Monday, August 04, 2014

Why don't scientists believe in a creator?

Gordon E. Mullings ("kairosfocus") just can't understand why scientists haven't become believers in a creator who designs life [BA77′s observation: "many influential people in academia simply don’t want Design to be true no matter what evidence . . ."]. He quotes BA77 (really!) ...
The inimitable BA77 observes:
I [used] to think that if ID could only get its evidence to the right people in the right places then they would change their mind about Darwinian evolution and we would have a fundamental ‘paradigm shift’ from the ‘top down’. But after a few years of banging my head on that wall to no avail, I realized that it is not a head problem with these people so much as it is a heart problem. i.e. many influential people in academia simply don’t want Design to be true no matter what evidence you present to them. Indeed, in many educational institutions, there is a systematic effort in academia to Expel anyone who does not toe the Darwinian party line.
He concludes: "Thus the growth in popular support for ID has been more of a ‘bottom up’ affair."
Mullings presents a diagram that's supposed to demonstrate the evidence for Intelligent Design Creationism (right, above).

There are many reasons why "people in academia" have not been convinced by "evidence" like that presented by Bill Dembski. The most important reason is that the "evidence" isn't really evidence at all. It has been refuted repeatedly by people who know what they are talking about. There is no evidence for the existence of a creator who meddles in the affairs of living organisms.

But the real reason why people like BA77 and kairosfocus are puzzled has nothing to do with evidence. They believe in the existence of gods(s); therefore; they already believe in a creator so it's no big leap to "make sense" of biology in the light of god(s). What they don't understand is that for nonbelievers the "evidence" of Intelligent Design Creationism (if it existed) is only a small part of the path towards believing in a divine creator.

It's a heart problem. Intelligent Design Creationists are absolutely convinced that god(s) exist so they don't realize that Dembski's argument falls into category of "extraordinary claim" since it requires the existence of creators. It's not sufficient just to cast doubt on evolution and question scientific evidence. You also have to propose an alternative explanation and that hypothesis includes evidence for the designer. That kind of extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence and the IDiots haven't even come close to providing it.1

People like Gordon E. Mullings and BA77 have been trying to convince "infuential people in academia" for over 200 years. Generation after generation of academics have rejected their "evidence" and their logic. It's about time that the IDiots came to grips with the truth; namely, that they don't have any proof of the existence of god(s) and they never will.

They also need to stop fooling themselves about their "success" among the general public. Belief in god(s) is declining all over the world.


1. As most of you already know, the IDiots try to avoid talking about the Intelligent Design Creator. They claim that the "evidence" for his/her/their existence stands on it's own. All they want is for you to accept the "evidence" for the existence of god(s). What you do with that "evidence" is up to you. They aren't concerned about that part because they've already taken the leap.

39 comments :

  1. There's nothing "inimitable" about BA77. A simple chatbot is displaying more diversity of opinion and depth of content that anything of his I've ever read.

    It would be ultra simple to replicate his method:
    Rule 1) Endlessly spam references full of fancy-sounding technical jargon like "quantum effects", "algorithmic complexity" and "information transfer and storage", various ID abbreviation like CSI, FSCOI etc. - preferrably with a few publication by creationist David Abel - then declare with mindless conviction that it would be absurd to think there can be a natural explanation for all this amazing computer/engineering-metaphor-sounding stuff.

    Rule 2) Occasionally spray your comments with righteous indignation and flabbergasted disbelief that your techospam isn't producing floods of converts left and right. Work in the "Darwinian orthodoxy/party line" conspiracy angle and/or that it must because their "hearts" are polluted somehow.

    I can totally see how the above diagram would super-impress some one like BA77 who's so enamoured with technical jargon. It's got all the fancy terms to blow his mind: "Complex Specified Information Space", "confugirational information", "ASCII text string", "ordered sets of bits", "WLOG", "3-D nodes + arc description", "generalized Co-ords or string", "contexturally responsive sentence in textual english", "Planck Time states", "multiple zones rare in aggregate", "maximally unlikely", "universal probability bound", "universal complexity bound", "target *hot* zone in the field of possibilities", "T is detacable from E".
    Ohhh, and it has a lot of really big exponents. 10^300, 10^150 and lot's of "bits". BA77 must be seeing veritable angels when he reads something like that. PRAISE THE LORD!!

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    1. Yes, if you want to pretend to be an IDiot, you must constantly be copying quotes from "authorities." Do that, and you can get away with murder.

      The IDiots portray themselves as Galileo, standing up to the Establishment and challenging Authority. In fact, they are obsessed with, jealous of, and hypnotized by Authority.

      I am reminded of the marvelous speech given by Jason Schwartzman's creepy character in the (otherwise terrible) film "Slackers" (do not rent.) Schwartzman's character is in unrequited love with a beautiful girl. He is obsessed with her, he loves her, he loves her so much he can't stop thinking about murdering her.

      That's how IDiots feel about scientific authority.

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  2. It's not sufficient just to cast doubt on evolution....

    That would be insufficient if anyone had actually done it, which they haven't. Everything I've seen that's been any good at casting doubt on some aspect of accepted evolutionary theory has been done by scientists who actually know something about evolution. This excludes any ID proponents with whose work I'm familiar.

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  3. If you cal KF by his real name, he will accuse you of threatening him. Even though his other handle is "GEM of TKI", initials right there in the handle.

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  4. I think it's BA77 (or maybe KF?) who goes on, and on, and on about the quantum mystical powers of the Shroud of Turin. He says it defies gravity, and that gravity and quantum mechanics were "unified" at the moment of Jesus' resurrection, so the big diaper has all kinds of magickimal mystifistickal powerz, and argle bargle argle bargle on and on.

    Chatbot, indeed.

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    1. that gravity and quantum mechanics were "unified" at the moment of Jesus' resurrection

      This is what happens when you try to mix scientific thought with minds that are quite unused to it. :) They've entirely missed the point, poor dears, that gravity and quantum mechanics are unified right now; the trick is in figuring out how.

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    2. Yeah, it's BA77 who's obsessed with the Shroud of Turin. He also believes that quantum mechanics proves mind over (and before) matter. Many of the regulars at UD praise BA77's posting style to the skies and think that the "scientific information" he provides is enlightening and extremely useful. I'm pretty sure some think otherwise but consider it prudent to keep their opinion to themselves.

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  5. I have a question for Gordon Elliott Mullings of Manjack Heights, Montserrat, although he is way too gutless to answer it here (or to respond here to anything else). Oh well, I'll ask it anyway:

    Hey gordo, how does your diagram above or anything else that you spew about ID support or prove the existence of the so-called 'God' (yhwh-jesus-holy-ghost) that you believe in, worship, and promote?

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    1. No, no, you see they infer a designer because the would is irreducibly complex and then turn around and claim that IC is proof of a designer. A self-proving inference! And they would've gotten away with it if it hadn't been for that circular reasoning.

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  6. Look, whenever you're confronted with this CSI shit, just say "Natural processes create information. Most information in the universe is created by natural processes. Therefore, if there's information in biological systems, we should assume a priori that it was probably created by natural processes, until proven otherwise.

    The above is true of real measures of information: Kolmogorov (algorithmic) complexity is increased by random mutation; while Shannon information is increased by natural selection. Dembski's CSI is not really a measure of information, but anyway it is increased by gene duplication, natural selection, and other processes."

    Copy this quote, and just paste it when IDiots try the "Information can't be created by natural processes" line.

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  7. People always associate meaningful information with an intelligent mind unless such information is contained in a living cell. Why?

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    1. To quote Jerry Seinfeld: Who are these "people"?

      Not information theorists. Not anyone with mathematical proof. Not the scientific literature.

      By "people" you mean creationists. But you didn't say that. Why?

      Read my comment above. Most of the information in the universe is created by natural processes. Therefore, if a cell has information in it, we should assume by default it was created by natural processes.

      But you add the word "meaningful." What is your equation for measuring "meaning"?

      You have no equation for meaning, so how do you know there is some in a cell?

      You have no equation for meaning, so how do you know natural processes can't create it?

      After 20 years of ID shit, shouldn't they have an equation by now?

      You won't present an equation to measure "meaning" because ID is a fraud. Equation or STFU.

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    2. Diogenes, I'm curious about why you say that "most" of the information in the universe is created by natural processes. Why not 'all'?

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    3. Because human minds do create *some* information. For example, "I find your argument repulsive."

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    4. People always associate meaningful information with an intelligent mind unless such information is contained in a living cell

      It appears you are unfamiliar with the mathematical/scientific definition of information. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolmogorov_complexity

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    5. Diogenes, you said:

      "Because human minds do create *some* information."

      Hmm, so how would you label the creation of some information by human minds, unnatural, supernatural, artificial, or something else? Do you think that animal minds can create some information? And do you think that it depends on the type of animal?

      "For example, "I find your argument repulsive.""

      Correct me if I'm wrong but you're apparently saying that expressing an opinion is a creation of information, and that expressing an opinion is not a natural process. Will you please state a few examples of something that someone could say that isn't a creation of information and is a natural process?

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    6. I define "natural" as not human-made. So the complement of natural may be human, and is not necessarily supernatural. Yes, expressing an opinion is not a natural process in that the opinion is human-made.

      Will you please state a few examples of something that someone could say that isn't a creation of information and is a natural process?

      If someone says it, it's not natural by my definition, it's human-made. But someone can say things that is not a creation of information, but just a copying of information that was in turn created by natural processes.

      If I look at a thermometer and say "It's 83 degrees out" that's a copying of information, but the information was made by natural processes. I would go further and argue that much human design, e.g. airplane design, involves us copying information information (about aerodynamics etc.), which is created by natural processes, but we pick and choose which aspects of nature to copy, based on what's important to us.

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  8. Larry,

    The Reverend Jonathan Wells has "rebutted" the Chris Rands et al. paper on the human genome being 8.2% functional and 91.8% junk:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/07/junk_dna_darwin088361.html

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    1. Why are IDcreationists obsessed with junk DNA? If the human genome were 100% functional, this would not disprove evolution or constitute evidence for intelligent design.

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    2. 100% function might not disprove evolution (though seems to me it would be impossible anyway, given the fact of mutation), but so little functional material strikes ID folks as bad or unintelligent design. A lot of fuss about very little, really, when you consider the wealth of examples available of bad/unintelligent/random design aside from the genome - for example, nipples on guys.

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    3. Wells makes two points. The first is that nonconserved DNA can still have a function so it's wrong to equate conservation with function. I agree with him on that point.

      His second point concerns a specific example. He repeats the IDiot mantra that 30% of protein-encoding genes are orphan genes. By definition these genes are newly arisen and not conserved. But if they exist, they have a function.

      If what he says is true, then he has a good point. Orphan genes would be examples of nonconserved but functional parts of the genome. But there's one teeny, tiny, problem with this argument.

      What he says is not true. Most of the putative genes have been removed from the genomes by subsequent annotation and evidence that they aren't really genes. Almost all of these putative orphan genes turn out to be junk after all.

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    4. He's also making some unwarranted leaps by taking studies of archea and bacteria and insinuating the data applies more or less universally.

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  9. Two years ago I had a discussion with an ex-student of mine who thought ID had a few merits. He was a philosophy major and rather bright. He seemed to think that the fact of evolution somehow hung on the existence of God but I tried to explain that it didn't.
    As I put it... If the world community of cosmologists and physicists announced tomorrow that they had absolute proof of a creator god, and furthermore, if they announced that they had absolute proof that this creator god intervened in the universe from time to time biologists would still collectively say" "great, so there's a creator god. Why didn't this god get involved with the origin and diversification of life on earth?? " The reason is that the evidence for evolution would still be what it is even if there was a god. Evolution isn't some default philosophical position one uses to interpret the evidence if one doesn't believe in god.

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  10. 1. The idea that random errors can build coherent systems is absurd. Any designer, engineer can tell that.
    2. Of course there is absolutely no evidence that random errors could have built any of the living organisms.

    All it takes to shut Behe up is to present some evidence. Do you know that the lack of it turned Behe from a darwinian evolutionist into a skeptic?

    M. Behe:

    "As science probes ever deeper into the molecular details of life, serious evolutionary thought has been forced to descend from 30,000 feet to ground level, and grave obstacles to undirected evolution have become manifest. Relatively recent, terrific research using the powerful techniques available to modern biology shows three general, separate barriers to a Darwinian (or, for that matter, to any undirected) evolutionary mechanism.

    The first major barrier is random mutation itself. Because genomes code for many sophisticated molecular systems, random changes that have an effect will most frequently break or damage some already-functioning system. Nonetheless, breaking or diminishing subsystems of an exceedingly complex entity such as the cell can sometimes be adaptive -- causing the degradation to spread, as Richard Lenski's pioneering Long Term Evolution project has demonstrated so clearly. Other studies of degradative adaptation in nature strongly reinforce this point. (For example, see recent reports about loss-of-function genetic resistance to diabetes and heart disease in humans, gaitedness in horses, loss of cyanogenesis in clover, and a plethora of helpful broken genes in bacteria.

    The second roadblock is actually natural selection. As Darwin envisioned, natural selection works relentlessly, honing a selected trait to fit its job more and more closely. The problem is that, the more selection hones a trait, the more specialized it becomes, and the more difficult then to use it for another complex purpose without prohibitively unlikely mutational modification. This has been nicely shown by the work of Joe Thornton's group, where even very modest changes (the binding of a second, structurally similar steroid hormone to a homologous, structurally similar receptor protein) to a pre-existing system encountered strong, unexpected evolutionary obstacles.

    The third obstacle is irreducible complexity, or the need to take multiple steps to reach a selected state. As I discussed in The Edge of Evolution and Summers et al. have now demonstrated experimentally, some selectable effects require more than one mutation before they kick in. When that's the case the likelihood of reaching the state drops exponentially with each unselected step. Although special circumstances such as a very high mutation rate or population size can help get over one or a few such steps, those aren't generally available. Even when they are, it doesn't take many such steps to put the state well beyond the reach of random mutation.

    This type of barrier is ubiquitous at the molecular level because new protein-protein interactions in general will require multiple mutational steps to attain (as I discussed at length in Edge and about which I rebutted criticisms on my blog), many of which will be unselected.

    It's important to notice that these three roadblocks are substantially independent of each other. Sequestration of a system to its current function by natural selection is a different problem from the damage done by adaptive-yet-degradative random mutations, both of which are conceptually distinct from the need for multiple, unselected steps to reach some adaptive states. A result of their independence is that they will work synergistically. Undirected evolutionary change faces multiple overpowering restraints."

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    1. The idea that random errors can build coherent systems is absurd. Any designer, engineer can tell that.

      Please ask your design engineer friends what the design purpose is for nipples on guys.

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    2. Unknown says,

      The idea that random errors can build coherent systems is absurd.

      This is known as the argument from ignorance or the argument from an ignoramus.

      It typically comes out of the mouths of people who believe in talking snakes, people rising from the dead, virgin births, and worldwide floods that killed every person on Earth except for a man named Noah and his immediate family.

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    3. Now Larry, don't you know cdesign proponentsists have scientific correctness as their sole motivation?

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    4. you all have very creative ways of insulting each other why trying to sound intelligent.

      Delete
  11. Of course there is no evidence that proteins can be built by random errors.

    D. Axe:

    "So, to Moran I say, regale us with heroic stories of magically evolvable apes and magically evolvable enzymes if you must, but when you're finished with the stories, be sure to join us in doing the science that should convince everyone one way or the other as to their plausibility.

    It's the same challenge I put to James Shapiro at the beginning of the year:

    We can go into the lab and modify bacterial cells by deleting the entire set of genes dedicated to the synthesis of tryptophan, one of the essential building blocks of proteins. When we observe what happens when these modified cells are given just enough tryptophan to grow and reproduce, we will see lots of things happening, but none that can be expected to reinvent a set of genes for making tryptophan, even in a large population over billions of years.
    I know of many processes that people talk about as though they can do the job of inventing new proteins (and of many papers that have resulted from such talk), but when these ideas are pushed to the point of demonstration, they all seem to retreat into the realm of the theoretical. Having followed this debate for some time now, and having made several experimental contributions to it, Ann and I have become convinced that none of the current naturalistic ideas about the origin of protein folds or the functional diversification of existing folds actually works in any general sense.

    But of course, as experimentalists we are very willing to see the evidence that might prove us wrong."

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    1. D. Axe is quoted ...

      Ann and I have become convinced that none of the current naturalistic ideas about the origin of protein folds or the functional diversification of existing folds actually works in any general sense.

      I'm sure that Axe and Gauger have, indeed, "become" convinced.

      In fact, I'm absolutely certain that they convinced themselves long before they ever started to do experiments. It's extremely likely that they "became convinced" that naturalism had to be wrong when they were still children.

      But of course, as experimentalists we are very willing to see the evidence that might prove us wrong.

      I doubt that very much. The best one can possibly say about "evidence" is that we don't know for certain what exact path evolution took to produce certain folds and domains. And that's granting Axe and Gauger the benefit of many doubts. Axe and Gauger, on the other hand, have convinced yourselves that natural explanations cannot possibly account for the data. Therefore, god(s) did it.

      The onus is on them to show that these gods exist, that they are capable of designing proteins, and that they actually did it. It's an extraordinary claim so it requires extraordinary evidence. But I won't be that stringent in the case of Axe and Gauger. Since they are "experimentalists," I'll accept just a little bit evidence of gods that meddle in the history of life.

      I wonder what evidence they've got from working in the Biologic Institue labs in Seattle?

      WARNING: Turn off your irony meters.

      So, to Moran I say, regale us with heroic stories of magically evolvable apes and magically evolvable enzymes if you must, but when you're finished with the stories, be sure to join us in doing the science that should convince everyone one way or the other as to their plausibility.

      Many of us are waiting patiently for any evidence at all that supports the plausibility of their magical stories.

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    2. Wow. I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm going to re-quote my own comment from right above in this thread, since it nails our creationist friend Unknown so precisely:

      If you want to pretend to be an IDiot, you must constantly be copying quotes from "authorities." Do that, and you can get away with murder.

      The IDiots portray themselves as Galileo, standing up to the Establishment and challenging Authority. In fact, they are obsessed with, jealous of, and hypnotized by Authority.

      I am reminded of the marvelous speech given by Jason Schwartzman's creepy character in the (otherwise terrible) film "Slackers" (do not rent.) Schwartzman's character is in unrequited love with a beautiful girl. He is obsessed with her, he loves her, he loves her so much he can't stop thinking about murdering her.

      That's how IDiots feel about scientific authority.

      Delete
  12. chirp, chirp, chirp

    at least the sound is a binaural tone with a bit of utility.

    hats off to the argument from utility.

    chirp, baby, chirp

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  13. It only matters is these "scientists" are experts in evidence of nature touching on the option for a creator. Otherwise their opinions are the same worth as the rest of the public.
    Even these can only deal with their particular subject.
    i don't why a scientist has more credibility to about a creators likelyness then anyone else.
    i suspect its about the belief scientists are smarter then other people. not about better investigators of pro or con evidence for a creator.
    I never find anybody is smarter then others due to the evidence of their profession. i don't find investigators of nature do much investigating beyond their subject.
    Public opinion is the best indicator for the evidence of a creator being there.

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    1. Byers said: "Public opinion is the best indicator for the evidence of a creator being there."

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!

      Hey Robert, WHICH "creator" out of the thousands that people have imagined and promoted as the one and only "creator"? And which "Public" should decide which "creator" is the one and only? The public in Iran, or Indonesia, or the USA, or China, or Canada, or North Korea, or Saudi Arabia, or India, or Denmark, or Egypt, or Thailand, or how about the public in Muddy Gap, Wyoming, or in Manjack Heights, Montserrat, or in Boring, Oregon, or in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, or in Santiago, Chile, or in a brothel in Nevada, or somewhere else?

      Do you really believe that "opinion" is "evidence" for your chosen, so-called 'God' or for any other so-called 'God'? If you believe that (and you obviously do) then you should realize that the "opinion" of the majority of people on this planet is that something/someone other than yhwh-jesus-holy-ghost is 'God'. Yeah, about 5 billion people don't believe in, worship, or promote yhwh-jesus-holy-ghost, and the 2 billion or so people who opine that yhwh-jesus-holy-ghost are 'God' are divided into about 38,000 different sects and have different 'opinions' about the particulars of yhwh-jesus-holy-ghost, christianity, and the bible. None of that actually matters to you though, does it. All you care about is that everyone should agree with your "opinion", right?

      (Yeah, I know, don't feed the troll. I'm thinking of the lurkers, and such IDiocy should get a response sometimes.)

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    2. First things first. mankind always agreed there is a creator and this based on natures evidence.
      Dismissing mankind is doing a lot and saying a chosen few know better.
      i'm not saying public opinion establishes truth.
      instead in these cases public opinion trumps opinions from small circles of people who don't know anymore then the public.
      In short uninformed opinion should be most respected amongst the many.
      i'm really getting at a creationist complaint.
      its just a few people who ever or now got paid to think and be authority's on origin matters.
      its not a great army of scientists. just a few cats are creationists now or before been fighting.
      Yet we are always told we are fighting SCIENCE, or SCIENTISTS, or a army of scientists in biology and so on.
      Its silly and wrong and why error so easily clings in origin matters.
      Just like there was no British invasion in music but only four beatles, five stones, and four WHO and 40 others.
      Origin matters is done in obscure circles and so a few famous ID people easily can and are creating a revolution that will destroy old man Darwin.
      YEC also getting in its licks.

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    3. Byers comedy gold:

      "uninformed opinion should be most respected amongst the many."

      Classic. Tell us, Byers, is the above statement the result of you being uninformed? Yes or no.

      If you are uninformed, the above statement is based on no evidence, just your ignorance, and is as plausible as Santa Claus.

      If yes, you are informed, then you are an intellectual elitist from a small circle, and therefore you should be ignored, insulted and attacked, according to your own principle.

      So is the above statement based on you being informed or not? Yes or no. Yes or no. Only two options. No blather, no bluff, no bullshit. Just this once, answer a goddamn question with a straight answer. No blah blah blah, just yes or no. Yes or $%#*king no.

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    4. You misunderstood my point. I'm not saying my opinion is uniformed about this matter. jUst about probabilities or odds of something being true amongst uniformed people despite diversity of opinion. in short much more uniformed people agree with a creator and are more likely right then the fewer number of uniformed people who don't. In short while uniformed still the intelligence in man gives the greater number the greater odds to be right.

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  14. IDers are not interested in the question of design, or the existence of a designer/creator. They are interested in their christian god - that pseudo-human loving father with the plan, that all-powerful fellow with whom you can have a personal relationship.

    If the patently ridiculous beliefs of christianity (and the others) were to fall away as the myths and superstitions they are, you would suddenly find "ID scientists" are no more enamored by the idea of a designer/creator than the average atheist.

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  15. People don't believe in miracles because they see evidence for them in the world; they see evidence for miracles because they believe in them.

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