemporary evolutionary theory says or the vast evidence in its defense (you ever hear of fossils Jim?). Hell, even Pope John Paul II defended evolutionary theory and said that the only thing one needs to be a Christian is to say that God is behind the Big Band (no evidence for or against that) and that God gave humans a soul (again, not a claim that can be proved or disproved by science). Nothing else. It wasn't necessary for God to intervene here and there. Couldn't a Supreme Being, One that made the entire universe (evidently in the dark, as Ricky Gervais (did I get his name right) pointed out) in the dark, make the universe in such a way that life on the third planet from a yellow star would evolve intelligent lifeforms that would worship Him almost 14 billion years after the creation of the universe? Are you going to limit His powers this way?

Friday, August 01, 2008 4:46:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"... third planet from a yellow star would evolve intelligent lifeforms that would worship Him almost 14 billion years after ..."


Extremely patient, if nothing else.

Friday, August 01, 2008 5:06:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

'Nonymous quoted me and added, "'... third planet from a yellow star would evolve intelligent lifeforms that would worship Him almost 14 billion years after ...'

"Extremely patient, if nothing else."

I didn't say the story made sense. Though, why couldn't such a creator wait? Fourteen billion years might be an afternoon nap for such a being.

Friday, August 01, 2008 6:08:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

That lousy dunghill Jackass Jason Rosenhouse censored my comments, so I have added the censored commdents to my post above.

Friday, August 01, 2008 6:30:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"lousy dunghill Jackass"

My, my! Yet another one. They're so plentiful, are you sure they're not jackrabbits?

Friday, August 01, 2008 8:38:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Larry said (quoting William Jennings Bryan):

"they put God so far away as to practically destroy a sense of God's presence in the daily life and a sense of responsibility to Him"

Now that is a valid complaint.

Friday, August 01, 2008 8:42:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> Larry said (quoting William Jennings Bryan): <<<<

What do you mean, "Larry said." William Jennings Bryan said.

Friday, August 01, 2008 8:50:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

The late WJB passed away some time ago.

Did you want to disown his statement, then? And if so, why did you quote it?

Friday, August 01, 2008 9:31:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>> Did you want to disown his statement, then? And if so, why did you quote it? <<<<<<

Why must I own or disown it? Why can't I make a quotation without necessarily agreeing with it? That's dumb.

Friday, August 01, 2008 11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

"Update: That lousy dunghill Jackass Jason censored my comments, so I am posting them here below:"

Perhaps he considered that they included "personal gossip", the excuse you usually use for your arbitrary censorship?

Saturday, August 02, 2008 6:46:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>> Perhaps he considered that they included "personal gossip", the excuse you usually use for your arbitrary censorship? <<<<<<<

Show me where there is "personal gossip" in the comments, dunghill -- I posted them above.

Furthermore, censoring "personal gossip" is not arbitrary and personal gossip is not the only reason why I censor. Another reason is telling blatant lies about objective facts, like your asinine statement that Judge Jones told a newspaper that he was going to follow the law, whereas what he actually told the newspaper was that the school board election results would not affect his decision.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

One Darwin-worshipper who apparently knows "nada," wants to know what I make of fossils? (Above.)

Probably the same thing that he makes of them? I think that new species have descended from old ones, due to modifications of the more ancient ones. But I think that some intelligence was involved in some or many of the modifications. That's one form of intelligent design.

And then he comes on, for some reason, about God; and about what the Pope says. Yet I'm not a Christian, or even a theist or deist. My views, perhaps too briefly and thus sketchily outlined, are on my blogger profile. I'm not personally much interested in Christian or other theistic views.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 1:51:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "But I think that some intelligence was involved in some or many of the modifications. That's one form of intelligent design."

Your thoughts are evidence that some form of intelligence was necessary for evolution to have taken place as it did for the past few billion years?

Saturday, August 02, 2008 2:01:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Larry said:
"Why must I own or disown it? Why can't I make a quotation without necessarily agreeing with it?"

Well, because it'd be nice to put it in some sort of context, to be about making some point or other.

After a lot of reading between the lines (punctuated by a few somersaults -- you should really give your readers a break!), I believe the context is actually what I expressed in the 5th post in this thread, which clearly should have been addressed to JS also. I reproduce it here for your convenience:

Larry & Jim, it seems that you gravitate toward the worst of both worlds -- the spiritual transcendence of nuts and bolts science, and the scientific discernment of religious superstition.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 2:22:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

There is no evidence which supports the notion that species descended by completely mindless, mechanical processes, oh, ones who know "nada."

My views are quite similar to those of quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff. I don't mention him as an alleged "authority:" since, unlike the Darwin-worshippers, I don't believe that any person or group is really an "authority." Rather, his review gives some idea of what ID is all about.

Google "Mohrhoff," "Dembski," and "Koantum," to read the 7-page review.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 2:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Show me where there is "personal gossip" in the comments, dunghill <

Show me where there is "personal gossip" in the comments you arbitrarily censored.

> Another reason is telling blatant lies about objective facts, like your asinine statement that Judge Jones told a newspaper that he was going to follow the law, whereas what he actually told the newspaper was that the school board election results would not affect his decision. <

Why didn't you censor your blatant lie then. Telling the newspaper that the school board election results would not affect his decison is telling them that he would follow the law. The law would not allow him to take school board election results into account. Instead you lied and claimed that he was giving them legal advice.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 3:24:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The damn Blogger screwed me up again, so a mighty long-ass comment ended up being lost. It asks for multiple word-verifications, and sometimes rejects my password.

I don't have time to debate all of the authority-worshipping Darwin-fans who attack this blog. The cluelessly doctrinaire and authoritarian types, who think that the National Academy of Sciences and "most evolutionary biologists" are "authorities" which can tell them what to think, already rule the mainstream media, etc. So the rest of us should have places on the Internet in which to express our views. I think that's fair.

Hence I don't propose to answer every comment, or every question posed to me here. And I don't even have time to read all of the boring, conventional comments of the PZ-disciples, etc.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 4:23:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said...
>>>>>> The damn Blogger screwed me up again, so a mighty long-ass comment ended up being lost. It asks for multiple word-verifications, and sometimes rejects my password. <<<<<<

Sorry about that. I turned on word-verification a long time ago because of a bad spam attack, and I am therefore reluctant to turn it off.

I always save long comments in email form and then frequently save the email in my "mail waiting to be sent" file in case my Internet connection crashes. Then after my comment is posted, I send the email to myself as a backup (comes in handy if my comments are censored as they were here -- that's why I was able to post here the comments that were censored on Jackass Jason's blog). In fact, I was sending so many emails to myself that AOL started automatically blocking those emails as "spam" -- I had to ask AOL to ignore the emails that I send to myself.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 4:45:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

'Nonymous said...
>>>>>> Larry said:
"Why must I own or disown it? Why can't I make a quotation without necessarily agreeing with it?"

Well, because it'd be nice to put it in some sort of context, to be about making some point or other. <<<<<<

I fixed the opening post by adding "FYI" before my quote of Bryan. It is just like the "FYI" that former Texas Education Agency Science Director Chris Comer added to the forwarded announcement of Barbara Forrest's conspiracy-theory lecture about ID.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 4:50:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Yeah, the thing screwed me up again, this time demanding a word-verification but not giving me any letters to copy. So I lost another comment. The main problem is the time it takes me to type a comment, and then lose it, so that I have to type it again. I'm not a fast typist.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 5:04:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

ViU driveled (Saturday, August 02, 2008 3:24:00 PM) --
>>>>>> Show me where there is "personal gossip" in the comments you arbitrarily censored. <<<<<

I showed it repeatedly, dunghill. I even reposted the comments containing the gossip to prove that they contained gossip, which actually defeated my purpose for censoring the comments in the first place.

>>>>>> Why didn't you censor your blatant lie then. Telling the newspaper that the school board election results would not affect his decison is telling them that he would follow the law. <<<<<<<

That is just your overly broad interpretation of what he told the newspaper, bozo. Judges are normally not expected to tell newspapers that they are not going to follow the law (though I wouldn't put that past Judge Jones), so your interpretation is trivial. It is like interpreting the statement "bears shit twice a day" as "bears live in the woods." Your sole reason for making that interpretation was to try to duck the question of whether Judge Jones improperly gave legal advice to the defendants by hinting that repeal of the ID policy would not affect his decision. You are not fooling anyone.

>>>>>>> The law would not allow him to take school board election results into account. Instead you lied and claimed that he was giving them legal advice. <<<<<<

Irrelevant. Judges are not supposed to give any legal advice to litigants, period. There is no exception for "good" legal advice.

The hint he gave the board was not even subtle, because everyone knew that the only way that the election results could possibly affect his decision would be by repeal of the ID policy prior to judgment.

Under the Social Darwinism that you love so much, you would be euthanized to protect you and others from the consequences of your stupidity.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 5:36:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "Yeah, the thing screwed me up again, this time demanding a word-verification but not giving me any letters to copy"

This has happened to me a couple of times. I just hit "publish post" and it treats it as if I entered the wrong letters -- it gives me a new list of letters to copy.

Larry wrote, "That is just your overly broad interpretation of what he told the newspaper, bozo. Judges are normally not expected to tell newspapers that they are not going to follow the law (though I wouldn't put that past Judge Jones), so your interpretation is trivial"

We don't have a direct quote from the judge as to what he said (there were no quotation marks in the statement, the judge said the election results would not affect his decision. IMO, some reporter asked him if they election would affect the decision and he said no. Doing so follows the law. It is a reasonable conclusion. If he had called a press conference to say that, he might be suspected of something funny - and even advice. Since he evidently didn't, I have a hard time seeing how it is in any way relevant. If he wasn't going to follow the law, why would he tell people about it? That makes no sense, but some criminals (and non-criminals) are pretty dumb.

Larry wrote, "Under the Social Darwinism that you love so much, you would be euthanized to protect you and others from the consequences of your stupidity."

I have never known for ViU to support Social Darwinism. If anything, just the opposite. The only person who seems to support Social Darwinism here is Larry, who wants to support it so that he can use it to question the modern evolutionary synthesis. Btw, in the real Fourth Reich Larry would be the first to go (my apologies to the Dead Kennedys -- "Nazi Punks").

Saturday, August 02, 2008 5:58:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>IMO, some reporter asked him if they election would affect the decision and he said no. Doing so follows the law. <<<<<<<

It follows the law only if the new board does not repeal the ID policy prior to judgment. If the ID policy is repealed prior to judgment, then the question is subject to debate. He could have remained silent and said nothing. It is practically certain that he considered the possibility that the new board would repeal the ID policy prior to judgment in an effort to have the case dismissed as moot and avoid a possible award of attorney fees to the plaintiffs, and that he made up his mind -- without hearing any arguments on the issue -- that he would not dismiss the case on the basis of repeal of the ID policy by the school board. His statement that the election results would not affect his decision can be fairly interpreted as a hint that repeal of the ID policy would not affect his decision, and that hint was giving improper legal advice to defendants. And Darwinists have never explained what purpose was served by the school board's failure to repeal the ID policy prior to judgment, other than the purpose of purchasing a stupid opinion of a single judge for $1 million. If the school board wanted the judge's opinion, then why didn't they also want the appeals court's -- and possibly the Supreme court's -- opinion too? Those extra opinions would not have cost much extra in comparison to the original bill.

>>>>>> The only person who seems to support Social Darwinism here is Larry, who wants to support it so that he can use it to question the modern evolutionary synthesis <<<<<<

You are putting words in my mouth again, dunghill. My only reason for supporting Social Darwinism would be to get rid of idiots like you and ViU.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 8:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Your sole reason for making that interpretation was to try to duck the question of whether Judge Jones improperly gave legal advice to the defendants by hinting that repeal of the ID policy would not affect his decision. <

Does everything go over your head no matter how obvious? There was no question of whether Judge Jones improperly gave legal advice to the defendants since he did not give legal advice at all. By repeating that lie you are not fooling anyone.

> Judges are not supposed to give any legal advice to litigants, period. There is no exception for "good" legal advice. <

A moot point since he gave no legal advice.

You are trying to duck the question. No reasonable interpretation would have hime giving legal advice. You are only making yourself look more foolish. (as if such a thing were possible)

Sunday, August 03, 2008 7:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Hector said...

> His statement that the election results would not affect his decision can be fairly interpreted as a hint that repeal of the ID policy would not affect his decision, and that hint was giving improper legal advice to defendants. <

I think that only Larry, and perhaps Jim Sherwood, would be dumb enough to make that "fair" interpretation.

Nobody is buying this, dunghill.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 7:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Getting back to the original post, I find it amusing that Larry leads off with a cartoon whose message is "if you don't treat Genesis 1 & 2 as literal history, you reduce the Bible to a fairy tale," and then follows it up by claiming "[w]hen I first became interested in intelligent design, I felt that religion should be kept out of the discussion...."

Before the cock crows, Larry will deny the creationist roots of ID three times.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous FYI said...

"I fixed the opening post by adding "FYI" before my quote of Bryan. It is just like the "FYI" that former Texas Education Agency Science Director Chris Comer added ..."

Indeed. And it is just like this one: "FYI". See? No difference! On the other hand, this one is a little different from that: "FYI". And this one is different still: "FYI". And radically different: "fyi". Etc.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy said,
>>>>>Getting back to the original post, I find it amusing that Larry leads off with a cartoon whose message is "if you don't treat Genesis 1 & 2 as literal history, you reduce the Bible to a fairy tale," and then follows it up by claiming "[w]hen I first became interested in intelligent design, I felt that religion should be kept out of the discussion...." <<<<<<

I often post cartoons just for entertainment, not to present a position. And I am really getting fed up with trolls who spoil my cartoons by analyzing them to death.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: I often post cartoons just for entertainment, not to present a position

It's a funny thing how that cartoon fits so neatly with your William Jennings Bryan quote and your description of theistic evolutionists as "appeasers." In fact, it brings this to mind:

"Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions."

I'm sure you know the source. ;)

Sunday, August 03, 2008 1:03:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Larry & Jim, a heads-up:

You might want to brace yourselves for a possible case of epistemological indigestion. (Lay in a supply of Episto-Bismol.)

Sunday, August 03, 2008 7:25:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "There is no evidence which supports the notion that species descended by completely mindless, mechanical processes, oh, ones who know "nada."

"My views are quite similar to those of quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff. I don't mention him as an alleged "authority:" since, unlike the Darwin-worshippers, I don't believe that any person or group is really an "authority." Rather, his review gives some idea of what ID is all about."

Both your claim and Mohrhoff's essay (as well as ID) are based on the logical fallacy "Appeal to Ignorance" (also known as Argument from Ignorance).

He also states, "The irreducible complexity of such biomechanical machines as the bacterial flagellum poses another hard problem" (94). Of course, this has already been addressed by biologists. Of course, Mohrhoff is not a biologist, so maybe that's why he doesn't know that. But if he isn't aware of that, then he shouldn't be writing reviews about topics about which he knows little.

By the way, he doesn't say that he's an atheist or even agnostic. He says merely, "I do not subscribe to any religion...". That doesn't mean he doesn't believe in some sort of god or even God (he might believe in some sort of natural religion, much like many of the Founding Fathers and Enlightenment philosophers).

Sunday, August 03, 2008 8:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

I recommended Mohrhoff's book review because "his review gives some idea of what ID is all about," as I said, to those who know nothing about ID; such as the Darwin-worshippers here.

The purpose of a book review is precisely to give some idea of what a book is about, and the reviewer's opinion of it. Mohrhoff does that. His opinion is that it's a great book, and his opinion is that ID is correct. Of course he doesn't give a complete account of ID arguments, which is impossible in a book review.

ID is not an argument from ignorance: it presents positive, evidence-based, arguments for design, as well as arguments against Darwinism.

Irreducibly complex systems pose a difficult problem for Darwinism, precisely as Mohrhoff says. He doesn't say they completely disprove Darwinism, and niether does Behe. Behe has always argued that it's hard, or improbable, for such a system to emerge by Darwinist processes, not that it is impossible.

Monday, August 04, 2008 4:05:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "it [ID] presents positive, evidence-based, arguments for design, as well as arguments against Darwinism."

It does the former by saying that "we don't know how something this complex could have evolved, therefore ID" -- argument from ignorance.

It does the latter by saying that "we don't know how things could have evolved this way, therefore anti-evolutionary theory." Again, argument from ignorance.

Jim wrote, "Behe has always argued that it's hard, or improbable, for such a system to emerge by Darwinist processes, not that it is impossible"

I though the whole point of his discussion of the bacterial flagellum was to say that it could not have (i.e, it is impossible to have) evolved without outside interference this way. His argument has already been shattered. If it's not impossible then it makes no difference for the modern evolutionary synthesis because that means it could have happened. We still don't know how live emerged. The Miller-Urey (?) experiment was a positive step but failed to demonstrate anything since 1) it hasn't been successfully duplicated and 2) it apparently used the wrong mixture of earth's conditions at the time. Panspermia is certainly a possibility, but that only answers the question regarding the beginnings of life on earth. But how did life emerge in the universe, such that it could travel through the deep reaches of space and reach a hospitable environment (or reach at least one)? Saying goddidit is merely an argument from ignorance. It may be correct, but it is still a logical fallacy and not scientific in any case.

Monday, August 04, 2008 8:05:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"The Miller-Urey (?) experiment was a positive step but failed to demonstrate anything since 1) it hasn't been successfully duplicated"

Huh? Where do you get that?

It not only has been, the argument has become much subtler, as evidenced by:

During recent years, studies have been made of the amino acid composition of the products of "old" areas in "old" genes, defined as those that are found to be common to organisms from several widely separated species, assumed to share only the last universal ancestor (LUA) of all extant species. These studies found that the products of these areas are enriched in those amino acids that are also most readily produced in the Miller-Urey experiment. This suggests that the original genetic code was based on a smaller number of amino acids -- only those available in prebiotic nature -- than the current one.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 1:04:00 AM  

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