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Recently I wrote a column about the theory of Intelligent Design, which holds that that life, both in its origins and its changes over time, are the result of design instead of chance. Several hundred comments and emails arrived, more than I could read. This was not surprising as there seems to be considerable public interest in the question, while a virulent political correctness prevents discussion in most forums. In particular the major media prevent mention of Intelligent Design except in derogatory terms.

Interesting to me at any rate was that the tone of response was much more civil and thoughtful than it was say, a decade ago.

A fair few respondents quoted the Bible. I wondered why the Bible and not the Koran or Bhagavad Gita. The Bible seems to me the chaotic literature of a barbaric tribe and characterized by morally unpleasant stories. Why it is thought to have any relevance to abiogenesis is not clear to me.

Some readers, quoting Carl Sagan, said approximately, “Fred, an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence to support it.” I don’t disagree. The claim that ocean water will in time produce Manhattan seems to me sufficiently extraordinary to require extraordinary evidence. So far, there is none. Evolutionists have not shown that sea water can produce any life at all, much less the New York Philharmonic.

Other readers insist that Intelligent Design is not scientific. If not, so what? The question should be not whether it is scientific but whether it is true. What an ideological group calling themselves scientists believe is not a valid test of truth. When I was in the eighth grade, I watched Crusader Rabbit on television. This is not science, yet it is true.

If science deals with the reproducible, then paleontology is not science, as neither is the chance creation of life, which has not proved reproducible. If science must make predictions, then physiology is not science, being entirely descriptive. If science is the study of the quantifiable, then evolution isn’t. What is the unit of selective pressure?

Much of evolutionary theory assumes what is to be proved. Many readers did just this.

Consider the spontaneous generation of life from seawater. Do we know of what the primeval seas consisted? Know, as distinct from think, suspect, theorize, wish, or desperately hope.

No, we do not. Remember that chemical reactions, assuredly including organic and biochemical, depend crucially of such things as a pH, temperature, concentrations, radiation, half-lives of intermediate, and presence or absence of other compounds that may or may not inhibit desired reactions.

If we do not know what seas existed, do we at least know what sorts of sea would be necessary for the spontaneous appearance? Again, know. We do not. The question is made more difficult since we do not know just what it is that we think evolved. The event has not been reproduced in the laboratory or even convincingly demonstrated on paper.

You see: Life evolved because the necessary conditions existed. We know the necessary conditons existed, because life evolved. Uh….

Readers asked, “If life was designed, who designed the Designer?”

Consider the following three questions: “Who designed the Designer?” From a five-year-old, “But Mommy, where did God come from?” From a freshman in a dorm room, “What came before the Big Bang?”

These questions are equivalent. Designer, God, or Bang, the human mind cannot handle questions of ultimate origins. No matter to what we attribute life or the universe, the question of what came before will remain unanswered. This is as true of evolutionism as it is of Intelligent Design. The solution sometimes offered, that the universe is eternal and has neither beginning nor end, can equally be applied to Designer, Yahweh, or Shiva.

A problem afflicting evolutionism all through the living world, which I am not sure I conveyed clearly, is that of multiple simultaneous mutations, sometimes called irreducible complexity. These refer to complicated systems which cannot work at all unless all parts appear simultaneously. When the individual parts have no value, which is usually the case, there is no reason for them to stay in the gene pool.

Consider the horn of the rhinoceros. At the forlorn level of National Geographic or NPR, there is nothing mysterious here. The horn obviously evolved so that the rhino could defend itself against lions. (“So that” raises questions of purpose, which run through evolutionism, but we will here let it drop.) All right, that makes sense. Except that it doesn’t.

The Wikipedia will tell you that the horn is not of bone, but of keratin, and thus evolved from hair. Well, who could doubt it–but just how did this happen? Did a mutation occur that caused hair to clump together into a hard substance? Would one mutation do this? Why laterally centered on the forehead instead of, say, on a hind leg? After the hair-stick’’em-together mutation did another occur to make the hard patch a cleanly limited ovoid? Next, was there a grow-really-fast mutation to make the hard patch get longer, or long at all, accompanied by a grow-faster-in-middle mutation to make it pointed–at which time finally, it would be ready for poking lions. So what kept it in the gene pool all that time when it had as yet no function.kl?(Actually the horn is more complex, and therefore even less likely.)

To judge by my mail, I suspect that many people, thanks to popular television, think of mutations as major changes that just happen, such perhaps as the rhino’s horn appearing all at once . In fact mutations are changes in the nucleotide sequence of DNA that may produce a new protein. The mathematical likelihood of getting multiple mutations that just happen to engender a complex result is essentially zero. The mathematics is clear but not easily explained to a television audience, no matter how intelligent.

ORDER IT NOW

In many years of of writing columns, I have learned that the tenacity of attachment to emotionally important ideas is nearly infinite. This is as true of evolutionists as it is of Christians, the politically ardent, or the rabidly patriotic. Things that do not fit the belief are just ignored, forbidden, or explained away by wishful thinking.

Consider evolution and male homosexuality. This condition would seem to have very strong selective pressures against it. You do not increase your rate of reproduction by not reproducing. While some homosexuals have children, they do so at a rate far, far below that of normal men. The condition should have long since gone out of existence. Yet homosexuals are still with us, apparently no less commonly than in Greek and Roman times.

This is not a trivial matter.for evolutionism. If no reason can be found, then there exists a clear case of anti-Darwinian descent. To avoid this, evolutionists say that a virus causes homosexuality. There is no evidence for this. People do not have a slight fever and turn into homosexuals. Such a virus has not been found. Evolutionists just know that it exists because if it didn’t, homosexuals could not exist. Here again, the theory is taken for granted and the existence of supporting causes imagined.

Parallel universes: More of the same. Many underlying physical constants such as gravitation have exactly the values needed to make life possible. That is, the universe looks designed. This observation is usually called the Anthropic Principle. The correctness of the observations is not in doubt. The condition is so peculiar that evolutionists, desperate to explain this unlikely coincidence, assertthe existence of an infinite number of universes among which by chance ours just happened to have the necessary constants. Well and good, except that there is no evidence for it. These universes are not detectable. They are necessary to prevent a Darwinian embarrassment.

Darwin of the Gaps: Note the pattern of inventing unobservable causes to explain lacunae in the theory. Oceans suited to the chance appearance of life must have existed (though we do not know of what they consisted) since life exists. A virus causing homosexuality must exist (though there is no evidence for this) because homosexuals exist. An infinity of parallel universes must exist (though we have no way of knowing this) as otherwise th universe we live in might look designed.

What fun.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Science • Tags: Creationism, Darwinism 
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  1. In that case, Reed of the Gaps, what conditions existed to produce the Intelligent Designer?

    Seriously, if you wish to propose an Intelligent Designer, prove it. While you’re about it, stipulate how many Intelligent Designers there are, or were. One for fish, one for plants, one for mammals, one for reptiles? Or was there just one that made all? Did one Designer make Neandertals, and another CroMagnons? Or, did one make homo habilis, which evolved into other species of Man? Oops, that’s going to be clumsy, huh? Initial creation of thousands of proto-species, and evolution after that? Ick — best to just stipulate the whole goddamned shebang was created by God at midnight today — shazam! — memories, histories, fossil records intact and absolutely pointlessly recorded.

    Intelligent Design is absolute bullshit. Always has been, always will be.

  2. Anon[926] • Disclaimer says:

    Certain chemicals under certain conditions react in certain way, and a process is set off whereby those that replicate better gains an advantage. That is life.

    Look at this.

    Why do these chemicals act like this? Because they have properties that do under certain conditions.
    So, is it the result of Intelligent Chemistry?

    • Replies: @Russell
  3. Candid says:

    Fred, I really like you. You ask the right questions, but there are no sufficient answers yet.
    I haven’t yet read the comments to the main article, so my comment on the origin of homosexuality may be a duplicate. My main comment on designer vs. chance too but unlikely:
    1. About 15 or 20 years ago, appeared a very serious study which showed that there were significantly more homosexual males in families where females were significantly more fertile than the norm. Hence homosexuality might be a normal side effect of something else, which would be genetic, hence evolutionary.
    2. Designer or chance?
    Let’s put aside the deity of the Bible or any other tribal Origin story, what Einstein once called “childish tales”. Let’s also put aside the Anthropic Principle, since there is no proof that Life on Earth is the only possible form of life (there is plenty of excellent writing on the subject). Also, let’s put aside all notions about parallel universes, and different (Chance) outcomes. Complicating the problem in order to say “anything is possible” is unhelpful, and decidedly unscientific.

    Let’s look at this universe: We know very little about it. We know hugely more about it than we knew a hundred years ago, but it’s still tiny. It’s a very strange place, and there are forces in it, from galactic level to sub-atomic level, which we know exist, but we know very little about them, although they govern whatever (e.g. Quantum effects) happens and has happened forever. And we know they are governed by chance, i.e. they may or may not happen at a given moment (and we have the mathematics to prove it).
    Which makes me conclude that yes, there is a designer (for the whole universe), and it’s a force, or set of forces, that the human mind has absolutely no way of even imagining what it is or they are, or how it acts, except perhaps to say that its actions are, at some level perceived as by Chance, and at other levels as predictable outcomes (kind of like the weather…).

  4. Your Rhino question is a very good one that illustrates the that evolution could be (partially?) disproved by analysis that involves probability/statistics and lots of basic genetics and general biology knowledge.

    Hair can grow anywhere. A mutation that produces a big wad of hair on the head of a rhinoceros may happen at some point. What’s the very small probability, though, that that hair growth mutated in one shot (one rhino) into something that is good enough to use as a horn?

    If that happened, with it’s 1:XXX,XXX,XXX odds, then that could very well mean that that rhino became the safest and baddest-ass Rhino in all of Africa, and sired lots, say a few hundreds, of cute baby rhino’s. Would that mutation come out in some of them as the same useable horn, as his did? That’s probably an easy question that geneticists can answer. If some did, would this trait get passed down to enough of the descendent rhinos to keep it guaranteed to not die out from this one original guy? That’s something that biologists who study animal populations (some rhino-loving Jane Goodall types) could give answers to.

    It’s all interesting stuff, and I don’t know why some headway toward disproving evolution in this manner, or, if the results of the calculations prove otherwise, helping to buttress, but not prove, the theory of evolution.

    OK, I’d better save some database space for Mr. Sweeney.

  5. I guess I’m not done. Let me branch off into one question based on a possible answer to “What’s the very small probability, though, that that hair growth mutated in one shot (one rhino) into something that is good enough to use as a horn?” If that probability is so low, as not to be likely to occur in 10 X the lifespan of the whole rhino species on earth, then what?

    That, I believe, is Mr. Reed’s question from that section of the (good, BTW) column here. Say, a clump of hair grows together on his head, like a birthmark that some kids have. That does not a damn bit of good to help this rhino survive to have cute baby rhinos any more than the next guy, does it? It’s not like this feature will spread through the population any more or any less than that from a rhino with a mutation that gives him a bald spot in that same location. Natural selection will not work on some feature that doesn’t do any good yet (yet, according to evolution theory).

    How does the mutation get so perfect in one shot? Were the cosmic rays so strong that we had all kinds of weird-ass features that would appear on each rhino, like a a late 1990′s Seattle-area grunge groupie … or, say, Cameron Diaz* in Apocalypto? Then, maybe the odds of a nice horn appearing in one shot would have been better. I’ve seen them at the Nirvana shows – word to the wise: DON’T STAGE! DIVE!

    .
    .

    * Spoiler alert: No, she is not in that movie, but HTF would you know with all the warts and crap on their faces? It’s too bad that Mayans didn’t last long enough to live in Seattle during the ’90′s. They’d have fit right in.

    • Replies: @Logan
    , @hyperbola
  6. He for whom you saved space is Mr. Sweeny not Mr. Sweeney. [See his sig line.] . The Sweenys are the non-believers; we Sweeneys are the believers.

    In any event, the cosmological proof of God is the most logical and supportable because, as Mr. Reed has ably demonstrated, the probability of evolutionary development is, frankly, zero. As old digs are discovered, it turns out that the remains are the same as a body buried yesterday save for size based on nutritionary improvements. One also wonders as to the time allegedly required for man to evolve from the muck and how did, say, 1/2 a man or any fraction of a man exist at all irrespective of his environment being land or ocean or whatever.

  7. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    Ahh I see you are a very closed minded person. I don’t know about the whole ID or ED, but Fred brings up a lot of good points here.

    If you read the article, he addresses this above. You can’t prove ID but you also can’t prove ED either. Since neither theory can be proven, we fill in the gaps with theories or guesses. Until we can take seawater and make life ourselves, we will just be guessing about the way things are.

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  8. Logan says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    FWIW, the Maya lasted so long they’re still around. Quite probably some of them have moved to Seattle, though probably since the 90s.

    There are roughly 6M people of Maya ethnicity in South Mexico and adjacent Central American countries.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  9. all thinking humans know this, some people just dont understand that the evolution theory is just that a theory that have yet to be proven. i claim no knowledge of who created it or why, but all common sense tells me it is so. all i know is evolutionism is a religion just as most of the so called science have become.
    but im just a nobody that likes to think for my self, i could be wrong. if proven wrong i will change my opinion, only dogmatic religious or ism following non-thinking people never change their mind or adapt their position when proven wrong.
    i dont like people like that, they are enemies of common sense and humanity.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Johann
  10. Truth says:

    A fair few respondents quoted the Bible. I wondered why the Bible and not the Koran or Bhagavad Gita. The Bible seems to me the chaotic literature of a barbaric tribe and characterized by morally unpleasant stories.

    That’s it Alfredo, never lose your right-wing, conservative, European values…

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  11. TG says:

    With respect, the whole ‘debate’ about intelligent design is a smokescreen, something the rich like to stir up to get the rubes fighting each other instead of talking about all the trillions we are throwing at Wall Street etc. But nevertheless some comments:

    1. I don’t see how evolution a-priori mean that God does not exist. I believe that the current Catholic church has a position on evolution that is basically ‘how wonderful to be able to see even a glimpse of God’s grand design.’ I’m not a Catholic, but why not. I submit that much of the ire that this issue has raised is misplaced.

    2. Evolution is a demonstrated fact. We see organisms evolving every day. How do you think that domestic animals came about? What we don’t see directly is macro-evolution, i.e., the creation of entirely new distinct species. But because micro-evolution is clearly true, it’s not such a big step to think that, over geological time, macro-evolution can’t use the same demonstrated physical methods.

    3. Indeed, the issue of multiple simultaneous mutations is a big one. Darwin wrestled with this as regards the evolution of the eye. But with an entire planet and billions of years, a lot of things can happen by chance… And it did seem like it took a very long time to go from single-celled organisms to multi-celled organisms, probably for that reason. So yes, there is a lot about the theory of evolution that is not understood. But it remains the only theory based on what is known about the physics of life that can explain how things came to be, and, incomplete though it is, should therefore be respected as such. Not a fundamental argument for or against God, just a physical theory that is the best that human beings have so far come up with…

    • Replies: @TontoBubbaGoldstein
  12. Pangloss says:

    TG , undoubtedly you went to a top American University . Are you enjoying living in your Dad’s basement ? Did you stop beating your girlfriend ? lol lol lol .

  13. @Jim Sweeney

    I apologize, Mr. Three-E Sweeney. I didn’t see TWO-E Sweeny up here when I wrote (the posts can take a few mins.) so I was guessing on who was whom. I do remember your requesting this guy take on a new handle before.

    I don’t know much about that part of the question that you describe, the paleontology, Jim. I just think the probability/Biology angle seems like a method that could produce some good numerical results. It wouldn’t have to be just specifically rhino horns, of course, but work could be done analyzing lots of physical traits/features that do seem like they can’t just evolve out of the blue.

    You never seem to read any numbers trying to prove the pro-evolutionary side, just pieces of this guy here and this other guy there. There’s one of those guys even right here on unz, on iSteve’s blog, goes by the name Piltdown Man.

  14. megabar says:

    I think FR takes a too-narrow definition of science. Reproducibility is, of course, hard to come by in historical and large-scale events. But we can still make observations, form hypotheses on those observations, and then apply them to other data and see if the hypotheses hold. If they do, this is a form of reproducibility. It is, of course, more prone to bias and less convincing then an entirely independent experiment, but you work with what you got.

    Similarly, there are ways to quantify aspects of evolution. A measure of selective pressure, perhaps called the Freed unit, could be expressed as the change in gene frequency from one generation to another. As genetics and evolution are very messy, it is hard to calculate these precisely. But that does not mean that we simply throw our hands up and walk away.

    Rather than pointing out features that are prominent in typical scientific endeavors, and using them as a science litmus test for other pursuits, I think it’d be better to simply state that science (in the large) is the process of creating useful abstractions, and the scientific method an effective technique to create those abstractions. Not all problem domains are neat and can have the nice features we like in a “good” science.

    I will say that the further away a science is from being “hard”, the more easily opinion and politics can hold sway. As an example, I happen to think that sociology is a fascinating and potentially useful science. But perhaps because it does not lend itself to meaningful experimentation, it has (from my distant position of observation) become a harmful political tool instead.

    As for the rhino horn, it’s an interesting question. But perhaps there were rhino forebears that had less-impressive-but-still-plentiful hair on their face for other reasons, and if we had the full historical record, the jump to a horn would seem more plausible. Just like the various proto-humans explain why we’re so different from apes.

    While evolution is not unassailable (after all, what is?), it seems to me, as a layman, that it makes a pretty strong case. We have a mechanism (genes) that clearly explains some aspects of heredity, and that mechanism plausibly explains (to my mind, anyway) much of the variation in the Earth’s life. Yet, it’s also true that people do fall in love with their own beliefs, and I have little doubt that this tendency has stifled progress in any number of ways.

    In any event, I don’t think the presence of a creator is all that relevant. Certainly, there doesn’t appear to be an effective argument either way. I happen to believe in a creator; that belief makes me happy, and I’d personally recommend it to others. But if he exists, he does not have a very good communications department. Given the lack of a clear set of directives (considering the whole of human history), I think it’s best that we try to figure things out on our own, and not rely on interpreting divinity. Indeed, I believe that’s what he wants. :)

    Speaking of sociology and creators, I think an interesting, practical question, is whether widespread belief in the divine is more effective in creating a harmonious, prosperous society, as compared to secular morality systems. Of course, I don’t trust the current crop of sociologists to examine that fairly.

  15. @Anonymous

    Of course, Anonymous Prescient Guy, I am very closed-minded. I am, also of course, stunned by the ad hominem at the opening. But, not surprised. I trust you dug deep to come up with that one.

    You can’t prove ID but you also can’t prove ED either.

    Erectile dysfunction? Mine works great, maybe too good.

    ID is blather. Superstitious hoo-hoo. Tiptoeing in the dark. Beyond the human frailty and foolishness of it, ID suffers, as a concept, from logical self-exhaustion.

    • Replies: @megabar
  16. @Candid

    About 15 or 20 years ago, appeared a very serious study which showed that there were significantly more homosexual males in families where females were significantly more fertile than the norm.

    That study, the name of which escapes me at the moment, showed that homosexuality occurred at a higher rate in younger sons of women who give birth to many sons — typically five or more. If I recall correctly, the women in the study birthed no daughters at all — another interesting factor.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
    , @animalogic
  17. Russell says:
    @Anon

    These chemical reactions are patterns. Evolution requires changes in the DNA, which is a code. The code has information that can change forms. We seen many patterns from natural processes, but we’ve never seen it code come from anywhere but a mind.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Poco
  18. megabar says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    > ID is blather. Superstitious hoo-hoo. Tiptoeing in the dark. Beyond the human frailty and foolishness of it, ID suffers, as a concept, from logical self-exhaustion.

    Well, I suppose it depends on how you label things. I happen to believe in a creator, but that this belief should not inform our decision making. That is, we should try to understand and affect our world as we would if there were no God, since it is clear that he is currently taking a hands-off approach.

    I don’t see how that belief could be argued either plausible or implausible, let alone proved either way. One either believes that the universe came into being by chance or by design. Neither strikes me as a particularly superior belief.

    Certainly, there are more aggressive forms of ID that I am less of fan of; when using a belief in the divine as a replacement for scientific understanding.

  19. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Russell

    Mutations change code patterns.

    Mutations happen.

  20. One either believes that the universe came into being by chance or by design. Neither strikes me as a particularly superior belief.

    It is my opinion that evolutionary theory does the best job of describing and explaining life on Earth, i.e. life as we know it. It seems to me that the presence of DNA segments in sea-worms that are identical to DNA segments found in the human genome is very much consistent with the notion that all life on earth is related, and that phyla found their way to present-day through a 4-billion year process of mutation, adaptation and selection.

    Do I believe that evolution produced the universe? Energy? Mass? Quanta? Stars? Dark matter? No — that would seem more than a little ridiculous.

    But, the best description and explanation we’ve got of life on Earth, to date? Oh, hell yeah. No contest. Hands down.

    • Replies: @megabar
    , @j2
  21. Rosie says:

    Consider the following three questions: “Who designed the Designer?” From a five-year-old, “But Mommy, where did God come from?” From a freshman in a dorm room, “What came before the Big Bang?”

    Good point. Why didn’t I think of that?

  22. peterAUS says:

    Another very good article about thought…faith….something….. provoking subject.

    Cheers.

  23. peterAUS says:
    @Candid

    Agree.
    Especially with

    ….it’s a force, or set of forces, that the human mind has absolutely no way of even imagining what it is or they are, or how it acts, ……..

  24. Renoman says:

    I love your writing Fred, it’s my kinda logic!

  25. Lelle says:

    Intelligent design! Good Grief, I suppose being brought up in the US makes you a religious person for ever, or more likely Fred had nothing interesting to write so he chosed a subject which would be controversial among Americans.

    The question of intelligent design has been answered by Richard Dawkins in several books, if you are serious about this concept I suggest you read these books.

    It seems to be in vogue to criticise science, it is of course the post modern syndrome at work, the idea that everybody´s view of any phenonomen in this complex world are equal and should be equally respected.

  26. @Logan

    It sometimes seems there are almost that many in LA County alone.

    • Replies: @Logan
  27. @Truth

    So the Old Testament isn’t replete with the self-serving absurdities of a tribe that believed itself to be racially superior to all others and chosen by God to destroy or rule all other peoples?

    That’s certainly not to say that there isn’t a lot to learn and take from the OT and the NT. But full of nonsense, irrelevant genealogy, and hatred against people of other races.

  28. megabar says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    > It is my opinion that evolutionary theory does the best job of describing and explaining life on Earth, i.e. life as we know it

    As do I. All I’m saying is that every theory that science produces is consistent with there being a creator. And consistent with there being no creator.

    So I don’t really understand why either side is so keen to argue with each other over something that is unproveable.

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  29. Giuseppe says:

    “What came before the Big Bang?”

    These questions are equivalent. Designer, God, or Bang, the human mind cannot handle questions of ultimate origins.

    Designer, God and Bang are not equivalent. Stephen Hawking erred when he stated that there could be no God because there is no time in black holes, and therefore no time at the moment before the Big Bang. He also proposed evolution as a principle not just in biology, but even in astronomy, as a process guiding the unfolding (and collapsing) of the cosmos.

    God is not an actor in the cosmos and God is not constrained by time. If there is a Big Bang, and I’m not sure there is, God could hold it in his hand.

    If getting a keratinized rhinoceros horn from hair is immeasurably impossible, how does evolution explain that the sole purpose of one of the twelve cranial nerves, the fourth or trochlear cranial nerve, is to control a single muscle of the eye, the superior oblique? It can’t.

    You’re on the right track.

  30. MEH 0910 says:

    Fred, you should write a piece on the Intelligent Design case for male homosexuality.

  31. @megabar

    So I don’t really understand why either side is so keen to argue with each other over something that is unproveable.

    Oh, come on, mega. You know perfectly well why the Believers want to argue. As do I — after all, I was born and raised in the very heart of the Evangelical State.

    They amuse me … they are so full of faithful fury, without the slightest concept of factual truths.

    • Replies: @megabar
  32. @Giuseppe

    Stephen Hawking erred when he stated that there could be no God because there is no time in black holes, and therefore no time at the moment before the Big Bang.

    I’m sure it amused Hawking that people believed some of his propositions just because they’d been told he was a genius.

    In Hawking’s interpretation, the Universe collapses into a singularity — a black hole — which amounts to a homogenized mass/space/energy substance congealed to a dimensionless point, containing all mass, space and time. A bit of thought readily reveals that time MUST pass for the singularity, or it cannot transition into the Big Bang. Either that, or you’re stuck with a definition of “time” as consisting of events only, time itself becoming appearance rather than a real elemental component of the Universe.

  33. @TG

    Evolution is a demonstrated fact. We see organisms evolving every day. How do you think that domestic animals came about?

    Selective breeding, AKA genetic manipulation by intelligent designers…

    Sorry.
    While I am agnostic on the ID/evolution debate, I couldn’t let that one slide by.

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
    , @Hu Mi Yu
  34. Truth says:
    @RadicalCenter

    What you say is (quite superficially) accurate, but does that automatically make it untrue?

    The chosen religion for the ilk of the “intellectuals” such as yourself is atheism. I’m not saying that it is yours, but it is the general fall-back, (outside of the various cults of satanism which are quite popular, but would be best served in another post).

    The interesting thing about believing that (as a very brilliant scientist once termed it) “a tornado blew through an airplane parts factory and assembled a 747″, is that you are believing that you, Radical Center, are the most brilliant, most advanced thing that exists. Now My Friend, if I were you I would go to my bathroom, look in my mirror, and ask myself a simple question:

    “Am I the most brilliant most advanced thing that exists in this universe, however large that is?”

    I think you will receive your answer.

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
    , @peterAUS
  35. megabar says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    > You know perfectly well why the Believers want to argue. As do I — after all, I was born and raised in the very heart of the Evangelical State.

    Indulge me, as I have not spent much time around Evangelicals. I really don’t know. Do they simply not want to consider themselves as children of apes?

    I suspect your argument is with people who are anti-scientific, and less with people who are both scientific and believers. But I shouldn’t put words in your mouth.

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  36. @Truth

    The chosen religion for the ilk of the “intellectuals” such as yourself is atheism.

    Your talent for invidious back-biting is legendary, albeit both tired and tiresome.

    Intellectuals have no chosen religion. Only fools and credulous morons have a chosen religion.

    • Replies: @Truth
  37. @megabar

    I suspect your argument is with people who are anti-scientific, and less with people who are both scientific and believers. But I shouldn’t put words in your mouth.

    Not at all. Statements of simple fact are “argument” only in a minimal sense.

    Evangelicals pursue belief based on faith alone. They are very proud of it. The mantra is: “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” But, as long as they work, pay taxes, and vote for politicians who quote Jesus, evangelicals are of use. Somebody has to support the welfare state, and it for sure isn’t negros and mexicans.

    • Replies: @megabar
    , @Stan d Mute
  38. @TontoBubbaGoldstein

    Selective breeding, AKA genetic manipulation by intelligent designers…

    Like Beyonce and J-Z?

    Just FYI, selective breeding is evolution, done deliberately or not. No fall of moondust, nor light from a sentinel star is required.

  39. hyperbola says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Fred is recycling VERY old arguments that have been addressed for many decades – and the construction of his arguments seems designed to confuse. Why would anyone want to consider a topic as obscure as a rhinocerous horn when there is a vast scientific literature on the evolution of much more complex organs. Read about the “evolution” of a much more complex organ – the eye. These might be some starting points.

    Evolution of the eye
    The evolution of the eye has been a subject of significant study, as a distinctive example of a homologous organ present in a wide variety of species.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/evolution_of_the_eye.htm

    The evolution of eyes: major steps. The Keeler lecture 2017: centenary of Keeler Ltd
    I R Schwab
    Eye volume 32, pages 302–313 (2018)

    https://www.nature.com/articles/eye2017226

  40. I think Kant said it best – space, time, and causality are forms of our understanding and not how the world really is. My best guess is the basis of everything is life-spirit-mind. There is no objective space-time. Our visual experience of the world is derived from life. Life does not derive from the appearance we see.

    Vision is like sensation and sound in that the experience of vision as we see it is in our mind only. We are not lizards in a cosmic terrarium of space and time. We only experience it that way.

    As to evolution, the whole world view concept of evolution as a description of objective space-time falls apart without an objective space-time.

    The model of an objective space-time allows for a focus on details. Understanding such a process scientifically has merits for prediction and engineering. But the ability to predict and engineer to precise measurements is always a focused and hence limited endeavor which does not consider the whole of our existence with any reasonable conceptual model. There is by definition no world view implied in science or common sense, only a local (focused) model of a small part, for a particular purpose.

    • Replies: @utu
  41. …continued after finger fumbling…

    Looked at this way, thinking about the basis of our existence can be grouped into 11 concepts in 3 groups:

    life-spirit-mind
    light-magnetism-gravity-inertia
    space-time-energy-matter

    or, elements of life, speed of light phenomena, and the world of 4D space-time (our visual field). The world of space and time are derived from life-spirit-mind and the speed of light phenomena. As a small example, color is derived from (based on) our power of vision and light frequency.

    As your article points out, and many people point out, life-spirit-mind cannot be derived from (based on) space-time-energy-matter and light-magnetism-gravity-inertia.

  42. peterAUS says:
    @Truth

    Agree.
    Especially with:

    ….The chosen religion for the ilk of the “intellectuals” …… is atheism.

    and, bit edited:

    ….they are believing they are the most brilliant, most advanced thing that exists…

    Feels good.

    • Replies: @Truth
  43. FKA Max says:

    In many years of of writing columns, I have learned that the tenacity of attachment to emotionally important ideas is nearly infinite. This is as true of evolutionists as it is of Christians, the politically ardent, or the rabidly patriotic. Things that do not fit the belief are just ignored, forbidden, or explained away by wishful thinking.

    You have Scout Mindset, Mr. Reed. Very good!

    Why you think you’re right — even if you’re wrong | Julia Galef

    Source: http://www.unz.com/article/why-was-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-shot-down/#comment-2437795

    Consider evolution and male homosexuality. This condition would seem to have very strong selective pressures against it. You do not increase your rate of reproduction by not reproducing. While some homosexuals have children, they do so at a rate far, far below that of normal men. The condition should have long since gone out of existence. Yet homosexuals are still with us, apparently no less commonly than in Greek and Roman times.

    There is an explanation for this:

    You know, as a heterosexual man you should be grateful for and cheer on every openly gay man out there, since it means less mating competition for you and other heterosexual men, which contributes to and translates into a more conflict-free, peaceful and less deadly world for men. Homosexuality very much has a purpose, in my opinion, otherwise Nature/God would not be selecting for it:
    [...]
    We observed that the maternal aunts and grandmothers of homosexual probands were significantly more fecund compared with the maternal aunts and maternal grandmothers of the heterosexual probands.
    [...]
    Moreover, due to the selective increase in maternal female fecundity, the total female fecundity was significantly higher in homosexual than heterosexual probands, thus compensating for the reduced fecundity of homosexuals.
    [...]
    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0051088

    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-worlds-iq-86/#comment-2074457

    • Replies: @utu
  44. If you are talking about the origins of life on earth you may be looking in the wrong place. The earth was likely seeded thousands of millions of years ago and has been reseeded multiple times since then. It’s called directed panspermia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia

    Fred’s view is somewhat anthropocentric placing the earth at the center. Whereas, it is really a small flake of dust far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy.

    It begs the question. Who owns the earth?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropocentrism

    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @The Scalpel
  45. Hu Mi Yu says:
    @TontoBubbaGoldstein

    Selective breeding, AKA genetic manipulation by intelligent designers…

    So the people who tamed the first wild horses did that so that thousands of years later we could invent a harness to make them work. And they deleted a chromosome using CRISPER no doubt.

    The first people to throw bones to wild dogs knew that someday they could be used for transportation, hunting and protection.

    The transformation of wild animals into modern tame ones was not design. It was accident: hence evolution.

  46. FKA Max says:
    @Si1ver1ock

    Did you see this study/paper, yet?

    New model predicts that we’re probably the only advanced civilization in the observable universe

    https://phys.org/news/2018-06-advanced-civilization-universe.html

    • Replies: @Si1ver1ock
    , @Anon
  47. megabar says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    > Evangelicals pursue belief based on faith alone. They are very proud of it. The mantra is: “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.”

    That is a subset of believers. As I indicated above, I am not fond of where religion opposes scientific knowledge.

    However, there are many people who find science and religion to be orthogonal and thus perfectly compatible. It seems to me that there are a set of atheists (perhaps small but loud) who find even this position worthy of ridicule, which I don’t understand.

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  48. @FKA Max

    No, But I’ve seen the arguments before. There is too much evidence that UFOs exist and frequently visit the earth.

  49. As I tried to point out in the previous thread—and I wish the point had been taken more seriously—the Theory of Evolution and Intelligent Design do not differ from one another in the manner in which they misunderstand the nature of life. In both cases it is assumed that living creatures result from the mere assemblage of nonliving sub-units, as if the creatures were the products of some sort of craft-art like a house or an automobile. Intelligent Design postulates that there exists an agent who is responsible for this construction process, while the Theory of Evolution dispenses with the need for a designer and substitutes in his place random chance acting over vast expanses of time.

    This is a distinction without a (meaningful) difference. It matters not to a consideration of fundamentals whether a product arises by art or chance, and in fact the two are intimately related and deal with the precisely the same things. In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle, quoting Agathon, draws our attention to this fact by saying: “Art was beloved of chance, and chance of art” (Ethics, Book VI, Chapter 5, 1140a et seq.) If Intelligent Design can be true, then it is just conceivable that Evolution might also be true. However, neither one of them can be.

    That is because living creatures are not the “products” of either chance or art, and the whole debate between Intelligent Design and Evolution is taking place within the scope of a category mistake that completely misconstrues the very nature of the subject. Living creatures result from a formal cause which is their immaterial soul, which is a monad that is irreducibly simple and which cannot be produced (or in any wise affected) by any material-mechanical process, agent or no. The question of “how life arose” is nonsensical, for life did not arise from anything prior to itself within the field of causality. Life is integral to the scheme of existence. The source of life is the same as that of the cosmos itself.

    There is, of course, much more that can be said about this topic; but unless this fundamental point is grasped, it’s all just pissing into the wind. Evolution is wrong, not due the irreducible complexity of the body, but due to the irreducible simplicity of the soul. Intelligent Design is wrong for the same reason. Material processes cannot make immaterial forms, and without immaterial forms there is no life.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @nickels
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    , @Anon
  50. nsa says:

    We get it…….you, Saint Freddie, with your simple moronic faith in an omnipotent sky fag, are superior to all those high IQ atheistic scientists who struggle to make sense of the universe using rational thought and scientific investigation. At least stop making a fool of yourself with silly mischaracterizations like “the spontaneous generation of life from sea water”…………a span of 3.8 billion years to evolve is anything but “spontaneous”.

    • Replies: @Campkunk
  51. bossel says:

    These questions are equivalent. Designer, God, or Bang, the human mind cannot handle questions of ultimate origins

    You (probably want to) miss the point. Much of your original argument centered around the fact that (a certain amount of) complexity cannot develop naturally, but needs to be designed. & the whole argument collapses because your designer obviously needs to be a highly complex system.

    When the individual parts have no value, which is usually the case, there is no reason for them to stay in the gene pool.

    You really never heard of junk DNA?
    Anyway, no reason for something to stay in the gene pool doesn’t mean that it disappears. Even disadvantageous mutations can stay if they are not too disadvantageous or an associated effect actually enhances fitness (see malaria protection vs. sickle cell disease).

    You clearly have a problem with complexity. Not much wrong with that, just believe in your “creator”, but there is no point to argue. There is virtually no evidence for creationism, but loads of evidence for evolution. Just because some questions about some details remain, doesn’t make the whole theory invalid.

  52. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Si1ver1ock

    “It begs the question. Who owns the earth?”

    The Rothschilds ……lol

  53. @megabar

    However, there are many people who find science and religion to be orthogonal and thus perfectly compatible. It seems to me that there are a set of atheists (perhaps small but loud) who find even this position worthy of ridicule, which I don’t understand.

    Inasmuch as “orthogonal” means perpendicular, I would think that imagery stretched a bit too far.

    The words “atheist” and “agnostic” carry a great deal of emotional baggage in terms of aggrieved Believers, who prefer to hound to death anyone who doesn’t sound the trumpet for Jesus. They are ready and willing to put to the sword any non-Christian (Jews being an exception and semi-members of the guild, as it were).

    It was ever thus, I suppose. Someday, humanity will come of age.

    • Replies: @megabar
  54. Rosie says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Material processes cannot make immaterial forms, and without immaterial forms there is no life.

    I don’t wholly disagree with you, but the question of how the material aspects of life came about, be they sufficient or merely necessary, is interesting in its own right.

  55. @Dillon Sweeny

    @Dillon Sweeney
    You’re the one making the ridiculous assumptions (that random collisions of inanimate atoms accidentally created up to 1.5Gbyte codes embedded in [necessarily] self-reproducing DNA molecules, for instance) so YOU are the one who must make YOUR case. And you can’t.
    Your problem is that you find it impossible (or perhaps unacceptable) to imagine that there might be a consciousness out there significantly more powerful and intelligent than yourself …. and that imposed constriction on external reality is, in the circumstances, a rather stupid one.

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  56. The best theory I’ve come across that covers these big issues is outlined in Tom Campbells “My Big T.O.E. (Theory of Everything)”. Tom is a Physicist and as a graduate of Physics myself for whom, like everyone else, the outrageous anomalies that appeared out of Quantum theory were not understood, it was a great pleasure to see these anomalies resolved (I believe) by his theory.
    This TOE basically posits what is called a “Simulation” model of reality; that we inhabit a virtual reality like a computer game (many orders of magnitude more powerful than our own creations) in which ONLY CONSCIOUSNESS IS REAL …. our own consciousness, which runs our ‘avatar’ (body) and the consciousness of the programmer/big computer/God (whatever you want to call it) …. that time and space and the physical universe have no real existence other than to the consciousness that is subjectively experiencing this programmed reality.

    The concept of ‘evolution’ is written into the program (in fact the evolution of our/the creator’s consciousness is the very purpose of the program) and programmed material realities appear when the ‘programmer’ presses the “run” button (metaphor …. but metaphor that works well, in my opinion)
    This sketchy description is obviously lacking important detail. However, anyone can read his book, it is not written in highly technical language, and this poster highly recommends it. Tasters here:

    …or here, addressing scientists at the US Space and Rocket Centre:

  57. idealog says:

    “”You really never heard of junk DNA?””

    Junk DNA – debunked – see encode project ENCODE (full of despair the evolutionist change the definition of usefull DNA so some DNA is still junk after their definition)

    Chromosome 2 fusion – debunked – https://larryemarshall.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/chromosome-fusion-2-debunked/ and many other sites

    99% human – chimp similarity – debunked – http://johnhawks.net/weblog/reviews/chimpanzees/genetics/chimpanzee-y-chromosome-2010.html and many other sites- 70% maybee

    Just use gooogle and read.

    Still looking for the missing link?! After 160 year!? By the way the entire story of human evolution change up-side-down a few times in the last 20 years by the evolutionist who just try to keep up with archeological discovery. And every time they tell us that is final version more truthfull than the word off God. And is cracking again. Out of Africa- bullshit. Change the story again.

    One thing which must be told very clear.
    There are only 2 posibility – God of the Heavens and God of the Randomnesssss.
    Creationism only job is to prove that evolution don’t work. Creationism is no real science and doesn’t need to offer an alternative to Theory of evolution. Creationism is only a god critic of a bad science.
    If evolution is debunked then God of the Randomnesssss is dead and God of the Heavens real.

    Somebody said panspermia. I have a simple question. The live who fell on earth from cosmos was created by God of the Heavens or God of the Randomnesssss. See – 2 options only.
    I see many times – evolution guys going crazy every time this truth is put in the open. Evolution is chaos and randomness. A read many pages of desperated attempts to debunk this obvious truth.

    • Replies: @Hu Mi Yu
  58. @ThereisaGod

    You’re the one making the ridiculous assumptions (that random collisions of inanimate atoms accidentally created up to 1.5Gbyte codes embedded in [necessarily] self-reproducing DNA molecules, for instance) so YOU are the one who must make YOUR case.

    I made no such assumption.

    • Replies: @ThereisaGod
  59. I made no such assumption.

    That’s risible. The assumption is innate to all forms of evolution other than theistic. The problem you have is that evolution is no more science than is intelligent design. It is as much blather as you accuse ID of being.

    Scientifically, origins are beyond us. Therefore, it is not science, but philosophy. You’re simply being emotional.

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  60. As with the last column on the same subject, Fred sees fit to include an embarrassingly adolescent aside to try and rationalise his own agnosticism, the comfortable religion for folks who are smart enough to recognise that there is a God, but too lazy or self-serving to make any significant changes to their lifestyle by actually joining a church.

    Has Fred considered, for example that the reason people elected to quote the Bible because the doctrine of creation is an integral part of the Christian metaphysics at the root of Western philosophy and philosophy, making the Bible more relevant than the Koran. See recent works by Dr. E. Michael Jones for more information.

    Has Fred considered that far from being “chaotic”, the Bible narrative actually has a holistic and unified narrative that illuminates the beginning and ultimate destiny of humanity?

    Has Fred considered that his characterisation of certain Bible stories as “morally unpleasant” is just a weak variation of the emotional argument he used in his last column?

    Of course he hasn’t. Because he didn’t actually think any of these through. He’s just trying to justify his own lifestyle choices. Next week he’ll get back to rationalising the Mexican Invasion of the American South West because his Jewish Mestizo wife can string a couple of English sentences together.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  61. @Quartermaster

    That’s risible. The assumption is innate to all forms of evolution other than theistic.

    What horseshit.

    No, I made no such assumption. IOW, you and your “assumptions” can kiss my merry red ass.

    Of all explanations for, and descriptions of, the current condition of animal, plant and human life on Earth, evolutionary theory is the most consistent, the best supported in terms of scientific data, and is, for verisimilitude, directly observable contemporaneously.

  62. Truth says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    Atheism is a religion, Jim, as religion is, in general terms; “the worship of a higher power.”

    An atheist’s religion is worship of his own intellect, or rather, the intellect he believes he has. This is his higest imaginable power.

    “Science” is another religion. One belives in this series of mathematical equasions although there is no proof.

    Why do you think it is still the theory of relativity, the theory of evolution, the theory of global warming, the theory of gravity, after all of these years?

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  63. nickels says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    I think you are putting the cart before the horse, at least in terms of communicating your point.

    ID merely reduces its scope to a minimum in order to avoid all metaphysical entanglements and disprove the theory of evolution.
    With that accomplished, then the metaphysical questions come pouring in.

    In fact, ID and evolution are not equally probable, at least assuming some reality to the material universe, and that its processes are coherent and exist as an essence apart from our conceptions of them. ID, using simple statistical analysis, proves that the theory of evolution is an absurdity.

    So, on the very basis of materialistic reasoning, the dominant materialistic paradigm is laid waste.

    At that point, one has to ask, “If not randomly, then how?” And this may very well lead to the more profound question of “what”, which are asking.

    As Christians, the how is by the hand of God, at least for the physical capsule which holds the soul. The “what” is the moment that God breathes life into this body, investing it with the spirit, and giving it a soul.

    So I both agree and disagree with your comments. Consciousness is certainly something more incredible that simple material, but the physiology of a living being is also some quite profoundly unnatural in the purely molecular sense and is (again, by Christian theology), somehow intricately tied up with the existence of the soul, at least for our time on this earth.

  64. Anonymous[290] • Disclaimer says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Destroy all other peoples? Not quite. Only seven tribes for certain reasons. And they were supposed to be annihilated.

    And it was not one tribe but 12.
    Okay, at present their is only one left to be noticed. And according to the Bible this tribe was discarded, dispersed into all the world, but not lost.

  65. @Truth

    Atheism is a religion, Jim, as religion is, in general terms; “the worship of a higher power.”

    I don’t worry myself much about atheism as religion, nor much about “oooo-whee-oooo, dey’s spookies out dere” as religion.

    You, Mr. Troof, are an idiot. A religious zealot. You are ignorant, opinionated, and entirely wrong. Inasmuch as you do not acknowledge facts, definitions, and history, you are a complete waste of time.

    Goodbye.

    • Replies: @Truth
  66. It’s difficult not to get a bit of second-hand embarrassment whenever Fred shares his adolescent appraisal of the Bible. Perhaps the reason that so many respondents chose to quote the Bible over the Koran is because the issue is ultimately about the attack on the Christian metaphysics that has formed the core of Western philosophy and identity for the last twenty centuries (Dr. E. Michael Jones is currently writing a book on this very subject). Chaotic? The Biblical narrative gives a complete and holistic illumination of man’s origin, purpose and destiny? Morally unpleasant? How else is it supposed to repudiate the depravity of man besides describing it?

    And then to cap it off, Fred thinks that the evidence for design is just too perfect to be the product of God, which doesn’t make much sense, but allows him to avoid addressing the evidence that the Biblical God exists and continue in his comfortable agnosticism.

  67. @Candid

    This is exactly the sort of agnostic fluff that usually gets passed around by people who see all the evidence for God but still want to hide behind a puff of sophistry.

    There’s actually striking little similarity between the Genesis narrative and other “tribal” origin stories, so try to dismiss them with a wave of the hand like that, especially when trying to quote a notorious fraud like Einstein (who stole his ideas from Lorentz, among others) as though he were an authority on creation narratives is just arrogant and misinformed.

    http://www.equip.org/article/creation-accounts-ancient-near-eastern-religions/

    Then there’s the usual trick of trying to attribute the design to an impersonal force. No impersonal force or series of forces could have designed with the specificity that we see in the Earth or humanity, especially considering that everything we know so far shows us that life should not exist in the universe at all.

  68. Truth says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    You, Mr. Troof, are an idiot. A religious zealot.

    LMAO!

    How can I be “a religious zealot” when I never mentioned any particular religion?

    I guess I’m kinda “The Generic Religious Zealot.”

  69. paroikos says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    Sweeny (of the Gimped Fossil Record) writes, “what conditions existed to produce the Intelligent Designer?” That infantile query is akin to asking, “What pre-evolutionary conditions existed to produce the inception of Evolution? Was it the clever, self-encoding mojo that lies dormant in all dead, primordial matter? Slavish belief in Intelligent Fortuity is the mother of all bovine dejecta.

    • Replies: @Truth
    , @Dillon Sweeny
    , @JVC
  70. Truth says:
    @paroikos

    Well someone qualified for the Countywide 8th grade vocabulary bee, some years ago…

    • Replies: @paroikos
  71. megabar says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    > Inasmuch as “orthogonal” means perpendicular, I would think that imagery stretched a bit too far.

    I don’t see why. There is not a scientific position that I’m aware of that I bring my religious beliefs into.

    > [Believers] are ready and willing to put to the sword any non-Christian (Jews being an exception and semi-members of the guild, as it were).

    And I acknowledge and condemn the subset of believers who do that. Do you feel a similar way about atheists (or whichever term you prefer) who go out of their way to ridicule a belief in a creator?

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  72. @paroikos

    Sweeny (of the Gimped Fossil Record) writes, “what conditions existed to produce the Intelligent Designer?” That infantile query is akin to asking, “What pre-evolutionary conditions existed to produce the inception of Evolution?

    Uh-huh. Sport, I went to a real university, and was taught by real professors of philosophy. All of your bullshit was dismissed by real philosophers before the turn of the 19th century. Nope, not the 20th …. the 19th. You are spouting pure, fallacious, long-since rebutted bullshit.

    Now, it’s not like I don’t understand. Been there, heard the same horsecrap a thousand times. I’ve encountered dozens of religious freakazoids over the course of long life. It really doesn’t matter to me — preach to the crowd, bud. It’s bullshit.

    • Replies: @paroikos
  73. @megabar

    And I acknowledge and condemn the subset of believers who do that. Do you feel a similar way about atheists (or whichever term you prefer) who go out of their way to ridicule a belief in a creator?

    Atheists specifically? Are you asking me to speak for all atheists? Are you aware that I am not an atheist? Oui? Ja? Da? Si?

    Oh, never mind. This is like talking to a class of California public-school 7th-graders. It astounds me that purportedly educated people would line up on an internet forum and spout such utter bullshit. Sure, religious faith is one thing, but understanding facts and the proofs thereof requires a certain amount of education and discipline. Believing in Yahweh is one thing; proving Yahweh something else again. And so on.

    Have a nice day.

    • Replies: @megabar
  74. megabar says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    > Atheists specifically? Are you asking me to speak for all atheists? Are you aware that I am not an atheist? Oui? Ja? Da? Si?

    And:

    > Oh, never mind. This is like talking to a class of California public-school 7th-graders.

    That’s ironic, as your response seems to indicate that you didn’t comprehend a single thing I wrote. Perhaps you’ve mixed my responses with others. For example:

    - I never said you were an atheist. I asked if you find atheists who enjoy ridiculing believers, simple because they believe, annoying. Before you jump to another conclusion, this doesn’t imply that all atheists do this.
    - I never asked you to speak for all atheists. I asked for *your* opinion on a very specific scenario.
    - I earlier quite clearly stated that I can’t prove that God exists. I merely said that it’s not ridiculous to believe in one.
    - I have clearly stated that I believe that science is science and faith is faith, and you shouldn’t bring faith into science. I’ve stated that I think evolution is a good theory, and that people who rely on faith instead of science are wrong. How that shows that I don’t understand facts is mysterious to me.

    I feel like you’re attacking a preconceived version of my arguments instead of my actual arguments.

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  75. @megabar

    I feel like you’re attacking a preconceived version of my arguments instead of my actual arguments.

    I never said you were an atheist. I asked if you find atheists who enjoy ridiculing believers, simple because they believe, annoying.

    I don’t pay much attention to atheism. Unlike theism, atheism lacks substantial literary exposition, probably because it makes little sense to hold forth at great length regarding what is not there. I suppose it is possible some atheists make sport of Believers. Based on what I’ve seen of Believer sermons, that might be fairly easy to do.

    As far as this forum is concerned, it seems that Believers perform the literary equivalent of baying at the Moon a la The Hound of the Baskervilles, and make a practice of attacking evolution on entirely spurious grounds. They typically follow up, aggressively, with obviously deeply emotional and pejorative accusations of anti-godism, etc.

    • Replies: @megabar
  76. JVC says:
    @paroikos

    “What pre-evolutionary conditions existed to produce the inception of Evolution?

    that’s an easy one–Most well informed people know that life on this planet got its start in a pile of garbage left behind by a group of intergalactic picnickers some 500 million years or more ago.

    Question that should be asked is if this is all the result of intelligent design, why is the designs apparent pinnacle (H.Sapiens) so stupid that self destruction is its apparent goal ???? (read the news lately??)

    Speaking of H (homo Sapiens), that too is easy—young men are driven by an over abundance of a hormone that focuses their minds on one thing–the poke. Unfortunately, older, more powerful men controlled most of the women , so the only available poke was just like them. Same today, except instead of older more powerful men, women seem to be controlled by headaches and making a career for themselves..
    Do I need a sarc tag???

    • Replies: @paroikos
  77. megabar says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    > As far as this forum is concerned, it seems that Believers … make a practice of attacking evolution on entirely spurious grounds. They typically follow up, aggressively, with obviously deeply emotional and pejorative accusations of anti-godism, etc.

    Perhaps. I think we all react to what we most encounter. With the people I mostly associate with, religion is clearly looked down upon, though rarely aggressively in person. It’s more of a soft, smug “boy are those religious people dumb” kinda of thing. Light mocking of religion is tolerated or encouraged. Online, I find it to be more aggressive, but we all notice positions antagonistic to our own more than the opposite, so YMMV. For example, if I spent significant time around anti-intellectual evangelicals, that would surely grate on me.

    Lost in all of this, I think, is honest discussions about the benefits of religion. Today, people relish pointing out the horrible things done in the name of religion, and I don’t deny them. But I wonder if there are profound benefits to a shared religion in a people; it possibly creates a shared set of values, and a shared set of community, that helps people live and work together. Is it a coincidence that social cohesion in the West seems to be vanishing at the same time that religiosity is fading? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Indeed, the very emotion that you note in religious people when defending their beliefs suggests that there is something primal there. Whether or not you think that’s a good trait, it appears to be a real one.

    In a way, it’s like stating that race matters. People don’t take it seriously. One will get you called a racist, and the other a fool.

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  78. anonymous[801] • Disclaimer says:

    Rhino horns are too complex to have evolved through mutations. God must’ve given rhinos horns whenever he got the urge. Along the same lines, I suppose 15,000 years is not enough time for wolves to mutate into chihuahuas. Therefore God must’ve mutated chihuahuas because he knew that is what Mexicans in 2018 would want.

    But why does he code strange mutations in humans so often (e.g. polydactyly/oligodactyly)? For instance, why did God give the Vadoma tribe in Zimbabwe two-toed ostrich feet (the result of a single mutation)? What is it for? Is it part of a larger master plan? Is it just for shits and giggles? Does this god/creator/being have a complete lack of empathy for the victims of its genetic tampering? Sure is one strange god…

  79. @megabar

    Indeed, the very emotion that you note in religious people when defending their beliefs suggests that there is something primal there. Whether or not you think that’s a good trait, it appears to be a real one.

    Judaism? Confucianism? Taoism? Hindus? Buddhists? Shintos? Nah, it’s not primal. It’s only the ‘save your soul’ varieties — Islam and Christianity. The rest pretty much mind their own business. Religion per se is not a problem, only specific religions.

  80. Hu Mi Yu says:
    @idealog

    Chromosome 2 fusion – debunked – https://larryemarshall.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/chromosome-fusion-2-debunked/ and many other sites

    99% human – chimp similarity – debunked – http://johnhawks.net/weblog/reviews/chimpanzees/genetics/chimpanzee-y-chromosome-2010.html and many other sites- 70% maybee

    Just use gooogle and read.

    Thanks, did scan the papers. Didn’ t want to waste much time.

    As to the first paper, chromosome fusion is not uncommon. It even has a name: Robertsonian Translocation. To quote one recent peer reviewed paper: http://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/case-report-potential-speciation-in-humans-involving-robertsoniantranslocations.html

    Approximately one person in 1,000 is a Robertsonian translocation carrier. This type of translocation most likely arises during egg (or more rarely sperm) formation. Most Robertsonian translocation carriers are healthy and have a normal lifespan, but do have an increased risk of pregnancy loss and children with trisomies.

    In most cases there is only one merged chromosome, and the mutation does not persist. However in cases of marriage between cousins it is possible for the merged chromosome to be passed into the offspring resulting in a normal-appearing human with 44 chromosomes instead of 46. Such offspring are effectively new species, because of the low fertility in unions between 44 and 46 chromosome humans. The paper traces out the family background of one such person found by chance in China.

    As to the second paper, it is well known that the rate of mutation in the Y-chromosome is higher than in normal paired chromosomes. So the similarity between chimp and human Y-chromosomes is expected to be much lower than the similarity in other chromosomes.

    I suggest you take a basic biology class. The case for evolution really is air tight, at least for the last billion years or so. If you want to posit life being seeded in some divine fashion, OK, but I don’t see any way of testing that by observation.

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  81. haynon says: • Website

    what is intelligent about Manhattan? if there’s a designer, it’s retarded and has accomplished unintelligent design no more significant than throwing paint on the wall

    there’s gonna be a mess made
    Inmendham

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEmWn0KGNxo

  82. paroikos says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    Sweeny says, “I’ve encountered dozens of religious freakazoids over the course of long life” — which means his “real” belief in the “real” powers of “real” Intelligent Fortuity has made him one of them.

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  83. paroikos says:
    @Truth

    “Well someone qualified for the Countywide 8th grade vocabulary bee, some years ago…” says Truth …and now Truth’s head hurts.

  84. paroikos says:
    @JVC

    With your “…start in a pile of garbage left behind by a group of intergalactic picnickers some 500 million years or more ago,” putting up “a sarc tag” would be just another waste of time.

  85. @paroikos

    Sweeny says, “I’ve encountered dozens of religious freakazoids over the course of long life” — which means his “real” belief in the “real” powers of “real” Intelligent Fortuity has made him one of them.

    LOL.

    Preach to the crowd, bud. It’s bullshit.

    • Replies: @paroikos
  86. @Hu Mi Yu

    I suggest you take a basic biology class. The case for evolution really is air tight, at least for the last billion years or so. If you want to posit life being seeded in some divine fashion, OK, but I don’t see any way of testing that by observation.

    Perhaps an expedition to Pluto might find a burlap bag of “life seeds” left behind by the Creator’s solar-system construction gang? That sure would show YOU, you soiled and sinful UnBeliever! Next stop for you: The Seat of Judgment. Sentence: Eternal hell-fire.

  87. paroikos says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    Sweeny, the ‘religious freakazoid’, speaks from his dump: “Preach to the crowd, bud. It’s bullshit.”

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  88. @paroikos

    Sweeny, the ‘religious freakazoid’, speaks from his dump: “Preach to the crowd, bud. It’s bullshit.”

    As Friends-style phrasing went: Can you BE more adolescent, Parokio?”

    Preach to the crowd, bud. It’s bullshit.

  89. paroikos says:

    “…more adolescent”? :-) Sweeny’s invective mechanism is stuck in bovine poop. That’s what Darwinist religion does to its juvenile ‘adherents’.

  90. idealog says:

    I have to be more explicit because Mr. Hu Mi Yu seems to me that you did not understand my post correctly. You probably know more biology than I do but you do not seem to know the nature of the evolution-creation controversy.
    Of course I know about Robertsonian Translocation and I could list some cases of fusion chromosome one famous being Madeira mouses (which does not prove evolution but that’s another story). The problem is not that I and the creationists do not believe that a chromosomal fusion is possible. The problem is that evolutionary scientists have found this false fusion in the human chromosome number 2 and launched a crusade against religion claiming that only a completely irrational person can still believe in God when there is irrefutable scientific evidence that through this fusion the monkeys ADN with 48 chromosomes have become human with 46 chromosomes. After much vile evolution propaganda it turned out that the great scientific evidence was wrong and the merging of chromosome 2 was bad science.

    The same situation and the percentage of similarity between human DNA and monkeys. Evolutionary scholars first said there was a 99.5% similarity. Then they said it was 99% then 98% then 95% then when they realized that the percentage dropped below 95% they stopped using this argument because even 5% differences are an impossible to explain gap. From one generation to the next there are genetically proven reproductive constraints, and the genetic difference between two generations is very small.
    The 2 million years that separate humans from monkeys considering that the reproductive cycle is slow can not justify the difference of more than 5% of DNA between humans and the monkey. Of course they know that the chromosome y undergoes more frequent mutations but still 30% differences are enormous. The problem is that, for 20 years, evolutionists have attacked religious people with false evidence from a false theory. Again bad science use for a long time to prove that God is not real.
    There are many other things to explain. It would take much longer to explain the immense gaffe made by evolutionists with the so-called JUNK DNA, but I do not want to extend this post anymore.
    It does not seem right that evolutionism to steal the authority of true science (mathematics, physics, chemistry) to bash creationism heads using proven bad arguments.
    Enter any forum and you will see evolutionists behaving like Jehovah’s Witnesses on steroids.

    • Replies: @Hu Mi Yu
    , @Hu Mi Yu
    , @peterAUS
  91. Hu Mi Yu says:
    @idealog

    The problem is that evolutionary scientists have found this false fusion in the human chromosome number 2 and launched a crusade against religion claiming that only a completely irrational person can still believe in God when there is irrefutable scientific evidence that through this fusion the monkeys ADN with 48 chromosomes have become human with 46 chromosomes. After much vile evolution propaganda it turned out that the great scientific evidence was wrong and the merging of chromosome 2 was bad science.

    God created heaven and earth as well as the rings around Uranus.

  92. Hu Mi Yu says:
    @idealog

    The problem is that, for 20 years, evolutionists have attacked religious people with false evidence from a false theory. Again bad science use for a long time to prove that God is not real.

    Evolution has nothing to do with atheism. There is another discredited biology called Lysenkoism that is promoted by communist atheists. It contains many of the same fallacies that come from rejecting science in favor of “common sense” or “peasant wisdom”. My grandmother was both a communist and a diehard creationist.

    • Replies: @paroikos
  93. idealog says:

    Mister Hu Mi Yu, I really do not understand you.
    When your grandmother was young creationism does not exist. Creationism has appeared quite recently in America. Maybe you want to say he was a religious person. I am from East Europe, we have 50 years of communism and a lot of communists who go to church. The Communist doctrine is focused on combating capitalism, atheism is secondary.

    “God created heaven and earth as well as the rings around Uranus.” I really do not understand what you want to say with that.
    Strange but the Uranus rings are a major headache to evolution. The rings look amazingly young and shining. They should be extremly old and dusty, you know millions and millions and millions and millions and millions years old. And there is no accretion in them, planetary formation theory take another punch. Bad news for evolution again.

  94. @Dillon Sweeny

    If I recall correctly, the women in the study birthed no daughters at all — another interesting facto

    r.

    …which proves only one thing; the number of homosexuals is a percentage thing. If a female produces only males, the chances of her producing one or more male homos increases at a percentage rate. Since high percentages of females are bi-sexual by nature they rightfully should be classed as homos, but seldom recognized as such. (which kind of screws up the percentage thing).

    • Replies: @Dillon Sweeny
  95. The evolution/intelligent design controversy is a good example of why religious doctrines became a necessity for explaining to the simple-minded and emotionally unstable, the unexplainable.

  96. @RadicalCenter

    That’s certainly not to say that there isn’t a lot to learn and take from the OT and the NT. But full of nonsense, irrelevant genealogy, and hatred against people of other races.

    The Old Testament and nursery rhymes both teach moral lessons. Why one is taken serious and the other is recognized as fiction remains a mystery.

    • Agree: Bill jones
    • Replies: @Samuel Skinner
  97. George says:

    Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity are interesting ideas. The problem is that the only group of people interested in them are Christian Fundamentalists who, to be honest, lack the ability to pursue intellectual arguments at the highest level. The bible babel and handwaving arguments are not rigorous science. Rigorous science is hard and thankless and does not typically result in a government pension or largess or the excitement of wars in foreign lands so the current crop of Christian fundamentalists are unwilling and unable to purse arguments rigorously to their conclusion.

    I myself find the topics of Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity interesting but am not able to pursue the arguments to their conclusion either, but I am not trying to inflict them on anybody either. At the current time, the only people willing and able to examine Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity rigorously are the secular evolutionists in the academy and they don’t care to. Maybe all those Christian Fundamentalists homeschoolers should resolve to learn rigorous math and philosophy (and theology) so at least they can do more than complain about the secular evolutionists not paying any attention to them.

    • Agree: utu
  98. @idealog

    Nah, I think you’re talking out Uranus.

  99. paroikos says:
    @Hu Mi Yu

    “Evolution has nothing to do with atheism,” says Hu Mi Yu ?

    William Provine, an American historian of science and of evolutionary biology and population genetics, said, “Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented,” and Richard Dawkins, the English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, said, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

    So, trying to drive a “nothing to do with” wedge between an Evolution that gorges on unbelief and the Atheism it throws up, is a silly effort.

    • Replies: @Hu Mi Yu
    , @utu
  100. Campkunk says:
    @nsa

    Wa’al I dunno … if ya was making the comparison to say, infinity, a few billion might seem short. I’m reminded of that scientific-”like” (think cheese – “stuff”) mind that once said, “I’m astounded by people who want to ‘know’ the universe when it’s hard enough to find your way around Chinatown.”

  101. Logan says:
    @RadicalCenter

    And in parts of the Tampa Bay area.

  102. Isabella says:

    Dont know if you’ve seen this Fred, but it could interest you.

    https://www.collective-evolution.com/2018/08/02/500-renowned-scientists-jointly-share-why-they-reject-darwins-theory-of-evolution/?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

    The voices trying to tell the world why “Darwinianism” is idiotic are swelling. As one guy said, Back in Darwins day, when telling a “what if, maybe” to explain all we dont know might have been OK if it sounded neat, now with all the more advanced science we have – it’s just completely out the door.

    The Darwinian mystics never could explain the problem of Irreducible Complexity – but then along came the Human Genome Project, proving that we make far more proteins than we have genes for [and no, overlap doesn't explain it] and that, really was the death of Darwinism as an explanation for anything, really. Those of us for whom this came as no surprise are keeping a courteous silence.

    They mutter about “epigenetic factors”. Since this just means ‘other than genetic” all one can say is “Well, yeah”.

    The world around us grows increasingly insane. As the independent thinker and Egyptologist, John Anthony West [R.I.P John] said “when I was 13 yrs old, I realised I’d been born into a lunatic aslum”.
    I think genetics does give us the answer to this. Recent work shows that humans share about 65% of their DNA with bananas’. Clearly there are many who have lost, or suppressed the essential 35%.
    Realising this is the explanation for Trump, Clinton, Obama, Pompeo, Washington, etc etc suddenly everything made sense.
    :-)

  103. @Carroll Price

    …which proves only one thing; the number of homosexuals is a percentage thing. If a female produces only males, the chances of her producing one or more male homos increases at a percentage rate. Since high percentages of females are bi-sexual by nature they rightfully should be classed as homos, but seldom recognized as such. (which kind of screws up the percentage thing).

    Wow! Now, THAT is some ignorant bullshit.

    Generally spikking, about 10% of Internet forum traffic is the product of loonies — wackadoodles of various stripes. Unz is running about 50%.

    Hey, take a few bong hits, hammer out a few posts. Knock yourself out.

  104. Voltara says:

    Species change appearance and behaviours over time. This has been proven by observation. Look at the range of modern dog breeds all of which are the result of selectively breeding from the original wolf DNA. The question is is it blind chance vs. environment driving change or is there some higher level of connectedness?

    I suspect that higher universal laws which cause systems to constantly seek equilibrium (and are manifest as the laws of physics) are at play in what we call evolution.

    In esoteric Pythagorean and Sufi teachings the universe (so I have been told) was created by God as a means of protecting Itself from the diminishing effects of time (which springs naturally from all events and is a by-product, not a function, of universal laws). Two primordial universal laws existed independently, the law of three/triad (a positive, negative and neutralising force must combine for an event to manifest) and the law of seven/octave (everything develops along a seven step process). God modified three intervals in the octave so every process could receive new energy by means of external “shocks” at the intersection points with congruent triads, combining the two primordial universal laws into a single process. To me this appears to reflect the manner in which matter/energy is eternally transformed and recycled and the way in which we see the interdependence of different lifeforms in an ecosystem.

    This is a far more engaging description of how the universe works and its purpose than the blind probability theory science offers.

  105. Hu Mi Yu says:
    @paroikos

    William Provine, an American historian of science and of evolutionary biology and population genetics, said, “Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented,” and Richard Dawkins, the English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, said, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

    Gee, I spent a year studying the history of science, and a couple of years studying biology (the term evolutionary biology is redundant). I never heard of William Provine. Anyway atheism predates Darwin by millennia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheist_philosophers

    So, trying to drive a “nothing to do with” wedge between an Evolution that gorges on unbelief and the Atheism it throws up, is a silly effort.

    Darwin was no atheist. He graduated from Christ College. Darwinism is not evolution; it is the creation of the forgotten 19th century philosopher Herbert Spencer who named it in Darwin’s honor. But I have argued this point here in UR before.

    • Replies: @paroikos
  106. Hu Mi Yu says:
    @idealog

    When your grandmother was young creationism does not exist. Creationism has appeared quite recently in America. Maybe you want to say he was a religious person. I am from East Europe, we have 50 years of communism and a lot of communists who go to church.

    You know as little about American history as you do about biology. One of the most famous American creationists was perennial presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, often said to the creator of the modern Democratic Party. See Scopes trial, 1925, Tennessee.

  107. Biff says:

    I wondered why the Bible and not the Koran or Bhagavad Gita.

    Cause you wrote your piece in English?

  108. peterAUS says:
    @idealog

    Enter any forum and you will see evolutionists behaving like Jehovah’s Witnesses on steroids.

    Don’t say…….

    Well….some of them are doing it for our own good.
    To help the “doubters”.

    Some other have higher motives. If/when they get rid of “doubters” and only true…..believers….in evolution walk the Earth the new age of Man will begin.

    And, of course, some just like to feed their egos and treat their insecurities.

    Irrelevant, actually.
    As long as they don’t send the “doubters” to “re-education” camps, all good.

  109. utu says:
    @flashlight joe

    There is by definition no world view implied in science or common sense, only a local (focused) model of a small part, for a particular purpose.

    No world view? I am pretty sure that our science so far operates under a very constrained world view assumption.

  110. utu says:
    @FKA Max

    Julia Galef, Jewish overactive activist of all Jewish causes will talk about Dreyfuss just to drive the anti-semitism as a psychiatric disorder meme in this TED talk. All arguments she is using of irrational thinking and hidden motives she should apply to herself. Jews seem to be the least reflective and least insightful among humans when it comes to their own motives.

  111. @Dillon Sweeny

    Evolution cannot explain the origin of life without this ridiculous presumption. Therefore you are either deluded about the implications of your own groundless assertion or merely being dishonest with yourself (and the rest of us).

  112. idealog says:

    “I wondered why the Bible and not the Koran or Bhagavad Gita.”

    For many things. Just one example from

    https://carm.org/archaeological-evidence-verifying-biblical-cities

    and are many many more. City of Ai just recently discovered. Archeology prove again and again that bible is right, off course after the initial claim that bible is wrong.
    The entire hittite civilization at one time archeologist claim that was a bible fairy tale until discovered.
    As far as I know bible is the only religious book which claim that space, time and mater have a beginning and an end and is created from nothing. For the rest of the world univers is eternal. Now the Big Bang just catch up with bible.

    You know as little about American history as you do about biology. One of the most famous American creationists was perennial presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, often said to the creator of the modern Democratic Party.

    You’re probably right. For me, creationism arose when some skeptical scientists began to talk openly about the serious problems of the theory of evolution and used scientific arguments and not quoted from the Bible.
    Otherwise the first creationists were Adam and Eve. Galileo was also a great creationist, he to believed that the universe was created by God.
    But I have to admit I did not know that the term/word creationism appeared so early.
    For me, creationism something like in the link below and not a politician who cites from the Bible like William Jennings Bryan:

    https://crev.info/2018/07/synthetic-fossils-show-organic-films-can-preserve-quickly/

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  113. j2 says:

    Thanks Fred, nice post.

    I got a bit interested in this topic and wrote four short posts of it, two last because of your previous post and its comments. The problem in the evolution theory is certainly real and I am waiting for them to come up with some kind of a scientific theory to solve the problem.

    http://www.pienisalaliittotutkimus.com/2018/08/02/the-cambrian-explosion-and-intelligent-design/

    http://www.pienisalaliittotutkimus.com/2018/08/03/did-evolution-of-multicellular-organism-happen-through-bacterial-infection/

    http://www.pienisalaliittotutkimus.com/2018/06/09/the-problem-with-the-evolution-theory/

    http://www.pienisalaliittotutkimus.com/2018/06/08/how-can-new-protein-coding-genes-be-created-by-mutations/

  114. utu says:
    @paroikos

    “Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented”

    Absolutely! Atheism has an impetus of its own. This is a purely destructive force. Communism spent more energy fighting religion than fighting private property and capitalism. Can one imagine communism w/o atheism or ToE w/o atheism? I think it is possible but it seems that other forces that can’t be explained easily by reason are at play here.

  115. j2 says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    “It is my opinion that evolutionary theory does the best job of describing and explaining life on Earth, i.e. life as we know it. It seems to me that the presence of DNA segments in sea-worms that are identical to DNA segments found in the human genome is very much consistent with the notion that all life on earth is related, and that phyla found their way to present-day through a 4-billion year process of mutation, adaptation and selection.”

    You address two separate issues here. One is that all life has develop from earlier forms of life. This is opposed by Creationists, who refer to God having created all life forms separately. It is not opposed by critics of the evolution theory. There is very good evidence that life did develop from earlier forms of life.

    The second issue is that you list the mechanisms how life developed from earlier forms of life as mutation, adaptation and selection. This is the evolution theory, the explanation how life developed through evolution. It is this set that critics of the evolution theory have hard time believing since calculations do not match. That is, the model does not seem to work in the given time with those methods and random mutations. If the mutations were not random, then fine, but how could they not be random? That is why people try to find ways of intelligent mutations. It does not mean a Biblical God, only how to get the mathematical model working.

    • Replies: @Hu Mi Yu
  116. @Candid

    “Random mutation” as the mechanism for positive original change has always been a problem for Evolution. Natural selection can only operate on a species’ existing characteristics. The mathematical improbability of merely random mutation creating, say, the eye or the rhino horn are mind-boggling astronomical.
    Christians have been using this for years to (vainly) try to cast doubt on evolution.
    I personally do not believe either “intelligent” or “designer” are the best way to explain irreducible complexity.
    Somekind of “life force” or “will to power” theory can avoid designer issues (“designer” will inevitably reduce to a “god” theory at some point).
    A life force theory will posit that it is inherent in energy, in matter, in “existence” that all units/forces etc are internally compelled to drive towards ever greater levels of complexity. No particular example of complexity is preordained, but merely, across billions of light years of creation and destruction somekind of ever more complex phenomena will emerge.
    And, no, I can’t prove one word of it. I simply prefer it to falling back on a “designer” — again.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  117. @Dillon Sweeny

    I wonder whether homosexualality, & esp it’s practice, vary according to certain material/cultural factors ? Does homosexuality increase as urban cosmopolitanism increases ? I don’t know.
    Do tribal settings show levels of homosexuality equal to say Rome or Alexandria 2000 years ago ?

  118. Merlin says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    This discussion is mildly entertaining but mostly irrelevant. Let me repeat some claims that I made in comments on the original article.
    1. Soft tissue, the original animal tissue, is frequently found in fossils that are supposedly 68 to 551 million years old. Not possible.
    2. There are hundreds of legends of a flood that sounds like Noah’s Flood, from all over the world.
    3. Fossil footprints of dinosaurs are found in lower, older layers than body fossils. Exactly what you would expect in a flood and hard to explain otherwise.
    4. Noone has answered Behe’s irreducible complexity argument. The right bits of junk DNA just happened to come together at the right place and time? Give me a break.
    5. Neither junk DNA or duplicate DNA evolve to provide a template for new proteins. Only 1 in 10 to the 77th polypeptides is functional.
    6. Evolution is not happening around us. You can give no examples of the creation of anything new by random mutation in animals. Yet there are thousands of known genetic defects in humans. This is devolution. There are about 30 mutations between parents and child and none of them are beneficial. At best they are neutral or near neutral.
    7. Etc.

    All this sound a fury is about a theory that did not happen and could not happen.

    • Replies: @number9
    , @daniel le mouche
  119. ” Parallel universes: More of the same. Many underlying physical constants such as gravitation have exactly the values needed to make life possible. That is, the universe looks designed. This observation is usually called the Anthropic Principle. The correctness of the observations is not in doubt. The condition is so peculiar that evolutionists, desperate to explain this unlikely coincidence, assertthe existence of an infinite number of universes among which by chance ours just happened to have the necessary constants ”

    Not in doubt.
    Based on the assumption that any particle can have all properties.
    In my opinion, not being an expert, the assumption cannot be disproved.
    However, the theory of the multiple universes is an interesting one:
    Lee Smolin, ‘The Life of the Cosmos’, London 1998
    Hoyle made fun of he by chance ‘exactly the values’, that the Big Bang created.
    Big Bang also was making fun.
    Fred Hoyle, ‘Home Is Where the Wind Blows, Chapters from a cosmologist’s life’, Mill Valley 1994

    But in general, why many of mankind seem unable to realise that there is much we do not (yet) know, such as how evolution, the name is wrong, works, surprises me again and again.
    In the good old days lightning was ‘explained’ through a god, Zeus, and Wodan, if I’m correct.

    How our brain functions, conciousness, if free will exists, a soul, continuous discussions as in the middle ages, how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.
    A very interesting book on brain functioning
    Roger Penrose, ‘The Emperor’s New Mind, Concerning computers, minds, and the laws of physics’, 1989 Oxford

    About evolution, Darwin, maybe because he was religious, called what he discovered evolution, while in fact he just saw that species change.
    Man had to be different from all other animals, to do honour to the creation belief.
    There are indications that species change is not by chance, but occur on purpose.
    However, genetic material memorises facts and adapts the species, if it happens this way, it will be a long time before we know.

    About our brain capacity, the theory that the ice ages caused it seems likely to me
    William H. Calvin, ‘De opkomst van het intellect, Een reis naar de ijstijd’, Amsterdam 1994 (The Ascent of Mind. Ice Climates and the Evolution of Intelligence’, 1990)

  120. @Intelligent Dasein

    That immaterial, irreducible monad dies or leaves the party when the intricately woven clothing it wears becomes threadbare. And it doesn’t show up to the party until that amazing apparel somehow sews itself together.

    Where there is a beautifully tailored suit, there is a great tailor.

    Your statement that our consciousness is independent of our bodies has never been proven. The two have always correlated, in every observation ever made. If you are right, though, what Rosie said still holds true: “…the question of how the material aspects of life came about, be they sufficient or merely necessary, is interesting in its own right.”

  121. One simple but great clue exists in our sky for us to see:

    The Sun and the Moon have the same angular diameter.

    The only two astronomical objects of any discernible size that we can see with our naked eyes are the same size as we see them.

    The odds against this coincidence are “astronomical.” We have only one moon and its orbit has to be just right for this relationship to exist. There is no natural law, no gravitational requirement or anything that makes this necessary, and there is everything to make it exceedingly rare. It does not exist anywhere else in our solar system. We have not observed it anywhere else.

    It is like a great, big sign in the sky that says, “Hey look! We are deliberately-placed calling cards, the only ones, and we match and we are complementary. You can see our relationship with your own eyes and you cannot ignore it. We are saying something to you.”

    Now, there will be those who will say this is just a coincidence, and that the Moon wasn’t always at this distance, and that the apparent diameters are not always exactly the same. We’ve heard all the arguments and they are all are wrong. The distance relationship “just happens” to exist while human beings exist on the planet to see it. The very small, orbitally-caused variations evidenced by perfect eclipses vs. annular, etc. do not change the graphic statement any more than natural imperfections in our own bodies make them any less remarkable.

    • LOL: Stan d Mute
  122. @Dillon Sweeny

    There is what there is. That is what we have to explain.

  123. @Buzz Mohawk

    I also wondered about this coincidence, which, in 1917, made it possible to test Einstein’s theory.
    I wrote a well known British astronomer about it, no reply.
    However, I have never been able to discover a mechanism that might have caused it.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  124. @Buzz Mohawk

    Discussions about conciousness also continue to surprise me.
    Most of our brain activity is unconcious, it goes on during our sleep.
    Conciousness is just the part of the brain where the outcomes of unconcious brain activity are brought to, to make it possible to consider them, weigh alternatives, etc.
    Our conciousness seems to be far more advanced than that of other animals, this is our advantage in life.
    The disadvantage is that we foresee our death.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  125. ‘Our conciousness seems to be far more advanced than that of other animals, this is our advantage in life.
    The disadvantage is that we foresee our death.’

    Another disadvantage is we have a pretty good idea not only of what our so-called friends and even family think of us, but of what drivelling, totally moronic, selfish shit our species is comprised–this some may find depressing.

  126. @jilles dykstra

    The few times I have found any astronomer addressing this, they have all said it is a remarkable coincidence, but just a coincidence. They make it clear that there is no “mechanism that might have caused it,” and they just blatantly conclude that it must therefore be an accident.

    Apparently any other causes are not in their bailiwick.

    They more than anyone should be able to appreciate how amazing and unlikely this is, but I have searched and they give no indication — publicly at least.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  127. Like my grandfather used to say, in a hundred years it won’t matter anymore.

    I came to the conclusion years ago that the big questions may never be answered, or at least not in my lifetime. The evidence we currently rely on is suspect to say the least. Most of the world relies on an explanation given by primitive religions, giving all credit to various dieties. Science, which is far more realistic, depends upon extrapolating from what little evidence there is lying on or in the ground. It requires stacking theory upon theory, to the point where the original evidence is but a single shard of glass in a massive stained glass window of enormous complexity.

    I believe in natural selection, because I can see it. Does that then prove evolution? To a point, yes, but not, at least in my mind, does it ultimately prove evolutionary theory, i.e., the Big Bang up to the present. To doubt evolutionary theory does NOT mean I believe in the story of Genesis, nor any other of the various creation stories made up by primitive cultures. I am as agnostic to evolution as I am to religion.

    I looked into intelligent design a bit a decade or so ago, and did not find quackery. Instead I found an alternative explanation that was every bit as plausible as the other two standing explanations. Besides the example given by Fred, have a look at the giraffe. It “evolved” an outsized neck to feed on the leaves of tree unavailable to other animals. Fine. When it must drink, however, blood pressure builds up to the point it will kill the animal, so it simultaneously “evolved” a spongy cushion around its brain to absorb the added pressure. How likely was ANY of this?

    The Golden Section is another interesting phenomenon of nature that doesn’t have a sufficient explanation. I encourage you to investigate and ponder it. It is found throughout nature in such abundance that it can’t possibly be a coincidence.

    The universe is vast and expanding. This gives the almost infitesimal probability of human evolution a chance to have occurred somewhere. That a thinking, reasoning organism could develop from primordial soup over any timeline is nearly as inconceivable as an infinite being able to also create that same organism, is it not?

    The belief – because that’s all it is – basically comes down to whether a person is driven by internal locus, or external locus. The latter seeks an outside source of the trouble they, indeed everyone, experiences in life, and aren’t satisfied that things are just this way, and life is tough for everybody.

    Science should not be a religion, but a tool to find an explanation. It is becoming more of a religion every day, with any departure from orthodoxy treated as heresy. This will not help us.

    These are the thoughts of a common man, not a scientist or theologian.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
    , @peterAUS
  128. Mulegino1 says:

    The “will to believe” as William James put it, is, in many cases, a more potent force among evolutionists than among religious believers.

    Why in hell would anyone want to fall under the impression that they are descended from the common ancestor of a primate? Is it some kind of special masochism? The truth is that there is an unbridgeable gulf between anthropos and the primates. There is a reason they are called apes and it is only because they are capable of mimicking men in the lowest of functions. We walk upright, speak in articulate languages, build cathedrals, spacecraft, compose magnificent literature, music and software. They grunt, jump and are acrobatic. They are, for the most part, gentle creatures and deserve our solicitude and kindness, but they are not our cousins, they are our charges, as are all the creatures on this earth. Darwinism, in its unadulterated version, is utter insanity.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  129. @Mulegino1

    Why in hell would anyone want to fall under the impression that they are descended from the common ancestor of a primate?

    Why would anyone deny all science and claim descent from a flash of light in the vacuum of interstellar space? Some of us don’t find the space alien science-fiction explanation to be sufficiently explanatory. Nor preferable to being a creation of Mother Earth’s eternal sea and tides.

  130. @RebelWriter

    Science should not be a religion, but a tool to find an explanation. It is becoming more of a religion every day, with any departure from orthodoxy treated as heresy. This will not help us.

    Emote Fundie religion much?

    Science is not a religion. It is a tool and investigative method. It has worked very much better than witchcraft theory is supporting the modern world. You writing nonsense like “departure from orthodoxy is heresy” is a description of the various religious explanations, not science.

    Go back to Israel and wail at the wall.

    • Replies: @RebelWriter
  131. @jilles dykstra

    Discussions about conciousness also continue to surprise me.
    Most of our brain activity is unconcious, it goes on during our sleep.

    No, most brain activity is during “awake’ periods. There is brain activity during sleep, but it’s TV-show fiction that it’s greater in intensity than in an awake person going about tasks.

  132. i realize atheists are like the MOST EEE-VIL nekkid apes EVAH, but this eee-vil ape has a few salient points (boils down to ‘ape not kill ape’):
    1. don’t for a femto-second believe 90-99% of religio-droids are ‘seekers’, AND one major proof is that 90-99% of them are the exact same cult as their parents ! ! ! what are the odds ! (similarly, ann la mott thinks it is quite the coincidence that your god just happens to hate all the people you want to hate !)
    2. technically, i am an agnostic, and -like socrates, aristotle ?- all i know, is that i know nothing… fortunately, that is still about 10-100 times more than your average sheeple… however, i am a practicing atheist, flirting with deism… hee hee hee ho ho ho ha ha ha ak ak ak
    3. as far as what is the OBSERVABLE RESULT, religion simply takes regular liars and hypocrites, and makes them HUGE liars and hypocrites… AND sanctimonious about it, to boot… score one for non-religious liars and hypocrites…
    4. *sigh* the childish neener-neener of ‘atheism is your religion’ is simply too simplistic to refute… like saying NOT-fishing is your hobby… stoopid…
    5. favorite quote, mikey weinstein: Without religion, good people will do good things, and bad people will do bad things. But, it takes religion to make good people do bad things.
    6. i have worked and lived among some hard corps xtian fundies, they believe that anyone NOT in their cult (and that means their sect, not xtians in general) was a ‘mudperson’, ie a non-person… those people were not people and could be treated as such… they had NO QUALMS about cheating or ‘hurting’ mudpeople…
    punch a nazi ? these people didn’t think killing a mudperson was a sin… (DON’T BE STOOPID, of course they didn’t go around and kill everyone, I AM TELLING YOU THEIR SELF-AVOWED, UNCENSORED MINDSET)…
    THAT is where this atheist is INFINITELY more moral and ethical than nearly ANY religio-droid: as an atheist, i don’t want the state to subsidize your ridiculous version of sky daddy worship, but i damn sure don’t want to kill all you fools… (just the cleanup would be formidable, hhh)
    BUT, a LOT of religio-droids would think it a-ok to smite an atheist/unbeliever… sorry, religio-fascists, that makes me morally, ethically, and humanly superior to you…
    7. which leads to this: you know what, on a forum (any forum) SUPPOSEDLY devoted to semi-intellectual give-and-take that is mostly just ignorant water cooler chatter, i am afraid the imp of the perverse perched firmly on my left shoulder gets the better of me…
    when growed up a-dolts who supposedly should know better, spout the most risible nonsense as The Word, they metaphysically deserve a sarcastic put down…
    i am smarter than most, but i KNOW there is an infinitude of what i don’t know and acknowledge that; it appears there are far too many (strong correlation with authoritarianism, thus approx 25%?) who insist their truths are primary truths even though they can not offer any rational, logical, scientifical-like proof…
    (which is a sort of silly thing: THE WHOLE POINT of most religions, is that you accept their sky daddy bullshit ON FAITH, and yet a TON of our religo-droid brothers and sisters spend an inordinate amount of time/effort trying to square the circle in forgetting about ‘faith’, and insisting you can get to THEIR religion solely through rational thinking and logic…
    oops, your inversion is showing…
    to repeat: atheists are MORE moral than religio-droids, because we don’t want to kill you, but you religio-droids want to convert or kill us… i rest my case, your honor…

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
    , @Poco
  133. @Buzz Mohawk

    The Sun and the Moon have the same angular diameter.

    [choked-back laughter] Yeah, and space aliens roam the universe looking for suns and moons that have the same angular diameter from a planet.

    Cripes, but that is DUMB!

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  134. @Carroll Price

    Religion is a tool for social organization, allowing to organize. Eliminating religion requires a form of social organization, thus any attempt to remove or replace religion gradually ends up resembling a religion. Long lasting religions are ones that get their followers to spread them and encourage behaviors that help them survive.

    You’ll note the current ‘faith’ of our betters is very strong on spreading and extremely bad on producing the next generation. It is basically a death cult. Not surprisingly, people cling to the old ways because ‘join the death cult’ turns out not to be attractive to most sane human beings.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  135. @animalogic

    A life force theory will posit that it is inherent in energy, in matter, in “existence” that all units/forces etc are internally compelled to drive towards ever greater levels of complexity.

    Which is false. An apparent “complexity” is a product of the nature of the process of evolution, which usually operates by “tacking on”, not by re-design. Mama mia, if Earth species could evolve by eliminating redundances, we’d have fixed the black hole at the center of the galaxy by now.

    That’s a joke.

    Fact is, what the neck-snappers call “complexity” is not. Intricate, yes, but not complex. Evolution carries a lot of superseded baggage. Ah, if only it were capable of streamlining and re-design!

    • Replies: @animalogic
  136. @idealog

    City of Ai just recently discovered. Archeology prove again and again that bible is right, off course after the initial claim that bible is wrong.

    Archaeology proved Noah built a boat and saved all earthly species from a flash flood?

    And you believe that?

  137. tz1 says:

    See Perry Marshall, Evolution 2.0

    https://evo2.org/evolution/

    He was interviewed on the Jason Stapleton podcast

    https://jasonstapleton.com/740-perry-marshall-talks-evolution-and-the-80-20-rule/

    He goes through the recent discoveries in Biology, and trashes most of the current ID v.s. Darwin talk because it isn’t how any of this works, but isolates a key question – can a coding system arise ex-nihilo.

    All sides need to at least listen to the podcast, and better read his book and addess his arguments.

  138. @Thor Baslim

    Your inability to understand how remarkable it is that our only example is just this way out of an infinite number of other posibilities … is DUMB!

    Imagine an idiot — a rude one — being born with a tiny brain inside a head that perfectly matches the diameter of his posterior opening, managing to get it stuck in there, and never pulling it out.

    You seem to imply that finding our Moon-Sun relationship noteworthy implies a sense that we were deposited here by aliens. You have it backwards. The Moon, Sun and Earth were deliberately positioned this way for us to see it — by what we call God.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  139. @art guerrilla

    If you could compose English sentences and paragraphs properly, and not give the general impression you were both drunk and stoned when writing that comment, two things might happen:

    1. People wouldn’t just skip over your crap because it looks like wall-scribblings in a loony bin.

    2. You would seem intelligent, rather than merely hebephrenic schizoid.

    We’re not interested in your internal ontological torment. Organize, make clear points, and wrap it up.

    • Replies: @art guerrilla
  140. Poco says:
    @Russell

    I believe his point isn’t that codes are unchageable but that codes are created rather than spontaneously popping out of random patterns.

  141. Hu Mi Yu says:
    @j2

    If the mutations were not random, then fine, but how could they not be random?

    If you read up on meiosis you will see the major driver is genetic variation. We have many different genes that are rearranged when gametes are formed. The overall effect is something like a kaleidoscope with the same patterns repeated over and over. Then there is the occasional mutation on top of that.

    • Replies: @j2
  142. @Thor Baslim

    “An apparent “complexity” is a product of the nature of the process of evolution, which usually operates by “tacking on”, not by re-design. ”
    Tacking on ? Re-design ? Neither ideas add or subtract one iota.
    Life force theories (for want of a better name” are neither intelligent nor designed. They posit that existence will by its essence TEND towards ever greater expressions of complexity — or not. Depends on the particular circumstances.
    Funny how sun’s, planets, solar systems, galaxies seem to repeat, as if something in the energy/mass inclines it too . Like they say, even chaos has its own music (figuratively).

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  143. j2 says:
    @Hu Mi Yu

    Yes, but to make new species you need mutations. I have a question, I could not find and answer. An average gene has about 1000 base pairs, you can get from that a huge number of possible combinations for different possible genes. The upper bound of all gene alleles in the world is about 2^45, a much smaller number. How are these existing genes distributed in the space of possible genes? That is, what is the average difference in base pairs between two arbitrarily chosen existing gene alleles? If this distance is large, it is highly unprobable to have evolution by random mutations.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  144. number9 says:
    @Merlin

    “4. Noone (sic) has answered Behe’s irreducible complexity argument.”

    The Flagellum Unspun: The Collapse of “Irreducible Complexity”

    http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/design2/article.html

    Refuting Michael Behe’s “Irreducible Complexity” with Roman Arches

    https://schneider.ncifcrf.gov/paper/ev/behe/

    The above author emailed Behe about this and Behe the coward refused to allow him to post his response, but it has been summarized.

    And here is a simple refutation that is geared more towards a general audience:

    The bacterial flagellar motor: brilliant evolution or intelligent design?

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/07/07/4251468.htm

  145. AndySmith says:

    Loved the article. I am an ardent young earth creationist, but do want to point out that there is an evolutionary explanation for homosexuality. It is called R-K theory. The idea is that sexuality exists on a selectivity spectrum. K-selected reproduction strategies are highly selective and pair-bonded (wolves, elephants, traditional human families), while R-selected is more of the spray and pray swarming approach (think rabbits, fish, insects, etc.) When the genes tilt toward R you get promiscuous sex and increased reproduction (think welfare moms). A side effect of R is decreased sexual selectivity, which at the fringe end can take the form of homosexuality and trying to mate with the grill of a Suburban. This all fits well within the bounds of microevolution (natural selection), and does not justify the leap to macroevolution. For further reading on R-K, check out anonymousconservative.com.

  146. @Dillon Sweeny

    Evangelicals pursue belief based on faith alone. They are very proud of it.

    So basically it’s just our cracker version of ‘magical thinking’ isn’t it? Ignoring cultural achievements, what really is the difference between an evangelical and an African Bantu who believes albino hearts cure illness or a Jew who believes YHWH picked him and only him as being worthy?

    If there was a ‘designer’ of some sort, who designed in us an ability to reason and even design ourselves via selective breeding and/or genetic editing, surely the intent was to have us improve on our design flaws (toxic waste next door to recreational facilities, etc). So while the magical thinkers continue offering up sacrifice, shouldn’t we be working 100% to redesign out the stupid?

  147. Fundamentally, this is about Time isn’t it? Or more specifically, the average human’s lack of ability to conceive vast scale of Time. A billion years? Four billion years? Looking at twinkling stars that died over a million years ago, but their light from 999,999 years ago is still twinkling merrily? How does one with an IQ of 100 wrap their spongy noggin around that?

    We live 75 years or so. Recorded history, such as it is, goes back a few millennia. And our self-importance knows no bounds. We see living proof of evolution in our own species and violently deny it. A billion years?

    Maybe we should assess the creationists ability to comprehend very large numbers?

  148. macilrae says:

    139 comments in so short a time! Well done, Fred.

    But doesn’t the difficulty come because we tend to forget that Spontaneous Creation (SC) is simply a theory: although assuredly the best scientific one we have for the time being?

    The problem comes when people get emotional and insist (and teach) that SC is settled fact – the same way as, in my schooldays, religious beliefs were presented to us.

    If we stick to science we can calmly say that some facts are likely to remain unknowable forever and the best we can do is offer up theories to explain them – and if you don’t like mine then show me yours.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @GourmetDan
  149. @Buzz Mohawk

    You seem to imply that finding our Moon-Sun relationship noteworthy implies a sense that we were deposited here by aliens. You have it backwards. The Moon, Sun and Earth were deliberately positioned this way for us to see it — by what we call God.

    As it turns out, having the same angular diameter of Sun and Moon is what Satan wants, not God. All the other planets are blessed, but Earth is owned by Satan.

    You poor, pathetically-deluded little worshiper.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  150. dax2 says:

    The believers of evolution theory have only evolved into creatures of increasing stupidity and desperation as they evolved from darwinian idiots.

    First, there has been factually only an evolution CONJECTURE and never an evolution THEORY. A theory requires laws, principles and hypotheses CONFIRMABLE by observations and experiments. No such observations or experiments on the CORRECT SEQUENCE of the development of life exists. As a mere conjecture therefore evolution is no more than an ideology or religion, as it completely misses out on proof requirements of science itself.

    Second, darwin himself, like all evolution supporting fools today, has absolutely no knowledge of the extremely advanced biology, chemistry, mathematics and quantum dynamics underpinning life and its various manifestations. So any explanation from evolutionists are fatally flawed as there is no FIXED logical framework for causes and effects that produce life. Evolutionists idiotically refer to accidents, spontainety, and good grief, viruses to explain AWAY what they cannot explain by proof, eg, existence of homosexuality.

    Third, there are total, absolute and relative proofs — all types of proof!!! — that intelligent design WORKS, in contrast to evolution whose workings cannot even pass the unknowable and uncertainty stages. Im referring to neural networks and artificial intelligence, which is the mathematical mimetic of how the brain works and 100% designed. Such CREATED systems have been shown to have no limits, and factually can lead to Terminators superior in EVENTUAL cognitive power to the ex-californian governor, as the Google developed AIs clearly indicate.

    Fourth, there is absolutely nothing in biology, chemistry or physics that prevents the existence of creatures for which events in time occurs simultaneously or in both the positive and negative directions of whatever usable polar coordinates are used. It is just a HUMAN CONSTRAINT why we see time moving only in the positive direction. Yet quantum-based sciences have already PROVEN that simultaneous opposing values are normal and can spookily happen and affect anything in whatever direction and distance.

    Just because the human brain cannot understand what is very likely ultramega-sophisticated intelligent design which took zero time, in the last one million years of human existence, does not mean ID for life is improbable. It is evolution that is improbable; as AI experiments have already indicated PERFECTLY, EVOLUTION CAN BE PROGRAMMED AS PART OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN. Now, there would factually be nothing to stop future humans in planting AI in stupendous blackholes, or its opposite white fountains, which are the biggest potential brains and which happily enough can handle simultaneous and zero time with ease. And boy, will that omnipotent and omniscient “God” even be able to understand that it was just a school design project of humans with too much idle time.

    Fifth, it is just human nature to idiotically quarrel and kill over meaningless arguments just to try and prove their enemies have inferior thinking. Just consider this in closing: the immensely improving ways of understanding how the brain works in creating meaning, and eventually biomimetically implementing such knowledge through AI advances and equipment favor intelligent design way over evolution.

    There are simply too many british-lovers who cant get over the fact that darwin, an icon of british scientists, and his ilk were always studying adaptation and never evolution. Evolution vs ID may just be another round in the ideological wars between racist whites and brown people.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    , @peterAUS
  151. @Stan d Mute

    So while the magical thinkers continue offering up sacrifice, shouldn’t we be working 100% to redesign out the stupid?

    It’s worth considering. Natural evolution in humans has been stopped, perhaps even reversed a bit. Certainly, the hordes of low-IQ human-ish beasts are the ones blasting out the birthrates. Maybe it’s time bio-engineering was applied to humans. A version that gets its nourishment from plastics would flourish right about now.

    • Replies: @number9
  152. @j2

    Yes, but to make new species you need mutations.

    Not really. I believe you need new gene sequences. Mutation is one way to do that, but messy and unpredictable as to good results.

    • Replies: @j2
  153. @animalogic

    Life force theories (for want of a better name” are neither intelligent nor designed. They posit that existence will by its essence TEND towards ever greater expressions of complexity — or not.

    Those are mere theories, are they not? They are not the word of God, like the Bible is. So, we can readily discount “life force theories” as being work of the Devil.

    Speaking for myself, I see existence tending toward simplicity. Perhaps I should write something biblical on the subject.

    • Replies: @Mulegino1
    , @Mulegino1
  154. number9 says:
    @Thor Baslim

    “Certainly, the hordes of low-IQ human-ish beasts are the ones blasting out the birthrates.”

    Fit enough to reproduce and fill a nitch is all evolution is concerned with. Within an environment of seemingly “free” and endless resources, a rabbit-like reproductive strategy is certainly valid.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  155. @Thor Baslim

    @ thor-
    1. bwa ha ha ha ha, always nice when the supercilious, stuffed-shirt worshippers of form over substance makes their presence known…
    as it is, I could write quite proper engwish would I care to, I do not so care to, I care to amuse myself, masturbation is fun, you should try it one day…
    2. actually, we ARE interested in my -AND EVERYONE’s- internal ontological torment, that is the whole point of why we bare our souls -such as they are- here…
    3. not sure how much more ‘organized’ (for what that is worth) a numbered list can be… aside from your phobia of non-standard engwish…
    4. oh, you mean this isn’t the loony bin ? ? ?
    hee hee hee
    ho ho ho
    ha ha ha
    ak ak ak

    (sean connery voice)
    suck it, trebek !

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  156. eddy13579 says:

    ….far from being “chaotic”, the Bible narrative actually has a holistic and unified narrative that illuminates the beginning and ultimate destiny of humanity?

    —-
    The book ‘Christianity is Jewish’ by Edith Shaeffer does a very good job clarifying that POV.

  157. Poco says:
    @art guerrilla

    Mikey Weinstein must be an idiot. Ideology makes good people do bad things. It doesn’t have to be religious ideology. And we are all capable of good and bad acts. Atheist communists killed many people so I’ll maintain my scepticism regarding the inherent enhanced morality of atheists.

  158. Mulegino1 says:
    @Thor Baslim

    I see Darwinism and so called “descent with modification” being a descent to stupidity and materialist reductionism. It is the biblical faith of those deprived of the transcendent and the metaphysical; the only difference is their bible does not begin with Genesis but with Spencer’s religion of progress and Darwin’s gross superstitions about magical matter ordering itself.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  159. Mulegino1 says:
    @Thor Baslim

    I see Darwinism and so called “descent with modification” being a descent to stupidity and materialist reductionism. It is the biblical faith of those deprived of the transcendent and the metaphysical; the only difference is their bible does not begin with Genesis but with Spencer’s religion of progress and Darwin’s gross superstitions about magical matter ordering itself.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Respect
  160. Great quote:

    Some readers, quoting Carl Sagan, said approximately, “Fred, an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence to support it.” I don’t disagree. The claim that ocean water will in time produce Manhattan seems to me sufficiently extraordinary to require extraordinary evidence. So far, there is none. Evolutionists have not shown that sea water can produce any life at all, much less the New York Philharmonic.

    I am not an intelligent design believer but I don’t buy Newdarwinism either, for the very reasons set forth in that quote.

    • Replies: @Rurik
  161. Nothing new. Nothing interesting. Basically, a rehash of the old tired “There is no God but Intelligent Designer, and Fred Reed is his prophet”. Been there, done that, still BS. Yawn.

  162. @Mulegino1

    Why focus on the Bible? There are thousands of religions. I don’t see how Jewish fairy tales are any better than Hindu, Navajo, or Maya fairy tales, just to mention a few out of many.

  163. j2 says:
    @Thor Baslim

    “Not really. I believe you need new gene sequences. Mutation is one way to do that, but messy and unpredictable as to good results.”

    Basically I agree with you. There are other ways. I was responding as it is in the current evolution theory, there you have mutations and selection. It is perfectly true that there are other ways than mutations to get new genes. You can have mixing of two species naturally, but what I think is that bacteries and viruses carried genes form a species to another. Human genome is close to the genome of cat, cow and mouse. All these lived in close proximity to humans, but for sure did not mix with humans. The most probable way to get genes in this case is by infections. I actually do not think mutations are the way it happened, I simply want the supporters of the evolution theory to follow their theory to the bitter end. This is why I say, so you mean mutations? That is the only alternative their theory gives.

    • Replies: @hyperbola
  164. Respect says:

    I have a hunch , I do not believe in evolution , but I believe in involution , everytime I go to the Walmarts and Carrefours of the world my hunch is reinforced .

  165. Respect says:
    @Mulegino1

    Darwin was a relative of Malthus and the father of nazism , of biopolitics .

    With his ( magic ) ” evolution ” theory Darwin eliminates God , no need of religion , no need of God , the State will take the place of God , totalitarism .

    And if in the nature ” superior ” species dominate and eliminate ” inferior ” species …. and that`s evolution , that`s live . It`s clear that it means that ” superior ” species ” like anglosaxons and germanics have the right to dominate and eliminate ” inferior ” species , such as say blacks , browns , jewish , slavics , latins , greeks ……. Heil Darwin !!!!!

    • Replies: @hyperbola
  166. Apollyon says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    So, since you believe the concept of an Intelligent Designer is ludicrous, this invalidates Reed’s argument how, exactly?

    How do you address the arguments presented?

    • Replies: @SBaker
  167. @dax2

    Do you deny the gradual changes in species, mostly from simple to more complicated, that the fossil record shows ?
    That is all there is about evolution.
    The mechanism of these changes in species is not (yet) known.
    Darwin assumed happenstance, and survival of the fittest.
    There are recent indications that species change may be on purpose, the genetic material storing experience.

  168. @Samuel Skinner

    Religion I see as a tool for replacing uncertainty in a herd by apparent certainty.
    Uncertainty in an individuel uses brain capacity, thus food, uncertainty in a herd causes expensive tensions.
    In the short term apparent certainty is an advantage in a herd, in the long term it prevents adaptations.
    This last thing is what a historian writes about inventions, they open a door to an unknown room, but cannot force anyone to enter that room.
    It is astonishing to read how long it took for certain inventions to spread over the world.
    But, in times of war, inventions were applied in a moment, not always with succes, though.

  169. @Buzz Mohawk

    I agree with the astronomers.
    Unable to think of any mechanism that might have caused it.
    Jupiter has a large number of moons, wonder if any Jupiter moon also exactly looks as if it is as big as the sun, seen from the surface.
    Saturn also has a few.
    Not Mars, as far as I know.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  170. ‘…Do we know of what the primeval seas consisted? Know, as distinct from think, suspect, theorize, wish, or desperately hope…’

    Yes, but this game, taken to its logical conclusion, reminds me of a National Lampoon article I once read. We’re told there’re four billion (this was a while ago) people on the planet, but how do we know this?

    What’s the largest number you’ve actually seen? Okay, supposedly there were eighty thousand people in the football stadium — but that’s just what they said. Did you actually count them?

    The article goes on in this vein, eventually and triumphantly demonstrating that we’ve no reason to think there are more than nine thousand people in the world.

    We can always define ‘knowing’ with sufficient strictness to rule out knowing anything at all. Yes, in a sense it’s a leap of faith to believe Australia exists; I haven’t actually been there.

    So, so what? Yes, we can’t know anything. Now, let’s move on from that. Given a choice between a mysterious omnipotent being who for some reason actually cares what I do and wanted to bring me (and my idiot neighbor) into being, and the proposal that this dreadful mess around me just evolved, I’ll guess…evolution. Things don’t seem terribly well-organized to me, and I see no evidence of planning whatsoever.

  171. Corvinus says:

    “Other readers insist that Intelligent Design is not scientific. If not, so what? The question should be not whether it is scientific but whether it is true.”

    Of course, Alt Right leader Vox Day links Fred to his own blog. Interesting when VD demands that his readership use science and evidence to back up their claims, overlooks Fred’s statement here, especially since ID supporters say it is scientific and use science and evidence.

    http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1431

    And considering that ID relies on the truth of science, for Fred to then dismiss scientific arguments against ID by saying “so what, ID is true”, it only shows his virtue signaling.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  172. FB says:

    ‘…What an ideological group calling themselves scientists believe is not a valid test of truth…’

    This Reed guy is nuttier than a squirrel turd…to be able to just toss off several thousand years of rigorous and painstakingly slow advance in mathematics and physics [the only real sciences] and which represents the pinnacle of human achievement as ‘ideology’ is just crackers…

    This clown has nothing to say about anything…

  173. @Thor Baslim

    You poor, pathetically-deluded little worshiper.

    Says the man who can’t read a sign when it is staring him in the face.

    I don’t worship anything. Love science. Think all religious traditions and texts are made up nonsense just like the American Mormon religion. (A perfect, well-documented example from modern times of how religions get started and the books are written. Odds are they all started that way.)

    What I have is the ability to notice when nature hits a hole-in-one — on the first and only stroke it takes at our local, celestial golf course…

    In other words, I am somewhat numerate and can comprehend how unlikely something is.

    I can also tell when a midwit WORSHIPS what he thinks is science but ends up closing his eyes to the truly remarkable…

    “You poor, pathetically-deluded little worshiper.”

    … or when another one just Stands Mute and laughs at someone who still has a sense of wonder, and then whispers to you:

    “So while the magical thinkers continue offering up sacrifice, shouldn’t we be working 100% to redesign out the stupid?”

    “It’s worth considering.”

    I bet you guys can smell Trump supporters at Wall-Mart, being as self-assuredly “scientific” as you are.

    Okay, so we are hiking in the mountains, you, me and Stan. We come upon one of these, what is called a cairn:

    I say, “somebody stacked those rocks there.” (They did, to mark the trail.) You say, “Yeah, must have been space aliens. Christ that is DUMB.” Stan just laughs at me.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
  174. SBaker says:
    @Apollyon

    How does he address the arguments? He doesn’t. He can’t because he knows very little about living systems. We do have a couple of people that have a rudimentary knowledge of genetics as perhaps someone from the 16th century once had. One commenter suggested, no declared, that mutation was the only way for evolution to occur–this of course, is far from the truth.

  175. peterAUS says:
    @RebelWriter

    Good post.

    Agree with:

    I came to the conclusion years ago that the big questions may never be answered, or at least not in my lifetime. The evidence we currently rely on is suspect to say the least.

    and

    To doubt evolutionary theory does NOT mean I believe in the story of Genesis, nor any other of the various creation stories made up by primitive cultures. I am as agnostic to evolution as I am to religion.

    and

    Science should not be a religion, but a tool to find an explanation. It is becoming more of a religion every day, with any departure from orthodoxy treated as heresy.

  176. peterAUS says:
    @dax2

    Good post.

    Especially:

    As a mere conjecture therefore evolution is no more than an ideology or religion, as it completely misses out on proof requirements of science itself.

    and

    Just because the human brain cannot understand what is very likely ultramega-sophisticated intelligent design which took zero time, in the last one million years of human existence, does not mean ID for life is improbable.

    and especially with

    …it is just human nature to idiotically quarrel and kill over meaningless arguments just to try and prove their enemies have inferior thinking.

    As for this:

    Evolution vs ID may just be another round in the ideological wars between racist whites and brown people.

    Is it “both are racist” or “only whites are racists”? If later….interesting. Just curious.

  177. I think the point Fred was making is that evolution isn’t any more scientific than ID. Those who claim that evolution is ‘observable and scientific’ are simply equating observable adaptation with evolution.

    Claiming that the observable effects (adaptation) of an existing complex information system actually created that information system is simply the fallacy of begging the question…

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  178. @Corvinus

    The two are not mutually exclusive.

    Notice: I will not reply to your 1,000 word reply.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  179. hyperbola says:
    @j2

    You were given a strong clue earlier. Go read about meiosis as a means of creating new gene sequences. There are other mechanisms. For example, about 1% of humans have herpes virus integrated into their chromosomal DNA.

    Herpesviruses and Chromosomal Integration▿

    http://jvi.asm.org/content/84/23/12100.full

    Or, here is a another mechanism for altering expression of gene sequences that can often be observed. The idea that only random single mutations are involved in evolution is no longer tenable.

    The Role of Micro-RNAs in Cancer
    miRNAs and Chromosomal Abnormalities in Cancer Cells

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/virus-integration

    The miRNA genes, which encode for the small non-protein-coding RNAs, are not randomly distributed within the genome and often reside in the genomic regions responsible for chromosomal abnormalities (Calin et al., 2004). Significant numbers of miRNA genes are located in fragile sites or close to human papilloma virus integration sites. They are often located in proximity to regions identified as cancer-associated genomic regions (CAGRs), which are characterized by a high frequency of loss of heterozygosity, amplification, or breakpoints within the chromosome. The combination of nonrandom chromosomal abnormalities and other types of genetic and epigenetic alternations contributes to the downregulation or overexpression of miRNA (Calin and Croce, 2006). The abnormal expression of miRNAs affects cellular processes controlling cell cycle, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis. It is obvious to hypothesize that mutations and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within miRNA target sites may cause an organism to have a predisposition to develop cancer. miRNA-206 regulates estrogen receptor 1 (ER-alpha) by binding ER1’s 3′ UTR target sites with SNP rs93410170[C/T]. The T allele with this site enhances miR-206 binding and repression of ER-alpha relative to the C allele (Adams et al., 2007). The higher frequency of the T alleles in Hispanic and European populations might account for their lower incidence of breast cancer.

    • Replies: @j2
  180. hyperbola says:
    @Respect

    Social Darwinism was not invented by Darwin, but rather by Herbert Spencer – a hired gun of the British elite class. In fact, on a numerical basis, there are probably more examples of symbiosis than of prey-predator relations in the natural world.

  181. @macilrae

    But doesn’t the difficulty come because we tend to forget that Spontaneous Creation (SC) is simply a theory: although assuredly the best scientific one we have for the time being?

    We should remember that whenever the term ‘scientific’ is used, it means ‘philosphical naturalism’… the belief that the natural, observable universe is all that exists. If the natural, observable universe is NOT all that exists, the focus on a ‘scientific’ answer will return an incorrect answer… every time.

    If we stick to science we can calmly say that some facts are likely to remain unknowable forever and the best we can do is offer up theories to explain them – and if you don’t like mine then show me yours.

    Well… ‘sticking to science’ may be an incorrect beginning assumption that will always return an incorrect result…

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
  182. paroikos says:
    @Hu Mi Yu

    “Gee,”after “a year studying the history of science, and a couple of years studying biology,” your venture into Wikipedialand missed William Provine, and the ‘obscure’ Richard Dawkins who said, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist”?

    You write, “Anyway atheism predates Darwin”? So this proves the vacuous truism that “Evolution has nothing to do with atheism”? And you write, “Darwin was no atheist”? You mean to say he was never registered on an Official List, nor issued a formal Certificate of Membership! However:

    “…But I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete.” — Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin: 1809–1882, ed. Nora Barlow (New York: W. W. Norton, 1958), 86–87.

    “…It is not that designed variation makes, as it seems to me, my Deity ‘Natural Selection’ superfluous; but rather from studying lately domestic variations & seeing what an enormous field of undesigned variability there is ready for natural selection to appropriate for any purpose useful to each creature.” — Charles Darwin to Asa Gray, 5 June 1861.

    You write, “But I have argued this point here in UR before”—that “Darwinism is not evolution”? Then allow Evolutionism’s ‘science-happy’ TalkOrigins Archive (“What is Darwinism”) to straighten you out: “Darwinism is not a simple theory that is either true or false but is rather a highly complex research program that is being continuously modified and improved.”

  183. @jilles dykstra

    There is no mechanism. I’ve thought about the multiple moons of other planets as you have too. Maybe there is a moon you could see like that if you stood on Jupiter or Saturn (which you can’t because they are gaseous) Phobos and Deimos orbiting Mars are too small and do not match the Sun’s diameter like that, even though their orbits are pretty close to the surface. They are also odd shapes and would never match the star even if you could put them at the right distance.

    Certainly in the entire universe there are many moon-star-planet relationships like ours, but the point is that no one is there to stand and look. (How would we know? They are, for all intents and purposes, outside our universe and neither provable nor disprovable — therefore irrelevant.)

    We are here. What are WE observing, and how likely is it that of all the possibilities this is what we have — and the only thing we have? (No other moons or stars or objects of any angular diameter except those two.).

    Sitting silently in my living room, late at night, I sometimes hear coyotes outside, and nothing else. I do not consider those to be random sounds, indicative of nothing in the otherwise silent, empty night, any more than I consider the Moon and the Sun to be just a randomly matching pair of mirrored twins in a sky that is otherwise devoid of dimensional objects. They and only they are there, alone for us to observe in a non-random relationship.

    The point is that we, the only sentient life in the universe known so far — or life of any kind yet known, exist on a double planet arranged just right for us to see this blatant symbol, this obvious language, this expression.

    The eagerness of others to mock my sense of wonder speaks volumes about how important it is to them to deny the mere possibility that there is some intention in the existence of something like this. I may in fact be less religious and more scientifically-minded than they are. That is probably why I can understand how remarkable and worthy of consideration this is. And I admit I could be wrong. The point is not to protect one’s ego against being mistaken, but to look at what calls out for our attention.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
  184. Corvinus says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    “The two are not mutually exclusive.”

    And what made you think that I said otherwise?

    “Notice: I will not reply to your 1,000 word reply.”

    Scamper along now, scamper along.

    • Troll: Buzz Mohawk
  185. Johann says:
    @Per/Norway

    Indeed evolution is a theory and theory is something that has not yet been proven. Most science is an on going search for truth and therefore an on going process. However wealthy and politically powerful Americans who have no scientific background and who are not particularly bright in anything but politicking are constantly declaring that the “science is settled” or more egregiously declaring that they are on the “right side of history”; both of which were declared by the somewhat dim witted Joe Biden and Al Gore in recent history.

  186. peterAUS says:
    @GourmetDan

    We should remember that whenever the term ‘scientific’ is used, it means ‘philosphical naturalism’… the belief that the natural, observable universe is all that exists. If the natural, observable universe is NOT all that exists, the focus on a ‘scientific’ answer will return an incorrect answer… every time.

    Pretty much.

    Well… ‘sticking to science’ may be an incorrect beginning assumption that will always return an incorrect result…

    Same sentiment exactly.

    • Agree: AaronB
  187. j2 says:
    @hyperbola

    Meiosis is mixing of genes in sexual reproduction. If cannot create new species, as is very well shown by animal and plant breeding. Meiosis and selection can only create races. There are a number of copying errors in meiosis that can change the DNA, such as duplications, omissions etc, but they do not explain why the genes if different species are quite different.

    It is also possible to transfer genes between species by interbreeding and by including virus DNA, but these mechanisms are not considered as the main origin of new species. The main method that is believed to cause changes in the DNA is mutations. Single mutations cause single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), which often does not stop functionality of the gene, so we see these mutations as different alleles of the gene. If there are more mutations, the gene loses functionality and as its action is necessary for the individual, the individual suffers form this lack so much that selection removes these individuals. However, it is possible that a gene gets duplicated and a duplicate gene accumulates many mutations. Then it is a non-functional gene, called a pseudogene. It may later mutate to a functional gene, and this is a possible way mutations can produce very much differing genes.

    You write:
    “Or, here is a another mechanism for altering expression of gene sequences that can often be observed. The idea that only random single mutations are involved in evolution is no longer tenable.”
    Here you mix up things. Gene expression is not the issue. Different species really have different DNA, so the genes are different. The idea that only random single mutations are involved in evolution was never supported by anybody. There has to be many mutations to get different genes. With single mutations you mean alleles, SNPs. Obviously alleles of a gene cannot create a new species.

    It looks to me that you are much more mixed up in this topic than I am, though I am no genetic researcher. Maybe you should read about meiosis.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @hyperbola
  188. @Buzz Mohawk

    Stan just laughs at me.

    And he will continue as long as you promulgate silliness.

    That the moon and sun appear to have the same diameter from the naked eye when viewed from earth during a full eclipse proves anything at all is absurd. You’re just a half step from the Flat Earthers who use the exact same reasoning to ‘prove’ the earth is flat.

    There are infinite true wonders in our Universe, that ain’t one of them. Try Quantum Entanglement.

    The fact that we exist to ponder the strangeness of really weird shit for which there is no apparent explanation proves nothing. The weird shit exists whether we notice it or not (much like negro crime). We can either embrace magical thinking, “YHWH ordained it!”, ignore it and go about our business, or dedicate ourselves to finding rational scientific explanations.

    Oh, look, intelligent design at work: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10132762

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
    , @Buzz Mohawk
  189. @Buzz Mohawk

    The point is that we, the only sentient life in the universe known so far — or life of any kind yet known, exist on a double planet arranged just right for us to see this blatant symbol, this obvious language, this expression.

    Wait, “we (are) the only … life of any kind yet known”? Wait till my dogs hear that one!

    And OMIGOSH, the sky, it’s BLUE. And yet space is just a black void! Surely that proves something? No other planet has a blue sky. It’s right there in front of us, plain as, well, the clear blue sky..

    My guess, having looked carefully at your thesis and at the Moon, is that it’s a warning against teenage acne. Look at the dents and divots on that rock will you? Like Mr Pimpleface in his thirties it is. It’s a cosmic command to wash our faces down here on our flat earth..

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @Thor Baslim
  190. @GourmetDan

    We should remember that whenever the term ‘scientific’ is used, it means ‘philosphical naturalism’…

    You’re right. Besides, anyone called “Gourmet Dan” must have something good to contribute.

    However, that does not mean that causes currently perceived as supernatural will never possibly be observed as part of the physical world — when/if necessary methods are discovered. Witness Louis Pasteur’s microscopic bacteria (but try to keep them out of your cooking).

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  191. @Stan d Mute

    Oh, look, intelligent design at work: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10132762

    So… intelligent beings study and teleologically ‘replicate’ an existing form and this proves that the original existing form assembled spontaneously over long periods of time for no reason whatsoever?

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
  192. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Hey, Fred, tell us, did God create the fossil record as some kind of practical joke, or did he keep coming back over the course of several billion years, modifying things, adding a fin here, a swim bladder there, while rubbing out some species altogether, replacing them with a bunch of new ones, and then having the brilliant idea of creating us in his own image, or what?

    Or for a longer critique, here’s the piece that Unz would’t publish:

    Misunderstanding Evolution, Or Evolutionary Theorists May Be Wrong, But Fred Reed Is Wronger

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  193. @Buzz Mohawk

    Your statement that our consciousness is independent of our bodies has never been proven.

    Um…I made no such statement. I never refer to “consciousness” when writing about the theory of mind, or metaphysics, or anything else. The term is an early modern innovation that has no meaning as far as I’m concerned.

    Regarding Rosie’s question about the material aspects of life and how they arose, I’m not sure how I can answer that any more directly than I already have. All I am saying is that there is a non-material informing principle of the body that constitutes the body as such. This is Aristotle’s “form” as well as the “soul” of classical metaphysics and orthodox theology. Without the form informing the matter of the body, the body would not be the body that it is. The material aspects of life arise because they are formed in matter by the soul, which is the active principle.

    This is extraordinarily basic stuff. If anybody needs further clarification, De Anima is readily available online, in numerous versions and translations, for absolutely no charge.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  194. @j2

    Cell division (including meiosis) involves “crossing over”, where homologous chromosomes pair up with each other and exchange different segments of genetic material to form recombinant chromosomes. Events of this kind, same as mutations, do not create new species, but they provide the material for natural selection. Mutations generate changed genes, whereas crossing over generates new combinations of existing genes.

    However, ID people have much greater problems than this. Just a few simple things.
    The genetic code (which trinucleotide means which amino acid) is exactly the same from archaebacteria and bacteria to mammals, including humans), the way the cells work, make proteins, copy their DNA for the daughter cells, is pretty much the same in all living organisms, etc.
    Many genes are remarkably conserved not just among mammals, but much wider: say, some histones (proteins that bind DNA in your genome and organize it) differ by just a few amino acids between you and potatoes, etc.
    Our ribosomes (machines that make proteins in cells according to messenger RNA code) are larger and much slower than bacterial ones. In fact, they are just as bad as archaebacterial ribosomes. Yet the mitochondria in our cells (plus chloroplasts in plant cells) have those better faster bacterial ribosomes, even though most proteins needed to build them are encoded by the cell genome (both mitochondria and chloroplasts have their own genomes, which are circular, just like the bacterial ones, but much smaller). Yet our cells keep using those big slow ribosomes… Intelligent design cannot explain this, whereas the hypothesis that eukaryotic cells appeared as a symbiosis of anaerobic archaebacteria (from which we inherited the bulk of the cell, including defective ribosomes) with aerobic bacteria that evolved into mitochondria and chloroplasts that retained their good ribosomes, explains it intuitively.

    BTW, people who know nothing about biology often say that the appearance of a protein with a particular sequence by chance is virtually nil. It really is, as our average protein consists of 300-500 amino acids (we have 20 different amino acids, so the number of possible combinations would be enormous). But that’s not the way proteins emerged. All proteins consist of much smaller domains fulfilling certain functions. All our >20,000 proteins are composed of several thousand small (30-60 amino acids) domains, which are mixed and matched by evolution to serve particular purposes. So, the only thing that needed to emerge de novo by chance are those domains. Several labs successfully do protein engineering by combining existing domains in new ways, achieving predictable results.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
    , @j2
  195. Rurik says:
    @Mike From Jersey

    Great quote:

    Some readers, quoting Carl Sagan, said approximately, “Fred, an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence to support it.” I don’t disagree. The claim that ocean water will in time produce Manhattan seems to me sufficiently extraordinary to require extraordinary evidence. So far, there is none. Evolutionists have not shown that sea water can produce any life at all, much less the New York Philharmonic.

    except that he is mischaracterizing what that reader said..

    the reader who spoke of Carl Sagan, (moi ; ), never suggested that sea water will produce life, let alone Manhattan.

    But let’s be clear, what about sea water? Does Fred consider its existence as proof of a designer?

    what about oxygen, is that sufficiently complex as to require a deliberate ‘hand’ in its providence?

    IOW, is it existence itself, (the elements, time and space, etc..) that could not have possibly came into existence sans some deliberate entity creating it?

    Or is it just life that is too complex to have sprung from the ether?

    If we agree on the latter, then I’m with Fred (up to a point).

    I’m 0nly saying it seems to me that life (the DNA molecule) is too complex (and miraculously serendipitous) to have simply come into existence by happenstance.

    The function is too elaborate, and the method too elegant to have accidently happened due to slime and gases and amino acids in a caldron that was fused by lightning and God knows what else. Which is more or less what the hard scientists believe. And I say believe, because there is no way to reproduce the genesis of the molecule even if they can recreate amino acids.

    So, I never posited that the oceans randomly turned to life or the Philharmonic.

    I’m happy and comfortable considering the advent of DNA on earth as having been put here by ‘others’, (aliens, Gods, a God, AI – perhaps an AI that is the product of a civilization billions of years now extinct, or from a parallel universe, we don’t know) perhaps as a method of seeding the universe (and Earth in this case) with life. Which then does, yes- evolve.

    Just as there are no more mastodons on the planet, but there are elephants. No more sabre tooth tigers, but there are Persian cats. All a consequence of evolution doing its thing. Whether it involves the hand of man, or not.

    For the record.

  196. @Stan d Mute

    It doesn’t “prove” anything, and it is compatible with science. The solar eclipses are just one way to see something that is true at all times and scientifically measured.

    Yes, there are many weird things as yet unexplained, and explained. Fred’s (and our) biology is more amazing than two spheres in space. The point is not how these things exist physically or what physical explanation we might eventually discover; it is that they exist at all.

    Your link brings to mind the starter dough they use in San Francisco to make sourdough bread. They keep a little of the old dough after every batch and add it to the new dough. They have done this for very many years, so the cells in every loaf are descended from the originals generations ago. Without the old life that has reproduced in their bakeries since olden days, the recipe is dead no matter what they add to it now. We can intelligently design new genetic codes, but without the life that already exists to put with it, we don’t have our bread.

    You and I are not as far apart as you think. There is no reason to insult someone’s realistic assessment of how unlikely our single, only example is, and how remarkable it is that our one and only only example is the one coincidence out of an infinite number of unremarkable possibilities.

    It is as if the wind blew a lost lottery ticket into your front yard and it had all seven winning numbers for a hundred million dollar prize.

    YHWH ordained nothing. The word “God” is just an easy placeholder for something greater. We have mind and are part of the universe looking back to observe itself. We are not separate from it. Nothing you have said is untrue, and we can indeed “dedicate ourselves to finding rational scientific explanations.”

    The Earth is pear-shaped, BTW.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
  197. Wow, Fred, you really do write on everything.
    Well said, I felt I was reading my own arguments and conversations of the past several years. It’s a very real scientific dictatorship we’re living under. People are to believe anything. I always am saying what you point out: we, and ‘they’, simply don’t know. Vine Deloria has written some good stuff on this question, from an American Indian point of view–on carbon dating, for example. For me, 911, like in so many other cases, is instructive. Popular Science magazine was brought in to disprove all the crazy conspiracy theories, and… problem solved. All ‘science types’ weren’t science types at all, it turned out–they were ‘believe what you’re told by your betters’ types. And your point on all the science program watchers especially hit close to home with me, for just this week we stayed with my wife’s relatives and decided to let our kids watch some ‘harmless’ nature programs. Maybe four in two nights, the final two of which I tuned into too (we don’t have a tv). I swore to my wife, never again. Surprise surprise, propaganda like everywhere else! By this, I specifically mean these two crucial narratives concocted by Master and endlessly, relentlessly drummed in: evolution (survival of the fittest) and climate change (global warming). Each was mentioned three, four, five times per program. You know, nature is so relentlessly harsh, reality so cruel, that animals must always labor desperately just to survive. No abundance, no joy, no beauty, no life force, etc. etc. And, due to global warming, things go now to truly extreme extremes, which affect very adversely and unnaturally, in the two programs I watched, 1. some river flood plain in Botswana, and 2. (of course) the ice caps crucial to the survival of polar bears.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  198. mcohen says:

    Not only do i believe in I.D but i go one step further and believe that all universal knowledge going back millions of years is programed or stored in our dna and that it is periodically released under certain conditions.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/dna-could-store-all-worlds-data-one-room

    The question is what are the conditions that lead to the release of that knowledge.could be any number of things.

    Breeding
    Viruses
    Enviromental factors
    Gravity
    Radiation

    What this means is that all humanities solutions to the problems it faces are already hardwired into our dna.

    That is what is called …….intelligent design

  199. @Giuseppe

    ‘How does evolution explain that the sole purpose of one of the twelve cranial nerves, the fourth or trochlear cranial nerve, is to control a single muscle of the eye, the superior oblique? It can’t.’

    Functional questions, as opposed to ultimate truths (hi Truth!), can, for god-knows-what reason, be explained by some sort of cellular intelligence. Looking at plants alone, endless examples of this can be found, e.g.: certain leaves or branches being deliberately killed off from time to time (a decision made, it seems, by coordinated cellular consensus), leaves–when desperate–being able to grow roots, and many cells (like the animal stem cells) being able to morph into whatever is deemed by the plant to be useful and/or necessary.
    Now, where this cellular intelligence–or cells themselves, or their various functioning organelles, or life itself whether ‘low’ or ‘higher’ in form–comes from, or whether some grand designer designed it, is a different question. Being raised on modern scientific, atheistic education and popular culture, I have a hard time thinking there was a great designer, but I try to expand my dismal knowledge and horizons.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  200. @Stan d Mute

    Please, this is “SAD” as a Trump tweet would say. You know I am referring to we humans as “sentient life” and all Earth life as “life of any kind yet known.” This includes your dogs, whether or not they howl at the Moon. Thank you for being my English teacher. It’s okay.

    Give a planet an atmosphere with the composition ours has, and it will look blue. That is no coincidence; it is a function of the substances involved and would happen every time. You know, that’s “science.”

    Throwing your one-and-only moon randomly into an orbit and having it settle at just the right distance so that the only two objects in your cosmos are “the same size in your sky” is an astronomical coincidence. It is not guaranteed by any science, composition or mechanics. It is either a gigantic coincidence or intentional. Occam would probably agree that yours is the best explanation, so I can’t win this argument.

    The fact that you don’t find any of this remarkable, and that you are married 100% to accident is almost as amazing as the Moon.

    Cheers.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
  201. @Thor Baslim

    It would be good if you were to read the entirety of a post before you comment on it. You would look much less like a fool, a boor, and a troll, if you did.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  202. @Intelligent Dasein

    Correct me if I’m wrong. (That is a sincere request.) Can you determine which causes the other, or comes first?

    Was this, the more important, part of my comment wrong or in disagreement with your theory of mind?

    That immaterial, irreducible monad dies or leaves the party when the intricately woven clothing it wears becomes threadbare. And it doesn’t show up to the party until that amazing apparel somehow sews itself together.

    Where there is a beautifully tailored suit, there is a great tailor.

    Theory of mind is a black box theory that, perhaps correctly, deduces the existence of something from the observable evidence. It is like the way molecules and atoms were discovered.

    Am I also clunky and wrong to say that?

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  203. Hal Duell says:

    What I appreciate most about Fred’s articles is what I see as his intelligent irreverence. Question and poke fun at anything and everything. People take themselves too seriously!

    • Agree: Stan d Mute
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  204. Tbanks!

  205. @Merlin

    ‘Yet there are thousands of known genetic defects in humans. This is devolution. There are about 30 mutations between parents and child and none of them are beneficial. At best they are neutral or near neutral.’

    Are we not men?
    We are devo.

    Are we not MEN??!
    D-E-V-O…

  206. Pangloss says:
    @Dillon Sweeny

    Dillon , beati pauperes spiritu . Keep digging !

  207. @Buzz Mohawk

    ‘Where there is a beautifully tailored suit, there is a great tailor.’

    Agreed. But, where you have ugly, pathetic, grotesque, deformed, gaping, cocksure, greedy, selfish, horny, hateful, angry, violent devo apes?

  208. Pangloss says:
    @Jim Sweeney

    Thank God for the good Sweeneys . The Luceferian Sweeny was giving me suicidal thoughts .

  209. Just when I was being Judeo-Christianised after so many a decade of the two-minute love speech on the common media, the blah, blah, blah and blah radio and television networks, daily, lo and behold, the good doctor mentions the Celestial Song, in the same sentence as the Good Book and the other work that mysteriously appeared in the godforsaken desert next door (sorry, Talha! For not naming it but hopefully, it won't send me to the hellhole, when I escape the earthly paradise).

  210. peterAUS says:
    @daniel le mouche

    ….All ‘science types’ weren’t science types at all, it turned out–they were ‘believe what you’re told by your betters’ types.

    Pretty much.
    And, of course, “betters” means, most of the time, “better educated”. More time spent in the “education” system, that is.
    And, of course

    ….propaganda like everywhere else!….

    Works for paychecks, prestige, ego thing etc. The usual. As always.

  211. @Buzz Mohawk

    Correct me if I’m wrong. (That is a sincere request.) Can you determine which causes the other, or comes first?

    Since the soul is the formal cause of the body, it is by definition ontologically prior to the body—this indeed is little more than a tautology. However, as I’m sure you’re well aware, ontological priority doesn’t always translate into strict temporal priority. It would be a mistake to think of disembodied souls preexisting their bodies and inhabiting some Platonic realm while they’re waiting to be incarnated. The correct view is that souls appear along with bodies and are multiplied as bodies are multiplied. The agency of the living creature in reproducing itself is not denied here; what is denied is any notion of rationes seminales (i.e. germinal forms in a state of latency yet somehow present in matter) or Occasionalism in the vein of Father Malbranche.

    But that the soul does indeed cause the body—and not the other way around—is demonstrated in a rough and ready fashion by the fact of corruption. A dead body will disintegrate and decay, as will an amputated limb or a nail paring or anything else that is no longer “animated” by the soul. However, we must not think of animation here as akin to the electromotive force in a coil of wire that turns a rotor. The soul is not some spiritual hydraulic fluid; it is neither energy nor life-force nor anything else quasi-material. Rather it is the unity, the organizing principle, indeed the very definition of the body. A severed hand is, spatially speaking, no longer technically a part of the body, but the more important point is to realize that it is no longer even really a hand. It has no essence or unity of its own; it “is” nothing; it is powerless to receive the animation of that soul of which it was the outgrowth and expression. Even if it has not yet appreciably decomposed and still looks very much like a hand, such decomposition is only the irrelevant outcome of the passing of time. The salient fact is that it is now inert and unsouled, which is the only reason why it decays in the first place. On this view it becomes possible to see what death really means, ontologically speaking. Death is simply the amputation of the entire body. The amputation of the entire body from what? From the soul. When the body, through accident or injury, can no longer receive the unifying and directing power of the soul, it ceases to be a body. All true bodies are living bodies, and there is no body that is not the effect of some unifying principle, some soul. The body “dangles from the soul like a pendant,” as Plotinus put it in the Enneads. It cannot exist except by virtue of the soul and therefore it cannot be the cause of soul.

    Was this, the more important, part of my comment wrong or in disagreement with your theory of mind?

    Let’s set aside any mention of the theory of mind, for mind is a red herring here and has nothing to do with the topic under consideration. I only mentioned it in the first place in order to point out that I had not and wouldn’t be mentioning it. It has been the common practice ever since Descartes for thinkers to confuse soul with mind, consciousness, thought, or emotion, but this is not what is meant by the term. Soul is of itself and per se the form of the body. That’s it; nothing more.

    With that being said, your comment was partially wrong in alluding to the apparel “sewing itself together.” For as I outlined above (and there is no need to repeat it all) it is precisely the soul which sews the apparel together to begin with. It is precisely the soul which answers to the need for a criterion by which the apparel can be said to be apparel, i.e. the equipage of a man. The soul is the second part of that couplet—the soul is the man. It really makes no more sense to say that the body gives rise to the soul than it does to say that a suit of clothes invented a man as means to display it own finery and to get itself cleaned and pressed. To the extent that there is a designer (an unfortunate and problematical term; the tailor metaphor is classier but still redolent of inapposite efficient causality), the soul is itself the designer. It is both the reason and the manner of the body’s existence.

    I sincerely hope this helps, Buzz. My best to you.

    —I.D.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  212. @GourmetDan

    So what you’re saying is that you’re illiterate?

  213. GW says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Lol, half the OT is Yahweh either telling the Israelites he will send foreigners to take their land and rape their women if they don’t stop disobeying His law or actually doing just that. It is about as opposite to a book promoting racial superiority as there is.

  214. @RebelWriter

    It would be good if you were to read the entirety of a post before you comment on it. You would look much less like a fool, a boor, and a troll, if you did.

    I read it all, and disagreed with it all. Why itemize?

    • Replies: @RebelWriter
  215. @daniel le mouche

    How does evolution explain that the sole purpose of one of the twelve cranial nerves, the fourth or trochlear cranial nerve, is to control a single muscle of the eye, the superior oblique? It can’t.

    Evolution science does not “explain”. Evolution science describes.

  216. @Buzz Mohawk

    You and I are not as far apart as you think.

    When did I say I thought that? I just think your example is hilarious. For all we know, there could be a billion planets exactly like ours. And a billion Buzzes in awe of a pretty mundane factoid.

    Again, the really freaky shit is in the realm of physics where absolutely nobody has a reasonable explanation for “spooky action at a distance” (QE), Schrödinger’s Cat, or the double slit. Then there’s the curious similarity between software and genetic codes..

    I suspect we will be extinct before we ever fully comprehend the Universe. Maybe a Quantum computer AI will explain it to us before we go.

  217. @Stan d Mute

    So basically it’s just our cracker version of ‘magical thinking’ isn’t it? Ignoring cultural achievements, what really is the difference between an evangelical and an African Bantu who believes albino hearts cure illness or a Jew who believes YHWH picked him and only him as being worthy?

    The only difference between Catholic priest sprinkling holy water and African witch doctors arranging chicken bones is the clothes they wear. The same is true for all other religions.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
    , @SBaker
  218. @AnonFromTN

    BTW, people who know nothing about biology often say that the appearance of a protein with a particular sequence by chance is virtually nil.

    I wonder if any of those people also deny that winning lottery tickets exist? Isn’t that probability something on the order of 180,000,000 to 1? But, golly jeepers, we usually get a winner every 8 weeks or so.

    Ya think a DNA change every 8 weeks would take 4 billion years to produce Albert Einstein?

    Laughing my friggin ass off — Believers are like free beer for the intelligent.

    • Replies: @j2
  219. @CanSpeccy

    Hey, Fred, tell us, did God create the fossil record as some kind of practical joke

    How many random events does it take to produce one Intelligent Designer?

    LMAO. What a pack of dumbasses these wackadoodles be.

  220. @Buzz Mohawk

    It is either a gigantic coincidence or intentional.

    No.

    Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. – Ian Fleming, Goldfinger

    Happenstance.

    Thank you for being my English teacher.

    I’m just glad to help Bro. Gotta get my good deeds done before Unz gets DDoSed into oblivion..

  221. @Stan d Mute

    And OMIGOSH, the sky, it’s BLUE. And yet space is just a black void! Surely that proves something? No other planet has a blue sky. It’s right there in front of us, plain as, well, the clear blue sky..

    And there is AIR!! The perfect combination for O2-using hydrocarbon life forms!! You think that just HAPPENED??? How is that even possible?

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
  222. @Mulegino1

    I see Darwinism and so called “descent with modification” being a descent to stupidity and materialist reductionism.

    There is an awful lot of really good evolution science. There is no intelligent design science at all.

    You lose.

    You may prattle on at your leisure.

  223. @art guerrilla

    as it is, I could write quite proper engwish would I care to, I do not so care to, I care to amuse myself, masturbation is fun, you should try it one day…

    By all means, suit yourself. I worked at NIH 6th-floor for two semesters. I know a hebephrenic giggler when I read one. Once, that is.

  224. @number9

    Fit enough to reproduce and fill a nitch is all evolution is concerned with. Within an environment of seemingly “free” and endless resources, a rabbit-like reproductive strategy is certainly valid.

    Absolutely. That a once-vital and dynamic human species would be replaced by morons with high reproductive rates is evolution at its very definition.

    While the food supply lasts, of course. ;-)

  225. Consider the following three questions: “Who designed the Designer?” From a five-year-old, “But Mommy, where did God come from?” From a freshman in a dorm room, “What came before the Big Bang?”

    The first two questions are perfectly sensible for anyone confronted with Bronze Age drivel about a genocidal Sky Maniac (ID is simply an attempt to sneak the same Sky Maniac in the back door – anyone who pretends otherwise is simply being dishonest).

    The third question is not a sensible question for even a median freshman who has studied Physics in high school to any reasonable standard. I studied Physics at Year 12 in 1984, and the fact that time came into existence at the instant of the Big Bang (BB, hereafter) was taught to us way back then.

    It’s extraordinarily hard for people to get their heads around the part of the ‘standard’ cosmological model (SCM) that has time itself appear – as an outcome - with the Big Bang. Prior to the Big Bang, time as a concept makes no sense[1]; since there was no such thing as ‘time’, notions of ‘before’ are gibberish (although not anything like the gibberish in any anthropocentric religion).

    Frankly, I could give a shit about the conditions of the universe at any time prior to the mid-60s (which is when I coalesced into a little knot of information in an entropic system); I could likewise give a shit about what happens in a few billion years when the nanocube that will then house my personality has to deal with the lukewarm death of this universe (by then my ASI will probably have found a way to migrate to somewhere less entropic – technology always finds a way).

    It’s beyond ridiculous for any human being to think that we ought to default back to the Sky Maniac (or some fluffier analogue) just because we haven’t found all the answers given all the inquiry we have conducted since (roughly) 500BCE (punctuated by a period of ~1500 years of ruthless suppression of any pretence at actual science).

    We (i.e., humans) have only really been undertaking proper study of cosmology and phisics – that is, study completely shorn of constraints imposed by Bronze Age cults – for about 6 generations (150 years); prior to that, most ‘science’ outside of mathematics and Chemistry did not really deserve the name, because everyone tiptoed around Yahweh the Foreskin-Obsessed Sky Wizard.

    Science has done an extraordinary job of closing gaps in human understanding of how the universe is, and how it came to be as it is, given –
    ① the vastness of the universe and its bewildering complexity at almost every spatial scale;
    ② the technology required to conduct appropriate observations to see if they ‘fit’ the theory[2];
    ③ the fact that ready access to useable electricity wasn’t a thing until the late 1800s;
    ④ the fact that ready access to powerful general computation wasn’t a thing until the early 2000s…
    - I could keep adding to the list, but frankly I reckon that on that basis alone, it’s a marvel that in 100 years scientists have come up with a model that is unimaginably superior to the gallimuafry of nonsense that organised religion managed to cobble together over 3000 years (they can’t get a cosmogony that gets the stars and planets in the right order or appearance, for fuck’s sake).

    Come back in 3900 (give or take) to make the time-on-task remotely comparable – see whether we have the ‘right’ answers then.

    Let’s stipulate that physics is not advocating that those opposing the SCM be put to death, so the competition’s a lot fairer than it used to be when Yahweh was calling the shots.

    [1] Equivalently, Hawking’s formulation – in which time exists prior to the BB – sees zero information passed from ‘BBB’ to ‘ABB’ (to riff off the religiotard’s demarcation of temporal epochs); either way, from either perspective of this universe, the Planck Epoch “starts to happen”.

    [2] A very good example of the technology-induced delay in validating a theory: gravitational waves. Postulated by Poincaré in 1905; predicted (as a testable outcome of) Einstein’s General Relativity in 1916… proved 99 years later after humans worked out how to build a detector.

    • Agree: Thor Baslim
  226. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Hal Duell

    What I appreciate most about Fred’s articles is what I see as his intelligent irreverence.

    Actually, as I pointed out here, it is unintelligent irreverence. Fred on evolution is rather like some dumbarse biologist of psychologist disproving some basic and repeatedly verified theory in physics (Like this guy, Arthur S. Otis, who created the Otis Intelligence test before going on to disprove Einstein’s theory of relativity).

    To anyone who understands the subject, such poking of fun is simply asinine insofar as does not mislead. However, from the reactions to Fred[‘s rubbish on evolution, it seems he has plenty of believers, which makes his ill-informed buffoonery more reprehensible.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  227. @Carroll Price

    The only difference between Catholic priest sprinkling holy water and African witch doctors arranging chicken bones is the clothes they wear. The same is true for all other religions.

    I’m given to rhetorical flourishes myself, but this is pretty unfair to witch doctors isn’t it?

    I mean let’s say the priest and witch doctor each encounter an albino boy. The witch doctor would simply kill, mutilate, and perhaps eat him. But the priest? A decade of unlubed buggery! And being passed around like so much albino candy to every other priest, cardinal, or pope? Clearly negro witch doctors are superior to catholic clergy..

  228. @Thor Baslim

    How is that even possible?

    Clearly we are either just inside a massive simulation (in which case the Sky Fairy programmed it all) or we live in a world of magic where the Sky Fairy programmed it all. It’s a toss-up really, but I’m favoring the Sky Fairy theory.

    Wait, I just looked outside and the Sun … it’s GONE! Vanished. Have you been offering Sky Fairy his required sacrifices? Wiping only with your right hand? Bring back the Sun O Great Sky Fairy!!!

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  229. @Kratoklastes

    Come back in 3900 (give or take) to make the time-on-task remotely comparable – see whether we have the ‘right’ answers then.

    You betcha! And all you’ll need to get those answers is an albino heart and two spleens..

    http://americandigest.org/mt-archives/5minute_arguments/steve_sailers_worlds_most.php

  230. @Intelligent Dasein

    It would be a mistake to think of disembodied souls preexisting their bodies and inhabiting some Platonic realm while they’re waiting to be incarnated. The correct view is that souls appear along with bodies and are multiplied as bodies are multiplied.

    So then, do souls need bodies in order to exist?

    Death is simply the amputation of the entire body. The amputation of the entire body from what? From the soul. When the body, through accident or injury, can no longer receive the unifying and directing power of the soul, it ceases to be a body.

    But does the soul then cease to be a soul? It came into being with the body, multiplies as bodies do, and did not exist somewhere without a body.

    … ontological priority doesn’t always translate into strict temporal priority.

    Indeed.

    Thank you very much for your explanation. No need to add to it; I can take your earlier advice and read more about it. My best to you as well.

    Buzz

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  231. JoAnnF says:

    “Dumb fucks well” (traditional Shit Beast proverb). The Shit Beast is a herd animal with a tiny brain which, being tasked with keeping Shit Beast alive and helping it procreate, necessarily tries to create a mirror image of the universe, so as to navigate that universe and thrive by trying to predict what may happen next… as the brain is tiny, the image is extremely simplified and in no way realistic, but the distinguishing power of Shit Beast , because of exactly that, is so low that it believes its imaging abilities are near perfect, because THAT’S ALL IT SEES , EVERYTHING – and all the other animals do even less well…

    An enlightening impression of Shit Beast’s perception is delivered by the explanation that a majority of Shit Beast s prefer, believe in, insist on for “everything” – i.e. the “meaning of life” and the very reason for the existence of Shit Beast (and everything else, including less important items than Shit Beast , like the entire rest of the universe).

    So what is this explanation ? It is that there is an almighty Shit Beast that thinks exactly like not -almighty Shit Beast , and that this almighty Shit Beast somehow, no matter how, created the universe to test other Shit Beasts’ adherence to Shit Beast pre-programmed ethical standards. So convincing does Shit Beast find this sort of high-end reasoning that it calls it “intelligence” and will cut off other Shit Beast s’ heads for finding said reasoning implausible, and exterminate all other life forms for not being “intelligent.”

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  232. j2 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    “Cell division (including meiosis) involves “crossing over”, where homologous chromosomes pair up with each other and exchange different segments of genetic material to form recombinant chromosomes. Events of this kind, same as mutations, do not create new species, but they provide the material for natural selection. Mutations generate changed genes, whereas crossing over generates new combinations of existing genes.”
    Yes, we both know this. Additionally you surely agree that there are several copying mistakes in cell division that can reorder the DNA. Yet, mutations are the most important mechanims for getting new genes (such that did not exist before), this is why the mutational clock is used for estimating the time when two species separated. If mutations were a secondary reason, we could not use them as a clock.

    “However, ID people have much greater problems than this. Just a few simple things.”
    I agree with your examples. Life has developed from earlier forms of life. You are objecting to young world Creationists, who think that each species was created separately and in 6 days. Most critics of the present evolution theory agree that life has developed and all life on the earth has one origin. The question is only how it developed. Mixing genes and selection are accepted, so are mutations. The problem is with random mutations creating macro-evolution. I will explain to you the problem: a gene is about 1000 base pairs and it contains introns, which are about 100 bp long protein-coding parts. As the mutation rate is 0.5 e-9 mutations per year per bp, the time scale to fundamentally change an intron to a different intron (far away from the previous one) is 200 million years. Multicellular life on the earth is 600 million years old. If introns in all life were very similar to each other, we could say that there did not need to be so many mutations, but apparently this is not the case: introns can be very different. How can they have appeared, originally there were very few introns? By copying errors? No, mainly by mutations. How did these mutations hit some working combination that the protein is useful for something? If is not so that whatever mutations you make, then it is always useful. If that would be the case, introns would be very similar to each other. No, there are very few introns that are useful and to find them one needs the range 100 mutations. Then the probability of finding an useful mutation by random is 4^100. That is small. Here is the problem. I suggest that the best theory is to have these new genes develop in single cell organisms in pseudocodes, when they are not under selection pressure (if the genes were functional, a few mutations would kill the organism, they have to be non-functional to get many mutations). Then we have over 2 billion years for them to develop, but the problem still remains. We have max 2^45 genes, so 2^48 introns, but there can be 2^200 introns, so again life has found only very few introns, why has it found useful introns?

    “BTW, people who know nothing about biology often say that the appearance of a protein with a particular sequence by chance is virtually nil. It really is, as our average protein consists of 300-500 amino acids (we have 20 different amino acids, so the number of possible combinations would be enormous). But that’s not the way proteins emerged. All proteins consist of much smaller domains fulfilling certain functions. All our >20,000 proteins are composed of several thousand small (30-60 amino acids) domains, which are mixed and matched by evolution to serve particular purposes.”
    It is you here who has not done the mathematics. Introns are the parts that you refer to, they are still too long. See, gene size 1000 bp, intron size 100 bp, it is not thousands of introns in a gene, it is about 10. You calculate, protein 300-500 amino acids countains parts 30-60 amino acids, and you think it means thousands of parts in a protein. It is about ten.

    “So, the only thing that needed to emerge de novo by chance are those domains. Several labs successfully do protein engineering by combining existing domains in new ways, achieving predictable results.”
    Yes, you can to gene manipulation, you can cut genes, combine them, add genes to a genome. None of this removes the problem I outlined to you.

    I wrote to you a detailed answer, now read my answer and do not mention people who do not know anything of biology so that I will not include you to them. Do your calculations on the probability of creating a new gene or intron by mutations and see if you still think there is no problem.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  233. j2 says:
    @Thor Baslim

    “I wonder if any of those people also deny that winning lottery tickets exist? Isn’t that probability something on the order of 180,000,000 to 1? But, golly jeepers, we usually get a winner every 8 weeks or so.
    Ya think a DNA change every 8 weeks would take 4 billion years to produce Albert Einstein?
    Laughing my friggin ass off — Believers are like free beer for the intelligent.”

    The difference is here. A gene has about 1000 bp, so there are 4^1000 combinations. After 2 billion years of development life hit on a gene that makes life multicellular. There may be many such genes, but life found only one, let us assume there were only 2^50 such genes. The probability of winning was 2^50 of 2^2000, that is one chance in 2^1950. All life that exists has only 2^45 genes. This is your number of players. The chance that anyone wins is 2^-1905. Practically zero.

    Looking at introns this is better, but still not good. An intron has the size about 100 bp and there are max 2^48 introns in all life on the earth. The chances of winning is 2^-102. It is also practically zero.

    In your lottery, you have some 23 million playing every week, the chances are one in 180 million, so you get a winner every 8 weeks.

    To produce Einstein by mutations: he has 20,000 genes, each gene 1000 bp, each pb mutates in 2 million years. Let me think. The genes mutate in parallel, but how long does it take for the single gene to mutate, 2 million years or 2 billion years? That depends on if we try to go to a certain result or just to any result. That is, just to change these 1000 bp to something else should take 2 million years as they can be considered independent, but If I consider them as a part of a working solution it is hitting 1000 correctly, then it is 2 billion. Really, I cannot say which way one should look at this problem. I think more like 2 billion years.

    • Replies: @j2
  234. j2 says:
    @j2

    It is 2 billion years to make Einstein. The mutation rate is 0.5*10^-9 mutations per bp per year, so each base pair (bp) mutates (in average) in 2 billion years. The base pairs can be considered independent, so it does not matter how many base pairs the genome has, it is still 2 billion years. Einstein has about 3 billion base pairs in his genome, so there is one mutation in 2/3 years. You may have a better estimate for the human mutation rate, so you can be correct that there is one mutation every two months (8 weeks). But the fact remains that it still takes 2 billion years before most of the base pairs in his genome are changed from the genome of the first cell to the base pairs in the genome of Einstein.

    You had correct all information: a mutation in about 8 weeks and it would take about 4 billion years to make Einstein, your error is to see a problem in this.
    “Laughing my friggin ass off — Believers are like free beer for the intelligent.”
    Ignorance is a bliss.

    • Replies: @utu
  235. @Buzz Mohawk

    So then, do souls need bodies in order to exist?

    St. Thomas does actually address this question in the Summa Theologica. The short answer is “yes,” for the most part. Souls do need bodies in order to exist. Those souls capable of nutrition only (plants) and those capable of nutrition and sensation (animals) are not perfectly subsistent forms, and therefore without a body they have no operation.

    A non-rational animal soul, for instance, is oriented entirely to that which is in its senses and is exhausted entirely in its capacity for “movement” in response to the objects of sensation. Movement is here held to be any kind of response, and sensation and movement are two sides of the same coin, since they are unthinkable without each other and mutually condition one another. But without a body, there is no sensation and there is nothing to be moved. When an animal dies, its soul vanishes like a drying mud puddle as its operations cease.

    The human soul is different insofar as the capacity for reason forms part of its definition. The term “reason” in this context does not mean the sort of dry, logical pondering with which one works out a crossword puzzle, as it is sometimes taken to mean. Rather, it refers to the ability to grasp the essences or quiddities of natural objects, i.e. something akin to the Greek nous. The ability to apprehend these universals, as well as the soul’s response to eternal, immaterial conditioning demands (e.g. justice) means that this soul is “spiritual,” that is to say eternal, and is not completely exhausted by the objects of sensation. It is moved also by timeless truth and therefore there is something timeless about it as well.

    When a man dies he loses his body just like the animal, and thus along with it he loses his “time.” He no longer has the capacity for sensation or bodily movement. The world as we are commonly wont to consider it goes dark as we are rendered powerless by death. But then the eternal truths come forward, naked and gigantic, and all the more vivid for no longer being mediated by and diffracted through the realm of the senses. Here we see at last our true intentions, our true value in reference to that eternal world of which we were always dimly aware, and there is no place to hide. This is the “judgment of God,” and that judgment is both immediate and final.

    On this incredibly vast topic I could go on for great length, but it would be better to simply refer you to the Summa where it is already explained in detail.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
    , @peterAUS
  236. @Buzz Mohawk

    However, that does not mean that causes currently perceived as supernatural will never possibly be observed as part of the physical world — when/if necessary methods are discovered. Witness Louis Pasteur’s microscopic bacteria (but try to keep them out of your cooking).

    Yeah… it is obvious that ‘science’ requires just as much faith in philosophical naturalism and that will lead to impossible hypotheses every time… evolution is just as much a faith-based religious belief as creation.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  237. @Kratoklastes

    It’s extraordinarily hard for people to get their heads around the part of the ‘standard’ cosmological model (SCM) that has time itself appear – as an outcome – with the Big Bang. Prior to the Big Bang, time as a concept makes no sense[1]; since there was no such thing as ‘time’, notions of ‘before’ are gibberish (although not anything like the gibberish in any anthropocentric religion).

    Un-created simply means ‘not subject to the constraint of the dimension of time’. So… if an un-created universe requires no creator… why does an un-created creator require one?

  238. @Thor Baslim

    Well then your ability to comprehend the written word is questionable.

    You called me a “Fundie” as an insult, and implied I viewed things from a Christian fundamentalist point of view, when I specifically wrote I didn’t accept such interpretations. Instead of countering with an argument, you chose spite and name-calling, and didn’t do it well, either.

    There is an orthodoxy, and one certainly can be treated as a heretic, and this has occurred many times in just the past few years. Challenge the Out of Africa theory in any way, and you’re not only a heretic, you’re a racist, and a Nazi, too. Other examples, though not of men studying the field under discussion, are James Thompson and Charles Murray.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  239. stokars says:

    “…the pattern of inventing unobservable causes to explain lacunae…” is rife in many institutions and movements–religion in general, and Mormonism every Sunday. Because God could have done thus & so, then that explains the discrepancy and He did so. Therefore it happened. End of argument. This kind of circular reasoning goes on all the time among True Believers.

    “It is the true believer’s ability to ‘shut his eyes and stop his ears’ to facts that do not deserve to be either seen or heard which is the source of his unequaled fortitude and constancy. He cannot be frightened by danger nor disheartened by obstacles nor baffled by contradictions because he denies their existence.” p80 The True Believer Eric Hoffer

    “There is apparently some connection between dissatisfaction with oneself and a proneness to credulity. The urge to escape our real self is also an urge to escape the rational and the obvious. The refusal to see ourselves as we are develops a distaste for facts and cold logic. There is no hope for the frustrated in the actual and the possible. Salvation can come to them only from the miraculous, which seeps through a crack in the iron wall of inexorable reality. They ask to be deceived.
    What Stresemann said of the Germans is true of the frustrated in general: ‘[They] pray not only for [their] daily bread, but also for [their] daily illusion.’ The rule seems to be that those who find no difficulty in deceiving themselves are easily deceived by others. They are easily persuaded and led. A peculiar side of credulity is that it is often joined with a proneness to imposture. The association of believing and lying is not characteristic solely of children. The inability or unwillingness to see things as they are promotes both gullibility and charlatanism.” p83 ibid

    A little-considered aspect of biological evolution was pointed out by a chemist: before biology is chemistry. If it doesn’t happen in chemistry, it does NOT happen in biology.

    Philosophers have been trying for millennia to resolve the existential questions. So have the scientists. The closest the scientists have come to an answer is the Universe is cyclical and renews itself. What drives that is anyone’s guess, and there sure are a lot of them. Man will never find the answer(s), chiefly because he must stand outside the system he is embedded in.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  240. @Kratoklastes

    The first two questions are perfectly sensible for anyone confronted with Bronze Age drivel about a genocidal Sky Maniac (ID is simply an attempt to sneak the same Sky Maniac in the back door – anyone who pretends otherwise is simply being dishonest).

    “Sky Maniac” is so BCE. I prefer “Sky Pilot” for its universal appeal and “go get ‘em” imagery.

    It’s extraordinarily hard for people to get their heads around the part of the ‘standard’ cosmological model (SCM) that has time itself appear – as an outcome – with the Big Bang.

    Difficult for most to understand? You are too kind.

    As science advances, it seems “time” is being relegated to being more a “property” of mass and energy than an immutable, dimensionless constant of the continuum per se. Time does not occur without events, and events do not occur without some transition in state of matter or energy. Further, relative motion between masses affects the measure of time. Perhaps time and space are properties of mass, as space (location?) does not exist unless there is mass present.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
    , @Kratoklastes
  241. SBaker says:
    @Carroll Price

    I bet you argued with the teacher when you answered questions on a test. All answers were precisely correct, especially mine.

  242. @CanSpeccy

    To anyone who understands the subject, such poking of fun is simply asinine insofar as does not mislead. However, from the reactions to Fred[‘s rubbish on evolution, it seems he has plenty of believers, which makes his ill-informed buffoonery more reprehensible.

    I have no idea if Fred actually believes any of the Believer dreck. Perhaps he plays to the crowd, being old and prolly not giving much of a shit what the Unz-pack thinks. Trollery, well-done, is the writer’s goal, whether he believes what he writes, or not. If the audiences believes, then the deed is done.

    Few subjects invite accomplished trollery quite like Intelligent Design. Hell, just look at the remuda of barking Believers! They saddle and bridle themselves, poor dears!

  243. @JoAnnF

    Hey, JoAnn, ever heard the term “integrated personality”?

    Your diatribe is unhinged. Total disconnect.

    • Replies: @JoAnnF
  244. @Stan d Mute

    Wait, I just looked outside and the Sun … it’s GONE! Vanished. Have you been offering Sky Fairy his required sacrifices? Wiping only with your right hand? Bring back the Sun O Great Sky Fairy!!!

    Right hand? What are we? Jews?

    I fixed the Sun problem this morning, pre-dawn. It cost me a chicken — a layer, dammit! I sprinkled the Sun Circle, recited the necessary incantations. All fixed — for today. You’re on duty tomorrow. I’m sleeping-in.

  245. As a Creationist, I am no longer able to discuss the Theory of Evolution.

    The “Modern Evolutionary Synthesis” of random mutation and natural selection is taught as fact, “like gravity”. But uh oh, it’s been falsified. See, for example, Jensen’s swedish chickens. So today, the informed proponents of Evolution promise us a “New Synthesis”, one that is still under development, or “emerging”. So please put yourself in my shoes. How am I supposed to discuss the Theory of Evolution, when nobody can tell me what it is?

    Instead, we call attention to two phenomena that provide compelling evidence for Creationism 1) the Origin of Life, and 2) the Fine Tuning of the Universe (also called the “Goldilocks Enigma” and the “Anthropic Principle”) We note that the legions of Top Scientists cannot offer a rational, yet Non Creationist, explanation, supported by empirical data, for either phenomenon. This in spite of a massive international effort, over the last 90 years, to obtain such data.

    Of course, if anyone still disagrees with Creationism, I would be most grateful if you provided your non Creationist explanations these phenomena, and describe the empirical data that supports your explantions

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  246. @Intelligent Dasein

    So then, do souls need bodies in order to exist?

    St. Thomas does actually address this question in the Summa Theologica. The short answer is “yes,” for the most part. Souls do need bodies in order to exist.

    ROFLMAO. Laughing helplessly at you fools. Oh, did Saint Tomasz speak for Yahweh and declare body essential to soul? LMAO. A soul which is DEFINED from the git-go as non-corporeal? LMFAO. You friggin’ idiots. How many angels can tango on the stage at Madison Square Garden?

    We are doomed. Too many Stupids.

  247. @RebelWriter

    Instead of countering with an argument, you chose spite and name-calling, and didn’t do it well, either.

    Would you prefer I make the effort to do it well? How does your simple-minded “country wisdom” schtick hold up against hard logic? Would you not prefer my attacks on your Pollyanna “awe and wonder” pronouncements regarding the vast gosh-darn-ness of the universe be infrequent?

    For the most part, I leave you alone to chop wood in your rustic characterizations. Can’t we all just get along?

  248. @Tammie Lee Haynes

    As a Creationist, I am no longer able to discuss the Theory of Evolution.

    Not able? Ya THINK?????

    LMFAO so hard I’m prostrate, drumming my heels on the linoleum.

    • Replies: @paroikos
    , @Stan d Mute
  249. @j2

    I see several issues with your views.

    1. Math and probability. Your calculations might have been correct if there was only one lineage, i.e., only one organism living on Earth at any given moment. Obviously, this is not the case. For example, it was determined that every gram of soil, depending on its type, contains from 4,000,000 to 2,000,000,000 bacteria (https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-0032499758&origin=inward&txGid=822605abf8f20ba9c353a3518ee4790e). There are billions tons of soil on Earth, and each ton is a million grams. Thus, there were and are trillions of trillions of lineages at any given time, so your probability calculations are off by so many orders of magnitude that they are ludicrous.

    2. Genetics. You ignore the fact that crossing over is often imperfect, and the breakpoints are often within genes, creating much greater variations in coding and intronic sequences than would have been created by mutations alone. Besides, you ignore transposable elements that get out of the genome and reinsert at different places, sometimes being replicated in between these events. Transposons often take pieces of surrounding DNA along for the ride, creating even greater variability. That’s likely how Alu repeats in human genome (and similar repeats in genomes of all known species) emerged.

    3. Science. I’ve mentioned only some of the known mechanisms. Science never claims to know everything (in contrast to religions and ID-type “theories”), there certainly are unknown mechanism. We see the consequences of some. For example, there is lateral gene transfer between species (we don’t know how exactly it happens), as clearly demonstrated by the spread of Monsanto’s Roundup resistance genes among unintended plants in just a few years. The same mechanism is responsible for the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in different species of bacteria within years of introduction of new antibiotics.

    Bottom line is, science, including evolution science, is a never-ending process. Everything that claims to know the Truth with a capital T, be it religions or “theories” like ID, is BS.

    • Replies: @j2
  250. utu says:
    @j2

    Any article questioning evolution always brings up extreme activists trolls. Myself being an agnostic almost whole my life I am not emotionally invested in god-no-god issues because I can handle a state of doubt and unknowing. But these atheists here get extremely agitated when evolution is questioned that probably it would be hard to find similar intensity among some religious maniacs in the Middle Ages. I have also an impression that the agitation has some Jewish flavor. Similar schticks are used when Jewish issue are broached. Similar maniacs show up.

    • Agree: MikeatMikedotMike
  251. j2 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    “1. Math and probability. Your calculations might have been correct if there was only one lineage, i.e., only one organism living on Earth at any given moment. Obviously, this is not the case. For example, it was determined that every gram of soil, depending on its type, contains from 4,000,000 to 2,000,000,000 bacteria (https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-0032499758&origin=inward&txGid=822605abf8f20ba9c353a3518ee4790e). There are billions tons of soil on Earth, and each ton is a million grams. Thus, there were and are trillions of trillions of lineages at any given time, so your probability calculations are off by so many orders of magnitude that they are ludicrous.”‘

    I have taken this into account. The number of individual single cell organisms can be approximated 10^34, but most of these belong to some strains of species. As single cell organism divide and do not procreate sexually, as species should be taken as nearly identical genome (apart of strains which differ by a few SNPs). As the number of species can be estimated as 10^7, the correct number is somewhere between these extremes, from 10^34 to 10^7. It does not reach anywhere close to 4^1000. (The figure 10^34 is calculated by taking all water on the earth (60%) to the depth of 100m and assuming that in a milliliter there are 100 billion single cell organisms). So, your comment has been taken into account in the figures. I did not calculate with one organism but with all that there can be on the earth, with a generous upper bound added.

    “2. Genetics. You ignore the fact that crossing over is often imperfect, and the breakpoints are often within genes, creating much greater variations in coding and intronic sequences than would have been created by mutations alone. Besides, you ignore transposable elements that get out of the genome and reinsert at different places, sometimes being replicated in between these events. Transposons often take pieces of surrounding DNA along for the ride, creating even greater variability. That’s likely how Alu repeats in human genome (and similar repeats in genomes of all known species) emerged.”

    There are these other mechanisms, but considering that researchers use the mutational clock (calculating mutations) to estimate time of separation between species, it is accepted that mutations are the most common mechanism. The others do not essentially change the picture, but do, by all means, consider them. (I have done it, though did not write it to these comments, they did not change the picture since these mechanisms can reach only a small set of solutions, so they most probably do not hit a working gene.)

    “3. Science. I’ve mentioned only some of the known mechanisms. Science never claims to know everything (in contrast to religions and ID-type “theories”), there certainly are unknown mechanism. We see the consequences of some. For example, there is lateral gene transfer between species (we don’t know how exactly it happens), as clearly demonstrated by the spread of Monsanto’s Roundup resistance genes among unintended plants in just a few years. The same mechanism is responsible for the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in different species of bacteria within years of introduction of new antibiotics.”

    Yes, real science never claims to know everything, but evolution theoreticians claim to know that even though they have not found the mechanisms that would work, the result must be as they claim. That is exactly not science. As there is a problem in the current theory, there must be a solution, yet the solution does not necessarily need to be that the evolution theory is correct. It can just as well be that the evolution theory is incorrect. If it is not known, the case is open. On every field there seems to be questions that cannot be touched, whether it is Holocaust, 911, JFK, some issues in history, or the evolution theory. It is the supporters of these holy cows who do not do correct and honest science. Those are religions. I wonder where you took this claim (in contrast to religions and ID-type “theories”) as to me it looks like you are the anti-science and religious ones.

    “Bottom line is, science, including evolution science, is a never-ending process. Everything that claims to know the Truth with a capital T, be it religions or “theories” like ID, is BS.”

    Yes, agreed, and so far you are on the BS side trying to support a theory that does not have the essential details worked out. You could simply admit, maybe it has a problem, so maybe we do not know it.

    Darwinism spread through the great propaganda effort of Freemasons. They were not honest scientists. They were ideologists, they wanted to destroy religion because it was a pillar of the society: destroy the pillars (king, church, home) and infiltrate key areas (education, finance, media) and the house crumbles down, as it does. You have joined these people and do not even understand that it is simply brainwashing.

    Do the calculations yourself and check it you can get evolution to work on this single issue: how to find a gene for multicellular life. It appears that life uses the same gene for it and it was found once, 600 million ybp. Show that there was a reasonable probability of finding this gene starting from a single or a few original real nucleus cells. Any starting point you consider correct. You have, say 2 billion years of time, you can have the population even to 10^34, all seas full of cells. So, how likely is it that you hit a working multicellular gene as there are 2^2000 possible combinations. How many of them work as a multicellular gene? Can you answer this: is it probable? If you cannot answer, you have a gap in the theory: your theory cannot be shown to work, you cannot make a mathematical or computer model showing that it works, it is what mathematicians call hand waving, just a hypothesis.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  252. But these atheists here get extremely agitated when evolution is questioned that probably it would be hard to find similar intensity among some religious maniacs in the Middle Ages.

    Piffle. You will argue for hours about the statistics of location of some pissant gene, which is an outright assumption on your part that evolution is the proper descriptive for life on earth. You are a fussy little foreign hypocrite, obsessed with minutiae, lacking the most trivial of “big picture” skills.

    Evolution is a fact. There is no valid objection. All religion-based objections are without factual foundation, nary a smidgin. “Intelligent Design” is pure hoax, without the slightest of evidentiary support — not the SLIGHTEST.

    You religionists are welcome to your prayer groups and fellowship dinners. You are welcome to your fantasies about creation by Yahweh et al. But, don’t pass it off as “science”. It is not science; it’s bullshit.

    • Replies: @paroikos
  253. j2 says:
    @utu

    Yes, it is so. Destroy the pillars (king, church, home), no religion at all, then the population is easier to manipulate. It is not so much different form taking refugees or supporting homo rights, these all fit to the strategy that you find from an old pamphlet that was discussed in another thread. That pamphlet says: we have spread the false theories of Darwinism, Marxism, Nietzscheism so that people do not believe in God. For a reason. Earlier I always wondered why Darwinism is there, I though it was a verified scientific theory, then I made some simple calculations, not that I at that time cared of the existence of God, only of the validity of the theory. Not nice having been cheated already in school, but I also believed at that time the soap from human fat story. It is always the same, make some simple calculations of the Holocaust, 911, JFK, you get the same result. Does not work.

  254. @utu

    Notice the Dillon Sweeney troll. His comments stopped right when the Thor Baslin comments started. Very likely they are the same person.

    In Reed’s previous article, I mentioned to no one in particular that atheism itself is a faith based ideology, and that ideology too has its zealots. Dillon Sweeney spewed some pejoratives and then claimed to add me to his (very extensive, I would imagine) ignore list, completely ignorant of the fact that his reply perfectly validated my claim.

    Dillon and now Thor likely combine to have the most comments in this article, and neither have offered a single shred of actual scientific evidence to back their, beliefs, even though they claim science is on his/her/their side. They do offer, however, similar 8th grade level ad hominems.

  255. peterAUS says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    ….When a man dies he loses his body just like the animal, and thus along with it he loses his “time.” He no longer has the capacity for sensation or bodily movement. The world as we are commonly wont to consider it goes dark as we are rendered powerless by death. But then the eternal truths come forward, naked and gigantic, and all the more vivid for no longer being mediated by and diffracted through the realm of the senses. Here we see at last our true intentions, our true value in reference to that eternal world of which we were always dimly aware, and there is no place to hide. This is the “judgment of God,” and that judgment is both immediate and final….

    Wow…….

    You really believe all that?

    Lucky you.

    What’s the trick? How do you manage to believe that? What’s the secret?
    No joking, just asking.

    Had a friend, once. Two heart attacks and wouldn’t change a thing in his lifestyle, just waiting for the third. Deeply religious. Really believed in all that.
    Well, the third came, of course, and he was gone.
    But, while he was around (us), he really had good time.

    At the other hand, had, once upon a time, several deeply religious guys in my unit, when the stuff was real (or so I say).
    Now…they never volunteered for, say, bad stuff. Like, say, an assault team and such. Whenever hearing “incoming” always hitting the ground hard and fast, as the rest of us, doubters/unbelievers. Or so I say. Makes you wonder, a?

    So, again, what’s the secret?

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  256. peterAUS says:
    @GourmetDan

    ..it is obvious that ‘science’ requires just as much faith in philosophical naturalism and that will lead to impossible hypotheses every time… evolution is just as much a faith-based religious belief as creation.

    Looks like it.

  257. peterAUS says:
    @stokars

    A thoughtful, good, post.

  258. paroikos says:
    @Thor Baslim

    Thor Baslim: “ROFLMAO. Laughing helplessly at you fools….LMAO… LMFAO… We are doomed. Too many Stupids…LMFAO so hard I’m prostrate, drumming my heels on the linoleum.”

    The ass of one Stupid, prostrate on the linoleum, can always be laughed off.

  259. @MikeatMikedotMike

    In Reed’s previous article, I mentioned to no one in particular that atheism itself is a faith based ideology, and that ideology too has its zealots.

    Sorry, dude. Atheism, by definition, is not an ideology. Read a bit, fella. Don’t hang your ass out there alongside bullshit so much.

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  260. Hu Mi Yu says:
    @utu

    But these atheists here get extremely agitated when evolution is questioned that probably it would be hard to find similar intensity among some religious maniacs in the Middle Ages. I have also an impression that the agitation has some Jewish flavor. Similar schticks are used when Jewish issue are broached. Similar maniacs show up.

    You have everything backwards: probably by intelligent design.

    Unfortunately the belief in creationism (or ID) is not harmless. It impedes progress in biology and medicine. Papers are withdrawn and careers are ruined do to pressure from politically connected creationists. I myself have experienced personal threats from them.

    Creationism also fuels the myth that we are all the same inside. Subtle variations in our internal biochemistry affect far more than intelligence. It also affects the clothes we wear, and the foods we can eat to maintain our health. I have extensive food intolerances. I am sensitive to fructose and dairy products. I thrive on sauerkraut and potatoes, but American or British food makes me ill. Creationism has deep roots in these countries going back to the days of Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans. Creationist Eisenhower reorganized the US Army along the lines of Cromwell’s New Model Army including introducing the common mess. There was military conscription when I was young, and the food they fed me made me constantly ill. I was an awful soldier, and there was nothing I could do. Creationists have made me ill many many times, I take the obstinate refusal to accept proven science personally for good reason.

    There is a simple explanation for why the fallacy of creationism persists. Certain people have their egos tied up with their special relationship with God. Weaken the authority of the first few chapters of the Bible, and their claim to moral superiority is also weakened. Their deed to the Holy Land may even become falsified. So whenever the subject comes up we get the same emotional hyper reaction and trolling that comes when the “Jewish Question” is discussed. It raises the ire of not only Jews but Mormons, Baptists, and Anglican believers who cloak their religious innovations in some kind of intellectual descent from a magic scroll found in some temple ruins 2500 years ago.

    This is not science, but religion. It is not my religion. Stop shoving it down my throat.

    • Replies: @paroikos
  261. @Thor Baslim

    LMFAO so hard I’m prostrate, drumming my heels on the linoleum.

    WTF is “linoleum”? Is that like Formica?

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  262. peterAUS says:
    @MikeatMikedotMike

    His comments stopped right when the Thor Baslin comments started. Very likely they are the same person.

    Don’t say……..

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  263. @Stan d Mute

    WTF is “linoleum”? Is that like Formica?

    A relative, yes, but softer and treadable. Not to be confused with linoleic acid, which is a triglyceride ester. (try saying that three times real fast)

    All cleared up? ;-)


    Then word goes forth in Formic,
    Death’s come to Jerry McCormick,
    Our selfless forager Jerry!

  264. @peterAUS

    Don’t say……..

    There’s a chant used in American football, which isn’t at all like rugby. The chant goes:

    Mike mike mo-mike
    Ba-nan-a-nan-a bo-bike
    Mike!

    Very inspiring … the crowd roars, and Mike is tackled for a ten-yard loss on the very next play. The crowd grows quiet.

  265. @Thor Baslim

    Right on cue, Thor Sweeney.

    You believe there is no God or gods, as defined by man or otherwise. That is fine, I don’t care.

    But you do not know. And you cannot accept the fact that you do not know. But you still believe that you know. That, is your faith, your ideology; your religion. May your lord be with you.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  266. @peterAUS

    So, again, what’s the secret?

    The secret? I’m not sure. I’ve spent the last 20 years of my life studying philosophy and theology, and the last 10 trying to live as a faithful Catholic, adding prayer, fasting, scripture, the mass, the sacraments…But God can infuse faith into any soul that is open to it. The only secret I’m aware of is to do as Jesus commanded:

    Seek, and ye shall find; ask, and it shall be given you; knock, and it shall be opened to you.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  267. @MikeatMikedotMike

    And before that he was manorchurch.

    This guy gets reincarnated so often it’s a wonder he’s not Hindu.

  268. peterAUS says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    The secret? I’m not sure. I’ve spent the last 20 years of my life studying philosophy and theology, and the last 10 trying to live as a faithful Catholic, adding prayer, fasting, scripture, the mass, the sacraments…But God can infuse faith into any soul that is open to it. The only secret I’m aware of is to do as Jesus commanded:

    Seek, and ye shall find; ask, and it shall be given you; knock, and it shall be opened to you.

    O.K.

    There was, apparently, a ….change…..around 20 years ago, I presume?
    May I ask what caused it?

    As I said in one of (related) comments: knew a guy who..saw….something. That was the change.
    Some other people had that change as some other… things,events, whatever.

    In your case?
    Or I presume wrong.

  269. peterAUS says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Not so sure about it.
    Just a guy with a…..doubt.

    Some people simply can’t have it.

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  270. paroikos says:
    @Thor Baslim

    “Evolution is a fact.” But any evolutionary fundamentalist will remind you that the “fact” didn’t exist until life first appeared in the Hadean eon, billions and billions of yeas ago. They’ll insist abiogenesis is not a part of the evolutionist paradigm which oversees all biodiversity—and has taken its time to mindlessly engender the brain, consciousness. and cognition.

    Your evolvoid fundies will claim molecular change in genes is the engine driving biological evolution, but only _after_ the line between non-life and life had been crossed. They’re committed to a faith that information (a non-material entity) was once miraculously imparted, somehow, to dead matter.

    For them, “life” arrived out of “non-life” endowed with a ‘primitive’ code (a system of signals) which was inclined to super-encode itself (given the proper conditions) into increasingly complex codes, and increasingly complex life forms. Evolution began, then, with an immaterial, magic moment.

    So your evolution “fact” is an origins disinformation schtick wearing a “science” clown-suit…, and “it’s laughing so hard it’s prostrate, drumming its heels on the linoleum.”

  271. paroikos says:
    @Hu Mi Yu

    Hu Mi Yu complains, “There was military conscription when I was young, and the food they fed me made me constantly ill.”

    But you know it wasn’t “the food.” It was related to your holy faith in the eternal truths of Evolutia: “1) the change in the gene pool of a population due to chance, 2) the gain or loss of alleles from a population by the movement of individuals or gametes into or out of the population, and 3) the different success in reproduction by different phenotypes resulting from interactions with the environment.”

    Truly, anyone whose entire life is keyed to the overwhelming sanctity of these articles will share your sensitivities as a happenstantial bag of primordial Star Dust, and will know you are going to have a hard time keeping the military grub down.

    Not to worry… the great, loving Natural Selector which operates your belief system knew all about this.

  272. Intelligent design is clearly far more plausible than evolution, though it does not exclude evolution as well. The problem is with the baggage it brings along. Intelligent design does not require a white-bearded man busily toiling away in his workshop. Nor does it require a plan that works itself out in history.

    One thing we can say for certain: DNA does not play the role confidently assigned to it. Cell differentiation, through which a cell becomes an organism, and through which natural selection must operate, is not determined by DNA. Since all the cells in an organism, though extensively differentiated, carry the same DNA, DNA cannot be the cause of cell differentiation.

    Also, the existence of identical twins, which occur when the zygote, at first mitosis, separates into two cells rather than sticking together, reveals an inevitable adaptation of the plan to environment. Two complete beings rather than one develop because of this physical separation. If a merely mechanical process were in operation this couldn’t happen.

    The healing of minor wounds, restoring the organism to its original form, also indicate both a plan and what might even be called the consciousness of the designer. For, clearly, the organism, responding to the wound, initiates what can be quite an elaborate repair procedure that wouldn’t occur otherwise.

    The problem here is that all action for a purpose is indistinguishable from the mechanical reproduction of all the motions taken during that action. Since they operate mechanically, these machines operate without purpose though they produce the purpose, as it were, by chance. Those inclined to see everything as mechanical can overlook the obviously purposive, for its outward signs are subtle, and can be mechanically approximated. Thus such people are easily able to see everything as mechanical.

    But nothing really supports the idea that some designer long ago made life in order to work out some purpose through human history. Far more likely is the ancient belief that a “being” in our case a human being, manifests for a purpose that succeeds or fails with each of us. In other words the designer is immanent, and in a very real sense, ourselves, not some God who hammered out the world in the past. For it is clear that the design is being carried out from the moment of inception if not before.

    But we should realize that the mere fact that we ourselves can act for a purpose challenges the whole scientific structure. Science is a project to abolish Aristotle’s final cause through substitution of the mechanical for purposive action.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  273. @Intelligent Dasein

    Ah yes, manochurch. I remember he was the moron arguing that the definition of responsibility was a woman getting an (subsidized) abortion after becoming undesirably pregnant.

    This troubled individual would come across more sensible if he were to just rake the keyboard across his face several times before clicking on the “publish comment” button.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  274. @peterAUS

    LOL yeah, and Jeffrey Dahmer was just a guy… who was hungry.

  275. @j2

    Sorry, but this is revealing. The biologists know that there is no such thing as a gene of multicellularity. In fact, the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms happened many times independently, once in green algae, possibly independently of that in brown and red algae, certainly independently in fungi, certainly independently in animals (Metazoa). In some cases we have transition forms. Dictyostelium discoideum (belonging to Amoebazoa) lives as a single-cell organism like all amoebae, but then transforms into a multicellular slug and then into a fruiting body that produces spores. The closest to Metazoa filum is Choanoflagellates, where some species, such as Monosiga brevicolis, are colonial organisms: not quite unicellular, but not true multicellular with distinct specialized cell types. The most primitive true animal, Trichoplax adhaerens, has very few cell types. Yet most of its ~11,500 genes have clear homologs in more developed animals, including us. They have a lot of proteins very similar in amino acid sequence and 3D structure to yours, fulfilling the same functions.

    Also, any biologist knows that bacteria, which mostly reproduce by cell division, also engage in gene transfer similar to sexual reproduction by exchanging their DNA via conjugative (sex) pili.

    Again, the view of religion as Christianity (otherwise why talk about Freemasons, which are a semi-Christian sect, like Mormons) is hopelessly parochial. The majority of living humans are not Christians, and don’t even belong to the three religious branches that came from Jewish religion, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. There are thousands of different religions, each with its own set of fairy tales. Frankly, I don’t see why Jewish fairy tales (the Bible) should be considered any better than Hindu, Buddhist, Maya, Shinto, or Navajo fairy tales. If you take the moral angle, the only major religion not guilty of mass murder is Buddhism (at least if we exclude violent Tibetan branch).

    Evolution is a fruitful hypothesis in biology that explains more than any other and allows designing experiments. These yield data that do or do not support certain ideas. Biological science moves forward. As to God or any other kind of Intelligent Designer, I can repeat what Laplace said about his proposed model of the Solar system: I had no need of that hypothesis.

    • Replies: @j2
  276. @MikeatMikedotMike

    You believe there is no God or gods, as defined by man or otherwise.

    Minor correction: I KNOW to an absolute certainty there are no gods as defined by man.

    That is fine, I don’t care.

    It is an irrelevancy, at best.

    But you do not know.

    Well, yes I do. You do not. Not my problem.

    That, is your faith, your ideology; your religion.

    Not at all. Knowing is not faith. Ideology is not religion.

  277. @MikeatMikedotMike

    This troubled individual would come across more sensible if he were to just rake the keyboard across his face several times before clicking on the “publish comment” button.

    Damn, just like high school, huh? Sorry,Very Important In-Group Kool Kid Guys, I’m not good enough for your clique. But, I really admire your classiness.

  278. j2 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    “Sorry, but this is revealing. The biologists know that there is no such thing as a gene of multicellularity. In fact, the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms happened many times independently, once in green algae, possibly independently of that in brown and red algae, certainly independently in fungi, certainly independently in animals (Metazoa)”

    Actually all biologists do not know that, as one announced that the gene is the retinoblastoma gene RB1. I am just referring to what biologists claim. (but of course, they are not that smart, I know a mathematician who had to teach biologists mathematics, she thought biology and economy students were the greatest antitalents of all her students). A transition from single cell to multicellular happened many times, but the claim of this biologist was that you always find the RB1 gene. Assuming this is not so, it only demonstrates the low level of science in the field since this biologist announced it to the public.

    What is revealing is that you cannot answer what I asked. How probable is it to find a gene for multicellular life, say RB1 gene. (Check this up, inserting RB1 gene to a single cell relative of a certain bacteria turns it to a multicellular form). You have the size of this gene, you claim that evolution is a theory, so you must be able to estimate how many mutations are needed, you have a fairly good estimate for a mutation rate, you know how many combinations there can be, so: is it probable or not. How many genes like RB1 there are to select from? Do not try to divert the discussion to some other topic. This is a very simple question and a very simple test of if there is a theory of evolution, or only a hypothesis of evolution, type of hand waving theory. Just limit yourself to such phyla where you find the RB1 gene, if you want. Simply, answer this.

    Science originates as European science, it is not based on Hindu, Buddhist, Maya, Shinto, or Navajo traditions. This European science is closely tied to Enlightenment ideas, which include removing the need for God, as they saw the Church as a repressive element for free through. What you see still today is this ideology, which at that time was believed to be science, but contained many fully ideological issues. It is not all science, especially when it touches religion. You, maybe coming from another culture, do not know this, but there is much ideology hidden in European science. You have for instance researchers who claim to study consciousness and tell you how it comes from brain organization – that is simply ideology. They just want to say that there is no mind because they think mind is a religious concept.

    “Evolution is a fruitful hypothesis in biology that explains more than any other and allows designing experiments. These yield data that do or do not support certain ideas. Biological science moves forward.”

    If this is what you mean, then you admit that there is no evolution theory, development of life by the mechanisms suggested by the evolution theory is a fruitful hypothesis. That is, it is a hypothesis, not a proven theory. Results of experiments created using this hypothesis do and do not support certain ideas, which can be proven. This is natural for a fruitful hypothesis and nobody claims anything against it. You can have a fruitful false theory, like Newtonian physics. The question was, is it a proven scientific theory or not. Should the evolution theory be thought as a fact?

    “As to God or any other kind of Intelligent Designer, I can repeat what Laplace said about his proposed model of the Solar system: I had no need of that hypothesis.”

    You do not need the hypothesis, like Laplace did not need the hypothesis, since you do not try to solve problems where you would need the hypothesis. I worked mostly in technical and mathematical topics and certainly did not need the hypothesis of God. That does not imply that an Intelligent Designer may not be needed to explain evolution. As you already admitted, for you the evolution theory is a fruitful hypothesis, so you have not made a proven theory of evolution. Probably you have not even tried to prove it, to make it a sound theory. If you had tried, maybe you would need an Intelligent Designer. I did try for some hours to see if the evolution theory works and found a serious looking problem immediately. I so far have not decided that the best fix to this problem is imposing an Intelligent Designer, I have only notice the need for intelligent mutations. An Intelligent Designer could do the trick, but maybe there is some other solution. You need such assumptions only if you try to solve problems where such assumptions are relevant. (What I actually found is that I found no written proof. If I try to check a mathematical proof, I do find the proof written with all the details and then there may be an error or not. Here is it only that people like you assure that it is a sound theory and suggest that they know of biology, but where is the exact theory? It is irrelevant if you know more of biology, where is the proof?)

    You have not needed the assumption of a mind. However, if you would work in law, you would have to assume that people have a mind and they can be responsible for their acts. Then you could define some special cases when a person is out of his mind and not responsible for his acts. Laplace did not need the assumption of a mind, I did not need it in my research, probably you did not need it. It does not imply the assumption is not needed in some other field and in solving some problems.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
    , @AnonFromTN
  279. JoAnnF says:
    @Thor Baslim

    That’s quite proof of my point – shit beast cannot see outside box, much less look at box from outside, so it would consider outside perspectives as skewed or unhinged and try to describe/define them from inside its simplistic logic. There you are – and of course we can never really connect. I would be aghast if that happened. Thanks for your valuable participation, have fun inside your hermetic paradise.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  280. @JoAnnF

    That’s quite proof of my point – shit beast cannot see outside box,

    We agree. You cannot see outside your box.

    As for the rest, it’s a Venn-like thing. Some boxes overlap. I’m sure you appear quite charming and intelligent in person.

  281. @j2

    You are quite bonkers, j2.

    Just for variety, spend another thousand wandering paragraphs presenting proof of “Intelligent Design Theory”.

    I’m sure it’s fascinating, and logically unassailable.

    • Replies: @j2
    , @j2
  282. j2 says:
    @Thor Baslim

    “Just for variety, spend another thousand wandering paragraphs presenting proof of “Intelligent Design Theory”.”

    Sure Thor, you want another proof. I will make this a short as I can, and also for AnonFromTN. Let us take the Cenozoic era. This era started in 65 million years ago, after the sauri disappeared in a catastrophe. In 10-15 million years 14 new orders of mammals appeared. They shared an origin, but clearly had many different genes. How do you explain these new genes appeared by random mutations?

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
    , @anonymous
  283. j2 says:
    @Thor Baslim

    “Just for variety, spend another thousand wandering paragraphs presenting proof of “Intelligent Design Theory”.”

    Sure Thor, you want another proof. I will make this a short as I can, and also for AnonFromTN. Let us take the Cenozoic era. This era started in 65 million years ago, after the sauri disappeared in a catastrophe. In 10-15 million years 14 new orders of mammals appeared. They shared an origin, but clearly had many different genes. How do you explain your claim that these new genes appeared by random mutations? I mean, that is what the evolution theory claims.

    As you may not be so familiar with mutations, so the mutation rate is 0.5*10^-9 mutations per bp per year. If we only want one mutation (one SNP), then you get it easily: if your population is say 100 million, you want one mutation in an intron of size 100 bp, then there is one mutation in an intron every 0.5*10^-7 years and in this population of 10^8 you get 5 mutations in some intron in a year. But if you want 30 mutations in an intron to change an intron of the base species to an intron of a species of a new order or animals, you have to have an average number of mutations in the population very close to 30. That takes 30% of 2 billion years. (Think why the average must be so high. Exercise to you.)

    Am I going too fast? It is hard explaining to people who have no background in mathematics. So, it is Poisson arrivals (constant arrival rate) for mutations, each base pair can be considered as an independent server, so use the formulae from loss systems and you get the correct results. Hope this helps, I really cannot help you if you know absolutely nothing of stochastic processes. But trust me, my calculation is correct. I did that kind of math for a long time. Just start from what I wrote.

    Agreed then, it is 30% of 2 billion years to get the introns. How in the world are you going to get these introns my mutations when there is only 65 million years? I suggest one solution, you must get them from earlier life that is not in your lineage, like from infections. Or, if you please, this whole mutation model is nonsense.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  284. @j2

    Let us take the Cenozoic era. This era started in 65 million years ago, after the sauri disappeared in a catastrophe. In 10-15 million years 14 new orders of mammals appeared.

    LOL. The big lizards were wiped out, and mammals filled the niche. In 15 million years, there were a lot more mammals.

    Now, j-san, you DO realize, do you not, that your words directly support evolution theory, not Intelligent Design? I mean, by your own words are you set free — know what I mean?

    Now, you get to work on proving Intelligent Design. Trot it out. I’m listening.

    • Replies: @j2
  285. @j2

    No, j-san, not attempted rebuttals of evolution. Nonononono …. let’s see PROOF of Intelligent Design.

    Got it now? No one else has proved so much as one trivial element of Intelligent Design Theory. You could be famous, real soon. Sky’s the limit, j-san. Get cracking!

  286. Consider the horn of the rhinoceros. At the forlorn level of National Geographic or NPR, there is nothing mysterious here. The horn obviously evolved so that the rhino could defend itself against lions. (“So that” raises questions of purpose, which run through evolutionism, but we will here let it drop.) All right, that makes sense. Except that it doesn’t.

    Not at all. All that was necessary was a preference for a big horn on the part of female Rhino’s.

    That said. Darwin’s theory of evolution seems to be widely misunderstood, for various reasons, by various people. Darwin did not comment on the origin of life. Darwin did not comment on the origin of the universe.

    Mixing Darwin’s theory of evolution with some theory of the origin of life or the origin of the universe is a mistake. Either accidental, or deliberate.

    Darwin’s theory of the evolution of species, and indeed speciation, is a subset of a much wider theory. That theory is the theory of feedback loops. It has no famous person named for it, as far as I know. Assigning names is the purview of the University systems. Cycles per second are now known as Hertz, for example.

    Feedback loops can be either positive or negative. A positive feedback loop is one whereby an action or event causes a reaction which, in itself reinforces the original action or event. A negative feedback loop is one whereby an action or event causes a reaction, which in itself denigrates from and lessens the original action or event.

    Feedback loops exist everywhere in nature. A negative feedback loop exists between the wings of an airplane and the tail mounted elevator. Which makes flight possible. Which makes airports necessary. Which makes pilots necessary. Which opens the skies to intercontinental transport of germs, among other things. Which leads to the need for more medical research funding. All that complexity just because of a silly feedback loop.

    When the audio system in an auditorium squeals outrageously, it is an example of a positive feedback loop. Modern video games are an example of a feedback loop. The bad guy pops up on your screen, and you shoot him. Action, reaction, feedback.

    Feedback loops of necessity are time dependent. The feedback occurs after the initial action or event. In the case of Darwin’s theory of evolution the feedback occurs over multiple generations. Those things that aid in the production of the next generation are positive feedbacks and those things that detract from the production of the next generation are negative feedbacks.

    Crucifixion of Darwin is unjustified.

    As far as the origin of the universe is concerned, you need to check Genesis minus 1.1.

  287. @j2

    First off, science does not deal in proven theories. There are theories that explain available evidence better than all others that exist today, but this does not mean that they are eternally proven. Evolution is one of these theories. In science theory and hypothesis are essentially synonyms: usually something narrow is called a hypothesis, whereas more comprehensive complex hypotheses are called theories. Neither kind is considered eternal.

    Newton’s physics is not wrong, it was shown by Einstein’s physics to be applicable in a narrow set of conditions, when the speeds of movement are relatively low, much lower than the speed of light, so that speed-dependent changes in mass and time can be ignored. This does not mean that Einstein’s mechanics is proven forever, it will also be replaced by the next theory in due time.

    The existence of one mad, ignorant, and/or fake scientist shows nothing about science. There were many mad and/or ignorant supporters of ID spewing pure BS (including this thread), but in and of itself this does not discredit ID.

    One last note: math is fundamentally different from natural sciences, as it creates its own world. In that world final incontrovertible proof is possible, whereas in the real world it is not. Even in math proof usually specifies the conditions under which something proven is true.

    To summarize, the idea of evolution explains >100 times more facts than the idea of ID. Most of these facts are known to specialists, but not to the general public. Hence the popularity of religions and ID-like “theories”. Besides, religions and their modern reincarnations like ID are psychologically necessary for ignorant and/or infantile people, as they provide a “father figure”. All gods created by men satisfy this need, but that does not change the fact that all of them were created by men. Nature is complex and scary for the ignorant, so what? After all, you don’t need to understand how your TV set works to watch it. You don’t need to know any biology to produce children. Mice do it even better than humans. Life goes on.

    • Replies: @hyperbola
    , @j2
  288. macilrae says:
    @GourmetDan

    We should remember that whenever the term ‘scientific’ is used, it means ‘philosphical naturalism’… the belief that the natural, observable universe is all that exists. If the natural, observable universe is NOT all that exists, the focus on a ‘scientific’ answer will return an incorrect answer… every time.

    Yes of course – but what is for sure is that our definition of the ‘natural observable universe’ will necessarily expand as science progresses. Consider the original concept of the ‘flat earth’ and how humans could not ‘scientifically’ conceive of how it would ever end – nowadays we seem to have rejected the idea of a closed universe and, in a similar way, struggle to comprehend what lies beyond that which we can observe (and, as we believe today, beyond that which we can ever observe). Future generations may find this an easy concept.

    I learned my physics back in the 1960s and today’s particle physics appears to me to border on the occult.

  289. j2 says:
    @Thor Baslim

    I have not said anything that I support Intelligent Design, what ever that is, or Creationism. I have only said that the evolution theory has a mathematical problem in getting new introns, that is, protein-coding parts of genes. I have no intention of proving that some alternative theory is correct, as I have not made an alternative theory (I only looked at this problem for some hours), it is you who should prove that the evolution theory works, as you claim there is a theory of evolution and it works.

    So, as you claim that the evolution theory is a scientific theory and correct, explain to me how new mammalian species in the beginning of the Cenozoic era got new introns to 14 different orders of mammals. The time frame is 15 million years, from 65 million years ago to 50 million years ago. When I try to calculate how long it takes to make a new intron by mutations with the agreed mutation rate, I always get times on the range of a billion years, and here is only 15 million years. This is a simple mathematical subproblem. Just show that there is a solution to this simple problem. I am not asking you to explain how life came out of non-life, just only how mammals got new protein-coding parts to their genes in a very specific time period. Just explain why it was not impossibly improbable, that’s all. This much you must be able to explain.

    I do not need to show anything, it is not me who claims to have a theory of evolution. It is you who claims to know that the theory of evolution is a correct, proven, scientific theory. I only ask an innocent question that I do not get the calculations to match, you must show that they do match.

    Notice that my words do not at all indicate that I support the evolution theory. I have tried to get the evolution theory to work, so in this effort I accept all the concepts from the evolution theory and give them every possible chance. I am as understanding as can be towards the theory. I even invented a working way how many mutations could be accumulating to genes without the organism dying because of these mutations. Yet, for all my efforts to get your favorite theory working, I did not get it working. It seems to have a serious problem with probability and none of you evolution theory supporters seem to be able to solve this problem. I have to conclude that it is not a working theory.

    If you want to know what I in reality think, it is that life has developed from previous life, but not through random mutations. We have consciousness, which we would not need to have, but we have it. I think there is more to the reality than we see and the evolution theory is essentially wrong. If I ever create an alternative theory, I will let you know, but so far I have none.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
    , @anonymous
  290. hyperbola says:
    @j2

    The point is that there are many ways of producing changes in “genes” (DNA sequences) beyond the rather dated “SNP” hypothesis of one mutation at a time. Various kinds of “shuffling” of large segments of DNA are likely to be more important than SNPs in producing large changes.

    • Replies: @j2
  291. hyperbola says:
    @AnonFromTN

    You have more patience with J2 than I!

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  292. j2 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Firstly, I notice that you have not answered by question how you get the new introns. If you believe that the evolution theory has the solution, then you should answer this question. That is, I claim that according to my calculations your theory does not work. Surely you must respond by showing me beyond any doubt that your theory does work and I have made some error. This is not so only in mathematics. It is so in every field of science. Take history. I claim that in my calculation pharaoh Ahmose I lived 100 years earlier and your theory is wrong. Surely you respond by showing why your chronology is more correct than mine. In no field can somebody come to say that this theory has an error and the supporters of the theory cannot explain that it has no error. But I come and say that I found a problem and you did not explain where I have the error. This shows that you do not have a theory, only hand waving.

    Then you say that scientific theories are always hand waving as we never can know the absolute truth. It is not so. In more exact field scientific theories are not hypothesis, they allow calculation of variables and these calculations match with reality. Thus, there is Quantum ElectroDynamics (QED). Calculations from that theory match with measurements to a very high degree. Furthermore, the theory has a fairly sound mathematical basis. If in that theory I would pose a question that in my calculations this cannot work since the probability is too small, it would turn out that my calculations have an error. That theory works. The same is true with theories in chemistry. It is also true in many areas of biology. It is not possible to know the absolute truth, but most scientific theories are not hand waving, like the theory of evolution is. Of course some are, like the economy theory in Marxism, psychoanalysis and so on. But they are know to be false.

    The evolution theory is an ideological claim. It claims that life was born from non-life without explaining how, it claims that life developed through the methods of evolution, though there are several problems in it. The main motivation for this theory was to discard the biblical creation story, not a very scientific motive. It was not invented by Charles Darwin, it was invented by Erasmus Darwin (Freemason by the way), his grandfather, who had no proof to it, so Charles wrote a book where he pretends to have a proof, or good arguments for the theory. If you read the book, you soon realize that the book does not prove what it pretends to prove. Later versions of the evolution theory still have this ideological basis.

    What Darwin did show (though it was already known to e.g. Cuvier) is that God did not create every species separately within six natural days, but that life has developed from life. But he did not find the mechanims that creates new species, so the book is inaptly entitled, the Origins of Species. That problem is not solved in the book.

    You seem to think that it is better if people believe in the evolution theory as it explains 100 times more than some other theory, like ID. I would say, it is best if people do not believe in any of these theories but understand that there is no solution to the question how life developed, and that scientists can so far answer only some subquestions, but not the whole question. I think it is very bad if people are told by scientists that the question of the origin of life is answered in the evolution theory when it is not. That is what we call cheating.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  293. When various thinkers rejected creation by a god as an explanation for life as we experience it, others offered their own explanations, such as Darwinism, that fulfilled 2 functions: ensure that god based explanations could not creep back in, and that a satisfying explanation was available to those who desired it.

    Unfortunately, as Fred points out, the new explanations turned out to be quite unsatisfactory. But a general attitude of “any non-theistic explanation is better than none” was adopted by most intellectuals and many people spend a great deal of energy defending this position.

    But the question I have is this: why do we insist that an explanation is necessary? We are very good at describing many phenomena in the world we experience, but when we attempt to explain some of them we come up with strained and implausible stories. Certainly our explanations of many phenomena have practical or predictive powers, hence the reverence we have for many of the sciences. But when we espoused a theory, such as Darwinism, whose predictive powers are almost zero, we treat it with even greater reverence. Why? Is it because we have a strong desire to explain our existence? Certainly. But when our attempt at explanation fails, we double down because we cannot abide the idea that we have not the foggiest clue how we, as we perceive ourselves, came to exist.

    Darwinism and its related theories are our way of fending off the horror that grips us when we realize that we exist and that we will die and that there is nothing before or after our brief lives. The happy clappy sentimentality that accompanies media ‘just so’ stories about our evolutionary origins should make us laugh out loud at their inanity. But they don’t because they function as a precious surrogate for the religious beliefs we have discarded. Evolution is a scientifically sexed up creationism. Believe it if you must. Self deception is, after all, our goto way of coping.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  294. @j2

    So, as you claim that the evolution theory is a scientific theory and correct, explain to me how new mammalian species in the beginning of the Cenozoic era got new introns to 14 different orders of mammals.

    Yes, evolution theory explains best and predicts best, over and over and over again. What’s more, it succeeds over all alternative theory in explaining and predicting, over and over and over again.

    Speaking for my own opinion, I find it difficult to believe that someone would expend the sheer volume of words that you have written in vain attempt to “disprove” evolution. Astounding, frankly. Were it me, I would go a different route, you know? Like, proving and/or providing incontrovertible evidence of some other process by which earthly fauna speciates. You know what I mean? Kinda like investigative science instead of denials of certain fragments of evolutionary science?

    As an aside, I noted your obsessive and voluminous inventions regarding the JFK assassination. It is pure and evidence-free invention. Some might even call it “wild-ass invention”, just like your evolution, er, research.

    But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Fortunately, there’s no gun to my head, forcing me to read it.

    • Replies: @j2
  295. peterAUS says:
    @Lamplighter

    A very good post.

    The crux of all this, as you say:

    ….Self deception is, after all, our goto way of coping.

  296. @Thor Baslim

    As science advances, it seems “time” is being relegated to being more a “property” of mass and energy than an immutable, dimensionless constant of the continuum per se. Time does not occur without events, and events do not occur without some transition in state of matter or energy. Further, relative motion between masses affects the measure of time. Perhaps time and space are properties of mass, as space (location?) does not exist unless there is mass present.

    It seems obvious that, if time did not exist before the ‘big bang’, there is no way for anything to ‘happen’… since ‘happening’ requires time…

    No time = no ‘big bang’…

    ‘Scientifically-speaking’… of course… lol…

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
  297. @j2

    What Darwin did show (though it was already known to e.g. Cuvier) is that God did not create every species separately within six natural days, but that life has developed from life. But he did not find the mechanims that creates new species, so the book is inaptly entitled, the Origins of Species. That problem is not solved in the book.

    What we can actually observe is reproduction after kinds… a kind being a group of interbreeding species which fragment into even more interbreeding species as they adapt to ever more diverse environments… exactly as The Book maintains… lol…

  298. On rhino horns, you can see from the silhouettes of existing rhinos on slide 6 here that the horn does not have to be long or pointy to be useful. It can grow up incrementally.

    As for how it got started, it’s right to be skeptical that keratin happened right there for no reason. After all, we don’t see a bunch of other animals growing thick hair pads in random spots. Ruminants like goats, cows, and antelopes do seem to have a genetic pathway for developing horns. They start with bone protusions and the keratin thickens over them. (Giraffes have the bone protusions, without the keratin.)

    Rhinos aren’t ruminants, but just because you can’t think of a way for the horn process to get started, doesn’t mean a scientist delving into the details wouldn’t. Maybe there were two species of rhinos in one historical spot and a minor forehead change helped them identify their own species. Maybe they used it to scratch each other. Maybe natural selection benefited stronger toenails and the keratin gene got overexpressed. We know for sure that the horn didn’t just spring into place ready-formed; that would falsify the theory of evolution by natural selection. But there are a lot of ways it could have formed by many small fitness-increasing steps.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  299. @Noumenon72

    Rhinos aren’t ruminants, but just because you can’t think of a way for the horn process to get started, doesn’t mean a scientist delving into the details wouldn’t. Maybe there were two species of rhinos in one historical spot and a minor forehead change helped them identify their own species. Maybe they used it to scratch each other. Maybe natural selection benefited stronger toenails and the keratin gene got overexpressed. We know for sure that the horn didn’t just spring into place ready-formed; that would falsify the theory of evolution by natural selection. But there are a lot of ways it could have formed by many small fitness-increasing steps.

    Evolution is simply the triumph of credulity over incredulity…

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Noumenon72
  300. peterAUS says:
    @GourmetDan

    Evolution is simply the triumph of credulity over incredulity…

    Couldn’t agree more.

    At the other hand, some people could, also, say:

    Major organized religions are simply the triumph of credulity over incredulity…

    Those are, probably, around 1 % percent of population of this planet, tops.
    Irrelevant.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  301. @GourmetDan

    It seems obvious that, if time did not exist before the ‘big bang’, there is no way for anything to ‘happen’… since ‘happening’ requires time…

    No, events do not require time. Events create time. Time is a dependent function of mass and velocity events, not the other way around.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  302. @Thor Baslim

    No, events do not require time. Events create time. Time is a dependent function of mass and velocity events, not the other way around.

    Clearly, events require time in order to be an ‘event’… if time is a dependent function of mass and velocity… by what mechanism do events ‘create’ time?

  303. @peterAUS

    Major organized religions are simply the triumph of credulity over incredulity…

    Credulity is the belief that events require no prime mover… not the other way around…

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  304. peterAUS says:
    @GourmetDan

    …..not the other way around…

    Hehe…..
    Naturally.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  305. @Thor Baslim

    “Sky Maniac” is so BCE. I prefer “Sky Pilot” for its universal appeal and “go get ‘em” imagery.

    The New Nonsense version of the Sky Wizard is such a departure from the ‘foundational’ version in the Old Nonsense, that they are clearly different (fictional) characters.

    The folks whose forebears made up the story of the Sky Maniac, were still slaughtering animals and sprinkling their blood on the altar (and on each others’ ears and toes – the fuck?) right up until the Bar Kochba revolt – which was 40 years after GodMan[1] got nailed to a tree.

    So the guys who should have known, certainly still thought that the Maniac was in charge.

    Also… given that GodMan claimed (Matthew 5:18) that he didn’t want to change ‘a jot or tittle’ of the debauched Old Nonsense, it is weird that his version of the Sky Wizard – his FatherSelf[2] – had toned down the genocide, rape, incest and slavery.

    Why would a ‘perfect being’ change so radically?

    I’m not buying it: it smacks of revisionism and/or marketing.

    .

    As to ‘time’: it will turn out that science’s best guess (that it’s an irreversible ‘arrow’) is wrong, just as it will turn out that other significant parts of the model are wrong.

    The current model will be wrong in ways that derive from our inability to directly observe (and interact with) anything except R³⁺ (space-time) – in much the same way that the stupid stories invented by a Bronze Age bunch of nomadic goatherds had shortcomings that resulted from their ignorance of how stuff works.

    Imagine a Bushman trying to develop a theory of how a mobile phone works: they won’t get remotely close to a useful ‘model’.

    Again though, the difference is that science is specifically interested in getting the model right; the people who invent religions are interested in forcing everybody to accept a stated model – any questioning results in significant life-altering unpleasantness.

    When some clever chappie develops a better model where T is just another dimension, and that model is a better explanation of how stuff works… nobody will demand that the Nobel Committee set him on fire.

    [1] The dude who was the outcome of God raping Joseph’s fiancée.
    [2] The dude who did the raping that generated [1].

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  306. Clearly, events require time in order to be an ‘event’… if time is a dependent function of mass and velocity… by what mechanism do events ‘create’ time?

    1. No, events do not require time. Quantum changes, for example, are instantaneous. Polarity change in a light beam is instantaneous.

    2. By what mechanism does gravity operate? What makes gravity? How does that which makes gravity make gravity? Does gravity take time to have effect? (FYI, no, it doesn’t.)

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  307. @peterAUS

    Hehe…..
    Naturally.

    If no prime mover… by what mechanism… just because?

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  308. @Thor Baslim

    1. No, events do not require time. Quantum changes, for example, are instantaneous. Polarity change in a light beam is instantaneous.

    2. By what mechanism does gravity operate? What makes gravity? How does that which makes gravity make gravity? Does gravity take time to have effect? (FYI, no, it doesn’t.)

    It is obvious that even ‘instantaneous’ events require time… a time before the ‘event’ and a time after the ‘event’… no time… no ‘event’…

  309. @hyperbola

    Biology teaches you patience. Although in this case I guess the patience of a psychiatrist would be more appropriate. Their most important dictum is “never argue with a patient”. I am not a psychiatrist, so I wash my hands off that “j2” person.

  310. @Kratoklastes

    Hey, Christian nonsense (Jewish fairy tales in two parts that constitute the Bible) is no better, but also no worse than the nonsense of other religions, large and small (Hindu, Buddhism, Shinto, Chinese folk religion, Norse religion, Russian original religion, Greek or Roman religion, ancient Egyptian stuff, Navajo, Maya, Inca, Pueblo Indian’s tales, etc.). In all of these tales the God (sometimes plural) dude is a genocidal maniac prone to rape and do other “nice” things you can think of (sometimes things so depraved that you can’t even think of: consider Lot and his wife and daughters, or the flood story in the Bible). Enlightened Buddhas might be the only exception, as Buddhism (with its infinite number of gods) is a somewhat more civilized version of Hundu tales.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
    , @Kratoklastes
  311. peterAUS says:
    @GourmetDan

    ….by what mechanism….

    Maybe the question we simply aren’t capable of answering.

    Maybe.

    That tiny minority can’t, I mean. 1 %. The rest can, no prob. They are so smart…..
    Or faithful.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  312. @AnonFromTN

    In all of these tales the God (sometimes plural) dude is a genocidal maniac prone to rape and do other “nice” things you can think of (sometimes things so depraved that you can’t even think of: consider Lot and his wife and daughters, or the flood story in the Bible). Enlightened Buddhas might be the only exception, as Buddhism (with its infinite number of gods) is a somewhat more civilized version of Hundu tales.

    In ‘all of these tales’… does God die for you?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Anonymous
  313. anonymous[121] • Disclaimer says:
    @j2

    In 10-15 million years 14 new orders of mammals appeared. They shared an origin, but clearly had many different genes. How do you explain these new genes appeared by random mutations?

    Not really understanding your point here, as there’s too much speculation involved. At any rate, I imagine that the first thing we’d have to do is establish how many different genes there were. Then we’d have to figure out which points of said genes differed from the genes of their “purported” predecessors, and then we’d have to figure out how much of that difference was due to novel mutations that occurred after the K-T event, and how much was due to selection on mutations that occurred prior to the K-T boundary. As there is no way of obtaining 50+ million year old DNA, this discussion seems rather pointless to me..

    • Replies: @j2
  314. anonymous[121] • Disclaimer says:
    @j2

    When I try to calculate how long it takes to make a new intron by mutations with the agreed mutation rate, I always get times on the range of a billion years, and here is only 15 million years.

    1 generation = new point mutations = new intron variants

    Lots of mammal generations over 15 million years = lots of new intron variants.

    Where in the world are you getting a billion years from?

    • Replies: @j2
  315. @peterAUS

    Maybe the question we simply aren’t capable of answering.

    Or more likely… don’t like the answer…

  316. @GourmetDan

    You mean the story where God sacrificed his own son to himself, ostensibly to expiate human sins? Do you find a personage who sacrifices his son to himself attractive? God help you then!

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  317. j2 says:
    @Thor Baslim

    Ok, I promised to give you an alternative theory if I make one. So here you have one, the first creation story in the Bible is as correct as a vision can be:

    http://www.pienisalaliittotutkimus.com/2018/08/06/evolution-of-species-in-the-cenozoic-era/

    Hope you like it, it is more scientific than the evolution theory in the sense that it does not try to hide the problems and does suggest a solution.

  318. j2 says: • Website
    @anonymous

    What you write is that it is easy to get single mutations, SNPs. That is true, but it is hard to get many mutations to a single intron or gene. See this, probably you are not so familiar with stochastic processes, otherwise you would know this. Lots of biologists are weak in math. Hope I manage to explain.

    Constant mutation rate a=0.5*10^-9 mutations per bp per year is Poisson arrival process. In order to get several mutations to one intron, let us for instance say 10 mutations to a 100 bp intron, you can calculate how probable it is in the time T. It is
    P_n=(aT)^n (1/n!) exp (-aT)
    Insert T=15 million and n=10 and you see that the probability is extremely small. You only get the probability reasonably large by putting T=0.1*2 billion years.

    The reason for this is that in the Poisson arrival process the number of arrivals fluctates only very little around the average. Large variations from the average are very improbable. If your average is practically zero, as with T=15 million years and the a above, then you cannot get a single intron that has 10 mutations. You do get a reasonable probability of having one mutation, and if your population size is larger, you get more single mutations. But if you want say 30 mutations, your population size has practically no effect, since the probability of 30 mutations in an intron is so small that you cannot have a so large population to give this number of mutations to even a single intron.

    Hope this explains to you why getting SNPs is easy, but getting many mutations to an intron is hard. Insert numbers to the Poisson formula above and check.

    There however is a way: the mutation rate may have been much larger when the sun passed the spiral arms of the Milky Way. This leaves another problem. See my post on Cenozoic era in the blog. In religion as the evolution theory is religion.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  319. j2 says:
    @anonymous

    “Not really understanding your point here, as there’s too much speculation involved. At any rate, I imagine that the first thing we’d have to do is establish how many different genes there were. Then we’d have to figure out which points of said genes differed from the genes of their “purported” predecessors, and then we’d have to figure out how much of that difference was due to novel mutations that occurred after the K-T event, and how much was due to selection on mutations that occurred prior to the K-T boundary. As there is no way of obtaining 50+ million year old DNA, this discussion seems rather pointless to me..”

    We talk about you proving that the evolution theory does work. I suggested that it has a problem here. You say that you do not know if there is a problem here and we cannot check if there is a problem. You have just admitted that you cannot prove that the theory works. However, you do not need ancient DNA for checking this problem, you can use present DNA, but as is the case, you have not done it. And you do not even understand why potential problems in any theory should be checked.

  320. j2 says:
    @hyperbola

    “The point is that there are many ways of producing changes in “genes” (DNA sequences) beyond the rather dated “SNP” hypothesis of one mutation at a time. Various kinds of “shuffling” of large segments of DNA are likely to be more important than SNPs in producing large changes.”

    No hyperbola. This is wrong. I give you a hint to a much better argument. Try arguing that the mutation rate was at some periods much higher than it is today. There were periods when the sun passed the spirals of the Milky Way. This helps you to pass one problem I posed, but the other problem remains. Sad to see you so totally mixed up supporting these “Various kinds of “suffling”” inventions you just came up with. Forget them, they are not important. That much is known.

  321. @AnonFromTN

    God help you then!

    That is the point of it all…

  322. The Jung & the Restless

    Following Jung and his insights about the collective unconscious I am of the opinion that there is a “group mind” or collective intelligence for every species that guides the evolution of this or that aimed at increasing the survival of said species be it ever so humble. Witness that beetle that looks exactly like the poisonous one but is actually harmless and a tasty snack for birds: Darwinian roulette or intelligent design? I would put my bets on the latter.

    Below the level of collective species intelligence we have Schopenhauer’s Will, which is “an endless blind striving”, from blade of grass to homo sapiens. And above this collectives are subsumed by larger collectives right up to an Avatar-like global organism. Hey, they are already noting plants communicate through “an internet of fungus.”

    Dig deeper Fred.

  323. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @Charlie Baud

    “The Bible narrative actually has a holistic and unified narrative.”

    Question: Where was Jesus three days after his baptism? (See Mark 1:12-13 and John 1:35; 1:43; 2:1-11)

  324. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @GourmetDan

    Jesus suffered only a bad weekend for my “sins.” Not impressed by such a fatuous “sacrifice.” I’ve seen much worse suffering in the hospital.

    Also not interested in an “eternal” life. “And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.” (Ecclesiastes 4:2)

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  325. @Anonymous

    Jesus suffered only a bad weekend for my “sins.” Not impressed by such a fatuous “sacrifice.” I’ve seen much worse suffering in the hospital.

    Also not interested in an “eternal” life. “And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.” (Ecclesiastes 4:2)

    Good luck to you then…

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  326. anonymous[554] • Disclaimer says:
    @j2

    No I am not familiar with stochastic processes or Poisson probabilities. I’m not a biologist or any kind of expert. My job is much less interesting. So no, I would not be able to check your Poisson probability math, but I will comment on a few points though.

    AFAIK, there is no “constant” mutation rate. There isn’t an even spread of mutations across the genome. Nor do all mutations affect a single nucleotide. Mutation rates vary (sometimes by quite a bit) based on a multitude of factors including mutation type, region of the gene/genome, species, individual, and environmental factors. We could not as of yet even begin to predict the mutation rates of long extinct species.

    I don’t know what your specific source for this 5*10^-10 “constant” rate is. I assume you are taking it from the average number of mutations in humans observed over a generation (~30 years), and then converting it into a yearly rate. Observed human mutation rates usually range from 100-200 per generation, but for the sake of simplicity I will use the rate of 100 mutations per generation. AFAIK, the average human rate has only been used to estimate divergence times with our closest hominid relatives, denisovan and neanderthal, as they probably had very similar generational lengths to H. sapiens. However, even here, the problem of converting a generational mutation rate into a yearly mutational rate begins to show itself, as generation lengths for humans and other hominins may have been somewhat shorter in prehistory. To then go further and apply this kind of “yearly” rate to mammals that lived 10s of millions of years ago strikes me as somewhat disingenuous, to put it lightly. If you’re going to use a “constant” mutation rate over millions of years for different species, then at the very least you should be using a generational rate.

    Furthermore, you also do not seem to be taking recombination and selection into account. If evolution is true, and we are looking at a span of millions of years, then this will also be a factor. For instance, among humans, there are approximately 2.5 billion people per generation alive. Collectively, each generation holds 250 billion mutations, or about 78 per base pair (many 10,000s per gene). While it is true that human populations were much smaller for most of history, and that most mammal populations are smaller as well, there would still be a lot of possible mutations in a given breeding population that could be subjected to selection.

    Another point of yours that I’m not understanding, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but are you implying that 10% of the entire genome would have to mutate itself in order to get major changes? It looks like you’re also asking for 30%? Is it trendy to say “humans share 68.6% of our genome with chimps” or what?

    Btw, if you’re genuinely curious about the subject of introns, here is an interesting study (unfortunately, it is behind a paywall) on the topic.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/ng940

    Selection for short introns in highly expressed genes

    Transcription is a slow and expensive process: in eukaryotes, approximately 20 nucleotides can be transcribed per second at the expense of at least two ATP molecules per nucleotide. Thus, at least for highly expressed genes, transcription of long introns, which are particularly common in mammals, is costly. Using data on the expression of genes that encode proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans and Homo sapiens, we show that introns in highly expressed genes are substantially shorter than those in genes that are expressed at low levels. This difference is greater in humans, such that introns are, on average, 14 times shorter in highly expressed genes than in genes with low expression, whereas in C. elegans the difference in intron length is only twofold. In contrast, the density of introns in a gene does not strongly depend on the level of gene expression. Thus, natural selection appears to favor short introns in highly expressed genes to minimize the cost of transcription and other molecular processes, such as splicing.

    • Replies: @j2
  327. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @GourmetDan

    You will have the same “reward” after death as a dead horse, exactly the same sort of lucky ending as I or any other mammal.

    Ecclesiastes 9:5-10 “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten…in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

    Being a sapient ape gives you no advantage after death over other animals.

    Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 “Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  328. j2 says:
    @anonymous

    “No I am not familiar with stochastic processes or Poisson probabilities. I’m not a biologist or any kind of expert. My job is much less interesting. So no, I would not be able to check your Poisson probability math, but I will comment on a few points though.”

    You are appearing here as a strong supporter of the evolution theory. Then you should know and be able to calculate and to show if it is probable that development of life on the earth occurs according to the mechanisms proposed by that theory.

    “AFAIK, there is no “constant” mutation rate. There isn’t an even spread of mutations across the genome. Nor do all mutations affect a single nucleotide. Mutation rates vary (sometimes by quite a bit) based on a multitude of factors including mutation type, region of the gene/genome, species, individual, and environmental factors. We could not as of yet even begin to predict the mutation rates of long extinct species.
    I don’t know what your specific source for this 5*10^-10 “constant” rate is. I assume you are taking it from the average number of mutations in humans observed over a generation (~30 years), and then converting it into a yearly rate. Observed human mutation rates usually range from 100-200 per generation, but for the sake of simplicity I will use the rate of 100 mutations per generation. AFAIK, the average human rate has only been used to estimate divergence times with our closest hominid relatives, denisovan and neanderthal, as they probably had very similar generational lengths to H. sapiens. However, even here, the problem of converting a generational mutation rate into a yearly mutational rate begins to show itself, as generation lengths for humans and other hominins may have been somewhat shorter in prehistory. To then go further and apply this kind of “yearly” rate to mammals that lived 10s of millions of years ago strikes me as somewhat disingenuous, to put it lightly. If you’re going to use a “constant” mutation rate over millions of years for different species, then at the very least you should be using a generational rate.”

    Naturally mutation rates differ, they differ even by each DNA marker in Junk DNA that is used to calculate how long it has taken since two lineages separated. However, such detailed information is not available of past life and even if it were, it would be too detailed to use in a simple mathematical model. I estimated the 0.5*10^-9 from a diagram of mutation rates measured for all organisms, including multicellular and single cell life. It is necessary to use average numbers in order to evaluate the feasibility of the evolution theory in the history of life by a simple mathematical model. A simple mathematical model can only illuminate the problem or indicate that there is no special problem. There seems to be a problem in the evolution of totally new introns.

    “Furthermore, you also do not seem to be taking recombination and selection into account. If evolution is true, and we are looking at a span of millions of years, then this will also be a factor. For instance, among humans, there are approximately 2.5 billion people per generation alive. Collectively, each generation holds 250 billion mutations, or about 78 per base pair (many 10,000s per gene). While it is true that human populations were much smaller for most of history, and that most mammal populations are smaller as well, there would still be a lot of possible mutations in a given breeding population that could be subjected to selection.”

    I have not ignored selection and recombination without a reason. There is a reason for it: they do not have any role in creation of new introns. I focus on one problem, how to get introns that differ much between different phylas and orders of species. What you write starting at “For instance, among humans, there are approximately…” is not any example of the importance of recombination and selection to the topic of introns. It is some totally irrelevant text that you just added there.

    “Another point of yours that I’m not understanding, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but are you implying that 10% of the entire genome would have to mutate itself in order to get major changes? It looks like you’re also asking for 30%? Is it trendy to say “humans share 68.6% of our genome with chimps” or what?”

    Of course you have misunderstood and are wrong. If you read what I have written, it is very clearly stated that the question is not of having 10% or 30% of the entire genome changed. What I have written is that for major new functionalities we cannot have single mutations in control genes to turn on or off or otherwise modulate genes, we need changes in the protein-coding parts, introns. For large changes it is not enough to have alleles (single or two mutation changes), there is needed a considerable change in an intron. That means, between different orders of mammals (like whales, humans, rodents, elephants) there likely are some, or even only one, gene which has a considerably different intron. Getting such different intron cannot be done my resuffling or selection. If you try to introduce many mutations to an intron, it will stop working. It becomes a pseudocode, then you can calculate how fast in average it mutates (even with the average mutation rate, as the mutation rates do not vary so much that they can remove the problem).
    “Is it trendy to say “humans share 68.6% of our genome with chimps” or what?” No, I do not think so, but I think it is trendy for non-experts to write this kind of comments, maybe they think they are funny, but it is they who just misunderstood the argument.

    “Btw, if you’re genuinely curious about the subject of introns, here is an interesting study (unfortunately, it is behind a paywall) on the topic.”

    The abstract you provide has not bearing on this topic, which quite well shows that you do not know anything of the problem with introns in evolution.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  329. You will have the same “reward” after death as a dead horse, exactly the same sort of lucky ending as I or any other mammal.

    Being a sapient ape gives you no advantage after death over other animals.

    You have to read the whole book…

    Luke 20:34-36 – “Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.”

    John 11:24-26 – “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.””

    I Cor 15:42-44 – “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”

    Revelation 5:13 – “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!””

    Rev 20:11-15 – “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  330. anonymous[299] • Disclaimer says:
    @j2

    I estimated the 0.5*10^-9 from a diagram of mutation rates measured for all organisms, including multicellular and single cell life.

    Fascinating. There is no shortage of unsourced claims in your comments. If it’s not too much trouble, I’d at least like to see your source for this.

    You are appearing here as a strong supporter of the evolution theory.

    Not really. I just notice that 99% of the evidence points in the direction of evolution, with the other 1% being the dwelling place of “god of the gaps” fallacies. You yourself seem to be somewhat of a supporter of darwinian evolution (natural selection acting on variation over vast lengths of time). My understanding of your position is that you believe something other than mutation goes in and manually changes the genome of every living thing every million years or so? Personally, I’ve never cared about whether or not there is a designer working “behind the scenes”. I won’t be concerned with this question until there is anything that we can learn from such a designer/thing/whatever.

    • Replies: @j2
  331. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @GourmetDan

    You have to read the whole book…

    I have, way more times than you. The Bible was written by different authors with widely variant opinions. You’ve picked the parts with which you agree and quoted them to be. So what?

    It’s clear that the writer of Ecclesiastes was a Sadducee, one of a Jewish sect whose members didn’t believe in the afterlife. And the Jesus character condemned the Sadducees as a group and the author of Ecclesiastes in particular several times in the Gospels.

    Ecclesiastes’ Epicurean Cetemum censeo that nought is good for man but eating, and drinking, and pleasure (8, 15; 2, 24; 5, 18; cf. 3, 12) is condemned by Jesus (Luke 12, 20) in a section which contains several allusions to the Book of Ecclesiastes {cf. Luke 12, 18 and Eccl. 2, 4; Luke 12, 20 and Eccl. 2, i8b, and above all, Luke 12, 27 = Matt. 6, 29 (Solomon in all his glory).

    Paul Haupt (1905) The book of Ecclesiastes: a new metrical translation with an introduction and explanatory notes. John Hopkins Press, p.6. http://archive.org/stream/bookofecclesiast00balt

    The Epicurean author of Ecclesiastes was likely an evolutionist too.

    The philosophy of Epicurus (341–270 B.C.E.) was a complete and interdependent system, involving … a naturalistic account of evolution, from the formation of the world to the emergence of human societies.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epicurus/

    The debate between evolutionists who don’t believe in magical afterlife stories and creationists who do has been ongoing for at least 2300 years, and both sides of the debate are presented in the Bible.

    P.S. What the evolutionist side of the Bible lacks in volume, it makes up in charm. :)

    “Ecclesiastes is the only charming book ever written by a Jew.” -Ernest Renan (1823 – 1892)

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
    , @GourmetDan
  332. @Anonymous

    You’ve picked the parts with which you agree and quoted them to be. So what?

    That’s what you did… so you’re projecting… so what?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  333. @Anonymous

    Ecclesiastes’ Epicurean Cetemum censeo that nought is good for man but eating, and drinking, and pleasure…

    Ah see… you got the conclusion wrong… even when it is plainly given to you…

    Ecc 12:13-14 – “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  334. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @GourmetDan

    I’m not “projecting.” There is very little in the Bible worth reading. I’m very picky/choosy about what I read in it, at least nowadays. I freely admit that Ecclesiastes is the only charming book in the Bible. Can’t you read what I wrote, or at least quoted? Probably not, which is why you don’t bother to actually address anything in my post. Which goes to show another observation:

    In this article I will use statistics to prove that the general distribution of Low IQ is distributed chiefly among Creationists and the High IQ is distributed mostly among Evolutionists.

    Proof Creationists Have Lower IQ’s Than Evolutionists

    http://creationscience.atspace.org/Proof.html

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  335. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @GourmetDan

    You’re quoting an obvious Pharisaic gloss, that is, a fraudulent, contradictory add-on to the end of a great poem. We know it’s a gloss, because the Pharisaic fraud who wrote your favorite quote couldn’t even match the meter of the original poem correctly. The genuine parts of the poem are 3+3 beats, the interpolations 2+2. The Pharisaic fraudster wasn’t too bright, typical of non-evolutionists.

    The genuine portions of Ecclesiastes are Sadducean and Epicurean ; Stoic doctrines are found almost exclusively in the Pharisaic interpolations.
    [...]
    The pessimistic poem may have caused such a sensation that it was impossible to suppress it. The Pharisaic authorities therefore decided to save the attractive book for the Congregation but to pour some water into the author’s strong wine.
    [...]
    The genuine portions of Ecclesiastes, which may be arranged in eight sections, comprise 195 pairs of hemistichs with 3 + 3 beats, grouped either in couplets (Sections I, V, VIII) or in triplets (Sections II, III, IV, VI, VII). Pairs of hemistichs with 2 + 2 beats occur only in the interpolations {cf. IV, f, 8, 2 ff. and VI, a. 7. v), and in one illustrative quotation [cf. above, n. 22) VI, we find 3 + 2 beats.

    Paul Haupt (1905) The book of Ecclesiastes: a new metrical translation with an introduction and explanatory notes. John Hopkins Press, p.6

    http://archive.org/stream/bookofecclesiast00balt

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  336. @AnonFromTN

    You’re absolutely right that the majority of pantheons are dominated by absolute douchenozzles.

    I would go further and say that if such beings ever existed, humans had an absolute obligation to exterminate them (proportionate defensive violence is always justified – that’s also the rationale for exterminating the political class).

    The reason I concentrate on the Avramic nonsense (and its derivatives) is because its memes have not yet been widely recognised as mythoi; other equally-reprehensible pantheons have been pretty much abandoned.

    I don’t think it is over-egging the pudding to say that there is no audience on the internet for genuine believers in any of the following: the Æsir; the Roman gods; the Greek gods; the Egyptian gods; the Polynesian/Maori gods; the various Mesoamerican gods… and so on. Shinto in Japan still has a toehold, but it’s declining (Japan is among the least religious countries on Earth now).

    The Avramic genital-mutilation cults are where the ‘live enemies’ are; it’s where the marginal candidate for atheism is found. All those other pantheons are already viewed as pure fiction, alongside Harry Potter or Spider-man… meanwhile, a couple billion very gullible people still pretend to believe in variants of a Bronze Age tribal race-cult.

    Note that I always say “pretend to believe” because nobody behaves as if they genuinely believe.

    Their showy fake-faith can be entertaining – for example I get a laugh from folks who tie boxes to their heads and rock like mental patients, mumbling gibberish.

    If you don’t think too hard about it, they seem like they’re taking it seriously – but they’re still not slaughtering animals and sprinkling blood everywhere like Yahweh specifically says they must, so they’re just faking.

    Also, seems that the boxheads have a bit of a penchant for homosexual child rape in their own communities, which I’m pretty sure Yahweh never explicitly endorses – and which we rightly consider a but icky when the Catholics do it. (Note: I’m not talking about the metzitzah b’peh – freakyweird though that is).

    .

    I would also note that while Buddhism seems theoretically pretty sound, Buddhists have used the same violent asshattery as everyone else, when it suited them: recently in Myanmar and Sri Lanka; in the 1970s in Thailand; at various stages in Japan (both the Ikkō-shū and Ikkō-ikki in the 1600s and 1700s, right through to WWII).

    As far as I’m aware, Jains are the only group that behaves as if they genuinely believe the core tenets of their religion (and the core tenets, if followed, result in a person who poses no threat to anybody, ever). They’re about the only decent-sized religion that I would not actively seek to undermine.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  337. @Anonymous

    I’m not “projecting.” There is very little in the Bible worth reading. I’m very picky/choosy about what I read in it, at least nowadays. I freely admit that Ecclesiastes is the only charming book in the Bible. Can’t you read what I wrote, or at least quoted? Probably not, which is why you don’t bother to actually address anything in my post.

    Of course you were projecting… that was obvious… so what? So you are ‘very picky/choosy’ about what you read in the Bible… so what? So you ‘freely admit’ something… so what? So you think the discussion must stay focused on what you wrote… so what? So you ‘prove’ low IQ is distributed chiefly among Creationists and high IQ is distributed mostly among Evolutionists… so what?

  338. @Anonymous

    You’re quoting an obvious Pharisaic gloss, that is, a fraudulent, contradictory add-on to the end of a great poem. We know it’s a gloss, because the Pharisaic fraud who wrote your favorite quote couldn’t even match the meter of the original poem correctly. The genuine parts of the poem are 3+3 beats, the interpolations 2+2. The Pharisaic fraudster wasn’t too bright, typical of non-evolutionists.

    You’ve ignored the parts with which you disagree and quoted them to be. So what?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  339. @Kratoklastes

    Well, Buddhists believe their tales (they might pretend, though: officially Buddhism does not condone any violence, even to animals or insects (although many Buddhists believe that if you inadvertently step on a spider, 1,000 sins will be forgiven). Hindus appear to believe their things: I had a Hindu post-doc who went to their temple (Ganesha temple in Nashville, the biggest Hindu temple in the US) regularly and had strings around his wrists. He wasn’t particularly smart, though, I had to fire him. Both Buddhists and Hindu believers outnumber Christians.

    I’d add one more religion as relatively harmless to Jainism: Baha’I Faith in Iran. Unlike most religions, they have no history of mass murder.

  340. @Anonymous

    You are picking and choosing. Ecclesiates is the most intelligent author in the whole of Old Testament, easily more intelligent than the rest of them combined.

    I don’t believe in any fairy tales, but I read the whole Bible twice, once in Russian and once in English. It’s instructive, although pretty boring in places. I found on many occasions that I know the Bible a lot better than most self-professed Christians.

    Knowing the Bible also gives you an interesting perspective: in every hotel room in Utah you find the Book of Mormon along with the Gideons’ Bible. Now that is quite a read: the Mormons did not mean it that way, but it reads like an angry satire on the Bible. You can have a few laughs before getting bored beyond endurance.

  341. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @GourmetDan

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I do thank you.

    At least you are beginning to realize that there are widely different opinions in the Bible, and one picks which parts he likes and emphasizes them. I’m just honest about the process. I’ll even sometimes read parts of Job, who held the same opinion of the afterlife as the author of Ecclesiastes, even if less charming.

    My purpose is to discuss these questions and show that the author of Job methodically uses “death as extinction” in his logical arguments, but reverts to the popular concept of Sheol in his emotional ruminations and outbursts.

    Aron Pinker (2007) Job’s Perspective on Death. Jewish Bible Quarterly. Vol. 35 No. 2. pp. 73-85.

    E.g.,

    “There the wicked cease from troubling and there the weary are at rest.” (Job 3:17-19)

    So much for all those fanatical lake-of-fire threats in the other Jew Testament. Which side of the debate within the Bible are you going to pick and chose? Evolutionary death as extinction? Creationist special life for the sapient ape? We report, you decide.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @GourmetDan
  342. peterAUS says:
    @Anonymous

    ….there are widely different opinions in the Bible, and one picks which parts he likes and emphasizes them.

    Don’t say…….

    I guess it applies to any (organized) religion. Including science. Or New Age thing.
    Why stop at religions? The same applies, I also guess, to all major and not so major ideologies.

    Not to mine, of course. Mine is true. “We” are right.

    Funny, a?

    Cancel that. It isn’t.

  343. j2 says:
    @anonymous

    “My understanding of your position is that you believe something other than mutation goes in and manually changes the genome of every living thing every million years or so?”

    I explain my position. In a gene there are introns and extrons. Introns are protein-coding parts, extrons are control parts and extrons in a gene can even control other genes.

    Single mutation in extrons can cause large differences and create new species, but they work on existing genetic material. Basically they turn on and off functionalities. You can grow a tail by these mutations, as we once had tails. However, this mechanims cannot bring anything that was there not before.

    For totally new functionalities we need new genes. They must have some new introns. They also need new extrons, but the gene can work even with a bad extron and selection can improve extrons. The problem is with introns since making many changes in the protein-coding part stops the protein from working on what it was doing. I consider is highly unlikely that there is a path from one intron to a strongly mutated intron where every intermediate step works. This is why I think the only realistic way is that the gene becomes a pseudogene (not working) and finally turns back to a gene. When the intron is in a pseudogene, non working gene, selection cannot act on it. Mutations are random. There is no guiding principle to lead the mutations to a working solution. This is the second problem: how do introns that change much manage to get to something that works.

    The first problem was the time to have many mutations in some introns. We can solve this problem by assuming that under some conditions the mutation rate can be very high. For instance, we can assume that the sun passes the spirals of the Milky Way, the mutation rate is very high, and we can have enough mutations in 15 million years in the beginning of the Cenozoic era.

    The second problem is much harded and it is not influenced by the mutation rate, nor essentially by the population size. Introns turn to very different but still working introns during the time when they are in a pseudogene where selection cannot act on them. That is, they find a working solution by random walk. Is this difficult? If very many of the possible combinations are working, then this is not hard. But to me it looks like very few of the possibly combinations can be useful for any given task, thus they are very rare. The size of possible combinations is so large 10^65 that the total number of introns on the earth 10^35 pales compared to it. This looks like a hard problem.

    This problem has appeared four times: around 2 billion years ago, 560 million years ago, 250 million years ago and 65 million years ago. Not every 2 million years as you write.

    “Fascinating. There is no shortage of unsourced claims in your comments. If it’s not too much trouble, I’d at least like to see your source for this. ”

    It is better that you look for it yourself as you seem skeptical. There are many web pages giving mutation rates for different organisms. The accuracy of an estimate is not an issue here as the problem appears with any reasonable mutation rates. You have not provided any arguments to me that I have asked you to do, why should I do something for you? You have to learn to discuss in a polite scientific manner, not starting with offenses.

    “I just notice that 99% of the evidence points in the direction of evolution, with the other 1% being the dwelling place of “god of the gaps” fallacies. ”

    Not at all. Only a non-expert gets this impression from the mass media. Evolutionary biologists have often quite hard time showing where natural selection would be playing a role. Often they find a genetic bottleneck and random drift as the more natural explanations. Usually they avoid touching topics like the birth of the first cell or how so many phylas appeared in the beginning of the Paleozoic era. They avoid them, since there is a problem and the evolution theory seems insufficient. “the dwelling place of “god of the gaps” fallacies”, indeed, you seem to believe everything the media tells you, repeating all old slogans like a parrot. Please, check yourself, do the calculations, learn this topic.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  344. @Anonymous

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I do thank you.

    If you set your standard low enough… you’re guaranteed to find something to flatter yourself with…

    At least you are beginning to realize that there are widely different opinions in the Bible, and one picks which parts he likes and emphasizes them. I’m just honest about the process. I’ll even sometimes read parts of Job, who held the same opinion of the afterlife as the author of Ecclesiastes, even if less charming.

    Obviously, opinions are like certain parts of the body… you’re projecting again…

    And thinking anyone cares which parts a dead horse accepts or rejects is simple arrogance…

    So much for all those fanatical lake-of-fire threats in the other Jew Testament. Which side of the debate within the Bible are you going to pick and chose? Evolutionary death as extinction? Creationist special life for the sapient ape? We report, you decide.

    It’s not about what you pick and choose… why would anyone care what a dead horse thinks…

    • Replies: @anonymous
  345. anonymous[310] • Disclaimer says:
    @GourmetDan

    You’re right, soon nobody will care what a Dead Dan ever thought. Even your own descendants will forget your name in a few generations after you become worm food. Same with me. As The Preacher of Biblical Epicureanism characterizes every aspect of our lives: Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.

    Even your faith—he did say all—is vanity.

    St. Paul put it well when he deduced that if the author of Ecclesiastes was correct about the lack of an afterlife, “then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:14)

    Interestingly, that phrase “vanity of vanities, all is vanity” in Ecclesiastes seems to have been borrowed and adapted from the title of a book written by an Epicurean author.

    Moreover, just as Paul numbered women among his workers, such as Priscilla, so Epicurus had one Themista, a talented woman of Lampsacus, who wrote a book long famous on the Vanity of Glory. This may have been in the hands of Ecclesiastes when he wrote, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity,” and it is certain that Cicero mentioned it in a speech before the Roman senate.

    Norman Dewitt (1954) St. Paul and Epicurus. University of Minnesota Press.

    http://muse.jhu.edu/books/9780816662135

    There, you learned yet something more about the Bible that you didn’t know before. Give me some encouragement that you’re reading this, even though these new facts trouble you greatly, and I’ll teach you even more.

  346. You’re right, soon nobody will care what a Dead Dan ever thought. Even your own descendants will forget your name in a few generations after you become worm food. Same with me. As The Preacher of Biblical Epicureanism characterizes every aspect of our lives: Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.

    What makes you think anyone cares what a dead donkey thinks right now… other than your own arrogance…

    There, you learned yet something more about the Bible that you didn’t know before. Give me some encouragement that you’re reading this, even though these new facts trouble you greatly, and I’ll teach you even more.

    What makes you think a dead donkey ‘teaches’ anything about the Bible… other than your own arrogance…

  347. Anonymous[310] • Disclaimer says:

    Arrogance? It takes arrogance to quiet your death anxiety* by believing that you’re a special creation that will live forever. Paul even admits such prideful arrogance in Romans 11:13.

    Me? I’m humble like The Preacher in Ecclesiastes, not believing I’m a special creation.

    You should give up your arrogant and vain belief in afterlife and try a quiet ego sometime. Works just as well to assuage mortality salience, i.e., the “sting of death” that Epicurus talked of. (No, St. Paul wasn’t the first, by a long shot.) And you don’t have to listen to longwinded sermons. Want to go fishing next Sunday morning with me? I know a good spot out by one of the buoys. Well, ok, you’ve got withdrawal symptoms already, so here’s just a one line sermon.

    If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink and cast a line in the water, for tomorrow we die.” (adapted from 1 Corinthians 15:32)

    Once you accept Ecclesiastes’ message that there is no afterlife, Paul’s is the best advice ever!

    * Kesebir, P. (2014) A quiet ego quiets death anxiety: Humility as an existential anxiety buffer. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol 106(4), pp. 610-623.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
    , @peterAUS
  348. @Anonymous

    Arrogance? It takes arrogance to quiet your death anxiety* by believing that you’re a special creation that will live forever. Paul even admits such prideful arrogance in Romans 11:13.

    Me? I’m humble like The Preacher in Ecclesiastes, not believing I’m a special creation

    What’s arrogant is assuming that you are anything like The Preacher in Ecclesiastes…

    You should give up your arrogant and vain belief in afterlife and try a quiet ego sometime. Works just as well to assuage mortality salience, i.e., the “sting of death” that Epicurus talked of. (No, St. Paul wasn’t the first, by a long shot.) And you don’t have to listen to longwinded sermons. Want to go fishing next Sunday morning with me? I know a good spot out by one of the buoys. Well, ok, you’ve got withdrawal symptoms already, so here’s just a one line sermon.

    You project to create a context so that you can flatter yourself again…

    Once you accept Ecclesiastes’ message that there is no afterlife, Paul’s is the best advice ever!

    And the dead donkey, in his arrogance, continues to lie…

    “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  349. Anonymous[310] • Disclaimer says:
    @GourmetDan

    “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

    Thanks for quoting the verse that illustrates why it’s necessary to believe in a magical beginning of life if one hopes for a magical extension of life at the end. I use that verse on the compromising Christians who believe in evolution, and show them why they can’t.

    Of course, there was no Adam. Christian “scientists” keep trying to conjure one, to no avail. The genetic facts say no to an even slightly magical (metaphorical in theologian terms) beginning of humanity.

    This means, of course, that Adam and Eve couldn’t have been the literal ancestors of all humanity. Normally, such a scientific trashing of scripture could be absorbed, at least by liberal theologians. They’d just reinterpret Adam and Eve as metaphors. But that causes big trouble on two counts…

    Jerry Coyne (2013) Scientists Try to Reconcile Adam and Eve Story, Whiff. Again. New Republic. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115759/adam-eve-theologians-try-reconcile-science-and-fail

    And if there was a resurrection, which magical Zombie Jew do you follow to get your magical afterlife treats? Zombie Jesus was a late-comer in the resurrection scene, a whole chapter later than the Prime Zombies. Bible says so.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  350. @Anonymous

    “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

    Thanks for quoting the verse that illustrates why it’s necessary to believe in a magical beginning of life if one hopes for a magical extension of life at the end. I use that verse on the compromising Christians who believe in evolution, and show them why they can’t.

    Watch a dead donkey try to add credibility to his lies…

    Of course, there was no Adam. Christian “scientists” keep trying to conjure one, to no avail. The genetic facts say no to an even slightly magical (metaphorical in theologian terms) beginning of humanity.

    Of course there was an Adam… the genetic facts even point to a Y-chromosome Adam and a mitochondrial Eve… dead donkeys and ‘scientists’ do their best to deny it… you’ll have to focus on the dating because the genetic evidence is found… kinda funny that it was published before Jerry Coyne wrote his ‘article’…

    And if there was a resurrection, which magical Zombie Jew do you follow to get your magical afterlife treats? Zombie Jesus was a late-comer in the resurrection scene, a whole chapter later than the Prime Zombies. Bible says so.

    Said the dead donkey as though anyone cares what he says…

  351. Anonymous[310] • Disclaimer says:

    The genetic facts even point to a Y-chromosome Adam and a mitochondrial Eve? Not hardly, at least in the way you’re trying to reconcile science with the Genesis Creation Myth. Sorry, you can’t pull a fast one on me.

    The title of “Y-chromosomal Adam” is fNOT permanently fixed to a single individual.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Adam

    Furthermore:

    The facts first. Sheehan et al., building on earlier work by Li and Durbin (references in margin), calculated that the minimum population size associated with the worldwide expansion of humans out of Africa roughly 100,000 years ago was 2,250 individuals, while the population that remained in Africa was no smaller than about 10,000 individuals. For population geneticists, this is the “effective population size,” invariably smaller than the census size, so these are minimum estimates, and ones derived from conservative assumptions. The population sizes are estimated by back-calculating (based on reasonable estimates of mutation rates and other genetic parameters) how small an ancestral population could be and still give rise to the observed level and structure of genetic variation in our species.

    Note: 2,500 is larger than two.

    Jerry Coyne (2013) Scientists Try to Reconcile Adam and Eve Story, Whiff. Again. New Republic. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115759/adam-eve-theologians-try-reconcile-science-and-fail

    You keep calling me a dead donkey. I’m obviously not dead, because I’m running circles around you. But I will be dead soon, just like you will be dead soon, and just like any donkey alive today will be dead — as Ecclesiastes observed. Is Ecclesiastes too difficult for you to understand? I mean, he was way over your head, being the wisest man. :)

    Or are you just reacting in anger? I’d expect such a reaction from the scientific studies I’ve read. Believers in a magical afterlife often react with aggressive anger when their magical worldview is threatened. To them, a reminder of their inevitable extinction feels like their very lives are being threatened.

    Terror management and aggression: evidence that mortality salience motivates aggression against worldview-threatening others. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Mar;74(3):590-605

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
    , @j2
    , @peterAUS
  352. @Anonymous

    Not hardly, at least in the way you’re trying to reconcile science with the Genesis Creation Myth. Sorry, you can’t pull a fast one on me.

    Poor dead donkey… so sure someone is trying to ‘pull a fast one’… well, dead donkey… the ‘fast one’ was pulled on you long ago..

    You keep calling me a dead donkey. I’m obviously not dead, because I’m running circles around you. But I will be dead soon, just like you will be dead soon, and just like any donkey alive today will be dead — as Ecclesiastes observed. Is Ecclesiastes too difficult for you to understand? I mean, he was way over your head, being the wisest man. :)

    Oh, you’re dead alright donkey… you just refuse to admit it.

    Or are you just reacting in anger? I’d expect such a reaction from the scientific studies I’ve read. Believers in a magical afterlife often react with aggressive anger when their magical worldview is threatened. To them, a reminder of their inevitable extinction feels like their very lives are being threatened.

    Whatever it takes for you to cling to your paradigm, dead donkey… whatever it takes…

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  353. Anonymous[310] • Disclaimer says:
    @GourmetDan

    Whatever it takes, indeed.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  354. j2 says:
    @Anonymous

    “The genetic facts even point to a Y-chromosome Adam and a mitochondrial Eve? Not hardly, at least in the way you’re trying to reconcile science with the Genesis Creation Myth. Sorry, you can’t pull a fast one on me. ”

    I think that if you are talking about the second creation myth, the one where Eve is created from the rib of Adam and they are in the Paradise and the Paradise is lost, then this is a form of the world pillar myth, the Polar Star explanation of history. I wrote a few posts of the topic. One is here:

    http://www.pienisalaliittotutkimus.com/2018/05/23/paradise-was-lost-9500-bc-the-myth-of-the-original-sin-is-in-the-stars/

    The world pillar myth seems to be from around 16,000 BC and it is quite wide spread. The Paradise in the Persian Gulf was indeed lost and humans had to start farming, so this biblical creation myth is quite true as far as myths are true. It tells of real history around 9,000 BC and very well what was seen in the night sky. It is only that modern people often understand these myths as something else that what they are.

  355. peterAUS says:
    @Anonymous

    Thoughtful.

    Points I’ve found interesting are:

    It takes arrogance to quiet your death anxiety* by believing that you’re a special creation that will live forever….

    And especially.

    ….assuage mortality salience…

    That “mortality salience” thing looks quite interesting.

  356. peterAUS says:
    @Anonymous

    Another interesting point, for some:

    Believers in a magical afterlife often react with aggressive anger when their magical worldview is threatened. To them, a reminder of their inevitable extinction feels like their very lives are being threatened.

    That “inevitable extinction” with “terror management” does look….passionate.

    And, yet, I don’t, somehow, feel you can be really, really, sure about it.
    I mean, there is really only one way to be sure……..
    Catch 22.

  357. @Anonymous

    Whatever it takes, indeed.

    If it takes a cartoon… a cartoon is offered…

  358. anonymous[322] • Disclaimer says:
    @j2

    why should I do something for you?

    I didn’t say you have to. I said “if it isn’t too much trouble”. You can do as you please. I asked because I’ve never heard of anybody designating an average mutation rate across so many different phyla, let alone a yearly mutation rate.

    I googled the number that you keep reciting: 0.5*10^-9 (1/2 billion mutations per base pair per year) plus the words “mutation rate”. The second link down is the wikipedia article on mutation rate and it coincidentally has this exact number listed as an average human germline mutation rate based off a study by an individual. This number is somewhat lower than some of the other generational figures (converting to years) that I have seen, but this is only a trivial point. Interestingly, the author of this study also suggests that there is evidence that the mean mutation rate slowed down during great ape evolution.

    Question: Why didn’t you just say where you got it from? Instead you said you estimated the yearly rate based on the mutational rates of all single cellular and multicellular organisms.

    I have been suspecting that you might be obfuscating due to a personal agenda or something. Then I read your blog entry on the early Cenozoic that you linked to in comment #324. Suddenly it all makes sense. Here are a few excerpts:

    I still have not read any Intelligent Design articles, nor have I looked up how the evolution theory explains problems in evolution. There is a reason why I have not done so. One should think out of the box, look at the problem with fresh eyes. If so, then it would not be the best idea to start by brainwashing your fresh eyes with the existing approaches to the problem. What you should to is to first think about it yourself and in a simplest possible way.

    I think the best answer is to include the creator God to the solution. He must create life again after the mass extinctions, which are caused by the sun passing through the spirals of the Milky Way. So, God does not destroy life on the Earth. Life is destroyed by unavoidable cosmic radiation and meteor showers when the Earth passes the spirals. In case you do not like the idea of a creator God, then by all means find a better solution to this second question.

    Now I have even accepted visions by prophets. Is that reasonable? How could they know things that had passed long ago? The only way is to assume beings who remember, like angels. Angels let prophets to see visions from angel’s memory. Great!

    Unfortunately I have to admit that the biblical explanation is quite sound.

    In an earlier comment I read, you implied that you weren’t an ID advocate, let alone a creationist. Yet in the end, it actually turns out that you’re a hardcore biblical creationist. Nice to know that I’ve been had by just another con man creationist. Every single time…

    Anyways, I’m done with this discussion. Thanks.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @j2
  359. @GourmetDan

    Evolution is simply the triumph of credulity over incredulity…

    But that’s what science is, to someone like me. I know enough science to know atmospheric pressure can only support a column of water 33 feet high, so I’m incredulous that a tree could grow taller than that — then I learn about the concept of negative pressure. It’s surprising and detailed and a triumph of credulity.

    I would have thought it immensely improbable that a ping-pong ball could balance on a stream of air, knowing what I do about turbulence and wind — then I learn about the Bernoulli effect and credulity triumphs again.

    I advanced those theories about the rhino, which were unlikely and made up, because if I can imagine many ways the process can get started by random chance, science can uncover even more by digging into the details.

    I see stories like this all the time, stuff like an animal that manages to survive underwater even though it can’t smell in water because it carries around air bubbles to smell in. You’d never guess a blind animal could progress from air to water breathing in small steps because replacing its sense of smell is a big step; but credulity triumphs again.

    • Replies: @idealogul
    , @GourmetDan
  360. Anonymous[310] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    The con man creationist has faith. And faith is a con game. Bible even admits so.

    “Now faith is confidence.” Hebrews 11:1

    They think their wishful words can change reality, which is the essence of word-magic creationism. Tada!

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
    , @anonymous
  361. j2 says:
    @anonymous

    “Question: Why didn’t you just say where you got it from? Instead you said you estimated the yearly rate based on the mutational rates of all single cellular and multicellular organisms. ”

    The case is that 0.5*10^-9 is a quite well accepted average, a rough one. I estimated it from a figure where mutations rates of different organisms were plotted, but it is nothing new. You misunderstood me implying that there was any new discovery of mine, no this estimate is the standard. I just looked it up from a diagram. You get it from many sources, no need to put a source to this number. You should find the figure I used from the web, try mutations per bp per year, or mutations per base pair per year, it does not have the 0.5*10^-9 written in the figure. I cannot remember from what web page I took the figure long ago, but who cares, it is a roughly correct figure and a very rough and well-known estimate. We agree it is OK, and gives the human mutation rate also rather OK: 30-40 mutations per generation (the correct one is 20-30 mutations).

    “In an earlier comment I read, you implied that you weren’t an ID advocate, let alone a creationist. Yet in the end, it actually turns out that you’re a hardcore biblical creationist. Nice to know that I’ve been had by just another con man creationist. Every single time…”

    But if you read my last post from yesterday

    http://www.pienisalaliittotutkimus.com/2018/08/07/still-on-evolution/

    I go back to the viral hypothesis and do not include God as the Intelligent Designer. I am not dogmatic on this issue, unlike you. It is an open problem. So far I only think that the evolution theory has a serious problem. All of these hypothesis of evolution are very speculative, both yours and mine. It is not science, this is why I put the evolution posts to religion. I am not an ID advocate or creationist, nor a con man, nor hardcore biblical, nor a supporter of the evolution theory. I just think about problems, try to find solutions and accept what seems correct. You should do the same.

    “Anyways, I’m done with this discussion. Thanks.”

    Very good. I also thank you and am happy this discussion is over.

  362. idealogul says:
    @Noumenon72

    Thanks for your comments. A learn a few thing from your links.
    One problem.
    The moles and shrews who can smell under water is a prof that evolution have big problems.
    Prehistoric mammals with better sense of smell than modern ones.
    Evolution by Involution.
    I’m amazed. Atheists are usually much smarter and more educated than me but they behave exactly like religious fanatics. A religious fanatic says “God did it” and does not need any other evidence. The atheist says “Evolution did it” and the story is over. Very few are trying to prove scientifically how evolution has done anything. Just pronounce the word “evolution” magic and ready. Those who are skeptical are accused of heresy and burned on the forums. Prehistoric Moles ca smell under water – EVOLUTION DID IT. No proof need.
    To answer someone who laughs at Noah’s flood I must give you bad news, but it is more scientifically reasonable than many believe. Most atheists do not judge the problem for more than 2 seconds while they smile arrogantly. In fact, after they have repeatedly tried to break the story of Noah and have failed each time the Atheists remained with a lot of nightmare puzzles.
    I do not want to extend the post but give you only 2 pearls:
    - Noah’s flood predict and science has shown that in the near history of humanity there was a bottleneck genetic population. Atheists have proposed a solution to be Toba volcano disaster. Archaeologists have shown now that Toba can not explain the bottleneck population. The Bible is right again, and the Atheists have a headache
    - the Bible speaks, among other things, as the source of the flood about the existence of “fountain of the deep”. Finally, science has come to the end of the Bible:

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2133963-theres-as-much-water-in-earths-mantle-as-in-all-the-oceans/

  363. @Noumenon72

    But that’s what science is, to someone like me. I know enough science to know atmospheric pressure can only support a column of water 33 feet high, so I’m incredulous that a tree could grow taller than that — then I learn about the concept of negative pressure. It’s surprising and detailed and a triumph of credulity.

    Credulity is science to a lot more people than you. The problem is they equate credulous things they can observe (science) with credulous things they must believe (evolution) because they have ‘faith’ that ‘science’ will produce that which they cannot observe.

    This is the fallacy of composition… for believing that… because science can explain some physical observations, it is therefore capable of explaining them all…

    Evolution is firmly supported by credulity, equivocation and logical fallacy… though most cannot see it.

  364. @Anonymous

    The con man creationist has faith. And faith is a con game. Bible even admits so.

    “Now faith is confidence.” Hebrews 11:1

    Con man philosphical naturalists do exactly the same thing… they just don’t admit to it. Philosophical naturalism… or the belief that the natural world is all that exists is the foundation of all ‘scientific’ theories… it is required by definition. This means that ‘science’ can never propose any explanation or theory that is not completely ‘natural’. No matter how incredible and impossible to observe.

    That is the philosophical naturalist con… and the one they never admit to.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  365. Anon[367] • Disclaimer says:
    @FKA Max

    Lem pores over such a subject at length in his Summa Technologiæ.

    The book was written in the late 60s of the past century. Most of the scientists expected that there would be many other, more and less advanved, intelligent civilizations (“psychozoics”) in the universe.
    Lem’s expectations ran contrary to the main stream.
    These decades have strengthened his stance, whilst they have weakened the opposite, formerly mainstream stance.

    However, as Lem says: if we are alone in the (observable) Universe, then much of what we regard as our knowledge can’t be true.

  366. Anon[367] • Disclaimer says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Excellent post, Mr. Sum und Zeit ;)

  367. anonymous[374] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Yeah.. I’m not religious, but I’m fairly pro-religion/spirituality for both cultural reasons and for the personal fulfillment that it brings to many people. I also think it’s perfectly valid to believe that there may in fact be ‘more’ than can be perceived. On the other hand, you know someone’s just pulling your leg when they start seriously invoking cartoonishly magical gods and 2,500+ year old Jewish fairy tales from the old testament…

  368. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @GourmetDan

    You admit being a confidence man, Dan. Your attempt to project your con tricks onto everybody else just confirms that your a confidence/faith man.

    “…completely ‘natural’. No matter how incredible and impossible to observe.”

    Then it isn’t natural, confidence/faith man. It’s faith. Or do you disagree with the Jew Testament? Hmm?

    Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

    You’re a worse confidence/faith man than Bernie Madoff. He just destroyed people’s money. You want to cripple people’s minds.

    • Replies: @Thor Baslim
    , @GourmetDan
  369. @Anonymous

    You’re a worse confidence/faith man than Bernie Madoff. He just destroyed people’s money. You want to cripple people’s minds.

    Not exactly, Anon. Your class of fervent, evangelizing Christians are simply a special case of crazy. Problem being that the US government enables and encourages them, to the extent of legitimizing outright discrimination and oppression against people who actively seek to avoid Christians, or to prevent Christians from despoiling Constitutional rights.

    I was raised by Christian missionaries. They are incapable of perceiving, much less accepting or understanding, the acutely obvious failures of their “theological” tenets. They can be sources of amusement for a brief exchange, but any attempt to enlighten them is foolish, and a complete waste of time.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
    , @paroikos
  370. @Anonymous

    You’re a worse confidence/faith man than Bernie Madoff. He just destroyed people’s money. You want to cripple people’s minds.

    As I pointed out…

    “Con man philosphical naturalists do exactly the same thing… they just don’t admit to it. Philosophical naturalism… or the belief that the natural world is all that exists is the foundation of all ‘scientific’ theories… it is required by definition. This means that ‘science’ can never propose any explanation or theory that is not completely ‘natural’. No matter how incredible and impossible to observe.”

    Creationists have more intellectual freedom than philosophical naturalists because they have the freedom to conclude that something they observe (like life or the universe) does not have a ‘natural’ origin.

    Philosophical naturalists have no freedom to accept anything other than a ‘natural’ explanation no matter how incredible and impossible to observe… it is your mind that is crippled by your ‘a priori’ assumptions… not mine…

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  371. @Thor Baslim

    I was raised by Christian missionaries. They are incapable of perceiving, much less accepting or understanding, the acutely obvious failures of their “theological” tenets. They can be sources of amusement for a brief exchange, but any attempt to enlighten them is foolish, and a complete waste of time.

    You don’t even realize that you make the same choice… you just make it in favor of the philosophy of naturalism rather than in favor of creation… now that’s amusing… lol

  372. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @GourmetDan

    Naturalists can enjoy make-believe stories as much as anybody else, they just realize that pretend is pretend, and real is real. You confuse them.

    it is your mind that is crippled by your ‘a priori’ assumptions

    Oh, I see. So you’re willing to accept on the same intellectual level of natural science that the Milky Way was unintentionally created by the Greek Goddess Hera by the spray of milk as she unwittingly nursed the baby Heracles. Now that’s cool!

    And it’s a much better creation story than you find in the scriptures written by freakish Hebrew genital mutilators. You’re not one of those damned genital mutilators of Philippians 3:3 ["for we are the circumcison"], are you?

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  373. @Anonymous

    Naturalists can enjoy make-believe stories as much as anybody else, they just realize that pretend is pretend, and real is real. You confuse them.

    So… you’re saying that naturalists understand that the big bang, abiogenesis and evolution are acknowledged as ‘pretend’ stories? If not… then naturalists’ absolutely do not understand what is real and what is pretend and your assertion is untrue…

    Oh, I see. So you’re willing to accept on the same intellectual level of natural science that the Milky Way was unintentionally created by the Greek Goddess Hera by the spray of milk as she unwittingly nursed the baby Heracles. Now that’s cool!

    Fact is… basing your definition of reality on philosophical naturalism isn’t any different… both are based in belief and neither one can be proved.

    And it’s a much better creation story than you find in the scriptures written by freakish Hebrew genital mutilators. You’re not one of those damned genital mutilators of Philippians 3:3 ["for we are the circumcison"], are you?

    ‘Better’ is a philosophical position… not a ‘scientific’ one… are you getting any of this?

  374. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @GourmetDan

    you’re saying that naturalists understand that the big bang, abiogenesis and evolution are acknowledged as ‘pretend’ stories?

    No. Try again, halfwit.

    both are based in belief and neither one can be proved

    Believe you can fly when you jump off a building. Superjew said you (plus a couple other fruitcakes) can pray in his name and he’ll do anything for you. See how that works.

    ‘Better’ is a philosophical position… not a ‘scientific’ one… are you getting any of this?

    Yes, I’m getting just how utterly retarded you are, with a little visit to scholar.google.com with the search term “better.”

    Building better batteries
    M Armand, JM Tarascon – nature, 2008 – nature.com

    Prediction of protein secondary structure at better than 70% accuracy
    B Rost, C Sander – Journal of molecular biology, 1993 – Elsevier

    Approximate is better than “exact” for interval estimation of binomial proportions
    A Agresti, BA Coull – The American Statistician, 1998 – Taylor & Francis

    Ensembling neural networks: many could be better than all
    ZH Zhou, J Wu, W Tang – Artificial intelligence, 2002 – Elsevier

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  375. @GourmetDan

    As a Creationist, I would like to respectfully point out that there IS a difference between Philosophical Naturalism and Creationism.

    An example is Abiogenesis, where Creationists hold that God made the first living thing. Accordingly, Creationist Scientists have formulated the Creationist Law of Abiogenesis:
    “Absent Divine Intervention, life comes only from life”

    This law summarises the current Scientific understanding of Abiogenesis.

    The Creationist Law meets the requirements for a Scientific Law. That is, it is statement of an observed regularity in the physical world, that 1) is consistent with all credible empirical data, 2) can be falsified in principle, but 3) has never been falsified.

    Over the last 90 years an enormous international effort attempted to falsify the Creationist law by creating life in a lab. It has been a total flop. However, this does not “prove” the Creationist Law, for as Scientific Laws are inductive, no Scientific Law can be proven. But because it has been confirmed by an enormous body of data, and has defied extensive efforts to falsify it, it is the Settled Science.

    By contrast, the Philosophical Naturalists hold that the first living thing came from naturalistic reactions of non-living chemicals. It is confirmed by zero data, as it cannot be falsified in principal, it invalid as a Scientific Hypothesis.

    The Creationist Law of Abiogenesis is one of the many reasons why Creationism is scientifically in the catbird seat nowadays. And that is, I suspect, the reason why Philosophical Naturalists are today reduced to insipid bigotry, censorship, and Science denial.

    • Replies: @GourmetDan
  376. @Anonymous

    Yes, I’m getting just how utterly retarded you are, with a little visit to scholar.google.com with the search term “better.”

    You were obviously talking about how your ‘Hera’ creation story was ‘better’ than the Biblical account… and that is a philosophical position because neither is observable. You then give examples that can be observed without realizing that you have changed the context… or maybe you do and just need to say ‘something’…

    But I understand that you must resort to ridicule when you have no real arguments…

  377. @Tammie Lee Haynes

    The Creationist Law of Abiogenesis is one of the many reasons why Creationism is scientifically in the catbird seat nowadays. And that is, I suspect, the reason why Philosophical Naturalists are today reduced to insipid bigotry, censorship, and Science denial.

    I agree with you… you are actually using the greater intellectual freedom that is inherent in a creationist philosophy to come to a superior intellectual conclusion… this is what I was talking about when I said that creationists have greater intellectual freedom while philosophical naturalists are constrained by their philosophy and absolutely cannot come to any conclusion that is not ‘natural’…

  378. paroikos says:
    @Thor Baslim

    Thor Baslim says, “I was raised by Christian missionaries…. They can be sources of amusement for a brief exchange, but any attempt to enlighten them is foolish, and a complete waste of time.”

    Having shaken off the unenlightenment and foolishness of his Christian missionary ‘raisers’, Thor slips into the scientistic comfort of Darwin’s anti-Genesis contraption.

    And now, as a unit of savvy, self-authenticating, biochemical happenstance, that is, as a trophy of Intelligent Fortuity, he thinks “the acutely obvious failures of their ‘theological’ tenets”

    But the atheist metaphysic fuelling his amusement is the loony belief that ‘dead primordial matter magically taught itself to think’. Mindless Nature assembled his specified complexity from lifeless, Big Bang ‘star-dust’.

    “But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).”

  379. @Dillon Sweeny

    I would love to meet up with you and talk about this. Where are you?

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