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.

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.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Browsing the archives

This blog has 1270 posts. I suggest that visitors here --especially new visitors ---select a topic of interest to them from the list of post labels in the left sidebar of the homepage, and then browse the posts under that topic. I often do this myself sometimes ---I am surprised at how much well-researched stuff there is on this blog. There are many trolls that scoff at this blog out of sheer jealousy-- because they are unable to write a blog anywhere near as good as this one.


How about"intelligent evolution"?

Or maybe we could call it"non-random evolution"? A more popular name is"frontloading." PZ Myers discusses frontloading in the preceding post, and tacitly admits that it is a possibility, despite his denial.

Another blogger on Panda's Thumb,Jack Scanlan, says,

(quoting article)--
ID predicts that the prevalence of functional protein folds with respect to combinatorial sequence space will be extremely small.

This prediction is related to the irreducible complexity one above, in that it could be invoking IBE as its justification. But if not, it doesn’t fare any better. What Jonathan is referring to is the work of Douglas Axe, a pro-ID biochemist who has conducted experiments that, he and the ID movement claims, prove that protein evolution is impossible. Thinking clearly about this for a while leads one to a single question: irrespective of the legitimacy of Axe’s conclusions about his research, why would ID predict that protein evolution is impossible? Life could have been designed by a Designer with the ability to evolve - this possibility is at least as probable as the opposite scenario, that life was designed not to evolve. But without any knowledge about the Designer, how can one scenario be given more probabilistic weight than the other? This prediction, like the others above, doesn’t follow from ID.(emphasis added)

The statement, "Life could have been designed by a Designer with the ability to evolve," -can be considered to be a description of frontloading. An alternative to frontloading is instantaneous creation. If there was neither frontloading nor instantaneous creation, then we know that life must have evolved by random mutations, and what Scanlan erroneously calls the "opposite scenario" - that life was designed not to evolve --becomes an impossibility.

Also, why is it necessary to know anything about the Designer in order to determine the probability of frontloading?

Also, even frontloading presents special problems in the case of co-evolution of mutualism (interspecies co-dependence) -- there often needs to be a way of simultaneously triggering mutations in both kinds of organisms.

Also, it is hypocritical of Scanlan to condemn ID proponents for allegedly using a"best explanation"argument when this argument is so often used by Darwinists.

Afso, I feel that it is not necessary for scientific theories to make predictions ---making good explanations is enough. When there is too much pressure to make predictions , a lot of explanations are redefined as predictions. A lot of this redefinition is what I call contrived serendipity -- as in"well,well,well, looky here.Our theory explains this too. We predicted that our theory has great explanatory power."

Yet another fallacy is that evolution theory should not be criticized without offering a reasonable alternative explanation in its place. If the result of criticizing evolution theory is being left with no explanation at all, that would merely be the same situation that Thomas Edison found himself in when he was accused of not making progress in his efforts to invent a practical electric light: "I've made lots of progress -- I now know lots of things that won't work."

BTW, Scanlan also says,
(Note that I won’t be touching on the two astronomical/cosmological predictions Jonathan gives, as they don’t have anything to do with biological intelligent design, which is what I focus on. Cosmological ID and biological ID are not related and shouldn’t be conflated, as doing so makes things confusing.)

Not related? Has Scanlan never heard of the "fine-tuned universe," the idea that physical matter and physical constants appear to be specially designed to make life possible (as discussed in the book The Privileged Planet)?

It is apparent why I was kicked off of Darwin's Thumb and other Darwinist blogs --- because I make too much sense, and I don't feel I am immodest in saying so. In contrast to those blogs, I often bend over backwards to accommodate dissenting comments, complaints to the contrarry notwthstanding And remember, unlike many other bloggers , I have to answer most dissenting comments myself (thanks, Jim Sherwood and a few others,for helping me).


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sleazy PZ Myers begs the question about truth of evolution

Sleazy PZ Myers wrote,
If we were looking for evidence for evolution, we might as well stop here. The existence of gene families, for cryin' out loud, is evidence for evolution. This paper is far beyond arguing about the truth of evolution — that's taken for granted as the simple life's breath of biology — but instead asks a more specific question: when did all of these genes arise? And they have a general method for estimating that.
(emphasis added)

So there you have it --brazenly begging the question.

BTW, "for crying out loud," also a favorite of Fatheaded Ed Brayton, is a minced Christian oath, where somene starts to say , "for Christ's sake."

PZ alsosays
One of the creationist summaries is by an intelligent design creationist. He looks at the paper and claims it supports this silly idea called front-loading: the Designer seeded the Earth with creatures that carried a teleological evolutionary program, loading them up with genes at the beginning that would only find utility later. The unsurprising fact that many gene families are of ancient origin seems to him to confirm his weird idea of a designed source, when of course it does nothing of the kind, and fits quite well in an evolutionary history with no supernatural interventions at all.

Well, PZ, if these genes are of ancient origin and not the result of random mutation, then how did they get there in the first place? PZ is really talking through his hat here. He has no credibility at all.

BTW -- the paper that PZ discusses is just a big just-so story.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

The"bad design"argument against ID

Ironically, proponents of Intelligent Design try to stick to scientific arguments whereas the critics of ID often resort to arguments of a religious or theological nature. One of the favorite such arguments of ID critics is that a good, benevolent, unerring, and all-powerful "intelligent designer" would not have made the bad designs that we often see in nature. The appendix is often cited as an example. However, I think that the overall design is so bad that it might be better to just start over with a clean slate. Let's start with immortality. I have thought that immortality would be as terrifying as death -- we would keep doing the same things over and over again until the boredom became inbearable --- so maybe a lifespan of, say,10,000 years would be better But then I thought that there are some things that I never tire of doing, and there are so many things to do in the world that by the time I finished doing all of them and had to start over doing old things again, those old things will be so far in the past that I will have forgotten them and they will seem like new things again, so I will never get bored. So I have concluded that good design would include immortality.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Is Intelligent Design a belief system, or a scientific field of study?

It can be either. ID can be the belief that living things are too complex to have evolved by Darwinian mechanisms or to have spontaneously appeared in the first place. It can also be the study of the extent to which that belief can be scientifically supported. Too many people ignore or fail to see this difference. Also, it is extremely unscientific and anti-intellectual to assume in advance that that belief cannot be scientifically supported.


"Children's crusade" seeks repeal of Louisiana "academic freedom" law

Mascot Zack Kopplin, a mere high school senior, is being paraded as a co-leader, if not the main leader, of a campaign to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, in order to give the false impression that this is a grassroots campaign and not something driven by evil godless college professors.{1]

Zack's blog says.{2] .
The LSEA ”employs code language like ‘critical thinking’ and ‘teaching the alternatives’ in order to pretend to be promoting something noble,” wrote Zack Kopplin in the Huffington Post earlier this year.

Zack lied-- the term "alternative(s)" appears nowhere in the LSEA, obviously because creationism is one of the most obvious alternatives to evolution.

Zack gives the usual "the-sky-is-falling" arguments about LSEA "killing jobs." Many tech companies are not into biology at all. Very few tech businesses use evolution at all, and those that do use microevolution, not macroevolution. Even creationists accept microevoultion.

How many oil-drilling companies are leaving Louisiana because creationists do not believe in modern geology?

When considering locating in Louisiana, companies would consider things like tax breaks and infrastructure, not the LSEA.

There are 64 parishes(equivalent to counties) in Louisiana -- so far only two have tried to introduce creationism in the public schools.

Where are Louisiana's tech-field professors? Why aren't they saying that they want tech companies and tech societies to come to the state, LSEA or no LSEA?

In 2008 LSEA was passed unanimously by the Louisiana state senate, was passed by the state House by a vote of 93-4, and was signed by the governor.[3] I think that the government would look very foolish if it repealed the law.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The different kinds of design

There is not just "intelligent design." There is also"unintelligent design."Some people may interpret "unintelligent" as meaning resulting from random causes --e.g., Darwinian evolution. But a better name for that woud be "non-intelligent design" or"non-sentient design."(however,"non-intelligent design" can be misinterpreted as meaning "bad design" resulting from stupidity or carelessness).."Unintelligent design" can also mean bad design. Bad design can result from stupidity or carelessness, or even deliberateness(as by an evil creator who wants us to suffer from bad design). So I think that design should be divided into two categories: "sentient design" and "non-sentient design" ---both types can be good or bad. And the overall term shouldbe "apparent design."

Bad design has been used as an argument against so-called "intelligent design"---so I think the term "sentient design" should be used instead. And the study of "sentient design" is not the same as creationism -- it could just be the study of the extent to whicht things give the appearance of being sentiently designed


Darwinist snow-job consisting of esoteric high-falutin gobbledygook

An abstract of a scientific paper said,

A scenario for the evolution of a simple spherical multicellular organism from a single eukaryotic cell is proposed. Its evolution is based on environmentally induced alterations in the cell cycle, which then, by the Baldwin effect, become autonomous. Further patterning of this primitive organism--a Blastaea, could again involve environmentally induced signals like contact with the substratum, which could then become autonomous, by, perhaps, cytoplasmic localization and asymmetric cell division. Generating differences between cells based on positional information is probably very primitive, and is well conserved; its relation to asymmetric cell division is still unclear. Differentiation of new cell types can arise from non equivalence and gene duplication. Periodicity also evolved very early on. The origin of gastrulation may be related to mechanisms of feeding. The embryo may be evolutionarily privileged and this may facilitate the evolution of novel forms. Larvae are secondarily derived and direct development is the primitive condition as required by the continuity principle

The problem with critics of evolution theory is that they are too dumb to understand this stuff.

One of the advantages of evolution theory was the elegance of its simplicity --natural selection operating on random mutations. Now it looks like the evolutionary process itself is so complex that it was "intelligently designed" ---so we are back to the idea of ID


Thursday, April 07, 2011

True morality comes from self-interest,not religion,science, or the evolutionary process

There is a big debate going on as to whether morality originated in religion,science or human evolution. None of these , I believe -- I believe that morality is based on the self-interest of creating a better society for ourselves as well as others. If we all followed the Golden Rule -- do unto others as you would have them do unto you --the result would be a better society for everryone. To me,the bigger question is whether science created immorality - as in the Darwin-to-Hitler link.


ID in Awake! magazine

The April 2011 edition of Awake!-- a magazine of Jehovah's Witnesses -- has an article ( page26 ) describing a special glue secreted by the sandcastle worm that the worm uses to build its tubular house of particles of sand and shell. The glue hardens quickly underwater. Synthetic versions of the glue are also discussed.

The article then asks "did the sandcastle worm's unique glue come about by chance? Or was it designed?"

Of course, many ID arguments are much more sophisticated than this. But JW's are mostly creationists and therefore tend to be easily persuaded by ID arguments (probably many JW's consider ID arguments to be blasphemous because these arguments imply doubt of God's word --to hell with Dover Judge"Jackass" Jones' ruling that ID cannot"uncouple" itself from creationism) In a recent opinion poll --only 8 percent of JW's agreed with the statement,"evolution is the best explanation for the origins of human life on earth."

And JW is not a minor sect -- I see Kingdom Halls all over the place. Yet Darwinists tend to ignore JW --and 7th Day Adventists and Mormons --when claiming that large Christian sects accept evolution.


If an animal gives birth to a new species, can that initiate the new species?

The new species would need to find a mate (or mates) ---maybe a littermate (unlikely in general, impossible if there is no litter). Or maybe the new species could hybridze with a related species - but some of the new traits could be lost or compromised and many hybrids are sterile. It is like the question of where did Cain's wife come from. Yet another dilemma for Darwinian evolution