A win for reality in Texas!

By Phil Plait | July 25, 2011 11:48 am

Some great news out of the Lone Star State: the Texas State Board of Education unanimously rejected creationist supplements to textbooks, instead voting to endorse science-based ones.

Yay!

These supplements are for students to use in classrooms in addition to their textbooks. A passel of creationist ones had been submitted for approval by the BoE back in April by a creationist special interest group, as well as materials based on science submitted by mainstream publishers. Last week, the BoE voted on which to use, and science won.

The links above go to the National Center for Science Education. They are a group that fought valiantly for the science-based materials, which is clearly why they won the day; they greatly outnumbered witnesses for creationism. Clearly, showing up is half the battle. At least. My congratulations to everyone at the NCSE for this victory.

Josh Rosenau, who writes the Thoughts from Kansas blog and was one of the people at the Texas hearings, has written about this debate in detail (including earlier posts here, and here) if you’re looking for more info from an insider’s viewpoint.

So, because of this, I am happy to create this new graphic:

I hope I have many, many more chances to use it in the future.


Related posts:

Standing up to the experts
Texas creationist McLeroy spins the educational disaster he created
Texas State Board of Education confirms irony is dead
Creationists suffer another legal defeat

Comments (612)

  1. Keith Bowden

    I knew you had to get around to this topic. :) This is good news indeed, for so many reasons (not the least of which is the effect their decisions on textbooks have on the rest of the country). Congratulations Texans! (And all of us.)

  2. Beau

    Being a teacher in Texas, I’ve been following this one closely. I’m glad that this one turned out the way it did. I was honestly a little worried about it for a while.

    Now if we can just get rid of Rick Perry (without him becoming President), we’ll all be better off.

  3. Daniel J. Andrews

    My nephew: Want to hear a joke?

    Me: umm, okay.

    My nephew: Texas.

    Now when that kids’ joke about Texas has made it to Canadian school grounds, you know things haven’t been so bright and shiny down the big state. Here’s to the turn-around.

    by the way, God has told Rick Perry not to run for president (or so the Onion reports) ;)
    theonion.com/articles/god-urges-rick-perry-not-to-run-for-president,20981/

  4. Brown

    The creationist forces are in a never-ending struggle against reality. So even though they may have lost this round, they will very likely be back.

  5. Josh

    I am so glad that this was rejected. I have lived with the evangelical rhetoric being thrown at me my entire life and now that I am raising my own geek/skeptic 2.0 I am even more vigilant. My wife and I were seriously thinking of moving to a different state if this had passed.

    Makes me happy I don’t have to leave this wonderful weather. :)

  6. It was only a unanimous vote of 8-0 because the 7 die hard creationists abstained… Okay, there were 6 in attendance, but the board is made up of 15 people, so don’t celebrate too much. :( I think the 6 creationtards in attendAnce were instructed by Perry not to cause any more waves for him. He’s trying to distance himself from the way out there nuttery that he seems to otherwise so readily embrace.

    You may want to add “(For Now)” to the graphic.

  7. Thespis

    Science FTW!
    Now, lather, rinse, and repeat in Louisiana. Please.

  8. kirk

    Larian L – I don’t think there is a swing vote anymore after the recent election. Am I wrong? The other significance is that there is 0$ for new textbooks so this is really a stealth ‘print off some creationist stuff on an ink jet printer’ dog whistle for knuckle dragging science teachers. Credit also goes to The Texas Freedom Network [www.tfn.org] for boots on the ground resistance.

  9. 2011

    Rick Perry is a politician that should be voted out as soon as possible.

    Fundamentalist Christianity has become a cult in the USA; its anti-science position is notorious.

  10. Darth Robo

    New grafix…

    … predicted:

    http://www.topix.net/forum/news/evolution/T7T9VFM1F08BI4V4T#c13

    :)

    Oh, by the way (for when the inevitable passing fundies arrive) what’s the “scientific theory” of Creationism/ID? And how come no-one at all (for years and years and years – and years) will ever answer this simple question?

    Thanks in advance.

  11. Luis

    Honestly, living in Brazil I shouldn’t really care – except that I do because the standards the US takes will eventually come downhill for us. So, the fact that creationism is being bashed and removed is really positive.

  12. Murff

    I’m from Texas, so I’m glad to hear this news. I’ve lived in North Dakota for the past 6 years and the schools up there were great. I just recently moved out to Oregon and was happy to see:

    http://www.ode.state.or.us/news/announcements/announcement.aspx?=2588

    on their Board of Education website.

    It’s amazing that reality has such a hard time being understood by so many…

  13. Steve

    Trust me on this one, if the state had the money to buy new texts, the creationists would have won the battle. But why incur the wrath of many over a trivial matter, at least at this time? The religious right in TX is still in control.
    And if you really want to be scared, read the manifesto posted by the Norwegian bomber!

  14. Grimoire

    Trust me on this one,

    Why?

    And if you really want to be scared, read the manifesto posted by the Norwegian bomber!

    Yes, because we should judge all by the words of a lone psychopath. I wondered who’d be the first here to exploit that tragedy. Nice.

  15. Paul

    I hope you don’t need to use that image very much. It’s only needed when Texas narrowly avoids some anti-reality nonsense. Wouldn’t it be better if people stopped getting off the Reality Train in Crazy Town and this stuff didn’t come up at all?

    How many other states have these graphics at all? Is that not perhaps a better situation to be in?

  16. Hobie

    It amazes me that there is such a huge fight over this subject. If we would actually recognize that
    a) science will never be able to answer all of the questions of the universe – mostly because each answer we find 10 questions are produced. and
    b) like it or not, faith is a major part of the lives of a HUGE number of people.

    I agree, faith doesn’t belong in physics, geology & chemistry classes, but by leaving it out of schools entirely we are opening kids up to the small mindedness that leads to Steve’s comment. Kids need to understand that Religion of one sort or another exists and that it is a critical element of the world views of the greater majority of the people on this planet. I think the Australians have it right. They have a time block every week in every school for religion. For those with it, they get a teacher provided by their local perish (not funded by the school board) and for those without there is a summary class that teaches about the fundamental concepts & theories behind each faith.

    Thats a lot smarter than doing what we do in Canada. Stick our head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist.

  17. Brian Too

    @4. Brown,

    Agreed, the Fundies never give up. How can they? After all, their feelings are so strong, so true, so right…

  18. Calpurnia

    What seems to be missing here is that this is not about religion in the broad sense, it’s about these people imposing their particular religious beliefs on the general population. They aren’t going to permit the creation teachings of any other religion outside of their narrow view.

  19. @ Hobie #16:

    If religion is so fundamental to so many, why does valuable classroom time need to be spent on it? Wouldn’t that be like teaching a class in how to breathe? Or how to put on your shoes? What, exactly, would be taught? Comparative religion? Yeah, I can see that flying, especially in the U.S. Origins of religious doctrine and mythology? Ditto, in spades.

    In the end, you’d replace one battle with another: whose religion gets to be the religion that gets the spotlight?

  20. David

    On July 21 Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott recommended nine high
    school biology options, but none include intelligent design or creationism.

    Still, I wonder how many students in schools, colleges and universities would say they have the academic freedom to critique evolution in their science classes? There should be school district and state polls of high-school and college/university students studying evolution, asking two questions:

    In this class: a) Is evolution taught as fact, theory, or both fact and theory? b) Do you have the academic freedom to critique evolution? (Students should answer anonymously.) The same questions should be asked of their instructors.

    For a partial list of questions that could be used by teachers and students to critically examine and evaluate evolution, see the article:

    Evolution: The Creation Myth of Our Culture
    http://www.trueorigin.org/evomyth01.asp

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/07/eugenie_scott_misrepresents_th048621.html

    *

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/07/ken_millers_inaccurate_and_bia048321.html

  21. James

    @16. hobie

    I’m an Australian and I totally deplore the fact that the Government pays for a religious education hour in primary schools here. In fact I don’t think I know a single person who likes it. This is something that is only liked by practising Christians.

    Just because it is being done here in Australia doesn’t make it right, just means our Government is influenced by special interest groups in the matter (and there is a history issue involved as well). I have no problems with an education segment teaching about religion, but I don’t agree that it:

    a) occurs when the children are in primary school (approx. from age 8 to 10, maybe 11)
    b) is run by people in that religion (i.e. their education is biased)
    c) doesn’t present all the different religions and their views, how they came about, etc (directly and indirectly a result of b).

    If your going to teach religion in schools then teach all about the different ones, how the Mormans started, how the Jehovah Witnesses started, how the bible is known to be written, the historic arguments about the bible and it’s authenticity, about the history of Islam, etc, etc, etc. That would be useful for a person who can think for themselves. But a time block for religion at a young age that only focuses on Christianity and is run by Christians only serves one purpose, to educate them into religion.

    Put it this way, would you like the schools to spend one time block a week to teach young children about communism from a communist? Maybe a Far left or Far right member to teach about their view of the world via politics? Bet that would horrify most Christians, and why? Because it’s wrong to do any form of education which is really an excuse for indoctrination of young children based on a belief system before they’re old enough to question what they are taught for themselves.

    In other news there is a campaign underway in Australia to encorage people to stop putting down whatever demonination is on your birth certificate as the answer to religion on the next censor if in fact you do not follow the religion. This is because interest groups use the census data when arguing with politicians. The problem is the census question is kinda a leading question and as such people tend to put down what it was they were born into. This is part of the reason why we have what is called ‘Religious Education’ in schools.

    /end rant

    Jimmy from Down Under

  22. This is great news, but Phil, your new graphic doesn’t make sense. You need to put a machine gun or maybe a phaser into the mouse’s little paws! Photoshop geniuses, make it so.

  23. Good to hear this news. :-)

    From this outsiders admittedly very distant vantage point (Australia) it looks more and more like the Creationist politico-social movement has passed its zenith of popularity and influence and is sinking quickly now towards well-deserved obscurity and final disappearance. Not before time.

    I’d say that in retrospect the Dover trial (2005?) was the ultimate deathblow for Creationism / Intelligent Design. Maybe?

    Would folks over there in the States closer to the action agree or disagree with that asessment?

  24. David

    The Australian government does not pay for religious education; it’s done by volunteers.

    http://creation.com/atheists-to-do-religious-education-in-schools

  25. ellie

    @23
    As a resident of Arizona, I only *wish* you were right.
    It’s a very strange place to be because AZ has fantastic physical science academic programs and institutions. All of our major universities have been involved in someway (large and small) in robotic exploration missions. It’s something to be AMAZINGLY proud of, yet there are only passing blurbs about it in local news.

    Although academia is hanging in there at college level, the politics are run by Mormons, fundies, and fundie Mormons. That’s what gives AZ it’s crazy flavor that the rest of the nation sees. the universities just got served huge funding cuts. My friends with young kids (all of use from the east coast, a couple are Jewish) are completely shocked at kindergartners and primary school kids singing songs like “Jesus Loves Me” in class. One of my Jewish friends has earned the ire her community for very vocally opposing this at every school board meeting. The school ended up letting her daughter and son study quietly in another room during these times (aka being ostracized).

    Sadly, the fundie movement has not peaked, I think. I think this may be it’s peak…these 2 years with the teatards they elected. Hopefully, the decline will be coming forthwith.

  26. DrFlimmer

    So, because of this, I am happy to create this new graphic:[…]

    Stop me, if I’m wrong, but I remember a graphic with a similar text and the mouse pointing a gun (or something) in the cat’s direction…

  27. @ ^ Dr Flimmer : Me too. A mouse with a grenade or rocket launcher or something like that I’m pretty sure! :-)

    @24. ellie :

    “My friends with young kids (all of use from the east coast, a couple are Jewish) are completely shocked at kindergartners and primary school kids singing songs like “Jesus Loves Me” in class. One of my Jewish friends has earned the ire her community for very vocally opposing this at every school board meeting. The school ended up letting her daughter and son study quietly in another room during these times (aka being ostracized).”

    Yikes! :-o

    That really sucks. :-(

    Is that typical or just a local thing though? How widespread is such nastiness?

    @13. Steve : “And if you really want to be scared, read the manifesto posted by the Norwegian bomber!”

    Or the Hamas charter or the ravings of a thousand and one Jihadist groups around the planet. Equally hate-filled and appalling but far more numerous and far more likely to threaten our lives and way of life.

    Oh & shame on you for trying to make political capital and some kind of dumb “point” out of the entirely unrelated Norweigan tragedy. :-(

  28. Found it! Here it is – click on my name for the “NOT doomed” mouse image! 8)

    Or see ‘Texas : not so doomed?’ posted by the BA on January 8th, 2009 9:15 AM – with the image apparently provided by Douglas Gogerty.

  29. Tolpuddle Martyr

    Whoo Hoo! Science and Education for the win! :D

  30. Joseph

    The mouse needs a light saber (developed from Science!) to ensure not doomed status.

  31. @20 David

    -“Still, I wonder how many students in schools, colleges and universities would say they have the academic freedom to critique evolution in their science classes?”

    In schools, I would hope as much as any student can question trigonometry in maths classes, newton’s laws of motion in phyisics, and established translations in their Spanish classes. i.e. not much. Especially if the critique is based on easily debunked creation myths.

    Now university you may have learned enough details that you can start questioning, but even then it’s probably at a post-gruaduate level. No pupil in a school is going to have near enough background information to start questioning an established scientific theory, especially one with such a strong basis in factual evidence as evolution.

  32. jess tauber

    If mice were smarter they would attack the soft underbelly of those darned cats. A nice bite in a sensitive spot and kitty will think twice about messin’ with ya. How ’bout a Murine Manifesto? Since mice reproduce much more quickly than cats, a selective breeding and training program, with heavy anti-cat indoctrination, might do the trick. Tiny AK-47’s might come in handy too. We have to stop felegal immigration now!

  33. ERic

    Texas may not be doomed, but it sure has felt like Hell lately.

  34. @ #31:

    “felegal immigration” for the win.

  35. Darth Robo

    @ David #20

    Answers:

    A – Evolution should be taught as both fact and theory

    B – Kids do NOT have the right to decide on the validity of science, or decide for themselves what the correct answers to tests are. Scientists decide on the validity of science by actually doing the research. Kids DO however have the right to ask questions if they like, but that doesn’t mean their objections to science are valid.

    C – It would be better if you got your science information from scientists rather than religious apologists who are also known and demonstrated liars, such as those in your linkys. That’s why they haven’t been able to falsify evolution yet, as much as they love to claim otherwise.

    D – Have they actually come up with a scientific theory of ID/Creationism yet?

    E – Didn’t think so.

    May you be blessed by His Noodly Appendage.

  36. Darth Robo

    @ Hobie #16

    —“Kids need to understand that Religion of one sort or another exists and that it is a critical element of the world views of the greater majority of the people on this planet.”

    Why cater for the greater majority? Personally I think a comparative religions class (NOT in science class) would be a good thing, but I don’t agree that one should only learn Christianity just because that happens to be the largest population of your country or area.

    Unfortunately in the US, a comparative religions class would be tricky, as there’s too many fundies who would take advantage and use it as a platform to preach their particular religious opinions, ultimately forcing it to close down.

  37. Joseph G

    Congratulations NCSE!!
    Part of me thinks that we’re still in pretty dire straights if the inclusion of science in science textbooks is seen as a victory, but it sure as hell beats the alternative.

    As for the graphic, I dunno. That Texas mouse still looks pretty doomed. Maybe photoshop in a tiny little revolver for the mouse? And a cowboy hat, of course ;)

  38. ND

    “May you be blessed by His Noodly Appendage.”

    Umm, thanks but no thanks.

  39. Joseph G

    @#4 Brown: Creationist people are easily startled, but they’ll soon be back, and in greater numbers.

    @Messier Tidy Upper: You found it! Win :D
    *still thinks a little cowboy hat would be cute*

    Also, I can’t believe I wrote “dire straights”. Caffeine deficiency, that’s it.

  40. ND

    “D – Have they actually come up with a scientific theory of ID/Creationism yet?”

    If they do, it’s either going to be a good laugh, or change all of humanity if testable and proven correct. I don’t think there is any in between.

    If something testable is put forth and lets say the evidence conclusively shows there is an intelligent creator, I’d put my money on our universe being part of a science experiment on spawning a universe. The creator(s) could be scientist or engineers.

  41. Darth Robo

    Oh, and by the way David? Thanks once again for OPENLY ADMITTING to the entire world on the intehwebz that ID really IS Creationism.

    Just like the DI pretended it wasn’t.

    God bless you all!

    :D

  42. Ad Hominid

    Vast as it is, fundy anti-science is simply a component of a much larger drive: the attempt to discredit and destroy public education to open the way for a voucher program. This, of course, would result in a gold rush of cranks, crackpots, and other shady operators setting up their own superstition academies at public expense. These are the selfsame cranks and crackpots we see pushing creationism and ID today.

  43. I am a science teacher in Texas, and I’ve been laughing at this whole thing since I first heard of it. No teacher I’ve talked to has ever heard of “supplements” to textbooks from the BoE, so I assume it’s something new. In that case, I don’t see why any teacher would use them (even if they are legit).

    Districts develop their curriculum based on the state standards (we call them TEKS in Texas), and then we create our lessons and labs or get them from education publishing companies on the campus or even classroom level. I’m in a pretty big district (Round Rock ISD), and all science teachers I’ve met would ignore any attempt for the BoE to tell us what teaching tools to use in our classrooms, ESPECIALLY if they had any religious tone to them. The BoE is in charge of deciding what the kids should learn; I’m in charge of how I teach and what I use to teach.

    These worries about Texas being doomed are way overblown. I teach middle school, and mention evolution, big bang, and all these other so-called “controversial” theories every chance I get and have never gotten a negative reaction. We’re not all gun-toting boot-wearing fundamentalists here. That’s a stereotype as offensive as any other.

  44. David

    @41 Darth Robo

    “Oh, and by the way David? Thanks once again for OPENLY ADMITTING to the entire world on the intehwebz that ID really IS Creationism.”

    What specific statement of mine are you referring to?

    And while you’re at it, how about picking one question (1-31) from:

    http://www.trueorigin.org/evomyth01.asp

    and answering it for all of us to read?

    Or, if you prefer, here’s a different question:

    Computer programmers utilize complex codes to create software. The genetic code, which is more sophisticated, controls the physical processes of life and is accompanied by elaborate transmission and duplication systems.
    How does evolution, using natural processes and chance, solve the problem of complex information sequencing without intelligence?

  45. David

    @45 Andrew

    “I teach middle school, and mention evolution, big bang, and all these other so-called “controversial” theories every chance I get and have never gotten a negative reaction.”

    Dr. Danny Faulkner, professor of astronomy and physics at the University of South Carolina (Lancaster) commented: “The Ptolemaic model (of the solar system) stood for 15 centuries, but ultimately was rejected in the 17th century because of the huge complexity it had. The real problem with that model was you couldn’t falsify it. No matter what new data, new observations came along, you could always patch it up with a fix of new epicycles or other effects.”

    “Over the past three decades the Big Bang model has been changed tremendously. They changed the expansion rate, hence the age of the universe. They’ve thrown in dark matter, dark energy…inflation, …string theory… and it’s starting to look more and more like the Ptolemaic model…. So at what point does the Big Bang model become as unwieldy as the Ptolemaic model, that caused people to reject it?” (unpublished interview, May 15, 2010)

    See also:

    Water, Water Everywhere in Space
    http://crev.info/content/110723_water_water_everywhere_in_space

  46. Stargazer

    Isn’t it weird to discuss whether there should be good science in the science text books? I mean, who would doubt that?

  47. Nigel Depledge

    Darth Robo (10) said:

    Oh, by the way (for when the inevitable passing fundies arrive) what’s the “scientific theory” of Creationism/ID?

    Someone, somewhere, at some time, designed some of the stuff we find in biology. Somehow.

    How can anyone not see that this is far more scientific than Darwin’s blather?

    [/Poe]

    Aw, man, I suck at Poes*.

    * Is it my imagination, or does this sound really wrong?

  48. Nigel Depledge

    Hobie (16) said:

    It amazes me that there is such a huge fight over this subject. If we would actually recognize that
    a) science will never be able to answer all of the questions of the universe – mostly because each answer we find 10 questions are produced.

    Interesting. Have you so little faith in the human spirit?

    and
    b) like it or not, faith is a major part of the lives of a HUGE number of people.

    True, but it nevertheless has no place in science education.

    I agree, faith doesn’t belong in physics, geology & chemistry classes,

    Nor does it have any place in Biology or Maths. Or history. Or any other science or evidence-based subject.

    Come to think of it, it has no place in French or German either. Or music (you don’t have to have faith in anything to appreciate, for example, Handel’s Messiah). Or art.

    but by leaving it out of schools entirely we are opening kids up to the small mindedness that leads to Steve’s comment.

    But the only way to teach about religion without favouring one religion above others would be to have a Comparative Religion class (rather like the RE or RI classes that exist in many schools the UK). And can you imagine how the fundies would react to that?

    Kids need to understand that Religion of one sort or another exists and that it is a critical element of the world views of the greater majority of the people on this planet.

    Yup. And I think some for mof Comparative Religion class is the best way to convey this.

    I think the Australians have it right. They have a time block every week in every school for religion. For those with it, they get a teacher provided by their local perish (not funded by the school board) and for those without there is a summary class that teaches about the fundamental concepts & theories behind each faith

    This seems to me to be a long way short of optimum. It (potentially) focusses the teaching on just one religion (except for those attending the summary classes), and that’s little better than indoctrination.

    One of the key things that children should be taught about religion is how many of them are similar, and yet how much strife the relatively small differences have caused.

  49. Nigel Depledge

    David (20) said:

    Still, I wonder how many students in schools, colleges and universities would say they have the academic freedom to critique evolution in their science classes?

    This is pointless.

    First, to rationally criticise a theory, you need to understand it. Generally, a full understanding of evolution does not arrive until university-level work.

    Second, since this post is about biological evolution, why are you singling out biology as an area where students (even high-school students) should have “academic freedom” to critique the theory?

    Or do you also feel that students (including high-school students) should be free to critique, for instance, geography, or chemistry?

    There should be school district and state polls of high-school and college/university students studying evolution, asking two questions:

    In this class: a) Is evolution taught as fact, theory, or both fact and theory? b) Do you have the academic freedom to critique evolution? (Students should answer anonymously.) The same questions should be asked of their instructors.

    What purpose would this serve?

    First, as I point out above, academic freedom is not relevant at the levels you refer to (the term actually refers to postgraduate research at universities).

    Second, if you encourage students to criticise stuff before they understand it, what could this possibly achieve, apart from reducing the amount of class time spent actually teaching?

    Third, of course, who’s to say they don’t already have that freedom? In many high schools in the USA, evolution is glossed over or shoved under the carpet because the teachers are afraid of the backlash from fundy parents. But in the others, there is almost certainly already room for such discussion.

    For a partial list of questions that could be used by teachers and students to critically examine and evaluate evolution, see the article:

    I followed your first link, and found that the first 5 questions:
    1. Don’t have anything to do with biology at all;
    2. Include some substantial – well, I was going to use the word “misapprehensions”, but let’s call a spade a spade – lies about what is currently known and taught (most especially about radioactive dating – if you want to know how this is actually done by real scientists, google the term “isochron”).

    So, I stopped reading. That page is clearly nothing better than ignorant propaganda.

    And then I did not follow your other links.

    But, for linking to a page full of obvious lies, you lose.

  50. Nigel Depledge

    James (21) said:

    If your going to teach religion in schools then teach all about the different ones, how the Mormans started, how the Jehovah Witnesses started, how the bible is known to be written, the historic arguments about the bible and it’s authenticity, about the history of Islam, etc, etc, etc. That would be useful for a person who can think for themselves. But a time block for religion at a young age that only focuses on Christianity and is run by Christians only serves one purpose, to educate them into religion.

    Yes! This!

  51. Nigel Depledge

    Joseph (30) said:

    . . . a light saber (developed from Science!) . . .

    Wait, these are real now?

  52. Nigel Depledge

    Joseph G (37) said:

    Part of me thinks that we’re still in pretty dire straights if the inclusion of science in science textbooks is seen as a victory, but it sure as hell beats the alternative.

    Too true!

  53. Nigel Depledge

    To respond in a bit more detail to David’s disingenuous questions in #20 –

    Irrespective of how thoroughly or otherwise evolution is taught in schools, biological evolution is both a fact and a theory.

    It is a fact that populations of biological entities change over time. This is irrefutably demonstrated (you can watch this happening for yourself if you are observant and patient and make an honest attempt to see what is).

    The theory of evolution explains both why and how this change occurs. The how includes a range of mechanisms (including natural selection, hybridisation and genetic drift). It also makes a set of predictions that are tested every time a genome is sequenced, and every time a fossil is unearthed, and in a thousand other ways. One of the predictions of evolutionary theory is Common Descent, which has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    Since you linked first of all to a site that seemed obsessed with the age of the Earth, here are some supplementary points:

    That the Earth is very old is also proven beyond reasonable doubt. Even without radioactive dating, all the available evidence indicates that the Earth is very old. However, radioactive dating is able to give us accurate dates, and the isochron method contains a system of internal checks and balances that mean that if any contamination were to occur, or if an unexpectedly large amount of daughter isotope were present to start with, you simply would not get a date. Radioactive dating is strengthened by the fact that dates obtained using different radionuclides agree with one another, yet if the technique were as weak as your link pretends, one would expect different radionuclides to give different dates for the same sample.

    One last point on radioactive dating – no scientist has ever claimed that radioactive decay is constant. It is exponential. The decay rate changes all the time, but the way in which it changes is constant for each radionuclide.

  54. ND

    Nigel Depledge said:

    “Irrespective of how thoroughly or otherwise evolution is taught in schools, biological evolution is both a fact and a theory.”

    In other words:

    Q: Is evolution taught as fact, theory, or both fact and theory?
    A: Yes.

    :)

  55. David

    Nigel Depledge said: “2. Include some substantial – well, I was going to use the word “misapprehensions”, but let’s call a spade a spade – lies about what is currently known and taught (most especially about radioactive dating – if you want to know how this is actually done by real scientists, google the term “isochron”).”

    From this 2003 article:

    http://www.icr.org/article/new-rate-data-support-young-world/

    Our experiments measured how rapidly nuclear-decay-generated Helium escapes from tiny radio-active crystals in granite-like rock. The new data extend into a critical range of temperatures, and they resoundingly confirm a num-erical prediction we published several years before the experiments.4 The Helium loss rate is so high that almost all of it would have escaped during the alleged 1.5 billion year uniformitarian5 age of the rock, and there would be very little Helium in the crystals today. But the crystals in granitic rock presently contain a very large amount of Helium, and the new experiments support an age of only 6000 years. Thus these data are powerful evidence against the long ages of uniformitarianism and for a recent creation consistent with Scripture.

  56. David

    James (21) said: “If your going to teach religion in schools then teach all about the different ones, how the Mormans started, how the Jehovah Witnesses started, how the bible is known to be written, the historic arguments about the bible and it’s authenticity, about the history of Islam, etc, etc, etc.”

    In May 2000, Michael Ruse (philosopher of science) wrote: “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion–a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint–and Mr. Gish is but one of many to make it–the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”

    If religion cannot be taught in science classes, why is evolution taught in science classes?

    Ruse, M., “How evolution became a religion: creationists correct? Darwinians wrongly mix science with morality, politics”, National Post, pp. B1, B3, B7 (May 13, 2000)
    http://www.omniology.com/HowEvolutionBecameReligion.html
    http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9404/ruse.html
    http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or151/mr93tran.htm

  57. David

    How do geologists and paleontologists explain microfossils of pollen, spores, angiosperms, gymnosperms, and at least one winged insect, in Eocambrian (Upper Precambrian) rock?

    “Pollen Paradox” by Emil Silvestru and Carl Wieland
    http://creation.com/pollen-paradox

    “The discovery of pollen and spores in beds considered Precambrian (Proterozoic) has received brief notice in geological journals and the press.” (Stainforth, R. M., “Occurance of Pollen and Spores in the Roraima Formation of Venezuela and British Guiana”, Nature, 1966, 210, pp. 292-296.)

    “The great majority are undeterminable as to genus and species, being mainly shreds of angiosperm wood, but there are also gymnosperm tracheids with large round bordered pits, and at least one good, winged, six-legged insect with compound eyes.” (Sahni, B., “Age of the Saline Series in the Salt Range of the Punjab”, Nature, 1944, 153, p. 462.)

    To Sahni, this meant the Salt Range Formation must be Eocene. He later found plant fragments not only in the kallar (thin layers of saline earth) but in associated solid rock layers composed of dolomite and shale. In his report, Sahni (1945, p. x) said “stringent precautions” were taken to prevent contamination of the samples with modern organic remains. He also emphasized that samples were taken from locations where the geological evidence ruled out intrusion from younger strata.

    Although modern geological reports acknowledge overthrusts in the Salt Range, they unanimously declare the Salt Range Formation to be Eocambrian, not Eocene. (Yeats et al. 1984, Butler et al. 1987, Jauné and Lillie 1988, Baker et al. 1988, Pennock et al. 1989, McDougall and Khan 1990).

    McDougall, J. W., and Khan, S. H., 1990, Strike-slip faulting in a foreland fold-thrust belt: The Kalabagh Fault and Western Salt Range, Pakistan: Tectonics, v. 9, pp. 1061-1075.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1990/TC009i005p01061.shtml

    Eocene: dated from about 56 to 34 million years ago
    Eocambrian (Upper Precambrian): dated from about 1.6 billion to 600 million years ago

  58. @ David

    Funny how an article from the institute of creation “research” supports an age of the Earth of 6000 years. Obviously that completely falsifies all the hundreds of other sources of evidence for the actual 4 billion-odd age of the Earth.

    /sarcasm

    Posting from creationist propaganda sites won’t get you very far here. It’s all been so thoroughly debunked that it’s actually quite funny.

    Oh and I thought Darwinians were those little green virtual people in that very cool “retro” game from a few years ago (Darwinia)?

  59. David Ratnasabapathy

    David wrote:

    If religion cannot be taught in science classes, why is evolution taught in science classes?

    Evolution is taught as a fact in science classes because the evidence overwhelmingly supports it, that’s why. I highly recommend a read through Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species or Jerry Coyne’s most excellent explanation, Why Evolution is True

  60. Darth Robo

    # 46 David

    —“What specific statement of mine are you referring to?”

    You know, your opening post. The one where you link to not just one, but two creationist websites.

    —“And while you’re at it, how about picking one question (1-31) from true origin and answering it for all of us to read?”

    Sure. And while you’re at it, why not pick one published peer-reviewed paper on evolution from any of the 15918 or 295291 (currently) on Pnas and PubMed respectively?

    Question 1 at ‘True Origin’. The Big Bang is UTTERLY irrelevant to the theory of evolution as the theory of evolution deals SPECIFICALLY with explaining biological diversity here on planet Earth. That’s it. The Creationist’s objection to the Big Bang is that because the theory has been refined and become more accurate over the years, and is not a static unchanging dogma like good old creationism, then obviously the Big Bang is wrong because Goddidit with magic just like the Bible said.

    It really doesn’t help your case when you can’t even tell the difference between astrophysics and biology.

    —“Or, if you prefer, here’s a different question: Computer programmers utilize complex codes to create software. The genetic code, which is more sophisticated, controls the physical processes of life and is accompanied by elaborate transmission and duplication systems.”

    I am not aware of any genetic code other than the analogy used by evolutionary biologists in order to explain the complex biochemistry of the DNA molecule. This “code”, A, C, G, and T refer to Adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine, the chemical bases of DNA. This is the only known “code” that I am aware of, and it was invented by humans. And there are decades of biological medical history to back up that fact. If the code is something else, perhaps you could tell us exactly what it is?

    —“How does evolution, using natural processes and chance, solve the problem of complex information sequencing without intelligence?”

    What does “chance” have to do with chemistry? I am not aware of a problem. What is the mechanism used by your intelligent agent, what exactly does it do, and what evidence do you have of both your mechanism and your alleged intelligent agent?

    As it is, none of this actually addresses the validity of evolution. For if we (for the sake of argument) accept that DNA is in fact “designed” somehow by some sort of “designer”, this does not prevent the process of evolution from occurring, and may even be in fact precisely what your “intelligent designer” intended. I predict that you will protest in some way that evolution was not a part of the designer’s original intentions, therefore I am then forced to ask, what all these alleged limits of the so-called “intelligent designer” are, and how were they determined in an objective manner via the scientific method?

    I also couldn’t help noticing that once again, after being given another wondrous opportunity to do so, you abstained yourself from presenting us with an explanation of what exactly the “scientific theory” of ID/Creationism actually IS.

    Oh, and just one more thing, it’s worth pointing out that the very first reference from your ‘True Origin’ site contradicts its own “scientific principles” in their very first sentence in their “Statement of Faith”, and in pretty much every one after. Thereby utterly destroying any claim of scientific veracity or objectivity:

    http://www.icr.org/tenets/

  61. David

    I’m looking forward to reading someone’s answer to this question:

    How do geologists and paleontologists explain microfossils of pollen, spores, angiosperms, gymnosperms, and at least one winged insect, in Eocambrian (Upper Precambrian) rock?

  62. Darth Robo

    # 58 David

    —“Our experiments measured how rapidly nuclear-decay-generated Helium escapes from tiny radio-active crystals in granite-like rock. The new data extend into a critical range of temperatures, and they resoundingly confirm a num-erical prediction we published several years before the experiments.4 The Helium loss rate is so high that almost all of it would have escaped during the alleged 1.5 billion year uniformitarian5 age of the rock, and there would be very little Helium in the crystals today. But the crystals in granitic rock presently contain a very large amount of Helium, and the new experiments support an age of only 6000 years. Thus these data are powerful evidence against the long ages of uniformitarianism and for a recent creation consistent with Scripture.”

    If that really was the case, then you have a SERIOUS problem. Some key points are these:

    1 – There are various radiometric dating techniques, and *if used correctly* they give consistent results, which are also backed up with other things like ice cores etc. Creationists have a tendency however to NOT use these techniques correctly, like not removing zircon contamination and looking for rocks which are likely to be so contaminated thus skewing the results and allowing them to claim geology, physics and chemistry are incorrect therefore the age of the Earth must line up with the alleged scriptual claim of a 6,000 year old Earth. It would be rather mean of me to presume that this was deliberate intent on their part. Note also how you are now not only arguing against evolution like you originally implied, but in fact EVERY FIELD OF SCIENCE in order to support your claims.

    2 – Our nuclear power stations are based on nuclear decay rates consistent with accepted results you reject. So if you happen to live near one of these places, do you have a good umbrella?

    3 – Accelerating nuclear decay on various elements has previously been attempted, by heating up materials to extremely high temperatures. In all cases this had an almost negligible effect on the apparent age of the substance. So in order to accelerate nuclear decay rates by a factor required by Young Earth Creation, the temperature would be so high that it would literally sterilise the entire universe.

    Of course, when your “scientific alternative” is GODDIDIT, there’s no hypothesis you can’t save by invoking magic. Just like ICR openly admitted in one of their rare moments of honesty.

  63. Darth Robo

    # 59 David

    —“In May 2000, Michael Ruse (philosopher of science) wrote: “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion–a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint–and Mr. Gish is but one of many to make it–the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.” ”

    Of course Mr Ruse’s baseless opinion is irrelevant. Philosophy to science is about as useful as ornithology is to birds. Evolution is NOT an alternative to Christianity, as evolution makes no theological claims whatsoever. His claim is also false as many many many religious people, Christians included have no problem accepting evolution. Same with morality; science makes no moral claims, in fact it CANNOT. It cannot tell you whether it is “moral” to use a hammer to strike another person or hammer a nail. But it CAN provide you with explicit detail of either of these events.

    The other mistake that Mr Ruse, like the Creationists have been unable to learn from is that the claim “evolution is a religion” has already been struck down in court. Numerous times over.

    Probably had something to do with the fact that every single time that evolution and creationism butted heads in court, evolution could be backed up with 150 years worth of scientific evidence, while the creationists ALWAYS forgot to take any examples of scientific evidence with them.

  64. Darth Robo

    # 60 David

    —“How do geologists and paleontologists explain microfossils of pollen, spores, angiosperms, gymnosperms, and at least one winged insect, in Eocambrian (Upper Precambrian) rock?”

    First of all, how does Creationism explain it? GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC! The end.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC341.html

    So David, is this how it’s gonna go? You will spam us with an exceedingly long list of tired old creationist arguments that with just a few seconds of looking, one will find an actual scientific reference refuting it? What’s wrong with actually engaging people in your own words and engaging in actual debate? What exactly IS the “scientific theory” of ID/Creationism? Why is it that no-one, not even the DI, can EVER answer this very simple question?

    Or shall we simply cut all the coy nonsense and simply point out that you reject not only evolution but ALL the sciences, because you think that Goddidit with magic because the Bible is true because the Bible says so?

    It would save us all a lot of time.

    And perhaps even our souls…

  65. @David

    “How do geologists and paleontologists explain microfossils of pollen, spores, angiosperms, gymnosperms, and at least one winged insect, in Eocambrian (Upper Precambrian) rock?”

    Assuming you have presented this situation honestly and accurately, what would it matter if no one here could answer it?

    You mention the Eocene era and it being 56 to 34 million years ago. Wouldn’t that mean the Earth is at least that old? That’s far from the 6000 your ICR links claim and also enough time for many evolutionary processes to work.

    What are you hoping to argue from posing that question? Do you think it would invalidate all the evidence for both a 4 billion year old Earth and evolution of life on it if we are unable to answer it to your satisfaction?

  66. Darth Robo

    # 64

    —“I’m looking forward to reading someone’s answer to this question”

    I’m really looking forward to the creationist’s answer to the question. I’m also really REALLY looking forward to the answer to my question – what exactly IS the “scientific theory” of ID/Creationism?

    Oh wait, the answer to both is Goddidit with magic cuz the Bible is true cuz the Bible sez so!

    Dave, I take it now you will not even bother to address anything that has gone before, including all the mistakes you made, and will simply find another bogus creationist claim to spam?

    Would it surprise you to know that we will be able to present evidence of evolution to you that not only will YOU not be able to answer it, but also that not one single creationist source will be able to either? They do try of course, but then we are already aware of those arguments and know what’s wrong with them.

    Eventually you will run away.

    And it ALWAYS plays out this way.

    I wonder if you will ever understand the reason why…

  67. Eventually you will run away.
    And it ALWAYS plays out this way.
    I wonder if you will ever understand the reason why…

    Because the Great God Darwin demands sacrifice?

    Oh, wait, that’s that other one.

  68. Actually, that whole “evolution is a religion” line always gets to me. I think it reveals a fundamental truth about the creationists, and goes a long way toward explaining their motivation.

    It seems they just can’t get past the idea that scientists aren’t upset by the notion that they don’t have all the questions. The fact that this doesn’t bug biologists or others who study evolution just drives the creationists bat farking crazy. “What do you mean you don’t have all the answers? What happened to the all-powerful science? How can it be so great if it doesn’t give you all the answers?” (Implied continuation: “…like the Bible does!” (Except when it doesn’t.))

    Ultimately, I think it’s a sign of how utterly unimaginative they are, and what a small, small universe they’ve constructed for themselves.

  69. Brian Too

    @David,

    Re: “If religion cannot be taught in science classes, why is evolution taught in science classes?”

    Words fail me.

  70. David

    @ Darth Robo #69 “I’m really looking forward to the creationist’s answer to the question. I’m also really REALLY looking forward to the answer to my question – what exactly IS the “scientific theory” of ID/Creationism?”

    There is a difference between ID and creationism:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/creationism-vs-id-two-books-or-one/

    As for a theory of creation, read:

    A Theory of Creation
    A Response to the Pretense that No Creation Theory Exists
    by Timothy Wallace
    http://www.trueorigin.org/creatheory.asp

  71. David

    @PayasYouStargaze #68

    “You mention the Eocene era and it being 56 to 34 million years ago. Wouldn’t that mean the Earth is at least that old? That’s far from the 6000 your ICR links claim and also enough time for many evolutionary processes to work.”

    I didn’t say the Eocene era was 56 to 34 million years ago. I said: “Eocene: _dated_ from about 56 to 34 million years ago”. Those are the dates according to the standard geologic column–as interpreted by evolutionary geologists and paleontologists.

  72. David

    Darth Robo said: “Oh, and by the way David? Thanks once again for OPENLY ADMITTING to the entire world on the intehwebz that ID really IS Creationism.”

    My first response: “What specific statement of mine are you referring to?”

    Then Darth Robo said: “You know, your opening post. The one where you link to not just one, but two creationist websites.”

    Darth Robo needs to read more carefully. My opening statement was: “On July 21 Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott recommended nine high school biology options, but none include intelligent design or creationism.”

    Intelligent design _or_ creationism. I didn’t say “intelligent design creationism”. Many Darwinists like to lump the two together, but there are differences between the two:

    Intelligent Design and Creationism Just Aren’t the Same
    http://www.discovery.org/a/1329

    I then showed a link to a creationist website (www.trueorigin.org) and another to an ID website (www.uncommondescent.com)

  73. Mark Hansen

    You see, everybody? It’s all perfectly simple. All you need do, as David has shown, is to keep two or more mutually incompatible ideas in your head and believe both to be the truth simultaneously. The Earth is 6000 years old, it has always been 6000 years old and will always be 6000 years old. When it is convenient to believe that the Earth is more than 6000 years old, we can choose to do so. Someone should write a book with that sort of idea in it…

  74. ND

    You know all these creationist/ID group websites keep using the words science and evolution but I don’t think they mean what they think they mean.

    David,

    You’re throwing up all these links but do you have any background in the sciences these creationist/ID discuss/attack/use?

    Also, this idea that ID and creationism are separate is bull. The Dover trial brought out evidence on this. Note the draft and published texts of the book Of Pandas and People:

    Draft: Creation is the theory that various forms of life began abruptly, with their distinctive features already intact: Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers and wings, mammals with fur and mammary glands.

    Published: Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact: Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, et cetera.

    Apparently ID and creationism are interchangeable. So please stop this nonsense. ID == creationism.

    Edit: David, so do you seriously believe that Evolution is a religion, like Christianity and other religions?

  75. David

    ND asks: “David, so do you seriously believe that Evolution is a religion, like Christianity and other religions?”

    Evolution isn’t a religion in the formal sense (eg. with specific rituals, reciting certain creeds). But as religion can be defined as a belief system, then yes, it is a religion. Michael Ruse wrote in his May 13, 2000 essay in the National Post: “Evolution is a religion.” Could he have said it any clearer?

    In the early 80’s, Ruse testified at the creationism trial in Arkansas (McLean v. Arkansas). In 1993, he spoke at the 1993 annual AAAS meeting in Boston. Tom Woodward writes in Ruse Gives Away the Store: “Assuring his audience, ‘I’m no less of an evolutionist now than I ever was,’ Ruse nevertheless explained that he had given fresh consideration to [Phillip] Johnson’s thesis that Ruse himself, as ‘an evolutionist, is metaphysically based at some level just as much as . . . some creationist. . . . I must confess, in the ten years since I . . . appeared in the Creationism Trial in Arkansas . . . I’ve been coming to this kind of position myself.'”

    At the creationism trial, Ruse had testified creation-science is not science at all. Invoking the fact/faith dichotomy, Ruse claimed evolution was scientific because establishing its validity required no philosophical assumptions. All other views, he claimed, required such assumptions and were therefore unscientific.

    His testimony became the centerpiece of Judge Overton’s ruling. Read the complete transcript of Ruse’s remarks at the 1993 AAAS:

    http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/arn/orpages/or151/mr93tran.htm

    *

    And from J. Dunphy, A Religion for a New Age, The Humanist, Jan.–Feb. 1983:

    “I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism … .
    It will undoubtedly be a long, arduous, painful struggle replete with much sorrow and many tears, but humanism will emerge triumphant. It must if the family of humankind is to survive.”

    J. Dunphy, A Religion for a New Age, The Humanist, Jan.–Feb. 1983, 23, 26, cited by Wendell R. Bird, Origin of the Species Revisited, vol. 2, p. 257.

  76. David

    As this is mainly an astronomy blog, I’m wondering how many have heard of Danny Faulkner, professor of astronomy and physics at the University of South Carolina (Lancaster). He’s been on the faculty of since 1986.

    His research interests include stellar astronomy, especially binary stars, and he’s published more than 30 papers in various astronomy and astrophysics journals including the Astronomical Journal, Astrophysical Journal, the Publication of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the Information Bulletin on Variable Stars. (So much for the canard that creationists don’t publish in mainstream peer-reviewed journals.)

    Faulkner is the author of “Universe By Design: An Explanation of Cosmology and Creation” (Master Books, 2004). In chapter 6, he mentions particle physicist Russell Humphreys, who published the book “Starlight and Time” in 1994, outlining his “white hole cosmology”.

    http://creationwiki.org/White_hole_cosmology

    Faulkner writes: “Indeed, general relativity demands that time pass at different rates at different locations in the universe. With certain initial conditions a literal day or two could have passed on the earth while permitting millions or even billions of years to have elapsed elsewhere. Such things are possible as a consequence of general relativity. Therefore the Humphreys cosmology could provide a resolution to the light-travel-time problem.. Whether or not the Humphreys cosmology
    survives, we should be encouraged by its proposal.”

    Humphreys’ cosmology model proposes that the first matter God created was liquid water, which He then used it to form all the galaxies, etc.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/267.asp

    Further support for Humpheys’ model came just last week:

    http://crev.info/content/110723_water_water_everywhere_in_space

    Before retiring, Humphreys worked for Sandia National Laboratories.

    Most cosmologists and astronomers believe the universe wasn’t eternal, but had a beginning. So… which statement requires the most faith/belief?

    In the beginning, NOTHING.

    In the beginning, a SINGULARITY.

    In the beginning, GOD.

    (I don’t have as much faith as the atheist!)

  77. Darth Robo

    David

    —“There is a difference between ID and creationism”

    Really? Goddidit with magic vs Something which may or may not be God (wink wink) didit with magic? Not to mention the fact *you’ve* been referencing Creationist and ID sites all over the place like they’re one and the same. By the way, WEDGE DOCUMENT. And don’t bother pointing me to that pathetic Notpology called “So what?”, where they say “Oh no it isn’t about God but it is about God really!” Classic example of them getting caught with their pants round their ankles.

    —“A Response to the Pretense that No Creation Theory Exists”

    In which they set up a straw-man full of lies, using the logical fallacy that if one idea is wrong, theirs “must” be correct. And in fact in their VERY FIRST comparison between Creationism and evolution they screw up, and tell us all that they are not actually doing science, and have no interest at all in doing science. There’s no science there at all, no mechanisms, no way to falsify their claims – yet they lie about evolution by saying things have been falsified when they actually haven’t, or claim that things are not falsifiable when they are, and simply have not been falsified yet. A valid example of “Creation theory” would be what it would predict in regards to the potential of a fossil organism with feathers and three middle-ear bones. Unfortunately Creationism is incapable of dealing with such details.

    So so far, everything you’ve presented has been a lie. The only question is that is it because you are simply gullible or are you also lying yourself?

    —“I didn’t say the Eocene era was 56 to 34 million years ago. I said: “Eocene: _dated_ from about 56 to 34 million years ago”. Those are the dates according to the standard geologic column–as interpreted by evolutionary geologists and paleontologists.”

    Yet according to you guys these strata levels don’t even exist because you think the Earth is 6000 years old. Sorry Dave, you can’t use science you reject to falsify science. That would be monumental hypocrisy on your part. But then, that’s all creationists have.

    —“Intelligent Design and Creationism Just Aren’t the Same”

    Just because Creationists SAY they aren’t the same, doesn’t mean they’re not the same. The IDers ASLO ADMITTED that they ARE the same (thank you Phil Johnson), and then YOU go and do the exact SAME thing by presenting both Creationist and ID sites which BOTH have the SAME anti-evolution arguments.

    “Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.”

    – Philip Johnson, American Family Radio (10 January 2003)

    “cdesign proponentsists”

    – Of Pandas And People, Intelligent Design/Creationist ‘textbook’

    As usual you have avoided addressing the numerous scientific mistakes you made previously in favour of spamming us with yet more creationist linkys. And we haven’t even started presenting you with all the evidence for evolution you’ll avoid also. So why do you favour getting your scientific information from lawyers and religious apologists instead of scientific sources who actually know what they’re talking about?

  78. Nigel Depledge

    David (58) said:

    Our experiments measured how rapidly nuclear-decay-generated Helium escapes from tiny radio-active crystals in granite-like rock.

    Ah, so I see that you did not look up the isochron dating method.

    There’s a lot more to modern radioisotope dating than trying to measure the amount of helium that is in the crystals – especially since only alpha-emitters will ever generate helium in the first place.

    The new data extend into a critical range of temperatures, and they resoundingly confirm a num-erical prediction we published several years before the experiments.4 The Helium loss rate is so high that almost all of it would have escaped during the alleged 1.5 billion year uniformitarian5 age of the rock, and there would be very little Helium in the crystals today. But the crystals in granitic rock presently contain a very large amount of Helium, and the new experiments support an age of only 6000 years.

    I cannot explain this result.

    But I can tell you several things:

    First, you never conclude a date from a single radionuclide. One only ever draws a firm conclusion about a date for a sanple if two different methods converge.

    Second, I’d be prepared to bet that a real geologist could explain the result you report – either as something expected anyway, in truly old samples; or as a methodological error. Since your link is to the ICR, there’s always the possibility that the authors just made their results up to fit their preconceptions.

    Third, even if you have invalidated radioisotope dating (which I do not for one second believe), all of the other evidence indicates that the Earth is at least tens of millions of years old.

    You cannot accumulate thousands of metres of sediment (for example) in millimetre-thick layers in a mere 6000 years.

    Fourth, if the Earth really is as young as you claim, and the methods reported by the ICR are so much better than those used by geologists the world over, how come you only ever quote an age to one significant figure? Why 6000 years and not 6300, or 5890? And why no 2-sigma confidence limits? Real geologists always quote ages with confidence limits. Sorry, but without some assessment of the statistical quality of the data, the figure itself is without merit.

    Thus these data are [insignificant] evidence

    Fixed that for you.

    against the long ages of uniformitarianism

    Uniformitarianism is a strawman. It does not exist.

    and for a recent creation consistent with Scripture.

    There is no age that is consistent with scripture. Or rather, either:

    1. Scripture is just a bunch of moral lessons so it has no bearing; or

    2. Any age is consistent with scripture. Talk of days and nights before the sun existed is utterly meaningless. That first “day” could have been the equivalent of 13 billion years long.

  79. Nigel Depledge

    David (59) said:

    In May 2000, Michael Ruse [argument from authority redacted].

    If religion cannot be taught in science classes, why is evolution taught in science classes?

    Idiot, the answer is in your question.

    Read my lips : Evolution is science.

    Evolution is based on evidence. It is falsifiable. It is tested every time a new fossil is unearthed or a new genome is sequenced or a new protein structure is determined. In evolution, nothing is sacred. Indeed, much of what Darwin originally wrote has been shown to be erroneous (such as his argument for an old Earth), but this does not change the value of his insight, nor does it change the significance of the core mechanism he proposed.

  80. Nigel Depledge

    David (60) said:

    How do geologists and paleontologists explain microfossils of pollen, spores, angiosperms, gymnosperms, and at least one winged insect, in Eocambrian (Upper Precambrian) rock?

    “Pollen Paradox” by Emil Silvestru and Carl Wieland

    Easy. That “result” is a fantasy.

    Here’s what talkorigins.org has to say about the “pollen paradox”:

    1.Most of the palynology work was done by Clifford Burdick, who had very little knowledge of geological techniques. Creationists themselves admit that his results come from contamination of old rocks by recent pollen [Flank 1995; Chadwick 1973; 1981].

    2.Intrusion of pollen in older rocks is very common. Pollen is ubiquitous, and its small size allows it to be carried into even small cracks by water seepage. To verify that pollen is fossil pollen rather than a contamination, one must look at several factors:
    •What color is the pollen? Pollen darkens as it ages. If it is yellow or clear, it is recent.
    •Have the rocks been cooked? Vulcanism around the rocks would burn up the pollen.
    •Are the pollen grains flattened? Fossil pollens would be flattened as they are buried and compressed.

    There is no indication that the out-of-place pollen passes any of these tests. In particular, the Hakatai Shales have lava intrusions, so we would expect any fossil pollen in them to have burned up.

  81. @David (74)

    -“I didn’t say the Eocene era was 56 to 34 million years ago. I said: “Eocene: _dated_ from about 56 to 34 million years ago”. Those are the dates according to the standard geologic column–as interpreted by evolutionary geologists and paleontologists.”

    So by people who have studied their work for years and know what they’re talking about. But you haven’t answered my main question. How does this one case falsify all the rest of the evidence of an old Earth and the observations of evolution actually happening (assuming you presented the case honestly and accurately)?

    That is aside from those posters who have explained why it isn’t either accurate or honestly presented.

  82. Nigel Depledge

    Incidentally, the “pollen paradox” was first published in 1966. If it had any real merit, it surely would have influenced evolutionary science since then. Because, however, it has no merit, it has had no influence.

  83. Nigel Depledge

    David (60) said:

    “The great majority are undeterminable as to genus and species, being mainly shreds of angiosperm wood, but there are also gymnosperm tracheids with large round bordered pits, and at least one good, winged, six-legged insect with compound eyes.” (Sahni, B., “Age of the Saline Series in the Salt Range of the Punjab”, Nature, 1944, 153, p. 462.)

    To Sahni, this meant the Salt Range Formation must be Eocene. He later found plant fragments not only in the kallar (thin layers of saline earth) but in associated solid rock layers composed of dolomite and shale. In his report, Sahni (1945, p. x) said “stringent precautions” were taken to prevent contamination of the samples with modern organic remains. He also emphasized that samples were taken from locations where the geological evidence ruled out intrusion from younger strata.

    Sometime you make this too easy.

    What might have been called “stringent precautions” in 1945 (!) would almost certainly not be considered to be stringent precautions today. Have you actually read the paper you cite?

  84. Nigel Depledge

    David (46) said:

    Computer programmers utilize complex codes to create software. The genetic code, which is more sophisticated, controls the physical processes of life and is accompanied by elaborate transmission and duplication systems.
    How does evolution, using natural processes and chance, solve the problem of complex information sequencing without intelligence?

    To which Darth Robo (63) said:

    I am not aware of any genetic code other than the analogy used by evolutionary biologists in order to explain the complex biochemistry of the DNA molecule. This “code”, A, C, G, and T refer to Adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine, the chemical bases of DNA. This is the only known “code” that I am aware of, and it was invented by humans. And there are decades of biological medical history to back up that fact. If the code is something else, perhaps you could tell us exactly what it is?

    The genetic code is a molecular biology term relating triplets of bases in DNA (codons) to the amino acids in protein primary structure for which they code. An internediate molecule, messenger RNA (mRNA) serves to carry the code from an expressed gene to the cellular components that synthesise proteins. The code is usually quoted from the mRNA strand, and this has the bases A, U, G & C (in RNA, uracil takes the place of thymine). So, for example, AUG is always “Start / Methionine”; AUU is Isoleucine; UCU is Serine; and so on. The code is degenerate (some amino acids are encoded by more than one codon) because there are 20 naturally-occurring amino acids and 64 combinations of three bases in the mRNA.

    Now, to answering David’s disingenuous question from #46:

    The genetic code is more sophisticated by virtue of being simpler than computer code. It is so simple, in fact, that it can be understood in a few seconds, whereas it can take months to learn how to programme a computer.

    The “elaborate transmission and duplication functions” are elaborate now in many organisms (but not in all) but were almost certainly far simpler in the past. Errors in duplication were almost certainly far more common too.

    The problem of “complex information sequencing” (which sounds like a quote from Billy Dembski) is only complex if you think of it as complex. If the system has no need to be very fast, and no need to be very efficient, and no need to be very accurate, it is actually a trvial problem. The earliest organisms would certainly have had no need to replicate their DNA any faster than their nearest neighbour. Inefficient coding (and inefficient proteins) would not have mattered because the environment would have been so much less competetive than it is now.

    What we now perceive as complexity arose incrementally over very large periods of time. If anything, the complexity of some biochemical systems is an argument against design. Because simplicity is the hallmark of good design, and complexity is the hallmark of something that has just accumulated functions more or less at random.

    The very fact that you pose the question demonstrates one of two things: either (1) you have no concept of how natural selection works, and have thus not gone to the trouble of trying to understand that which you criticise; or (2) you do understand natural selection but are being dishonest to score points. Or, I guess, (3) you’re just a troll.

  85. @ Nigel (79)

    -“2. Any age is consistent with scripture. Talk of days and nights before the sun existed is utterly meaningless. That first “day” could have been the equivalent of 13 billion years long.”

    To be fair, you can backtrack in amounts of time equivalent to one Earth day before it and the Sun existed. After all, it isn’t meaningless that we talk about time in Earth years even when referring to time before the Solar System existed.

  86. Nigel Depledge

    David (64) said:

    I’m looking forward to reading someone’s answer to this question:

    How do geologists and paleontologists explain microfossils of pollen, spores, angiosperms, gymnosperms, and at least one winged insect, in Eocambrian (Upper Precambrian) rock?

    I don’t believe you really want an answer to this question.

    If you did, you could have looked it up on TalkOrigins any time in the last 7 or 8 years.

    However, see my comments a little further up the thread.

  87. Nigel Depledge

    PayAsYouStargaze (86) said:

    To be fair, you can backtrack in amounts of time equivalent to one Earth day before it and the Sun existed. After all, it isn’t meaningless that we talk about time in Earth years even when referring to time before the Solar System existed.

    Yeah, I was paraphrasing from the defence lawyer at the Scopes trial.

  88. Nigel Depledge

    Darth Robo (66) said:

    . . . every single time that evolution and creationism butted heads in court, evolution could be backed up with 150 years worth of scientific evidence, while the creationists ALWAYS forgot to take any examples of scientific evidence with them.

    Heehee! I’d like to be able to “Like” this comment.

    Although, of course, at the time of the Scopes trial, it was only about 70 years’ worth of evidence.

  89. Nigel Depledge

    David (73) said:

    There is a difference between ID and creationism:

    Aside from the fact that you then linked to uncommondescent.com, for which you lose instantly, it came out in the Dover Trial (Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District) in 2005 that ID was genuinely a straight re-branding of creation science.

    One of the most interesting bits of evidence was an inadequate “find / replace” job in one of the drafts of the first “ID textbook”. The term “cdesign proponentsists” marked the transition from “creationists” to “design proponents”, but the content of the book was largely the same before and after the change.

    Additionally, it can clearly be seen by anyone who cares to parse through all the new terminology that the arguments made in favour of ID are all based on many of the tired old arguments made in favour of creationism.

    I challenge you to come up with any argument in favour of ID that is not:
    1. intrinsically reliant on the false dichotomy of “not evolution, therefore design”; or
    2. an argument by analogy; or
    3. an argument from personal incredulity; or
    4. an argument from ignorance; or
    5. some nonsensical tosh in which words taken from information theory are put through a mangle and then tossed up together; or
    6. any combination of 1 – 5 above.

    There are several reasons why “creation science” fails, and ID fails for pretty much the same set of reasons. However, if you can come up with even one reason why ID is better than evolution as an explanation for the diversity of life we observe on Earth, that ranges from simple to complex and shows adaptations, flaws and kinship, then let’s have a discussion about ID. Consider, however, that for an explanation to be better than evolution, it must have at least the same explanatory power; it must be falsifiable, at least in principle; it must not violate parsimony; it must open up new avenues for investigation; it must be logically consistent; and it must be experimentally distinguishable from evolution that occurs through the mechanisms described in modern evolutionary theory.

    Ultimately, ID only makes any sense if you assume that “the designer” is a god, so it really is a form of creationism.

  90. Nigel Depledge

    David (73) said:

    As for a theory of creation, read:

    A Theory of Creation
    A Response to the Pretense that No Creation Theory Exists
    by Timothy Wallace

    [With a link to trueorigins that I have omitted to save time in moderation.]

    Wow, what a lot of waffle and blather.

    Surely the clearest and simplest answer to this challenge would simply be to present what the “creation theory” actually is rather than whine about how it is misrepresented at Talk Origins and how all evilutionists are pushing humanistic naturalism.

    After about 5 minutes of scrolling down through the whingeing to find out what the “theory of creation science” actually is, I gave up.

    What I did find, however, was an interesting tabulated comparison of creationism versus their strawman version of evolution.

    Here’s a sample (unformatted to fit the comment text editor):

    Predominant a priori Assumptions (i.e., Philosophical Basis) concerning the Nature, Source, and Limits of Knowledge:
    Creationism: As with all man’s endeavors, true science will inevitably honor the Creator and affirm the Bible as His true and accurate record, wherever it addresses the historical past
    Evolution: Man’s scientific endeavors will inevitably affirm man’s autonomy and independence in determining what is true and what is false

    So, that website clearly sets out that it starts from the assumption that god exists and the bible is true, no matter what the evidence should indicate.

    It presents a strawman of the methodological naturalism underlying most of science. What it should state is not that “scientific endeavors will inevitably affirm man’s autonomy and independence ” but that anything that is not accessible to scientific evaluation does not matter. Since science is the only process we have ever discovered or invented that allows us to work out whether any particular idea about the universe is valid or not, anything that cannot be evaluated in this way is intrinsically untestable. And if you cannot test an idea (in principle, as opposed to not yet), then it doesn’t matter whether or not it is correct.

    There is nothing inevitable about the scientific quest to understand the universe unless we consider it inevitable that we humans will ask really awkward questions.

  91. Nigel Depledge

    Here’s another excerpt from David’s linky:

    Entropy Law as formalized in the Second Law of Thermodynamics:
    Creationism: Concurs, indicating a beginning (concurrent with or close to beginning of time) followed by constant degradation
    Evolution: Contradicts, postulating mechanism-free constant increase in order, complexity, and genetic information

    This makes the classic error of assuming the Earth’s biosphere to be a closed system. If you ignore the input of energy in the form of sunlight, this might be vaguely plausible. However, when you consider that about 99 % of known organisms derive their energy from sunlight (in one form or another – i.e. they photosynthesise, or they eat plants that photosynthesise, or they eat herbivores that eat plants that photosynthesise, or they feed on detritus from organisms other organisms that have ultimately derived their energy from photosynthesis), suddenly the 2nd Law of Thermo does not present any barrier to increasing order.

    Second, of course, this objection to evolution fails to understand the 2nd law, which applies to the day-to-day metabolism of all organisms, not just to long-term trends. If the 2nd law applied as the creationists seem to think it should, then life on Earth would cease shortly after starting, as it achieves a state of maximum entropy, even if that start was an act of special creation.

    Third, it misrepresents evolutionary science (OK, so no surprise there) insofar as it pretends that evolution proposes no mechanism for increases in order (for which read organisation), complexity and information (these last two being essentially the same property in this context). In fact, in any thermodynamically open system (such as the Earth’s biosphere) that can undergo natural selection, an increase in diversity, with concomitant increases in complexity and order, is to be expected. I would even go so far as to say that diversity is inevitable in any system that can undergo natural selection.

  92. Nigel Depledge

    Going through more of that table in the essay to which David linked looks like an exercise in having to replace many irony meters.

    It is so full of outright lies about evolutionary science that I can no longer be bothered with it.

    David – if you are going to post any more links, please stop linking to websites that contain so many blatant falsehoods about science.

  93. Nigel Depledge

    So, David, if I thought you were actually open-minded enough to make an honest attempt to understand, I could describe for you how natural selection works.

    How about you do something similar for your favoured idea? How about you describe what the “theory of creation science” is in your own words? Even if you don’t consider me to be sufficiently open-minded, I’m sure there are plenty of people here who would be interested to read – without all the whining that comprises the essay in your link – what the “theory of creation science” actually is.

  94. @88 Nigel

    Ah. I didn’t understand the reference.

  95. Nigel Depledge

    David (75) said:

    Intelligent Design and Creationism Just Aren’t the Same

    The outcome of the Dover trial in 2005 says different. (Plus, of course, all of the evidence that was presented at that trial that demonstrates that ID is just creationism with some new terminology wrapped around it).

  96. Nigel Depledge

    @ PayAsYouStargaze (95) –
    No reason you should, it was an obscure reference.

  97. ND

    Some choice quotes from the 2005 Dover trial:

    – Teaching intelligent design in public school biology classes violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (and Article I, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution) because intelligent design is not science and “cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.”

    – Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.
    — Judge John Jones.

  98. TheBlackCat

    “Humphreys’ cosmology model proposes that the first matter God created was liquid water, which He then used it to form all the galaxies, etc.”

    This is simply wrong. We can look back and see what sort of matter existed in the Early universe by looking at light from that time. There was nothing with an atomic number greater than 4, certainly no oxygen (with atomic number 8), and without any oxygen there can be no water. So this claim is in direct opposition to direct measurements, although that is par for the course with creationism, and with Humpreys in particular who has come up with a number of hopelessly flawed pro-creationist arguments.

    You also, conveniently, fail to mention that Humphreys is a leading creationist who is currently emplyed by the Institute for Creation Research. But thanks for showing once again how ID and Creationism are the same thing.

    “Most cosmologists and astronomers believe the universe wasn’t eternal, but had a beginning. So… which statement requires the most faith/belief?

    In the beginning, NOTHING.

    In the beginning, a SINGULARITY.

    In the beginning, GOD.”

    The one which we have no evidence for its existance. We know that singularities can exist, they can be observed are all over the place. But we have no empirical evidence that any God exists.

    It is worse than that. In order for God to be an explanation, you also have to believe in the existence of nothing and/or a singularity, since God had to have worked with one or the other. That means that the real question is:

    ” So… which statement requires the most faith/belief?

    In the beginning, NOTHING.

    In the beginning, a SINGULARITY.

    In the beginning, GOD and NOTHING.”

    In the beginning, GOD and a SINGULARITY.”

    By definition it is more difficult to believe in two things than any one of those things alone.

  99. TheBlackCat

    “Evolution isn’t a religion in the formal sense (eg. with specific rituals, reciting certain creeds). But as religion can be defined as a belief system, then yes, it is a religion.”

    Yes, you can make up any random definition for words that you want. In the real world religion is much more than just a simple belief system.

    With your definition, practically all academic disciplines are automatically religions, and the concept of religion loses all meaning. I suppose that is your goal, though, since your claims require rejecting everything we know about the universe.

    “Michael Ruse wrote in his May 13, 2000 essay in the National Post: “Evolution is a religion.” Could he have said it any clearer?”

    No, but that doesn’t make him right. In fact Michael Ruse is quite notorious for his flawed reasoning about evolution on several fronts. That is what often happens when someone in one field of study starts trying to lecture people in another field of study about their own area of expertise.

    “At the creationism trial, Ruse had testified creation-science is not science at all. Invoking the fact/faith dichotomy, Ruse claimed evolution was scientific because establishing its validity required no philosophical assumptions. All other views, he claimed, required such assumptions and were therefore unscientific.”

    So, at best, evolution is a religion AND a science, while creationism is just religion with no science. Heck, even the leaders of the ID movement now admit that ID isn’t really a science. So why should something that isn’t a science be taught in science classes?

  100. Darth Robo

    “Evolution violates the SLoT so therefore GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC! By uh… violating the SLoT… ”

    “Either the universe came from nothing or GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC! Who uh… came from nothing… ”

    “Atheism! Astrophysics! Chemistry!”

    So uh, he’s gonna actually start addressing the theory of evolution at any time now, right?

    Right?

  101. ND

    David,

    Ruse does not speak for all of science nor biology (ie Evolution). He is not the originator of the science of Evolution. So he’s expressing his own opinion and it does not mean he’s correct nor the ultimate say in what the science of Evolution is. That’s why the expressions of “… gives the store away” and “Could he have said it any clearer?” are very presumptuous and your preconceived notions of science and Evolution.

    Also, are you not insulted by Ruse’s view that the Evolution is like a religion? He’s using the word “religion” as a derogatory term. He’s using it as a negative description to convey what he sees as wrong in the science of Evolution.

    And what does that quote from J. Dunphy supposed to be about? What’s your point?

  102. David

    Nigel Depledge @ 51 said: “First, to rationally criticise a theory, you need to understand it. Generally, a full understanding of evolution does not arrive until university-level work.
    Second, since this post is about biological evolution, why are you singling out biology as an area where students (even high-school students) should have “academic freedom” to critique the theory? Or do you also feel that students (including high-school students) should be free to critique, for instance, geography, or chemistry?”

    Students should be encouraged to critique EVERY aspect of science. It’s nonsense to say you have to wait until university level to criticize something. This is the logical fallacy known as “moving the goalposts”. If a U.S. state ever mandated that biology profs must present evidence for and against evolution at the university level, you’d probably say “a full understanding of evolution” doesn’t happen until students begin PhD level work!

    In fact, it’s important for teachers to teach critical thinking as well as science knowledge. Science education is about processes as well as knowledge, so scientific criticism must be built into the curriculum. Not to present any scientific information critical of evolution is to teach it as dogma.

    Do you think high-school students learning about fossils should ever be asked questions like the following? Why or why not?

    1. Do you think soft tissue in an Archaeopteryx fossil could last for 150 million years? Yes. No. Why do you say this?

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/05/05/1001569107.full.pdf

    2. Do you think soft tissue in a dino fossil could last for 80 million years? Yes. No. Why do you say this? (Schweitzer et al., Science 324:626-631).

    View:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/12/60minutes/main5629962.shtml

  103. Darth Robo

    104 ND

    —“He’s using it as a negative description to convey what he sees as wrong in the science of Evolution.”

    Of course it would be better for him to come up with some valid scientific reasons as to where evolution fails scientifically, rather than pontificate with his baseless philosophical opinions.

    —“And what does that quote from J. Dunphy supposed to be about? What’s your point?”

    It means he needs a caricature version of evolution, whereby in his fantasy, evolution is religion, anti-Christian, Humanism, and atheism, all rolled into one. So he can pretend that evolution and Creationism are “equally valid faiths”, and pretend that evolution is illegal to teach in public schools as it is religious.

    Pity for him he already lost all his arguments before he was even born.

  104. David

    Darth Robo @80 says: “So so far, everything you’ve presented has been a lie. The only question is that is it because you are simply gullible or are you also lying yourself?”

    Personal attacks (eg. saying I’ve presented lies) are not arguments. They show that you don’t have a scientific rebuttal, so you make an argument of last resort: personal attack.

    This leads to the question… Why do some opponents of creation and ID use personal attack instead of scientific arguments?

  105. ND

    Darth Robo,

    You’re right. Also David and other ID/creationists are projecting here because they themselves are trying to use the public schools as an ideological arena of conflict against Evolution (and secularism in general).

  106. @David 106

    You have presented lies. You may not be aware that they are lies but they are. It is not a personal attack to call your arguments lies.

    This leads to the question… Why do proponents of creation and ID use lies instead of scientific arguments?

  107. David

    Nigel Depledge @82 says: “Evolution is based on evidence. It is falsifiable.”

    What evidence would convince you that vertical evolution (information-building evolution) is false?

  108. David

    Nigel Depledge @ 83 says: “1.Most of the palynology work was done by Clifford Burdick, who had very little knowledge of geological techniques.”

    There’s no mention of Clifford Burdick in the article I referenced:

    http://creation.com/pollen-paradox

    Yet fossils of spores and pollen have been found in the Roraima formation, as reported in a 1966 article in the prestigious journal Nature. That means they are at least 1,300 million, or 1.3 billion years ‘out of date’.

    The discovery was made in 1963, when a palynologist from an oil company tested samples collected from the area by a botanist. The above-mentioned paper in Nature was by Dr R.M. Stainforth, a geologist regarded as somewhat of an authority on the region’s stratigraphy and micropaleontology. It was such a baffling find (for long-age belief) that in 1964, a special expedition of qualified geologists was sent to verify the facts. They took more samples, trying to avoid areas where pollen from outside could enter the rocks (like cleavage planes). Then three palynologists independently tested the samples—and found more of the same fossil pollen and spores.

  109. @David 105

    Hahahahaha!

    Do you seriously think fossils contain soft tissue? Go back to school and learn what a fossil is.

  110. Lawrence

    David – why is the Christian version of creation (which is what ID is, no matter what kind of lipstick you put on that particular pig) any more correct than say the Hindu tale of Creation or the Norse creation myth or any of the hundreds of different religious and cultural tales of the beginning of the Universe?

    Heck, I really like the Hindu version – since it reads more like a Sci-Fi novel than a religious tale! Spaceships, weapons of mass destruction, interstellar wars – that’s my kind of creation myth right there.

  111. ND

    David,

    Thanks to that cbsnews link. That was an awesome interview. DinoChicken!

  112. David

    PayasYouStargaze @84 says: “But you haven’t answered my main question. How does this one case falsify all the rest of the evidence of an old Earth and the observations of evolution actually happening (assuming you presented the case honestly and accurately)?”

    Er….if the palynologists did what they said they did– avoided areas where pollen could enter the rocks–then how do you explain why pollen and spores were found in Precambrian rock? So if no intrusion occured, what could be another explanation for why the microfossils are there?

    As for evidence for an old earth, keep in mind that radioisotope methods that yield old ages all have assumptions: a) no decay product was present initially or that initial quantities can be accurately estimated b) the decay system was closed to outside influences through the years and
    c) the decay rate was constant over time.

    What conditions have violated these assumptions?

    You mention: “the observations of evolution actually happening”. You mean direct observations? Please give some examples of observations of evolution actually happening.

  113. @David 114

    Palynologist? What? Do you mean paleontologist?

    OK. Firstly, there is evidence for an old Earth that is not based on radioisotope dating methods. Tons of it, as has been alluded to by others. From sediment build-up to the cooling of the Earth.

    Your understanding of those methods is incorrect anyway. All your “assumptions” a, b and c are easily explained and have already been explained by others on this thread. But in case you didn’t know: a) is not an assumption. The methods do not need to no anything about the amount of decay product initially present. b) This in not assumed, which is why various independant methods are used to verify each other. c) Much work has been done on radioactive decay rates and that is a perfectly valid assumption to make. Either way, if it had changed, then the effect could also be of an even older Earth than we thought.

    Yes there are plenty of direct observations of evolution actually happening. In the lab and in the wild. So many in fact that a quick google should find at least one.

    Now I hand over to someone like Nigel who knows a lot more about this than I do.

  114. I really should wait before referencing post numbers. When a post with links appears it throws them out.

    Also, apologies to all the palynologists out there. I didn’t think that was a real area of study.

  115. Darth Robo

    David

    —“Students should be encouraged to critique EVERY aspect of science. It’s nonsense to say you have to wait until university level to criticize something. This is the logical fallacy known as “moving the goalposts”.”

    And Creationists should know all about avoiding logical fallacies (but they don’t). Sure, kids a free to opinionate on any point they like. BUT, they are NOT free to decide on what the correct answers are in schools. No other subject in school allows that, and there’s no reason science class should be any different. But no matter how many times students claim “Evilushun iz rong because SLoT!!!” it won’t make them right no matter how many times they say it. Because kids in schools quite simply do not have the knowledge or experience to understand why that if their claims were true, their birth would have been impossible. And since you’ve also made that argument, apparently you don’t either. That’s why Creationist arguments are presented as they are, nonsense with a few big technical-sounding science words thrown in, to fool the young and the uninformed.

    Therefore kids will ultimately only pass their exams if they learn the science, rather than the pseudo-scientific apologetics of Creationists. Would you allow school students to prescribe you medicine? Would you allow kids to make important decisions in regards to safety features on a passenger jet? Of course not. As that would be absurd. KIDS IN SCHOOL do NOT get to decide on the validity of science. SCIENTISTS do that. By doing the research and performing the tests. If you were REALLY interested in seeing evolution falsified, the ONLY way that will ever happen is if students learn what the REAL theory of evolution is, rather than the caricature version invented by Creationists, getting their qualifications, and then doing the scientific legwork required to do so. Ironically, you are actually attempting to PREVENT kids from ever being able to do exactly what you wish would happen.

    But then, all these points are superfluous. Since the Creationists are not interested in science, you’re not interested in science, because you view better science education as a barrier to fundamentalist indoctrination, and your ability to be able to force your religious opinions onto other people’s kids and not just your own.

    —“In fact, it’s important for teachers to teach critical thinking as well as science knowledge. Science education is about processes as well as knowledge, so scientific criticism must be built into the curriculum. Not to present any scientific information critical of evolution is to teach it as dogma.”

    And believe it or not, I actually agree with you. Critical thinking MUST be taught to kids in schools, especially in science class. Yet for some reason, you don’t like it when critical thinking is applied to Creationist apologetics. It’s unfortunate though that despite Creationist claims, they DO NOT WANT critical thinking taught, for what they call “critical thinking” are actually lies.

    —“Personal attacks (eg. saying I’ve presented lies) are not arguments. They show that you don’t have a scientific rebuttal, so you make an argument of last resort: personal attack. This leads to the question… Why do some opponents of creation and ID use personal attack instead of scientific arguments?”

    It’s not a last resort David, I’ve already told you there are quite a number of points you’ve been unable to address. I could even make a list for you if you like. As this thread gets longer, the list will also get longer. And now you have exposed your dishonesty. Hence this is a mere observation, not a personal attack.

    —“There’s no mention of Clifford Burdick in the article I referenced”

    That’s because the guys who mentioned him know more about the subject than you do. Creationists have no problem with keeping info from you. Seriously, if geology was wrong you’d think the oil companies would be using “Creation geologists” to find oil deposits. As it happens, Creationist organisations stopped sending geologists out into the field at the end of the eighties, because they kept coming back with evidence for an Old Earth.

    ND

    —“Thanks to that cbsnews link. That was an awesome interview. DinoChicken!”

    Yup, not sure why he’d even wanna bring up something which helped cement the dinosaur-bird connection, as successfully predicted by evolution. Once again David’s dishonesty and hypocrisy is noted (for quotemining and misrepresentation).

    David

    —“That means they are at least 1,300 million, or 1.3 billion years ‘out of date’.”

    But you have no reason to agree with that statement since you don’t believe in those geological conditions in the first place. You can’t use science you reject to falsify science. Once again your dishonesty and hypocrisy is noted.

    —“Please give some examples of observations of evolution actually happening.”

    Fossil record, comparative anatomy, nested hierarchies, DNA, mutations, ERV’s, you know… the usual. The ONLY thing that would prevent evolution from occurring is if the Earth was only 6000 years old. That’s why you cling to it as tight and as hard as you can, despite all evidence to the contrary. So like I said, if that’s your preconceived conclusion, then you have a number of points still to address. Like why we are alive.

    —“What evidence would convince you that vertical evolution (information-building evolution) is false?”

    I’m not actually worried in the slightest about being able to demonstrate the development of “new info” as you fundies like to characterize it as I am quite happy to present it at a moment’s notice. So all that would be required from you would be a demonstration of the “Designer’s” limitations (I hope you appreciate the way I capitalized that there for ya) and how you were able to determine the limitations of said entity in a scientific manner via the scientific method. Of course that WOULD require you to be able to demonstrate it actually exists first.

    Dave, it has become rather quickly apparent that you are clutching at straws here. We have already demonstrated your total lack of objectivity and that of your sources. We have also demonstrated your lack of honesty and that of your sources. We have also presented a fair amount of information which you have yet to deal with, leading you to either skip it and spam us with something else, or rehash an older point already dealt with.

    So why not be honest for once and just say that you don’t believe in evolution because the Bible says Goddidit with magic? Are there only 9 Commandments in your Bible?

  116. David

    PayasYouStargaze @116 says: “Yes there are plenty of direct observations of evolution actually happening. In the lab and in the wild. So many in fact that a quick google should find at least one.”

    Well, can you name one example of a direct observation of evolution actually happening–in the lab or in the wild. Your choice. And by evolution, I mean vertical evolution (information-building evolution).

    Good luck with that.

  117. Lawrence

    Good luck with you actually producing any evidence or scientific information to support ID – it doesn’t exist.

  118. David

    ND
    —”Thanks to that cbsnews link. That was an awesome interview. DinoChicken!”

    Darth Robo says: “Yup, not sure why he’d even wanna bring up something which helped cement the dinosaur-bird connection, as successfully predicted by evolution. Once again David’s dishonesty and hypocrisy is noted (for quotemining and misrepresentation).”

    Yes, that was an awesome interview:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/12/60minutes/main5629962.shtml

    I especially liked this part:

    Lesley Stahl: But as Mary showed us, she’s been able to replicate her findings. These are pieces of an even older dinosaur–a well-preserved 80-million-year-old duckbill. When she dissolved it away in acid…

    Mary Schweitzer: Let’s put this under the scope here.

    Lesley Stahl: Well, look… (to Schweitzer) Is that a blood vessel?

    Mary Schweitzer: This is a blood vessel. You see the branches right there? And look at all of them. And it’s so consistent, over and over and over again. We do this bone and it comes out and I get excited every time. I can’t help it. I mean, 80 million years old!

    *
    So let me ask again:

    Do you think soft tissue in a dino fossil could last for 80 million years? Yes. No. Why do you say this?

    Do you think soft tissue in an Archaeopteryx fossil could last for 150 million years? Yes. No. Why do you say this?
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/05/05/1001569107.full.pdf

    “Our results indicate phosphorous and sulfur retention in soft tissue as well as trace metal (Zn and Cu) retention in bone.”

    Soft tissue.

    (And should students in high-school, college and university should have the academic freedom to discuss such questions in their science classes?)

  119. @David 119

    OK David, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll look up an example and describe it here. But first you must define “vertical evolution” properly because if I am to give you an example I need to know what it is I am looking for.

    You say it is “information-building”. Tell me how you define information in the context of evolution. Is it the number of genes? The number of chromosomes? Something else? Give me an example of an organism that contains more information than another and tell me exactly what makes it so.

    Do we have a deal?

  120. Andrew

    David:

    The article that you quote does not say that soft tissue could last for 150 million years. It talks about learning about soft tissue from the mineralized remains of such tissue.

  121. Darth Robo

    David

    —“Do you think soft tissue in a dino fossil could last for 80 million years? Yes. No. Why do you say this? Do you think soft tissue in an Archaeopteryx fossil could last for 150 million years? Yes. No. Why do you say this?”

    You mean is it possible that a previously unknown fossilization process enabled the preservation of some collegen protein sequences and fragments? Or is it more likely that this discovery will not only falsify 150 years of evolution research, but also over 40 working scientific dating methods, and in fact falsify ALL of biology, chemistry and physics put together? Thereby leaving your “theory” with NUMEROUS HUGE problems which you’ve never bothered to address therefore your “theory” must be the correct one? Not to mention the fact that the protein sequences and bone microstructures support the bird-dino clade as SUCCESSFULLY predicted by evolution and NOT creationism? Of course the initial assumption was that stuff like this couldn’t last this long, and now, AFTER you wailing against “assumptions” in dating techniques NOW you’re still happy to go with the original assumption? And isn’t it interesting that Mary Schweitzer was the one who wanted to test that assumption? You’re still trying to falsify science using science you reject. Your hypocrisy gland is working overtime it seems.

    —“And should students in high-school, college and university should have the academic freedom to discuss such questions in their science classes?”

    Let’s cut the coyness – They DO have the right to reject what they learn in favour of their beliefs, but they don’t have the right to pass the exam if they put their beliefs down as answers.

    PayasYouStargaze

    —“You say it is “information-building”. Tell me how you define information in the context of evolution. Is it the number of genes? The number of chromosomes? Something else? Give me an example of an organism that contains more information than another and tell me exactly what makes it so.”

    Expecting the usual long-winded verbose SLoT argument as usual, but good idea to make sure he’s not so nebulous with his definitions.

  122. David sez:

    Well, can you name one example of a direct observation of evolution actually happening–in the lab or in the wild. Your choice. And by evolution, I mean vertical evolution (information-building evolution).
    Good luck with that.

    Jeepers, my high school biology book had a pretty good set of examples. The best one is pretty much any bacteria, especially those that cause disease in humans. We have a tendency to lob antibiotic drugs at the little varmints, and they have a nasty habit of evolving their way around them. The buggers that are vulnerable to the drugs die off, the few that are stronger survive to reproduce, et voila! natural selection in action and a new, drug-resistant strain of bacteria is born. That’s why your MD will tell you it’s not wise to overuse antibiotics, David.

    Here’s a nice, and somewhat scary, summary of evolution at work. Mind you, it took less than 30 seconds to find this on the actionbioscience website. Something anyone who actually wants to learn something could do, no problem. Guess that rules out some people, though.

    Evolutionary change continues to this day, and it will proceed so long as life itself exists. In recent years, many bacterial pathogens have evolved resistance to antibiotics used to cure infections, thereby requiring the development of new and more costly treatments. In some frightening cases, bacteria have evolved resistance to every available antibiotic, so there is no longer any effective treatment. In the case of HIV, which causes AIDS, significant viral evolution occurs within the course of infection of a single patient, and this rapid evolution enables the virus to evade the immune system. Many agricultural pests have evolved resistance to chemicals that farmers have used for only a few decades. As we work to control diseases and pests, the responsible organisms have been evolving to escape our controls. Moreover, scientists can perform experiments to study evolution in real time, just as experiments are used to observe dynamic processes in physics, chemistry, and other branches of biology. To study evolution in action, scientists use organisms like bacteria and fruitflies that reproduce quickly, so they can see changes that require many generations.

    That last line is the important one. If people had lifespans as short as fruitflies, you’d be seeing evolution doing its thing with homo sap, too.

  123. meirelle

    OMG TEACH THE CONTROVERSY!!!

  124. David

    kuhnigget @125 was quoting from Lenski:

    http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/lenski.html

    “To study evolution in action, scientists use organisms like bacteria and fruitflies that reproduce quickly, so they can see changes that require many generations.”

    What? At best, changes over many generations in organisms are examples of microevolution, which many creationists call microvariation.

    But where’s the evidence that totally new information has been added to the genome in bacteria, fruitflies, or any other organism?

    And for fruitflies in particular:

    http://creationsafaris.com/crev201009.htm#20100930a

    Sept 30, 2010 — A long-running experiment trying to get fruit flies to evolve has failed. A research team forced selection on the flies to explore the limits of natural selection. Only minor changes were detected after 600 generations. ……

    This experiment was begun in 1975. After 35 years and 600 generations, accelerated by artificial selection, the net evolution (in terms of adaptation and improvement in fitness) was negligible if not nil.

  125. David

    Andrew @123 says: “David: The article that you quote does not say that soft tissue could last for 150 million years. It talks about learning about soft tissue from the mineralized remains of such tissue.”

    From:

    http://crev.info/content/dinosaur_bones_crack_open_surprises_original_tissue

    So what of the latest test at Stanford? Manning and Wogelius had been successful finding original pigment in an Archaeopteryx specimen in 2009 (05/10/2010), Hecht recalled; “Nobody had expected soft-tissue chemistry to be preserved in such places” as feathers. Quoting Wogelius, “It’s amazing that that chemistry is preserved after 150 million years.” Zinc and copper atoms were also detected with the synchrotron machine. Others have found “more surprises,” like melanosomes still intact in a bird feather said to be 108 million years old using a scanning electron microscope; ditto by another team in China.
    ….
    There is only one group that is not surprised by these findings: the young-earth creationists. Yes, those despised, hated, expelled Henry Morris followers, relegated to the dregs of society by academia (both secular and theistic evolutionist camps), even shunned by many in the Intelligent Design community, are not at all surprised. Like their foes, they also cannot believe that DNA and protein can last for 80 to 150 million years – because they believe those long ages are a fiction. Now that the sleepers on EST (Evolution Standard Time) have been jolted awake, should we trust their alarm clocks? Should we grant them credibility now, when they say, “Well, I’ll be darned! DNA can survive for 150 million years!”? Many of them are sidestepping the fact that soft tissue preservation wreaks havoc on evolutionary age assumptions (cf. 06/03/2005).

  126. What? At best, changes over many generations in organisms are examples of microevolution, which many creationists call microvariation.

    But where’s the evidence that totally new information has been added to the genome in bacteria, fruitflies, or any other organism?

    You want to have your cake and eat it, too, dude. So, you get to redefine your way out of a response to your original question? You asked for evolution happening today. There it is. You can call it microvariation if you want, but it’s evolution. And give it a few hundred thousand years and you get a whole lot of microevolution. Add a few million, and you’ve got a whole lot more.

    And for fruitflies in particular:…

    Can’t help but notice you completely ignored the example I actually gave you.

    But as to the link you included…have you read the actual paper? Because your creationist summarizer does a piss-poor job of it.

    “…unconditionally advantageous alleles rarely arise…” does not mean they never arise, and it certainly does not mean “the net evolution…was neglible if not nil.”

    See above. Small variations add up.

    Again, you are making the same gross claim creationists always make, e.g. “scientists raise questions they haven’t yet answered, therefore GODDITIT!” Sorry, it doesn’t work like that. The authors of the quoted study suggest possible lines of research to further explore the implications of their findings, but your redactor ignores that and instead concludes their work has evil evolutionists on the run. It doesn’t. It just suggests new avenues of research.

    “Nobody had expected soft-tissue chemistry to be preserved in such places” as feathers. Quoting Wogelius, “It’s amazing that that chemistry is preserved after 150 million years.”

    Once again, your creationist summarizer takes this (factual) statement and turns it into b.s. Here’s his or her “translation”:


    You can read Hecht’s article and think, if you are intellectually lazy, “Isn’t this nice; science marches on.” But it means that science was marching in the wrong direction for a long, long time.

    No, it does not mean that. It means science, as always, is self-correcting. It doesn’t “march” in any direction except where the evidence leads it. If soft-tissue remnants can, indeed, be found, paleontologists will be thrilled. The only ones who “march” in the direction they want are creationists, who twist and turn and jump through hoops to find only what the Bible demands.

    Many of them are sidestepping the fact that soft tissue preservation wreaks havoc on evolutionary age assumptions (cf. 06/03/2005).

    It does no such thing, because it does not change the age of the fossils in any way. Your summarizer is making something up and then writing as if it were fact. Talk about being intellectually lazy…

    Might I suggest, David, you try to broaden your reading beyond creationist apologist websites? Pick up an actual copy of Nature and try reading it yourself, without the aid of an interpreter.

  127. (I can’t believe I forgot this.) @David

    There are ways of preserving soft tissue for millions of years. It’s called amber. Did you see Jurassic Park? Fossilized tree resin can trap small creatures such as insects and preserve them. Just on the wikipedia page for amber there’s a picture example of a mosquito and a fly trapped in amber that is between 40 and 60 million years old. I don’t think Amber can be formed in a few hundred years.

    @127 As for the bacteria. At first it couldn’t fight the antibiotics. Now it can. Is that not the addition of new information enabling that ability?

  128. Nigel Depledge

    David (105) said:

    Students should be encouraged to critique EVERY aspect of science.

    On what basis?

    Sure, they should be encouraged to think critically about stuff they have understood, and perhaps they should be taken through some of the objections (and why those objections fail) to stuff that they have not understood yet. But to expect a high-school student to rationally criticise a theory that they are at least 2 or 3 years away from understanding is insane.

    Again, you single out science for criticism. Why is this? Why do you not mention geography or history (which are also fact-based subjects but not generally considered under the aegis of “science”)?

    Should not students be taught to criticise religion also? By your reasoning, this should be done whether they understand it or not.

    And if substantial amounts of classroom time are given over to criticising what the students are learning, when are they going to learn stuff? I don’t know about the USA, but in the UK there is barely enough classroom time to cover the required syllabus (in fact, the National Curriculum has sometimes been criticised for being “a mile wide and an inch deep”, especially on the sciences).

    Or are you implying that students should spend additional time at school in order to include such criticism alongside the actual learning?

    It’s nonsense to say you have to wait until university level to criticize something.

    That’s not what I was saying.

    I said that they should not criticise something they do not understand, and a proper understanding of evolution does not arrive until university level (typically).

    There’s no reason (in principle, at least, although timetabling is already a big nightmare for teachers) they shouldn’t criticise the stuff that they do understand at the high-school level. And, in fact, plenty of reasons they should.

    This is the logical fallacy known as “moving the goalposts”.

    Er, no, it’s the logical fallacy known as a strawman. You have misrepresented what I said and then argued against that misrepresentation.

    If a U.S. state ever mandated that biology profs must present evidence for and against evolution at the university level, you’d probably say “a full understanding of evolution” doesn’t happen until students begin PhD level work!

    This is just putting words into my mouth, and also is an example of the “slippery slope” logical fallacy.

    In fact, since there is NO evidence against evolution (despite the lies that you are trying to propagate from the links that you supply), such a mandate would be meaningless. All of the evidence in biology is consistent with evolutionary theory, and pretty nearly all of it positively supports the theory.

    In fact, it’s important for teachers to teach critical thinking as well as science knowledge. Science education is about processes as well as knowledge, so scientific criticism must be built into the curriculum.

    Actually, critical thinking should be taught all across the board, not just in science. However, there’s a big difference between teaching students to think for themselves and presenting them with specific (and wrong) objections to any one particular theory.

    Not to present any scientific information critical of evolution is to teach it as dogma.

    This is nonsensical, since there isn’t any “scientific information” that is critical of evolution. Unless you can come up with something a bit more convincing than yet another link to the lies of “trueorigins” or the ICR.

    Do you think high-school students learning about fossils should ever be asked questions like the following? Why or why not?
    1. Do you think soft tissue in an Archaeopteryx fossil could last for 150 million years? Yes. No. Why do you say this?

    Hooboy, talk about a leading question. It’s hard to see what you are getting at here.

    First, and importantly, at the high-school level (and probably at the US college level, too, which I think is equivalent to A-levels in the UK), this question has no place. This level of detail is appropriate at university level, but certainly not at high-school level.

    However, assuming that it is posed to palaeontology students at university, it may well be appropriate. I am a biochemist, not a palaeontologist, so my knowledge of palaeontology is certain to be less than cutting-edge, but I’ll have a go. IIUC, the general opinion is that soft tissues do not survive this long, except in exceptional circumstances. Now, perhaps someone has found that exceptional circumstances pertain to one of the several examples we have of Archaeopteryx. I don’t know.

    [link to PNAS omitted]

    BTW, PNAS is not a peer-reviewed journal in the classic sense. I’ve said before that sometimes they publish any old rubbish. And I’m not the only one to level this criticism.

    2. Do you think soft tissue in a dino fossil could last for 80 million years? Yes. No. Why do you say this? (Schweitzer et al., Science 324:626-631).

    Same answer.

    Did you have a point?

    And perhaps you would care to elaborate on why exactly you think these questions should be posed to high-school students in a biology class?

  129. TheBlackCat

    What? At best, changes over many generations in organisms are examples of microevolution, which many creationists call microvariation.

    So…you accept a small number of small changes over a short period of time, but you don’t accept that there can be a large number of large changes over a long period of time? What mechanism could prevent small changes from accumulating.

    But where’s the evidence that totally new information has been added to the genome in bacteria, fruitflies, or any other organism?

    You so far have refused to define “information”. Obviously we can’t give you examples of something when you refuse to tell us what it is. I can easily give you examples of totally new information being added to a genome for pretty much any usable definition of information you can give me, but I would need to know the definition before I could provide a suitable example.

    So what of the latest test at Stanford? Manning and Wogelius had been successful finding original pigment in an Archaeopteryx specimen in 2009 (05/10/2010),

    No, they didn’t. In modern birds pigments in feathers come in small granules, and the granule for each color has a different shape. What that group found was fossil structures matching the shape of the granules. Using those shapes they were able to infer the colors. But none of the original molecules remained.

    The same is true of the dinosaur example. They didn’t find intact blood vessels, they found the fossil rock had preserved the shape of the blood vessels.

    You would know this if you actually bothered to read the original reports rather than the creationist mangling of them.

    As for evidence for an old earth, keep in mind that radioisotope methods that yield old ages all have assumptions:

    No, they don’t

    ” a) no decay product was present initially or that initial quantities can be accurately estimated” – there are dating techniques, such as synchrotron dating, that do not assume this, and others where we know chemically it could not have been present.

    “b) the decay system was closed to outside influences through the years” – there are dating techniques, such as synchrotron dating, that does not assume this

    “c) the decay rate was constant over time” – there are dating techniques, such as synchrotron dating, that does not assume this.

    Further, the fact that decay rates have not changed is not an assumption, it is a empirically-measured fact. First, if the decay rate changed over time, the dates using various sources would not match up. Since they match, we know the decay rates could not have changed. Second, if the rate of decay changed enough to allow for the sorts of ages creationists talk about, the heat it produced would have melted the surface of the Earth. Third, other physical constants are tied to the decay rate of radionuclei, and we can see that these changes have not occurred.

    Finally, there was actually a naturally-occurring nuclear reactor in Africa that occurred about 3 billion years ago. Because the operation of nuclear reactors are so well-studied for our own use, we know with great detail how changes in the rate of radioactive decay would affect the final output. By looking at the remains of the natural reactor we can tell that the rate of radioactive decay was not significantly different when the reactor was running, which further means our dating of the reactor must be correct as well.

  130. Nigel Depledge

    David (110) said:

    Nigel Depledge @82 says: “Evolution is based on evidence. It is falsifiable.”

    What evidence would convince you that vertical evolution (information-building evolution) is false?

    First off, despite my expertise in biochemistry and extensive reading around the topic of evolution in general, you are using terms with which I am unfamiliar. I have never heard of “vertical evolution” and “information-building evolution” is another term that I have never seen a biologist use.

    However, taking your question to mean “what evidence would it take to convince me that natural selection is unable to generate complexity?”, I can address it.

    The question is pointless since it is already settled.

    We know for a fact that organisms were simple in the past and are more complex today (unicellular until about 600 million years ago, then simple shelly and wormy things that probably had antecedents that did not fossilise, then gradually more complexity and diversity, with of course significant blips in diversity at each mass extinction). We have a perfectly reasonable explanation for the changes that we see (natural selection being the most significant part of this).

    Now, if you want to argue that natural selection did not generate the complexity and diversity we observe today, then you have to come up with a better explanation. You cannot just remove NS from the explanatory framework, you have to replace it. And whatever replaces it must be a better explanatory tool. Special creation explains nothing unless you are able to investigate the nature and motivation of the creator.

    So, David, your questioning is both pointless and disingenuous. By the same token, I could ask you what evidence it would take to convince you that the Earth is truly old, since the 6000 year age is just fantasy, and it has been known to be impossible since very shortly after Bishop Ussher’s published creation date. Yes, even in Ussher’s lifetime, the evidence indicated that the Earth had to be of the order of at least 100,000 years old.

    However, because you have linked to a site that proudly proclaims a belief in biblical inerrancy as a starting point for any investigation, I can clearly see that you will reject any evidence that contradicts your cherished beliefs. The starting point for science was simply “we don’t know” and the evidence that we have found has, in the case of biology, led us to modern evolutionary theory (MET).

    MET is in principle falsifiable, because every time we sequence a genome or unearth a fossil, the possibility exists that we find something that does not fit with what we already have. So, we could (in principle) find a fossil that does not fit the currently-understood sequence of evolution (for instance, if we find a parrot fossil in Ordovician strata and it is confirmed as a genuine find), this would be a challenge to what we think we know.

    I’m going to make a careful distinction here. Evolution is a fact. It is also a theory. It is also a story. The fact is that biological change over time happens. The theory is the set of mechanisms that explain how and why this happens. The story is the history of the evolution of life on Earth, that we are building up piece by piece. An Ordovician parrot would, foremost, challenge the story but it would not necessarily challenge the theory and it certainly would not challenge the fact. To extend this hypothetical scenario, if we were to find fossils of hundreds of species similarly out of place, this would probably challenge the theory as well as the story. But it would not challenge the fact. To extend further still, if we were to find as many fossils out of place as we currently have in the entire fossil record, that might challenge the fact as well as the story and the theory. Having said all this, there is good reason to suppose that these scenarios are pure fantasy. If our ideas about the ways in which life on Earth has changed over time are wrong in any substantial way, we would already have found this out.

  131. Nigel Depledge

    @ The Black Cat (132) –
    When you mention synchrotron dating, did you mean isochron dating, or is that something different again?

  132. Nigel Depledge

    @ David –
    Let’s put things another way.

    In any population in which variation is heritable (as is the case in every organism on Earth), how can natural selection be prevented from occurring? And how can small changes be prevented from accumulating into large changes?

    BTW, if your answer is “god did it”, then please include appropriate details, backed up with actual evidence.

  133. Nigel Depledge

    @ David (111) –

    So, did you ignore the rest of what I posted? And did you miss that I was pasting an excerpt from an essay that is available online?

    The key fact remains: Every case so far of “out of date” pollen has either been shown to be contamination by modern pollen or can safely be put into that category labelled “most probably contamination”. Because an example of such a find would be so extraordinary, the evidence presented must be bullet-proof. Otherwise it is forever a vaguely interesting “maybe”.

  134. Nigel Depledge

    David (115) said:

    Er….if the palynologists did what they said they did– avoided areas where pollen could enter the rocks–then how do you explain why pollen and spores were found in Precambrian rock? So if no intrusion occured, what could be another explanation for why the microfossils are there?

    Are you seriously asking this question?

    It is extremely easy for modern pollen to enter a sample as soon as that sample is exposed to air or water.

    For example, did those people to whom you referred prove that no pollen could enter the rock between the rock’s formation and their exposing it? Or were they just being hopeful?

    As for evidence for an old earth, keep in mind that radioisotope methods that yield old ages all have assumptions: a) no decay product was present initially or that initial quantities can be accurately estimated b) the decay system was closed to outside influences through the years and
    c) the decay rate was constant over time.

    Utter nonsense. Quite clearly you did not read my comment #55:
    I said:

    That the Earth is very old is also proven beyond reasonable doubt. Even without radioactive dating, all the available evidence indicates that the Earth is very old. However, radioactive dating is able to give us accurate dates, and the isochron method contains a system of internal checks and balances that mean that if any contamination were to occur, or if an unexpectedly large amount of daughter isotope were present to start with, you simply would not get a date. Radioactive dating is strengthened by the fact that dates obtained using different radionuclides agree with one another, yet if the technique were as weak as your link pretends, one would expect different radionuclides to give different dates for the same sample.

    One last point on radioactive dating – no scientist has ever claimed that radioactive decay is constant. It is exponential. The decay rate changes all the time, but the way in which it changes is constant for each radionuclide.

    This addresses you whinges about radioactive dating, and more.

    Back to #115 now:

    What conditions have violated these assumptions?

    Irrelevant. The list of assumptions is a strawman.

    You [PayAsYouStargaze] mention: “the observations of evolution actually happening”. You mean direct observations? Please give some examples of observations of evolution actually happening.

    Oh, dear. My disingenuity meter just exploded.

    David, I cannot seriously believe that you are trying to challenge the validity of evolution without even having done the most basic research about it. Y’know, from the actual scientists who have studied it.

    I can conclude only that you have no interest in learning, but are trying to push your own agenda, which seems to be that of young-Earth creationism.

    As you can see from the responses to your comments, and your own failure to address the issues with the arguments you make, YEC is nothing more than a fantasy.

  135. Nigel Depledge

    By the way, David, I’ve not seen your response to my comment #92, particularly this bit:

    I challenge you to come up with any argument in favour of ID that is not:
    1. intrinsically reliant on the false dichotomy of “not evolution, therefore design”; or
    2. an argument by analogy; or
    3. an argument from personal incredulity; or
    4. an argument from ignorance; or
    5. some nonsensical tosh in which words taken from information theory are put through a mangle and then tossed up together; or
    6. any combination of 1 – 5 above.

  136. Darth Robo

    Dave, you’re still avoiding many many things you find theologically inconvenient. Is there a reason for this?

  137. Nigel Depledge

    David (119) said:

    Well, can you name one example of a direct observation of evolution actually happening–in the lab or in the wild. Your choice. And by evolution, I mean vertical evolution (information-building evolution).

    This comment cements the evidence that you don’t actually know anything about evolution at all.

    So, for the record, why don’t you tell us (in your own words) what it is that you think evolutionary theory claims.

  138. Nigel Depledge

    David (121) said:

    So let me ask again:

    Do you think soft tissue in a dino fossil could last for 80 million years? Yes. No. Why do you say this?

    I didn’t see any reference to soft tissue – just a reference to fossilised blood vessels.

    Do you think soft tissue in an Archaeopteryx fossil could last for 150 million years? Yes. No. Why do you say this?

    “Our results indicate phosphorous and sulfur retention in soft tissue as well as trace metal (Zn and Cu) retention in bone.”

    Soft tissue.

    Nope. Elements that were derived from soft tissue do not constitute soft tissue. However, under exceptional circumstances, soft tissue can be preserved for millions of years.

    (And should students in high-school, college and university should have the academic freedom to discuss such questions in their science classes?)

    This question has already been answered.

    Do try to keep up!

  139. Nigel Depledge

    Darth Robo (124) said:

    —”And should students in high-school, college and university should have the academic freedom to discuss such questions in their science classes?”

    Let’s cut the coyness – They DO have the right to reject what they learn in favour of their beliefs, but they don’t have the right to pass the exam if they put their beliefs down as answers.

    Yeah. What our Sith friend said.

  140. Nigel Depledge

    David (127) said:

    What? At best, changes over many generations in organisms are examples of microevolution, which many creationists call microvariation.

    Microevolution and macroevolution are the same thing. The only difference is one of quantity. No creationist has ever proposed a mechanism to explain how small changes could be prevented from accruing into large changes. (“God did it” is not a mechanism).

    But where’s the evidence that totally new information has been added to the genome in bacteria, fruitflies, or any other organism?

    Actually, large morphological changes are easily brought about by mutations in the HOX gene family. These genes deal with embryonic patterning. Collectively, they subtly orchestrate the development of embryos in many multicellular organisms. IIUC, all metazoa have HOX genes. I have (briefly) worked with a Hox protein (Cdx2) that is involved with head-to-tail patterning. This protein is critical to the correct development of the vertebrae.

    And, again, what exactly do you mean by “information”?

  141. @ Nigel:

    And, again, what exactly do you mean by “information”?

    He means, “stuff that proves the Bible is a science textbook.”

  142. ND

    I hereby accuse David of Gish Galloping. David has spammed this discussion with numerous topics of discussion on Evolution from the creationist/ID perspective, with numerous links to creationist websites, and when people respond in detail to one point of discussion, most often he jumps to another point instead of responding to the response.

    He will only go so deeply into any one point of discussion because he is driven by belief and is not intellectually interested in exploring the topics.

  143. Fossil Bob

    Interesting notes about the pollen in the Roraima Formation are:

    …pollen was not noted in thin section.

    …and that temperatures of 400 to 800 degrees C would have been involved in the formation of the rock.

    Both of these observations support the likelihood of later “contamination” of the rocks with pollen.

  144. Darth Robo

    —“There is only one group that is not surprised by these findings: the young-earth creationists. Yes, those despised, hated, expelled Henry Morris followers”

    Really? Henry Morris, the guy who thinks the craters on the moon were caused in a battle between Satan and the archangel Gabriel? They certainly did NOT predict the finds, and come to think of it, only seem capable of retro-dicting discoveries AFTER they are made by scientists – usually by reading about it on the net and critiquing the evidence from the safety of their own armchairs. Were they surprised at all about the further evidence of the dinosaur-bird connection predicted by evolution which Creationism has no explanation? Feh. So which is more likely, Dave? That we have discovered that certain circumstances enable some materials to last longer than originally thought? Or that there’s a massive world-wide conspiracy involving thousands of organisations and hundreds of thousands of scientists in many many countries, all experts in their fields, who were somehow missed the evidence for Young Earth Creationism and thereby rendering EVERY SCIENTIFIC FIELD UTTERLY FALSE, which JUST so happens to line up with your particular religious beliefs DESPITE the fact your “alternative theory” is the NON-scientific idea that GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC?

    —“But where’s the evidence that totally new information has been added to the genome in bacteria, fruitflies, or any other organism?”

    Nylonase, cecal valves in Podarcus sicula of Pod Mrcaru, SETMAR… by the way, are you perchance a Global Flood proponent?

    David, so far we have caught you lying, equivocating, quotemining, misrepresenting, spamming, an inordinate amount of dodging, stubbornly refusing to address the serious inconsistencies in your position – in short, everything required for a fundie Gish-gallop. We’ve all seen this millions of times over, so tell me, why is it you guys think there are only 9 Commandments? And why does it ALWAYS happen this way?

    To date, I only recall ever coming across ONE honest Creationist. And that ain’t you.

  145. David

    PayasYouStargaze @122 says: “OK David, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll look up an example and describe it here. But first you must define “vertical evolution” properly because if I am to give you an example I need to know what it is I am looking for. You say it is “information-building”. Tell me how you define information in the context of evolution. Is it the number of genes? The number of chromosomes? Something else? Give me an example of an organism that contains more information than another and tell me exactly what makes it so.”

    When I say vertical evolution (information-building evolution) I don’t mean _more_ information per se, I mean _different_ information. If a person makes one photocopy of the text information on p. 316 of a book, and another person makes 500 photocopies of p. 316 from the same book, both people would have the same information (only that the second person has more copies of the same information).

    Birds have the ability to make feathers. Sheep do not. Therefore birds have the genetic information necessary to make the feathers. Sheep may have the information necessary to make other structures (wool), but they are lacking specific information necessary for feathers. To a large degree, scientists have not quantified what the specific information is. So a bird can have information that is part of what it needs to make feathers, but it could also be found in sheep where it is used to make wool.

    That said, you need to find a mutation that on a molecular level is actually building a complex biochemical pathway or developing a new organ or structure.

  146. David

    kuhnigget @129 says: “You asked for evolution happening today. There it is. You can call it microvariation if you want, but it’s evolution. And give it a few hundred thousand years and you get a whole lot of microevolution. Add a few million, and you’ve got a whole lot more.”

    More what, microevolution/microvariation? But that’s not vertical evolution.

    Jonathan Weiner (“The Beak of the Finch”, 1994) says beak changes in Galapagos finches during a severe drought (1977) is “evolution in action”, even though the changes were reversed after the drought ended, and no net evolution occurred. The beak changes Weiner writes about can be more accurately described as “minor variation in action”.

    Phillip Johnson writes: “If somebody asks, ‘Do you believe in evolution?’ the right reply is not ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ It is: ‘Precisely what do you mean by evolution?’ My experience has been that the first definition I get will be so broad as to be indisputable–like ‘There has been change in the course of life’s history.’ Later on a much more precise and controversial definition will be substituted without notice. That one word evolution can mean something so tiny it hardly matters, or so big it explains the whole history of the universe. Keep your baloney detector trained on that word. If it moves, zap it!” (“Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds”, 1997)

  147. David

    Nigel Depledge @131 says: “In fact, since there is NO evidence against evolution (despite the lies that you are trying to propagate from the links that you supply), such a mandate would be meaningless.”

    You say there is NO evidence against evolution. How then can evolution be testable?

    What evidence would convince you that evolution is false?

  148. More what, microevolution/microvariation? But that’s not vertical evolution.

    When I say vertical evolution (information-building evolution) I don’t mean _more_ information per se, I mean _different_ information. If a person makes one photocopy of the text information on p. 316 of a book, and another person makes 500 photocopies of p. 316 from the same book, both people would have the same information (only that the second person has more copies of the same information).
    Birds have the ability to make feathers. Sheep do not. Therefore birds have the genetic information necessary to make the feathers.

    Ah, I think I see what the problem is, David. You seem to be of two mindsets. 1) you cannot grasp the basic power of gradual change, and 2) you seem to want there to be some sort of deterministic path that evolution must somehow follow if it is to be considered “true” evolution.

    Your “vertical evolution” schtick is just wrong. Evolution is evolution. It builds, step by wee step. Each step is a change. Each change modifies the species. Each modification is an “edit,” if you will, to use your not entirely appropriate metaphor. Any “edit” to any “document” is new information. It communicates something different that wasn’t there before.

    I suspect you are confused by the lack of crocoducks or other silly creationist straw-beasts, or that you are fixated on this metaphor of yours without bothering to ask yourself if it’s truly apt. Your arguments seem based on the imprecise nature of your metaphor, not on the actual science of evolution.

    With regards to finch beaks, again, evolution is evolution. There is no “ascent” or “descent” or direction. If a trait helps a species survive, that trait is passed along. If conditions change and a new trait (or a version of an old trait) helps the species adapt again, that trait is passed along. Evolution continues. There is no ultimate goal. Evolution, in the case of the Galapagos finches was not “reversed”, as you claim, it just continued on its non-deterministic way.

    As to “Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds,” well, that’s just an oxymoron, isn’t it? Scientists don’t “defeat,” anything. They follow the evidence and see where it takes them. Can you honestly say the same? I don’t think so, especially given the fact that every link, every quote, you’ve posted has come from creationist apologist websites. Think about that honestly, David.

  149. Darth Robo

    —“That said, you need to find a mutation that on a molecular level is actually building a complex biochemical pathway or developing a new organ or structure.”

    Actually no, we don’t. We can merely demonstrate a change or addition. There’s only a small percentage difference between humans and chimps. It’s still observed today that we are all born with mutations, therefore you have no evidence of a “genetic barrier” yet. I’ve already given you examples of new genetic information so your only other option is to stubbornly stick to a young Earth like glue. That’s the only thing that would work, except for the fact it flies in the face of every single piece of evidence.

    —“More what, microevolution/microvariation? But that’s not vertical evolution.”

    There is no difference between “micro” and “macro” evolution. It is merely the accumulation of mutations. This is observed. So you need something to prevent this. A young Earth is all that would do it.

    —“That one word evolution can mean something so tiny it hardly matters, or so big it explains the whole history of the universe. Keep your baloney detector trained on that word. If it moves, zap it!”

    Oh, that must be why you avoided evolution at first and went straight for geology and astrophysics then. (shrug) The theory of evolution deals specifically with explaining the diversification of life on Earth. That’s it.

    —“You say there is NO evidence against evolution. How then can evolution be testable? What evidence would convince you that evolution is false?”

    Precambrian rabbits. Violation of nested hierarchies. Sudden complete biological classification change in less than a century. HERV’s in cats. Gross DNA inconsistency with nested hierarchies. Crocoduck. Remember, any and all of these, in fact EVERYTHING is compatible with “GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC!”. Not so for evolution.

    It seems you’ve still managed to skip a bit.

    Again.

  150. In addition to kuhnigget’s and Darth Robo’s excellent replies, I present my own little ramble.

    @David 148

    OK first of all let me flesh out your analogy a bit. In evolution, you must take into account mutation. It would be if every one of the 500 copies of that page had one word changed on it. Every one of those pages would still contain the bulk of the same information on it. Some of them would lose a little bit of information because a sentence would not make sense. Many would however now contain new information. e.g Sentence “the eyes are blue” becomes “the eyes are green” and is still valid.

    Now take all the copies that still make sense and copy them 500 times each, performing the same swap of one word. After thousands of generations you will result in a totally different block of text containing different information. Of course the analogy is just that and can’t really be taken further, but I hope you have learned a bit about what evolution is actually about.

    So on to information. I see a classic creationist tactic here of asking for the specific detail changes in the genomes of vastly different species (or groups of species) and if we can’t give you that you claim that you have won. Yet you have made the question easier, because you have made the definition of information so vague that any evidence fits in.

    A note here. Birds are dinosaurs. Sheep are a particular kind of mammal. Someone well versed in phylogenetics could probably help you out here. But the point is we were talking about observed cases of evolution, which I took to mean live and observed from beginning to end. That in itself is difficult to define because evolution is a constant process.

    I’m going to be a bit lazy now and use kuhnigget’s example of bacteria in post 125 (which you ignored the first time). The bacteria at first did not have the “information” to fight the antibiotics. After a few generations they did have the “information” to survive the antibiotics. This mutation has actually given the organism a new ability. Of course you will ignore this. It is a brilliant example of evolution actually occuring in the real world.

    What I find sad is the inherent dishonesty in your posts. Time and time again we have given you (meaning you and all creationists) all the examples and explainations and even proof that evolution is real. Then what do you do? Do you say, “Oh, I didn’t know that” and accept it. No! YOU then go on to redefine evolution. You redefine it to your liking every time so that no matter what evidence we present, it isn’t good enough for you. Frankly it is disgusting.

    And before you ask, the only reason I am even giving you the time of day is to have a bit of fun improving my replies for this kind of discussion. For us this is not debate, it is sport.

  151. David

    kuhnigget @151 says: “As to “Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds,” well, that’s just an oxymoron, isn’t it? Scientists don’t “defeat,” anything. They follow the evidence and see where it takes them. Can you honestly say the same?”

    Can you? If there is evidence for pollen, spores, angiosperms, gymnosperms, and at least one winged insect, in Upper Precambrian rock, why won’t you accept it? That talk.origins article is wrong when it comes to the Roraima formation: these rocks are impenetrable, and scientists now know that pollen CAN survive metamorphism. So we are left with fossilized pollen, etc. “dated” over a billion years older than the earliest known polliniferous plants.

    So follow the evidence and see where it takes you. What other explanation could there be for why the fossilized pollen, etc. is found in Upper Precambrian rock?

    “I don’t think so, especially given the fact that every link, every quote, you’ve posted has come from creationist apologist websites. Think about that honestly, David.”

    OK, how about these papers?

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cplx.20365/abstract

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0303264711000797

  152. David

    PayasYouStargaze @153 says: “I’m going to be a bit lazy now and use kuhnigget’s example of bacteria in post 125 (which you ignored the first time).”

    I didn’t ignore it, I just haven’t time until now.

    “The bacteria at first did not have the “information” to fight the antibiotics. After a few generations they did have the “information” to survive the antibiotics. This mutation has actually given the organism a new ability. Of course you will ignore this. It is a brilliant example of evolution actually occuring in the real world.”

    Really.

    Jerry Bergman writes in a 2003 paper:

    http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j17_1/j17_1_26-32.pdf

    “The recent development of bacterial and insect resistance does not support neo-Darwinism classically defined as the natural selection of mutations. Evolution requires information-building mechanisms that add new information to DNA. In virtually all cases, bacteria or insect resistance
    is a result of the exploitation of existing systems, or is due to a transfer of genes. In the rare cases where a mutation is involved, development of resistance involves only a loss mutation such as one that produces a deformed ribosome. This is confirmed by the fact that resistance is acquired very
    rapidly, in far too brief a period for the evolutionary emergence of complex biochemical or physiological systems. Mutation caused resistance results in less viability in the wild, and as a result the resistant stains cannot compete. “

  153. David

    “I don’t think so, especially given the fact that every link, every quote, you’ve posted has come from creationist apologist websites. Think about that honestly, David.”

    Dr. Danny Faulkner, professor of astronomy and physics at the University of South Carolina (Lancaster) has published more than 30 papers in various astronomy and astrophysics journals including the Astronomical Journal, Astrophysical Journal, the Publication of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the Information Bulletin on Variable Stars.

    http://usclancaster.sc.edu/faculty/faulkner/Publications.pdf

  154. David

    TheBlackCat @132 says: “The same is true of the dinosaur example. They didn’t find intact blood vessels, they found the fossil rock had preserved the shape of the blood vessels. You would know this if you actually bothered to read the original reports rather than the creationist mangling of them.”

    Did you?

    Science 1 May 2009:
    Vol. 324 no. 5927 pp. 626-631
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1165069
    Report
    Biomolecular Characterization and Protein Sequences of the Campanian Hadrosaur B. canadensis

    Mary H. Schweitzer et. al

    Molecular preservation in non-avian dinosaurs is controversial. We present multiple lines of evidence that endogenous proteinaceous material is preserved in bone fragments and soft tissues from an 80-million-year-old Campanian hadrosaur, Brachylophosaurus canadensis [Museum of the Rockies (MOR) 2598]. Microstructural and immunological data are consistent with preservation of multiple bone matrix and vessel proteins, and phylogenetic analyses of Brachylophosaurus collagen sequenced by mass spectrometry robustly support the bird-dinosaur clade, consistent with an endogenous source for these collagen peptides. These data complement earlier results from Tyrannosaurus rex (MOR 1125) and confirm that molecular preservation in Cretaceous dinosaurs is not a unique event.

    *

    They were elastic vessels:

    http://creation.com/doubting-doubts-about-the-squishosaur

    *

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/12/60minutes/main5629962.shtml

    [excerpt]

    Lesley Stahl: But as Mary showed us, she’s been able to replicate her findings. These are pieces of an even older dinosaur–a well-preserved 80-million-year-old duckbill. When she dissolved it away in acid…

    Mary Schweitzer: Let’s put this under the scope here.

    Lesley Stahl: Well, look… (to Schweitzer) Is that a blood vessel?

    Mary Schweitzer: This is a blood vessel. You see the branches right there? And look at all of them. And it’s so consistent, over and over and over again. We do this bone and it comes out and I get excited every time. I can’t help it. I mean, 80 million years old!

  155. meirelle

    David said: “You say there is NO evidence against evolution. How then can evolution be testable? What evidence would convince you that evolution is false?”

    Riiiiiight. So… you say there is NO evidence against the Earth orbiting the sun. How then can Heliocentrism be testable? What evidence would convince you that Heliocentrism is false?

  156. As usual, this grows tedious.

    David:

    That talk.origins article is wrong when it comes to the Roraima formation: these rocks are impenetrable…

    So you’re a geologist now, eh? It doesn’t matter how “penetrable” a rock is, what matters is how that rock can be contaminated by outside strata. ONE sample does not negate THOUSANDS of samples that consistently give different results. Ever hear the old line, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence?”

    But wait, let’s go to the source on this one, shall we? Here, from the minutes of the meeting of the Geological Society of Venuzuela, November, 1964:

    Mr. George Fournier led off with a description of the discovery of pollen in Roraima “shales” collected by Mr. G. C. K. Dunsterville at Cerro Venamo. Subsequently samples submitted by the British Guiana Geological Survey, from the Kamarang and Kopinang areas, have yielded similar plant remains. The utmost care has been taken to eliminate any possibility of superficial contamination, but even the small nucleus broken out of a large solid block yielded plant microfossils. Some of them are suggestive of Cretaceous, others of Miocene age. The suite has been compared with the pollen of 150 modern plants of the Gran Sabana and Roraima Plateau, but they are distinct. Grains and tissue fragments up to 150 microns in size are present, and are considered too big to have been carried by meteoric waters percolating through cracks.

    Mr. Fournier did not challenge the Precambrian radiometric dating of certain sills which cut the Roraima Formation, but suggested that the formation has accumulated gradually through the whole geologic time, and that careful correlations would show that the polleniferous beds belonged to a higher level.

    The bolding is mine, David, and here’s the relevant part again: “…careful correlations would show that the polleniferous beds belonged to a higher level.” Higher level, David. Younger level.

    See, that’s what happens when you quote creationist b.s. websites instead of going to the source. Creationism websites leave important stuff like that last line out in order to make it appear that something supports their positions when in fact they don’t. That’s called quote mining, and it’s incredibly unethical. But then, as someone pointed out above, that “thou shalt not bear false witness” business doesn’t apply to creationists, does it?

    and scientists now know that pollen CAN survive metamorphism.

    Says who?

    OK, how about these papers? …

    Those papers, published on online “journals,” without peer review, by this guy?

    Joseph Esfandiar Hannon Bozorgmehr from Manchester, United Kingdom. He infected other postings on Sandwalk under the name “Reza” [Darwinism and Junk DNA]. He’s been banned from Pharyngula and was banned from RichardDawkins.net except that he created 95 new identities in order to get around the ban. He is a holocaust denier. He used to run a business “selling components – just nuts and bolts – to the Iranian nuclear and missile industries” but it was shut down because of sanctions. Now he rants against British conspiracies.

    That guy, David? Really? That guy?

    You do realize how pathetic this is getting, right?

    And yet you go right on quoting creationist websites!

    Danny Faulkner? Really? Did you actually read that publications list you linked to, David? Do so. Notice how his astronomical work gets published in the Astrophysical Journal, the Journal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, et al, all peer reviewed scientific journals, while his creationist book reviews and articles appear in…wait for it…Creation Research Society Quarterly, a decidedly unpeer-reviewed publication belonging to an organization that has a very specific agenda to push.

    Jeebus, David! Your own links are proving my points! See, that’s why you’ve got to stop mindlessly quoting creationist websites and start thinking for yourself.

    Seriously. It makes you look really dumb.

  157. David

    kuhnigget @159 says: “As usual, this grows tedious.
    David: That talk.origins article is wrong when it comes to the Roraima formation: these rocks are impenetrable…
    So you’re a geologist now, eh? It doesn’t matter how “penetrable” a rock is, what matters is how that rock can be contaminated by outside strata. ONE sample does not negate THOUSANDS of samples that consistently give different results. Ever hear the old line, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence?”
    But wait, let’s go to the source on this one, shall we? Here, from the minutes of the meeting of the Geological Society of Venuzuela, November, 1964:”

    November, 1964? That the only reference you’re using? Had you searched the literature even 2 years later, perhaps you would have found this article from Nature:

    Stainforth, R. M., “Occurance of Pollen and Spores in the Roraima Formation of Venezuela and British Guiana”, Nature, 1966, 210, pp. 292-296.

    http://rpasmd.org/rms/Pollen_Roraima.htm

    The discovery of pollen and spores in beds considered Precambrian (Proterozoic) has received brief notice in geological journals and the press[1], [2], [3]. Individual authors will doubtless publish detailed stratigraphic and palynologic accounts of the occurrence in due course. Meanwhile it is considered desirable to give an outline of the facts of the case before distorted interpretations develop from inadequate data. The following summary statement has been prepared jointly by several members of the Asociación Venezolana de Geología, Minería y Petróleo. A. single author is nominated to simplify bibliographic references.

    Late in 1963 U. C. K. Dunsterville made an expedition to collect orchids around Cerro Venamo, at the westernmost point on the frontier between Venezuela and British Guiana (where this mountain is known as Wenamu Head). He noted some shale‑like beds at the base of a towering cliff of Roraima sandstone and collected samples for their possible paleontological interest.

    G. Fournier, palynologist of the Mene Grande Oil Company, processed the samples and recovered well‑preserved pollen and spores. Subsequently, L. Nijssen and J. A. Sulek, palynologists of Compañía Shell de Venezuela and Creole Petroleum Corporation, respectively, processed other pieces and recovered identical plant microfossils.

    This discovery of pollen and spores in a formation of supposed Precambrian age was so remarkable that a reconnaissance expedition of qualified geologists was organized to verify the facts of the case. During April, 1964, with the assistance of personnel and vehicles of the Ministerio de Minas e Hidrocarburos, the locality was visited by a party which included N. Benain, P. J. Bermúdez, A. Espejo, U. Fournier, A. Menéndez, J. A. Sulek and F. Wright. They confirmed the salient facts as recorded by Dunsterville. The shale‑like beds, being less competent, had eroded away below the massive Roraima sandstone, leaving an undercut extending 10‑12 ft. inwards at the base of the cliff. The original samples were loose, weathered fragments from the talus slope below. New samples of unweathered rock were collected from the face of the undercut.

    On their return to Caracas, the three palynologists made independent investigations of the new samples. Utmost care was taken to avoid any possibility of superficial contamination. The rock cleaves along finely laminated bedding planes which are coated with limonite. Every effort was made to avoid these planes and some of the pieces processed were the central nubs left after chipping away the external parts of large blocks of the rock, which was dense enough to sound when struck with a hammer. Nevertheless, microfossils of the same type as before were recovered.

    Dr. P. H. A. Martin‑Kaye, director of the British Guiana Geological Survey, was told of these discoveries in view of his group’s sponsorship of radiometric dating of the Roraima Formation. He collaborated by sending samples of beds described as ‘hornfelsized sediments’ from a seemingly correlative level near Paruima on the Kamarang River, some 25 miles east of the original locality. As before, independent investigations were made of this material, and the same flora was recorded. Still more samples were submitted by the Survey, this time from the Kopinang area, about 110 miles south‑east of Paruima. In this case, however, only indeterminate plant microfossils were obtained, not the distinctive suite recorded at Cerro Venamo and Paruima.

    [snip]

    As to interpretation of the significance of the fossil pollen and spores, two sharply divided opinions have been expressed. The writers make no attempt to adjudicate, but state the two concepts impartially.

    [Note from David: The first group relied on assumptions, while the second group looked at the actual evidence: *dense impermeable rocks* compressed by an overburden of hundreds of feet of the overlying Roraima sandstones]

    One group adopts the attitude that the radiometric dating[5], [6], [7] of dolerites and a hornfels6 within the Roraima Formation as Precambrian is beyond dispute, hence the pollen (and spores) must have entered as secondary contamination. The improbability that pollen could withstand the baking process, which converted shale to hornfels, is adduced as further evidence that the pollen must be allochthonous. The absence of macroscopic plant remains in the Roraima Formation is also noted, despite its assumed continental (?fluviatile) origin. It is admitted that entry of the pollen into its present site defies simple explanation, though some form of washing in by meteoric waters in the geological past via joints in the overlying sandstone seems the most probable cause.

    The second group holds that by no conceivable physical means could the pollen (and spores) have entered the metamorphosed sediments from the outside. They are dense impermeable rocks compressed by an overburden of hundreds of feet of the overlying Roraima sandstones. The undercutting at Cerro Venamo suggests that the cliff has been steadily retreating, hence the face which was sampled must have been deep within the formation until quite recent times. The Roraima sandstones are quartzitic, of low permeability, hence carriage of extraneous pollen through them by percolating water seems highly improbable. Even if this process could occur, entry of such pollen and spores into the nonporous hornfels lacks an explanation. Furthermore, if plausibility of this process be granted, it would have been operative for a long period, and a mixed suite of spores and pollen should be expected.

    In counter‑argument against the first group, it is claimed that the assertion that pollen and spores cannot withstand anaerobic baking of their parent shales has never been tested experimentally. As regards the radiometric dating, there is a disquieting overlap between stated ages of the Roraima Formation [5] , [6] and the underlying basement rocks [7] , [8], [9]. The latter suffered complex deformation and vulcanism, and were then deeply peneplaned before being covered by thousands of feet of Roraima sandstones, and only after these prolonged events were the dolerites intruded, on which age‑determination of the Roraima has been based. If the radiometric technique is valid there should be a long and clear‑cut time‑gap between ages assigned to the basement rocks and to the Roraima beds. Such a gap does not exist in the experimental results published, but this discrepancy is glossed over in the latest summary of radiometric dating in British Guiana7.

    As stated, we offer no solution to the paradox. It is clear, however, that botanist Dunsterville in his hunt for rare orchids stumbled on a highly intriguing geological problem.

    [David: As Phillip Johnson has stated: “The first step for a 21st century science of origins is to separate materialist philosophy from empirical science.”]

    And as for the Salt Range of the Punjab:

    “The great majority are undeterminable as to genus and species, being mainly shreds of angiosperm wood, but there are also gymnosperm tracheids with large round bordered pits, and at least one good, winged, six-legged insect with compound eyes.” (Sahni, B., “Age of the Saline Series in the Salt Range of the Punjab”, Nature, 1944, 153, p. 462.)

    To Sahni, this meant the Salt Range Formation must be Eocene. He later found plant fragments not only in the kallar (thin layers of saline earth) but in associated solid rock layers composed of dolomite and shale. In his report, Sahni (1945, p. x) said “stringent precautions” were taken to prevent contamination of the samples with modern organic remains. He also emphasized that samples were taken from locations where the geological evidence ruled out intrusion from younger strata.

    Although modern geological reports acknowledge overthrusts in the Salt Range, they UNANIMOUSLY declare the Salt Range Formation to be Eocambrian, not Eocene. (Yeats et al. 1984, Butler et al. 1987, Jauné and Lillie 1988, Baker et al. 1988, Pennock et al. 1989, McDougall and Khan 1990).

    McDougall, J. W., and Khan, S. H., 1990, Strike-slip faulting in a foreland fold-thrust belt: The Kalabagh Fault and Western Salt Range, Pakistan: Tectonics, v. 9, pp. 1061-1075.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1990/TC009i005p01061.shtml

    Eocene: dated from about 56 to 34 million years ago
    Eocambrian (Upper Precambrian): dated from about 1.6 billion to 600 million years ago

    Now what, kuhnigget?

  158. David

    kuhnigget @159 says: “Joseph Esfandiar Hannon Bozorgmehr from Manchester, United Kingdom. He infected other postings on Sandwalk under the name “Reza” [Darwinism and Junk DNA]. He’s been banned from Pharyngula and was banned from RichardDawkins.net except that he created 95 new identities in order to get around the ban.”

    I don’t care if Bozorgmehr was banned from attending your last dinner party! What does being banned from Pharyngula and RichardDawkins.net have to do with his two papers?

    Tell us why you find his research methodology flawed. No handwaving. Let’s see some valid reasons for why you believe Bozorgmehr’s papers are suspect. Be specific.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cplx.20365/abstract
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0303264711000797

  159. David

    Back @ 119, I asked PayasYouStargaze:

    “Well, can you name one example of a direct observation of evolution actually happening–in the lab or in the wild. Your choice. And by evolution, I mean vertical evolution (information-building evolution).”

    Back @148, I was more specific:

    “When I say vertical evolution (information-building evolution) I don’t mean _more_ information per se, I mean _different_ information. ….That said, you need to find a mutation that on a molecular level is actually building a complex biochemical pathway or developing a new organ or structure.”

    So if the evidence for evolution is so overwhelming, PayasYouStargaze (or any other evolutionist) should have no problem finding several examples in the scientific literature.

  160. It’s actually quite satifsfying to be correct. In my ramble in post 153 I knew David would just move the goalposts. This is what I said last night:

    “What I find sad is the inherent dishonesty in your posts. Time and time again we have given you (meaning you and all creationists) all the examples and explainations and even proof that evolution is real. Then what do you do? Do you say, “Oh, I didn’t know that” and accept it. No! YOU then go on to redefine evolution. You redefine it to your liking every time so that no matter what evidence we present, it isn’t good enough for you. Frankly it is disgusting.”

    I come back this morning, and again, David is redefining evolution so that no matter how clear an example we can give, it will not be an example of his version of “evolution”.

    So @David 160, you don’t get to define evolution.

    You have been provided in this thread with examples of real evolution, which you have continued to ignore. In post 160, you say that “vertical evolution” need not contain more information, just new information. A criterion that although vague is met perfectly by all the examples, including the bacteria one. Yet in post 155 the source you quote points out the problem you have.

    You seem to think that evolution requires the magical new “addition” of new “information” out of thin air. But that is not how it works. Evolution works by changing the existing “information” via mutation, and occasionally you get something which suits the environment better and that becomes a dominant trait after a bunch of generations. It’s not that difficult to grasp in principle. The only thing it requires is an appreciation of just how long it can take for complex organisms. But because you have decided that the Earth is a rediculous 6000 years old, you cannot open your mind to the possibility. The universe is bigger and older, and as a result, much more beautiful and interesting than your myth suggests.

    But you have decided it is impossible so you are forced to shoot down every example we give. We have had no problem (as “evolutionists”, whatever those are. I’m an aerospace engineer*) giving you examples. Speaking of labels, David. Are you a creationist or a intelligent designist? You claimed they were different but you haven’t made it clear which one you are.

    *For everyone’s benefit, the main reason I love these discussions is not from a particular love of biology, but because I’m an engineer and I’m trained in design. I know how to design a complex machine, and as a result I can tell that life on Earth was either not designed at all or designed by an absolute moron.

  161. TheBlackCat

    @ David:

    To a large degree, scientists have not quantified what the specific information is. So a bird can have information that is part of what it needs to make feathers, but it could also be found in sheep where it is used to make wool.

    First, “specific information” is a poorly-defined term invented by ID proponents. Of course scientists can’t measure it, they can’t even get a straight answer about what the word means despite years of asking.

    And if we can’t measure it, how are we supposed to know if there is more of it or not? Or are just you intentionally asking a question you know is impossible to answer?

    That said, you need to find a mutation that on a molecular level is actually building a complex biochemical pathway or developing a new organ or structure.

    Pfft, easy. You should look up “nylonase”. It is an example where bacteria evolved the ability to digest byproducts of nylon synthesis, byproducts that do not occur in nature. This has been observed in both the laboratory and in nature, and we know exactly what mutations lead to it. They aren’t just simple changes to existing enzymes, either, they involve radical changes to a non-coding part of the genome. There was also a case where bacteria (E. coli) were raised on a medium they could not digest (citrate), and evolved a new metabolic pathway to digest it. I can list a bunch more.

    Of course I know you will find some excuse to dismiss these examples despite the fact that they are exactly what you asked for.

    Jonathan Weiner (“The Beak of the Finch”, 1994) says beak changes in Galapagos finches during a severe drought (1977) is “evolution in action”, even though the changes were reversed after the drought ended, and no net evolution occurred.

    And if the drought hadn’t ended? The size of the sahara desert is growing, for instance. The drought there isn’t ending any time soon. There is no reason that a drought has to end. It did in this particular case, but we know environmental changes happen, and we know animals can undergo significant changes fairly rapidly to those changes. The fact that the environmental change reversed itself in this case is irrelevant, since it shows animals would also be able to adapt permanently to permanent environmental changes.

    You say there is NO evidence against evolution. How then can evolution be testable?

    It isn’t that the no evidence is possible, it is that no evidence has been found.

    What evidence would convince you that evolution is false?

    As someone once said, a precambrian rabbit. And not a rabbit that dug a burrow into precambrian rock, a rabbit that actually lived in the precambrian. You seem to have a serious problem with this distinction for some reason I don’t quite understand.

    I would also be convinced by a mechanism that would prevent the accumulation of changes over time, evidence showing that what should be closely-related forms of life have wildly different basic functionality at a sub-cellular level, and many other such pieces of evidence.

    Can you? If there is evidence for pollen, spores, angiosperms, gymnosperms, and at least one winged insect, in Upper Precambrian rock, why won’t you accept it?

    Once again, just because something is in the rock doesn’t mean that it was from that era. You need to be careful to make sure that it wasn’t later contamination. The things you are describing are exactly the sorts of things you would expect to work their way into small cracks. This has been explained to you repeatedly.

    In virtually all cases, bacteria or insect resistance is a result of the exploitation of existing systems, or is due to a transfer of genes. In the rare cases where a mutation is involved, development of resistance involves only a loss mutation such as one that produces a deformed ribosome.

    This is simply a blatant lie. Evolution of new mechanisms, such as new channels that pump the toxin out o the cell, are well-known.

    This is confirmed by the fact that resistance is acquired very rapidly, in far too brief a period for the evolutionary emergence of complex biochemical or physiological systems.

    Creationist assume that evolutionary change takes an insurmountable amount of time, then use that as proof that evolution cannot happen. Brilliant logic there.

    Mutation caused resistance results in less viability in the wild, and as a result the resistant stains cannot compete.

    This is also a lie. Often the initial mutation comes at some cost, but later variants have been as competitive or even more competitive in the absence of the toxin. This is part of the problem with antibiotic resistance, the initial change need to be fairly ad-hoc in order to respond quickly to the toxin, but over time it can evolve further to improve its efficiency.

    Dr. Danny Faulkner, professor of astronomy and physics at the University of South Carolina (Lancaster) has published more than 30 papers in various astronomy and astrophysics journals including the Astronomical Journal, Astrophysical Journal, the Publication of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the Information Bulletin on Variable Stars.

    He is also a member of answers in genesis. So, once again, a creationist apologist.

    Molecular preservation in non-avian dinosaurs is controversial. We present multiple lines of evidence that endogenous proteinaceous material is preserved in bone fragments and soft tissues from an 80-million-year-old Campanian hadrosaur, Brachylophosaurus canadensis [Museum of the Rockies (MOR) 2598]. Microstructural and immunological data are consistent with preservation of multiple bone matrix and vessel proteins, and phylogenetic analyses of Brachylophosaurus collagen sequenced by mass spectrometry robustly support the bird-dinosaur clade, consistent with an endogenous source for these collagen peptides. These data complement earlier results from Tyrannosaurus rex (MOR 1125) and confirm that molecular preservation in Cretaceous dinosaurs is not a unique event.

    Yes, they claim to have found small protein fragments of an extremely common protein called collagen. That is different than finding an intact blood vessel.

  162. David

    kuhnigget @159 says: “Danny Faulkner? Really? Did you actually read that publications list you linked to, David? Do so. Notice how his astronomical work gets published in the Astrophysical Journal, the Journal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, et al, all peer reviewed scientific journals, while his creationist book reviews and articles appear in…wait for it…Creation Research Society Quarterly, a decidedly unpeer-reviewed publication belonging to an organization that has a very specific agenda to push.”

    If Faulkner has authored or co-authored a paper that doesn’t have specific creationist implications, it gets published in Astrophysical Journal, etc. Also, creationists have found that they can sometimes get articles published with data having creationist implications in the secular journals, but will NOT get articles with openly creationist conclusions published. That’s why you’ll find those papers in Creation Research Quarterly or other creationist peer-reviewed journals like
    Answers Research Journal http://www.answersingenesis.org/arj

    For example, mathematics. Dr. Robert A. Herrmann (professor of Mathematics, Ret.)
    U.S. Naval Avademy

    http://ns.creationwiki.org/Robert_Herrmann

    Some of his peer-reviewed publications that have creationist implications:

    1) [CS] “A special isomorphism between superstructures,” Kobe J. Math., 10(2)(1993), 125-129.

    (3) [CS] “Nonstandard consequence operators,” Kobe J. Math., 4 (1)(1987), 1- 14.

    (4) [CS] “Supernear functions,” Math. Japanica, 30(2) (1985), 169-185.


    Nonstandard and Infinitesimal Modeling/ Mathematical and Theoretical Physics

    (1) [CS] “A hypercontinuous hypersmooth Schwarzschild line element transformation,” Internat. J. Math. and Math. Sci., (to appear)

    (2) [CS] “An Operator equation, and relativistic alternations in the time for radioactive decay,” Internat. J. Math. and Math. Sci., 19(2)(1996):397-402

    (3) [CS] “Operator equations, separation of variables and relativistic alterations,” Internat. J. Math. and Math. Sci., 18 (1)(1995):59-62

    (4) [CS] “Special Relativity and a nonstandard substratum,” Speculations in Science and Technology, 17(1)(1994):2-10.

    (5) [CS] “Fractals and ultrasmooth microeffects,” J. Math. Physics, 30(4), April 1989, 805-808.

    (6) [CS] “Physics is legislated by a cosmogony,” Speculations in Science and Technology, 11(1) (1988), 17-24.

    (7) [CS] “Rigorous infinitesimal modelling,” Math. Japonica, 26(4)(1981), 461- 465. Natural Systems and Cosmologies

    (1) [CS] “Mathematical philosophy and developmental processes,” Nature and System, 5(1/2)(1983), 17-36.

    Read “Slaughter of the Dissidents” by Jerry Bergman:

    http://www.amazon.com/Slaughter-Dissidents-Jerry-Bergman/dp/0981873405

    [snip]

    Systematic Discrimination, Yes. But why…., March 1, 2009
    By Fritz R. Ward “dayhiker” (Crestline, CA United States)

    This review is from: Slaughter of the Dissidents (Paperback)

    There is no question that those who doubt Darwinian orthodoxy are subject to personal discrimination in academe. Dissenters from any orthodoxy are rarely treated well, but in the case of those who doubt Darwinian conclusions about the development of life on earth, this discrimination is systematic and comprehensive. In this extended book, the first of a
    projected 3 volume set, Dr. Bergman highlights how this discrimination occurs, who is behind it, and provides a substantive discussion of the promising careers that were lost to science because of this systematic discrimination.

  163. David

    PayasYouStargaze @163 says:”But you have decided it is impossible so you are forced to shoot down every example we give.”

    I’m shooting down every example because nobody here has yet referenced a mutation that on a molecular level has built a complex biochemical pathway or developed a new organ or structure.

    “We have had no problem (as “evolutionists”, whatever those are. I’m an aerospace engineer*) giving you examples.”

    You’re an aerospace engineer. Ever hear of the late Jules H. Poirier? He was a senior design specialist electronics engineer, and designed circuitry for the Saturn radar pulse altimeter, as well as other navigational circuitry. After he retired, he became interested in the navigational ability of the monarch butterfly. He wrote two book on the subject, one for children, and the other for adults: From Darkness to Light to Flight: Monarch–the Miracle Butterfly (1995). I have a video of his presentation on the monarch, given in 2000, should you wish to view it.

  164. David

    TheBlackCat @164 says:

    [David]: That said, you need to find a mutation that on a molecular level is actually building a complex biochemical pathway or developing a new organ or structure.

    “Pfft, easy. You should look up “nylonase”. It is an example where bacteria evolved the ability to digest byproducts of nylon synthesis, byproducts that do not occur in nature. This has been observed in both the laboratory and in nature, and we know exactly what mutations lead to it. They aren’t just simple changes to existing enzymes, either, they involve radical changes to a non-coding part of the genome. There was also a case where bacteria (E. coli) were raised on a medium they could not digest (citrate), and evolved a new metabolic pathway to digest it. I can list a bunch more.”

    Please do. I was wondering if nylonase was going to be mentioned. The issue is whether it mutated to create new information–the nylonases. It didn’t. It was old information corrupted. The original 1975 paper described the nylon oligomer eating ability of the bacterium. Then a 2002 paper showed conclusively that the enzymes (which were almost all identical in structure except for a few amino acids) were copies of a known esterolase enzyme which had been mutated to attack amide bonds. Ester bonds and amide bonds are not that dissimilar. So firstly, the change from an enzyme eating an ester over to an amide is not newsworthy. Secondly, the nylonase enzyme originated from a PRE-EXISTING esterolase enzyme. So it’s another classic case of making something by breaking something. NO NEW INFORMATION has been generated.

    See also:

    http://creation.com/the-adaptation-of-bacteria-to-feeding-on-nylon-waste

    http://www.icr.org/article/nylon-eating-bacteria-evolutionary-progress/

  165. @165 David

    You’re not shooting down our examples. You are dismissing them. For a “mutation that on a molecular level has built a complex biochemical pathway or developed a new organ or structure” see nylonase as explained by The Black Cat in the post 164. Easy. That is exactly what you’re asking for. Why do you dismiss this?

    No I had not heard of Jules Poirier. You say he was a specialist electronics engineer. I specialise in aerodynamics and propulsion systems so I would not necessarily have heard of him anyway.

    But when I google him the top result is from Answers in Genesis. So immediatey I have my doubts about him as a source. The 2nd google result is also a creationist website which has used the exact same blurb for him. Then after two results for his book I get an ICR link. This pattern continues onto the 2nd page of results. He obviously has no credibility as a biologist. Why should I listen to what this man has to say?

    I have looked up that butterfly. What is so special about it?

  166. TheBlackCat

    @ Payas: “That is exactly what you’re asking for. Why do you dismiss this?” I hope that was a rhetorical question.

  167. David

    Monarch butterflies and navigation
    by Jules Poirier

    http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/tjv13n1_butterflies.pdf

    [snip]

    “The sheer complexity of the navigational task suggests that the monarch butterfly uses navigational techniques different from those which humans would use to accomplish the same feat. Experimental work is necessary to help resolve what navigational methods are used by the butterfly to accomplish its long migration.”

    *
    So, PayasYouStargaze, how about designing an optical lens and navigation electrical system that can do everything that the monarch butterfly’s system can do.

    Requirements for the navigational system:

    1. Sensors must be provided to detect the direction of the earth’s magnetic field and the position of the sun.

    2. The central computer must be able (from an input of information on the sun’s position and the earth’s magnetic field) to determine its present position to an accuracy of plus or minus 100 feet.

    3. The computer must be capable of directing its navigation pilot to a new location as far away as 3000 miles to an accuracy of plus or minus 100 feet.

    And design the system:

    a) to weigh less than 0.5 grams
    b) to be smaller than a pea, and
    c) so it can be built in 8 days by one person in total darkness without any outside help.

    I’ll ask you the same question Poirier challenged his audience of mostly engineers and engineering managers at a seminar:

    “Do you know the name of a designer who can create such an optical electrical navigation system?”

  168. TheBlackCat

    Please do. I was wondering if nylonase was going to be mentioned. The issue is whether it mutated to create new information–the nylonases. It didn’t. It was old information corrupted.

    It created a new metabolic pathway, exactly as you requested. But you are now retroactively changing your request, moving the goalposts way past where you originally set them.

    And you still haven’t even tried to define information. How are we supposed to give you an example of new information when we don’t know what would constitute new information? Oh, of course, we aren’t, the question is *ahem* intelligently designed to be unanswerable.

    The original 1975 paper described the nylon oÄligomer eating ability of the bacterium. Then a 2002 paper showed conclusively that the enzymes (which were almost all identical in structure except for a few amino acids) were copies of a known esterolase enzyme which had been mutated to attack amide bonds. Ester bonds and amide bonds are not that dissimilar. So firstly, the change from an enzyme eating an ester over to an amide is not newsworthy.

    Utterly and completely irrelevant. How, exactly, is what I provided not identical to what you requested? You are now adding on new conditions that you never mentioned in the original request. This is called “moving the goal posts”. And if I now satisfy these new, additional conditions, you will just move them again. I am not going to play your game, sorry.

    Secondly, the nylonase enzyme originated from a PRE-EXISTING esterolase enzyme. So it’s another classic case of making something by breaking something. NO NEW INFORMATION has been generated.

    First, how is creating a new thing that does a new, useful function “breaking” anything? It isn’t broken, it is modified to carry out a new role. That is the core of evolution. It is no more breaking anything that modifying a motorcycle engine to work in a jet ski.

    There was one enzyme with one function, now there are two enzymes with two functions. How is that not new information in an remotely useful definition of information?

    If you take a copy of a repair manual for a corvette, and modify it so it now is a manual for a ferrari, you have two manuals. How is that not new information? Yes, one is based on the other, but they are no longer the same.

    Besides, it is an example of the evolution of a new metabolic pathway, exactly what you asked for. But now that you get an example that is exactly what you asked for, you now start adding on additional conditions that you hadn’t mentioned before.

    Now not only does it have to be a new metabolic pathway, it has to have appeared out of thin air from nothing. But that is exactly what evolution predicts, that new structures and new pathways will be based off old ones. It is the creationist who insist things poof out of thing air. So you are not asking for evidence to demonstrate evolution, what you are telling us to give you would actually be a disproof of evolution.

    Ever heard of “descent with modification”? Modification is the key word here. Not creation out of nothing, that is creationism. Existing structures and molecules are altered, duplicated, co-opted, recombined and otherwise modified. That is how evolution works, which makes this an example of the exact mechanism scientists say evolution uses to create new metabolic pathways.

    So, in other words, the rules you set means you will only accept evidence for evolution…if it doesn’t involve evolution. So once again you are making your request fundamentally impossible to satisfy.

    which were almost all identical in structure except for a few amino acids

    You talk as though “a few amino acids” is insignificant. But in many cases “a few amino acids” constitutes the entire functional part of the enzyme. A few amino acids is all it takes to totally alter the functionality of an enzyme. So a few amino acids is not insignificant, it can totally change a enzyme. On the other hand hundreds of amino acids can change without significantly altering an enzyme. What matters is which amino acids change, not how many.

  169. TheBlackCat

    I’ll ask you the same question Poirier challenged his audience of mostly engineers and engineering managers at a seminar:

    “Do you know the name of a designer who can create such an optical electrical navigation system?”

    So evolution can do things in millions of years that humans cannot reproduce in a few decades. How, exactly, is that a disproof of evolution? “I can’t figure out how to do it” doesn’t mean that evolution is impossible, it just mean you aren’t smart enough.

  170. “Do you know the name of a designer who can create such an optical electrical navigation system?”

    No, but evolution, working in small, graduated steps, each one offering a slight improvement over the other and giving an individual a slight advantage over its competitors, working over millions of years, produced one.

  171. David

    Hey TheBlackCat, @132 you said: “They didn’t find intact blood vessels, they found the fossil rock had preserved the shape of the blood vessels.”

    Are you now ready to concede that Mary Schweitzer et al. found _elastic_ blood vessels in “80 million-year-old” dino bone, after it was dissolved in acid.

  172. ND

    David,

    There you go jumping off onto another topic with monarch butterflies.

    Do you admit that you don’t have a firm grasp of what scientists are talking about when it comes to evolution? Do you think you understand the topic you’re discussing here?

    Your primary motivation is for Evolution to not be real. You don’t want to accept it.

  173. creationists have found that they can sometimes get articles published with data having creationist implications in the secular journals, but will NOT get articles with openly creationist conclusions published.

    Because they don’t meet the standards of real science. That’s not a conspiracy, that’s just the way science works. And the process has served it well for centuries. Crybaby creationists are not going to get a pass just because the results don’t meet their pre-conceived expectations.

    Some of his peer-reviewed publications that have creationist implications:

    And your proof of this is…wait for it…a link to a creationist website! I give up. You are acting as if you are mentally retarded. And yes, I know, you will take that comment as proof of the evil conspiracy against creationists. But you know, David, it’s not. It’s just someone who has grown tired of stupidity.

    And with regards to your beloved impermeable rocks…

    Now what, kuhnigget?

    From the conclusion of the very source paper YOU linked to:


    It is admitted that entry of the pollen into its present site defies simple explanation, though some form of washing in by meteoric waters in the geological past via joints in the overlying sandstone seems the most probable cause.

    Emphasis mine.

    Can you not read?

  174. TheBlackCat

    Hey TheBlackCat, @132 you said: “They didn’t find intact blood vessels, they found the fossil rock had preserved the shape of the blood vessels.”

    Are you now ready to concede that Mary Schweitzer et al. found _elastic_ blood vessels in “80 million-year-old” dino bone, after it was dissolved in acid.

    No, as I said I am ready to concede they found traces of collagen fragments (not full collagen fibers, which would be needed for elastic blood vessels) in stone that had the impressions of blood vessels. Which, although impressive, does not disprove an old Earth any more than insects trapped in amber. If they were going to find any biomolecules in fossils, collagen was going to be it, since it is by far the most common organic molecule, not to mention protein, in the body by weight, is fairly sturdy chemically and structurally, and is a long fiber composed of very short repeated amino acids sequences which means it can be highly degraded and still be recognizable.

  175. @170 David

    Well TBC and kuhn got in there first on the subject of designing an navigational system.

    You still haven’t answered a number of questions posed to you:

    1. Are you a creationist or an intelligent designist? (After you made such a fuss of those being different from each other)

    2. What is the theory of creation/intelligent design, depending on your answer to question 1?

    3. What do you think the theory of evolution actually states?

    Please answer these questions in your own words without links or quotes from ANY website, book or other work that is not your own. I want to know YOUR answers and YOUR views.

  176. @169 TBC

    I don’t know any more. This thread has so much rhetoric in it already…

  177. David

    ND @175 says: “Your primary motivation is for Evolution to not be real. You don’t want to accept it.”

    Your primary motivation is for Creation or Intelligent Design to not be real. You don’t want to accept it.

  178. ND

    David,

    There is no evidence for Creation/ID for me to even consider it! That is not the case with Evolution.

    And again, do you really understand Evolution as science has put forth? Do you really understand it? Have you considered the possibility that you do not?

    How did you come to learn about Evolution in the first place?

  179. David

    kuhnigget @176 says: “From the conclusion of the very source paper YOU linked to:

    It is admitted that entry of the pollen into its present site defies simple explanation, though some form of washing in by meteoric waters in the geological past via joints in the overlying sandstone seems the most probable cause.

    Emphasis mine.
    Can you not read?”

    *
    It’s a good thing I posted most of the 1966 Nature article for context. Which of the two groups had the empirical evidence to back up what they said? The only thing the first group said was some form of washing in SEEMS the most PROBABLE cause. That’s not evidence. That’s wishful thinking.

  180. TheBlackCat

    There is no question that those who doubt Darwinian orthodoxy are subject to personal discrimination in academe. Dissenters from any orthodoxy are rarely treated well, but in the case of those who doubt Darwinian conclusions about the development of life on earth, this discrimination is systematic and comprehensive. In this extended book, the first of a
    projected 3 volume set, Dr. Bergman highlights how this discrimination occurs, who is behind it, and provides a substantive discussion of the promising careers that were lost to science because of this systematic discrimination.

    Of course they made an entire movie about the subject yet could not find a single legitimate example of this. In every single example they came up with the person did not face any real problems or the problems were due to other things than their creationism. In fact in several cases they were actually treated much better than non-creationists in order to avoid a controversy.

    Heck, you have posted several examples of faculty who have had no problem whatsoever holding academic positions while still being creationists. Their creationist material was uniformly awful, but they were still able to publish legitimate science just fine. So how are they being discriminated against? I don’t see it.

  181. TheBlackCat

    It’s a good thing I posted most of the 1966 Nature article for context. Which of the two groups had the empirical evidence to back up what they said? The only thing the first group said was some form of washing in SEEMS the most PROBABLE cause. That’s not evidence. That’s wishful thinking.

    The one that can actually explain how fossils come about?

    Read this:
    http://asa.chm.colostate.edu/archive/asa/199709/0101.html

    “I will answer a few problems I know of in this work. First, no one familiar with pollen should be surprised that pollen is found in surface exposed rocks. There is a veritible rain of pollen on everything. It is caught in rain water and transported down into the crevices in the rocks. So regardless of finding modern pollen in surficial rocks, it may not have been there from time immemorial. It may be a recent addition to the rock a modern contaminant. You don’t even have to have a pine tree anywhere near you to have pine pollen falling on you. Wind and water disperse the pollen quite effectively. A palynologist friend of mine has written that he finds modern pine pollen in his cretaceous preparations all the time. ”

    “In 1971 I obtained a collecting permit from the National Park Service and accompanied C. L. Burdick to the Grand Canyon. His previous sample localities were relocated and new samples were collected, returned to my laboratory at Loma Linda University and processed by C. L. Burdick using techniques similar to those he had employed in his earlier work at the University of Arizona. On the basis of results from these samples, Burdick (1972) published a second paper claiming substantiation of his earlier paper. It is unfortunate that Burdick chose to publish the results of this work without waiting for independent confirmation. In this second article, as in the first, he figures several objects which are not identifiable and several pollen grains which are either modern or of modern affinities. However, he made the claim {challenged in a subsequent cautiously worded report (Chadwick, Debord and Fisk, 1973)} that these data supported his previous findings. In a sense they do, in that both papers figure grains which are clearly modern in aspect and indistinguisable from grains abundant in the present pollen spectrum of the Grand Canyon region. However, the conclusion that these findings support the concept of Precambrian higher plants is a non sequitur until all cause for concern regarding modern contamination has been eliminated. It was with this goal in mind that the work reported herein was undertaken.”~Arthur V. Chadwick, “Precambrian Pollen in the Grand Canyon – A Reexamination,” Origins, 8:1, 1981, pp 7-8 (7-12)
    **
    “A total of fifty samples from the same strata which Burdick had studied were processed. All slides were completely scanned. No single example of an authentic pollen grain was obtained from any of these samples. In fact, the slides produced from the Hakatai Formation were in most cases completely free from any material of biologic origin, modern or fossil.”~Arthur V. Chadwick, “Precambrian Pollen in the Grand Canyon – A Reexamination,” Origins, 8:1, 1981, pp 8 (pp.7-12)

  182. David

    kuhnigget @176 says: “Crybaby creationists are not going to get a pass just because the results don’t meet their pre-conceived expectations.”

    Oh, that’s right, evolutionists don’t have any pre-conceived expectations or biases.

    At least the ARJ is open about its perspective:

    From the ARJ website:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/arj

    “Answers Research Journal (ARJ) is a professional, peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework.”

    But how likely is it that evolutionists would _ever_ do something similar?

    From the “What I’d like to see” Department:

    “Evolution, the International Journal of Organic Evolution is a professional, peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of a 13.75 ± 0.11 billion year universe and based on a committment to philosophical naturalism.”

    We all know the chances of that ever happening are nil. Why? Phillip Johnson says naturalists define words like “evolution” and “science” in such a way that naturalism is true by definition.

    See:

    http://www.worldmag.com/articles/1390

  183. @ David:

    It’s a good thing I posted most of the 1966 Nature article for context

    HA! I caught you! You posted most of the article! What you failed to post was the conclusion, which is the part I quoted!

    Again, here it is, from the full Nature article YOU linked to:


    It is admitted that entry of the pollen into its present site defies simple explanation, though some form of washing in by meteoric waters in the geological past via joints in the overlying sandstone seems the most probable cause.

    I caught you at the creationist’s game, David. You are guilty of redacting an article to remove that portion of it which does not meet your agenda. There’s a word for people like you, and it rhymes with pants on fire!

  184. To shut down debate, censor information and get away without defending ones position is a loss for science. This behaviour is not that of open-minded scientists, or even of educators helping students think about the issue, but of a totalitarian mindset crushing any dissenting thoughts they do not like. This sort of an attitude will stifle scientific inquiry and kill scientific innovation and discovery.

  185. And here’s the “second group’s” conclusion, from the same paper:

    The second group holds that by no conceivable physical means could the pollen (and spores) have entered the metamorphosed sediments from the outside. They are dense impermeable rocks compressed by an overburden of hundreds of feet of the overlying Roraima sandstones.

    This, despite the original investigator’s conclusion that the beds had in fact been cut through with strata from higher (younger) levels. Odd how the second group ignores that part of the initial study.

    But let’s go on.

    The Roraima sandstones are quartzitic, of low permeability, hence carriage of extraneous pollen through them by percolating water seems highly improbable. Even if this process could occur, entry of such pollen and spores into the nonporous hornfels lacks an explanation.

    Only if you ignore the fact that the strata has been jumbled with younger layers, as the original investigator himself concluded. If you admit this data, then there is indeed an explanation. Again, a little redacting goes a long way, doesn’t it?

  186. @ Rockhound:

    Nobody here is censoring good science. What we’re doing is trying to show how bad science cannot be equated with good science.

    And the very fact that you have ventured forth from your creationist website to post here, proves that debate has not been “shut down”, doesn’t it?

  187. David

    kuhnigget @186 Says: “HA! I caught you! You posted most of the article! What you failed to post was the conclusion, which is the part I quoted!
    Again, here it is, from the full Nature article YOU linked to:

    It is admitted that entry of the pollen into its present site defies simple explanation, though some form of washing in by meteoric waters in the geological past via joints in the overlying sandstone seems the most probable cause.”

    *
    What???

    What kuhnigget posted was only the conclusion of the _first_ group. I posted the conclusions of BOTH groups. Go back and read what I posted @160 everyone.

    Or, here is the significant portion again:

    http://rpasmd.org/rms/Pollen_Roraima.htm

    [snip]

    As to interpretation of the significance of the fossil pollen and spores, two sharply divided opinions have been expressed. The writers make no attempt to adjudicate, but state the two concepts impartially.

    One group adopts the attitude that the radiometric dating[5], [6], [7] of dolerites and a hornfels6 within the Roraima Formation as Precambrian is beyond dispute, hence the pollen (and spores) must have entered as secondary contamination. The improbability that pollen could withstand the baking process, which converted shale to hornfels, is adduced as further evidence that the pollen must be allochthonous. The absence of macroscopic plant remains in the Roraima Formation is also noted, despite its assumed continental (?fluviatile) origin. It is admitted that entry of the pollen into its present site defies simple explanation, though some form of washing in by meteoric waters in the geological past via joints in the overlying sandstone seems the most probable cause.

    The second group holds that by no conceivable physical means could the pollen (and spores) have entered the metamorphosed sediments from the outside. They are dense impermeable rocks compressed by an overburden of hundreds of feet of the overlying Roraima sandstones. The undercutting at Cerro Venamo suggests that the cliff has been steadily retreating, hence the face which was sampled must have been deep within the formation until quite recent times. The Roraima sandstones are quartzitic, of low permeability, hence carriage of extraneous pollen through them by percolating water seems highly improbable. Even if this process could occur, entry of such pollen and spores into the nonporous hornfels lacks an explanation. Furthermore, if plausibility of this process be granted, it would have been operative for a long period, and a mixed suite of spores and pollen should be expected.

    In counter‑argument against the first group, it is claimed that the assertion that pollen and spores cannot withstand anaerobic baking of their parent shales has never been tested experimentally. As regards the radiometric dating, there is a disquieting overlap between stated ages of the Roraima Formation [5] , [6] and the underlying basement rocks [7] , [8], [9]. The latter suffered complex deformation and vulcanism, and were then deeply peneplaned before being covered by thousands of feet of Roraima sandstones, and only after these prolonged events were the dolerites intruded, on which age‑determination of the Roraima has been based. If the radiometric technique is valid there should be a long and clear‑cut time‑gap between ages assigned to the basement rocks and to the Roraima beds. Such a gap does not exist in the experimental results published, but this discrepancy is glossed over in the latest summary of radiometric dating in British Guiana7.

    As stated, we offer no solution to the paradox. It is clear, however, that botanist Dunsterville in his hunt for rare orchids stumbled on a highly intriguing geological problem.

    R. M. Stainforth
    —-

    The pot is calling the kettle black.

    kuhnigget owes me an apology.

  188. David

    TheBlackCat @184 says: “Read this:
    http://asa.chm.colostate.edu/archive/asa/199709/0101.html

    [snip]

    “In 1971 I obtained a collecting permit from the National Park Service and accompanied C. L. Burdick to the Grand Canyon. His previous sample localities were relocated and new samples were collected, returned to my laboratory at Loma Linda University and processed by C. L. Burdick using techniques similar to those he had employed in his earlier work at the University of Arizona.

    [snip]
    —-
    None of the articles, papers, etc. I have been referencing concerning the Roraima Formation or the Salt Range of the Punjab have been referring to C. L. Burdick, whose findings had to do with the Grand Canyon.

  189. @185 David

    There’s your problem right there. The ARJ conducts it’s work “from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework”. They already assume their conclusion. Real science doesn’t work like that. So you are right that we will never see that evolution journal that you want, but for the wrong reason. It’s because it would not be scientific.

    Still waiting on those answers from the questions you’ve been asked (see my post 178)

  190. David

    I’m still waiting for my posts 190 and 191 to appear. Right now it says for both: “Your comment is awaiting moderation. ”

    PayasYouStargaze @192 says: “@185 David. There’s your problem right there. The ARJ conducts it’s work “from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework”. They already assume their conclusion. Real science doesn’t work like that. So you are right that we will never see that evolution journal that you want, but for the wrong reason. It’s because it would not be scientific.”

    Yeah, I like that: “real science”.

    Your statement just acknowledges what Phillip Johnson has said in Darwin on Trial and other books: naturalists define words like “evolution” and “science” in such a way that naturalism is true by definition! You don’t recognize your own bias; or maybe you do, but won’t admit to it. Generally speaking, a scientist won’t get published in mainstream science journals if his/her papers have openly creationist or ID conclusions (but there have been rare exceptions).

    Just like the evolutionists who say all creationists or IDers who do research and publish in peer-reviewed mainstream science journals and/or their own peer-viewed journals aren’t “real scientists”.

    Are people like Danny Faulkner, John Baumgardner, Andrew Snelling, John Sanford, D. Russell Humphreys, et. al “real scientists” or not? Or does the fact that all have published in peer-reviewed mainstream science journals and peer-reviewed creationist journals/conference papers automatically exclude them from being called “real scientists” by the priesthood of naturalism?

    Here’s a little homework for you. Research the credentials of the late A. E. Wilder-Smith (who debated Dawkins in 1986). Was Wilder-Smith a “real scientist” or not? Why or why not?

  191. Darth Robo

    Oh, hi David! You appear to have missed quite a lot. Again. Tomorrow when I have some more time, I’m going to make a list. And F me, it will be loooooooooooooooooong…

    —“Answers Research Journal (ARJ) is a professional, peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework.”

    Nice going there, Dave. You’ve just contradicted yourself. Oh, and not to mention just destroyed all life on Earth all over again. You can’t say evolution is wrong then say there was a Global Flood. Such a shame that Creationism is all over the map when it comes to consistency.

    Considering that the only commonality between your references are anti-evolutionism, they also tend to contradict each other as standard practice (one of the problems when you prefer Old or Young Earth Creationist dogma over science), and therefore do not get taken seriously by by the scientific community. Among other things. Like this:

    —“We all know the chances of that ever happening are nil. Why? Phillip Johnson says naturalists define words like “evolution” and “science” in such a way that naturalism is true by definition.”

    Then if naturalism is not a good thing, then the only other option is SUPER-naturalism, right? Do let us know when the “supernatural” makes itself amenable to the scientific method, won’t you?

    —“Your primary motivation is for Creation or Intelligent Design to not be real. You don’t want to accept it.”

    Utterly wrong. I’m more than willing to accept such a possibility, but you have simply not been able to provide a shred of evidence to support that hypothesis. And don’t forget you still have to scientifically demonstrate the limits of said entity which you have imposed upon it. I however don’t think that such an entity gives a flying fig about your opinions about its limitations, if indeed it really is capable of creating entire universes. Of course we know that fundies like yourself prefer a god who obeys orders from people like yourself.

    —“At least the ARJ is open about its perspective”

    Yup, non-scientific right at its core, just like I’ve been pointing out for days now. Thanks once again for pointing that out.

    —“Or does the fact that all have published in peer-reviewed mainstream science journals and peer-reviewed creationist journals/conference papers automatically exclude them from being called “real scientists” by the priesthood of naturalism?”

    Actually Dave, if you look at work done by creationists who happen to be scientists that have had their work peer-reviewed, you will find that it’s because they have NOT relied on “supernaturalism” for their conclusions in their work. However, there hasn’t been any creationist papers whose “scientific conclusion” is “supernatural”, because for the simple reason that GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC is not scientific.

    So considering that once again you’ve merely demonstrated yourself to be remarkably dishonest (as usual) why not simply cut out all the coy BS and simply say that you don’t believe in evolution because the Bible sez Goddidit with magic?

    Or are you still of the opinion that there are only 9 Commandments?

    Feel free to dodge everything all over again. As usual.

  192. TheBlackCat

    Oh, that’s right, evolutionists don’t have any pre-conceived expectations or biases.

    At least the ARJ is open about its perspective:

    From the ARJ website:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/arj

    “Answers Research Journal (ARJ) is a professional, peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework.”

    But how likely is it that evolutionists would _ever_ do something similar?

    There is a word for this: projection. You are biased, you interpret everything through the mindset that creationism is right. Therefore, you assume that everyone else must also have a bias, and see everything from the mindset that they are right. You are simply incapable of accepting the idea that not everyone is as biased as you are.

    I have news for you: just because you have a problem, does not automatically mean everyone else does as well. Lots of people are quite open to changing their views on fundamental issues. I see it all the time in science. I did it myself on several occasions.

    It is good that you admit that you and like-minded individuals are so biased that you cannot accept anything that conflicts with your world view. Now the next step is to understand that not everyone shares your biases.

  193. @193 David

    It’s not about “real scientists”. It’s about real science. Do you understand the difference? Those people you mention may do great science in other fields, but it doesn’t make creationism/ID scientific.

    Now, are you going to answer the questions posed to you time and time again? I’ll even repeat them for you, and add another:

    1. Are you a creationist or an intelligent designist? (After you made such a fuss of those being different from each other)

    2. What is the theory of creation/intelligent design, depending on your answer to question 1?

    3. What do you think the theory of evolution actually states?

    4. Why do you prefer the creation/ID view to that of mainstream science?

    Please answer these questions in your own words without links or quotes from ANY website, book or other work that is not your own. I want to know YOUR answers and YOUR views.

  194. TheBlackCat

    Block quote fail, lets try this again:

    Oh, that’s right, evolutionists don’t have any pre-conceived expectations or biases.

    At least the ARJ is open about its perspective:

    From the ARJ website:

    [snip]

    “Answers Research Journal (ARJ) is a professional, peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework.”

    But how likely is it that evolutionists would _ever_ do something similar?

    There is a word for this: projection. You are biased, you interpret everything through the mindset that creationism is right. Therefore, you assume that everyone else must also have a similar bias, and see everything from the mindset that they are right. You are simply incapable of accepting the idea that not everyone is as biased as you are.

    I have news for you: just because you have a problem, does not automatically mean everyone else does as well. Lots of people are quite open to changing their views on fundamental issues. I see it all the time in science. I did it myself on several occasions.

    It is good that you admit that you and like-minded individuals are so biased that you cannot accept anything that conflicts with your world view. Now the next step is to understand that this does not automatically apply to everyone else.

  195. @ David:

    Okay, give yourself a tick mark in your box.

    What???
    What kuhnigget posted was only the conclusion of the _first_ group. I posted the conclusions of BOTH groups. Go back and read what I posted @160 everyone.

    Kuhnigget owes me an apology.

    Read my post 188, David.

    But yes, you did post both conclusions in your first comment, so I apologize. Mea culpa.

    But read 188. You are applying different standards to the conclusion that supports your point of view.

    I’ve given you an apology, so how about addressing my concern?

  196. David

    TheBlackCat @195 says: “There is a word for this: projection. You are biased, you interpret everything through the mindset that creationism is right. Therefore, you assume that everyone else must also have a bias, and see everything from the mindset that they are right. You are simply incapable of accepting the idea that not everyone is as biased as you are.”

    That’s rich. So you’re saying you and all other Darwinists don’t have any bias, and are completely objective when it comes to scientific data? _Everyone_ has biases, but it’s a matter of which bias is the best bias to be biased with.

    All evolutionists (whether atheist, agnostic, or theist) interpret data through the lense of philosophical naturalism. Why won’t you admit it?

    And I’m still waiting for you to admit that elastic blood vessels have been found in dino bone.

    I’d read Mary Schweitzer’s papers on the subject. Have you?

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/324/5927/626.abstract

    Biomolecular Characterization and Protein Sequences of the Campanian Hadrosaur B. canadensis
    Mary H. Schweitzer et. al

    Abstract

    Molecular preservation in non-avian dinosaurs is controversial. We present multiple lines of evidence that endogenous proteinaceous material is preserved in bone fragments and soft tissues from an 80-million-year-old Campanian hadrosaur, Brachylophosaurus canadensis [Museum of the Rockies (MOR) 2598]. Microstructural and immunological data are consistent with preservation of multiple bone matrix and vessel proteins, and phylogenetic analyses of Brachylophosaurus collagen sequenced by mass spectrometry robustly support the bird-dinosaur clade, consistent with an endogenous source for these collagen peptides. These data complement earlier results from Tyrannosaurus rex (MOR 1125) and confirm that molecular preservation in Cretaceous dinosaurs is not a unique event.

    *

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/307/5717/1952.abstract

    Science 25 March 2005:
    Vol. 307 no. 5717 pp. 1952-1955
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1108397
    Report
    Soft-Tissue Vessels and Cellular Preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
    Mary H. Schweitzer et al.

    Abstract

    Soft tissues are preserved within hindlimb elements of Tyrannosaurus rex (Museum of the Rockies specimen 1125). Removal of the mineral phase reveals transparent, flexible, hollow blood vessels containing small round microstructures that can be expressed from the vessels into solution. Some regions of the demineralized bone matrix are highly fibrous, and the matrix possesses elasticity and resilience. Three populations of microstructures have cell-like morphology. Thus, some dinosaurian soft tissues may retain some of their original flexibility, elasticity, and resilience.

    Latest Soft Tissue Study Skirts the Issues
    by Brian Thomas, M.S. [July 5, 2011]
    http://www.icr.org/article/6220/

    Fluctuations Show Radioisotope Decay Is Unreliable
    by Brian Thomas, M.S. [July 29, 2011]
    http://www.icr.org/article/6246/

    “transparent, flexible, hollow blood vessels”

    Admit it.

  197. David

    TheBlackCat @195 says: “It is good that you admit that you and like-minded individuals are so biased that you cannot accept anything that conflicts with your world view.”

    You’re putting words in my mouth. For example, if palaeontologists were to ever to unearth the step-by-step transitional forms showing wingless pterosaur-like creatures gradually evolving the long bony fouth finger, the wing membranes, etc. to fully-developed wings, I would accept it.

    The same for bats. What is the “oldest” known bat fossil? 100% bat. Show me the transitional forms leading up to the bat.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/cambrian-explosion/vid-view-darwins-dilemma-online-free/

    Vid: View Darwin’s Dilemma online free

    *

    From the August 15, 2005 edition of TIME magazine:

    Richard Dawkins: “Creationists are fond of saying that there are very few fossils in the Precambrian, but why would there be? asks Dawkins. “However, if there was a single hippo or rabbit in the Precambrian, that would completely blow evolution out of the water. None have ever been found.”

    So what happens if a rabbit or hippo fossil _is_ found in the Precambrian?

    Do you think Dawkins, or any other well-known Darwinist, would hold a press conference, and announce that evolution has been falsified?

    Pollen, spores, angiosperms, gymnosperms, and at least one winged insect have already been found in Precambrian rock. Why isn’t that enough to falsify evolution?

    The insect fossil in question is a six-legged insect with compound eyes! The Darwinists keep telling us there was no evidence of eyes before the Cambrian (eg. trilobites).

  198. TheBlackCat

    David didn’t come by today. Don’t tell me he isn’t going to reply to my rebuttal of his nylonase backpeddling. What will I ever do?

  199. He did come by TBC. He just used links so his posts went through moderation. He still hasn’t answered my questions though, and he doesn’t need links for that. Not that I’m holding out much hope that he will though.

    He’s also still bringing up the same points, even though you explained them in post 164. In fact he has just pasted the same abstracts as before. I wonder if he has any thoughts on the subject himself?

  200. It’s my fault, guys. In my zeal to counter his non-arguments I opened myself up to error. I’m sure he’s off somewhere telling an audience of young earthers how the bad old skeptic called him a name and then had to eat his words.

    Well, ONE word.

    The others are still on the plate.

  201. ND

    David,

    The age of the universe being 13.75 byo, came about after many decades of research and following the evidence. It was not born out of a desire for the universe to be millions or billions of years old. That’s where the overwhelming weight of evidence eventually led to.

    The bunch you appear to associate with start off with a religious and dogmatic idea that the Earth and thus the universe is only several thousands of years old. This drives them to only look for evidence to support that belief. That’s the difference between real science and creationism. This is the irrefutable history of what science and YEC has produced. Do you disagree with this?

    You are a young earth creationist are you not?

    And how do you define philosophical naturalism.

  202. Nigel Depledge

    David (148) said:

    Birds have the ability to make feathers. Sheep do not. Therefore birds have the genetic information necessary to make the feathers. Sheep may have the information necessary to make other structures (wool), but they are lacking specific information necessary for feathers.

    Not necessarily. It could simply be that those genes in the sheep are simply not expressed., or that the genes are expressed in a different order. Both feathers and wool are forms of a class of protein known as keratins. The only difference is the microstructure. Feathers possess a strictly ordered microstructure whereas wool is a (relatively) simple filament.

    To a large degree, scientists have not quantified what the specific information is.

    This is, again, disingenuous and misleading.

    First, you have still not defined what you mean by “information”, nor what a quantification of that information would mean.

    Second, actually the process of feather growth has been studied, and I am sure that the exact pattern of gene expression required is either being worked out or has been worked out, should you care to look for it. Once again, you are failing to apply due diligence. For all you know, your question has been answered already, but you have simply not bothered to find out.

    Third, quantification of information is irrelevant at this time. What matters in the development of wool or feathers is what happens, and how, and when. Once this information (hah!) is known, then we can worry about whether or not it is worth coming up with some arbitrary measure of how much information this is.

    So a bird can have information that is part of what it needs to make feathers, but it could also be found in sheep where it is used to make wool.

    Yes. Most probably, it is the same genes, expressed in subtly different orders.

    That said, you need to find a mutation that on a molecular level is actually building a complex biochemical pathway or developing a new organ or structure.

    Why? I have already quoted an example of a gene in which a simple mutation can lead to gross morphological changes. Others have cited examples of metabolic functions that did not exist previously, most often arising through simple mutations (even if they could not pinpoint the specific mutation). If the example of a mutation that has led to the “building of a complex biochemical pathway” is of such import to you, why don’t you look for it yourself? Nylonase is probably a good starting point.

    However, I notice that you have left yourself plenty of weasel room, should any specific example not satisfy you. To whit, you have not defined complex, neither have you accepted that an entire biochemical pathway is most likely to be built from several mutations acting in concert (but not needing to have occurred at the same time). Additionally, you have a very restricted view of metabolism a great deal of chemistry occurs in a living cell, most of which is catalysed by enzymes. Most enzymes are pretty efficient as catalysts, but there is a relationship between the specificity of the enzyme for a particular reaction and its efficiency as a catalyst of that reaction. Enzymes exist that are pretty rubbish catalysts for some reactions, but they are adequate for the required function. Even short peptides can catalyse several chemical reactions. They just aren’t very efficient. So, it is very hard to define a “new” biochemical pathway, because any individual positive mutation will simply make an existing function more efficient.

  203. Nigel Depledge

    David (149) said:

    More what, microevolution/microvariation? But that’s not vertical evolution.

    This objection is meaningless unless you define “vertical evolution”. Your previous definition (that vertical evolution introduces “new information”) is indeed satisfied by the spontaneous development of capabilities such as penicillinase and nylonase. If that isn’t new information, then your definition of “information” is useless.

    I have never seen any biologist use the term “vertical evolution”. AFAICT, it is a creationist invention, and it means “I’m not going to change my beliefs for the sake of your mere physical evidence, so no amount of evidence will change my opinion”.

  204. Nigel Depledge

    David (150) said:

    Nigel Depledge @131 says: “In fact, since there is NO evidence against evolution (despite the lies that you are trying to propagate from the links that you supply), such a mandate would be meaningless.”
    You say there is NO evidence against evolution. How then can evolution be testable?

    Easily. As has been outlined in other comments. Every new fossil unearthed, and every genome sequenced, and every protein structure elucidated is a test of evolution, because any of these activities (and others) has the potential to uncover something that does not fit. So far, none has done so.

    What evidence would convince you that evolution is false?

    What evidence would convince you that the sun will not rise tomorrow?

    In other words, the evidence so far is so compellingly in favour of evolution through the mechnisms described in MET that it would take something extraordinary to convince me that we are wrong. If MET were wrong in any gross or substantial way, we would already know about it. MET is, as far as anyone can tell, at the very least a good approximation to the reality of biological change over time.

  205. Nigel Depledge

    By the way, David, I’ve not seen your response to my comments #92 and #138, particularly this bit:

    I challenge you to come up with any argument in favour of ID that is not:
    1. intrinsically reliant on the false dichotomy of “not evolution, therefore design”; or
    2. an argument by analogy; or
    3. an argument from personal incredulity; or
    4. an argument from ignorance; or
    5. some nonsensical tosh in which words taken from information theory are put through a mangle and then tossed up together; or
    6. any combination of 1 – 5 above.

  206. Nigel Depledge

    Kuhnigget (159) said:

    As usual, this grows tedious.

    Too true.

  207. Darth Robo

    O hai again Dave! You appear to have missed a bit.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

  208. ND

    I think we should stop responding to David until he answers one or two points that was asked of him for a while now. Reask the questions in response to anything new he throws into the discussion.

  209. Nigel Depledge

    David (199) said:

    So you’re saying you and all other Darwinists don’t have any bias, and are completely objective when it comes to scientific data? _Everyone_ has biases, but it’s a matter of which bias is the best bias to be biased with.

    Individual scientists do have bias. No-one denies this. However, science, as a collective endeavour, irons out the biases of individuals through criticism and peer review.

    All evolutionists (whether atheist, agnostic, or theist) interpret data through the lense of philosophical naturalism. Why won’t you admit it?

    Because this is a lie.

    Anyone can do science provided they remember just one principle: it doesn’t matter what you believe, it only matters what you can prove.

    And I’m still waiting for you to admit that elastic blood vessels have been found in dino bone.

    Fine. Show us some evidence that hasn’t been discredited.

  210. Nigel Depledge

    @ ND (211) –
    Oh, OK.

  211. ND

    Nigel Depledge

    It’s just a suggestion. It’s very hard to resist pointing out flaws in everything he talks and links to.

  212. David

    kuhnigget @198 says: “Read my post 188, David. But yes, you did post both conclusions in your first comment, so I apologize. Mea culpa.”

    Thank-you.

    kuhnigget @198 says: “But read 188. You are applying different standards to the conclusion that supports your point of view. I’ve given you an apology, so how about addressing my concern?”

    From:

    http://creation.com/pollen-paradox

    [snip]

    The second camp responds that no-one has ever tested the belief that fossil pollen
    cannot survive metamorphism. (This was true then, but not now: a 2007 paper
    described “remarkably preserved” fossil spores in rock in the French Alps that had
    undergone high-grade metamorphism.8 One of us—ES—is also familiar with fossil spores
    in Romanian metamorphic rock.)

    8 Bernard, S. et al., Exceptional preservation of fossil plant spores in
    high-pressure metamorphic rocks, Earth and Planetary Science Letters
    262(1–2):257–272, 2007.

  213. TheBlackCat

    That’s rich. So you’re saying you and all other Darwinists don’t have any bias, and are completely objective when it comes to scientific data? _Everyone_ has biases, but it’s a matter of which bias is the best bias to be biased with.

    Yes, everyone has biases. The question is whether they are biased on this particular topic. You just assume everyone else is because you are. Did you know that the people who originally proved the world was old were young-earth creationists? Their bias was certainly in the direction of the current understanding, but they rejected it because the evidence showed otherwise.

    All evolutionists (whether atheist, agnostic, or theist) interpret data through the lense of philosophical naturalism. Why won’t you admit it?

    You obviously don’t even understand what philosophical naturalism means in the context of science. It does not mean, as some claim, that science cannot use supernatural claims. Supernatural claims are tested all the time by science. It just means you can’t use “it’s magic” as a cop-out answer without showing with evidence that it actually was magic. If creationists could actually provide valid evidence that there was a creator involved, then yes of course scientists would accept it. But they haven’t. In fact-they have flat-out refused, despite decades of pleading, to even define creationism (or ID) specifically enough that scientists could test it themselves.

    And I’m still waiting for you to admit that elastic blood vessels have been found in dino bone.

    I’d read Mary Schweitzer’s papers on the subject. Have you?

    Yes, but I know the difference between elastin, a protein, and elastic, a material property. At least the papers I found only discussed elastin, but from what they were saying it appeared to only be in very small quantities.

    The same for bats. What is the “oldest” known bat fossil? 100% bat. Show me the transitional forms leading up to the bat.

    Ah, brilliant. We have nearly complete transitional histories for nearly every major group of living vertebrate. You, by coincidence I am sure, just happen to pick one of just a handful of groups we don’t yet have a fossil history for because they are too fragile to fossilize well.

    Why didn’t you say whales? Could it be because we have a very complete fossil record for them? What about horses? What about birds? What about carnivores, rodents, mammals, hoofed mammals, amphibians, or reptiles? Nope, you can’t pick those because we have very complete fossil records for those.

    Brilliant move there, cherry-picking practically the only example of a group we don’t have a good transitional history for and setting that as your criteria. And you still wonder why people are calling you dishonest? Did you really think that sort of tactic would fool anyone?

    Do you think Dawkins, or any other well-known Darwinist, would hold a press conference, and announce that evolution has been falsified?

    Yes. I have seen people do that sort of thing myself in science many times. I have never heard of a modern creationist doing it, though.

    Pollen, spores, angiosperms, gymnosperms, and at least one winged insect have already been found in Precambrian rock. Why isn’t that enough to falsify evolution

    Uh, do you think I haven’t been reading this thread too? Do you really think I missed how this claim has been demolished over and over and over again? I hate to break it to you, but telling me something that I have seen repeatedly refuted in this very thread is not going to convince me.

    For future reference, I have a pretty good memory. Trying to trick me by posting something I have seen and know you have seen refuted is not going to help your case. On the contrary, it is only going to convince me that you are thoroughly dishonest. I also consider it an insult, so if you want to really turn me against you keep trying to pull these absurd, transparent tricks on me.

  214. @ David:

    No, that wasn’t my concern. You are not responding. Read post 188. Here is the most relevant bit, with my comment in bold:

    The second group holds that by no conceivable physical means could the pollen (and spores) have entered the metamorphosed sediments from the outside. They are dense impermeable rocks compressed by an overburden of hundreds of feet of the overlying Roraima sandstones.

    This, despite the original investigator’s conclusion that the beds had in fact been cut through with strata from higher (younger) levels. Odd how the second group ignores that part of the initial study.

    See? It’s not whether or not pollen can withstand metamorphosis (tho note Black Cat’s comment, above), it’s why this group is conveniently ignoring the original observations that the old strata was mixed with newer layers from higher up?

    This is a double standard. You are dismissing out of hand the first group’s conclusion, but you aren’t properly vetting the second’s. Why?

  215. BTW, David, once again I am going to question your use of linked articles without fully understanding their meaning.

    The one you linked to above is discussing fossil remnants of pollen. Note:

    Despite such metamorphism, the fossil megaspores are remarkably well-preserved texturally.

    My bold. Texturally. The actual pollen did not survive metamorphosis. Mineralized fossil impressions survived. The original paper about the Roraima strata reported finding actual pollen and spores. That’s why it was concluded the most likely explanation was contamination.

    Now, I’m not going to call you any more names or anything, but seriously, once again I think you have demonstrated either a lack of understanding or … well, you know.

  216. Darth Robo

    O hai again Dave! You appear to have missed a bit.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

  217. David

    kuhnigget @218 says: “The original paper about the Roraima strata reported finding actual pollen and spores. That’s why it was concluded the most likely explanation was contamination.”

    Actual pollen and spores?

    The word “microfossils” isn’t used until the fourth sentence:

    http://rpasmd.org/rms/Discussion_Roraima.htm

    Asociación Venezolana de Geología, Minería y Petróleo Boletín Informativo, Nov 1964.
    DISCUSSION OF THE AGE OF THE RORAIMA FORMATION
    R. M. Stainforth

    An unusually large number of members attended the monthly meeting on November 19, when the luncheon was followed by an open discussion of the age of the Roraima Formation.

    Mr. George Fournier led off with a description of the discovery of pollen in Roraima “shales” collected by Mr. G. C. K. Dunsterville at Cerro Venamo. Subsequently samples submitted by the British Guiana Geological Survey, from the Kamarang and Kopinang areas, have yielded similar plant remains. The utmost care has been taken to eliminate any possibility of superficial contamination, but even the small nucleus broken out of a large solid block yielded plant microfossils. Some of them are suggestive of Cretaceous, others of Miocene age. The suite has been compared with the pollen of 150 modern plants of the Gran Sabana and Roraima Plateau, but they are distinct. Grains and tissue fragments up to 150 microns in size are present, and are considered too big to have been carried by meteoric waters percolating through cracks.

    Mr. Fournier did not challenge the Precambrian radiometric dating of certain sills which cut the Roraima Formation, but suggested that the formation has accumulated gradually through the whole geologic time, and that careful correlations would show that the polleniferous beds belonged to a higher level. He cited an intrusion of established Triassic age which cuts the basement rocks.

    [snip]

    And in Stainforth’s 1966 article in Nature, the word “microfossils” isn’t used until the ninth sentence:

    http://rpasmd.org/rms/Pollen_Roraima.htm

    AVGMP Boletín Informativo 1966, v. 9, p. 173-176.
    Reprinted from Nature, Vol. 210, No. 5033, pp. 292-294, April 16, 1966
    Occurrence of Pollen and Spores in the Roraima Formation of Venezuela and British Guiana

    The discovery of pollen and spores in beds considered Precambrian (Proterozoic) has received brief notice in geological journals and the press[1], [2], [3]. Individual authors will doubtless publish detailed stratigraphic and palynologic accounts of the occurrence in due course. Meanwhile it is considered desirable to give an outline of the facts of the case before distorted interpretations develop from inadequate data. The following summary statement has been prepared jointly by several members of the Asociación Venezolana de Geología, Minería y Petróleo. A. single author is nominated to simplify bibliographic references.

    Late in 1963 U. C. K. Dunsterville made an expedition to collect orchids around Cerro Venamo, at the westernmost point on the frontier between Venezuela and British Guiana (where this mountain is known as Wenamu Head). He noted some shale‑like beds at the base of a towering cliff of Roraima sandstone and collected samples for their possible paleontological interest.

    G. Fournier, palynologist of the Mene Grande Oil Company, processed the samples and recovered well‑preserved pollen and spores. Subsequently, L. Nijssen and J. A. Sulek, palynologists of Compañía Shell de Venezuela and Creole Petroleum Corporation, respectively, processed other pieces and recovered identical plant microfossils.

    [snip]

  218. G. Fournier, palynologist of the Mene Grande Oil Company, processed the samples and recovered well‑preserved pollen and spores. Subsequently, L. Nijssen and J. A. Sulek, palynologists of Compañía Shell de Venezuela and Creole Petroleum Corporation, respectively, processed other pieces and recovered identical plant microfossils.

    Okay, the second group claimed to find microfossils.

    Geez, I get too worked up sometimes.

  219. David

    TheBlackCat @201 says: “David didn’t come by today. Don’t tell me he isn’t going to reply to my rebuttal of his nylonase backpeddling. What will I ever do?”

    My “nylonase backpeddling”? Gimme a break.

    TheBlackCat says @164: “Besides, it is an example of the evolution of a new metabolic pathway, exactly what you asked for. But now that you get an example that is exactly what you asked for, you now start adding on additional conditions that you hadn’t mentioned before.”

    In addition to my comments @167…

    No, it is NOT a new metabolic pathway. Pathway implies an entirely new series of biochemical reactions. This is a bastardized chemical reaction which might even be compromising a biochemical pathway by the reduced activity of the esterase. It’s a new metabolic reaction, that’s all.

    The nylonase example suffers from the very simple change of the enzyme cleaving an ester bond to the enzyme now being able to cleave both an ester bond (but at diminished capacity) and an amide bond. If Darwinists want to trumpet that as the mechanism for how more complex information came about, it’s a ridiculous extrapolation not based on empirical evidence.

    When this was first discovered the researchers suggested it was the result of an entirely new gene being formed, which was pure speculation (and wrong). Their evolutionary BIAS was controlling their conclusions. Bad science.

    Here’s a little homework assignment for TheBlackCat:

    Document from the scientific literature where researchers working with nylonase bacteria have stated categorically that a) a new metabolic pathway occured, and b) backed it up with empirical evidence. Not speculation and story-telling.

  220. Hey David’s back!

    How about answering my simple questions?

    1. Are you a creationist or an intelligent designist? (After you made such a fuss of those being different from each other)

    2. What is the theory of creation/intelligent design, depending on your answer to question 1?

    3. What do you think the theory of evolution actually states?

    4. Do you prefer the creation/ID view to that of mainstream science, and if so, why?

    Please answer these questions in your own words without links or quotes from ANY website, book or other work that is not your own. I want to know YOUR answers and YOUR views.

  221. David

    PayasYouStargaze @223 says: “Hey David’s back! How about answering my simple questions?
    1. Are you a creationist or an intelligent designist? (After you made such a fuss of those being different from each other)”

    I just have time for one question right now….

    Based on everything I’ve said and articles I’ve linked, you can’t figure out which origins perspective I hold?

    There appears to be at least eight perspectives with regard to origins. This list is not exhaustive:

    ATHEISTIC NATURALISM God does not exist. There is no real design (only apparent design) and nature is all there is. [eg. Carl Sagan:”The Cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.”]

    AGNOSTIC NATURALISM One is unsure whether God exists. Though nature may not be all there is, nature is all that matters.

    THEISTIC NATURALISM God exists. He designed the natural laws. There is no design in the strict sense, and although _in principle_ nature is not all that matters, _in effect_ it is.

    THEISTIC EVOLUTION (WEAK DESIGN). God designed the natural laws so that their ordinary operation would result in the intended outcome.

    THEISTIC EVOLUTION (STRONG DESIGN).To ensure the intended outcome, God not only designed the natural laws, but also determined their initial conditions.

    INTERVENTION To ensure the intended outcome, God not only designed the natural laws and determined their initial conditions, but also intervened in subsequent conditions.

    SPECIAL CREATION [old universe/old earth/recent global flood] To ensure the intended outcome, God designed the natural laws, determined their initial conditions, and intervened in subsequent conditions. God created the universe billions of years ago. Although micro-evolution /speciation occur, it is viewed as variation within created “kinds” (baramins) eg. the cat “kind”. Macro-evolution has never occurred.

    SPECIAL CREATION [young universe/young earth/recent global flood] To ensure the intended outcome, God designed the natural laws, determined their initial conditions, and intervened in subsequent conditions. God created the universe only thousands (not billions) of years ago. Although micro-evolution /speciation occur, it is viewed as variation within created “kinds” (baramins) eg. the cat “kind”. Macro-evolution has never occurred.

    Note: Many creationists and proponents of intelligent design prefer the term micro-variation to micro-evolution, because they argue no net “evolution” (vertical evolution: information-building evolution) has occured.

    Phillip Johnson [Darwin on Trial] says naturalists define words like “evolution” and “science” in such a way that naturalism is true by definition. Johnson said in World magazine: “Evolutionary science is based on naturalism and draws philosophical conclusions to that base. That’s why any theistic evolution is inherently superficial. It leads people into naturalistic thinking, and they don’t
    realize it.” (Nov. 22, 1997, p.13)

  222. Can’t even answer a simple question then David? All I wanted in an answer to question 1 was either “creationist” or “intelligent designist” or “neither, I’m actually x”.

    Not that I’m surprised. You’ve got a gold medal for question dodging so far. You could have answered all my questions in the time it took you to type that (though I suspect you actually copy/pasted it from somewhere).

  223. TheBlackCat

    No, it is NOT a new metabolic pathway. Pathway implies an entirely new series of biochemical reactions.

    No, it doesn’t. You would know this if you studied even basic biochemistry. A pathway is a way to get from a starting molecule to an ending molecule. A great many pathways share many, even most, of their reactions.

    This is a bastardized chemical reaction

    Yes, and as I already explained that is what evolution is. By saying the examples cannot be “a bastardized chemical reaction”, then you are saying that our examples of evolution cannot involve evolution. You are basically saying that unless the example of evolution is actually an example of special creation, then you won’t accept it as an example of evolution. It makes no sense whatsoever. Please, before you start demanding that we demonstrate evolution, at least learn what evolution is.

    which might even be compromising a biochemical pathway by the reduced activity of the esterase.

    You apparently have never heard of plasmids, either. I guess it should come as no surprise that you don’t even know basic biology. Here is a hint for you: there are lots of copies of plasmids, so you can radically alter, or outright destroy, one copy without negatively impacting the bacteria’s ability to do existing tasks.

    It’s a new metabolic reaction, that’s all.

    It only looks that way in hindsight. We know what the enzyme was like before, and we know what it was like now. But in principle it is no different than many other pathways, where often just one or two steps is all that separates two seemingly different pathways. If we hadn’t seen it evolve before our eyes, there would be no way for us to tell it apart from many other cases that creationist argue could not have evolved.

    The nylonase example suffers from the very simple change of the enzyme cleaving an ester bond to the enzyme now being able to cleave both an ester bond (but at diminished capacity) and an amide bond.

    That is a case with a great many enzymes, and proteins in general. The functional differences between two enzymes or proteins in a given family is often quite small, sometimes just a few amino acids. Of course I pointed this out already, but you ignored it.

    If Darwinists want to trumpet that as the mechanism for how more complex information came about, it’s a ridiculous extrapolation not based on empirical evidence.

    It is a case of a new enyzme with new functionality. You still have not explained how that could be anything other than new information, especially since the original enzyme was preserved in other plasmids.

    When this was first discovered the researchers suggested it was the result of an entirely new gene being formed, which was pure speculation (and wrong). Their evolutionary BIAS was controlling their conclusions. Bad science.

    Once again, this is a blatant lie. They did detailed sequence analyses and step-by-step mutation tracing. I haven’t read enough on the recent research to know exactly what, if anything, was wrong with the earlier analysis, but it was far from mere speculation.

    Document from the scientific literature where researchers working with nylonase bacteria have stated categorically that a) a new metabolic pathway occured, and b) backed it up with empirical evidence. Not speculation and story-telling.

    Sure, that is easy. We already agree about the emperical evidence, bactera that did not used to be able to use these molecules as their sole carbon and nitrogen sources now can. All I can do is show you that this is what scientists mean when they say “metabolic pathway”.

    But I doubt you will accept it because you define “metabolic pathway” differently than how biochemists define it. Once again you have redefined terms to suit your purposes. Which of course is moving the goalposts again, you let us think that we are dealing with the scientific definitions of these words, and then when we provide examples you arbitrarily redefine the words so our examples no longer apply.

    But I will play anyway.

    For example:

    This paper lists it amongst numerous examples of the evolution of new metabolic pathways.

    Molecular mechanisms of genetic adaptation to xenobiotic compounds.
    J R van der Meer, W M de Vos, S Harayama and A J Zehnder
    Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 1992 December; 56(4): 677-694

    This one does the same:

    Evolution of New Catabolic Functions Through Gene Assembly by Mobile Genetic Elements
    Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology
    R. R. Fulthorpe and E. M. Top
    2010, Part 13, 1219-1233, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77587-4_85

    Note that these articles used the exact words “metabolic pathway” to refer to these examples (well, if you want to be pedantic one used “catabolic pathway”), and claimed that they were new metabolic pathways, and were amongst the first hits I got when searching for “6-aminohexanoate” “metabolic pathway” on google scholar, which means you could have found them in seconds if you actually tried.

    I suppose you are going to explain why none of the examples there are actual examples of the evolution of new metabolic pathways. I already gave you two examples, nylonase and citrate. You totally ignored the citrate example. Are you going to deal with it and the examples in these papers as well? Or are you just going to try to keep changing the rules so you don’t have to?

  224. ND

    David said: “The nylonase example suffers from the very simple change of the enzyme cleaving an ester bond to the enzyme now being able to cleave both an ester bond (but at diminished capacity) and an amide bond. If Darwinists want to trumpet that as the mechanism for how more complex information came about, it’s a ridiculous extrapolation not based on empirical evidence.”

    I don’t have the biology background to judge the accuracy of this statement, but I have a hunch neither does David.

  225. Darth Robo

    Oh, hi there again Dave! You appear to have missed a bit.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

  226. Nigel Depledge

    The Black Cat (226) said:

    You apparently have never heard of plasmids, either. I guess it should come as no surprise that you don’t even know basic biology. Here is a hint for you: there are lots of copies of plasmids, so you can radically alter, or outright destroy, one copy without negatively impacting the bacteria’s ability to do existing tasks.

    Additionally, because gene duplication is such a common occurrence, it is very easy to evolve one copy of a gene towards one function, while evolving the other copy of that gene towards another function.

    It might also be worth pointing out that very few proteins have but a single function.

  227. Nigel Depledge

    David (224) said:

    Phillip Johnson [Darwin on Trial] says naturalists define words like “evolution” and “science” in such a way that naturalism is true by definition. Johnson said in World magazine: “Evolutionary science is based on naturalism and draws philosophical conclusions to that base. That’s why any theistic evolution is inherently superficial. It leads people into naturalistic thinking, and they don’t
    realize it.” (Nov. 22, 1997, p.13)

    Johnson is a liar.

    Science draws no philosophical conclusions at all. It draws functional ones.

    There’s a great deal written about the philosophy of science, but at the end of the day it comes down to “let’s assume that our experience of reality correlates directly with a reality that is external to the self”. And this assumption is a perfectly reasonable one. You apply it every time you cross a street.

    Additionally, you have failed to answer any of the questions that PayAsYouStargaze (223) asked.

    Your discourse on what you think the various options are is (1) irrelevant, and (2) grossly misrepresenting atheism.

    In working out how biological entities change over time, it doesn’t matter where the laws of nature came from, nor does it matter exactly how life started. What matters is just what we can work out from the evidence. And yet your previous posts are littered with linkys to websites that proudly declare an a priori assumption that god exists and tinkers with the world irrespective of what the evidence may actually indicate.

  228. Nigel Depledge

    By the way, David, I’ve not seen your response to my comments #92, #138 and #208, particularly this bit:

    I challenge you to come up with any argument in favour of ID that is not:
    1. intrinsically reliant on the false dichotomy of “not evolution, therefore design”; or
    2. an argument by analogy; or
    3. an argument from personal incredulity; or
    4. an argument from ignorance; or
    5. some nonsensical tosh in which words taken from information theory are put through a mangle and then tossed up together; or
    6. any combination of 1 – 5 above.

  229. Thanks for backing me up Nigel. I noticed he hasn’t reponded to your challenge either. BTW the 2nd “a” is supposed to be lower case ;)

    Actually, David decided to respond to the question that I’m least interested in. But I have noticed a pattern with creationists or other zealots. They are perfectly happy to demand answers to their questions, but will insist that their “responses” to our questions are adequate. But a response is not necessarily an answer, and we never get answers from them. I remember this happening in a Magic Sandwich Show with some guy who was eventually flat out refusing to explain what seperation from god meant, claiming “I’ve given you my response”.

  230. David

    Regarding Phillip Johnson, watch the debate between Johnson and William Provine

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM-H6NxdCd4 (Part 1 of 11)

    Johnson takes about fossils, beginning around the 7:00 minute mark

    *

    then continues in Part 2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghf3dXPAuhQ

    Johnson writes in “Darwin on Trial”: “The fossils provide much more discouragement than support for Darwinism when they are examined objectively, but objective examination has rarely been the object of Darwinist paleontology. The Darwinist approach has consistently been to find some supporting fossil evidence, claim it as proof for ‘evolution,’ and then ignore all the difficulties.” (2nd edition 1993, p. 86)

  231. ND

    David,

    Regarding the open questions address to you …

    Please answer them first.

  232. Nigel Depledge

    David (235) said:

    Johnson writes in “Darwin on Trial”: “The fossils provide much more discouragement than support for Darwinism when they are examined objectively, but objective examination has rarely been the object of Darwinist paleontology. The Darwinist approach has consistently been to find some supporting fossil evidence, claim it as proof for ‘evolution,’ and then ignore all the difficulties.” (2nd edition 1993, p. 86)

    This is a flat-out lie.

    In what way, David, do you think it supports your case to quote from liars?

    What exactly, David, is your case?

    How about you answer the questions that have been put to you?

  233. Nigel Depledge

    PayasYouStargaze (232) said:

    Thanks for backing me up Nigel.

    No worries.

    I noticed he hasn’t reponded to your challenge either.

    To be fair, it’s an impossible challenge, but I thought he might have been game enough to try. Turns out he’s a coward.

    BTW the 2nd “a” is supposed to be lower case

    D’oh!

    Actually, David decided to respond to the question that I’m least interested in. But I have noticed a pattern with creationists or other zealots. They are perfectly happy to demand answers to their questions, but will insist that their “responses” to our questions are adequate. But a response is not necessarily an answer, and we never get answers from them. I remember this happening in a Magic Sandwich Show with some guy who was eventually flat out refusing to explain what seperation from god meant, claiming “I’ve given you my response”.

    Sad but true. Genuine debate is the last thing that creationists – or even cdesign proponentsists – wish to engage in.

  234. Darth Robo

    Speaking of “ignoring the difficulties” Dave, you appear to have missed a bit.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

  235. David

    TheBlackCat says @164: “There was also a case where bacteria (E. coli) were raised on a medium they could not digest (citrate), and evolved a new metabolic pathway to digest it. I can list a bunch more. Of course I know you will find some excuse to dismiss these examples despite the fact that they are exactly what you asked for.”

    I can dismiss, no, REFUTE your claim that the bacteria (E. coli) “evolved a new metabolic pathway” to digest citrate. Did you take the time to read this paper?

    http://jb.asm.org/cgi/reprint/180/16/4160.pdf

    The Escherichia coli Citrate Carrier CitT: a Member of a Novel Eubacterial Transporter Family Related to the 2-Oxoglutarate/Malate Translocator from Spinach Chloroplasts

    “Under anoxic conditions in the presence of an oxidizable cosubstrate such as glucose or glycerol, Escherichia coli converts citrate to acetate and succinate. ….

    Under oxic growth conditions, most Escherichia coli strains are not able to utilize citrate due to the lack of a functional transport system. This is a key characteristic of E. coli among enterobacteria (15). Some E. coli strains capable of aerobic growth on citrate possess plasmid-encoded citrate uptake systems.”

    Unquestionably, E. coli can ALREADY metabolize citrate in absence of O2, and some E. coli can metabolize citrate in presence of O2.

    Jerry Coyne said in New Scientist [June 2008]

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab.html

    [snip]

    Lenski’s experiment is also yet another poke in the eye for anti-evolutionists, notes Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago. “The thing I like most is it says you can get these complex traits evolving by a combination of unlikely events,” he says. “That’s just what creationists say can’t happen.”

    The poke in the eye is to Jerry Coyne. Citrate metalbolism ALREADY EXISTS in E. coli.

    See also:

    http://creation.com/bacteria-evolving-in-the-lab-lenski-citrate-digesting-e-coli

    http://crev.info/content/110624-if_this_is_evolution

    http://crev.info/content/evolution_goes_against_darwin

    And @ 132 TheBlackCat said: “The same is true of the dinosaur example. They didn’t find intact blood vessels, they found the fossil rock had preserved the shape of the blood vessels.”

    And I’m still waiting for you to admit Mary Schweitzer et al. found elastic blood vessels in dino bone, after it was dissolved in acid.

    From the 60 Minutes interview:

    Mary Schweitzer: This is a blood vessel. You see the branches right there? And look at all of them. And it’s so consistent, over and over and over again. We do this bone and it comes out and I get excited every time. I can’t help it. I mean, 80 million years old!

    Science 1 May 2009:
    Vol. 324 no. 5927 pp. 626-631
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1165069
    Report
    Biomolecular Characterization and Protein Sequences of the Campanian Hadrosaur B. canadensis
    Mary H. Schweitzer et. al
    Molecular preservation in non-avian dinosaurs is controversial. We present multiple lines of evidence that endogenous proteinaceous material is preserved in bone fragments and soft tissues from an 80-million-year-old Campanian hadrosaur, Brachylophosaurus canadensis [Museum of the Rockies (MOR) 2598]. Microstructural and immunological data are consistent with preservation of multiple bone matrix and vessel proteins, and phylogenetic analyses of Brachylophosaurus collagen sequenced by mass spectrometry robustly support the bird-dinosaur clade, consistent with an endogenous source for these collagen peptides. These data complement earlier results from Tyrannosaurus rex (MOR 1125) and confirm that molecular preservation in Cretaceous dinosaurs is not a unique event.

    *
    They were elastic blood vessels:
    http://creation.com/doubting-doubts-about-the-squishosaur

    Admit it.

  236. David

    TheBlackCat says @226: “This paper lists it amongst numerous examples of the evolution of new metabolic pathways.
    Molecular mechanisms of genetic adaptation to xenobiotic compounds.
    J R van der Meer, W M de Vos, S Harayama and A J Zehnder
    Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 1992 December; 56(4): 677-694″

    This one does the same:
    Evolution of New Catabolic Functions Through Gene Assembly by Mobile Genetic Elements
    Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology
    R. R. Fulthorpe and E. M. Top
    2010, Part 13, 1219-1233, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77587-4_85

    Note that these articles used the exact words “metabolic pathway” to refer to these examples (well, if you want to be pedantic one used “catabolic pathway”), and claimed that they were new metabolic pathways, and were amongst the first hits I got when searching for “6-aminohexanoate” “metabolic pathway” on google scholar, which means you could have found them in seconds if you actually tried.”

    ===

    Did you take the time to actually read these two papers, or just google them?

    eg.

    [I have capitalized the words that show this is just story-telling, wishful thinking, not actual empirical evidence.]

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC372894/pdf/microrev00031-0181.pdf

    In this review, the POSSIBLE genetic mechanisms which MAY contribute to the adaptive response of bacteria to xenobiotic compounds are discussed. UNFORTUNATELY, it is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO STUDY THESE MECHANISMS DIRECTLY, since current knowledge DOES NOT ALLOW US TO PREDICT adaptive events in time and space. Thus, we CANNOT SEARCH for them in a single microorganism at a given time. However, mechanisms for the evolution of metabolic pathways CAN BE DEDUCED to some extent from the comparison of related catabolic enzymes and homologies between catabolic genes. In the following discussion, the organization of different genes encoding aromatic degradation pathways in bacteria is first reviewed. The aromatic degradation pathways have been studied most extensively and form a good model for the
    genetics of xenobiotics degradation. The second part deals with different genetic mechanisms operating in microorganisms (i.e., gene transfer, mutation, recombination, and transposition), which contribute to metabolic adaptation. The last part of this review briefly discusses the available information on genetic processes occurring under natural conditions in the environment and the molecular tools which are nowadays available to study these processes.

    *

    deduce: to infer, conclude, reason, assume, derive

    This isn’t empirical evidence that has proven a metabolic/catabolic pathway evolved.

    I thought a good theory was based on evidence, not a lack of evidence.

    Any more “examples”?

  237. David

    I mentioned particle physicist Russ Humphreys’ while hole cosmology model before:

    http://creationwiki.org/White_hole_cosmology

    Water Near Edge of Universe Bolsters Creation Cosmology
    by Brian Thomas, M.S. [August 3, 2011]
    http://www.icr.org/article/6247/

    *
    Water, Water Everywhere in Space
    http://crev.info/content/110723_water_water_everywhere_in_space

    [snip]

    The blogger writes:

    Interesting the prominence Genesis gives to primordial water at the creation
    (Genesis 1). The Bible’s top-down account of creation solves many problems. By
    contrast, evolutionists, with their bottom-up philosophy, have to build water up
    with only hydrogen and helium (and traces of lithium) to start with – actually, less
    than that: nothing that banged. They have to speculate that the first stars they
    call “Population III” (never observed) formed out of condensed hydrogen gas once
    atoms formed, burned for millions of years, then blew up as supernovae to create
    oxygen and other heavy elements before any water was possible. Even then, they have
    to account for the current observation of a supermassive black hole surrounded by
    incredible amounts of water shortly after their big bang. That’s just one of many
    awkward speculations required by the bottom-up feeders.

    [end of quote]

    *

    Danny Faulkner, professor of astronomy and physics at the University of South
    Carolina (Lancaster) is the author of “Universe By Design: An Explanation of
    Cosmology and Creation” (Master Books, 2004). In chapter 6, Faulkner mentions
    Humphreys’ model, outlined in his book “Starlight and Time” (1994).

    Faulkner writes: “Indeed, general relativity demands that time pass at different
    rates at different locations in the universe. With certain initial conditions a
    literal day or two could have passed on the earth while permitting millions or even
    billions of years to have elapsed elsewhere. Such things are possible as a
    consequence of general relativity. Therefore the Humphreys cosmology could provide a
    resolution to the light-travel-time problem.. Whether or not the Humphreys cosmology
    survives, we should be encouraged by its proposal.”

    On May 15, 2010 I interviewed Faulkner. He commented: “The Ptolemaic model (of the
    solar system) stood for 15 centuries, but ultimately was rejected in the 17th
    century because of the huge complexity it had. The real problem with that model was
    you couldn’t falsify it. No matter what new data, new observations came along, you
    could always patch it up with a fix of new epicycles or other effects.”

    “Over the past three decades the Big Bang model has been changed tremendously. They
    changed the expansion rate, hence the age of the universe. They’ve thrown in dark
    matter, dark energy…inflation, …string theory… and it’s starting to look more
    and more like the Ptolemaic model…. So at what point does the Big Bang model
    become as unwieldy as the Ptolemaic model, that caused people to reject it?”

  238. David

    As Darwinists interpret evidence and data through the lense of philosophical naturalism, here’s a prayer they can use to start off future conferences and meetings:

    We believe in Darwin, the father all-sovereign, explainer of all things visible and invisible, and in one Thomas Henry Huxley, the bull dog of Darwin, begotten from the substance of Darwin.

    We believe in his son, Julian Huxley, of one substance with his Father.

    We believe in Ernst Mayr, Stephen Jay Gould, and Richard Dawkins who proceed from the spirit of Darwin and Huxley, and through whom all things were understood, things on heaven and things on earth:

    who for our enlightenment were made flesh and became men, who suffered grievously at the hands of petty academics, were denied tenure and publication at State schools, but rose to preeminence at superior universities and ascended into endowed chairs and chancellorships without end.

    By their convictions and firmly held beliefs may we and all our works be judged.

    Amen.

    For we are the chimps of his lab and the apes of his zoo …

  239. Darth Robo

    Oh, Dave? You *still* appear to have missed a bit.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

    Keep dodging, skippy.

  240. Nigel Depledge

    @ David 241 –
    Citrate metabolism exists in all organisms that can utilise molecular oxygen, you lackwit, but not all organisms can use it as a carbon source.

    The new functionality that those bugs evolved was the ability to use citrate as a carbon source where no such ability had previously existed.

    The Black Cat was right, you are trying to weasel out of acknowledging this real example of a new function arising spontaneously.

  241. Nigel Depledge

    David (242) said:

    deduce: to infer, conclude, reason, assume, derive

    This isn’t empirical evidence that has proven a metabolic/catabolic pathway evolved.

    Just because you don’t understand logic does not undermine the quality of the evidence.

  242. Nigel Depledge

    @ David (244) –
    Hey, at least we know Darwin existed, which is better than can be said for your philosophy (which seems to be “la, la, la, not listening”).

  243. Nigel Depledge

    By the way, David, I’ve not seen your response to my comments #92, #138, #208 and #231, particularly this bit:

    I challenge you to come up with any argument in favour of ID that is not:
    1. intrinsically reliant on the false dichotomy of “not evolution, therefore design”; or
    2. an argument by analogy; or
    3. an argument from personal incredulity; or
    4. an argument from ignorance; or
    5. some nonsensical tosh in which words taken from information theory are put through a mangle and then tossed up together; or
    6. any combination of 1 – 5 above.

  244. Nigel Depledge

    While you’re about, David, how about responding to these very simple questions:

    PayasYouStargaze (223) said:

    1. Are you a creationist or an intelligent designist? (After you made such a fuss of those being different from each other)

    2. What is the theory of creation/intelligent design, depending on your answer to question 1?

    3. What do you think the theory of evolution actually states?

    4. Do you prefer the creation/ID view to that of mainstream science, and if so, why?

    Please answer these questions in your own words without links or quotes from ANY website, book or other work that is not your own. I want to know YOUR answers and YOUR views.

    This is not difficult. We just want you to share what you think really explains the diversity of life on Earth.

  245. TheBlackCat

    @ David: I will respond to you once you answer the questions that have been posed to you. I see no reason to respond to you when you refuse to extend others the same courtesy.

    For someone who accuses others of cherry-picking and ignoring important points, you sure are selective about what questions and points you respond to.

  246. There’s just one point I’d like to address. It is from one of David’s creationist linkys and quoted in post 243.

    “Interesting the prominence Genesis gives to primordial water at the creation
    (Genesis 1). The Bible’s top-down account of creation solves many problems.”

    Explain, please. What problems does it solve? Why does filling the universe with water from the beginning help? That’s ignoring the rest of the quote which is just insulting language (bottom-up feeders) and ignorance of science. Ignoring that it has nothing to do with evolution at all.

    Obviously this is related to my always ignored (by David) question 2. I don’t expect an answer, but hey, I’m still checking this thread.

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    Hold on. If the universe was filled with water from the beginning, that means water is eternal. That means god is water. That means the god of the Bible is Poseidon/Neptune. It all makes sense!

  247. It gets better, PaYS…

    According to the new international bible, arguably the most accurate to the ancient texts, Genesis I includes this description:

    And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.”

    Presumably, creationist astronomers have found that vault of water above the sky, unless all that heaven and earth creating made Yahweh thirsty. Which, come to think of it, might explain where the flood “waters” came from.

    Oh, wait, it’s all metaphoric language.

    Except when it isn’t.

  248. I’m surprised that creationists don’t reject the water cycle, seeing as they’re happy to reject any and all science that contradicts their precious book. As you say, it clearly states there is water above the sky, and obviously we can’t see the water from the oceans, seas etc. returning to the clouds.

    Clearly the idea that clouds contain water from the ocean is a result of awkward speculations by us bottom-up feeders. The bible’s top-down account of rain solves many problems. It takes more faith to believe in the water cycle than in the water above the vault as described by God Himself in the Bible!

  249. Darth Robo

    Started on that big post, Dave.

    This is gonna take longer than I thought.

  250. Mark Hansen

    I like David using the Ptolemaic theory argument but conveniently forgetting that when Copernicus first advanced the heliocentric theory, it was actually no better at predicting planetary positions and had to retain the epicycles to make it work. It was only after tweaking the theory (i.e. realising that orbits weren’t perfectly circular)that it actually worked. So, David, tweaking a theory doesn’t necessarily mean the basic idea is wrong but that the details could be, and when the details are corrected, so is the theory. This is how science operates.

    One other point too: Doesn’t the bible have some mention of the sun moving about the sky (Joshua 10:12-13, Ecclesiates 1:5)in a non-standard fashion? How did those egregious errors creep into god’s words?

  251. David

    kuhnigget says @ 125 :

    “David sez: Well, can you name one example of a direct observation of evolution actually happening–in the lab or in the wild. Your choice. And by evolution, I mean vertical evolution (information-building evolution). Good luck with that.

    Jeepers, my high school biology book had a pretty good set of examples. The best one is pretty much any bacteria, especially those that cause disease in humans. We have a tendency to lob antibiotic drugs at the little varmints, and they have a nasty habit of evolving their way around them. The buggers that are vulnerable to the drugs die off, the few that are stronger survive to reproduce, et voila! natural selection in action and a new, drug-resistant strain of bacteria is born. That’s why your MD will tell you it’s not wise to overuse antibiotics, David.”

    As I’ve already shown, neither the nylon-eating bacteria or the citrate eating bacteria show information-building evolution in the genome has occured.

    Now for this next “icon of evoluton”: antibiotic resistant bacteria

    See:

    Boal, A. K. et al. Structural Basis for Methyl Transfer by a Radical SAM Enzyme. Science Express.
    [April 28, 2011]
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/04/27/science.1205358

    Brian Thomas writes in:

    http://www.icr.org/article/antibiotic-resistance-bacteria-did/

    “In the researchers’ scenario, RlmN was supposed to have “evolved” into Cfr. But the actual changes from RlmN to Cfr involved losses of information!”

    See also:

    http://www.icr.org/article/antibiotic-resistance-bacteria-shows/

    *

    I plan to include a question about each of these bacteria in my update of Evolution: The Creation Myth of Our Culture. http://www.trueorigin.org/evomyth01.asp

  252. David

    PayasYouStargaze @255 says: “I’m surprised that creationists don’t reject the water cycle, seeing as they’re happy to reject any and all science that contradicts their precious book.”

    http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com/index/The_Bible_Foreshadows_Scientific_Discoveries

    Ecclesiastes 1:6-7
    The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.

    *

    In chemistry, ever hear of the triple point of water experiment?

    Pour some water into a test tube, then seal it in a vacuum at a temperature below freezing. What forms inside the test tube is : ice, liquid and vapor. Three forms of water, yet all chemically identical (H20).

    If water exists in 3 forms, why couldn’t the God of the universe reveal Himself to mankind using 3 personas: Father, Son, and Spirit?

    Just as ice, liquid water and water vapor are all chemically identical, why couldn’t the Father, Son, and Spirit all be the one Triune God? (1 x 1 x 1 = 1 God)

    The Tri-Universe
    http://www.icr.org/articles/view/2590/215/

    http://www.icr.org/triune/

  253. David

    Mark Hansen @257 says: “One other point too: Doesn’t the bible have some mention of the sun moving about the sky (Joshua 10:12-13, Ecclesiates 1:5)in a non-standard fashion? How did those egregious errors creep into god’s words?”

    Joshua’s long day
    Did it really happen—and how?
    by Russell Grigg

    http://creation.com/joshuas-long-day

  254. Darth Robo

    —“If water exists in 3 forms, why couldn’t the God of the universe reveal Himself to mankind using 3 personas: Father, Son, and Spirit?”

    Gee Dave, glad to see you’re making a scientific argument!

    By the way, you appear to have missed a bit.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

  255. ND

    “If water exists in 3 forms, why couldn’t the God of the universe reveal Himself to mankind using 3 personas: Father, Son, and Spirit?”

    I can’t believe I’m reading this right now. It’s stupifyingly painful to read. And the stupifyicity has nothing to do with the existence of God.

    “As I’ve already shown, neither the nylon-eating bacteria or the citrate eating bacteria show information-building evolution in the genome has occured.”

    You have not. You’ve simply posted urls and copied other people’s comments without understanding the subject matter!

  256. Mark Hansen

    Nice try, David, but what about the Ecclesiates bit about the sun hurrying back to where it rose. You didn’t address that particular error at all – and your link is as disingenuous as the others. The passage as quoted by that very link says that the sun and moon stood still. Not that the light was refracted; the actual bodies stood still. So the error still stands.

  257. I guess we can add the water cycle to evolution, geology, physics, astronomy, astrophysics, chemistry, etc, in the list of science subjects David has zero understanding of.

    @ND: I can’t believe I just read that either.

    @David: Still waiting for you to answer my earlier questions.

  258. ND

    I think the 3-states-of-water/God comment deserves a little facepalm:

    http://facepalm.org/images/10.jpg

  259. Oh, wait a minute! This has been about the Judeo-Christian creation story?!

    I thought it was the ancient Egyptian version! You know, the one where Atum masturbates to create a family of gods? The fact that you can look up in the sky and see the Milky Way is obvious evidence for this story. Therefore, evolution is false.

    Argument closed.

  260. ND

    kuhnigget,

    Ew. You just ruined astronomy for me.

  261. @ ND:

    Just be thankful I left out the part about where the sun goes at night.

  262. David

    Mark Hansen @263 says: “Nice try, David, but what about the Ecclesiates bit about the sun hurrying back to where it rose. You didn’t address that particular error at all – and your link is as disingenuous as the others.”

    What error?

    From the King James Version:

    Ecclesiastes 1:5
    The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

    Ecclesiastes 1:6
    The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about
    continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

    Ecclesiastes 1:7
    All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence
    the rivers come, thither they return again.

    *
    From: The New Defender’s Study Bible. http://www.icr.org/defenders/

    The following notes are by Henry M. Morris:

    Ecclesiastes 1:5
    1:5 sun goeth down. Just as modern astronomers, in their everyday speech, talk of
    the sun rising and sun setting, so the Biblical writers, following the principle of
    relative motion, use similar terminology. This is scientifically pragmatic, not
    “unscientific.”

    Ecclesiastes 1:6
    1:6 whirleth about continually. This is a remarkable anticipation of the modern
    discovery of the world’s great wind circuits, in the global circulation of the
    atmosphere.

    Ecclesiastes 1:7
    1:7 thither they return. Similarly, this is an excellent summary of the earth’s
    amazing hydrologic cycle, as confirmed scientifically only in modern times.

    Ecclesiastes 1:7
    1:7 from whence they come. For a long time it was believed that rain waters came by
    evaporation from local lakes and rivers. Meteorologists have now proved by extensive
    upper-air research that they come from oceanic evaporation, just as this passage
    indicates.

    *

    The title of Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises” is taken from
    Ecclesiastes 1:5

    *

    http://www.atu2.com/lyrics/biblerefs.html

    “One Tree Hill”

    “We run like a river to the sea” — Ecclesiastes 1:7: “All rivers go to the sea, yet
    never does the sea become full. To the place where they go, the rivers keep on
    going.”

    *

    “It feels so good to breathe the air/Another spin around the sun/On this spec of life/In the universe/The gift of love/Is there for everyone”–Edwin

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxaAfaCln8

  263. Um, yeah…about that “vault” that is the sky….

    Metaphoric, of course.

    Here’s a good one:

    After he had appointed the days to Shamash (the sun)
    And had established the precincts of night and day,
    Taking the spittle of Tiamat
    Marduk . . . formed the clouds and filled them with water.
    The raising of winds, the bringing of rain and cold
    Making the mist smoke, piling up . . .
    .

    The Babylonians seemed to have had that water cycle figured out. That is the beauty of poetic mythology. It provides answers for things that remain at the time unexplained. Later scientific discoveries that explain the processes in detail don’t detract at all from the beauty of the myths and the language of the poets who wrote them down.

    Taking them literally, however, does.

  264. David

    kuhnigget @ 271 says: “Um, yeah…about that “vault” that is the sky….
    Metaphoric, of course.
    Here’s a good one:
    After he had appointed the days to Shamash (the sun)”

    That’s taken from The Enuma Elish:

    http://www.theologywebsite.com/etext/enuma/eintro.shtml

    [snip]

    “Although these similarities are undeniable, there are also many obvious and major differences between the Enuma Elish and Genesis. The following is a synopsis of the Enuma:”

    *

    http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com/index/The_Bible_Foreshadows_Scientific_Discoveries

    “Now if we are going to measure the Bible in this way, I think it is also fair to measure other religious writings in a similar way. For that reason, this article will sometimes compare Judeo Christian writings to the writings of other faith systems. It’s important to do this for two reasons. First, the concurrent beliefs of other contemporary groups will highlight the divine revelation found in the Bible. Secondly, this comparison will reveal that only the Judeo-Christian Bible contains references that anticipate scientific discovery by hundreds and in some cases several thousand years. Let’s take a look at a few of them:”

  265. Mark Hansen

    Yes, David, astronomers do talk about the sun rising and setting but they do not talk about the sun hastening back to where it rose. That is the error and it still stands, despite your cut-and-paste attempt at refutation. Why not try answering a question in your own words?

    See, this is what creationists, like yourself, do. You pick out the bits that look like they match the real world but then ignore or gloss over the rest of the verse where suddenly it looks a very unscientific statement.

  266. Yes, David, I’m well aware of the source of my quote. It predates the Hebrew story by centuries, if not millennia. The Hebrews borrowed many traditional stories from the Babylonians, including myths that inspired the flood story, the birth of Moses, and others. Ancient people frequently borrowed from their neighbors. It was a way of insinuating themselves into a greater history, of legitimizing their own local traditions by associating them with much older and more sophisticated cultures.

    The FIRST POINT you seem to have missed (surprise!) is that the Hebrew Bible’s mention of a “vault” that is the sky is not true. The sky is not a vault. The only way around this error is to assume that the language used is metaphoric. But if this is an instance of metaphor, why can you not accept any other inaccuracy as metaphor? The metaphors in the Bible work fine. The “science” in the Bible does not.

    The SECOND POINT you seem to have missed (surprise!), is that you apparently don’t have a problem with presuming your own chosen mythology to be true, while not sharing that presumption with other, more ancient or “accurate” myths. I don’t suppose you see the hypocrisy there, do you?

    The THIRD POINT you seem to have missed, (surprise!) is that ancient people, such as the Babylonians (and the Hebrews) used mythological tales of gods, demigods, and all their affairs to describe the world and its phenomena…because they had no other vocabulary to do so. Without the methodology of science and the observations and evidence it requires, they had no choice but to translate the world into the familiar language of magic. Their words, however inaccurate, are frequently poetic and quite beautiful, and they served human culture well.

    But you do a great disservice to the ancient poets by treating their words (or some of their words, as the case may be) as scientific texts. They were not. And they are not. The fact that you can mine them for snippets that match whatever modern science you want does not prove the ancient people had insight into the 21st century mind, nor does it mean their tales of gods and monsters are “true.” All you are doing is proving the richness of the ancient literary traditions and the power that storytelling and mythology has upon the human imagination.

    The Babylonian creation story is no more “true” than the Egyptian story of Atum and his divine willy, which is no more “true” than the Hebrew’s conglomerated creation story, which is no more true than any other creation mythos. Why not just enjoy them for what they are – ancient attempts to explain things that early humans did not have the ability to understand outside the world of gods and demons – not for what they are not?

  267. David

    kuhnigget @274 says: “Yes, David, I’m well aware of the source of my quote. It predates the Hebrew story by centuries, if not millennia. The Hebrews borrowed many traditional stories from the Babylonians, including myths that inspired the flood story, the birth of Moses, and others.”

    From historical archaeologist Frank Lorey:

    http://www.icr.org/article/noah-flood-gilgamesh/

    [snip]

    From the early days of the comparative study of these two flood accounts, it has been generally agreed that there is an obvious relationship. The widespread nature of flood traditions throughout the entire human race is excellent evidence for the existence of a great flood from a legal/historical point of view.20 Dating of the oldest fragments of the Gilgamesh account originally indicated that it was older than the assumed dating of Genesis.21 However, the probability exists that the Biblical account had been preserved either as an oral tradition, or in written form handed down from Noah, through the patriarchs and eventually to Moses, thereby making it actually older than the Sumerian accounts which were restatements (with alterations) to the original.

  268. David

    There continues to be a growing amount of archaeological evidence for the peoples and locations that the Bible mentions. For example, skeptics used to say that the Philistines were a mythical tribe until archaeological discoveries documented their existence:

    http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2006/05/the-genesis-philistines.aspx

    Skeptics also used to say the five Cities of the Plain mentioned in Genesis 14 was a myth until the Ebla tablets were unearthed:

    http://www.formerthings.com/ebla_tablets.htm

    Genesis 14:8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the
    king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and
    they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim

    The Ebla archives, however, refer to all five Cities of the Plain and on one tablet
    the cities are listed in the exact same sequence as Genesis 14. The tablets further
    reflect that the region was prosperous and successful with a patriarchal culture
    consistent with that recorded in Genesis prior to the catastrophe recorded in
    Genesis 14.

    http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/04/16/The-Discovery-of-the-Sin-Cities-of-Sodom-and-Gomorrah.aspx

    Is there any evidence for the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction by
    fire and brimstone (sulfur)?
    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a007.html

  269. David

    http://creation.com/ian-plimers-bloopers-a-selection

    Biblical Blunders

    Blunder: ‘In Ecclesiastes 1:5 we learn that “the sun also riseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he rose” which can only be interpreted to mean that the sun rotates around a flat earth. We still today talk of sunrise and sunset suggestive of a flat earth.’ (Lies p. 19)

    Fact: The second sentence gives it away. When we talk about sunrise and sunset today, we are clearly not asserting a flat earth, but using the language of appearances. Obviously Solomon was doing the same. By the way, the correct word is ‘orbits’ or ‘revolves’, not ‘rotates’. See Flat earth myth revisited http://creation.com/who-invented-the-flat-earth

    Blunder: ‘… in the Genesis creation story we learn that the earth is covered by a vault and that celestial bodies move inside this firmament.’ (Lies p. 19)

    Fact: The word translated ‘firmament’ in the KJV is raqîa, and means ‘expanse’ (cf. NIV).

    [snip]

    Strong’s Lexicon Hebrew
    7549
    [yqr , raw-kee’-ah: from 07554; properly, an expanse, i.e. the firmament or (apparently) visible arch of the sky:–firmament.

    Genesis 1:7 (KJV)
    And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

    Genesis 1:7 (NIV)
    So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.

  270. However, the probability exists that the Biblical account had been preserved either as an oral tradition, or in written form handed down from Noah, through the patriarchs and eventually to Moses, thereby making it actually older than the Sumerian accounts which were restatements (with alterations) to the original.

    Yeah, the probability exists. It’s about .1 nil. There’s no evidence to back it up, and certainly no evidence that a man named Noah ever existed, except in myth.

    There continues to be a growing amount of archaeological evidence for the peoples and locations that the Bible mentions.

    Straw man. I am not claiming otherwise. Peoples and locations often figure into myths, particularly myths that are codified in order to politically unify a people, which is why Old Testament came to be written.

    But this is utterly moot. The Cretans existed, too. Does this prove the existence of the Minotaur? Or the story of Icarus and Daedalus? The Grand Canyon exists. Does this prove the existence of Paul Bunyan? Mt. Olympos exists. Does this prove the existence of the Greek pantheon?

    Fact: The word translated ‘firmament’ in the KJV is raqîa, and means ‘expanse’ (cf. NIV).

    Yes, I’ve seen this argument. The Exposition’s Bible Commentary for the Old Testament translates the word as “firmament,” then goes on to posit that the ancient Hebrews meant a concept similar to bridge, or vault, hence the translation in the New International Bible, which is the one most biblical scholars believe is closest to the original texts, and the one I used in my post, in which the “vault” of the sky divides the universe into two zones, below, where the earth and seas are, and above, where the “other” water is. Trouble is, there’s no other water there. You can try and make the argument that the ancient mythologists were talking about clouds, but that doesn’t work because clouds are frequently close to the ground, particularly above the sea. Furthermore, birds fly above the clouds, and birds are obviously of the earth, not of heaven.

    Once again, if you take the words literally they are nonsense, but if you accept them as nicely writ metaphor, they are quite marvelous.

  271. BTW, David, I presume the link to the “armchair archaeology” article, with its whine about evil atheists straying beyond their expertise, was aimed at me, since I had the audacity to bring up archaeological evidence, or lack thereof, for your positions.

    Might I suggest two things: 1) pot, meet kettle, vis. pretty much anything related to astronomy; 2) while I do enjoy “armchair archaeology,” I also write about the real thing. Check out my latest novel and see how horrid my grasp of it really is. Never know, you might actually find yourself learning something about gods, too.

  272. Mark Hansen

    David, aside from a disturbing inability to answer a question using your own words, you still haven’t covered the second part of the quote. Your cut-and-paste sources also skip right over it. The sun does not hurry back to where it rose. This does not have to mean a belief in a flat earth. The sun orbiting a dodecahedral earth would hurry back to where it rose, as would a sun that orbited a tetrahedral earth. The problem, and this is getting very tedious, is that the sun does not hurry back to where it rose. It appears that way if you take the position as did Solomon and the Hebrews and many other ancient cultures* that we live in a geocentric system. If, however, Solomon had written something along the lines of, “…and the earth, revolving, brings it’s face once more unto the sun…” then you would have had something a lot closer to the truth.

    Incidentally, as you seem to despise an armchair archeology approach from atheists, I’m sure that you have done all your own archeological research in the field and museums and have probably published papers on the subject. Please grace us with the details.

    *Some of the Greeks, eg. Aristarchos of Samos, did consider the idea that we live in a heliocentric system.

  273. David

    kuhnigget @279 says:”Yeah, the probability exists. It’s about .1 nil. There’s no evidence to back it up, and certainly no evidence that a man named Noah ever existed, except in myth.”

    You sound just like the skeptics who used to say there’s no archaeological evidence the Philistines or the Hittites or the five Cities of the Plain existed–until evidence was unearthed.

    And if next week or next year, or 10 years from now, clay tablets (or some other artifacts) were unearthed with the names of Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth, and a daily journal describing life onboard the Ark, you’d probably say, “Well, all it means is some men had those names and built an ark, but the flood they describe in the journal was just a local flood!” 8-)

    Biblical Archaeology: Factual Evidence to Support the Historicity of the Bible
    Paul L. Maier

    http://www.equip.org/articles/biblical-archaeology-factual-evidence-to-support-the-historicity-of-the-bible

  274. David

    What was the Firmament of Genesis 1?
    http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1164

    Is the raqiya‘ (‘firmament’) a solid dome?
    http://creation.com/is-the-raqiya-firmament-a-solid-dome

    God’s mighty expanse
    http://creation.com/gods-mighty-expanse

    *

    http://creation.com/linguistics-genesis-and-evolution-part-2

    The word for heaven recurs in Genesis 1:8, however most translations have ‘heavens’ as a plural in verse 1, and ‘heaven’ singular for verse 8.

    [Genesis 1:8
    God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. NIV]

    The Hebrew word is exactly the same for both, so why the difference in English? Contrary to much popular opinion, a good translator does not slavishly translate the same original word the same way every time. Such a translation only succeeds in making a living word into a dead one. Words are best translated, not by looking at the word in isolation, but by looking at the company each word keeps—the words around it.

    Some modern translators use the English word ‘universe’ for shamayim. In verse 8, many modern translators write ‘sky’, meaning the atmosphere or local heaven around the earth. Here again, it is clear from the surrounding words in verse 8 that the Bible is describing some kind of space or expanse which God placed between two bodies of water, one of which was on earth and the other above and around the earth. The KJV with ‘heaven’ (singular) would have conveyed just that to its early readers. French and German and many other languages use words for sky which are interchangeable with those which mean heaven. In fact, English is one of the few languages that has, in recent times, increased in precision concerning the different meanings of heaven.

  275. You sound just like the skeptics who used to say there’s no archaeological evidence the Philistines or the Hittites or the five Cities of the Plain existed–until evidence was unearthed.

    Straw man. I’ve said no such thing.

    God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. NIV]

    David, do you ever create an argument that isn’t just a series of links?

    Even with the argument you linked to, where does that leave you? With water on one side of the “sky” and water on the other. Where’s the water on the other?

    Or did it come down as rain in the flood? But that can’t be, because the ancient Hebrews understood the water cycle and knew that rain came from clouds, which are part of the earthly side of the firmament. Maybe this was special rain. If so, where did the water go after it fell to earth?

    Again…AGAIN…your lovely book of metaphors becomes gibberish if you insist upon treating it as a science text book, whereas it’s a lovely bit of mythic poetry if you don’t. Just like Gilgamesh, and the Mahabarata and every other culture’s myths. Which, I can’t help but believe, you DO NOT treat as literal truth, hence your non-reponse to my point #3.

    Again, the hypocrisy!

  276. @282 David

    “And if next week or next year, or 10 years from now, clay tablets (or some other artifacts) were unearthed with the names of Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth, and a daily journal describing life onboard the Ark, you’d probably say, “Well, all it means is some men had those names and built an ark, but the flood they describe in the journal was just a local flood!””

    Well that would be the only rational conclusion. Even if the existance of Noah and his multi-racial Benetton family were unearthed, and that evidence that they had built some sort of livestock transport vessel were unearthed, it still wouldn’t amount to evidence of a global flood. That is because the global flood is impossible! If it did happen then there would be clear physical evidence for it all over the world. Not to mention the problems of where you get that much water, where you dispose of that much water and how life on Earth doesn’t correspond to the decendents of a single boatload of animals.

    How about answering some questions in your own words. Here’s a few you still haven’t answered:

    1. Are YOU a creationist or an intelligent designist? (All I want is a simple statement here)

    2. What is the theory of creation/intelligent design, depending on YOUR answer to question 1?

    3. What do YOU think the theory of evolution actually states?

    4. Do YOU prefer the creation/ID view to that of mainstream science, and if so, why?

  277. Darth Robo

    Oh hi there Dave. I see you’ve now firmly decided to forget completely and utterly about science and jumped head first into the field of (spamming us with) apologetics. Meaning you’ve missed out on quite a few GAPING flaws in your posts.

    Was it something we said?

  278. @281 Mark Hansen:

    “If, however, Solomon had written something along the lines of, “…and the earth, revolving, brings it’s face once more unto the sun…” then you would have had something a lot closer to the truth.”

    In this case “rotate” would be the correct word. The Earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun.

  279. David

    kuhnigget @284 says:”Again…AGAIN…your lovely book of metaphors becomes gibberish if you insist upon treating it as a science text book, whereas it’s a lovely bit of mythic poetry if you don’t.”

    I never said the Bible is a science textbook or a science manual, but it contains scientific information recorded thousands of years before it was discovered by scientists. (scientific foreknowledge)

    Scientific Foreknowledge in the Bible
    http://www.creationists.org/scientific-foreknowledge-in-the-bible.html

    *

    For example…

    Francis Crick and James Watson are the co-discoverers of the thread-like DNA molecule. Crick described himself as agnostic, with a “strong inclination towards atheism”. In 2003, Watson spoke at Youngstown State University and was asked by one student, “So you don’t believe in God?” The scientist answered, “Oh no, absolutely not. The biggest advantage to believing in God is you don’t have to understand anything, no physics, no biology. I wanted to understand.”

    Yet thousands of years ago the psalmist wrote: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb…your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139: 13;16).

    The phrase “you knit me together” anticipates that we are literally knitted or woven together at the molecular level.

  280. More links. Sigh.

    The phrase “you knit me together” anticipates that we are literally knitted or woven together at the molecular level.

    I’m sorry, David, but that’s just too ridiculous.

    No, it doesn’t! IT’S A METAPHOR!!! A poetic metaphor! The anonymous psalmist was no more referring to DNA or any other molecular structure (Which doesn’t “knit us together” in any case!) than he was referencing the warp and weave of his boxer shorts. That’s the beauty of poetry, mythic or otherwise. You can read into it whatever you want…but that still doesn’t change the fact that it’s poetry.

    I never said the Bible is a science textbook or a science manual,

    No, but you are treating it as such. That you didn’t use those exact words is an evasive lie, betrayed by every single “argument” you’ve ever made in this thread. Don’t try to weasel out of what you’ve been doing by trying a cheap semantic ploy.

    And AGAIN, AGAIN…I can’t help but notice you conveniently skip over what would be the only logical progression to your argument, namely that Paul Bunyan is true (because the canyon he dug really exists!). Or that Hera really did descend from Mt. Olympus and lead the Greeks in battle because, hey! Troy really did exist!

    Hypocrisy, David! Ethno-centric hypocrisy.

  281. Darth Robo

    Oh hi there again, Dave! Since it’s gone WAY beyond obvious now you never had anything scientific to offer us other than bluffing your way through with religious apologetics, perhaps now would be a good time to simply admit that you’re incapable of addressing the glaring inconsistencies in your posts because you much prefer lying for Jesus?

    Remember, God is watching…

  282. Mark Hansen

    Thanks for the hair-splitting correction, David. The only problem is that Solomon didn’t write what I wrote, did he? No, he wrote that the sun hastens, hurries, or whatever equivalent Hebrew term you prefer, to where it rose, which is flat-out wrong. It is also what you and your creationist websites do not address. Solomon gives an accurate description of a geocentric system – unfortunately for your “the bible had scientific foresight” outlook we don’t live in a geocentric system.

    As it would appear that the best you can manage is splitting hairs while avoiding questions, I won’t bother asking for answers any longer.

  283. @ Darth Robo:

    “Oh hi there…”

    :D

  284. I guess we can add knitting to the list of subjects David doesn’t understand anything about.

  285. TheBlackCat

    The phrase “you knit me together” anticipates that we are literally knitted or woven together at the molecular level.

    No, we aren’t. Once again, please learn the basics of biochemistry before you post such gibberish.

    Are you going to answer the questions or not?

  286. ND

    If only science used metaphors instead of the scientific method, things would be so much easier.

  287. David

    Darth Robo @286 says: “Was it something we said?”

    No. None of you have actually said anything.

    I’ve been waiting for 295 posts for any Darwinist here to provide some scientific evidence for macroevolution (vertical evolution–information-building evolution) and none has been provided.

    If the evidence for macroevolution is so overwhelming, where is it?

    Here you go, a two-part assignment:

    1) obtain a copy of Stephen Jay Gould’s “Structure of Evolutionary Theory” (2002) and write out all the examples of macroevolution he lists.

    http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?recid=24165

    2) obtain a copy of James W. Valentine’s 2004 book “On the Origin of Phyla” (University of Chicago Press),

    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/O/bo3616676.html

    and write out all the examples of macroevolution he lists.

  288. And thus it comes full circle.

  289. Reminds me of that Harry Belafonte song about the guy who can’t fetch water because there’s a hole in the bucket, and he can’t fix the bucket because the knife is too dull to cut straw for a patch, and he can’t sharpen the knife because the stone is too dry, and he can’t wet the stone because he has no water, and he can’t fetch any water because there’s a hole in the bucket.

    Except, Harry Belafonte made it entertaining.

  290. Darth Robo

    —“No. None of you have actually said anything. I’ve been waiting for 295 posts for any Darwinist here to provide some scientific evidence for macroevolution (vertical evolution–information-building evolution) and none has been provided. If the evidence for macroevolution is so overwhelming, where is it?”

    Actually you’re lying, but then that’s what creationists do because they can do nothing else. I’m not interested in your semantic quibbling over “macro” and “micro” evolution, because there is no difference between them except time. And the ONLY thing that would prevent the accumulation of changes would be if the Earth was say, 6,000 years old. And since we have LONG since established that it ISN’T…

    And for the sake of argument, let’s just say evolution is out the picture, falsified, finito, gone. We’ve STILL been waiting for this entire thread to point out the **glaring** inconsistencies in your own posts. Like for example using science you reject for theological reasons to claim that science you reject for theological reasons is false due to science you reject for theological reasons, or a drastic change in the rules of physics based on no evidence at all whatsoever other than your interpretation of what the Bible sez, the total sterilization of all life on Earth as a viable alternative to evolution which you claim never happened but then claim that all life on Earth descended from a tiny biological subset on a really big boat just a few thousand years ago… and perhaps finally that your alternative “scientific explanation” is actually GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC!

    So why not drop the coy BS and simply point out that your beef with science is not because you have scientific objections, but because it’s not how the Bible goes? Hence your rejection of not only evolution, but EVERY SINGLE SCIENTIFIC FIELD THERE IS, a fact you’ve openly admitted all the way through this thread. And now once again you’re back to apologetics and misrepresenting scientists who disagree with your position.

    We don’t NEED to match YOUR ideas of “macro”-evolution, because not only will it never ever EVER satisfy you, but also because you’re an uneducated religious fundamentalist who doesn’t give two hoots about science. It’s NEVER been a scientific debate. You lost that centuries ago. For you guys it’s a political and PR debate, which is why you prefer to target kids in schools rather than even attempt to step into the scientific arena and prove your position that way. Unfortunately for you though bub, we’re not playing that game. And that’s why you’ve had to keep dodging for so long, because ultimately, reality doesn’t give a flying fig about who you vote for or what your beliefs are. We KNOW all about your baseless religious opinions, but amazingly enough, we don’t care. At all. Not one bit. Therefore further apologetics on your part will merely be met with what it deserves – mockery.

    I still have that long post coming, don’t think I’ve forgotten about you.

  291. TheBlackCat

    I’ve been waiting for 295 posts for any Darwinist here to provide some scientific evidence for macroevolution (vertical evolution–information-building evolution) and none has been provided.

    That is because you haven’t told us what “vertical evolution–information-building evolution” is. It is a term you made up out of thin air.

    Further, it is something you readily admit is impossible to define, since you admit you cannot define information, nor can you measure it. All you have told us so far is that a case where we start with one enzyme that does one thing, and end up with two different enzymes that do two different things, somehow isn’t an example of an increase in information. That is like saying two different books have no more information than one of those books alone, which makes the whole concept of information totally useless.

    Further, you have told us so far is that an example of “vertical evolution–information-building evolution” cannot involve any evolution, since the rules you set exclude any case where one thing develops into something else, the very definition of evolution.

    So you haven’t told us what you are looking for, have admitted you can’t tell us what you are looking for, and have set the rules so that it is fundamentally impossible to give you what you are looking for, yet it is somehow our fault that we haven’t given you a satisfying answer? Are you kidding me?

    I’ll make a deal with you: I will give you an example of “vertical evolution–information-building evolution” as soon as you give me an example of dgfjedjgfjksdvjdgdfg. Since it is my term, I will tell you whether the example you give me is what I am looking for or not. But I should warn you, I will only accept examples of dgfjedjgfjksdvjdgdfg that do not include any dgfjedjgfjksdvjdgdfg.

    Your demand makes just as much sense as mine does.

  292. David

    Darth Robo @300 says: “Actually you’re lying, but then that’s what creationists do because they can do nothing else.”

    Personal attack is not an argument. It just shows you don’t have a rebuttal, so are forced to make an argument of last resort: personal attack.

  293. David

    I repeat:

    1) obtain a copy of Stephen Jay Gould’s “Structure of Evolutionary Theory” (2002) and write out all the examples of macroevolution he lists.

    http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?recid=24165

    2) obtain a copy of James W. Valentine’s 2004 book “On the Origin of Phyla” (University of Chicago Press),

    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/O/bo3616676.html

    and write out all the examples of macroevolution he lists.

    What evidence for macroevolution do Darwinists really have?

  294. TheBlackCat

    @ David:

    Personal attack is not an argument.

    Neither is an out-of-context quote (although it is standard for creationists).

    You really think we are stupid, don’t you? Do you really think we missed the other four-and-a-half paragraphs of his post? Did you really think we wouldn’t see that you cherry-picked one sentence from a post two posts ago and ignored the remaining 96% of the post?

    It just shows you don’t have a rebuttal, so are forced to make an argument of last resort: personal attack.

    Rebuttal? You mean like the entire rest of the his post that you totally ignored?

    Here’s a hint: you aren’t going to convince us you aren’t a liar by being blatantly and transparently dishonest.

  295. David, maybe you should obtain copies of those books and actually make an effort to understand their contents. So far your objections to evolution seem to stem from not actually understanding what evolution is, because whenever we give you an example of it, you ask for something else. You claim that evolution is false based on a false understanding of it. I suspect you will not make any effort to correct this though, because it is much easier for you to argue against an incorrect point of view than an accurate one, i.e. a strawman.

    I actually asked you to explain your understanding of evolution in my often repeated questions. It was question 3 I believe. My questions, unlike yours, are not a challenge to you. I only asked you to show us what you know and what you think.

  296. Darth Robo

    Oh hi there, Dave!

    —“Personal attack is not an argument. It just shows you don’t have a rebuttal, so are forced to make an argument of last resort: personal attack.”

    It’s not a personal attack if it’s merely an accurate description of what you’ve done. Over and over and over again. And not only that, I told you this would happen right from the beginning.

    And yes we did notice you appealed to the fundie martyr complex in order to ONCE AGAIN avoid addressing the GLARING contradictions of your position.

    Was it something we said?

    Poor boy.

    Not having a good time on here, are you.

  297. ND
  298. David

    Also, check out Jeffrey S. Levinton’s 2nd edition of ‘Macroevolution’ (2001, Cambridge University Press). No examples of macroevolution are listed. You would think when it was time for the 2nd edition, Levinton would have included just a few examples of macroevolution…in his own field.

    Nothing.

    Or how about listing all the examples of macroevolution from the “Macroevolution” chapter (chapter 22) in Douglas J. Futuyma’s 2nd edition of Evolution, 2009. He lists Levinton’s book as ‘Suggestions for Further Reading’ at the end of the chapter!

    From the 2009 “Dictionary of Zoology” by Michael Allaby “Macroevolution – ….. There is no agreement as to whether macroevolution results from the accumulation of small changes due to microevolution, or whether macroevolution is uncoupled from microevolution.” p. 362

    Stanford University marine biologist Stephen Palumbi wrote: “The formation of species has long represented one of the most central, yet also one of the most elusive, subjects in evolutionary biology.” (Annual Review of Ecology & Systematics (1994): 548.

    Some here might say the quote is too old (1994) but the onus is on you to provide a newer quote that shows unequivocally that this elusive problem has been solved.

    Palumbi, S. R. 1994 Genetic Divergence, Reproductive Isolation, and Marine Speciation. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 25: 547-572.

  299. TheBlackCat

    @ David: As I said before, we can’t because you refuse to tell us what you are looking for. If I post an opposing quote, you will demand an example. If I post an example, you will reject it because your rules require the example not involve evolution.

  300. Have you read those books David, and more importantly, have you understood them? You display no understanding of evolution at all. Why should we listen to your objections?

    I have repeatedly asked you what you think the theory of evolution states. If you were to tell us, then we might be able to address your concerns because we could explain to you where you went wrong. I don’t see this happening though. I suspect you are not interested in learning what evolution is because it’s much easier to deny the strawman version you have in your head.

    The whole point about evolution is that we figured it out based on the available evidence, and the more evidence we get, the stronger the theory gets. If you think there is no evidence for a certain aspect of evolution, you might want to check if the theory makes that claim in the first place.

  301. Personally, I’ve been converted by the strength of David’s arguments.

    ALL HAIL ZEUS, CREATOR OF MANKIND! (Okay, so he delegated womenkind to Haphaestus…)

    Now, let’s all line up single file so we can sacrifice our goats!

    Gosh, thanks, David, for setting me straight on this! I can smell that mutton already!

  302. Darth Robo

    Oh hi there Dave! I’d like to echo kuhnigget’s statement, why should we listen to your objections when you display no understanding of evolution at all, and it’s blatantly obvious you don’t want to?

    And once again you failed to address all the many many many glaring inconsistencies in your own position.

    As you always have since the beginning. Why is that?

    Was it something we said?

    Don’t worry Davey-boy, I’m not finished with you yet.

  303. David

    PayasYouStargaze at 310 says: “The whole point about evolution is that we figured it out based on the available evidence, and the more evidence we get, the stronger the theory gets. If you think there is no evidence for a certain aspect of evolution, you might want to check if the theory makes that claim in the first place.”

    Go back and read my posts 296 and 308. My point of listing those references is to show that macroevolution can’t be scientifically documented by the very people who embrace it (Futuyma, Valentine, Palumbi, et al.)

    If the evidence for macroevolution is so overwhelming, why didn’t Futuyma list any examples of macroevolution in the “Macroevolution” chapter (chapter 22) of his book, Evolution (2009, 2nd edition).

    I thought a good theory was based on evidence, not a lack of evidence.

  304. ALL HAIL LORD SHIVA! CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE!

    Mind his wife, tho. She’s got a temper!

  305. Darth Robo

    Oh hi there again Dave!

    Since you have demonstrated that you don’t understand enough about evolution in order to criticize it, and demonstrated that as a fundamentalist reality-denying fundamentalist Young Earth Creationist you don’t have the slightest interest in evolution or science in general in the first place, convincing you of the veracity of evolution is not even necessary. Your willful ignorance of the subject for the sake of your theology in no way constitutes a valid critique.

    And once again you’ve decided NOT to address the GLARING inconsistencies in your posts.

    Was it something we said?

    Later, Davey.

  306. Oh, I love it when they step right into their own pile!

    From Jeffrey S. Levinton, Genetics, Paleontology, and Macroevolution (linked to, above)

    I don’t pretend to solve the important issues, but I do hope to redirect graduate students and colleagues toward some fruitful directions of thought.

    preface, page x

    See, that’s the way science works. If you don’t have all the answers, you keep looking. You don’t throw up your arms and say, “Well, then, Goddidit!”

    And this doozy:

    It is not useful to distinguish sharply between microevolution and macroevolution, as I will show in this volume. … …the evolution of the mammals involved a large number of integrated physiological and morphological traits, and these were acquired over a long period of time. Yet both fall well within the province of macroevolutionary change, because of the potential at least for evolutionary differences spanning large chasms of taxonomic rank.

    ibid, chapter 1, page 2.

  307. @313 David

    Without even reading those books, I’m willing to be that those authors documented many examples of evolution and you just don’t understand them. As you say, a good theory was based on evidence, not a lack of evidence. Evolution is a good theory, based on evidence. If there were no evidence there would be no theory of evolution. That is, the real theory of evolution, which is almost certainly not what you think it is.

    Why haven’t you answered my questions David? They’re very easy to answer.

  308. But wait, there’s more!

    In discussing the appearance of new features, Douglas Futuyma notes:

    A change in the function of a feature alters the selective regime, leading to its modification. This principle, already recognized by Darwin, is one of the most important in macroevolution (Mayr, 1960), and every group of organisms presents numerous examples. A bee’s sting is a modified ovipositor, or egg-laying device. The wings of auks and several other aquatic birds are used in the same way in both air and water; in penguins, the wings have become entirely modified for underwater flight. The ability of an electric eel to kill prey and defend itself by electric shock is an elaboration of the capacity of other members of the knifefish family to generate much weaker electric fields for orientation and communication in murky waters.

    Evolution, Second Edition, chapter 21 pg 512

    Thus, not only does Mr. Futuyma and other scientists define macroevolution differently than our pal David – whose own definition of the subject only he seems to use – he also concludes that it is illustrated in “every group of organisms,” a few of which he then lists as examples.

    What’s that I smell? Ewwww…. I think someone stepped in something.

  309. Too late to edit. That should have said “I’m willing to bet…”

    kuhnigget, I am going to attempt to predict David’s reply. (clears throat)

    “But none of those are example of macroevolution (vertical evolution / information-building evolution). All the examples there are modifications of existing structures, not the addition of new information.

    [link to creationist website]

    [Paragraph full of misuse of biological jargon to make it sound authentic]”

    Let’s see how accurate I am.

  310. TheBlackCat

    @ David:

    Wow, your dishonest knows no bounds. Lets look at your examples:

    Also, check out Jeffrey S. Levinton’s 2nd edition of ‘Macroevolution’ (2001, Cambridge University Press). No examples of macroevolution are listed. You would think when it was time for the 2nd edition, Levinton would have included just a few examples of macroevolution…in his own field.

    A blatant lie, the introduction alone lists at least two examples early on: mammals and chiklid fish.

    “The formation of species has long represented one of the most central, yet also one of the most elusive, subjects in evolutionary biology.” (Annual Review of Ecology & Systematics (1994): 548.

    Yet you ignore the very next paragraph where they go onto explain how the problem was solved.

  311. PRAISE BE TO CTHULHU! May he bring us nightmares and blessed insanity!

  312. TheBlackCat

    @ kuhnigget: I am not too big on going insane, but I would very much prefer to be eaten last thankyouverymuch.

  313. David

    Playing Fast and Loose with Evolution [August 10, 2011]
    http://crev.info/content/110810-playing_fast_and_loose_with_evolution

    Phillip Johnson writes: “If somebody asks, ‘Do you believe in evolution?’ the right reply is not ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ It is: ‘Precisely what do you mean by evolution?’ My experience has been that the first definition I get will be so broad as to be indisputable–like ‘There has been change in the course of life’s history.’ Later on a much more precise and controversial definition will be substituted without notice. That one word evolution can mean something so tiny it hardly matters, or so big it explains the whole history of the universe. Keep your baloney detector trained on that word. If it moves, zap it!” (“Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds”, 1997)

  314. The irony of David posting a quote (with a link to a creationist website, of course) about someone asking for specific definitions, then whining because the definition given doesn’t match a preconceived idea, is, to put it mildly, flabbergasting.

    I bet you were a champion hula hooper when you were a kid.

  315. Darth Robo

    O hi there, Davey!

    You appear to have missed a bit.

    Again.

    Seems to be a bad habit of yours.

    Was it something we said?

  316. David

    At best, changes over many generations in organisms are examples of microevolution, which many creationists call microvariation. Macroevolution has never been observed.

  317. Macroevolution has never been observed by creationists.

    Fixed that for you.

  318. And about calling microevolution “microvariation”…

    See, that’s an example of redefining something to suit your own needs. Nobody else recognizes, nor uses, nor accepts your definition. So, use it all you want, but don’t expect any real scientists to care.

    Get the new Wham-o Shoop-Shoop Hula Hoop, and make all your circular reasoning fun!

  319. TheBlackCat

    @ David: “At best, changes over many generations in organisms are examples of microevolution, which many creationists call microvariation. Macroevolution has never been observed.”

    Brilliant move there. “changes over many generations in organisms” is the very definition of evolution. So in other words, once again you are setting your rules so that you will not accept any example of evolution that involves evolution.

    Once again: defining away a problem does not make it actually disappear, it just lets you ignore it. If I say “I define a pitbull as a dog that is not a mammal”, it is not going to stop one from biting me.

  320. TheBlackCat

    @ David: “Later on a much more precise and controversial definition will be substituted without notice.”

    So says the person who routinely re-defines evolution to not include evolution. So says the persons who retroactively changes the criteria for examples he will accept. So says the person who complains about ad hominems all the time.

    Let’s play a game: you show me all the examples where I have re-defined words, and I will show you all the examples where you have. Sound fun? Somehow I doubt you will do so, it is much easier beat your opponents when you don’t actually have to provide support for any of your accusations.

    “That one word evolution can mean something so tiny it hardly matters”

    That is the one used by scientists. Of course our definition of “hardly matters” and creationists’ definition is pretty different.

    “or so big it explains the whole history of the universe”

    Luckily nobody uses that definition besides creationists. It is a lot easier to say “I reject evolution” than to tell the truth and say “I reject all of science and much of ancient history”.

  321. JimTKirk

    @ David 323 – You already quoted that Phil Johnson junk in post 149.. Running out of quotes?

  322. Darth Robo

    O hi there, Davey!

    You appear to have missed a bit.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

    I guarantee I’m gonna make you miss even more.

  323. Darth Robo

    In a word, Jim – yes. After all, for creationists it’s a PR game. They couldn’t care less about science, they just want an excuse to be able to push their religious opinions onto not just their kids but everyone else’s.

    By the way, how cool was that Noah guy? You met him, right?

    After all, it would take *at least* 23rd century technology in order to rescue the people and all the other animals and help them survive afterwards, what with all that scientific technology you got available.

    I mean, it’s not like Davey’s “scientific alternative” happens to be GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC…

  324. JimTKirk

    @ Darth – Nope, never met Noah… I knew what David’s intentions were, I just wanted to alert everyone else before they re-chewed the same rotten cabbage.

    Of course taking a law professor as a truth seeker is like wearing swim fins in the desert, it just doesn’t help. Lawyers are trained to get common folk to see their way not the truth.

  325. Oh, we’re used to the rotten cabbage.

    After a while, it becomes fun to see just how many loops posters such as can twist themselves into (to switch from cabbage to pretzels, if you don’t mind) in order to keep themselves convinced their arguments are carrying the day.

    I’m sure David is already preparing a new entry for his blog, detailing his exploits battling the dumb ol’ commentators on the evil skeptic’s website.

  326. David

    Here are some other quotes from Phillip Johnson, author of “Darwin on Trial”:

    On the PBS documentary In the Beginning: The Creationist Controversy, Johnson commented: “Darwinian theory is the creation myth of our culture. It’s the officially sponsored, government financed creation myth that the public is supposed to believe in, and that creates the evolutionary scientists as the priesthood…So we have the priesthood of naturalism, which has great cultural authority, and of course has to protect its mystery that gives it that authority. That’s why they’re so vicious towards critics.”

    “The first step for a 21st century science of origins is to separate materialist philosophy from empirical science.”–Phillip Johnson, in “How to Sink a Battleship” (1996)

    http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9602/johnson.html

  327. David

    TheBlackCat @320 says: “A blatant lie, the introduction alone lists at least two examples early on: mammals and chiklid fish.”

    It does? Where?

    First, mammals. Please quote the sentence (s) and page number in Levinton’s “Genetics, Paleontology, and Macroevolution” (2001) where he states a particular mammal has undergone macroevolution, and cites empirical evidence to back up his claim (or is it your claim?)

    You also mention “chiklid fish”. It’s Cichlid, not “chiklid” (of the family Cichlidae). If there was empirical evidence that the Pundamilia (the genus name for African cichlids) had undergone macroevolution wouldn’t Mark Ridley have mentioned it by now?

    According to the book description at amazon.com, Ridley’s book “Evolution” (third edition, Wiley-Blackwell, 2003) “has become the premier undergraduate text in the study of evolution.”

    What does Ridley say about the Cichlid?: “In conclusion, over evolutionary time the amount of isolation between 2 species will increase, and the species will eventually be isolated by most of the barriers listed in Table 13.1″ (p. 359).

    No mention of macroevolution. They’re still Cichlids.

    Allaby in his 2009 dictionary doesn’t say a thing about their alleged macroevolution. Checking Futuyma’s 2009 text shows them as an example of adaptive radiation only. Creationists and IDers have no problem with adaptive radiation, which is NOT macroevolution. There’s lots of diverse head shapes in the Cichlidae due to diet and mode of feeding (such as work done by Hori in 1993), but they’re still Cichlids. In “Zoology” (8th edition, 2009) Miller & Harley introduce the Cichlids in their first chapter, but list no examples of macroevolution.

    Now, regarding:

    Palumbi, S. R. 1994 Genetic Divergence, Reproductive Isolation, and Marine Speciation. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 25: 547-572.

    ….TheBlackCat @320 says: “Yet you ignore the very next paragraph where they go onto explain how the problem was solved.”

    Why didn’t TheBlackCat quote the very next paragraph? Did Palumbi really solve the problem? No. Palumbi just says “a basic model of speciation arose”.

    Here’s the paragraph from which I quoted Palumbi, followed by the next paragraph that The BlackCat claims “how the problem was solved.”

    http://palumbi.stanford.edu/manuscripts/Palumbi%201994.pdf

    The formation of species has long represented one of the most central, yet also one
    of the most elusive, subjects in evolutionary biology. Darwin (28) sought out the
    mechanisms and implications of natural selection in order to explainthe origins of
    species. Later, both Dobzhansky (29) and Mayr (88) would speciation as a pivot
    around which to spin their divergent yet complementary views of the evolutionary
    process. They called their works Genetics and the Origin of Species and Systematics
    and the Origin of Species, perhaps to emphasize that they were using genetics and
    systematics primarily to advance understanding of the speciation process (45).

    As a result of these efforts, and the series of papers that developed and used the
    new synthesis, a basic model of speciation arose. Now termed allopatric speciation,
    the basic scenario is familiar to virtually all evolutionary biologists: A large,
    continuous population is broken up into smaller units by extrinsic barriers; genetic
    exchange between these separated populations ceases, and genetic divergence takes
    place between them; the build-up of genetic differences leads to intrinsic barriers
    to reproduction. If the separated populations (now separate species)
    reconnect with one another through the breakdown the original extrinsic barriers,
    they will remain reproductively isolated and selection for increased reproductive
    isolation may occur (30).

    [snip]

    And here’s Palumi’s conclusions:

    The link between genetic divergence of populations and reproductive iso-
    lation is poorly known for marine (or terrestrial) species. How do genetic
    changes lead to the physiological, ecological, or sensory differences that define
    sibling species? How do they create reproductive isolation? What are the
    mechanisms by which species recognition evolves? Studies of gamete recog-
    nition show how a focus on the mechanisms of reproductive isolation can lead
    to the discovery of the genes responsible for species recognition.

    This suggests a general approach to speciation research that is based on
    investigations of the physiological, ecological, and sensory differences that
    give rise to species recognition and perhaps to reproductive isolation. Such
    investigations would lead to increased understanding of the underlying genetic
    mechanisms by which recognition evolves within and between species, and
    they provide important evidence to help fill major gaps in our understanding
    of speciation.

    [end]

    See:

    http://creation.com/refuting-evolution-2-chapter-4-argument-natural-selection-leads-to-speciation

  328. David

    Correction:

    When I selected the text from the Palumi paper, the word “use” didn’t transfer over.

    Should read: “would use speciation”, not “would speciation”:

    *

    Later, both Dobzhansky (29) and Mayr (88) would use speciation as a pivot
    around which to spin their divergent yet complementary views of the evolutionary
    process.

  329. Uh, David dude, you answered your own question in the second Palumbi paragraph you quoted:

    As a result of these efforts, and the series of papers that developed and used the
    new synthesis, a basic model of speciation arose. Now termed allopatric speciation,
    the basic scenario is familiar to virtually all evolutionary biologists: A large,
    continuous population is broken up into smaller units by extrinsic barriers; genetic
    exchange between these separated populations ceases, and genetic divergence takes
    place between them

    My bold. That “basic model of speciation” is the answer you’re looking for. You seem to have missed it.

    Oh, but I forgot. You tend to use different definitions for words when it suits you.

    My fusebox.

  330. David

    kuhnigget @ 339 says: “My bold. That “basic model of speciation” is the answer you’re looking for. You seem to have missed it.”

    I’ve missed nothing. Do you know what “model” means in this context? A model or paradigm is a set of _assumptions_ and concepts that constitute a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline. Palumi is stating the evolutionary biologists (who _assume_ evolution is true) developed a basic model of speciation now termed allopatric speciation–the basic SCENARIO familiar to virtually all evolutionary biologists.

    And what’s a SCENARIO? an outline or model of an _expected_ or _supposed_ sequence of events. In other words, story telling. You seem to have missed it.

    The next step for the evolutionary biologists would be to separate their materialist philosophy from the empirical science.

  331. Okay, David, I know the good doctor BA doesn’t like name calling, but now you’re just being stupid.

    You did so “miss something.” You missed the entire meaning of the passage you quoted, especially this part: the basic scenario is familiar to virtually all evolutionary biologists. It’s familiar to all evolutionary biologists because it is backed up by all the work they do. They don’t “assume evolution is true,” David. They see it all around, backed up by every single bit of evidence they encounter.

    See, that’s the key here, David. You paste all these quotes and try to use all these terms (like your little lecture about “models” back there), but it is utterly clear you don’t understand a word of what you are posting.

    Story telling? Jesus, David. Jesus H. Frakking Christ. Look up irony, dude.

  332. David

    Evolutionary Paradox: Embryos Resist Tinkering
    by Brian Thomas, M.S. [August 12, 2011]
    http://www.icr.org/article/6267/

    What steps are required to build a snail? Can natural selection, as described by evolutionary biologists, accomplish any of these steps? These questions were investigated in a recent report by Biola University science philosopher Paul Nelson. His observations clearly show that natural selection is totally inadequate to the task.

    [snip]

    http://www.sdbonline.org/2011/SDB70thAnnMtgProg.pdf

    520 B92 Did natural selection construct metazoan developmental sequences? Nelson, Paul, Biola University, Glenview, IL

    *
    http://www.trueorigin.org/evomyth03.asp

    Edward Blyth, English chemist/zoologist (and creationist), wrote his first of three major articles on natural selection in The Magazine of Natural History, 24 years before Darwin’s “Origin of Species” was published. Why then do evolutionists think of natural selection as Darwin’s idea?

    Blyth didn’t attribute God-like qualities to natural selection, as some evolutionists do today. At least some are willing to admit: “Natural selection can only act on those biologic properties that already exist; it cannot create properties in order to meet adaptational needs.” Noble, et al., Parasitology, 6th ed. (Lea & Febiger, 1989), p. 516.
    http://creation.com/charles-darwins-illegitimate-brainchild
    http://www.icr.org/article/natural-selection-creationists-idea

  333. TheBlackCat

    @ David: Did you miss the part where I said I had a good memory? Do you really think I would miss a case where you try to retroactively change your criteria again?

    Here is what you asked for:

    Also, check out Jeffrey S. Levinton’s 2nd edition of ‘Macroevolution’ (2001, Cambridge University Press). No examples of macroevolution are listed. You would think when it was time for the 2nd edition, Levinton would have included just a few examples of macroevolution…in his own field.

    (emphasis added)

    And here is what you ask for now:

    First, mammals. Please quote the sentence (s) and page number in Levinton’s “Genetics, Paleontology, and Macroevolution” (2001) where he states a particular mammal has undergone macroevolution, and cites empirical evidence to back up his claim (or is it your claim?)

    (emphasis added)

    You lied. He gave examples of macroevolution, which you said he didn’t. You said absolutely nothing about empirical evidence, you only asked for examples. Trying to pretend you said something different than what you actually said doesn’t change that, it is just another lie.

    I, of course, cannot give you examples because you will not accept any examples of evolution that include evolution. Further, I have no doubt that you will also arbitrarily and retroactively re-define “empirical evidence” so that it is impossible for evolution to provide such evidence.

    I will not dignify your pointless spelling nit-pick with a response.

    The rest of your post is just confirming this. You just arbitrarily exclude major, fundamental macroevolutionary mechanisms from being considered macroevolution. It is just something along the lines of “I don’t consider this macroevolution” over and over again with no justification. There is no way I could provide an example, because you will just arbitrarily exclude whatever mechanism was used from being “macroevolution”

    Do you know what “model” means in this context?

    Yes, in fact I have done practically nothing but work with models like that for about 8 years. You, on the other hand, obviously don’t.

    A model or paradigm is a set of _assumptions_ and concepts that constitute a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

    No, that is not what model means in this context. “Model” and “paradigm” in this context are not synonymous. This definition refers to something like the standard model of particle physics.

    What models actually means in this context is a description of a detailed, testable mechanism by which a certain phenomenon occurs. Hypotheses and theories are explanations, models are descriptions of the mechanism by which a particular hypothesis or theory leads to specific phenomena in practice.

    Palumi is stating the evolutionary biologists (who _assume_ evolution is true) developed a basic model of speciation now termed allopatric speciation–the basic SCENARIO familiar to virtually all evolutionary biologists.

    Notice how you emphasized scenario here? Notice that the definition you posted says absolutely nothing about scenarios? That is because that definition does not deal with scenarios. Your own description of the model proves you have the wrong definition.

    In my definition, a “description of a machanism” is a “scenario”.

  334. Darth Robo

    Oh hi there Dave!

    They’re still Cichlids!!! However the fact that they changed is not in dispute by either the evolution people or the creationists. And since we’ve long established the world ain’t 6,000 years old, poor old Davey has no barrier to prevent evolution. So what else can he do except redefine words to suit and deny any evidence for evolution no matter what?

    Oh, and surprise surprise, he seems to have missed a bit.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

  335. JimTKirk

    @ David – And Phil Johnson is treating this whole thing like a trial, where lawyers try to convince the ordinary citizen that truth isn’t correct and lies are plausible.

    A lawyer doesn’t try to prove the truth, but tries to prove his side is more believable, truth be dammed.

  336. This is getting too pathetic even for me.

    Ciao, David. Enjoy your fantasies.

  337. David

    [David] “Also, check out Jeffrey S. Levinton’s 2nd edition of ‘Macroevolution’ (2001, Cambridge University Press). No examples of macroevolution are listed. You would think when it was time for the 2nd edition, Levinton would have included just a few examples of macroevolution…in his own field.”

    [The Black Cat] “A blatant lie, the introduction alone lists at least two examples early on: mammals and chiklid fish.”

    As discussed @337, the Cichlids are still Cichlids. No macroevolution.

    As for mammals being an example of macroevolution, why hasn’t TheBlackCat quoted verbatim from page 2 where Levinton mentions mammals as being an example of macroevolution? [I’m trying to remember if TheBlackCat has ever quoted verbatim from any book or paper to support his/her claims.] It’s certainly _easy_ enough for Levinton to pick out something and say it’s an example of macroevolution, but it’s quite another to back up the claim with empirical evidence.

    It was skeptic Carl Sagan who said: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. Macroevolution is an extraordinary claim. So where’s the extraordinary evidence from Levinton (or any other Darwinist) that macroevolution happened?

    And I wonder why Levinton titles his first chapter “Macroevolution: The Problem and the Field” (pp. 1-31)

  338. David

    http://palumbi.stanford.edu/manuscripts/Palumbi%201994.pdf

    [snip]

    As a result of these efforts, and the series of papers that developed and used the
    new synthesis, a basic model of speciation arose. Now termed allopatric speciation,
    the basic scenario is familiar to virtually all evolutionary biologists: A large,
    continuous population is broken up into smaller units by extrinsic barriers; genetic
    exchange between these separated populations ceases, and genetic divergence takes
    place between them; the build-up of genetic differences leads to intrinsic barriers
    to reproduction. If the separated populations (now separate species)
    reconnect with one another through the breakdown the original extrinsic barriers,
    they will remain reproductively isolated and selection for increased reproductive
    isolation may occur (30).

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/scenario

    3. An outline or model of an expected or supposed sequence of events

  339. @347 David

    The cichlids are still cichlids because they cannot become anything else. That’s how evolution works!

    The whole point of evolution is that new things don’t just pop into existance for no reason. Cichlids will always be cichlids in the same way that human are still apes and birds are still dinosaurs and their descendants will always be apes and dinosaurs respectively.

    That’s what “macroevolution” is. It’s just a whole bunch of evolution piled on top of itself so that what you have now is rather different, but related to, what came before. If a human was not an ape, or a bird was not a dinosaur, or a cichlid gave birth to something that’s not a cichlid, then that would disprove evolution.

    “Macrovolution” may seem like an extraordinay claim to you, but it is completely ordinary compared the claims of special creation, which would require even more extraordinary evidence: evidence so extraordinary that it actually goes against all the evidence we have so far, not just for evolution, but the entirety of science all together.

    Your objections to evolution continue to stem from not understanding it. You think evolution is something impossible, because what you think evolution is is impossible. But real evolution is not what you think it is, and until you learn what it is your objections don’t mean a thing.

  340. TheBlackCat

    @ David: Fine, I’ll bite. It doesn’t change the fact that you lied, but I will do so anyway:

    For the cichlid fishes, a synarthrosis between the lower pharyngeal jaws, a shift of insertion of the fourth levator externus muscles, and the development of synovial joints between the upper pharyngeal jaws and the basicranium may be necessary (but not sufficient) for the morphological diversification of species with differing food collection devices (Liem 1973). On the other hand, the evolution of the mammals involved a large number of integrated physiological and morphological traits, and these were acquired over a long period of time (Kemp 1982). Yet both fall well within the province of macroevolutionary change, because of the potential at least for evolutionary differences spanning large chasms of taxonomic rank.

    (emphasis added)

    Happy now? I bet not. Somehow you will find a way to dismiss this explicit statement.

    It was skeptic Carl Sagan who said: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. Macroevolution is an extraordinary claim. So where’s the extraordinary evidence from Levinton (or any other Darwinist) that macroevolution happened?

    As I keep saying, it is fundamentally impossible to meet the criteria you set. I cannot provide any examples of macroevolution that does not involve evolution, and your repeated insistence that I do so is only further demonstrating your blatant dishonesty and your total lack of interest in the truth.

    I am not going to waste my time posting examples when you have already said that you won’t accept them no matter what they are.

  341. TheBlackCat

    @ Pays: “You think evolution is something impossible, because what you think evolution is is impossible. But real evolution is not what you think it is, and until you learn what it is your objections don’t mean a thing.”

    Sorry, I don’t agree with you here. David is not just posting random misunderstandings, his criteria is very specifically crafted to be impossible to satisfy. That leads me to believe that he knows full well what evolution is, and is being careful to set his demands so that they seem reasonable but actually make it impossible to ever satisfy them.

    Take his fossil example. He didn’t just ask for examples of fossil changes, or ask about some random group, which would be what you would expect if he wasn’t aware of the evidence. Instead he specifically demanded fossil bats, practically the only group of animals we don’t have a good fossil record of. There is no way he did that by chance, he must have specifically picked that example because he know it was one of the only examples out there.

    Only someone very familiar with the evidence could be so focused in his objections that he allows through lots of evidence that isn’t available but excludes any evidence that is available.

  342. JimTKirk

    @ David who said “It was skeptic Carl Sagan who said: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. ”

    He may have popularized it but it was Marcello Truzzi who is credited with coining the phrase.

  343. @ Black Cat:

    Sorry, one final comment.

    Only someone very familiar with the evidence could be so focused in his objections that he allows through lots of evidence that isn’t available but excludes any evidence that is available.

    Yes, and therefore I change my assessment of David from someone who is stupid, to someone who is a deliberate, malicious liar, uninterested in reality or science or any point of view that doesn’t entail an utter unquestioning faith in his religion.

    “You shall not bear false witness.” — Matthew 19:18

  344. @350 TBC

    You’re probably right there. I’m sure you’re more experienced in dealing with these sorts of arguments.

    I suspect that he only knows as much as he’s had spoon fed to him by his creationist sources. If that’s the case, his objections are the ones he learned from those sources. The result is the same though, and either case results in extreme intellectual dishonesty. I don’t think there’s any way we can tell which one it is, and frankly it doesn’t matter because facts and truth do not interest him at all.

  345. ND

    TheBlackCat,

    At the very least, he’s following a shrewdly crafted scripts. Something the DI and ICR appear to mass produce. In an earlier post, he linked to a website that appears to authored by him. So he is well read in the creationist blather.

    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”
    Funny coming from someone claiming YEC and the existence of a deity.

    Creationist objections to Evolution do not start from any particular scientific issues within the field. It begins with religious faith and only afterwards go hunting for “scientific arguments” to justify their beliefs.

    Edited.

  346. Darth Robo

    He could still know examples of evolution having learned it through the gamut of creationist apologetics, but still not fundamentally understand evolution itself, as there are still a few doozies he’s posted. But PYS is right, while there’s no way to tell for certain, it is perfectly clear he’s not interested in scientific facts anyway.

    Oh, by the way Davey?

    It appears you missed a bit.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

  347. David

    ND @355 says: “Creationist objections to Evolution do not start from any particular scientific issues within the field. It begins with religious faith and only afterwards go hunting for “scientific arguments” to justify their beliefs.”

    David Berlinski describes himself as a secular Jew and an agnostic. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University and was later a postdoctoral fellow in mathematics and molecular biology at Columbia University.

    http://www.davidberlinski.org/

    Articles by David Berlinski
    http://www.discovery.org/p/51

    Was There a Big Bang?
    http://www.discovery.org/f/386

    The Deniable Darwin
    http://www.discovery.org/a/130

  348. Wow. It has the word “discovery” in it. It MUST be all sciencey!

    Oh, stop it! Silly kuhnigget!

  349. ND

    David,

    The vast majority of creationists (such as yourself) are not like Berlinski now are they?

  350. Note the references to Halton Arp.

  351. Darth Robo

    Oh hi, Davey!

    —“David Berlinski describes himself as a secular Jew and an agnostic. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy”

    Oh, so he’s utterly unqualified to critique 150 years of biological research too. He also happens to be a DI fellow. Philosophy is mental masturbation.

    By the way, you appear to have missed a bit.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

  352. David

    David Berlinski describes himself as a secular Jew and an agnostic. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University and was later a postdoctoral fellow in mathematics and molecular biology at Columbia University.

    Note: In Part 1, the interview begins around the 1:30 mark

    Dr. David Berlinski on the flaws of Darwinian Evolution Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpeOD593lCc

    Dr. David Berlinski on the flaws of Darwinian Evolution Part 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrT4eJBH5EE

    Dr. David Berlinski: Name Calling (Extended Clip)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxSZ8DyuC7o

  353. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him

    1 John 2:4

  354. David

    On August 13 I sent an email to richarddawkins.net, and asked that it be forwarded to Richard Dawkins.


    Dr. Dawkins:

    Back in 2005 (Aug. 07, 2005) you told TIME magazine:

    Evolution Wars
    By Claudia Wallis

    http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1090909,00.html

    “Creationists are fond of saying that there are very few fossils in the Precambrian, but why would there be? asks Dawkins. “However, if there was a single hippo or rabbit in the Precambrian, that would completely blow evolution out of the water. None have ever been found.”

    Would finding microfossils of pollen, spores, angiosperms, gymnosperms, and at least one winged insect, in Eocambrian (Upper Precambrian) rock completely blow evolution out of the water?

    If yes, why? If no, why not?

    Eocambrian (Upper Precambrian): dated from about 1.6 billion to 600 million years ago

    Regards,

  355. TheBlackCat

    @ David: Please re-read the several dozen times we have already answered this question.

    Repeating the question over and over again won’t magically make the answers go away, nor will it make the question any less stupid.

  356. Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

    Luke 16:10

  357. David

    What Drives Darwinian Scientists to their Fury
    David Klinghoffer, August 13, 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/08/what_drives_darwinian_scientis049461.html

    Klinghoffer writes:

    [snip]

    A guy like Professor Pompous or any of the better known Darwinian-scientist writers you can think of aren’t driven to their fury directly by the scholarly work of Michael Behe, Doug Axe or Stephen Meyer, but rather indirectly every time a student brings it up in class. Every year a new cohort of young people comes through the lecture hall and some number of them — probably a growing number — have been exposed somewhere to ID’s critique and alternative to neo-Darwinism. Every time a student puts her hand up and politely asks something along the lines of, “But what about irreducible complexity?” it throws the class discussion down a totally different corridor of the mind than the professor meant it to go.

    The professor can either dismiss the student with a hand wave and a casual invocation of “creationism,” which makes everyone else wonder what this is all about, or he can explain the issue and try to refute Behe or Meyer, but that just raises more questions in the minds of some students who are inclined to doubt his authority.

    [snip]

    I would add:

    I wonder how many students in schools, colleges and universities would say they have the academic freedom to critique evolution in their science classes? There should be school district and state polls of high-school and college/university students studying evolution, asking two questions:

    In this class:

    a) Is evolution taught as fact, theory, or both fact and theory?
    b) Do you have the academic freedom to critique evolution?

    [Students should answer anonymously.] The same questions should be asked of their instructors.

    The article, “Valley of the Whales”, in the August 2010 issue of National Geographic, is a good example of an evolutionary article:
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2010/08/whale-evolution/mueller-text

    Teachers should be encouraged to distribute such articles and three different colored markers to each student, then ask them to mark the verified _facts_ with one color, the _opinions_ with another, and the _suppositions_ with another. Students should be taught to weigh the factual evidence, evaluate statements, and recognize the writer’s purpose and point of view.

    For counter arguments to “Valley of the Whales”:

    http://www.trueorigin.org/whales.asp
    http://www.trueorigin.org/ng_whales01.asp

  358. Darth Robo

    Oh, hi there again Davey!

    You appear to have missed a bit.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

    I guarantee you’re gonna miss a whole lot more very soon.

  359. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

    Revelation 21:8

  360. TheBlackCat

    @ David: Please re-read the several dozen times we have already answered this question.

    Is this what you have regressed to? Just repeating the same questions we already answered at the very beginning of the discussion? I would like to remind you that we are not goldfish, we do remember that happened a few days ago. You are not going to trick us by repeating old questions as though they were new.

    We have been answered your questions repeatedly since the beginning. You, however, are consistently ignoring ours. Don’t you think it would be fair if you answered our questions like we have done for yours, or did they not teach you fairness in kindergarten?

  361. PayasYouStargaze

    I was reading back through the comments, seeing as David’s have made it such a laugh, and felt compelled to give a more detailed answer to his point in post 170.

    ——“So, PayasYouStargaze, how about designing an optical lens and navigation electrical system that can do everything that the monarch butterfly’s system can do.”

    This challenge was set to me, but at the time I was happy to let others address it and really it was off topic. I feel like having a go at it now.

    ——“Requirements for the navigational system:

    ——“1. Sensors must be provided to detect the direction of the earth’s magnetic field and the position of the sun.”

    OK that’s actually rather easy. A sensor to detect the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field is so simple a child can make a basic one. It’s called a compass. Obviously for this sensor we need some means of recording the direction. That would be stored as a single number. No accuracy is asked for, so lets go a bit overboard and go right down to degrees, minutes and seconds. That is a single 7 digit number. So one byte will do. Then the sun sensor, which is really a simple thing to do also. There we need to store two directions, elevation and azimuth. So call it another 2 bytes there. We also need a reference to compare them to, i.e the position of the butterfly. So the roll and pitch angle of the butterfly in relation to Earth’s gravity. So that’s a total of 5 bytes of information. Not looking very hard so far.

    —–“2. The central computer must be able (from an input of information on the sun’s position and the earth’s magnetic field) to determine its present position to an accuracy of plus or minus 100 feet.”

    My bull—- detector should have gone off here, because using only those two pieces of information you cannot determine a location without knowing the time of day and time of year. Knowing only that information we can only tell where the butterfly is facing. Now, we know the butterfly has eyes and therefore some appreciation for where it is, so it can use this additional information to help. But for the device you want, let’s add an accurate clock/calendar to the butterfly. 100 ft is not a high degree of accuracy so to we’ll only go down to the second. Therefore that’s a 14 digit number, so another 2 bytes are needed.

    —–“3. The computer must be capable of directing its navigation pilot to a new location as far away as 3000 miles to an accuracy of plus or minus 100 feet.”

    So we know where we are and which direction we’re facing. We don’t need to get there accurately and we can fly, so terrain is less important. What part of this is supposed to be difficult?

    ——“And design the system:
    ——“a) to weigh less than 0.5 grams”

    I’m not expert in the current state of micro-electronics, but a computer capable of working with 7 bytes of information is not going to be very big by today’s standards. Let’s add a few more bytes for information storage, and it’s only going to be other locations, so not even a kilobyte.

    ——“b) to be smaller than a pea, and”

    That’s the same as the previous really, unless we’re working with a material of very unusual density.

    ——“c) so it can be built in 8 days by one person in total darkness without any outside help.”

    This is a vague criterion. How much equipment does the person have? Does he have any materials. Frankly a machine could probably spit one of these out in less than a minute with no people around, and that would be fairly analogous to a biological entity growing, because it is done automatically based on preset instructions and external material supplies.

    So there you go David. One basic guidance system.

    ——“Do you know the name of a designer who can create such an optical electrical navigation system?”

    Me!

  362. Had to leave before making this edit. Silly me. One byte isn’t enough for that size of number. You need 3 bytes for each of those numbers. We’re still talking about a very small amount of information to store.

  363. David

    PayasYouStargaze @371 says: “So there you go David. One basic guidance system.
    ——“Do you know the name of a designer who can create such an optical
    electrical navigation system?” Me!”

    You’ve taken some time to think about the design of such an optical electrical navigation system, one of MANY necessary systems for the survival of the monarch butterfly. Your solution requires a systematic ordering of component parts, utilizing engineering principles overseen by a designer (you!) A process that’s NOT random, but intelligently designed.

    Yet when Darwinists like Richard Dawkins look at life forms–from bacteria to people–they only see “apparent” design.

    PayasYouStargaze @371 says:” ”c) so it can be built in 8 days by oneperson in total darkness without any outside help.”
    This is a vague criterion. How much equipment does the person have? Does he have any materials.”

    Use as much equipment and materials as you require. And take as long as you like.

    How long do you think you would need to design and build such an optical electrical navigation system?

    When you do, I’ll look for your photo on the cover of TIME, Newsweek, and Scientific American.

  364. David

    I mentioned Richard Dawkins @ 373. I wonder how many here are aware of the 1986 Oxford Union Debate: Dawkins and Smith vs Wilder-Smith and Andrews.

    [Listen]

    http://richarddawkins.net/audio/721-1986-oxford-union-debate

    1986 Oxford Union Debate
    By RICHARD DAWKINS, JOHN MAYNARD SMITH
    Added: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 00:00:00 UTC

    The 1986 Oxford Union Debate between evolutionists Richard Dawkins and John Maynard Smith (Professor of Biology, University of Sussex) and creationists A. E. Wilder-Smith (Professor of Pharmacology and consultant) and Edgar Andrews (Materials Scientist & President of the Biblical Creation Society).

    [snip]

    In Wilder-Smith’s memoir [Fulfilled Journey] he writes (p. 483) “After the debate was over, Richard Dawkins attacked me not on my scientific discourse, but on the basis of my beliefs. Professor Andrews brought up the point of order that no religious considerations should play any role. The president demanded that Dawkins sit down.”

    *

    (p. 484) “In the end the creationists won some 114 of the votes from the voting public of about 300–which was quite surprising, as the Oxford Union represented the materialistic naturalistic evolutionary viewpoint of biogenesis.”

    “The debate was never published. As most Oxford Union debates are given nationwide publicity in the press, in radio and in television. There may well be some cogent reason for the total cover-up which the whole debate subsequently experienced.”

    “In December 1986, I received an inquiry from the Radcliffe Science Library, Oxford, asking if I had ever really held a Huxley Memorial Lecture on February 14, 1986. No records of my having held the lecture as part of the Oxford Union Debate could be found in any library. No part of the official media breathed a word about it. So total is the current censorship on any effective criticism of Neo-Darwinian science and on any genuine alternative.”

    *

    Who is A. E. Wilder Smith
    http://mall.turnpike.net/C/cs/smith.htm

    http://mall.turnpike.net/C/cs/col.htm
    http://mall.turnpike.net/C/cs/ns.htm
    http://mall.turnpike.net/C/cs/sa.htm
    http://mall.turnpike.net/C/cs/time.htm
    http://mall.turnpike.net/C/cs/ordering.htm

  365. Can’t keep away.

    Yet when Darwinists like Richard Dawkins look at life forms–from bacteria to people–they only see “apparent” design.

    You are lying again, David. Richard Dawkins does not see apparent design. What he says, repeatedly, is that many people look at the intricacies of life and see apparent designs.

    Dawkins sees no such design, but rather the end result of millions upon millions of years of natural selection.

    Stop lying.

    Jesus replied, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony… — Matthew 19:18

  366. David

    The 1986 Oxford Union Debate is also available on CD from:

    http://www.tonguesrevisited.com/oxford_union_debate.htm

    Score: Ayes 150 – Noes 198

    But note it states the “ayes” (yes) side is 150, not “some 114″ as Wilder-Smith states in his memoir.

    Here’s an explanation for the discrepancy:

    “One thing Paul Humber asked me to carefully check was the results of the vote taken at the end of the debate. There have been questions raised about the number of votes the creation side got, though the 198 gained by the evolution side is not in doubt. The numbers given in various accounts for the ‘ayes’ were either 114 or 115 – Dr Wilder-Smith refers to it in his memoirs as ‘some 114’, and the same way in another book of his. However it is clear from the tape that in fact it was 150. This is also the view of Kym Holwerda who has done the AIG transcript, and others at AIG. I don’t think there can be any doubt about this. On tape it certainly is not 115, let alone 114! Nor is the Chairman of the Oxford Union, who read out the votes at the end of the evening, corrected in any way by either the tellers who counted the votes, nor any from the evolutionary side of the debate. Given that official written records have been lost or stolen, but on the tape we have the voice of the Chairman of the Union giving the number of votes, we should take her statements as definitive.”

  367. David

    kuhnigget @375 says: “You are lying again, David. Richard Dawkins does not see apparent design. What he says, repeatedly, is that many people look at the intricacies of life and see apparent designs.”

    On page one of “The Blind Watchmaker” (1986) Richard Dawkins writes: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose”.

    a) If living things look designed–if the empirical evidence suggests purpose–then how do evolutionists know they weren’t designed? b) What is the criteria for “apparent” design?
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v6/n1/scientists-censorship-design

    appearance: the act or an instance of appearing/the outward or visible aspect of a person or thing
    appear: to seem or look to be
    apparent: appearing as such but not necessarily so; seeming

  368. Stan

    kuhnigget: David didn’t say that Dawkins believed in real design. He just said that Dawkins believed in “apparent” design where something appears designed but actually isn’t. So kuhnigget, you seem so eager to make personal attacks on David that you’ve misunderstood his argument. If you take the time to understand what David said, you’ll quickly see that he does not misrepresent Dawkins’ perspective.

  369. Ah, yes, David. More of your quotes from creationist websites and helpful dictionary definitions. But I guess you failed to read the preface to Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker, in which he makes his position regarding appearances perfectly clear:

    A third respect in which our brains seem predisposed to resist Darwinism stems from our great success as creative designers. Our world is dominated by feats of engineering and works of art. We are entirely accustomed to the idea that complex elegance is an indicator of premeditated, crafted design. This is probably the most powerful reason for the belief, held by the vast majority of people that have ever lived, in some kind of supernatural deity. It took a very large leap of the imagination for Darwin and Wallace to see that, contrary to all intuition, there is another way, and once you have understood it, a far more plausible way, for complex ‘design’ [quotes by the author] to arise out of primeval simplicity. A leap of the imagination so large that, to this day, many people seem still unwilling to make it. It is the main purpose of this book to help the reader make this leap.

    So you see, David, as Dawkins himself explains to his readers, “appearances” can be deceiving, and that is in fact one of his central points. To Dawkins, and to those who understand evolution, there is no “appearance” of design. Complexity, to be sure, but no design. His quote about biology is merely the set-up for his comparison to physics which follows, which as he puts it, is the study of things that “appear” simple.

    Now stop taking quotes out of context and lying about them. Jesus doesn’t like that.

  370. gritintheeye

    Man all these charges of lying are just so utterly boring…typical though of Dawkins fans in my experience…

    Design requires mind and so the likes of Dawkins and his devotees want to be done with mind. It all just came from matter. Even our minds really aren’t minds but rather simply molecules in motion…all determined by chemistry and physics. In such a world there aen’t no such thing as truth or untruth (lying), just chemistry/physics doing their thing. Molecules or electrical impulses, don’t ‘lie’. they just are. To make a charge that someone is lying is to say everything is not just matter after all, that mind and morals exist, and that the concepts of truth and untruth are meaningful. For a materialist to charge someone with lying is a bit like them shooting themselves in the foot – or should that be the head?

    Great satire video on these matters with Dawkins:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2RMU9_7jSY

  371. ND

    “Now stop taking quotes out of context and lying about them. Jesus doesn’t like that.”

    Love it. Good meme.

  372. David (377) is right. Living things look designed. That is because they are designed. Romans 1 says that design is obvious, even to those who deny it. But why would anyone deny such obvious and incredible design? Romans 1 explains that too. It’s worth a read.

  373. ND

    Why should we take Romans 1 at face value?

  374. Darth Robo

    Oh hi there Dave!

    You STILL appear to have been unable to address the GLARING inconsistencies in your posts.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

    Don’t worry bub, I still haven’t finished with you yet.

    gritintheye, I can understand if you’ve not read the entire thread, but the reason why David is referred to as a liar is because he *has* lied. The original claim was that he had a “scientific alternative” to evolution and it soon became very apparent all he had was an appeal to Biblical apologetics instead.

    To Rockhound, if “design” is so “obvious” as you claim, then perhaps you can tell us precisely how it is measured/quantified in an objective manner via the scientific method and explain the mechanisms involved in order to bring these designs to life, so to speak. In other words, what exactly IS the “scientific theory” of ID/Creationism?

    Wait, what’s that? Romans? As in the Bible? Wow, I must say I’m shocked. Shocked I say.

  375. David

    kuhnigget @379 says: “So you see, David, as Dawkins himself explains to his readers, “appearances” can be deceiving, and that is in fact one of his central points. To Dawkins, and to those who understand evolution, there is no “appearance” of design. Complexity, to be sure, but no design. His quote about biology is merely the set-up for his comparison to physics which follows, which as he puts it, is the study of things that “appear” simple.”

    kuhnigget needs to read more carefully. While Dawkins believes there is no design, his own statement refutes your comment “that there is no “appearance” of design”:

    “Biology is the study of complicated things that give THE APPEARANCE OF HAVING BEEN DESIGNED for a purpose”. p. 1 [my emphasis]

    And look at what Dawkins writes just a few pages later:

    From “The Blind Watchmaker”:

    Chapter 2

    Good Design

    Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning. The purpose of this book is to resolve this paradox to the satisfaction of the reader, and the purpose of this chapter is further to impress the reader with the power of the illusion of design. We shall look at a particular example and shall conclude that, when it comes to complexity and beauty of design, Paley hardly even began to state the case. (p. 21)

    *

    Did you catch that?

    “Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with THE APPEARANCE OF DESIGN as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”
    [p. 21, my emphasis]

    To borrow a questioning technique from Dr. Phil McGraw, what part of Dawkins’ statements don’t you understand?

    That said:

    a) If living things look designed–if the empirical evidence suggests purpose–then how do evolutionists know they weren’t designed?

    b) What is the criteria for “apparent” design?

  376. ND

    “appearance of design” is a subjective human reaction to the natural world. The “appearance of design” does not in and of itself prove deliberate sentient, intelligent, design. There is no evidence for design as you define it, so it cannot be taken into account in science. And you cannot say, if there is no explanation then a deity must have done it.

    David, I’m sorry to say this but you are being willfully thick headed. Dawkins is saying the appearance of design is an illusion. He calls it that. What part of that don’t you get?

    McGraw’s questioning technique is a form of bullying to push through religious ideology dissengenuously branded as science. Cherry picking some quote, misrepresenting it and then berating them for not “getting it”.

    “What is the criteria for “apparent” design?”
    I would put is a subjective (emotional even) reaction to the current knowledge on the biomechanical functionality of species. “Apparent design” is not a scientific concept but a reaction driven by our biases, be it religious or otherwise. But I’ll leave that to actual scientists in this thread.

    And please, there are some questions you have yet to answer. But you’re too afraid to face them.

  377. TheBlackCat

    Living things look designed. That is because they are designed. Romans 1 says that design is obvious, even to those who deny it.

    Right, of course, if the Bible says it then it MUST be true. I’ll go watch a rabbit chewing its cud, now.

    But why would anyone deny such obvious and incredible design? Romans 1 explains that too. It’s worth a read.

    If life was designed, the designer was criminally incompetent. If any engineer designed something as badly as the human body was designed then they would got o jail for life.

  378. TheBlackCat

    a) If living things look designed–if the empirical evidence suggests purpose–then how do evolutionists know they weren’t designed?

    They don’t look anything like anything we know is designed. I could go into detail if you care, even though I know you won’t listen. So either the designer has such a fundamentally different way of thinking that its design is unrecognizable as such, or there was no designer. We can’t prove there was no designer, but life has all the appearances of something that evolved, but none of the appearances of something that was designed.

    To get you started, a lot of things in life do NOT have a purpose, but are derived from features that once did. An example would be the muscles in the wall of our lungs. Lungs are outgrowths of our digestive system, which needs the muscles to move food. The lungs, however, are moved by external muscles ( in the diaphragm and chest). The muscles inside just give us asthma.

    That makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint, since the lungs just inherited properties from digestive system they developed from. But it doesn’t have any purpose from a design standpoint, it just makes things worse.

    A lot of aspects of life have this appearance of a history behind them, of being based on something else. Objects we know are designed objects don’t, they are purpose-built for a particular role and rarely, if ever, carry over useless history from previous versions (and cases where they do are considered examples of bad design).

    b) What is the criteria for “apparent” design?

    Something that looks similar to how humans design things. I can give more specific examples. Life on Earth, however, has few of the features shared by human designs besides being suited to a particular role (being suited to a role and having purpose are not the same thing).

  379. @ David:

    To borrow your own quote:

    The purpose of this book is to resolve this paradox to the satisfaction of the reader, and the purpose of this chapter is further to impress the reader with the power of the illusion of design

    What part of “illusion of design” do YOU not understand?

    That’s what happens when you quote mine a sentence out of an entire paragraph, page, or book. Dawkins’ whole point – of the entire freaking book – is that there is no design. People who see an “apparent design” are in fact seeing complexity that is the result of countless ages of natural selection.

    It’s just that simple, dimwit. You can argue semantics all you want, but you still can’t get around the fact that Dawkins is not describing “apparent design.” His whole book is about dispelling that illusion.

  380. Oh, and stop bearing false witness. You’re pissing off Jesus.

  381. Darth Robo

    And another drive-by by our friend Dave and he STILL hasn’t been able to address the GLARING inconsistencies of his own position.

    Where to begin, where to begin… the beginning is possibly a good place.

    First our good friend David references two sources, the first a YEC (Young Earth Creationist) site, and second a DI site with the opinions of a liar, oh um, sorry, lawyer for Jesus. A certain amount of fuss is made over the claim that ID and Creationism are somehow different concepts, but no real tangible demonstration is made, especially in light of the Wedge Document and the ID/Creationist textbook, Of Pandas And People with its wonderful example of a transitional fossil, ‘cdesign proponentsists’. Ultimately this is all moot with respect to the fact that both rely on the exact same anti-evolution arguments, and David has been no exception.

    Next Dave attempts to appeal to people’s sense of “fairness”, whereby in this case he feels it’s fair for kids in schools should get to decide what constitutes valid science rather than qualified scientists by doing actual research, and that kids should also decide on the correct answers are in science class despite the fact that no other subject in school allows kids to do this. Although kids in schools are free to field any (relevant) questions they like, it is important to remember that they are not qualified to actually critique decades of biological research. Should they have theological concerns in regards to science class, they do have a number of other options available to them.

    Eventually Dave tries to get a handle on the meat of the thread, the science. Unfortunately he fails early on, as although the subject is supposed to be about the validity of biological evolution his first reference (not surprisingly) is a creationist critique of the Big Bang. This shortly leads to the rather damning realization that his beef is not merely with biology, but *every single field* of science. Meaning he has no-where else to go but down, down, down. Also not surprisingly, the consistency of his YEC source is all over the map scientifically as David, as despite the fact that both David and ‘TrueOrigin’ advocate a scientifically untenable Young Earth position, many of the references they use do not – the DI for example is a mix of YEC’s, Old Earthers, Moonies, and at least one theistic evolutionist, ergo the utter lack of scientific consistency utterly destroys any chance of his claims being scientifically viable. It also helps demonstrate the dishonesty of the ID/Creationists to the core, as any soundbite no matter the source is okay as long as it tows the anti-evolution party line, even if they are not scientists like Phil Johnson or Casey Luskin, both lawyers.

    The critique of the Big Bang theory is that because the theory has been refined and become more accurate over the years, and is not a static unchanging dogma like good old creationism, then obviously the Big Bang is wrong because Goddidit with magic just like the Bible said. The discovery of early water using science creationists (including David) reject for theological reasons prompts a Biblical apologetics ret-con whereby a rather vague and contradictory account in Genesis I is used to claim victory in “predicting” the existence of water elsewhere in the universe. Of course like most such claims, they have to wait for the scientists in the 21st century publish it first rather than tell us about all the amazing details of the universe first – vague poetics is enough to account for “knowledge”, apparently. The first critique of biology again doesn’t address evolution in any way, and is more to do with the initial formation of genetics. He appeals to the analogy of the genetic “code”, yet so far is unable to provide us with the ID/C definition of what precisely that “code” is, the actual biological definition being provided by Nigel Depledge in post #87. There is also the expected straw-man fallacy of “chance” mentioned by David, a rather silly thing to do when speaking about chemistry. If chance played a role and it was possible for 2 hydrogen atoms combined with an oxygen atom to make gold then perhaps we’d have a problem. David at this point invokes some kind of enigmatic “intelligent agent” as being responsible, but to date has yet to define exactly what it is, present any evidence for it, or provide us with viable alternative mechanisms. This of course being that well known logical fallacy – If not A, then B wins by default; thus relieving him the burden of ever having to provide any evidence. This particular fallacy is invoked a lot.

    Next David tries his hands at falsifying the currently accepted age of the Earth, which is 4.5 billion years. A number of creationist propaganda articles are referenced, mostly dealing with contamination of various substances which leads them to “conclude” the Earth is a mere 6,000 years old. No specifics are given as to how this precise number are given, and of course pointing out the dishonest practices of the RATE group (like failing to remove zircon contamination when dating samples) is apparently irrelevant. The young Earth hypothesis, which as mentioned before requires rejecting ALL science, also runs into numerous problems which are as yet unaddressed by David (or any other YEC’s for that matter) in any reasonable scientific manner. First of all is that there are numerous dating techniques which, to within a viable margin of error, give consistent results (something no alternative creationist “methods” can) thus certain techniques can be used to confirm each other. I will provide a partial list of scientific dating techniques, which creationists claim each and every single one is unreliable as all rest on the “assumption” of an old Earth:

    •Algal microfossil analysis (in paleolimnology)
    •Amino acid racemization (L-to-D) (AAR)
    •Argon40-argon39 chronometric
    •Astronomical polarity time scale (APTS)
    •Cation-ratio (CR)
    •Chronostratigraphic (superposition, cross-cutting, intrusion)
    •Coral reef annual layering
    •Dendochronology (tree-ring)
    •Deuterium-hydrogen stable isotope analysis
    •Electron spin resonance (ESR)
    •Fission track (U238-Pb206)
    •Fluorine-uranium-nitrogen analysis (FUN)
    •Fossil index (plant, animal, artifactual)
    •Geomagnetic (archaeomagnetic/paleomagnetic) reversal time scale (GTRS)
    •Geomagnetic secular variation (around magnetic pole)
    •Helium4-helium3
    •Infrared-stimulated luminescence (IRSL)
    •Isochron
    •Isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS)
    •Lichenometry (lichen/thalli colony radii)
    •Lutetium176-hafnium176 geochronology
    •Meteorite cosmic-ray exposure (Ne21, He3)
    •Microfossil paleolimnochronology
    •Milankovitch cycle astrochronology
    •Mitochrondrial DNA
    •Neon21-helium3 dating
    •Obsidian hydration analysis (OHA)
    •Ocean sediment core analysis
    •Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL)
    •Oxidizable carbon ratio (OCR) (C-total/C-oxidizable)
    •Oxygen16-oxygen18 stable isotope analysis
    •Paleosol chronology (in fossil soil stratigraphy)
    •Patination (rock/desert varnish)
    •Pigment remnant dating (in paleolimnology)
    •Polar ice-sheet core
    •Pollen/spore analysis (in palynology)
    •Potassium40-argon40 chronometric
    •Radiocarbon (14N-14C-N14/12C) by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS)
    •Radioluminescence (RL)
    •Radon222-lead210-lead206 chronometric
    •Rhenium187-osmium187 chronometric
    •Rubidium87-strontium87 chronometric
    •Samarium147-neodymium143 chronometric
    •Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS)
    •Seriation/typological archaeochronology
    •Strontium87-strontium86 chronometric
    •Tephrochronology (of volcanic ash, tuff)
    •Terrestrial rock cosmic-ray exposure
    •Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS)
    •Thermoluminescence (TL)
    •Thorium232-lead208 chronometric
    •Uranium235-lead207 chronometric
    •Uranium238-uranium234-thorium230-radium226-lead206 (U-series)
    •Varve analysis (of glacial-lake deposits)
    •Writing (back 5000 years)
    •Y-chromosome DNA

    In post #132 The Black Cat addressed the accusation of “assumptions” thusly:

    “No, they don’t

    ” a) no decay product was present initially or that initial quantities can be accurately estimated” – there are dating techniques, such as synchrotron dating, that do not assume this, and others where we know chemically it could not have been present.

    “b) the decay system was closed to outside influences through the years” – there are dating techniques, such as synchrotron dating, that does not assume this

    “c) the decay rate was constant over time” – there are dating techniques, such as synchrotron dating, that does not assume this.

    Further, the fact that decay rates have not changed is not an assumption, it is a empirically-measured fact. First, if the decay rate changed over time, the dates using various sources would not match up. Since they match, we know the decay rates could not have changed. Second, if the rate of decay changed enough to allow for the sorts of ages creationists talk about, the heat it produced would have melted the surface of the Earth. Third, other physical constants are tied to the decay rate of radionuclei, and we can see that these changes have not occurred.

    Finally, there was actually a naturally-occurring nuclear reactor in Africa that occurred about 3 billion years ago. Because the operation of nuclear reactors are so well-studied for our own use, we know with great detail how changes in the rate of radioactive decay would affect the final output. By looking at the remains of the natural reactor we can tell that the rate of radioactive decay was not significantly different when the reactor was running, which further means our dating of the reactor must be correct as well.” (end quote)

    I too pointed out the problem of heat sterilizing the Earth, but also the entire universe should radioactive decay be increased to levels required by YEC’s, as well as the fact that increasing radioactive decay by heating up materials has already been attempted, resulting in little change of their apparent age. Also that the claim for a young Earth is also based on the rather large assumption that Bishop Ussher’s Biblical chronology is accurate, and NOT based on any evidence of either that or the apparent DRASTIC change in the laws of physics for the entire universe in the recent or distant past.

    His next choice was to misrepresent science he already rejects for theological reasons to claim it falsifies science he already rejects for theological reasons. This would mean an act of utter hypocrisy on his part if he was to give any merit to his claims in regards to the “pollen paradox”. As it turns out the opinion of a professional geologist on the subject (146 Fossil Bob) is that contamination is the most likely source. The other point he bangs on the head long after it’s been dead and buried is the discovery of soft tissue in fossils by Mary Schweitzer, while an interesting discovery, on its own is not enough to overturn 50+ scientific dating techniques which (along with many other reasons) blows the young Earth “hypothesis” long out of the water, the most likely explanation being simply that the material could last longer than originally thought. It’s also worth noting that while this one discovery alone is enough for David to declare all of science false and creationism true, Schweitzer herself (still a supporter of evolution) feels much more research is needed. It’s also worth noting that although the original assumption was that this wasn’t possible (now revised in light of new evidence – exactly how science should work) he much prefers to stick with the original assumption, although it is precisely what he saw as “assumptions” in each and every one of the 50+ scientific dating techniques as problematic. It’s also worth noting that despite his zeal no viable blood cells were left and he was more than willing to overlook the continued support added for the dino-bird connection predicted by evolution as evidenced by comparative anatomy, nested hierarchies, transitional fossils and chicken teeth, but now also protein analysis and internal bone microstructures – which creationism can only claim credit for after the fact.

    David’s next “point” is that “information-building” evolution cannot take place, which in effect is another restatement of the SLoT, or ‘Second Law of Thermodynamics argument, one which even other creationists advise not to use, quite possibly because the implications of which would be that the “constant degradation” which has taken place (according to David’s own TrueOrigins site which he had a hand in writing) would prevent a zygote from ever being able to develop into a fully grown adult. However if it is possible for zygotes to grow to adulthood (as the evidence indicates) then the object of his ire (evolution) becomes well and truly possible, for all it requires is organisms capable of reproduction and that reproduction process to be imperfect (as the evidence indicates). So as usual we’re treated to the good old “macro” vs “micro” evolution nonsense, even though there is absolutely positively no qualitative difference between the two. So in order to prevent the accumulation of changes he needs some sort of “barrier”. The first, the Earth being 6,000 years old would work, but can be dismissed due to life still being present (as evidence by us being right here to discuss the subject) and requiring the “scientific mechanism” of God-magic to rescue the hypothesis. The second is that all organisms reproduce after their “kind”, a somewhat nebulous definition which can mean whatever creationists want to mean at a moment’s notice. That would require a genetic barrier of some kind, to which so far no evidence has been found. This we know as there are currently well over 6 billion ways to make a human being, and since we are all born with over 100 mutations *not* shared by our parents it demonstrates that such a barrier has yet to be reached and the human race has yet to finish diversifying. To date, no definitive genetic demarcation line has yet been specified by creationists, and it appears that any attempt to do so would be an arbitrary decision. Continuing to demand examples of “information-building evolution examples are provided for our resident creationist but as predicted none of them are satisfactory, as each time the goalposts are moved with additional conditions not previously mentioned before (171 TheBlackCat) thus making his demands impossible to meet.

    Further down with the creationist charade, David claims that thousands of scientific organizations and many hundreds of thousands of scientists across many many many countries are all engaged in a massive world-wide concerted anti-creationist evolutionist conspiracy to suppress “creation science”. As proof of this he offers many links to creationist articles “peer-reviewed” by other creationists and some genuine peer-reviewed papers which have “creationist implications” as more links to creationist sites tell us. Just ignore the common ‘Statement of Faith’ found on virtually all creationist websites which openly admit that they are not engaging in science because the Bible is true because the Bible says so, with examples being helpfully linked to by both myself and David. Also ignore the fact that scientists who are creationists have indeed held positions of scientific tenure and had legitimate scientific work published when they did not traipse into pseudo-scientific apologetics. David quotes Philip Johnson (once again showing the vacuousness of his position due to its contradictory nature, as Phil rather helpfully admitted that ID *is* creationism) by appealing to the idea that science is “biased” towards “naturalism”, the obvious implication of which (as his own website agrees) that the alternative “scientific explanation” offered by creationists is SUPER-natural in nature, which by very definition does not make itself amenable to the scientific method. The key here is that David and his fellow creationists argue against the straw-man that science is “biased” towards “philosophical naturalism”, which is blatantly false. Science makes no claims on the supernatural, and in fact many scientists (including those who accept evolution) also hold to philosophical/theological ideas of a decidedly non-natural nature. But what science deals with is *methodological* naturalism, a subtle yet very important distinction. The reason being is that there is no such thing as “methodological supernaturalism”, since no-one has been able to make it work. If someone ever does, please let Dr Peter Venkman know as soon as is humanly possible.

    This of course leads us to exactly what the “scientific theory” of creationism is, as so far no objective positive evidence of the ‘Creator’ or its mechanisms have been offered despite numerous requests. There has been the usual anti-evolution arguments which once again leads us to the ‘If not A therefore B’ fallacy, as well as an avoidance of how the limitations of said Creator (inability to use evolution) were determined scientifically, other than the fact that it’s not what the Bible says. However since all that needs to be done to fix any and all problems creationism encounters is invoke magic (being supernatural and all) this renders said hypothesis unfalsifiable and therefore not scientific. Apparently merely pointing out that Creationism’s reliance on supernatural phenomena thus excluding them from objective testing via the scientific method, it is still an unfair bias to not include it under the banner of science even though “Goddidit with magic” is utterly incapable of actually **explaining** anything in any practical manner. Hence why soon after, David begins to post Biblical apologetics whereby inaccurate or vague poetic Biblical passages are alleged to “predict” scientific knowledge thousands of years before scientists determined these facts through scientific investigation. If only creationists were able to tell the researchers this beforehand instead of waiting until afterwards so they could pull a Nelson Muntz “HA HA!” moment. It is also worth noting that similar vague pre-Christian religious passages are also capable of such retro-dictions, as pointed out by kuhnigget in post 271.

    David goes back again to “information-building” evolution and demonstrates he doesn’t even understand what it involves. As evolution often takes existing material and modifies it he refuses to allow such a scenario to be called evolution even though it was demonstrated (in the nylonase example) to provide him with exactly what he demanded – new functionality development with evidence of previous functionality preserved in the organism. The ironic part is that as a creationist he rejects evolution, although this is *precisely* what creationism *requires*. As the affable Lenny Flank elaborates:

    —“See, according to the creationists, all humans alive today are descended from 8 people who got off a Really Big Boat. Anyone who understands junior high genetics will know that 8 people have between them a maximum possible of 16 different alleles for each genetic locus (in reality, the 8 people on the Big Boat would have had even FEWER, since some of them were descended from others and thus shared alleles, but for the sake of argument we will give the creationists every possible benefit of the doubt and assume that they were ALL heterozygous and shared no alleles at all in common). That means, if the creationists are correct that “most mutations are deleterious” and that “no new genetic information can appear through mutation”, there can not be any human genetic locus anywhere today with more than 16 alleles, since that is the MAXIMUM that could have gotten off the Big Boat.

    But wait ———-

    today we find human genetic loci (such as hemoglobin or the HLA complex) that have well over *400* different alleles (indeed some have over *700* different alleles). Hmmmm. Since there could have only been 16 possible on the Big Boat, and since there are over 400 now, and since 400 is more than 16, that means that somehow the GENETIC INFORMATION INCREASED from the time they got off the Big Boat until now.

    That raises a few questions —–

    1. if genetic mutations always produce a LOSS in information, like the creationists keep telling us, then how did we go from 16 alleles to over 400 alleles (perhaps in creationist mathematics, 400 is not larger than 16)?
    2. if these new alleles did not appear through mutations, then how DID they get here?

    But wait — there’s more:

    Not only, according to creationists, must these new alleles have appeared after the Big Boat, but, according to their, uh, “theory”, all of these mutations must have appeared in the space of just *4,000 years* — the period of time since the Big Flood. That gives a rate of BENEFICIAL MUTATIONS, which add NEW GENETIC INFORMATION, of one every 10 years, or roughly two every generation ——- a much higher rate of beneficial mutation than has ever been recorded anywhere in nature. Nowhere today do we see such a rate anywhere near so high. So not only would I like to know

    1. what produced this extraordinarily high rate of non-deleterious mutations, but
    2. what stopped it (indeed, what stopped it conveniently right before the very time when we first developed the technological means to study it)?

    But wait — we’re not done YET . . . . . .

    Since less than 1% of observed mutations are beneficial (the vast majority of mutations are indeed deleterious or neutral and have no effect), that means for every beneficial mutation which added a new allele, there should have been roughly 99 others which did not. So to give us roughly 400 beneficial mutations would require somewhere around 40,000 total mutations, a rate of approximately 100 mutations in each locus EVERY YEAR, or 2,000 mutations per locus for EACH GENERATION. Do you know what we call people who experience mutation rates that high? We call them “cancer victims”.

    But wait, we’re STILL not finished . . . . . .

    In order for any of those mutations to be passed on to the next generation to produce new alleles, they MUST occur in the germ cells — sperm or egg. And since any such high rate of mutation in a somatic cell (non-sperm or egg) would have quickly produced a fatal case of cancer, if the creationists are right this mutation rate could ONLY have occurred in the germ cells and could NOT have occurred in any of the somatic cells.

    If one of our resident creationists can propose a mechanism for me which produces a hugely high rate of mutation in the germ cells while excluding it from any other cells, a Nobel Prize in medicine surely awaits — such information would be critically valuable to cancer researchers. But alas, no such mechanism exists. The rate of mutations made necessary by creationist “arguments” would certainly have killed all of Noah’s children before they even had time to have any kids of their own. In order to produce 400 beneficial alleles in just 4,000 years, humanity would have been beset with cancers at a rate that would have wiped them all out millenia ago.” (end quote)

    This is of course merely one of the many problems the Global “Flood model” has, however for the moment we’ll stick with the creationism’s inconsistency of with dealing with evolution and the ability to develop new genetic information. For more eloquence here’s what my pal Katydid has to say on the observation of mutations providing just that:

    —“Easy, one word SETMAR. The SETMAR gene was reported as a chimera when discovered in 1997. It is made up of genes encoding a SET domain protein properly fused with the coding region of a jumping gene from a family of genes called mariner transposons. The particular member of this family was a gene called Hsmar1 and the part of it that was properly fused with the SET coding gene,was the transposase-coding region called MAR. By “properly fused” I mean that the genetic transcribing mechanism could start at the beginning of the SET region and correctly read through the MAR region, before hitting a “stop”.

    Research published in PNAS shows the mechanics of how the process of evolution actually occurs, i.e. the development of new information by the creation of a NEW GENE by the fusion of parts from two other genes, the key role was played by “jumping genes” or “transposons” and our bodies contain billions of these.

    Their research provides direct evidence showing how a new gene evolved rapidly (over some 18 million years, yes, this is rapid in evolution), starting 58 million years ago.

    They are able to show the evolution of the gene by comparing the genetic sequences of different species, looking at the introns and exons, where the genetic material is copied and pasted or cut and pasted.

    Additional experiments have demonstrated that SETMAR is a widely expressed gene. They know that SET is involved in helping chromatin (our chromosomes) operate properly. As to what MAR does, this is hypothesized.

    The transposase region of a transposon has two parts, the DNA binding region and the DNA cutting region, to help the transposon do a cut and paste of itself.

    When they looked closely at the transposon the researchers noted that the DNA binding region is not changing much but the DNA cutting region is changing quite rapidly. Evolution has no interest in the cutting region so it is mutating and degrading, evolution though needs to retain the binding region, keeping it unchanged.

    The researchers show that the human genome has many, potential SETMAR binding sites and hypothesized that SETMAR behaves as SET except that it does things much more efficiently. Where as SET relies on other proteins to carry out its functions, SETMAR, by using MAR, is able to bind directly to the human genome, allowing the SET to do its job, without needing those other proteins. So SET works well, but SETMAR does the job better, faster, more efficiently.

    Quote:

    Conclusion
    In sum, our results show that the transposase of a mobile element has become part of a functional primate gene through a stepwise evolutionary process involving transposition and subsequent transcriptional and translational fusion. Comparative sequence analysis and functional assays strongly suggest that selection has acted to preserve the specific DNA-binding activity of the ancestral transposase, whereas its catalytic activity has likely been lost. Interestingly, BLAST searches of the human genome sequence revealed the presence of 752 and 760 sequences identical and with a single mismatch, respectively, to the 19-bp MAR-binding site. These data suggest that the human genome contains an enormous reservoir of potential SETMAR binding sites, 97% of which lie within the TIRs of recognizable Hsmar1 transposons and their derivatives (data not shown). This observation raises the possibility that the recruitment of the MAR DNA-binding domain may have provided an opportunity for the corecruitment of a network of DNA binding sites to which the fusion SETMAR protein now could be tethered. The SET domain of SETMAR methylates histone H3 predominantly at lysine 36 (15), an epigenetic mark that in yeast has a repressive impact on transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II and prevents spurious intragenic transcription from cryptic promoters (32, 33). Thus, the transposase-derived DNA-binding domain of SETMAR may have provided a means to target methylation of histone H3 at lysine 36 to particular sites in the genome where it could affect gene expression or other biological processes.
    Unquote:

    Work Cited:
    BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES / EVOLUTION

    Birth of a chimeric primate gene by capture of the transposase gene from a mobile element

    Richard Cordaux*, Swalpa Udit , Mark A. Batzer*, and Cédric Feschotte,*Department of Biological Sciences, Biological Computation and Visualization Center, Center for BioModular Multi-Scale Systems, Louisiana State University, 202 Life Sciences Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803; and Department of Biology, University of Texas, Arlington, TX 76019

    Edited by Susan R. Wessler, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, and approved March 27, 2006 (received for review February 10, 2006)
    PNAS | May 23, 2006 | vol. 103 | no. 21 | 8101-8106 ” (end quote)

    And for the inevitable appeal to SLoT:

    —“Not at all, the likelihood that newly duplicated genes will both remain functional relates to their potential to undergo subfunctionalization or neofunctionalization. Under the DDC model, greater regulatory complexity bestows greater potential for subfunctionalization where neofunctionalization is more likely to occur in genes that are necessarily rapidly evolving, such as those involved in reproduction or immunity,

    This population genetic model of DDC focuses attention on the regulatory changes after duplication. The degenerative changes occur in the regulatory sequences of both duplicates, these changes complement each other and the union of the expression patterns of the two duplicates reconstitutes the expression pattern of the original. In other words, subfunctionalization occurs. Rather than one gene duplicate retaining the original function while the other degrades OR evolves a new function, the original function of the single copy genes are partitioned between the duplicates. Partitioning these functions between the duplicates increases the fitness of the organism by removing the conflict between two or more functions.

    For some genes, duplication confers an immediate selective advantage by facilitating elevated expression. Mechanisms of segmental duplication are oblivious to where genes begin and end, and so are additionally capable of duplicating parts of genes or several contiguous genes. So. the intragenic duplication of individual exons (or enhancer elements) would also present new opportunities for the evolution of new functions or greater regulatory complexity.” (end quote)

    Another example that demonstrates indisputable evidence of common descent are orthologous Endogenous Retro-Viruses or ERV’s for short. What these viruses do is infect a host organism by inserting itself into one of the DNA bases in the genome, mutating it. ERV’s are common in most organisms, and as it happens we as primates share many of these leftover ERV markers with the other great apes (chimps, gorillas, orangutans, etc) . What’s more, those we share are distributed amongst the other great apes at orthologous positions in a manner consistent with genetic drift and nested hierarchies observed in DNA. The only explanation for this is common descent. To date creationists have not been able to address this phenomena in a scientific manner, though that’s not to say they’ve not tried to come up with a convincing sounding piece of apologetics. Their main objection is that many ERV’s in the genome have been adapted to serve function, and therefore the absence of of the ERV in question would be detrimental to the organism, possibly to the point of death or inability to procreate. Syncytin is an example which enables placental procreation in mammals. However as evidenced in discussions which have already taken place on this thread, this is not a problem for evolution, and in fact it’s quite expected, for a mutation to be adapted by the host’s genome to serve a function, just the same as it would any other mutation which had been selected for. The other problem with the argument is that there’s plenty of life in Australia (marsupials) which has no problem surviving without it. HERV-K115 is also only found in 10% of the human population, which would mean (according to creationists) 90% of the population must be missing an important function. They would also need to explain why these particular markers, if they are actually a functional part of the “designed/created” genome happen to look *just* like ERV’s, as they have been reconstructed artificially using a consensus protein sequence and the result acts exactly as an ERV would.

    The other argument is that ERV’s have a habit of heading for “comfort zones”, and that the great apes being of a “similar design” (the common design argument will be addressed later) meaning that finding ERV’s in orthologous positions should not be surprising. The problem for creationists is that it would be VERY surprising. ERV’s attack *random* points along the genome, and the human genome for example is made up of 3 billion bits (or bases) of DNA. This has been tested under lab conditions, the retrovirus will attack random areas of the genome even if the cells share 100% identical DNA. However it is true that they are more likely to attack one of the bases that lie in the ‘comfort zones’, but these zones comprise of very nearly half of the genome – that’s 1.5 BILLION bases. And there are also a few shared ERV markers which lay *outside* these zones. Should common ancestry be false this makes the chances of humans sharing even one of these markers with other species very slim indeed. An ERV has to attack a host organism and change a piece of its DNA. The ERV also then has to *not* kill the host, and also *not* hamper its ability to procreate. What’s more, the ERV has to be in a position to be passed onto the host’s offspring, meaning an attack on non-somatic cells; the germ line. Then once the marked DNA is a part of the new offspring’s DNA, it is then subject to natural selection just like most of the rest of the genome. The result of this, creationists then argue, is that ERV’s can fade away, which is correct. However those that remain even if partially mutated are still recognizable as ERV markers due to their position and makeup. And this does not address the many that *still remain* to this day. So one has to remember that the chances of us humans sharing even one ERV with say, chimps is approximately 1 in 1.5 billion. Therefore sharing two would be 1 in 2.25 quintillion. We share **thousands and thousands** of them with our fellow great ape cousins – the majority with chimps, then gorillas, then orangutans. Therefore fitting the EXACT same nested hierarchies as observed in DNA. So even if DNA similarity *was* in indicator of “common design” rather than common descent, there’s still no reason for ERV markers to fall into the same nested hierarchies. All this is why ERV’s alone are considered to be the open and shut case for evolutionary common descent.

    Some info above referenced at: Constructing primate phylogenies from ancient retrovirus sequences – Welkin E. Johnson and John M. Coffin, and also: Syncytin is a captive retroviral envelope protein involved in human placental morphogenesis – Sha Mi, Xinhua Lee, Xiang-ping Li, Geertruida M. Veldman, Heather Finnerty, Lisa Racie, Edward LaVallie, Xiang-Yang Tang, Philippe Edouard, Steve Howes, James C. Keith, Jr & John M. McCoy

    Getting hammered on the science, David takes a break and slips into some bog-standard apologetics. It’s easily dismissible as being utterly pathetic and totally irrelevant to science however it’s notable for his major hypocrisy and love of double-standards. His position is that the Bible is true because the Bible says so, implying Biblical literalism. But as I always say, there’s no such thing as a Biblical literalist, and David demonstrates this beautifully by telling us the inaccurate parts of the Bible are not actually inaccurate if they are interpreted in a particular poetic way, “predicting” many scientific discoveries thus “proving” (his particular interpretation of) the Bible is true. Never mind the fact that many of his sources are also Old Earthers, since consistency in Creationism is unimportant when fighting Satanic Darwinism. He also tries his hand at archaeological history, pointing out ancient sites which are mentioned in the Bible therefore lending credence to it. That’s okay, but it can only go so far. For example, Herod existed but there’s zero evidence of the actions he undertook in his efforts to prevent Christ’s birth. However Sherlock Holmes lives in a real place in London, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a fictional character from fictional stories. kuhnigget points out there are ancient archaeological sites that support the Greek pantheon also. And in terms of quantity, the Bible is way overshadowed by the Egyptians – 116 pyramids discovered (so far) and counting, nearly 40 cities, numerous well known temples, burial sites and places of worship, garrisons, and many civilian settlements and personal burial places – by David’s “logic”, that beats his position hands down.

    From then on his modus operandi has been to quotemine, lie, and misrepresent science and scientists in order to “falsify” evolution, and demand pointing out the evidence for evolution (which IS provided by the very sources he misrepresents) and refusing to acknowledge it no matter the cost. Throughout this time he is *constantly* asked to provide a viable “scientific” alternative by myself and others and address the *numerous* problems with his own posts, preferring instead to spam more creationist nonsense and avoid providing any substantial backup to his own position at every turn. Of course we all already know (including David) that all creation “science” can offer us is the logical fallacy that if evolution is false then creationism “must” be true. During this time he helps us quite significantly in our goal to expose creationism as the dishonest charade that it is. He demands evidence for “macro”-evolution but without allowing evolution to take place, beats up straw-men, redefines terminology in a way that the scientists themselves aren’t using it thereby crafting his arguments to be unanswerable, as well as lying and leaving out inconvenient information in the process. It is likely he missed his true calling as a politician. He soon starts quoting lawyers and philosophers again, to the point of even repeating rhetoric he tried early on, indicating he is running or has run out of arguments. I would say “valid” arguments, but then they never were valid to begin with. The Philip Johnson quote ( 336 David) as not only does Johnson disagree with David on the definition of ID, but that his beef is with “materialism” and “naturalism”. But if not materialistic or naturalistic, what else can science be? All science is capable of dealing with is materialistic and naturalistic phenomena, so they are effectively admitting that their alternative to science is magic. Which unfortunately for them does not make itself amenable to the scientific method. As if it weren’t obvious before, by now David’s decidedly non-scientific theistic agenda is beyond doubt at this point.

    The problem David tries desperately to avoid are multiple converging lines of evidence that demonstrate evolution. Nested hierarchies are another example which only make sense from an evolutionary standpoint, and make none at all under creationism. It is through the usage of nested hierarchies we can consider the likelihood of finding a fossil with feathers and three middle-ear bones. Creationism on the other hand cannot, for no matter if such an organism existed or not, the “answer” is always “Well, God made it that way.” Which is precisely why Creationism fails as a scientific explanation. For example, a horse with wings or a pig with compound eyes would be a clear violation of nested hierarchy, and as such would be a potential falsification for evolution. But not so for creationism, as there is no reason God could not make anything it likes. (Ironically, impossible hybrids that violate nested hierarchy are often demanded by Creationists when asking for evidence of evolution – we’ve all heard of “crocoduck” or “dog giving birth to a cat” as examples. These though are only an indication of the Creationist’s dishonesty or ignorance of the subject) This is where they appeal to “design principles”, and they commonly refer to the analogy of human designs with things in nature. The problem with this argument though as it relies purely on the analogy but without any direct evidence of the design processes of the enigmatic “designer”. Humans have been known to keep to nested hierarchies when building machines, re-using elements and/or components in a similar way, but they aren’t necessarily bound to it like evolution. However the reason they do this is to save on time and/or resources, somethings which an all-powerful universe-creating immortal Creator has an unlimited supply. If not, we have yet to hear from Creationists how the Creator’s specific limitations were determined in an objective scientific manner via the scientific method. That may have something to do with the fact that they have been unable to actually demonstrate said entity’s existence yet, beyond an appeal to religious scripture.

    Through our DNA we are able to accurately determine the parents of a given offspring, something even the majority of creationists accept. When DNA was discovered, it was pretty much what cemented evolution as the best available explanation for the diversity of life on Earth. DNA is a measure of the biological relationships between organisms, and based on DNA evidence alone is enough to establish the validity of evolution. Creationists require an arbitrary line to deny common ancestry, one which they have yet to expound upon other than declaring the Earth is merely 6,000 years old. We’ve seen how DNA evidence ties up with comparative anatomy, protein analysis, fossil record, orthologous endogenous retroviruses, and nested hierarchies also observed across the fossil record, DNA and ERV’s, all multiple converging lines of evidence demonstrating common ancestry via biological evolution. On the other hand, we’ve seen David reject not only evolution but ALL scientific fields while attempting to support his position. We’ve seen him use both Old Earth and Young Earth sources, relying primarily on anti-evolution/anti-science arguments rather than a positive demonstration of the “scientific” veracity of Creationism. The fact many of these sources conflict with each other is apparently not important to him, thus demonstrating not only the complete and utter lack of consistency of Creationism but also why it’s scientifically invalid. Heck, Creationist’s can’t even decide what to make of Archaeopteryx – it’s a bird, dinosaur, or fake, all depending on which creationists you talk to – anything *but* an example of a transitional fossil as that would be theologically untenable. We’ve seen him use sources which all but openly admit their lack of scientific objectivity, placing scripture before science at all costs. We’ve seen him hypocritically use science he already rejects for theological reasons in an attempt to debunk science he already rejects for theological reasons. We’ve seen him constantly avoid all points made which dismantle his arguments, using misdirection, goalpost moving, shifting to other subjects, distracting us with “video debates” and irrelevant opinions from various sources whether they’re qualified or not, and presenting religious apologetics instead of science. We’ve even seen that his alternative “explanation” actually REQUIRES the very thing he rejects on theological grounds to work – evolution.

    And in all this time, we STILL don’t know anymore about the “scientific theory” of ID/Creationism, other than he says evolution is wrong therefore it *must* be correct. We don’t know who or what the “Creator” is without an appeal to scripture. We don’t know what mechanisms are behind whatever he thinks it did without an appeal to scripture. We don’t know when or where it did it without an appeal to scripture. We don’t know how “design” is measured without an appeal to scripture (thanks Rockhound) . We don’t know how “complex specified information” (CSI) is measured/quantified, what the precise demarcation line is between “designed” and “non-designed” objects, nor how it was determined in an objective manner via the scientific method. We don’t know what scientific observations can be made in regards to ID/Creationism without an appeal to scripture. We don’t know why this allegedly all-powerful universe-creating Creator is apparently incapable of using evolution and how its limits were determined scientifically without an appeal to scripture. We don’t know what useful scientific predictions it makes, without an appeal to scripture or the alleged falsity of evolution. We don’t know how it can be tested or falsified, without an appeal to the alleged falsity of evolution. All in all, if we throw out scripture and evolution, and attempt to get David’s “scientific alternative” to stand on its own scientifically, all it can apparently tell us is that something intelligent did something intelligent, somehow, somewhere, at sometime. For some strange reason, there are those who think “something intelligent did something intelligent” is not really sufficient as an alternative “scientific theory” to evolution. And as David has now long ousted himself as a Biblical semi-literalist of the Young Earth variety, his “scientific alternative” to evolution is to reject EVERY field of science, destroy ALL life on Earth in *numerous* different ways, and fix it with GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC! Because the Bible is true because the Bible says so.

    His inability to grasp biology (or indeed any other science) aside, perhaps once David has been able to address the glaring inconsistencies in his *own* position, and then been able to unequivocally falsify every single field of science in favour of Creationism, we will look for his picture on the cover of TIME, Newsweek, and Scientific American. And possibly many many more besides. Though personally, I think Jesus will come back first.

  382. Yadda yadda yadda, Darth, but the Bible sez….

  383. David

    http://crev.info/content/110817-your_rotary_engines_are_arranged_in_factories

    Your Rotary Engines Are Arranged in Factories
    Posted on August 17, 2011

    *
    http://www.trueorigin.org/evomyth01.asp

    All cells depend on ATP synthase, the world’s tiniest rotary motor. Evolutionists have suggested that part of it was “repurposed” from helicase, a protein used to unwind DNA. But helicase cannot be manufactured, and cannot unwind DNA, without abundant ATP, which ATP synthase provides.
    How could ATP synthase evolve from a protein that already needed ATP synthase?

    Evolutionists may argue that enough ATP was produced by substrate-level phosphorylation, where bacteria produce ATP without ATP synthase and without oxygen. However, even these bacteria require ATP synthase to balance their internal acid content. So again, how could ATP synthase evolve from a different protein when both protein complexes require ATP synthase for acid/base balance?

  384. David

    The other day I bought a copy of the new book “The Evidence for Evolution” by Alan R. Rogers, professor of anthropology and biology at the University of Utah. It’s being promoted on the NCSE website: http://ncse.com/

    If Rogers’ book is the latest collection of evidences for evolution, then both creationists and IDers are going to have a field day critiquing it. Watch for the reviews…

    And if you decide to pick up a copy, count how many times the word “macroevolution” or “Cambrian explosion” appear in it.

  385. gritintheeye

    ‘So again, how could ATP synthase evolve from a different protein when both protein complexes require ATP synthase for acid/base balance?’

    Further…as I understand it…ATP synthase (the rotary motor that produces ATP which is the energy packet which drives virtually, if not all biological functions) is coded for on DNA. And yet to get DNA and DNA transcription, requires ATP which requires ATP synthase, which is coded for on the DNA.

    Soooo…you need DNA to get ATP synthase, to get ATP, but you need ATP synthase and ATP to get DNA and the instructions to get ATP synthase and ATP.

    And this from biological life’s first moment. If you don’t have ATP synthase and ATP from biological life’s very first moment (and DNA also, and the code and instructions also, and all the reading gear also, etc), you don’t have biological life…

    Evos need to stop waving wands…and believe something reasonable…

  386. ND

    David,

    You’re running away from threads you cannot answer by trying to start other new ones. Darth Robo took the effort of responding to you in detail. Do you have anything to say?

    gritintheeye,

    So a perceived paradox for which there is no solution, YET, proves God did it? Is that what you’re saying? I’m not familiar with what “ATP synthase” is all about but the argument appears to be that if there is a biological paradox with no satisfactory solution, then a solution can never ever be found and therefore a supernatural entity must have been involved.

  387. TheBlackCat

    @ David: I was hoping you would bring up molecular “motors”. There is no such thing as rotary motors, or any other sort of motor, in biological systems, at least nothing that operates on principles remotely similar to any motors humans build. This is because the normal rules of mechanical motion do not work in the presence of water at that scale.

    All mechanical motors humans design are based on momentum, you need momentum from one part of a power stroke to carry you through to the beginning of the next power stroke. Because of the effects of water at molecular scales, in practice molecules essentially have no momentum. Once the power stops the motion also stops pretty much instantly. Instead, molecular “motors” have to depend on radically different principles, generally by changing which of their shapes is the lowest-energy one.

    To put it in perspective, our motors are like pushing a boulder up a hill, then letting it roll down the hill and then part-way up the next hill. Molecular “motors” are like building a hill underneath the boulder, letting it roll to the bottom, then disassembling the hill and building it underneath the boulder again. It is yet another way in which biological systems are totally different from designed ones.

    As for your question, ATP would have existed naturally in the oceans of the early Earth. It was only after the ATP was gobbled up by early microbes that they would need to start making their own, at which point they could co-opt existing molecular structures.

  388. TheBlackCat

    Further…as I understand it…ATP synthase (the rotary motor that produces ATP which is the energy packet which drives virtually, if not all biological functions) is coded for on DNA. And yet to get DNA and DNA transcription, requires ATP which requires ATP synthase, which is coded for on the DNA.

    It’s a good thing there was lots of ATP floating around in oceans of early Earth, then.

    If you don’t have ATP synthase and ATP from biological life’s very first moment (and DNA also, and the code and instructions also, and all the reading gear also, etc), you don’t have biological life…

    No, you don’t have modern life. There is no reason to think that early life was all that similar to modern life. For instance, it almost certainly did not use DNA.

    Laypeople generally think that DNA is the most important molecule of life, but RNA is arguably more important. What is more, it can store information (many viruses only use RNA as their genetic material), can transfer information (that is ones of its main roles in modern cells), and can act as a catalyst. In other words, it can do the tasks of modern DNA, RNA, and proteins, all in a single molecule. So many people think that the first life was simply an RNA molecule that could catalyze its own formation.

  389. David

    TheBlackCat @397 says: “@ David: I was hoping you would bring up molecular “motors”. There is no such thing as rotary motors, or any other sort of motor, in biological systems, at least nothing that operates on principles remotely similar to any motors humans build. This is because the normal rules of mechanical motion do not work in the presence of water at that scale.”

    If “There is no such thing as rotary motors, or any other sort of motor, in biological systems, at least nothing that operates on principles remotely similar to any motors humans build”, why then did the researchers cite the paper “Molecular architecture of the rotary motor in ATP synthase”?

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/08/04/1103621108.full.pdf

    Macromolecular organization of ATP synthase and complex I in whole mitochondria

    Karen M. Daviesa,1, Mike Straussa,1, Bertram Dauma,1, Jan H. Kiefb, Heinz D.
    Osiewaczc, Adriana Rycovskad, Volker Zickermanne, and Werner Kühlbrandta,2

    [snip]

    The structures of both complexes have been determined by X-ray crystallography, either partially in the case of the F1 Fo ATP synthase (6), or at low resolution in the case of mitochondrial complex I (7, 8), but their relative organization in the mitochondrial inner membrane is largely unknown.

    6. Stock D, Leslie AG, Walker JE (1999) Molecular architecture of the rotary motor in ATP synthase. Science 286:1700–1705.by rapid-freeze deep-etch techniques. J Cell Biol 108:2233–2240.

  390. David

    Correction. There was a transfer error when I copied it.

    The reference should read:

    6. Stock D, Leslie AG, Walker JE (1999) Molecular architecture of the rotary motor in ATP synthase. Science 286:1700–1705.

  391. gritintheeye

    Blackrat: You said: “It’s a good thing there was lots of ATP floating around in oceans of early Earth, then.”

    How come Wiki says:

    ‘ATP is an unstable molecule in unbuffered water, in which it hydrolyses to ADP and phosphate. This is because the strength of the bonds between the phosphate groups in ATP are less than the strength of the hydrogen bonds (hydration bonds), between its products (ADP + phosphate), and water. Thus, if ATP and ADP are in chemical equilibrium in water, almost all of the ATP will eventually be converted to ADP…’?

    And…RNA…is powered by…ATP? Hmmm. Where did the ATP come from? ATP synthase silly. Where did ATP synthase come from? Hmmmmm….DNA? And…all contained with a cell membrane along with all the other complicated machinery…powered by ATP…

    ND said: “So a perceived paradox for which there is no solution, YET, proves God did it?” Your faith and religious zeal is touching but misplaced. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to recognise the vicious circle of chicken and eggs. Your vain hope relies on denying logic. No amount of research can overcome a logical impossibility…

    What is absolutely established is that material, naturalistic processes (that is evolution) are incapable of getting life going. They simply cannot do the required assembly, end of story. And if evolution (material, naturalistic processes) can’t get biological life going, it is dead on the start blocks and should be discarded as a modern day fairy story, utterly out of line with reality. And this no matter how fancy and elaborate the story about later ‘evolution’ is, or how many untold thousands of people have staked their lives and livelihoods on it, or how many millions of man hours of ‘research’ have been done on it, or how many millions of books or blogs have been written about it. All this activity is just one colossal exercise in futility, given that the ‘evolutionary process’ can’t start…a towering edifice floating in thin air, brought low by a total failure at the start…

  392. Darth Robo

    Oh hi there Dave!

    You appear to have missed a bit.

    Again.

    It seems you’ve resorted to bog-standard practice, claim evolution is wrong therefore Goddidit, itself a logical fallacy, and provided zero evidence nor a mechanism for your alternative. Why are we not surprised?

    Fact is, we keep bringing things up you are unable to address, forcing you to shift subject. And you think that completely altering the laws of physics and destroying all life multiple times over then rescuing it with GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC is a more viable alternative. Well maybe, but it ain’t science.

    Your arguments have been failing for well over 300 posts now, and you have LONG since demonstrated your agenda is theological and not scientific – the very thing that keeps destroying your case in court. In fact should evolution and creationism end up in court together again, I would ask, no, BEG you to repeat EVERYTHING you’ve presented right here for us. Would you do that? It would be most helpful.

    gritintheeye, your appeal to abiogenesis is also a fallacy, as evolution no more needs to explain it than the theory of gravity needs to explain the origin of mass. All evolution requires is for life to be here. You can even invoke Godmagic if you like for the very first lifeform, but once life is here, life can and does evolve. Facts. In order to falsify this you would then have to demonstrate that life is in fact NOT here. But by all means, you’re welcome to try.

    You’re also welcome to try addressing the *numerous* fallacies and inconsistencies that poor David has NOT been able to for around 350 posts now. If the scientific theory of Creationists holds true, it predicts you will not.

  393. Darth Robo

    401 gritintheeye

    —“What is absolutely established is that material, naturalistic processes (that is evolution) are incapable of getting life going. They simply cannot do the required assembly, end of story.”

    Then if that’s the case then perhaps you should lend your vast biochemistry knowledge and expertise to the folks at Harvard currently researching into abiogenesis. I’m sure that your informed and enlightening opinions will be of great help to them.

    Oh, and thanks once again for admitting your “scientific alternative” is GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC.

    That’s why we love fundies. Give them enough time, they debunk themselves…

  394. It would be an interesting experiment to compare the IP addresses of gritintheeye and David.

  395. Mark Hansen

    Gritintheeye, belief in goddiditwithmagic differs from waving wands how exactly? And how is goddiditwithmagic a more reasonable belief? I think the reason you fundies hate science is because it points out fallacies in your version of the magical book of fairy tales. Maybe you can answer better than poor David, who couldn’t get past the first part of the question, how Ecclesiastes 1:5 is an accurate description of a heliocentric system. We have established that it is possible to use sun rise and sun set to describe what is seen but it’s the “sun hurries back to where it rises” part that David kept avoiding. That part looks to me very much like a description of a geocentric system. Don’t bother with the creationist websites – they do no better than David at explaining that bit.

  396. gritintheeye

    Darth Robot said, “Then if that’s the case then perhaps you should lend your vast biochemistry knowledge and expertise to the folks at Harvard currently researching into abiogenesis.”

    Yeah, and what have they come up with, because the whole research project is predicated on the idea that life came from non-life all by itself without a single thought being given to it. Such people have been at this for a long time and and backed by vast amounts of m0ney. One would have thought that if they hadn’t been pursuing a phantom, they would have come up with something by now. They haven’t. A few are honest – like Dean Kenyon who recognised the dead end and turned around. But of course he is persona non grata since blowing the whistle…

    Darth Robot also said: “Oh, and thanks once again for admitting your “scientific alternative” is GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC.”

    To postulate thought and design is not magic in any shape or form. Magic is a human being seeking to, or claiming to control the world by using supernatural forces. A supernatural being (one who is outside of/above the natural/created order) who thinks, designs and builds the world is not magical, nor are people who recognise the activity of such a being appealing to magic. Forensic scientists, or archeaologists, who look for the evidence of design, intention, and such like, do not invoking magic to explain their findings. They are just using the attribute of common sense to recognise the products of mind, to recognise fingerprints…to distinguish between what occurs as the result of chemistry and physics, and what occurs as the result of thought…

    Same applies to the vicious circle of interdependance of ATP synthase and DNA etc. It bears all the hallmarks of fingerprints…

  397. Darth Robo

    Dean Kenyon, honest? The bloke who wrote Of Panda’s And People? Sure, bub. Abiogenesis merely postulates the development of biological life via naturally occurring chemical processes. This happens every day in maternity wards across the world. And as you can imagine, it’s not limited to there either.

    —“A supernatural being (one who is outside of/above the natural/created order) who thinks, designs and builds the world is not magical”

    A SUPERNATURAL BEING is NOT MAGICAL, according to grit. Okay, just had to say that out loud. Yes, I’m aware that forensics doesn’t appeal to magic. They also don’t appeal to supernatural (that is MAGICAL) entities either. I already dealt with the claim that appeals to an “intelligent cause”, as intelligent causes are NATURAL occurrences. If it’s amenable to the scientific method then it is by definition a natural cause, like people building cars and birds building nests.

    What was the scientific mechanism behind God’s “design process”, grit? And how exactly do we subject that to the scientific method? Or is it just another appeal to the poor analogy “Humans make ‘X’ therefore God make humans!” ?

    —“Same applies to the vicious circle of interdependance of ATP synthase and DNA etc. It bears all the hallmarks of fingerprints…”

    Actually they bear the hallmarks of organic chemistry. Fingertips with their ridged surfaces tend to bear the hallmarks of fingertips.

    It seems that not even David’s friends will ever be able to address what he couldn’t either…

  398. gritintheeye

    Daft Robot said: ‘Abiogenesis merely postulates the development of biological life via naturally occurring chemical processes. This happens every day in maternity wards across the world. And as you can imagine, it’s not limited to there either.’

    Your name says it all! Abiogenesis does not refer to biological reproduction – life coming from life. It refers to life coming from non-life. Duh…

    And…daft again…we’re not discussing biological/organic chemistry as now controlled by the genetic code etc, as part of a tightly integrated system, but how you ever got the biological/organic chemistry and system – specifically the absolute interdependance of ATP to both ATP Synthase and DNA, etc, – before there was a code and genetic system to produce it.

    Both ATP synthase and ATP, and DNA are required from the very first second of biological life. You can’t have one without the other. And both are immensely complex, both in themselves and in their relationship to each other.

    ATP synthase, as was noted before, is a rotary motor spinning at a phenomenal speed, sucking stuff in and spitting out ATP at every rev. DNA of course carries life’s language…

    Soooo… from the very first moment you not only need the vehicle, the chemical medium, the DNA, but you need the code also, and the programs that run on the code, but also the power system and the energy (ATP), to drive the whole shooting box.

    Complex arrangements of code driven interlocking systems ARE achievable as the result of thought – we see this in human productions all the time. But they are not achieveable on the basis of raw chemistry doing its thing. And yet Evos claim that what we have and only have ever had is chemistry…that in effect, paper and ink write books, plastic CD’s write the programs/information on them, computer screens write blog comments…

    Even SETI does not assume such nonsense. The whole SETI program is based on the universal experience of humanity that coded information is the product of a mind. Find a message from space and you have found the evidence of ETI. But find a message inside cells and no, no, no! No mind wrote that info…

    Talk about daft…

  399. ND

    gritintheeye: “ND said: “So a perceived paradox for which there is no solution, YET, proves God did it?” Your faith and religious zeal is touching but misplaced. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to recognise the vicious circle of chicken and eggs. Your vain hope relies on denying logic. No amount of research can overcome a logical impossibility…”

    Projecting much?

  400. Mark Hansen

    Notice how creationists whine about name calling but are quite happy to use it themselves. Talk about a beam in thine own eye…

  401. ND

    Yes and they use “religous” and “faith” as derogatory terms when speaking of science and scientists. I just don’t get that when they would apply those same words to themselves. I don’t get it their state of mind.

  402. TheBlackCat

    If “There is no such thing as rotary motors, or any other sort of motor, in biological systems, at least nothing that operates on principles remotely similar to any motors humans build”, why then did the researchers cite the paper “Molecular architecture of the rotary motor in ATP synthase”?

    We don’t have words for those sorts of things in everyday language, so it can be useful shorthand, but it doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t behave at all like any motor we know. Care to actually address my point rather than using a semantic argument? The words people use to make the idea easier to describe does not change the facts.

    How come Wiki says:

    ‘ATP is an unstable molecule in unbuffered water, in which it hydrolyses to ADP and phosphate. This is because the strength of the bonds between the phosphate groups in ATP are less than the strength of the hydrogen bonds (hydration bonds), between its products (ADP + phosphate), and water. Thus, if ATP and ADP are in chemical equilibrium in water, almost all of the ATP will eventually be converted to ADP…’?

    (emphasis added)

    Note the word “eventually”. The reaction there is extremely slow without a catalyst like an enzyme, in sea water it has a half life of about 8 years if there aren’t any organisms there to eat it. So even a moderate production of it will result in large accumulations over time.

    See: http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps/57/m057p035.pdf

    Both ATP synthase and ATP, and DNA are required from the very first second of biological life. You can’t have one without the other. And both are immensely complex, both in themselves and in their relationship to each other.

    No, as I explained already, the only things that are needed are ATP, UTP, CTP, and GTP. Interestingly, ATP is used to make RNA, while a different molecule, dATP is used to make DNA. The fact that a molecule associated with RNA is the common energy-carrying molecule of life rather than one associated with DNA once again points to the importance of RNA, a point you conveniently ignored.

    But what I like the most is your focus on ATP while ignoring the fact that the shared biochemical machinery points to a common origin of all life.

  403. ND

    gritintheeye: “What is absolutely established is that material, naturalistic processes (that is evolution) are incapable of getting life going. They simply cannot do the required assembly, end of story. And if evolution (material, naturalistic processes) can’t get biological life going… ”

    Evolution does not concern itself with how life got started, but how changes in life occur after life has been established. Do you accept this? People are investigating abiogenesis, but evolution by definition does not concern this.

  404. TheBlackCat

    Forensic scientists, or archeaologists, who look for the evidence of design, intention, and such like, do not invoking magic to explain their findings. They are just using the attribute of common sense to recognise the products of mind, to recognise fingerprints…to distinguish between what occurs as the result of chemistry and physics, and what occurs as the result of thought…

    Forensic scientists and archeologists look for things that are similar to how humans do things, appear to be used for reasons humans use them, look for processes that humans use. They don’t look for design or intention in an abstract sense, they look for the actions of humans, because we know what humans are like, what they can do, how they think, and what sort of goals they have. They don’t like for design or intention, they look for human design or intention.

    As I already explained, but both you and David conveniently ignored, life looks absolutely nothing like something a human would design. It doesn’t look like it uses goals similar to the ones humans use. It doesn’t use processes similar to the ones humans use. None of the assumptions that forensic scientists and archaeologists depend on, namely that we are looking for something done by humans, that is that we are dealing with humans, apply to life.

    SETI isn’t much better. They are, for all intents and purposes, also looking for the actions of humans. Not literally, but all of their techniques are based on the assumption that whatever aliens are out there have similar goals, techniques, and specific limitations similar to those of modern humans. If they don’t, SETI will never find them.

  405. Darth Robo

    grit

    —“Abiogenesis does not refer to biological reproduction – life coming from life. It refers to life coming from non-life.”

    I am well aware of that, however life is still at it’s core, chemistry. And again, it’s not a problem for evolution. You can invoke Godmagic to get life started if you wish, but as long as life is here evolution can and does take place.

    —“Complex arrangements of code driven interlocking systems ARE achievable as the result of thought – we see this in human productions all the time.”

    But we don’t see God doing it very often. So again you rely on the analogy of humans doing things instead of direct evidence of your god doing whatever the heck it is you think it did. Don’t forget, thought alone is not enough. Merely thinking about it means it remains an idea in somebody’s head. (If it has a head)

    —“But they are not achieveable on the basis of raw chemistry doing its thing.”

    I told you, raw chemistry does it every day. Unless you can point out at any particular time specific points of intelligent intervention required for the biological reproduction process, aside from the obvious bumpity bumpity.

    —“The whole SETI program is based on the universal experience of humanity that coded information is the product of a mind. Find a message from space and you have found the evidence of ETI.”

    Were you aware that Seth Shostak of SETI thinks ID is a pile of tard?

    —“But find a message inside cells and no, no, no! No mind wrote that info…”

    I have not claimed it did not. You on the other hand have not demonstrated it did. So if there’s a “message”, you should then be able to tell us exactly what it is and what it says, who put it there and why, how exactly it did whatever it is you think it did, the evidence of all of this (without relying on human analogies) and how to test and falsify your hypothesis. In other words, you’d be able to tell us exactly what the “scientific theory” of ID is. Alas, you can do no more but attempt to bluff your way through just like any other fundie, without actually being able to tell us anything useful about biology at all, or even the “ID/Creation process”.

    Sorry, Davey. Looks like grit’s not gonna be able to help you out either.

  406. gritintheeye

    ND: “Projecting’?

    The existence of a Creator is not a logical impossibility, though it is unpalatable for many, clearly yourself included. A chicken and egg conundrum of the sort addressed here is. Evos only have chemical/naturalistic processes available to them. Thought has no place and is absolutely ruled out. Thus Evos have to get raw chemistry to do stuff it can’t do. That is produce two different highly complex systems (actually far more than that but we’re only thinking at this point of these two) which are are totally interdependant, and required to both be in existence at the same place, at the very first instant of biological life. To hold out the hope that someday somewhere somehow this will occur is, given the resources Evos have available to them, a vain hope indeed. But even if some scientist in some lab somewhere did actually produce ATP synthase in conjunction with DNA, and powered both by the ATP the ATP synthese generated, they would not have proved evolution but rather creation. This is because they wouldn’t have been working on the basis of evolutionary principles, but rather on the basis of creationist principles. They would have applied thought and design and have produced a result that raw chemistry could never have produced. Evolutionary principles would have had them throw chemicals into the lab, lock the door so no interference could occur, and depart on a holiday for 100 million or so years. Even the most rabid evolutionist who is a scientist is a crypto-creationist when it comes to science because science is always and inevitably a creationist exercise. It involves thought, planning and design, the very essense of creation. Science can be done no other way.

    Mark Hansen: Lighten up boo boo…

    ND said: ‘Yes and they use “religous” and “faith” as derogatory terms when speaking of science and scientists. I just don’t get that when they would apply those same words to themselves. I don’t get it their state of mind.’

    Evos generally don’t like it when it’s pointed out to them that they have ‘faith’ and ‘religion’ just like everyone has – though a different religion. So to have faith that the ‘chicken/egg’ conundrum will be solved some day is a remarkable faith indeed, driven by their passionate religious devotion to naturalistic doctrines. Science and scientists are not devoid of faith, but rather science requires faith to be able to be done.

    Blackrat said re ATP synthase being or not being a rotary motor: ‘We don’t have words for those sorts of things in everyday language, so it can be useful shorthand, but it doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t behave at all like any motor we know.’

    This is sheer nonsense. There are all sorts of motors for all sorts of different things, and just because a motor doesn’t conform to some particular design or purposes, or is a new design of motor unseen before, is beside the point. The fact is ATP synthase rotates (rotary) driven apparently by a flow of protons something like water drives a water wheel, funnelled through some sort of a nozzle, takes in some raw materials, binds them together and spits out energy packets in the form of ATP. It is a rotary motor with the purpose (another creationist assumption) of producing ATP. I suggest that the reason (another creationist assumption) you don’t like it being called a ‘motor’ is because the word motor smacks too much of design, and your religion can’t allow a design foot in the door.

    Then all this stuff about ATP in water. Thanks for the link. Pity you didn’t read the paper. The ATP in water has a biological origin as explicitly stated on page 5 ‘D-ATP…and its strict biological origin…’

    p5 ‘Although D-ATP makes up only a small fraction of the DOM pool (i.e. 0.001 % of DOC), the sensitivity with which it can be measured (detection limit ca 1 ngI – ‘ ) , its apparent rapid turnover in seawater and ITS STRICT BIOLOGICAL ORIGIN provide a unique basis for establishing the mechanism of transfer from POM to DOM. (Azam & Hodson 1977, McGrath & Sullivan 1981).’

    Thus ATP in water doesn’t solve your problem as it’s only in water because it was produced in living things! But it’s how it got to be in living things that is the issue.

    But look, even if the oceans of the world were flooded with ATP, it still wouldn’t solve your problem, because without life’s mechanisms to utilise ATP, it would never be used. You could flood your garage with petrol but that won’t aid in producing a car – more likely to end up destroying your car. Petrol in the place designed for it, and able to be used by a motor designed to convert its energy into motion, is useful. By itself it is lethal…

  407. gritintheeye

    Blackrat said: ‘But what I like the most is your focus on ATP while ignoring the fact that the shared biochemical machinery points to a common origin of all life.’

    Your exactly right! All life drives from the Creator, who utilised the same or similar biochemical machinery in all the various life forms made. Well done. Go to the top of the class.

    ND said: ‘Evolution does not concern itself with how life got started, but how changes in life occur after life has been established. Do you accept this? People are investigating abiogenesis, but evolution by definition does not concern this.’

    More nonsense. Because of the impassable wall you’re up against with abiogenesis (just a fancy word for ‘spontaneous generation’ – but the creationist Pasteur did that in), Evos are desperate to disconnect AB from EVO, because the problem of the origin of life is like varoucious termites in the foundation of their towering edifice. Can’t be done. Just one quote:

    ‘Evolution comprises all stages of the development of the universe: the cosmic, biological, and human or cultural developments. Attempts to restrict the concept of evolution to biology are gratuitous. Life is a product of the evolution of inorganic nature, and man is the product of the evolution of life.’
    Theodosius Dobzhansky, ‘Changing Man,” ‘Science 155 (Jan. 27, 1967): 409

    ‘Attempts to restrict the concept of evolution to biology are gratuitous.’

    I like that!

    GRATUITOUS!

    If the evolutionary process can’t start, it hasn’t occurred. As this is so, the things that are taken to indicate it has occurred, have been misinterpreted, mainly as a result of the religious commitment to philosophical naturalism. Of course living things change. Who says they don’t? The issue is not whether or not living things change, but what type change occurs. Evos say that the change is upward and onward, better and brighter. From no complexity to the virtual infinite complexity that exists today. Creationist say the scope of change is limited within discrete genetic limits, and the overall direction of change is downward. And the ‘downward’ is in fact very fast. The actual known, verified rate of build up of deleterious mutations in living things, far outweighs any postulated (not verified) benefical mutations, thus all life forms are heading towards extinction in the not to distant future, all other things being equal. The exact opposite of what evo proposes.

    Blackrat: re forensic science, SETI etc: Yes, ‘Forensic scientists and archeologists look for things that are similar to how humans do things’ but why is it they are looking for these things? Because humans have minds, and exercise intelligence. SETI is look for the result of intelligence, not ‘human’ intelligence, because the SETI bods think correctly that evidence of intelligence – an excellent evidence being codes and coded information – can be detected. And creationists agree with the basis on which SETI is built, namely that the results of intelligence are detectable – actually easily detectable, and beyond question when discovered. The genetic code and information is proof positive that an intellignce has been at work.

    If this bloke ‘Shostak of SETI thinks ID is a pile of tard’, it just goes to show how inconsistent he can be. Of course the SETI project is an evo project, but one ironically built on a creationist assumption – that the evidence of intelligence is detectable.

    So what creationists are saying is that we can recognise fingerprints when we see them. We can recognise when intelligence has been at work. And the world is covered with fingerprints. They’re everywhere we look. The trouble with you EVOS is that you’ve put on glasses that block out the fingerprints like a garden sieve catches stones. But despite your glasses, the fingerprints are there and some you just can’t miss. They’re up in your face and well and truly upset the evo applecart – like ATP synthase and DNA – chicken/egg – and like the coded information of genetic systems. Such things only come from minds and I hope that thought gives you nightmares which scare the living daylights out of you – like that youtube video I mentioned earlier says towards the end.

    Daft Robot said: ‘I told you, raw chemistry does it every day. Unless you can point out at any particular time specific points of intelligent intervention required for the biological reproduction process, aside from the obvious bumpity bumpity.’

    With all due respect, raw chemistry does not do it every day. The raw chemistry you refer to is guided/directed by code which is not chemistry, but which has been written to produce the results you mention.

    And looking for specific point of intelligent intervention in biological reproduction! Oh come now! Effectively you’re saying that for a computer code which running to be shown to be of intelligent origin, it must have continual intelligent intervention. The non-material coded information is controlling the raw chemistry, so that the raw chemistry will do things that it can’t do by itself. The problem for you guys is that you only have raw chemistry, and thus you have to, at the end of the day, say that codes and coded information are raw chemistry also, which is utter nonsense. Paper and ink do not write stories, and nor do the chemicals on which life’s instructions ride, write the code or the information which rides on them…

    Enough for today. Go and have some nightmares…

  408. Mark Hansen

    So, still no explanation from you for the blunder in Ecc 1:5, gritintheeye? And lighten up indeed – who was it that was complaining about charges of lying? Hypocrisy much?

  409. Darth Robo

    I’m just gonna pick out a few things from grit’s disengenuous and verbose version of “science can’t explain X therefore GODDIDIT!”, since all it is is the same old logical fallacy repeated, without dealing with the hundreds of posts which have gone before.

    —“A chicken and egg conundrum of the sort addressed here is.”

    Rather ironic, considering that Goddidit runs straight into the infinite regression fallacy.

    —“Thought has no place and is absolutely ruled out.”

    False. It simply has not been demonstrated.

    —“Thus Evos have to get raw chemistry to do stuff it can’t do.”

    You have been unable to demonstrate it cannot do whatever it is you think it cannot do. You can then claim that we have yet to demonstrate that chemistry is responsible for abioegenesis, but I would agree. Which is why it’s being researched. Grit has theologically decided it’s not possible before the research (which the creationists are not even doing) is complete. However referring to abiogenesis from evolution is simply goalpost moving. Mass is here. Mass attracts. Facts. Therefore the theory of gravity doesn’t have to explain the origin of mass. Life is here. Life evolves. Facts. Therefore the theory of evolution does not have to explain the origin of life.

    —“Even the most rabid evolutionist who is a scientist is a crypto-creationist when it comes to science because science is always and inevitably a creationist exercise. It involves thought, planning and design, the very essense of creation. Science can be done no other way.”

    This is a poor attempt at claiming that should natural occurrences be observed in the lab, then that “proves” an “intellegence” was necessary. You unfortunately do not realise it renders creationism non-falsifiable, and therefore not scientific.

    —“just a fancy word for ‘spontaneous generation’ – but the creationist Pasteur did that in”

    No, that’s simply a misrepresentation of Pasteur’s proposal, which that fully-formed organisms like maggots did not spontaneously generate in dead bodies and the like, but rather was due to flies laying eggs. It did not falsify the gradual development of life from biochemichal processes. However if Pasteur did indeed “do it in”, that would mean he would have falsified Creationism, since spontaneous generation is PRECISELY what it requires.

    —“If the evolutionary process can’t start, it hasn’t occurred.”

    However since life DID start, evolution can and HAS occurred.

    —“the religious commitment to philosophical naturalism.”

    Blatantly false, as many theists who accept evolution will tell you. Science relies on METHODOLOGICAL naturalism, since there has been NO successful practical application of “methodological SUPER-naturalism”.

    —“Evos say that the change is upward and onward, better and brighter.”

    False, evolution is not goal-directed. It may help to learn about evolution before attempting to critique it.

    —“Creationist say the scope of change is limited within discrete genetic limits, and the overall direction of change is downward. And the ‘downward’ is in fact very fast. The actual known, verified rate of build up of deleterious mutations in living things, far outweighs any postulated (not verified) benefical mutations, thus all life forms are heading towards extinction in the not to distant future, all other things being equal. The exact opposite of what evo proposes.”

    Yet there is no evidence such a genetic barrier exists; that’s how “discrete” it is. Therefore they have a problem. Since we are all born with around 125 to 175 mutations, and the human population is increasing – yet those who suffer a reproductive disadvantage due to mutations are the exception, not the rule. In other words, this is the same poor attempt to justify “The Fall” as mentioned in the Bible by invoking the thermodynamics argument. An argument even other creationists know is bunk. So once again the all important question has been avoided – Why is the allegedly All-powerful universe-creating Creator apparently incapable of evolution and how were these limits determined in an objective manner via the scientific method? The only answer we have so far is that this amazingly powerful entity is limited by the opinions of its worshippers and by the writings of an ancient religious book which claims the Earth is flat.

    —“The genetic code and information is proof positive that an intellignce has been at work.”

    Baseless assertion. That’s why grit has avoided my previous questions.

    —“With all due respect, raw chemistry does not do it every day. The raw chemistry you refer to is guided/directed by code which is not chemistry, but which has been written to produce the results you mention.”

    But since you have not been able to demonstrate the mechanisms behind this nor even the evidence that such an entity even exists it remains a baseless claim.

    —“Effectively you’re saying that for a computer code which running to be shown to be of intelligent origin, it must have continual intelligent intervention.”

    False, I did NOT ask for an analogy between DNA and computer programs which is all we’ve been given, I’m asking for DIRECT EVIDENCE which does NOT rely on analogy. Grit provides only the analogies of computers and codes and demand we accept them at face value without providing evidence of the “programmer” nor its mechanisms. Of course a closer look at DNA in action reveals only organic chemistry. That’s not to say a “designer” was NOT involved, it merely has yet to be demonstrated. But saying “Humans make computer programs therefore God made humans!” falls woefully short of that demonstration.

    So as usual we are all STILL left with a VAST number of points which have yet to be addressed, we STILL have no more idea as to what the “scientific theory of ID/Creationism is, and poor Grit is merely rehashing what David has already failed with.

  410. ND

    gritintheeye: “The existence of a Creator is not a logical impossibility, though it is unpalatable for many, clearly yourself included. A chicken and egg conundrum of the sort addressed here is. Evos only have chemical/naturalistic processes available to them. ”

    You’re attacking science and Evolution but you creationists are claiming it’s all God’s doing. You have to put forth either evidence or a testable idea that shows that it is through a deity’s intervention. The onus is on you creationists. And we don’t have this. All you have is, “it’s too complex”, “it looks designed”, “you’
    re theory has holes”, “can’t show abiogenesis”, therefore there must be a god who did all this.

  411. I always get a kick out of the whole “evolution is a religion” claim.

    Religions are based on faith, by their own admission. Evolution is supported by mountains of evidence that cross over many disciplines and has been gathered over and over again for almost a century and a half.

    The fact that religious literalists cannot understand why such evidence would sway a person toward accepting a theory goes a long way toward explaining their mindset. To them, I suspect, such quantities of evidence represent a sisyphean task…too hard a slog. It’s easier just to have faith.

    Of course, this begs the question…why their particular faith? Why not one of the countless others? And why is it typically the one they were born into? (Or born again into, if that applies.)

    Frankly, if they want to base their supporting arguments on similarities between the real world and the metaphors of their mythology, they’d do better to go with Taoism or some of the eastern religions that are more (superficially) in line with observation.

  412. TheBlackCat

    This is sheer nonsense. There are all sorts of motors for all sorts of different things, and just because a motor doesn’t conform to some particular design or purposes, or is a new design of motor unseen before, is beside the point.

    No, it the point. These so-called “motors” are absolutely nothing like any design we are aware of.

    The fact is ATP synthase rotates (rotary) driven apparently by a flow of protons something like water drives a water wheel, funnelled through some sort of a nozzle, takes in some raw materials, binds them together and spits out energy packets in the form of ATP.

    As I already explained, that is not even remotely similar to how it works. It works on a radically different manner.

    I suggest that the reason (another creationist assumption) you don’t like it being called a ‘motor’ is because the word motor smacks too much of design, and your religion can’t allow a design foot in the door.

    No, the reason I don’t like the word is that it gives people the wrong impression, as you just perfectly demonstrated. You hear the word “motor” and you assume that since it has the word “motor” it must behave like a motor. It doesn’t.

    Then all this stuff about ATP in water. Thanks for the link. Pity you didn’t read the paper. The ATP in water has a biological origin as explicitly stated on page 5 ‘D-ATP…and its strict biological origin…’

    ATP is ATP. Its chemical properties don’t change depending on whether it came from living or non-living chemical processes. Of course there is no ATP from non-living processes anymore, as I already explained that was all eaten up. Nice dodge, though.

    Thus ATP in water doesn’t solve your problem as it’s only in water because it was produced in living things! But it’s how it got to be in living things that is the issue.

    Utter baloney. You used the supposed short half-life of water in an attempt to prove that it couldn’t exist in a free state before life got started. That was wrong, therefore your argument fails. The fact that the basic building blocks of ATP are no longer present in the ocean in a free state is the reason we don’t see it being formed today. That was not the case.

    But look, even if the oceans of the world were flooded with ATP, it still wouldn’t solve your problem, because without life’s mechanisms to utilise ATP, it would never be used. You could flood your garage with petrol but that won’t aid in producing a car – more likely to end up destroying your car. Petrol in the place designed for it, and able to be used by a motor designed to convert its energy into motion, is useful. By itself it is lethal…

    You are the one who missed the point. ATP is one of the building blocks of RNA. Random combinations of those building blocks, which I already listed, would have formed spontaneously in the early ocean. One of these very well could have had the capacity to catalyze its own formation. That is all you need, a single molecule capable of forming itself. Once that happens, you have life (not modern life, but life nevertheless), and evolution would take over.

    DNA helicase would have evolved much later when the organisms made the transition to using DNA is a genetic material, but before all the free ATP was used up. Then, when the free ATP is used up, organisms would need to start manufacturing more of it on their own, and then they could co-opt an existing structure.

    So it is not a chicken-and-egg problem as you keep saying. There is a clear starting point: random, spontaneous combinations of already-existing ribonucleotides. Of course this is just one idea of how life got started. That is the problem. It isn’t that we don’t have any realistic mechanism that can explain how life could have gotten started, we have too many, and we currently don’t have enough information to figure out which is the better one. That is hardly any comfort to creationists, though.

    Your exactly right! All life drives from the Creator, who utilised the same or similar biochemical machinery in all the various life forms made. Well done. Go to the top of the class.

    That is a problem in itself: no designer we know of does things like that. We don’t use the same machinery for every task. For example if you look at power supplies (like ATP), there are a bunch of different AC and dozens of different DC current implementations, and particular devices modify that further before they use it. We don’t use the same sort of motors in airplanes, cars, and boats. So this is just another case where life is radically different than any design we are aware of.

    The reason we don’t do things that way, of course, is because it is a stupid way to design things. It is very rare that a single component works well in all situations, and that is exactly what we see in life. These re-used components that you think demonstrate a designer are generally sub-optimal or even downright terrible at most of the tasks they are used for. No competent designer does things that way because it doesn’t work very well. So either there is no designer, the designer is stupider than humans, or the designer is intentionally making his or her designs bad. Which one do you go with? I bet the last.

    More nonsense. Because of the impassable wall you’re up against with abiogenesis (just a fancy word for ‘spontaneous generation’ – but the creationist Pasteur did that in), Evos are desperate to disconnect AB from EVO, because the problem of the origin of life is like varoucious termites in the foundation of their towering edifice. Can’t be done.

    We are desperate to separate it because it is wrong, and it gives people the wrong impression. You are desperate to lump the two together for the exact seem reason, it is easier for you to trick people if you do it that way. That isn’t going to work here because we know better.

    ‘Evolution comprises all stages of the development of the universe: the cosmic, biological, and human or cultural developments. Attempts to restrict the concept of evolution to biology are gratuitous. Life is a product of the evolution of inorganic nature, and man is the product of the evolution of life.’

    Yes, the word “evolution” is applied to a lot of different things. That doesn’t change the fact that abiogenesis and biological evolution are completely different concepts, just like applying the principles of solar system formation is not going to help you understand how bacteria react to antibiotics.

    Blackrat: re forensic science, SETI etc: Yes, ‘Forensic scientists and archeologists look for things that are similar to how humans do things’ but why is it they are looking for these things? Because humans have minds, and exercise intelligence. SETI is look for the result of intelligence, not ‘human’ intelligence, because the SETI bods think correctly that evidence of intelligence – an excellent evidence being codes and coded information – can be detected. And creationists agree with the basis on which SETI is built, namely that the results of intelligence are detectable – actually easily detectable, and beyond question when discovered. The genetic code and information is proof positive that an intellignce has been at work.

    Nice try. Care to actually respond to what I said rather than cutting out my entire argument? I explained in some detail how this line of thinking is wrong, but you conveniently cut that out of the part you quoted.

    If this bloke ‘Shostak of SETI thinks ID is a pile of tard’, it just goes to show how inconsistent he can be. Of course the SETI project is an evo project, but one ironically built on a creationist assumption – that the evidence of intelligence is detectable.

    I already explained why their position is consistent and why yours is wrong, but you ignored it.

    With all due respect, raw chemistry does not do it every day. The raw chemistry you refer to is guided/directed by code which is not chemistry, but which has been written to produce the results you mention.

    There is no evidence that it was written. And the reality is there is a lot more chemistry than code in DNA. DNA chemistry leads to RNA chemistry leads to more RNA chemistry leads to protein chemistry (usually) leads to more chemistry which may or may not have some sort of effect. Once again, no designer we know of does things in such a roundabout manner.

  413. David

    kuhnigget @421 says: “I always get a kick out of the whole “evolution is a religion” claim.
    Religions are based on faith, by their own admission.”

    I repeat:

    In May 2000, Michael Ruse (philosopher of science) wrote: “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion–a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint–and Mr. Gish is but one of many to make it–the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”

    If religion cannot be taught in science classes, why is evolution taught in science classes?

    Ruse, M., “How evolution became a religion: creationists correct? Darwinians wrongly mix science with morality, politics”, National Post, pp. B1, B3, B7 (May 13, 2000)

    http://www.omniology.com/HowEvolutionBecameReligion.html

    http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9404/ruse.html

    [snip]

    Indeed, this renowned philosopher of science had stunned his listeners at the 1993 annual AAAS meeting in Boston by announcing that he had recently come to view evolution as ultimately based on several unproven philosophical assumptions.

    Ruse, a professor of zoology and philosophy of science at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, was a key speaker at a seminar convened to debunk “The New Creationism.” Ruse had specifically been asked to “refute Phillip Johnson’s book, Darwin on Trial.” (Intervarsity Press, 1991.) Instead, he shocked his colleagues by endorsing one of its key points: that Darwinian doctrines are ultimately based as much on “philosophical assumptions” as on scientific evidence.

    Assuring his audience, “I’m no less of an evolutionist now than I ever was,” Ruse nevertheless explained that he had given fresh consideration to Johnson’s thesis that Ruse himself, as “an evolutionist, is metaphysically based at some level just as much as . . . some creationist. . . . I must confess, in the ten years since I . . . appeared in the Creationism Trial in Arkansas . . . I’ve been coming to this kind of position myself.”

    Ruse was referring to McLean v. Arkansas, in which Federal Judge William Overton ruled that Arkansas’ “Balanced Treatment Act” was unconstitutional. At the trial, Ruse had testified that creation-science is not science at all. Invoking the fact/faith dichotomy, Ruse claimed that Darwinism was scientific because establishing its validity required no philosophical assumptions. All other views, he claimed, required such assumptions and were therefore unscientific. His testimony became the centerpiece of Judge Overton’s ruling.

    http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or151/mr93tran.htm

    *

    kuhnigget @421 says:”Evolution is supported by mountains of evidence that cross over many disciplines and has been gathered over and over again for almost a century and a half.”

    Er, what evidence? I’ve been asking the Darwinists here to provide some empirical evidence for
    evolution (information-building evolution) since July 25th, and none has been provided.

    And sorry, microevolution doesn’t count. Microevolution can be more accurately described as microvariation. And even with microevolution/microvariation, no new information (I don’t mean more of the _same_ information) has been documented in nature, or in an experiment, or series of experiments.

    Just story-telling by Darwinists.

  414. David

    I repeat:

    TheBlackCat @397 says: “@ David: I was hoping you would bring up molecular “motors”. There is no such thing as rotary motors, or any other sort of motor, in biological systems, at least nothing that operates on principles remotely similar to any motors humans build. This is because the normal rules of mechanical motion do not work in the presence of water at that scale.”

    If “There is no such thing as rotary motors, or any other sort of motor, in biological systems, at least nothing that operates on principles remotely similar to any motors humans build”, why then did the researchers cite the paper “Molecular architecture of the rotary motor in ATP synthase”?

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/08/04/1103621108.full.pdf

    Macromolecular organization of ATP synthase and complex I in whole mitochondria
    Karen M. Daviesa,1, Mike Straussa,1, Bertram Dauma,1, Jan H. Kiefb, Heinz D.
    Osiewaczc, Adriana Rycovskad, Volker Zickermanne, and Werner Kühlbrandta,2

    [snip]

    The structures of both complexes have been determined by X-ray crystallography, either partially in the case of the F1 Fo ATP synthase (6), or at low resolution in the case of mitochondrial complex I (7, 8), but their relative organization in the mitochondrial inner membrane is largely unknown.

    6. Stock D, Leslie AG, Walker JE (1999) Molecular architecture of the rotary motor in ATP synthase. Science 286:1700–1705.

    So BlackCat, what’s your answer? If there’s “no such thing as rotary motors, or any other sort of motor, in biological systems” why then did the researchers cite the paper “Molecular architecture of the ROTARY MOTOR in ATP synthase”?

    *

    In order to support the idea that ATPase didn’t evolve, notice how TheBlackCat had to bait-and-switch the definition of “motor.” On one hand, a motor is defined as: “something, such as a machine or an engine, that produces or imparts motion.”

    TheBlackCat actually admits the motion in ATPase, demonstrating that, according to a dictionary definition, ATPase is a motor. But then TheBlackCat supported his/her assertion that molecular motors don’t exist because they operate on different principles than man-made motors as though all of a sudden the definition changes, and a motor is now a contrivance that imparts motion,
    but can’t involve nanoscopic principles!

    The assertion that ATPase evolved is actually incorrect because it’s an all-or-nothing collection of parts that could not have been co-opted, because they don’t exist anywhere else in the cell, and there’s no empirical evidence (as far as I know) that cells can co-opt parts from one machine to retrofit them for another.

    And is TheBlackCat finally going to admit:

    a) All evolutionists (whether atheist, agnostic, or theist) interpret data through the lense of philosophical naturalism. If not? why not?

    b) Elastic blood vessels have been found in dino bone. If not, why?

  415. Er, what evidence? I’ve been asking the Darwinists here to provide some empirical evidence for
    evolution (information-building evolution) since July 25th, and none has been provided.
    And sorry, microevolution doesn’t count.

    Round and round he goes…

    “Microevolution doesn’t count” because you choose not to count it. Scientists do not filter the data the way you do.

    I repeat:
    In May 2000, Michael Ruse (philosopher of science) wrote…

    This old canard. Professor Ruse, in the quotes referred to in your apologist link (surprise!) doesn’t actually mention the mountains of evidence in favor of evolution, does he? In fact, he states he himself supports evolution. Instead, he picks apart the language some proponents of Darwin’s theory of natural selection (which, BTW, is not the same thing as evolution, despite your rather casual ignoring of that fact) use to explain it. Some of Ruse’s examples date back over a century and a half!

    Evolution is supported by evidence. Religion/creationism is supported by faith.

    Again, David, I have to give you a quote:

    Jesus replied, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony…–Matthew 19:18

    Why do you continue to go against the explicit commandment of your god, David? Answer that question, please. Or do you get to pick and choose your commandments the same way you pick and choose your evidence?

  416. David

    I’ve lost count (not that I was counting anyway) of the number of times DarthRobot has accused me of saying “Goddidit with magic”. In what post did I ever say this?

    And maybe it’s time for everyone to take a deep breath, and go back at the title of this thread, “A win for reality in Texas!” The Bad Astronomer introduced the thread: “Some great news out of the Lone Star State: the Texas State Board of Education unanimously rejected creationist supplements to textbooks, instead voting to endorse science-based ones. Yay!”

    In what post did I ever say I wanted to see creationist and or ID supplemental materials
    as part of the Texas science curriculum, or any other state’s science curriculum?

    The following is what I am suggesting for every school board in both the U.S. and Canada to consider:

    http://www.trueorigin.org/evomyth04.asp

    [snip]

    The following suggested Origins of Life policy is a realistic, practical and legal way for local and state school boards to achieve a win-win with regard to evolution teaching. Even the ACLU, the NCSE, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State should find the policy acceptable:

    “As no theory in science is immune from critical examination and evaluation, and recognizing that evolutionary theory is the only approved theory of origins that can be taught in the [school district/state] science curriculum: whenever evolutionary theory is taught, students and teachers are encouraged to discuss the scientific information that supports and questions evolution and its underlying assumptions, in order to promote the development of critical thinking skills. This discussion would include only the scientific evidence/information for and against evolutionary theory, as it seeks to explain the origin of the universe and the diversity of life on our planet.”

    Never discussing scientific information that questions evolution is to teach evolution as dogma.

    *
    In 1999 Phillip Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial, said on CNN: “I think we should teach a lot about evolution. In fact, I think we should teach more than the evolutionary science teachers want the students to know. The problem is what we’re getting is a philosophy that’s claimed to be scientific fact, a lot of distortion in the textbooks, and all the difficult problems left out, because they don’t want people to ask tough questions.”

    Of late we have been discussing ATPase. Don’t you think students in high-school, college and university should be having this kind of discussion in their biology classes?

    eg. “OK class. For your next assignment, due Friday, I want you to work in groups and do a literature search on the net on ATPase to determine whether or not it’s accurate to say it is a rotary motor. What is ATPase? Compare the rotary motor of a car with ATPase. Are there any similarities? Are there any differences? Based on your research and discussions with members of your group, what do you conclude? Give reasons to support your conclusion.”

    Now _that’s_ good teaching. That type of assignment will help students develop their critical thinking skills.

    Dr. David N. Menton is a former Associate Professor of Anatomy, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, now retired. In his September 1995 address (“Evolution: Is a scientific critique possible?”) at the Abbey Arts Centre in Abbotsford, B.C., Menton commented:

    “What I’m suggesting in the classroom is: not teaching creation. What I’m suggesting you consider in the classroom is: teach evolution the way your Minister of Education says you ought to–teach the curriculum the way they say you ought to. I believe in obeying the laws. I didn’t come here to tell you to get yourself thrown out of a job or anything like that…Do what you’re asked to do.”

    “But there isn’t anyone that’s going to stop you from presenting critical evidence against evolution. No one.”

    “I eagerly look forward to the first test case in court, where they drag a teacher kicking and screaming into the courts who has done the job they’re supposed to do. They’ve taught evolution–they’ve covered the curriculum–they’ve covered the points in the book–but they also presented scientific evidence that is critical of these evolutionary views–evidence generated by other evolutionists themselves. I’m waiting for the court case when they take that person in the school and say: ‘You have no right presenting scientific evidence from evolutionists critical of evolution.'”

    “I’ll tell you–the approach that is being taken here guarantees one thing…you’re guaranteeing this course is going to be boring–you’re going to teach evolution as a ‘Just So Story’. Anyone with dissenting points of view is going to get crushed. They’re either going to go along with the evolutionary paradigm, or be told that they can’t speak out; they’re not going to win that round, and neither will you. You’re going to bore your kids silly.”

  417. TheBlackCat

    @ David: repeating the same semantic argument I already addressed does not help your case. And anyway it is a pointless argument that only serves to let you dodge the point I was making, namely that it is nothing like any designed structure we know.

    The assertion that ATPase evolved is actually incorrect because it’s an all-or-nothing collection of parts that could not have been co-opted, because they don’t exist anywhere else in the cell,

    Saying this after you pointed out the similarities with DNA helicase seems pretty disingenuous. As I keep trying to explain to you, we have memories. We can remember stuff that was posted before. Pretending something wasn’t said when it is not going to convince us of anything other than your flagrant dishonesty.

    and there’s no empirical evidence (as far as I know) that cells can co-opt parts from one machine to retrofit them for another.

    I guess you have never heard of g-protein coupled receptors, calcium or potassium ion channels, or even actin. Those are all cases were cells co-opt parts from one machine to retrofit them for another. Heck, the light receptors in our eyes and the odor receptors in our nose use variants of the same system.

    a) All evolutionists (whether atheist, agnostic, or theist) interpret data through the lense of philosophical naturalism. If not? why not?

    Because its a lie. The best you can do to prove your case it is to quote an avowed creationist and notorious liar.

    b) Elastic blood vessels have been found in dino bone. If not, why?

    I see you still haven’t learned the difference between “elestic” and “elastin“.

  418. David

    So BlackCat, what’s your answer? If there’s “no such thing as rotary motors, or any other sort of motor, in biological systems” why then did the researchers cite the paper “Molecular architecture of the ROTARY MOTOR in ATP synthase”?

    And do you think these researchers (who cite the 1999 paper of Stock D, Leslie AG, Walker JE):

    Karen M. Daviesa,1, Mike Straussa,1, Bertram Dauma,1, Jan H. Kiefb, Heinz D.
    Osiewaczc, Adriana Rycovskad, Volker Zickermanne, and Werner Kühlbrandta,2

    and Stock D, Leslie AG, Walker JE

    are creationists, IDers, or Darwinists?

  419. Darth Robo

    Oh hi there again Dave!

    —“Er, what evidence? I’ve been asking the Darwinists here to provide some empirical evidence for
    evolution (information-building evolution) since July 25th, and none has been provided.”

    Er, sorry Dave. But you’re lying. That’s why you’re now repeatedly spamming the same links you did weeks ago because you’ve shot your load and have nothing left.

    And why you’ve missed a whoooooooooooooooooole LOT.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

    Simply ignoring things and pretending they didn’t happen may work on gullible fundies like Grit, but not on us. And it doesn’t work with the scientific community.

    That’s why no-one takes you seriously.

  420. Darth Robo

    David.

    Also known as The Black Knight.

    Must have been the “nightmare” Grit was talking about.

  421. gritintheeye

    Let’s make this clear…

    If ATP is of ‘STRICT BIOLOGICAL ORIGIN’, then prior to biological life there was no ATP.

    No ATP in any ocean.
    No ATP on land.
    No ATP in the sky.
    No ATP anywhere.

    Yet for biological life to function – FROM ITS VERY FIRST MOMENT – ATP is required.

    ATP is only made by the highly complex rotary machine ATP synthase (and as I understand it perhaps also by one or two similar machines) within biological life. Thus the fully functioning ATP energy system (with all the complimentary machines that utilise the energy from that system, and the means to get the energy from the production machine to the using machines) had to come into existence similtaneously, otherwise there would be no biological life. Add to this that ATP synthase depends for its existence on the coded instructions for its manufacture and operation contained independent of itself on DNA.

    This tightly interlocking array of systems, is all required from biological life’s first moment.

    Evolution has no possible means to bring this absolute requirement about. Therefore evolution is dead on the start blocks.

    To repeat…specifically regarding ATP: As biological life absolutely depends on ATP to drive all biological function, there can be no biological life without it. As evolution has no way to get the system which produces ATP, evolution is false.

  422. Darth Robo

    As evolution does not rely on abiogenesis, evolution is not falsified. Since life is here. Doesn’t matter if life developed via natural processes or if Goddidit with magic. So we still wait for the fundies to demonstrate that life is in fact NOT here.

    Oh, and it appears Grit’s missed a bit.

    Again.

    Was it something we said?

  423. gritintheeye

    Daft Robot said: ‘As evolution does not rely on abiogenesis, evolution is not falsified.’

    Simply a debate tactic – nothing more. Redefine your terms so that your opponent can’t nail you to the floor. Use a cut down, slashed and burnt definition of ‘evolution’ so you can sidestep his thrust to the jugular. Use a smoke screen rather than stand in the open and get plastered.

    Seeing you didn’t appear to have read it, I’ll post Dobzhansky’s quote again. Read it this time.

    ‘Evolution comprises all stages of the development of the universe: the cosmic, biological, and human or cultural developments. Attempts to restrict the concept of evolution to biology are gratuitous. Life is a product of the evolution of inorganic nature, and man is the product of the evolution of life.’ Theodosius Dobzhansky, ‘Changing Man,” ‘Science 155 (Jan. 27, 1967): 409

    Evolution is inherently a naturalistic process, and is the means by which those who hold to the evolutionary/naturalistic/atheistic/humanistic/secular/materialist worldview (all names for the same worldview but focusing on different aspects of it), say that the universe has developed from nothing to something to everything. The non-life to life transition is just part of this continuum and is foundational to everything else claimed for biological evolution.

    The origin of life is the deathnell of evolution, but seeing you don’t want to face that, know that problems just as severe apply to any later development also. As it is all understood to happen as a result of naturalistic processes (raw chemistry), the supposed development of life from ‘simple life’ to ‘complex life’ in one great chain of being, gets shot down by the total inability of raw chemical processes to produce codes and coded information, mind and intelligence, morals and meaning, to counter ‘life’s arrow’ – which runs downhill, to overcome the chirality problem, and such like. This inability renders the whole towering edifice a fairy tale for adults, a justso story, a cultural myth.

    Hey…seeing you’re all so cocksure that evolution is the bees knees, why don’t you put up your very best example. None of this ‘evolution is proven by all of science’ waving of the hands. Give us your one very best specific example – the ‘knockdown, drag them away’ proof that you’re prepared to die for. I’m all ears.

  424. Give us your one very best specific example – the ‘knockdown, drag them away’ proof that you’re prepared to die for.

    There, in the proverbial if not literal nutshell, is the defining characteristic of a Bible literalist.

    If a scientist encounters sufficient evidence that leads to a position contrary to what has been accepted before, he changes his mind and follows the new directions of inquiry that evidence suggests.

    If a Bible literalist encounters pretty much any evidence at all that is contrary to their accepted belief, they feel it threatens the very foundation of their life.

    Sad.

  425. Darth Robo

    —“Simply a debate tactic – nothing more. Redefine your terms so that your opponent can’t nail you to the floor. Use a cut down, slashed and burnt definition of ‘evolution’ so you can sidestep his thrust to the jugular. Use a smoke screen rather than stand in the open and get plastered.”

    I’m not the one redefining evolution. (shrug)

    —“Seeing you didn’t appear to have read it, I’ll post Dobzhansky’s quote again. Read it this time.”

    I read it the first time, but the simple fact is the word ‘evolution’ itself simply means change, or development. But the important part is the context with which the word is used, and in biology evolution specifically refers to the scientific theory which deals with explaining the diversity of life on Earth. That’s it. It’s also rather disingenuous of you to quote a man who disagrees with you to support your case. He accepts evolution and not creationism.

    —“Evolution is inherently a naturalistic process”

    Like EVERY field of science. So if your “scientific alternative” is not “natural” then what is it? I’ll save you some time – it’s GODDIDIT WITH MAGIC!

    —“and is the means by which those who hold to the evolutionary/naturalistic/atheistic/humanistic/secular/materialist worldview (all names for the same worldview but focusing on different aspects of it), say that the universe has developed from nothing to something to everything.”

    You’re lying again. The theory of evolution makes no theological claims, nor cosmological ones for that matter. And not only that, the part that you and Davey skip as theologically inconvenient is the fact that many religious people, Christians included also accept evolution as the best explanation for the diversity of life on Earth. That’s why it’s a lie to claim evolution requires “philosophical naturalism”. Bringing philosophy into it is *your* debate tactic, to attempt to place Creationism and evolution as both equally requiring “faith”. Also, that bit about something out of nothing is EXACTLY what Creationism is all about. Your next paragraph is baseless rhetoric and misdirection with nothing of substance to address that pertains to biological evolution.

    —“Hey…seeing you’re all so cocksure that evolution is the bees knees, why don’t you put up your very best example. None of this ‘evolution is proven by all of science’ waving of the hands. Give us your one very best specific example – the ‘knockdown, drag them away’ proof that you’re prepared to die for. I’m all ears.”

    No, you’re not. For the answers have already been provided in this thread, but you either haven’t read them or ignored them like Davey has done for the past month. That’s why you don’t chastise him for the gaping flaws in his own posts, since you’re not interested in the slightest about intellectual honesty or science. And as usual we’re *still* waiting on you to address the fact that your own position rests on nothing but logical fallacies.

    So I’ll repeat what I said to Dave: Why not cut all the coy BS and just say that you don’t believe in evolution because that’s not what the Bible says? Or do you much prefer pretending that there’s only 9 Commandments? Remember, God is watching.

  426. gritintheeye

    Kuhnigget said: ‘There, in the proverbial if not literal nutshell, is the defining characteristic of a Bible literalist.

    If a scientist encounters sufficient evidence that leads to a position contrary to what has been accepted before, he changes his mind and follows the new directions of inquiry that evidence suggests.

    If a Bible literalist encounters pretty much any evidence at all that is contrary to their accepted belief, they feel it threatens the very foundation of their life.’

    What partonising nonsense. And what nit-picking.

    The scientists who you refer to are scientists who hold to naturalistic, secular religion, and thus the vehement, bigoted opposition to anything that vaguely threatens the hegemony they hold today over education etc. They are not dispassionate, collectors of facts who follow the data wherever it leads. They have a faith commitment to a worldview and stake their life on this worldview.

    As I mentioned already, when such people do their actual, real science, they do not function as evolutionists because science can’t be done on the basis of evolutionary assumptions. They do their science on the basis of creationist assumptions because that is the only way that science can be done.

    So your not prepared to die for the view you hold. Ok. Fine by me. Just give us the very best example, the one piece of evidence that you consider to be the most persausive in favour of evolution. Surely you must have some. I mean…you’re a believer…and your crowd have been on the case for 150 years or more, with heaps and heaps and heaps of bods toiling tirelessly to bolster the faith of believers. Surely you must have something…

    I can and have given you a number of killer evidences on my side – which have not been refuted. I want to hear your best shot. The floor is yours…

  427. What partonising nonsense.

    Trust me, if you were Partonized, you’d at least be entertaining. That woman can sing. You can only bleat.

    They do their science on the basis of creationist assumptions because that is the only way that science can be done.

    Now I know you’re faking it. Nobody can be that stupid on purpose.

    Just give us the very best example, the one piece of evidence that you consider to be the most persausive in favour of evolution. Surely you must have some.

    Have you even been reading this thread? Or did you just jump in at the end hoping to annoy people? BlackCat, Nigel, DarthRobo, et al have been doing nothing but giving evidence. You clowns choose to ignore it.

    For a terrific summary, try “Why Evolution is True,” by Jerry Coyne. You can preview it here:

    http (colon slash slash) jerrycoyne (dot) uchicago (dot) edu

    [modified to avoid moderation delays]

    I can and have given you a number of killer evidences on my side – which have not been refuted.

    No you haven’t, and yes they have. Endlessly. And by the way, the word evidence does not have a plural form.

    I’ll give you the same quote as David:

    Jesus replied, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony…–Matthew 19:18

    My bold.

  428. gritintheeye

    No evidence from kuhnigget even when asked for the very best he has. Just nit-picking over a couple of spelling mistakes…and reliance on others. Clearly a true believer – unshakeable in faith. I take it he has no evidence he can articulate for himself.

    No one has countered the fact that the whole ATP energy shooting box plus DNA with the code for it, is required from the very first moment of biological life’s existence, something impossible for evolution to achieve.

    In responce to my claim that science can only be done on Creationist assumptions, he replied: “Now I know you’re faking it. Nobody can be that stupid on purpose.”

    Science is in essense a mental, non-material exercise. You think about things – ‘Why is the world this way?” etc. Then you use your thought to design experiments for some purpose, and using planning and creative skill, you bring those experiments to reality. Then you apply more thought to test the experiments, and so on. It is then written up in a meaningful and honestly way so that others can think about what you’ve done and repeat the experiment if they want to.

    In other words, science presupposes meaning, and purpose, and morality, and utilises the genuine non-material faculties of thought, planning and design, and uses the genuinely non-material realm of information to communicate to others about what has been done. This all describes a creationist world, not an evolutionary world.

    A consistent evolutionary world is a materialistic world. Is a world that is ultimately meaningless, without purpose, without morality, without any non-material realms such as thought and information. You simply have matter in motion and that is all you have…

    (As you hold this worldview, I don’t know why you bother bother about ‘false’ testimony. If there is no morality as your worldview claims, then who cares? Are you suggesting that real morality actually exists?)

    Yeah, some try to smuggle in proximate meaning, but proximate meaning is without foundation if there is no ultimate meaning.

    So that is why science is always and inevitably a creationist exercise. You have to presuppose a creationist world for you to be able to do it. Your charge of stupidity rebounds on yourself…

    The floor is still open if you want to put up your best evidence…but I’m not holding my breath…

  429. Nigel Depledge

    Wow, I had no idea this old thread was still going.

    Gitintheeye (438) said:

    No one has countered the fact that the whole ATP energy shooting box plus DNA with the code for it, is required from the very first moment of biological life’s existence, something impossible for evolution to achieve.

    This is an argument from personal incredulity. Or are you able to prove that the chemistry is impossible?

    Edit:

    Oh, and it’s a strawman, because no serious abiogenesis researcher expects to find that DNA was the first molecule of heredity.

    Also, it’s a strawman because evolution doesn’t need life to have started in any specific way to be true. Evolutionary theory describes how biological entities change over time, not how they started. Even Darwin assumed that life on Earth started with one or a few events of special creation. As you would know if you had ever bothered to read On the Origin of Species.

  430. @ grit

    You are proving yourself a crank. Not even an amusing one, at that.

    No evidence from kuhnigget even when asked for the very best he has.

    And YOU cannot be bothered to read, apparently.

    But since you asked, and since you entered at the end (we can hope) of this thread without bothering to read the vast majority of previous posts in which example after example of evidence was given – my favorite bit of evidence happens to be the fossil record sequence of whales, which shows in fantastic detail the transition of hooved land mammals to finned sea mammals. Almost every aspect of this transition has been documented in the fossil record. You can trace the development of limbs into flippers, four legs into two main flippers (with vestigial bones left over you can still find in modern whales!), teeth into balleen, the migration of external nostrils from the front of the head to the top of the head…all of it, captured in lovely fossilized detail, and all of it fitting neatly into geological strata that have been consistently dated in a sequence that begins some 60 million years ago.

    It is staggeringly obtuse for anyone to look at this huge mountain of evidence – especially since it is just one peak in a whole range of other mountains – and not be moved to the logical conclusion that, hey, there might just be something to this evolution thing.

    And yet more b.s. from you:

    No one has countered the fact that the whole ATP energy shooting box plus DNA with the code for it, is required from the very first moment of biological life’s existence, something impossible for evolution to achieve.

    You’ve been given a very clear and precise reason why your point is utterly moot. Evolution does not concern itself with how life began.

    But beyond that, your statement begs the question. Your definition of life is based on the molecular chemistry of life as it is today. By doing so you are automatically assuming it was ever thus and ignore the whole 4+ billion years it took to get us here. As has been noted above numerous times (in the comments you apparently cannot be bothered to read), all it takes is one simple self-replicating molecule to get the ball rolling. Do we know what that molecule was? No, we don’t. Maybe we never will. But we’re working on it. Absence of evidence does not mean god did it magcially.

    Science is in essense a mental, non-material exercise.

    You could not be more wrong. Science is evidence-based. Evidence, by definition, is material…not of the mind. That you make this assertion is utter proof you have no idea what you are talking about.

    You think about things – ‘Why is the world this way?” etc. Then you use your thought to design experiments for some purpose,

    No, first you observe things. You look at the world around and see what it has to show you.

    Apparently you are confusing science with philosophy, or art, or something completely different. Again, by showing you do not understand this basic concept, this most fundamental principle, how can you possibly believe you are presenting valid, let alone compelling, “scientific” arguments?

    A consistent evolutionary world is a materialistic world. Is a world that is ultimately meaningless, without purpose, without morality, without any non-material realms such as thought and information.

    You are confusing morality with religion. One does not flow from the other, nor does one have a monopoly on the other.

    (As you hold this worldview, I don’t know why you bother bother about ‘false’ testimony. If there is no morality as your worldview claims, then who cares? Are you suggesting that real morality actually exists?)

    There is morality in my world view, and I stick to it. My morality, as with everything in human society, is a product of our own imaginations. We get to choose what is right and wrong based on how we want to structure our society. Different societies have always had different opinions as to what is moral and what is not. This continues to this day. Do you keep slaves? Do you keep women as property? Do you stone people to death for having extramarital affairs? Do you put people to death for eating shellfish? Or being homosexuals? No, you don’t. Because modern society has made up rules that prevent you from doing so, contrary to the “morality” of Yahweh.

    So yes, I consider myself a moral person and I live by my morals. You, however, seem happy to pick and choose which tenets of your religious-based morality you get to follow and which ones you can conveniently ignore.

    Again, I quote Matthew 19:18: …do not bear false witness.. It’s your Bible, why don’t you follow its rules?

    Now run along. You’ve had your fun, you’ve been annoying. You’ve called people names on the internet like a big brave man. Enough.

  431. @ Nigel:

    The thread really isn’t going. It just keeps turning round and round as the same old creationist dreck is heaped up in ever more insipid splendor.

  432. Nigel Depledge

    Gritintheeye (438) said:

    (As you hold this worldview, I don’t know why you bother bother about ‘false’ testimony. If there is no morality as your worldview claims, then who cares? Are you suggesting that real morality actually exists?)

    Hard as it may seem for you to imagine, morality comes from people, not from some invisible sky-wizard.

  433. Nigel Depledge

    @ Kuhnigget (441) –

    Ah, so no different from the last 30 years, then.

  434. @ nigel:

    Heh heh. Yup.

  435. Nigel Depledge

    Gritintheeye (438) said:

    A consistent evolutionary world is a materialistic world.

    As opposed to what, exactly?

    Suppose (FTSOA) that evolution is wrong. What kind of a world do we have then? I look around and see the same animals, the same plants, the same buildings, roads, clouds and so on.

    If the bible is right, where are the angels and demons? Where are god and the devil?

    In short, your accusation here is meaningless, because the world would look exactly the same. All we can detect is material. On the assumption that our experience of reality directly correlates with a reality external to the self, our experience of the world outside ourselves is perforce material. And internally, we have no way of distinguishing some genuine magical experience from an hallucination. You can never tell the difference.

    Is a world that is ultimately meaningless, without purpose, without morality, without any non-material realms such as thought and information.

    What utter nonsense.

    It is thought, based on the latest evidence, that thought and consciousness are emergent properties of our very material brains. Information is considered by many physicists to be a fundamental part of the fabric of the universe. Anything material contains information. The quantum state of each particle of which a thing is composed is information.

    And, since morality derives from the social interaction of people, we have morality arising from a purely material basis.

    As for the world being meaningless, which is more meaningless – a world in which people find their own meaning, or a world in which people are handed “meaning” from old men in positions of power?

    You simply have matter in motion and that is all you have…

    It’s all you have, too, should you but choose to acknowledge it.

  436. ND

    “You are confusing morality with religion. One does not flow from the other, nor does one have a monopoly on the other.”

    Yes. Thank you.

    Not having religion or faith does not mean not having morals.

    If these guys are using different definitions for evolution (cosmos + abioganesis + evolution) and the very meaning of science itself, then they’ve already lost the argument because they’re talking about something else. In other words, we’re talking past each other.

    Edit: maybe “lost the argument” is not correct. At the very least, their arguments against science and biological evolution will simply go nowhere.

  437. Nigel Depledge

    Gritintheeye (431) said:

    Let’s make this clear…

    If ATP is of ‘STRICT BIOLOGICAL ORIGIN’, then prior to biological life there was no ATP.

    Well, here’s where you’re wrong.

    There is no abiological ATP now because any living organism that contacts a molecule of ATP will snap it up in a second.

    But that does not mean that ATP cannot arise through non-biological processes. After all, the biological catalysis of ATP synthesis simply accelerates reactions that already happen, as is the case for all enzyme-catalysed reactions.

    No ATP in any ocean.
    No ATP on land.
    No ATP in the sky.
    No ATP anywhere.

    Yet for biological life to function – FROM ITS VERY FIRST MOMENT – ATP is required.

    Wrong again.

    No-one has ever claimed that the first forms of life had to be as efficient or as fast as life is now. It doesn’t matter if the first generation of “life” took 100,000 years to replicate itself. As soon as any change occurred that made it faster, that change would rapidly spread and come to dominate whatever population existed at the time.

    ATP is used in many intracellular processes, including protein synthesis. But it is not a chemically necessary requirement for all of the situations in which it is used. For example, although RNA synthesis in cells uses the hydrolysis of nuceotide triphosphates, this is simply a means of speeding up the process, and shifting its thermodynamic equilibrium position to the useful end of the equation.

    In fact, RNA molecules of up to about 50 or 60 nucleotides have been made in labs simply by mixing simple chemicals and applying conditions that are likely to have pertained on the early Earth. RNA molecules have been made that can catalyse RNA synthesis.

    ATP is only made by the highly complex rotary machine ATP synthase (and as I understand it perhaps also by one or two similar machines) within biological life.

    No. ATP can arise through non-biological chemistry, and there are several different ways this can come about. Just because ATP readily hydrolyses does not mean it cannot arise at all.

    Thus the fully functioning ATP energy system (with all the complimentary machines that utilise the energy from that system, and the means to get the energy from the production machine to the using machines) had to come into existence similtaneously, otherwise there would be no biological life.

    Wrong, because your argument is based on a false premise.

    Add to this that ATP synthase depends for its existence on the coded instructions for its manufacture and operation contained independent of itself on DNA.

    Irrelevant.

    This tightly interlocking array of systems, is all required from biological life’s first moment.

    Also wrong, because your premise is wrong.

    Evolution has no possible means to bring this absolute requirement about. Therefore evolution is dead on the start blocks.

    Also wrong, because your premise is wrong.

    To repeat…specifically regarding ATP: As biological life absolutely depends on ATP to drive all biological function, there can be no biological life without it. As evolution has no way to get the system which produces ATP, evolution is false.

    This is wrong for two reasons.

    First, your premise is wrong (that biological life is necessary to get ATP and that ATP is necessary for biological life).

    Second, even if it were not possible to get ATP without biological life, your argument is a non-sequitur. Just because life uses ATP now doesn’t mean it could not, for example, have started out using ADP, or some other basis for energy metabolism.

    In short, your argument only works if one accepts your premise, which is false, and doesn’t have much imagination.

  438. Nigel Depledge

    @ Gritintheeye (431) –

    I’ve just thought of another (third) reason why your comment is wrong.

    Evolutionary theory is a description of mechanisms through which populations of biological entities change over time. It doesn’t matter how life started, or what energy metabolism is used, evolution can still occur through the several mechanisms the theory describes. Even if life began with special creation, evolution will still occur, so your ATP-based argument fails.

    Even if it succeeded (which it does not), your ATP-based argument would only be an argument against abiogenesis, not against evolution.

  439. TheBlackCat

    @ David:

    So BlackCat, what’s your answer? If there’s “no such thing as rotary motors, or any other sort of