Wednesday, March 27, 2013

He Likes Me ... He Really Likes Me!

David Klinghoffer likes me and he's not afraid to say so [Laurence A. Moran, University of Toronto Biochemist and Darwin Skeptic]. He says,
Welcome aboard, Dr. Moran! The U. of Toronto biochemist surprised us by indicating in a post at his Sandwalk blog that he could sign on to the statement in the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism ....
Let me remind readers what the statement says ...
We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.
Just about every evolutionary biologist would have to agree with this statement if they were being honest. So why is this such a big deal for the Intelligent Design Creationists? Why do they promote their list of signatories in their publications and why do they continue to solicit signatures on their website? [A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism]

David Klinghoffer has the answer. Do you believe him?
... no one says that the signers of the Dissent list are creationists, other than Darwin advocates who dishonestly try to cement the absurd, fallacious equation of Darwin skepticism with Young Earth Creationism. The list has nothing to do with creationism. Nor does it say anything about intelligent design, which also has nothing to do with creationism.
Okay, so the list has nothing to say about intelligent design. So what is its real purpose?
Any scientist who agrees with the statement that heads the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism is a Darwin doubter, that's all -- and congratulations to him or her! Simply to relay the fact of his skepticism on orthodox evolutionary theory is hardly a misuse of anyone's name. It just reports some interesting and good news. What's wrong with that? For Darwin defenders, the thing that's wrong is that it undercuts their main defense: the assertion that nobody doubts Darwin's theory, or only religious nuts do so, and so there is no legitimate controversy on evolution.

We've always said that private doubts about Darwinian theory are far more widespread in scientific life than the media let on. Now on that point we have Dr. Moran's helpful confirmation.
Hmmm ... that's what this is all about? The IDiots know full well that most evolutionary biologists aren't strict Darwinists but they just want this to become more widely known? If that's true then they could certainly help out by explaining the correct version of modern evolutionary theory—including random genetic drift— to their supporters and advising them not to use the term "Darwinism" as a synonym for "evolution." That would make sense, right?

From now on, I expect David Klinghoffer and all his friends to use "modern evolutionary theory" to describe the position of their opponents. I expect them to avoid the word "Darwinism" since, by their own admission, they know that it's wrong.

Not holding my breath .....

The title of this post is a reference to a statement by Sally Field
at her Oscar acceptance speech in 1985. I know that I'm paraphrasing a misquote.

15 comments :

  1. Wow, you are not signing anything, yet he still was able to misuse your point. He did not care being that openly dishonest ... do they ever?

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  2. First Ann Gauger and now David Klinghoffer, I can't say I'm to impressed with the crowd you're hanging out with these days.

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  3. Darwin wasn't a strict Darwinist either, since he allowed that there were other possible evolutionary processes than natural selection. Dunno if he had anything to say about drift, but he certainly allowed for the (now known to be spurious) effects of use and disuse. And Wallace made an exception for the case of human intelligence. Have there ever been any strict Darwinists?

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  4. I can't understand why Mr Moran is defining things so closely.
    Its a good statement about scepticism about evolutionary biology.
    Drift and other things are minor points.
    Evolution is all about selection on mutations happening in populations.
    The glory of biology is about this concept .
    Its not true and close inspection will show this.
    Finally non YEC researchers have picked up on it.
    It won't last 15 years I think.

    There are mechanisms in biology but not from Darwins walking around his garden.

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    1. I can't understand why Mr Moran is defining things so closely.

      What else do you do in the face of dissemblers?

      Its a good statement about scepticism about evolutionary biology.
      Drift and other things are minor points.
      Evolution is all about selection on mutations happening in populations.


      In other words, you are no more interested in understanding and fairly characterizing evolutionary science than the DI is.

      It won't last 15 years I think.

      Welcome to the 150 year old "Imminent Demise of Evolution" club.

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    2. Nope I don't get why this shyness with seeing evolution by selection on mutations as numero uno for biological origins!!
      It sure seems that was what evolutionists said.

      The demise is more imminent because finally non Genesis creationists see evolutions unlikelyness, lack of evidence, and plain impossibleness.
      So well degree-ed folks see a great intellectual change in biological subjects and want tio be in on the kill. They want Nobel prizes.

      In fact its my fellow YEC who have to hustle to not let ID people take all the credit for the paradigm (we used to say error) shift.

      If evolutionists were sharper they would cut thier losses by agreeing with ID and finding other mechanisms for the obvious biological changes that occurred.
      Gor did not create creatures or types of people as they are now. There must be and is other mechanisms.
      Its possible the Newton or Einstein of biological change has not come yet.
      possibly won't be a friend to YEC.
      Darwin evolution is a friend because its so implausible to the common people ONCE they understand what evolutionists are saying.
      People think evolutionists have found a "process" that morphs biology and so proves evolution. Otherwise creationist numbers would be higher amongst the people.

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    3. Nope I don't get why this shyness with seeing evolution by selection on mutations as numero uno for biological origins!!
      It sure seems that was what evolutionists said.


      Which simply proves that you have got your fingers stuck knuckle deep in your ears and refuse to learn what evolutionary science is actually about.

      The demise is more imminent because finally non Genesis creationists see evolutions unlikelyness, lack of evidence, and plain impossibleness.

      I'm glad you agree that IDers are creationists whether or not they are Genesis literalists. Of course, you are showing that your ignorance of history is as great as your ignorance of science, since most of the creationists who originally opposed Darwin's theory were non Genesis creationists (e.g. Adam Sedgwick). Also of course, your alleged lack of evidence for evolution is due to the fact that it is all hidden in libraries, which you refuse to visit and learn from. Its supposed "unlikelyness" and "plain impossibleness" and "[implausibility] to the common people" is just a statement of your, and the "common people's" personal incredulity which, if it was a good guide to science, would mean the sun orbits the Earth.

      And while we appreciate all the advice we can get, when it comes to being "sharper," I think I'll look to more likely sources.

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    4. Mr Klinghoffer has recently done a excellent article on how evolutionism/Darwin has used speculation in the place of scientific investigation.
      I strive to make this point always.
      Its about how micro evolution evidence is the PROOF for macro evolution.
      He quotes past and present evolutionists as saying its a reasonable speculation.
      Yet Mr Klinghoffer rightly says speculation is not science.
      So how can evolutionary biology claim to be a scientific their as opposed to a hypothesis.

      It has always been a error of creationists to miss attacking evolution UPON its claims to having used the scientific method.
      .Instead we attacked the evidences presented.
      Mr Klinghoffer is the first ID commentator I have EVER seen bring this us.
      This could quickly erode evolutionism in its claims to being a scientific theory.

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  5. For Darwin defenders, the thing that's wrong is that it undercuts their main defense: the assertion that nobody doubts Darwin's theory, or only religious nuts do so, and so there is no legitimate controversy on evolution.

    I have to wonder who Klinghoffer is talking to when he writes this. The list of dissenters is of course a PR device to convince people who know little about biology and evolution (like many parents, students, school board members, politicians, etc.) that there is controversy within the scientific community as to validity of theory of evolution.

    Influencing the opinions of people outside of the scientific or ID community is of course useful to the ID movement. But doesn't this sort of public dissembling embarrass members of the internal ID community, who are all in on the canard? They all must know that there is not a single signature on that list that is not motivated by religious conviction and that, even were the tenets of evolution wrong as they suppose, there is still no controversy in the scientific community.

    How does religious faith so thoroughly inoculate people from the embarrassment of open dishonesty?


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    1. You raise an interesting point. I've often wondered about this myself. Why aren't there some honest intelligent design proponents speaking up for truth? Why don't some of them openly admit that many of their colleagues misrepresent science (evolution) and try to educate them?

      It's possible that every intelligent design proponent really is an IDiot but I suspect that's not true. There must be another explanation. What could it be?

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    2. I think there are different "kinds" of proponents. First, you have the deluded ignorant. These are people who write letters to the editor simply quoting creationist talking points. They have no idea what they are talking about but, by golly, they're agin' it, whatever "it" is. Usually, science. These people are just blowing off steam.

      Second, you have the professional hucksters: Ken Ham, Kent Hovind, Ray Comfort, all the crackpots at the Institute for Creation Research, and there's a long, sordid list. These folks are in it for the money, such as it is. They use every dodge in the book creating "ministries" to avoid taxes and doing their best to avoid legal problems like what landed Kent Hovind in federal prison, although his son, Eric, is now running the family business selling books and CD's. They scrape by but they're only in it for personal gain.

      Finally, you have the political organizations like the Dishonesty Institute whose name is not incidental nor mean-spirited who have a clearly stated goal of instituting "Christian principles" into society by using science as a wedge to divide society: evolution is atheism is bad, therefore (designer, God, Jesus, take your pick). The Tooters have no interest in science and they have no interest in "intelligent design," either. They use ID and IDiots as a tool to influence the changes in society they want to see. Hence, the slew of "academic freedom" bills all sponsored by right-wing, conservative Christian legislators, and attacks on education by influencing right-wing, conservative Christian school board members - all of these efforts can be traced back to the Disco Tute. They use ID to prop up their otherwise pitiful arguments hoping that their blizzard of flim flam and bafflegab will confuse, misdirect and bog down the opposition. That and appeals to fairness and civility; two major cards.

      I have been hard pressed to identify a single individual or organization studying ID outside of the Disco Tute. The Tooters don't sell a product of any substance but they're careful to guard their brand. They exist through donations of individuals and organizations who have a vested interest (or sociopathic interest) in changing society. I don't think the Tooters are true IDiots, rather they use IDiocy as a tool for their schemes.

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    3. The Tooters have no interest in science and they have no interest in "intelligent design," either. They use ID and IDiots as a tool to influence the changes in society they want to see.

      I think your entire post is one of the clearest summations I have seen. And the sentence above really cuts to the chase and is most likely bang on. It no doubt is the means to an end with the end being a country founded upon the conservative theocratic principles that they believe god intended.

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    4. I suppose he may not count as an intelligent design proponent, because he's actually a YEC, but Todd Wood is an interesting example in that he seems to mostly understand evolutionary theory and accepts that all scientific evidence supports it. He simply believes that the Bible is true and, therefore, further scientific evidence will some day arise to vindicate his faith. He explains here:

      http://toddcwood.blogspot.ca/2009/09/truth-about-evolution.html

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    5. Well, I've had many, many arguments with creationists and this is all I've learned.

      Number One, and most obviously, they don't care about facts. They say "all ape-men fossils are hoaxes" and you prove they're wrong. They don't blink an eye, they say "no transitional fossils exist" and you prove they're wrong, and soon we're back to the first cell and abiogenesis, then the nebular hypothesis of Earth's formation, then the Big Bang and "you believe nothing made everything!"

      They pretend to care about evidence, but they never did, ever. When every single one of their fact-claims is proven wrong, they don't care and they're not capable of shame. With you, they change the subject. An hour later, somewhere else on the internet, with another victim, they will repeat the same lies and the whole argument will be repeated, deja vu, like the movie "Groundhog Day."

      So if they don't care about evidence, what do they care about?

      Fundamentalists in general are completely focused on one thing: the total moral superiority of fundamentalists to everyone else. This is why "Hitler was an atheist" and other nonsense is so popular, and nowadays it's all "gays are damned animals." They're not liars for Jesus because they don't really give a shit about Jesus. They care about the tribe and their prestige, their superiority.

      Creationists are a subset of fundamentalists who are obsessed with proving BOTH the moral AND the intellectual superiority of fundamentalists. This explains why so many creationists fake their science degrees. It also explains why they don't care when all their fact-claims are proven wrong.

      Creationists consider themselves to have "won" if they just use science jargon and fancy, multisyllabic words-- that proves, in their minds, that they're intellectually equal to the damned secularists.

      If you really wanted to solve scientific mysteries, you need to get every one of your facts right. But creationists don't want to solve mysteries, so they don't care if every single fact they say is wrong, because their cartoon impression of academia is that it's just a bunch of people arguing while using fancy, multisyllabic words.

      So if they've used jargon and fancy, multisyllabic words, they think they've "won."

      You have to study the history of fundamentalism. But serious historians of religion in American conclude that fundamentalism in its early days was concerned with perceived lost prestige. They were furious that scientists, professors, and even liberal Christian pastors were widely perceived as more intelligent, which enraged them. In their version of history, just a few years before, THEY were respected as morally, spiritually, AND intellectually superior. By the 1920's they were in a panic. Modern society is UNNATURAL and deranged because it does not recognize their intellectual superiority.

      They don't care about solving mysteries. We want to get our facts straight, because we need lots of facts to solve mysteries.

      Rather, their standard of victory is that they need to just produce doubt. Doubt, and they don't care how they produce it. If they say "There are no transitional fossils," well, you can list a dozen. Then they will respond: "Those so-called 'transitionals' are a matter of interpretation." The word "interpretation" has 5 syllables and sounds intellectual and it produces doubt. So they think they've won: they showed up those fancy-pants intellectuals!

      Moreover, after WWI, fundamentalists like William Bell Riley were radicalized because they saw Germany's defeat and the Weimar Republic as representing the moral collapse of Western civilization. As did the Nazis: creationism resembles Nazism in so many ways because (amongst other things) both the Nazis and US fundamentalists were radicalized by the Weimar democracy as representing the moral destruction of the West.

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  6. What's the big deal? Even Darwin wasn't a strict Darwinist: "Variations neither useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in the species called polymorphic." (TOOS Ch 4)

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