An important question goes unasked

In the Florida House of Representatives recently 11 lawmakers were bogged down in a lengthy discussion concerning biological evolution. A bill specifically singling out the subject of evolution as taught in the public school classroom dominated well over an hour in the Friday Schools and Learning committee meeting. Despite the scrutiny, there was one important question that went unasked, and the bill’s presenter, Rep. D. Alan Hays, got a free pass as a result. The bill, which casts doubt on the theory of evolution by deceptively invoking the phrase “critical analysis”, thus passed the committee on a 7-4 vote.

Hays protested again and again that his bill does nothing more than protect teachers. He said, “This amendment says absolutely nothing about teaching religion.” That statement seems clear enough if taken at face value. He even admonished Rep. Martin Kiar for his line of questioning on the religion subject by demanding that Kiar not read something into the legislation that is not already there. That scolding leads to a significant problem for Hays, though. It was never made clear what actually is there.

The question that is probably the most important one to ask is: What are some examples of critical analysis of evolution that have no religious connotations and are also legitimate, up-to-date scientific ideas? This is where Hays got a free pass. He read from prepared remarks and then also talked off the cuff about critical analysis of evolution needing to be scientific. He went to great lengths to distance critical analysis from religion. However, to give his bill any validity it would be necessary to give some examples. He introduced the bill; he should know what the critical analysis he is proposing means in some detail.

Parent and vocal advocate of Hays’ cause, Kim Kendall, has been criticizing the teaching of evolution for months and was prominent in the media during the state science standards approval process. She spoke during the public comment period Friday about three unnamed teachers complaining that they don’t have the freedom to introduce information critical of evolution. Once again the pertinent question goes unasked: What were these teachers telling students? Kendall mentions several times the Cambrian explosion and gaps in the fossil record, although it’s unknown if these were the actual points the teachers in question used. If these are ideas teachers are passing along to students, then, yes, they should be denied what they’re dishonestly calling “academic freedom.” A later speaker, Barry Golden, was one of those who wrote the brand new state science standards. He briefly and authoritatively corrected Kendall by saying that the Cambrian explosion supports evolution, not refutes it. (The Cambrian explosion is an historical timeframe during which many of the earliest fossils of life are found.)

As a matter of fact, points like the Cambrian explosion and so-called gaps in the fossil record are well-documented, old creationist talking points that have been floating around for decades. These and similar points were proven to be hollow and blatantly dishonest by the scientific community back when they were first proposed. They persist despite being discredited because the general public, and in this specific case Florida legislators, have never heard them before. Kendall’s use of these tired examples weakens her case. They connect her support of the bill to creationism.

It can be argued that Kendall’s statements might not reflect Rep. Hays’ intent. That then still leaves open the question of what exactly Hays wants taught under the guise of critical analysis. The final speaker at the meeting, ACLU representative Courtenay Strickland, made an important point: The bill opens the door to teaching religious beliefs as science in the classroom. Calling something science doesn’t necessarily make it science.

As such, Florida Citizens for Science makes this public challenge to Hays: Give examples of critical analysis of evolution that have no religious connotations and are also legitimate, up-to-date scientific ideas. If Hays refuses to give a straight answer, or even worse cites discredited, unscientific ideas, then the intent of these bills is questionable at best and the bill needs to be dropped.

77 Responses to “An important question goes unasked”

  1. S.Scott Says:

    Absolutely! Present an alternative theory. He can’t do it – we all know it.

  2. Brandon Haught Says:

    I’ve submitted this as an op-ed to various papers across the state. If any of you think it might be good for your local newspaper, let me know.

    I’ve also sent this to the four committee representatives who had voted no during the meeting. The hope is that someone on one of the staff brings it to the attention of the lawmakers and at least one of them uses the question in earnest at some point. You are welcome to shop this around to other lawmakers, too.

    This question is a deal-breaker. Provided the person who asks the question doesn’t let Hays off the hook with a non-answer and also is able to refute any “gaps in the fossil record” answer Hays may give. Quite simply, there is NO ANSWER to the question. None.

  3. James F Says:

    Well done, Brandon. If they bothered to read up on the fossil record they might want to quit using it as an argument. Especially in light of recent discoveries like Tiktaalik, Gognasus, and Eupodophis. “Endless forms most beautiful,” indeed. Their tired arguments are stuck in 1925. Wait until they read about comparative genomics. It’s a bit like implying something is wrong with astronomy because we haven’t found every exoplanet yet.

  4. firemancarl Says:

    Hey Brandon,

    I know you have friends in the NJ, if you haven’t sent it there, I suggest you do. Who knows what’ll happen when it gets sold. Maybe some right wingers will buy it. Ugh.

  5. James F Says:

    (self-edit: Gogonasus)

    Food for thought: I posit that a major issue, perhaps the main issue, that religious fundamentalists have with evolution is the incorrect perception that it entails indoctrination of atheism. If they want to introduce a bill, write something affirming that science instruction does not support or endorse a theistic or atheistic philosophy. Of course, that’s already the case, but if it puts their mind at ease, I’m all for it.

  6. PatrickHenry Says:

    Great article! It may not mean much, but I’ve given your question to Hays a plug at my humble blog (http://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/) where I’ve previously posted several articles on the situation in Florida. I think the next project the Florida legislature should work in is re-defining the value of pi.

  7. Larry Fafarman Says:

    –“What are some examples of critical analysis of evolution that have no religious connotations and are also legitimate, up-to-date scientific ideas? “–

    Darwinism itself has religious connotations — supernatural explanations are required to explain many of the gaps in Darwinism.

    A critical analysis of evolution should be assumed to have no religious connotations so long as it does not reference religious sources and uses only scientific facts and reasoning.

    Consider, for example, my arguments about co-evolution, e.g.,:

    In the co-evolution of total co-dependence between two different kinds of organisms, unlike in evolutionary adaptation to widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, and air, there may be nothing to adapt to because the corresponding co-dependent trait in the other organism is likely to be locally absent. How does that statement have religious connotations?

    Anyway, what is wrong with religious connotations if there is no explicit connection to religion? Sometimes religious connotations are unavoidable.

    Also, assuming for the sake of argument that there are no legitimate scientific criticisms of evolution now, that does not mean that none are going to be discovered in the future.

    Thoughts for the day:

    There is no constitutional separation of bad science (or pseudoscience) and state.

    If design can be an illusion, then maybe evolution can also be an illusion.

  8. Brandon Haught Says:

    Larry Fafarman,

    I’m tired of your unsupported claims that co-evolution somehow isn’t legitimate or somehow refutes evolution.

    As such, I have a homework assignment for you. First, contact the following:
    University of California Museum of Paleontology
    The National Science Foundation
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    Have them take down the page they did/funded on co-evolution:
    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evo_33

    Also, contact Dr. John Thompson and tell him to pack his bags and find a “real” job. Because, co-evolution is a crock and his life’s work is a sham.
    http://bio.research.ucsc.edu/people/thompson/

    Once you have done the above, come on back with proof that you have done so and I will let you post about co-evolution again. In the meantime, every time you spout off about it, I am deleting your post.

    I consider myself fairly tolerant and I have allowed “free speech” here on the blog to an extent many other blogs don’t. But there is a limit to my patience. This is not a government site, so I have no mandate to allow free speech. So, I will exercise my right to delete your unsupported assertions. You have your own site; post your nonsense there. If you decide to throw a hissy fit over my exercising my right, then I will ban you.

    You have some work to do, Larry. You better get to it.

  9. James F Says:

    PWNED.

  10. firemancarl Says:

    Oh look, more Nobel worthy work by Larry Fafarman :roll:

  11. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Brandon Haught,

    You are censoring my arguments about co-evolution precisely because you find them to be too persuasive. You would not be bothered by my arguments if they were absurd, e.g., Second Law of Thermodynamics arguments.

  12. S.Scott Says:

    He hasn’t censored anything yet, Larry. Get to your studies.

  13. Larry Fafarman Says:

    –“He hasn’t censored anything yet, Larry.”–

    What do you mean. He said, “In the meantime, every time you spout off about it, I am deleting your post.”

  14. S.Scott Says:

    Have you posted anything that he has deleted? NO.

    You are just warned. Go do your homework and everything will be OK.

  15. S.Scott Says:

    Can we talk about the Cambrien Explosion for a moment?

    This may be important , a lot of evolution deniers seem to think that the Cambrien period is a “thorn in the side” for the Scientific Theory of Evolution.

    They have heard scientists refer to this period as “Life’s Big Bang” – and seem to think that there was no other life on the planet before this time.

    – from Fossil Museum …

    “The theory of the Cambrian Explosion holds that, beginning some 545 million years ago, an explosion of diversity led to the appearance over a relatively short period of 5 million to 10 million years of a huge number of complex, multi-celled organisms.”

    But they fail to do research any further than that.

    “The explosion of external form in the fossil record is what we see, but more gradual adaptation was taking place at the molecular level. Wang et. al. (1999) for example, recently conducted phylogenetic studies divergences among animal phyla, plants, animals and fungi. These researchers estimated Arthropods diverged from more primitive chordates more than 900 million years ago, and Nematodes from that lineage almost 1200 million years ago. They furthermore estimated that the plant, animal and fungi Kingdoms might have split almost 1600 million years ago. Finally, they conjecture that the basal animal phyla (Porifera, Cnidaria, Ctenophora) diverged between about 1200 and 1500 million years ago. If their research is valid, at least six major metazoan phyla appeared deep in the Precambrian, hundreds of millions of years before the oldest fossils in the fossil record.”

  16. island Says:

    Give examples of critical analysis of evolution that have no religious connotations and are also legitimate, up-to-date scientific ideas.

    You mean, something like this pathetic copout on causality and first principles that reaches as far into the depths of absudity as you can possibly go in order to avoid the more apparent implication for inherent information content, so that the author can cling desparately to random chance as a “causal agent”?

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007q.bio…..1023K
    Evolution of life on earth was governed, primarily, by natural selection, with major contribution of other evolutionary processes, such as neutral variation, exaptation, and gene duplication. However, for biological evolution to take off, a certain minimal degree of complexity is required such that a replicating genome encodes means for its own replication with sufficient rate and fidelity. In all existing life forms, this is achieved by dedicated proteins, polymerases (replicases), that are produced by the elaborate translation system. However, evolution of the coupled system of replication and translation does not appear possible without pre-existing efficient replication; hence a chicken-egg type paradox. I argue that the many-worlds-in-one version of the cosmological model of eternal inflation implies that emergence of replication and translation, as well as the major protein folds, by chance alone, as opposed to biological evolution

    WHAT?!?!

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060807154715.htm
    Or maybe we should criticize this biophysicist, (who is probably correct on the whole, BTW), for his ignorance, (or denial), of the fact that the physics that defines the anthropic principle is entirely, totally, and completely about envirionmental enablement, AND because his cosmologically ignorant self doesn’t know that the AP does not equate to ID?

    And where can I formally submit these and numerous other examples to you challenge, or is this strictly limited to Hays?

  17. island Says:

    Whoops!… I gave the wrong link to the second example:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071113132255.htm
    “Our results suggest that the beautiful, intricate and interrelated structures observed in nature may be the generic result of evolution in a changing environment,” Deem said. “The existence of such structure need not necessarily rest on intelligent design or the anthropic principle.”

    Eh… no, ID does not equate to the anthropic principle this way, and yes, the AP most definitely DOES rule envirnmental coding, so your attempts to deny, (or failure to identify), the most apparent implication of the evidence only make you look like a fool to anyone who isn’t predispositioned to believe your hype.

  18. S.Scott Says:

    @ island, You disappoint me. Where is the rest of the paper? Why didn’t you quote the whole paragraph ?

    You left one whole sentence off …

    ” Hence an RNA world, as it is currently conceived, might have never existed although catalytic activities of RNA were, probably , critical for the onset of biological evolution and its early stages. ”

    Is that a student’s paper or something? Where’s the rest of it?

  19. island Says:

    Huh?… what has that got to do with my point?… and have you never read a scientific paper before?

    Do you see the part at the top that says:
    arXiv e-print (arXiv:q-bio/0701023)

  20. S.Scott Says:

    Yes I did and I clicked on it – still nothing more than what you originally linked.

  21. S.Scott Says:

    @island – BTW, I enjoyed reading about the anthropic principle.

    As I understand it – it is untestable, just like ID, and therefore it is more of a question of philosophy rather than science.

  22. firemancarl Says:

    C’mon S. Scott. The IDiots are the kings of quote mining, and do it horribly.

  23. S.Scott Says:

    Science is restricted! It must be testable!

    (Excuse me as I rant!)

    Science does not prove or disprove God!

    Science is natural – not supernatural!

    Not all scientists are athiest!

    Learning about science will not turn your child into an athiest!

    There … I’m done.

  24. island Says:

    Go here and click on the PDF file on the right, and then learn to use the archive before you start accusing me of referring some student’s bs or whatever, thanks:
    http://arxiv.org/abs/q-bio/0701023

    As I understand it – it is untestable, just like ID, and therefore it is more of a question of philosophy rather than science.

    No, you’re confusing “variant interpretations” that include a multiverse with the most apparent implication of the physics of the observed universe. The multiverse can’t be falsified, but the AP can be falsified simply by providing a proven cosmological principle that explains from first principles why we are just a consequence of the physics, rather than the reason for it that is most apparently indicated by highly pointed physics.

  25. island Says:

    And then the fool called me an IDist… how cluelessly typical:
    Science is restricted! It must be testable!

    (Excuse me as I rant!)

    Science does not prove or disprove God!

    Science is natural – not supernatural!

    Not all scientists are athiest!

    Learning about science will not turn your child into an athiest!

    No shit.

  26. S.Scott Says:

    Hi firemancarl, I just try and give people the benefit of the doubt. :-)

  27. island Says:

    firemancarl
    C’mon S. Scott. The IDiots are the kings of quote mining, and do it horribly.

    Another loser proves that science has absolutely nothing to do with what motivates them.

  28. island Says:

    Hi firemancarl, I just try and give people the benefit of the doubt.

    LOL… uh huh… right, sure… I believe you… as you make the unjustified leap of faith to wrongly presume that I am an IDist.

  29. S.Scott Says:

    @ island, I read your paper. It’s all about abiogenesis.
    I know it’s been said on this blog a thousand times but I’ll say it again …

    ” Evolution does not touch on Abiogenesis”

    The paper is full of words like: “presume, consider, likelihood, and probably”. The reason is that this AP theory is untestable! Abiogenesis is untestable.

  30. S.Scott Says:

    Also, maybe you should have provided THIS link instead …
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/q-bio/papers/0701/0701023.pdf

  31. S.Scott Says:

    Besides THAT … IF abiogenesis were to be taught in school … it wouldn’t be at all related to biology!

    You are thinking about physics!

  32. PC-Bash Says:

    as you make the unjustified leap of faith to wrongly presume that I am an IDist.

    Well, island, what are you? You have certainly jumped around quite a bit on previous posts.

  33. island Says:

    Also, maybe you should have provided THIS link instead

    Yeah, if I knew that I was talking to a rookie that never read a scientific paper in his life, then I would have… 😉

    And no, the paper is not about abiogenesis, it’s about an extremely reaching possibility for the chance emergence of the replication and translation systems, in lieu of the most apparent implication for either, inherent information content, or environmentally coded information, which is also relevant to the debate.

    It also very well does illustrate the problem that the debate causes for science, since the author is willing to abandon biological evolution as the mechanism, in order to reach off into hypothetical interpretations of the universe in order to hang dearly to random chance. [q-bio.PE].

    This kind of open dishonesty, (a willful failure to recognize and look), including the responses here on this blog, are the reason why *something* needs to be done… and I don’t necessarily mean in grade school level, but I don’t really care where it starts…

  34. island Says:

    Well, island, what are you? You have certainly jumped around quite a bit on previous posts.

    I’m an atheist and a materialist, as I have stated bluntly in previous posts… :)

  35. S.Scott Says:

    I give up … LoL

  36. Mel T. Says:

    You all cant even get what theory of evolution you believe in. This is fun to watch.

  37. island Says:

    test

  38. island Says:

    I guess that I’m having a problem with my links, so I’ll try without them.

    I give up …

    Smart move.

    PC-Bash, I think this is what you’re looking for:

    There are (a few) honest scientists who are willing to recognize that there are plausible strong materialists’ interpretations of the evidence that indicate that we are brought into existence, (AND ENABLED ALONG THE WAY TO EVOLVE TO WHAT WE ARE, SScot), for a reason.

    Theses environmental biologists have made a relevant observation about this, but it doesn’t matter that it is incomplete. I repeat, I said that “it doesn’t matter, becuase the point stands, that there is plausible science that get denied by literally everyone else, but ONLY because of the debate causes people to see god if we’re not here by accident.

    [link was to go here]

    They also wrote this book:

    [link was to go here]

    And you can find out more about these guys if you look up Scott Sampson in the Edge Org’s “Most Danerous Ideas”. AND you can research a guy named James Kay, who made the orignial observation with Eric Schneider, before James died unexpectedly and Carl Sagan’s Son moved in. Dorion Sagan is also the son of Lynn Margulis, the famous and highly respected evolutionary biologist and the two of them have written a number of books together.

    But bear in mind… that isn’t the point… since we’re only looking for scientific plausibility for ways that we might simply be “needed’… and then think about what you do to science every time that you automatically assume for the sake of the “debate”… that we can only be what we are… by accident.

    You asked… 😉

  39. island Says:

    Modified links add the www’s yourself:

    taipeitimes.com/News/edit/archives/2004/09/30/2003204990

    press.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/hfs.cgi/00/16572.ctl

  40. Kathy S Says:

    Larry,
    Anyone who uses the second law of thermodynamics as an argument against evolution does not understand thermodynamics. The IDist’s have a good thing going there because, the truth is that most people don’t understand thermodynamics. So all they have to do, (the IDist’s) is use scientific sounding words and repeat it often enough (better yet, have it printed in a text or online) and it will soon become gospel. That does not mean it is true. No matter how many times good science people try to set the IDist’s or the public straight, they don’t listen and keep repeating the lie. It is frustrating and so most good science people choose to let them remain blissfully ignorant. After all, their ignorance is not hurting anyone. UNTIL they start forcing THEIR ignorance down our throats…now teaching untruths and misconceptions becomes a real issue with a lot at stake. So please go read WHY the second law of thermodynamics does not disprove evolution on a reputable science website and then just STOP repeating your nonsense. Because no matter how many times you repeat it, it will not suddenly become true. And that is why Brandon is tired of your comments. That is why all of science is tired of the IDist’s – they don’t know what they are talking about, they don’t want to learn the truth, and they certainly don’t want others to know the truth in terms of SCIENCE. And that’s all this is about, science.
    I truly mean no disrespect to you Larry.

  41. island Says:

    Kathy, that common argument isn’t quite right, but creationists don’t typically know how to make it:

    Anyone who uses the second law of thermodynamics as an argument against evolution does not understand thermodynamics.

    Anyone who thinks that the second law of thermodynamics *would* permit evolution, were it not for an anthropically oriented cosmolgical structure mechanism that keeps the universe from blowing apart without any structure at all… “doesn’t understand thermodynamics” because the expanding universe is far from being a closed system, and the most natural quantum expectation for the vacuum energy density, (without an anthropic constraint on the forces), is about 120 orders of magnitude ^ greater than is observed… 😉

  42. PC-Bash Says:

    There are (a few) honest scientists who are willing to recognize that there are plausible strong materialists’ interpretations of the evidence that indicate that we are brought into existence,… …for a reason.

    Really? Care to elaborate?

    This foray into existentialism is most likely going to take us outside of the bounds of science again.

  43. PC-Bash Says:

    island –

    I don’t think you seem to understand that your are still arguing for a metaphysical position that is just as outside of science as theology, and completely outside of the bounds of the discussion of evolution.

    I don’t care about abiogenesis, I don’t care about tautological recursion (something created something which created something which created us, but what created the first something?). I do care about evolution, which has absolutely nothing to do with the other stuff that you and the creationists are muddying the waters with.

  44. PC-Bash Says:

    Anyone who thinks that the second law of thermodynamics *would* permit evolution, were it not for an anthropically oriented cosmolgical structure mechanism that keeps the universe from blowing apart without any structure at all… “doesn’t understand thermodynamics” because the expanding universe is far from being a closed system, and the most natural quantum expectation for the vacuum energy density, (without an anthropic constraint on the forces), is about 120 orders of magnitude ^ greater than is observed…

    Wow. That statement was full of crank.

  45. firemancarl Says:

    So, Island, what is my motivation? And if you’re not an IDiot, why do you take up their cause.

    That being said, the onus is on you and others who critizise evolutionary biology to come up with a scientifically valid theory that contradicts evolutionary biology.

  46. Spirula Says:

    Rember folks, it is all about teaching the manufactroversy.

    Carry on.

  47. William Wallace Says:

    The question that is probably the most important one to ask is: What are some examples of critical analysis of evolution that have no religious connotations and are also legitimate, up-to-date scientific ideas?

    This question is flawed. Evolution has religious connotations. As Ann Coulter notes, liberal atheists need evolution to be true. This might explain why you’re so opposed to a bill that protects academic freedom.

    Furthermore, you a critical analysis doesn’t itself need to be scientific. The “scientific alternative” argument is a canard. You seem to think that a criticism must be either scientific, religious, or pseudo-scientific. This is simply not the case.

    “God does not play dice with the universe,” was uttered in my highschool honors physics, and we all lived to tell about it.

    Why is the National Center for “Science” (read: Darwinian) Education so adamant that the Theory of Evolution cannot be criticized except by those who already except it?

  48. William Wallace Says:

    The question that is probably the most important one to ask is: What are some examples of critical analysis of evolution that have no religious connotations and are also legitimate, up-to-date scientific ideas?

    This question is flawed. Evolution has religious connotations. As Ann Coulter notes, liberal atheists need evolution to be true. This might explain why you’re so opposed to a bill that protects academic freedom.

    Furthermore, a critical analysis doesn’t itself need to be scientific. The “scientific alternative” argument is a canard. You seem to think that a criticism must be either scientific, religious, or pseudo-scientific. This is simply not the case.

    “God does not play dice with the universe,” was uttered in my high school honors physics, and we all lived to tell about it.

    Why is the National Center for “Science” (read: Darwinian) Education so adamant that the Theory of Evolution cannot be criticized except by those who already accept it?

    [Repost with typos fixed….please add a preview function]

  49. S.Scott Says:

    Oh yeah! I forgot to mention this earlier but now I remember what it was :-)

  50. PC-Bash Says:

    As Ann Coulter notes, liberal atheists need evolution to be true.

    Ann Coulter is nothing more than an attention whore. You are paraphrasing a woman who claims that her hero is Joe McCarthy. Then again, she is very similar to you. She is a troll, but in the real world.

  51. firemancarl Says:

    Hey PC & S Scott, am I missing something here? You two know more about TOE than I do. However, I think I answered her questions pretty well. Take a look and feel free to add to the thread.
    http://blogs.news-journalonline.com/politics/2008/04/freedom_from_evolution.html

  52. William Wallace Says:

    “God does not play dice with the universe,” was uttered in my high school honors physics, and we all lived to tell about it.

    The lack of a substantive response is duly noted.

  53. PC-Bash Says:

    The lack of a substantive response is duly noted.

    Actually, I didn’t find anything in your comment to be response-worthy. As usual, it was breathtakingly inane, and I feel dumber for wasting the time to read it.

    I thought the whole evolution is religion wank was ABO’s non-sequitur?

  54. S.Scott Says:

    fc… I’m being held for moderation :-(

  55. S.Scott Says:

    JamesF – I got me a count of 7! :-)

  56. firemancarl Says:

    S.Scott, they do that to all the posts/posters. Your comments will show up. It seemed to me she keep widening the goal posts. Your thoughts?

  57. firemancarl Says:

    Hey guys, your stuff got posted on the News Journal site, and of all people, Lee Bowman is posting on there now. Time to, load tubes, match bearings, and FIRE!

  58. firemancarl Says:

    Oh, and here’s the rub, Lee Bowman says Also, DI today is a secular think tank, with the furtherance of science as an objective, and Wells has scientific credentials.

    Hows that for funny?!

  59. DC Says:

    Actually, Christian fundementalists seem to NEED creationism to be true and thus attack evolution science as a threat to their faith. That is one strong motivation. Atheists could not care less if the Theory of Evolution was falsified and a new more powerful scientific theory took its place. What diffrence would it make to the God thing?

    The existence or non-existence of God question has nothing to do with evolution theory being true or not true question. Either could be true or not true and not effect the other.

    If God should make an appearence in a concrete way at some point then they’d become theists since the evidence changed and something ‘supernatural’ became part of the natural materialist universe.

    For religious fundementalists the evolution thing is the obvious part of science they get fixated with. But the ‘ancient biofuel’ they use to drive to church is not noticed as a challenge to their beliefs of similar magnitude.
    If the earth is 6,000 years old then where did the oil come from? Its not called Fossil Fuel for nothing, its got the biochemical structure of ancient plants and plankton (many long extinct) and is the product of massive heat and pressue over MILLIONS of years (unless of course god mixed it up and left it under the ground for the muslims). If the earth is 6,000 years old then all of that petro-geology is based on a faulty science as well. Along with the chemistry and geophysics that accurately explains (and predicts) how oil and coal are formed and where to go look for more.

  60. firemancarl Says:

    If God should make an appearence in a concrete way at some point

    Ya mean like a big assed neon sign on the moon that says “Hey there kids, i’m God and I love you all! Big hugies all around, love, God”

    Then yeah, i’d believe

  61. S.Scott Says:

    Hey fc, I’m back – been gone all day … I’ll try to do some catching up with Charity work.

    Oh yeah … Expelled
    !! :-)

  62. S.Scott Says:

    Off Topic – OK – some more news … first they steal from Harvard … now they’ve been caught stealing from PBS!
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/04/expelled_draws_more_aggro.php#comments

  63. Larry Fafarman Says:

    I’m always kicking their butts — that’s why they don’t like me.
    — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

  64. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Your censorship of my discussions of co-evolution is strong evidence that the Florida academic freedom bills are badly needed.

    Those who want to see my discussions of co-evolution and comment about them may do so on my blog at —
    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/

    Just click on the post label “Non-ID criticisms of evolution” in the sidebar.

  65. PC-Bash Says:

    Your censorship of my discussions of co-evolution is strong evidence that the Florida academic freedom bills are badly needed.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!!

    Thanks for the laugh, Larry. You haven’t been censored, you’ve been warned to crank somewhere else. Your co-evolution “theory” is nothing more than a piss-poor attempt at irreducible complexity. You have been completely unable to provide any examples to support your “theory”, nor have you been able to successfully argue it. The moderator is merely tired of you cranking over and over again about something that you can’t provide evidence for, and for starting the same arguments over and over and over and over and over again without ever winning them.

    Go crank somewhere else, and take your crackpot “theories” with you.

  66. PC-Bash Says:

    I’m always kicking their butts — that’s why they don’t like me.

    Too bad you have yet to win a single argument here, Larry, or you might actually be able to use that quote. The only butt that has been kicked here is yours. 😉

  67. PC-Bash Says:

    Actually, if your co-evolution “theory” is so damning, the homework assignment you were given ought to be dead simple. In the real world, unlike your megalomaniacal delusions, theories have to be proved before they can be called theories. In the real world, you have to provide irrefutable evidence. In the real world, you have to beat the experts.

    You have failed to do any of these, and your homework assignment (as far as I understand it) is to put your “theory” through the same rigorous testing that evolution had to go through. Until then, you are just a crank. Well, with the other things you tend to spout off about, you’d still be a crank, but let’s not nitpick.

  68. Larry Fafarman Says:

    PC-Trash barfed,
    –“Thanks for the laugh, Larry. You haven’t been censored, you’ve been warned to crank somewhere else.”–

    The laughs on you, you sorry sack of #$#@*~. You are playing word games — a threat of censorship is still censorship. Brandon Haughty did not ask me to make better arguments about co-evolution — he asked me to not make any arguments about co-evolution at all. I am not going to waste my time answering you here if my answer is going to be censored. You are welcome to come to my blog and answer me there.

  69. Larry Fafarman Says:

    BTW, PC-Bash, where is your peer-reviewed research paper showing that co-evolution is just a form of irreducible complexity?

  70. PC-Bash Says:

    Brandon Haughty did not ask me to make better arguments about co-evolution — he asked me to not make any arguments about co-evolution at all.

    Probably because you have been completely incapable of making even a halfway coherent argument about co-evolution.

    I don’t think you realize how irrational you sound, Larry. I really think you should check your meds.

  71. PC-Bash Says:

    You are welcome to come to my blog and answer me there.

    You mean, be called a dunghill, and hear additional ravings? No thanks. You have had plenty of opportunity to argue your point, and you are incapable of holding a rational conversation.

  72. PC-Bash Says:

    I love how you throw around censorship, when you have had more than a fair opportunity to make your points, yet have completely fallen on your face. Then, when the moderator gets tired of you cranking the same thing over and over again, you cry “censorship”.

    Yet… you routinely delete comments from your blog all the time.

  73. Larry Fafarman Says:

    –“Probably because you have been completely incapable of making even a halfway coherent argument about co-evolution. “–

    Logically, Brandon Haughty should love that — it shows the weakness of the opposition.

    “You are welcome to come to my blog and answer me there.”

    You mean, be called a dunghill, and hear additional ravings? “–

    That’s just a cop-out. You won’t debate me because you’re chickenshit.

    Under the Social Darwinism that you love so much, you would be among the first to be euthanized for the purpose of improving the overall intelligence of the human race.

  74. Larry Fafarman Says:

    –“Yet… you routinely delete comments from your blog all the time. “–

    That’s true — I’ve been deleting comments that gossip about my private affairs.

  75. PC-Bash Says:

    That’s just a cop-out. You won’t debate me because you’re chickenshit.

    I have debated you here, and I have shown that (1) you have no evidence for your “theory”, (2) you lack an understanding of co-evolution, (3) you lack an understanding of modern mathematics and engineering. It would be beneath me to debate you on your own site, where your only refutation will be to call me a “dunghill”. I like having intelligent discourse… sadly you have been unable to provide me with any.

  76. PC-Bash Says:

    Under the Social Darwinism that you love so much, you would be among the first to be euthanized for the purpose of improving the overall intelligence of the human race.

    Nice strawman, Larry.

    Actually, my IQ is around 196, which would put me in the breeder camp, not the extermination camp… if your asinine analogy was to hold any water.

  77. firemancarl Says:

    Do we really expect these fundies to answer the question. Heck they can’t even answer the questions posed by two PhD students. Maybe to hard?
    I asked Larry to answer their question and he hasn’t/can’t.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekDNIGQBL_I

    My collaborator and I would like to issue a challenge to the creationists who continue to troll the comment pages on our videos:

    We have posted 4 videos made by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute which cover topics in evolutionary biology. The challenge is really quite simple: construct a fully-cited critical analysis similar to those which we have made. The lectures were given to high school students; so, the excuse that they are “too complex” is not going to work.

    It has been over a month. In that time, only one creationist even bothered to step forward and ask about the challenge. Were the HHMI videos too complicated afterall?

    Meh, I dunno if they can. I’d really like to see Larry or anyother YEC/IDer reply to this challenge