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Re: [OriginsTalk] Re: S.J. Gould and Creation Science! - Grant

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  • grant hallman
    ... And you re right - if i had said only that, it would have been a strawman attack. But wait! I said more - which u snipped out, so u could add You do it
    Message 1 of 45 , Mar 1, 2005
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      At 05:48 AM 28-02-05 -0000, Paul wrote:
      >
      >
      >--- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, grant hallman <unilogic@p...>
      >wrote:
      >> At 11:32 PM 27-02-05 -0000, Paul wrote:
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >--- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, grant hallman <unilogic@p...>
      >> >wrote:
      >> >> At 03:55 PM 27-02-05 -0000, Paul wrote:
      >> >> >
      >> >> >
      >> >> >My point, which u have not really addressed, is that nature is
      >> >full
      >> >> >of intricate and subtle orderings, which put Mt. Rushmore to
      >> >shame,
      >> >> >nevertheless nature operates according to rules which we
      >> >understand
      >> >> >pretty well, and which do not require intervention of any
      >> >> >supernatutal being in any objectively measurable way.
      >> >> >
      >> >>PK: The point which you have not addressed is which well
      >understood
      >> >>rules of nature ensure arising of "the instructions needed to
      >build
      >> >>a functioning organism" in an environment devoid of proteins and
      >> >DNA to say nothing of meaningful configurations of either?
      >> >>
      >> >> Your question would be clearer if u used compelete sentences -
      >i'm
      >> >not trying to be a smarta$$, i make enuf typos on my own, it's
      >just
      >> >that the above is pretty hard to decipher.
      >> >>
      >> >> I will assume u mean either: "DNA is more complex than
      >snowflakes
      >> >because it codes for proteins", or "DNA complexity is more
      >> >meaningful than snowflake complexity because it codes for
      >proteins".
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >PK: <snipping the pretend I don't understand
      >>
      >> No, i really don't understand:
      >> (a) what biochemistry has to do with the debate about Mt. Rushmore
      >and
      >> snowflakes, and
      >> (b) what your actual question is. U seem to be asking how i
      >explain the
      >> origin of DNA in the absence of DNA. I did not make any such claim
      >> recently, i have no idea why u think your question is relevant to
      >the
      >> present discussion or to what i was saying in it.
      >>
      >> Altho, it is obvious that DNA must have started at some point. Your
      >> explanation of course is that goddidit, because, look, Ma, it's so
      >> **complex**,.......
      >
      >
      >PK: You like to throw around the strawman accusation while
      >constructing strawmen of your own. I've never written anything like
      >the above.

      And you're right - if i had said only that, it would have been a strawman
      attack. But wait! I said more - which u snipped out, so u could add "You do
      it too" to the list of things u say which do not address _any_ of the
      actual points i raised. What i added was:

      "Oh, wait, u don't claim that either? U just have no explanation,
      nevertheless attack any speculation, even when, as in this case, i hadn't
      actually said a word about it."

      See, that's me withdrawing the paraphrase of your position. Case not made.


      For the record, points i have raised in just this subthread, to which u
      have not replied:

      (1) The Rushmore argument is bogus, because lots of things in nature have
      order.

      (2) Why do u think your question (about DNA) is relevant to the present
      discussion (about Rushmore, snowflakes, and naturally-ocurring order)?

      (3) What is your explanation for the origin of life, at a level of detail
      comparable to what u keep demanding from science. U want every chemical
      pathway elucidated which led to life, yet u can't or won't even tell us
      what the process as u believe it happened, would have looked like to
      scientists if they'd been watching. Your illogical bias on this point is a
      textbook example of Creationist Fallacy Number 6: "misleading double
      standards".

      (4) My comment about Davies' subjective def of "semantic content", which i
      will repeat here in another attempt to engage u on the issues:
      "Davies apparently thinks DNA has semantic content because biology knows
      something about how DNA is interpreted into proteins, but he denies that
      the shape of snowflakes have comparable meaning, because he does not know
      of a use for the information they contain. Thus his distinction of semantic
      content is based on what he knows, rather than the actual information
      content of what is actually present - a non-useful distinction."

      > If DNA results from natural rules we understand then you
      >can dispense with the God did it strawman by putting your money
      >where your mouth is and demonstrating how.

      Ironically your very accusations of strawman arguing, are themselves
      strawmen. I have never claimed "DNA results from natural rules we
      understand", in fact i have said the process occurred over hundreds of
      millions of years and left no trace, and can only be inferred.

      > Or you can acknowledge that you and others do not have a clue.

      We have clues, not proof. You can stop trying to conflate the two. They are
      vastly different, and u perfectly well understand that.

      >You're right that snowflakes have nothing to do with biochemistry.

      I'm also right that this thread is about whether order implies ID.

      >They're useful only as obfuscation tools.

      Snowflakes are a counterexample to the bogus claim that order implies ID.

      I insist on dragging this thread out of the biology sidetrack u have
      attempted to divert it to, and back to the issue of Rushmore, snowflakes
      and naturally occurring order. If i am obfuscating anything, it is confined
      to your "DNA" red herring. Please reply to the actual relevant points,
      numbered above for your convenience. And pass the pizza ;)

      cheers - grant
    • grant hallman
      ... I apply this _criterion_ to any def of an _objective_ phenomenon. E.g. a def of rectangle , or acetone , or electromagnetic , that can change from is
      Message 45 of 45 , Mar 19, 2005
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        At 10:08 AM 18-03-05 -0500, Alan wrote:
        >
        >(( Too often "what the observer knows" or does not know depends on his
        >own >philosophies and prejudices.....My point exactly.))
        >
        > Do you apply this idea to your own ideas?

        I apply this _criterion_ to any def of an _objective_ phenomenon. E.g. a
        def of "rectangle", or "acetone", or "electromagnetic", that can change
        from "is" to "isn't" depending on what the observer knows, is a poor def.

        >============================
        >
        > Alan: If it were speculation per se, you would be willing to
        > >entertain alternatives.....
        >
        > Grant: I am. However i am not so willing to be entertained
        >/by/ alternatives which are totally lacking in evidence, precedent or
        >plausibility. Goddidit simply lacks the evidence to qualify.
        >
        > Alan: Paul's challenge is way way far on this side of
        >"goddidit".

        You are conflating two things. One, Paul challenges the statement "life
        arose spontaneously", not because i said it, but because he'd rather attack
        that statement than the one science actually makes, which is: "life
        apparently arose spontaneously - there are hints it could have, and no
        evidence for a better explanation".

        Two, Paul offers no better explanation, just vague hints of goddidit,
        declining anything specific enough to subject his views to scrutiny.

        These are different flaws in his argument, not the same flaw.

        > Also lacking evidence to qualify is
        >"unguidedchemicalprocesses". Actually bringing up the "goddidit"
        >phanton, or the "wemayneverknow" spirit, may imply that one is afraid of
        >the consequences of even considering its impact.

        That happens to be literally true. I am afraid of the consequences of
        considering one's religious beliefs, whatever they are, as replacements for
        science or objective fact. This fear is rational and based on ample
        precedent. You should be afraid of it too.

        >====================
        >
        > Grant: No, Paul has not supplied any positive objective support
        >whatsoever for his theory.
        >
        > Alan: Refusal to respond in the way you demand for SN1987 shows
        >the weakness in your Faith in Evolutionary Dogma.

        Illogical conclusion. The two are not connected.

        >====================
        >
        > Grant: Paul has given examples which he /says/ are barriers to
        >spontaneous biogenesis. Every one has been replied to. Paul (and most
        >IDers) claim that if a thing is complex, it must have been created,
        >ID'ed. Their logic is faulty.
        >
        > Alan: Sure, such a caricature (as in mischaracterization) of his
        >claim and that of ID is faulty. Are you even able to restate his
        >challenge properly and faithfully as it is and still stands, unanswered?

        Show me something in the ID position which is not at bottom, either "the
        Bible told me so" or "complex = created".

        >=====================
        >
        > Alan: Item (c) "hints" are comparable to saying that since a
        >person >dragging a stick forms a half-inch rut in the ground, the Grand
        >Canyon >was formed by a bunch of people dragging sticks....(Grant:
        >...rivulets...)
        >
        > Alan: Try throwing a soccer ball upwards into space under your
        >own arm power. How many throws, or millions of years, will it take to
        >complete this throw successfully. That's the nature of the example given.

        No, the nature of the two challenges are fundamentally different. Rivulets,
        if repeated, accumulate in depth. Soccer ball tosses each start from ground
        level and do not build on previous attempts. If they did, you could in fact
        throw a soccer ball into space given enough tries (and a space suit). Your
        metaphor is faulty.

        >====================
        >
        > Grant: No, (a) is not too fuzzy to be useful. There are no
        >objectively observed, let alone repeatable, evidences of God or god
        >intervening in the physical universe. If there were, any rational person
        >would be compelled by the physical evidence to believe God or god
        >existed. That is not how this universe is run.
        >
        > Alan: That's right, most persons are not really all that
        >rational. If they were, and if you were, it's true that we would all
        >believe.

        "Believe" what? I believe in a Creator, just not for rational reasons.
        Others do not.

        > I was compelled by all the evidences, including physical
        >evidences, and now more than ever.
        >
        > I could never go back. My step-daughter had some kind of growth
        >in her belly (big as a volleyball) that would not go away. My wife in
        >desperation after the doctors told her there was nothing more they could
        >do, prayed with the daughter. In a half hour they walked out of that
        >hospital together, both fully healthy. My wife warned her employer once
        >to cancel an air flight that day, she did, the flight crashed. I worked
        >with a fellow missionary once who had been a completely gone heroin
        >addict when he received Jesus Christ, as we call it, and joined the
        >work, he slept like a baby about twenty-four hours and recovered with no
        >"cold turkey" symptoms.

        Look, these are all very moving stories, and i'm truly happy for the
        beneficiaries. But they in no way compel belief. Because for every such
        story there are 1000 other stories, including where truly good, believing,
        sincere, prayerful people died horrible, lingering, apparently meaningless
        deaths. I know some of those people, watched them die. And don't even /try/
        telling me they weren't sincere enough, or didn't "truly believe".

        The fact is, u cannot rationally skim the cream off of life's spectrum of
        experience, and then point to only the best outcomes as compelling proof
        God exists, while ignoring the rest of the spectrum. To even attempt that
        argument is to cook the books, to ignore the suffering of those who
        perished; and leads directly to the conclusion that those majority who
        suffer without miraculous cures, should rationally conclude God does _not_
        exist.

        God either exists for all, or for none, or is so capricious as to be
        undeserving of faith. Pick whichever of those possibilities u like, and
        your "rational compulsion" to believe, evaporates.

        >No wonder doctors have the highest rate of
        >belief among science-knowledgeable professions Got a very very long list.
        >
        >======================
        >
        > => That is an answer that would be laughed out of the
        >peer-review >court for any other science proposition.
        >
        > I never claimed biology was a rigorous science.
        >
        > ==> It would be laughed out of court for any other biology
        >proposition (except for those that invoke unprovable and evidence-lost
        >evolutionary theory).

        Oddly, there is substantial research being done on SRMs and related
        biogenesis pathways. They seem to get funded and published. I believe your
        statement is incorrect.

        >================
        > GULO
        >
        > Alan: GULO stands as a bigger problem for Common Descent than
        >for YEC or ID. Nobody told me how under Darwinist or neo-Darwinist or
        >other Common-Descent theory that such a "defect" could disemminate among
        >a general population without having some kind of "survival advantage".

        That is an interesting but different subject. The point, and the problem ID
        cannot answer, is not how GULO survived - we can take it as given that it
        did, because there it is. Your problem is to explain, however it managed to
        survive, how it appears only in all anthropoids. Paul tried the same red
        herring. Focus on the _extent_ of the mutation, and offer an explanation
        for how it got into all anthropoids and nowhere else, an explanation which
        is better than "it arose in a common ancestor".

        >If there is an advantage, the argument is stronger for specific Design.
        >As to the similarity of the gene across species, this is absoolutely
        >nothing new.

        Nothing new, but still excellent evidence for common descent. The typical
        Creationist counter-argument is to appeal to ID - we share 98 (or 95)% of
        our genes with chimps because we and chimps were designed to a "common
        plan" by the same IDer. That argument won't work here, because what we
        share with chimps (and other anthropoids) is a set of genes which work
        together to produce vitamin C in other mammals, but which in humans and
        other anthropoids is disabled by a single genetic defect. So ID must
        explain why whoever "designed" the anthropoid genome, built in the whole
        vit.C production apparatus but with one part broken. If "designed", not
        "intelligently".

        > And no, there was no "reply" that I was aware of in detail to the
        >challenge. Interesting you jumped the text straight to GULO. But thanks
        >for that!
        >
        >=================
        >
        > Grant: Science teaches that careful examination of "common
        >sense" is required, and /especially/ when one has a desired outcome. In
        >fact most of the Creationist "ad statisticum" arguments are simply
        >badly-done statistics, and it's quite possible Paul's objections are
        >just another example of this.
        >
        > Why are you so desirous of the outcome you defend.

        I'm desirous of truth prevailing over falsehood. Show me evidence for a
        sixty-year-old universe, and i'll defend that.

        >I've seen
        >attempts elsewhere to try to re-create ID as a "seems" kind of thing,
        >and to re-cast it as a statistics and probability thing. This shows a
        >"reaching", an avoidance of actually considering the implications.

        It's not a "re-create". "Seeming" and baloney statistics are the warp and
        weft of ID arguments.

        >================
        >
        > Grant: Well, whoa, science is not the same as atheism. Saying
        >God is not objectively visible in the universe is simply reporting the
        >lack of evidence, not claiming that lack of evidence is evidence of lack.
        >
        > Alan: You snipped out the other part of my sentence. The
        >reference was to stubborn philsophical atheism. A claim to an agnostic
        >science that simply refuses to consider any evidence that contradicts
        >"Saying God is not objectively visible in the universe", is NOT "simply
        >reporting the lack of evidence", but it IS functionally and
        >philosophically and emotionally equivalent to atheism in its application.

        You're talking in circles. Science studies the objective evidence about the
        physical universe. "God" is not part of that study, not because of any
        prejudice against God, but because of a complete lack of objective evidence
        /for/ God's existence. The miracle-cure anecdotes you say compel your
        belief, to a scientist simply look like the "happy" end of a wide
        statistical bell-curve of outcomes. For every case of good outcome, there
        is an equal and opposite case of bad outcome, and the whole range in
        between - exactly as a statistician would expect, without appealing to
        "God" as an explanation.

        >==============
        >
        > (( ....Since when does a scientist demand proof of an alternative
        >theory before >considering the evidentiary or logical negation of a
        >currently >fashionable theory?.....Pretty much since Galileo...)
        >
        > My studies were in math, where it is perfectly acceptable to make
        >the assumption A, and from there derive a contradictory conclusion that
        >then falsifies A, and you never need an alternative proposition B for
        >this.

        That is true in the case where an assumption can be negated by facts or
        logic. Paul has not met that standard for abiogenesis.

        >Are we not always asking for falsifiability in a proposition,
        >before we consider it?

        In a scientific approach, yes.

        >I saw this claim in another forum, that ID is not falsifiable. Sure it is.

        How? And while you're at it, prove that we weren't all created in 1996,
        with our memories of earlier times, by an Aldebaran squid sprite on vacation.

        >But since abio doesn't need no stinkin' evidence, it's not falsifiable, is
        it?

        Abiogenesis is a far weaker claim than ID. Abiogenesis says "life may have
        arisen spontaneously from non-living chemicals given time and suitable
        environment, here are some plausible hints". That's far from the level of a
        reality claim.

        OTOH, ID says, basically, goddidit. That's a strong claim. It requires
        stronger evidence, yet it has none at all. If u want to falsify abio, show
        that amino acids do _not_ form sponateously from inorganic chemicals and
        energy, or show that SRM's don't work. Abio is still in its infancy, it'll
        never be easier to falsify.

        >====================
        > ((Not that long, actually. Less than a decade.)0...So?
        >
        >===========
        >
        > (6) misleading double standards, in particular demanding more of
        >a >>scientific theory than of a competing Creationist theory, e.g. "you
        >can't >>tell me the exact chemical pathways taken by pre-biotic
        >chemistry, so it >>didn't happen, but don't ask me what it looked like
        >when goddidit".
        >
        > Alan: My point was that you have applied a double standard with
        >and other points.

        If u think so, make a case for it. All you've done so far is quote places
        where, applying the same standards to science and Creationism, i have
        reached different conclusions. That is not bias, it's rational judgement.

        cheers - grant
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