In the Beginning was Nothing:
A Creation Story for Young Materialists

Other Religions — By on December 15, 2005 at 1:46 am

[Note: I'll be out of town until Sunday; regular posting will resume on Monday.]
Throughout history children have been awed and thrilled by retellings of their culture ‘



  • http://inkan.blogspot.com pgepps

    Erasmus Darwin (Charles’ grandfather) was there *WAY* before you. He wrote two epics in heroic measure articulating a naturalist epic of origins.
    That would be the 18th C. Geez, get with the times! (j/k!)
    Cheers,
    PGE

  • Gordon Mullings

    Joe
    “Once upon a time — for no reason, and by chance — nothing became everything.”
    Or, was it: “once upon a time — oops, matter-energy is eternal in some form or other, however exotic — the infinite chaos throwed out the cosmos we knew, which just happened to be fine-tuned for us, so it’s no surprise that we are here to think about it.”
    Contrast: In the beginning, God . . .
    Grace
    Gordon

  • Jeff

    Yes Gordon, because everyone knows that simplicity = truth.
    Goddidit. Must be true, because it’s simple, elegant, and requires no actual inquiry into the nature of our reality.

  • George

    Not bad for a bag of chemicals, Joe. If the festering stew in the Tupperware could do as well, I’d sell my TV.
    But why bother? The children are nothing. They mean nothing. Would you bother to pen a fable for a pebble that happened to calve off an outcropping in the Rockies on a frosty day? In fact, you are nothing. So while away the few days you have stimulating your sexual organs and indulging the Skinnerian demands of your autonomic nervous system.
    Immerse yourself in the ennui and nihilism of the warm primordial stew, man. Read some Foucault and the hell with the children. Let the village worry about the bothersome little bags of organized dirt. Free Mumia.

  • http://churchvoices.com Tim

    Jeff,
    You represent the vast majority of atheists writing online today in your inability to grasp theistic arguments. Theistic arguments are not arguments from ignorance, but are inferences drawn from traits of the universe. If they were arguments from ignorance they woudl get weaker the more we know about our universe, but both the cosmological and teleological arguments have become much stronger in recent years because of the leaps forward that astro-physics has made.
    What’s more the initial creation of science by man was done in an attempt to study the creator by studying the creation. The statement ” Goddidit. Must be true, because it’s simple, elegant, and requires no actual inquiry into the nature of our reality” is nothing more than a nasty smear on the part of material atheists who would rather dismiss theistic arguments out of hand than actually contend with them in an intellectually rigorous way.

  • Rob Ryan

    “Yes Gordon, because everyone knows that simplicity = truth.”
    Everyone wants answers, Jeff. That desire has fueled the invention of countless gods and origin myths. It is easier to make up answers or accept those made up for us than to seek them out empirically. The sad fact is that complex scientific theories are easy to lampoon but difficult to understand. Some folks have an easier time accepting simple absurdities.

  • http://www.sufficientscruples.com Kevin T. Keith

    Theistic arguments are not arguments from ignorance, but are inferences drawn from traits of the universe.
    Oh – so they’re science! Just that peculiar kind of science that doesn’t require observable data or reproducibility, and frequently declares that the violation of scientific laws (but only in non-observable, non-reproducible circumstances) is as factual as their application, if it serves to uphold pre-conceptions that would be embarrassing if held to the same standards of proof as all the other parts of science. That kind of science. Right.

  • http://inkan.blogspot.com pgepps

    Uh, folks, I’m pretty sure this is just not the post to talk about “arguments” with. The story is obviously lampooning a position Joe disagrees with, and has little, if any, apparent intention of gaining assent by reason.
    If you must respond, why not do so by trying (if you can do so tastefully) to suggest modifications to the story which better reflect your point of view?
    Oh, as to Erasmus Darwin’s pre-empting of Joe’s narrative, check out The Temple of Nature.
    A diverting snippet:

    First HEAT from chemic dissolution springs,
    And gives to matter its eccentric wings:
    {21} With strong REPULSION parts the exploding mass,
    Melts into lymph, or kindles into gas.
    ATTRACTION next, as earth or air subsides,
    The ponderous atoms from the light divides,
    Approaching parts with quick embrace combines,
    Swells into spheres, and lengthens into lines.
    Last, as fine goads the gluten-threads excite,
    Cords grapple cords, and webs with webs unite;
    And quick CONTRACTION with ethereal flame
    Lights into life the fibre-woven frame. --
    {22} Hence without parent by spontaneous birth
    Rise the first specks of animated earth;
    From Nature's womb the plant or insect swims,
    And buds or breathes, with microscopic limbs.

    There is some talk of “GOD THE FIRST CAUSE,” but it is mixed in randomly with the other [mock-?] epic machinery of Greek myth, faeries, abstract nouns, and other stuff–that is, everything Erasmus Darwin held to be (as we would call it) epiphenomenal.
    Cheers,
    PGE

  • http://www.biscuitsb.blogspot.com/ Graham

    My dad was once having a discussion with some kids on the street whilst out witnessing. The conversation turned to evolution vs. creation. As the kids started to lose the argument one of then blurted out, in frustration, ‘we can’t believe what you are saying, because if we do we have to change our lives’. Yep, spot on.
    Atheists MUST believe in evolution, and will carry out all sorts of mental contortions to make the theories fit, hence the theories get complicated. Also, creation knocks them of their perch. The unsaid implication of evolution is that those who espouse it, western academics, are at it’s pinnacle. It’s an ego thing.

  • http://inkan.blogspot.com pgepps

    Heh. Speaking from the pinnacle of a process of change whose progressive nature and scientistic interpretation I disbelieve, I gotta say “oops!”
    Erasmus Darwin only wrote the one epic, I think. My bad–his other major work is prose.
    He was vastly influential, and is now nearly forgotten in favor of his grandson, who wasn’t nearly so clever as his apologists and interpreters have made him out to be.
    Cheers,
    PGE
    (a Western academic who thinks Genesis is true)

  • Mike O

    Joe, thanks for this mornings smile. You know when you take away the scientific window dressing from evolution and put the claims in simple terms it comes out a lot like you just wrote it.

  • http://www.sufficientscruples.com Kevin T. Keith

    The story is obviously lampooning a position Joe disagrees with.
    It’s interesting that making real science sound like the Bible proves it can’t be true.

  • Cheesehead

    Kevin T. Keith: “Just that peculiar kind of science that doesn’t require observable data or reproducibility, and frequently declares that the violation of scientific laws (but only in non-observable, non-reproducible circumstances) is as factual as their application, if it serves to uphold pre-conceptions that would be embarrassing if held to the same standards of proof as all the other parts of science. That kind of science. Right.”
    Sorry, Kevin, I got distracted for a minute there. Your were just talking about abiogenesis and emergence of new phyla which cannot interbreed with others from the population from which they emerged, weren’t you? :)
    Sometimes I have such a hard time keeping my nonscietific explantions about the way things are straight!

  • http://churchvoices.com Tim

    “Oh – so they’re science! Just that peculiar kind of science that doesn’t require observable data or reproducibility, and frequently declares that the violation of scientific laws (but only in non-observable, non-reproducible circumstances) is as factual as their application, if it serves to uphold pre-conceptions that would be embarrassing if held to the same standards of proof as all the other parts of science. That kind of science. Right.”
    You’re either an idiot or being intentionally obtuse in order to keep from having to grapple with theistic ideas. At least the first option wouldn’t be something you could help.
    Let me give you an example. The answer is that the chances that the universe should be life-permitting are so infinitesimal as to be incomprehensible and incalculable. For example, Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of the universe’s expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed into a hot fireball.{5} P. C. W. Davies has calculated that the odds against the initial conditions being suitable for later star formation (without which planets could not exist) is one followed by a thousand billion billion zeroes, at least.{6} John Barrow and Frank Tipler estimate that a change in the strength of gravity or of the weak force by only one part in 10100 would have prevented a life-permitting universe.{7} There are around 50 such quantities and constants present in the Big Bang which must be fine-tuned in this way if the universe is to permit life. And it’s not just each quantity which must be exquisitely fine-tuned; their ratios to one another must be also finely-tuned. So improbability is multiplied by improbability by improbability until our minds are reeling in incomprehensible numbers.
    Yeah, that sure sounds like “science”. Well, actually it sounds like conclusions drawn from evidences which were produced by scientific processes. Which is exactly what every conclusion is.
    Sorry, Big Kev, your feigned ignorance of theistic inferences won’t cut it for anyone who is critically thinking their way through the nature of the universe. Which leads me to the question of why you’d want to shut down debate instead of engaging in it. But I think that’s an inference we can all make with or without the help of science.

  • http://www.sufficientscruples.com Kevin T. Keith

    Sorry, Kevin, I got distracted for a minute there. Your were just talking about abiogenesis and emergence of new phyla which cannot interbreed with others from the population from which they emerged weren’t you?
    Um, actually, I wasn’t. But those are both perfectly reasonable hypotheses, and both are supported by enough evidence to make them plausible.
    In the former case, there is evidence that major steps in an abiogenesis pathway can occur, but no direct evidence as to which pathway did occur – and that is the claim any scientist working on the problem will make.
    In the latter case, there are multiple examples of distinct species in which the specific genetic changes that would account for their mutual reproductive isolation have been identified – and any scientist working on that problem would argue that that evidence justifies a claim that these changes did account for the speciation event.
    Anti-scientists, interestingly, would claim in the former case that the evidence that life could have arisen by natural mechanisms is irrelevant, and that life did arise without any natural mechanism at all. In the latter case, they would claim that facts that would have led to the results that are actually observable today (e.g., that Przewalski’s horse is reproductively isolated from other equines even though its genetic difference from them consists only in one chromosome being found in two parts instead of whole), are also irrelevant and those phenomena also occurred by supernatural means even though natural means that would have inevitably resulted in the same outcome are actually observed.
    Or, in shorter terms: the difference between science and religion is that science is sometimes wrong, and is then corrected by science, while religion goes to literally otherworldly efforts to be wrong . . . and is then corrected by science.

  • SmokeVanThorn

    No, KTK, what’s interesting is the ease with which materialist “explanations” are so easily revealed to be no less faith/assumption based than theistic explanations, and the inability of some evolutionists to see it.

  • http://www.sufficientscruples.com Kevin T. Keith

    . The answer is that the chances that the universe should be life-permitting are so infinitesimal as to be incomprehensible and incalculable. . . . So improbability is multiplied by improbability by improbability until our minds are reeling in incomprehensible numbers.
    Certainly – this is all well known. Yet the probability that the universe actually exists is: 1.
    So what do we conclude? Your answer, apparently, is that it all happened for unspecifiable reasons by unspecifiable means that are by definition incapable of proof – and that that constitutes a reason for believing in them.
    Other possible answers: The actual values of the critical parameters for life do not vary randomly, as these calculations assume; or, the critical parameters are not as critical as they appear (i.e., those values hold only for “life as we know it”, but other forms of self-reproducing, self-aware entities might be possible); or, this particular physically- and energetically-isolated system (the universe) is not the only such system. Belief in these answers is amenable, in at least some degree, to testing on the basis of confirmable knowledge about how the universe actually does work – and answers of these kinds have been proposed on precisely that basis.
    Interestingly, you appear to regard answers for which there is evidence as inferior to answers for which there is none, for that reason. “Theistic inference” must be a lot of fun, on those terms.

  • Mike

    KTK,
    In the former case, there is evidence that major steps in an abiogenesis pathway can occur, but no direct evidence as to which pathway did occur
    ???? Really? So scientists have found more than one way abiogenesis could occur? And they are just having a hard time picking out one from all of the choices?

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Sorry, Kevin, I got distracted for a minute there. Your were just talking about abiogenesis and emergence of new phyla which cannot interbreed with others from the population from which they emerged, weren’t you? :)
    Are you serious? Both ambiogensis & the emergance of new phyla can be tested through data collection and experimentation.
    Let me give you an example. The answer is that the chances that the universe should be life-permitting are so infinitesimal as to be incomprehensible and incalculable. For example, Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of the universe’s expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed into a hot fireball.{5} P. C. W. Davies has calculated that the odds against the initial conditions being suitable for later star formation
    Nonsense, in order to properly calculate odds you have to know the population of all possible events. The odds of drawing a Red King from a deck may be 1 in 52 only if you know it is a deck of 52 cards with one red king. If it is deck of ten cards with 3 red kings then the odds are 3 in 10. Calculations such as above happily assume all possible numbers are possible for various essential elements of the universe and then from there calculate all possible universes and then see what portion of them are close to ours.
    See here he goes:
    There are around 50 such quantities and constants present in the Big Bang which must be fine-tuned in this way if the universe is to permit life. And it’s not just each quantity which must be exquisitely fine-tuned; their ratios to one another must be also finely-tuned. So improbability is multiplied by improbability by improbability until our minds are reeling in incomprehensible numbers.
    We’ve discussed these before. Many of those quantities and constants are not independent. For example, when this came up some of those quantities included the average distance between stars, the average distance between galaxies, the speed of light and the strength of gravity. But these are hardly independent. If gravity is stronger then the distance between stars will be smaller, so will the distance between galaxies. If the speed of light is higher then it is easier for stars and galaxies to fly away from each other and vice versa.
    With a little bit of work one will see that some of those ‘quantities and constants’ such as the distance between stars, between galaxies etc. will drop out and be determined by some of the remaining ‘quantities and constants’. Some advanced work (beyond the scope of probably anyone here including this author) could probably drop those ‘quantities and constants’ down to less than ten. Even then there’s no real way to prove that the true number of essential ‘quantities and constants’ may actually be only one or a few.
    Once you go there you can you still have to demonstrate how much the remaining constant(s) could really range. There’s no evidence that anyone has even come close to this.

  • s9

    Hey, Joe

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    ???? Really? So scientists have found more than one way abiogenesis could occur? And they are just having a hard time picking out one from all of the choices?
    I would describe it with an anology. Suppose you read that Bill Clinton was in NYC on Dec 1st and then on Dec 31st you read the he is attending a New Years Eve Party in LA. Obviously in the span of a month he went from NYC to LA. Now how did he do it?
    There’s a host of possible paths. Some can be eliminated (such as walking which probably couldn’t be done in a month). Many will remain. As this is investigated facts will reveal themselves leaving one closer to the truth. For example, if we learn that he celebrated Christmas in London then we know the pathway couldn’t have been a straight line from NYC to LA. We would know air travel would have to be involved etc.
    Now the historian may study this and be able to say along the way that miracles were probably not involved. That certain steps had to have happened, that some theories are out there but they have unresolved problems with them and so on. Nevertheless, no one seriously asserts that the scientific method cannot be applied to this question & generate useful results even if it may not completely solve the question.
    So what is the beef with ambiogensis? Seriously are you saying that theories cannot be formed and tested? That historical facts cannot be dug up? That the scientific method cannot be applied to the issue?

  • ex-preacher

    From Paul Doland’s critique of Strobel’s “The Case for a Creator”
    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/paul_doland/creator.html#collins
    “Let me give one example that Dr. Craig referred to in Strobel’s The Case for Faith: “Dr. Stephen Hawking has calculated that if the rate of the universe’s expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have collapsed into a fireball” (op. cit., p. 77). No doubt this ranks pretty high on the astonishment index; I can see how someone might conclude that the fact that we exist at all points to an intelligent designer. Yet when one contemplates how much power and intelligence would be required to design or control the universe with such precision, it seems that an intelligent designer must rank even higher on the astonishment index. Again, no matter how high the universe ranks on the astonishment index, God must rank even higher. Thus if the probability of the universe’s existence is exceedingly low given the astonishment index, then the probability of God’s existence would seem to be even lower.”
    It looks like brother Tim plagiarized Strobel/Craig without giving due credit.

  • Mike

    My point was that abiogenesis has not been demonstrated in the lab. Sure, a lot of people guess that’s the way it must have happened since they deny there is a God. But that’s putting the cart before the horse. No one has found life spontaneously arising outside the lab…it’s not something that we observe in nature. So you really can’t claim life arose by natural means. You can’t test or observe how life started here. It happened in the past and you weren’t there. Can scientists create life in the lab? If they have, that’s news to a lot of us on both sides of the controversy. Even if they did create life in the lab that doesn’t necessarily mean that it happened in the wild anymore than building a car in my shop means one could arise through ‘natural means’. Also, the means by which a car is made are different than the means by which it operates. So, by examining the car, I can’t describe the means by which it was created. Not a perfect analogy, but it does convey the idea.
    So Tim copied someone elses work. So what. Does that refute what he copied? Stick to addressing the arguements instead of name calling.

  • http://churchvoices.com Tim

    No Kevin, my answer is that based on the nature of the universe the cause of the universe must necesarily transcend space and time, be extremely powerful (at the very least powerful enough to produce a universe), extremely intelligent, and it must have a will (else a mechanistic cause falls into infinite regress).
    You on the other hand look at this evidence and beg the question by saying “Certainly – this is all well known. Yet the probability that the universe actually exists is: 1.”
    I can see why you’d like being an atheist. No thought required. Simply accept pieces of evidence as there with no messy conclusion drawing needed! When faced with alternate philosophies simply re-affirm your own worldview by saying “yep, and here we are”. Sheesh.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    My point was that abiogenesis has not been demonstrated in the lab. Sure, a lot of people guess that’s the way it must have happened since they deny there is a God. But that’s putting the cart before the horse. No one has found life spontaneously arising outside the lab…it’s not something that we observe in nature.
    1. True people who believe there is no God may find abiogensis a good theory for that reason.
    2. However, there’s no particular reason to doubt abiogensis just because one believes in God. So belief in God should be irrelevant to abiogenesis.
    Black holes have not been demonstrated in labs. To date their event horizons have not been observed (but it seems we are getting very close to being able to do so). Does this make black holes some type of fictional nonsense?
    So you really can’t claim life arose by natural means. You can’t test or observe how life started here. It happened in the past and you weren’t there. Can scientists create life in the lab? If they have, that’s news to a lot of us on both sides of the controversy. Even if they did create life in the lab that doesn’t necessarily mean that it happened in the wild anymore than building a car in my shop means one could arise through ‘natural means’. Also, the means by which a car is made are different than the means by which it operates. So, by examining the car, I can’t describe the means by which it was created. Not a perfect analogy, but it does convey the idea.
    I refer you to my Bill Clinton analogy above. While we are on the subject we cannot rule out the 5 minute paradox either (that is, if you haven’t been watching closely on other threads, the idea that the universe was created 5 minutes ago with all of its ‘age’ (including your memories) perfectly simulated like a piece of ‘distressed’ furniture that you would buy in an overpriced shop).
    So Tim copied someone elses work. So what. Does that refute what he copied? Stick to addressing the arguements instead of name calling.
    1. Theft is wrong. That shouldn’t be a radical concept to hold on an evangelical blog nor should it be shared only by the non-evangelical members of the community.
    2. Simply calling it out doesn’t in itself refute the argument. However the argument was refuted by me and also it appears the original source.
    3. I find it interesting how creationism inspires otherwise good Christians to toss ethics and morality overboard. Moral relativism is gobbled up like apple pie whenever evolution & creation is being debated by those with a theistic perspective. I wonder if anyone has ever seriously asked whether intellectually dishonest theories like ID have a corrupting influence on the minds of those who embrace them?

  • Mike

    So Bill walked to NY. Sure–the method can be used to retrace his steps based on available evidence. But that evidence has to be interpreted. Facts don’t speak for themselves.
    But this still does not address how Bill came to be in the first place.
    We can look at the evidence that has been left by many generations of life on this world and try to determine what was going on. There is nothing that has been found that even comes close to giving us a clue as to how it all started. Again, you are presupposing that the processes that we see and observe were responsible for the ‘creation’ of life…and everything else. What about that point in time at the beginning of the so called big bang when Sagan (I think it was him) said that all the laws of physics were suspended for that event to occur? What would cause all the laws of physics to be suspended? Can we test that in the lab? Do we observe that in the wild?
    The materialist viewpoint is based on a certain amount of faith and belief in the impossible or what can’t be proven or verified.

  • Mike

    Boon,
    as a selfproclaimed economist, you should know the difference between probability and results.
    the probability that this world would be created is not 1. Yes, we are here. That’s the result.
    If I roll the dice and get a 5 the probability of that RESULT is not 1. It’s still 1 in 6.

  • ex-preacher

    Actually, if you’ll re-read post #20, you’ll see it does contain a rebuttal of Tim’s (or rather Craig’s) argument.
    The “fine-tuned universe” argument seeks to gain assent for a creator by stating the unlikelihood of all these factors coming together randomly. Doland’s argument is that it is even more unlikely that a god powerful enough to control all of these elements exists.
    I just enjoyed a snickerdoodle cookie brought today by one of my co-workers. What are the odds that someone would bring me food today? Maybe one out of ten. Of all the food, that could have been brought, what are the odds that it would be cookies? Probably one out of five. Of all the flavors of cookies, what are the odds that they would be snickerdoodles? Wow, maybe only 1 out of 30. Do you see where this is going? We could take it further and speculate about the odds that I would work where I do, live in the city that I do, have been born when I was, that my parents had me, that my parents even met, that my grandparents met, and so on and so on. What we would eventually determine is that the odds against me, ex-preacher, eating a snickerdoodle today at 1:00 p.m. in Fayetteville, Arkansas are so astronomical as to make it unbelievable.
    In fact, the odds against any specific event taking place are unbelievably high. Yet, specific things happen all the time. The only way to calculate the odds of this universe existing is to calculate the odds of all the possible universes that might have ever existed. For all we know, there have been trillions or billions of universes in succession or in alternate realities.
    All we know is that we are here. Really, the only thing that happened totally by chance was the Big Bang. Everything from that point has proceeded in a manner strictly according to the laws of physics. Of course, even the Big Bang may have happened according to a law of physics that we don’t understand yet.
    I like the way Clarence Darrow put it in “Why I Am an Agnostic”:
    “To say that God made the universe gives us no explanation of the beginnings of things. If we are told that God made the universe, the question immediately arises: Who made God? Did he always exist, or was there some power back of that? Did he create matter out of nothing, or is his existence coextensive with matter? The problem is still there. What is the origin of it all? If, on the other hand, one says that the universe was not made by God, that it always existed, he has the same difficulty to confront. To say that the universe was here last year, or millions of years ago, does not explain its origin. This is still a mystery. As to the question of the origin of things, man can only wonder and doubt and guess.”

  • Emmaus

    Kev – sorry to have to correct you, man, but, the probability of pulling a red king is 1/26, not 1/52.

  • Mike

    Ex–
    apples and oranges. You are comparing the random actions of people to things that are bound by physical laws.
    And the post you referred to was hardly a refutation. Those parameters may not be independent but that doesn’t change the point of the example. If you were to change one of them, life as we know it would not be possible.
    I personally think the statistical models for both sides are not good arguements. Statistics are too easily manipulated and when you are talking about events that you have not observed it gets even more questionable. I think both sides would do good to focus on what we know.

  • http://www.atlasblogged.com/archives/2005/12/suvhaunted_worl.php Atlas Blogged

    SUV-Haunted World: What Would Carl Sagan Say About Today’s Environmentalism

    SUV-Haunted World: What would Carl Sagan say about today’s environmentalism?

  • Mike

    No matter how much you whine about all of this, Joe’s little story pretty much sums it up.
    Your viewpoint sounds silly without all the scientific jargon to mask it’s absurdness.

  • windbag

    I just had this incredible vision… it’s an object shaped like the full moon, or a nectarine, which, when attached to an axle, would seem to have limitless possibilities. This is big, it could change everything.
    Kudos to Kevin Keith’s patience. I’m off to drown some witches.

  • Rob Ryan

    “You represent the vast majority of atheists writing online today in your inability to grasp theistic arguments.”
    “You’re either an idiot or being intentionally obtuse in order to keep from having to grapple with theistic ideas. At least the first option wouldn’t be something you could help.”
    “I can see why you’d like being an atheist. No thought required.”
    “Your viewpoint sounds silly without all the scientific jargon to mask it’s absurdness.”
    Your ad hominems are growing quite tiresome, Tim. If you have the intellectual firepower you seem to think you have, you can surely make your point without resorting to them. I’m far more impressed with Kevin’s comments than yours. I somehow doubt Jesus would approach this discussion in the manner you seem to favor.

  • Rob Ryan

    Oh…the last one was Mike, not Tim. Sorry about the error, Tim. Shame on you, too, Mike.

  • B4

    Kev wrote: “the difference between science and religion is that science is sometimes wrong, and is then corrected by science, while religion goes to literally otherworldly efforts to be wrong . . . and is then corrected by science.”
    … except when macroevolution is called science in which case it is never wrong, cannot be challenged by anyone, and it goes to literally otherworldly efforts to pretend that it is right (no matter how embarrassingly)… and when corrected by science…science is ignored and called religion.

  • http://www.atlasblogged.com Wulf

    There are around 50 such quantities and constants present in the Big Bang which must be fine-tuned in this way if the universe is to permit life. And it’s not just each quantity which must be exquisitely fine-tuned; their ratios to one another must be also finely-tuned. So improbability is multiplied by improbability by improbability until our minds are reeling in incomprehensible numbers.
    So what really are the odds? There are infinite possibilities for the relations of these constants. Don’t mistake Hawking’s point, people – he pointed out that there may very well have been failed universes of a number approaching infinity, but it only takes that one successful combination for us to actually be here arguing about it. When theists argue about the odds of life occuring without a god, or the universe occuring without a god, they seem to forget the fact that we have no way of knowing how many tries we had.
    If you have a 1/26 chance of drawing a red king from the deck, don’t bet your life savings. Unless they give you a number of attempts that approaches infinity…
    :)

  • http://www.gryphmon.com Patrick (Gryph)

    In the Beginning, God created the earth. Then he declared that eating shellfish was punishable by death.

  • s9

    Wulf asks: So what really are the odds?
    Depends. If I can simultaneously run all possible combinations of the quantities, then the odds are absolutely certain I’ll get a combination like the one we observe in Nature.
    Your point?

  • http://www.atlasblogged.com Wulf

    If I can simultaneously run all possible combinations of the quantities, then the odds are absolutely certain I’ll get a combination like the one we observe in Nature.
    Your point?

    My point is that Hawking’s argument was invoked as though its logical conclusion is theism. But that’s not what it really means. I have no problem with somebody believing that god(s) created the universe, but I do have a problem with them relying on an appeal to authority – and it’s especially wrong to misparaphrase the man in the process. There is no statistical argument to be made for theism – the religious should stick to faith as their basis. You know, like Jesus told us to.

  • http://kendersmusings.blogspot.com kender

    This story fills me with despair.
    But at least the comments are civil.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    But this still does not address how Bill came to be in the first place. We can look at the evidence that has been left by many generations of life on this world and try to determine what was going on. There is nothing that has been found that even comes close to giving us a clue as to how it all started.
    Well the question was how did Bill get started on his trip to LA. If you want to ask how Bill got started you can go back and figure out how his parents got together. We can go back and figure out how the first living things most likely got started here on earth (of course the more you go back the harder it gets in terms of effort and you may have to reconcile yourself to the fact that some (many) answers will not be found during your lifetime if ever). Want to go back to the Big Bang? Certainly possible & some theories push back even before that. Whether those theories can ever be tested remains to be seen and if they can whether we will ever live to see them tested remains to be seen as well.
    What about that point in time at the beginning of the so called big bang when Sagan (I think it was him) said that all the laws of physics were suspended for that event to occur? What would cause all the laws of physics to be suspended? Can we test that in the lab? Do we observe that in the wild?
    I’m not aware that the law of physics are ever suspended. They do seem to change in extreme circumstances. Yes that has been tested in labs where partical colliders create such high concentrations of energy for fractions of a section in spaces smaller than an atom.
    If I roll the dice and get a 5 the probability of that RESULT is not 1. It’s still 1 in 6.
    You cannot say that unless you know the die was six sided and the sides were numbered 1-6.
    And the post you referred to was hardly a refutation. Those parameters may not be independent but that doesn’t change the point of the example. If you were to change one of them, life as we know it would not be possible.
    1. The fact that they are not independent means that you are artificially inflating your probability. That damages your validity.
    2. Notice what you said when you typed “if you were to change one of them”? You are assuming the parameters have a freedom of movement. How much freedom? Could the speed of light have been 60 mph? How about near infinite? How about zero or infinite? How about negative? For all we know there are physical laws that ended up saying that the only types of universes that can ever be created are ones like ours.
    … except when macroevolution is called science in which case it is never wrong, cannot be challenged by anyone, and it goes to literally otherworldly efforts to pretend that it is right (no matter how embarrassingly)… and when corrected by science…science is ignored and called religion.
    Really? Macroevolution hasn’t changed dramaticallly as a theory since Darwin? Genetic drift, punctuated equilibrium etc.? all of that was in Darwin to begin with?

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    To illustrate what I’m trying to say let’s consider two theories. One imagine a Homer Simpson type ‘universe machine’. It has 50 dials on it, Homer comes in slips and spins all the dials then hits the ‘make universe button’ and out pops a universe with those 50 random parameters.
    Now imagine ‘brane theory’ which argues that in higher dimensions giant ‘sheets’ are floating about. Two of them collided and the result was the smaller 3-(plus time) dimensional universe we know and love today.
    In this second theory the parameters of the universe are set as the result of the collision & the mathematics may very well dictate that those parameters must result in such a universe. Just like you put choc. cake mix into the oven. What comes out isn’t going to be any random type of cake or pie but is going to be choc. cake (possibly burnt of course)

  • Terence Moeller

    Ex;
    “It looks like brother Tim plagiarized Strobel/Craig without giving due credit.”
    It’s strange that you should talk of plagarism, since I recall seeing a few weeks ago that one of your more hashly worded, personal attacks on GM was lifted almost verbatim off a link at infidels.orc — without quotation marks around it. As I was checking out various links at that site, I ran across this unusually worded missive and thought . . . where have I seen this before?
    If one takes the time to put quotation marks where they belong, it is often labeled “spam,” or worse, “quote mining” (another term lifted from the atheist’s web sites), but the rest is fair game?

  • Larry Lord

    So who exactly was the first to prove scientifically that deities created the universe, the earth, and all the life forms that ever lived on earth?
    I must have missed that Nobel Prize being awarded.
    Or is there a big conspiracy to keep the amazing “findings” of Christian “scientists” out of the “mainstream”?
    Seriously.
    Who first proved scientifically that deities created the universe? And why was that person not awarded a Nobel Prize for his remarkable discovery?

  • B4

    Boonton:”… may very well dictate that those parameters must result in such a universe.”
    May very well…??? How would you test that?? How would you falsify that? You demonstrate a lot more faith in these untestable theories of yours than any of the theists on this blog have in God. If I remember correctly, you are the guy that unashamedly believes that spontaneous generation is a scientific, testable theory that most likely was the cause of our universe!!??
    I love it when really smart people try to explain really bad ideas. For a person to believe what you defend shows many of us that you simply have prior philosophical commitments that you dare not part with… no matter what science or common sense may tell you….. much like the accusations made against theists.

  • Larry Lord

    “What we would eventually determine is that the odds against me, ex-preacher, eating a snickerdoodle today at 1:00 p.m. in Fayetteville, Arkansas are so astronomical as to make it unbelievable.”
    Just out of curiosity, ex-preacher, is that one of your “special” snickerdoodles?

  • Larry Lord

    So who exactly was the first to prove scientifically that deities created the universe, the earth, and all the life forms that ever lived on earth?
    I must have missed that Nobel Prize being awarded.
    Or is there a big conspiracy to keep the amazing “findings” of Christian “scientists” out of the “mainstream”?
    Seriously.
    Who first proved scientifically that deities created the universe? And why was that person not awarded a Nobel Prize for his remarkable discovery?

  • Larry Lord

    Wulf
    “There is no statistical argument to be made for theism – the religious should stick to faith as their basis. You know, like Jesus told us to.”
    Yeah but maybe Jesus just sucked at math.

  • ex-preacher

    Howdy Terence.
    You wrote: “one of your more hashly worded, personal attacks on GM was lifted almost verbatim off a link at infidels.org”
    Care to be more specific? I have no recollection of either lifting a quote without attribution or of launching any personal attacks against Gordon. Please identify the thread(s) and post number(s).
    Thanks!

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    It’s strange that you should talk of plagarism, since I recall seeing a few weeks ago that one of your more hashly worded, personal attacks on GM was lifted almost verbatim off a link at infidels.orc — without quotation marks around it.
    Fair is fair, produce Ex’s post here and the link to the post on the infidels site.
    If one takes the time to put quotation marks where they belong, it is often labeled “spam,” or worse, “quote mining” (another term lifted from the atheist’s web sites), but the rest is fair game?
    Well yea you have, in previous times, spammed us with huge lists of nonsense. I believe one of them was ‘evolutionists in their own words’. I took just one of them and demonstrated how out of context it was taken.
    If you must quote others extensively then you have no choice but to properly give them credit. If that means you must endure mockery from those who will tease you for not even being able to come up with your own crappy ideas but having to quote mine other crappy ideas then so be it. No one is demanding MLA style ‘works cited’ sections. We should however try to recognize that some rules are there for a good reason.
    May very well…??? How would you test that?? How would you falsify that? You demonstrate a lot more faith in these untestable theories of yours than any of the theists on this blog have in God. If I remember correctly, you are the guy that unashamedly believes that spontaneous generation is a scientific, testable theory that most likely was the cause of our universe!!??
    How would brane theory be tested. I imagine somewhat similar to string theory. As its mathematics are worked out it will make other predictions such as about the nature of fundamental particles. If those predictions check out then that’s evidence in its favor, if not then the theory must either be chucked or modified.
    I’m not really sure what you are talking about when you say spontaneous generation being the cause of the universe. Can you be more specific please?
    I love it when really smart people try to explain really bad ideas. For a person to believe what you defend shows many of us that you simply have prior philosophical commitments that you dare not part with… no matter what science or common sense may tell you….. much like the accusations made against theists.
    I’m not really getting any sense here that you’ve absorbed any ideas presented…good or bad.

  • Larry Lord

    I still would like one of the creationists here to tell me: who first proved scientifically that deities created the universe? And why was that person not awarded a Nobel Prize for his remarkable discovery?
    All the hand-waving about how “bunnies are so cute they couldn’t possibly have evolved” is really pathetic. It’s 2005!
    I read today that scientists estimate that a MILLION new species of ocean organisms have been collected and are now being described.
    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051215/NEWS06/512150407/1012
    And the claim the creationists here are making is that they KNOW already that NONE of those new species could possibly have evolved? Every one was created by their deity? How? When?
    And bear in mind that the million speces are all teeny tiny critters and those species are just a drop in the bucket compared to the number of species of microbial organisms that live in dirt.
    So like 99.999999% all of the deity’s creative work went into contstantly, continually tweaking the hundreds of millions if not billions of microbial organisms that have lived on earth for the past 4 billion years.
    What’s up with that? How come creationists never talk about this interesting statistical fact when they rave on and on and on about the mysterious “intelligent designers”?

  • B4

    Who first proved scientifically that nothing created the universe? It just happened by natural forces. And why was that person not awarded a Nobel Prize for his remarkable discovery?

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Who ever said nothing created the universe? I’m aware of no scientific theory that ever claimed to have proven that. Please cite such a theory to me and I’ll be happy to send the Nobel Committee a letter recommending them for the prize.

  • http://www.atlasblogged.com Wulf

    B4, when I read you, I smell spaghetti. http://www.venganza.org/

  • Terence Moeller

    “Fair is fair, produce Ex’s post here and the link to the post on the infidels site.”
    Ex has denied it?
    “Well yea you have, in previous times, spammed us with huge lists of nonsense. I believe one of them was ‘evolutionists in their own words’. I took just one of them and demonstrated how out of context it was taken.”
    Another gotcha moment!? You have a strange habit of trumpeting any previous exchanges as a triumph on your part. If I recall, I quoted Darwin about the dearth of any transitional fossils. You countered with Darwin going on about “punctuated equilibrium,” seemingly unaware that PE is nothing more than half – baked gradualism, without the need for physical evidence.
    It counters nothing and in no way diminishes the impact of the original statement.

  • Terence Moeller

    Ex,
    Does this quote by you directed at Gordon, look at all familiar? Begining with the ads . . . the only thing original about it is the part in brackets.
    “I have detected what appear to be logical fallacies in many of your arguments, including but not limited to: ad hominem, ad antiquitatem, ad ignorantium, ad logicam, ad nauseum, ad verecundian (the Articles of Confederation? You must be joking!), dicto simpliciter, non sequitur, petitio principii, flooding the stage, and straw man.”

  • s9

    Wulf explains: There is no statistical argument to be made for theism – the religious should stick to faith as their basis. You know, like Jesus told us to.
    Then I can wholeheartedly support you on that. Yes, religious people should stay on their own intellectual turf.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    You countered with Darwin going on about “punctuated equilibrium,” seemingly unaware that PE is nothing more than half – baked gradualism, without the need for physical evidence.
    No physical evidence for PE? Sure about that?
    Ex has denied it?
    It would seem so. More importantly he has requested that the evidence be posted.
    Does this quote by you directed at Gordon, look at all familiar? …
    I don’t understand. Are you saying the below quote was posted here by ex but wasn’t original? Where did Ex post it here? Where was it posted elsewhere?

  • Terence Moeller

    “No physical evidence for PE? Sure about that?”:
    Yes.

    “”I don’t understand. Are you saying the below quote was posted here by ex but wasn’t original?
    Yes.

  • Larry Lord

    So who exactly was the first to prove scientifically that deities created the universe, the earth, and all the life forms that ever lived on earth?
    I must have missed that Nobel Prize being awarded.
    Or is there a big conspiracy to keep the amazing “findings” of Christian “scientists” out of the “mainstream”?
    Seriously.
    Who first proved scientifically that deities created the universe? And why was that person not awarded a Nobel Prize for his remarkable discovery?

  • Larry Lord

    Fyi, I can’t remember if it’s Terence or Gordon (or both) who cling to the Sternberg Martyr Myth like a drool-soaked blanket.
    Anyway, someone has done a nice job of compiling the basic facts:
    http://danielmorgan.blogspot.com/2005/12/sternberg-saga-continues.html
    Once again, the creationists are shown to be full of it.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    I thought this was a dumb post before it was recycled.
    My thoughts haven’t changed.
    When my son asks me where he came from, I tell him that Mommy and Daddy loved each other so much, that that love is where he came from.
    He also knows that Santa Claus doesn’t exist either.
    And he giggles at Jack van Impe.
    He’s 4 years old, and wiser than most of the folks posting here.

  • Cheesehead

    Kevin: If abiogenesis were an empirically demonstrable hypothesis it sure would go a long way to end the creation/evolution debate. Merely saying that there is good reason to believe it happened is not the same thing as, well, you know…observable data and reproducibility. I agree with you that observable data and reproducibility are critical components of real science. It’s just that we don’t have either with abiogenesis or evolution of distinct phyla.
    “Dr.” Lord (tee hee hee): I think maybe you should post your Nobel prize challenge another two dozen times. No one seems to be noticing it.
    Mummy: There you go again, trying to put huge intellectual burdens on your poor little boy. Crikey, would you please just let your little boy be a child rather than the prodigy you seem to feel compelled to make him be. You don’t have to have Mozart or Albert Einstein as a son to be a good father.

  • ex-preacher

    Terence,
    You said: “Does this quote by you directed at Gordon, look at all familiar? Begining with the ads . . . the only thing original about it is the part in brackets.”
    Certainly the quote is familiar as I wrote it. I did not lift it from infidels.org or anywhere else.
    What I did do is go to the website that Joe has been using to explain logical and argumentative fallacies and identified the fallacies that Gordon had employed.
    I also do not think that identifying someone’s argumentative fallacies is equivalent to a “harsh, personal attack.” To the best of my knowledge, I have not launched a personal attack (ad hominem) against anyone here. If you think I have, please identify it for me and I will make amends.
    If you insist that I lifted a quote from infidels.org or anywhere else, please go ahead and provide a link (they have a search feature so it should be easy to find).
    Otherwise, I think you owe me an apology. I remember reading somewhere: “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” (that quote is lifted from Exodus).

  • Larry Lord

    “”Dr.” Lord (tee hee hee): I think maybe you should post your Nobel prize challenge another two dozen times. No one seems to be noticing it.”
    Seems like you noticed it, Cheesehead.
    But for some strange reason you seem unable to answer the question.
    It’s a really simple question.
    It’s sort of like “Who is the scientist who proved that DNA is composed of two complimentary chains of nucleic acid?”
    Or “who is the scientist who showed that DNA replication is semi-conservative?”
    Or “who is the scientist who showed how mutations in DNA can lead to changes in the levels and/or timing of gene expression?”
    Or “who is the scientist who showed that bacterial chemotaxis is controlled by a number of different genes?”
    Or “who is the scientist who showed how energy and matter can be related”?
    etc., etc.
    Here on this thread we see people making claims that certain features of the universe or living creatures are so statistically improbably that they must have been created by one or more deities.
    I’m asking: who are the scientists who calculated these probabilities and why doesn’t the entire planet know their names?
    It seems to me that such a discovery would be a very big deal, certainly the biggest scientific discovery of our lifetimes if not the biggest scientific discovery in human history to date.
    But I somehow missed the headlines trumpetting this discovery.
    My follow-up question is: why wasn’t the scientific discovery of the existence of these deities widely reported?
    I can think of one excellent explanation, Cheeshead, that I doubt you can refute.
    But Cheesehead, I’d like to hear your answers to my questions first.
    What’s the problem?

  • Larry Lord

    Cheesehead tells Mumon how to raise his kid:
    “There you go again, trying to put huge intellectual burdens on your poor little boy.”
    Yeah, Mumon. Don’t waste your time teaching your kid facts.
    Instead, you need to start brainwashing him about Satan, Hell, and the eternal pain he will endure if he doesn’t listen to you.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    “No physical evidence for PE? Sure about that?”:
    Yes.
    PE makes predictions (such as new species should be detected when older sub-populations are isoloated from the rest of their kind) that can be tested both in the lab and in the geological record.
    “”I don’t understand. Are you saying the below quote was posted here by ex but wasn’t original?
    Ok could you be so kind as to post where that ex post appeared on this blog and where it also appeared on the other site. I’m not really sure why ex can make and sustain his accusation in a single post yet we have to drag the evidence out of you.

  • Larry Lord

    Cheesehead
    “I agree with you that observable data and reproducibility are critical components of real science. It’s just that we don’t have either with abiogenesis or evolution of distinct phyla.”
    Look at Cheesehead recite the script we’ve all seen a billion times before!
    According to Cheesehead’s logic, it’s a matter of “faith” that the Grand Canyon was eroded or the continents drifted apart because we haven’t “reproduced” those phenomenon.
    On planet earth, we call this “willful ignorance” or “reality denial.”
    Are birds and reptiles “distinct phyla” Cheesehead? You really think that we don’t have evidence that birds and reptiles evolved from a common ancestor?
    Rest assured that no matter how many fossils are dug up, Cheesehead will keep reciting his script as long as the crowd he hangs out with encourages its recitation. When enough people start pointing out that his claim is absurd, he will just move the goalpost and claim that we haven’t “reproduced” the evolution of “distinct kingdoms” of animals. That’s how creationist apologetics works, as historians of creationism are well aware.
    Cheesehead is just another rube in a long line of rubes playing his part in the sad history of self-identifying Christians smearing science on behalf of Jesus.
    Maybe someday Cheesehead will realize that he’s been duped and he will admit that mildly embarassing fact, just as another great Christian named George Bush has begun to admit his mistakes (why admit them now? because it’s politically disadvantageous not to do so, of course).
    When I was a kid I believed in Santa. Eventually I realized that my parents had played me for a stooge. I felt sorta stupid, ashamed and betrayed for a little while but I got over it.
    Certain Christians seem to have a real hard time “getting over it” when it comes to creationist garbage.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I agree with you that observable data and reproducibility are critical components of real science. It’s just that we don’t have either with abiogenesis or evolution of distinct phyla.
    Do we have it with the claim that some large stars end their life by becoming a black hole? Which lab has created a black hole? Where are the pictures directly showing a black hole forming after the collapse of a supergiant star?

  • Larry Lord

    Cheesehead — I think you are confused about what is meant by “reproducibility” in science.
    Reproducibility does not mean that an explanation is non-scientific if every single event over the time period covered by the explanation can not be exactly reproduced.
    Reproducibility refers to experiments that scientists conduct which show that
    For example, experiments like the Urey/Miller experiment are reproducible. The point is that Urey and Miller were not making shxt up when they said that you get some relatively complex organic molecules from simpler molecules “spontaneously” under certain conditions.
    All of the assumptions which underlie evolutionary biology are reproducible and have, in fact, been reproduced many times by scientists.
    The creationist game is to merely say that there are “limits” to what can evolve from a simple organism over the course of 4 billion years without providing any compelling rationale for these alleged “limits.”
    It’s called “arguing from incredulity.”
    The funny thing about abiogenesis is that scientific research in this area is going to proceed and, if we wanted to, we could write down the creationist arguments which dump on the results that scientists are guaranteed to published in the not-too-distant future.
    Now, please answer the questions I asked you about these allegedly scientific discoveries which prove the existence of deities.

  • Larry Lord

    Oops, left a paragraph unfinished:
    “Reproducibility refers to experiments that scientists conduct which show that the assumptions and mechanisms which underlie scientific explanations (or theories) are not pure baloney. In other words, when a scientist claims to have shown a new molecular basis for evolution, his experiments had better be reproducible by others, regardless of whether those others are atheists, Christians or Satanists. Otherwise, no one should give a rat’s behind. That’s who science works.”

  • Larry Lord

    The Education of the Cheesehead, Part II
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/12/16/space.buffy.reut/index.html
    Here we see a report about Buffy, a recently discovered object that orbits the sun with a nearly circular orbit.
    If asked whether Buffy was orbiting the sun 100 years ago, an astronomer would say: “Yes.” If asked how certain he was, an astronomer would say “As certain as I can be about any event in the past.”
    But Cheesehead would say to the astronomer: “How can you say that? You haven’t placed an object identical to Buffy out there beyond Neptune and tried to make it circle the sun for 100 years. So you’re explanation is not reproducible and therefore it’s not science.”
    The astronomer might look at Cheesehead and say, “Are you a creationist, by chance?”
    Or the astronomer might just ask, “What the hell are you talking about?”
    Fortunately for the astronomer, he doesn’t have to worry so much about creationist think tanks smearing his profession and his work, and spreading baloney about how astronomical studies are based in atheism and therefore children need to be protected from it.
    Biologists do have such worries. Cheesehead and other creationists are part of the plan to smear biologists. From where I’m standing, Cheesehead is what we call a “rube” or a “sucker”. His thoughts have been manipulated by preachers who write and speak to him on TV about those bad, crazy, fraudulent, dogmatic and atheistic “scientists.”
    It’s too bad, really.

  • Jerry

    I like it.
    The author may have unintentionally hit on the exact truth. If he was trying to be satirical or sarcastic, what irony that his tale would be so suitable for this anti-christian pantheist’s children, if I still had small children.
    Incidentally, we hear today that the gene for skin color has been discovered. What a strange story. I hope that my neighboring rednecks are not shocked into their graves by the revelation that modern man basically descended from a Negro stock. I’ve known this for some time. “Adam and Eve” were black. Does intelligent design have a comment? Will the creationists step forward to explain this to me? Does the Fact of Evolution suggest to us that subsequent human designs have been improvements on the original?
    Please forgive me if I am not politically correct. My allegience is to the truth.
    The article I cite can be found in the NYT, or likely any serious news publication.
    What ever happened to Intelligent Design anyway? Haven’t heard much about this hot new revolutionary theory lately.
    Jerry

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    Larry Lord :
    Reminds me of the old Airplane song line, “Are you so old that you’ve no childhood, is your timeline so unreal…”
    A kid armed with the facts – who knows there’s no Santa Claus- is infinitely more confidently of his position amidst his peers than somebody desperately clinging to “beliefs” somebody told him… um… just why the heck do parents tell their kids about Santa Claus anyway?
    Just what function does that serve?
    I mean really?
    My parents told me there was a Santa Claus, but long before they told me there wasn’t one I was sure there wasn’t one. The only thing “Santa Claus” did was make me think, “Why did they tell me such a silly thing in the first place?”
    And again, so I tell my kid.
    I have no idea what function an imaginary “Santa Claus” serves.

  • Cheesehead

    Boonton: “Do we have it with the claim that some large stars end their life by becoming a black hole? Which lab has created a black hole? Where are the pictures directly showing a black hole forming after the collapse of a supergiant star?”
    What a silly analogy. Of course black holes cannot be reproduced in laboratory conditions, but they can be indirectly observed. That is how they were discovered. Biological processes, on the other hand are perfectly suited to reproducibility on a laboratory scale. Do you really not understand the difference?
    “Dr.” Lord: “The funny thing about abiogenesis is that scientific research in this area is going to proceed and, if we wanted to, we could write down the creationist arguments which dump on the results that scientists are guaranteed to published in the not-too-distant future.”
    For someone who is so opposed to supernatural revelation you sure do seem to have a direct line to some diety or other that tells you with certainty what will happen in the future. Larry, scientific research not only will proceed concerning abiogenesis, it has been going on for decades, so far always with the same results. Rather than prattling on about what scientists are going to discover, why don’t we stick with the things that actually have been discovered. It’s just a wee bit unscientific to attempt to support your position with evidence that you really, really think almost for sure someone is going to come up with, wouldn’t you agree?
    “From where I’m standing, Cheesehead is what we call a ‘rube’ or a ‘sucker’.”
    Whew!! I’m glad we settled that one, “Dr.” Lord! Coming from you, I’ll take that as high praise.

  • Terence Moeller

    Boot
    “PE makes predictions (such as new species should be detected when older sub-populations are isoloated from the rest of their kind) that can be tested both in the lab and in the geological record.”
    These so called ‘predictions’ (based upon the premise of evolution, are that isolated species will make a quantum genetic leaps forward, and leave no fossil evidence behind. And lo, isolated systems do appear suddenly, and lo they leave no fossil record behind, and lo the geological record confirms this. Fascinating. What about the other 90% of the non-isolated species that also appear suddenly and dramatically? How does any of that salvage Darwin’s admission, backed up by virtually every paleontologist since him, that the fossil record does not provide evidence for evolution? The theory of punctuated equilibrium popularized by Eldredge and Gould in the 70s is a joke that some people still don’t get. It only affirms the creationist predictions of “sudden appearance” in the fossil record.
    EX:
    “What I did do is go to the website that Joe has been using to explain logical and argumentative fallacies and identified the fallacies that Gordon had employed.”
    Please identify that website.

  • http://www.likethelanguage.com/index.php/weblog/comments/in_the_beginning/ A Likely Story

    In the beginning…

    Being the anti-intellecutal, closed-minded Creationist that I am (read:  humor), I found this little Creation story by Joe Carter @ The Evangelical Outpost quite humorous.

    Andy?  Can we please have some of your cutting ant…

  • ex-preacher

    Terence:
    Actually, two websites.
    The primary one was:
    http://www.datanation.com/fallacies/index.htm
    and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Logical_fallacies
    I’m still waiting for the link to the place at infidels.org from which you said I lifted the quote.

  • B4

    Joe,
    This is the perfect creation myth for serious atheists to tell their children. Since the dawn of Darwinism they have rejoiced that they now had a creation story so that they could be intellectually fulfilled atheists. (Huxley or Dawkins I think said that).
    I’m curious… what do atheists (mumon, are you an atheist?) tell their children while they sit on daddy’s knee? If Joe has embarrassed you by parodying your beliefs, perhaps you could enlighten us cavemen (theists).
    If you are intellectually honest with your kids you could say something like: “Johnny, it’s all a great big accident that you or anyone else exists. You are a meaningless, worthless, but cute glob of carbon and seawater. There is no ultimate purpose to your or anyone else’s life. When I ask you to be GOOD, I am only using a make-believe term that Christians concocted… good and evil don’t really exist… all events are equal and just the natural order of a dying universe. So be happy and live hard because when you die, it will be as if you never existed. There is no hope no purpose no meaning and no rules, but above all, you must not believe the nonesense of those crazy Christians because they are really messed up. Only we atheists know the real truth about life. So have a great life son.”
    At what age do you tell these treasured truths to your children? Or is atheism only for adults?

  • Cheesehead

    B4: In fairness to Mummon he wouldn’t call himself an athiest. He grew up Catholic, but took on Buddhism as an adult. However, he picks and chooses between different strains of Buddhist thought, rejecting some parts of Buddhism altogether, thus ending up with a sort of boutique, Hollywood-style Buddhism. The main parts of Buddhism he likes are the ones that say that Republicans and Bush are evil. Nevertheless the point you raise is a good one. Goo-to-you evolution sure doesn’t provide much basis for a hopeful approach to life.

  • ex-preacher

    As an atheist, I’d like to respond to B4.
    1. The thrust of your post seems to be “Atheism must be really depressing.” We are not atheists because we believe it is the most happy, comforting position, but because we believe it is the truth. I’m reminded of George Bernard Shaw’s quote (this is from memory, so pardon me if I mangle it): “To say that a believer is happier than an unbeliever is no more to the point than to say that a drunk man is happier than a sober one.” I would rather know the hard truth than live a happy delusion.
    2. Life can be full of meaning even without belief in a god. We find happiness and significance in our families, improving the world, enjoying life. In fact, when I went from evangelical to atheist, I found that my life took on a whole new meaning. Knowing that this life is all there is inspires me to make the most of it. It’s as if my life went from black and white to full color. I became a more optimistic person and stopped dividing everyone I knew into “saved” and “lost.”
    3. You seem to think that one cannot have morality apart from belief in god. I’d encourage you to read any good article or textbook on ethics (even Wikipedia would work). You will find that there are a variety of solid ethical systems that do not depend on the existence of a god, such as humanism and Buddhism. One can build a coherent, satisfying ethical system using reason and experience.
    Interestingly, I find a greater agreement on ethics among non-believers (see the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) than among the various factions of believers who claim to get their morality from divinely revealed sources. One can even make a case that only atheists can be truly ethical, since believers base their moral decisions on commands from god. A believer is willing to obey those commands because he thinks he will go to heaven if he is faithful, but to hell if he is disobedient. A humanist tries to do the right thing apart from any selfish concern for reward in the afterlife.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    What a silly analogy. Of course black holes cannot be reproduced in laboratory conditions, but they can be indirectly observed. That is how they were discovered. Biological processes, on the other hand are perfectly suited to reproducibility on a laboratory scale. Do you really not understand the difference?
    Of course some aspects of black holes can be reproduced in a lab setting. For example, the speed of light can be slowed by passing it through different mediums. Some aspects of black holes can be simulated in this manner. Other aspects, as you point out, have to be observed indirectly. But we observe evolution indirectly and directly so I don’t really know what you’re trying to say.
    These so called ‘predictions’ (based upon the premise of evolution, are that isolated species will make a quantum genetic leaps forward, and leave no fossil evidence behind. And lo, isolated systems do appear suddenly, and lo they leave no fossil record behind, and lo the geological record confirms this. Fascinating. What about the other 90% of the non-isolated species that also appear suddenly and dramatically?
    In other words, new species should appear more often when populations are isolated. Few (certainly not no) transitional forms are left behind. This can be checked by seeing if new species do indeed pop up among isolated populations more often than non-isolated ones. You seem to think that fossils are the only ones. If God put all the new species in the middle of large populations rather than isolated ones certainly that would conflict with PE. So much for your claim that PE is immune to evidence.
    It only affirms the creationist predictions of “sudden appearance” in the fossil record.
    that’s a creationist prediction? So like if slow appearances are found in the fossil record that would contradict creationist theory? Why no, that would just show the creator took his time! Creationism is a truely non-fallisfiable theory. Could you tell me what, if any, evidence could ever be found that contradicts it?
    Please identify that website.
    This is really improper. Ex was accused of plagerism. Isn’t it a simple matter to provide the link with what he wrote here and the link from the supposedly plagerized site?
    Needless to say that posts on athiesm are based on the logical fallacy of the false choice. That is either God or evolution. Evolution no more denies God than the periodic table or the laws of thermodynamics deny God. What a strange world some of you people live in.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Speaking of evidence for PE:

    PE sometimes is claimed to be a theory resting upon the lack of evidence rather than upon evidence. This is a curious, but false claim, since Eldredge and Gould spent a significant portion of their original work examining two separate lines of evidence (one involving pulmonate gastropods, the other one involving Phacopsid trilobites) demonstrating the issues behind PE (1972). Similarly, discussion of actual paleontological evidence consumes a significant proportion of pages in Gould and Eldredge 1977. This also answers those who claimed that E&G said that PE was unverifiable.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/punc-eq.html
    As well as:

    PE is not mutually exclusive of phyletic gradualism. Gould and Eldredge take pains to explicitly point out that PE is an expansive theory, not an exclusive one (1977).

    In other words, PE builds on top of evolution. It doesn’t replace it.

  • Terence Moeller

    I wrote:
    It’s strange that you should talk of plagarism, since I recall seeing a few weeks ago that one of your more hashly worded, personal attacks on GM was lifted almost verbatim off a link at infidels.orc — without quotation marks around it. As I was checking out various links at that site, I ran across this unusually worded missive and thought . . . where have I seen this before?
    Note: If it was my purpose to embarrass Ex, I would have done so early on. It was not until he openly accused Tim of plagerism 3 weeks later that I broke my silence. At the time I was aware that there was almost no chance that could relocate some obscure comment linked to infidels.orc. But it stood out for several obvious reasons – one being the narrative chain of logical fallacies; particularly the words “ad ignorantim” and ad nauseum.” I had seen those words before directed at a highly intelligent men at the EO and it stood out because it seemed so out of character. It also stood out because it obviously reflected an abrupt change in substance and style – passive/aggressive:
    Ex had written:
    “I have detected what appear to be logical fallacies in many of your arguments, including but not limited to: ad hominem, ad antiquitatem, ad ignorantium, ad logicam, ad nauseum, ad verecundian (the Articles of Confederation? You must be joking!), dicto simpliciter, non sequitur, petitio principii, flooding the stage, and straw man.”
    Where did he come up with these gems?
    Ex said in reply:
    “What I did do is go to the website that Joe has been using to explain logical and argumentative fallacies and identified the fallacies that Gordon had employed. Actually, two websites.
    The primary one was:
    http://www.datanation.com/fallacies/index.htm
    and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Logical_fallacies.”
    The key point is that neither of the sites listed above contain the terms “ad antiquita,” or ad ignorantium,” or “ad logicam,” or “ad verecundian,” or petitor principii.
    But guess where these words do appear? Infidels.orc.
    I am not psychic, nor would I intentionally “bear false witness.” It is only logical that if I had not seen them before in another format at infidels.orc I could not have identified where these obscure words could be found. Until today I was unaware of any site that enumerated them.
    Infidels.orc — Logical fallacies:
    “Argumentum ad antiquitatem”
    “Argumentum ad ignorantiam”
    “Argumentum ad logicam”
    “Petitio principii”
    These words were first seen by me at the EO post #69,
    and then at at an onscure link at infidel.orc in the same invective tone and style. If I find the original statement linked to this site , I will forward it. Until then all I can say is that Ex and I know what the truth is.

  • B4

    No Longer a Preacher:
    You missed the entire point of my post. Both you, as an atheist, and I, as a theist, know one thing… Atheism and the logical conclusions that flow from that worldview… are unliveable. It is at odds with all that Man holds dear and makes his life worth living. Therefore, atheists spend lots of time coming up with amusing, semi-intellectual constructions of how there can be things like value, purpose, truth, and meaning even though there really is no ultimate value, purpose, truth or meaning. Joe demonstrated a nice little creation myth that you could use but you must create other myths to make your lives liveable. So….
    1. It is very amusing to hear you guys try to reason your way out of the logical conclusions of your worldview and manufacture the things in life that make your lives worth living. Very amusing
    2. But secondly, I have found that atheists never talk about how they practically live out these beliefs. We theists are skeptical that you actually live what you say you believe. So I was simply asking a few honest atheists to tell us what you tell your kids so that they grow up to be good atheists and good citizens. No one was trying to justify theism by saying that atheism is a rotten alternative. Theism can stand nicely on its own.
    SO please Mr. Preacher, take us inside your family and life and tell us how you live out these truths. If your son says to you, “I don’t feel like doing what you say today, Dad. After all, you are laying on me your rules and I choose to follow different rules… and by definition Dad, your rules are no better than mine because there is no ultimate right and wrong and I will never ultimately be held accountable for anything anyway. So let me live as I want!” What do you say??

  • ex-preacher

    Yes, Terence, I know what the truth is. As for you, I can’t tell if you’re lying or just deluded.
    If you will go back to the datanation site you will find the terms I used. If you click on “Appeal to Authority” you will see:
    “Appeal to Authority
    (argumentum ad verecundiam)”
    If you click on argument from ignorance you will see:
    “Argument from Ignorance
    (argumentum ad ignorantiam)”
    and so on for the others.
    As I have stated before, if you have a link to the infidels.org quote that I supposedly lifted, please post it.
    I see once again that you refer to the infidels.org site as “infidels.orc.” Really mature of you.

  • ex-preacher

    I sure hope you are a nicer person in real life than you are on this site, B4.
    I have three terrific kids, ages 17, 14 and 11. They are among the best-mannered, most responsible, kindest, and good-looking kids you will ever find.
    My ethical system is built around reason and experience. I strongly believe that reason and experience both teach that one should treat others as one desires to be treated. Of course, you may recognize this as the “golden rule” taught by Jesus. What you may not know is that this same principle was stated by the Jewish Rabbi Hillel before Jesus, by Greek philosophers before Jesus, by Buddha before Jesus, and by Confucius 500 years before Jesus. It is found in all these cultures because it has been proven to work.
    Though I do not believe that morality is divinely revealed, I do believe that it is both objective and universal. That is why representatives from all religions (and no religion) and cultures are able to agree on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (you can find it at the UN website).
    In the same way that we follow the rules of traffic for our own benefit, we follow laws that we have commonly adopted as a society because they are beneficial. When the laws of the land go against what we know is right from reason and experience than we are obligated to work to change those laws. Of course, much of what we do that is ethical has nothing to do with what is legal. Legally, I can lie to my wife. But I know that this is a bad idea for many reasons. And the fear of going to hell is not one of them.
    The subject of ethics is a huge one which obviously can’t be covered in one post. That is why I suggested you do some research on what keeps non-theists such as myself from raping and pillaging.
    But if your religious beliefs and fear of hell are all that is keeping you from murdering your neighbor and kicking your cat, then by all means please hold on to your beliefs.
    I’ll close with a quote from Thomas Jefferson. This comes from a letter he wrote to his nephew in 1787:
    “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. . . . Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you.”

  • Larry Lord

    Cheesehead, way to dodge the issues and — as usual — avoid admitting your mistakes. Don’t fret, I know it’s typical behavior for members of your cult.
    You said:
    “Larry, scientific research not only will proceed concerning abiogenesis, it has been going on for decades, so far always with the same results.”
    That’s false. In fact, it’s so obviously false that we can fairly call it a lie. Different experiments, different results, all building on the work of previous scientists. That’s how science works, Cheesehead. Try to remember that. Science = building on prior knowledge. Religion = same as last year.
    “Rather than prattling on about what scientists are going to discover, why don’t we stick with the things that actually have been discovered.”
    Hahahaah. Um, yeah, that’s the creationist wet dream. Stop everything. Let’s all just pray. And maybe kill some Muslims and discriminate against some homos on the side.
    “It’s just a wee bit unscientific to attempt to support your position with evidence that you really, really think almost for sure someone is going to come up with, wouldn’t you agree?”
    I have no idea what you’re talking about, Cheesehead. I said that work on abiogenesis is going to proceed but regardless of what scientists show, creationists who look at scientific knowledge as an attack on their religious beliefs will come up some bogus “answer” to belittle the scientists’ work.
    Do you doubt this, Cheesehead? I don’t see how you can. I mean, this is your modus operandi in the here and now.

  • Terence Moeller

    Ex:
    “Yes, Terence, I know what the truth is. As for you, I can’t tell if you’re lying or just deluded.”
    Ex, let me remind you of your own words well before I had asked where you got your information:
    Post #64 Ex:
    “Certainly the quote is familiar as I wrote it. I did not lift it from infidels.org or anywhere else. What I DID DO IS GO TOTHE WEBSITE THAT JOE HAS BEEN USING has been using to explain logical and argumentative fallacies and identified the fallacies that Gordon had employed”
    Note: None of the terms listed above could be found at “Joe’s” site. Ten posts later, when I asked you to indentify which site you were referring to, you then suddenly remembered an alternate source, which was far more comprehensive than the first. Although I did not take the time to click on each English term to check out their Latin roots at the alternate site, I do recall that you suggested that all of these terms were found there.
    ” And so on for the others. . .”
    Ex, where do you find “ad logican” or “ad antiquitatem at that site.” You must have gotton them from somewhere? They are not at the 1st site mentioned, or your alternative source site, but indeed they were found at infidels.orc. The point is that there is that irrespective of whatever else may be conjured up on the web, there are certain tell tale characteristics of your post to GM that find a stark simularity with the orc site. If I had not noticed it, I never could have positivley identified that site in the first place, where ALL (not just a few) fallacies that were you posted were neatly laid out in Latin – not English. For all I knew at the time this site had nothing even related to it. If this were just a “dillusion,” as you say, I could not have identified the source where all 11 of the terms that you used were clearly spelled out (in Latin) and the recycled by some hothead only to be recycled by you.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    Cheesehead:
    It must be really hard for some people to fathom that there’s people who don’t need other people to tell them what to think.
    B4:
    I’m curious… what do atheists (mumon, are you an atheist?) tell their children while they sit on daddy’s knee? If Joe has embarrassed you by parodying your beliefs, perhaps you could enlighten us cavemen (theists).
    Ummm… Joe Carter hasn’t said anything remotely resembling anything I discuss with my son.
    We don’t do myths, actually.
    If you are intellectually honest with your kids you could say something like: “Johnny, it’s all a great big accident that you or anyone else exists. You are a meaningless, worthless, but cute glob of carbon and seawater. There is no ultimate purpose to your or anyone else’s life. When I ask you to be GOOD, I am only using a make-believe term that Christians concocted… good and evil don’t really exist… all events are equal and just the natural order of a dying universe. So be happy and live hard because when you die, it will be as if you never existed. There is no hope no purpose no meaning and no rules, but above all, you must not believe the nonesense of those crazy Christians because they are really messed up. Only we atheists know the real truth about life. So have a great life son.”
    Apropos of what I wrote above to Cheesehead, it must startle you that you can actually say “we don’t know” to a small child. But you can, and actually the sky doesn’t fall. And not only that, but it encourages him to find out things for himself.
    Like the rest of the world is doing.
    Like those who are running things are doing.
    Never mind.
    Forget I ever said anything.
    Don’t change until the empire falls
    You laugh so hard you crack the walls

    But, I am still struck by the similarity of Grace Slick’s lyrics to Odgen Nash’s couplets.
    But that’s just me.

  • Cheesehead

    “Dr.” Lord: Could you please point out any experiments which have been conducted which have taken any possible primordial environment and produced self-replicating complexes of amino acids?
    Hey, let me lower the bar for you even more: Amino acids are what real scientists call “chiral” molecules, that is, molecules that are not superimposable upon their mirror images. On a larger scale our hands are chiral. They are mirror images of each other, but if you put the back of one hand over the palm of the other, the order in which the five digits appear are reversed. As it turns out all proteins produced by living organisms are, with very few exceptions, composed of left-handed amino acids. So, could you point to the abiogenesis experiments which have produced amino acids in something other than roughly equal proportions of right- and left-handed varieties?
    Boonton: Could you point to direct observations of evolution which actually demonstrate abiogenesis or emergence of a subpopulation which cannot interbreed from the population from which it emerged? You ask what data could be produced which would invalidate creationism. The fact is that neither evolution nor creationism are falsifiable. And, yes, even ideas that pixies made the universe with magic dust are not falsifiable. The best anyone can do is demonstrate the possibility of their hypothesis by means of observation and experimentation.
    I will believe in the possibility of evolution when someone can demonstrate the validity of its presumed mechanisms operating on real creatures. These mechanisms are eminently testable, and have been tested. To the best of my knowledge they have never been demonstrated. This does not disprove evolution or prove special creation, but it certainly does not demonstrate the possiblity of evolutionary theory. Could you point me to experiments that have been undertaken which do demonstrate either of the necessary component mechanisms, abiogenesis or emergence of a subpopulation which cannot interbreed with the population from which it emerged? For bonus points, the subpopulation should have more complex DNA than the parent population.

  • Cheesehead

    Mummon: “It must be really hard for some people to fathom that there’s people who don’t need other people to tell them what to think.”
    Are those people able to construct a sentence which contains agreement of person? :)
    Oh, I forgot, those people don’t need someone else to lay down arbitrary rules of grammar for them.

  • Rob Ryan

    “There is no hope no purpose no meaning and no rules”
    Why, B4, should atheists bother to tell you how they impart their worldview to their children when it is clear you see everything through your theist goggles?
    Of course there is purpose, meaning and rules. The fact that they are human constructs makes them no less real. You’re just mad because we do not subscribe to your strategy of inventing a deity to provide the foregoing.

  • http://www.atlasblogged.com Wulf

    I will believe in the possibility of evolution when someone can demonstrate the validity of its presumed mechanisms operating on real creatures.
    Hey! I feel the same way about creationists. Present a world brought forth from the void, and I’ll be on board, Cheese. Heck, I’d even take a pillar of fire, or resurrection, and I will accept the possibility that there is a god who planned and created everything.
    I think I speak for all agnostics, atheists, and doubters around the world when I say, “We’ll race ya!”

  • windbag

    Cheesehead
    “I will believe in the possibility of evolution when someone can demonstrate the validity of its presumed mechanisms operating on real creatures. These mechanisms are eminently testable, and have been tested. To the best of my knowledge they have never been demonstrated.”
    Dude, it’s clear you’d never “believe in the possibility” of evolution of new species unless someone could show you a real-time dvd of it in action, and even then you’d likely spin off in some other direction. So why are you yanking our chains? “The best of your knowledge” is laughably limited, but not by any lack of available information. It’s limited- no doubt among other things- by your miniscule lifespan. If reproductive isolation of some cute furry animal species can’t be demonstrated to you in the 70+ years that you spend on this planet, when we’re talking about tens to hundreds of thousands to millions of years over which evolution operates, then no dice for you. It’s all a sick joke. You set up these questions of yours, as if they’re novel and haven’t already been answered in the scientific literature for decades, implying that the evidentiary burden of convincing lay upon someone here to take your hand and lead you to this evidence. At which point you can summarily spit upon it, by talking about the chirality of proteins or some other such pathetic, intentionally-distractive horsecrap. No thanks pal. We’ll just see you in court. Again, and again and again. And you’ll keep losing.
    By the way, how’s my punctuation? :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    Cheesehead :
    Evidently you understood my liberal usage.
    Heh heh.
    But you’re digressing.
    Ah, yes the point. Let’s get back to the point: just why do you need a creation myth again?
    Is it because that stuff about selling all you have and giving to the poor, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry and all that is just not as much fun as and distracting as …yeah, why do you folks like to bash intellectuals again?….
    I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s because your water is fluoridated. Maybe it’s too much fast food. Maybe, as my son observed, it’s the Year of the Toilet Bowl. (He is 4 years old, you know, and last year was the Year of the Refrigerator).
    So what’s the point again?
    Or perhaps there is no point. It’s all just a nihilistic fancy because only a true Christian would act like the folks who did those bad things to Jesus.
    But I don’t really know.
    So what’s the point again?

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    Cheesehead:
    Could you point me to experiments that have been undertaken which do demonstrate either of the necessary component mechanisms, abiogenesis or emergence of a subpopulation which cannot interbreed with the population from which it emerged?
    First of all abiogenisis or not is not in the realm of evolutionary biology, so that’s a red herring, a non sequitur, and pointless.
    Next, it’s quite easy to devise such an experiment, as any visitor to talkorigins.org can determine, speciation has been observed in the lab.
    The mechanism for speciation in the real world is actually quie simple: it involves a scarcity of a certain type of life relative to others, e.g., a relatively isolated small population, and a heck of a lot of inbreeding.
    Think about it: our world was “fine tuned” for evolution by incest.
    And yet we still wound up with blind spots, bad backs, pelvises that kill babies in childbirth (the “C”reator is an abortionist), and evidently a tendency to reproduce a number of people with brains that will actually believe the stuff they put out on World Net Daily and Fox News.
    “What a piece of work is man” Shakespeare wrote.
    I forget how he was being ironic when he wrote that.

  • Brian

    “So, could you point to the abiogenesis experiments which have produced amino acids in something other than roughly equal proportions of right- and left-handed varieties?”
    Another creationist talking point. How many times must it be explained to you people that this is utterly irrelevant? No-one ever said that the early Earth contained only levorotary amino acids. For whatever reason, life picked the left-handed form, just as for whatever reason, the first replicating organism was probably RNA, not DNA or TNA or the eighteen million other ways it could have occurred.
    And I swear to God, this conflating of abiogenesis with evolution is driving me up the wall. Evolutionary theory says absolutely *nothing* about how life originated. It could have been made by aliens. Or floated down from space. Or made from clay by a guy sitting up on a cloud (though this one is pretty unlikely).

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Note: If it was my purpose to embarrass Ex, I would have done so early on. It was not until he openly accused Tim of plagerism 3 weeks later that I broke my silence. At the time I was aware that there was almost no chance that could relocate some obscure comment linked to infidels.orc.
    Hello, Google!
    But it stood out for several obvious reasons – one being the narrative chain of logical fallacies; particularly the words “ad ignorantim” and ad nauseum.” I had seen those words before directed at a highly intelligent men at the EO and it stood out because it seemed so out of character. It also stood out because it obviously reflected an abrupt change in substance and style – passive/aggressive:
    Speaking of substance, you’re basically saying that you have none here.
    The key point is that neither of the sites listed above contain the terms “ad antiquita,” or ad ignorantium,” or “ad logicam,” or “ad verecundian,” or petitor principii.
    Errr, so what is the plagerism? That ex listed fallacies he felt Gordon was guility of an infidels.org has some of those fallacies. Lists of fallacies are very common (anyone who has taken an into to logic course should have seen one). I don’t think that simply listing fallacies in the same order as another site is enough to require a citation…even academically.
    You missed the entire point of my post. Both you, as an atheist, and I, as a theist, know one thing… Atheism and the logical conclusions that flow from that worldview… are unliveable. It is at odds with all that Man holds dear and makes his life worth living. Therefore, atheists spend lots of time coming up with amusing, semi-intellectual constructions of how there can be things like value, purpose, truth, and meaning even though there really is no ultimate value, purpose, truth or meaning. Joe demonstrated a nice little creation myth that you could use but you must create other myths to make your lives liveable. So…
    Interesting, your argument amounts to “this is hard therefore it must be false”. An ironic statement coming from the member of a religion whose founders choose to endure torture and death at the hands of the Romans. As for athiesm being unliveable, it would seem many people who are athiests are alive. Other than that you’re simply pretending to know what goes on inside their heads.
    Note: None of the terms listed above could be found at “Joe’s” site. Ten posts later, when I asked you to indentify which site you were referring to, you then suddenly remembered an alternate source, which was far more comprehensive than the first….
    Notice how Ex’s very well substantiated original charge of plagerism…the one where he actually was kind enough to provide the proof…has been totally forgotten about.

  • Cheesehead

    My, my! What a large number of keystrokes my feeble, fundie protestations can cause! :)
    Well, here goes:
    Wulf: I have it on what I consider good authority that you would not believe even if you were to witness a resurection.
    windbag (love the name): The sort of demonstration of emergence of subpopulations which cannot breed with the population from which it emerged could be done using organisms which have extremely short generations (e.g. fruit flies). You are correct that my knowledge is limited not only by my short lifespan, but also by limits of how much I can be aware of during that short lifespan, hence my assertion that there is not proof of evolutionary mechanisms that I’m aware of. If you know of some and would like to enlighten me, please go ahead! I’ve noticed it’s easier to say that something has been disproven over and over again than to point to the actual data that disproves it. And yes, your punctuation is fine, although some authorities on emoticons might quibble that you have overdone the smilies.
    Mumon: You might want to redraft your first post. I really can’t find anything specific in there to respond to. On your second post, abiogenesis is not a constituent feature of evolutionary development, but it is disingenuous to pretend that the ultimate origin of life can somehow be separated out of a comprehensive theory of how life as we know it came to be here. The three possibilities that I am aware of are forms of: someone or something created life in some form; it was transported here from elsewhere; or it came about by chance. Obviously the middle option quickly reverts to one of the other two options, as the middle option only changes the geography of the question.
    Speciation is quite well established. It is the emergence of new populations which are wholly unlike those from which they arose that is the rub for evolutionary theory. Particularly when the something wholly different is also much more complex.
    As to the weaknesses of design you cite (both real and imagined), the world and all its inhabitants are subject to death, decay, and all else that is implied by entropy. The Bible teaches as much. It is only through application of our intelligence that we can mitigate the inevitable downward spiral of things, so what is your point?
    Brian: I guess you’ll have to explain it one more time, rather than waving your hands and screaming about how fed up you are with having to explain that chirality is irrelevant to abiogenesis. It really isn’t a discussion to dismiss my point by saying you’ve answered this a million times when you and I have never discussed anything before.
    And if evolutionary theory says nothing about how life actually began, then it is a very weak and incomplete theory of origins.
    OK, guys, I’m running out of pearls here, so I’ll sign off and let you all take another run at it.

  • Larry Lord

    Cheesehead
    “I will believe in the possibility of evolution when someone can demonstrate the validity of its presumed mechanisms operating on real creatures.”
    You mean mutation of genomes? DNA mutations happen all the time. Mutations are passed on to offspring. Mutations can be neutral, deleterious, or beneficial. Whether a mutation is neutral, deleterious or beneficial depends on what environment the organism is living in and what selective pressures are imposed on the organism from that environment.
    This last point is key and, sadly, seems to be the point at which the scientifically illiterate brain ceases to work rationally and begins to grasp for supernatural explanations.
    Try to remember this elementary indisputable fact: our genes do not come with instruction manuals which define discrete functions for each of them. All the “functions” that are discussed are descriptive terms that have been given to genes and the products of those genes by HUMANS based on our invariably limited understanding of how the presence or absence of a given gene affects the phenotype of the organism.
    The bottom line is that when an organism’s DNA is mutated — an event which happens countless millions of times every day somewhere on the planet — that organism has evolved.
    Understand? The organism has changed. And those changes will be passed on to its offspring, unless — for some reason — the organism fails to reproduce.
    That is evolution.
    As for a mutation causing an organism to be more “complex”, please define the term “complex” in a way that can be measured and understood in the context of a biological organism. Do you mean simply “having more parts”? Such mutations happen all the time. Genes can be duplicated and/or split into two so that where a single protein once was produced by a gene, now two proteins are produced, each of which can be mutated independently and each of which can be used by organism for “new functions.”
    This is all very old, very basic stuff. At your better public schools, this is what is taught in an advanced biology class. Nothing at all controversial about it.
    Only creationists — i.e., certain Christian cult members — insist on reciting scripts to the contrary. The scripts are recited to public school boards because, of course, most of the world’s scientists stopped listening to creationist baloney a long long long time ago. Why would a scientist pay attention to a religious fanatic when genuine hard-working scientists (including a vast number of genuine hard working Christian scientists) have serious scientific questions and hypotheses to explore????
    Cheesehead is undoubtedly going to raise the tired canard about the “limits” of evolution, a canard that sadly has no evidentiary basis to justify its endless recitation (not unlike Cheeshead’s religious beliefs, which is surely not a coincidence).
    If a scientist would like to propose a plausible testable explanation of what those “limits” are and how those “limits” may be articulated in a way that doesn’t invoke Blorbogonic Fritlenzurgies or some other supernatural phenomenon, that scientist is welcome to do so. Perhaps it’s already been done. Frankly, it’s not a particularly interesting subject to most scientists who are more interested in understanding the wonderful life forms that have, in fact, evolved (and continue to do so).
    And lastly Cheesehead, Terence, et al., I really am laughing hysterically at your inability to answer my question about who the scientist was who first proved that your deity exists.
    So let’s stop the charade. It hasn’t been proven. Perfesser Gonzales and his posse of “Privileged Planet” hacks are perceived as religious fanatics, i.e., Loser Clowns for Jesus, by the vast majority of their peers. There is no scientific evidence for the existence of an omnipotent being who created the universe and the “laws” that scientists have elucidated.

  • windbag

    cheesehead (or more appropriately, to anyone reading cheesehead who’s taking his/her comments seriously):
    1. go to http://www.pubmed.gov
    2. type in “speciation fruit fly”
    3. start reading.
    get back to us in a couple of years.
    nobody’s gonna put it on a spoon any better for you.

  • ex-preacher

    Terence,
    You wrote:
    “Ex, where do you find “ad logican” or “ad antiquitatem at that site.” You must have gotton them from somewhere? They are not at the 1st site mentioned, or your alternative source site”
    They are at the alternative site I mentioned, wikipedia.
    You can find them on this page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_fallacy
    the argumentum ad logicam [not "logican" as you spelled it] is also known as the “argument from fallacy.”
    the argumentum ad antiquitatem is also known as “appeal to tradition.”
    This is getting a bit tiresome, Terence. If you are willing to admit that I didn’t plagiarize I will be happy to forgive you.

  • http://www.atlasblogged.com Wulf

    I have it on what I consider good authority that you would not believe even if you were to witness a resurection.
    I’m sorry, Cheese. I had mistaken you for somebody who was actually willing to stick to a factual discussion, avoiding pointless ad-hominem (and it wasn’t even an accurate ad hominem!). Take your “pearls” back, and I’ll leave you be now.

  • windbag

    ex-
    don’t bet on any acknowledgment of error.
    although…. deflective, carefully-spun mea culpas are currently all the rage. perhaps there’s hope.

  • Cheesehead

    “Dr.” Lord: Obviously the existence of God cannot be measured and verified by scientific method. Science deals with matter, and God is outside those boundaries. Neither can evolution be scientifically proven. The best that could be done is to demonstrate the possibility of its mechanisms being operable.
    windy: Could you narrow the search a little to just the articles that demonstrate that the speciation of fruit flies resulted in subpopulations that could not interbreed with the main population, but could interbreed with each other? I suspect that that reading wouldn’t take any time at all.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    Cheesehead:
    I really can’t find anything specific in there to respond to
    You mean you go silent at the mere mention of:
    Let’s get back to the point: just why do you need a creation myth again?
    Simple enough question.
    Perhaps you don’t like the word “myth.” If so you can replace it with “narrative.” So why do you need a creation narrative?
    Why do you wish to know about “ultimate origin of life?”
    And I’d say that this is especially true since clear cut boundaries between “living” and “non-living” may not actually exist.
    I mean you’re moving about; there’s probably a brain in you doing what human brains are wont to do and all that, but once that process ceases, a marvellous new one takes over that enables us to observe what used to be “your” body decaying and rotting.
    Now if you want to know how all this started, well, I’m sure at some point we’ll know about that, because it’s interesting.
    Eventually somebody’ll do abiogenisis, and then there’s another gap filled…

  • http://custosfidei.blogspot.com/ Conde

    I enjoy sarcasm, good posting.
    How sad and empty these poor childrens lives will be without any striving towards ideals higher than themselves. They will learn that attainment of wealth and the pursuit of materialism is their false god that will leave them empty vessels at the end of life.
    Let’s pray for their conversion.

  • Cheesehead

    Wulf: You said that you would accept a pillar of fire or a resurrection as evidence for a God who planned and designed things. You surely must know that I accept the Bible as a good authority, and so when I say I have it on good authority that that would not convice you I look to the Bible and find the following from Luke 19:
    27 Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”
    Pointing out that Scripture teaches that you would not believe even if someone were to rise from the dead when you reject the authority of that same Scripture is not an ad hominem attack–on you or anyone else. I’m not trying to blow you off; if you are offended by my statement I regret if it was my way of presenting it to you. However I must stand behind the content of the statement.

  • Cheesehead

    Mummon: “Why do you wish to know about ‘ultimate origin of life?’”
    This seems to be something that occupies at least some portion of virtually everyone’s thoughts. Citing once again that which I consider a good authority, in Ecclesiastes 3:11 it says:
    “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”
    All of us have that longing for the transcendent. Part of that longing is a desire to know whence we came and what shall be our end. Why do have that longing? God put it there.
    “Eventually somebody’ll do abiogenisis, and then there’s another gap filled…”
    There you go again, appealing to as yet unmade discoveries as “scientific” support for your preferred theory of origins. Good science-fiction, but not good science.
    Conde: what a breath of fresh air! Well said.

  • http://www.atlasblogged.com Wulf

    You surely must know that I accept the Bible as a good authority…
    And you surely must know that I do not, which is why I want this type of evidence presented to me, or better yet to the world’s scientific community. A story that it once occurred simply will not satisfy me, as you well know. The passage you quote is actually one of the biggest reasons for me not to take the Bible as 100% accurate – I find it offensive that you or anyone else should find it somehow my fault if your scriptures do not inspire faith. It seems to me that if it were truly the word of God as he is described in the Bible, the book couldn’t help but stir my heart.
    Saying that it is only by using the Bible that you impugn my reputation as a scientist – as an honest observer, Cheese, with no agenda but the discovery of truth – does not in my opinion make it acceptable for you to do.
    It strikes me as hypocritical that you should demand hard evidence of all aspects of evolution, but at the same time tell me that evidence doesn’t matter for backing your own points. As I said earlier, the religious should stick to faith as the basis of their belief in creationsim, instead of bothering to argue the value of the science. You know, like Jesus told you to. Your faith is unshakable, right? So why are you asking for evidence? Why bother?

  • http://www.atlasblogged.com Wulf

    Though I have to say explicitly that I do honestly appreciate your willingness to tell us that your faith is unshakable, Cheese. It’s almost what I was asking for from theists in general, and I am happy to accept it as an end to the debate between the two of us – especially since you just said that the Bible tells you that my faith is also unshakable, so you clearly have no thoughts of changing my mind with anything you say.
    (Boy, and you guys think atheists are predestined for a depressing existence. What good is it if you either accept the Bible or don’t accept it, and can’t callow your mind to be changed by evidence either way!?)

  • Brian

    Cheesehead:
    It would be ok if you brought up left-handed molecules if you were the first or the hundredth or even the thousandth person to do so. But do you even know how to tell if a sample of amino acids is chiral? The fact is, life’s preference for levorotary a.a.s is irrelevant to abiogenesis as it’s understood at this point. We have no idea what the original protein was – we are pretty sure that dextro- and levorotary a.a.s existed, though.
    If I were to show you a pair of left-handed scissors and you had no idea what human beings are, how much sense would they make to you? Could I really expect you to tell me why the scissors are that way and not reversed?
    And (grrr) evolution is *not* a theory of origins. It’s a theory about the nature of life *after* it originated.

  • Rob Ryan

    “How sad and empty these poor childrens lives will be without any striving towards ideals higher than themselves.”
    Your condescending phony sympathy is as offensive as a direct insult. I am a fulfilled, happy atheist. My daughters are accomplished young ladies who do not seem to mind their secular upbringing or long for an all-powerful supernatural friend. Maybe it’s like nicotine; if you never ingest it, you never pine for it. Because you are dependent on religious faith, you seem to think others are at a loss without it. Like most theists, you know nothing of atheists, so you fill the void with your imagination.

  • Terence Moeller

    Ex;
    “They are at the alternative site I mentioned, wikipedia.”
    I see that if you click on the English phrase the Latin phrase is given, my mistake. But I am certain that no mistake was made in my seeing your statement worded previously at the atheist’s website. You know very well one can’t just google personal comments and expect results. I have not spent hours searching the atheist websites for this comment for my own amusement. Eventually I hope to find it, then I will be the one forgiving you, which I have already done. In the meantime can you explain how I knew that this long list of Latin phrases were to be found at infidels.orc? I never knew a fallacies page existed there, so I must have seen it on a related link, as stated.

  • Terence Moeller

    Most of these questions are original, in that they have not been presented in other questionnaires, but a great deal of credit belongs to evolutionists, who were honest enough to acknowledge the problems associated with their theory. Some of the questions deal with astronomy, which technically is not an evolutionary science, but nonetheless relevant to the question of origins.
    Twenty Questions For Evolutionists To Ponder
    1. Can you cite one incontrovertible fact about evolution accompanied by one scientific method for proving this ‘fact’?
    2. How do isolated animals that ‘evolve’ at opposite ends of the earth end up looking identical by chance?
    3. Concerning punctuated equilibrium, does it make scientific sense that an infinitely complex genetic apparatus involving millions of interdependent genes could be suddenly and dramatically altered and then reintegrated in such a way that the new organism not only survives but actually is an improvement over the earlier form? If so, by what scientific means?
    4. If gradualism is the norm and punctuated equilibrium is the exception, how do you explain the absence of transitional fossils in the geologic column?
    5. If the geologic layers were exposed to impact for billions of years, why is it that neither tektites or meteorites (or topsoil for that matter) is found in the ancient geologic formations?
    6. Modern astronomers observe that super novas occur on average of once every twenty-five years. If the universe is roughly 15-20 billion years old, astronomers should expect to observe over 7000 super nova remnants in space. How do you explain the fact that astronomers currently observe only 205 SNRs — all in the early stages of development?
    7. According to the Big Bang model, radiation from different distances would be expected to produce different temperatures. Explain the uniform temperature (of 2.74 k) throughout the universe.
    8. Is it logical to believe that blind chance could have produced life from the primordial soup in an uncontrolled environment when modern scientists are unable to replicate this feat in a highly controlled environment?
    9. Given the fact ultraviolet light is routinely used to kill bacteria, is it logical, or possible that life could have spontaneously generated on the earth’s surface when exposed to billions of years of unshielded UV light?
    10. Is it logical or possible that either the theory of out-gassing or photochemical dissociation could have produced an ozone with less than 1% oxygen output?
    11. If you believe that life first evolved in hydrothermal vents, can you explain how these deep sea microbes (which depend upon O2) could have preceded plants which first produced the O2 through photosynthesis?
    12. Is it logical or possible that life on earth could have spontaneously generated in the absence of an ozone, photosynthesis, energy storage systems, metabolism, and a DNA code?
    13. According to evolutionists, what was the specific code and mechanism that gave rise to telenomy — “information stored in a living thing”?
    14. If the 2nd law of thermodynamics is said to be reversed only in “open” systems, and the universe is believed to be an “isolated or closed” system, then how do you explain an ordered universe in the first place?
    15. With the exception of the radiometric dating methods, can you identify any geo-chronometers that yields an earth age even remotely old enough to accommodate evolution?
    16. Can you explain the fact that 90% of the mass that astronomers say is necessary to hold the universe together by gravitational attraction is undetectable?
    17. Is it logical that DNA could have evolved when the proteins needed by DNA are produced only by DNA?
    18. Can you name one observational fact of nature that refutes the creation model?
    19. Is the “hydrogen to man” hypothesis best described as a scientific or a metaphysical construct? Why?
    20. Be honest, is it more logical that an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God created everything out of nothing, or that nothing created everything?
    Terence Moeller (2005)

  • http://www.gamesecretary.com/ David Mackey

    Wow. That post turned into a massive war. I didn’t even finish reading all the comments. Anyways, I am a *creationist* but I’d like to research it more as I couldn’t make an excellent argument at this point.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    Cheesehead :
    “Why do you wish to know about ‘ultimate origin of life?’”
    This seems to be something that occupies at least some portion of virtually everyone’s thoughts.
    Well, it doesn’t occupy most Buddhists’ thoughts. Nor Taoists. Nor babies.
    What it appears to be is a social construct, made for a variety of reasons.
    OTOH, there is curiosity that is pretty much innate in “most people,” that is, until they’re “educated” sufficiently to remove this.
    Citing once again that which I consider a good authority, in Ecclesiastes 3:11 it says…
    Again I’m reminded to Lenin’s preface to a pocket edition of Marx’s Capital: “The teaching of Marx is all-powerful because it is true. It is complete and symmetrical, offering an integrated view of the world,…”
    You folks are like Communists, except you use a different book.
    So despite the fact that there’s hundreds millions of people comfortable with the fact that they don’t know and don’t need to know, because you have a book that says differently, you’ll reject the testimony of untold millions of people throughout human history.
    And you wonder why people respond to your thoughts as though you did not respect them.
    They’re getting close to abiogenesis. And you might scoff, but it’s attracted serious venture captial.
    And that’s why I have a blog. Because when somebody like you scoffs, wham!
    There’s another fact.
    But then again you’re not fact based, are you?

  • Larry Lord

    Ten Questions for Christian Creationist Suckers
    1) Since your deity is my deity’s puppet, what does that make you?
    2) If evolution is so obviously a bunch of metaphysical garbage, why do only a handful of Christian fanatics and Moonie-types insist on trashing it?
    3) If evolution is so obviously a bunch of metaphysical garbage, why do creationists always lose in court when they try to persuade judges that they aren’t full of crap?
    4) If evolution is so obviously a bunch of metaphysical garbage, why does an evangelical Christian president’s own science adviser think that creationists are full of crap?
    5) If evolution is so obviously a bunch of metaphysical garbage with atheist implications, why are there more Christian scientists who believe that life on earth evolved than there are lying shills who spread propaganda to the contrary?
    6) Why do creationism peddlers take their cues from a lawyer whose understanding of science can be summed up in two words: “HIV Denier” ?
    7) Why do creationists say that “ID theory” isn’t creationism, but at the same time
    8) What other “scientific” theories were first peddled to high school children before a single paper of original research was published supporting the theory?
    9) Why did Jon Ryland of the Discovery Institute claim that the Discovery Institute never promoted the teaching of ID in public schools when the Discovery Institute had published literature advising teachers how to teach it?
    10) What other “scientific movements” recruits teenagers by encouraging them to participate in clubs which require their officers to be Christians?

  • Larry Lord

    Terence “B.S. Artiste Extraordinaire” M. writes
    “1. Can you cite one incontrovertible fact about evolution accompanied by one scientific method for proving this ‘fact’?”
    Sure. Groups of animals evolve resistance to toxins when a DNA mutation occurs which confers resistance to the toxin and the organism carrying the mutation is able to reproduce more often than the organisms that don’t.
    This incontrovertible fact has been demonstrated thousands of times and, were it not Christmas vacation, I would not hesitate to say that an experiment proving this fact was being conducted by a high school student somewhere.
    Okay, Terence, now it’s your turn. Answer one of my questions.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    7. According to the Big Bang model, radiation from different distances would be expected to produce different temperatures. Explain the uniform temperature (of 2.74 k) throughout the universe.
    Since the most distant observable points in the universe were once very close to each other the Big Bang model actually predicts that temperature will be relatively uniform throughout the visible universe.
    9. Given the fact ultraviolet light is routinely used to kill bacteria, is it logical, or possible that life could have spontaneously generated on the earth’s surface when exposed to billions of years of unshielded UV light?
    The earth’s surface is not uniformly covered with UV radiation. It’s actually a pretty mild form of radiation (if it wasn’t the sun would have burned you to a crisp long ago). A bit of water, slim, whatnot can provide ample protection from UV radiation.
    11. If you believe that life first evolved in hydrothermal vents, can you explain how these deep sea microbes (which depend upon O2) could have preceded plants which first produced the O2 through photosynthesis?
    Just what comes to mind as some possible answers:
    a. There was some source of O2 in or around hydrothermal vents.
    b. The first living things did not require O2. Just becuase the life around those vents use it today doesn’t mean it was always so.
    20. Be honest, is it more logical that an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God created everything out of nothing, or that nothing created everything?
    Again ‘nothing created everything’ is NOT a scientific theory.

  • Larry Lord

    “Be honest, is it more logical that an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God created everything out of nothing, or that nothing created everything?”
    Assuming that “nothing” is indistinguishable from an “omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God” in the absence of a universe, then the two hypotheses are identical.
    I note that your “omnipresent” “God” is undetectable today, Terence, and so is identical to “nothing” as far as the scientific method is concerned. My assumption thus has some logical support, Terence (and yeah, the scientific method is logical, Terence).
    By my count, that’s at least three of your questions that have been answered.
    Please answer three of mine.

  • Terence Moeller

    I will only answer to Windbag.

  • Larry Lord

    Um, okay, “Windbag,” three of your questions have been answered, now answer three of mine.

  • Terence Moeller

    “And (grrr) evolution is *not* a theory of origins. It’s a theory about the nature of life *after* it originated.”
    And did you know that the original title of Darwin’s mea culpa was, “Origin . . . What Is It Good For?”

  • http://www.alcuinbramerton.blogspot.com/ Alcuin Bramerton

    A man in a grey suit
    Is standing by
    The yoghurt shelves
    In a supermarket
    In Cornwall.
    He is looking for
    Morphine suppositories.
    This man is not
    The promised messiah.

  • G7whatever

    1. Can you cite one incontrovertible fact about macro-evolution accompanied by one scientific method for proving this ‘fact’?
    Who cares about micro-evolution, I want to see some macro proof!

  • Elwood

    “All of the assumptions which underlie evolutionary biology are reproducible and have, in fact, been reproduced many times by scientists.”
    Sure, but can’t the same be said of ID, the key phrase being ‘assumptions which *underlie*’?
    I’m not an ID expert so I can’t speak for those cited above, but I’ll grant that you are correct. ID is not reproducible in the sense that you can redo creation. But the theory put forth is based on scientific assumptions. You may think the conclusions drawn from their observations of repeatable scientific are horse-hockey, but they are based on scientific observations, measurements, etc. Yes, I’m sure most, if not all, ID scientists come to the available pool of scientific data with a bias towards an outside creator. But, so what? Many, but not all, evolutionists start with a bias similar to their conclusion.
    The ID argument as it stands today couldn’t exist without the advances in science over the last 500 years. They’re just taking science that we agree on and applying it to a theory we don’t all agree on.
    Doesn’t theistic evolution (not my favored theory) qualify as ID? That simply says that yes macro-evolution happened and we evolved exactly as the leading evolutionary scientists say we did but that it would be impossible to happen without outside intervention. Wouldn’t all the failures to reproduce macro-evolution in the lab then qualify as scientific repeatable experiments supporting ID? (which even if you ascribe to the fruit-fly experiment as proof of macro-ev, you’d have to admit there are disproportionately more ‘failed’ experiments than successful ones. Don’t the ‘failed’ experiments count? Or do we just throw that data away because it doesn’t support our prejudiced conclusion?)
    OTOH, I can see why an evolutionist would think that an ID’r is just giving up too easily. If I see science not being able to connect all the dots of evolution (far from it) and I say it had to be ID, I can certainly understand the frustration of a scientist who would liken that to old superstitions that science has disproved.
    My personal middle ground, I don’t think God wanted to be able to be “proven”. So, I can’t say that ID science proves an intelligent designer. There IS faith required. I can say that ID “points” me toward belief in a creator and supports my faith. I only contend that some evolutionists too easily dismiss ID science as “not science”. People have been stubbornly wrong about things based on their “science” just like people have been stubbornly wrong about things based on their religion. (for fun, look up the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices) Science has corrected science, therefore science has been wrong. Maybe science has a major flaw in it’s understanding of how evolution, if true, actually works. Maybe those foolish ID’rs will lead science to correct that flaw by having to go back and re-cover something for those of us a bit “slower”. (why is there not a parable I can cite as analogy? Instead of rabbit/hare, maybe the dumb donkey teaching the wise owl something.)
    As it is, the owl seems overly threatened by the donkey.

  • Cheesehead

    Mummon: It’s one thing to have a blog. It is quite another thing to get anyone to read it.
    As to your point about Buddhists, Taoists, children, etc. not being curious about origins; well, the fact that you are interested in debating origins shoots down the idea that Buddhists aren’t curious about it, unless you are only talking about REAL Buddhists. As to children, every child I have ever had the opportunity to observe early on becomes curious about where he came from and expands his inquiry from there.
    As for your venture capitalist abiogenesis thingey, get back to me on that when they have actually succeeded in creating self-replicating organisms from inorganic matter. Remember science-fiction does not equal science.
    You obviously missed the first rule of holes: when you find yourself in one, stop digging!

  • Larry Lord

    Elwood
    “Sure, but can’t the same be said of ID, the key phrase being ‘assumptions which *underlie*’? ”
    No, it can’t be said for ID. It’s exactly wrong and it’s the crux of the biscuit. ID assumes that mysterious alien beings with god-like powers are capable of flitting undetected about the surface of the globe and tweaking the DNA of every organism that ever lived.
    That’s a big assumption, Elwood. And there is no evidence to support that assumption. None. Nada. It’s the sort of assumption that could be used to explain anything. Literally: anything you want to explain. That speck of dust on my shelf? Put there by a mysterious alien being that I can’t detect, when I wasn’t looking.
    This is why ID is scietifically vacuous.
    “Doesn’t theistic evolution (not my favored theory) qualify as ID? That simply says that yes macro-evolution happened and we evolved exactly as the leading evolutionary scientists say we did but that it would be impossible to happen without outside intervention.”
    Actually that’s not an accurate description of theistic evolution as most scientists understand their belief. Their belief goes so far as to say that the laws of the universe are as God intended them and life has evolved in concert with those laws as God knew it would but there is no way to prove that without God those laws wouldn’t exist. It’s simply a belief — a religious belief, based on faith, that God is — somehow (and it doesn’t matter how) — behind it all.
    So theistic evolution is like ID. The big difference is that theistic evolutionists aren’t pretending that their religious beliefs are scientific beliefs.

  • Larry Lord

    Cheesehead
    “You obviously missed the first rule of holes: when you find yourself in one, stop digging!”
    Hey, hypocrite: you’ve got some questions to answer.
    Thanks.

  • tlc

    wow, I read these and I can’t distinguish between the Christian comments and the nonChristian…you all sound the same.
    when we are all in eternity, I doubt I will ever meet any of you that are Christians. You will probably be in a room somewhere having intellectual debates, while the rest of us are out enjoying the LORD’s creations.
    There is a reason the LORD chose simple, every day salt of the earth people to spread his message to the world…remember what it was like when you first believed ‘the joy of your salvation’?
    That’s the awesome truth we need to be spreading. Only God can renew minds and those who don’t want to hear will not be changed by intellectual arguments but by his love – real every day examples of his love (not the wishy washy stuff of this world).
    when a person is alone they need someone to stand by their side.
    when a person is lonely they need a friend who loves them.
    when a person is in pain they need someone to share their burden.
    when a person has everything they need and desire they need to see that something is missing, that what they dream and imagine for themselves is nothing compared to what our God dreams and imagines for them.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    Cheesehead:
    t’s one thing to have a blog. It is quite another thing to get anyone to read it.
    Well, I may not have the readership of some blogs, but I have my share of readers thank you. If you had some disagreement with the factual content posted there (which blasted to tiny bits one of your denials of the existence of abiogenesis research), you’d have done so, rather than descend into a pitiful dodge like that.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    And furthermore, cheeshead:
    …, the fact that you are interested in debating origins …
    No, I’m merely pointing out the folly of it all, and wondering – beyond the obvious lack of respect for people- what motivates people who think like this.
    As to children, every child I have ever had the opportunity to observe early on becomes curious about where he came from and expands his inquiry from there.
    Ah, so, the point emerges: this whole discussion is really just a stand-in for a distraction from the reproductive activities of humans (which is, after all, what kids are really interested in, especially when they say Mommy or some other lady they know pregnant and then later with baby)?
    Believe it or not, it’s possible to discuss such things with young kids without going into graphic detail or presenting ideas unsuitable for their age, and not resorting to any mythical stories.
    Now what is it you were saying again?

  • Larry Lord

    Mumon
    “Believe it or not, it’s possible to discuss such things with young kids without going into graphic detail or presenting ideas unsuitable for their age, and not resorting to any mythical stories.”
    Even Jim Dobson, the evangelical expert in child psychology, recommends that fathers and sons shower together so they can bond over the similarity in the shapes of their reproductive organs.
    Ah, yes, the joys of family.

  • Larry Lord

    Hey Cheeseball, let’s take a break from reminiscing about showering with our daddies and mommies so we can find out if you have answers to these questions:
    Who was the first person to prove scientifically that deities created the universe, the earth, and all the life forms that ever lived on earth?
    I must have missed that Nobel Prize being awarded.
    Or is there a big conspiracy to keep the amazing “findings” of Christian “scientists” out of the “mainstream”?
    Seriously.
    Who first proved scientifically that deities created the universe? And why was that person not awarded a Nobel Prize for his remarkable discovery?

  • Terence Moeller

    Mahalo.
    Boot:
    “Since the most distant observable points in the universe were once very close to each other the Big Bang model actually predicts that temperature will be relatively uniform throughout the visible universe.”
    Stephen Hawkings touched upon that issue in a Brief History of Time:
    “There would not have been enough time since the big bang for light to get from one distant region to the other, even though the regions were close together in the early universe. According to the theory of relativity, if light cannot get from one region to another, nothing else (including information) will either. So there could be no way in which different regions in the early universe could have had the same temperture as each other, unless for some unexplained reason they have happened to have started out with the same temperature.”
    In other words this protege of Einstein seems to be saying that in the beginning light had to be present everywhere at the same time.
    No light = No information
    No information = No uniform temperature
    No uniform temperature = No homogenous universe
    The great wall of gallaxies in space is said to be 150 billion light years across. Unless astronomers are willing to add 130 billion, or so, light years to their current estimates of the age of the universe, they seem to be faced with a major inconsistancy. That is unless, as Einstein said, “The magnitude of space is independant of time.”
    If this is true, then both Christians and non-Christians need to re-examine their current postions on “lookback time.”
    Concerning the temperature of space, Halton Arp, author of the “Altlas of Peculiar Gallaxies” wrote:
    “In an expanding universe radiation from different distances would have different temperatures and the very percise black body curve of temperature, 2.74 k, which is observed, would have been wiped out.”
    Boot:
    “The earth’s surface is not uniformly covered with UV radiation. It’s actually a pretty mild form of radiation (if it wasn’t the sun would have burned you to a crisp long ago). A bit of water, slim, whatnot can provide ample protection from UV radiation.”
    The earth’s surface today is unquestionably covered with UV radiation. But that exposure is only a fraction of what an earth
    without an ozone would be like. Unless it were an extremely thick, permenant canopy of water, it is unlikley to have blocked any UV radiation.
    #11
    “Just what comes to mind as some possible answers:
    a. There was some source of O2 in or around hydrothermal vents.
    b. The first living things did not require O2. Just becuase the life around those vents use it today doesn’t mean it was always so.”
    In reponse to a) The O2 ‘in or around’ the vent systems was already present in the water. O2 in ocean water is a result of plant photosynthesis, which ostensibly had to have preceded vent systems. It follows that vent systems could not have been the source of primordial life. b) Actually some vent systems survive not on O2 but sulpher dioxide, which obviously contains oxygen.
    “Again ‘nothing created everything’ is NOT a scientific theory.”
    That, I believe, is the main point of this thread and a majority of the posts that followed. When pressed, evolutionists may try to distance themselves from questions of biogenesis and the origin of the universe, but evolution generally presupposes the big bang and the spontaneous generation of life. Cosmologies may differ slightly, but they all seem to agree that it happened, and as a result, . . . ‘nothing became everything.’ Countless books have been written on the subject of origins and (consistant with informational thermodynamics), just when they approach the issues of greatest moment, their writing becomes garbled and incoherent.
    I believe that outside of biblical revelation no one knows anything about origins, and even those who do have the benefit of revelation too often capitulate to those who are only guessing.
    He that spanned the heavens with his hand knows.

  • Cheesehead

    Mummy: I never denied the existence of abiogenesis research. Quite to the contrary my point has been all along that it has been going on for more than half a century, and all reseach has come up with no self-replicating organisms. Like I said, when you come up with a self-replicating organism which was formed from inorganic matter, let me know. Until then, just keep those just-so stories coming.
    “Dr.” Lord: I already answered you 32 hours ago (scroll up the thread). Speaking of questions, where did you get that (hee hee) Ph.D. again?? And where have you been published?

  • Larry Lord

    Cheesehead
    “”Dr.” Lord: I already answered you 32 hours ago (scroll up the thread).”
    Wrong.

  • Larry Lord

    Terence
    “I believe that outside of biblical revelation no one knows anything about origins”
    That’s nice. Is that supposed to make your belief that God poofed human beings into existence 10,000 years ago reasonable?

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Doesn’t theistic evolution (not my favored theory) qualify as ID? That simply says that yes macro-evolution happened and we evolved exactly as the leading evolutionary scientists say we did but that it would be impossible to happen without outside intervention. Wouldn’t all the failures to reproduce macro-evolution in the lab then qualify as scientific repeatable experiments supporting ID? (which even if you ascribe to the fruit-fly experiment as proof of macro-ev, you’d have to admit there are disproportionately more ‘failed’ experiments than successful ones. Don’t the ‘failed’ experiments count? Or do we just throw that data away because it doesn’t support our prejudiced conclusion?)
    What are you talking about? What failed experiments? Where? Do you mean something like a lab attempt to breed apes into humans? I can guarantee it was never tried in a lab and if it was standard evolutionary theory says it would almost certainly fail unless the lab would have thousands of generations worth of time and resources to devote to the project.
    BTW, do you notice the false choice fallacy you present above when you ask if an unsuccessful evolution based experiment is evidence of ID. Your implicit assumption is that there is only evolution or ID therefore any evidence that does not support evolution must support ID. In reality there is evolution and a practically infinite array of modifications to evolutionary theory plus all the other theories people have never thought of yet. For example, evidence that supports PE (a modification to evolutionary theory) would have appeared to have been evidence that didn’t fit evolutionary theory before PE was developed as a hypothesis.
    As to children, every child I have ever had the opportunity to observe early on becomes curious about where he came from and expands his inquiry from there.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    For some reason the second part of my comment was cut off. I noted that while many mythologies have creation stories they are usually the most childish or fairy tale like of all their cannon. The Greek creation stories, for example, are no where near the adult seriousness of their more mature mythologies as seen in Homer’s work and elsewhere.
    Perhaps children are curious about ultimate creations but soon loose interest as they grow up and realize there are fe wgood answers available. As a result, many cultures have creation stories but they aren’t very well developed beyond the child level. Even with Christianity I recall both the Garden of Eden and the Ark being really cool parts of the Children’s Bible that I had but these stories received a lot less attention at more advanced stages of my religious education (which I’ll admit is almost certainly very poor compared to many other commentors on this list).

  • Jerry

    All things are possible. Previously, “with God, all things are possible.”
    Even that winged dog that Gordon loves so much……….might be possible. But not this era, maybe next.
    IDer’s, you are losing. You will continue to lose. No matter what kind of dancing you do, no matter the semantics and definitions and interpretations you present, your arguments are bull. Evolution happened, is happening, will continue to happen; get over it.
    From age 11 I wondered about dinosaurs. I am now 55. I asked all the questions. I wondered about God, especially where God was during the Holocaust. All answers point to a God who is pretty apathetic, if he exists at all. But some continue to believe.
    I am one of them.
    I believe in God.
    More precisely, I believe in a force that could be called GOD.
    God, as even Jesus himself tells us, is everywhere, is in everything. “The kingdom of heaven is within you”. Evolution is God. Stardust is God. Excrement is God. Everything that you see, do, hear, smell, feel, think, taste, love, hate, write, screw, eat, hit, kiss, pet, buy, drink, beat, cut, lather, mark, kick, photograph, preach, kill, argue, smoke, ask, wash, destroy, discuss……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….etc. is GOD.
    The problem you people have is seeing that DaVinci painting from the ceiling of the Sistine as the truth, when it’s only a painting. A bearded God, reaching out to a muscular(already-formed) Adam, and bringing man to life and conciousness. God does not have a beard, or rather, not only a beard. God has a beard, and cilia, and psuedopods, and hooves, and stingers. God is everywhere, and nowhere. God is beyond our comprehension. You are in God now. God is life, God is everything.
    Until you grasp this universal nature of the essence of the God, you will never understand your small place in the makeup of the Universe. That goes for the evangelicals as well as the atheists. All of our debate here is pointless, because “god” is much too complex and advanced for any of us to even remotely grasp.
    But on the plane of evolution, IDer’s and Creationists, you might as well give up. Evolution happened. All you are trying to do with you psuedoscientific “theocries” is make a gold nugget with a can of paint and a turd.
    Jerry

  • Terence Moeller

    Jerry:
    “God, as even Jesus himself tells us, is everywhere, is in everything. “The kingdom of heaven is within you”.
    Nowhere did Jesus say that God is in everything. This is pantheism — aptly described as “pan-everythingism.”
    Interesting the dictionary definition of kingdom is “the dominion of the kIng.” It follows that if Jesus lives in a person, therein lies the kingdom, otherwise it would be a kingdom without a king.
    “IDer’s and Creationists, you might as well give up. Evolution happened.”
    This type of dogmatism does nothing to advance the debate, only rallies the troops. Earlier twenty questions challenging evolution were posed on this thread, and only one intelligent response. If either IDers or creationists ever gave up, I suspect it would be by default.

  • Larry Lord

    Jerry: I can dig it, just like I can dig the idea that Jesus is Love.
    Or at least, he used to be.

  • Cheesehead

    Terrence: Good comments. Especially your treatment of cosmologies.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Terry,
    First of all many of your questions have nothing to do with evolution. For example:
    6. Modern astronomers observe that super novas occur on average of once every twenty-five years. If the universe is roughly 15-20 billion years old, astronomers should expect to observe over 7000 super nova remnants in space. How do you explain the fact that astronomers currently observe only 205 SNRs — all in the early stages of development?
    [BTW, what reason is there to think that supernovas have always occurred once every 25 years? Since supernovas happen at the end stage of supergiant stars wouldn't it take some time at the beginning of the universe for those stars to form? Also wouldn't those remnants be scattered accross all the galaxies? Since SNRs are very small and difficult to observe it's not realistic to expect us to easily detect them outside our galaxy...even inside it's pretty hard]
    Or
    14. If the 2nd law of thermodynamics is said to be reversed only in “open” systems, and the universe is believed to be an “isolated or closed” system, then how do you explain an ordered universe in the first place?
    What does this even mean? Are you saying that entropy is not increasing throughout the visible universe? Are you saying that the 2nd law of thermodynamics is wrong? I’m not sure what this has to do with evolution but aren’t you having a hard enough time arguing with science? Do you need to pick another fight? Do you just have a fetish for hopeless causes.
    or
    16. Can you explain the fact that 90% of the mass that astronomers say is necessary to hold the universe together by gravitational attraction is undetectable?
    Again what does this have to do with evolution?
    or
    19. Is the “hydrogen to man” hypothesis best described as a scientific or a metaphysical construct? Why?
    Actually it is best described as a host of scientific theories, connecting cosmology, physics, chemistry and biology together. Why? Because each theory is based on a physical evidence that can be tested.
    18. Can you name one observational fact of nature that refutes the creation model?
    Depends on what you mean by the creation model. Do I even need to begin with refuting creation models that use an earth that is less than 10,000 years old? As far as I can see ID isn’t even a model.
    13. According to evolutionists, what was the specific code and mechanism that gave rise to telenomy — “information stored in a living thing”?
    What exactly do you mean by information? Do you mean the information to code the genetic traits that various organisms have? Do you mean left over information for traits that are no longer used? The mechanism is natural selection.
    4. If gradualism is the norm and punctuated equilibrium is the exception, how do you explain the absence of transitional fossils in the geologic column?
    There is no absence of transitional fossils in the gelogic column. This topic has come up before and transitional fossils have been cited several times.
    2. How do isolated animals that ‘evolve’ at opposite ends of the earth end up looking identical by chance?
    Be more specific. What animal are you talking about? How do you know they evolved in isolation at the opposite ends of the earth?
    5. If the geologic layers were exposed to impact for billions of years, why is it that neither tektites or meteorites (or topsoil for that matter) is found in the ancient geologic formations?
    Topsoil, I imagine, would be compressed to stone or clay if it gets deep enough into the earth. Again is this an evolution question or a geology question? The meteor that is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs is contained in ancient geologic formations. It appears to have been spread out into a thin layer of dust.
    20. Be honest, is it more logical that an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God created everything out of nothing, or that nothing created everything?
    This is not a logical question. It’s a metaphysical one.

  • Jerry

    Moeller: Let me get back to you. I’m going to check out those 20 questions. Maybe this ole country boy can throw in one or two witty and insightful replies.
    Reading Jesus, as I have, outside the dogma of fervent Christianity, we see a man desperately trying to explain the simple truths of the Universe to a bunch of Red Sea rubes. The truth is so simple that telling it simply would lead to disbelief. Therefore it must be couched in parables and stories. You will agree with me that it is our 15th-21st century interpretations of those parables which leads to our disagreements. The way I read Jesus, he was saying everything is everything. He said, “we are all forgiven”. That means all sins are forgiven? Then there is nothing sinful that cannot be forgiven. Ergo, it is really impossible to do anything “wrong”.
    I could go on for hours. Just go back to the Gospels and read Jesus as a super-genius, centuries ahead of his time, trying to explain the workings of the Universe to a bunch of ignorant fishermen and farmers in the first century. See him as a man for a change, and not as the SonoGod, see his petulance and his impatience with the ignorance of his time.
    That ole gal I love just delivered dinner to my desk. She’s an excellent cook. I’ll have to be leaving now.
    Jerry

  • Terence Moeller

    Jerry,
    Look forward to hearing from you. My ole gal just delived my dinner too. She may be trailer trash to some, but she’s trailer treasure to me!

  • Terence Moeller

    Actually she’s gorgeous!

  • Terence Moeller

    Boot:
    “First of all many of your questions have nothing to do with evolution.”
    All 20 questions at least touch upon issues related to evolution. That is why I prefaced the questions with this: “Some of the questions deal with astronomy, which technically is not an evolutionary science, but nonetheless relevant to the question of origins.” There are a chain of inferences from evolution beginning with the ‘evolution of the universe.’ If there are problems in astronomy it translates to problems on the ground.
    “BTW, what reason is there to think that supernovas have always occurred once every 25 years? Since supernovas happen at the end stage of supergiant stars wouldn’t it take some time at the beginning of the universe for those stars to form? Also wouldn’t those remnants be scattered accross all the galaxies? Since SNRs are very small and difficult to observe it’s not realistic to expect us to easily detect them outside our galaxy…even inside it’s pretty hard.”
    The 25 years was an average taken in the last century. Perhaps uniformitarian standards are not the most reliable, but they are the same standards used in most ‘evolutionary’ sciences. The range is the observable universe. They are not “very small.” The Crab Nebula ( M1 1054) is nearly 60 trillion light years across. Within recorded history it has changed substantially. There maybe more than 205 SNRs out there which are undetected, but it is interesting that it is remarkably close to the number that a creation model would predict.
    #6 If the 2nd law of thermodynamics is said to be reversed only in “open” systems, and the universe is believed to be an “isolated or closed” system, then how do you explain an ordered universe in the first place?
    “What does this even mean?”
    The 2nd law is said to be a “universal law” which Einstein said was the “the paradigm of all scientific law.” Even if in open systems reversals of entropy do occur, the universe is presumed to be a closed system, meaning no outside information. If that is the case, then the formation of the universe from chaos to cosmos is a direct violation of the second law. You first have to have order to get disorder.
    “Are you saying that entropy is not increasing throughout the visible universe?”
    No. The last time I looked in the mirror I was reminded that the law is still in effect.
    “Are you saying that the 2nd law of thermodynamics is wrong?”
    No. I am saying that in view of the 2nd law, the existence of an orderly universe is scientifically unexplainable by natural causes. Explosions do not produce rock city without a flagrant violation of the second law.
    ” I’m not sure what this has to do with evolution but aren’t you having a hard enough time arguing with science?”
    The second law has everything to do with the theory of stellar evolution and subsequently the theory of evolution of life on earth. It is the Achilles heel of evolution that not even the sun-god can save.
    #16. Can you explain the fact that 90% of the mass that astronomers say is necessary to hold the universe together by gravitational attraction is undetectable?
    “Again what does this have to do with evolution?”
    The mystery of the missing mass is quite relevant to the theory of stellar evolution. Without the 90% missing mass necessary to hold the universe together, it would have dissipated long ago. The hundred billion relatively compact galaxies would have ceased to exist according to the laws of physics. There are three explanations. (Evolutionists) 1. The mass is invisible and undetectable, but there because it must be there. (Creationists) 2. The universe is young and has not had time to dissipate. (ID and Creationists)3. God is holding it all together omnipotent power.
    #19. Is the “hydrogen to man” hypothesis best described as a scientific or a metaphysical construct? Why?
    “Actually it is best described as a host of scientific theories, connecting cosmology, physics, chemistry and biology together. Why? Because each theory is based on a physical evidence that can be tested.
    Hmmm, so you’re saying that hydrogen, given enough time becomes man? I heard a story once about a frog becoming man.
    Do you think that there is a host of scientific theories, connecting cosmology, physics, chemistry and biology that can be test that hypothesis too? Of course not. But then again, which of the two tales is more scientifically more plausible?
    #18. Can you name one observational fact of nature that refutes the creation model?
    “Depends on what you mean by the creation model. Do I even need to begin with refuting creation models that use an earth that is less than 10,000 years old? As far as I can see ID isn’t even a model.”
    For a good example of a ‘creation model’ go to the Institute of Creation Research. If there is an observational fact of nature that repudiates it, that is what the question requires. If you think you can “refute” the young earth model you might commence by answering question #15.
    ID is a model, albeit a greatly simplified model of creation. I think of it as special ed. for evolutionists. It concerns itself with only one question, which is the most important one. The problem that I see with the model is that it has given up so much ground in the creation/evolution debate, there is little left to discuss besides who was responsible.
    #13. According to evolutionists, what was the specific code and mechanism that gave rise to telenomy — “information stored in a living thing”?
    “What exactly do you mean by information?
    By information I mean that which makes life possible.
    “Do you mean the information to code the genetic traits that various organisms have?”
    DNA would be one of many requisites for life. The question concerns the unlikely formation of life without ANY vehicle, code, or mechanism to sustain it.
    “Do you mean left over information for traits that are no longer used? The mechanism is natural selection.”
    Natural selection presumes organized life to begin with. The specific question of telenomy question concerned origins. You may be thinking of teleology.
    Dictionary
    tel

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    All 20 questions at least touch upon issues related to evolution. That is why I prefaced the questions with this: “Some of the questions deal with astronomy, which technically is not an evolutionary science, but nonetheless relevant to the question of origins.” There are a chain of inferences from evolution beginning with the ‘evolution of the universe.’ If there are problems in astronomy it translates to problems on the ground.
    BZZZZT WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG AND WRONG.
    Evolution deals with how life forms change over time. It does not deal with the actual origins of the first life form(s). That topic, abiogensis, is a different field. Nor does it deal with how the universe originated. That is cosmology/astronomy/physics. Let’s suppose God created the universe in the Big Bang. What does that tell us about life? Nothing. Of course the fields are connected in the sense that someone really curious about origins is probably going to move from evolution to cosmology at some point but they are not the same. Sadly you ID types can’t even keep your theories straight.
    There maybe more than 205 SNRs out there which are undetected, but it is interesting that it is remarkably close to the number that a creation model would predict.
    Needless to say you totally ignored the point that supernova remenants are difficult to detect and probably impossible to detect beyond our galaxy. Yet your ‘one per 25 year rule’ applies to the whole universe. You haven’t found anything that contradicts standard astronomy but if you want me to agree that this is one point where the creationist model doesn’t completly fail yet then go ahead take it.
    The 2nd law is said to be a “universal law” which Einstein said was the “the paradigm of all scientific law.” Even if in open systems reversals of entropy do occur, the universe is presumed to be a closed system, meaning no outside information. If that is the case, then the formation of the universe from chaos to cosmos is a direct violation of the second law. You first have to have order to get disorder.
    Ahhh so this really has nothing to do with evolution. Whether or not the universe is closed as a whole system is an open question that borders on metaphysical speculation.
    No. I am saying that in view of the 2nd law, the existence of an orderly universe is scientifically unexplainable by natural causes. Explosions do not produce rock city without a flagrant violation of the second law.
    It would violate the 2nd law if you could show that the universe had more entropy in the past and now it has less.
    The second law has everything to do with the theory of stellar evolution and subsequently the theory of evolution of life on earth. It is the Achilles heel of evolution that not even the sun-god can save.
    Heh, creationists have disproven evolution by proving the sun does not exist! That’s a really good job with your theory.
    The mystery of the missing mass is quite relevant to the theory of stellar evolution. Without the 90% missing mass necessary to hold the universe together, it would have dissipated long ago. The hundred billion relatively compact galaxies would have ceased to exist according to the laws of physics. There are three explanations. (Evolutionists) 1. The mass is invisible and undetectable, but there because it must be there. (Creationists) 2. The universe is young and has not had time to dissipate. (ID and Creationists)3. God is holding it all together omnipotent power.
    Actually #1 is not ‘the evolutionists’ opinion but the opinion of most of physics. If #1 is wrong then Newton (and Einstein) were wrong about gravity. Since the standard theories of gravity have proven themselves it is logical not to ditch them without very good evidence which leads to the standard model of dark matter. Dark matter also explains other things such as the interactions of galaxies which move as if they are much larger than just their visible stars (sort of like how a plane at night appears to be just a few lights in the sky). A young universe model would be at a loss to explain this as would a universe where God was ad hoc holding stars together in galaxies.
    Hmmm, so you’re saying that hydrogen, given enough time becomes man? I heard a story once about a frog becoming man.
    Do you think that there is a host of scientific theories, connecting cosmology, physics, chemistry and biology that can be test that hypothesis too? Of course not. But then again, which of the two tales is more scientifically more plausible?

    Of course it can. Each theory can be divided into pieces and tested. You’re basically talking about connecting all present theories into a ‘Theory of Everything’. You’re perfectly free to try this but shouldn’t you at least demonstrate the ability to understand just one theory?
    For a good example of a ‘creation model’ go to the Institute of Creation Research. If there is an observational fact of nature that repudiates it, that is what the question requires. If you think you can “refute” the young earth model you might commence by answering question #15.
    I’m going to reference TalkOrigins.com. Just go there and see one of their briefings on Young Earth/Universe models. I can’t discuss everything so if you’d like to narrow our discussion to just this I will entertain you and do some research.
    ID is a model, albeit a greatly simplified model of creation. I think of it as special ed. for evolutionists. It concerns itself with only one question, which is the most important one. The problem that I see with the model is that it has given up so much ground in the creation/evolution debate, there is little left to discuss besides who was responsible.
    In other words it isn’t a scientific model, it’s a religious doctrine and a very piss poor one IMO. I find standard theology much more interesting and rewarding. ID hardly answers a single question while evolution answers thousands. You give it up by stating your theory answers only the ‘most important question’. All good scientific theories have numerous applications. Newton’s explains everything from an apple falling to sending off spaceships to where Neptune will be on Dec 31st, 2025 at 5:30 AM EST.
    By information I mean that which makes life possible.
    Which is what exactly?
    Natural selection presumes organized life to begin with. The specific question of telenomy question concerned origins. You may be thinking of teleology.
    My God, he finally got it! Evolution is not a theory of origins. It took thousands of posts but the boy is finally starting to think!
    You have forced my hand. Here are a few more comments quotes by leading evolutionists. I know, I know, my bad, it’s all a conspiricy. . .
    You stated that there was an absense of transitional fossils. Several times I have presented transitional fossils on this very blog. Here’s a handful http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils
    Take for example the lemur monkey, the only mammal of Madagascar. There are identical lemurs in Asia. Take the South American army ant that travels on a few miles and compare them with army ants in Africa.
    1. South America and Africa were once connected so the fact that ant populations remained similar since then is not inconsistent with evolution
    2. I don’t know much abut the lemur monkey but if Madagascar was ever close to Africa the populations could have started out general throughout all of Africa and Asia and then died out to exist in just the two. Alternatively the monkey may have been brought to the island by humans. Before you jump on me for taking guesses kindly note that I started this point by saying I don’t know much about the lemur & my guesses are not the standard scientific opinions on the topic. If you want me to seek out what science makes of the lemur then concentrate the discussion there.
    Topsoil, unlike stone and clay is made up entirely of organic material and can be tested. It is both a geology question and an evolution question because the geologic column is where evolution is, in theory, supposed to be manifested.
    Indeed it is a question for creationists too. If living things became fossils in the geologic column then shouldn’t the topsoil around them have formed part of the column too. If this is indeed a mystery then it is one both models fail to account for. In reality, though, I suspect the problem is not our understanding of topsoil & soil sciences (a huge field…not exciting material for science fiction though) but your scattershop approach leaves you unable to really concentrate & examine anything in depth (a reason why most real scientists don’t do the BIG THEORY OF EVERYTHING). Anyway:
    1. I imagine topsoil cannot maintain itself for thousands/millions of years compressed under rock and other soil. I wouldn’t be surprised if the oil that fuels your car is coming from ancient topsoil deep in the column.
    2. What evidence do you have that topsoil is not in the geological column? Believe it or not most ‘evolutionists’ do not have an instand command of all branches of science that many creationists seem to hold.
    I have asked that question to evolutionists for years
    and never once had an answer, much less an honest one

    You asked what is more logical. Logically there is insufficent knowledge to make a determination. That is the simple fact. Don’t go calling people dishonest cause you can’t stand the truth. Don’t ask the question if you can’t handle the answer.

  • Terence Moeller

    Boot:
    “BZZZZT WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG AND WRONG. Evolution deals with how life forms change over time. It does not deal with the actual origins of the first life form(s). . . Sadly you ID types can’t even keep your theories straight.”
    If you don’t believe me, Google the following words . . .
    Evolution: first life forms – 40,500,000 sites
    “Needless to say you totally ignored the point that supernova remenants are difficult to detect and probably impossible to detect beyond our galaxy. Yet your ‘one per 25 year rule’ applies to the whole universe. You haven’t found anything that contradicts standard astronomy but if you want me to agree that this is one point where the creationist model doesn’t completly fail yet then go ahead take it.”
    In the first place SNRs can be detected outside our galaxy and the total number of those detected (roughly 205) remain the same. In the second place the estimate of one every 25 years is based upon observations going back to the 10th century. Obviously they did not have a Hubble telescope to explore the outer regions of the universe, but a pattern was established and until evidence proves otherwise (either by a new influx of SNRs, or the discovery of old SNRs), that is all astronomers have to go on.
    “Ahhh so this really has nothing to do with evolution. Whether or not the universe is closed as a whole system is an open question that borders on metaphysical speculation.”
    No. This is a scientific question but you get credit for a creative way of avoiding the issue. “Move along now. This doesn’t concern you. Nothing happening here, just a metaphysical misunderstanding.”
    “Heh, creationists have disproven evolution by proving the sun does not exist! That’s a really good job with your theory.”
    I think you missed the point of the “sun-god” comment. The existence of the sun has invariably been cited as the solution to the argument that the theory of evolution contradicts the 2nd law of thermodynamics. How can a system that is inexorably heading toward disorganization at the same time be increasing in complexity? The answer given is that the earth is an open system and open systems have entropic reversals. In this case the sun is the source of outside energy and information. But when it comes to stellar ‘evolution’ the same problems arise.This time however, they can’t be dismissed by the sun. The 2nd law not only creates disorder but it prevents order from ever occuring! Evolutionists may try to distance themselves from those issues by saying that is the astronomers problem, not ours, or it is a metaphysical conundrum, better suited for a philosophy class. But the fact remains that the evolutionist’s cosmology is closely linked with that of the astronomer.
    “Actually #1 is not ‘the evolutionists’ opinion but the opinion of most of physics. If #1 is wrong then Newton (and Einstein) were wrong about gravity. Since the standard theories of gravity have proven themselves it is logical not to ditch them without very good evidence which leads to the standard model of dark matter. Dark matter also explains other things such as the interactions of galaxies which move as if they are much larger than just their visible stars (sort of like how a plane at night appears to be just a few lights in the sky). A young universe model would be at a loss to explain this as would a universe where God was ad hoc holding stars together in galaxies.”
    Below are a few selected quotes from a secular based article on dark matter.
    Dark Matter: Hidden Mass Confounds Science, Inspires Revolutionary Theories
    By Andrew Chaikin
    Editor, Space & Science
    {{ Weve known that it exists for more than 25 years,” says astronomer Virginia Trimble of the University of California Irvine. “But we dont know what the hell it is.” How can astronomers be so certain of something they have never seen? The answer comes from observations of how stars and galaxies move, studies that have been going on for more than 50 years. Within spiral galaxies, individual stars and clouds of gas are orbiting faster than they should if they were only being affected by the gravity of the galaxys visible matter. The same is true for clusters of galaxies: The motions of individual galaxies cant be explained by the gravity of what astronomers can see.This so-called dark matter is invisible to us because it does not radiate energy. But it does have mass, and that means it can supply the extra gravity necessary to hold galaxies, and clusters of galaxies, together. Even in the bizarre world of cosmology, its a strange proposition. But is dark matter the only explanation? Perhaps scientists dont entirely understand the way gravity works; perhaps Isaac Newtons famous law of gravitation needs some revising.
    “Definitely most astronomers are extremely unwilling to give up Newtons law,” he says. “So its essentially a choice of two evils: You either hypothesize that Newtons law is wrong, and that our knowledge of the gravity theory is incomplete. Or, you hypothesize a fundamental microscopic particle that has never been detected in any physics lab, whose properties are only constrained by these astronomical observations. Which is a pretty uncomfortable position for physicists to be in.” Still, as Trimble explains, dark matter is the lesser of the two evils, simply because it requires fewer departures from accepted physics.To explain the observations by revising the theory of gravity, astronomers would have to identify a few different effects, each of which would operate at a different distance scale. But with dark matter as the explanation, Trimble says, “You only need one Tooth Fairy.”
    In fact, astronomers believe there is so much dark matter in the universe that it outnumbers normal matter by a ratio of perhaps 10 to 1.}}
    In my opinion, the answer to the problem is not in the creation of a hypothetical glue to hold the universe together, nor is it in revising Newtonian physics. It is in revising our views on the age of the universe. If one began with the assumption that God created the galaxies recently, that would explain why they are still tightly wound, without the need to resort to speculations about invisible matter.
    I see a pattern of circular reasoning. How do we know dark matter exists? Because the universe is 20 billion years old and after a couple million years all spiral galaxies would have spun out leaving only scatted stars in their wake. ‘If dark matter is wrong then Newton was wrong.’ But what if dark matter is wrong and Newton was right? Then astronomers would have to start thinking out of the box.
    “Each theory can be divided into pieces and tested. You’re basically talking about connecting all present theories into a ‘Theory of Everything’. You’re perfectly free to try this but shouldn’t you at least demonstrate the ability to understand just one theory?”
    You claim that hydrogen to man (not to mention the frog to prince hypothesis), could be tested and proven if you connected all present theories. This is something that you are able to do because you have a unique ability to understand not just one theory, but all of them — at least enough to be able to confidently state that hydrogen to man is proven.
    This staggers the imagination. It is an existential leap of faith disguised as scientific empiricism and the only one you are fooling is yourself.
    “I’m going to reference TalkOrigins.com. Just go there and see one of their briefings on Young Earth/Universe models. I can’t discuss everything so if you’d like to narrow our discussion to just this I will entertain you and do some research.”
    The ball is in your court.
    “In other words it (ID) isn’t a scientific model, it’s a religious doctrine and a very piss poor one IMO. I find standard theology much more interesting and rewarding. ID hardly answers a single question while evolution answers thousands.You give it up by stating your theory answers only the ‘most important question’. All good scientific theories have numerous applications. Newton’s explains everything from an apple falling to sending off spaceships to where Neptune will be on Dec 31st, 2025 at 5:30 AM EST.”
    ID is not “my theory.” I happen to agree with its basic principal of intelligence behind creation and understand that, if not for its forbidding theological implications, it would be embraced by the most people with common sense. The judge in the recent case that rejected ID in the class room might have been thinking . . . ‘why is a theory which embraces so many of the tenets of evolution (big bang, old universe, vertical changes in speciation) demanding a hearing?’ They both agree on the scientific aspects, and the theological implications belong in another forum.
    On the other hand, scientific creationism challenges the very basis of evolutionary theory from the big bang, to the age of the universe, to the fossil record, with no theological mandates. It says, examine the evidence against the theory of evolution and then draw your own conclusions.
    “My God, he finally got it! Evolution is not a theory of origins. It took thousands of posts but the boy is finally starting to think!”
    Spare me the “Dr.” Windbag imitation if you care to continue this dialog. I asked a straight question, “What gave rise to telenomy,” – information stored in a living thing? You replied, “natural selection.” I reminded you that natural selection came long after telenomy had been established. If evolution is “not a theory of origins,” then what was Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” referring to?
    “You stated that there was an absense of transitional fossils. Several times I have presented transitional fossils on this very blog. Here’s a handful http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils
    Wikipedia is not an authoritative source. It allows anyone, anywhere to add any information they want. If I recall, at this site practically no information was provided on any of the so called transitional forms, nor were they prefaced with any information, or links.
    “I don’t know much abut the lemur monkey but if Madagascar was ever close to Africa the populations could have started out general throughout all of Africa and Asia and then died out to exist in just the two.”
    The island of Madagascar is off the coast of Africa. Granted a hypothetical case could be made that these animals linked up at one time in the past, but one would think that if evolution were true, then animals at opposite ends of the globe would not look identical to one another. It follows that because of unique environmental influences, they would have “evolved” completley distinct characteristics.
    “If living things became fossils in the geologic column then shouldn’t the topsoil around them have formed part of the column too.”
    The majority of the fossil record, according to the creationist model, was a result of a universal flood. No topsoil was involved.
    “If this is indeed a mystery then it is one both models fail to account for.”
    The evolution model stipulates that each layer of the geologic was exposed to the elements for billions of years. Yet there is no evidence in the geologic column of exposure to meteorites, tektite’s, or topsoil. Since the flood model would preclude any such occurrences, your comparison does not apply. The flood model stipulates that the geologic column was laid down rapidly.
    “In reality, though, I suspect the problem is not our understanding of topsoil & soil sciences (a huge field…not exciting material for science fiction though) but your scattershop approach leaves you unable to really concentrate & examine anything in depth (a reason why most real scientists don’t do the BIG THEORY OF EVERYTHING).”
    Examine the above statement and tell me again who is “scattershoT.” It is quite obvious from most of your responses that you are just improvising, certainly not examining anything in depth. Did you do any research to try to disprove my statement that the geologic column does not contain evidence of meteorite impacts? The speculation that some unidentified meteorite wiped out the dinosaurs won’t solve the problem. Whatever meteorite you imagine did such a thing made contact with the earth’s surface — not the unexposed layers. Then you speculated that the absence of topsoil in the geologic column was a problem for creationists. Then you speculated that the topsoil in the ancient geologic column was there but undetectable. Then you speculated that it became fossil fuel. Such a scattered melage of answers hardly represents a serious scientific rebuttal.
    “Believe it or not most ‘evolutionists’ do not have an instand command of all branches of science that many creationists seem to hold.”
    Based upon what you have said concerning the all inclusive proofs that hydrogen became man, you must think of yourself as an exception.
    “You asked what is more logical. Logically there is insufficent knowledge to make a determination.”
    #20 I asked, “Is it more logical that
    an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God created everything out of nothing, or that nothing created everything.” If you really believed that there was “insufficient knowledge to make that determination,” then why have you been claiming to be an atheist all along? It sounds like the position of an agnostic.
    “That is the simple fact. Don’t go calling people dishonest cause you can’t stand the truth. Don’t ask the question if you can’t handle the answer.”
    I think it is apparent that you refused to answer the question because to do so would be too revealing. It was a simple choice. I did not ask you to decide which of the two happened, but simply which one was “more logical.” An honest answer would be to address the question with the courage of one’s convictions.
    The fact that you could not, or would not answer the question may be a positive sign that there is hope for you; that you could not consign yourself to a philosophy of “nothingness” to explain existence — that your heart tells you that there must be a first cause and your mind tells you that everything manifesting itself from nothing is not only unscientific, but illogical.
    Don’t take this as a personal affont. You have done alot more searching than most people, and deserve credit for that. As you know, in the last year, I have not tip toed through the tulips in our debates, but I have spent an inordinate amount of time editing out what I thought might be over the top. Thanks for attempting to answer these questions and I look forward to a new round on the age of the earth.
    I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and may the new year bring you peace and prosperity.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    In the first place SNRs can be detected outside our galaxy and the total number of those detected (roughly 205) remain the same. In the second place the estimate of one every 25 years is based upon observations going back to the 10th century. Obviously they did not have a Hubble telescope to explore the outer regions of the universe, but a pattern was established and until evidence proves otherwise (either by a new influx of SNRs, or the discovery of old SNRs), that is all astronomers have to go on.
    I think you’re wrong about this. Supernova’s, being very bright, can be detected in other galaxies. After a supernova what is left behind is a black hole or neutron star or white dwarf. These are very hard to detect.
    No. This is a scientific question but you get credit for a creative way of avoiding the issue. “Move along now. This doesn’t concern you. Nothing happening here, just a metaphysical misunderstanding.”
    Interestingly I did address the issue. In order to establish a problem with thermodynamics you have to show that the universe at some point at more entropy than it does today. In other words, you have to show at some point the universe lost entropy rather than gained it.
    I think you missed the point of the “sun-god” comment. The existence of the sun has invariably been cited as the solution to the argument that the theory of evolution contradicts the 2nd law of thermodynamics. How can a system that is inexorably heading toward disorganization at the same time be increasing in complexity?
    Because you do not understand thermodynamics (which isn’t a bad thing since most people including me have a hard time with it). Any order that might be increased on earth is paid for with a huge increase in disorder both by the sun and by life itself. Imagine your body in a forest on a cold winter night. While everything around you is 5 degrees your body is radiating 98 degrees. By living you are creating more disorder, increasing entropy. Don’t worry, the solar system can asorb a lot of your disorder just as we can on this list!
    he answer given is that the earth is an open system and open systems have entropic reversals. In this case the sun is the source of outside energy and information. But when it comes to stellar ‘evolution’ the same problems arise.This time however, they can’t be dismissed by the sun. The 2nd law not only creates disorder but it prevents order from ever occuring! Evolutionists may try to distance themselves from those issues by saying that is the astronomers problem, not ours, or it is a metaphysical conundrum, better suited for a philosophy class. But the fact remains that the evolutionist’s cosmology is closely linked with that of the astronomer.
    Translation: the problem I’m presenting isn’t one with evolution but with astronomy and the theory of stellar formation. Why are you bothering the biologists with this then?
    Below are a few selected quotes from a secular based article on dark matter.
    You nicely demonstrated how, unlike creationists, the scientific community is open to all possibilities including even the cherished Newton/Einstein theories of gravity could have a major defect. They do, however, demonstrate a well reasoned perference to apply Occum’s Razor to the issue rather than embracing the more convoluted theories first. You try to depict scientists as having a closed mind on the nature of dark matter, that it is nothing more than ‘undectable particles’. This short changes the very serious efforts that have been made to identify dark matter. For example, the observations that ruled out MACHOs as a candidate for the explanation. Now we know there are particles that exist but are very difficult to observe today (neutrinos) so it seems sensible to look for other particles that might be numerous enough to account for dark matter today or to consider that Newton’s rules might need modification (BTW, Scientific American ran an article arguing just that a long time ago plus I recall some reports that the Voyager probe had behaved rather oddly)
    In my opinion, the answer to the problem is not in the creation of a hypothetical glue to hold the universe together, nor is it in revising Newtonian physics. It is in revising our views on the age of the universe. If one began with the assumption that God created the galaxies recently, that would explain why they are still tightly wound, without the need to resort to speculations about invisible matter.
    What you miss is that we can also track stellar movement. If all the stars were flying apart but just happened to be together today because the galaxy was created just recently that would be observable. Again why are you bothering biologists with this instead of astronmy?
    I see a pattern of circular reasoning. How do we know dark matter exists? Because the universe is 20 billion years old and after a couple million years all spiral galaxies would have spun out leaving only scatted stars in their wake. ‘If dark matter is wrong then Newton was wrong.’ But what if dark matter is wrong and Newton was right? Then astronomers would have to start thinking out of the box.
    I’m not sure you have presented any circular reasoning here. All you have presented is a snapshot of an inprogress investigation going after the most logical suspects (dark matter) before going after the less likely (Newton/Einstein screwing up). You’d turn things on their head and go after the least likely suspect of all (the universe isn’t old). Hey it’s one thing to say maybe OJ didn’t do it and some drug dealer she owed money too did…it’s another thing to say OJ didn’t do it and Mother Theresa should be suspect #1!
    Regarding ‘Hydrogen to Man’:
    This staggers the imagination. It is an existential leap of faith disguised as scientific empiricism and the only one you are fooling is yourself.
    No there are numerous theories here. For example the theory of how stars fuse hydrogen into the heavier elements found on the periodic table. Can that theory be tested with experiment and observation? Yes. We can proceed from there if you wish. Why does no one test ‘hydrogen to man’ as a theory? Because it would be like writing a book on all major literatures in all major languages at once. Too many theories too many disciplines. They are attacked one at a time piece by piece. I never said it had been proven either. Obviously some theories require more work than other theories. Some support is stronger than other support.
    On the other hand, scientific creationism challenges the very basis of evolutionary theory from the big bang, to the age of the universe, to the fossil record, with no theological mandates. It says, examine the evidence against the theory of evolution and then draw your own conclusions.
    As you said before, you feel the theory would be accepted as ‘common sense’ if not for its supposed ‘theological implications’. In reality many mature Christians have long since come to terms with evolution as a theory & the young earth fetish is a hardly a hallmark of cutting edge Christian thinking. It is usually a hallmark of the less educated, less intelligent ‘Jack Chic’ type of Christianity.
    But your equation of the theory with ‘common sense’ reveals exactly what is wrong with it. First, obviously, scientific theories are not made on common sense. They need to fit emperical evidence. Quantum theory, even Einstein’s theory, does not fit with common sense but that is not a mark against them. Second you reveal how amazingly arrogant you are with your ‘common sense’. Science is humble enough to recognize that even the behavior of the atoms that make up a cup of hot tea can behave in ways that defy our common sense. Yet you’d pretend your mind is so great you can figure out the nature of the universe with ‘common sense’. You think you have faith in God, you really have a misplaced faith in what you see in your mirror in the morning.
    If evolution is “not a theory of origins,” then what was Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” referring to?
    Naturally the origin of species, which originated from the changes in living things as they went thru many many generations. Adam Smith’s famous book was subtitled an inquiry into the origin of wealth…does that mean his book was really about the Big Bang?
    Wikipedia is not an authoritative source. It allows anyone, anywhere to add any information they want. If I recall, at this site practically no information was provided on any of the so called transitional forms, nor were they prefaced with any information, or links.
    Hey wow! Not that long ago your buddy Gordon informed us that Wikipedia was better than Scientific American when talking about cosmology because it was ‘peer reviewed’. The transitional forms listed on that list link to pages with more information about them. There’s numerous links on that page (though I grant some of the forms are just listed with their names and no link).
    The island of Madagascar is off the coast of Africa. Granted a hypothetical case could be made that these animals linked up at one time in the past, but one would think that if evolution were true, then animals at opposite ends of the globe would not look identical to one another. It follows that because of unique environmental influences, they would have “evolved” completley distinct characteristics.
    Or facing the same type of environment evolved similar responses to it. Has anyone ever done DNA work on these monkey’s? It’s possible they appear similar on the surface but are really quite different underneath.
    The majority of the fossil record, according to the creationist model, was a result of a universal flood. No topsoil was involved.
    Which opens up a million problems that this creationist model causes. I say this creationist models because creationists refuse to tell us what they mean. IDers are notorious for playing politics before science, hedging their bets on old v new universe. Speak to them on MOnday and they will tell you ID made the first cell and evollution went to work from there. On Tuesday it’s universal flood. On Wednesday it’s Gordon’s ‘God as incompetant microsoft programmer’ who spends his time constantly tweaking everything, never getting it right.
    BTW, try chewing on http://www.creationism.ws/what_if_flood.htm for some good questions from you regarding a universal flood model.
    The evolution model stipulates that each layer of the geologic was exposed to the elements for billions of years. Yet there is no evidence in the geologic column of exposure to meteorites, tektite’s, or topsoil. Since the flood model would preclude any such occurrences, your comparison does not apply. The flood model stipulates that the geologic column was laid down rapidly.
    As I pointed out meteorites are well accounted for in the gelogic column. The flood model may stipulate that but what are the odds that all the fossils would be laid down in such perfect order with all the seemingly old animals under the seemingly new ones. In other words, where the hell is the fossil of a T-rex with a human in its stomach?
    Examine the above statement and tell me again who is “scattershoT.” It is quite obvious from most of your responses that you are just improvising, certainly not examining anything in depth. Did you do any research to try to disprove my statement that the geologic column does not contain evidence of meteorite impacts? The speculation that some unidentified meteorite wiped out the dinosaurs won’t solve the problem. Whatever meteorite you imagine did such a thing made contact with the earth’s surface — not the unexposed layers. Then you speculated that the absence of topsoil in the geologic column was a problem for creationists. Then you speculated that the topsoil in the ancient geologic column was there but undetectable. Then you speculated that it became fossil fuel. Such a scattered melage of answers hardly represents a serious scientific rebuttal.
    And I told you before this is what you’re getting. I will not do 20 term papers for you whenever you are struck with a fancy to copy and paste down some talking points. I invited you to concentrate on a few topics if you wanted research.
    #20 I asked, “Is it more logical that an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God created everything out of nothing, or that nothing created everything.” If you really believed that there was “insufficient knowledge to make that determination,” then why have you been claiming to be an atheist all along? It sounds like the position of an agnostic.
    When did I claim to be either an athiest or agnostic? You seem to have a habit of making stuff up which is not a good thing if your intent is to make a scientific case.
    I’ll spell it out more clearly for you. Logic is examining the implications of propositions. Your question is not about working out conclusions from propositions but really about what answer ‘feels right’. It’s like asking is it logical to believe sub-atomic particles can be two places at once or pop in and out of existence? My mind is superior to yours because I understand the limits of my mind while you pretend that your ‘common sense’ feelings are sufficient to understand something as immense as the origin of the universe.
    Don’t take this as a personal affont. You have done alot more searching than most people, and deserve credit for that. As you know, in the last year, I have not tip toed through the tulips in our debates, but I have spent an inordinate amount of time editing out what I thought might be over the top. Thanks for attempting to answer these questions and I look forward to a new round on the age of the earth.
    Non taken, if my responses to you have saved one soul from idiocy it’s worth it. I appreciate the debate but as I pointed out before we really have to work on concentrating it rather than scattershots. Anyway Merry Christmas, Have some good Egg Nog like I am!

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    BTW, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova lists only two supernova’s detected outside the Milky Way. One in the Large Magellanic Cloud & another in Andromeda. Do you have any evidence that:
    1. Supernova remnants can easily be detected outside our local galactic neighborhood?
    2. There’s any lack of remnants really in astronomy to call for a revision of the theory?
    #2 would not require one to accept a radical ‘theological’ theory such as a young universe. If there was a lack of remnants many scientists would be eager to explore alternate theories .
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/supernova/ has a lot more on the subject. It appears that the supernova idea was put forth by Keith Davies in 1994. He has several serious problems with his analysis. One really serious problem is that the estimate of one per 25 years was based on observations of galaxies similar to the Milky Way. First this estimate has been revised upwards to nearly double. Second it has become clear that Milky Way type galaxies have different rates of supernovas. For example, even a galaxy’s orientation can alter the number of observable supernovas quite dramatically. Another serious problem is that the author overestimates how easy it is to observe a SNR. He cites the literature that states SNR’s have a lifetime of about 1 million years or more and incorrectly assumes this theoretical limit in lifetime is the same as an observable period. In reality there are many stages of an SNR where observation is quite difficult.
    Even more problematic for a young universe model is that the SNR’s we can observe are basically balls of gas that are expanding outwards. Since we know the speed of their expansion it is possible to work out their age. There are SNR’s that are at least a million years old. Even the Veil Nebula is about 14K years old. A young universe model requires one to believe the universe was created with these SNR’s in ‘mid explosion’. You’re bordering on Gordon’s ’5-minute universe paradox’ (the idea that the universe was created just 5-minutes ago with memories and ‘age’ perfectly simulated).
    Another damming indictment, the creationist argument hinges upon no third stage SNR’s being detected. If one ever was creationist theory would be in serious trouble since a third stage SNR being visible would require an old universe. Creationists argue non have been found but in reality:

    One of the most important assertions that the YECs make is that there are no third-stage, i.e. SNRs in the radiative stage Indeed, the very presence of just one third-stage SNR would completely destroy the YEC argument for a young Universe, as the amount of time a SNR takes to reach this stage is way beyond anything that the YEC time scale allows.
    So, are there any actual third-stage SNRs? There have been dozens of papers published over the last several decades examining and discussing actual radiative SNRs – quite an achievement considering how, according to YECs, they don’t actually exist! Despite what the YECs say, radiative SNRs do actually exist. A brief reading of the relevant literature reveals the following Galactic SNRs that are in the radiative phase (and there are others):

    * G69.0 + 2.7 (Sarfi-Harb & Ogelman 1995).
    * G166.2 + 2.5 (Routledge et al. 1986).
    * G180.0 – 1.7 (Furst & Reich 1986).
    * G189.1 + 3.0 (Oliva et al. 1999).
    * G279.0 + 1.1 (Duncan et al. 1995).
    * G290.1 – 0.8 (Rosado et al. 1996)28.

    Finally another damming point. A supernova requires at least a few tens of millions of years for a superstar to burn itself out and end its life as a supernova. A detection of even a single SNR indicates that the universe must be much, much older than creationist theory would hold.
    Now I want to call your attention to what you wrote on Saturday:
    Examine the above statement and tell me again who is “scattershoT.” It is quite obvious from most of your responses that you are just improvising, certainly not examining anything in depth. Did you do any research to try to disprove my statement that the geologic column does not contain evidence of meteorite impacts?
    Here one of your arguments was based on SNR’s. A little bit of digging revealed you didn’t even get the creationist theory right (the creationist paper did not calculate how many SNR’s are in the universe but how many there should be in the Milky Way and even tried to account for what we could, in theory, observe in the Milky Way from our vantage point). It revealed that the creationist paper was based on mathematical errors, outdated information & contained a host of serious problems for a creationist model and very little for the standard Big Bang model (BTW, honestly demands that we give the right names for things, the model that is used by scientists to explain the universe from its first moment until today is the Big Bang model…not the ‘evolution model’ which is for biology. Reading Darwin would not help you in the slightest in understanding modern cosmology/astronmy).
    If you were such a diligent researcher…not a scattershot cut and paster, why are you unaware of such a dramatic takedown of the SNR argument? To anyone who has even researched the creation argument a little bit TalkOrigins is an obvious reference site. Anyone who has a serious argument that counters the scientific mainstream would say to himself “has TalkOrigins ever wrote about this argument? Can my argument withstand their arguments?”.
    Yet the curious fact about your creationist arguments is that they depend on ignorance. They work best on someone who knows nothing about supernovas and work the least on someone who has made studying them their life’s work. Does this seem like the hallmark of a good theory to you? How would you feel about a religious theory (like the De Vinci Code) that appeals mostly to people who have read the Bible the least and finds next to no support among those who have studied the Bible the most?

  • Jerry

    On the 20 questions:
    How they are asked predetermines the limits of the answers. Just as I would agree with Larry that the logicality of an omnipotent creator is a metaphysical question, not a scientific one. Whether the Universe is a closed system or an open one seems to be a question that none of us would be able to answer definatively. I believe a marsupial lion evolved in isolated Australia or New Zealand after lions had evolved in Africa. It was not identical to African lions, but very similar because it was shaped by its environment (I think LaMarke will be at least partially vindicated one day).
    On topsoil: let us remember that our precious topsoil is only 6″ deep. All of agriculture pretty much depends on the top 6 inches of earth. Topsoil is subject to being blown away or washed away, but if it is covered, that six inches would be a very small stripe in a gelogic sample after the compression of the ages. The evidence for the collision with the giant meteorite that may have ended the Age of the Dinosaurs was found in a very thin layer (1 mm?) of iridium, but it has been found all over the world. I have seen impressions of fern leaves in pieces of coal: is this not topsoil? Around my hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, where the interstate cuts through the hills, the recent geology of the Miocene is evident as layers of clay, sand, and coal. Between most of these layers are thin lines, as if drawn with a pen, that’s how thin. This area was once a seacoast, alternating between periods of dry land and shallow ocean. I once read that each inch of stone represents 100,000 years of time. The topsoil is there: you just need a microscope to find it.
    On the horse’s foot: God must be at his console again. He just can’t get that foot right. He must have thought four toes was a good idea to begin with, but it seems, after much Intelligent Trial and Error(ITE), He decided, in his Omnipotent Wisdom, that the horse could get by on just one. The search for transitional forms is hard. It’s a needle in a haystack. If we believe in PE, is there a stopwatch on that? If a transitional form only occured for three or four generations, is it no surprise that we have not found them among 50,000 generations? And to paraphrase your question, “Is it more logical that an omnipotent being would crank evolution up and let it go, or constantly be tinkering with it?” You see, you are admiting that evolution has happened with the horse, but you attribute it to God coming back and changing the design. Why? Wasn’t the Design Perfect in the first place?
    We have seen mutations in the extreme in this life, even weirder than the tabloids can think up. A two-headed cow is no doubt a transitional form of life, but so far it has not transitioned well. If we suppose, however, that a set of four-toed horse parents gave birth to a three-toed offspring, we would not be supposing the impossible. Of the offspring of that animal would come(according to the laws of genetics)three- and four-toed offspring. If more 3-toes survived than 4-toes, then the successive generations would become more and more 3-toed. Eventually, if this were the fittest way to survive, three-toes would dominate. If we are talking about a small pre-horse, with a life-span of perhaps 20 years, then in five generations, 3-toes could be all the rage, especially if other factors like environment and predators played a significant role. Five generations-100 years; but remember, many births per generation. Tell me where to find those 100 years out of one million, and I will bring you a transitional fossil(barring destruction by the elements, predators, scavengers, etc).
    On question 3, I will have to refer to the dog. The dog, or rather the wolf, has been “improved” upon, according to our standards, to the point where mere visual examination suggests that there are several different species. Where are the transitional forms between the Chihuahua and the Great Dane? What if you placed only Chihuahuas and Great Danes in an isolated place? Due to the obvious sexual obstacles and limitations, would they interbreed, since there is no genetic barrier? To get a little graphic, wouldn’t male Chihuahuas have a slight mounting problem? Wouldn’t female Chihuahuas have a big insemination and delivery problem? How many births to each isolated breed before they became distinct species? Is it possible the Chihuahua parents might still be alive when a new species of dog was created? Purely a hypothetical situation, I wish someone would try it. I can tell you right now, there wouldn’t be any winged dogs in either group.
    5: Meteorites have been found. The vast march of time and weather tends to erase them however.
    13: DNA maybe?
    15: Two miles of stone? In places where sediments have been little disturbed for hundreds of millions of years, life forms at the bottom are primitive, those higher up are more complex? Really Terrance, on these questions, do you need to call a friend?
    The reason I say to give up and get over it is because I get tired of the excuses Creationists and IDer’s use, the semantic dances they perform, the grabbing at straws, the ridiculous arguments and scientific pretendings; as if the Theory of evolution actually threatened their faith. Does it? Why do you find it so threatening? Is your faith weak? Are you really so addicted to that Six Day story that it blinds you to all the evidence that has accumulated over the past few hundred years?
    I shouldn’t be surprised. Christianity is a confusing faith. It is no wonder that there are confused people participating in it. The one question I like to ask is why do all of you go to church on the wrong day? Saturday, after all, is the Sabbath.
    Merry Solstice!
    Jerry

  • Jerry

    Terrence:
    I can’t lay my hands on my red-letter edition of KJV right now, so I don’t want to spend the time sifting through all the other stuff for the actual words of JC. I could relate some quotes from Matthew, like the “lilies of the field, the sparrows, the hairs of your head” to the referals by JC to God being everywhereand everything, since why would God be keeping a count of the hairs on each of our pates unless “He” was those hairs or something, who knows what your God is up to, what with having to constantly revise finches and apes as well as clothing flowers better than Solomon.
    Perhaps the single quote “The kingdom of heaven is within you” is enough to get us started on our trip. What did the great one mean by that?
    Jesus came to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven, right? He says it’s in you, right? All that is right, all that is good, all that is perfect, is already within us. Where is it? Is it in our minds, though they are oft base and impure? Is it in our blood, which often runs hot with passion and polluted with disease? Is he refering to the soul, that ephemeral and elusive ghost which only humans are supposedly allowed to possess? Is all the good and the evil that we do part of the Kingdom of Heaven? Is a wolf evil when it shreds baby rabbits for its meal? Are we evil when we kill to feed our children? Is killing a part of the Kingdom of Heaven? Is lust a part of the Kingdom of Heaven? Are you, or was Jesus, suggesting that the purity of the Kingdom of Heaven is within us, but we must discover how not to lust, not to kill, not to steal the eggs of other animals to survive. Are we supposed to starve ourslves to death and not have sex either? Count me out.
    Or is the Kingdom of Heaven another allegory, another clarifying parable, for our connection to all of Creation, in that we are atoms, like everything, composing molecules, composing cells, composing sinews, composing bodies; bodies with minds, free will, with the urge to merge, and the determination to survive. Could the Kingdom of Heaven be the Power of Life?
    Therein lies my God.
    Life continues, Life wins against all odds, Life goes around what it cannot overcome. The Life of one-celled animals, even viruses, the life of dogs and men, the life of a galaxy, is to continue for as long as possible and to leave some sort of offspring. Life evolves to conquer Death. When a star dies, it leaves the seed for new stars.
    If you have eyes, then see. If you have ears, hear. God resides in the pieces of the atom, and in the remnants of supernovae. These words may fall on Christian as well as atheist ears as a seed may fall on stony ground, never to grow. Or it may fall on ears open to thought as a newly plowed field. In the end, growth, novelty, curiosity, opportunity, and selfishness will win, and some minds will be opened.
    Of course this is all BS to some. Hey, it’s just my opinion. I could have done a lot better if I could have smoked a joint. But coming from a reformed United Methodist, now formed into a being of light, I think it ain’t half bad.
    Happy Saturnalia and Merry Solstice
    Jerry

  • Jerry

    BTW:
    A sign of my advancing senility, I suppose, or that notorious pot-induced memory loss; that guy that did the Sistine Chapel, above, uh, that would have been Michaelangelo, not DaVinci, who was too busy designing helecopters for which he had no motors. Obviously an optimist.
    IDers: Surrender! Resistance is futile!

  • Terence Moeller

    My comments in brackets:
    {In the first place SNRs can be detected outside our galaxy . . . }
    Boot:
    “I think you’re wrong about this. Supernova’s, being very bright, be detected in other galaxies.”
    I never hinted at anything to the contrary.
    “Since SNRs are very small and difficult to observe it’s not realistic to expect us to easily detect them outside our galaxy…even inside it’s pretty hard.”
    Your two above statements appear to contradict one another.
    “After a supernova what is left behind is a black hole or neutron star or white dwarf. These are very hard to detect.”
    What you fail to mention that these are only theories that when examined are circular in reasoning. The current theory of stellar ‘evolution’ postulates that the density waves of exploding stars (SNRs) produced the stars. Even if one assumed that to be true, the question remains, what produced the stars that produced the density waves that produced other stars?
    “In order to establish a problem with thermodynamics you have to show that the universe at some point at more entropy than it does today. In other words, you have to show at some point the universe lost entropy rather than gained it.”
    The 2nd law always increases and presumably has never been any less than it is today. In order for microbes to man to be plausible, there had to have been a steady, consistent, decrease in entropy, otherwise whatever organization may have been established by chance, would have been negligible. Microbes to man constitutes lost entropy in the past, and yes, that establishes a major “problem.”
    “Because you do not understand thermodynamics (which isn’t a bad thing since most people including me have a hard time with it).’
    I might feel better about it if I could make sense of the above sentence.
    “Any order that might be increased on earth is paid for with a huge increase in disorder both by the sun and by life itself.”
    In order for ‘evolution’ to occur, “life itself” must pay the entropic debt? You are putting the cart before the horse.
    “Translation: the problem I’m presenting isn’t one with evolution but with astronomy and the theory of stellar formation. Why are you bothering the biologists with this then?”
    In the first place, there are NO exceptions to the 2nd law on earth or in space. Order and complexity do not arise from disorder. Period. In the second place you are not a biologist. In the third place, even if you were, no one is “bothering” you for your opinion on the matter, you volunteered it as you do on virtually every issue.
    “You nicely demonstrated how, unlike creationists, the scientific community is open to all possibilities including even the cherished Newton/Einstein theories of gravity could have a major defect.”
    You nicely demonstrated how far evolutionists will go to salvage a failed theory – even if it means compromising one of the most firmly established laws of the universe. If creationists speculated that the law of gravity had a “major defect” because it didn’t jive with the creation model there would no end of the ridicule. But if evolutionists do the exact same thing to account for the missing mass, then it is just being “open to all possibilities.”
    “You try to depict scientists as having a closed mind on the nature of dark matter, that it is nothing more than ‘undectable particles’. This short changes the very serious efforts that have been made to identify dark matter.”
    Face it, if they were not trying in vain to produce something out of nothing with ‘dark matter,’ they wouldn’t be questioning Newton’s time honored law 400 years later. You can use any euphemism you wish, “dark matter,” invisible matter” “undetectable particles”
    but the fact is that they are hanging their theories on what could hold the universe together for billions of years on literally nothing.
    “What you miss is that we can also track stellar movement. If all the stars were flying apart but just happened to be together today because the galaxy was created just recently that would be observable. Again why are you bothering biologists with this instead of astronmy?”
    All stars ARE flying apart today. That is why the tight spiral galaxies are observed to be expanding. And again, you are not a biologist and as far as I know there is not one at the EO.
    “All you have presented is a snapshot of an inprogress investigation going after the most logical suspects (dark matter) before going after the less likely (Newton/Einstein screwing up). You’d turn things on their head and go after the least likely suspect of all (the universe isn’t old).”
    Invisible magic star dust gravity enhancers and Newton/Einstein “screw ups” are now the likely suspects, but a simple straightforward interpretation of the astronomical data is unthinkable? It isn’t as if calculating the mass of the universe as it is, and determining how long it would take to reach its present condition is going to interrupt the entire space-time continuum. Nor is it likely to validate all the predictions of the creationist model. What would result is a quantum reduction in the age of the universe and as a result the entire evolutionary edifice would fall. Astronomy sets the clock for all the other evolutionary sciences.
    “I never said it (hydrogen to man) had been proven either.”
    When I said . . . “So you’re saying that hydrogen, given enough time becomes man?” You responded:
    “Of course it can. Each theory can be divided into pieces and tested.”
    “In reality many mature Christians have long since come to terms with evolution as a theory & the young earth fetish is a hardly a hallmark of cutting edge Christian thinking. It is usually a hallmark of the less educated, less intelligent ‘Jack Chic’ type of Christianity.”
    True, “cutting edge Christian thinking” doesn’t believe Christ when he said, “From the beginning of creation God made them male and female. (Mk 10:6) I do.
    “But your equation of the theory with ‘common sense’ reveals exactly what is wrong with it. First, obviously, scientific theories are not made on common sense.”
    They need to fit emperical evidence. Quantum theory, even Einstein’s theory, does not fit with common sense but that is not a mark against them.”
    Every scientist from Newton to Einstein used their God given common sense and imagination to formulate the groundwork for their discoveries. Part of the theory of relativity was based upon Einstein’s common sense approach to what happens to a ball when it is dropped off a bridge from a moving train. It was tested and proven true.
    “Second you reveal how amazingly arrogant you are with your ‘common sense’.”
    I said something to the effect that if not for modern man’s anti-supernatural presuppositions most would recognize that intelligent design was common sense. This is accuate if recent public opinion surveys mean anything. .
    Examine this logical syllogism from the .orc site and identify which part is not based on “common sense” and which part is untrue.
    Premise: Every event has a cause
    Premise: The universe has a beginning
    Premise: All beginnings involve an event
    Inference: This implies that the beginning of the universe involved an event
    Inference: Therefore the beginning of the universe had a cause
    Conclusion: The universe had a cause
    “Yet you’d pretend your mind is so great you can figure out the nature of the universe with ‘common sense’. You think you have faith in God, you really have a misplaced faith in what you see in your mirror in the morning.”
    My mind is quite ordinary but my God is quite extraordinary, and he sometimes gives extraordinary insights to those who ask. Example: I was researching
    “look back time,” the time it take the light from distant stars to reach earth and I made a novice prediction. That is that the light from Andromeda, Triangulum, Large Megellenic, Small Magellenic and the Crab Nebula would be blue shifted. At the time I had no idea how rare blueshifts were in space. It turned out that 3 of the 5 were actually blueshifted and the other two were neutral — having neither redshifts or blueshifts.
    “Hey wow! Not that long ago your buddy Gordon informed us that Wikipedia was better than Scientific American when talking about cosmology because it was ‘peer reviewed’.”
    Gordon, I believe, was referring to a specific scholar whose work was peer reviewed and posted there.
    “I say this creationist models because creationists refuse to tell us what they mean.”
    If you examine the two most well known creationist organizations, Institute of Creation Research and Answers in Genesis, you would find very little difference between them. If you can’t understand what the models mean it is not that they don’t clearly identify them.
    “As I pointed out meteorites are well accounted for in the gelogic column.”
    Do you mean the dinosaur comment? You did not provide any evidence that I know, nor did you identify any comets. Read the following comments of secular geologists . . .
    {{

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    “I think you’re wrong about this. Supernova’s, being very bright, be detected in other galaxies.”
    I never hinted at anything to the contrary.
    “Since SNRs are very small and difficult to observe it’s not realistic to expect us to easily detect them outside our galaxy…even inside it’s pretty hard.”
    Your two above statements appear to contradict one another.

    I don’t see how. Supernova’s, being basically huge explosions, produce a lot of light for a brief period of time. They can be seen in galaxies very far away. SNR’s are what’s left over after the explosion & they do not produce much light at all. If they are close by they can be seen but that’s it.
    What you fail to mention that these are only theories that when examined are circular in reasoning. The current theory of stellar ‘evolution’ postulates that the density waves of exploding stars (SNRs) produced the stars. Even if one assumed that to be true, the question remains, what produced the stars that produced the density waves that produced other stars?
    Actually many questions remain but this isn’t a discussion about astronomy but about your original charge regarding there being supposedly too few SNR’s. That issue has been demolished but you seem to have failed to have noticed that nor learned anything from the experience. Perhaps that explains your habit of jumping from thing to thing.
    The 2nd law always increases and presumably has never been any less than it is today. In order for microbes to man to be plausible, there had to have been a steady, consistent, decrease in entropy, otherwise whatever organization may have been established by chance, would have been negligible. Microbes to man constitutes lost entropy in the past, and yes, that establishes a major “problem.”
    Microbes, though, are little entropy machines. They are taking fuel and burning it releasing heat into the environment. A world with little entropy is not one teaming with life like earth but one frozen solid like Pluto seems to be.
    In order for ‘evolution’ to occur, “life itself” must pay the entropic debt? You are putting the cart before the horse.
    No in order for entropy to decrease in one area it must increase overall. so the air conditioner in your car makes the inside colder but must ‘pay’ for this by pumping heat outside…in fact more heat than was removed from inside your car. Creationists seem to have an odd idea that just because something is ‘alive’ or ‘intelligent’ it becomes immune from thermodynamics.
    In the first place, there are NO exceptions to the 2nd law on earth or in space. Order and complexity do not arise from disorder. Period. In the second place you are not a biologist. In the third place, even if you were, no one is “bothering” you for your opinion on the matter, you volunteered it as you do on virtually every issue.
    The question remains why are you concentrating this inquiry on the biological sciences? If you had a serious physics based argument shouldn’t it be directed there?
    You nicely demonstrated how far evolutionists will go to salvage a failed theory – even if it means compromising one of the most firmly established laws of the universe. If creationists speculated that the law of gravity had a “major defect” because it didn’t jive with the creation model there would no end of the ridicule. But if evolutionists do the exact same thing to account for the missing mass, then it is just being “open to all possibilities.”
    This would make sense if the dark matter question had anything to do with evolution or even biology on earth. It doesn’t. Anyone proposing a modification to Newton/Einstein’s theories of gravity is doing so because they are trying to reconcile observations about how gravity is operating in the universe to the theories. You offered a ad hoc speculation that maybe galaxies are really flying apart and they only appear to be held together because they were created very recently. I pointed out that stellar momentum can be measured. There are, for example, stars in our galaxy that are speeding away and will shoot clear out of our galaxy. Your speculation makes no sense of the fact that not only are the stars of the galaxies close together but they are moving as if they are influnced by a lot of gravitational mass than is visible.
    Face it, if they were not trying in vain to produce something out of nothing with ‘dark matter,’ they wouldn’t be questioning Newton’s time honored law 400 years later. You can use any euphemism you wish, “dark matter,” invisible matter” “undetectable particles”
    Until now you’ve been using the phrase ‘something out of nothing’ to describe the Big Bang. Now it describes Dark Matter? Why? Whatever you think about the cause of the Big Bang why is it implausible that it produced matter that is very difficult for us to detect? After all, most of light was invisible to the human eye until quite recently when we figured out how to detect light in the non-visible spectrum like radio waves, x-rays and so on.
    All stars ARE flying apart today. That is why the tight spiral galaxies are observed to be expanding. And again, you are not a biologist and as far as I know there is not one at the EO.
    Show me! Stars that are flying apart (out of the galaxy) are very few and exceptions to the rule. Most stars are flying in regular orbit of the galactic center. The only plausible explanations are that our theories of gravity are deficient or the stars are being pulled by a lot more than we can see.
    Invisible magic star dust gravity enhancers and Newton/Einstein “screw ups” are now the likely suspects, but a simple straightforward interpretation of the astronomical data is unthinkable? It isn’t as if calculating the mass of the universe as it is, and determining how long it would take to reach its present condition is going to interrupt the entire space-time continuum. Nor is it likely to validate all the predictions of the creationist model. What would result is a quantum reduction in the age of the universe and as a result the entire evolutionary edifice would fall. Astronomy sets the clock for all the other evolutionary sciences.
    Ditching the old univerve theory fits the evidence if it is condensed to your rather poor knowledge of astronomy. There’s quite a bit of data that you’d have to jump through hoops to explain with a young universe model. As I pointed out several times now, a young universe model doesn’t even resolve the dark matter question.
    True, “cutting edge Christian thinking” doesn’t believe Christ when he said, “From the beginning of creation God made them male and female. (Mk 10:6) I do.
    Well you’d think cutting edge Christian thinkers could start improving your theology by actually reading Mark Chapter 10. If they do so they’ll notice Jesus is asked about divorce. The ‘them’ he is talking about is human beigns. No theory of evolution has gender evolving before human beings hence from the beginning of humans male and female exist. However even taking Genesis literally one cannot accept that you’re snippet of Mark means that male and female existed literally ‘from the beginning’. If so then Genesis has to be wrong since it clearly has men created after just about all of creation and then women are created AFTER THAT!
    Every scientist from Newton to Einstein used their God given common sense and imagination to formulate the groundwork for their discoveries. Part of the theory of relativity was based upon Einstein’s common sense approach to what happens to a ball when it is dropped off a bridge from a moving train. It was tested and proven true.
    However it is hardly common sense to say a watch on a fast moving train would show less time had passed during its run than the watch of a person waiting for the train at a station. Evolution too was derived with God given common sense but that’s not what makes it a good theory. What makes it a good theory is that it nicely fits the data. You’re doesn’t and much of your writing reveals ignorance of the data!

    I said something to the effect that if not for modern man’s anti-supernatural presuppositions most would recognize that intelligent design was common sense. This is accuate if recent public opinion surveys mean anything. .
    Examine this logical syllogism from the .orc site and identify which part is not based on “common sense” and which part is untrue.

    That’s nice philosophy however it has nothing to do with evolution my friend.
    Hey wow! Not that long ago your buddy Gordon informed us that Wikipedia was better than Scientific American when talking about cosmology because it was ‘peer reviewed’.”
    Gordon, I believe, was referring to a specific scholar whose work was peer reviewed and posted there.

    I believe Gordon was referring to the Wikipedia entry on ‘Big Bang’. But you nicely show your hand with this comment. Wikipedia is crap unless you’re using it as a source for your arguments.
    Some more comments:
    #146 “SNRs are very small.”
    False. The Crab Nebula is 60,000,000,000 light years across.

    That would make the Nebula larger than the Milky Way Galaxy that contains it. Indeed that would make it fill a huge portion of the visible universe. After a supernova there is an expanding cloud of gas that naturally will grow to a huge size. However gas itself gives off little if any light making it hard to see. A white dwarf or neutron star in the center of the SNR can emit radiation that would illuminate the gas cloud however it is difficult to see unless it is nearby.
    #136 ” A bit of water can provide ample protection from UV radiation.”
    False. A “bit of water” in an ozone free environment would not protect against UV.

    False, a few feet of water nicely shields against UV and earth’s oceans contain much more than a few feet of water. Also anything floating on top of water or providing shade can also be an effective shield against UV.
    #146 “There is no absence of transitional fossils in the geologic column.”
    False. Many of the leading evolutionists that I quoted have concluded that there are none.

    Perhaps they could explain the fossils I referenced.
    #153 “Evolution does not deal with origins.”
    False. Google Evolution/ origin of life and get over 60,500,000 sites.

    So what?
    153 Creationist models refuse to tell us what they mean.
    False They are traditionally very clear on their positions.

    Like when creationists will tell us on one hand ID doesn’t require supernatural intervention and then on the other hand that opposition to ID is based on hatred of religion? (Joe himself tried to pull off that slight of hand right here on this blog). How many times have IDers dodged the issue of whether they are asserting ‘design’ happened to create the first living thing or was done along the way. How many times have they even dodged the question of whether they are using an old earth or young earth?
    When have you ever said anything to lead a person to believe otherwise? I remember not long ago a young girl expressing her faith in God to you, and you and your sidekick were on her like a pitbull on a poodle. She said something very profound in response.
    Notice your slight of hand there. You said I claimed to be an athiest or agnostic. Now you’ve reverted to assuming that because I never told you I was otherwise. What is it Terry, did I claim it or not? If I didn’t why are you not dishonest for saying I did so claim? And no neither I nor Larry attacked her for expressing her faith in God. We attacked her for mocking and attacking those that disagreed with her in an arrogant and self-righteous tone and then retreating to a “I’m just a sweet innocent Church girl who isn’t schooled on these big science things” pose when attacked. If you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen.
    If your intellect ever raises to the level of your ego, you will not only understand the cosmos, you will be right in the midst of it.
    Hmmmm ok. So where exactly am I now?
    More on SNR’s
    I understand that there are many in the LMC. Whether or no they are ‘easy’ to find is a relative term.
    Again you dodge the question. The Mangellic Clouds are the closest galaxies to our own, in fact they are in orbit around us. That SNR’s are found there is not relevant to the question of whether we can detect them in distant galaxies.
    Since their theory does not acknowledge that a problem exists it is doubtful they will see the need will revise their theory. Of course, I think they should.
    Perhaps they reason they don’t see a need is because you only ‘think’ they should rather than actually presenting a convincing case. As I pointed out you don’t even know the creationist argument regarding supernovas that well!
    Talkorigins in general is a mismash of fact and fiction, science and science fiction. Over the years I have come across of dozens glaring errors contradicted not only by creationist Ph.Ds but the writings of fellow evolutionists. They have a definite agenda that is similar to your own — that is to try to discredit anything related to creationism, regardless of what empirical evidence there may be to the contrary. They often rely on outdated information and upon the good faith of their followers.
    Perhaps but it’s interesting their articles are more detailed than you’re are. They even give the creationist articles their full due (such as the details of the creationist supernova argument which is actually much better than your simplistic argument that seems to assume we should be able to detect SNR’s all over the universe equally as well as in our local area).
    The last post I warned you about imitating “Dr” Windbag’s
    style of ad homenim attack. I have tolerated it for a long, long time because the issues were important to me. They still are but you, sadly are not.

    Trust me my friend, my lack of importance to you won’t cause me to miss a moment’s sleep tonight.

  • Terence Moeller

    Boot,
    “Actually many questions remain but this isn’t a discussion about astronomy but about your original charge regarding there being supposedly too few SNR’s. That issue has been demolished but you seem to have failed to have noticed that nor learned anything from the experience. Perhaps that explains your habit of jumping from thing to thing.”
    In the first place, I suspect SNRs DO indeed have something with astronomy. In the second place your idea of “demolishing” an argument is stating your opinion, “spamming” it with links to hostile atheist sites which often recyles questionable data, then toss in a few ad hominems, and assume that everyone agrees with you.
    The fact reminds that there are a few hundred SNRs observed in space and over 7000 unaccounted for. I asked 20 questions covering a range of topics. If that qualifies as “jumping around,” I’ll take the hemlock.
    “Microbes, though, are little entropy machines. They are taking fuel and burning it releasing heat into the environment. A world with little entropy is not one teaming with life like earth but one frozen solid like Pluto seems to be.”
    Microbs are germs. Germs increase entropy. Entropy creates disorganization — hardly a recipe for producing microbes to man.
    “Creationists seem to have an odd idea that just because something is ‘alive’ or ‘intelligent’ it becomes immune from thermodynamics.”
    Produce one statement from me or any other creationist anywhere to back this foolishness. Otherwise I will assume that you have far put too much rum in your eggnog.
    “This would make sense if the dark matter question had anything to do with evolution or even biology on earth. It doesn’t.”
    The interconnectedness of the theory of stellar evolution and biological ‘evolution’ is unquestionable.
    “You offered a ad hoc speculation that maybe galaxies are really flying apart and they only appear to be held together because they were created very recently.”
    Fact: Galaxies are not just “maybe” moving apart, they actually are. If you can produce one statement from any astronomer on earth to the contrary, then I suspect he got his Ph.D the same place windbag did.
    Fact: The (spiral) galaxies do not “only appear” to be relatively tightly wound, they are.
    The speed in which the galaxies are presently observed moving apart is directly related to the need for ‘dark matter’ to hold them together. For without it, (given 15-20 billion years of dissipation), the galaxies would have already spun out.
    “I pointed out that stellar momentum can be measured.”
    That is precisely why astrophysicists came up with dark matter. The present mass and momentum of the galaxies expanding would indicate that after a few revolutions around their orbit (on the order of millions, not billions of years) they are history. You have to understand the need for dark matter in the first place to understand why it is not really necessary. It relates directly to an old universe cosmology. Take away that cosmology need for dark matter vanishes.
    “Your speculation makes no sense of the fact that not only are the stars of the galaxies close together but they are moving as if they are influenced by a lot of gravitational mass than is visible.”
    Fact: Given the present rate of dissipation the “visible” mass of the stars is 1/10th the amount needed to hold the galaxies together for billions of years.
    “Until now you’ve been using the phrase ‘something out of nothing’ to describe the Big Bang. Now it describes Dark Matter? Why?”
    Because invisible matter and an electron containing all
    the energy and matter in the universe is essentially the same thing — something out of nothing.
    “Whatever you think about the cause of the Big Bang why is it implausible that it produced matter that is very difficult for us to detect? After all, most of light was invisible to the human eye until quite recently when we figured out how to detect light in the non-visible spectrum like radio waves, x-rays and so on.”
    Light quanta have measurable mass and weight. There exists an average density of matter in the whole of space which is everywhere the same. Even the term “dark matter” is deceptive because it presumes something that doesn’t exist, can’t be measured, tested, or put in a bottle.
    “Ditching the old univerve theory fits the evidence if it is condensed to your rather poor knowledge of astronomy.”
    zzzzzzzzzzzz
    “Show me! Stars that are flying apart (out of the galaxy) are very few and exceptions to the rule. Most stars are flying in regular orbit of the galactic center. The only plausible explanations are that our theories of gravity are deficient or the stars are being pulled by a lot more than we can see.”
    You know very well that I was referring to galactic star clusters expanding in unison — not lone stars shooting out of the galaxy. Stars “flying apart,” if I recall, was a term you first used and I was just agreeing with it in principal. Look at a photo of the different stages of a spiral galaxy and you might get a better handle on the concept of stellar expansion.
    “As I pointed out several times now, a young universe model doesn’t even resolve the dark matter question.”
    It isn’t as if without ‘dark matter’ the galactic clusters
    could not exist. Its just that at the speed in which the are spreading apart they could not have existed for billions of years.
    “No theory of evolution has gender evolving before human beings hence from the beginning of humans male and female exist.”
    So according to the theory of evolution all that talk about “Lucy” must have been wrong. Hermaphrodites ruled the earth before man?
    “However even taking Genesis literally one cannot accept that you’re snippet of Mark means that male and female existed literally ‘from the beginning’.If so then Genesis has to be wrong since it clearly has men created after just about all of creation and then women are created AFTER THAT!”
    Jesus was referring to the entire creation week when he said, “From the beginning of creation . . .”
    “Evolution too was derived with God given common sense but that’s not what makes it a good theory. What makes it a good theory is that it nicely fits the data. You’re doesn’t and much of your writing reveals ignorance of the data!”
    First you vehemently denied that “common sense” was a basis for understanding the universe. Now you do a 180 and claim that “evolution” was derived with common sense. Your ubiquitous and condescending references to my “ignorance” only reflects your inability to formulate a consistent or logical argument.
    “That would make the Nebula larger than the Milky Way Galaxy that contains it.”
    Revised estimates on the Nebula is 6 ly across.
    The milky way is 100,000 light years across.
    One light year is approximately 5trillion miles.
    You could fit roughly 20,000 Crab Nebulas in the Milky Way.
    “Like when creationists will tell us on one hand ID doesn’t require supernatural intervention and then on the other hand that opposition to ID is based on hatred of religion?”
    You are confusing what is known as scientific creationism as opposed to the intelligent design movement (IDM). Two distinct entities.
    “Notice your slight of hand there. You said I claimed to be an athiest or agnostic. Now you’ve reverted to assuming that because I never told you I was otherwise. What is it Terry, did I claim it or not? If I didn’t why are you not dishonest for saying I did so claim?”
    After having come across the data below, I
    still gave you the benefit of the doubt and said said that if I “misjudged” you, then “I apologize.” Accusations towards me and many others, such as “you call yourself a Christian, or being called a “self identifying” Christian” is a common tactic used by atheists at the EO to imply rank hypocrisy. I noticed it is commonly used at the .orc site too. But I would not be so insecure as to demand an exact quote to prove that I “said” I am a believer. And then even after an apology you continue to make harp on it. If you never articulated those exact words, that’s fine. It means nothing either way. If I listed all of the unfounded, mean spirited accusations you have made toward me and GM alone in the last month, I may have run out of bandwidth in the process.
    beliefnet
    … Posted by: Boonton at September 27, 2005 08:15 AM … level class. As an atheist, I have no problem with it … problem with Bible unfamiliarity at the Evangelical Outpost. …
    beliefnet.com/…/archives/001618.html&cat=christian -
    “And no neither I nor Larry attacked her for expressing her faith in God. We attacked her for mocking and attacking those that disagreed with her in an arrogant and self-righteous tone and then retreating to a “I’m just a sweet innocent Church girl who isn’t schooled on these big science things” pose when attacked. If you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen.”
    That is real big of you two tough muffins. When I see your names together for many posts in a row I know without reading anything that the conversation has been reduced to name calling and petty recriminations and you most likely have driven all sensible people away with your maniacal ego trips.
    Think about what you are doing in the future. As GM said, there is still time left to turn around.

  • Jerry

    Terrence, two points.
    Must be a typo because you seriously contradicted yourself on claiming the Crab Nebula is 60 trillion light years across and next say it is 6 light years across.
    Your references to meteorites in the geological record are all at least 50 years old. Can’t you find any more recent ones? Fifty years, after all, is a long time, even if one doesn’t subscribe to young earth theory. Think about it. Mercury, Appollo, the Eagle, Hubble. DeBakey, Bakker. Moon landings, Mars landings, fly-bys. Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush,Jr.
    With a record like that, it’s no wonder that Boon appears to be kicking your ass, intellectually and factually. If you’re off that bad on two things I actually do remember and know about, I’d hate to think how inaccurate you are about the other stuff. Why not quit while you still have your fantasies?
    Jerry

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    In the first place, I suspect SNRs DO indeed have something with astronomy. In the second place your idea of “demolishing” an argument is stating your opinion, “spamming” it with links to hostile atheist sites which often recyles questionable data, then toss in a few ad hominems, and assume that everyone agrees with you.
    The fact reminds that there are a few hundred SNRs observed in space and over 7000 unaccounted for. I asked 20 questions covering a range of topics. If that qualifies as “jumping around,” I’ll take the hemlock.

    1. I’ve cited no athiest site. Not that it would matter if I did.
    2. I didn’t spam you, I referenced an article that examined the SNR argument in detail and tried to summarize it as best I could. The fact that you’re still calling for 7,000 more SNR’s to be found indicates that you have not really looked at the argument.
    “Microbes, though, are little entropy machines. They are taking fuel and burning it releasing heat into the environment. A world with little entropy is not one teaming with life like earth but one frozen solid like Pluto seems to be.”
    Microbs are germs. Germs increase entropy. Entropy creates disorganization — hardly a recipe for producing microbes to man.
    checkmate, cells are like germs. Cells increase entropy. If I took a single cell from a human and placed it in a box it would increase the entropy in the box. Likewise, if I took two cells and put them in two boxes then entropy increases in those box. If I divided a human into all billions of his/her living cells and put them in boxes the total entropy in the boxes would increase. A human is a huge entropy machine compared to a germ. Even before you have a human do any human like things such as dig up coal and burn it for heat just being a human radiating at 98 degrees increases entropy.
    The interconnectedness of the theory of stellar evolution and biological ‘evolution’ is unquestionable.
    Really? How come biological evolution was formulated as a theory when people had no idea what a star was made out of, didn’t even know what the sun really was or the fact that stars were actually suns that are very far away? You have it backward, the biologist does not really care whether or not Newton’s theory of gravity gets modified or whether there’s a huge population of very difficult to detect particles floating between the stars and around galaxies. Yet you would pretend that dark matter is some ad hoc invention to bail out biological evolution!
    That is precisely why astrophysicists came up with dark matter. The present mass and momentum of the galaxies expanding would indicate that after a few revolutions around their orbit (on the order of millions, not billions of years) they are history. You have to understand the need for dark matter in the first place to understand why it is not really necessary. It relates directly to an old universe cosmology. Take away that cosmology need for dark matter vanishes.
    This is precisely false. The galaxies are moving apart relative to each other but the galaxies themselves appear totally stable. A billion years from now the stars of the Milky Way are not going to be scattered in all directions like some type of pinada that was popped! If there is no dark matter, if Newton/Einstein were essentially correct then stars would not do ‘a few revolutions’ around their galaxies. They would fly off in a straight line that would only be slightly bent by the inferior gravity of the other stars from their host galaxy.
    Fact: Given the present rate of dissipation the “visible” mass of the stars is 1/10th the amount needed to hold the galaxies together for billions of years.
    Gravity isn’t some type of well that gets used up. It isn’t like there’s enough gravity to hold stars together in a galaxy for 10,000 years but not 10 billion. Either there is sufficient mass or there is not. If there is not the stars would be shooting off in straight lines in all directions. They would not do ‘one or two revolutions’ and then drift away like exhaused track runners.
    Light quanta have measurable mass and weight. There exists an average density of matter in the whole of space which is everywhere the same. Even the term “dark matter” is deceptive because it presumes something that doesn’t exist, can’t be measured, tested, or put in a bottle.
    Heh, up until a hundred or so years ago you would have been thought insane to be suggesting one could weight light! Anyway yes Dark Matter needs to be measured, tested, and metaphorically at least ‘put in a bottle’. If it isn’t then it is going to get ditched as a hypothesis. You seem to be thinking that dark matter simply hypothesises ‘undetectable particles’. In fact one of the reason we are talking about dark matter being particles is because a lot of work was done to rule out large dense bodies as the source of dark matter (such as brown dwarfs, black holes etc.)
    You know very well that I was referring to galactic star clusters expanding in unison — not lone stars shooting out of the galaxy. Stars “flying apart,” if I recall, was a term you first used and I was just agreeing with it in principal. Look at a photo of the different stages of a spiral galaxy and you might get a better handle on the concept of stellar expansion.
    Indeed, the problem that lead to the dark matter hypothesis is that there is not enough visible matter to hold any particular galaxy itself together assuming we got gravity right. Even if you accept that the universe is very young the fact is stars are moving ‘as if’ there’s a lot more matter out there than we can see. You don’t need dark matter to have an old universe, you need it to explain the universe we see right now.
    It isn’t as if without ‘dark matter’ the galactic clusters
    could not exist. Its just that at the speed in which the are spreading apart they could not have existed for billions of years.

    we are talking past each other. You need dark matter to explain a single galaxy, let alone a cluster of many galaxies.
    So according to the theory of evolution all that talk about “Lucy” must have been wrong. Hermaphrodites ruled the earth before man?
    I’m sorry, Lucy? What are you talking about?
    Jesus was referring to the entire creation week when he said, “From the beginning of creation . . .”
    Jesus was referring to divorce. Nothing he said would contradict either the literal creationist reading of genesis or evolution as a theory.
    First you vehemently denied that “common sense” was a basis for understanding the universe. Now you do a 180 and claim that “evolution” was derived with common sense. Your ubiquitous and condescending references to my “ignorance” only reflects your inability to formulate a consistent or logical argument.
    I think you’re just playing word games here. I made it very clear that ‘common sense’ is fine for coming up with hypothesises and guesses but a theory must be evaluated by the evidence and not whether it feels comfortable to ‘common sense’.
    After having come across the data below, I
    still gave you the benefit of the doubt and said said that if I “misjudged” you, then “I apologize.” Accusations towards me and many others, such as “you call yourself a Christian, or being called a “self identifying” Christian” is a common tactic used by atheists at the EO to imply rank hypocrisy. I noticed it is commonly used at the .orc site too. But I would not be so insecure as to demand an exact quote to prove that I “said” I am a believer. And then even after an apology you continue to make harp on it. If you never articulated those exact words, that’s fine. It means nothing either way. If I listed all of the unfounded, mean spirited accusations you have made toward me and GM alone in the last month, I may have run out of bandwidth in the process.

    I’m not exactly sure why you would consider it mean spirited to be accused of being a Christian or even a ‘self identifying Christian’. I don’t think I’m out of line in asking whether a particular theory or belief set is healthy for a Christian mindset. If I wrote an article stating that consumption of pornography was not good for a Christian mindset I don’t have a feeling you’d feel I was insulting anyone or need to explain whether or not I was a Christian. Anyway, I wish you would give the full URL of the beliefnet post. I’ve never been to that site and I honestly don’t think I would have ever written “As an atheist, I have no problem with it … problem with Bible unfamiliarity at the Evangelical Outpost. …”
    I’d have to read the whole thing, though. Could I possibly have written something like that trying to make a rhetorical point? I guess but I don’t think I did write it and I know I never wrote on beliefnet.com. Perhaps someone else is using my handle?
    That is real big of you two tough muffins. When I see your names together for many posts in a row I know without reading anything that the conversation has been reduced to name calling and petty recriminations and you most likely have driven all sensible people away with your maniacal ego trips.
    Look you’ve already taken this off in a million directions. That was a lot of posts ago and I’m not going to go back and refresh my memory of what she posted and what was posted in response. I feel I justly found her posts to be condescending and self-righteous. If you had a different opinion you were perfectly free to have expressed it back there.
    Your references to meteorites in the geological record are all at least 50 years old….
    I’d like to know exactly what he means by meteorites in the geological record. Does he mean the actual rocks from ancient meteor impacts? In that case you’re talking about a very small item embeded in a huge sheet. I’ve already referenced the fact that we have good evidence of a huge meteor that impacted around the Gulf of Mexico near the end of the dinosaurs and spread itself out as a very thin blanket in the gelogical record.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    beliefnet
    … Posted by: Boonton at September 27, 2005 08:15 AM … level class. As an atheist, I have no problem with it … problem with Bible unfamiliarity at the Evangelical Outpost. …
    beliefnet.com/…/archives/001618.html&cat=christian -

    Since I don’t post on beliefnet.com I wondered if maybe one of my EO posts was mirrored there. I searched through Joe’s archives for September and while I haven’t searched all the comments I cannot find anything I wrote like this. A search for Boonton and September 27, 2005 08:15 AM on Google doesn’t turn up anything either. I’d really like Terry to post the full URL of this post he thinks I wrote so we can see it and I can comment on it!

  • Terence Moeller

    161
    Jerry:
    “Must be a typo because you seriously contradicted yourself on claiming the Crab Nebula is 60 trillion light years across and next say it is 6 light years across.”
    Yes, it was a typo, I meant 60 trillion ‘miles’ which was based upon the number of light years across the Crab Nebula times the distance traveled in one light year. The revised figures that I posted above made that clear, I hope. These rounded off figures also were based on smaller estimations of the radius of the Nebula; approximately 30 trillion miles across. At any rate, this particular SNR was by no means “small,” as Boonton suggested SNRs tend to be, and that was the only point.
    30 trillion miles is anything but small.
    “Your references to meteorites in the geological record are all at least 50 years old. Can’t you find any more recent ones?”
    Boot said something to the effect of, “I have already pointed out” that there many examples of meteorites in the geologic column. In reality there were no examples that he gave besides some reference to an outdated theory that meteorites wiped out the dinosaurs.
    Although my references were dated, at least I provided some authoritative sources to support my position.
    “With a record like that, it’s no wonder that Boon appears to be kicking your ass, intellectually and factually. If you’re off that bad on two things I actually do remember and know about, I’d hate to think how inaccurate you are about the other stuff. Why not quit while you still have your fantasies?”
    Frankly, I could enumerate at least a hundred typos and various other faux pas made by both you and Boot in response to these questions alone. If I said, ‘light years’ instead of miles, or if the quotes that I used in response to one of the 20 questions was slightly dated, get over it.
    “1. I’ve cited no athiest site.”
    Perhaps you should try to become more familiar with the underlying philosophy of origins.org. Call it secular humanism, or dialectical materialism if you wish. I understand also that Hillary is not a liberal and that you are not an agnostic. It is a strange world we live in.
    “The fact that you’re still calling for 7,000 more SNR’s to be found indicates that you have not really looked at the argument.”
    You are an accountant, multiply 10-20 billion years X 25 SNRs per year and see what you come up with. Sure any of these hypothetical SNRs may yet be undetected, but the bottom line is that there any no tangible evidence yet that they ever existed.
    “Checkmate, cells are like germs . . . Even before you have a human do any human like things such as dig up coal and burn it for heat just being a human radiating at 98 degrees increases entropy.”
    Classic Boontonism: Yes but Isn’t human do like any human things such as dig up coal for heat just being human radiating 98 degrees increases entropy? Or is before it human do ANY human like things not burn it for heat but just being human radiating increase or decrease entropy? As a chessplayer you make a great CPA.
    “Yet you would pretend that dark matter is some ad hoc invention to bail out biological evolution!”
    No. I said that astronomy “set the clock” for biological evolution and if their timetable is faulty, so too are the rest of the sciences in that regard.
    “This is precisely false. The galaxies are moving apart relative to each other but the galaxies themselves appear totally stable.”
    They appear stable because they are young, but no astrophysicist worth his salt would deny that they are expanding rapidly. Again, look at the stages of a spiral galaxy. You are referring to expansion of space (the dots on an expanding balloon analogy), but if you took basic astronomy you would learn that the galaxies star clusters are physically expanding and their stability is only relative to stage of expansion.
    “If there is no dark matter, if Newton/Einstein were essentially correct then stars would not do ‘a few revolutions’ around their galaxies. They would fly off in a straight line that would only be slightly bent by the inferior gravity of the other stars from their host galaxy.”
    Another sojourn in cloudland without one iota of evidence presented to back it up. The following are two statements of astronomer Dr. H.S. Slusher. You can agree or disagree but don’t presume to be rewriting the laws of physics.
    “Keplerian motion should destroy the arms of a spiral galaxy in one to a few rotations of the galaxy – 200-1000 million years at most. However, a huge number of spiral galaxies still exist.”
    –Slusher, H. S. 1980. Age of the Cosmos. pp. 15-16.
    Clusters of stars are common, even though they should rapidly break up due to shearing and tidal affects as they rotate around a galaxy’s nucleus.
    –Slusher, H. S. 1980. Age of the Cosmos. pp. 16.
    “Even if you accept that the universe is very young the fact is stars are moving ‘as if’ there’s a lot more matter out there than we can see. You don’t need dark matter to have an old universe, you need it to explain the universe we see right now.”
    If there was a experimental model of a galaxy wherein you could add or take away gravity and measure the reaction of the stars swirling around a stable nucleus, you would find that as you reduced gravity and increased speed the stars on outside would GRADUALLY fall away. It’s much like what can be observed when you stir cake batter. The faster you stir the more the particles on the outside will fall away.
    “You need dark matter to explain a single galaxy, let alone a cluster of many galaxies.”
    You don’t need dark matter to explain a single galaxy. God made them perfect just the way they are – rapidly spreading apart. Astronomers observe this breakup and measure the amount of gravity – the mass – the speed of the rotation and the key element – time. No scientist I have ever read has declared that the individual stars should be, as you say, “shooting off in a straight line.” What they do say is that at the present rate of breakup, given the present mass, and given the theoretical age of the universe, something is amiss.
    M A (B/A) = “a miracle happens.” The uniformity of natural causes within a closed system would dictate that at the present rate of break up given all the other factors, the galaxies should have gradually spun out already.
    “I’m sorry, Lucy? What are you talking about?”
    You said:
    “No theory of evolution has gender evolving before human beings . . .”
    That is absurd. Then how did animals ever reproduce before human beings – hermaphroditically? “Lucy” is a famous ancient skeleton discovered by Leaky. Obviously female.
    “Jesus was referring to divorce. Nothing he said would contradict either the literal creationist reading of genesis or evolution as a theory.”
    Jesus began by saying, “From the BEGINING of CREATION God MADE them male and female.” He was not suggesting under what circumstances that after 18 billion years (of gender bending) some ape-like hominids could get a divorce. Save the talk of pan-theistic evolution for Jerry on another thread I think you two may find some common theological and scientific grounds.
    “Your references to meteorites in the geological record are all at least 50 years old…”
    Any references you claim to have made so far have been invisible as ‘dark matter.’
    “I’d like to know exactly what he means by meteorites in the geological record. Does he mean the actual rocks from ancient meteor impacts? ”
    No. I mean the meteor impacts.
    “I’ve already referenced the fact that we have good evidence of a huge meteor that impacted around the Gulf of Mexico near the end of the dinosaurs and spread itself out as a very thin blanket in the geological record.”
    I studied geology in college for two years and in graduate school at S.F.A.S.U. (that wasn’t so hard to do, eh cheese) I did more research. Meteorite impacts are potentially detectable at all levels, particularly in coal seams. What you refer to is a surface impact. If it were found several layers down, that would constitute proof of impact within the column.
    “beliefnet
    … Posted by: Boonton at September 27, 2005 08:15 AM … level class. As an atheist, I have no problem with it … problem with Bible unfamiliarity at the Evangelical Outpost. …
    beliefnet.com/…/archives/001618.html&cat=christian -
    “Since I don’t post on beliefnet.com I wondered if maybe one of my EO posts was mirrored there.
    I’d really like Terry to post the full URL of this post he thinks I wrote so we can see it and I can comment on it!”
    Perhaps they were. I have seen what I have written in the past spread all over the net in the most unlikely places. Just yesterday I came across 20 pages of my treatment of look back time written five years ago. I have no interest or intention of spending any more time on this. It was not cited to embarrass you. In fact I had it and forgot about it, and had to go back again to look for it again because you forced my hand. It was a casual statement about what I ‘thought’ you stood for. I am only glad to hear that you don’t. The Bible says, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” I don’t blame you for wanting to create a little distance.
    “Really? How come biological evolution was formulated as a theory when people had no idea what a star was made out of, didn’t even know what the sun really was or the fact that stars were actually suns that are very far away? You have it backward, the biologist does not really care whether or not Newton’s theory of gravity gets modified or whether there’s a huge population of very difficult to detect particles floating between the stars and around galaxies. Yet you would pretend that dark matter is some ad hoc invention to bail out biological evolution!”
    All I said that the two sciences are interconnected today.
    The fact that one preceded the other is irrelevant
    to that basic premise. Perhaps Darwinism was not dependent upon astronomy, but in 150 years the geologic time line and the philosophy of evolution has been greatly influenced by modern astronomy.

  • jerry

    WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH HIM BOON?
    I think it’s starting to get to him, but at least his references, for what they’re worth, have moved up to only 35 years ago.
    Terrence, Boon refers to the Yucatan meterorite, which is well documented. There’s also one in Australia, and that big crater in New Mexico or Arizona. I’ve already been to school, so I’m not going to do your homework for you. I would just suggest that you research before making sweeping and totally false claims. And when you said,”Although my references were dated, at least I provided some authoritative sources to support my position”, you fail to realize that references aren’t worth a damn if they are outdated, old, disproven, or superseded. Maybe in 1955, the record of meteorites was non-existant. Cool. But, Terrence, it is now 2006.
    Are you a lawyer, by any chance? A used car salesman?
    Jerry

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    At any rate, this particular SNR was by no means “small,” as Boonton suggested SNRs tend to be, and that was the only point.
    Yes yes the cloud of gas left from a supernova is hardly small but I made it clear the remenant at the center is very small and the cloud might as well be invisible unless there is something illuminating it.
    Boot said something to the effect of, “I have already pointed out” that there many examples of meteorites in the geologic column. In reality there were no examples that he gave besides some reference to an outdated theory that meteorites wiped out the dinosaurs.
    I suggest you research the Chicxulub Crater and the thin layer of iridium that it appears to have left in the geological boundary. Iridium is rare on earth but common in meteorites. Chicxulub would therefore fit your demand for a meteorite in the gelogical layer (a metor that’s been demolished and spread around the earth as a very find powder). Beyond that I ask that you answer my question as to what exactly are you asking for? An actual rock dug out of the geological column that would be a meteorite? Plenty of such rocks have been found.
    Perhaps you should try to become more familiar with the underlying philosophy of origins.org. Call it secular humanism, or dialectical materialism if you wish. I understand also that Hillary is not a liberal and that you are not an agnostic. It is a strange world we live in.
    How about you actually cite me something that says Talkorigins.com advocates athiesm? It sounds like this is another case of a creationist applying the fallacy of the false choice; “choose between not being an athiest or believing in evolution” to the debate.
    You are an accountant, multiply 10-20 billion years X 25 SNRs per year and see what you come up with. Sure any of these hypothetical SNRs may yet be undetected, but the bottom line is that there any no tangible evidence yet that they ever existed.
    The 25 SN’s per year number has been exhaustively addressed and you’ve ignored the entire argument.
    Classic Boontonism: Yes but Isn’t human do like any human things such as dig up coal for heat just being human radiating 98 degrees increases entropy? Or is before it human do ANY human like things not burn it for heat but just being human radiating increase or decrease entropy? As a chessplayer you make a great CPA.
    I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. A world with little entropy does not look like a world full of humans. It looks like a frozen and lifeless world such as the moon or what we think Pluto looks like. Life causes an increase in entropy so there’s no contradiction with thermodynamics.
    They appear stable because they are young, but no astrophysicist worth his salt would deny that they are expanding rapidly. Again, look at the stages of a spiral galaxy. You are referring to expansion of space (the dots on an expanding balloon analogy), but if you took basic astronomy you would learn that the galaxies star clusters are physically expanding and their stability is only relative to stage of expansion.
    there is no evidence that the Milky Way is expanding rapidly. With a few exceptions, all the stars in it are following orbital paths around the galaxy. The galaxy is not just a collection of stars that are shooting away from each other in all directions. Even if you believe the Milky Way snapped into existence 5 minutes ago Dark Matter would still be necessary to explain the stellar movement we observe (either that or changing our theory of gravity).
    Jesus began by saying, “From the BEGINING of CREATION God MADE them male and female.” He was not suggesting under what circumstances that after 18 billion years (of gender bending) some ape-like hominids could get a divorce. Save the talk of pan-theistic evolution for Jerry on another thread I think you two may find some common theological and scientific grounds.
    You’re Bible reading is as bad as your reading of science. First of all if Jesus was talking about the ‘beginning of creation’ then he could not mean ‘after the first week’ as you claimed. Taking a literal view of Genesis once you get past the first week you are at the END of creation. Trying to force Jesus’s words about divorce (Actually read the chapter from Mark that you are quoting) to be about creation ends up in a situation where you have Jesus not only contradicting science but the Bible as well since gender in humans was clearly not created at the beginning of creation. Perhaps this argument might appeal to someone trying to mount a Jewish inspired creationist theology.
    Terence’s Lie?:
    Perhaps they were. I have seen what I have written in the past spread all over the net in the most unlikely places. Just yesterday I came across 20 pages of my treatment of look back time written five years ago. I have no interest or intention of spending any more time on this. It was not cited to embarrass you. In fact I had it and forgot about it, and had to go back again to look for it again because you forced my hand. It was a casual statement about what I ‘thought’ you stood for. I am only glad to hear that you don’t. The Bible says, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” I don’t blame you for wanting to create a little distance.
    OK, I tried to be polite about this. You claimed I wrote something I did not write. You cited a partial URL so clearly you were not operating off of memory. In an effort to see if it was possible I might have written something you took out of context I tried searching Joe’s archives for Septemember as well as Googling anything with Boonton and Sept. 27, 2005 8:15 AM in it and found nothing.
    I have to demand that you produce your evidence and produce the URL. You made an accusation and backed it up with what appears to be a heavily edited quote and partial URL. Is this real or not? Produce the evidence!

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    BTW, the Chicxulub Crater is over a kilometer deep. It is hardly a ‘surface crater’.
    I’d also like to know how he gets the idea that the an impact being the primary cause of the dinosaur extinction is ‘outdated’.

  • Terence Moeller

    “Beyond that I ask that you answer my question as to what exactly are you asking for? An actual rock dug out of the geological column that would be a meteorite? Plenty of such rocks have been found.”
    I was searching for empirical evidence that any ancient meteorites had impacted the underlying layers of the geological column. I have already clarified in the last post that an “impact crater” would suffice as evidence. You say “plenty of rocks have been found,” but as usual, no evidence was presented by you.
    “There is no evidence that the Milky Way is expanding rapidly.”
    Google: “The Milkyway is expanding rapidly” and the there are 114,000 sites.
    Here is one example of what you might learn if you did some research on the matter:
    Milky Way spiral gets an extra arm
    10:15 09 May 2004
    Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition
    {The map of the Milky Way is being redrawn, following the discovery of another arm of the galaxy. Scientists have known for 50 years that the Milky Way has a spiral structure, and careful observations have identified four main arms that SWIRL OUT FROM out from the galactic centre as well a number of smaller arcs between them. The new feature is a massive arc that sweeps around outside the other arms. If it were visible in the night sky on Earth it would reach approximately from the horizon to the zenith.}
    “I’d also like to know how he gets the idea that the an impact being the primary cause of the dinosaur extinction is ‘outdated’.”
    In the first place it’s a 1970s theory. In the second place there are new theories suggesting that it was a series of events over an extended period of time, not just one asteroid. Read the following:
    http://www.princeton.edu/pr/pwb/03/0922/
    Hint: It was the Genesis flood that wiped out the dinos.
    “BTW, the Chicxulub Crater is over a kilometer deep. It is hardly a ‘surface crater’.”
    In the first place, how deep it penetrated is totally irrelevant to the question whether or not meteorites impacted the unexposed layers of the geologic column. In the second place Chicxclub was not a meteorite. In the third place it was indeed a surface impact.
    “You’re Bible reading is as bad as your reading of science. First of all if Jesus was talking about the ‘beginning of creation’ then he could not mean ‘after the first week’ as you claimed.”
    Speaking of reading habits Boonton, kindly read the following sentence posted by me (#160) and tell me how that could possibly be interpreted by you as my ‘claiming’ that it was “after the first week.”
    I said:
    “Jesus was referring TO THE ENTIRE WEEK OF CREATION when he said, “From the beginning of creation . . .”
    If words have meaning, then that should be clear. Any Bible scholar will tell you that the entire week represented the “beginning of creation.” Do you presume that Jesus was not aware that man was created on day six and thought it was on day one?
    “Trying to force Jesus’s words about divorce (Actually read the chapter from Mark that you are quoting) to be about creation ends up in a situation where you have Jesus not only contradicting science but the Bible as well since gender in humans was clearly not created at the beginning of creation.”
    He began to address the question of divorce by saying, “At the “beginning of creation . . .” If words have meaning, Jesus was talking about creation. The serpent said to Eve, “Hath God
    said. . .?”
    Did God really say, “At the beginning of creation God created them male and female. Yes he did. Eve didn’t have the beneifit of
    a proof text when God’s words were twisted, but I do.
    “Terence’s Lie? OK, I tried to be polite about this. . . I have to demand that you produce your evidence and produce the URL. You made an accusation and backed it up with what appears to be a heavily edited quote and partial URL. Is this real or not? Produce the evidence!”
    And so it ends . . . the saga of the 20 questions. Boonton, unable to refute a single one of them is reduced to accusing me of doctoring a quotation of his to make him look silly. Okay, Boot, here is what you do. Go to Yahoo. Write in {evangelical outpost boonton I am an atheist}. Then look at the third entry.
    I do not want or expect an apology from you. What I do expect – demand from you in the future is that if you care to dialog
    with me, provide some common courtesy, a little research on your part before you make wild scientific claims, specific links to the evidence presented, and no more accusations of lying on my part.
    If you can not, or will not do that then do not expect me to respond to anything you may say in the future.
    Aloha and farewell

  • Jerry

    It appears this thread is drawing to a close.
    Boontoon and I have some intellectual and theological agreements and I’ll probably be asking him to marry me soon.
    Terrence continues to ignore…..well, everything.
    For example: “In the first place, how deep it penetrated is totally irrelevant to the question whether or not meteorites impacted the unexposed layers of the geologic column. In the second place Chicxclub was not a meteorite. In the third place it was indeed a surface impact. ”
    1st place:It was deep enough to disturb many layers of unexposed geology. 2nd place: If it was not a meteorite, was it a comet? Or an angel with wing problems? What was it? 3rd place: Right, Terrance, it was a surface impact, one that continued for several thousand feet, making it a rather deep impact as well.
    This is an example of what caused me to question if Terrence might be a lawyer or a used car salesmen. Those people have an extraordinary ability to ignore the objections of their target and proceed as if they had heard nothing negative to their viewpoint or goal.
    “Hint: It was the Genesis flood that wiped out the dinos.”
    I am ROTFL. How utterly ridiculous! Cavemen like Noah (Iron Age man) did not co-exist with dinosaurs, Terrence, please. There’s a 65 million years gap there! Also, if the old boy was taking two of everything, why did he exclude dinosaurs? A T.Rex might be a bit fearsome to load onto your boat, but what about the small ones? The ones that might have tasted like chicken? Please Terrence, you killing me, you should be in show business! You sure as hell lost all credibility with me as far as being a serious debater of intellectual subjects.
    I’m sure we’ll all meet again, the next time fundamentalists and free-thinkers feel the need to express their opinions about today’s burning issues. As for me, I wish I had the time to devote to combating this ignorance called creationism/intelligent design, but it’s not a high priority since it is a movement doomed to failure anyway. It’s always fun though.
    Creationists! Surrender or be assimilated!
    Jerry

  • Terence Moeller

    Jerry:
    “Boontoon and I have some intellectual and theological agreements and I’ll probably be asking him to marry me soon.”
    Yes, you and Boontoon would make a cute couple, but it is questionable of who would wear the pants in the family.
    “Terrence continues to ignore…..well, everything. For example: 1st place:It was deep enough to disturb many layers of unexposed geology.”
    The original point was that there is no evidence of meteorite impact in the geologic column underneath the surface layer. If each layer had been exposed to the elements for billions of years, then it would have been impacted and the evidence of it would presumably have been apparent to all geologists. If a large meteorite penetrated both the surface and the underlying layers today, it would not disprove the proposition. But if underneath that surface there was evidence of impact, that would be a different situation. Then it would prove that that layer was exposed for perhaps millions of years, rather than quickly laid down by say . . . a flood.
    2nd place: If it was not a meteorite, was it a comet? Or an angel with wing problems? What was it?
    No. According to theory, it was an asteroid.
    Read a random secular based article at:
    http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/extinctheory.html
    Alverez was a physicist who first formed this theory.
    {The Alvarez Hypothesis: The original hypothesis is the basis for several subsequent variations on the theme that a large extraterrestrial object collided with the Earth, its impact throwing up enough dust to cause the climatic change. The iridium layer is what prompted the Alvarez team to blame an asteroid impact for the extinction

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Google: “The Milkyway is expanding rapidly” and the there are 114,000 sites.
    Here is one example of what you might learn if you did some research on the matter:

    I did this and most of the sites that come up appear to be talking about the expansion of galaxies away from each other. Not the expansion of the Milky Way itself. But what you are suggesting is more than an expansion, you are suggesting that all the stars of the Milky Way are shooting out in all directions away from each other. Hence no need for Dark Matter. But this is not the case.
    Your only source (again I notice you have a habit of posting sources without giving a URL to reference) simply says that that the Milky Way has four known arms and a large ‘arc’ that is outside the arms.
    A search for ‘stability of the Milky Way’ yields 202,000 results on google. A http://www.usd.edu/phys/courses/phys187/notes/milkyway/milkyway.htm summary of the observed characteristics of the Milky Way indicates that it is rotating. In fact if it wasn’t rotating the stars would fall into each other due to gravity. http://web.mit.edu/~redingtn/www/netadv/specr/012/node7.html goes into not only how much Dark Matter the Milky Way has to hold but how it is distributed! You were incorrect to argue that Dark Matter is invisible. It is not since its gravity can be detected. The question is whether dark matter is able to interact with ordinary matter in any way beyond gravity.
    In the first place, how deep it penetrated is totally irrelevant to the question whether or not meteorites impacted the unexposed layers of the geologic column. In the second place Chicxclub was not a meteorite. In the third place it was indeed a surface impact.
    1. Chicxclub was a meteorite (by definition any object that enters the earth’s atmosphere but burns up before it hits the ground is a meteor, if it hits it is a meteorite).
    2. Chicxclub was, when it hit, obviously on the surface but has been covered up so it is indeed subsurface now. The crateor was not detected by looking at the surface but by gravity maps and drilling samples from underground.
    How does Terry define an outdated theory?
    In the first place it’s a 1970s theory. In the second place there are new theories suggesting that it was a series of events over an extended period of time, not just one asteroid. Read the following:
    Pretty funny from a guy touting 1950′s references. First the date that the theory was first proposed has nothing to do with it being outdated. Einstein’s theory was put forth nearly three quarters of a century ago yet no rational person would describe relativity as ‘outdated’. Second, newer theories have not sufficiently replaced the meteor theory. Such theories also are not incompatable with the meteor theory. For example, the article you cited states that Chicxclub might have been the weakest of three impacts. It does not suggest a Genesis style flood as the cause but rather increased volcanism.
    If words have meaning, then that should be clear. Any Bible scholar will tell you that the entire week represented the “beginning of creation.” Do you presume that Jesus was not aware that man was created on day six and thought it was on day one?
    Terry, if creation was a six day process then the beginning of it would not be falling on day six. Jesus was a human beign as well as the Son of God and like all human beigns his speech has to be understood in context. Here he was speaking of the creation of humans and both per evolution and genesis male and female was established before humans came on the scene. If this isn’t so can you explain why Jesus would lurch into a science lesson in the middle of answering a question about whether men could divorce and remarry without committing adultry?
    And so it ends . . . the saga of the 20 questions. Boonton, unable to refute a single one of them is reduced to accusing me of doctoring a quotation of his to make him look silly. Okay, Boot, here is what you do. Go to Yahoo. Write in {evangelical outpost boonton I am an atheist}. Then look at the third entry.
    Here is what happens when you do that:
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=evangelical+outpost+boonton+I+am+an+atheist&sm=Yahoo%21+Search&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8
    The third entry down is:http://www.beliefnet.com/frameset_offsite_blog.aspx?pageLoc=bhtlrd.aspx%3Ffeedid%3D4%26url%3Dhttp%253a%252f%252fwww.evangelicaloutpost.com%252farchives%252f001618.html&cat=christian
    If you do a search on “As an atheist, I have no problem” (the phrase that Yahoo’s index picked up) you’ll discover that the post was by Rob Ryan on September 27, 2005 at 8:15 AM. Obviously Yahoo’s condensed summary of its search results put together a line from me and then a line from Rob with ‘…’ indicating the seperation.
    I do not want or expect an apology from you. What I do expect – demand from you in the future is that if you care to dialog with me, provide some common courtesy, a little research on your part
    1. My scientific research has been of higher quality than yours, I have been more honest about my sources and their limitations, and I have been more responsible in providing the reader with clear references that they could investigate for themselves.
    2. You posted the yahoo search results after I asked you to justify your charge that I claimed to be an athiest or agnostic. You obviously did not take the basic step of even looking at the source material. I obviously was more than responsible in trying to research your charges myself by Googling and searching Joe’s archives for anything posted by me on 9/27/05 at 8:15 AM.
    3. Needless to say, it is bad form not to reference the full URL when quoting material from the web. It is even worse to ignore requests to do so.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    The original point was that there is no evidence of meteorite impact in the geologic column underneath the surface layer. If each layer had been exposed to the elements for billions of years, then it would have been impacted and the evidence of it would presumably have been apparent to all geologists. If a large meteorite penetrated both the surface and the underlying layers today, it would not disprove the proposition. But if underneath that surface there was evidence of impact, that would be a different situation. Then it would prove that that layer was exposed for perhaps millions of years, rather than quickly laid down by say . . . a flood.
    Reading this I have no idea what Terry is trying to say:
    1. If he studied geology he certainly must know that erosion is a two way street. Areas get eroded but other areas get buried under erosion. Hence some parts of the ‘K-T boundary’ have been exposed by erosion while others are buried. Naturally most of the work that is done is done on exposed columns rather than trying to dig thru the earth.
    2. The impact obviously had to have been buried, how else did it get under 1.2KM of earth? So it was not a ‘surface impact’ except for when it actually happened.
    3. Is Terry trying to say that impact crators do not show damage underneath themselves? This is a strange statement. Is he saying that an impact large enough to make a crator must also result in indications far below the bottom of the crator that are missing? What sources do you have to support this? That excavations were undertaken under known crators and failed to turn up evidence of an impact?
    4. Needless to say the bickering over whether Chicxulub was a meteorite or an astroid is both pointless and immaterial. It is typical, though, for the way Terry conducts a debate.
    “Hint: It was the Genesis flood that wiped out the dinos.”
    Heh, unBiblical. The Bible states that all land dwelling animals had a reproducing sample saved by Noah. It does not mention that Noah left any behind or that any failed to multiply after the flood. Also, whether you believe the ‘secular evidence’ (I notice that only in Terry’s world is science ‘secular or Christian’ rather than simply objective) that the dinosaurs died at the time of the Chicxulub impact or around that time the extinction only impacted about 70% of land dwelling animals. A Biblical flood could not have left 30% alive and I’m not talking about animals reproducing after they got off the boat. Since few animals make it into the fossil record an extermination of 100% (minus Noah’s sampling of only two of each animal) would have appeared as a 100% extinction, not a 70% one.
    Here’s a question, if Terry was unfamiliar with the Bible. If he wasn’t even aware of its stories from second hand sources (like cartoons, literary references etc.) then would the actual objective evidence really suggest a universe that is 10,000 years old? No it would not.

  • Gordon Mullings

    Terence
    Thanks for being a good and true friend. Nice to know you are watching my back.
    I observed the poisonous rhetoric in this thread also, and see that the failure to address the core issues is ever a temptation to our secularist friends. (Contrast most of this thread with the post at its head!)
    So is the fallacy of the closed and hostile mind, now often compounded by a tendency to indulge the rhetoric of polarisation by attempting to demonise those who dare differ with them: e.g. we no longer make errors [and, often the "errors" and "fallacies" are not errors at all; just that someone is indulging in selective hyperskepticism and is spinning madly to reject what does not tickle his itching ears], we are “liars.” For, of course, if you object to the NDT and its associated atheist’s veto on what can be called “science”, you must be ignorant, stiupid insane or wicked. [BTW, I see Ex openly states his atheism here. on the track record of modernist theology and how it mis-handles the Bible by begging the worldview questions that -- though quite sad really, and one for prayer -- is no surprise.]
    The implications for civility breakdown of the importation to EO of the sort of tactics that are so manifest over at “infidels.orc” are serious, but the underlying assumption of those who pick a direty fight is that they can win it. As the parallel thread on the Dover decision shows, that assumption is unwise: notice in particular the closed minded hostility, polarising rhetoric and shouting of parthian shots while slamming the door on the way out. Anything but facing the simple facts of the case!
    So, whaddya expect: open-minded civility?
    Oh, well. So, even more telling is the point that Campos makes:

    A sure sign that a belief system has triumphed over its opponents is that it stops thinking of itself as a belief system at all. Instead it becomes “what every rational person knows to be the case,” or “simple common sense,” or, more concisely still, “the truth.” In other words, the truly orthodox never think of themselves as orthodox. This allows them to crush all dissent to their orthodoxy with a good conscience, since what reasonable objection could there be to sincere attempts to stamp out self-evident falsehoods? . . . . Another interesting feature of orthodoxy is that it tends to cause a species of mental retardation in otherwise intelligent people. Consider some of the justifications put forward for the proposition that it’s a great day for truth, justice and the American way when a federal court makes it illegal for teachers to mention the existence of a dissenting point of view to their students . . . . Metaphysical orthodoxies about the origins of life, the universe, and everything become something other than a form of religious belief when you use the word “science” instead of the word “God.” Even more preposterously, it’s asserted that requiring one particular form of metaphysical orthodoxy to be presented in public schools as The Truth allows the government to maintain “neutrality” toward religion.
    But, as has been noted in another context, no one ever expects the Spanish Inquistion.

    Where did I read something like that before? H’mm, there was once a leter to Rome that in part speaks of those who profess themselves wise . . . [Hint, Ex et al, please go read Rom 1 and 1 Cor 1 - 2.]
    Anyway, the Japanese had a name for it: victory disease. Just ask the ghosts of those who hauled Galileo before the Inquisition about what it does to you and your cause, long term.
    I think a much wiser alternative is reasonable faith that honestly faces the real alternatives on belief systems, and assesses its options through open-minded comparative difficulties on factual adequacy, coherence, and simplicity/ad hocness.
    Sadly, for months, that has been assiduously ducked by our seculatrist friends, perhaps for very good reason.
    Grace, open eyes
    Gordon
    PS Those who want to see the actual major exchange I had with with Ex can go here; which will abundantly substantiate my point: http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/archives/001708.html

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Sadly Gordon would try to rescue Terry from his errors by distracting us with his usual spam.

  • Gordon Mullings

    Ah, All:
    Happy New year! Trust it is a good one for all.
    It, sadly, however, seems Boonton is still throwing the temper tantrum that led him into open bigotry over in the baggage thread. That was truly sad, but revealing of the underlying attitudes at work — attitudes that need to be turned away from.
    The abuse, slamming of the door on the way out and conspicuous silence on the merits, speaks volumes, once the hollowness of Judge Jones’ ruling was exposed. Whatever errors of fact or reasoning Terence may or may not have committed, they do not even come close to that insistent trollishness and bigotry. Besides, the existence of a growing number of core unmet challenges of the NDT and the wider metaphysics of evolutionary materialism are not exactly in doubt. That is why ID is such a serious scientific challenge. While I am at it, would this article help you understand a little more why the 2nd law of thermodynamics is also a major challenge?
    It is time to wake up to the fact that — pace Dawkins’ slander that we who object to the NDT are all ignorant, or stupid, or insane, or wicked — there are, for very good reasons, there are many intelligent, informed, sober-minded and well-intended critics of that theory and its penumbra, the current atheist’s veto in the courts and censorship, harrassment and intimidation over public and intellectual disourse, especially in education notwithstanding.
    Grace, open eyes in this new year
    Gordon
    PS to B: It’s not spamming to bring to attention material facts and associated reasoning that would otherwise be suppressed in what is, ostensibly, a forum for free but civil discourse. I think you would benefit greatly from taking a read of the newly updated web page on the philosopher’s toolkit, from the course I taught a couple of years ago. (Certainly, the new details on the three points of comparative difficulties have been informed by the sort of rhetoric you and your ilk have shown over these several months now. So, thanks for the help. Just once, I would like to discuss with you in light of those points — i.e. where the relative merit lies, instead of seeing you slip into the rhetoric of one-sided rhetoric, multiplied by selective hyperskepticism, rage and polarisation again.)

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    The only silence here seems to be Terry for whom the facts have been laid out so clearly on the table that he can no longer try to dodge. Sadly Gordon will attempt to distract us with his hodgepodge of spam issues that he has subjected us to at least several dozen times already. Every serious argument put forth here by the ID side has been adaquately addressed several times over.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    It, sadly, however, seems Boonton is still throwing the temper tantrum that led him into open bigotry over in the baggage thread. That was truly sad, but revealing of the underlying attitudes at work — attitudes that need to be turned away from.
    Sadly Gordon is correct about attitudes that need to be turned away from but he misses who needs to do the turning. If you actually review this thread, I think you’ll find I have been more than fair to terry. When Terry accused me of claiming to have been an athiest I asked him to show me where I so claimed. He provided a partial URL & a quote indicating he actually had done a search and found something. I searched Google for anything I wrote at 8:15 AM on 9/27/05 that matched what he posted and found nothing. I searched Joe’s Sept archives and also couldn’t find anything. I noted that I never posted to beliefnet.com (the site that Terry gave us a partial URL).
    Even then, though, I tried to give Terry the benefit of the doubt. I left the possibility open that even though the quote didn’t seem to be anything I would write perhaps I had written something like it as some type of rhetorical statement that had been rendered unfamiliar by being taken out of context. Even then I repeated my request for the full URL so I could see the original. Terry tried to dismiss the issue by rambling on about how stuff you write on the Internet can end up mirrored on all types of unexpected places. Only then did I push the issue more forcefully and demand the URL by implying Terry would fairly be accused of writing a lie if he wouldn’t produce it.
    When Terry responded he did so in the most roundabout way possible. Instead of simply posting the URL (somethng he clearly knows how to do since he has posted URL’s plenty of times before) he posts directions for getting there (do a search on yahoo, look at the third result). Needless to say the shabby quality of this type of referencing is clear. Yahoo search results can easily change and what is #3 today might easily be #33 tomorrow. But even then when it was all said and done it turned out that Terry had found a search result and simply posted that as his ‘proof’. He didn’t even bother to click the link and discover the comment he was attempting to attribute to me had been written by Rob Ryan.
    Now I know we are not a formal academic group but isn’t it proper when making a personal accusation against someone else to actually have done some research to justify the accusation? Even if you failed to do that how about when the victim of your mischaracterization challenges you, shouldn’t you then take at least a modest amount of effort to verify your accusation? How about after you posted your evidence and the victim challenges you to actually show where you found it shouldn’t you then at least try to make sure you read the evidence correctly and that it says what you thought it said?
    I believe I have been more than fair to Terry as he has taken us around in circles. As I have been trying to figure out if he is claiming the Milky Way is flying apart or whether he is asserting metorites are missing from the geological record I’ve always tried to give him the benefit of the doubt that we are just misunderstanding his argument rather than assuming he is intentionally trying to distract and confuse the argument. He behavior, though, when making and supporting a personal accusation (a situation where one’s supporting research is generally much more important than simple academic disagreements) does not lend one to believe I have been wise in giving out the benefit of the doubt so easily.

  • Gordon Mullings

    Onlookers:
    Kindly go over to the parallel thread as linked above. The spectacle is sad, but instructive as to why Dembski wrote here on how to handle the sort of rage-filled rhetoric we have seen.
    Now, what follows is not “spam” but a balancing case, for onlookers who wish to get a fairer view on the issues in the aftermath of Dover.
    So, back on the thread’s actual topic as set in the post — hint hint on the typical secularist tactic of distractors through red herrings, attacks on the man and strawmen — it seems we need to do a little philosphical exploration on the implications of the idea that across time, chance and necessity — no injection of intelligence permitted, tut tut — acting on matter and energy led to man and mind:

    while macro-evolution may well fit into an atheistic view of the world, it is itself open to significant challenge and simply cannot prove materialism to be true.
    Philosophical materialism, however, has deeper problems. It argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature. Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of chance.
    But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this picture. Thus, what we subjectively experience as “thoughts” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as unintended by-products of the natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains. (These forces are viewed as ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance and psycho-social conditioning, within the framework of human culture.)
    Therefore, if materialism is true, the “thoughts” we have and the “conclusions” we reach, without residue, are produced and controlled by forces that are irrelevant to purpose, truth, or validity. Of course, the conclusions of such arguments may still happen to be true, by lucky coincidence

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    (1) we know three common causes of events and structures: (a) chance, (b) blind — i.e. nonpurposive — natural forces, (c) intelligent agency.
    Metaphysical speculation. Saying natural forces are blind and nonpurposive requires assuming that God (defined as a beign with infinite knowledge & power) does not exist. A rock falls from a hill and knocks Gordon on the head. All emperical science can tell us is that the rock fell due to the force of gravity & medical science can explain Gordon’s injuries from there. But a thoughtful scientist cannot say the rock falling was ‘nonpurposive’. Since God, by definition, has infinite knowledge he would have known when he was setting up gravity that 14.7 billion years later choosing to make gravity work the way it does would result in Gordon getting knocked. Saying it was nonpurposive requires either assuming God doesn’t exist or assuming he just didn’t care about the effects of the natural forces he either created or at least had the power to change. Of course, you can say such things in philosophy but there’s no scientific observation you can perform to prove or disprove such assertions.
    Needless to say the same would apply to ‘chance’ as a cause. On the flip side it has yet to be established that ‘intelligent agency’ is not directed by natural forces or chance. No one has shown that there is anything happening inside the human brain that is not caused by either ‘chance or natural forces (i.e. physics and chemistry)’. As usual Gordon’s attempts at science devolve into word games that do not stand up under scrutiny.

  • Gordon Mullings

    All:
    Ihave been tracking through this thread this morning, to see whether there is any real substance to discuss above an d beyonf the many ad hominems in evidence, and it seems one or two minor errors that have been exploited as red herrings based on strawman attacks: set up a strawman knosk him over and pretend that that addresses the real issue. Sad, but I think Prov 26:4 – 5 raises some significant considerations that I will apply.
    Especially, I observe that the tone and substance, especially from the pro-NDT side is conspicuously lacking in basic knowledge and respect for those who just happen to disagree. In short, we are back to Dawkins’ infamous village atheist level inanity that those who dare differ with NDT are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.
    I was particularly less than impressed with the objection — carried out over several posts — that using MN for short for methodological naturalism is an attempt to reduce it to the same level as ID: such is the puerility of some of those who are advocating NDT in this thread. And, sadly, it seems that there were no adult NDT advocates around to tell those who were trying that fast one to lay off.
    On a slightly motre serious — but sad — level, I found B’s attempt to brush aside the cosmological inference to design as lacking in basic honesty, given earlier and dtailed discussions. [Go to the parallel thread for some remarks and links.]
    I also found his remarks on the 2nd law, even more sadly disingenuous:
    1] A demonstrative case in point: 2nd Law
    From earlier exchanges well known to regulars in this blog, B knows by now that the very first serious example in such discussions, from Clausius, is that of an isolated system embracing two “closed” subsystems that excahnge heat [but not matter]:
    || A (at Thot) –> dQ (heat) –> B (at Tcold) ||
    We then make a calculation based on the entropy change,
    dS: dSa >/= -dQ/T, dSb >/= +dQ/T.
    But since Th > Tc, dS overall = dSa + dSb >/= 0.
    This is in fact, the basic derivation for the 2nd law of thermodynamics in the classical formulation: for the isolated exemplary system embracing A and B, entropy is at least constant.
    BUT NOTICE THAT FOR B THE RAW INJECTION OF ENERGY IS ACCOMPANIED BY AN INCREASE IN ENTROPY.
    That is, merely opening up a system to inflow of raw energy or matter is mostllikely going to INCREASE its disorder as measured by entropy. What is done instead in cases where we harvest energy to create order is that we make a heat engine which COUPLES energy into an ordered structure that transforme some of the injected heat into useful work and then exhausts enough to a third body at a lower temp to keep things in good order on the 1st and 2nd law fronts.
    But, where does such an engine come from? Somnetimes, it occurs naturally, e.gf. a hurricane, where coriolis forces and hadley convection across the eareth trigger cyclones, which do “work.” [Yes, in this physical sense Katrina did "work."]
    But, many heat engines are not so simple as that: they exhibit functionally specified, complex information [FSCI]. Capital among these atre those in our cars, boats and jet planes. But also, we see a vastly more complex case in point, indeed one that is so complex that it is self-replicating: the cell’s metabolic, self-replicating and motility mechanisms are all highly sophisticated energy to work conversion devices engines, in this sense.
    The problem is not to account for the replication of such engines, but their hypothesised spontaneous origin [i.e. non-purposive, abiogenetic], given the other formulation of thermodynamics: statistical thermodyamics. in particular, the implications of Boltzman’s equation s = k ln w, and its link to information and probability.
    –> Let’s just say that my post in the parallel thread this moring discusses in part why the dodge that open systems can see reduced entropy is so often resorted to: there is no credible mechanism tracing to random processes and blind natutral forces at molecular level [the driving force of statistical thermodynamics -- as observed through eg. brownian motion]. That brings me to B’s latest:
    2] Metaphysical speculation. Saying natural forces are blind and nonpurposive requires assuming that God (defined as a beign with infinite knowledge & power) does not exist.
    –> Sounds wonderful until, as B well knws from previous discussions, we note that in commonsense daily life, we observe three main causes of events and structures: (1) chance — e.g tossing a die in order to generate a random digit from the set {1, 2,3,4,5,6} (2) blind forces — e.g. a leaf falls from a tree under gravity and whatever winds are blowing, (3) intelligent agency [both intentional: e.g. tossing a pair of such dice to play Monopoly; and non-intentional: accidrentally causing a drink to spill over the board when so tossing the dice].
    –> In scientific work, tracing to 1 and 2 are what NDT and associated chemical evolution scenarios try to do — conspicuously unsuccessfully. 3a is the cause in play in drug action [and it may be a design detection issue on a best explanation basis not only in drug testing but in a murder case]. 3b is hypothesised to be the case for climate change trends.
    –> the real metaphysical issue is that on the origin of life, 1 and 2 lead to conundrums or outright speculations as excerpted from Line’s recent paper in the parallel post. But, 3, the obvious explanation otherwise for FSCI is ruled out because that lends support to worldviews that run counter to the evolutionary materialism beloived of many in the dominant elites.
    3] a thoughtful scientist cannot say the rock falling was ‘nonpurposive’.
    –> Notice the distractor: I spoke to non-purposive natural forces, i.e. forces of nature not directly implicating mind. For instance, whether or not the rck was thrown or screed off Montserrat’s latest fast-growing volcanic dome, it falls under the influence of gravity.
    –> When mind intervenes, e.g. in using gravity to turn the rotors of a torbo gen set to make electricity, we are dealing with 3. Further to that, gravity and other parameters take values that are part of the massively finetuned context of the cosmos, setting the stage for life as we know it: a further inference to design by “setting” the parameters.
    –> Thereafter, B deliberately moves to philosophy as opposed to empitrical science, further muddying the waters for those who would have to come later to drink. But, the point is plain enough now that I have again pointed out the distinction.
    4] Saying it was nonpurposive requires either assuming God doesn’t exist or assuming he just didn’t care about the effects of the natural forces he either created or at least had the power to change. Of course, you can say such things in philosophy but there’s no scientific observation you can perform to prove or disprove such assertions.
    –> Not at all: that an agent acts and creates a rather finely tuned cosmos suitable for life, but in which random forces play a big part [ e.g. statistical thermodynamics], and orderly but in themselves non-purpossive forces act [e.g. gravity does not decide whether or not to make an object fall] is immaterial tot he fact that we observe causes that are random and non-purposive inthemselves, as opposed to say our own intentional acts.
    –> Further to this, we should note that a metaphysics in which Goe is creator and sustainer of the cosmos, and is everywhere present acroiss space-time, does not imply that he is responsible for our decisions. That is, free will is possible and powerfully explanatory undser theistic models of ultimate reality; but — self referentially absurdly — it is not under evolutionary materialist ones.
    –> So, this point is immaterial: we do trace, routinely, to imediate causes that are base don (a) chance, (b) non-purposive forces, (c) intelligent agency. That God may have created a world in which such immediate causes act is irrelevant to the empirical detectability of FSCI and its evident source, intelligent agency.
    5] No one has shown that there is anything happening inside the human brain that is not caused by either ‘chance or natural forces (i.e. physics and chemistry)’.
    –> In fact, the problem is precisely that evo mat infers to these two forces [which ultimately do reduce to physics -- chemistry is "just" quantum physics at molecular and atomic scales in action, multiplied by a lot of memory work! Here excepting nuclear chemistry of course which largely is applications of nuclear physics . . .) as the alleged sufficient cause of mind. But, immediately, as was excerpted yesterday:

    [on evo mat premises] what we subjectively experience as “thoughts” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as unintended by-products of the natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains. (These forces are viewed as ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance and psycho-social conditioning, within the framework of human culture.)
    Therefore, if materialism is true, the “thoughts” we have and the “conclusions” we reach, without residue, are produced and controlled by forces that are irrelevant to purpose, truth, or validity. Of course, the conclusions of such arguments may still happen to be true, by lucky coincidence

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    –> Sounds wonderful until, as B well knws from previous discussions, we note that in commonsense daily life, we observe three main causes of events and structures: (1) chance — e.g tossing a die in order to generate a random digit from the set {1, 2,3,4,5,6} (2) blind forces — e.g. a leaf falls from a tree under gravity and whatever winds are blowing, (3) intelligent agency [both intentional: e.g. tossing a pair of such dice to play Monopoly; and non-intentional: accidrentally causing a drink to spill over the board when so tossing the dice].
    Indeed but neither I nor you are God nor are we possessed with infinite knowledge. If we had infinite knowledge there would be no ‘chance’ nor ‘blind forces’. The rock that falls on your head would have been clearly seen by me billions of years ago as a natural result of all the various laws of nature resulting in you standing on a spot the falling rock is headed towards. To you it would look like the culmination of an unlucky combination of blind forces and chance. To God it would all be intelligent agency.
    But since science is based on the humble assumption that we do not have infinite knowledge (in fact we have no knowledge except that we work out of the natural world thru the long process of observation and experimentation) the above clearly falls into the realm not of science but of metaphysical speculation.
    The Mind
    –> In fact, the problem is precisely that evo mat infers to these two forces [which ultimately do reduce to physics — chemistry is “just” quantum physics at molecular and atomic scales in action, multiplied by a lot of memory work! Here excepting nuclear chemistry of course which largely is applications of nuclear physics . . .) as the alleged sufficient cause of mind. But, immediately, as was excerpted yesterday:
    You go on to explore mental processes like thought. But more important is the question of behavior. A man pulls a trigger firing a gun. The forces that caused his finger to move can indeed be explained by physics. The electricial signals that race down the spinal cord to the nerve cells in the finger, the chemical reactions that cause the muscle to contract etc. The question is if the human mind exists independent of physics then something must happen in the human brain that cannot be explained by standard physics to tell it to set in motion the very materialistic reactions that set in motion the murder. Otherwise you are reduced to arguing that we think outside of physics but our thoughts don’t really matter to our body.
    I have read an idea similar to that possibility. Basically its thesis is that our ‘free will’ exists totally in a non-physical ‘mental’ state. However our bodies are entirely physical and behave in a predetermined fashion. We appear to have free will over our bodies only because they are perfectly synchronized with the decisions we make in our non-physical aspect. A bit like a child with a toy steering wheel who turns it just as her mother makes the true turns of the car. The child may think for a few moments that her toy really drives the car. If the mother knows her child really well she might anticipate all the turns the child will make on the toy and create a sustained illusion that the toy drives the car. Needless to say, for the child scientist it is only proper to say the toy appears to steer the car. The larger idea falls under metaphysical speculation.
    Thus, evolutionary materialism reduces reason itself to the status of illusion. But, immediately, that includes

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    But, many heat engines are not so simple as that: they exhibit functionally specified, complex information
    A meaningless phrase that more than a few times its users refuse to define in any halfway rigerous way.

  • Gordon Mullings

    All:
    First, sadly, it seems that B imagines that he can in multiple threads slander and assert invidious comparisons of myself with racists, and Nazis, then refuse to apologise and in the next entertain a discussion as if nothing has happened. Sorry, it doen not work that way.
    While I will pray for him, he has forfeited any right to civil dialogue, by his uncivil and even outrageus behaviour. However, for the sake of onlookers, I will clarify certain points:
    1] God-knowledge vs human knowledge and the observed roots of cause.
    –> We have already observed, and exemplified that within the circle of human discourse and experience, we see: (a) chance, (b) necessity [i.e. non-purposively harnessed natural forces], (c) agency as the common sources of cause.
    –> So, if in a given situation a and b are not probable, but c is known to gerenate such an effect routinely, we are entitled to infer to c as the best explanation in a casew where we do not directly know the causal story.
    –> The perspective of an omniscient being is not one that we personally experience, as we are both finite and fallible. So, we resort to the defeatable but useful reasoning strategy known as abduction or inference to best explanation, the epistemological foundation of science. on that basis, we see that life at molecular level exhibits FSCI, and is there fore most credibly explained as being produced by c, intelligent agency. [Cf my post this am in the parallel thread.]
    2] Minds and bodies, physics and intelligence
    –> Now, I have posted a brief summary above, on what happens when we try to account for mind on the premises of evolutionary materialism: we end up discrediting the mind, as its deliverances turn into — through whatever mechanism is proposed — into the products of random or deterministic — i.e. non-rational — forces. Thus, the underlying worldview, is self-referentially inconsistent, and ends up in epistemological trouble because of its monistic core assumptions: it simply lacks the metaphysical resources to addres the global problem of the one and the many: including the existence and reliable functionality ofd mind as it interacts with matter.
    –> In the instance of a finger pulling a trigger for instance, the physics and biochemistry are precisely not the material isues: it is the existence of an intent and decision that leads to the action — as opposed to mere event — that is critical — just ask any Judge. If the trigger was pulled with intent to murder, or to defend oneself makes a big difference, even though the physical and biochemical process associated is the same.
    –> In short, there is a failure to appreciate that there is an illegitimate collapsing of one level of reality into another, driven by the demand of evo matt hat everthing be subsumed under the reductionist rubric, the best account on ultimately random and deterministic physical grounds of the evolution of the cosmos from hydrogen to humans.
    –> the absurdity is plain: are we to simply view the above post as the ultimately non-rational emanations of that random and/or deterministic process, i.e. there is no intelligent purpose that credibly makes a real case on fact and logic [however mistakenly]? For, on evo mat grounds, the “arguments” “facts” “reasoning” and conclsions are whoilly driven and controlled by random and deterministic forces that are partly mediated through genetics and environment, so that the outcome has nothing in the end to do with the point of reasoning: trying to get to truth based on rational assessment of fact and logic.
    –> As soon as the evo mat wishes us to think he has got to his conclusions by a rationally credible process, he refutes his position.
    3] Freudians, Marxists and “Crickians”
    –> these are all cases in point.
    –> Whether we have psychological, socio-cultural or neurological-biochemical control of thought, we end up self-referring and fatally undercutting the credibility of our own thought.
    4] FSCI:
    –> As is discussed in the parallel thread this AM, there is indeed a very credible concept there, one that we can recognise in action on a case by case basis.
    –> Similarly, “life” cannot currently be defined through reduction to a set of necessary and sufficient statements that include all cases of life and exclude all non-cases of life. butr we can credibly and meaningfully discuss it on a case by case basis and build a science that studies life: Biology. [Indeed, how do we recognise that there is such a match: life/non-life? That is, we have an underlying rational intuitive revognision of a pattern inthe world, which we can identify on a caseby case basis. Definitions, when we can build them, help us with borderline cases.]
    –> I excerpt from the parallel thread, with one or two adjustments:

    -> Kindly note the distinction, made long ago by Yockey et al, between order, complexity and functionally specified complexity B . . .is exploiting the orderedness of a snowflake to confuse the issue.
    –> As to the alleged lack of clarity, long since addressed by me and discussed at a popular level here but — sadly — not acknowledged as is usual for the closed minded, we see that order carries little information: SDSDSD . . . is “type SD and repeat . . .”
    –> Complexity without specification of course carries similarly little or no information, because it is not specified [to describe the random string, you have to in effect repeat it, but in it there is no functional message]. But, when a string is independently specified as fulfilling a function — communication in English say, e.g. this paragraph, it bears high information as well as being complex.
    –> The probability issue that applies is obvious: a sufficiently long and complex string is of very low probability of occurring in specific; but if there is no specification involved, any string will do, so the overwhelming probability is that you will get a non-functional string: vngyfsjfbfseqlifdiyf. In the language of physics: any given microstate is of low probability, but if the associated macrostate is not tightly constrained, it is highly probable by comparison with tightly specified macrostates.
    –> So, when you apply a [constraining] criterion of functionality on a sufficiently complex object, the odds of getting to such a functional string at random are vanishingly small: for instance, a 200 letter string of letters in english without punctuation and spaces would require that we select the relatively small pool of such states from a pool of 26E200 potential states, vastly more than the number of atoms in the known cosmos. The odds of getting to such a state at random are vanishingly small in any reasonable time, say the entire age of the known cosmos.
    –> But, intelligent agents routinely generate such strings, e.g. the last paragraph. And, we can rcognise such strings on a case by case basis, giving a brief functional description. E.g. the last paragraph describes how functionally specified complex information differes from mere complexity without specification. And, of course, for a lot of things that are important, we cannot come up with a neat global definition, but work with them on a case by case basis. [Notice how Dr Lord, a biologist -- afdter demanding such a definition on pain of dismissing ID as nonsense -- NEVER came back to my challenge to give a neat definition of life, and of the term species?]
    –> The material point that NDT and chem evo advocates wish to duck is that DNA is an example, where there is specification of protein molecular chains through a sequence of 3-nucleotide codons, with an associated language. (Notice the brief functional description/constraint!) The chances for such emerging at random are negligibly different from zero in an observed cosmos of ~ 10E80 atoms, 13.7 BY and known rates of change of quantum state. And that is what the Dembski bound is about — applyingf standard thermodnamics reasoning [why the statistical form of the entropy concept leads to the macroscopic 2nd law of thermodynamics] to the case of life, considered as a molecular complex allegedly originating through chance and deterministic processes only.
    –> So, the logical conclusion is that the best explanation for life as we know it is that it is the product of intelligent agecy. But, that does not in itself give us a basis for identifying the culprit[s]. The fact that life exhibits a uniform design at molecular level: DNAOL is comon across the kingdoms of life, even though there are some dialects . . . similar to what Microsoft insisted on doing to Java etc.
    –> Going on to the cosmological finetuning, there is empirical evidence for intelligent design of the cosmos as discussed and linked above. From the extreme finetuning required to get to a life-favouring cosmos, we can infer that the agent involved was intending to create life, so it should not be surprising to see such life wth such a unified design. And, of course, such an agent had to be very powerful and beyond our order of existence, to call such a cosmos into being.
    –> In short, by sharpest contrast with evolutionary materialism [which is self-referentially and hopelessly inconsistent], theism is very credible indeed as a worldview, with empirical support from the scientific findings that lead us to infer design as the best explanation.

    4] Clausius calling . . .
    –> Onlookers, notice the silence that suddenly appeared when I went to the Calusius derivation of the 2nd law, and showed that when raw energy is randomly puhed into a system, it natutrally INCREASES its disorder.[no surprise, we are injecting more random molecular energy one way or another! that increases the number of ways that random energy can be distributed, further disrdering the system and making the rare functional states that much hardewr to get to in the wider probabilty space . . . ]
    –> That is, “earth is an open system” is an obviously inadequate answer for how we got the FSCI-based energy transformation devices in life at cellular level, on an assumed evo mat scenario. Intelligent agents make such systems routinely, so that is a very credible explaation. beyond that, the replication of self-replicating automata is not exactly a difficult point to explain.
    ++++++++=
    Grace, open eyes
    Gordon

  • Gordon Mullings

    PS I see there was some sort of allusion to my citing Wilkipdia in preference to Sci Am on cosmology. Of course that is not a blanket assertion of superiority.
    It was in the specific context of Wiki articles I looked at — as a physicist in my own right — and found useful and accurate enough relative to the issue then being discussed: a scenario for origins that willfully — the australian astrophysicists in the Sci Am piece HAVE to know better — distorted the standard view of the big bang as I learned over the past 30 years — ouch , time is passing!
    More generally, on matters of logical reasoning I see in the above a consistent pattern of blanket assertions agaist me, in a context where I was not around to justify my arguments, and reflecting a sad lack of undersanding of the requisites o thinking properly att his level.
    I invite onlookers to run trough recent threads, ten examine here, and see for themselves why the accusations are ill-founded and in some cases outright dishonest.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    It was in the specific context of Wiki articles I looked at — as a physicist in my own right — and found useful and accurate enough relative to the issue then being discussed: a scenario for origins that willfully — the australian astrophysicists in the Sci Am piece HAVE to know better — distorted the standard view of the big bang as I learned over the past 30 years — ouch , time is passing!
    If I recall you stated not only did the Wiki article do a better job than Sci Am but that Sci Am seriously misrepresented the latest thinking about the origin and nature of the universe. You also stated that the Wiki article, being ‘peer reviewed’, had an advantage over Sci Am. I pointed out that it would be pretty astounding for a leading magazine read by many professionals to make serious errors in such a major piece and not have dozens of angry letters to the editor & even articles in competiting publications come out calling them out on it.
    Regardless, given that Wiki is considered a good (not perfect) source I think I was more than justified in calling Terry out on his attempt to dismiss my use of it on the blanket grounds that Wikipedia cannot be trusted. If one disputes a source that is not obviously dubious (i.e. National Enquirer) then one should show why the source is wrong.

  • Gordon Mullings

    All:
    Another point of clarification and correction:
    B:
    IF you have accurately characterised Terry — now, sadly an open issue thanks to your pattern of ad hominems and misrepresentations — Terry is in error: Wiki is in fact a fairly good general reference, though on specific topics it is not up to par, especially the ones that are now politically radioactive. [On Islam and Muhammad for instance, they have had major problems due to mobilised activists. When I looked and saw that Intelligent Design was put in a class of articles under "Creationism" that tell s me a similar process is at work. Open Source ain't perfect, especially where well-funded and mobilised activists are at work with an axe to grind. But on the other hand, the article on Haile Selassie -- of interest to Caribbean people -- is a very good and fair review as of my last checking.)
    On the Sci Am vs Wiki on Cosmology front, Wiki was manifestly superior, and the open source peer review process helps. And, since unfortunately Sci Am suppresses mail to the editor on issues, as do many other magazines, newspapers and even peer-reviewed journals [including Nature], the lack of published letters of protest is not objective proof of a lack of protest, much less cogent protest.
    On cosmology, one can easily check and see that it is NOT the mainstream of cosmology over the poast 30 – 40 years that the comos started as ain infinite space-time sheet 13.7 BYA, and has since expanded in a Hubble process. Instead the discussion speaks to a cosmic singularity as the radial metric/curvatrure metric oif the spacetime domain goes to zero/increases without limit.
    Grace, open eyes
    Gordon

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Gordon,
    I’m happy to hear that you have, with great reluctance, agreed with me regarding Terry’s rant against Wikipedia as a source.
    I stand by my statement. I do not think it is plausible that a publication like Scientific American could publish a major article summarizing the current thinking of cosmologists with major errors & not see an uproar. Even if they suppressed negative letters to the editor there is a huge number of competiting publications, blogs, and very active writers in that specialized community. If the article had major errors you should be able to easily find relevant people who objected.
    As for the source of our dispute, the argument was over whether the universe could be infinite or whether it was only the portion that is theoretically made up of our visible universe. The Wiki source you cited never said that the universe had to be finite. In addition to Sci Am I also cited an academic source that addressed the issue head on. It stated clearly that there was no way to tell if the universe was infinite or finite. It also stated that since most work is about the visible universe the term ‘universe’ is often used when what is actually meant is ‘visible universe’. No source supported your assertion that an infinite universe would lead to ‘paradoxs’

  • Gordon Mullings

    All:
    Only a brief further remark is necessary: Sci Am did in fact publish a major error on the Big Bang theory in March 205, I believe. That is not the first time that major magazines have done that — Nat Geog’s recent embarrassment (over feathered dinosaurs in 1998, wasn’t it?) comes to mind.
    Nor, will it be the last: authority is better than his or her facts and reasoning, and to err is human. In the case of Wiki, I have noted the point already, that it is generally good, but has limitations. My best advice is that as the ancient jewish law said: in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall a word be established — i.e. cross check and authenticate sources.
    Those who care to track back will see that the Australian astronomers spoke of the cosmos starting in an infinite spacetime sheet, rather than in a singularity [i.e. the radial metric --> 0]; which B followed and stubbornly resisted correction, even when I took time to extensively cite a significant textbook on astronomy and astrophysics, on the subject.
    While dobtless some astronomers have held this view, it can hardly be said to represent the mainstream view of astronomy on the Big Bang.
    Grace, open eyes
    GEM

  • Gordon Mullings

    All:
    Sigh . . . I guess I should correct the record, and briefly revisit the underlying issue just raised again after all, on second glancing at the onward remarks, never mind that this takes the thread waaay off from its proper focus:
    1] The claim that there is no way to tell whether or not the cosmos is finite or infinite is a philosophical rather than a scientific claim: it is not OBSERVATIONALLY controlled, but rather a foray into speculative metaphysics, however larded with scientific terms and mathematical apparatus.
    2] Now, based on observation and associated theoetical analysis, we see a cosmos of some ~ 10E80 atoms, expanding through a Hubble process from an initial singularity 13.7 BYA; with a “flat” gravitational profile, i.e. it is apparently just at the point where it will not collapse in on itself. Something like 90% of the mass of the universe is “dark” including a lot of suspected rather exotic forms, to account for that flatness. Further tothis, out to current observational limits, recessional speeds do not go to c. beyond that, all else is speculative. (I do note that string cosmologies are being inferred as suggesting that the cosmos is just short of flat, and is just outside the range of estimated error on the flatness observation, but there are enough uncertainties to keep the string speculations viable.)
    3] What is commonly speculated is that the observed universe [visible, IR, UV, X-ray etc] is one of a quasi-infinite array of subuniverses, on various speculative cosmologies; in part — as John Leslie notes — motivated by desire to avoid the implications of the observed expansion and inferred beginning of the universe:

    I shall appeal chiefly to recent evidence, often discussed in connection with the Anthropic Principle.
    (a) Many suggest that basic characteristics of the observable cosmos-the strengths of its main forces, the masses of its particles, its early expansion speed, the photon to baryon ratio,-and so forth are remarkably “fine tuned” for producing life.
    (b) Instead of introducing God to explain the fine tuning, they typically propose that there exist countless “universes,” (that is largely or entirely separate systems, perhaps of immense size: Soviet writers often call them “metagalaxies”) and that force strengths, particle masses, expansion speeds and so on, vary from universe to universe. Sooner or later, somewhere, conditions permit life to evolve. The Anthropic Principle reminds us that, obviously, only such a somewhere could be observed by living beings.
    (c) But an alternative interpretation could be offered. This is that there exists just a single universe. Its force strengths and particle masses are the same everywhere (as is suggested by the Principia’s second Rule of Reasoning, which Newton illustrated with the remark that “the light of our culinary fire and of the sun” should be seen as governed by the same laws.) And force strengths, particle masses, expansion speed, and other factors were selected with a view to making life possible. They were selected by a Mind or by a more abstract Creative Principle[5] which can reasonably be called “God.”

    4] The issue of an actual physically infinite universe is problematic on grounds linked to the mathematics of a countable infinity: in a countably infinite mathematical set, subsets can be placed in one to one correspondence with the whole, e.g. 1 – 2, 2 – 4, 3 – 6, . . . That is, the whole and the part have the same cardinality, ie. Aleph-null. But, that becomes problematic once one moves to physical sets.
    5] In the case of the observed universe, a physical cosmos can be physically divided and the stars/galaxies in one half can be put in 1 – 1 correspondence with those in the cosmos as a whole. [I used a mirror thought experiment to make the point, exploiting the odd fact that behind a mirror is a virtual half-universe, as the reflected images are located in space behind it.] But plainly a physical half cannot be the same size as a physical whole.
    6] B made quite heavy weather of this relatively minor matter [which as noted distracts fromt he main issue], but the basic point I made is very simple: that properly we should be talking of quasi-infinities, as we do not need to commit ourselves to mathematical problems if all we need to do is to discuss the idea of a quasi-infinite array of sub universes.
    +++++++++
    Going back on the main point, onlookers should observe carefully that the challenge to naturalism, that it is self-referentially absurd, is serious and commonly met in various significant sources.
    Grace, open eyes
    Gordon

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    4] The issue of an actual physically infinite universe is problematic on grounds linked to the mathematics of a countable infinity: in a countably infinite mathematical set, subsets can be placed in one to one correspondence with the whole, e.g. 1 – 2, 2 – 4, 3 – 6, . . . That is, the whole and the part have the same cardinality, ie. Aleph-null. But, that becomes problematic once one moves to physical sets.
    Is it your assertion then that at least when infinity is involved mathematics exists as either an abstraction or is only real in some type of variation of Plato’s world of ideal forms? In other words, while an infinite set can happily exist in even High School level math it cannot exist in the actual world? Is this based on observation or metaphysical speculation?
    WE’ve covered these issues extensively before so you’ll forgive me if I just post brief summaries of my responses to some of your other points:
    1. At this point whether anything exists outside the observable universe is speculation. However one is forced to speculate if one is to begin making meta-arguments about the universe.
    2. For example, you attempt to calculate probablities of something happening in 10e80 atoms and then translate that to the probability that the event could have happened. This is actually a meta argument since it assumes the universe is limited to 10e80 atoms. The analogy I used to illustrate this was a person confined to an apt. building of 100 people & had no source of information outside that building. If two of his neighbors win the lottery in a week can the person conclude the game is fixed or if it was a chance event? Assuming only 100 players per week & then calculating two winning numbers each week would be analogous to what you have tried to do. The shut-in person in this case needs to properly try to speculate about whether there are millions of players outside the building or not. This would dramatically alter the odds of seeing two close by wins in a single week.
    3. Likewise probability is almost always from a fundamental lack of information (except maybe where it exists in the quantum world). One assigns a probability based on limited information and adjusts as more becomes available. For example, the probability that a die will roll a 6 is initially assigned as 1 in 6. But if investigation reveals the die to be weighted in favor of the 6 the probability may change to be 1 in 3.
    4. Hence the calculated odds of something happening (like rolling 5 6′s in a row) can be effected by imperfect information. The chance that, say, 1,000 atoms will happen to bump into each other to bond in a certain figuration may initially be calculated to be very low. However if one discovers that other processes produce 100 atom chains (or even 10 atom chains) in large quantities then the odds of the right set of 1,000 assembling may be much higher.
    5. As you yourself admitted we do not even have a handle on the vase majority of the matter in the universe (dark matter) nor understand how (if ever) it interacts with the matter we are familiar with (the friendly atoms on the periodic table). Even limiting ourselves to the matter of the periodic table we have only scratched the surface of all the possible types of reactions it would yield. An analogy to use here is chess. The set of all possible chess games may be finite but so huge as to be unworkable even if we had a computer the size of the universe to analyze them. Suppose you wonder by a chess board in a park and notice a particular configuration. You ask yourself was this the result of a formal game or did the chess student and teacher just happen to set up that configuration as a study tool?
    5. a. Of course it is impossible to search all possible chess games to see if that configuration appears. You may, however, try searching all known chess games to see if you get lucky. You may try to construct some games yourself to see if you can stumble upon such a configuration.
    5. b. Since you cannot handle the population of all possible chess games it isn’t really useful to use it in calculations. In other words, if there’s 10e800 possible chess games you can’t really say “the chance of this happening is 1 over 10e800; therefore it is more likely the configuration was ‘designed’ rather than the result of a ‘random’ chess game”.
    6. The idea of infinite universes finds primary support as an explanation for what appears to be randomness on the quantum level, not as a dodge to keep God out. As I pointed out before, God can just as easily create an infinite number of universes as he can a single one. True such ideas now are on the border between speculation and hypothesis but they may develop in such a way as to reveal ways to possibly test them so it is best not to simply dismiss them as pure fantasies.
    7. The ‘fine tuning’ argument is built on a dubious assumption that we know how a universe is built. It implicitly assumes that the universe has some sort of ‘dial’ so that certain constants (like the speed of light) can be set. For example, a typical argument of this type goes something like “if the strong force was only one billionth stronger than it is then no life would be possible”. This assumes the strong force can have a variation of one billionth. Suppose the standard deviation of the strong force was ten trillion trillionths of its known value? In that case, assuming a normal distribution, ending up one billionth away from its value would be highly unlikely. But no one knows if even this type of variation is possible, perhaps even a fundamental force such as that is determined to an infinite number of decimal places by an even more fundamental nature of matter (such as something like string theory might someday show)?

  • Gordon Mullings

    All;
    I have no need to engage in a pointless back-forth with an abusive and closed-minded commenter, as what was necessary has long since been pointed out. in particular, I have quite plainly stated that my problem is not with transfinite sets in Math but with their proposed realisation in the physical cosmos – and that it is not at all necessary to implicate infinities in the discussion.
    Indeed, in the linked article below, we see that there is a speculation that there are 10E500 sub-universes in the picture being played with by string theorists.
    Similarly, ~10E80 or so atoms is the scope of the currently observed universe, so a discussion constrained by what we observed would look at this scope.
    So, let me move on to a FYI, as it speaks to what is really going on here. For, there is an interesting link to He Lives Blog, which shows the sort of underlying problems with multiuniverse speculations aptly.
    [NB: I disagree with the blogger on the scientific status of the design inference, as I think there is credible grounds to conclude that ID is empirically testable on the biological adn cosmological sides:

    Consider the argument that Michael Behe makes in his book Darwin

  • Gordon Mullings

    All:
    Sorry on the mangled formatting — i accidentally hit post not preview.
    If you want to look at the next level of hte distinction between order, complexity and FSCI, and why the latter is best explained on a design basis, look at my posts in response to Don today, over in the parallel thread. I’ve burned up enough of Joe’s bandwidth for one day.
    Not to mention, it is time for me to get about my day!
    Grace, open eyes
    Gordon