Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How Do IDiots Define Evolution?

It's not difficult to find a proper definition of evolution. All you have to do is check your basic introductory textbooks on evolution. Google is not your friend in this case 'cause there's a lot of misinformation out there. If you're really interested in a scientific definition of evolution why not go right to the primary source?

Most textbooks use some version of the following for the minimal DEFINITION of evolution [see What IS Evolution?].
Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations.
Now, we all know that Intelligent Design Creationists are keen on real science. They certainly don't want to mislead their flock. Let's see how they define evolution in the latest book they are promoting [From Discovering Intelligent Design: Define Your Terms].

David Klinghoffer—a non-scientist—wrote the article but it consists entirely of an excerpt from the book Discovering Intelligent Design. Here's how the IDiots define evolution for their followers.
When terms are not carefully defined, miscommunication and false leaps of logic can result. For instance, when you see the word "evolution," you should ask, "Which definition is being used?" Typically, there are three common meanings.

>> Evolution #1: Microevolution (defined earlier): Small-scale changes in a population of organisms.

Macroevolution (also defined earlier) can be divided into two parts.

>> Evolution #2: Universal Common Descent: The view that all organisms are related and are descended from a single common ancestor.

>> Evolution #3: Natural Selection: The view that an unguided process of natural selection acting upon random mutation has been the primary mechanism driving the evolution of life.

Sometimes evolutionists purposefully confuse these definitions, hoping you won't notice that they overstated their case. It's not uncommon for an evolutionist to take evidence for microevolution (evolution #1), and claim it supports common descent (evolution #2) or development solely through unguided mechanisms (evolution #3).
"Definition" #1 might be close to a real scientific definition as long as they specify "heritable change." I doubt they do this.

"Definition" #2 is actually a conclusion based on observation. It's not a definition.

"Definition" #3 is what we normally refer to as "Darwinism" and it's one of the misconceptions about evolution that most textbooks try to dispel. It's not an acceptable definition in any textbook on my shelf.

So, there you have it. That's the best attempt by IDiots to explain the concept that they oppose.

Pathetic.


244 comments :

  1. Definitions 101:

    1) You can't start the definition of a technical term with "the view that", unless the term actually denotes a point of view (words ending in "ism" come to mind). (#2,#3)

    2) When defining a technical term, you are not allowed to use that term in its own definition. (#3)

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  2. So evolution, as defined by the expert, is completely consistent with the Genesis account of creation. Just as I've always said.

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    1. Yes, but Darwin couldn't have known about the role of the talking snake in his time, so that was incorporated into the theory later.

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    2. Uhh no Luther, you misunderstood Larry's point. He didn't define the modern theory of evolution in it's entirety, he simply corrected Klinghoffers mistaken definitions. Klinghoffer didn't even come close to defining evolution.

      The correct definition of macroevolution(which still isn't the complete definition of evolution) is simply this:
      Evolution at or above the species level.

      For Klinghoffer to get this wrong is an embarassment.

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    3. With regards to some of the many hilarities contained in Genesis, let's take a closer look at this one in Genesis 30:37-39

      (By Calilasseia on rationalskepticism.org):
      "For example, let's take the Old Testament. Genesis 30:37-39 asserts that it is possible to change the genomes of living organisms wholesale, simply by having the parent organisms shag alongside different coloured sticks. This assertion is complete hooey, and we know it's complete hooey, because an Austrian monk alighted upon the actual mechanism for inheritance of characteristics in reproducing living organisms, courtesy of thousands of diligent experiments with peaflowers back in the 19th century. You might have heard of him: his name was Gregor Mendel, and Mendelian inheritance is named after him.

      The only way that different coloured sticks could influence inheritance, is if those coloured sticks are made from weapons grade plutonium, and painted on the outside with highly radioactive paint containing radium and polonium. You'd certainly see some mutations arising if your livestock decided to copulate alongside these, but I suspect that the mutations, instead of being the pretty ones asserted to take place in Genesis, would be horrifically teratogenic ones."

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    4. @Rumprickhead
      No, you misunderstand. Larry gave a definition of evolution and the definition is completely compatible with the Genesis account of creation. My point has never been any more or less than that - as you would realise if you weren't a religious fanatic. And stupid. And a stupid religious fanatic. NEHEXT!

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    5. The definitions of quantum mechanics and plate tectonics are also completely compatible with the Genesis account of creation. That's because the Bible doesn't define either of those scientific terms. Same with the definitions of free-market capitalism, totalitarianism, and pedophilia.

      We might have a bit of a problem with the definition of "snake" or "serpent."

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    6. @Luther
      No, you misunderstand. Larry gave a definition of evolution and the definition is completely compatible with the Genesis account of creation.
      Yeah, he gave a minimal definition, which itself requires further defining of the terms "population", "organism", "generation" and "heritable change".

      Also, if the Genesis account truly was compatible with the extant definition of evolution, why do creationists have such a colossal problem getting that definition right and have instead to steep to deliberate fabrication and selective memory? Why don't they simply run with the definition as-is, since according to you there shouldn't be a problem? If only they could get a little facetime with you, they'd "see the light" so to speak.

      No Luther, your position here simply doesn't make sense.

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    7. No Luther, your position here simply doesn't make sense.

      Has he ever held a position that did make sense ?

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    8. Has he ever held a position that did make sense?

      Sure, if position means "all over the place, as long as it's opposite of the facts" and if 'make sense' means "incomprehensible gibberish deliberately designed to camouflage it's many holes and flaws in piles of philosophical sophistry". Get him started on his wittgenstein bullshit and see what I mean.

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    9. Does anybody know when scientists first begin to suspect that the blueprints of our body parts were “written down” or encoded in an information system(s)? Did Darwin? Or was it much later?

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    10. Kevin,

      Well, there are no "blueprints of our body parts", but the idea that there were is called "preformationism" and the idea goes back, like so much else, to the ancient Greeks. It was the common view of most 17th and 18th century biologists, but then embryology started coming into its own as a new discipline and epigenesis — the modern view that organisms develop from a seed, spore, or zygote by way of cell division and differentiation, gene expression, etc. — emerged as the consensus view of embryologists.

      Many people make the mistake of assuming that the final form of the organism is "encoded" in our DNA, but that's just taking preformationism and clothing it in molecular genetics.

      If you want to know more, I can recommend some books and websites. Scott Gilbert used to have a useful site on developmental biology up at the Swarthmore site. It's down now but it's archived. The "informative node" #4 will give you more information about the historical beliefs regarding preformationism vs. epigenesis and #2 will give you a lot about the genetic basis of development. Sean Carroll's book Endless Forms Most Beautiful is a good introduction with an emphasis on evolutionary developmental biology, and Enrico Coen's The Art of Genes is a decent-ish introduction to the general subject. The only reservation I have about it is that he uses a rather eccentric art metaphor and makes that the basis for all his explanations without ever naming the things being analogized. So you won't read that one protein is a receptor or that another is a ligand, and thus it's not too useful if you want to move beyond that book to more technical works.

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    11. Nullifidian,

      But the embryo's parts are written down or encoded in an information system? Right?

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    12. No, not really correct. Different pieces of DNA will express differently in different environments. That means any particular stretch of DNA doesn't have any sort of "intrinsic" structure or organ that it "codes for", it needs to be expressed in the context of a specific environmen for it to make sense to say that it "codes" for anything.

      DNA cannot be decoded in isolation, not even protein-coding sequence. It has to be looked at in the context of a specific translation system(and there are actually minor differences between some species), only then can it be said to contain "codons" etc. etc.

      The emergence of organs, limbs and whatever other biological structures during embryogenesis is due to the interaction of the genome with both the internal and external environment of the cell, throught the specific transcriptional and translational system specific to the cell type, tissue and ultimately, the species in question. The whole thing needs to be looked at, you can't just isolate any one particular thing and then say it was "coded for". It can't be done.

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    13. Kevin Bryan

      YOU are likely referring to the body plans which are not found in DNA.

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    14. Correct, body plans are an emergent property of the interaction of the genome in it's entirety, with the specific internal and external environment of the cell through all stages of development.

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    15. Kevin Bryan,

      Rumraket said everything I would have, so you can take his response as if it were mine.

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    16. What kind of "environment" are you talking? Be more specific so that I can look it up in the literature! How exactly does the "environment" effect body plans at the early development of and embryo? Is it beneficial?

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    17. If body plans are not found in DNA how could random mutations account for new body plans leading to new, unique body plans and species?

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    18. The "blueprint" analogy for DNA sequences (or a genome) is significantly misleading. Better (though still not completely appropriate) is a "recipe" analogy.

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    19. Environment = physical and chemical environment inside and outside of the cell, in all levels of detail. Everything from temperature, pressure and pH, to shapes and numbers of molecular and macroscopic structures present. All these factors impact everything during development, from how proteins fold and what they stick to, to when and where they are expressed in different cells and tissues. That's why DNA (genomes) can't be looked at in isolation, it needs to be expressed in the context of a specific environment to get a specific result.

      What might code for a strong structural protein important for membrane integrity in a human skin cell, might yield a misfolding and sticky lump of amino acids in bacteria that lives in 90 degrees C in a hydrothermal vent.

      You should start by understanding protein structure and folding. This includes understanding molecular bondings of various sorts, polarity and so on. (Introductory biochemistry) Then you can start adding the basic concepts of gene expression and regulation on top(Introductory genetics and molecular biology), and then to finish off you should get an introductory textbook on evolutionary developmental biology which ties it all together and explains how it ultimately results in body plans, organs etc.

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    20. Really? Can you prove it? You can't so i'm gonna stay by my vent and see if my fat ass is going to evolve into something more complex. Well, I don't think it can and I'm not going to be around for billions of years to prove you wrong.

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    21. Bob,
      I believe your ass is fat, however, evolution applies to populations and not your ass.

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    22. Bob,

      Your comments are very confusing, and make me suspect that your level of education and/or understanding of science is quite poor. I might be, of course, wrong. But if I am right I don;t think that a little comment in a blog would give you enough of an answer for you to understand. I shall give it a try though:

      DNA as a blueprint is something of an analogy. Things we say to try and convey explanations when the real thing is too far from common people' experiences for a direct understanding. The same goes for such analogies as "program", or even the "recipe" offered to you above. Analogies are never intended to be complete or perfectly descriptive of what's been presented.

      In any event. how an embryo develops is not the same as evolution. Rumratek above tried to explain to you development, not evolution, because your question was about development, not about evolution. Therefore your point about your ass evolving was perplexing to say the least.

      Anyway, not knowing where to start, here a beginning about development: Body "plans" are not in DNA as if the DNA was a blueprint. Different proteins and other molecules produced from DNA at different rates and concentrations result in such things as growth of cells, or divisions, et cetera. An instruction that would make growth on one side slightly faster than in another side might result in a spiral. So the spiral is not really blueprinted in the DNA, but rather results from how the molecules are expressed. The environment contributes, of course, since expression levels depend on what's around, temperatures, vicinity to other cells, et cetera.

      How can mutations change body plans regardless? Because mutations change what's expressed, and thus the final effects. This way a mutation might make for a tighter spiral, or one twisted to the left, another to the right, et cetera. Evolution feeds from such variety. Some environments might be better suited for spirals, some for straightness, et cetera, so the variety best suited will tend to survive better and that's one way in which evolution happens.

      I used very simple examples, but maybe you will get the idea.

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    23. I'm just curious how did the Bible writer know about the genetic information written down in the cells of an embryo over 2500 years ago?

      Psalms 139:16

      "Your eyes saw even the embryo of me,
      And in your book all its parts were down in writing"

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    24. Kevin,

      You know that your version of the psalm is not the most common, and that the word embryo was not used in the original, don't you? You know that "written in your book" is not meant to be genetic information, don't you?

      Here an example from King James's version:
      Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

      Common English Bible:
      Your eyes saw my embryo,
      and on your scroll every day was written that was being formed for me,
      before any one of them had yet happened

      How many versions did you have to search to delude yourself that it was all about genetics? Nah, you did not read that yourself, but found it in some of those pamphlets of propaganda written by some ministry, didn't you?

      Next you will cite the saturday horoscope wondering how did the stars know what you were up to today.

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    25. Does this change the meaning of my post, even if other words can be used to describe it, such as fetus, the beginning of life or human? I personally don't think so.

      The mysterious insight of the Bible writer into the "writings of the developing human" 2500 years before it was confirmed by scientists should at least make one wonder, shouldn't? I'm personally more than intrigued by this:)

      "Nah, you did not read that yourself, but found it in some of those pamphlets of propaganda written by some ministry, didn't you?"

      Even if I did read it somewhere, how does that make it untrue? You, on the other hand, didn't discover everything you believe in on your own did you?

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    26. Kev-0 wrote:

      "should at least make one wonder, shouldn't?"

      OK, I'll bite. (wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder)

      All righty, now, I'm done wondering. So, how does this help me better understand the biochemistry of diabetes?

      Enlighten us, Kev-0, we're all ears.

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    27. LOOOOL. More after-the-fact rationalization on the "wisdom" of the bible. Funny how noone ever comes up with these "miraculous predictions" BEFORE they're discovered by science. Curious, hmm... ??

      Hey Kevin, here's how to impress the hell out of me: Find that utterly ridiculous psalm in the earliest known greek version, and then find me someone who took that psalm to mean what you now think it means, before science discovered genetics.

      Until you can do that, all you have here is delusional ad-hoc rationalizations.

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    28. Bill wrote: "All righty, now, I'm done wondering. So, how does this help me better understand the biochemistry of diabetes?"

      You didn't specify which type of diabetes you would like to better understand the biochemistry of? Of the top of my head type II diabetes can be caused by insulin resistance, which is growing at the very fast rate in Western world, due to, among other things obesity, which is caused by overeating, over-drinking and lack of exercise. This type of diabetes is rare or non-existent in isolated from Western diet and lifestyle groups of people.

      Interestingly, the Bible warned about overeating, over-drinking, and laziness few thousand years ago. How did simple man who wrote those passages know of detrimental effects of diet and lifestyle on our health few thousand years before scientist discovered that?

      Interestingly, type I diabetes, and other autoimmune disorders, could be caused by a mutation of single gene called SIRT1.

      I hope this helps too:)

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    29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    30. Kevin, you mentioned nothing about biochemistry, just more after-the-fact rationalizations.

      How could "simple men know it?" Oh I don't know, by simply looking at what happens to people who sit down all day and eat? Warnings against sloth and gluttony are culturally ubiquitous(as in known outside of the christian world, like china and the far east, and long before the emergence of christianity), and go back thousands of years. Are you telling me this kind of observation is a divine revelation? It isn't.

      Also, "simple man" didn't understand shit about what actually happened to the body(as in that actual biochemstry you neglected to elaborate on) beyond the casual observation that people with unhealthy lifestyles live shorter lives and suffer more bodily ailments. Nothing miraculous, predictive or divine about this insight. One has simply to observe what happens when overeating and undermoving, and people had eyes and food before anyone sat down and wrote the bible. Incredible, right?

      The sad fact is, for bronze and iron-age man(the time of the origin of christianity) most ailments were attempted explained by reference to nonexistant supernatural entities like witch curses, "black magic", demons, leprechauns and poisoning of the wells by neighboring tribes.

      We're talking about people trying to rationalize the world thousands of years before the discovery of the microoganism. They had no idea what caused infections, fevers or epileptic seizures to name a few. Heck, even today I sometimes get doorknockers coming by, trying to convince me that some children's toys are works of the devil and have evil magic and demons inside them. Fucking nuts. They're TOYS, they're made of plastic, in a factory.

      I know this must all seem magical to someone stuck with with a mindset from the desert goatherder nomad age.

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    31. @Moron
      Yeah, but QM and plate tectonics are not touted all the time the way evolution is as falsifying Genesis. The point being, if evolution falsifies Genesis then it must be some other "evolution" that does that and not the one you defined. But if there's another one (which there is) then your attack on Klinghoffer doesn't work because it is precisely these other versions that he is also talking about. Thus this whole post by you is an exercise is dishonesty. Either that or just another example of your sloppy thinking skills.

      @Rumraket
      You miss the point on a grand scale - see just above. Hardly surprising though since your religious fanaticism does not allow you to appraise any argument on it's merits.
      @Oberkski
      Everything I have said here makes sense - you just don't understand it because your're as thick as shit. Just another silly little boy with a problem with religion who has latched onto evolution as a stick to beat it with.

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    32. @Luther
      What point? You've yet to make a point that isn't evidence of encephalitic subnormality on your part.

      How fucking hard can this be?

      Klinghoffer gets ALL his definitions wrong. Only his definition of microevolution is even approaching correct.

      He further defines macroevolution as universal common descent and natural selection. This is directly false, that is emphatically NOT the correct definition of macroevolution. As stated previously, macroevolution is evolution at or above the species level.

      He also, in his attempt to elaborate on his two principles of macroevolution, gets natural selection wrong. Natural selection isn't the viewpoint he defines, natural selection is simply the mechanism of differential reproductive success due to variations in traits (and thereby, fitness).

      He defines it in a way that mistakes it for "adaptationism", which is the viewpoint that most of life and it's traits all evolved due to natural selection. But the mere existence of the mechanism of natural selection does not automatically entail that all of life evolved by it.

      The fact that any idiot can simply pick up a textbook, or just go to wikipedia for the correct definitions, means Klinghoffer is deliberately presenting falsehoods.

      The criticism of him here is 100% warranted, he's making up bullshit.

      Oh by the way, evolution falsifies genesis for obvious reasons explained a million times before. As evidence of this claim I submit the fact that nutjobs like yourself, IDiots and creationists all have such colossal problems with it, you all revere the bronze-age goat-rape-manual and reject anything that doesn genuflect before your emotional crutch. Tough shit, it's a worthless document, demonstrably false in hundres if not thousands of places. The asserted time it took for all of "creation", the order of the emergence of things, the proposed mechanism. Almost all of genesis is outright demonstrably false, fable, fairy tale and complete fabrication by ignorant, piss-stained desert nomads. Get over it.

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    33. Here's the point: how does evolution (as defined by Larry above) falsify the Genesis account of creation? Here's the answer: it doesn't - as Larry openly acknowledges. Now, given that you think evolution does indeed falsify Genesis, why don't you explain how it does so. And then you can explain how Larry got his definition so badly wrong in a post about definitions.

      As for Genesis, I have no doubt that the Genesis account is not literally true. My point has never been about the truth or falsity of that account, only about it being consistent with evolution (as defined by Larry). But such subtlety is something you are unable either to grasp or to stomach. You can't grasp it because you're thick as pigshit, and you can't stomach it because you're a religious fanatic (who is thick as pigshit).

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    34. Speaking of thick as pigshit, Luther is giving an excellent performance in the role of purblind imbecile.

      The crucial mistake being made (or less charitably, the point being deliberately misunderstood in order to enable his insipid trolling) is that the definition of evolution doesn't have to conflict with the Genesis account for the past history of evolution to conflict with the Genesis account. Luther apparently has yet to discover the distinct meanings in science of fact and theory.

      Evolution as defined for the purposes of evolutionary theory does not and is not supposed to contain within it a comprehensive record of everything that happened as a result of evolution the biological process. Part of what happened as a result of evolution the biological process is that humans evolved from a common ancestor shared with chimps, birds evolved from and after the evolution of the dinosaurs and not simultaneously with fish as the Genesis account says, and plants evolved after (long after given the data from molecular clocks) the evolution of animals in general. All these things do not harmonize with a literal reading of the Genesis account, but strikingly enough none of them are contained within the definition of evolution.

      That's explained simply enough for even a reasonably intelligent four-year-old, but I don't doubt that Luther will continue to deliberately misunderstand it in order to further his preposterous and quixotic crusade.

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    35. @The-Pigshit-fetishist
      Here's the point: how does evolution (as defined by Larry above) falsify the Genesis account of creation? Here's the answer: it doesn't - as Larry openly acknowledges.
      Nor is it my contention that Larry's minimal definition does. My point, which you've miraculously yet to fathom, is that pointing this out is an irrelevancy, because Larry's definition is a minimal one, and is only given in order to give an example of a CORRECT definition of evolution(the process).
      You know, that thing Klinghoffer is attempting to criticize but gets wrong on all levels. That's the point of this whole fucking blog post.

      If Klinghoffer wants to criticise evolution(as in the process), universal common descent(an evidentially derived conclusion), natural selection(the mechanism) and last but not least, adaptationism(the hypothesis), then since the man is apparently a significant player writing on behalf of an organization that advertises itself as one of the largest bodies advancing "scientific arguments" against evolution, maybe, just maybe, he could have expended just the slightest effort and got his definitions right.

      Here's your own words:
      Luther Flint wrote: "But if there's another one (which there is) then your attack on Klinghoffer doesn't work because it is precisely these other versions that he is also talking about."
      Nobody knows what Klinghoffer is talking about, because he's not correctly defining his terms. This means when so speciously Klinghoffer asserts that "Sometimes evolutionists purposefully confuse these definitions, hoping you won't notice that they overstated their case." he's appearing both extremely dishonest, stupid and ironically, projecting his own dupliticious agenda onto his opponents.

      All the criticism leveled at Klinghoffer here is therefore warranted, and you're demonstrably misguided in your criticism of Larry's pointing this out.

      The great irony here is that in your centention that subtleties are lost on me, you've yet to even fathom what Larry's opening post was all about.

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    36. I'm not deliberately misunderstanding anything - I understand exactly what you are saying and how dishonest you are about it. That is, I never said there was not some other version of "evolution" that is inconsistent with Genesis. Indeed, the fact that you are all arguing so strenuously that there is such a thing shows just how dishonest Larry is being in this post. And the fact you are all arguing so strenuously that there is this "other" evolution (the one that's inconsistent with Genesis) shows exactly why Klinghoffer was spot on to say there are many senses of the term kicking around and that they are often used in a deliberately dishonest way, exactly as Larry is doing here (there and everywhere).

      The point, then, in short (so that you might be able to get it through your thick skull), is this: Larry is being dishonest in defining "evolution" the way he does in the context of Klinghoffer's point because he, like you, knows full well that Klinghoffer is talking about the different senses of "evolution" as they are used by evolutionists - eg, used by Coyne in his junk-science book "Why Evolution is True".

      And shorter still: the past history of evolution is sometimes simply called "evolution" - as Klinghoffer suggests, and as Larry deliberately ignores in order to make his sniping post out of jack.

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    37. @Rumracket
      No, you're still missing the point in a kind of pigshit thick point missing way. I know Larry's definition is a minimal one. So minimal that it avoids the very thing Klinghoffer is talking about, which is the other ways this term is used. And the fact LM does this deliberately shows what a dishonest character he is whenever the topic of ID is raised. That is, what Klinghoffer said was perfectly reasonable to anyone not hell bent on misunderstanding, and yet LM is trying to make it out as if it's not. It is - "evolution" is used in many different ways just as Klinghoffer suggests (Larry's nonsense to the contrary notwithstanding).

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    38. The point, then, in short (so that you might be able to get it through your thick skull), is this: Larry is being dishonest in defining "evolution" the way he does in the context of Klinghoffer's point because he, like you, knows full well that Klinghoffer is talking about the different senses of "evolution" as they are used by evolutionists - eg, used by Coyne in his junk-science book "Why Evolution is True".

      I got that point already. It was stupid.

      You, however, missed mine (and Larry's). While we may talk about "evolution" in terms of the historical process resulting from evolution as defined in theory (heritable change in allele frequencies in a population), the historical process is not defined into existence and defended on that basis. Rather, what we understand of the historical process "is actually a conclusion based on observation. It's not a definition."

      It is inappropriate to define evolution as universal common ancestry because it's entirely possible to imagine a scenario in which evolution in terms of the heritable change in allele frequencies would occur and have occurred, but where universal common descent wasn't true. Indeed, this is probably what this book goes on to argue is the case! So how can they define "evolution" as both "Small-scale changes in a population of organisms" and "all organisms are related and are descended from a single common ancestor" if the former is true and the latter is false? That would mean that evolution by its own definition is both true and not true at the same time.

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    39. To make this clear, let's see what happens if you take evolution defined as universal common descent.

      It happened that all forms of life are descended from a common ancestor, and this is evolution.

      It did not happen that all forms of life are descended from a common ancestor, and this is not-evolution.

      But the second statement may well be false. If all species did not descend from a universal common ancestor, it does not follow that evolution didn't occur, but just that its scope is now somewhat more limited.

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    40. @Nullnrainian
      Look, clown, the issue here is not whether Klinghoffer's definitions are the same as those found in a dictionary, nor whether they are proper "definitions" in the technical sense of that term, nor even whether they are technically correct as definitions of "evolution". The point here is that the term "evolution" is used in many different ways by evolutionists, and what Klinghoffer did was accurately characterise those ways. That is, eg, the title of Jerry Coyne's junk-science book is "Why Evolution is True" - you don't seriously believe that the word "evolution" in the title of that book merely means what Larry says it does above. It means something far more than that - it means the kind of thing Klinghoffer is correctly getting at and the kind of thing Larry is dishonestly pretending to not know about.

      And, fwiw, there is absolutely no reason why a conclusion based on observation cannot also serve as a definition of something.

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    41. Rumraket wrote:

      "We're talking about people trying to rationalize the world thousands of years before the discovery of the microoganism. They had no idea what caused infections, fevers or epileptic seizures to name a few."

      Actually again, the Bible was ahead of science thousands of years. Long before the discovery of microorganisms and their role in spreading disease, the Bible recommended hygienic practices that are still relevant today.

      Leviticus 11:32-40;

      "32Now anything upon which any of them should fall in its death state will be unclean, whether it be some wooden vessel or a garment or a skin or sackcloth. Any vessel of which some use is made will be put in water, and it must be unclean until the evening and then be clean. 33 As for any earthenware vessel into which any of them should fall, anything that is within it will be unclean, and YOU will smash it. 34 Any sort of food that may be eaten upon which water may come from it will be unclean, and any drink that may be drunk in any vessel will be unclean. 35 And everything upon which any of their dead bodies may fall will be unclean. Whether oven or jar stand, it is to be broken down. They are unclean, and they will become unclean to YOU. 36 Only a spring and a pit of impounded waters will continue clean, but anyone touching their dead bodies will be unclean. 37 And should any of their dead bodies fall upon any seed of a plant that is to be sown, it is clean. 38 But in case water should be put upon seed and something of their dead bodies had fallen upon it, it is unclean to YOU.
      39 “‘Now in case any beast that is YOURS for food should die, he who touches its dead body will be unclean until the evening. 40 And he who eats any of its dead body will wash his garments, and he must be unclean until the evening; and he who carries off its dead body will wash his garments, and he must be unclean until the evening."

      Deuteronomy 23:12, 13;

      "12 And a private place should be at your service outside the camp, and you must go out there. 13 And a peg should be at your service along with your implements, and it must occur that when you squat outside, you must also dig a hole with it and turn and cover your excrement."





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    42. The point here is that the term "evolution" is used in many different ways by evolutionists, and what Klinghoffer did was accurately characterise those ways.

      Except that's what he didn't do, and we've all taken turns trying to get it through your titanium cranium why they aren't adequate.

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    43. @Nullbrainian
      You miss the point. You cannot simply argue that Klinghoffer's definitions are faulty in some way, because it matters not one iota if they are or whether they are, in fact, nonsense. The only thing that matters is whether evolutionists use the term in the ways K suggests. And they do. For example, when they are writing junk science books like Why Evolution is True. So, what evidence do you have that the words are not used in this way? You can start by explaining roughly what the term means in the title of Coyne's book.

      Delete
    44. Actually again, the Bible was ahead of science thousands of years. Long before the discovery of microorganisms and their role in spreading disease, the Bible recommended hygienic practices that are still relevant today.

      Nobody claimed that ancient peoples couldn't associate cause and effect. Scythian archers used to dip the heads of their arrows in dung so that the wounds of their enemies would become infected. Mongol warriors catapulted plague-stricken bodies over the wall. Are these examples of early germ warfare proof that had a god whispering in their ears about things science wouldn't discover until centuries later?

      Delete
    45. You cannot simply argue that Klinghoffer's definitions are faulty in some way, because it matters not one iota if they are or whether they are, in fact, nonsense. The only thing that matters is whether evolutionists use the term in the ways K suggests.

      Why? Is Discovering Intelligent Design supposed to be a textbook or an anti-evolution polemic?

      Perhaps this is the crucial distinction. I must admit that I had been evaluating the definitions provided as an educational tool, not as point-scoring off the "evolutionists". I guess I was just taken in by the façade that this is meant to educate people.

      You can start by explaining roughly what the term means in the title of Coyne's book.

      No I can't, because I haven't read Coyne's book. For all I know he could have defined evolution to mean "rhubarb pie".

      Delete
    46. @Nullfildian
      Re the first point - even if it's a textbook, if it deals with what you might encounter in the writings of evolutionists then it is perfectly legitimate to note the different ways the term "evolution" is actually used. Re Coyne, you don't need to read the book to know that it means nothing like Larry's definition above.

      Delete
    47. Re the first point - even if it's a textbook, if it deals with what you might encounter in the writings of evolutionists then it is perfectly legitimate to note the different ways the term "evolution" is actually used.

      I was going to point out that conventional textbooks of evolution also make the distinction between evolution as theory and as a real process at work in the world, and I intended to do that by pointing to Futuyma's textbook Evolution Since I don't want to particularly dig through my old textbooks, I searched the internet for a definition and ironically enough found a version on this very blog which addresses Jerry Coyne: "What Is Evolutionary Theory? Futuyma vs. Coyne".

      Why would it have been so difficult for Discovering Intelligent Design to convey the same distinction between evolution as theory and fact that Futuyma does? (You needn't answer that: I know why.)

      Re Coyne, you don't need to read the book to know that it means nothing like Larry's definition above.

      Perhaps that's how you operate, but it's not how I do things.

      Delete
    48. @The-pigshit-fetishist
      And the fact you are all arguing so strenuously that there is this "other" evolution (the one that's inconsistent with Genesis) shows exactly why Klinghoffer was spot on to say there are many senses of the term kicking around and that they are often used in a deliberately dishonest way, exactly as Larry is doing here (there and everywhere
      Still struggling with comprehension I see. Seriously Luther, it doesn't get any more simple than this: Klinghoffer introduced the terms, then set out to define them the wrong way. If Klinghoffer want's to criticize certain concepts, it's on him to properly define them. This way, if Klinghoffer sticks to the correct definitions as used in textbooks(and sites like wikipedia and berkeley's evolution information page), then there is no room left for ambiguity. That way, both ID proponents, creationists and evolutionists all know what Klinghoffer is criticizing when he, for example, advances an argument against "macroevolution". If I were to read an argument against macroevolution, I would expect to see an argument against the concept of evolution at or above the species level. But Klinghoffer might instead, pr his incorrect definition, be arguing against "adaptationism"(ala Dawkins' view of evolution). This is inexcusable.

      When someone like Stephen Jay Gould would have had a disagreement with someone like Dawkins on the large scale patterns of macroevolutionary transitions, they'd both know what they were talking about, despite their disagreement, because they both use the same and correct definition of macroevolution. And any other biologist interested in the debate can simply go and read their argument with comprehension of the used terms, because they'd all be operating under the same definitions.

      Now some IDiot like Klingnutter comes along and nobody knows what the fuck he's talking about, because for all we know, he could be talking about Universal common descent, Natural selection, Adaptationism or, hell, the actual correct definition of macroevolution.
      He might say that the pattern shown by the distribution of certain genes in certain organisms falsifies, or can't be explained by macroevolution. Or certain fossil "gaps" is evidence against macroevolution. Who's to know what he means then?

      When Klingnutter uses these terms interchangeably it ironically produces more confusion than it eliminates. If he'd simply used the correct definitions(commond descent=common descent, natural selection = natural selection etc.), we wouldn't be having this discussion, we'd be able to address his arguments instead.

      But Klinghoffer elected to go a different route, a strange and confusing one that throws his whole claim of trying to avoid confusion into serious doubt. When some IDiot, after having read Klingnutters definitions, for example goes and reads a paper written by an actual biologist, he will emerge massively confused, because he'll be thinking of Klingnutters definitions when reading that paper.

      For example, a paper might mention an observed case of speciation as evidence of macroevolution. Now the IDiot will be thinking about Klingnutters definition, "Hmmm, macroevolution means universal common descent by way of adaptationism... but, that would be absurd, a mere emergence of a new, slightly different species of fish isn't evidence that all of life shares common ancestry and evolved by way of gradual natural selection, i guess Klinghoffer is right".
      So Klinghoffers little piece of dishonest propaganda(aka big fat lie) is directly intended to produce these kinds of confused thought processes in the average ID acolyte, who only gets their science information from the propaganda ministry, and only occasionally goes and reads some paper brought up in a discussion with an evolutionist.

      I'm sorry Luther, but you're just plain wrong here.

      Delete
  3. Biology having reproduced itself inaccurately nevertheless persists in creating a new population and so on. The origin of all biological results.
    Thats how a YEC would explain it but with sundry doubts.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, I certainly would count natural selection (#3) as a valid mechanism of microevolutionary change (#1). Funny that mr. Klinghoffer is so annoyed that "evolutionists are purposefully confusing these definitions". Not very self-aware, it seems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would even go so far as to say that Natural selection is a valid mechanism of evolutionary change, regardless of degree. It just not the only mechanism.

      Delete
    2. If I were to be uncharitable, I'd argue Klinghoffer is deliberately providing the wrong definition of macroevolution in order to avoid drawing attention to the fact that evolution can result in speciation.

      Also, his definition of Natural selection is ridiculous. Natural selection is a mechanism of evolution that results in differential reproductive success, it's not a different way to "define evolution".

      Jesus fucking christ, how utterly off the mark can Klinghoffer get?

      Delete
    3. Please feel free to be uncharitable. :-)

      I think it's justified in this case.

      The only other possibility is extreme stupidity but we can rule that our because Kinghoffer and the other IDiots have been corrected on the definition of evolution at least 814 times in the past two decades.

      Delete
    4. Well, exactly. Further, Luskin the Gerb, cobbled together much if not all of what I've read so far. (You can read "surprise me" pages at Amazon.) It's deliberate manipulation, not misunderstanding. The Tute does this stuff on purpose, so there's no giving them a pass or trying to educate the Tooters. They simply don't care. I mean, who else would write that the Designer (blessed be he) could be Yoda? No, in the book it is. Yoda.

      Clearly, to me, the Tooters are going after the homeschool market which is the only reason I can imagine the co-author is a "homeschooling mom" with no academic credentials whatsoever. All the other "markets" they mention in their blurb (personal use, church groups and non-existant IDEA clubs) would produce negligible return. It's actually perfect for them: unregulated and free from criticism.

      Delete
    5. Clearly, to me, the Tooters are going after the homeschool market which is the only reason I can imagine the co-author is a "homeschooling mom" with no academic credentials whatsoever. All the other "markets" they mention in their blurb (personal use, church groups and non-existant IDEA clubs) would produce negligible return. It's actually perfect for them: unregulated and free from criticism.

      To that list I would add public schools in states that have passed the "academic freedom" bills that the DiscoToot has been promoting for the past couple years. In fact, that this book appears so soon after the initiation of that effort is...interesting.

      Delete
  5. Interestingly, all Klingnutter had to do to get his definitions right was go to wikipedia, which has had substantial improvements to it's articles on evolution lately. I'm positively surprised myself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macroevolution
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microevolution
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_common_descent
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_common_descent

    There is no excuse for not getting these definitions right, there can be no other conclusion than deliberate misinformation perpetrated by the IDiot institute. Simply disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They could also start here

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_01

      and go through all the steps slowly, not skipping this one:

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/misconceptions_faq.php

      Delete
  6. As Bob Price and I write in Evolving out of Eden, there is a range of willingness to cede ground from Scripture to science. How much of the store are you going to give away to make peace with science? How much reality will the craving for intellectual integrity and scientific respectability force a creationist to assimilate, as he seeks a new identity?

    For the IDers, this image-seeking is perhaps most pronounced, and leads to some very unsavory results. They want to look like what they are peddling is real science, but they can’t help being dishonest in the process. They have to discredit all the real work that’s been done and being done every day, Darwin’s amazingly prescient writings included, in order to clear space in people’s heads for the God-gap that their silly brand is uniquely positioned to fill. And the whole time, they have to avoid talking too explicitly about God, lest they trigger the trip-wire of judicial review.

    Yuck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Accusations are just accusations. Only after the trial can dishonesty be established.
      Real work today in origin subjects includes YEC and iD criticisms.
      Very effective today and with popular support from well intentioned and intelligent people everywhere.
      There should not be such popular and effective criticism and confident rejection of evolutionism IF evolutionism made a excellent or close case!!
      Where is the case?
      I truly have never seen biological scientific evidence to justify evolutionary biology as a theory. It is only a hypothesis accepted by a establishment in academia.
      This is why evolutionists mostly attack their opponents motives or intellectual credibility or assert their own authority. Really they do. There are no problems in well evidenced subjects like physics , medicine, etc etc.
      There's a reason for that.
      Subjects dealing with origins are more intellectually demanding of imagination and close investigation then physics which is easily affirmed or dismissed after hypothesis is made.

      Many YEC thinkers decades ago would of predicted non-bible/Genesis believers in science would eventually see evolution and company for the error it is.
      ID thinkers today see themselves as the smarter correctors of a wrong idea.
      They expect to be noted as important science thinkers eventually. YEC folk don't aspire to that largely.
      Stay tuned folks!

      Delete
    2. byers said:

      "I truly have never seen biological scientific evidence to justify evolutionary biology as a theory."

      Well, it's pretty hard to see anything when your head is perpetually up your ass.

      Hey robert, what are the details of your education and research background in evolutionary biology that would enable you to legitimately determine whether or not there is biological scientific evidence to justify evolutionary biology as a theory?

      Delete
  7. You can always count on Byers to say something ridiculous. Over on rationalskepticism.org he once remarked that whale diversity and evolution was only evidence of post-flood microevolutionary diversification and doesn't count as evidence of evolution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He'd have to say that, wouldn't he? After all, you want your cetacean "kind" to be as inclusive as possible. The Bible says Noah took two of every unclean beast and seven of every clean. It's hard enough to fit two or seven whales on the ark: would you want to have to take three, four, five, etc. times that many?

      Delete
    2. But the insane thing of it was that he was perfectly fine with the terrestrial to aquatic mammal transition, it's just that it took less than 6000 years, happened post-flud and "isn't evidence for evolution".

      I kid you not, I can dig up the post in the "creationism and ID" section of the forum.

      Delete
    3. There was no need to take into the ark any whales or any other animals that are pretty comfortable in the water.

      Delete
    4. Rumraket wrote: "But the insane thing of it was that he was perfectly fine with the terrestrial to aquatic mammal transition, it's just that it took less than 6000 years, happened post-flud and "isn't evidence for evolution".

      You are probably right, to a degree. The confusion about an "evolution" of some animals after the flood is most likely related to the classification of animals according to SPECIES and not KINDS, as the Bible record has clrearly indicated. There are variations within a KIND(S) that are often interpreted as separate species and proof of so-called macroevolution--an emergence of unique and separate species that are just variations within a KIND(S). However, even with a help of technology and genetic manipulation, no new KINDS have emerged.


      Gen 1:21-24

      "21 And God proceeded to create the great sea monsters and every living soul that moves about, which the waters swarmed forth according to their kinds, and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God got to see that [it was] good. 22 With that God blessed them, saying: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the waters in the sea basins, and let the flying creatures become many in the earth.” 23 And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a fifth day.
      24 And God went on to say: “Let the earth put forth living souls according to their kinds, domestic animal and moving animal and wild beast of the earth according to its kind.” And it came to be so. 25 And God proceeded to make the wild beast of the earth according to its kind and the domestic animal according to its kind and every moving animal of the ground according to its kind. And God got to see that [it was] good."

      I hope this helps :)

      Delete
    5. Yes, Kevin, it helps. It helps us realize what an imbecile you are.

      Can you please provide the evidence for this magical "kind barrier" that limits the degree of change that can occur in a genome over millions of years? Or do you also not believe in "millions of years"?

      Oh, and when I ask for "evidence" I mean the scientific kind. Bible verses don't count.

      Delete
    6. You can checkout this link:

      http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200002611

      It may help even more, if you are really looking for the answer :)

      Delete
    7. Kevin, so you're telling me you agree with Robert Byers here? Are you fucking serious?

      Let me get this straight. You're okay with the full diversity of cateceans (all the different species of whales) evolving from a single common ancestor, in less than 6000 years.

      But there's some kind of mysterious and magical barrier(which you guys can never tell us what is) preventing the diversification from a terrestrial mammal in millions of years? Why? What prevents this kind of evolution?

      When does it stop? What prevents it from keeping on evolving more? If it can change "within" a "kind", why can't it simply evolve more given more time? What is the barrier? How does it achieve this magical prevention?

      If you already concede that populations can evolve by standard microevolutionary processes, due to mutations, drift and selection? Then what is it that prevents change from accumulating? Why can't new mutations produce different bodyplans?

      Up earlier you spoke about the bible containing miraculous predictions about genetics and bodyplans. So I take it you agree that bodyplans arise from the interplay between genetics and environment during development? I mean, you have to, or you have to deny the very same bible quote you contend contains miraculous insights into genetics.

      So, let's just run with that. Genetics is involved in determining how body plans develop, and you accept "within kind" microevolution. As in, you concede that mutations can yield small-scale changes to body plans. Now the question is, why can't they keep going? What mechanism sets in and prevents further mutations from happening?

      It's really strange, because geneticall, humans and chimpanzees are highly genetically similar. Something like 94 to 96%.

      Yet wolves and dogs are only 85% genetically similar. But you're okay with the genome of a wolf mutating 15%, because this is "within kind", but the genome of a chimp somehow can't change 4-6%? It just can't, it says so in the bible(it doesn't, but never mind that)? Why? Tell us about the mechanism. Is it magic? A new force of physics? Divine will?

      Bring the goods Kevin.

      Delete
    8. Kevin is simply a troll. Just ignore.

      Delete
    9. Kevin the apostate, I have it on good authority that the Holy Quran predicts evolution, embryology, cosmology, deep ocean waves, plate tectonics and rock and roll (but not rap or hip hop for some reason) and further more states that your holy book is full of shit and that you are a deluded infidel doomed to burn in (Muslim) hell.

      Checkmate, bat shit crazy christian creotard crusader.

      Delete
    10. "Kevin, so you're telling me you agree with Robert Byers here"

      I didn't say that. Read carefully my post and other as well, including the link I have provided that refers to "KIND".

      http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200002611

      Delete
    11. Steve,

      How about this?

      "The shape of the earth. The Encyclopedia Americana said: “The earliest known image that men had of the earth was that it was a flat, rigid platform at the center of the universe. . . . The concept of a spherical earth was not widely accepted until the Renaissance.” Some early navigators even feared that they might sail off the edge of the flat earth. But then the introduction of the compass and other advancements made possible longer ocean voyages. These “voyages of discovery,” another encyclopedia explains, “showed that the world was round, not flat as most people had believed.”

      Yet, long before such voyages, about 2,700 years ago, the Bible said: “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth.” (Isaiah 40:22) The Hebrew word here translated “circle” can also mean “sphere,” as various reference works note. Other Bible translations, therefore, say, “the globe of the earth” (Douay Version) and, “the round earth.”—Moffatt.

      Thus, the Bible was not influenced by the unscientific views prevalent at the time regarding the earth’s support and its shape. The reason is simple: The Author of the Bible is the Author of the universe. He created the earth, so he should know what it hangs on and what its shape is. Hence, when he inspired the Bible, he saw to it that no unscientific views were incorporated in it, however much they may have been believed by others at the time."

      I hope it helps:)

      BTW: There is no literal hell. That's just a myth that has been absorbed into many religions from Greek Mythology among other :)

      Delete
    12. Steve wrote: "Kevin the apostate"

      I hope you meant "Kevin the apostle"?

      Delete
    13. Keving, I read your link, it contains nothing I asked for. Give me the mechanism that prevents outside-of-"kind" evolution, and then the evidence.

      *twiddles thumbs*

      Delete
    14. Kevin, I have a hard time deciding between yours, and the approximately 41.000 other denominations of christianity out there. I don't have enough time in a single lifetime to dig deeply into all of them and try to decide, and that's not to mention the hundreds of thousands of other different religions and their denominations out there. The doorknocksers who come by once in a while disagree with you, and are absolutely certain there's a literal hell.

      From where I'm sitting, it all looks like bullshit. Sorry.

      Delete
    15. There was no need to take into the ark any whales or any other animals that are pretty comfortable in the water.

      Strictly speaking, there was no need to take any animals into the ark, nor to build the ark, because there was no global flood. However, going simply by the account in the Bible, there is a very potent reason: everything outside of the ark died. It is very clear that "Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark" (Gn. 7:23, NRSV). It's strange how much less literal the Bible gets when its statements become problematic.

      Also, if you want to claim that the flood was as devastating as the Bible says, then it would have been inimical to most marine life including whales, who would have had to breach in waves hundreds or thousands of meters high and then dive down into silt-choked waters. It's extremely improbable that they would have survived. If you want to invoke a miracle, then why not just claim that God magicked the whales down to three inches in length and they were therefore perfectly happy in Noah's fish tank?

      How about this?

      "The shape of the earth. The Encyclopedia Americana said: “The earliest known image that men had of the earth was that it was a flat, rigid platform at the center of the universe. . . . The concept of a spherical earth was not widely accepted until the Renaissance.”


      Ridiculous. Eratosthenes didn't live during the Renaissance and he knew that the Earth was round and even made a very good estimate of its circumference. The roundness of the Earth was known to Ptolemy and hence to the Western World through his work on mathematics and astronomy, titled Mathēmatikē Syntaxis (Μαθηματικὴ Σύνταξις) but more widely known to us by the Arabic title of Almagest ("The Greatest"). By the Renaissance only ignorant peasants living in the continental interior thought the Earth was flat, and for better or worse the opinions of ignorant peasants are not regarded by most historians.

      Some early navigators even feared that they might sail off the edge of the flat earth.

      Myth.

      But then the introduction of the compass and other advancements made possible longer ocean voyages. These “voyages of discovery,” another encyclopedia explains, “showed that the world was round, not flat as most people had believed.”

      The early navigators knew perfectly well that the world was round, although the exact shape of its rotundity was not settled (Columbus thought it was pear-shaped). The reason Columbus' proposed voyage was initially rejected was not fears that he'd fall off the Earth — I doubt anybody really cared that much for his well-being — but because he had overestimated the size of Asia by two times and underestimated the circumference of the Earth by 7/10ths. Had Columbus not run into a continent nobody but the native peoples on it and the Vikings knew existed, he would have died in the open sea with his men. In fact, they came extremely close to dying, so closely that Columbus had to tread very lightly to prevent his men from mutinying.

      Delete
    16. Continued:

      Yet, long before such voyages, about 2,700 years ago, the Bible said: “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth.” (Isaiah 40:22) The Hebrew word here translated “circle” can also mean “sphere,” as various reference works note. Other Bible translations, therefore, say, “the globe of the earth” (Douay Version) and, “the round earth.”—Moffatt.

      Except that the verse being cited shows that the Jews at the time believed in a flat Earth covered by a firmament.

      “If these verses are about a mere illusion of a vault, they are surely much ado about nothing. Shamayim comes from shameh, a root meaning to be lofty. It literally means the sky. Other passages complete the picture of the sky as a lofty, physical dome. God ‘sits throned on the vaulted roof of earth [chuwg], whose inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the skies [shamayim] like a curtain, he spreads them out like a tent to live in...[Isaiah 40:22].’ Chuwg literally means ‘circle’ or ‘encompassed.’ By extension, it can mean roundness, as in a rounded dome or vault. Job 22:14 says God ‘walks to and fro on the vault of heaven [chuwg].’ In both verses, the use of chuwg implies a physical object, on which one can sit and walk. Likewise, the context in both cases requires elevation. In Isaiah, the elevation causes the people below to look small as grasshoppers. In Job, God's eyes must penetrate the clouds to view the doings of humans below. Elevation is also implied by Job 22:12: ‘Surely God is at the zenith of the heavens [shamayim] and looks down on all the stars, high as they are.’”

      The translation that gives "vault of heaven" as the translation of "chuwg" is a scholarly direct translation from the 60s/70s called the New English Bible, later revised in the late 80s as the Revised English Bible. If the evidence of a "circle" or "round" Earth can disappear depending on what translation you use, then it's probably a good indication that it isn't actually there in the original.

      Thus, the Bible was not influenced by the unscientific views prevalent at the time regarding the earth’s support and its shape.

      Then why isn't this apparent in the interpretation? The view advanced in the Talmud is a flat Earth with a solid, domed firmament supported by one, seven, or twelve pillars. It's their text, so if your claim were true about the Earth being round having been recorded in it, then why didn't the original commentators on these verses get the shape right?

      The fact is that the view of the shape of the Earth is influenced most by the Babylonians (for obvious reasons) and then the Egyptians, both of whom believed in a flat Earth topped by some sort of solid firmament, although the Egyptians' version was a box rather than the Babylonian dome.

      Delete
    17. Kevin: "Yet, long before such voyages, about 2,700 years ago, the Bible said: “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth.”

      The bible didn't exist 2700 years ago.

      Delete
    18. "Rumraket Saturday, May 25, 2013 2:08:00 PM
      Keving, I read your link, it contains nothing I asked for. Give me the mechanism that prevents outside-of-"kind" evolution, and then the evidence."

      Isn't it ironic that you ask someone like Bryan for a mechanism that prevents outside-of-kind evolution and evidence for it, when the inside of the kind of mechanism of evolution is unknown, because there is no evidence that genetic mutations, natural selection and even genetic drift can account for the new and unique body plans and many respected evolutionary biologist have been asking to come up with new theory for evolution because such mechanisms are not sufficent?

      I think this video can help some to understand what I mean, as 1 picture speaks a 1000 words and 1 video even more

      http://www.saddleback.com/mc/m/7ece8/

      Delete
    19. "Rumraket Saturday, May 25, 2013 2:35:00 PM
      Kevin, I have a hard time deciding between yours, and the approximately 41.000 other denominations of christianity out there."

      Looool!!! Well, there is no better argument than this, that not only the bible is wrong but also, God doesn't exist. Therefore the theory of evolution must be true even though the mechanism of it is unknown.

      Can't argue with that one...

      Silent sigh...

      Delete
    20. Rumraket wrote

      "The bible didn't exist 2700 years ago."

      Kevin, I think that after this scientific statement by Rumrocket you can forget about arguing your case on this blog.

      Rumrocket, It is painful to read the staff you paste in here that you have no clue about. The above is just an example of how a moron like you can make an imbecile of himself when he has access to internet and information that must be true, because it is online. lol with tears.

      Delete
    21. Rumrocket, It is painful to read the staff you paste in here that you have no clue about. The above is just an example of how a moron like you can make an imbecile of himself when he has access to internet and information that must be true, because it is online. lol with tears.

      Unfortunately, Rumraket is correct. There were some scattered Hebrew writings from around 2700 years ago, but the full work we know as the Old Testament had yet to be compiled or even written. The verse Kevin gave as "proof" of the Biblical view of a round Earth was the work of the writer known as Deutero-Isaiah writing at the end of the Babylonian Captivity in the 6th century BCE.

      You should really read something from the field of Biblical Studies written in the last 50 years before you accuse other people of ignorance. Personally, I recommend Robin Lane Fox's The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible. I'm reading it right now and finding it fascinating.

      Delete
    22. Nullifidian Saturday, May 25, 2013 3:33:00 PM
      Continued:

      Yet, long before such voyages, about 2,700 years ago, the Bible said: “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth.” (Isaiah 40:22) The Hebrew word here translated “circle” can also mean “sphere,” as various reference works note. Other Bible translations, therefore, say, “the globe of the earth” (Douay Version) and, “the round earth.”—Moffatt.

      Except that the verse being cited shows that the Jews at the time believed in a flat Earth covered by a firmament."

      The Jews also believed that God looked like a calf, so they made one out of gold, and said that it-the golden calf- liberated then form Egyptian enslavement, caused the ten plagues and divided the Red Sea.

      Do you have any other "scientific arguments" of the internet? Because I'm not even reading this staff past 1 or 2 sentences.

      Another silent sigh...

      Delete
    23. If the Jews are inveterately wrong, then you have to drop all the claims that the OT indicates a round Earth because it's their scriptures.

      Do you have any other "scientific arguments" of the internet? Because I'm not even reading this staff past 1 or 2 sentences.

      Aw, poor snookums. Sorry for taxing your minimal attention span.

      Oh, wait! No I'm not! I don't give a tinker's dam about your attention span!

      Delete
    24. Nullifidian "There were some scattered Hebrew writings from around 2700 years ago, but the full work we know as the Old Testament had yet to be compiled or even written."

      As I have written before: You and rumrocket are morons that have no clue and you just copy staff of the internet because you think it is true. Today scholars and opposes of the old testment are not arguing about authenticity of the so-called old testament, but about little details.

      There is enough evidence for those who really look to find the proof. Within the last 60 years there were enough findings to prove that not only the book of Isaiah but the whole old testament was not only accurately copied, but it is also proven many historians wrong- where they claimed that certain events described in the old testament never took place or people never lived. The old testament as well as the new one is always accurate it.

      Delete
    25. Nullifidian
      Saturday, May 25, 2013 5:05:00 PM
      "If the Jews are inveterately wrong, then you have to drop all the claims that the OT indicates a round Earth because it's their scriptures.

      Do you have any other "scientific arguments" of the internet? Because I'm not even reading this staff past 1 or 2 sentences.

      Aw, poor snookums. Sorry for taxing your minimal attention span."

      Oh, wait! No I'm not! I don't give a tinker's dam about your attention span!"

      This is a perfect example of a moron like you. You have no idea and no clue what you are talking about.
      But, I'm tired of teaching morons, so I will let you educate yourself. You have access to the internet, so find out why you are such a stupid moron.

      Here is a clue:
      When did the Jews make the golden calf and when did Moses write the first books of the old testament. You think you can do that or you need a link?

      Ciao moron! I'm done educating you.

      Silent sigh


      I suggest the same to you Kevin


      Delete
    26. As I have written before: You and rumrocket are morons that have no clue and you just copy staff of the internet because you think it is true.

      Do you have a chronic inability to spell the word "stuff"?

      And your claim is as wrong now as when you wrote it. None of the information I've given you has been copied off the internet, although it wouldn't surprise me to find out that it's available on the internet too. I actually read these things called "books". I even gave you the title of a book I'm reading now and which you too could consult if you really, really wanted to.

      Today scholars and opposes of the old testment are not arguing about authenticity of the so-called old testament, but about little details.

      Well, one of those little details is when it was written, and 2,700 years ago ain't it. Second Isaiah didn't even exist then.

      There is enough evidence for those who really look to find the proof.

      Good, then perhaps you'll present evidence that plants were created before the Sun, the Earth was created before the Sun and the Moon, and birds were created at the same time as fish, before the land animals, and human beings share no relationship with other species but were created out of dust and a rib from, giving our species a starting population of two people.

      Then perhaps you can try harmonizing the story of a global flood with biogeography, biostratigraphy, chalk cliffs, trace fossils, linguistics (which gives no evidence of 8 people stepping off an ark all speaking the same language 4-5,000 years ago), history (which shows cultures existing throughout the period of the flood), and archaeology (which shows no evidence of human remains or artifacts buried by a global flood, plus no evidence of major water damage to ancient structures: how did Stonehenge survive the flood?).

      Within the last 60 years there were enough findings to prove that not only the book of Isaiah but the whole old testament was not only accurately copied,

      This is wishful thinking. The Great Isaiah Scroll may be in general agreement with the Masoretic text, but there are also numerous variant readings, alternative spellings, scribal errors, and later corrections.

      but it is also proven many historians wrong- where they claimed that certain events described in the old testament never took place or people never lived. The old testament as well as the new one is always accurate it.

      Except when it mentions the Age of the Patriarchs, the Exodus, the conquest of Israel from the Canaanites, a united monarchy of David and Solomon and other legendary kings, etc. etc. etc.

      Delete
    27. When did the Jews make the golden calf and when did Moses write the first books of the old testament. You think you can do that or you need a link?

      1) There's no evidence that they did.
      2) There's no evidence he did.

      Easy peasy.

      Delete
    28. Nullifidian Saturday, May 25, 2013 5:36:00 PM

      'When did the Jews make the golden calf and when did Moses write the first books of the old testament. You think you can do that or you need a link?

      1) There's no evidence that they did.
      2) There's no evidence he did.

      Easy peasy."

      And that is why you fully deserve the name moron.

      Have a nice life!

      Delete
    29. If I'm a "moron" for what I said (and which the majority of Biblical scholars would agree with), then it should be trivially easy to demonstrate the Mosaic authorship of the Torah and the literal truth of the Exodus account. So hop to it.

      Delete
    30. Nullifidian Saturday, May 25, 2013 5:34:00 PM
      As I have written before: You and rumrocket are morons that have no clue and you just copy staff of the internet because you think it is true.

      Do you have a chronic inability to spell the word "stuff"?

      And your claim is as wrong now as when you wrote it. None of the information I've given you has been copied off the internet, although it wouldn't surprise me to find out that it's available on the internet too. I actually read these things called "books". I even gave you the title of a book I'm reading now and which you too could consult if you really, really wanted to.

      Today scholars and opposes of the old testment are not arguing about authenticity of the so-called old testament, but about little details.

      Well, one of those little details is when it was written, and 2,700 years ago ain't it. Second Isaiah didn't even exist then."

      I cut and paste from a word processor, so I have no control of the spelling after I have written the sentence. You have a problem, you complain to microsoft. I have no time to double check. I guess misspells make your arguments to stand out?

      I don't care about books people write. If they do, they have to provide evidence. If they don't then it is just as good as nothing. Unlike brian, and his religion, I'm who they rely on. I may not like how they interpret it, but that does not change the fact. I have analyzed the "Qumran" but you wouldn't know what it is unless you look it up and even then,you are a m.....


      If you want proof, you should ask yourself a question "why".

      Do you know what the dead sea scrolls are?

      Delete
    31. I cut and paste from a word processor, so I have no control of the spelling after I have written the sentence.

      And you have the cheek to call other people morons?

      Delete
    32. I cut and paste from a word processor, so I have no control of the spelling after I have written the sentence.

      Nor before you write the sentence, apparently. Word processors are there to record what you type. They will not introduce variant readings when you click Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V. And even if that were possible, you could always go back and edit your posts before hitting "Publish". How lacking in common sense can you possibly be?

      I don't care about books people write. If they do, they have to provide evidence. If they don't then it is just as good as nothing. Unlike brian, and his religion, I'm who they rely on. I may not like how they interpret it, but that does not change the fact. I have analyzed the "Qumran" but you wouldn't know what it is unless you look it up and even then,you are a m.....

      Actually, I know full well what it is. Your pose of possessing arcane knowledge because you've heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls is absurd. If you know about Qumran, then you should have known that there are at two variants of the Isaiah text from that site. It is a very well-known fact. You should also be aware of the other textual variants, some of them extremely significant, like a text of Jeremiah 1/8th shorter than the ones in our modern Bibles. In fact, I'd submit that you don't know anything about Biblical Studies except a line of bullshit that you've been fed about how it all verifies an inerrant Bible. It doesn't. Not by a long shot.

      By the way, that "m.....": was that another word processor cock-up?

      P.S. Going to establish the literal truth of the Exodus account and the Mosaic authorship of the Bible anytime soon? I'm trembling with anticipation.

      Delete
    33. Piotr Gasiorowski the spelling bee that can't spell hihihi

      "I cut and paste from a word processor, so I have no control of the spelling after I have written the sentence."

      And you have the cheek to call other people morons?"

      You have serious comprehension issues, so I wonder, how you can teach? Your university relies on donations from people like us, who send their kids for education. And you are a moron.

      The actual thread

      You are a moron-polish that is. You can polish my shoesy and if we met we would be "2 guyow co by fight-alo na korneze."

      Ask Larry about the details because I have no polshing blood in my veins but he does. Torono is "fool" of the polish whom I love btw...like the sausigare hihihi

      Delete
    34. Yeah, I will, once your evoluuuutionary psychosis is established loooooooooooooooool which it will if you believe it hihihi

      Delete
    35. Nullifidian Saturday, May 25, 2013 6:28:00 PM
      I cut and paste from a word processor, so I have no control of the spelling after I have written the sentence.

      Nor before you write the sentence, apparently. Word processors are there to record what you type. They will not introduce variant readings when you click Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V. And even if that were possible, you could always go back and edit your posts before hitting "Publish". How lacking in common sense can you possibly be?

      I don't care about books people write. If they do, they have to provide evidence. If they don't then it is just as good as nothing. Unlike brian, and his religion, I'm who they rely on. I may not like how they interpret it, but that does not change the fact. I have analyzed the "Qumran" but you wouldn't know what it is unless you look it up and even then,you are a m.....

      Actually, I know full well what it is. Your pose of possessing arcane knowledge because you've heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls is absurd. If you know about Qumran, then you should have known that there are at two variants of the Isaiah text from that site. It is a very well-known fact. You should also be aware of the other textual variants, some of them extremely significant, like a text of Jeremiah 1/8th shorter than the ones in our modern Bibles. In fact, I'd submit that you don't know anything about Biblical Studies except a line of bullshit that you've been fed about how it all verifies an inerrant Bible. It doesn't. Not by a long shot.

      By the way, that "m.....": was that another word processor cock-up?

      P.S. Going to establish the literal truth of the Exodus account and the Mosaic authorship of the Bible anytime soon? I'm trembling with anticipation."

      Therefore evolution must be true even though the mechanism of it is unknown. You gotta love science like this hihihi

      Delete
    36. Therefore evolution must be true even though the mechanism of it is unknown.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution#Mechanisms

      Delete
    37. Heh, all they have to respond with is pure denial. I notice that they never bothered giving the mechanism that would prevent large scale evolutionary transitions. They claim it can't be done, not even given millions of years, but they're unable to explain why.

      "Within kind" evolution is okay with them, all the different cats, horses, dogs etc. can all evolve into each other by the normal evolutionary mechanisms (mutation, drift and selection), but somehow it just stops and can't go further. Why? How?

      It's really ridiculous when it comes down to it. They're perfectly fine with this transition:
      Chihuahua vs Wolf skulls.

      But this one is mysteriously impossible, despite requiring both less genetic and morphological change:
      Hominids

      The confused stance on evolution is also a bit of a mystery. On the one hand they're okay with evolution, "within kinds". No problem to them, "microevolution happens", "creationists accept antibiotic resistance evolution" etc. etc.
      But then they do a complete 180 and start denying the mechanism altogether. The cognitive dissonance and compartmentalizations are strong in these two. Of course, there might not be that much cognition to dissonate anyway.

      Delete
    38. Rumraket: "Kevin, I have a hard time deciding between yours, and the approximately 41.000 other denominations of christianity out there."
      Bob Cherkavsky: "Looool!!! Well, there is no better argument than this, that not only the bible is wrong but also, God doesn't exist.
      What? Where do you get this shit Bob? There are 41000 denominations of christianity alone, and many of them disagree on foundational points of doctrine(Like there was no Adam and Eve). Now you come along, some random internet nobody, and seemingly carry yourself with great conviction that you've alighed upon the one true interpretation. (And we're not even factoring in all the different religions of the world, who all claim with the same great conviction you have, that they're the one true faith and the one true interpretation). What's worse, your defense of the goatherder bronzeage campfire tales for boys simply takes the form of alternative history and fabrication, if not outright blind assertion and statements of faith.

      Bob Cherkavsky: Therefore the theory of evolution must be true even though the mechanism of it is unknown.
      Another complete fabrication by Bob. Are you one of those people who halluscinate statements of your interlocutor?
      Where did I advance this argument Bob? Also, what's with this "unknown mechanism" Bob? Where do you get this silly stuff?

      Bob Cherkavsky: "Can't argue with that one...

      Silent sigh..."

      Yeah it can be a bit hard to argue with an imaginary opponent.

      Delete
    39. bob the god zombie said:

      "I don't care about books people write. If they do, they have to provide evidence. If they don't then it is just as good as nothing."

      Does that apply to the 'books' of the bible, which is also a 'book'?

      Delete
    40. Rumraket wrote:

      "Kevin, I have a hard time deciding between yours, and the approximately 41.000 other denominations of christianity out there."

      This is true that there are many Christian denominations all of them claiming to be either the right one or one of the right ways leading to God.

      This state of affairs was prophesied or predicted in the Bible.

      Acts 20:29

      "I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among YOU and will not treat the flock with tenderness, 30 and from among YOU yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves."

      However, Jesus and his apostles have left us some clues as to how Jesus true followers could be identified today.

      Here are some hints:

      1. Just claiming to be a Christian is not enough:

      Matt 7:21 “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU! Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.

      2.Christian love knows no partiality, accepting all people regardless of their skin color, economic or educational status, nationality, or language is an identifying mark of true Christians

      John 13:34 " I am giving YOU a new commandment, that YOU love one another; just as I have loved YOU, that YOU also love one another. 35 By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves.”

      3. True Christians know and proclaim Jesus' heavenly Father's name:

      John 17:26 "And I have made your name known to them and will make it known, in order that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in union with them."

      Jehovah

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      "Jehovah" at Exodus 6:3
      (1611 King James Version)
      Jehovah (pron.: /dʒɨˈhoʊvə/) is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה, a vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה (YHWH), the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible, which has also been transcribed as "Yehowah" or "Yahweh".[1][2]

      These are just few clues found in the Bible that help to identify true Christians today. There are many, many more:)

      Delete
    41. They all claim to be true christians and all have their own way of explaining how their personal interpretations fit with being true christians.

      Delete
    42. But /dʒɨˈhoʊvə/ is a horrible English deformation of God's true name. It doesn't even remotely resemble the Classical Hebrew pronunciation -- not a single phoneme matches the original! You'll all go straight to hell for mispronouncing it so badly.

      Delete
  8. sez kevin bryan: "There was no need to take into the ark any whales or any other animals that are pretty comfortable in the water."
    Really? Since the only reason to think that there ever was a global flood is because it says so in the Bible, let's see what Scripture has to say about that.
    God laying out His ineffable intentions regarding exactly what is or isn't going to die, with appropriate emphasis added:
    Genesis 6:13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
    Genesis 6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
    Genesis 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
    Genesis 7:21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
    Genesis 7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
    Genesis 7:23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
    Hmm. I don't see anything about "except for those animals that were comfortable in the water" in there, Kevin. "every living substance that I have made" (Gen7:4) offers an 'out' for any species that wasn't made by God, but according to Scripture, there aren't any such species. Likewise, you could try to argue that "All in whose nostrils was the breath of life" (Gen7:22) means that any critter which breathes water has an 'out'—but whales breathe air. So whales, being one of the many species "in whose nostrils was the breath of life", either (a) must necessarily have been saved on the Ark, or else (b) must necessarily have gone extinct.
    Thus, kevin, when you say ""There was no need to take into the ark any whales or any other animals that are pretty comfortable in the water", your claim makes God a liar (because if your claim is true, He didn't really kill "every thing that is in the earth", and your claim makes the Bible wrong (because "every living substance" was not "destroyed"). Personally, I don't have a problem with God being a liar, nor do I have a problem with the Bible being wrong. I do, however, find it amusing that a Creationist might advance a claim which makes God a liar and makes the Bible wrong…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cubist

      I think you are referring to this comment by kevin?

      "Kevin Bryan Saturday, May 25, 2013 9:38:00 AM
      There was no need to take into the ark any whales or any other animals that are pretty comfortable in the water."

      He clearly indicated that whales and other animals that could survive in the water didn't have to be taken along onto the ark because THEY LIVE IN THE WATER!!!

      I don't know how much more clearer could he have written this, so that you could comprehend? I mean this is English not gibberish for God's sake!

      Delete
    2. Nullifidian,

      All you need is proof. Since religion is besed on faith and abiogeneis and evolution (microevolition) is supposed to be based on science-scientific evidence hihihi, then all you have to do is provide such evidence. Well, too bad you don't have it. Such a nice ferry-tail, and it even has scientific name attached to it so that morons could believe. When you create simple life form, that apparently was accomplished by random stupidity and chance, let me know. Unfortunately, that will never happen. Because in the Bible God calls himself "The Source of life". But that doesn't matter to morons like you, does it?

      Delete
    3. Nullifidian,

      How long does it take to finish biology in your country? 10 years?

      Delete
    4. Well, Nullfidian must have been somebody's ghostwriter for the last 10 years or more...

      Delete
    5. All you need is proof. Since religion is besed on faith and abiogeneis and evolution (microevolition) is supposed to be based on science-scientific evidence hihihi, then all you have to do is provide such evidence. Well, too bad you don't have it.

      LMAO! You don't even know your own argument well enough to be able to tell the difference between macroevolution and microevolution. Hint: microevolution is what all creationists claim to accept.

      Plus, simply telling me that I don't have any evidence for evolution is not going to convince me, nor is it going to make all the evidence for evolution I know of disappear. You actually have to address it first, which means that you have to know what it is. Since you don't even know what your own position is, I doubt you have a hope in hell of knowing mine.

      Delete
    6. Yeah these two bozo's suprise me too with their own ignorance of even the common creationist positions. It's like they're not only clueless but also proud of it.

      Delete
    7. Bob Cherkavsky sounds like another sockpuppet of John Witton the Hairdresser, though it has to be said for Witton that he did not confuse "stuff" with "staff" on a regular basis.

      Delete
  9. sez bob cherkavsky:
    >I think you are referring to this comment by kevin?
    >
    >"Kevin Bryan Saturday, May 25, 2013 9:38:00 AM
    >There was no need to take into the ark any whales or any other animals that are pretty
    >comfortable in the water."
    >
    >He clearly indicated that whales and other animals that could survive in the water didn't have
    >to be taken along onto the ark because THEY LIVE IN THE WATER!!!
    Yep. That's exactly what he said. And I compared what he said about the Flood, to what the Bible said about the flood. And if Bryan is right about aquatic animals not needing to be in the Ark because they live in the water, then (a) God lied when He said it was "the end of all flesh" because He was going to kill "every living substance that (He had) made", and (b) the Bible was wrong to claim that "Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark."

    >I don't know how much more clearer could he have written this, so that you could
    >comprehend? I mean this is English not gibberish for God's sake!
    Bryan was quite clear. And if Bryan's clear statement is true, then it is equally clear that God is a liar and the Bible is wrong. Okay?

    ReplyDelete
  10. 1. Regarding authenticity of the book of Isaiah:

    "In the year 1947, some ancient documents were brought out of the darkness of caves not far from Khirbet Qumran, near the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. These were the Dead Sea Scrolls, which included the prophecy of Isaiah. This is beautifully written in well-preserved pre-Masoretic Hebrew and is some 2,000 years old, from the end of the second century B.C.E. Its text is thus about a thousand years older than the oldest existing manuscript of the Masoretic text, on which modern translations of the Hebrew Scriptures are based. There are some minor variations of spelling and some differences in grammatical construction, but it does not vary doctrinally from the Masoretic text. Here is convincing proof that our Bibles today contain the original inspired message of Isaiah. Moreover, these ancient scrolls refute the critics’ claims of two “Isaiahs,” since chapter 40 begins on the last line of the column of writing containing chapter 39, the opening sentence being completed in the next column. Thus, the copyist was obviously unaware of any supposed change in writer or of any division in the book at this point.

    There is abundant proof of the authenticity of Isaiah’s book. Aside from Moses, no other prophet is more often quoted by the Christian Bible writers. There is likewise a wealth of historical and archaeological evidence that proves it genuine, such as the historical records of the Assyrian monarchs, including Sennacherib’s hexagonal prism on which he gives his own account of the siege of Jerusalem. (Isa., chaps. 36, 37) The heap of ruins that was once Babylon still bears witness to the fulfillment of Isaiah 13:17-22. There was a living testimony in each one of the thousands of Jews that marched back from Babylon, freed by a king whose name, Cyrus, had been penned by Isaiah nearly 200 years earlier. It may well be that Cyrus was later shown this prophetic writing, for, on freeing the Jewish remnant, he spoke of being commissioned by Jehovah to do so.—Isa. 44:28; 45:1; Ezra 1:1-3.

    Outstanding in the book of Isaiah are the Messianic prophecies. Isaiah has been called “the Evangelist prophet,” so numerous are the predictions fulfilled in the events of Jesus’ life. Chapter 53, for long a “mystery chapter,” not only to the Ethiopian eunuch referred to in Acts chapter 8 but to the Jewish people as a whole, foretells so vividly the treatment accorded Jesus that it is like an eyewitness account. The Christian Greek Scriptures record the prophetic fulfillments of this remarkable chapter of Isaiah, as the following comparisons show: vs. 1—John 12:37, 38; vs. 2—John 19:5-7; vs. 3—Mark 9:12; vs. 4—Matthew 8:16, 17; vs. 5—1 Peter 2:24; vs. 6—1 Peter 2:25; vs. 7—Acts 8:32, 35; vs. 8—Acts 8:33; vs. 9—Matthew 27:57-60; vs. 10—Hebrews 7:27; vs. 11—Romans 5:18; vs. 12—Luke 22:37.

    Who but God could be the source of such accurate forecasting?"

    2. Interestingly, Isaiah 40:22 not only refers to the "circle" or "sphere" (there will always be those who will not agree but general consensus is as indicated previously) of the earth, but it has another irrefutable clue, that the writer of this book had access to the information of a Divine Source.

    Isaiah 40:22 "...the One who is stretching out the heavens just as a fine gauze, who spreads them out like a tent in which to dwell..."

    There is no doubt that Isaiah is referring here to the expanding universe, as the grammar of the Hebrew language indicates a continues action, without ending.

    I hope this helps to resolve some of the misconceptions about the book of Isaiah and verse 40:22 :)

    I almost forgot. For those who would like to learn more, I provide a link to some valuable information about the authenticity of the book of Isaiah, and other books as well.

    http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200002893?q=Khirbet+Qumran&p=par

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Moreover, these ancient scrolls refute the critics’ claims of two “Isaiahs,” since chapter 40 begins on the last line of the column of writing containing chapter 39, the opening sentence being completed in the next column. Thus, the copyist was obviously unaware of any supposed change in writer or of any division in the book at this point.

      LMAO! And this is what passes for Biblical criticism among the JWs.

      If this argument is correct, then we didn't even need the Great Isaiah Scroll to be discovered. Why? Just look at your own copy of the Bible. See any break between chapters 39 and 40? Of course not! Therefore there is no deutero-Isaiah! QED.

      The two Isaiahs had around half a millennium to be brought together into one scroll. Indeed, there is a perfectly reasonable argument as to why they were expected to be read together: because deutero-Isaiah was deliberately written that way. After a certain amount of time had passed, the existing scriptures gained an aura of authenticity that was often based on their association with some major and sometimes legendary figure from remote Jewish history. Thus David became the author of Psalms he never composed, Solomon became the author of Proverbs he never said, Moses became the author of books he didn't write, etc. And Isaiah, this book of prophetic sayings, attained its authority by being associated with such a major prophet. Thus at the end of the Babylonian exile, in the 6th century BCE, when another more recent anonymous prophet composed his prophecies, did he (I'm assuming it's a man, given that literacy wasn't common for women at this time) put his name on them or did he merge them the prophecies already attributed to Isaiah in order to gain for them a reflected authenticity that they might lack under his own name?

      Rather than blunting your brains with more JW apologetics, I recommend reading the book I mentioned to Bob: The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible by Robin Lane Fox. The relevant chapter for this discussion is Chapter Five: "Authors Anonymous".

      Delete
  11. "There is abundant proof of the authenticity of Isaiah’s book."

    You've got to be kidding, Kevin.

    ReplyDelete
  12. How did Moses know over 3500 years ago, that "nothing" was holding up the Earth?


    "In ancient times, humans were perplexed by other questions about the cosmos: What is the earth resting on? What holds up the sun, the moon, and the stars? They had no knowledge of the law of universal gravitation, formulated by Isaac Newton and published in 1687. The idea that heavenly bodies are, in effect, suspended in empty space upon nothing was unknown to them. Thus, their explanations often suggested that tangible objects or substances held the earth and other heavenly bodies aloft."

    For example, one ancient theory, perhaps originated by people who lived on an island, was that the earth was surrounded by water and that it floated in these waters. The Hindus conceived that the earth had several foundations, one on top of the other. It rested on four elephants, the elephants stood on an enormous tortoise, the tortoise stood on an immense serpent, and the coiled serpent floated on universal waters. Empedocles, a Greek philosopher of the fifth century B.C.E., believed that the earth rested upon a whirlwind and that this whirlwind was the cause of the motion of the heavenly bodies.

    Among the most influential views were those of Aristotle who denied that Earth could ever hang in empty space. In his treatise On the Heavens, when refuting the notion that the earth rests on water, he said:
    “It is not the nature of water, any more than of earth, to stay in mid-air: it must have something to rest upon.”

    So, what does the earth “rest upon”? Aristotle taught that the sun, the moon, and the stars were attached to the surface of solid, transparent spheres. Sphere lay nestled within sphere, with the earth—immobile—at the center. As the spheres revolved within one another, the objects on them—the sun, the moon, and the planets—moved across the sky.

    Aristotle’s explanation seemed logical. If the heavenly bodies were not firmly attached to something, how else could they stay aloft? The views of the revered Aristotle were accepted as fact for some 2,000 years.

    According to The New Encyclopædia Britannica, in the 16th and 17th centuries his teachings “ascended to the status of religious dogma” in the eyes of the church.
    With the invention of the telescope, astronomers began to question Aristotle’s theory. Still, the answer eluded them until Sir Isaac Newton explained that the planets are suspended in empty space, held in their orbits by an invisible force—gravity. It seemed incredible, and some of Newton’s colleagues found it hard to believe that space could be a void, largely empty of substance.

    What does the Bible have to say on this question? Nearly 3,500 years ago, the Bible stated with extraordinary clarity that the earth is hanging “upon nothing.” (Job 26:7) In the original Hebrew, the word for “nothing” (beli-mah′) used here literally means “without anything.”

    The Contemporary English Version uses the expression, “on empty space.”
    A planet hanging “on empty space” was not at all how most people in those days pictured the earth.
    Yet, far ahead of his time, the Bible writer recorded a statement that is scientifically sound."

    ReplyDelete
  13. The Bible and Medical Science—Do They Agree?

    Bible again ahead of science thousands of years.

    "Modern medical science has taught us much about the spread and prevention of disease. Medical advances in the 19th century led to the introduction into medical practice of antisepsis—cleanliness to reduce infections. The result was dramatic. There was a significant reduction in infections and premature deaths.
    Ancient physicians, however, did not fully understand how disease spreads, nor did they realize the importance of sanitation in preventing sickness. Little wonder that many of their medical practices would seem barbaric by modern standards.

    One of the oldest medical texts available is the Ebers Papyrus, a compilation of Egyptian medical knowledge, dating from about 1550 B.C.E. This scroll contains some 700 remedies for various afflictions “ranging from crocodile bite to toenail pain.”

    States The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia: “The medical knowledge of these physicians was purely empirical, largely magical and wholly unscientific.” Most of the remedies were merely ineffective, but some of them were extremely dangerous. For the treatment of a wound, one of the prescriptions recommended applying a mixture made of human excrement combined with other substances.

    This text of Egyptian medical remedies was written at about the same time as the first books of the Bible, which included the Mosaic Law. Moses, who was born in 1593 B.C.E., grew up in Egypt. (Exodus 2:1-10) As a member of Pharaoh’s household, he was “instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.” (Acts 7:22) He was familiar with “the physicians” of Egypt. (Genesis 50:1-3) Did their ineffective or dangerous medical practices influence his writings?

    No. On the contrary, the Mosaic Law included sanitary regulations that were far ahead of their time. For example, a law regarding military encampments required burying excrement away from the camp. (Deuteronomy 23:13) This was a profoundly advanced preventive measure. It helped keep water free from contamination and provided protection from fly-borne shigellosis and other diarrheal illnesses that still claim millions of lives each year in lands where sanitary conditions are deplorable.

    The Mosaic Law contained other sanitary regulations that safeguarded Israel against the spread of infectious diseases. A person who had or was suspected of having a communicable disease was quarantined. (Leviticus 13:1-5) Garments or vessels that came in contact with an animal that had died of itself (perhaps from disease) were to be either washed before reuse or destroyed. (Leviticus 11:27, 28, 32, 33) Any person who touched a corpse was considered unclean and had to undergo a cleansing procedure that included washing his garments and bathing. During the seven-day period of uncleanness, he was to avoid physical contact with others.—Numbers 19:1-13.

    This sanitary code reveals wisdom not shared by the physicians of surrounding nations at the time. Thousands of years before medical science learned about the ways in which disease spreads, the Bible prescribed reasonable preventive measures as safeguards against disease. Not surprisingly, Moses could speak of Israelites in general in his day as living to 70 or 80 years of age.—Psalm 90:10."-The Watchtower Publications.

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  14. Quiz for the proponents of evolution and creationism:

    What are the chances to pick at random the numbers 1 to 10 from a box, and draw them in consecutive order?

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    1. And what is the probability that that bridge hand could have been dealt, given that there are 5.36 x 10^28 different deals possible? Therefore a game of bridge is impossible!

      Sorry for cutting you off, but I'm trying to save you the embarrassment of inserting Hoyle's fallacy here.

      Delete
    2. What are the chances to pick at random the numbers 1 to 10 from a box, and draw them in consecutive order?
      Pretty good if I'm allowed to keep the hits, discard the misses(natural selection) and try again with approximately 10^30 trials in parallel(the number of organisms on earth), once a day(average generation time), every day for 3.8 billion years(entire history of life).

      Delete
    3. sez kevin bryan: "What are the chances to pick at random the numbers 1 to 10 from a box, and draw them in consecutive order?"
      Since kevin bryan is a Jehovah's Witness, there's a darn good chance that this question is extracted from one of the earlier anti-evolution 'arguments' in the JW anti-evolution tract Life—How did it get here?
      I have a 1985 copy of this tract. In it, the argument is presented thusly:
      The science of mathematical probability offers striking proof that the Genesis creation account must have come from a source with knowledge of the facts. The account lists 10 major stages in this order: (1) a beginning; (2) a primitive earth in darkness and enshrouded in heavy gases and water; (3) light; (4) an expanse or atmosphere; (5) large areas of dry land; (6) land plants; (7) sun, moon and stars discernible in the expanse, and seasons beginning; (8) sea monsters and flying creatures; (9) wild and tame beasts, mammals; (10) man. Science agrees that these stages occurred in this general order. What are the chances that the writer of Genesis just guessed this order? The same as if you picked at random the numbers 1 to 10 from a box, and drew them in consecutive order.
      Again, this is from the 1985 edition of Life—How did it get here?. I don't expect the JWs would have done more than cosmetic changes, minor shifts in word choice, in later editions, so I'll take the above as the actual JW argument that kevin bryan is angling towards.
      It's worth noting the JW argument explicitly compares the product of a human storyteller to the product of a wholly random process. This is bullshit, because a wholly random process could and would put the various stages into sequences which no human storyteller would ever create. For instance, while a wholly random process would put "The beginning" into place #10 just as easily as place #1, what human storyteller would put "The beginning" anywhere other than place #1? What human storyteller would put "Land plants" into the sequence anywhere before dry land is created?
      So right off the bat, we know for a fact that the JW "the odds are 1:10!" argument is crap. At least one of their 10 "stages" just isn't going to go anywhere except one specific place in their list, and at least two of their "stages" are directly related to one another in ways which reduce the total number of possible stage-orders that a human storyteller might be expected to produce.
      Apart from that, it's also worth noting that the JWs have… their own special interpretation of Scripture, and even their own special version of Scripture. The 1985 Life tract explicitly states that the let-there-be-light bit in Genesis 1:3 does not refer to the moment when light was created, but, rather, the moment when light first reached the Earth's surface. Said tract also declares "Of course the sun and moon were in outer space long before this first 'day'…", which kind of screws over Genesis 1:16 ("And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.")—but that's okay, because the JW version of Genesis 1:16 only talks about nonspecific "luminaries".
      So even if one grants the JWs their assertion that science has confirmed the JW Bible's order-of-events… is it because that order-of-events was laid down by an ancient person with access to Divine knowledge, or is it because present-day JWs have gone out of their way to damn well make sure the JW Bible's order-of-events is one that's been confirmed by science?

      Delete
  15. Professor Moran wrote:

    "Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations."

    I'm not a scientist, and I have never taken any evolution courses, so I might be wrong, but if "population" could refer to a "kind" described in the Bible, then this definition could be compatible with the Bible record for example after the flood. If I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me:)

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    1. Happy to. There was no flood. The bible is not real history. You are wrong.

      Delete
    2. In short, no.

      A "kind" in the Biblical sense is, I'm assuming, synonymous with species. When evolution occurs, speciation also occurs. Eventually, the evolutionary forces (mutation, selection, and drift) will render two populations of the same species unable to reproduce and voila, you've got two different "kinds".

      Delete
    3. You're ignorant, you're proud of it, no evidence or reason based thought process will cause you to change your position on any matter.

      Did I get that right ?

      Delete
    4. I'm not a scientist, and I have never taken any evolution courses, so I might be wrong.

      Gee, I never would have guessed.

      What is the weird obsession creationists have in this thread with proving that evolution is "compatible" with the Bible? Isn't that a reason creationists should accept evolution, rather than a reason that non-creationists should accept the Bible?

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    5. "What is the weird obsession creationists have in this thread with proving that evolution is "compatible" with the Bible?"

      That question could easily be expanded to include all godbots anywhere who are trying to convince themselves and/or others that evolution is compatible with their religious beliefs.

      I think that the answer is something like this: They see that evolutionary science/theory (and science in general) has a large amount of legitimacy and public credibility and they want to attach at least some of that to their religious beliefs. They see, but hate to admit, that evolutionary science/theory (and other science) has and is disproving their beliefs, so they conjure up a caricature of evolution and/or evolutionary science/theory that they attack or try to fit into their religious beliefs. Some of them may actually accept that evolution occurs and that evolutionary science/theory is legitimate, so they fit it (however reluctantly) into their religious beliefs even if it means adjusting but not discarding their beliefs. Some of them probably struggle with the obvious evidence of evolution and the obvious falsity of the religious beliefs that were shoved into them during childhood or beyond. For them it's probably less of a struggle to fit evolution into their beliefs than it is to shed that religious brain washing completely.

      "Isn't that a reason creationists should accept evolution, rather than a reason that non-creationists should accept the Bible?"

      Excellent point, but most god pushers will not let go of their religious beliefs and accept that evolution occurs, especially if believing that they are 'specially created in God's image' makes them feel superior/exceptional. I think that the 'ape-like ancestor to man' aspect of evolution and evolutionary theory is what bugs 'believers' the most.

      Delete
  16. larry, you're the BIGGEST IDIOT OF THEM ALL!

    how we won the James Randi Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge

    forum.skeptic.za.org/general-skepticism/how-we-won-the-james-randi-$1-000-000-paranormal-challenge/

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    1. Nobody has won the $1M Randi challenge yet. Stop lying.

      Delete
    2. Someone's keeping his probation officer busy.....

      Delete
    3. Well that's the problem, the terms of his probation are not being enforced despite evidence of many infractions.

      Delete
  17. I don't believe I have ever read anything from Klinghoffer, but from what I read above it appears to be that he does not endorse any of these supposed "definitions of evolution". He is simply saying that some people confuse various concepts on the subject matter. Seems he is simply cautioning on getting definitions right.

    Technically, Universal Common Descent is not the same thing as Evolution, although the subjects are tightly related. We know of no other family tree, but we can't disprove that there ever was one. There ARE those who mistakenly believe that microevolution happens, but macroevolution does not, so he is right to voice concern for clarity over such defining points.

    More disturbingly, there are those who define the "Theory of Evolution" to mean Darwin's theory of natural selection as a cause of evolution. This is a definition that is widely used and yet should be rejected.

    Klinghoffer was right to denounce the use (and conflation) of those definitions.

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    1. More disturbingly, there are those who define the "Theory of Evolution" to mean Darwin's theory of natural selection as a cause of evolution. This is a definition that is widely used and yet should be rejected.

      Klinghoffer was right to denounce the use (and conflation) of those definitions.


      Yes, clearly the man who refers to everyone who accepts evolution as "Darwinists" regardless of whether they think most evolutionary change is due to natural selection and the man who attacks the sufficiency of natural selection as an argument against evolution now wants to make clear and precise distinctions between natural selection and evolution. Go ahead, pull the other one.

      Delete
    2. Nullification, as I said, I've never read anything from Klinghoffer, though I have heard the name. I made it clear that I was basing my comments ONLY on what was presented here in this article.

      I accept evolution and UCD, but not Darwinism, so I would not agree with him if that is indeed his stance. Disavowing selection as a cause of evolution does not equate to disavowing evolution, so if that was his assertion, I obviously would disagree with that as well.

      Again, my statements were regarding what was presented here, but thank you for the further insight.

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    3. Yeah, right. Care to provide actual examples of "evolutionists" using any of these as a definition of evolution?

      Your are correct in saying that "there ARE those who mistakenly believe that microevolution happens, but macroevolution does not." Any guesses on where Klinghoffer stands on that issue?

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    4. Klinghoffer introduced the terms, then set out to define them the wrong way. If Klinghoffer want's to criticize certain concepts, it's on him to properly define them. This way, if Klinghoffer sticks to the correct definitions as used in textbooks(and sites like wikipedia and berkeley's evolution information page), then there is no room left for ambiguity. That way, both ID proponents, creationists and evolutionists all know what Klinghoffer is criticizing when he, for example, advances an argument against "macroevolution".
      If I were to read an argument against macroevolution, I would expect to see an argument against the concept of evolution at or above the species level. But Klinghoffer might instead, pr his incorrect definition, be arguing against "adaptationism"(ala Dawkins' view of evolution), or the universal common descent(and that's not to mention the "Darwinism" side salad he likes to throw around). This is inexcusable.

      When someone like Stephen Jay Gould would have had a disagreement with someone like Dawkins on the large scale patterns of macroevolutionary transitions, they'd both know what they were talking about despite their disagreement, because they'd both use the same and correct definition of macroevolution.
      And any other biologist interested in the debate can simply go and read their argument with comprehension of the used terms, because they'd all be operating under the same definitions.

      Now some IDiot like Klingnutter comes along and nobody knows what the fuck he's talking about, because for all we know, he could be talking about Universal common descent, Natural selection, Adaptationism or, hell, the actual correct definition of macroevolution.
      He might say that the pattern shown by the distribution of certain genes in certain organisms falsifies, or can't be explained by macroevolution. Or certain fossil "gaps" is evidence against macroevolution. Who's to know what he means then?

      When Klingnutter uses these terms interchangeably, it ironically produces more confusion than it eliminates. If he'd simply used the correct definitions(common descent=common descent, natural selection=natural selection and so on), we wouldn't be having this discussion, we'd be able to address his arguments instead.

      But Klinghoffer elected to go a different route, a strange and confusing one that throws his whole claim of trying to avoid confusion into serious doubt. When some IDiot, after having read Klingnutters definitions, for example goes and reads a paper written by an actual biologist, he will emerge massively confused, because he'll be thinking of Klingnutters definitions when reading that paper.

      The IDiot might read a paper which mentions an observed case of speciation as a demonstration of macroevolution. Now the IDiot will be thinking about Klingnutters definition, "Hmmm, macroevolution means universal common descent by way of adaptationism... but, that would be absurd, a mere emergence of a new, slightly different species of fish isn't evidence that all of life shares common ancestry and evolved by way of gradual natural selection, I guess Klinghoffer is right".

      So Klinghoffers little piece of dishonest propaganda(aka big fat and deliberate lie) is intended to produce these kinds of confused thought processes in the average ID acolyte, who only gets their science information from the propaganda ministry, and only occasionally goes outside the IDiot litterature and reads some paper brought up in a discussion with an evolutionist.

      Delete
    5. rumracket, you call "common descent=common descent, natural selection=natural selection" definitions that are "correct"(???) but I think you clarified nothing with those "definitions".

      The point is that the theme of this article is misleading, as the headline promises "IDiots" definition if evolution, yet it gives examples only of phrasing that Klinghoffer says should NOT be used as definitions.

      Thats "dishonest propaganda".

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    6. You're reading skills can't be that poor, can they IntelligentAnimation?

      Klinghoffer is presenting those as examples of definitions of evolution that, according to him are actually used by evolutionary biologists. His claim seems to be that evolutionary biologists deliberately use vague and contradictory definitions to cover up what he believes is the lack of evidence for evolution. But in arguing his case he provides nothing more than fabricated definitions that no competent scientist actually uses.

      Can you name that fallacy?

      Delete
    7. rumracket, you call "common descent=common descent, natural selection=natural selection" definitions that are "correct"(???) but I think you clarified nothing with those "definitions".
      Nor was it my intention of defining them, I've already linked the definitions earlier in this discussion.

      The problem is that Klinghoffer is defining macroevolution as common descent and natural selection.

      My point is that he shouldn't do that. He should define macroevolution the way scientists define macroevolution, that is "evolution at or above the species level".

      Common descent should not be the definition of evolution, it's an evidentially derived conclusion, it can't be the definition of something else. So common descent should just remain common descent, the concept of the monophyly of all of live.

      Natural selection should be the mechanism of differential reproductive success due to variations in the fitness of traits of organisms. It should NOT be defined as the viewpoint that all of life and all it's features evolved gradually, primarily through natural selection(that view is called adaptationism, and should NOT be part of the definition of evolution either).

      That's it, I can't make it any more clear. lutesuite got it, Larry Moran got it, nullifidian got it, I conclude therefore that your reading comprehension is at fault, not anything I've said.

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  18. LM, as to YOUR definition...

    "Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations."

    It is certainly better than the other 3 definitions given above, but this phrasing is less than desirable. I agree with Luther that this definition could fit any creationist definition. It looks like you are describing the "results of" evolution, not evolution itself. Evolution IS change, not something that "results" in change.

    Worse is the misleading tag-along of "over many generations". This falsely drags us back to outdated Darwinian concepts of "numerous successive slight changes" that are so sharply different than what the evidence shows us.

    The grammatically poor definition could be construed to mean the "process" is "spread over many generations" OR that we are still talking about the "results", not the process. Also, the word "many" is vague.

    I hate a definition that misleads people into believing in disproven concepts such as gradualism. Evolution is fast with nearly constant minor changes and occasional large leaps. If a water flea changes from non-helmeted to helmeted in one generation, it evolved. One generation. Evolution.

    A good approach is to stop defining evolution in such a way as to include specific details that lean toward an ideology. If you can't reduce the definition to still make sense in another tense, such as "evolve" or "evolving", then you may be trying to misdirect people.

    Evolution is change over time. Biological evolution is change to genomes / organisms over time. Let the rest of the science of evolution deal with and debate the details. A poor definition can be a stumbling block.

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    1. There's a "mysterious" influx of new posters to Larry's blog, all in the same blogpost, all agreeing with Luther flint and defending Klinghoffer. How quaint!

      Delete
    2. @IntelligentAnimation,

      You may not like the scientific/textbook definition of evolution but you're stuck with it for now. You would be lying if you told your friends that scientists define evolution as "change over time." Why would you want to lie about the scientific definition of evolution?

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    3. Strange as it may seem, I think Mr. IA has a point. I'm not sure that definition is well thought out. It seems at the very least that we should eliminate "a process that results in" to leave "Evolution is heritable change in a population spread over many generations". I don't think evolution is a process; it's the result of a variety of processes. And even that definition has a problem, as it excludes anything happening above the population level, e.g. the result of group or species selection, as being evolution. Thus, by one of the several definitions of macroevolution, it isn't evolution.

      Fortunately, evolutionary biology isn't limited by any one-sentence definition.

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    4. LM, there really is no reason to start accusing me of wanting to "lie". I merely complained about the definition you presented. You created your own "if" and then ask why I would want to "lie". Desperate to disparage those with differing viewpoints much?

      Your definition is not terrible, but it is not ideal either.

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    5. @IntelligentAnimation,

      You offered two "definitions" that would never be accepted by any credible evolutionary biologist. They do not mention that changes must be heritable and they do not mention that it is populations that evolve, not individuals.

      What's the point of offering definitions that you know are unacceptable?

      I poined out that you would be lying if you pretended that your definitions were scientific definitions of evolution.

      Delete
    6. @John Harshman,

      Evolution is defined as something that happens to a population over time. I don't know why you have been objecting to the word "process" over the past few decades. I agree that here are a variety of mechanisms that describe the process in more detail.

      The textbook definition is the minimal definition of evolution. It allows us to distinguish between things that qualify as evolution and things that may look like evolution but aren't.

      There are lots of other things that affect the history of life. These have been incorporated into a robust evolutionary theory but they aren't part of the minimal definition.

      Delete
    7. Larry,

      I don't think you are dealing at all with my post. If the textbook definition you provide is minimal, why can I remove a phrase without damaging it? Evolution is a result, not a process. And do I take you correctly as claiming that group and species selection are not evolution at all?

      Delete
    8. @John Harshman,

      I understand that you can remove the phrase containing the word "process" without doing great harm to the definition. That's not really the point. The point is that we need to think of evolution in terms of the "change" and not the result. It's the "change" part that's important and that's why evolutionary theory focuses on the mechanisms by which that change is accomplished (natural selection, random genetic drift).

      By inserting "process" we emphasize that aspect of evolution. I assume that's the very thing you dispute and I don't understand why.

      Why would you disagree with Douglas Futuyma when he writes the following in his textbook?

      "... natural selection is a deterministic, nonrandom process. But at the same time. there are important random processes in evolution, including mutation and random fluctuations in the frequencies of alleles or haplotyoes: the process of random genetic drift. Genetic drift and natural selection are the two most important causes of allele substitution—that is, of evolutionary change—in populations."

      And no, of course I don't deny that higher level evolutionary change is possible. Group and species sorting (drift or selection) are distinct possibilities that are not covered by the minimal definition of evolution. They are one of the reasons why macroevolution is more than just lots of cumulative microevolution.

      Do you have a way of defining evolution that allows you to tell whether the increase in height of Europeans is an example of evolution or not, while, at the same time, covering all aspects of evolutionary theory above the population level?


      Delete
    9. I see nothing wrong with Futuyma. Why? In fact, I read him as supporting me, unless you thing "evolutionary change" is a different thing than "evolution". I also note that he adds the qualifier "in populations" which allows for the possibility that there are mechanisms of evolution other than those within populations.

      If higher level evolution is possible, then the usual definition is incomplete. I don't think it's a big deal, since macroevolutionary processes are not what produces most of the evolution we see, and it's hard to think of a single definition that encompasses everything we think of as evolution but nothing we don't.

      I think the increase of height in Europeans is easily disposed of by the word "heritable".

      Delete
    10. Larry and John, would it be accurate to define evolution as a process AND a result?

      Delete
    11. I agree with ... ummm ... someone!

      Evolution is descent with modification. That seems a perfectly acceptable minimal definition to me (and Futuyma starts with that, p4 of Evolutionary Biology 3rd Ed).

      The fact that this does not include post-mutation/recombination processes, such as drift and selection, does not disbar it from 'minimal' status - Prof. Morans preference, with its focus above the individual, laterally and vertically, omits the very essence of the 'change' part.

      There is an 'engine' of variation, and a set of population processes which sift that variation, both with and without bias. To define evolution solely in terms of the latter seems to miss something vital: the coalescence of competing lineages upon their respective origins - that is the point at which the change occurred, not the subsequent concentration, or ultimate fixation in some collection of lineages (which amounts to a moment of extinction).

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    12. John Harshman says,

      I see nothing wrong with Futuyma. Why? In fact, I read him as supporting me, ...

      Excellent! So you don't object to using the word "process."

      If higher level evolution is possible, then the usual definition is incomplete.

      Yes, that's correct in the sense that it's the MINIMAL definition of evolution but doesn't exclude evolution above the population level.

      I'm glad we agree on that.

      Delete
    13. Allan Miller says,

      Evolution is descent with modification. That seems a perfectly acceptable minimal definition to me (and Futuyma starts with that, p4 of Evolutionary Biology 3rd Ed).

      That's really not acceptable because it fails to convey the notion that it's POPULATIONS that evolve and not individuals. It also fails to distinguish between heritable change and other kinds of change.

      By your definition, the increase in height of Europeans is an example of evolution but all evolutionary biologists would disagree.

      Futuyma does use the term "descent with modification" in the 1998 version of his textbook but he's careful to specify that he is referring to population. He says this on the same page, "The development, or ontogeny, of an individual organism is not considered evolution: individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in population that are considered evolutionary are those that are 'heritable' via the genetic material from one generation to the next."

      Delete
  19. LM, I would ask that you interject on personal attascks, such as calling people "morons" because they disagree, but you used the term "IDiots" in your title. Little wonder that the crass personal attacks are common here.

    I saw you even chimed in at one point to encourage being "uncharitable", albeit not to a fellow blogger.

    I've got my beef with intelligent design advocates myself, but I can explain my concerns without petty insults.

    Ad hominem approaches not only invite similar retaliation, but they are a sign of insecurity in the ability of your arguments to hold on their merits.

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    1. Ad hominem approaches not only invite similar retaliation, but they are a sign of insecurity in the ability of your arguments to hold on their merits.

      Really? When was that established? And here I was thinking sometimes undesirable titles are earned through a history of engaging in deliberate misinformation(aka FUCKING LYING), volitional ignorance and blatant mental retardation.
      Have a look through some of the comment sections over on uncommon descent, never mind the ad-hominems, go there and witness pure idiocy the likes of which you have never seen.

      Here's a few goldnuggets I saw recently:
      Joe G: "A phylogenetic tree is not a nested hierarchy."
      Scordova: "A nested hierarchy is evidence against evolution."

      That, my dear, is analytic grade idiocy. The purest of dumb. That is what happens to the human brain when it is educated by the likes of Klinghoffer, using their "clarifications" of terms.

      Delete
    2. rumracket, I'd prefer you not refer to me as "dear", as an attempt to gain an upper hand through belittling rather than the merits of your comments.

      I don't read "Uncommon Descent" because it is an ID site, but I also don't judge the overall content by one foolish post in the comments section.

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    3. rumracket, I'd prefer you not refer to me as "dear", as an attempt to gain an upper hand through belittling rather than the merits of your comments.
      Nonsense, "dear" was used in the last part of my post and had nothing to do with "belittling", it's nothing more than a figure of speech. Maybe you should dial down the persecution complex a notch.

      Also, you've failed to even address the main point of my post, which is that sometimes invectives are deserved. I contend that in the case of Klinghoffer we have ample evidence of this.

      The irony in your last statement is that you apparently saw fit to dismiss the main point of my post out of hand because I used the word "dear".

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    4. Dearest Rumraket, light of my life, heart of my heart! You are so wonderful, wonderful that your arguments are pure, good and undoubtedly correct simply because you are You!

      Now that, believe it or not, is an ad hominem attack. I'm basing the worth of Rum's argument on personal attributes rather than the nature of the argument.

      Calling a creationist a moron is not an ad hominem attack, something creationists never seem to figure out, rather it's an insult.

      Creationists aren't called morons because one disagrees with their argument, and one would have to scour many, many science threads to find an example of where that was done, however creationists simply present assertions as arguments and never "learn" when their assertions are demonstrated to be false.

      One can only refer to a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) as a moron because the terms are synonymous. No educated person, even marginally educated, can hold to YEC beliefs as being true because they are demonstratively wrong. The earth is not young, the flood did not happen, Adam and Eve did not exist. These are simply childish myths like Hercules and Tarzan. To put them forth as an adult as somehow scientifically valid is moronic. Thus, creationists are called morons.

      Creationists choose to be creationists and they deserve to be mocked, belittled, laughed at, scoffed at, derided and marginalized.

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  20. I will have to agree with IntelligentAnimation about the attacks. I stumbled upon this post by accident, while researching content for my Gr. 12 chemistry students (with respect to the biochemical applications of equilibrium--not the most exciting of topics).

    At first, I thought the name calling was tongue-in-cheek, until I realized this for what it was--utter disrespect for people of faith--NOT JUST CHRISTIANS: Muslims and Jews too. As a member of the U of T faculty, I suggest you civilize this discourse. Are you not aware that you are creating a hostile environment for academic discussion?

    People on your campus debate issues of utmost moral and legal importance and refrain from making personal attacks on others due to the content of their argument--or their religious inclinations.

    I have trouble believing that you are not in violation of some university policy. As an educator you have a responsibility to promote tolerance at the highest level of debate.

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    1. Whoa, better watch out Larry.

      You done gone and insulted the omnipotent and omniscient invisible sky daddy of xtians, jews amd muslims.

      You probably made baby jebus cry as well.

      Not bad for a single post.

      Macka77, given that you have been entrusted with the education of children, it would behove you to understand that ideas and institutions do not deserve respect, they are required to fight it out in the marketplace of ideas, and those trotted out by the religious are invited to take their licking with the rest of them.

      People on the other hand do deserve respect and I defy you to demonstrate that xtians, muslims and jews were being insulted on this site.

      AND BY THE WAY, YOU MAY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY.

      Delete
    2. At first, I thought the name calling was tongue-in-cheek, until I realized this for what it was--utter disrespect for people of faith--NOT JUST CHRISTIANS: Muslims and Jews too.

      David Klinghoffer may be many things (I certainly know one or two nouns I could apply to him) but I don't believe he is the god of the monotheistic religions. So how is being disrespectful to David Klinghoffer, who has done more than enough to deserve it, showing "utter disrespect for people of faith--NOT JUST CHRISTIANS: Muslims and Jews too"? And even if he had, why should Larry care?

      Are you not aware that you are creating a hostile environment for academic discussion?

      I suggest you consult an ophthalmologist immediately. Your inability to distinguish at a glance between a blog and an academic venue may be the result of some deeper problem with your visual system.

      I have trouble believing that you are not in violation of some university policy.

      Ooh, goody! Rule lawyering! (Will this provoke a huffy, outraged whine about how you made it perfectly clear in your first post that you are a teacher and not an attorney?)

      Your quoting of the U of T's Statement on Freedom of Speech simply underlined the lack of merit in your complaint. Not only do they explicitly admit that lawful freedom of speech supersedes your non-existent 'right' not to be offended, but there's nothing about Larry's post that demeans anybody based on the class characteristics of "race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed". Sorry to break the news, but intelligent design advocates are not a protected class under the law or university policy. Nor could you get Larry fired or sanctioned for a post made on his own time to his own private blog. A public university's prerogative to set the tone for behavior on its campus does not apply to the off-hours and private interests of its professors or students. If PZ Myers hasn't been fired for desecrating a communion wafer, then you cannot get Larry fired for calling David Klinghoffer and his confreres "IDiots".

      As an educator you have a responsibility to promote tolerance at the highest level of debate.

      As an educator, I'd say that Larry has the obligation to be able to reason adequately and tell shit from shinola, which are two properties I fear your students may find lacking in their teacher.

      P.S. Slate on pearl-clutching.

      Delete
  21. FYI: U of T's Statement on Freedom of Speech (1992)---Similarly, although no member of the University should use language or indulge in behaviour intended to demean others on the basis of their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed...the values of mutual respect and civility may, on occasion, be superseded by the need to protect lawful freedom of speech. However, members should not weigh lightly the shock, hurt anger or even the silencing effect that may be caused by use of such speech."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FYI:

      Some readers of this blog may be under the impression that my personal opinions represent the official position of Canada, the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, the University of Toronto, the Faculty of Medicine, or the Department of Biochemistry. All of these institutions, plus every single one of my colleagues, students, friends, and relatives, want you to know that I do not speak for them. You should also know that they don't speak for me.

      Delete
    2. It's at the top of the page but perhaps you were too busy clutching your pearls and recovering on the fainting couch to notice.

      Delete
    3. Now a sexist remark. Wonderful. I expected as such. I do happen to be female, but I'm definitely not naive, definitely do not own any pearls.

      I did read the above, and I do also have a law degree, and I do know that an attempt at a 'waiver' like that is not necessarily sufficient to relieve someone from administrative scrutiny.

      Delete
    4. Nope, I assumed you were a guy, not that it matters, just based on your anonymous identifier so don't make a big deal out of it (what am I saying, that's your modus operandi).

      Unlike you, I attach my actual name to my ideas.

      The pearls and the fainting couch are a bit of an internet meme, stop being so lazy and figure it out yourself.

      Delete
  22. This is really disgusting stuff.

    steve oberskiSaturday, May 25, 2013 12:40:00 PM

    Kevin the apostate, I have it on good authority that the Holy Quran predicts evolution, embryology, cosmology, deep ocean waves, plate tectonics and rock and roll (but not rap or hip hop for some reason) and further more states that your holy book is full of shit and that you are a deluded infidel doomed to burn in (Muslim) hell.

    Checkmate, bat shit crazy christian creotard crusader

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    Replies
    1. Macka77, I agree that this is really disgusting stuff.

      But it is really disgusting stuff that has been said by Muslims (and xtians as well, there seems to be a lot of cross pollination in this area).

      Am I being disgusting by quoting them ?

      Or are you being disgusting by equating criticism (light hearted I admit) of ideas with some sort of racism ?

      Don't be so tolerant that your brains slide out of your ears.

      Delete
    2. Yes, I understand your attempt at some sort of satire. It's 'disgusting' because it's completely unnecessary for your argument, and because I am, assuming, that you are of sufficient academic background to banter about the finer details of evolutionary theory, and rebuke counter-arguments, without being so crass.

      I actually don't even disagree with most of your points. I just don't understand the need to so quickly resort to such severe language. But, then again, perhaps that's just the sensitive 'pearl-clutching' side in me.

      I'm not saying there is no place for your criticism, I just find it problematic when an educator fails to re-focus the discussion back to the academic point. But, then again, maybe you disagree with me about a professor's ethical duty to maintain the integrity of debate--especially scientific debate. If that's the case, then my points are moot.

      Delete
    3. So make your mind up, am I disgusting or not ?

      In my attempt to ferret out semantic content from your comment, it appears that while you agree in the main with my ideas, you don't like my tone.

      Perhaps as an exercise you might reformulate my "really disgusting stuff" in a manner less crass and that "maintain[s] the integrity of debate" (sheesh, you really must be a lawyer) and perhaps we could compare them using a number of criteria such brevity, veracity, elegance, and so on.

      Delete
    4. You guys are missing my point entirely. And you're a bit paranoid. I was not insinuating that Larry's going to get "fired or sanctioned".

      I was giving my opinion on the fact that, given this is his blog, and he makes his affiliation to U of T very clear, he might have an ethical responsibility to keep the arguments related to ID and not to 'over-the-top' remarks that are, unnecessarily harsh in relation to the topic.

      Why are you and Nullifidian being so aggressive? I understand the Free Speech Policy; my intent was to point to the fact that values of mutual respect and civility should still be encouraged.

      Delete
    5. Macka77, I think it's safe to say that most or all of the opponents of ID-creation who comment here and elsewhere would really like to have 'civil' discussions with proponents of ID-creation, and for those discussions to remain focused on scientific theory, research, methodology, and evidence.

      However, ID-creation proponents have laid a foundation for, and continue to push a poorly disguised religious/political/theocratic/dominionist agenda that is willfully dishonest, two-faced, falsely accusatory, grossly insulting, cowardly evasive, educationally destructive, politically manipulating, sanctimoniously immoral, arrogantly disrespectful, malicious, self-righteously bigoted, deliberately ignorant, non-scientific, etc.

      Yeah, sometimes ID-creation opponents may too quickly be aggressive and downright uncivil but it's likely because we're sick and tired of being falsely accused, by god pushing lunatics, of being lying, amoral/immoral, stupid, ignorant, blind, freedom stealing, career wrecking, genocidal, threatening, perverted, society destroying, oppressing, baby killing, cowardly, evidence distorting, bigoted, conspiring, evil, demonic, satanic, child abusing, expelling, education stifling, truth hating, science and history mangling, monstrous, goose stepping communists-stalinists-marxists-pol-pot-ists-nazis, and plenty of other nasty things for NO good reason.

      If IDiot-creationists want respect and civility they have to earn it.

      Delete
    6. No, let's be really honest about what you said. You made a ridiculous claim that by being contemptuous of David Klinghoffer, a man who fully deserves all the contempt thrown his way, Larry Moran was showing "utter disrespect for people of faith--NOT JUST CHRISTIANS: Muslims and Jews too". I'm still wondering why it's supposedly worse to disrespect Muslims and Jews than it is Christians. Or is there a ration system and Larry had already used up his allotted monthly contempt on Jews and Muslims, and therefore he should have dialed it back in this post?

      You also said, "I have trouble believing that you are not in violation of some university policy" and in your very next post you posted the U of Toronto's Statement on Freedom of Speech. But Larry didn't single out any protected class for criticism, either under law or under university policy, and it is very clear that this is Larry's private blog rather than an extension of the U of Toronto system. So what was the point of reproducing it if not to try to intimidate Larry into submission to your niceness crusade?

      If you want to know why I'm treating your suggestions with disdain, go look up the term "tone troll".

      Delete
    7. To be fair to Macka77, I think she's referring to remarks in the comments, not to those by Larry himself. Which only makes her position the more bewildering.

      @Macka77, are you seriously suggesting that universities must force professors to censor the comments sections of their personal blogs?

      Delete
    8. @lutesuite

      Only those comments that Macka77 personally finds aggressive, disgusting, unnecessary, failing to "maintain the integrity of debate", "creating a hostile environment for academic discussion" and/or crass.

      Which pretty much includes every comment I have ever made here.

      It's a pretty long list so perhaps Larry may want to print it out and attach it to his monitor.

      Or perhaps Macka77 may generously volunteer her time as a moderator and vet each comment before it is released into the wild.

      Delete
    9. I really did stumble upon this blog, and actually starting reading it for the evolutionary debate. I was surprised that Larry, who makes clear his role as professor, does not moderate his blog when phrases like "ignorant, piss-stained desert nomads" and references to "blatant mental retardation" are used with enthusiasm.

      I'm not talking about what is legal, but what might be ethical--that's why I included the related portions of the Free Speech policy focusing on the fact that "members should not weigh lightly the shock, hurt, anger or even the silencing effect that may be caused by use of such speech".

      I was trying indicate that in his role at U of T he might feel an obligation to encourage civility on his hosted blog.

      However, many of you have made your zealousness for free speech and contempt for civility quite clear--and your belief that the free speech and respect should't co-exist whenever possible in debate.

      I don't understand why you, and a few other bloggers, won't stop imputing me with naivety just because I disagree with you and your language. You show a recurring need to explain-away those who disagree with you by assuming they are intellectually inferior.

      If you'd like to make a free speech argument, then please, do so on the merits, without patronizing me, suggesting I improve my laziness, learn how to decipher 'shit from shinola', volunteer my time as cyber nanny, or teach my students that "ideas and institutions don't deserve respect".

      Don't worry, I'll now stumble away, lest I pest you further with my ignorance of internet memes OR PROBLEMS WITH MY KEYBOARD.

      Delete
    10. Macka, I feel for you. You got the partisans to gang up on you. They do that because they feel that what they are doing is SOOOOoooo important that common decency and crediting the person they are arguing with with a valid reason for feeling the way they do doesn't even occur to them. To disagree with them in the first place, one MUST be either incredibly stupid or dissembling, and so they feel justified in the personal attacks. They are ideologues, and they pile on (like children in a playground, or sandbox, as it were). Their behavior is really bad, and really immature.

      There are plenty of good people who behave much more civilly on this site, but as I have pointed out numerous times, it wouldn't hurt for them to speak up when the flaming and childish insults just go on, and on, and on. You are lucky you weren't called a 'god zombie', whatever the heck that is even supposed to mean.
      They (the more mature people) don't because it seems to be an unspoken rule on echo chambers such as this to not call out the behavior of those who are on the same team as you.

      So much for 'free thinking', I guess.

      Delete
    11. No, no, no, I never said you should teach your students anything, I said it "would behove you to understand that ideas and institutions do not deserve respect".

      Reading comprehension please, dear teacher.

      I'm sure you wouldn't let your students get away with such sloppiness.

      As for your claim that some commenters here believe that "free speech and respect should't co-exist whenever possible in debate", I suggest that you take a more representative sample (i.e. N > 1) of the posts in this blog before coming to any conclusions.

      Once again, something I think for which you would take your students to task should they engage in such intellectual sloth in your classes.

      And stripping away the poor me, hurt feelings, oh woe rhetoric, I think the merits of your arguments were addressed, the thing is, they were uniformly bad arguments.

      That you would choose to hide behind your opinions, fabricate paranoid and fictitious just so stories for the motives of some commentors and assume that any criticism of your ideas is criticism of you is a problem that you need to deal with.

      So all in all, your behaviour was indeed lazy and naive.

      Delete
    12. steve oberski, you seem quite happy to believe that you are the sole data point in my sampling of the blog.

      Stop arguing minutia; I'm quite certain you have the ability to interpret the gist of what I was trying to say without snarky comments about my 'comprehension abilities'.

      I find it interesting that you suggest I have a problem to deal with. As I mentioned before, the aggressiveness of your words indicate that, perhaps, you have something on your shoulder.

      Why don't you re-read your posts to me, and count the number of pronouncements you've made with some type of 'all-knowing wisdom'. The irony--your ideology is more restrictive than mine.

      Delete
    13. Why don't you just tell me--do you think Larry has any ethical responsibility to ask people to refrain from references like those to "blatant mental retardation"?

      That's the heart of my question. I argue that he does. If you believe otherwise, why can't you draft a counter-argument that addresses the point directly.

      You can't seem to get past my job as a teacher, and my paraphrasing skills.

      Delete
    14. @Macka77, Larry posts his rules for behaviour that will get you banned from his blog on a regular basis.

      As you have claimed to have made a representative sampling of his blog you should be aware of them.

      In my opinion, Larry's ethical responsibilities are limited to prohibition against exhortations to violence against individuals or identifiable groups.

      So in response to your specific example, references like "blatant mental retardation" are fine by me, I don't believe I have ever used that exact reference myself but freely admit to using references of a similar nature and have been the target of such references myself.

      Such repartee is just part of the tool kit employed in the marketplace of ideas, there can be no restrictions placed on the use of language to fully express ones position.

      That you would not employ language at the scatological end of the spectrum is fine by me, there is room for all modes and methods of expression in the free wheeling marketplace of ideas.

      But you don't get to tell anyone else what ideas may be presented or how they may be presented, except on your own blog.

      If you really feel that strongly about this issue then I suggest, in a completely non-snarky way, that you give it a shot and see what happens.

      And really, nobody forced you to advertise that you are a teacher, versed in the law and female. This information was all volunteered by you, presumably you had some reason for doing this and it seems somewhat inconsistent on your part to take others to task for making reference to it.

      Delete
    15. Don't worry, I'll now stumble away, lest I pest you further with my ignorance of internet memes.

      Shaker's Law seems to be another internet meme of which you are ignorant.

      Anyway, to your question re: Larry's "ethical responsibility", you seem to have been particularly peeved by one poster's use of the term "blatant mental retardation". But if you look at the context in which that remark was used, it was not directed at any member here or at any ethnic, racial or religious group. It was directed collectively towards Intelligent Design Creationists. And if you don't know why that appellation is apt for that group, as well as many other terms which you will probably find equally offensive, then you probably are not aware of the history of that group's behaviour over the years. And if you aren't, then you're really in no position to judge, are you?

      Delete
    16. Soooo, Andyboeger, Macka77 et al. With regards to civility, "echo chambers", and calling other people out, would you fellas care to take a look at the top of this thread with my first response to Luther Flint, and then his response to me?

      Here's how I first responded to Luther's point about Genesis(why even bring that up I'm inclined to ask? Could Luther be projecting about the whole religiosity crap? Hmm...)
      "Rumraket, Thursday, May 23, 2013 2:44:00 AM
      Uhh no Luther, you misunderstood Larry's point. He didn't define the modern theory of evolution in it's entirety, he simply corrected Klinghoffers mistaken definitions. Klinghoffer didn't even come close to defining evolution.

      The correct definition of macroevolution(which still isn't the complete definition of evolution) is simply this:
      Evolution at or above the species level.

      For Klinghoffer to get this wrong is an embarassment.
      "

      Here's how projecting Luther Flint responds:
      "Luther Flint, Thursday, May 23, 2013 7:55:00 PM
      @Rumprickhead
      No, you misunderstand. Larry gave a definition of evolution and the definition is completely compatible with the Genesis account of creation. My point has never been any more or less than that - as you would realise if you weren't a religious fanatic. And stupid. And a stupid religious fanatic. NEHEXT!
      "

      When I'm talked to like that, I respond in kind.

      Delete
    17. Rumraket writes, 'When I'm talked to like that, I respond in kind'
      Of course. Very few would not.

      I'm not talking about a one on one showdown of incivility. Macka came on here, and let's face it, a bit confrontational and a bit gracelessly. But she didn't come here and start hurling insults about. She expressed indignation at the type of discourse that happens here. Hardly the first, and her remarks hardly emanated from left field.

      One person should have been enough to handle that. And even that person might have written something like, 'well, you may have a point, but consider...' No need to pile on.
      Instead you have a group of people, by my count four or five, and not one of them engages her in a respectful manner. She is insulted, she is accused of trying to get Larry fired and intimidate him (she does neither), etc.
      This is why insults should not become the prevailing expressive dimension of a site in the first place. Because it enables people to dehumanize each other, and thus, assume the worst of them.
      And if someone uses a term like 'god zombie' if you're smart, you recognize that this person doesn't merely have a well reasoned disagreement with religion, rather this person has a fringe mentality of disdain for a large portion of the general population. You man up, and tell him to raise the bar a little. Which is what Coyne did vis a vis twt.
      But that doesn't happen here. The bar doesn't get raised. And so, the bar is, to put it charitably, quite low on this particular site. You might trip over it while talking on your cellphone.

      Delete
    18. andyboerger said:

      "not one of them engages her in a respectful manner"

      Really? Not one? What is disrespectful to Macka77 in my response to her?

      "And if someone uses a term like 'god zombie' if you're smart, you recognize that this person doesn't merely have a well reasoned disagreement with religion, rather this person has a fringe mentality of disdain for a large portion of the general population. You man up, and tell him to raise the bar a little. Which is what Coyne did vis a vis twt."

      You're hilarious, andy. First of all, any argument that promotes sanity and reality is a "well reasoned argument" against religion. Secondly, Coyne has a double standard when it comes to what he says, what some of his favorite commenters are allowed to say, and what he claims is his moderation policy. He and some of the commenters there say things to or about god pushers that are more derogatory than anything I ever said there. When I called him on his double standard he demanded an apology, and there's no way that I'm going to apologize for pointing out the truth.

      Coyne's blog is an echo chamber, while this one is not. Coyne won't tolerate any disagreement with him. Larry will. I agree with some of what Coyne says, but not everything. I agree with a lot of what Larry says, but not everything.

      Oh, and I didn't 'brag' about being banned by Coyne.

      I don't give a rats ass about "a large portion of the general population" when it comes to mocking/insulting/disrespecting fairy tale religious beliefs and the people who hold them, especially when those people are trying (or are enabling people who are trying) to dominate every one in the the world with that shit. Just because religious fairy tales are 'popular' doesn't mean that they're a good thing.

      By the way, you don't know the whole story about what happened between me and Coyne, because he blocked several of my comments to him.

      Delete
  23. Civility is overrated. -- Christopher Hitchens

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  24. Seeing as Christianity has been around for 2K years now, I'd say it has proven its mettle time and again.

    Oberski spitballing faith is not even an annoyance; just a testament to his adolescent bravado.

    I mean hey, he doesn't neeeeeeeed no stinkin' gods. He's got Oberski; for a few or more generations anyway.

    Enjoy it while it lasts, eh? That the winning manta. Evolution sure hasn't much to contribute here. Never enough time. Never.


    SteveOberski said: "Macka77, given that you have been entrusted with the education of children, it would behove you to understand that ideas and institutions do not deserve respect, they are required to fight it out in the marketplace of ideas, and those trotted out by the religious are invited to take their licking with the rest of them."

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    Replies
    1. The level of argumentation here is staggering. Christianity has "proven it's mettle"(whatever the fuck this means) because it's been around in some form or another for about 2 millenia.

      Well shit, Judaism has "proven it's meddle" even better then(at 400 to 600 years older), not to mention Hinduism(approximately 3500 to 4000 years old) and Buddhism(up to about 3000 years old). But let's not forget, for every relgion there ever was, there was people who didn't buy it, so atheism is even older. Uh-oh...

      Maybe, just maybe, how old an idea is has nothing to do whether it's correct or not. After all, one of the oldest ideas mankind ever had, and which persisted for far longer and was believed far more universally, is the idea that the sun orbits the earth and goes underground at night.

      Believed almost universally for over ten millenia, completely wrong. QED.

      Delete
    2. It's amazing how we are attracted to argue against the most far-gone-crazy-stupidly-ignorant-creationists like flies are attracted to sugar. Here just a couple of those creationists (one using a few sock puppets), and we already have more than 180 comments.

      Delete
    3. Not believing Christianity has been around for 2,000 years.

      Delete
  25. Macka77,

    You need to understand that Larry doesn't like taking all those heart medications. Provocative language is the ultimate heart medication.

    What I think Larry likes even better is he doesn't feel the side effects of his 'sonic tonic'. Others do that for him.

    Cleverrrrr, that Larry. Clever.

    ReplyDelete
  26. how we won the James Randi $1,000,000 Paranormal Challenge


    forum.skeptic.za.org/general-skepticism/how-we-won-the-james-randi-$1-000-000-paranormal-challenge/15/


    youtube.com/watch?v=0APF3SO9tqE

    ReplyDelete
  27. Larry Moran wrote:
    "It's the "change" part that's important and that's why evolutionary theory focuses on the mechanisms by which that change is accomplished (natural selection, random genetic drift)."

    What happened to random mutations? Are they no longer a part of the mechanism by which the change is accomplished in evolution?

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    Replies
    1. Sure, but selection and drift are the mechanisms that fix (or eliminate) mutations in populations.

      Delete