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Re: [OriginsTalk] Re: Inconsistencies

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  • Temlakos
    ... Speak for and about yourself, if you please. You are the one asserting facts not in evidence. ... Membranes are the most elementary part of a cell. What
    Message 1 of 22 , Jul 31, 2008
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      rjwatts1 wrote:
      > Of course there is no need for you to explain yourself, most
      > particularly if you wish to make assertions but not support them.
      > But then, if you could support your assertions, then so much the
      > better.
      >
      Speak for and about yourself, if you please. You are the one asserting
      facts not in evidence.
      >
      > Your claim was that they made a mixture -
      >
      > "of arbitrary composition, with no attempt made or even contemplated
      > to determine whether such a mixture ever, repeat ever, existed in the
      > wild."
      >
      > Given that the article used "plausible" reagents and cited literature
      > to support the claim for plausibility, then there was
      > nothing "arbitrary" and "no attempt to determine ..." about this at
      > all. For example, one reason for using the chemicals they did, was
      > that these types of chemicals had been discovered in the Murchison
      > meteorite. Experiments on that object showed that the fatty
      > substances enclosed inside, could indeed form bi-layers, something
      > important for cellular membranes.
      >
      Membranes are the most elementary part of a cell. What determines what
      particular molecules, like receptors, get inserted into the membrane at
      strategic points?

      In any event, a membrane without a nucleus is nothing but an empty sack.
      How does a Golgi apparatus assemble itself? Or a ribosome? Or
      endoplasmic reticulum? Or a mitochondrion?

      For your information, the information in the nucleus of a single cell
      has as much information as you will find in ten Libraries of Congress.
      Now are you going to sit there at your console and tell this group that
      that volume of information /wrote itself/?

      Furthermore, perhaps you would be good enough to cite and quote the
      stated grounds for "plausibility." In my experience in reading that
      literature, you can make /anything/ look "plausible" with a vivid-enough
      imagination.
      >
      >
      > Have you never studied chemistry?
      >
      Yes, I have. And at college level, too. And I remember going through
      several years of high school and college and then medical school and
      following the vastly different insights on the cell membrane. I watched
      as the understanding of the membrane refined itself, and as people began
      to understand that the membrane is more than a simple bag of
      phospholipids. The various molecules that got stuck in those membranes
      often made all the difference between function and non-function.
      > Those membranes spontaneously formed. The reasons for this is that
      > chemicals and molecules carry charges of various kinds. Their
      > electrons allow them to form bonds. The polar charges allow bonding
      > of various kinds.
      >
      Fine--so that makes a membrane stable.
      > This simple fact removes a large component of "random chance" from
      > the system altogether. If it was just "random chance", then these
      > membranes simply could not form. (Or are you using the notion of
      > randomness differently to the way I am using it?)
      >
      > It is really that simple.
      >
      Right up to the time you consider that there must be more to a cell
      membrane than the phospholipids. How, pray tell, do /they/ get chosen?
      By your paradigm, they get chosen /at random/. And again, so far all
      you've got is a bag. You don't have any of its insides.

      For any cell to assemble itself would require at least twelve separate
      projects that I can think of off the top of my head, and /each one/ is a
      lot more complex than that membrane--so complex, in fact, that the odds
      against their forming spontaneously are nothing short of astronomical.

      In sum: Maybe you get membranes, but a membrane is not a cell until the
      membrane has a few choice proteins embedded in it and a lot of complex
      machinery in a fluid that the membrane encloses.

      Temlakos
    • rjwatts1
      ... asserting ... What? So you did not write:- of arbitrary composition, with no attempt made or even contemplated to determine whether such a mixture ever,
      Message 2 of 22 , Aug 3, 2008
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        > Speak for and about yourself, if you please. You are the one
        asserting
        > facts not in evidence.

        What? So you did not write:-

        "of arbitrary composition, with no attempt made or even contemplated
        to determine whether such a mixture ever, repeat ever, existed in the
        wild."

        But you did.

        And they were not claiming "fact". They were claiming "evidence".

        > Membranes are the most elementary part of a cell. What determines
        what
        > particular molecules, like receptors, get inserted into the
        membrane at
        > strategic points?

        I see you completely avoided addressing the point I was making.

        In answer to what you write here - these were not questions they were
        considering. In fact, had you read my essay and the article it was
        based on, you would have learned why they were not even considering
        the questions you ask here. They considered these "machines" far too
        complex to have been around then. So they tested an idea which did
        not include these things.

        You did read the essay didn't you? Or did you simply find a few key
        words and then go off half-cocked?


        >
        > In any event, a membrane without a nucleus is nothing but an empty
        sack.
        > How does a Golgi apparatus assemble itself? Or a ribosome? Or
        > endoplasmic reticulum? Or a mitochondrion?
        >

        Prokaryotes are cells without nuclei.

        > For your information, the information in the nucleus of a single
        cell
        > has as much information as you will find in ten Libraries of
        Congress.

        No kidding.

        > Now are you going to sit there at your console and tell this group
        that
        > that volume of information /wrote itself/?
        >

        No. Because that is not the point of my essay.

        > Furthermore, perhaps you would be good enough to cite and quote the
        > stated grounds for "plausibility." In my experience in reading that
        > literature, you can make /anything/ look "plausible" with a vivid-
        enough
        > imagination.

        Er. I gave you one example. Did you not read it? Tell me what that
        example is, and I will know you actually read something without going
        off half cocked. Then I shall know it is worth getting you more
        information.


        > Yes, I have. And at college level, too. And I remember going
        through
        > several years of high school and college and then medical school
        and
        > following the vastly different insights on the cell membrane. I
        watched
        > as the understanding of the membrane refined itself, and as people
        began
        > to understand that the membrane is more than a simple bag of
        > phospholipids. The various molecules that got stuck in those
        membranes
        > often made all the difference between function and non-function.

        Well then you should know that your "random chance" remark was silly.

        > Fine--so that makes a membrane stable.

        Yes, under the circumstance of the experiment. Again I must ask, did
        you read the original?

        > Right up to the time you consider that there must be more to a cell
        > membrane than the phospholipids. How, pray tell, do /they/ get
        chosen?

        Erm. Again I can only ask. Did you really study chemistry?

        They were there, that is how they got chosen.

        > By your paradigm, they get chosen /at random/. And again, so far
        all
        > you've got is a bag. You don't have any of its insides.
        >

        Again, did you really read the essay and/or the original. It was
        about getting insides into the cell. And some on the outside did get
        to the inside.

        > For any cell to assemble itself would require at least twelve
        separate
        > projects that I can think of off the top of my head, and /each one/
        is a

        Indeed and no one denies this.

        > lot more complex than that membrane--so complex, in fact, that the
        odds
        > against their forming spontaneously are nothing short of
        astronomical.

        Well the membranes could well have done it. Ever tried using
        your "random chance" scenario to explain the formation of a simple
        membrane. The odds there are "astronomical" - yet this membrane
        forms by "random/chance".

        How can this be so.

        Or are you suggesting that your god actually poked his finger into
        the test tubes and poked everything together.

        If so then what evidence do you have for this?

        If not, then how did those membranes form by "random chance" (your
        scenario)?


        >
        > In sum: Maybe you get membranes, but a membrane is not a cell until
        the

        Well that's some progress.

        > membrane has a few choice proteins embedded in it and a lot of
        complex
        > machinery in a fluid that the membrane encloses.

        No one is denying this.

        So given you response so far, did you bother to actually read
        anything or did you just see a few key words then go off half
        cocked? It looks more like the latter given your complaints.

        So why not get the original article and read it. That would be
        best. Otherwise, why not read my essay first, then ask questions
        relevant to that essay?

        My bet is that we are a long way further advanced in explaining a
        natural origin of life than you are explaining a supernatural origin.

        Can you tell me how a supernatural agent actually creates a membrane
        even? And what evidence can you bring to back up your claim?



        Regards, Roland
      • Temlakos
        Mr. Watts, you first. You do not seem to understand what I meant by asserting facts not in evidence. What is at issue here is not anything that I wrote, but
        Message 3 of 22 , Aug 3, 2008
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          Mr. Watts, you first. You do not seem to understand what I meant by
          "asserting facts not in evidence." What is at issue here is not anything
          that I wrote, but rather the tendency, by members of the
          uniformitarianism/abiogenesis/common-descent axis, to invent scenarios,
          simulate them, and proclaim them to have been "the way it was billions
          of years ago" without one scintilla of evidence that it ever was so. We
          are talking here about the alleged composition of the alleged primordial
          soup.


          >
          > And they were not claiming "fact". They were claiming "evidence".
          >

          That is a distinction without a difference. Unless and until they are
          even prepared to demonstrate that the laboratory soup they started with
          was in fact a soup that once existed, then their simulations are
          meaningless.

          >
          > I see you completely avoided addressing the point I was making.
          >
          > In answer to what you write here - these were not questions they were
          > considering. In fact, had you read my essay and the article it was
          > based on, you would have learned why they were not even considering
          > the questions you ask here. They considered these "machines" far too
          > complex to have been around then. So they tested an idea which did
          > not include these things.
          >
          > You did read the essay didn't you? Or did you simply find a few key
          > words and then go off half-cocked?
          >
          >
          >

          If they did not consider these things, then they should have. Their
          failure to do so underscores the central weakness in the argument for
          abiogenesis, and the quest for its mechanism. So those "machines" were
          "far too complex to have been around then." How, then, did those
          "machines" come to be? And by what standard do they declare that
          anything is too complex, or too primitive, for any era under
          consideration? I don't see that they or any of their colleagues have any
          standard at all. All they have is their own baseless supposition.

          >
          > Prokaryotes are cells without nuclei.
          >

          So they are. But that gives rise to two questions, neither of which any
          abiogenesis proponent has answered. First, even a prokaryote has a
          strand of DNA that has information sufficient to fill several volumes.
          How could that have written itself? And second, how do you get from
          prokaryotes to eukaryotes? I haven't seen any mechanism for that, either.


          >> Now are you going to sit there at your console and tell this group
          >>
          > that
          >
          >> that volume of information /wrote itself/?
          >>
          >>
          >
          > No. Because that is not the point of my essay.
          >

          Then what exactly is your point? Unless and until you are prepared to
          demonstrate how the information content of ten Libraries of Congress
          wrote itself to produce a single cell nucleus, your mechanism for
          abiogenesis is going nowhere.

          >
          >
          > Er. I gave you one example. Did you not read it? Tell me what that
          > example is, and I will know you actually read something without going
          > off half cocked. Then I shall know it is worth getting you more
          > information.
          >

          You gave only the example of the apparent self-assembly of a cell
          membrane. Now either you are going to participate in this debate, or
          not. That is your decision, not mine. And I don't hold myself in any way
          bound to play your game under your terms.

          >
          >
          >
          > Well then you should know that your "random chance" remark was silly.
          >

          That last is one hundred eighty degrees opposite to any reasonable
          inference from what I have seen. Those other molecules got into cell
          membranes because Someone put them there. If, as you insist, that
          Someone is Someone Whom "science" can do without, then you are left with
          random chance. And random chance will not suffice.

          >
          >
          > Yes, under the circumstance of the experiment. Again I must ask, did
          > you read the original?
          >

          Actually, I did, if by "the original" you meant what you published to
          this list. If you are referring to something else, then you were holding
          back on us. Tsk, tsk. But I don't suspect that that's the problem,
          anyway. I've heard it all before, and read it all before.

          >
          > Erm. Again I can only ask. Did you really study chemistry?
          >
          > They were there, that is how they got chosen.
          >

          Tautology, must we? I asked you, who or what /put them there/? If all
          you can say is that their mere presence suffices to explain their
          presence, then I am the one having grounds to question the
          worthwhile-ness of continuing this debate, not you.

          > Again, did you really read the essay and/or the original. It was
          > about getting insides into the cell. And some on the outside did get
          > to the inside.
          >

          How?

          >
          >> For any cell to assemble itself would require at least twelve
          >>
          > separate
          >
          >> projects that I can think of off the top of my head, and /each one/
          >>
          > is a
          >
          > Indeed and no one denies this.
          >

          You don't deny this, and yet you make light of it in a manner that never
          ceases to amaze me.

          >
          > Well the membranes could well have done it. Ever tried using
          > your "random chance" scenario to explain the formation of a simple
          > membrane. The odds there are "astronomical" - yet this membrane
          > forms by "random/chance".
          >
          > How can this be so.
          >
          > Or are you suggesting that your god actually poked his finger into
          > the test tubes and poked everything together.
          >

          Metaphoric considerations aside, I do indeed suggest that God /put it
          all together/ by His /deliberate act/.

          > If so then what evidence do you have for this?
          >
          > If not, then how did those membranes form by "random chance" (your
          > scenario)?
          >

          The evidence I have is that it could not have happened in any manner
          other than how I have described it. All attempts to replicate the
          assembly of a cell from raw materials to finished product have so far
          failed.

          And "laboratory conditions" won't do. For abiogenesis to have happened
          at all, it needed to have happened in that uncontrolled state that we
          call "the wild." In the Darwinian paradigm, "the wild" is /inherently/
          random. It is Chaos.

          But God set things up in order.

          > No one is denying this.
          >
          > So given you response so far, did you bother to actually read
          > anything or did you just see a few key words then go off half
          > cocked? It looks more like the latter given your complaints.
          >

          I repudiate that suggestion. Rather, I say that you are embarrassed by
          the logical holes in your own argument and are now changing your story.

          Now then, as to Ms. Cogan:

          >>
          >> >Mr. Dennett, assuming that the above quote is accurate, gives an
          >> >excellent description of Islam. The Salman Rushdie reference is a
          >> >give-away, but all the rest (except perhaps for infanticide, unless I
          >> >missed something in my read of the Koran) are features of Islam.
          >>
          >
          > The quote is accurate. You can check it by going to amazon.com and
          > using the "search inside" feature. It's interesting that you are
          > obviously willing to believe Dembski's dishonest out of context quote
          > without question.
          >

          You seem to think you have provided a sufficiently wider context to
          defeat Mr. Goff's earlier argument. And yet you also quote Dennett out
          of context, as I will show below. More to the point, Mr. Dennett
          describes something that not only conforms to current Muslim practice,
          but /also/ is straight out of the Koran. I know--I have read
          authoritative translations of it, on Web sites meant for Muslim consumption.

          > Christianity has advocated and done all those things in the
          > past.

          Ninety percent of the above is false. Slavery did not begin with
          Christianity; it was a standard Roman Imperial practice. The Bible
          teaches the opposite of discrimination. Sadly, the Roman Catholic Church
          got off the rails, and that precipitated the Reformation and other
          "protest" movements that give Protestantism its name. Martin Luther
          revolted against the Inquisition and the mentality that produced it, and
          held that the RCC had gotten off the rails by getting away from the Bible.

          And /never/ did any Christian leader build a brothel, staff it with
          good-looking women, and then invite young men into it under the
          influence of hashish (or any other hallucinogen) and then tell those men
          that they had just experienced a sample of paradise, and if they wanted
          more, then they ought to go out and kill "enemies of the faith." Which
          is what the Muslims did, and what gave us the word /assassin/, which
          originally meant /one addicted to hashish/.

          So for everyone's information, Christianity was never as bad as Islam
          now is. Those who reformed certain unfortunate tendencies were
          Christians themselves, and they had the Bible as their guide.

          In contrast, the Koran is a guidebook for murder and treason.

          >
          >
          >> >Of course, if that speech came from a political conservative, I doubt
          >> >that Ms. Cogan would support it.
          >>
          >
          >
          > huh? (a) how do you know that? (b) what have I said that would lead
          > you to that conclusion?
          >

          You have indicated your support for a candidate who is the very
          embodiment of policies designed to appease the worst tendencies of the
          one religion that today practices most, if not all, of the despicable
          acts that Mr. Dennett decries.

          >
          >
          > Senator Barack "Hussein" Obama is a Christian through and through,
          >

          I do not accept that.

          > in what way? How is it different? Did you read the posts where I
          > railed against people who pray over their children instead of taking
          > them to the doctor? It's murder, pure and simple and they get away
          > with it by saying it's "religious."
          >

          Now you're mixing up two issues. With regard to war and peace, the only
          party advocating anything remotely similar to an armed response against
          the practices of those who inspired that gang who flew airplanes into
          buildings is the Republican Party. Yet you support the Democratic Party.

          And with regard to what you immediately said above: Now you define your
          terms again, and put yourself on record. You accuse any person of
          murder, who does not repose in the medical profession your same
          unquestioning faith. Therefore, you have made a case for arresting those
          who disagree with you.

          >
          >
          >
          >> >But Mr. Dennett has a problem, and Ms. Cogan has a derivative problem.
          >> >Richard Dawkins has explicitly stated that religious instruction
          >> >constitutes child abuse.
          >>
          >
          >
          > he says teaching children that Hell is literally true is child abuse.
          > Both Dennett and Dawkins have said repeatedly that they are strongly
          > in favor of teaching children ABOUT religion. I'm in favor of it also.
          >
          >
          >
          >> >For that he is on record. Has Dennett said the
          >> >same? I welcome anyone's answer to that question. Because if he has,
          >> >then he has made a case for arresting Christians.
          >>
          >
          > not as far as I know.
          >

          Then did you read this, that Mr. Goff quoted?

          "Save the Baptists! Yes, of course, but not by all means. Not if it
          means tolerating the deliberate misinforming of children about the natural
          world. According to a recent poll, 48 percent of the people in the United
          States today believe that the book of Genesis is literally true. And 70
          percent believe that 'creation science' should be taught in school
          alongside evolution. Some recent writers recommend a policy in which
          parents would be able to 'opt out' of materials they didn't want their
          children taught. Should evolution be taught in schools? Should arithmetic
          be taught? Should history? Misinforming a child is a terrible offense."


          If that is not a case for arresting Christians, then I don't know what is.

          >
          >
          >
          > yes. Christianity has been improved by the enlightenment and the
          > advance of humanism. It's still false. And it's still occasionally
          > dangerous, but far less so than Islam.
          >

          Humanism has watered down the faith and promoted /man/ as an object of
          worship. The results have been some rather horrific affairs like the
          French and Russian Revolutions, either of which were far more horrific
          than even the Inquisition.

          Occasionally you grudgingly admit the danger that Islam poses. You
          probably have no idea of the source of that danger. The source is in the
          foundational documents, which exhort their readers to commit murder,
          mayhem, and treason--not to mention deliberate lying. The Bible teaches
          none of these things.

          I would welcome a hearing before the United States Senate (or House of
          Representatives), or at least a select committee of one of those
          bodies--call it the "Select Committee on Religious Ideals and their
          Consequences." I am quite prepared to appear before such a body and
          vindicate the Bible. I doubt that a Muslim would or could say the same.

          >
          >> >Now either
          >> >she has chosen to quote Mr. Dennett's words in a context whereof Mr.
          >> >Dennett would scarcely approve, or else Mr. Dennett stands guilty of a
          >> >deceit every bit as despicable as is the Muslim practice of /taquiyya/,
          >> >or lying to advance the faith (or more usually, a Muslim's
          >> >militant/military position).
          >>
          >
          > I have no idea what you are talking about.
          >

          Simply this: Mr. Dennett gave an excellent description of Islam, but
          none of what he said applies to Christianity. Not, that is, until one
          reads on to other words that Mr. Dennett wrote, clearly defining "child
          abuse" broadly enough to include the promulgation of creation theory and
          anything else with which he disagrees. Now /that/ is deception. And I
          conclude:

          1. You quoted only part of Dennett, and held back the part that would
          cause any reasonable person to take alarm at what he said.

          2. Dennett would certainly approve of how you have quoted him, because
          he clearly feels as you do. The difference is that he was quite prepared
          to say it out loud, while you are not.

          >
          >
          >>> > > I would LOVE evolution taught side by side with creationism. It would
          >>> > > be come immediately obvious to even a small child what a hollow
          >>> > > construct ID-creationism is.
          >>> > >
          >>>
          >> >
          >> >Is that a genuine offer?
          >>
          >
          >
          > absolutely. It would have to be out of a government (i.e. public
          > school) context, but I'd do it in a heartbeat.
          >

          How are you going to reach those kids in the government school with this
          side-by-side debate? One can only infer from your past remarks that no
          child in a public school would be permitted to receive any credit for
          attending any such debate, much less attempting to participate.

          That aside, this list is as good a forum as any. The side-by-side
          comparison has been going on at least since I joined it, and probably
          since /you/ joined it.

          And more to the point, we have been reproducing this side-by-side
          comparison on CreationWiki ever since its founding. We even have a
          portal specifically labeled "Evolution." Visit the site and have a look
          sometime. You might learn something.

          >
          >
          >> >It is all that any advocate has asked, as
          >> >regards government schools.
          >> >Why, then, have the ACLU and similar groups
          >> >consistently opposed such teaching? Does this represent yet a /third/
          >> >seismic shift?
          >>
          >
          > The government is not allowed to teach religion. So, sadly, this
          > comparative class could never be taught in public schools. But you
          > have given me a good idea for Darwin Day next year.
          >

          I'll be interested to see what you actually do with it. Happily, the
          Internet today prevents you or anyone else from suggesting that the
          points /you/ present are the only points that anyone will hear or read.

          >
          >> >and I've never seen
          >> >you condemn with anything approaching the same vitriol for the FRAUDS
          >> >that are still there, like Hoeckel's frauds, and the Piltdown frauds.
          >>
          >
          >
          > They aren't taught in school and were exposed by evolutionists (not
          > creationists) a century and a half century ago, respectively.
          >

          Oh, yes, they are taught in school! The Haeckel drawings certainly are.
          I had them in my own biology textbook in 1974, and I've seen them in
          other biology textbooks since.

          >
          >
          > that's false. All you'd need to do is show photographs of the fossils
          > themselves.
          >

          Those photographs are subject to differing interpretation, and are by
          themselves incapable of settling any dispute.


          > Dawkins thinks terrifying children with hell is child abuse (he may
          > have said "tantamount to child abuse") and I agree. Otherwise knock
          > yourself out. Teach whatever silliness you want to.
          >

          And as I quoted above, Dennett said that giving children information at
          variance with his own version of "the facts" was child abuse.

          >
          >> >imprisoning observant
          >> >Christians in gulags, psychiatric wards, etc., is
          >> >"re-education." And if "re-education" fails, the
          >> >final solution - execution - is applied.
          >>
          >
          > do come up with a quote where ANY evolutionist has advocated that.
          >

          Do you deny that the commissars and /zampoliti/ (deputies to military
          commanders for political work) of the old Soviet Union were
          evolutionists? What else would they have been?

          >
          >
          > and those reasons would be? What evidence do you have that God exists
          > and Apollo doesn't? I'll make it easy. There isn't any. You FEEL God
          > exists and you FEEL that Apollo doesn't. I FEEL that neither of them
          > do and it's just one more God than you.

          The Holy Scriptures, the founding documents of Christianity (and to a
          lesser extent, Judaism), hold up remarkably well against such
          observations as reasonable people have made--without, that is, using
          various fudges, from Haeckel's drawings to the current fudges of "dark
          matter" and "dark energy."

          Temlakos
        • rjwatts1
          ... anything ... scenarios, ... billions ... so. We ... primordial ... Let us just stick to two things for now so that this thread does not blow out. We can
          Message 4 of 22 , Aug 6, 2008
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            >
            > Mr. Watts, you first. You do not seem to understand what I meant by
            > "asserting facts not in evidence." What is at issue here is not
            anything
            > that I wrote, but rather the tendency, by members of the
            > uniformitarianism/abiogenesis/common-descent axis, to invent
            scenarios,
            > simulate them, and proclaim them to have been "the way it was
            billions
            > of years ago" without one scintilla of evidence that it ever was
            so. We
            > are talking here about the alleged composition of the alleged
            primordial
            > soup.
            >

            Let us just stick to two things for now so that this thread does not
            blow out. We can return to the other points later.

            So by "evidence for the reality of a claim" you mean direct
            observation with your senses of the actual subject of that claim.

            For example, if I claim that membranes could plausibly form in a
            prebiotic earth, providing the prebiotic earth met certain
            conditions, then evidence for the plausibility of the claim is not:-

            1) demonstration of the plausibility of those membranes forming in
            plausible prebiotic conditions as well as the

            2) demonstration of the plausibility of those prebiotic conditions.

            Rather, by "evidence" you require that we directly show you those
            membranes forming in the real prebiotic earth and going on to live
            cells?


            Have I read you correctly here Temlakos?

            And have you read the actual Nature* article itself to know whether
            their was plausibility to their claims for plausibility?




            >
            > The evidence I have is that it could not have happened in any
            manner
            > other than how I have described it. All attempts to replicate the
            > assembly of a cell from raw materials to finished product have so
            far
            > failed.
            >

            Er no. You have not described anything beyond saying that "God did
            it". That you say I cannot explain, does not mean that you have
            thereby explained or that you have evidence for your (lack of)
            explanation.

            That you reject my explanation does not mean you have therefore an
            acceptable explanation.

            I'll bet you cannot explain what I will be going in 12 hours. That
            does not mean that I therefore have the explanation for what you will
            be doing in 12 hours. Yet your logic above suggests otherwise.

            Do you really believe that if I have not explained to your
            satisfaction, you therefore have explained, with evidence included as
            well? If so, then do you think anyone should be satisfied with your
            explanation?


            Regards, Roland

            * My sincere apologies Temlakos. I traced back to my original
            posting. I had left the references off.

            Here they are:-


            [u][b]REFERENCES[/B][/U]

            (1) Sheref S. Mansy, Jason P. Schrum, Mathangi Krisnamurthy,
            Sylvia Tobe, Douglas A. Treco and Jack W. Szostak, "Template-
            directed synthesis of a genetic polymer in a model protocell", [i]
            Nature[/i] [b]454[/b] 3 July 2008, p 122-125


            A commentary can be found by David W. Dreamer on pages 37 and 38. It
            is titled "How leaky were primitive cells?"
          • Susan Cogan
            ... quite a bit is known about the atmospheric composition of the early earth. You should educate yourself on the subject. ... and they did exactly that. All
            Message 5 of 22 , Aug 6, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              >Mr. Watts, you first. You do not seem to understand what I meant by
              >"asserting facts not in evidence." What is at issue here is not anything
              >that I wrote, but rather the tendency, by members of the
              >uniformitarianism/abiogenesis/common-descent axis, to invent scenarios,
              >simulate them, and proclaim them to have been "the way it was billions
              >of years ago" without one scintilla of evidence that it ever was so. We
              >are talking here about the alleged composition of the alleged primordial
              >soup.


              quite a bit is known about the atmospheric composition of the early
              earth. You should educate yourself on the subject.


              > > And they were not claiming "fact". They were claiming "evidence".
              >>
              >
              >That is a distinction without a difference. Unless and until they are
              >even prepared to demonstrate that the laboratory soup they started with
              >was in fact a soup that once existed, then their simulations are
              >meaningless.


              and they did exactly that. All of science is constructed of evidence.
              Since the universe is a rational and coherent whole, if something
              works here, it works over there. If it works now, it worked in the
              past and will work in the future. If it doesn't work, then more
              evidence is needed to see what does work.

              The way religion works is you take a bald statement and then swallow
              it whole on faith even if it doesn't line up with the facts. If
              science did that we'd be having this discussion via carrier pigeon.


              > >
              >> I see you completely avoided addressing the point I was making.
              >>
              >> In answer to what you write here - these were not questions they were
              >> considering. In fact, had you read my essay and the article it was
              >> based on, you would have learned why they were not even considering
              >> the questions you ask here. They considered these "machines" far too
              >> complex to have been around then. So they tested an idea which did
              >> not include these things.
              >>
              >> You did read the essay didn't you? Or did you simply find a few key
              >> words and then go off half-cocked?
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >
              >If they did not consider these things, then they should have. Their
              >failure to do so underscores the central weakness in the argument for
              >abiogenesis, and the quest for its mechanism. So those "machines" were
              >"far too complex to have been around then."


              You didn't read the essay.

              > > Or are you suggesting that your god actually poked his finger into
              >> the test tubes and poked everything together.
              >>
              >
              >Metaphoric considerations aside, I do indeed suggest that God /put it
              >all together/ by His /deliberate act/.


              that's no problem for me. It could be true, but there's no evidence
              for it. It's a religious belief.



              > > So given you response so far, did you bother to actually read
              > > anything or did you just see a few key words then go off half
              > > cocked? It looks more like the latter given your complaints.
              > >
              >
              >I repudiate that suggestion. Rather, I say that you are embarrassed by
              >the logical holes in your own argument and are now changing your story.


              no, you didn't read the essay. That's pretty clear.


              >Now then, as to Ms. Cogan:
              >
              > >>
              >>> >Mr. Dennett, assuming that the above quote is accurate, gives an
              > >> >excellent description of Islam. The Salman Rushdie reference is a
              >>> >give-away, but all the rest (except perhaps for infanticide, unless I
              >>> >missed something in my read of the Koran) are features of Islam.
              >>>
              >>
              >> The quote is accurate. You can check it by going to amazon.com and
              >> using the "search inside" feature. It's interesting that you are
              >> obviously willing to believe Dembski's dishonest out of context quote
              >> without question.
              >>
              >
              >You seem to think you have provided a sufficiently wider context to
              >defeat Mr. Goff's earlier argument.

              certainly I exposed Dembski's dishonesty. I note how much you care
              about that (i.e. you don't)


              >And yet you also quote Dennett out
              >of context, as I will show below. More to the point, Mr. Dennett
              >describes something that not only conforms to current Muslim practice,
              >but /also/ is straight out of the Koran. I know--I have read
              >authoritative translations of it, on Web sites meant for Muslim consumption.


              there is very little in the Koran that's not on the Bible. One of the
              chief complaints of about the Koran is that it's largely plagiarized
              from Judaism.


              > > Christianity has advocated and done all those things in the
              >> past.
              >
              >Ninety percent of the above is false. Slavery did not begin with
              >Christianity;


              it was supported by Christians and defended Biblically. And God never
              condemns it in the Bible. He was deeply concerned that you should not
              wear mixed-fiber clothing but couldn't spare a word to condemn
              slavery.


              >So for everyone's information, Christianity was never as bad as Islam
              >now is.


              Islam is virtually indistinguishable from what Christianity was 500 years ago.

              >Those who reformed certain unfortunate tendencies were
              >Christians themselves, and they had the Bible as their guide.
              >
              >In contrast, the Koran is a guidebook for murder and treason.

              as is the old testament.


              > >> >Of course, if that speech came from a political conservative, I doubt
              >>> >that Ms. Cogan would support it.
              >>>
              >>
              >>
              >> huh? (a) how do you know that? (b) what have I said that would lead
              >> you to that conclusion?
              >>
              >
              >You have indicated your support for a candidate who is the very
              >embodiment of policies designed to appease the worst tendencies of the
              >one religion that today practices most, if not all, of the despicable
              >acts that Mr. Dennett decries.


              oh! You get all your political news from forwarded emails. That makes
              sense. Obama intends to appease no one.


              > > Senator Barack "Hussein" Obama is a Christian through and through,
              >>
              >
              >I do not accept that.

              you aren't the arbiter of who is and isn't Christian. I'm sure his
              denomination is more liberal than yours, but he's still a Christian.
              The logic that "since his middle name is Hussein he's obviously not
              Christian" is, well, it's . . . less than logical.


              > > in what way? How is it different? Did you read the posts where I
              >> railed against people who pray over their children instead of taking
              >> them to the doctor? It's murder, pure and simple and they get away
              >> with it by saying it's "religious."
              >>
              >
              >Now you're mixing up two issues. With regard to war and peace, the only
              >party advocating anything remotely similar to an armed response against
              >the practices of those who inspired that gang who flew airplanes into
              >buildings is the Republican Party. Yet you support the Democratic Party.


              and you can see the unholy mess that armed response has gotten us
              into. 9/11 should have been investigated like a crime which is what
              it was--it was a HUGE crime, but it was just a crime. Bush's
              incompetent "armed response" has taken us down the path of more
              terrorism and bin Laden is still out there laughing at us. Meanwhile
              Bush is paying for his stupidities by selling the American soul piece
              by piece to the Red Chinese. How much of the US has Bush sold to the
              Chinese to pay for his "armed response?" Do you think it's still
              under 51%? I'm hoping Obama will raise taxes and buy some of it back.


              >And with regard to what you immediately said above: Now you define your
              >terms again, and put yourself on record. You accuse any person of
              >murder, who does not repose in the medical profession your same
              >unquestioning faith. Therefore, you have made a case for arresting those
              >who disagree with you.


              unquestioning faith is a rejection of evidence. I am alive today
              because of modern medicine. The same is true of my daughter, my
              husband and 2 of my 4 grandchildren. If they get sick they will go to
              the doctor. It's not 100% effective, but prayer is 0% effective. If
              you don't like doctors, pray over yourself and avoid them. Advocating
              that other people do that is homicidally irresponsible.


              > >> >For that he is on record. Has Dennett said the
              >>> >same? I welcome anyone's answer to that question. Because if he has,
              > >> >then he has made a case for arresting Christians.
              >>>
              >>
              >> not as far as I know.
              >>
              >
              >Then did you read this, that Mr. Goff quoted?


              actually, I quoted it.


              > "Save the Baptists! Yes, of course, but not by all means. Not if it
              >means tolerating the deliberate misinforming of children about the natural
              >world. According to a recent poll, 48 percent of the people in the United
              >States today believe that the book of Genesis is literally true. And 70
              >percent believe that 'creation science' should be taught in school
              >alongside evolution. Some recent writers recommend a policy in which
              >parents would be able to 'opt out' of materials they didn't want their
              >children taught. Should evolution be taught in schools? Should arithmetic
              >be taught? Should history? Misinforming a child is a terrible offense."
              >
              >
              >If that is not a case for arresting Christians, then I don't know what is.

              notice he doesn't say anything about jailing Christians here. In fact
              his solution to this problem is to educate the children.

              However, when you continue to read, you see he's talking about not
              allowing people to violate modern morality with their religion--they
              don't get to strangle their daughter because she went out on a date.
              They don't get to own slaves. They don't get to mutilate people for
              trivial offenses, etc.




              >
              > > yes. Christianity has been improved by the enlightenment and the
              >> advance of humanism. It's still false. And it's still occasionally
              >> dangerous, but far less so than Islam.
              >>
              >
              >Humanism has watered down the faith and promoted /man/ as an object of
              >worship.


              no, humanism means that human happiness and well-being are more
              important than an idea--religious or political. Sin becomes doing
              harm to others instead of displeasing an invisible demon in the sky.
              Slavery didn't used to be a sin--after all, God obviously didn't mind
              slavery. But now it IS a sin because it causes great harm to others.


              >The results have been some rather horrific affairs like the
              >French and Russian Revolutions, either of which were far more horrific
              >than even the Inquisition.


              both of those revolutions needed to happen. Yes, they were bloody (so
              was ours!) but the aristocrats and the clergy--which were pretty much
              the same thing--deserved just about everything they got.


              >Occasionally you grudgingly admit the danger that Islam poses. You
              >probably have no idea of the source of that danger. The source is in the
              >foundational documents, which exhort their readers to commit murder,
              >mayhem, and treason--not to mention deliberate lying. The Bible teaches
              >none of these things.


              it teaches all of those things and more, including genocide and slavery.


              >I would welcome a hearing before the United States Senate (or House of
              >Representatives), or at least a select committee of one of those
              >bodies--call it the "Select Committee on Religious Ideals and their
              >Consequences." I am quite prepared to appear before such a body and
              >vindicate the Bible. I doubt that a Muslim would or could say the same.


              they would in a heartbeat with as much passion and righteousness as
              you. However, the government has no business involving itself in such
              a debate or hearing. Separation of church and state, remember?


              > >
              >>> >Now either
              >>> >she has chosen to quote Mr. Dennett's words in a context whereof Mr.
              >>> >Dennett would scarcely approve, or else Mr. Dennett stands guilty of a
              >>> >deceit every bit as despicable as is the Muslim practice of /taquiyya/,
              >>> >or lying to advance the faith (or more usually, a Muslim's
              >>> >militant/military position).
              >>>
              >>
              >> I have no idea what you are talking about.
              >>
              >
              >Simply this: Mr. Dennett gave an excellent description of Islam, but
              >none of what he said applies to Christianity.


              It did in the past. Also people can still murder their children with
              prayer. And recently they murdered a kid with a phony exorcism and
              got off scot free because, after all, it was a religious ceremony.


              >Not, that is, until one
              >reads on to other words that Mr. Dennett wrote, clearly defining "child
              >abuse" broadly enough to include the promulgation of creation theory and
              >anything else with which he disagrees. Now /that/ is deception. And I
              >conclude:
              >
              >1. You quoted only part of Dennett, and held back the part that would
              >cause any reasonable person to take alarm at what he said.

              which part was that? I'd like to see a quote.



              > >>> > > I would LOVE evolution taught side by side with creationism. It would
              > >>> > > be come immediately obvious to even a small child what a hollow
              >>>> > > construct ID-creationism is.
              >>>> > >
              >>>>
              >>> >
              >>> >Is that a genuine offer?
              >>>
              >>
              >>
              >> absolutely. It would have to be out of a government (i.e. public
              >> school) context, but I'd do it in a heartbeat.
              >>
              >
              >How are you going to reach those kids in the government school with this
              >side-by-side debate?

              as I point out in the sentence above, I couldn't. It would have to be
              in another context.


              >One can only infer from your past remarks that no
              >child in a public school would be permitted to receive any credit for
              >attending any such debate, much less attempting to participate.


              no government agent (i.e. teacher or administrator) could legally
              teach such a course.

              >That aside, this list is as good a forum as any. The side-by-side
              >comparison has been going on at least since I joined it, and probably
              >since /you/ joined it.
              >
              >And more to the point, we have been reproducing this side-by-side
              >comparison on CreationWiki ever since its founding. We even have a
              >portal specifically labeled "Evolution." Visit the site and have a look
              >sometime. You might learn something.

              I've looked. It's laughable. I have produced side-by-side comparisons
              of the CreationWiki and Wikipedia entires on Tiktaalik. CreationWiki
              conveniently leaves a lot out and doesn't tell the truth about what
              little it presents.



              > > The government is not allowed to teach religion. So, sadly, this
              >> comparative class could never be taught in public schools. But you
              >> have given me a good idea for Darwin Day next year.
              >>
              >
              >I'll be interested to see what you actually do with it. Happily, the
              >Internet today prevents you or anyone else from suggesting that the
              >points /you/ present are the only points that anyone will hear or read.


              I am a Unitarian Universalist and have access to our church as a
              venue. I work in a University town and have access to plenty of
              biology professors. I also live in Oklahoma which means I've got
              creationists up to the eyeballs. It could easily be arranged. No
              debate. Just stand up and give the best evidence for your side as if
              the other side didn't exist. Since 99% of creationism is bashing
              evolution, I bet I would have a tough time getting a creationist to
              go along with it.

              Hmmm. . . if we can't get a creationist on board we could do a slide
              show of CreationWiki and EvoWiki side-by-side on the same subjects.
              That would work and be very entertaining and educational.


              > >
              >>> >and I've never seen
              >>> >you condemn with anything approaching the same vitriol for the FRAUDS
              >>> >that are still there, like Hoeckel's frauds, and the Piltdown frauds.
              >>>
              >>
              >>
              >> They aren't taught in school and were exposed by evolutionists (not
              >> creationists) a century and a half century ago, respectively.
              >>
              >
              >Oh, yes, they are taught in school! The Haeckel drawings certainly are.
              >I had them in my own biology textbook in 1974, and I've seen them in
              >other biology textbooks since.


              you've seen the drawings in a historical context, not as if they are
              true. I've seen them in modern textbooks, too, as an illustration of
              how scientific ideas are refuted. And as far as I know Piltdown
              hasn't been in a textbook since the early 1950s, if then, because
              even in the 1920s Piltdown was already beginning to be in question.


              > >
              >>
              >> that's false. All you'd need to do is show photographs of the fossils
              >> themselves.
              >>
              >
              >Those photographs are subject to differing interpretation, and are by
              >themselves incapable of settling any dispute.
              >


              they are evidence of change through time.


              > > Dawkins thinks terrifying children with hell is child abuse (he may
              > > have said "tantamount to child abuse") and I agree. Otherwise knock
              >> yourself out. Teach whatever silliness you want to.
              >>
              >
              >And as I quoted above, Dennett said that giving children information at
              >variance with his own version of "the facts" was child abuse.

              where did he say "child abuse"?


              > >> >imprisoning observant
              >>> >Christians in gulags, psychiatric wards, etc., is
              >>> >"re-education." And if "re-education" fails, the
              > >> >final solution - execution - is applied.
              > >>
              >>
              >> do come up with a quote where ANY evolutionist has advocated that.
              >>
              >
              >Do you deny that the commissars and /zampoliti/ (deputies to military
              >commanders for political work) of the old Soviet Union were
              >evolutionists? What else would they have been?


              They were not evolutionists in the Darwinian sense. They thought
              Darwin's ideas were too capitalistic and were devotees of Lysenko who
              had been refuted 100 years earlier. They didn't start teaching
              evolution properly until the 1960s or so (Lysenkoism is bunk and
              crops started failing massively. They were forced to abandon it.)
              Before that you could certainly go to prison for advocating
              Darwinism. And in the US, of the two sides, only evolutionists have
              gone to jail for teaching what they believe.


              And you had to reach back a half century and into another country
              because you know no evolutionist has advocated some kind of "final
              solution." That's just paranoid raving.


              > > and those reasons would be? What evidence do you have that God exists
              >> and Apollo doesn't? I'll make it easy. There isn't any. You FEEL God
              >> exists and you FEEL that Apollo doesn't. I FEEL that neither of them
              >> do and it's just one more God than you.
              >
              >The Holy Scriptures, the founding documents of Christianity (and to a
              >lesser extent, Judaism), hold up remarkably well against such
              >observations as reasonable people have made


              the Greeks and Romans wrote about their Gods too. Their mythology was
              very rich. There's no particular difference between Leda and the Swan
              and the Immaculate Conception except one is Hellenistic and the other
              is Middle Eastern.


              >--without, that is, using
              >various fudges, from Haeckel's drawings to the current fudges of "dark
              >matter" and "dark energy."

              uh, yeah.

              Susan

              --


              ----
              COGAN BOOKS & MORE
              http://www.coganbooks.net






















              -------
            • Temlakos
              ... Absolutely, positively not. They key weakness in your argument about the membranes is this qualifier: providing the prebiotic earth met certain
              Message 6 of 22 , Aug 10, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                First, Mr. Watts:


                > Let us just stick to two things for now so that this thread does not
                > blow out. We can return to the other points later.
                >
                > So by "evidence for the reality of a claim" you mean direct
                > observation with your senses of the actual subject of that claim.
                >
                > For example, if I claim that membranes could plausibly form in a
                > prebiotic earth, providing the prebiotic earth met certain
                > conditions, then evidence for the plausibility of the claim is not:-
                >
                > 1) demonstration of the plausibility of those membranes forming in
                > plausible prebiotic conditions as well as the
                >
                > 2) demonstration of the plausibility of those prebiotic conditions.
                >
                > Rather, by "evidence" you require that we directly show you those
                > membranes forming in the real prebiotic earth and going on to live
                > cells?
                >
                >
                > Have I read you correctly here Temlakos?
                >

                Absolutely, positively not. They key weakness in your argument about the
                membranes is this qualifier: "providing the prebiotic earth met certain
                conditions." You do not know that "pre-biotic earth" actually met any
                such conditions as those experimenters set.

                In fact, you have not even shown how the very molecules that made up
                those membranes happened to form. Do phospholipids form spontaneously
                from a random assembly of their constituent elements?

                I'll tell you what I require, and what any reasonable and prudent
                reviewer ought to require: I require you to show a process by which
                phospholipid compounds synthesize themselves from their constituent
                elements of carbon, hydrogen, phosphorus, and oxygen. Then I require you
                to show that the conditions that someone set up in his laboratory /were
                in fact those that once existed in the wild/. What I see instead is,
                "Look! See how phospholipids assemble themselves into membranes! Now we
                know what pre-biotic earth must have been like!"

                You remind me of Satan's boast that he could be as creative as God was.
                See, Satan took a handful of dirt and proposed to make a man out of it.
                God stopped him and said, "Not so fast. Get your own dirt."

                > And have you read the actual Nature* article itself to know whether
                > their was plausibility to their claims for plausibility?
                >

                Well, why don't you publish to this list the specific grounds that
                anyone cited for setting up those laboratory conditions?

                > Er no. You have not described anything beyond saying that "God did
                > it". That you say I cannot explain, does not mean that you have
                > thereby explained or that you have evidence for your (lack of)
                > explanation.
                >
                > That you reject my explanation does not mean you have therefore an
                > acceptable explanation.
                >
                What explanation? You haven't explained how you know that the laboratory
                conditions replicated the wild conditions, or even how the phospholipids
                formed. I repeat: Get your own dirt--or in this case, phospholipids and
                primordial matter.

                > I'll bet you cannot explain what I will be going in 12 hours. That
                > does not mean that I therefore have the explanation for what you will
                > be doing in 12 hours. Yet your logic above suggests otherwise.
                >

                We're not talking about predicting the future, are we? We're talking
                about reconstructing the past.

                Now that I've gotten that out of the way, it's time to turn to Susan
                Cogan. But first: In case anyone is wondering why I have not replied
                earlier, I was attending a writer's conference, and neither the
                conference venue nor my lodging venue provided me any Internet connection.

                Now then:

                > quite a bit is known about the atmospheric composition of the early
                > earth. You should educate yourself on the subject.

                Well, suppose you start educating us on what is known--or rather, what
                is alleged, and the basis for that allegation--on the atmospheric
                composition of the early earth? All I've seen are retropolations from
                the Miller-Urey and similar experiments. The argument seems to run thus:

                1. Drs. Miller and Urey extracted amino acids from an atmosphere of
                methane, hydrogen, and ammonia after giving that atmosphere a tremendous
                electric shock.

                2. Therefore the early atmosphere was once composed of methane,
                hydrogen, and ammonia.

                And then there's the little matter of how the amino acids were extracted
                without being immediately de-natured, and how they spontaneously formed
                the first protein. And no one has /yet/ shown where the first DNA strand
                came from. And need I repeat: ten Libraries of Congress.

                > and they did exactly that. All of science is constructed of evidence.
                > Since the universe is a rational and coherent whole, if something
                > works here, it works over there. If it works now, it worked in the
                > past and will work in the future. If it doesn't work, then more
                > evidence is needed to see what does work.
                >
                >

                You fell neatly into the trap. "If something works now, then it worked
                in the past." In short, we see in the above the classic statement of
                uniformitarianism, extrapolated beyond geology to virtually any other
                discipline. But the line of reasoning is /exactly/ what I have always
                seen, and what I predicted. Uniformitarians /infer prior conditions from
                present contrived conditions/. That sort of inference is utterly without
                foundation.

                > The way religion works is you take a bald statement and then swallow
                > it whole on faith even if it doesn't line up with the facts. If
                > science did that we'd be having this discussion via carrier pigeon.

                Actually, that's the way uniformitarianism, abiogenesis, and "common
                descent" work. I haven't seen any facts. All I've seen is spin.

                > certainly I exposed Dembski's dishonesty. I note how much you care
                > about that (i.e. you don't)

                You have exposed nothing but your own embarrassment at Dembski's
                exposure of the full implications of Dennett's pronouncements on matters
                of public policy. And you should be embarrassed. Dennett picks Islam--a
                political movement in religious dress, and one every bit as nasty as was
                Nazism--and tries to suggest that all religions are just like that.

                > there is very little in the Koran that's not on the Bible. One of the
                > chief complaints of about the Koran is that it's largely plagiarized
                > from Judaism.

                The delineation of the differences between Islam and Judaism is beyond
                scope here. As to the differences between Islam and Christianity, I give
                you Jesus' own willingness to go to his death--and that the most painful
                and demeaning method of execution yet devised--even though He could have
                called on a two-division corps of angels to defend Him had He wanted to.

                As to the rest: Make up your mind, Susan. You fear Islam (and with a
                significant amount of justice), and yet you treat the 9/11 incident as
                merely a crime, and not an operation by a transnational paramilitary
                force acting on fourteen-hundred-year-old instructions. Maybe you do
                that because you know that if you once advocated treating Islam as the
                threat to civilization that it is, then by equating Christianity with
                Islam you would be advocating similar sanctions against Christians, and
                that is a thing you don't dare do. Or maybe you haven't studied
                Christianity /or/ Islam nearly as carefully as you say you have.

                I'll sum up this way:

                1. Your deliberate conflation of Christianity with Islam will
                inevitably fail upon the most elementary comparison between the Bible
                and the Koran.

                2. You say that you and your family "are alive today because of modern
                medicine." You don't know that. But in your touching defense of it, you
                demonstrate the transformation of modern medicine into a religion that
                is neither art nor science.

                For everyone else's benefit, I have more sources than the site
                <http://mercola.com/>. Consider also:

                Mendelsohn, Robert, MD. /Confessions of a Medical Heretic/

                Mendelsohn, Robert, MD. /Mal(e)practice/

                Robert Mendelsohn was a conventionally trained pediatrician who one day
                surveyed his professional environment, and its history, and concluded,
                as far back as 1980, that his chosen profession had gone off the rails.

                In the management of acute trauma, it's more than fine--though it has
                learned its insights from the parallel discipline of battlefield
                medicine and not from any theory of abiogenesis or common descent. But
                many of its recommendations in areas other than acute trauma are
                scandalous. Thanks to modern medicine, schoolteachers are now
                controlling their pupils with drugs, when what was required in my day
                was an application of the board of education to the seat of learning.
                And now modern medicine has given us abortifacients (mefiprestone) and
                "vaccines" that often kill (Gardasil).

                And this is the system that you would elevate to the status of law? In
                the name of /this/ system, you would place parents under arrest and make
                their children wards of the state if they refused treatment?
                "Homicidally irresponsible," you said. Well, I say that it is
                "homicidally irresponsible" to encourage a woman to rely on mefiprestone
                /or/ Gardasil, both of which have killed some of the women who have
                taken them.

                I have taken all this time to discuss all this because I seek to
                illustrate the flaws, not only of evolutionary /thinking/ but also of
                evolutionary /values/. "Evolution" is a value system, and a sadly
                misguided one. Its foundations are like sand, and its implications are,
                frankly, hideous.

                Temlakos
              • rjwatts1
                ... about the ... certain ... any ... So what would you require such that we can say that we know , if not direct observation? ... up ... spontaneously But as
                Message 7 of 22 , Aug 12, 2008
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                  > Absolutely, positively not. They key weakness in your argument
                  about the
                  > membranes is this qualifier: "providing the prebiotic earth met
                  certain
                  > conditions." You do not know that "pre-biotic earth" actually met
                  any
                  > such conditions as those experimenters set.


                  So what would you require such that we can say that "we know", if not
                  direct observation?

                  >
                  > In fact, you have not even shown how the very molecules that made
                  up
                  > those membranes happened to form. Do phospholipids form
                  spontaneously

                  But as I said in my essay they were not experimenting with
                  phospholipids.

                  They experimented with "short chain fatty acids and their
                  corresponding alcohols, and glycol esters". The Nature article
                  provided 3 references supporting the claim that these were the "most
                  prebiotically plausible amphiphiles" - (a property of cellular
                  membranes).

                  Again, I must ask, did you actually read anything? This would be
                  about the 10th time I have asked the question. Based on your
                  responses, it would appear that you read nothing, but rather you use
                  a smattering of knowledge and some glances at key words to go off
                  half cocked.

                  No phospholipids Temlakos. O.k?

                  > from a random assembly of their constituent elements?

                  Are you sure you have done chemistry? Did we not discuss the issue
                  of randomness before?

                  >
                  > I'll tell you what I require, and what any reasonable and prudent
                  > reviewer ought to require: I require you to show a process by which
                  > phospholipid compounds synthesize themselves from their constituent
                  > elements of carbon, hydrogen, phosphorus, and oxygen. Then I
                  require you

                  Given these kinds of constraints, I could prove that the sun orbits
                  the earth and that atoms do not exist.


                  > to show that the conditions that someone set up in his
                  laboratory /were
                  > in fact those that once existed in the wild/.

                  So despite the denials, you do really require direct observation. In
                  science, data is about the only thing we do observe and can claim
                  (perhaps) to be factual. The rest is interpretation. Atoms, earth
                  orbit sun - these are all interpretations of data.

                  Yet when it comes to origin of life, you do not want plausibility or
                  evidence. You want "fact"?

                  What I see instead is,
                  > "Look! See how phospholipids assemble themselves into membranes!
                  Now we
                  > know what pre-biotic earth must have been like!"
                  >

                  Well no. The experiments were not about phospholipids.

                  Again I ask - did you read the essay?

                  And no, they do not say "see the membranes form spontaneously
                  therefore this is what the prebiotic earth must have been like."

                  Rather they say:-

                  "From certain evidence, this is what we think the prebiotic earth
                  must have looked like. Therefore can membranes made of chemicals we
                  think could have been in existence then, form membranes
                  spontaneously? Let's find out by doing an experiment".

                  Given that you have it back to front, again I ask, did you actually
                  read anything?

                  > You remind me of Satan's boast that he could be as creative as God
                  was.
                  > See, Satan took a handful of dirt and proposed to make a man out of
                  it.
                  > God stopped him and said, "Not so fast. Get your own dirt."
                  >

                  Funny that you should introduce Satan.

                  Do you believe it acceptable and Godly to actually misrepresent what
                  folk (whom you disagree with) actually argue?

                  I would have thought that to be Satan like. You think otherwise?

                  >
                  > Well, why don't you publish to this list the specific grounds that
                  > anyone cited for setting up those laboratory conditions?
                  >

                  They published it in the article you have not read. Here it is for
                  you Temlakos:-

                  1) Deamer, D. W. "Boundary stuctures are formed in the physical
                  properities of the Murchison carbonaceaus chrondite", Nature 317, p
                  792-794 (1985).

                  2) Huang, Y et al. "Molecular and compound-specific isotopic
                  characterization of monocarboxylic acids in carbonaceaous
                  meteorites", Geochim Cosmochim Acta, 69, p 1073-1084 (2005)

                  3) McCollon, T.M., Ritter G, and Simoneit, B. R. "Lipid syntheis
                  under hydrothermal consitions by Fisher-Topsch-type reaction",
                  Origin. Life Evol. Biosph., 29, p153-156, 1999.


                  > What explanation? You haven't explained how you know that the
                  laboratory
                  > conditions replicated the wild conditions, or even how the
                  phospholipids
                  > formed. I repeat: Get your own dirt--or in this case, phospholipids
                  and
                  > primordial matter.
                  >

                  See above. Again I repeat, phospholipids are not the experiment. I
                  told you why. They told you why.

                  > We're not talking about predicting the future, are we? We're
                  talking
                  > about reconstructing the past.
                  >

                  O.k. then I'll bet you cannot explain what I was doing and where I
                  was going in the last 12 hours. That does not mean that I therefore
                  have the explanation for what you did and where you went in the last
                  12 hours.

                  Yet your logic in this section in the earlier post suggests
                  otherwise.



                  Regards, Roland
                • Temlakos
                  ... Predictions of what the earth might look like today, if the earth had a certain appearance in the past. And /that/ is what is lacking. I have never once
                  Message 8 of 22 , Aug 12, 2008
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                    rjwatts1 wrote:
                    >
                    > So what would you require such that we can say that "we know", if not
                    > direct observation?
                    >
                    >


                    Predictions of what the earth might look like today, if the earth had a
                    certain appearance in the past. And /that/ is what is lacking. I have
                    never once seen a satisfactory answer.

                    You now seem to be alleging that the experimenters started with
                    molecules somewhat simpler than phospholipids and from those raw
                    materials they got membranes. Now consider this: the favorite
                    cosmological model of the origin of the universe, which in English is
                    called "the Big Bang," states that the matter in the universe began as
                    particles that were so elementary that in the first few seconds, not one
                    particle could have anything approaching a stable existence. Then a few
                    minutes later, the universe cooled sufficiently for the first baryons to
                    form, including electrons, neutrons, protons, deuterons, tritons, alpha
                    particles, perhaps a few trialphas (helium-3), and so on. Much later, or
                    so I understand, the heavier baryons formed, including those used in the
                    experiment.

                    Now here is the "get your own dirt" question: show me how you get to
                    those simpler compounds that you now say that they started with, from
                    the very elements of which they are composed, i.e. carbon, phosphorus,
                    hydrogen, and oxygen. And: show me how an environment formed that would
                    allow those constituents to self-assemble.

                    You think you have creationists nailed dead-to-rights. Methodological
                    naturalists always think that whenever they come up with one of these
                    Miller-Urey-like demonstrations. But they haven't, and you haven't, for
                    one simple reason: not one methodological naturalist has shown
                    convincingly that those things that had to happen in order for life to
                    so much as get started, actually happened or even was the most likely
                    thing to have happened. All I hear is, "If it didn't happen that way,
                    then we wouldn't be here."

                    And I also see fudge after fudge after fudge after fudge.

                    The Big Bang, to begin with, has two great fudges that ought to
                    embarrass its proponents. Those fudges are /dark matter/ and /dark
                    energy/. And what do they mean? Simply this:

                    1. Galaxies spin too rapidly, or so it would appear, for Newtonian
                    gravity alone to hold them all together. The galaxies aren't massive
                    enough for that. So what have astronomers been doing since about 1933?
                    Calculating the amount of mass that these galaxies /should/ have, to
                    explain their spin rates; calculating how much matter they can /see/ in
                    those galaxies, and then subtracting the second from the first. The
                    remainder is this "stuff" that somehow we can't see: dark matter.

                    2. All objects in the universe are flying away from one another not
                    only much faster than they ought to rush, but faster and faster! The
                    expansion of the universe is accelerating! How could this possibly be?
                    Answer: /dark energy/, a form of energy that, again, astronomers can't
                    see or otherwise account for. That concept is about ten years old now.

                    For everyone's information, astronomers now state, with straight faces,
                    that /ninety-five percent of the mass-energy in the universe consists of
                    dark matter and energy/. To be specific, 72% of the rest mass consists
                    of dark energy, another 23% consists of the apparent rest-mass energy of
                    dark matter, and the remainder consists of the rest-mass energy and
                    other energies of the familiar baryonic matter of which we and our world
                    are made. And in order to /find/ what dark matter is, they are building
                    these incredible supercolliders and hoping to smash a few atoms and find
                    these new particles that they call Weakly Interactive Massive
                    Particles--WIMPs. Either that, or they're hoping to identify some
                    invisible objects, called MaCHOs--Massive Compact Halo Objects.

                    Ladies and gentlemen, let me add another acronym to summarize all of
                    that gobbledygook above: ROFL!

                    I can hear the rejoinder already: "All right, mister smart creationist,
                    suppose /you/ explain dark matter and energy, then." Well, I'm not a
                    seasoned cosmologist. Happily, I can recommend someone who is: John
                    Hartnett, PhD, of Creation Ministries International. In /Starlight, Time
                    and the New Physics/, he explains it all. Both the dark matter and the
                    dark energy represent discrepancies that resolve themselves quite neatly
                    when you replace the space-time continuum of Einstein with the
                    space-/velocity/ continuum of Carmeli, and add matter to the mix. And
                    also when you realize that as you gaze outward from our galaxy, you're
                    looking back in time, and beyond a certain point you're looking back to
                    creation itself. And creation involved a very rapid expansion of the
                    cosmos--so rapid that things look as though they're under acceleration
                    now when in fact you're looking at red-shifted light from objects that
                    got yanked to the far corners of the universe about six thousand years
                    ago by our clocks. Note carefully: by /our/ clocks. Those clocks are the
                    only clocks that matter to us, because we're the only ones around.

                    Hartnett's numbers also tell how we observe light from far-distant
                    objects (up to 13.7 billion light-years away) today, though creation
                    happened a little more than 6,000 years ago.

                    Now beyond the Big Bang is the theory of how the earth and the solar
                    system formed: the nebula theory. Let's see--a great cloud of gas
                    contracted, some of it ignited and formed the sun, and the rest
                    coalesced into the rocky planets, the gas giants, the trans-neptunian
                    objects, and something called the Oort Cloud that no astronomer has yet
                    seen. Now let's have a look at all the problems with that theory:

                    1. Why does the sun have so much less angular momentum than it has,
                    this although it has most of the mass of the solar system by far?

                    2. Why do Venus, Uranus, and Pluto rotate retrograde in relation to
                    every other object?

                    3. Why do at least two of the gas giants have satellites that
                    /revolve/ retrograde around them?

                    4. Why is the sun's axis of rotation tilted seven degrees off the
                    plane of the ecliptic?

                    5. Why are the axes of rotation of /any/ of the planets tilted, and
                    especially that of Uranus? For that matter, why do most of Uranus'
                    satellites rotate almost parallel to the plane of Uranus' equator and
                    /not/ in the plane of the ecliptic or anywhere close to it?

                    6. Why do Mercury, Uranus, and Neptune even have magnetic fields?
                    Mercury spins too slowly, and Uranus and Neptune are too cold. Imagine
                    the surprise and embarrassment of astronomers everywhere when each of
                    those worlds was found to have a magnetic field. Even worse, Russell
                    Humphreys not only predicted that Uranus and Neptune would have magnetic
                    fields, but he even predicted how strong they would be. And he did this
                    in 1984, /two years/ before Voyager 2 made rendez-vous with Uranus and
                    thus took the first available measurements.

                    7. How did the rings of Saturn come to have their complex spoked
                    pattern? That couldn't have happened in thirty billion years.

                    Do any of you begin to see what I mean? Every scenario that
                    methodological naturalists have invented, in order to give the earth
                    enough time for things to "just happen" to "work out" to the diversity
                    of life we see today, is fatally flawed.

                    And why shouldn't I go all the way back to the beginning? Because
                    everything had to have a cause, until you get back to the First Cause.
                    And any system that purports to tell how we came to be, that cannot
                    trace the chain of causation back to the beginning, is just another
                    mildly entertaining story. And in the case of methodological naturalism,
                    the story cannot entertain me at all--because it is, quite simply, absurd.

                    Temlakos
                  • Susan Cogan
                    ... no we are seeing what it MAY have been like. What the research will end up with is one or many plausible ways life could have formed. If you want to
                    Message 9 of 22 , Aug 17, 2008
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                      >
                      >I'll tell you what I require, and what any reasonable and prudent
                      >reviewer ought to require: I require you to show a process by which
                      >phospholipid compounds synthesize themselves from their constituent
                      >elements of carbon, hydrogen, phosphorus, and oxygen. Then I require you
                      >to show that the conditions that someone set up in his laboratory /were
                      >in fact those that once existed in the wild/. What I see instead is,
                      >"Look! See how phospholipids assemble themselves into membranes! Now we
                      >know what pre-biotic earth must have been like!"


                      no we are seeing what it MAY have been like. What
                      the research will end up with is one or many
                      plausible ways life could have formed. If you
                      want to believe God did it, nobody will mind unless you try to stop research.

                      >You remind me of Satan's boast that he could be as creative as God was.
                      >See, Satan took a handful of dirt and proposed to make a man out of it.
                      >God stopped him and said, "Not so fast. Get your own dirt."

                      the elements in dirt were formed inside stars,
                      including all the elements (the same elements,
                      actually) that make up our bodies. We are
                      literally made of star-stuff. Isn't that cool?

                      > > I'll bet you cannot explain what I will be going in 12 hours. That
                      > > does not mean that I therefore have the explanation for what you will
                      > > be doing in 12 hours. Yet your logic above suggests otherwise.
                      > >
                      >
                      >We're not talking about predicting the future, are we? We're talking
                      >about reconstructing the past.
                      >
                      >Now that I've gotten that out of the way, it's time to turn to Susan
                      >Cogan. But first: In case anyone is wondering why I have not replied
                      >earlier, I was attending a writer's conference, and neither the
                      >conference venue nor my lodging venue provided me any Internet connection.

                      I'm envious. I usually can't afford to go to those.


                      >Now then:
                      >
                      > > quite a bit is known about the atmospheric composition of the early
                      > > earth. You should educate yourself on the subject.
                      >
                      >Well, suppose you start educating us on what is known--or rather, what
                      >is alleged, and the basis for that allegation--on the atmospheric
                      >composition of the early earth? All I've seen are retropolations from
                      >the Miller-Urey and similar experiments. The argument seems to run thus:
                      >
                      >1. Drs. Miller and Urey extracted amino acids from an atmosphere of
                      >methane, hydrogen, and ammonia after giving that atmosphere a tremendous
                      >electric shock.
                      >
                      >2. Therefore the early atmosphere was once composed of methane,
                      >hydrogen, and ammonia.

                      ok, so you haven't read anything about the
                      experiment except a few vague passages on creationist websites.


                      >And then there's the little matter of how the amino acids were extracted
                      >without being immediately de-natured,

                      amino acids weren't "extracted." They
                      spontaneously formed using the same principles
                      that cause water to form from hydrogen and oxygen.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller-Urey_experiment#Earth.27s_early_atmosphere

                      >and how they spontaneously formed
                      >the first protein. And no one has /yet/ shown where the first DNA strand
                      >came from. And need I repeat: ten Libraries of Congress.

                      from the above link:
                      "This experiment inspired many experiments in a
                      similar vein. In 1961, Joan Oró found that amino
                      acids could be made from hydrogen cyanide (HCN)
                      and ammonia in a water solution. He also found
                      that his experiment produced a large amount of
                      the nucleotide base adenine. Experiments
                      conducted later showed that the other RNA and DNA
                      bases could be obtained through simulated
                      prebiotic chemistry with a reducing atmosphere."


                      Yes, there's still plenty to learn. The world is an exciting place!



                      > > and they did exactly that. All of science is constructed of evidence.
                      > > Since the universe is a rational and coherent whole, if something
                      > > works here, it works over there. If it works now, it worked in the
                      > > past and will work in the future. If it doesn't work, then more
                      > > evidence is needed to see what does work.
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      >You fell neatly into the trap. "If something works now, then it worked
                      >in the past." In short, we see in the above the classic statement of
                      >uniformitarianism, extrapolated beyond geology to virtually any other
                      >discipline. But the line of reasoning is /exactly/ what I have always
                      >seen, and what I predicted. Uniformitarians /infer prior conditions from
                      >present contrived conditions/. That sort of inference is utterly without
                      >foundation.


                      It's an inference that you not only make every
                      day, you make it every time you sit down in a chair.

                      > > The way religion works is you take a bald statement and then swallow
                      > > it whole on faith even if it doesn't line up with the facts. If
                      > > science did that we'd be having this discussion via carrier pigeon.
                      >
                      >Actually, that's the way uniformitarianism, abiogenesis, and "common
                      >descent" work. I haven't seen any facts. All I've seen is spin.

                      So far, I don't have huge confidence that you've
                      actually seen anything. You don't seem to
                      understand how elements combine into molecules.

                      > > certainly I exposed Dembski's dishonesty. I note how much you care
                      > > about that (i.e. you don't)
                      >
                      >You have exposed nothing but your own embarrassment at Dembski's
                      >exposure of the full implications of Dennett's pronouncements on matters
                      >of public policy. And you should be embarrassed. Dennett picks Islam--a
                      >political movement in religious dress, and one every bit as nasty as was
                      >Nazism--and tries to suggest that all religions are just like that.


                      Islam is now what Christianity was 300-400 years
                      ago. All fundamentalist religions (and I mean all
                      of them) are collectivist and totalitarian.
                      Christian fundamentalism is not an exception.
                      Even relatively mild religions tend to be fairly
                      authoritarian. That's why they lend themselves so
                      well to coercive governments.


                      >As to the rest: Make up your mind, Susan. You fear Islam (and with a
                      >significant amount of justice), and yet you treat the 9/11 incident as
                      >merely a crime, and not an operation by a transnational paramilitary
                      >force acting on fourteen-hundred-year-old instructions.


                      it was a crime--a huge crime--but a crime
                      committed by criminals who thought they were
                      submitting themselves to the will of God. I don't
                      consider religion a legal defense.


                      >Maybe you do
                      >that because you know that if you once advocated treating Islam as the
                      >threat to civilization that it is, then by equating Christianity with
                      >Islam you would be advocating similar sanctions against Christians, and
                      >that is a thing you don't dare do. Or maybe you haven't studied
                      >Christianity /or/ Islam nearly as carefully as you say you have.

                      I think there is a strong possibility we will
                      eventually end up in a war with Islam. I think
                      it's almost--but not quite--inevitable. It will
                      be a clash of the medieval world with the modern
                      world. It will be a clash of the secular world and the religious world.


                      >I'll sum up this way:
                      >
                      >1. Your deliberate conflation of Christianity with Islam will
                      >inevitably fail upon the most elementary comparison between the Bible
                      >and the Koran.

                      I haven't read all of the Koran as I have the
                      Bible, but what I've read of it so far is pretty
                      much indistinguishable from the OT.

                      >2. You say that you and your family "are alive today because of modern
                      >medicine." You don't know that. But in your touching defense of it, you
                      >demonstrate the transformation of modern medicine into a religion that
                      >is neither art nor science.


                      A cardiologist saved my husband's life this week.
                      If he wants a burnt offering he has but to say the word.


                      >For everyone else's benefit, I have more sources than the site
                      ><http://mercola.com/>. Consider also:
                      >
                      >Mendelsohn, Robert, MD. /Confessions of a Medical Heretic/
                      >
                      >Mendelsohn, Robert, MD. /Mal(e)practice/
                      >
                      >Robert Mendelsohn was a conventionally trained pediatrician who one day
                      >surveyed his professional environment, and its history, and concluded,
                      >as far back as 1980, that his chosen profession had gone off the rails.
                      >
                      >In the management of acute trauma, it's more than fine--though it has
                      >learned its insights from the parallel discipline of battlefield
                      >medicine and not from any theory of abiogenesis or common descent.

                      abiogenesis research has been helpful in the
                      development of new drugs (so I hear). Common
                      descent underlies most of medical research, especially drug testing.

                      I'd never heard of Mendlesohn, but I just read a
                      little about him and his criticisms of medicine.
                      He died 20 years ago after a life in medical
                      service. Many of his criticisms of medicine were
                      valid 30 or 40 years ago (unnecessary
                      hysterectomies, sloppily run hospitals), now the
                      things he argued against are much more rare.
                      Especially in women's medicine there has been a
                      complete shift in the zeitgeist. To a lesser
                      extent, the same is true of all other medicine. I
                      wouldn't see a doctor who was more than about 50
                      years old. Not because I like 'em young, but
                      because I want to get a doctor who began to
                      practice after the zeitgeist shift. In the
                      "olden" days if you had a question for a doctor
                      they would look at you like it was none of your
                      business. They wouldn't even tell you your blood
                      pressure or give you vital medical information so
                      you could assist in your treatment. No
                      longer--all of that has completely changed. You
                      still run into doctors who are incompetent or
                      just jerks, but that's life. Find another doctor.
                      An old joke: What do you call a person who
                      graduated last in their medical class? Answer: "Doctor"


                      >But
                      >many of its recommendations in areas other than acute trauma are
                      >scandalous. Thanks to modern medicine, schoolteachers are now
                      >controlling their pupils with drugs,


                      most people think ADHD and ADD drugs are
                      tranquilizers. They are not, in fact they are
                      nearly all some derivative or analog of
                      amphetamine. If you give a brat Ritalin, you will
                      not have a more "controllable" brat. You will have a jittery brat.

                      Please explain again what kind of medical doctor
                      you are and in what part of the country your practice is located.

                      >when what was required in my day
                      >was an application of the board of education to the seat of learning.
                      >And now modern medicine has given us abortifacients (mefiprestone) and
                      >"vaccines" that often kill (Gardasil).

                      I don't know where you got that Gardasil "often"
                      kills. That's hogwash. It is incredibly safe and will save thousands of lives.
                      http://redsonja2000.blogspot.com/2006/03/christian-honor-killings_09.html


                      I am opposed to abortion. And there are many
                      drugs and herbs that will cause abortion that
                      have been in use for thousands of years.
                      Mefiprestone is safer than most of more traditional concoctions.


                      >And this is the system that you would elevate to the status of law?

                      To refuse medical treatment to a sick child is
                      criminal abuse. "They sometimes make mistakes and
                      can't cure everything" isn't a defense.

                      >In
                      >the name of /this/ system, you would place parents under arrest and make
                      >their children wards of the state if they refused treatment?


                      Yes, and if the children die, the parents
                      should be charged with at least manslaughter and
                      put in prison where they belong.

                      >"Homicidally irresponsible," you said. Well, I say that it is
                      >"homicidally irresponsible" to encourage a woman to rely on mefiprestone
                      >/or/ Gardasil, both of which have killed some of the women who have
                      >taken them.

                      As far as I know, Gardasil hasn't killed anyone.
                      Mefiprestone isn't a cure for anything children
                      are likely to get. There is no guarantee in this
                      world that medicine will cure you or save your
                      life, but to refuse medical treatment to children
                      who then die of that neglect is homicide.
                      Religious belief isn't a legal defense.


                      >I have taken all this time to discuss all this because I seek to
                      >illustrate the flaws, not only of evolutionary /thinking/ but also of
                      >evolutionary /values/. "Evolution" is a value system, and a sadly
                      >misguided one. Its foundations are like sand, and its implications are,
                      >frankly, hideous.
                      >
                      >Temlakos

                      uh, yeah. I think children deserve to be
                      protected from loonies who would pray over them
                      instead of getting them to a doctor. Evolution is
                      an account and an explanation for the history of life on earth.


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Temlakos
                      ... May have been like is not sufficient. Thus far all I see is, This is the only way that it could have worked; therefore this is how it must have been.
                      Message 10 of 22 , Aug 17, 2008
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Susan Cogan wrote:
                        >
                        > no we are seeing what it MAY have been like. What
                        > the research will end up with is one or many
                        > plausible ways life could have formed. If you
                        > want to believe God did it, nobody will mind unless you try to stop research.
                        >
                        >

                        "May have been like" is not sufficient. Thus far all I see is, "This is
                        the only way that it could have worked; therefore this is how it must
                        have been." And even then I see no complete process that handles all the
                        functions of the cell, and I certainly don't see ten Libraries of
                        Congress writing themselves.

                        The only reason why I would try to "stop research" is if the researchers
                        choose to waste my (that is to say, taxpayers') money on their pointless
                        quest.

                        > the elements in dirt were formed inside stars,
                        > including all the elements (the same elements,
                        > actually) that make up our bodies. We are
                        > literally made of star-stuff. Isn't that cool?
                        >

                        Except for one thing: no cosmologist has convincingly shown why so many
                        heavy-element atoms ought to exist. While on the other hand, we see far
                        too little helium and lithium if we are to assume that the universe is
                        as old as the Big Bangers say (13.7 billion years).

                        >>
                        >
                        > ok, so you haven't read anything about the
                        > experiment except a few vague passages on creationist websites.
                        >

                        And you aren't telling us how Drs. Miller and Urey "knew" to compose an
                        "atmosphere" of methane, hydrogen, and ammonia.

                        > amino acids weren't "extracted." They
                        > spontaneously formed using the same principles
                        > that cause water to form from hydrogen and oxygen.
                        >
                        > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller-Urey_experiment#Earth.27s_early_atmosphere
                        >

                        Except for one thing: those amino acids, once "formed," would have
                        denatured immediately had the experimenters not removed them from the
                        reaction vessel. How such an equivalent process could have happened in
                        the wild is something that neither Miller nor Urey nor any reviewer of
                        the experiment ever deigned to explain.

                        >
                        >> and how they spontaneously formed
                        >> the first protein. And no one has /yet/ shown where the first DNA strand
                        >> came from. And need I repeat: ten Libraries of Congress.
                        >>
                        >
                        > from the above link:
                        > "This experiment inspired many experiments in a
                        > similar vein. In 1961, Joan Oró found that amino
                        > acids could be made from hydrogen cyanide (HCN)
                        > and ammonia in a water solution. He also found
                        > that his experiment produced a large amount of
                        > the nucleotide base adenine. Experiments
                        > conducted later showed that the other RNA and DNA
                        > bases could be obtained through simulated
                        > prebiotic chemistry with a reducing atmosphere."
                        >
                        >
                        > Yes, there's still plenty to learn. The world is an exciting place!
                        >

                        "Could be" does not mean "was." None of those experiments have
                        established anything about what the early atmosphere looked like. Again,
                        all I see is, "We made amino acids and even a nucleobase out of simpler
                        compounds, so that's what the atmosphere must have been like." That is
                        not satisfactory. One would have to /establish/ what that early
                        atmosphere looked like from evidence /other than/ "that's what works to
                        produce such-a-substance."

                        Besides: so you got adenine. How about guanine, thymine, or cytosine?

                        >>
                        >
                        >
                        > It's an inference that you not only make every
                        > day, you make it every time you sit down in a chair.
                        >

                        No, it isn't. Someone designed that chair, and deliberately so. But what
                        you want to maintain is the equivalent of the chair assembling itself
                        out of simpler pieces of wood that in turn carved themselves out of a tree.

                        > So far, I don't have huge confidence that you've
                        > actually seen anything. You don't seem to
                        > understand how elements combine into molecules.
                        >

                        I've had college-level courses in chemistry (organic and inorganic) and
                        biology. And in case you're wondering, I graduated from Yale College,
                        /summa cum laude/ with distinction in my major (engineering and applied
                        science). So don't say that I skated through my courses, thank you very
                        much. I just thought I'd get that out in advance.

                        >
                        > Islam is now what Christianity was 300-400 years
                        > ago. All fundamentalist religions (and I mean all
                        > of them) are collectivist and totalitarian.
                        > Christian fundamentalism is not an exception.
                        > Even relatively mild religions tend to be fairly
                        > authoritarian. That's why they lend themselves so
                        > well to coercive governments.
                        >
                        >

                        The Inquisition was a colossal mistake, and a shameful one. The Bible
                        gives no basis or justification for the Inquisitors' actions. In
                        contrast, the Koran tells Muslims that it is their prerogative, and even
                        their duty, to act as many of them are now doing.

                        >
                        >> As to the rest: Make up your mind, Susan. You fear Islam (and with a
                        >> significant amount of justice), and yet you treat the 9/11 incident as
                        >> merely a crime, and not an operation by a transnational paramilitary
                        >> force acting on fourteen-hundred-year-old instructions.
                        >>
                        >
                        >
                        > it was a crime--a huge crime--but a crime
                        > committed by criminals who thought they were
                        > submitting themselves to the will of God. I don't
                        > consider religion a legal defense.
                        >

                        Now you're mixing up two different issues. First, the flying of those
                        airplanes into those buildings was more than a mere crime. It was an act
                        of war. Second, "I don't consider religion a legal defense" begs the
                        question of "against what charge?"

                        > I think there is a strong possibility we will
                        > eventually end up in a war with Islam. I think
                        > it's almost--but not quite--inevitable. It will
                        > be a clash of the medieval world with the modern
                        > world. It will be a clash of the secular world and the religious world.
                        >
                        >
                        >

                        I wondered when you would finally say that. I predicted that long ago:
                        that the world's secularist/atheist axis would start a war of the
                        moderns against the anti-moderns. And the way you just expressed it, you
                        make no distinction between Christianity and Islam, and for that I can
                        think of but one motive, and it's a motive that Daniel Dennett has
                        already articulated.

                        >> I'll sum up this way:
                        >>
                        >> 1. Your deliberate conflation of Christianity with Islam will
                        >> inevitably fail upon the most elementary comparison between the Bible
                        >> and the Koran.
                        >>
                        >
                        > I haven't read all of the Koran as I have the
                        > Bible, but what I've read of it so far is pretty
                        > much indistinguishable from the OT.
                        >

                        That's a matter of opinion, and a lot of scholars of ancient and
                        medieval languages would surely dispute you on that.

                        >
                        >> 2. You say that you and your family "are alive today because of modern
                        >> medicine." You don't know that. But in your touching defense of it, you
                        >> demonstrate the transformation of modern medicine into a religion that
                        >> is neither art nor science.
                        >>
                        >
                        >
                        > A cardiologist saved my husband's life this week.
                        > If he wants a burnt offering he has but to say the word.
                        >

                        Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

                        >
                        >
                        >> For everyone else's benefit, I have more sources than the site
                        >> <http://mercola.com/>. Consider also:
                        >>
                        >> Mendelsohn, Robert, MD. /Confessions of a Medical Heretic/
                        >>
                        >> Mendelsohn, Robert, MD. /Mal(e)practice/
                        >>
                        >> Robert Mendelsohn was a conventionally trained pediatrician who one day
                        >> surveyed his professional environment, and its history, and concluded,
                        >> as far back as 1980, that his chosen profession had gone off the rails.
                        >>
                        >> In the management of acute trauma, it's more than fine--though it has
                        >> learned its insights from the parallel discipline of battlefield
                        >> medicine and not from any theory of abiogenesis or common descent.
                        >>
                        >
                        > abiogenesis research has been helpful in the
                        > development of new drugs (so I hear). Common
                        > descent underlies most of medical research, especially drug testing.
                        >

                        Drug testing, such as it is, works on account of common design
                        principles, not common ancestry. And as to abiogenesis research: if
                        you've heard any such claims, then I invite you to publish them here. I
                        think someone is seeing things.

                        > I'd never heard of Mendlesohn, but I just read a
                        > little about him and his criticisms of medicine.
                        > He died 20 years ago after a life in medical
                        > service. Many of his criticisms of medicine were
                        > valid 30 or 40 years ago (unnecessary
                        > hysterectomies, sloppily run hospitals), now the
                        > things he argued against are much more rare.
                        > Especially in women's medicine there has been a
                        > complete shift in the zeitgeist. To a lesser
                        > extent, the same is true of all other medicine. I
                        > wouldn't see a doctor who was more than about 50
                        > years old. Not because I like 'em young, but
                        > because I want to get a doctor who began to
                        > practice after the zeitgeist shift. In the
                        > "olden" days if you had a question for a doctor
                        > they would look at you like it was none of your
                        > business. They wouldn't even tell you your blood
                        > pressure or give you vital medical information so
                        > you could assist in your treatment. No
                        > longer--all of that has completely changed. You
                        > still run into doctors who are incompetent or
                        > just jerks, but that's life. Find another doctor.
                        > An old joke: What do you call a person who
                        > graduated last in their medical class? Answer: "Doctor"
                        >

                        It'll take more than whatever shift happened in the "zeitgeist" to put
                        modern medicine back on the rails, from where I sit.

                        >
                        >
                        >> But
                        >> many of its recommendations in areas other than acute trauma are
                        >> scandalous. Thanks to modern medicine, schoolteachers are now
                        >> controlling their pupils with drugs,
                        >>
                        >
                        >
                        > most people think ADHD and ADD drugs are
                        > tranquilizers. They are not, in fact they are
                        > nearly all some derivative or analog of
                        > amphetamine. If you give a brat Ritalin, you will
                        > not have a more "controllable" brat. You will have a jittery brat.
                        >

                        Well, at least you agree that at least one drug given specifically for
                        those conditions is worse than useless.

                        > Please explain again what kind of medical doctor
                        > you are and in what part of the country your practice is located.
                        >

                        I am trained as a pathologist, one concerned primarily with diagnosis.
                        That's one area of modern medicine that's still good.

                        >
                        >
                        > I don't know where you got that Gardasil "often"
                        > kills. That's hogwash. It is incredibly safe and will save thousands of lives.
                        > http://redsonja2000.blogspot.com/2006/03/christian-honor-killings_09.html
                        >

                        Will you, or will you not admit, that Gardasil has killed a number of
                        women who have taken it?

                        And why take a drug when you can modify your behavior and be guaranteed
                        safe against the particular ill that the drug is supposed to "prevent,"
                        /without/ taking the drug and the risk that goes with it?

                        >
                        > I am opposed to abortion. And there are many
                        > drugs and herbs that will cause abortion that
                        > have been in use for thousands of years.
                        > Mefiprestone is safer than most of more traditional concoctions.
                        >

                        Not according to the anecdotes that I have seen. And if you are indeed
                        opposed to abortion--well, it seems to me that you have a peculiar way
                        of showing it.

                        >
                        >
                        > To refuse medical treatment to a sick child is
                        > criminal abuse. "They sometimes make mistakes and
                        > can't cure everything" isn't a defense.
                        >

                        Again you go on record. You seem to think that doctor's orders ought to
                        have the force of law.

                        >
                        >> In
                        >> the name of /this/ system, you would place parents under arrest and make
                        >> their children wards of the state if they refused treatment?
                        >>
                        >
                        >
                        > Yes, and if the children die, the parents
                        > should be charged with at least manslaughter and
                        > put in prison where they belong.
                        >

                        Again you are on record. "Leave it up to the professionals," eh? Well, I
                        guess that if you agree with the professionals' agenda, that's
                        understandable. Well, I don't agree.

                        >
                        >> "Homicidally irresponsible," you said. Well, I say that it is
                        >> "homicidally irresponsible" to encourage a woman to rely on mefiprestone
                        >> /or/ Gardasil, both of which have killed some of the women who have
                        >> taken them.
                        >>
                        >
                        > As far as I know, Gardasil hasn't killed anyone.
                        >

                        You are sadly mistaken.

                        > Mefiprestone isn't a cure for anything children
                        > are likely to get. There is no guarantee in this
                        > world that medicine will cure you or save your
                        > life, but to refuse medical treatment to children
                        > who then die of that neglect is homicide.
                        > Religious belief isn't a legal defense.
                        >

                        The above is a contradiction. If there is no guarantee, then there is no
                        ground to make a doctor's orders carry the force of law.

                        >
                        >
                        >> I have taken all this time to discuss all this because I seek to
                        >> illustrate the flaws, not only of evolutionary /thinking/ but also of
                        >> evolutionary /values/. "Evolution" is a value system, and a sadly
                        >> misguided one. Its foundations are like sand, and its implications are,
                        >> frankly, hideous.
                        >>
                        >> Temlakos
                        >>
                        >
                        > uh, yeah. I think children deserve to be
                        > protected from loonies who would pray over them
                        > instead of getting them to a doctor. Evolution is
                        > an account and an explanation for the history of life on earth.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        Evolution is a fraud--and you have just demonstrated that you are a
                        would-be tyrant.

                        Temlakos
                      • Susan Cogan
                        ... scientists are not creationists. They are aware of the limitations of science and are ok with it. They are ok with ambiguity and they are ok acknowledging
                        Message 11 of 22 , Aug 19, 2008
                        • 0 Attachment
                          >Susan Cogan wrote:
                          >>
                          >> no we are seeing what it MAY have been like. What
                          >> the research will end up with is one or many
                          >> plausible ways life could have formed. If you
                          >> want to believe God did it, nobody will mind
                          >>unless you try to stop research.
                          >>
                          >>
                          >
                          >"May have been like" is not sufficient.


                          scientists are not creationists. They are aware
                          of the limitations of science and are ok with it.
                          They are ok with ambiguity and they are ok
                          acknowledging they don't know stuff. There is no
                          demonstration/video tape/testimony that would
                          convince YOU. That's not why they are doing their
                          research. They want to know how such a thing
                          could have happened. They will eventually find
                          ways that it could have happened. The earth has
                          destroyed its own early history. We'll never know
                          for sure. But that's ok.

                          >The only reason why I would try to "stop research" is if the researchers
                          >choose to waste my (that is to say, taxpayers') money on their pointless
                          >quest.


                          a search for knowledge is never pointless. Knowledge is without price.


                          > > the elements in dirt were formed inside stars,
                          >> including all the elements (the same elements,
                          >> actually) that make up our bodies. We are
                          >> literally made of star-stuff. Isn't that cool?
                          >>
                          >
                          >Except for one thing: no cosmologist has convincingly shown why so many
                          >heavy-element atoms ought to exist. While on the other hand, we see far
                          >too little helium and lithium if we are to assume that the universe is
                          >as old as the Big Bangers say (13.7 billion years).


                          an interesting and yet pointless dodge.



                          > > ok, so you haven't read anything about the
                          >> experiment except a few vague passages on creationist websites.
                          >>
                          >
                          >And you aren't telling us how Drs. Miller and Urey "knew" to compose an
                          >"atmosphere" of methane, hydrogen, and ammonia.


                          I'm pretty sure they analyzed rocks of the
                          appropriate age. M&U did not get the atmospheric
                          mix quite right, further research keeps refining
                          it. They may still not have it exactly right.


                          > > amino acids weren't "extracted." They
                          >> spontaneously formed using the same principles
                          >> that cause water to form from hydrogen and oxygen.
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller-Urey_experiment#Earth.27s_early_atmosphere
                          >>
                          >
                          >Except for one thing: those amino acids, once "formed," would have
                          >denatured immediately had the experimenters not removed them from the
                          >reaction vessel.


                          what on earth does "denatured" mean in this
                          context? In any case it doesn't matter. All they
                          were trying to do was see if they could get
                          organic compounds to form under conditions
                          similar to the early earth. They did. They
                          weren't trying to grow a trilobite in a test tube.


                          >How such an equivalent process could have happened in
                          >the wild is something that neither Miller nor Urey nor any reviewer of
                          >the experiment ever deigned to explain.


                          actually they mimicked the "wild" as closely as
                          they could given the information they had at the
                          time. They had no intention of answering every
                          single question about the origin of life--only
                          one question. What kind of conditions could
                          organic compounds form under? They found one
                          answer. Since that time there have been hundreds
                          of similar experiments with (slightly) different
                          atmospheric mixtures, with similar results. They
                          still haven't grown a trilobite in a test tube,
                          but they are on the trail of a wonderful mystery.


                          > >
                          >>> and how they spontaneously formed
                          >>> the first protein. And no one has /yet/ shown where the first DNA strand
                          >>> came from. And need I repeat: ten Libraries of Congress.
                          >>>
                          >>
                          >> from the above link:
                          >> "This experiment inspired many experiments in a
                          >> similar vein. In 1961, Joan Oró found that amino
                          >> acids could be made from hydrogen cyanide (HCN)
                          >> and ammonia in a water solution. He also found
                          >> that his experiment produced a large amount of
                          > > the nucleotide base adenine. Experiments
                          >> conducted later showed that the other RNA and DNA
                          >> bases could be obtained through simulated
                          > > prebiotic chemistry with a reducing atmosphere."
                          > >
                          >>
                          >> Yes, there's still plenty to learn. The world is an exciting place!
                          > >
                          >
                          >"Could be" does not mean "was." None of those experiments have
                          >established anything about what the early atmosphere looked like. Again,
                          >all I see is, "We made amino acids and even a nucleobase out of simpler
                          >compounds, so that's what the atmosphere must have been like." That is
                          >not satisfactory. One would have to /establish/ what that early
                          >atmosphere looked like from evidence /other than/ "that's what works to
                          >produce such-a-substance."
                          >
                          >Besides: so you got adenine. How about guanine, thymine, or cytosine?

                          You seem to have missed this part:
                          "Experiments conducted later showed that the
                          other RNA and DNA bases could be obtained through
                          simulated prebiotic chemistry with a reducing
                          atmosphere"



                          > >>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> It's an inference that you not only make every
                          >> day, you make it every time you sit down in a chair.
                          >>
                          >
                          >No, it isn't. Someone designed that chair, and deliberately so. But what
                          >you want to maintain is the equivalent of the chair assembling itself
                          >out of simpler pieces of wood that in turn carved themselves out of a tree.


                          I think you forgot the topic. The inference we
                          were discussing was "things happening now were
                          happening in the past." You sat in the chair
                          before and it didn't break under you. It is a
                          reasonable inference that it will not break
                          today. It's also reasonable to assume that George
                          Washington sat in similar chairs with similar
                          results.



                          > > So far, I don't have huge confidence that you've
                          >> actually seen anything. You don't seem to
                          >> understand how elements combine into molecules.
                          >>
                          >
                          >I've had college-level courses in chemistry (organic and inorganic) and
                          >biology. And in case you're wondering, I graduated from Yale College,
                          >/summa cum laude/ with distinction in my major (engineering and applied
                          >science). So don't say that I skated through my courses, thank you very
                          >much. I just thought I'd get that out in advance.

                          I thought you were a medical doctor. Do I have you confused with someone else?

                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/16168
                          "Now in contrast, what am I? For one thing, I hold the degree of Doctor
                          of Medicine. I therefore have received significantly more scientific
                          training than she has. I have /also/ received specific training on how
                          to analyze a scientific communication. Has she had such training? She
                          has never said. And from the remarks, and the mistakes, that she has
                          made, I suspect not."


                          > >
                          >> Islam is now what Christianity was 300-400 years
                          >> ago. All fundamentalist religions (and I mean all
                          >> of them) are collectivist and totalitarian.
                          >> Christian fundamentalism is not an exception.
                          >> Even relatively mild religions tend to be fairly
                          >> authoritarian. That's why they lend themselves so
                          >> well to coercive governments.
                          >>
                          >>
                          >
                          >The Inquisition was a colossal mistake, and a shameful one. The Bible
                          >gives no basis or justification for the Inquisitors' actions. In
                          >contrast, the Koran tells Muslims that it is their prerogative, and even
                          >their duty, to act as many of them are now doing.

                          Leviticus 24
                          10 Now the son of an Israelite mother and an
                          Egyptian father went out among the Israelites,
                          and a fight broke out in the camp between him and
                          an Israelite. 11 The son of the Israelite woman
                          blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought
                          him to Moses. (His mother's name was Shelomith,
                          the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) 12 They put
                          him in custody until the will of the LORD should
                          be made clear to them.

                          13 Then the LORD said to Moses: 14 "Take the
                          blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard
                          him are to lay their hands on his head, and the
                          entire assembly is to stone him. 15 Say to the
                          Israelites: 'If anyone curses his God, he will be
                          held responsible; 16 anyone who blasphemes the
                          name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire
                          assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or
                          native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must
                          be put to death.

                          > > it was a crime--a huge crime--but a crime
                          >> committed by criminals who thought they were
                          >> submitting themselves to the will of God. I don't
                          >> consider religion a legal defense.
                          > >
                          >
                          >Now you're mixing up two different issues. First, the flying of those
                          >airplanes into those buildings was more than a mere crime. It was an act
                          >of war. Second, "I don't consider religion a legal defense" begs the
                          >question of "against what charge?"

                          murder, in the case of the 9/11 hijackers.

                          Only nations can declare war on each other. Those
                          hijackers were not acting in behalf of any nation
                          they were doing something on behalf of their sick
                          little organization and its sick little leader.



                          > > I think there is a strong possibility we will
                          >> eventually end up in a war with Islam. I think
                          >> it's almost--but not quite--inevitable. It will
                          >> be a clash of the medieval world with the modern
                          >> world. It will be a clash of the secular world and the religious world.
                          > >
                          > >

                          >I wondered when you would finally say that. I predicted that long ago:
                          >that the world's secularist/atheist axis would start a war of the
                          >moderns against the anti-moderns. And the way you just expressed it, you
                          >make no distinction between Christianity and Islam, and for that I can
                          >think of but one motive, and it's a motive that Daniel Dennett has
                          >already articulated.

                          if such a war--between secular and
                          religious--ever breaks out, it will not be
                          started by the secular. You and I live in a
                          modern secular democracy. You will be on our side
                          because only in a modern secular democracy will
                          you be granted freedom of religion--to worship
                          and think as you please. As I have pointed out
                          religious ideologies are always collectivist and
                          authoritarian. You may not think for yourself in
                          a theocracy. The state does your thinking for you
                          and will tell you what to believe. Only in a
                          secular democracy can your mind be free.
                          Therefore, in the coming war--if it does
                          come--you and I (and Dennett and Dawkins) will be
                          on the same side.


                          > >> I'll sum up this way:
                          >>>
                          >>> 1. Your deliberate conflation of Christianity with Islam will
                          >>> inevitably fail upon the most elementary comparison between the Bible
                          >>> and the Koran.
                          >>>
                          >>
                          >> I haven't read all of the Koran as I have the
                          >> Bible, but what I've read of it so far is pretty
                          >> much indistinguishable from the OT.
                          >>
                          >
                          >That's a matter of opinion, and a lot of scholars of ancient and
                          >medieval languages would surely dispute you on that.

                          it's pretty much indistinguishable because much
                          of it is plagiarized from the OT or "inspired" by
                          it.


                          > >
                          > >> 2. You say that you and your family "are alive today because of modern
                          >>> medicine." You don't know that. But in your touching defense of it, you
                          >>> demonstrate the transformation of modern medicine into a religion that
                          >>> is neither art nor science.
                          >>>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> A cardiologist saved my husband's life this week.
                          >> If he wants a burnt offering he has but to say the word.
                          >>
                          >
                          >Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.


                          hahahahaha!!! Broken clocks don't insert stents


                          > >
                          >>
                          >>> For everyone else's benefit, I have more sources than the site
                          >>> <http://mercola.com/>. Consider also:
                          >>>
                          >>> Mendelsohn, Robert, MD. /Confessions of a Medical Heretic/
                          >>>
                          >>> Mendelsohn, Robert, MD. /Mal(e)practice/
                          >>>
                          >>> Robert Mendelsohn was a conventionally trained pediatrician who one day
                          >>> surveyed his professional environment, and its history, and concluded,
                          >>> as far back as 1980, that his chosen profession had gone off the rails.
                          >>>
                          >>> In the management of acute trauma, it's more than fine--though it has
                          >>> learned its insights from the parallel discipline of battlefield
                          >>> medicine and not from any theory of abiogenesis or common descent.
                          >>>
                          >>
                          >> abiogenesis research has been helpful in the
                          >> development of new drugs (so I hear). Common
                          >> descent underlies most of medical research, especially drug testing.
                          >>
                          >
                          >Drug testing, such as it is, works on account of common design
                          >principles, not common ancestry.


                          "common design" which just happens to look
                          exactly like common descent. "Common design" is
                          an ad hoc rationalization.


                          >And as to abiogenesis research: if
                          >you've heard any such claims, then I invite you to publish them here. I
                          >think someone is seeing things.

                          I read about it a few years ago. Apparently they
                          can grow "designer molecules." But you're a
                          doctor, surely you've heard about it.


                          > >> But
                          >>> many of its recommendations in areas other than acute trauma are
                          > >> scandalous. Thanks to modern medicine, schoolteachers are now
                          >>> controlling their pupils with drugs,
                          >>>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> most people think ADHD and ADD drugs are
                          >> tranquilizers. They are not, in fact they are
                          >> nearly all some derivative or analog of
                          >> amphetamine. If you give a brat Ritalin, you will
                          >> not have a more "controllable" brat. You will have a jittery brat.
                          >>
                          >
                          >Well, at least you agree that at least one drug given specifically for
                          >those conditions is worse than useless.

                          it works very well for children (and adults) with
                          ADHD or ADD in helping them become calm and
                          focused. But not for anyone else. It will not
                          turn a brat into an angel.


                          > > Please explain again what kind of medical doctor
                          >> you are and in what part of the country your practice is located.
                          >>
                          >
                          >I am trained as a pathologist, one concerned primarily with diagnosis.
                          >That's one area of modern medicine that's still good.

                          so you don't actually treat patients.

                          Good.


                          > > I don't know where you got that Gardasil "often"
                          >> kills. That's hogwash. It is incredibly safe
                          >>and will save thousands of lives.
                          >> http://redsonja2000.blogspot.com/2006/03/christian-honor-killings_09.html
                          >>
                          >
                          >Will you, or will you not admit, that Gardasil has killed a number of
                          >women who have taken it?

                          Nothing, not even peanut butter, is 100% safe for
                          everyone. Generally Gardasil is perfectly safe:

                          http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2008/08/gardasil_idiocy.php

                          As you read this, keep in mind they have
                          administered at least 16 million doses:
                          -------
                          AERS received 9,749 reports after Gardasil
                          vaccination (6,667 were U.S. reports, 3,082 were
                          foreign reports). Among the U.S. reports, more
                          than 94% were reported as non-serious adverse
                          events such as brief soreness at the injection
                          site and headache. Less than 6% were reports of
                          serious adverse events, about half of the average
                          for vaccines overall.

                          Note: VAERS defines serious adverse events by the
                          Code of Federal Regulations as adverse events
                          involving hospitalization, death, permanent
                          disability, and life-threatening illness. Also,
                          VAERS data are updated continuously and the
                          number of reports will vary depending on the date
                          of analysis.

                          Deaths

                          VAERS received 21 reports of death following
                          Gardasil vaccination (17 were U.S. reports, 4
                          were foreign reports). Of the U.S. reports, only
                          12 reports contained the level of information
                          adequate for further analysis. After careful
                          review of those reports, VAERS could not
                          establish a causal relationship between
                          vaccination and death.

                          For the remaining 5 U.S. reports of death, one is
                          in the process of being followed up, and for 4
                          reports, we were unable to obtain any patient
                          identifying information; therefore, we could not
                          confirm death outcomes.

                          Note: While Gardasil was being tested in the U.S.
                          before it was licensed, 10 people in the group
                          that received the HPV vaccine and 7 people in the
                          placebo group died during the trials. None of the
                          deaths was considered vaccine-related.
                          http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaers/gardasil.htm
                          -------------------
                          so we are talking 21 reports of death out of 16
                          million and most of those were clearly not caused
                          by the vaccine. It sounds like an acceptable risk
                          to me.


                          >And why take a drug when you can modify your behavior and be guaranteed
                          >safe against the particular ill that the drug is supposed to "prevent,"
                          >/without/ taking the drug and the risk that goes with it?


                          because modifying your behavior won't protect you
                          from getting HPV. Gardasil will.


                          > >
                          >> I am opposed to abortion. And there are many
                          >> drugs and herbs that will cause abortion that
                          >> have been in use for thousands of years.
                          >> Mefiprestone is safer than most of more traditional concoctions.
                          >>
                          >
                          >Not according to the anecdotes that I have seen. And if you are indeed
                          >opposed to abortion--well, it seems to me that you have a peculiar way
                          >of showing it.


                          I am opposed to abortion but I am also opposed to
                          governmental prohibition. Abortion is immoral,
                          but not everything immoral should be illegal. See
                          "collectivist and authoritarian" rant above.



                          > > To refuse medical treatment to a sick child is
                          > > criminal abuse. "They sometimes make mistakes and
                          >> can't cure everything" isn't a defense.
                          >>
                          >
                          >Again you go on record. You seem to think that doctor's orders ought to
                          >have the force of law.

                          yes, under certain circumstances. If a child is
                          gravely ill and you don't seek medical help or if
                          you ignore doctor recommendations and the child
                          dies, you have committed manslaughter and should
                          be in prison--and certainly not allowed to have
                          the care of any other children.


                          > >
                          >>> In
                          >>> the name of /this/ system, you would place parents under arrest and make
                          >>> their children wards of the state if they refused treatment?
                          >>>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> Yes, and if the children die, the parents
                          >> should be charged with at least manslaughter and
                          >> put in prison where they belong.
                          >>
                          >
                          >Again you are on record. "Leave it up to the professionals," eh? Well, I
                          >guess that if you agree with the professionals' agenda, that's
                          >understandable. Well, I don't agree.


                          whether you agree or not is irrelevant. You are
                          perfectly well within your right to refuse
                          medical attention. People do it all the time, no
                          problem. But children depend on the adults in
                          their lives to take care of them. If their adults
                          fail to do that, then the adults are legally
                          liable.


                          > >
                          >>> "Homicidally irresponsible," you said. Well, I say that it is
                          >>> "homicidally irresponsible" to encourage a woman to rely on mefiprestone
                          >>> /or/ Gardasil, both of which have killed some of the women who have
                          >>> taken them.
                          >>>
                          >>
                          >> As far as I know, Gardasil hasn't killed anyone.
                          >>
                          >
                          >You are sadly mistaken.


                          I have now read more about Gardasil and there's
                          still no verified case of the vaccine killing
                          anyone.


                          > > Mefiprestone isn't a cure for anything children
                          >> are likely to get. There is no guarantee in this
                          >> world that medicine will cure you or save your
                          >> life, but to refuse medical treatment to children
                          >> who then die of that neglect is homicide.
                          >> Religious belief isn't a legal defense.
                          >>
                          >
                          >The above is a contradiction. If there is no guarantee, then there is no
                          >ground to make a doctor's orders carry the force of law.

                          it's called due diligence. If your child has a
                          rampaging infection and you take him to the
                          doctor and the doctor prescribes
                          antibiotics/hospitalization, etc. and the child
                          dies, then everyone has done everything they
                          could to save the child's life. If your child has
                          rampaging infection and you sit there and do
                          nothing (and praying over them is doing nothing)
                          you are committing a crime.


                          > >
                          >>
                          >>> I have taken all this time to discuss all this because I seek to
                          >>> illustrate the flaws, not only of evolutionary /thinking/ but also of
                          >>> evolutionary /values/. "Evolution" is a value system, and a sadly
                          >>> misguided one. Its foundations are like sand, and its implications are,
                          >>> frankly, hideous.
                          >>>
                          >>> Temlakos
                          >>>
                          >>
                          >> uh, yeah. I think children deserve to be
                          >> protected from loonies who would pray over them
                          >> instead of getting them to a doctor. Evolution is
                          >> an account and an explanation for the history of life on earth.
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >Evolution is a fraud--and you have just demonstrated that you are a
                          >would-be tyrant.

                          I would rather children be properly cared for
                          than die of treatable illnesses. If that is
                          tyranny, then fine. If that's "hideous" morality,
                          then I'll just be unattractive.

                          Susan
                          --


                          ----
                          COGAN BOOKS & MORE
                          http://www.coganbooks.net






















                          -------

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Temlakos
                          ... Here you go again. Scientists are not creationists, and creationists are not scientists. Clearly your definition of science, and mine, are not the same.
                          Message 12 of 22 , Aug 19, 2008
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Susan Cogan wrote:
                            >> Susan Cogan wrote:
                            >>
                            >>> no we are seeing what it MAY have been like. What
                            >>> the research will end up with is one or many
                            >>> plausible ways life could have formed. If you
                            >>> want to believe God did it, nobody will mind
                            >>> unless you try to stop research.
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >> "May have been like" is not sufficient.
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            > scientists are not creationists.

                            Here you go again. Scientists are not creationists, and creationists are
                            not scientists. Clearly your definition of science, and mine, are not
                            the same.

                            True science has rules, and those rules must be the same for
                            everyone--or else the decision of which worldview is correct is totally
                            /ad hoc/ and /a priori/. Which is the best way that I can characterize
                            the decision that you and others have made: that nature had no creator,
                            and that the only intelligence in the universe is in "intelligent life
                            forms."

                            I would ask whether you expect humanity ever to establish contact with a
                            non-human intelligent race, except that I strongly suspect that that
                            would be beyond the scope of this group.

                            Instead I will repeat what I have always observed: that when you insist
                            that anyone who suggests that the universe might have been planned is
                            for that reason to be dismissed as a fool, a crackpot, or a charlatan,
                            you stunt scientific inquiry and turn it into a religion--or, as in this
                            case, an anti-religion.

                            > They are aware
                            > of the limitations of science and are ok with it.
                            > They are ok with ambiguity and they are ok
                            > acknowledging they don't know stuff. There is no
                            > demonstration/video tape/testimony that would
                            > convince YOU. That's not why they are doing their
                            > research. They want to know how such a thing
                            > could have happened. They will eventually find
                            > ways that it could have happened. The earth has
                            > destroyed its own early history. We'll never know
                            > for sure. But that's ok.
                            >

                            No, madame, that is /not/ OK. That is a cheap cop-out, even cheaper than
                            what you /think/ is a cop-out by creationists. Dare you suggest that I
                            am copping out by saying "God did such-a-thing," and then cop out
                            yourself by saying, "Earth destroyed its early history, and therefore we
                            shall never know how it was?" And dare you--you, who said that some day
                            we shall indeed know everything, and rule the world in peace and harmony
                            with our knowledge--suggest, furthermore, that we accept your "maybes,"
                            violative as they are of Occam's Razor, as good examples of the
                            scientific method?

                            >
                            > a search for knowledge is never pointless. Knowledge is without price.
                            >

                            And what price do you demand? Furthermore, while the basic idea of
                            searching for knowledge might not be pointless, a particular search
                            /strategy/ might be. You remind me of the little old lady who was
                            searching for a dropped ring under a street lamp, though she in fact
                            dropped her ring in the dark region between street lamps. When asked why
                            she didn't search where she had heard her ring drop, she answered,
                            "Because the light is better over here."

                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >> Except for one thing: no cosmologist has convincingly shown why so many
                            >> heavy-element atoms ought to exist. While on the other hand, we see far
                            >> too little helium and lithium if we are to assume that the universe is
                            >> as old as the Big Bangers say (13.7 billion years).
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            > an interesting and yet pointless dodge.
                            >

                            Oh, no, you don't. You have to explain how those heavy elements got
                            there, and why more hydrogen atoms did not fuse to make helium and
                            lithium. The trouble is, when professional cosmologists try to explain
                            it, the inevitably make their position /vis-à-vis/ Occam's Razor even
                            worse than it already is.

                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > I'm pretty sure they analyzed rocks of the
                            > appropriate age. M&U did not get the atmospheric
                            > mix quite right, further research keeps refining
                            > it. They may still not have it exactly right.
                            >

                            "Pretty sure"? Where is the report that said that they made any such
                            analysis? And what kind of research are you talking about? You are still
                            talking about reverse engineering. The trouble with reverse engineering
                            is that whatever final product that leads to, must be confirmed by
                            evidence outside the reverse-engineering process, or else it is of no
                            moment whatsoever. What good is a gas mix that "works well" without
                            evidence that that was indeed the gas mix that the earth had to start
                            with? And in fact it's no good at all when evidence turns up that says
                            that that "gas mix" never existed.

                            >>
                            >> Except for one thing: those amino acids, once "formed," would have
                            >> denatured immediately had the experimenters not removed them from the
                            >> reaction vessel.
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            > what on earth does "denatured" mean in this
                            > context?

                            It means broken down into their constituent elements, or into compounds
                            that are no longer amino acids, or into forms that couldn't combine into
                            proteins even under the best of circumstances. "Denatured" means
                            "altered from the natural form," and usually altered in such a way that
                            their function would fail.

                            > In any case it doesn't matter. All they
                            > were trying to do was see if they could get
                            > organic compounds to form under conditions
                            > similar to the early earth. They did. They
                            > weren't trying to grow a trilobite in a test tube.
                            >

                            Then I maintain that they accomplished nothing of significance. They
                            didn't even know, and their successors still do not know, whether they
                            even /had/ conditions "similar to those of the early earth."

                            >
                            >
                            >> How such an equivalent process could have happened in
                            >> the wild is something that neither Miller nor Urey nor any reviewer of
                            >> the experiment ever deigned to explain.
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            > actually they mimicked the "wild" as closely as
                            > they could given the information they had at the
                            > time.

                            What information? They had none, insofar as I have been able to determine.

                            > They had no intention of answering every
                            > single question about the origin of life--only
                            > one question. What kind of conditions could
                            > organic compounds form under? They found one
                            > answer.

                            And neither you nor they have the slightest idea of whether they had the
                            right answer.

                            > Since that time there have been hundreds
                            > of similar experiments with (slightly) different
                            > atmospheric mixtures, with similar results. They
                            > still haven't grown a trilobite in a test tube,
                            > but they are on the trail of a wonderful mystery.
                            >

                            And none of it will have any point at all unless they ever figure out,
                            independently of their reverse-engineering attempts, what the atmosphere
                            mix actually was. Anything less than determining the actual mix from
                            evidence apart from their reverse-engineering attempts, is no more
                            honorable than a bad science student's dry-lab job.

                            >
                            >
                            > You seem to have missed this part:
                            > "Experiments conducted later showed that the
                            > other RNA and DNA bases could be obtained through
                            > simulated prebiotic chemistry with a reducing
                            > atmosphere"
                            >

                            Simulated how? And from what evidence?

                            >>
                            >> No, it isn't. Someone designed that chair, and deliberately so. But what
                            >> you want to maintain is the equivalent of the chair assembling itself
                            >> out of simpler pieces of wood that in turn carved themselves out of a tree.
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            > I think you forgot the topic. The inference we
                            > were discussing was "things happening now were
                            > happening in the past." You sat in the chair
                            > before and it didn't break under you. It is a
                            > reasonable inference that it will not break
                            > today. It's also reasonable to assume that George
                            > Washington sat in similar chairs with similar
                            > results.
                            >

                            That the chair would still hold would not be a reasonable assumption,
                            however, if I knew that some morbidly obese man had tried to sit in the
                            chair and had ended up cracking it. I might wonder whether the chair
                            would stand up to my own weight after that. In short, what has now
                            happened to the chair is a catastrophe. And of course the next thing
                            would be if someone dropped a two-ton weight onto the chair. That is the
                            equivalent of cataclysm. The chair didn't dissolve. It was crushed.

                            >>
                            >> I've had college-level courses in chemistry (organic and inorganic) and
                            >> biology. And in case you're wondering, I graduated from Yale College,
                            >> /summa cum laude/ with distinction in my major (engineering and applied
                            >> science). So don't say that I skated through my courses, thank you very
                            >> much. I just thought I'd get that out in advance.
                            >>
                            >
                            > I thought you were a medical doctor. Do I have you confused with someone else?
                            >

                            You have not. My undergraduate training was indeed in engineering.

                            >
                            >
                            > Leviticus 24
                            > 10 Now the son of an Israelite mother and an
                            > Egyptian father went out among the Israelites,
                            > and a fight broke out in the camp between him and
                            > an Israelite. 11 The son of the Israelite woman
                            > blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought
                            > him to Moses. (His mother's name was Shelomith,
                            > the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) 12 They put
                            > him in custody until the will of the LORD should
                            > be made clear to them.
                            >
                            > 13 Then the LORD said to Moses: 14 "Take the
                            > blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard
                            > him are to lay their hands on his head, and the
                            > entire assembly is to stone him. 15 Say to the
                            > Israelites: 'If anyone curses his God, he will be
                            > held responsible; 16 anyone who blasphemes the
                            > name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire
                            > assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or
                            > native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must
                            > be put to death.
                            >

                            Others on this group have criticized you before for taking verses out of
                            context. You have never once considered the circumstances of life during
                            the period described by the Five Books of Moses, and in particular the
                            last three. God was gracious enough to manifest Himself in a
                            /co-dwelling glorified form/ in the Israelite camp. Now if you're going
                            to play host to God that way, there are rules, just as there are rules
                            for the handling of weapons-grade plutonium. Those who broke the rules,
                            often got zapped--like Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, who entered the
                            Holy of Holies at the wrong time, while /drunk/, and burned incense on
                            coals taken from a hearth other than one specifically designated for
                            that purpose. And like Korah, who made a mutiny against Moses.

                            Things like that didn't happen in the days of the Judges, or of the
                            Kings either--except that certain persons who had the bad sense to touch
                            the Ark of the Covenant in the wrong way got zapped for that, too. That
                            was a very touchy instrument, to be sure.

                            Now I don't defend God for these acts. God needs no defense. But I just
                            thought I'd set the record straight.

                            >> >
                            >>
                            >> Now you're mixing up two different issues. First, the flying of those
                            >> airplanes into those buildings was more than a mere crime. It was an act
                            >> of war. Second, "I don't consider religion a legal defense" begs the
                            >> question of "against what charge?"
                            >>
                            >
                            > murder, in the case of the 9/11 hijackers.
                            >
                            > Only nations can declare war on each other. Those
                            > hijackers were not acting in behalf of any nation
                            > they were doing something on behalf of their sick
                            > little organization and its sick little leader.
                            >

                            Sick, yes. But little? Hardly. And the Constitution, in granting to
                            Congress the power to declare war, says nothing about limiting the type
                            or scope of entity /against whom/ Congress may declare war.
                            Non-government organizations can still commit acts of war, and have war
                            declared against them as a result. As far as I'm concerned, Congress can
                            declare war even against a single individual. That is an inherent power
                            of any legislative body. It is a power that Congress inherits from the
                            Senate of Rome, and in the latter case would be a modern version of the
                            /Senatus consultum de re publica defendenda/ (literally, "Senate decree
                            for the defense of the republic.")

                            >> I wondered when you would finally say that. I predicted that long ago:
                            >> that the world's secularist/atheist axis would start a war of the
                            >> moderns against the anti-moderns. And the way you just expressed it, you
                            >> make no distinction between Christianity and Islam, and for that I can
                            >> think of but one motive, and it's a motive that Daniel Dennett has
                            >> already articulated.
                            >>
                            >
                            > if such a war--between secular and
                            > religious--ever breaks out, it will not be
                            > started by the secular. You and I live in a
                            > modern secular democracy. You will be on our side
                            > because only in a modern secular democracy will
                            > you be granted freedom of religion--to worship
                            > and think as you please. As I have pointed out
                            > religious ideologies are always collectivist and
                            > authoritarian. You may not think for yourself in
                            > a theocracy. The state does your thinking for you
                            > and will tell you what to believe. Only in a
                            > secular democracy can your mind be free.
                            > Therefore, in the coming war--if it does
                            > come--you and I (and Dennett and Dawkins) will be
                            > on the same side.
                            >

                            Perhaps--right up to the time that the "moderns" decide to /revoke/
                            religious freedom. Nevertheless, I repeat a challenge that I made
                            earlier: I challenge the Senate of the United States to seat and convene
                            a Select Committee on Religious Ideals and their Consequences, and stand
                            ready to /testify/ to that Committee and show it just cause why that
                            Committee should distinguish Christianity from Islam.

                            >
                            >
                            > it's pretty much indistinguishable because much
                            > of it is plagiarized from the OT or "inspired" by
                            > it.
                            >

                            Plagiarized, yes. Inspired, no. You forget Muhammad's motives. He wanted
                            to raise an army to overthrow the Byzantine Empire. But his fellow Arabs
                            would never think in terms of armies, but only in terms of tribes. He
                            needed a unifying force, so he invented one. That force is called Islam.

                            >> Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            > hahahahaha!!! Broken clocks don't insert stents
                            >

                            Now about that procedure: All right, so he got the stent. But would it
                            not have been better if, long before he even got to a stage at which he
                            would /need/ such a device, someone showed him how to eat the kind of
                            foods that God designed man to benefit from the most? Now /that/ would
                            be preventive medicine. The overriding flaw in modern medicine today is
                            that it tries to relieve the patient of any and all responsibility for
                            actions that the patient takes, often over a lifetime, that are
                            deleterious to his health. This applies equally to the eating of foods
                            laden with refined sugar, free radicals, and the like, as it does to the
                            taking of tobacco, marijuana, opioids, amphetamines, barbiturates,
                            aromatic hydrocarbons ("glue-sniffing"), and the like. Or to promiscuous
                            intimacy.

                            Modern medicine dares suggest that it can "fix anything." It can't. And
                            by not warning people that certain actions will have consequences that
                            the smartest doctor won't be able to fix, modern medicine frankly lays
                            itself wide-open to the charge, frequently made in the
                            alternative-medicine movement, that modern medicine cares for little but
                            its own profits, which it makes by allowing its patients to indulge in
                            injurious activities and then demanding high fees for the (often
                            incomplete) removal of the consequences.

                            In sum: Ask your husband how much he paid for that stent. And then ask
                            yourself how much less he might have paid, had he eaten the kinds of
                            foods that he, and you, and I, were /designed/ to eat, instead of the
                            foods that we foolish decide that we "like" to eat.

                            You and others have wanted to know what benefit either creationism
                            (which specifically identifies a Creator) or intelligent design (which
                            says only that the universe was planned, and does not attempt to state
                            Who did the planning or the building) might provide to humanity. Here it
                            is, if anyone is interested. Happily, a number of people are.

                            >
                            > "common design" which just happens to look
                            > exactly like common descent. "Common design" is
                            > an ad hoc rationalization.
                            >

                            Wrong again. Common descent is the /ad hoc/ rationalization, one that
                            becomes untenable when one considers the monumental addition of
                            information required to go from a coelenterate even to the next step up
                            the chain, much less to man.

                            >
                            >
                            > I read about it a few years ago. Apparently they
                            > can grow "designer molecules." But you're a
                            > doctor, surely you've heard about it.
                            >

                            I didn't. Neither did any of my colleagues mention it. Ever.

                            >>
                            >> Well, at least you agree that at least one drug given specifically for
                            >> those conditions is worse than useless.
                            >>
                            >
                            > it works very well for children (and adults) with
                            > ADHD or ADD in helping them become calm and
                            > focused. But not for anyone else. It will not
                            > turn a brat into an angel.
                            >

                            Perhaps about the only thing that you and I will agree on in this
                            context, is that ADD and ADHD are over-diagnosed conditions. I happen to
                            think that ADD and ADHD are fraudulent rationalizations of (a) lack of
                            self-discipline by the patient, and (b) lack of the gumption to apply
                            discipline on the part of the instructor. Perhaps you find them true,
                            but much more rare than commonly believed.

                            > so you don't actually treat patients.
                            >
                            > Good.
                            >

                            Not all doctors treat patients. Some of them concentrate on diagnosis,
                            one thing that modern medicine does well.

                            >> Will you, or will you not admit, that Gardasil has killed a number of
                            >> women who have taken it?
                            >>
                            >
                            > Nothing, not even peanut butter, is 100% safe for
                            > everyone. Generally Gardasil is perfectly safe:
                            >
                            > http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2008/08/gardasil_idiocy.php
                            >
                            > As you read this, keep in mind they have
                            > administered at least 16 million doses:
                            > -------
                            > AERS received 9,749 reports after Gardasil
                            > vaccination (6,667 were U.S. reports, 3,082 were
                            > foreign reports). Among the U.S. reports, more
                            > than 94% were reported as non-serious adverse
                            > events such as brief soreness at the injection
                            > site and headache. Less than 6% were reports of
                            > serious adverse events, about half of the average
                            > for vaccines overall.
                            >
                            > Note: VAERS defines serious adverse events by the
                            > Code of Federal Regulations as adverse events
                            > involving hospitalization, death, permanent
                            > disability, and life-threatening illness. Also,
                            > VAERS data are updated continuously and the
                            > number of reports will vary depending on the date
                            > of analysis.
                            >
                            > Deaths
                            >
                            > VAERS received 21 reports of death following
                            > Gardasil vaccination (17 were U.S. reports, 4
                            > were foreign reports). Of the U.S. reports, only
                            > 12 reports contained the level of information
                            > adequate for further analysis. After careful
                            > review of those reports, VAERS could not
                            > establish a causal relationship between
                            > vaccination and death.
                            >

                            Meaning that they refuse to admit it. Twenty-one reports of death in the
                            short space of a few years is an appalling rate. I never heard of that
                            many reports of death in so short of time from, for example, the
                            diphtheria-polio-tetanus vaccine and booster series. But I'll tell you
                            what I have heard: that the preservation of vaccines in a mercury salt
                            might be responsible for the very high rate of infantile autism and
                            childhood-onset pervasive developmental disorder.

                            > For the remaining 5 U.S. reports of death, one is
                            > in the process of being followed up, and for 4
                            > reports, we were unable to obtain any patient
                            > identifying information; therefore, we could not
                            > confirm death outcomes.
                            >

                            Reports have also come in from the UK.

                            And you said that as far as you knew, Gardasil /was not/ culpable in
                            /any/ deaths.

                            > Note: While Gardasil was being tested in the U.S.
                            > before it was licensed, 10 people in the group
                            > that received the HPV vaccine and 7 people in the
                            > placebo group died during the trials. None of the
                            > deaths was considered vaccine-related.
                            > http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaers/gardasil.htm
                            > -------------------
                            > so we are talking 21 reports of death out of 16
                            > million and most of those were clearly not caused
                            > by the vaccine. It sounds like an acceptable risk
                            > to me.
                            >

                            It is an /un/acceptable risk to me. If I had a daughter, I would /never/
                            want her to have that vaccine. Her best protection against cervical
                            cancer would simply be a pill--not taken orally, but held between her knees.

                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > because modifying your behavior won't protect you
                            > from getting HPV. Gardasil will.
                            >

                            Excuse me? Modifying one's behavior will provide no protection? How do
                            you think HPV is transmitted? It is transmitted in only one manner:
                            sexually.

                            The behavior modification is absurdly simple: Abstain from sex.

                            But what can I expect from one who said, "Sex is our birthright"?

                            >
                            > I am opposed to abortion but I am also opposed to
                            > governmental prohibition. Abortion is immoral,
                            > but not everything immoral should be illegal. See
                            > "collectivist and authoritarian" rant above.
                            >

                            Why do you find abortion immoral? It is an act of murder, is it not? How
                            else can you characterize it, with reports surfacing within the last
                            twenty-four hours of babies successfully rescuscitated five hours after
                            an attempt to destroy them through late-term abortion?

                            >>
                            >> Again you go on record. You seem to think that doctor's orders ought to
                            >> have the force of law.
                            >>
                            >
                            > yes, under certain circumstances. If a child is
                            > gravely ill and you don't seek medical help or if
                            > you ignore doctor recommendations and the child
                            > dies, you have committed manslaughter and should
                            > be in prison--and certainly not allowed to have
                            > the care of any other children.
                            >

                            As it happens, I don't have any children. But if I had--then on the day
                            you tried to enforce any such law against myself or my family...well,
                            I'll let you guess the consequences.

                            >
                            > whether you agree or not is irrelevant. You are
                            > perfectly well within your right to refuse
                            > medical attention. People do it all the time, no
                            > problem. But children depend on the adults in
                            > their lives to take care of them. If their adults
                            > fail to do that, then the adults are legally
                            > liable.
                            >

                            Not when the doctors can't even offer any guarantees.

                            >
                            > I have now read more about Gardasil and there's
                            > still no verified case of the vaccine killing
                            > anyone.
                            >

                            You have now gone from "mistaken" to being "in denial."

                            >>
                            >> The above is a contradiction. If there is no guarantee, then there is no
                            >> ground to make a doctor's orders carry the force of law.
                            >>
                            >
                            > it's called due diligence. If your child has a
                            > rampaging infection and you take him to the
                            > doctor and the doctor prescribes
                            > antibiotics/hospitalization, etc. and the child
                            > dies, then everyone has done everything they
                            > could to save the child's life. If your child has
                            > rampaging infection and you sit there and do
                            > nothing (and praying over them is doing nothing)
                            > you are committing a crime.
                            >

                            That is a matter of opinion. I reject that opinion.

                            Temlakos
                          • James G. Goff
                            OF INCONSISTENCIES... Susan: a search for knowledge is never pointless. Knowledge is without price. Unless, of course, the search for knowledge leads to
                            Message 13 of 22 , Aug 20, 2008
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                              OF INCONSISTENCIES...

                              Susan: "a search for knowledge is never pointless. Knowledge is
                              without price."

                              Unless, of course, the search for knowledge leads to design. In
                              that case, you insist that the search for knowledge is "trivial."

                              Susan: "All they were trying to do was see if they could get
                              organic compounds to form under conditions similar to the early earth. They
                              did. They weren't trying to grow a trilobite in a test tube."

                              Miller and Urey didn't know what the atmospheric conditions were on
                              the early earth. They simply assumed a reducing atmosphere in setting up
                              their experiment. If the atmosphere on the early earth had been oxidizing,
                              the spontaneous formation of amino acids would have been inhibited. Hence,
                              their assumption.

                              The following passage from "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," by
                              molecular geneticist Michael Denton, is relevant:

                              "The basic outline of the traditional evolutionary scenario is well
                              known. It has been expounded over and over again...on television, in the
                              press, in popular scientific journals. The first stage on the road to life
                              is presumed to have been the build-up, by purely chemical synthetic
                              processes occurring on the surface of the early Earth, of all the basic
                              organic compounds necessary for the formation of a living cell. These are
                              supposed to have accumulated in the primeval oceans, creating a nutrient
                              broth, the so-called 'prebiotic soup'. In certain specialized environments
                              these organic compounds were assembled into large macromolecules, proteins
                              and nucleic acids. Eventually, over millions of years, combinations of the
                              macromolecules occurred which were endowed with the property of
                              self-reproduction. Then driven by natural selection ever more efficient and
                              complex self-reproducing molecular systems evolved until finally the first
                              simple cell system emerged.

                              "The existence of a prebiotic soup is crucial to the whole scheme.
                              Without an abiotic accumulation of the building blocks of the cell no life
                              could ever evolve. If the traditional story is true, therefore, there must
                              have existed for many millions of years a rich mixture of organic compounds
                              in the ancient oceans and some of this material would very likely have been
                              trapped in the sedimentary rocks lain down in the seas of those remote
                              times.

                              "Yet the rocks of great antiquity have been examined...and in none
                              of them has any trace of abiotically produced organic compounds been found.
                              Most notable of these rocks are the 'dawn rocks' of Western Greenland, the
                              earliest dated rocks on Earth, considered to be approaching 3,900 million
                              years old. So ancient are these rocks that they must have been lain down
                              not long after the formation of the oceans themselves and perhaps only
                              three hundred to four hundred million years after the actual formation of
                              the Earth. And the Greenland rocks are not exceptional. Sediments from many
                              other parts of the world dated variously between 3,900 million years old
                              and 3,500 million years old also show no signs of any abiotically formed
                              organic compounds. As on so many occasions, paleontology has again failed
                              to substantiate evolutionary presumptions. Considering the way the
                              prebiotic soup is referred to in so many discussions of the origin of life
                              as an already established reality, it comes as something of a shock to
                              realize that there is absolutely no positive evidence for its existence.

                              "On top of the failure to find empirical evidence of
                              abiotically-produced organic compounds there are theoretical difficulties
                              as well. In the presence of oxygen any organic compounds formed on the
                              early Earth would be rapidly oxidized and degraded. For this reason many
                              authorities have advocated an oxygen-free atmosphere for hundreds of
                              millions of years following the formation of the Earth's crust. Only such
                              an atmosphere would protect the vital but delicate organic compounds and
                              allow them to accumulate to form a prebiotic soup. Ominously, for believers
                              in the traditional organic soup scenario, there is no clear geochemical
                              evidence to exclude the possibility that oxygen was present in the Earth's
                              atmosphere soon after the formation of its crust.

                              "But even if there was no oxygen, there are further difficulties.
                              Without oxygen there would be no ozone layer in the upper atmosphere which
                              today protects the Earth's surface from a lethal dose of ultraviolet
                              radiation. In an oxygen-free scenario, the ultraviolet flux reaching the
                              Earth's surface might be more than sufficient to break down organic
                              compounds as quickly as they were produced. Significantly, the absence of
                              organic compounds in the Martian soil has been widely attributed to just
                              such a strong ultraviolet flux which today continuously bombards the
                              planet's surface. What we have then is a sort of 'Catch 22' situation. If
                              we have oxygen we have no organic compounds, but if we don't have oxygen we
                              have none either.

                              "There is another twist to the problem of ultraviolet flux. Nucleic
                              acid molecules, which form the genetic material of all modern organisms,
                              happen to be strong absorbers of ultraviolet light and are consequently
                              particularly sensitive to ultraviolet-induced radiation damage and
                              mutation. As Sagan points out, typical contemporary organisms subjected to
                              the same intense ultraviolet flux which would have reach the Earth's
                              surface in an oxygen-free atmosphere acquire a mean lethal dose of
                              radiation in 0.3 seconds. Moreover, he continues:

                              'Unacceptably high mutation rates will of course occur at much
                              lower u.v. doses, and even if we imagine primitive organisms having much
                              less stringent requirements on the fidelity of replication than do
                              contemporary organisms, we must require very substantial u.v. attenuation
                              for the early evolution of life to have occurred.'

                              "The level of ultraviolet radiation penetrating a primeval
                              oxygen-free atmosphere would quite likely have been lethal to any
                              proto-organism possessing a genetic apparatus remotely resembling that of
                              modern organisms." (end quote)

                              Susan: "You seem to have missed this part: 'Experiments conducted
                              later showed that the
                              other RNA and DNA bases could be obtained through simulated prebiotic
                              chemistry with a reducing
                              atmosphere.'"

                              Yes, but unless it can be shown that the atmosphere on the early
                              Earth was a reducing atmosphere, such experiments - as interesting as they
                              might be - don't provide a solution to the mystery of life's origin. Also,
                              since the experimenters assumed a reducing atmosphere, did they expose
                              their experiments to the high doses of ultraviolet radiation that would
                              have - as a consequence of their assumption - bathed the early Earth? If
                              not, their experiments are essentially worthless with respect to the
                              origin-of-life question. It should also be noted that even if RNA and DNA
                              bases can be experimentally obtained, and even if the assumptions
                              underlying those experiments are valid, such experimental success does
                              nothing to show that blind material causes assembled the basic building
                              blocks of life (i.e., amino acids, nucleic acids, sugars, etc.) into even
                              the simplest known types of living systems.

                              Jim in Vermont
                            • Clare Wilson Parr
                              On 8/19/2008, Susan Cogan wrote: Ho, hum. The daily diatribe. A noisy gong.... ... Remember, Temlakos. Susan Cogan doesn t think you are a moron. [Her]
                              Message 14 of 22 , Aug 20, 2008
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                                On 8/19/2008, Susan Cogan wrote:

                                Ho, hum. The daily diatribe. A noisy gong....

                                > >I am trained as a pathologist, one concerned primarily with diagnosis.
                                > >That's one area of modern medicine that's still good.
                                >
                                >so you don't actually treat patients.
                                >
                                >Good.

                                Remember, Temlakos. Susan Cogan doesn't "think you are a moron.
                                [Her] 'insinuations, sneers and mockery' are often in your ears
                                rather than in [her] posts."

                                > >Not according to the anecdotes that I have seen. And if you are indeed
                                > >opposed to abortion--well, it seems to me that you have a peculiar way
                                > >of showing it.
                                >
                                >I am opposed to abortion but I am also opposed to
                                >governmental prohibition. Abortion is immoral,
                                >but not everything immoral should be illegal. See
                                >"collectivist and authoritarian" rant above.

                                In other words, Susan Cogan's neither opposed to abortion nor
                                immorality. In the world according to her, the only deadly
                                sin is Christianity and the only _real_ sinners are
                                Christians.

                                "Progressives" are all for "personal autonomy" so long as
                                others exercise _their_ "personal autonomy" in ways that
                                don't violate progressive orthopraxy. The second anyone
                                exercises his "personal autonomy" in a way that offends
                                "progressive" orthodoxy and violates "progressive"
                                orthopraxy, like presuming to display the Ten Commandments,
                                or read the Bible to his child, or tell his child that he's
                                not merely animated matter, or that there are universal,
                                objective truths, rights and wrongs, that person's accused
                                of threatening the social order and it's time to call the
                                ACLU thought police and demand government mandates to save
                                the world from the blasphemous "collectivist and
                                authoritarian" heretics.

                                > >Again you go on record. You seem to think that doctor's orders ought to
                                > >have the force of law.
                                >
                                >yes, under certain circumstances. If a child is
                                >gravely ill and you don't seek medical help or if
                                >you ignore doctor recommendations and the child
                                >dies, you have committed manslaughter and should
                                >be in prison--and certainly not allowed to have
                                >the care of any other children.

                                Now, who could question the beautiful "logic" of the proposition
                                that 1] being "opposed to abortion" _and_ opposed to
                                "governmental prohibition" of abortion on the one hand and 2]
                                decreeing that the parent who fails to seek medical advice /
                                intervention for his sick child, causing the child's death, has
                                committed murder and should be imprisoned, and certainly any
                                surviving children must be rescued from him!

                                >whether you agree or not is irrelevant. You are
                                >perfectly well within your right to refuse
                                >medical attention. People do it all the time, no
                                >problem. But children depend on the adults in
                                >their lives to take care of them. If their adults
                                >fail to do that, then the adults are legally
                                >liable.

                                Children, unborn and born, do depend on the adults in their lives
                                to care for them, don't they?

                                >it's called due diligence. If your child has a
                                >rampaging infection and you take him to the
                                >doctor and the doctor prescribes
                                >antibiotics/hospitalization, etc. and the child
                                >dies, then everyone has done everything they
                                >could to save the child's life. If your child has
                                >rampaging infection and you sit there and do
                                >nothing (and praying over them is doing nothing)
                                >you are committing a crime.

                                On the other hand, in the world according to Susan Cogan, a mother
                                whose child is unborn owes that child nothing - not even a chance
                                to live. If the mother feels that her unborn child - whether an
                                embryo or days from birth - will be inconvenient and burdensome,
                                then she owns the right to cold-bloodedly murder that child, and
                                anyone who dares to protest is "irrational," "collectivist and
                                authoritarian," "totalitarian," a "theocrat," blahblahblahblah.

                                > >>uh, yeah. I think children deserve to be
                                > >>protected from loonies who would pray over them
                                > >>instead of getting them to a doctor. Evolution is
                                > >>an account and an explanation for the history of
                                > >>life on earth.
                                >
                                >I would rather children be properly cared for
                                >than die of treatable illnesses. If that is
                                >tyranny, then fine. If that's "hideous" morality,
                                >then I'll just be unattractive.

                                Now, why on earth would Susan Cogan rather a child be properly
                                cared for than die of treatable illness ONLY so long as that
                                child has seen the light of day and ONLY if that child who's
                                come into the world is _wanted_ by his mother? It's not as if
                                the being growing and developing in his mother's womb isn't
                                every bit as _human_ and valuable a creature as a wanted
                                newborn child, or as if the unborn child isn't as alive as a
                                newborn or a three-year-old child, and it certainly isn't as
                                if some helpless, hapless women's bodies are silently and
                                stealthily invaded by a parasite or a disease, that the human
                                being living in his mother's womb is just a communicable
                                disease, like the common cold. How is an unborn child magically
                                transformed from "a clump of cells" or a "fetus" to a being
                                whose parent must _care_ for responsibly and protect - by force
                                of law, no less? Why is an unborn child his mother's to murder
                                or nurture as she pleases while the child that can be SEEN and
                                HEARD and TOUCHED has HUMAN RIGHTS? Why is the woman who created
                                the "invisible" being that inhabited her womb until she
                                intentionally murdered him any less a murderess than the "loony"
                                who "prays over" her sick child instead of delivering him to a
                                doctor, causing the child's death? Why is the woman who
                                deliberately drowns her five-month-old baby because he cramps her
                                style [no fun-filled dates, no parties] "broken," while the woman
                                who "prays over" her sick child instead of delivering him to a
                                doctor, causing the child's death, a malignant moral monster?

                                "Those who support abortion rights and yet concede the moral wrong-
                                ness of abortion are either sociopaths [i.e., they willingly and
                                without conscience permit and sometimes engage in what they know to
                                be a serious moral wrong], morally untutored, or do not really
                                appreciate the logical problem of asserting that one has a moral
                                right [i.e., abortion is morally permissible) to do a moral wrong
                                (i.e., abortion is morally impermissible]." - Francis Beckwith

                                One "cannot say that people have a right to do wrong." - Abraham
                                Lincoln

                                As Susan Cogan has written,

                                "there is no other reason to do something other than it "feels good."
                                That there are a few crazies in the world that think it feels good to
                                hurt others doesn't change a thing. We'll always have a criminal
                                justice system for those people and only a tiny percentage of the
                                population will be involved in it because so few people think it
                                "feels good" to harm others. In fact nearly all people think it
                                "feels good" to be loving, kind and compassionate.

                                "If feeling good isn't the primary reason to be moral, then there is
                                NO reason to be moral."

                                "abortion is immoral but should remain legal. It's a personal moral
                                decision that the government has no right to interfere in."

                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/14633

                                In short, "One "can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see,
                                only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the
                                strongest or which seem to him the best ones." - Charles Darwin

                                Neither Charles Darwin nor Susan Cogan understand that utilitarianism
                                and morality are NOT synonymous.
                              • James G. Goff
                                OF INCONSISTENCIES... Susan: All fundamentalist religions (and I mean all of them) are collectivist and totalitarian. Christian fundamentalism is not an
                                Message 15 of 22 , Aug 21, 2008
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                                  OF INCONSISTENCIES...

                                  Susan: "All fundamentalist religions (and I mean all of them) are
                                  collectivist and totalitarian.
                                  Christian fundamentalism is not an exception. Even relatively mild
                                  religions tend to be fairly
                                  authoritarian. That's why they lend themselves so well to coercive
                                  governments."

                                  Your argument, then, is this: Where Christian fundamentalism is
                                  dominant, one can expect a "collectivist and totalitarian" government. How,
                                  then, do you explain the American experiment in liberty and representative
                                  government - an experiment begun by a people who were, with few exceptions,
                                  the kind of people that we today describe as "Christian fundamentalists"?

                                  Your understanding of American history might benefit from reading
                                  Alexis de Tocqueville's seminal "Democracy in America." Tocqueville (if you
                                  don't already know) was a French statesman, historian, and social
                                  philosopher who came to America in the early 1830s to observe at first-hand
                                  the American experiment in liberty and representative democracy. A few of
                                  his observations follow....

                                  - "Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the
                                  country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I
                                  stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences
                                  resulting from this new state of things."

                                  - "Religion in America...must be regarded as the foremost of the
                                  political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste
                                  for freedom, it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point
                                  of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon
                                  religious belief.

                                  - "I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in
                                  their religion - for who can search the human heart? - But I am certain
                                  that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican
                                  institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a
                                  party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society."

                                  - "The sects that exist in the United States are innumerable. They
                                  all differ in respect to the worship which is due the Creator; but they all
                                  agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man. Each sect
                                  adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all sects preach the same
                                  moral law in the name of God....Moreover, all the sects of the United
                                  States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian
                                  morality is everywhere the same."

                                  - "In the United States the sovereign authority is
                                  religious,...there is no country in the world where the Christian religion
                                  retains a greater influence over the souls of man than in America, and
                                  there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human
                                  nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened
                                  and free nation on earth."

                                  - "Most of English America was peopled by men who...brought to the
                                  New World a Christianity which I can only describe as democratic and
                                  republican."

                                  - "One can say that there is not a single religious doctrine in the
                                  United States hostile to democratic and republican institutions."

                                  - "For the Americans the ideas of Christianity and liberty are so
                                  completely mingled that it is almost impossible to get them to conceive of
                                  the one without the other..."

                                  - "Despotism may be able to do without faith, but freedom cannot.
                                  Religion is much more needed...in democratic republics most of all. How
                                  could society escape destruction if, when political ties are relaxed, moral
                                  ties are not tightened? And what can be done with a people master of
                                  itself, if it is not subject to God?"

                                  - "Christianity, which has declared all men equal in the sight of
                                  God, cannot hesitate to acknowledge all citizens equal before the law."

                                  - "In America it is religion which leads to enlightenment and the
                                  observance of divine laws which leads men to liberty."

                                  - "Religion regards civil liberty as a noble exercise of man's
                                  faculties, the world of politics being a sphere intended by the Creator for
                                  the free play of intelligence."

                                  - "Freedom sees religion as the companion of its struggles and
                                  triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its rights.
                                  Religion is considered as the guardian of mores, and mores are regarded as
                                  the guarantee of the laws and pledge for the maintenance of freedom
                                  itself."

                                  - "It was religion that gave birth to the English colonies in
                                  America. One must never forget that. In the United States religion is
                                  mingled with all the national customs and all those feelings which the word
                                  'fatherland' evokes."

                                  Modern revisionists attempt to deny what Tocqueville makes plain:
                                  that American liberty had its roots in Christianity. By your lights,
                                  America - by virtue of the dominance of Christian fundamentalism in its
                                  early years - should have become "collectivist and totalitarian." If
                                  non-religion is what freedom requires, would you show us even one
                                  officially godless (i.e., atheistic) state that was not "collectivist and
                                  totalitarian"?

                                  Jim in Vermont
                                • Susan Brassfield Cogan
                                  ... how, even in principle, would a search for knowledge lead to design? If you start with the assumption of design--and you know what design would look
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Aug 30, 2008
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                                    >OF INCONSISTENCIES...
                                    >
                                    > Susan: "a search for knowledge is never pointless. Knowledge is
                                    >without price."
                                    >
                                    > Unless, of course, the search for knowledge leads to design. In
                                    >that case, you insist that the search for knowledge is "trivial."


                                    how, even in principle, would a search for knowledge lead to design?
                                    If you start with the assumption of design--and you know what design
                                    would look like--then you can search for it. That's what Seti does.
                                    it assumes aliens that are just like us, at least enough that we can
                                    detect their "intelligently designed" signals. You can't assume a
                                    designer of the flagellum or blood clotting cascade is just like us
                                    because nothing we know of "just like us" can design a biological system.


                                    > Susan: "All they were trying to do was see if they could get
                                    >organic compounds to form under conditions similar to the early earth. They
                                    >did. They weren't trying to grow a trilobite in a test tube."
                                    >
                                    > Miller and Urey didn't know what the atmospheric conditions were on
                                    >the early earth.


                                    they were very close. There has been some refinement. It HAS been
                                    half a century.


                                    >They simply assumed a reducing atmosphere in setting up
                                    >their experiment. If the atmosphere on the early earth had been oxidizing,
                                    >the spontaneous formation of amino acids would have been inhibited. Hence,
                                    >their assumption.


                                    actually I'm pretty sure (I've read this and can't find it) that they
                                    got the gas mixture from research done on gases trapped in 4 billion
                                    year old rocks. Their gas mixture wasn't perfect and yet amino acids
                                    still formed. That is unbelievably wonderful. Life is so eager to
                                    spring into existence it doesn't need perfect conditions.


                                    > The following passage from "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," by
                                    >molecular geneticist Michael Denton, is relevant:


                                    this book was written 22 years ago back when he was still a creationist.


                                    > "The basic outline of the traditional evolutionary scenario is well
                                    >known. It has been expounded over and over again...on television, in the
                                    >press, in popular scientific journals. The first stage on the road to life
                                    >is presumed to have been the build-up, by purely chemical synthetic
                                    >processes occurring on the surface of the early Earth, of all the basic
                                    >organic compounds necessary for the formation of a living cell. These are
                                    >supposed to have accumulated in the primeval oceans, creating a nutrient
                                    >broth, the so-called 'prebiotic soup'.


                                    that was always a speculation, always labeled as such (by scientists, anyway).


                                    > "The existence of a prebiotic soup is crucial to the whole scheme.


                                    creationists think they've found a chink in the armor into which they
                                    can shove God. It doesn't really matter how the first cell formed,
                                    even if God created it. All life is descended from that first cell.
                                    The evidence is overwhelming.

                                    >Without an abiotic accumulation of the building blocks of the cell no life
                                    >could ever evolve. If the traditional story is true, therefore, there must
                                    >have existed for many millions of years a rich mixture of organic compounds
                                    >in the ancient oceans and some of this material would very likely have been
                                    >trapped in the sedimentary rocks lain down in the seas of those remote
                                    >times.


                                    unless they didn't form in the oceans. It was always a speculation.


                                    > "Yet the rocks of great antiquity have been examined...and in none
                                    >of them has any trace of abiotically produced organic compounds been found.


                                    if we were staring straight at an "abiotically produced organic
                                    compound" how would we know?


                                    >Most notable of these rocks are the 'dawn rocks' of Western Greenland, the
                                    >earliest dated rocks on Earth, considered to be approaching 3,900 million
                                    >years old. So ancient are these rocks that they must have been lain down
                                    >not long after the formation of the oceans themselves and perhaps only
                                    >three hundred to four hundred million years after the actual formation of
                                    >the Earth. And the Greenland rocks are not exceptional. Sediments from many
                                    >other parts of the world dated variously between 3,900 million years old
                                    >and 3,500 million years old also show no signs of any abiotically formed
                                    >organic compounds.




                                    he, of course, knows something like that wouldn't fossilize and
                                    therefore he is demanding something that can't even in principle
                                    exist. It's possible the fossilized bacteria-like organisms were
                                    discovered since he wrote that book. After a quick search of the web
                                    it looks like I'm right--they were discovered in 2000.


                                    >As on so many occasions, paleontology has again failed
                                    >to substantiate evolutionary presumptions. Considering the way the
                                    >prebiotic soup is referred to in so many discussions of the origin of life
                                    >as an already established reality,


                                    that's blatantly false.


                                    > "On top of the failure to find empirical evidence of
                                    >abiotically-produced organic compounds there are theoretical difficulties
                                    >as well. In the presence of oxygen any organic compounds formed on the
                                    >early Earth would be rapidly oxidized and degraded. For this reason many
                                    >authorities have advocated an oxygen-free atmosphere for hundreds of
                                    >millions of years following the formation of the Earth's crust. Only such
                                    >an atmosphere would protect the vital but delicate organic compounds and
                                    >allow them to accumulate to form a prebiotic soup.

                                    apparently that hypothesis hasn't been borne out.


                                    >Ominously, for believers
                                    >in the traditional organic soup scenario, there is no clear geochemical
                                    >evidence to exclude the possibility that oxygen was present in the Earth's
                                    >atmosphere soon after the formation of its crust.


                                    actually too much oxygen would be a problem. There's evidence of
                                    trace amounts of oxygen, but not much more than that.

                                    > What we have then is a sort of 'Catch 22' situation. If
                                    >we have oxygen we have no organic compounds, but if we don't have oxygen we
                                    >have none either.


                                    all hogwash. Oxygen only makes up about 21% of the atmosphere. There
                                    were other gasses present before there was oxygen.



                                    > "The level of ultraviolet radiation penetrating a primeval
                                    >oxygen-free atmosphere would quite likely have been lethal to any
                                    >proto-organism possessing a genetic apparatus remotely resembling that of
                                    >modern organisms." (end quote)

                                    except that stromatolites clearly existed long before oxygen was
                                    present in significant amounts in the early atmosphere.

                                    http://nitishpriyadarshi.blogspot.com/2008/03/evidence-of-early-life-stromatolites.html


                                    > Susan: "You seem to have missed this part: 'Experiments conducted
                                    >later showed that the
                                    >other RNA and DNA bases could be obtained through simulated prebiotic
                                    >chemistry with a reducing
                                    >atmosphere.'"
                                    >
                                    > Yes, but unless it can be shown that the atmosphere on the early
                                    >Earth was a reducing atmosphere, such experiments - as interesting as they
                                    >might be - don't provide a solution to the mystery of life's origin.


                                    they don't need to provide the solution. All they need to do is
                                    increase the amount of knowledge we have about what could have
                                    happened. We aren't ever going to stumble across a videotape of the
                                    history of earth. We are just going to have to follow what
                                    breadcrumbs nature leaves for us.


                                    >Also,
                                    >since the experimenters assumed a reducing atmosphere, did they expose
                                    >their experiments to the high doses of ultraviolet radiation that would
                                    >have - as a consequence of their assumption - bathed the early Earth?

                                    I don't know. How certain are you there were high doses of
                                    ultraviolet radiation? The early cyanobacteria seemed to survive the
                                    early atmosphere just fine.

                                    >If
                                    >not, their experiments are essentially worthless with respect to the
                                    >origin-of-life question. It should also be noted that even if RNA and DNA
                                    >bases can be experimentally obtained, and even if the assumptions
                                    >underlying those experiments are valid, such experimental success does
                                    >nothing to show that blind material causes assembled the basic building
                                    >blocks of life (i.e., amino acids, nucleic acids, sugars, etc.) into even
                                    >the simplest known types of living systems.

                                    you are preemptively moving the goal posts. If they can make organic
                                    compounds, they can't make self-replicators. If they can make
                                    self-replicators they'll never make cells. If they can make cells
                                    then they'll never have a mouse jump out of the test tube. No
                                    evidence is sufficient. It never will be because it's not
                                    theologically correct.

                                    Susan



                                    Please visit
                                    <http://www.coganbooks.net/>http://www.coganbooks.net









































                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • James G. Goff
                                    OF INCONSISTENCIES... Susan: how, even in principle, would a search for knowledge lead to design? I should think the answer is obvious. We begin any search
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Sep 6, 2008
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                                      OF INCONSISTENCIES...

                                      Susan: "how, even in principle, would a search for knowledge lead
                                      to design?"

                                      I should think the answer is obvious. We begin any search for
                                      knowledge from a position of incomplete knowledge, if not ignorance. If
                                      such a search - whether it's conducted by anthropologists, archaeologists,
                                      SETI researchers, biologists, or whomever - leads to a scientifically
                                      rigorous conclusion of design, then we've learned something. Since we still
                                      don't know how complex biological systems arose, it is philosophically
                                      presumptuous and dogmatic to insist (as you do) that scientists must invest
                                      all of their investigative energies in pursuit of wholly materialistic
                                      explanations of those systems.

                                      Susan: "You can't assume a designer of the flagellum or blood
                                      clotting cascade is just like us because nothing we know of 'just like us'
                                      can design a biological system."

                                      No one is assuming that the designer of complex biological systems
                                      is "just like us." Evidence that an intelligent agent has acted does not
                                      necessarily reveal the identity of the intelligent agent. Indeed, design
                                      theorists repeatedly argue that biological data support design inferences
                                      in the biosphere, but the data do not provide any inferential trails
                                      leading to the identity of the designer. That's why it's utterly bogus to
                                      say (as you do) that ID theory is an attempt to prove God's existence.

                                      I'm struck by your admission that neither we nor any intelligence
                                      "just like us" can design a biological system. Since our intelligence is
                                      not up to such a daunting task, one might suppose that a greater
                                      intelligence was required. But those who are invested (for a priori
                                      philosophical reasons) in wholly materialistic explanations of life's
                                      complexities insist that unintelligent material causes are capable of feats
                                      of biological creativity that exceed the creative abilities of human
                                      intelligence. They argue that what any intelligence as formidable as human
                                      intelligence cannot do, unintelligent material causes can do. A number of
                                      adjectives could be applied to their argument: "logical" is not one of
                                      them.

                                      Me: "Miller and Urey didn't know what the atmospheric conditions
                                      were on the early earth."
                                      Susan: "they were very close. There has been some refinement. It
                                      HAS been half a century."

                                      In that "half a century," the issue of the composition of the
                                      Earth's early atmosphere still has not been conclusively resolved.
                                      Nonetheless, most geochemists and geophysicists are of the opinion that the
                                      reducing atmosphere assumed by Miller and Urey did not mimic atmospheric
                                      conditions on the early Earth, and thus the Miller/Urey experiment is
                                      largely irrelevant to the origin of life. For example, as long ago as the
                                      1960s, Carnegie Institute geophysicist Philip Abelson wrote: "What is the
                                      evidence for a primitive methane-ammonia atmosphere on Earth? The answer is
                                      that there is NO evidence for it, but much against it." In 1975, Belgian
                                      biochemist Marcel Florkin admitted that "the concept of a reducing
                                      primitive atmosphere has been abandoned." Affirming what Abelson and
                                      Florkin said, in Jon Cohen wrote in Science magazine in 1995 that
                                      discoveries by geochemists/geophysicists showed that "the early atmosphere
                                      looked nothing like the Miller-Urey simulation." In 2008, it remains the
                                      case that the preponderance of evidence suggests that the reducing
                                      atmosphere required for the chemical origin of organic molecules was not
                                      present on the early Earth. You are once again substituting bluster for
                                      knowledge.

                                      Susan: "actually I'm pretty sure (I've read this and can't find it)
                                      that they (Miller and Urey) got the gas mixture from research done on gases
                                      trapped in 4 billion year old rocks."

                                      To the best of my knowledge, they simply assumed that the Earth's
                                      early atmosphere had the same composition as interstellar gas clouds. They
                                      based their assumption on the belief that the Earth formed from the
                                      condensation of interstellar dust and gas.

                                      Susan: "Their gas mixture wasn't perfect and yet amino acids still
                                      formed. That is unbelievably wonderful. Life is so eager to spring into
                                      existence it doesn't need perfect conditions."

                                      It should be noted that amino acids are not "life."

                                      Me: "The following passage from 'Evolution: A Theory in Crisis,' by
                                      molecular geneticist Michael Denton, is relevant..."
                                      Susan: "this book was written 22 years ago back when he was still a
                                      creationist."

                                      Denton is not now, nor has he ever been, a "creationist." As the
                                      term is commonly used, it is a minimal requirement that a "creationist"
                                      believe in God. Denton, however, is an agnostic (just as he was back in
                                      1986). In his own words, his book presents the argument that "life might be
                                      fundamentally a discontinuous phenomenon," an idea that "runs counter to
                                      the whole thrust of modern biological thought." His book makes a case
                                      against Darwinism; it does not make a case for either creationism or ID
                                      theory. Perhaps you should read the book before you attempt to label
                                      Denton.

                                      Susan: "It doesn't really matter how the first cell formed, even if
                                      God created it. All life is descended from that first cell. The evidence is
                                      overwhelming."

                                      It bears repeating: evidence for common descent is not evidence for
                                      Darwinism (which purports to explain common descent). Your confusion on
                                      this point pervades your writings on evolution.

                                      Michael Denton: "As on so many occasions, paleontology has again
                                      failed to substantiate evolutionary presumptions."
                                      Susan: "that's blatantly false."

                                      Actually, it's true, as the following paleontologists/evolutionary
                                      biologists have admitted:

                                      - "No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long.
                                      It never seemed to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields
                                      zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of
                                      change--over millions of years, at a rate too slow to account for all the
                                      prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see
                                      the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang,
                                      and often with no firm evidence that the fossils did not evolve elsewhere!
                                      Evolution cannot forever be going on somewhere else. Yet that's how the
                                      fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn
                                      something about evolution." Eldredge, N., (1995)
                                      Reinventing Darwin, Wiley, New York, p. 95

                                      - "[T]here are all sorts of gaps: absence of gradationally
                                      intermediate 'transitional' forms between species, but also between larger
                                      groups -- between, say, families of carnivores, or the orders of mammals.
                                      In fact, the higher up the Linnaean hierarchy you look, the fewer
                                      transitional forms there seem to be." - Eldredge, N. (1982) The Monkey
                                      Business: A Scientist Looks at Creationism, Washington Square Press, pp.
                                      65-66

                                      - "We are faced more with a great leap of faith -- that gradual,
                                      progressive adaptive change underlies the general pattern of evolutionary
                                      change we see in the rocks -- than any hard evidence." - Eldredge, N. and
                                      Tattersall, I. (1982) The Myths of Human Evolution, Columbia University
                                      Press, p. 57

                                      - "The record jumps, and all the evidence shows that the record is
                                      real: the gaps we see reflect real events in life's history -- not the
                                      artifact of a poor fossil record." - Eldredge, N. and Tattersall, I. (1982)
                                      The Myths of Human Evolution, Columbia University Press, p. 59

                                      - "The fossil record flatly fails to substantiate this expectation
                                      of finely graded change." - Eldredge, N. and Tattersall, I. (1982) The
                                      Myths of Human Evolution, Columbia University Press, p. 163

                                      - "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record
                                      persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that
                                      adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches;
                                      the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. Yet
                                      Darwin was so wedded to gradualism that he wagered his entire theory on a
                                      denial of this literal record: 'The geological record is extremely
                                      imperfect and this fact will to a large extent explain why we do not find
                                      interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing
                                      forms of life by the finest graduated steps. He who rejects these views on
                                      the nature of the geological record, will rightly reject my whole theory.'
                                      Darwin's argument still persists as the favored escape of most
                                      paleontologists from the embarrassment of a record that seems to show so
                                      little of evolution. In exposing its cultural and methodological roots, I
                                      wish in no way to impugn the potential validity of gradualism (for all
                                      general views have similar roots). I wish only to point out that it was
                                      never 'seen' in the rocks. Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price
                                      for Darwin's argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of
                                      life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural
                                      selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we
                                      profess to study." - Gould, S.J. (1977) "Evolution's Erratic Pace," Natural
                                      History, vol. 86, May

                                      - "[T]he absence of fossil evidence for intermediate stages between
                                      major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our
                                      imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been
                                      a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution." -
                                      Gould, S.J. (1982) "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?"
                                      Evolution Now: A Century After Darwin Maynard Smith, J. (editor) W. H.
                                      Freeman and Co. in association with Nature, p. 140

                                      - "Indeed, it is the chief frustration of the fossil record that we
                                      do not have empirical evidence for sustained trends in the evolution of
                                      most complex morphological adaptations." - Gould, S. J. and Eldredge, N.
                                      (1988) "Species selection: its range and power" Scientific correspondence
                                      in Nature, Vol. 334, p. 19

                                      - "Paleontologists had long been aware of a seeming contradiction
                                      between Darwin's postulate of gradualism ... and the actual findings of
                                      paleontology. Following phyletic lines through time seemed to reveal only
                                      minimal gradual changes but no clear evidence for any change of a species
                                      into a different genus or for the gradual origin of an evolutionary
                                      novelty. Anything truly novel always seemed to appear quite abruptly in the
                                      fossil record." - Mayr, E. (1991) One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the
                                      Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought, Harvard University Press,
                                      Cambridge, p. 138

                                      - "What one actually found was nothing but discontinuities. All
                                      species are separated from each other by bridgeless gaps; intermediates
                                      between species are not observed. ... The problem was even more serious at
                                      the level of the higher categories." - Mayr, E. (1982) The Growth of
                                      Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance, The Belknap
                                      Press of Harvard University Press, p. 524

                                      - "With the benefit of hindsight, it is amazing that
                                      palaeontologists could have accepted gradual evolution as a universal
                                      pattern on the basis of a handful of supposedly well-documented lineages
                                      (e.g. Gryphaea, Micraster, Zaphrentis) none of which actually withstands
                                      close scrutiny." - Paul, C. R. C. (1989) "Patterns of Evolution and
                                      Extinction in Invertebrates," Allen, K. C. and Briggs, D. E. G. (editors),
                                      Evolution and the Fossil Record Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington,
                                      D. C., 1989, p. 105

                                      - "[T]ransitions between major groups of organisms ... are
                                      difficult to establish in the fossil record." - Padian, K. (1991) "The
                                      Origin of Turtles: One Fewer Problem for Creationists," National Center for
                                      Science Education Reports Vol. 11, No. 2, Summer, p. 18

                                      - "Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and knowledge of
                                      the fossil record has been greatly expanded ... ironically, we have even
                                      fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time. By
                                      this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the
                                      fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have
                                      had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information
                                      ...." - Raup, D. (1979) "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology" Field
                                      Museum of Natural History Bulletin, vol. 50 (1), p. 24, 25

                                      - "A large number of well-trained scientists outside of
                                      evolutionary biology and paleontology have unfortunately gotten the idea
                                      that the fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably
                                      comes from the oversimplification inevitable in secondary sources:
                                      low-level textbooks, semipopular articles, and so on. Also, there is
                                      probably some wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his
                                      advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general these have not
                                      been found yet the optimism has died hard, and some pure fantasy has crept
                                      into textbooks." - Science July 17, 1981, p. 289

                                      - "The known fossil record is not, and has never has been, in
                                      accord with gradualism. What is remarkable is that, through a variety of
                                      historical circumstances, even the history of opposition has been obscured.
                                      ...The majority of paleontologists felt their evidence simply contradicted
                                      Darwin's stress on minute, slow, and cumulative changes leading to species
                                      transformation. ... their story has been suppressed." - Stanley, S. M.
                                      (1981) The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of
                                      Species Basic Books, Inc., Publishers, N.Y., p. 71

                                      - "The earliest and most primitive known members of every order
                                      already have the basic ordinal characters, and in no case is an
                                      approximately continuous sequence from one order to another known. In most
                                      cases the break is so sharp and the gap so large that the origin of the
                                      order is speculative and much disputed...This regular absence of
                                      transitional forms is not confined to mammals, but is an almost universal
                                      phenomenon, as has long been noted by paleontologists. It is true of almost
                                      all classes of animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate...it is true of
                                      the classes, and of the major animal phyla, and it is apparently also true
                                      of analogous categories of plants." - Simpson, G. G. (1944) Tempo and Mode
                                      in Evolution, Columbia University Press, New York, p. 105, 107

                                      - "[T]he fossil record itself provided no documentation of
                                      continuity -- of gradual transitions from one kind of animal or plant to
                                      another of quite different form." - Stanley, S. M. (1981) The New
                                      Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species, Basic
                                      Books, Inc., Publishers, N.Y., p. 40

                                      - "Since the time of Darwin, paleontologists have found themselves
                                      confronted with evidence that conflicts with gradualism, yet the message of
                                      the fossil record has been ignored. This strange circumstance constitutes a
                                      remarkable chapter in the history of science, and one that gives students
                                      of the fossil record cause for concern." - Stanley, S. M. (1981) The New
                                      Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species, Basic
                                      Books, Inc., Publishers, N.Y., p. 101

                                      It should be noted that the admission of the above scientists that
                                      paleontology has largely failed to substantiate the presumptions of
                                      Darwinism (which are what Denton had in mind) does not mean they deny that
                                      Darwinism - or something like it - is the best explanation for life's
                                      evolution. It simply means that the paleontological evidence for Darwinism
                                      is better described as weak than "overwhelming." Note, too, that there has
                                      been no recent explosion of fossil discoveries that falsifies the above
                                      claims - claims that are unambiguously clear in their meaning (thus you can
                                      spare us the usual "quote-mining" charge, which would have us believe that
                                      a contextual reading of the quotes would show that they don't mean what
                                      they clearly do mean).

                                      Jim in Vermont
                                    • Susan Cogan
                                      ... wow. I m trying to think how you could be more vague and I m having trouble coming up with an example. With SETI, anthropologists, archaeologists, etc. we
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Sep 11, 2008
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                                        >OF INCONSISTENCIES...
                                        >
                                        > Susan: "how, even in principle, would a search for knowledge lead
                                        >to design?"
                                        >
                                        > I should think the answer is obvious. We begin any search for
                                        >knowledge from a position of incomplete knowledge, if not ignorance. If
                                        >such a search - whether it's conducted by anthropologists, archaeologists,
                                        >SETI researchers, biologists, or whomever - leads to a scientifically
                                        >rigorous conclusion of design, then we've learned something.


                                        wow. I'm trying to think how you could be more vague and I'm having
                                        trouble coming up with an example.

                                        With SETI, anthropologists, archaeologists, etc. we are going to
                                        compare what we find to examples of design before us. Any new
                                        discoveries that get made will be compared with what we already know.
                                        If space aliens are too different from us, we are not going to be
                                        able to detect their transmissions. With ID if you point in any
                                        direction--up, down, left, right, you COULD be pointing to design.
                                        There's no way to tell.

                                        Evolutionists have attempted to use the same assumptions for ID that
                                        are used for archaeology. 1. the subject is like us in some way. 2.
                                        The artifact is a clue to the maker.

                                        Examined that way, ID reveals a cruel and ridiculously incompetent
                                        designer. It's not hard to believe there is no designer for
                                        biological systems because of the way they are designed. Of course
                                        IDists have a conniption about that deduction. Those conclusions are
                                        blasphemy because the designer is God. So if you point out bad design
                                        you get either lipstick on a pig (no, really, it's GOOD design) or
                                        you get "G--, uh, the designer moves in mysterious ways."

                                        (BTW Palin=lipstick, McCain's policies=pig)


                                        >Since we still
                                        >don't know how complex biological systems arose,


                                        actually, we do know. You just didn't like the answer.


                                        >it is philosophically
                                        >presumptuous and dogmatic to insist (as you do) that scientists must invest
                                        >all of their investigative energies in pursuit of wholly materialistic
                                        >explanations of those systems.


                                        science can't proceed any other way. It's a study of the natural
                                        world. Anything else is theology.


                                        >
                                        > Susan: "You can't assume a designer of the flagellum or blood
                                        >clotting cascade is just like us because nothing we know of 'just like us'
                                        >can design a biological system."
                                        >
                                        > No one is assuming that the designer of complex biological systems
                                        >is "just like us."


                                        in that case there's no way to detect the designer.


                                        >Evidence that an intelligent agent has acted does not
                                        >necessarily reveal the identity of the intelligent agent.


                                        No, you aren't going to get a photo id of the designer. However, you
                                        will get clues to what that designer is like.

                                        >Indeed, design
                                        >theorists repeatedly argue that biological data support design inferences
                                        >in the biosphere, but the data do not provide any inferential trails
                                        >leading to the identity of the designer.


                                        they assert that for political reasons. It's laughable that you can't
                                        learn things about a designer from the design. You can't even look at
                                        a car without deducing that the designer had something resembling
                                        fingers.



                                        >That's why it's utterly bogus to
                                        >say (as you do) that ID theory is an attempt to prove God's existence.


                                        It was an attempt to prove God's existence 200 years ago and it's the
                                        same thing now. That's why all the side-chatter about morality and
                                        "materialism." ID is nothing but theology.


                                        > I'm struck by your admission that neither we nor any intelligence
                                        >"just like us" can design a biological system.

                                        not ex nihilo, as the designer was supposed to have done it.

                                        >Since our intelligence is
                                        >not up to such a daunting task, one might suppose that a greater
                                        >intelligence was required. But those who are invested (for a priori
                                        >philosophical reasons) in wholly materialistic explanations of life's
                                        >complexities insist that unintelligent material causes are capable of feats
                                        >of biological creativity that exceed the creative abilities of human
                                        >intelligence.


                                        yes, and the evidence that is true is all around us.


                                        > Me: "Miller and Urey didn't know what the atmospheric conditions
                                        >were on the early earth."
                                        > Susan: "they were very close. There has been some refinement. It
                                        >HAS been half a century."
                                        >
                                        > In that "half a century," the issue of the composition of the
                                        >Earth's early atmosphere still has not been conclusively resolved.


                                        nope. But they do get closer and closer. But it's supposed to be
                                        impossible for life to spontaneously form under ANY conditions.
                                        Quibbling about the composition of earth's early atmosphere doesn't
                                        really get you anywhere.


                                        >Nonetheless, most geochemists and geophysicists are of the opinion that the
                                        >reducing atmosphere assumed by Miller and Urey did not mimic atmospheric
                                        >conditions on the early Earth, and thus the Miller/Urey experiment is
                                        >largely irrelevant to the origin of life.


                                        where did you get that? The atmosphere they used is similar to the
                                        one thought to be more or less correct.

                                        >For example, as long ago as the
                                        >1960s, Carnegie Institute geophysicist Philip Abelson wrote: "What is the
                                        >evidence for a primitive methane-ammonia atmosphere on Earth? The answer is
                                        >that there is NO evidence for it, but much against it." In 1975, Belgian
                                        >biochemist Marcel Florkin admitted that "the concept of a reducing
                                        >primitive atmosphere has been abandoned." Affirming what Abelson and
                                        >Florkin said, in Jon Cohen wrote in Science magazine in 1995 that
                                        >discoveries by geochemists/geophysicists showed that "the early atmosphere
                                        >looked nothing like the Miller-Urey simulation." In 2008, it remains the
                                        >case that the preponderance of evidence suggests that the reducing
                                        >atmosphere required for the chemical origin of organic molecules was not
                                        >present on the early Earth. You are once again substituting bluster for
                                        >knowledge.


                                        I see, you got it from Wells.

                                        http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/wells/iconob.html#Miller-Urey

                                        Wells has betrayed you once again:

                                        Now, current geochemical opinion is that the prebiotic atmosphere was
                                        not so strongly reducing as the original Miller-Urey atmosphere, but
                                        opinion varies widely from moderately reducing to neutral. Completely
                                        neutral atmospheres would be bad for Miller-Urey-type experiments,
                                        but even a weakly reducing atmosphere will produce lower but
                                        significant amounts of amino acids. In the approximately two pages of
                                        text where Wells actually discusses the reducing atmosphere question
                                        (p. 20-22), Wells cites some more 1970's sources and then asserts
                                        that the irrelevance of the Miller-Urey experiment has become a
                                        "near-consensus among geochemists" (p. 21).

                                        *This statement is misleading. What geochemists agree on is that if
                                        the early earth's mantle was of the same composition as the modern
                                        mantle and if only terrestrial volcanic sources are considered as
                                        contributing to the atmosphere, and if the temperature profile of the
                                        early atmosphere was the same as modern earth (this is relevant to
                                        rates of hydrogen escape) then there will be much less hydrogen
                                        compared to Miller's first atmosphere (20% total atm.). Even if this
                                        worst-case scenario is accepted, hydrogen will not be completely
                                        absent, in fact there is a long list of geochemists that consider
                                        hydrogen to have been present (although in lower amounts, roughly
                                        0.1-1% of the total atmosphere). At these levels of H2 there is still
                                        significant (although much lower) amino acid production.

                                        *Also, many geochemists think that these conditions do not represent
                                        the early earth, contrary to the impression given by Wells. For
                                        example, on p. 20, Wells mentions terrestrial volcanos emitting
                                        neutral gases (H2O, CO2, N2, and only trace H2), but he fails to
                                        mention that mid-ocean ridge vents could have been significant
                                        sources of reduced gases -- they are important sources of reduced
                                        atmospheric gases even today, emitting about 1% methane (Kasting and
                                        Brown, 1998) and producing reduced hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide
                                        (e.g. Kelley et al., 2001; Perkins, 2001; Von Damm, 2001) and
                                        potentially ammonia prebiotically (Brandes et al., 1998; Chyba,
                                        1998). Why does Wells exclude oceanic vents from consideration?

                                        *Another strange omission is that Wells completely fails to mention
                                        the extraterrestrial evidence, which is the only direct evidence we
                                        have of the kinds of chemical reactions that might have occurred in
                                        the early solar system. For example he neglects to mention the famous
                                        Murchison meteorite, which contains mixtures of organic compounds
                                        much like those produced in Miller-Urey style experiments, and which
                                        constitutes direct evidence that just the right kind of prebiotic
                                        chemistry was occurring at least somewhere in the early solar system,
                                        and that some of those products found their way to earth (see e.g.
                                        Engel and Macko, 2001 for a recent review).


                                        > Susan: "actually I'm pretty sure (I've read this and can't find it)
                                        >that they (Miller and Urey) got the gas mixture from research done on gases
                                        >trapped in 4 billion year old rocks."
                                        >
                                        > To the best of my knowledge, they simply assumed that the Earth's
                                        >early atmosphere had the same composition as interstellar gas clouds. They
                                        >based their assumption on the belief that the Earth formed from the
                                        >condensation of interstellar dust and gas.


                                        see above.

                                        > Susan: "Their gas mixture wasn't perfect and yet amino acids still
                                        >formed. That is unbelievably wonderful. Life is so eager to spring into
                                        >existence it doesn't need perfect conditions."
                                        >
                                        > It should be noted that amino acids are not "life."


                                        it's a pity that they couldn't run the experiment for a billion years
                                        instead of just a week.


                                        > Me: "The following passage from 'Evolution: A Theory in Crisis,' by
                                        >molecular geneticist Michael Denton, is relevant..."
                                        > Susan: "this book was written 22 years ago back when he was still a
                                        >creationist."
                                        >
                                        > Denton is not now, nor has he ever been, a "creationist." As the
                                        >term is commonly used, it is a minimal requirement that a "creationist"
                                        >believe in God. Denton, however, is an agnostic (just as he was back in
                                        >1986).


                                        he was the darling of the creationists. Now, not so much.

                                        > Susan: "It doesn't really matter how the first cell formed, even if
                                        >God created it. All life is descended from that first cell. The evidence is
                                        >overwhelming."
                                        >
                                        > It bears repeating: evidence for common descent is not evidence for
                                        >Darwinism (which purports to explain common descent). Your confusion on
                                        >this point pervades your writings on evolution.


                                        and yet you fight tooth and nail against any evidence of common
                                        descent--just like all other creationists.


                                        > Michael Denton: "As on so many occasions, paleontology has again
                                        >failed to substantiate evolutionary presumptions."
                                        > Susan: "that's blatantly false."
                                        >
                                        > Actually, it's true, as the following paleontologists/evolutionary
                                        >biologists have admitted:


                                        here come the tired out of context quotes. Since you don't really
                                        care about the accuracy or honesty of these quotes I'm deleting all
                                        but this one.


                                        > - "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record
                                        >persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that
                                        >adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches;
                                        >the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. Yet
                                        >Darwin was so wedded to gradualism that he wagered his entire theory on a
                                        >denial of this literal record: 'The geological record is extremely
                                        >imperfect and this fact will to a large extent explain why we do not find
                                        >interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing
                                        >forms of life by the finest graduated steps. He who rejects these views on
                                        >the nature of the geological record, will rightly reject my whole theory.'
                                        >Darwin's argument still persists as the favored escape of most
                                        >paleontologists from the embarrassment of a record that seems to show so
                                        >little of evolution. In exposing its cultural and methodological roots, I
                                        >wish in no way to impugn the potential validity of gradualism (for all
                                        >general views have similar roots). I wish only to point out that it was
                                        >never 'seen' in the rocks. Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price
                                        >for Darwin's argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of
                                        >life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural
                                        >selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we
                                        >profess to study." - Gould, S.J. (1977) "Evolution's Erratic Pace," Natural
                                        >History, vol. 86, May



                                        "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is
                                        infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists-whether
                                        through design or stupidity, I do not know-as admitting that the
                                        fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are
                                        generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between
                                        larger groups."

                                        - "Evolution as Fact and Theory," Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes, New
                                        York: W. W. Norton, 1994, p. 260.

                                        all of your quotes were discussing the PACE of evolution, not whether
                                        or not it happened.


                                        >
                                        > It should be noted that the admission of the above scientists that
                                        >paleontology has largely failed to substantiate the presumptions of
                                        >Darwinism (which are what Denton had in mind) does not mean they deny that
                                        >Darwinism - or something like it - is the best explanation for life's
                                        >evolution. It simply means that the paleontological evidence for Darwinism
                                        >is better described as weak than "overwhelming."


                                        that's certainly the false message those quotes are intended to
                                        convey. Thank you for summarizing.

                                        >Note, too, that there has
                                        >been no recent explosion of fossil discoveries that falsifies the above
                                        >claims - claims that are unambiguously clear in their meaning (thus you can
                                        >spare us the usual "quote-mining" charge, which would have us believe that
                                        >a contextual reading of the quotes would show that they don't mean what
                                        >they clearly do mean).

                                        if you read the context, then you know that they are not refuting the
                                        fossil record or paleontology or anything like that. In fact the only
                                        place to get that particular collection of quotes is from a
                                        creationist website.

                                        This creationist website:
                                        http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/library/#8

                                        Susan
                                        --


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