Evolution as Described by the Second Law of Thermodynamics

When debating Creationists I’m sure we all have encountered this frequently used canard: That the second law of thermodynamics does not permit order to rise from disorder,and therefore the evolution of complex living things from simple ancestors. The creationist argument is based only on their interpretation of the relationship between probability and “entropy”.

Advocates of evolution have rebutted the Creationists position using this argument: That the earth as a system, any change that is accompanied by an entropy decrease (and hence going back from higher probability to lower probability) is possible as long as sufficient energy is available. The ultimate source of most of that energy, is of course, the sun. Thermodynamics does not rule out the possibility of intelligent design; it is just simply not a factor with respect to the calculation of thermodynamic probability.

Well here is a new line of argument that you may wish to add to your arsenal of Creationist take downs!  The second law of thermodynamics can be written as an equation of motion to describe evolution, and, in doing so, connect biology with physics. Read Full Article

 

179 Responses to “Evolution as Described by the Second Law of Thermodynamics”

  1. James F Says:

    My favorite “application” of the SLoT:

    One of the most basic laws in the universe is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This states that as time goes by, entropy in an environment will increase. Evolution argues differently against a law that is accepted EVERYWHERE BY EVERYONE. Evolution says that we started out simple, and over time became more complex. That just isn’t possible: UNLESS there is a giant outside source of energy supplying the Earth with huge amounts of energy. If there were such a source, scientists would certainly know about it.

    We better get to work on finding that energy source…. ;-)

  2. Skepticism Says:

    Too bad the sun is just as destructive to life as it is beneficial.

  3. Noodlicious Says:

    If that were the case we even wouldn’t be here to discuss it Skep!

  4. Noodlicious Says:

    *wouldn’t even*

  5. PatrickHenry Says:

    Too bad about the sun. If only the Designer had some intelligence, things might have worked out better here on earth. But we’re stuck with the 2nd law, and therefore evolution can’t happen.

  6. zygosporangia Says:

    Too bad the sun is just as destructive to life as it is beneficial.

    As expected, we get the comment out of left field by our residential creationist.

    I’d love to hear some crackpot theories today, as they would cheer me up. Care to elaborate on this McDonald? I’d love to hear your justification for this.

  7. Skepticism Says:

    It’s not that hard to understand guys. I use UV protectant on my car. I put on sunscreen when at the beach. No one wants to be dropped in the middle of the desert to find their way out before dehydrating and dying. Some people are not here Noodle because of skin cancer and other harmful mutations.

    And regarding the critical aside on Christianity by PH, you all know that before Adam sinned (and as the federal head was representing all mankind) these problems did not occur. It is sin that has ushered in these problems. Actions have consequences. God means business. Chastisements are here because sin is here. However, God is carrying out His plan of reconciliation, restoration, and renewal. Eden will be realized again.

  8. zygosporangia Says:

    I use UV protectant on my car. I put on sunscreen when at the beach.

    Sure, when there’s an enormous fusion reactor within one astronomical unit of the Earth, one must take appropriate precautions. However, this does not make the sun “just as destructive to life as it is beneficial”.

    Without the sun, there would be no life.

    No one wants to be dropped in the middle of the desert to find their way out before dehydrating and dying.

    Most deserts on this planet are teeming with life. Just because you are not adapted to handle life in the desert (being a tropical species) does not mean that the sun is “just as destructive to life as it is beneficial”.

    you all know that before Adam sinned … these problems did not occur.

    Do you mean to tell me that prior to the fall of man, the fundamental nuclear physics behind fusion reaction in stars was significantly different as to not generate any charged particles but the particles necessary for life? (Careful here, I don’t think you understand nuclear physics).

    Also, are you telling me that before the fall of man, all parts of the earth received the same amount of solar radiation? That there were no atmospheric anomalies (e.g. clouds, moisture, or lack of both), no mountains to change precipitation, no oceans, no rivers, no lakes?

  9. zygosporangia Says:

    Also, note that we use UV protection because our bodies are not adapted to dealing with direct sunlight for long periods of time. You don’t see cows or sheep rubbing UV protection on their skin, even though they spend a majority of their day in the sun.

  10. S.Scott Says:

    Hehehe! :-)

  11. PatrickHenry Says:

    zygosporangia Says:

    Do you mean to tell me that prior to the fall of man, the fundamental nuclear physics behind fusion reaction in stars was significantly different …

    That was all taken care of by the water canopy above the firmament. Now please cease your blaspheming, before you cause the sun to erupt.

  12. Skepticism Says:

    Nope, I’m just saying there was no death, sickness, or mutation before sin. In regard to sun/radiation, you know that mutations can result. But mutations destroy information and result in a loss of information. This is not beneficial to life – consider the poodle – it gets the short end of the genetic stick.

    There are very few nonorganic materials that can withstand exposure to the sun without considerable damage over time. What makes you think organic materials don’t suffer the same?

  13. Glazius Says:

    You’re right, Skep. I’m going to go outside and put a black plastic dome on top of the tree sapling growing out in my yard. I’m sure that shielding it from the sun’s radiation will help it grow much faster and more robustly, and not in any way deprive it of its capacity to turn the gas carbon dioxide into a solid form through the use of a complex photon-capture protein with a magnesium core.

  14. Glazius Says:

    Mental note, check textbook _before_ you post. “Complex organic lattice with a magnesium core.” Eesh.

  15. zygosporangia Says:

    Nope, I’m just saying there was no death, sickness, or mutation before sin. In regard to sun/radiation, you know that mutations can result.

    Wait… if the sun is the same as it was prior to the fall of man, then why can solar radiation cause mutation now, but couldn’t then? Please be specific, feel free to draw from your bible for scientific evidence.

    But mutations destroy information and result in a loss of information. This is not beneficial to life – consider the poodle – it gets the short end of the genetic stick.

    Please provide a complete genetic comparison between biblical wolf and dog to back up your claims here.

  16. Karl Says:

    The poodle was made possible because the developers of its breed (us) intentionally gave it the “short end of the stick” by selective breeding, which is essentially a practical application of the principles behind evolution. I don’t think the sun with its evil DNA mutating UV rays had much to do with it.

    You are right to say that the sun does have some detrimental effects on living organisms. That’s why most organisms have evolved a physiological response to overexposure of UV rays (getting tanned from increased melanin production, feeling searing pain when sunburn occurs causing you to seek out shade, etc). Some organisms are not able to cope and simply die, hence why they are restricted low-light environments. However, in the end, the sun is the de facto source of energy for most organisms on this planet, either directly or indirectly. And through evolution, we see the distribution of darker skin pigmentation in populations living in high UV-exposure locations, but since evolution is essentially a random trial and error process, the mechanism to deal with the damaging effects of UV exposure still remains imperfect. (if you ever get a hold of that intelligent designer of yours, please ask him why the hell did he make our source code (DNA) so prone to corruption from our primary energy source. It’s like making a nuclear reactor out of materials that rapidly degrade when exposed to extreme radiation. WTF???)

  17. Ivy Mike Says:

    “And regarding the critical aside on Christianity by PH, you all know that before Adam sinned (and as the federal head was representing all mankind) these problems did not occur. It is sin that has ushered in these problems. Actions have consequences. God means business. Chastisements are here because sin is here. However, God is carrying out His plan of reconciliation, restoration, and renewal. Eden will be realized again.”

    Provide positive evidence for all these claims. NON-BIBLICAL evidence, please. Otherwise, they are completely worthless and can be summarily dismissed.

  18. Skepticism Says:

    Creationists would say that the physics of the universe did not change, however God did remove some of His sustaining power.

    FROM AIG: “It is more likely that God withdrew some of His sustaining power (Col. 1:15–17) at the Fall so that the decay effect of the Second Law was no longer countered.” “But most of the time He doesn’t sustain it in the way that He prevented the Israelites’ shoes and clothes from wearing out during the 40 years in the wilderness (Dt. 29:5). But this special case may have been the rule rather than the exception before the Fall.”

    MORE AIG TO BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY:
    Aha, say some evolutionists, look at the green plant. The earth is open to the sun’s energy, and this energy makes the plant grow and get more and more complicated. So, they say, all it takes is energy pouring in and you can get an increase in order and complexity.

    Misleading
    But a little thought shows how misleading that is.

    If the sun’s energy is all it takes to get growth, why not save on grocery bills and let your children grow by placing them in the sun? The fact is that it takes a highly complicated programmed mechanism inside the plant to harness the energy and get a predetermined outcome. Children do have programmed machinery in them, but not the specific type needed to grow from sunlight, like plants have.

    However, in the imagined evolutionary belief, there were no such machines and programs on the ‘primitive earth’. Every observation we can make confirms the fact that simple things, without programmed machinery, will become simpler — energy only hastens that process.

    EVEN MORE AIG:
    Degeneration of dogs – poodle – http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/OneBlood/chapter2.asp

    Poodle problems:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v25/i4/poodles.asp

    Nice try, btw, but natural selection is not the same thing as evolution. Actually, its the opposite. Natural selection actually reduces information. Evolution requires the increase of information. Sorry, the info is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to natural selection.

  19. Skepticism Says:

    Ivy Mike, you demand non-Biblical evidence because you begin with a rather arbitrary presupposition/starting point that matter is all that exists. Just because matter exists does not preclude the existence of the immaterial. Until you possess all knowledge, it is foolish for you to dismiss the possibility of the existence of the immaterial. Your presupposition that matter is all that exists is unwarranted assumption, and thus serves as a precarious foundation for all of your subsequent conclusions and assertions.

  20. Karl Says:

    Heh, a change in behavior has been detected. What’s with the sudden upsurge in preachiness? What happened to being a just skeptic on evolution? I take it that a secular approach wasn’t working due to lack of material so your strategy had to evolve somehow. Darwin would be proud.

    That laughable blurb about plants and sunlight only shows that in addition to knowing nothing about evolution, you don’t know even know much about basic cell biology and how a self sustaining ecosystem works. I feel rather silly in having to explain just how the sun is necessary for human growth, so to summarize in a ridiculously simple way: Sun->plants grow->plants eaten by animals (cow)->we eat the animals (and plants) to grow. Our growth was made possible through raw materials which were made possible through the sun. I’m sure even you have heard before that if the sun were to go out, plants would die and we would all eventually starve. All that complexity BS is just what it is: BS. Even the watchmaker’s analogy you repeatedly bring up shows just how this complexity can happen through the culmination of small changes and developments.

    The AIG poodle argument is essentially the shaky reaffirmation that “God created the first dogs” from which man’s intervention allowed for the development of the breed. It’s true that natural selection is not solely the force behind evolution, and I did not make this claim. As I have said before, it is just one of the principles behind evolution that was put to practical use. The argument boils down to whether or not God created the first dogs, and from looking at the DNA of dogs and wolves, it can be confirmed that He most certainly did not. Show me an instance where evidence of the most primitive example of a modern dog has been found to be living before wolves existed. The AIG’s “argument” of no new genetic information predictably ignores the fact that mutations CAN introduce new material (i.e. The Scottish fold breed of cats originating from a chance mutation of a dominant gene from a single cat found in 1961.) I don’t know where you get the idea that evolution depends solely on the increase of genetic information. Source plz?

  21. Ivy Mike Says:

    Johnny Mac, I demand non-Biblical evidence because using the Bible to evidence itself is classic circular reasoning.

    I also demand such evidence because, since the Bible is a book of ancient mythology and nothing more, to give its statements any credence ANY objective observer would require independant evidence.

    All the rest of what you wrote is word-salad Bravo Sierra that you guys use on a regular basis whenever evidence is demanded.

    It’s all you guys have, isn’t it…philosophical blather and Biblical preaching.

    Well, those and the gigantic pile of lies and fallacies you will now, no doubt, spout.

  22. zygosporangia Says:

    Wow. If McDonald can swallow that AIG BS, there is no end to his capability to selectively suspend reasoning.

    Essentially, he believes that there is some invisible property called “sustaining power” which his god possesses and can turn on and off at will. When he uses this power, shirts and shoes are no longer bound by friction or wear. I wonder if, during the forty years, any other of the side-effects that this “sustaining power” would have on these clothes were recorded?

    Occam’s razor definitely applies here.

  23. zygosporangia Says:

    For instance, I wonder how many blisters were caused by shoes not wearing in?

    Or, did clothes magically wear to the point where they were comfortable and no more?

    As soon as we allow “magic” to answer questions regarding the natural world, all reason goes out the door.

  24. PatrickHenry Says:

    zygosporangia Says:

    As soon as we allow “magic” to answer questions regarding the natural world, all reason goes out the door.

    Yes! And that’s a good thing, because then you’ll be happy. So send me all your money.

  25. Spirula Says:

    It’s too bad that stupid sun’s UV rays aren’t useful for producing something useful, like say…a vitamin, or that we didn’t evolve some kind of protective pigment in our skin to protect against overexposure.

    Oh, as to the skin cancer thingy, fair skinned, blue-eyed, blonde/red-heads must have “fallen” the farthest. Proof God really hates white people the most. It’s clear as day.

  26. Spirula Says:

    errrrr…”aren’t used to produce…”

  27. Skepticism Says:

    Karl, I think you missed something. Yep, there it is. “The fact is that it takes a highly complicated programmed mechanism inside the plant to harness the energy and get a predetermined outcome.” Sorry, but without the mechanism up and running the sun doesn’t do much good. Btw, I am simply showing how a creationist might respond. How is this not skeptical? I’m just showing that what FCS has to say on the matter isn’t all that it’s made out to be by the party line here. And you know that evolution requires an increase in info. Are you going to say that magically, without info, that the primitive single celled organisms suddenly became human? You know there is info needed. Was it not your beloved Zygo who said, “As soon as we allow “magic” to answer questions regarding the natural world, all reason goes out the door”? You guys will defend evolution at any cost won’t you.

    Ivy Mike, I would say that perhaps presuppositionalists could be charged with circular reasoning, but not classical apologists or common sense realists. However, you certainly are guilty of circular reasoning, because you demand evidence outside the Bible because…….you arbitrarily demand evidence outside the Bible. Nice.

    Spirula – Sorry to disturb your Sun-god worship. I’ll give you some advice. Don’t stare too long, and sun-glasses would be helpful as well.

  28. Wolfhound Says:

    What you guys forget is that Johnny Mac’s god is like your favorite action figure when you were a kid. Remember playing with your friends and one of them would say, “My guy shot your guy so he’s dead!” To which you would reply, “Nuh-uhhh! My guy has a deflector shields so bullets bounce off of him!” To which you and your friend would then ascribe crazier and crazier superpowers to cover every single contingency. There’s Mickey D’s god. He can do ANYthing! Laws of physics a problem? Well, he can CHANGE them! Can’t see him? Well, that’s ’cause he’s invisible!

    The rest of us have moved on. John and his kind still play with action figures and still believe in fairy tales. Shrug.

  29. deadman_932 Says:

    On another thread I asked you what your major was in college, skepticism. It seems to me that you’re just gurgling up things that you know nothing about, so I wanted to know what your degree is in.

    An example from your claims would be this:

    ———————-

    “Skepticism” wrote:

    ” And you know that evolution requires an increase in info. Are you going to say that magically, without info, that the primitive single celled organisms suddenly became human? You know there is info needed. ”

    ——————-

    Define what use of information theory you’re using, John McDonald. Shannon? Kolmogorov? Now show how you’re relating it to RNA/DNA. BE SPECIFIC, don’t just try tossing jargon around that you know nothing about. Then tell me why beneficial mutations like oh, APO Milano, which involve base changes…are not an increase in information in regard to the human gene pool. Don’t just barf up the AiG claims (from “papers” that were never subjected to proper peer-review), John. Show me that you actually know what you’re talking about rather than faking it, as you faked your Biblical exegesis.

    Again, feel free to debate me on the topics at a neutral site, or even one that favors you. Not that I believe you actually CAN. So…what science classes did you actually take, John? What was your major? Did you ever actually make it to any ACCREDITED college? (This would eliminate the Northwest Florida Upstairs College of Apologetics)

    I’ll be waiting to hear your response on that last particular matter.

    Franceschini G, et al. (1980) “A-IMilano apoprotein. Decreased high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels with significant lipoprotein modifications and without clinical atherosclerosis in an Italian family.” J Clin Invest. 66, 892-900

  30. zygosporangia Says:

    However, you certainly are guilty of circular reasoning, because you demand evidence outside the Bible because…….you arbitrarily demand evidence outside the Bible.

    Ah. McDonald has decided to attempt to use logic again. As usual, he falls flat on his face.

    You find it circular to demand evidence outside of a book that makes arbitrary claims, including the claim that it is the “truth”? What makes your book so special? The fact that it’s old? The fact that your ancestors thought it was true? I could also write a book that claims that it is true, but that does not make it true. My book may be popular among people with group-think mentality, who may also think it’s true. That in and of itself does not make it true. People could perform all sorts of mental gymnastics to contort interpretations of my words to ensure that it is true (e.g. something similar to the superpower you ascribe to your god above that magically deflects the harmful effects of UV radiation). However, that does not make my book true either. I could also attempt to spin historical events into my book to make it appear authoritative, to confuse people about the truth, but this does not make my book true. For instance, I could write that my god predicted 9/11, then show that 9/11 did in fact occur. Or, to make things even more brilliant, I could write a bunch of vague prophesies that are guaranteed to occur eventually, then rest assured that one of my future disciples will write a few passages in a future edition to show how my book is most definitely true by performing some mental gymnastics to tie my vague prophesies into a future event. Of course, that does not make my book true either.

    Getting back to circular reasoning, McDonald, here’s an actual example of circular reasoning. Your book claims that it is true. You suppose that the book is true, therefore, by your logic, it is true. This begs the question, how do you know your book is true?

  31. Wolfhound Says:

    Zygo, his god has written the Truth of it in his heart, of course! He doesn’t just feel, it, he KNOWS it, ’cause he’s so special. People like him are so far down the rabbit hole that they’ve forgotten what the sky looks like. Unless they were BORN in that rabbit hole…

  32. zygosporangia Says:

    Indeed. It is classic group-think mentality. If you place people in an environment in which obvious lies are perpetuated as Truth, it is inevitable that most of these people will begin to believe these lies as truth, and will fight tooth and nail to assert that what they have come to believe is true.

    It’s classic psychology, and religious groups such as McDonald’s splinter-sect has been exploiting it for thousands of years. Hell, almost all organized religions exploit it to a point.

  33. Karl Says:

    There we go with the “so complex” BS again. In this case, “complexity” is your brain unwilling to even make an attempt at understanding the basics. Countdown to a “biochemical/mechanical” comment from Skepy in 3, 2, 1… It’s true that we can’t say exactly how the enzyme embedded membranes responsible for photosynthesis reaction developed, but fairly recently, we have demonstrated how a novel “complex” metabolic pathways not unlike photosynthesis can develop as a result of evolution (citrate metabolism in E.Coli) with extensive documentation. I suppose the definitions of “simple” and “complex” are due for some major changes.

    This ties into your argument about evolution not adding information. Mutation both remove and ADD information. In addition to the usual insertion, mutations can increase genetic information through amplification, causing a gene to be duplicated several times to increasing the expression of the protein coded by that particular sequence. These types of mutations have been well documented and replicated experimentally. The degree by which these changes proliferate within a population depends on how they contribute to the organisms survivability. The failed notion that evolution is false because it requires an increase in genetic information can only be valid if mutations did not exist.

  34. Skepticism Says:

    Wolfhound – go for a ride on the bike – you obviously need some fresh air. Just because you want to presuppose the non-existence of the immaterial from the get go doesn’t make your position correct. It is simple wish projection. It’s basically saying “I don’t want the immaterial to exist so I will say it doesn’t.” It seems you haven’t grown up afterall because you are still pretending.

    Deadman – college/degree is irrelevant in these arguments. Where did you go and what degree did you get? Who cares. Appeals to authority are not valid, whether they be the authority of a prestigious college or terminal degree.

    Information Theory – try Werner Gitt – and when I speak of increases of information, I mean not duplication but new instructions which add to the physiology of a creature in a beneficial way. Wingless beatles on a windy island doesn’t count – there was a loss of information which resulted in the loss of the physiological structure of wings.

    Zygo – classical apologists and common sense realists do not argue for the authenticity and genuineness of the Bible in a circular fashion. There are reasons to believe that the Bible is the Word of God. It claims to be the Word of God while also at the same invites one to examine the evidence. Never does the Bible require one to have a “blind faith.” I thought your quote “If you place people in an environment in which obvious lies are perpetuated as Truth, it is inevitable that most of these people will begin to believe these lies as truth, and will fight tooth and nail to assert that what they have come to believe is true” amusing. It reminds me of the teaching of evolution in our culture.

    Karl – duplication of information is not new information, and is an increase only in the amount, not in contents (i.e. new instructions). See comments above.

  35. zygosporangia Says:

    There are reasons to believe that the Bible is the Word of God. It claims to be the Word of God while also at the same invites one to examine the evidence.

    It claiming to be the word of your god is circular, so we can dismiss that right off the bat. Care to provide some of this “evidence”?

  36. zygosporangia Says:

    Also, I’d like to put this whole “duplication of information is not new information” canard to bed.

    Genetic algorithms are a useful branch of computer science loosely based on the concepts of genetic mutation and copying. Those are the only two things available to genetic algorithms: copying and mutation. Yet, a general purpose genetic algorithm can fit data to an equation with surprising accuracy, can adapt quickly to solve problems, and can generate information using only mutation, copying, and fitness (a measure of success, similar to natural selection). Not only is it possible in information theory to generate new information this way, it has been proven through experimentation.

    Google is your friend, try looking up information on genetic algorithms. You might just learn something not in your AIG website.

  37. firemancarl Says:

    Oh look, just in case we needed more proof that the fundies cannot comprehend science. The second law states “for it’s size”. Since the fundies have a hard time grasping that the universe his ginormous, I would expect then to keep harping on the 2nd. Because the universe is bigger now than it was at the beginning, it does not violate the 2nd.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/thermo.html

    Yeah,since the creofundies so often don’t have actual scientific data er I take that back. They do. It just dates from 1890.

  38. Ivorygirl Says:

    Skept: “There are reasons to believe that the Bible is the Word of God. It claims to be the Word of God while also at the same invites one to examine the evidence.”

    There are reason to believe that the KORAN is the word of god. It claims to be the Word of Allah (the one and only god) while also at the same invites one to examine the evidence.”
    So now go and persuade 1.8 billion Muslims they are wrong!!!

  39. PatrickHenry Says:

    Fools! The Iliad is a true account of the immortal gods. Homer was inspired by the muse. We know this because the Iliad says so!

    There is abundant evidence: The city of Troy existed. Greeks existed. Weapons and armor like that described has been found. Only the demented would deny the truth of the Iliad!

  40. Skepticism Says:

    Sorry Ivorygirl, but although the KORAN makes such a claim, it can’t deliver on it. It has internal contradictions, no predictive prophecy, and the biggest problem of all – it was written in a cave without the possibility of attestation. It really is no different than Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon. There is no external attestation. However, there is external attestation for the Bible: predictive prophecy, internal harmony and consistency, public and undeniable miracles, and its ability to make sense of reality.

  41. Karl Says:

    I don’t know which Koran you’ve been reading, but the Koran does have its share of prophecies, miracles, and contradictions not unlike the bible. It is also subjected to the same types of conflicts over interpretation throughout the centuries. Also, it was most likely written in the middle of some desert not like the bible, which was most definitely translated from material written and rediscovered in actual caves (dead sea scrolls lol). But then again, to a willfully ignorant person such as yourself, it’s easier to dismiss all conflicting ideas as mere “cave stories” instead of actually learning about them and developing your own opinions using those critical thinking skills you gave up years ago.

  42. zygosporangia Says:

    Sorry Ivorygirl, but although the KORAN makes such a claim, it can’t deliver on it. It has internal contradictions, no predictive prophecy, and the biggest problem of all – it was written in a cave without the possibility of attestation.

    Dude. Pot. Kettle. Black…

  43. zygosporangia Says:

    However, there is external attestation for the Bible: predictive prophecy, internal harmony and consistency, public and undeniable miracles, and its ability to make sense of reality.

    If I make vague and easily fulfilled prophesies in a work of fiction, does that make my work of fiction true? No.

    The so-called internal harmony and consistency claim is laughable at best.

    Please provide evidence for these so-called “public and undeniable” miracles. Coerced witness accounts written after the witnesses deaths do not count, sadly.

    As for its ability to make sense of reality, would you care to elaborate? I’m especially interested in your previous claim about your god’s superpower to block the harmful effects of solar radiation and how you can go about showing this empirically.

  44. deadman_932 Says:

    I’m amused.

    In a single responce to me , after I asked for Skepticism’s background and what HE knows about information theory as applied to RNA/DNA …

    John McDonald, AKA “Skepticism” shows that he doesn’t know

    (1) what a fallacious use of “Appeal to authority” is and then …

    (2) he uses precisely that fallacious appeal to authority — after saying it’s invalid.

    All I asked for was your background in the subject of information theory, what your education was. This is not me making an argument, genius.

    Your reply was this:

    “Skepticism” wrote Deadman – college/degree is irrelevant in these arguments. Where did you go and what degree did you get? Who cares. Appeals to authority are not valid, whether they be the authority of a prestigious college or terminal degree.

    Information Theory – try Werner Gitt – and when I speak of increases of information, I mean not duplication but new instructions which add to the physiology of a creature in a beneficial way. Wingless beatles on a windy island doesn’t count – there was a loss of information which resulted in the loss of the physiological structure of wings.

    You’ll also notice how “Skepticism” MOVED THE GOALPOSTS in his last paragraph there.

    You’ll notice that “Skepticism’s ” claim that evolution doesn’t increase information” (which is a straightforward statement that can be EASILY shown to be false, since info increase IS part of evolution) …well, that SUDDENLY BECOMES ” NEW INSTRUCTIONS” (totally undefined) “which add to the physiology of the creature in a beneficial way”

    Yet I gave you APO AI MILANO, John McDonald…a mutation that includes NEW instructions (they’re NOT the same!!) that improves the human ability to clear cholesterol from the body and thereby prevent heart attacks….

    PREDICTION: John MCDONALD WILL CHANGE THE GOALPOSTS AGAIN, IF HE RESPONDS AT ALL TO MY POST HERE.

    See, “Skepticism, ” After I asked you to SHOW that YOU have Knowledge about what brand of Information Theory to apply to RNA/DNA, especially in regard to APO AI Milano, you then simply point to Werner Gitt…as an argument that …what? He’s “right?” And that makes YOU “right?” …see, THAT is an appeal to authority, dimbulb. Your use of moving the goal posts is another fallacy.

    Your lack of knowing about either information theory OR AI Milano shows you simply are barfing up material you LITERALLY DON’T KNOW ABOUT AT ALL, which is WHY I am justified in ASKING your background in order to make responses at YOUR LEVEL, which is now seemingly … pure ignorance

    Werner Gitt’s claims don’t hold any authority with ME, unless YOU show HOW they are valid, with supporting data. In the meantime, you should also be able to show that you even KNOW anything at all about information theory, as I requested.

    So far, all that you’ve shown me is a complete inability to actually discuss the topic. YOU simply used an argument from authority by pointing to Gitt.

    Gitt claims he’s using Shannon-Weaver. He’s not. He’s not using Kolmogorov. I’d like YOU to show me that Gitt is right, and why he is right, using supporting independent data.

    So far, all you DO have is your fallacious appeal to authority, your goalpost shifting and your clear lack of comprehension of either info theory or genetics/biology in regard to info theory.

  45. deadman_932 Says:

    Here, I’ll even restate my points in small words so you can understand what I’m saying, John McDonald (“Skepticism”)

    (1) You –YOU made a claim that evolution can’t “add information”

    (2) When I ask you what your background is, this is NOT an “appeal to authority.” since I wasn’t making any counter argument at that time. I was asking a simple question to see IF you knew about information theory and if so, how.

    (3) When you then point to Werner Gitt as though “that settles it.” you are then using a true appeal to authority, especially when YOU don’t know anything about info theory, as shown in your statements and claims.

    (4) Part of how I know you DON’T know anything about what you’re trying to promote is your use of fallacies.

    (5) Another part of how I *KNOW* that you personally don’t KNOW anything about info theory in regard to RNA/DNA is your claim that information increase means “not duplication but new instructions which add to the physiology of a creature in a beneficial way. ” right after I pointed to AI Milano.

    I could point to literally hundreds of known examples of beneficial changes in “instructions” which by DEFINITION are “new” since they are not the SAME.

    The point is quite clear at this juncture that you just don’t have a clue and you’re merely parroting what you read without any understanding at all, or any ability to show you CAN understand.

    Literally, you’re like a little ventriloquist dummy, in every sense of the term.

  46. Wolfhound Says:

    John, you have a serious projection problem, dude. I would like very much for fantasy creatures like fairies, unicorns, pegasi, God/gods, etc. to be real but, as there is no evidence for them, I can (as does anybody without reality perception problems) as the mythology that they are. I honestly cannot comprehend how somebody who believes in make-believe imaginary friends and fantastically impossible stories can say that a REAL skeptic, who only believes in what can be emperically proven, hasn’t “grown up”. *I* am the one with a maturity deficit because I don’t believe in fairy stories? I can safely say that the “immaterial” doesn’t exist because there is no empirical evidence for it. You really are a deluded, credulous moron with some serious cognitive dissonance. Stop clapping your hands, John; Tinkerbell ain’t real.

  47. Wolfhound Says:

    Sorry, had to run errands in betwen completing my post so left out “dismiss them ” in between the closing parathesis and “as”.

  48. Noodlicious Says:

    Skep said:
    “and when I speak of increases of information, I mean not duplication but new instructions which add to the physiology of a creature in a beneficial way.”

    Anyone want to mention/explain the divergence of gene paralogs to Skep?
    I’ll start…
    Duplicated genes constitute gene families and such genes encode variants of structurally related proteins thus enabling divergent functions. That is, they have diverged to encode “new instructions” Skep! By the way what is YOUR definition of “new instructions”?

    Gene families include the globin family, myoglobin and hemoglobin plus the hemoglobin paralogs, hemoglobin A, hemoglobin A2, hemoglobin S, and hemoglobin F
    A well characterized example of diverged function between the hemoglobin paralogs is that of hemoglobin F, (fetal hemoglobin) in its coding of a globin protein which has higher affinity to oxygen than does adult hemoglobin. Would this property be an advantage to a fetus Skep?

    Then there are the divergent functions of the red, green, and blue opsin genes, which enable colour vision. Each one encoding its own “information”.

    Wonder if color vision might be beneficial in any way?

    Oh and I must mention the Sonic HedgeHog (shh) family… the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) family….and the HOX genes…..the list goes on…

    Just a bit of basic info on molecular evolution.
    http://biology.kenyon.edu/courses/biol114/Chap09/Chap09A.html

  49. Wolfhound Says:

    Holy crap. PARENTHESIS. Time for a beer…

  50. Noodlicious Says:

    Skep said:
    “and when I speak of increases of information, I mean not duplication but new instructions which add to the physiology of a creature in a beneficial way.”

    Anyone want to mention/explain the divergence of gene paralogs to Skep?
    I’ll start…

    Duplicated genes constitute gene families and such genes encode variants of structurally related proteins thus enabling divergent functions. That is, they have diverged to encode “new instructions” Skep! By the way what is YOUR definition of “new instructions”?

    Gene families include the globin family, myoglobin and hemoglobin plus the hemoglobin paralogs, hemoglobin A, hemoglobin A2, hemoglobin S, and hemoglobin F
    A well characterized example of diverged function between the hemoglobin paralogs is that of hemoglobin F, (fetal hemoglobin) in its coding of a globin protein which has higher affinity to oxygen than does adult hemoglobin. Would this property be an advantage to a fetus Skep?

    Then there are the divergent functions of the red, green, and blue opsin genes, which enable colour vision. Each one encoding its own “information”.

    Wonder if color vision might be beneficial in any way?

    Oh and I must mention the Sonic HedgeHog (shh) family… the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) family….and the HOX genes…..the list goes on…

    Just a bit of basic info on molecular evolution.

    http://biology.kenyon.edu/courses/biol114/Chap09/Chap09A.html

  51. Noodlicious Says:

    My post seems to have been swallowed up…spam filter maybe? Test

  52. Noodlicious Says:

    OK might have been the kink….retry..

    Skep said:
    “and when I speak of increases of information, I mean not duplication but new instructions which add to the physiology of a creature in a beneficial way.”

    Anyone want to mention/explain the divergence of gene paralogs to Skep?
    I’ll start…
    Duplicated genes constitute gene families and such genes encode variants of structurally related proteins thus enabling divergent functions. That is, they have diverged to encode “new instructions” Skep! By the way what is YOUR definition of “new instructions”?

    Gene families include the globin family, myoglobin and hemoglobin plus the hemoglobin paralogs, hemoglobin A, hemoglobin A2, hemoglobin S, and hemoglobin F
    A well characterized example of diverged function between the hemoglobin paralogs is that of hemoglobin F, (fetal hemoglobin) in its coding of a globin protein which has higher affinity to oxygen than does adult hemoglobin. Would this property be an advantage to a fetus Skep?

    Then there are the divergent functions of the red, green, and blue opsin genes, which enable colour vision. Each one encoding its own “information”.

    Oh and I must mention the Sonic HedgeHog (shh) family… the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) family….and the HOX genes…..…the list goes on…

    Bit of basic info on molecular evolution.

    http://biology.kenyon.edu/courses/biol114/Chap09/Chap09A.html

  53. Noodlicious Says:

    Skep said:
    “and when I speak of increases of information, I mean not duplication but new instructions which add to the physiology of a creature in a beneficial way.”

    Anyone want to mention/explain the divergence of gene paralogs to Skep?
    I’ll start…
    Duplicated genes constitute gene families and such genes encode variants of structurally related proteins thus enabling divergent functions. That is, they have diverged to encode “new instructions” Skep! By the way what is YOUR definition of “new instructions”?

    Gene families include the globin family, myoglobin and hemoglobin plus the hemoglobin paralogs, hemoglobin A, hemoglobin A2, hemoglobin S, and hemoglobin F
    A well characterized example of diverged function between the hemoglobin paralogs is that of hemoglobin F, (fetal hemoglobin) in its coding of a globin protein which has higher affinity to oxygen than does adult hemoglobin. Would this property be an advantage to a fetus Skep?

    Then there are the divergent functions of the red, green, and blue opsin genes, which enable colour vision. Each one encoding its own “information”.

    Oh and I must mention the Sonic HedgeHog (shh) family… the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) family….and the HOX genes…..…the list goes on…

    Nice bit of basic info on molecular evolution.

    biology.kenyon.edu/courses/biol114/Chap09/Chap09A.html

    p.s. Add http to link

  54. Noodlicious Says:

    From the page I linked..

    “Cone cell receptors — red, green, and blue opsin — have nearly identical structure. They differ only at a few key amino acid residues.

    The color receptor opsins all arose by gene duplication and subsequent divergent evolution into paralogs of different function. Because the green opsin gene has a duplicate copy tandem to the red opsin gene, on the X chromosome, mistaken crossover can occur between these two genes. The result is failure to distinguish red from green; or in rare cases, perception of an anomalous color. In extremely rare cases, a female carrier of such a gene has been reported to “see” a fourth color.”

    I just can’t imagine how color vision would benefit survival and reproduction of hunter/gatherers!

  55. Noodlicious Says:

    I have a few of these ,,,, leftover from my posts. Use them at your will :)

  56. Noodlicious Says:

    Bugger! Now all those missing posts have shown up!
    Erm….sorry for spamming :p

  57. PatrickHenry Says:

    The spam filter for this site seems to be very sensitive. Anything with a few links gets trapped.

  58. Glazius Says:

    Skep, information is increasing naturally all the time. It’s generated by a natural process called “time”.

    See, all “information” really means is the negative log of probability. Usually base 2, so you get bits of information. So, information increases as probability decreases. And tomorrow can never be more likely than today, because tomorrow requires that today has already happened. It’s a conditional, and therefore multiplicative, probability, and there’s no way to get a probability more than 1.

    So as time flows on, the things that happen become more and more unlikely, and therefore contain more and more information. Not hard.

  59. Skepticism Says:

    Wolfhound – if you are so mature, why are you whining like a 5 year old? And a beer? Sounds like a coping mechanism. Yep, just need to escape reality for a little while….now what was that you were saying? Oh yeah, you’re all grown up and mature now and handle life so wonderfully…

    Others: Your definition of “new information” is inadequate. Not only that, your position is contradictory. You say evolution doesn’t need new info, then you say that new info is produced in evolution. Pathetic, lamentable, and a waste of time.

  60. zygosporangia Says:

    Others: Your definition of “new information” is inadequate. Not only that, your position is contradictory. You say evolution doesn’t need new info, then you say that new info is produced in evolution. Pathetic, lamentable, and a waste of time.

    McDonald: your position is ignorant, pigheaded, and completely without merit.

    If you bothered to read a single book besides your book of mythology, you might actually be able to debate here instead of merely parroting points that you read on AIG. Unfortunately, your arguments are tired and repeated over and over again. As quickly as you pull the next talking point from AIG, it is utterly torn to bits here. It makes me wonder why you even bother? Have you no one else to witness to?

  61. deadman_932 Says:

    John McDonald directly and deliberately avoided my posts and my previous requests that he define what “version” of information theory he is using.

    (his pointing to Werner Gitt is irrelevant, since Gitt isn’t using Shannon or Kolmolgorov, and I doubt John McDonald could tell the difference anyway — even if it were put into pictures he could color with his usual crayons.)

    His only response is a general statement:

    “Skepticism” Wrote:

    Others: Your definition of “new information” is inadequate. Not only that, your position is contradictory. You say evolution doesn’t need new info, then you say that new info is produced in evolution. Pathetic, lamentable, and a waste of time.

    Pay very close attention to “Skepticsim’s” claim that “OTHERS” have stated here that “evolution doesn’t need new info”

    This HAS to be what he means, since he is addressing “others” here on the thread and saying “You say evolution doesn’t need new info ”

    I invite any honest reader to look back in this thread and find any such instance. There is none that I see.

    This can then only mean that John McDonald (“Skepticism”) is doing the very same thing that he’s gotten caught at before — he’s simply making things up…lying.

    Yes, this FABULOUS pseudo-Christian — John McDonald (“Skepticism”) — has been caught before, lying just like that, on this site :

    http://www.flascience.org/wp/?p=670#comment-90628
    http://www.flascience.org/wp/?p=670#comment-90632

    Doesn’t the Bible say something about lying being bad, John McDonald? So why do you keep doing it?

  62. Skepticism Says:

    Well here’s a start. Karl said:

    “I don’t know where you get the idea that evolution depends solely on the increase of genetic information.”

    So does evolution require new information or not? You guys need to take a position.

    Deadman, I find it interesting that you are fond of calling people liars when you have no justification for ethics from an evolutionary standpoint. Why is it that a lie is BAD? Perhaps telling a lie increases the probability of survival. In evolutionary terms, that is a valuable thing. If you can’t justify the assertion that to lie is BAD, then I suggest you avoid making ethical statements altogether.

  63. Skepticism Says:

    Deadman – AIG on A-I Milano:

    What has happened? One amino acid has been replaced with a cysteine residue in a protein that normally assembles high density lipoproteins (HDLs), which are involved in removing ‘bad’ cholesterol from arteries. The mutant form of the protein is less effective at what it is supposed to do, but it does act as an antioxidant, which seems to prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries). In fact, because of the added -SH on the cysteine, 70% of the proteins manufactured bind together in pairs (called dimers), restricting their usefulness. The 30% remaining do the job as an antioxidant. Because the protein is cleverly designed to target ‘hot spots’ in arteries and this targeting is preserved in the mutant form, the antioxidant activity is delivered to the same sites as the cholesterol-transporting HDLs. In other words, specificity of the antioxidant activity (for lipids) does not lie with the mutation itself, but with the protein structure, which already existed, in which the mutation occurred. The specificity already existed in the wild-type A-I protein before the mutation occurred.

    Now in gaining an anti-oxidant activity, the protein has lost a lot of activity for making HDLs. So the mutant protein has sacrificed specificity. Since antioxidant activity is not a very specific activity (a great variety of simple chemicals will act as antioxidants), it would seem that the result of this mutation has been a net loss of specificity, or, in other words, information. This is exactly as we would expect with a random change.

    Note that quantifying the amount of information is not as easy as just counting the number of functions or even the number of base pairs (‘letters’) in a gene. This is simplistic reasoning. It is firstly, but not only, a question of specificity. For example, if I said, ‘Fix the Porsche,’ this conveys more information than ‘Fix the automobile,’ although the latter has more letters. If I said, ‘Fix the car and the truck,’ we now have two ‘functions’ in this sentence, but does it contain more information than ‘Fix the Porsche’? We are now comparing a command with two ‘functions,’ but both of low specificity, with a command with one function and high specificity. In this case deciding which has the most information is not simple. This illustrates the importance of context and purpose (teleology). For example, if there were only one car to fix, a Porsche, ‘Fix the automobile’ would carry as much information as ‘Fix the Porsche.’ But if there were dozens of possible cars or trucks to fix, ‘Fix the Porsche’ would contain much more useful information than ‘Fix the car and truck.’ Dr Werner Gitt explores these issues in detail in his incisive In the Beginning Was Information.

    For more information on defining information mathematically, see How is information content measured? (somewhat technical). However, mathematical definitions of information only work in certain contexts (e.g. substrate specificity of enzymes).

    It would also be useful to study the article Is antibiotic resistance really due to increase in information? and the explanations about information content accompanied by Dr Lee Spetner’s graphs of the activity of the enzyme ribitol dehydrogenase. The Milano mutation seems to parallel the mutant enzyme, with a lower peak and broader spectrum, i.e. towards lower specificity hence lower information.

    Of course it remains to be seen if this mutation is completely beneficial. The fact that the persons with it are unable to produce normal levels of HDLs, which are known to perform a valuable role in moving ‘bad’ cholesterol, suggests that there could be a health down side to this mutation (as there is with sickle-cell anemia).

    Apparently this mutation has only been seen in heterozygotes. That is, all those who have the mutation have a normal gene pairing the mutant gene. The homozygous state (both genes the same) could be lethal. This would then parallel sickle-cell anemia, which evolutionists often put up as an example of evolution in action. Here the heterozygote has an advantage, but the homozygote is lethal. This cannot be an example of upward evolutionary progression since the mutant form can never take over the population; it will always be limited to a small percentage of individuals in the population.

    However, with the A-I Milano mutation, there are not yet many people with the mutation, so the chances of two people with the mutation marrying and having children so that a homozygote could be produced (1 in 4 of the children) would be very low—it probably has not happened yet. The ‘jury remains out’ on whether a homozygote would be viable.*

  64. Karl Says:

    okay, I’ll play your game: Yes it requires an increase in genetic information, but is not limited to it since genetic information can also be lost. Using the the term “requires” does kind of make the implication that only an increase in genetic information can truly be considered evolution, but that is simply not the case, which is why few people would phrase it so innocuously. I suppose it can be said that evolution requires it to the extent that both the increase and decrease of genetic information are “required” by evolution. Now I know what you intend to do with this little snippet by pointing out (cribbing from AIG) how from your limited perspective, mutations don’t add information, therefore evolution is false. This has been found to blatantly untrue in numerous documented studies. I don’t know if your theologically warped mind is somehow rendering the following sentence invisible or something, but mutations can both add and remove genetic information. Now, from this, we ask you: What constitutes added genetic information? A single inserted nucleotide? A complete gene? A whole freakin’ chromosome? Would you kindly throw out a definition so we can shoot down your argument already?

  65. deadman_932 Says:

    Thanks for not even bothering to apologize for your lie, “Skepticism” aka pretend Christian preacher John McDonald of Florida.

    Karl saying what he did in NO WAY supports YOUR lie that people had flat out said “EVOLUTION DOESN’T NEED NEW INFO”

    The great part about this is that he’s said TWICE that mutations add information, even in the very sentence right before the one you quote-mined.

    Don’t you have ANY ethics at all? Oh, and don’t bother trying to pretend that it’s okay for you to lie just because YOU say that it’s okay “evilutionists” to lie by THEIR standards. Beyond THAT being just another lie piled on a lie, it’s laughable that you would use that for an excuse.

    I don’t accept lying from YOU because it’s not okay, period. It’s not okay for ME to lie about relevant matters either, and I’ll bet the first thing you’ll try to do is some character assassination with that, claiming that people who accept evolution CAN’T have ethics or morals simply because *you* say so.

    But the fact is that *I* didn’t lie and KARL DIDN’T LIE…the only one that got caught lying was YOU, John McDonald, and you try to excuse it ? And YOU claim to be some sort of holier-than-thou Christian!!

    Preaching to people in this very thread as you LIE?!?!

    —————-

    Regarding Ai Milano, I asked you a few times to say what measure of information you are using. Instead you simply copy-paste some AiG piece on a subject you clearly know nothing about.

    Can you please point out in that article where it says that there is no information increase? Quantify how it is NOT adding information, John McDonald, be a man for once — this time one that doesn’t lie.

    By the definitional goal-post shift YOU made, John McDonald, this mutation is a beneficial INCREASE in information because it simply was never in the human gene pool before the mutation.

    Remember YOUR definition, John McDonald: “new instructions which add to the physiology of a creature in a beneficial way. “

    So by YOUR DEFINITION THAT YOU POSTED ABOVE JOHN MCDONALD, Ai Milano saitisfies the bill.

    Period. Don’t try and shift definitions again, now, Lyin’ John.

    TO HONEST CHRISTIAN READERS

    Humans get heart disease from clogged arteries (artherosclerosis)

    AI Milano is a point mutation variant of a particular protein that helps clear lipids (fats) from the human body. AI Milano is more efficient than any other known Apolipoprotein in removing cholesterol in greater quantities.
    UCLA medical center in particular is studying this mutation for use in drugs, as are major pharmaceutical companies, so that it can be harnessed to save lives

    “Skepticism’s” claim that it is somehow NOT adding information is fraudulent on every level.

    I want to point out to readers that the sheer ignorance displayed by anti-science religious fanatics — fanatics who would rather lie and see people DIE of heart disease than deal with the realities of just how useful and beneficial evolutionary-based science is.

    Truth cannot contradict truth, and the truth is that this little mutation has been shown in clinical trials to do exactly what it is supposed to do — it removes fats that cause heart disease.

    Fanatics like John McDonald ( who won’t even apologize or express repentance for his lies) are willing to return mankind back to the science of the Middle Ages …just because they want power.

    In order to try to grab power, they have to use propaganda. Part of their propaganda is to spread lies such as John has already been caught at.

  66. Wolfhound Says:

    “Wolfhound – if you are so mature, why are you whining like a 5 year old? And a beer? Sounds like a coping mechanism. Yep, just need to escape reality for a little while….now what was that you were saying? Oh yeah, you’re all grown up and mature now and handle life so wonderfully…”

    LOL@ Johnny! I forgot that an awful lot of fundies think that alchol is evil. You had all of the other characteristics so my bad for not seeing this one coming. Probably no dancing allowed in your cult, either. ;) Gosh, you’ve never had an alcoholic beverage and, since you aren’t married, you’ve never gotten laid, either. No wonder you’re such a pent-up, angry little mouth breather!

    And I wasn’t whining; I was bitchslapping you. Get it right. Then answer why you think belief in fairy stories and mythological creatures is a more mature and realistic stance that disbelief. Most people I know grew out of Santa Claus by the time their were eight years old, the Easter Bunny by seven.

  67. zygosporangia Says:

    I find it funny that Skepticism, who pretends to be an expert by copying talking points from AIG, has no response to my comment about genetic algorithms. Perhaps he knows that if he responds at all that I would wipe the floor with him?

  68. zygosporangia Says:

    Oh yeah, feel free to bring up the talking points from Dembski as well on the subject. If he’s the ace in your hole, you’re guaranteed to lose.

  69. Skepticism Says:

    Deadman – good one since you no doubt lie just to save Karl face. But Karl said what he said. And yes, then he talks about added info. Like I said before, you guys need to take a position and answer my question above which you have avoided – does evolution require new information or not?

    As to the section of the AIG article which states that there was a loss of information in this mutation, I guess you completely overlooked that. Here it is again:

    “Since antioxidant activity is not a very specific activity (a great variety of simple chemicals will act as antioxidants), it would seem that the result of this mutation has been a net loss of specificity, or, in other words, information. This is exactly as we would expect with a random changeSince antioxidant activity is not a very specific activity (a great variety of simple chemicals will act as antioxidants), it would seem that the result of this mutation has been a net loss of specificity, or, in other words, information. This is exactly as we would expect with a random change”

    Now stop defending Karl and both of you guys give me a straight answer to the question.

    Zygo – probability is not reality. But good try, though. And you do like to wipe those floors. Btw, I need you to clean my garage Saturday.

    Wolfhound – on the contrary, actually alcohol is not considered sinful. It is how one uses it or abuses it which makes it sinful. No physical or material object is sinful in and of itself. I do not think drinking beer in moderation is a sin. Yet if one drinks to the point of intoxication then one has committed sin. I’m going to give you two passages to look up and see for yourself – Psalm 104:15, cf. Eph. 5:18. And who said I wasn’t married? Could that be wish projection on your part again?

    You assume that the Bible is just another fairy tale book/mythology. I would like to know, have you ever seriously considered the evidences for its authenticity? Or have you just outright dismissed it because of your previous commitment to materialism?

  70. zygosporangia Says:

    Zygo – probability is not reality. But good try, though.

    That’s a poor dodge, McDonald. Once again, you attempt to use information theory to claim that it is impossible for mutation to create new information. When I respond to your half-baked math and computer science with real math and computer science, you attempt to dismiss this.

    Either concede the point or make a rebuttal. If you dodge again, then I can only assume that you are conceding that it is possible for mutation and natural selection to yield new information.

  71. zygosporangia Says:

    I would like to know, have you ever seriously considered the evidences for its authenticity?

    I have asked you repeatedly on this blog to provide me with empirical evidence as to your mythological book’s authenticity, and you continue to dodge the question. Will you attempt to be intellectually honest even once?

  72. Wolfhound Says:

    “Wolfhound – on the contrary, actually alcohol is not considered sinful. It is how one uses it or abuses it which makes it sinful. No physical or material object is sinful in and of itself. I do not think drinking beer in moderation is a sin. Yet if one drinks to the point of intoxication then one has committed sin. I’m going to give you two passages to look up and see for yourself – Psalm 104:15, cf. Eph. 5:18.”

    Ah! So booze is okay, then. Good. Now, then, do not assume that I drink to excess because I don’t. I don’t like the flavor of alcohol and beer is particularly noxious. My lack of drinking makes me a lightweight so a beer usually loosens my muscles up nicely. Had a hard workout at the gym last night. The beer was good. :) BTW, I have never done any illegal drugs whatsoever. As I tell people, if I did drugs I would be SO WEIRD! :)

    “And who said I wasn’t married? Could that be wish projection on your part again?”

    Hahahahaha! Um, no. To me the sexiest part of a man is his brain. You are a 98 pound weakling. And I’m being optimistic here.

    “You assume that the Bible is just another fairy tale book/mythology. I would like to know, have you ever seriously considered the evidences for its authenticity? Or have you just outright dismissed it because of your previous commitment to materialism?”

    I can’t “seriously” consider the evidences because there aren’t any that are convincing. Sorry, but I went to church and Sunday school like a good little girl when I was younger. Dad is Jewish, mom is Southern Baptist, grew up in a Mormon-dominated community so was exposed to a lot of different faiths. Being able to view it objectively, it’s all silliness and wishful thinking.

    Tell me, have you ever seriously considered the myriad evidences AGAINST the Bible’s authenticity? Or have you just outright dismissed them because of your previous commitment to religious dogma?

  73. firemancarl Says:

    Skep says

    however God did remove some of His sustaining power.

    Then your god is sorry excuse for a god. I’m 36 and I still have the sustaining power I had when I was 17.

  74. firemancarl Says:

    The only way to deal with these fundies is to zing ‘em. They are not open to logic or anything that would cause them to reevaluate their beliefs.

  75. zygosporangia Says:

    Then your god is sorry excuse for a god. I’m 36 and I still have the sustaining power I had when I was 17.

    Ziiing.

    Also, we should note that Mary considered herself still a virgin after fooling around with his god, so maybe his god has not only lost his staying power, but is also a bit less than omnipotent in the sack. ;-)

  76. Karl Says:

    So skepy, in the interest of aggravating your insanity, might I ask just how my answer did not clearly state my position or was an outright lie?

    Or hell, for sh*ts and giggles, you can just imagine that we HAVE taken a position on the subject with all of your mistaken implications and start arguing with yourself.

  77. deadman_932 Says:


    Way back in this thread
    , I predicted that John McDonald (“Skepticism”), lay preacher and proven liar, would change his definitions as the discussion continued. He’s done that twice, so far.

    (1) Skepticism ‘Information’ Claim Version I :
    “Evolution adds no new information”

    (2) Skepticism ‘Information’ Claim Version II:
    ” [Information is] new instructions which add to the physiology of a creature in a beneficial way.”

    Now we have

    (3) Skepticism ‘Information’ Claim Version III: “Information is ‘specificity’ (AiG says) “it would seem that the result of this mutation has been a net loss of specificity, or, in other words, information”

    Yep, that’s two changes in his definition of “information.” Now anyone can see why he refused to define his terms — besides him being so ignorant of the subject that he can’t even discuss it himself, he can only point to some claims from “Answers in Genesis”

    ———————-

    So, what about those claims from “Answers in Genesis?”

    Are they true? Is it true that APO AI-Milano has “lost information” by THEIR definition? Is Answers in Genesis even using any definition that is accepted in Information Theory?

    Well, no, it’s false. And no, AiG isn’t using any accepted definition at all. They made it up so that it could be “loose” enough to mean whatever they wanted it to mean…just like John McDonald’s shifting, changing — one might say “mutating” — “definitions.”

    See:


    “Apolipoprotein AI Mutations and Information : A reply to Answers in Genesis regarding the Apo AI Milano mutation”
    by Ian Musgrave, Dr. Steven Pirie-Shepherd, and Douglas Theobald

    In the case of Apo-AIM, AiG claims that the mutant apolipoprotein has lost specificity as it has lost (or restricted) the ability to form HDL particles, and the antioxidant ability of Apo-AIM is “non-specific”. In fact Apo-AIM has not lost the ability to form HDL particles, and that these HDL particles that are formed bind to specific acceptor sites and are more effective at promoting cholesterol efflux than normal HDL particles. We have also seen that the Apo-AIM antioxidant ability is both sequence and substrate specific. Thus Apo-AIM has not lost “information” by AiG’s own measures. If anything it has gained Spetner “information”.

    See Also:


    New Scientist‘s guide to some of the most common myths and misconceptions about evolution.

    Especially scroll down to the section titled : “Creationist myths: and look at
    “Mutations can only destroy information, not create it”

    ——————————

    HERE”S A FUN PART, PAY ATTENTION, HONEST CHRISTIANS!!

    “Skepticism” cited an “article” from Answers in Genesis. The “article was written by “Dr.” Don Batten.

    Who is “Dr.” Don Batten? well, the Answers in Genesis biography page CLAIMS that “Dr.” Don Batten is a “plant physiologist, tropical fruit expert.”

    Great. So where did Don Batten get his “Doctorate” from? Answer: he doesn’t have any legitimate Doctorate at all. Period. Scroll down the following weblink entitled “A Matter of Degree” to Don Patton’s Alleged Credentials

    Not ONLY did Don Batten write an entirely fake article (see the TalkOrigins reply above) but “Dr.” Don Batten is a fake himself.

    A Fake article written by a fake “Doctor” cited by “skepticism” who is also fraudulently making shifting claims while he lies. The trifecta of Creationist lies!

    Any decent honest Christian should move as far away from such fraud as fast as they can.
    ———

    Then there’s “Skepticism’s” ( Johnny Mac or John McDonald) repeated lies here.

    Karl said in this thread that

    Karl wrote:

    “The AIG’s “argument” of no new genetic information predictably ignores the fact that mutations CAN introduce new material (i.e. The Scottish fold breed of cats originating from a chance mutation of a dominant gene from a single cat found in 1961.) I don’t know where you get the idea that evolution depends solely on the increase of genetic information. Source plz?”

    and

    Karl Wrote:

    Mutation both remove and ADD information. In addition to the usual insertion, mutations can increase genetic information”

    But “Johnny Mac” AKA John McDonald, AKA “skepticism” claims that this *really* means that Karl is saying that “Evolution adds no new information”

    This is literally, nuts. As I linked to previously, “Skepticism” is a demonstrated liar and appears to …enjoy lying.

    He apparently can’t help himself. All decent, honest Christians need to take a good long look at John McDonald (“Skepticism”) and consider the source of his evil behavior. Hint: Jesus would not approve.

  78. PatrickHenry Says:

    You guys are missing out on a great opportunity. If I had been given my very own creationist to kick around as I wished, as seems to be the situation here, I’d put him on eBay and see what I could get for him. I donno what a creationist is worth on the open market, but it would be fun to find out.

  79. Noodlicious Says:

    Another earlier comment by the resident blatherer caught my attention yesterday. I forgot to address it in my little spamming spree :p

    Skeppo said (way back up there)
    “The fact is that it takes a highly complicated programmed mechanism inside the plant to harness the energy and get a predetermined outcome.”

    So another question for Skep:
    What sort of useless programmer “programmed” a mechanism which aimed at a “predetermined outcome” of 5% efficiency?

    Breakdown of the fate of light energy that lands on a leaf
    • wrong wavelength for trapping 47 %
    • absorbed by components other than chloroplasts 16 %
    • loss during energy transfer 9 %
    • loss during biochemistry 19 %
    • loss due to respiration 4 %
    Sub-total 95 %

    Photosynthesis is at most 5% efficient in converting available light energy landing on a leaf into chemical energy.

    Some botanical molecular biologists are working on improving this growing efficiency and are having a relatively small amount of success. As in the case of pharmacologists and biomedical researchers, along with others, the evidence suggests that humans are far more capable designers than the mythical one!

  80. deadman_932 Says:

    Major edit to my post above: I mixed Don Patton with Don Batton, who DOES have a Ph.D. in plant physiology, from the University of Sydney. I won’t use sleep deprivation as an excuse — It’s not excusable. Honesty is the only thing that counts.

    Making errors is human…I have no problem in admitting to them, so, let me reiterate this: Don Patton is not Don BATTEN, and the latter (who wrote the AiG “article” ) DOES have a doctorate. I erroneously mixed the two.

    This doesn’t allow “Skepticism” to evade my charges against him

    Nor will Batten’s doctorate in plant physiology (and doesn’t) make him right about issues in human genetics — as is seen in the Musgrave, Pirie-Shepherd, and Douglas Theobald rebuttal to the AiG claims. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/information/apolipoprotein.html

    That rebuttal alone is enough to put this nonsense about AI Milano “information” to rest, although I’d be glad to point out specifics of WHY and HOW Musgrave et al. are right — with supporting evidence, down to fine detail.

    This foolish error on my part also won’t erase “Skepticism’s” multiple mutations of his “definitions” that he’s used. Nor will it alter the fact that AI Milano represents an increase in “information” by even AiG’s facile “definition” (as Musgrave et al. demonstrate).

  81. PatrickHenry Says:

    deadman_932 Says:

    Honesty is the only thing that counts.

    You’d never make it as a creationist.

  82. zygosporangia Says:

    You’d never make it as a creationist.

    Well, anyone with any actual ethics couldn’t make it as a creationist.

    Cue McDonald world-view wank in 3…2…1…

  83. Skepticism Says:

    Great job, Deadman. You have discredited yourself, so why don’t you now dismiss yourself, ok? I’m sure the members of FCS could do without those humiliating antics of yours. I’ll be sure to make many references to that little incident so that we all will be reminded of your INCOMPETENCE.

    Fireman and Zygo – those are pretty blasphemous statements. Are you sure God doesn’t exist? Seems pretty precarious to say such things when you admit that you do not have all knowledge and that science can never arrive at total truth (induction). Pascal’s wager is before you. Seems you guys are confident in betting your lives that God doesn’t exist…. Just doesn’t seem like a wise bet to me.

  84. zygosporangia Says:

    Pascal’s wager is before you. Seems you guys are confident in betting your lives that God doesn’t exist…. Just doesn’t seem like a wise bet to me.

    Ah, yes. Pascal’s wager. For those unfamiliar with the idea, Pascal, the French mathematician, judge, and Christian apologist, made a wager that it is safer to believe in superstition on the off-chance that maybe it is true after all. Of course, in his day, there was little evidence to the contrary, so perhaps the probability as he saw it saw great enough to warrant worry.

    As it stands now, the probability of McDonald’s god existing is so remote, so improbable, that I would be better off wagering that a zombie invasion was about to happen and stock up on shotgun shells than worry about eternal damnation from a fairy tale.

    Of course, notice that once again, McDonald has dodged answering any of my points about genetic algorithms. Apparently, he is trying to shift away from an uncomfortable subject that he knows he cannot win. McDonald — again — what is your response to my points on genetic algorithms and their implications to your “theories” about new information? Do you concede?

  85. deadman_932 Says:

    Skepticism wrote: “Great job, Deadman. You have discredited yourself, so why don’t you now dismiss yourself, ok? I’m sure the members of FCS could do without those humiliating antics of yours. I’ll be sure to make many references to that little incident so that we all will be reminded of your INCOMPETENCE.”

    “discredited myself?” ” dismiss myself? ”

    You do live in your own little fantasy world, don’t you? I suppose you have to when that’s all you have. Mistaking “Patton” for “Batten” and then admitting to it isn’t significant to me.

    But it sure seems to mean a lot to you. Feel free to reference my post as much as you want. I’ll keep it in a file, along with your posts.

    I spotted my mistake and fixed it myself, “Skepticism.” When will you be dealing with your outright lies?

    I noticed you still can’t actually deal with the “Information” issue yourself…why is that?

  86. Wolfhound Says:

    Gosh, Skep dodges and weaves so as to avoid having to answer for his lies. How…Christian.

    John, you seem convinced that your particular god is the one, true god. All of those who have come before you who believed in a different god/gods and all of those in the now who believe in a different god/gods were/are convinced that they were/are right. How do you know that Odin isn’t the one, true god? Aren’t you taking a risk by not worshipping Odin? Or Shiva? Or Zeus? Can you really afford to take that gamble?

    I know it’s a waste of time trying to get you to think critically about your infantile belief in your sky daddy but I will use an oldie but a goodie: You are an atheist, too. I just believe in one less god than you do. Consider all of the reasons why you reject all of the other possible gods (and their holy writings) and then you’ll understand why I reject yours.

  87. Skepticism Says:

    Zygo – my response to your points on genetic algorithms: (and look Deadman, its by….wait for it….. Dr. Don Batten!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/docs/genetic_algorithm.asp

    Wolfhound – I like your argument, but have to disagree at certain points. For example, the technical definition for an atheist, if you look at its Greek etymology, is one who says there is “no -god” (a-theism). I say there is one God. Thus I am not an atheist at all. As you do rule all the existence of all gods, you are of course an atheist. Now I want you to know that I encourage investigation into the truth claims of Christianity whenever and to whoever I can. One should never believe in Christianity because it was their family religion, etc. Christianity should never be a religion of blind faith, and it certainly does not teach having a blind faith. I have considered other writings, etc. but none hold up to scrutiny except the Bible. It is unique among all the religious works. And, even before we get into the teachings of special revelation (Scripture) we find in the ontological argument logical proof that there is ONE being who must possess all possible power from which everything originates. So even logic demonstrates that there is ONE supreme being. That takes out the Greek and Roman Gods, etc. It leaves us with monotheism, and possibly pantheism/panentheism (depending upon how you look at it). Pantheism/panentheism has its own set of logical blunders so only monotheism remains. Now the cosmological and teleological argument compliment the ontological. The conclusion is of course that God exists. If God exists, it is not unreasonable to think that He might communicate to His creation. There are indeed many writings which make such claims. Yet only the Scripture passes all tests. It is internally consistent, unified, and harmonious, attested externally by public and undeniable miracles, contains minutely-detailed predictive prophecy spanning huge amounts of time between the prediction and actual event, and makes wholistic sense of the reality in which we encounter in a way no other worldview has ever been able to explain. So I understand why other writings are rejected, but I do not understand why you reject the Bible.

  88. zygosporangia Says:

    Instead of copying and pasting a link, why don’t you try making an argument. “Dr.” Batten (who is obviously ignorant of this branch of computer science) is making a lot of terrible assumptions in this article. In fact, by cutting and pasting this article without even bothering to read it, McDonald, you are conceding your point. More on that later.

    I’ll look over the fact that you are once again attempting to shift the goalposts with this article, which I wasted my time even reading. Instead, I’ll keep you honest by bringing you back to the point that you were originally trying to make, in ignorance.

    You claimed that it is impossible for new information to arise through mutation and natural selection. You cited Information Theory as evidence for this, although you are completely ignorant of information theory. Genetic algorithms prove that it is possible for new information to arise from mutation and natural selection. It does not matter whether GAs are a perfect analogy to biological processes or not, they disprove your point using math.

    In fact, even this “Dr” Batten in the article that you cited as some sort of rebuttal says, and I quote:

    Note that we are not saying that mutations and natural selection cannot generate information…

    So, if you are citing this article as a rebuttal, then you are effectively conceding your point. Thanks for that. I rest my case.

  89. zygosporangia Says:

    And, even before we get into the teachings of special revelation (Scripture) we find in the ontological argument logical proof that there is ONE being who must possess all possible power from which everything originates. So even logic demonstrates that there is ONE supreme being.

    Care to elaborate? I’d love to take the opportunity to teach you a thing or two about logic.

    Now the cosmological and teleological argument compliment the ontological. The conclusion is of course that God exists.

    McDonald… just like in math class, you need to show your work. Otherwise, how can I show you your logical blunder?

    attested externally by public and undeniable miracles,

    Again, would you please provide empirical evidence for these “undeniable” miracles?

    contains minutely-detailed predictive prophecy spanning huge amounts of time between the prediction and actual event

    As before, many works of fiction make predictions that eventually come true. As for “minutely-detailed”, please elaborate. First, the prophecies are a load of bull. Second, any trained rabbi, such as Jesus’s disciples, would have known about these prophecies, and would have crafted events to bring these prophecies to fruition so they could maintain control of their fledgling cult. Just because a sequel to a work of fiction references that work of fiction does not make both works of fiction true. If you open your eyes to reality, you’d see your logical fallacy here.

  90. zygosporangia Says:

    Also, I think that McDonald has completely missed Wolfhound’s point.

    It is quite ironic that McDonald can go from claiming that Islam, Judiasm, Greek Mythology, and every other alternative religion on the planet is wrong and in the same breath make the claim that his own religion is the only correct one, while citing similar examples that he uses to discredit the other religions as proof of his own.

    He’s nothing more than a Christ fan-boy, and a poor one at that.

  91. deadman_932 Says:

    The mere fact that we cannot currently completely explain something is not a valid justification to rely upon something else even more mysterious (God) as an “explanation.” Many people like “Skepticism” think of God primarily as the explanation for things they don’t understand.

    To define God in argumentum ad ignorantium (God of the Gaps) terms — especially when Christians base their apologetics on the existence of such gaps — is a major error. It sets up the faith for another fall when science does succeed in finding a “natural” explanation for what had once been attributed to direct intervention by God.

    As science progresses the “gaps” in scientific explanation grow smaller. This is the case for hundreds of years now.

    It is especially dangerous for an honest believer to draw a line in the sand and insist that the truth of Christianity depends on the existence of a particular gap. The theist who uses God of the Gaps thinking to rationalize their beliefs may find that, at some point, there simply isn’t enough room for their god anymore, where THEY have drawn the line. This causes them to begin flailing about in their ignorance and in doing so, they begin to lie.

    Some, like John McDonald (Skepticism) seem to have drawn such a line with regard to evolution, which is paving the way for an embarrassment comparable to that caused by the church’s insistence on the “Biblical truth” of a geocentric universe in Galileo’s day. The Galileo episode didn’t do the Catholic church any good, so they, at least, were smart enough to avoid that trap again.

    I’d urge any honest, rational Christian to read as much as possible and recognize that evolution is supported by huge amounts of evidence.

    The leading figures of “Intelligent Design” such as Dembski and Behe, are smart enough to concede that not only is the 4.5 billion-year age of the Earth well-supported, but also that evolution is demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt. Of course, they are also Creationists, but they’re just smart enough to move their goalpost back a little further. This doesn’t mean they are “right” in their attempts to “infer” God, though. It wouldn’t be called “faith” if proof were possible.

    This evidence of evolution is not automatically evidence “against” God — in fact, rational theists see it as part of God’s plan.

    Naive Young Earth Creationists like “Skepticism” John McDonald (who claim the Earth is only thousands of years old and deny evolution) are stuck in a very precarious position. Not only is the case law against them, but so is science and reason.

    Protestant Fundevangelicals like “Skepticism” appear to be too dull to grasp this. You’ll find that they *must* lie, and in doing so, discredit all that is good in faith.

    Whenever they clamor for power and attention in your region, remind yourself that faith isn’t dependent on denying science and critically examine the tactics and content of what Young Earth Creationists say.

    You’ll find they use the most underhanded tactics possible…and that the only thing they want (as was explicitly set out in the ‘Wedge Document’) is political power.

    This is not what Jesus meant when he said to render that which is Caesar’s unto Caesar.

    Rather, the Creationist Movement wants to BE Caesar.

    Don’t believe me. Read it from the Young Earth Creationists themselves. Read it in the Wedge Document which is an “internal memo” of the Creationist “Discovery Institute” and their “Center for Renewal of Science & Culture” : http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.html

  92. PatrickHenry Says:

    It’s a great irony that the use of political power to re-define reality has always been a tactic of the political left. But the creationists — who imagine that they’re on the right, are trying to do exactly what the leftists do.

  93. James F Says:

    The root of the tactic as it relates to ID is even clearer. As Ken Miller noted in a recent lecture, Phillip Johnson was influenced by the academic left in Berkeley.

  94. deadman_932 Says:

    I like the extensive use of despised ” post-modernist” (pinko liberal!) Relativism by ID when they want to “teach the controversy” and claim intellectual equality with mainstream science — because “alternative ways of knowing are just as good.”

  95. James F Says:

    Exactly, deadman. Of course, it doesn’t apply to all scientific theories, just for evolution! All science so far!

  96. Skepticism Says:

    Zygo, again, it all depends upon what you mean by information and what I mean by information. Defining terms is critical. As noted above, I follow Gitt’s theory of information. You don’t. There’s the problem. Perhaps you will enjoy this article by Royal Truman: http://trueorigin.org/dawkinfo.asp

    Also, the ontological, teleological, and cosmological arguments are well known. You should be familiar with them if you truly are up to snuff on your philosophy. Do I really need to elaborate on them? I will admit that these arguments can be better stated than has often been presented by many in the past and present. I have devoted much time to their refinement. If you have problems with the arguments let’s take them one by one and one problem at a time. And I’m not so sure of your competence in logic since you support Deadman’s questioning of the universal validity of the Law of Non-contradiction. As to the public and undeniable miracles, I admit that they were direct attestation only to those in the period in which they occurred. They can only serve a secondary purpose to those after. If the things reported did not happen as reported, history (as we see it now) would not have remained silent. We see no evidence in history of the prophetic and apostolic miracles ever being contested as not happening as they were reported to have occured. Again, this is only secondary in regard to attestation, but if the reports were true we would expect a lack of contesting by those living when the events were supposed to have taken place. If Scripture (and I use if in the hypothetical sense) really is the Word of God and it reports historical events, these historical events must be accurate, and as far as we can test the historical reports of Scripture, we find nothing amiss. This is not direct attestation, but it is a required criterion if the Scripture really is what it claims to be, the Word of God.

    As to your views on predictive prophesy, let’s just put it in these terms. Consider Psa. 22, plus Isa. 53 which predict the crucifixion and death of the Messiah, written 1000 years and 700 years (respectively) before the events took place. Psa. 22 specifically mentions the piercings of crucifixion. So the situation you imagine would look something like this: Rabbi 1 – look, Psa. 22 predicts crucifixion of the Messiah. Rabbi 2 – hey, Jesus is claiming to be the Messiah. Rabbi 3 – hey, it JUST HAPPENS that now in the first century, Rome rules the world and uses crucifixion to execute capital offenders. Rabbi 4 – hey, that’s a lucky guess by David back in Psa. 22. Wow, what a coincidence. Let’s convince the right officials that Jesus should be put to death as a capital offender. Then the prophecy will come true!!!! Yeah!!!! Rabbi 5 – Stupid, why would we wish to do that, seeing that we hate Jesus and know that the Messiah will be a great military leader who will deliver us from Roman rule??? Why would we want to link Jesus with being the Messiah at all? That would be the worst thing we could do.

    Zygo, your predictive proposition is just….dumb.

    Deadman – you are right when you say “The mere fact that we cannot currently completely explain something is not a valid justification to rely upon something else even more mysterious (God) as an “explanation.” That’s why I don’t. I don’t play the God of the Gaps game. I play the God Says game. God says X about human origins, and therefore I expect scientific inquiry (when mature and exhaustive) to confirm what God says. It’s not about “we can’t explain it so God must have did it” but rather “God says He did this and He says He did it this way.” I believe all things in nature have cause and effect because I believe God is the logical Creator of a uniformly sustained world. Therefore, science is a valid endeavor, for it seeks to uncover the causes behind the effects which we experience in a cause and effect universe which God sustains. The fact that God sustains the universe (as revealed in Scripture) does not negate our ability or obligation to investigate the cause and effect relationships which occur in the universe.

  97. deadman_932 Says:

    “Skepticism” ( Johnny McDonald) says that ” it all depends upon what you mean by information and what I mean by information. Defining terms is critical. As noted above, I follow Gitt’s theory of information. ”

    —————————————-

    Good, Johnny McDonald . Since you “follow” Gitt’s theory then you have read it. So have I. So I’d like you, — YOU PERSONALLY — to answer why Gitt claims to follow Shannon, but in fact he states exactly the opposite of Shannon and misrepresents him.

    Don’t try to point me to any of Gitt’s books or online papers, since he’s never explained this discrepancy. You claim to follow Gitt, so YOU should know and understand his “Theory” RIGHT?!?!?!

    The Problem:

    I. At Answers in Genesis’ page on information, by Werner Gitt (http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v10/i2/information.asp )

    Werner Gitt lays out this claim:

    “Theorem 2: According to Shannon’s theory, a disturbed signal generally contains more information than an undisturbed signal, because, in comparison with the undisturbed transmission, it originates from a larger quantity of possible alternatives.

    ————

    But John McDonald, This is EXACT OPPOSITE OF SHANNON

    Shannon says that disturbance DECREASES information

    See Claude Shannon “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” (1948) Online HERE in multiple formats: http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/ms/what/shannonday/paper.html

    See: Part II, Section 11, : The Discrete Channel with Noise 11. Representation of a Noisy Discrete Channel.

    ———————–

    This is not MY observation, Johnny McDonald , this is noted by MANY people, including the Talk Origins paper on Gitt ( http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/information/gitt.html ) and Tom Schneider of the National Institutes of Health Molecular Information Theory Group —

    as Schneider explains here: http://www.lecb.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/information.is.not.uncertainty.html

    “Information is always a measure of the decrease of uncertainty at a receiver (or molecular machine). — Dr. Thomas D. Schneider, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research Nanobiology Program, (NIH) Molecular Information Theory Group

    For a fuller mathematical breakdown of this, see : Information Theory Primer (by Tom Schneider) http://www.ccrnp.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/paper/primer

    You can also find out how Evolution causes an increase in information (Shannon) here: http://www.ccrnp.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/paper/ev/

    and even a YouTube video on it here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9u50wKDb_4

    ———–

    You’ll notice that Gitt’s initial premises are wrong, and that his claims of having theorems are completely unsupported by math. Notice that both Shannon and Schneider and Rich Baldwin’s Talk Origins papers are ALL supported by math.

    Gitt is using GiGO to gull the ignorant, “Skepticism” — You’re just another sheep, unless and until you can fully work out this discrepancy between Shannon and Gitt.

    Can you? Show your math! EXPLAIN THIS PROBLEM.

    AFTER YOU MAKE SURE YOU FULLY ACCOUNTED FOR WHY GITT GETS SHANNON BACKWARDS, I’LL BE GLAD TO SPANK YOU MORE

    So, to summarize:

    (1) Gitt is not following any accepted version of Information theory
    (2) Gitt never published for peer review, ever.
    (3) Gitt is wrong in his very basics, such as the example I am asking you to explain.

    If you can’t explain this, then you fail right away. Claiming to “follow” a theory that you don’t KNOW…makes you more than pathetic, it makes you a propaganda drone that doesn’t *know* what he is supporting.

  98. deadman_932 Says:

    “Skepticism” Wrote:
    “God says X about human origins, and therefore I expect scientific inquiry (when mature and exhaustive) to confirm what God says. ”

    ————–

    Fallacies:
    God of the Gaps (argumentum ad ignorantiam)
    Post hoc ergo propter hoc ( “coincidental correlation” or “false cause”)

    Comments: The Bible is not a science book, regardless of your attempt to portray it so, especially when YOU are a Young Earth Creationist.

    You are guilty of not just a few fallacies, but also of having a preconceived LITERALIST conclusion that you attempt to force-fit science into (while simultaneously seeing fit to hypocritically interpret OTHER scriptural passages in a non-literalist way).

    Christians did work on science early on, and they were honest enough to recognize that the age of the measurable Earth meant that Ussher’s claims about an Earth coming into existence at 4004 BCE is contradicted by science, and therefore passages regarding creation had to be taken metaphorically and not literally, as is true with so much else of the Bible.

    I have no ideological problem with anyone believing God set evolution into motion — Rather, I have a problem with people like you attempting to interpret scripture and then force-fit science to it, by making false claims about what evolution is and is not.

    This is precisely the problem with God of the Gaps arguments, yours included.
    —————————
    By the way…was Tyre actually sunk beneath the sea as Ezekiel predicted? Did Nebuchadrezzar really conquer Egypt and make it a desolate uninhabited land? When Isaiah said that Damascus would cease forever to be a city, was he right?

    Answer to all the above: No.

    But I bet you don’t take them literally and instead try to “creatively interpret” them…in contrast to other passages that you hold literally to.

  99. zygosporangia Says:

    As noted above, I follow Gitt’s theory of information.

    Gitt??? Gitt??? Gitt is a moron. Only someone as ignorant as you would think that anything the man has to say on information theory is valid. As before, I studied actual information theory as part of my work in Computer Science. Do you know how often I heard the name Gitt? Not once. He’s a self-described creationist, and he has yet to provide anything worthwhile to the scientific community.

    Once again, do you agree or disagree that genetic algorithms show an increase of information? You continue to dodge this question by posting links that have absolutely nothing to do with the question. Again, quick being intellectually dishonest and make a stand here.

    You should be familiar with them if you truly are up to snuff on your philosophy.

    I am up to snuff on philosophy. I’m asking you to explain them because it is blatantly obvious that you are not.

    As to the public and undeniable miracles, I admit that they were direct attestation only to those in the period in which they occurred. They can only serve a secondary purpose to those after.

    In other words, they are anything but undeniable. It seems that your argument for proof has been drastically weakened, to the point of failing.

    If the things reported did not happen as reported, history (as we see it now) would not have remained silent. We see no evidence in history of the prophetic and apostolic miracles ever being contested as not happening as they were reported to have occured. [sic]

    We are talking about something from two thousand years ago. First, the early Christian movement wasn’t popular enough to warrant much attention. Second, the Catholic Church is rather infamous for gathering and burning contradictory texts, especially during its early period on into the Dark Ages that it itself helped to perpetuate. Lack of contradicting historical accounts is not proof, sorry. So, I’ll ask again, where is the proof that you keep talking about?

    Zygo, your predictive proposition is just….dumb.

    I take it you don’t read many books. The sort of over-dramatic tone in the gospels reminds me of the True Crime genre. One takes an event with dubious historical relevance, then injects all sorts of alliteration into it to make it seem dramatic. Suddenly, we have a Passion where originally there was nothing more than a routine crucifixion. As for your predictions, I can pull all sorts of “predictions” out of the Old Testament. I recommend that you google 9/11 prophesies in the Old Testament. Any book of sufficient size will have quotes that can be taken out of context to support just about any situation. This certainly does not constitute proof. It seems, McDonald, that you are back at square one.

    God says X about human origins, and therefore I expect scientific inquiry (when mature and exhaustive) to confirm what God says.

    Or, more accurately, the “If the evidence doesn’t match scripture then it should be dismissed” game.

    I don’t care about any of these talking points you are cutting and pasting. To get back to topic, I want you to actually respond to the points that I have made WRT genetic algorithms. Don’t merely cut-and-paste some links from AIG that you haven’t even bothered to read. Either agree that information can arise through mutation, cross-over, and natural selection or disagree and provide a valid counterpoint. I highly recommend you take the former route, because it is impossible for you to win with the latter route. Information gain through genetic algorithms has been proven.

  100. zygosporangia Says:

    Oh, and for the record, attempting to weasel your way out of your statement by shifting definitions to creationist definitions will not work here. You can’t shift to a creationist strawman of “information theory” and expect to be able to tread water here.

    At least Clinton was a bit more eloquent when he responded, “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” You, McDonald, don’t want to model your argument on his faux pas.

  101. zygosporangia Says:

    Whoops, that should have been “quit being intellectually dishonest”. Apparently, I should turn off automatic spell checking. ;-)

  102. Skepticism Says:

    Deadman and Zygo:

    Gitt states:

    “Shannon’s concept of information is adequate to deal with the storage and transmission of data, but it fails when trying to understand the qualitative nature of information.

    Theorem 3: Since Shannon’s definition of information relates exclusively to the statistical relationship of chains of symbols and completely ignores their semantic aspect, this concept of information is wholly unsuitable for the evaluation of chains of symbols conveying a meaning.

    In order to be able adequately to evaluate information and its processing in different systems, both animate and inanimate, we need to widen the concept of information considerably beyond the bounds of Shannon’s theory. Figure 4 illustrates how information can be represented as well as the five levels that are necessary for understanding its qualitative nature.”

    There seems to be a misunderstanding on your part as to Gitt’s acceptance of Shannon’s theory. He doesn’t accept it wholesale. He says it works regarding the storage and transmission of data but fails in regard to the qualitative nature of data. He also says we must go beyond the bounds of Shannon’s theory, hence Gitt’s theory.

    I also am not convinced why the theorems MUST be supported by math.

    Zygo: define what you mean by an increase in information. Also, by undeniable I mean only that those who witnessed the events could not discredit them. Miracles were direct attestation only to those who lived in the period of their occurence. I am saying that their validity is a requirement of the Scripture’s claim to be divine revelation. We can find no evidence in history that the miracles did not happen as recorded. Thus we cannot object to the Bible’s claim on the basis of historical inaccuracy.

    The actions of the Catholic church are irrelevant. We have manuscripts predating the establishment of the Catholic Church. Now you are just being dishonest on the level not far removed from the Davinci Code. Your treatment of the OT predictive prophecies as hunches and generalized educated guesses is also dishonest. We are talking about minutely-detailed predictions made hundreds of years in advance, not the statements fortune cookies. You are making a straw man here.

    Deadman – you accuse me once again of making God of the gaps arguments. You must not understand the meaning of the term. I don’t need God to explain something. See, here is the difference. I actually start with God’s explanation. It’s not that I need God for an explanation of some phenomena, but rather I begin my thinking with God. That is clearly not a god of the gaps argument. Your accusation of Post hoc ergo propter hoc is also false. Your accusation doesn’t even make sense. After, therefore because? That doesn’t even fit the most remote sense of what we are talking about here. And the Bible has literal passages and non-literal passages which all have literal meanings. Is it not obvious that the poetic books are written with a great deal of non-literal figures, etc, behind which are literal meanings? It’s not an either/or situation. Thanks for the straw man though. As to science and the Bible, I’m not a logical positivist like you, so I have no problem with accepting the Scripture as a source of infallible and inerrant truth which supersedes the ramblings and inductive “discoveries” of scientific investigation. The problem is you are making science infallible and inerrant like all your Enlightenment Fathers.
    So what site did you discover those “gems” of Bible discrepancies you gloat about above? Pathetic.

  103. deadman_932 Says:

    Well, “Skepticism,”you’ve certainly shoown me that not only do you NOT know about information theory OR Gitt — you don’t even know how to think at all.

    I didn’t say Gitt is using all of Shannon. I realize that Gitt is trying to make up a scheme whereby “semantic meaning” of information is then applied to genetics.

    BUT Gitt starts OUT with Shannon, and what little he KNOWS and pretends to apply of Shannon is wrong.

    Period.

    The basic problem is — as I quoted — that Gitt thinks Shannon information theory means that disturbance of the signal INCREASES information.

    This is essential to everything that follows in Gitt’s claims. It is also fundamentally wrong. SHANNON BASED HIS PROOF (mathematical demonstration of the valid basis of his theory) ON DISTURBANCE OR NOISE DECREASING INFORMATION.

    Oh, and the language of science — particularly the hard sciences, like information theory and genetics — is mathematics. When Gitt can’t put his “theory” into mathematical form even though he is dealing with quantifiable subjects, it is a hallmark of crank science.

    I don’t care whether YOU agree with that or not. You are ignorant of what is required in such hard sciences and demonstrations of validity in such sciences.

    The reason Gitt is rejected by Christian and non-Christian scientists alike is because of the flaws and the sheer semantic b-s he uses that has NO MATHEMATICAL FOUNDATION. Go look online for ANY papers showing concrete use of Gitt in any actual information theory peer-reviewed papers. There are none. Not even Creationists can fake an application of his “theory” that can be quantifiably (that means using mathematically) demonstrated as valid.

    GOT THAT?

    As to your claims about the fallacies you use…argumentum ad ignorantiam and post hoc (ergo propter hoc) thinking…I’ll leave it to any honest reader to look at how you have applied them. They speak for themselves, especially when you keep repeating silly things like :

    “Skepticism” Wrote
    “Deadman – you accuse me once again of making God of the gaps arguments. You must not understand the meaning of the term. I don’t need God to explain something… I actually start with God’s explanation.”

    —————–

    By the way, “post hoc ergo propter hoc” means
    “therefore [this thing X], because of [this thing Y]” — and this is part and parcel of your God of the Gaps thinking. You claim not to “need” God, but you start with “God’s explanation” (which is really just your interpretation of whatever you happen to pick and choose out of the Bible or related claims ) then you fit the information falsely to it.

    You draw the curve first, then you cherry-pick the data to fit it and claim a false cause.

    I’m sorry you can’t grasp basic concepts, but you have a computer and could look up very full explanations of each fallacy on Wikipedia.
    —————–

    As far as those “gems” of Bible errors and false prophecies, if you bothered to Read the Bible, you’d know them, too. I didn’t have to go to a “site” to know them. I’ve been pointing to those for over 20 years as examples of why ignorant claims of “infallible Biblical prophecy” are wrong, and why it is a bad thing to be a literalist fundamentalist.

    Again, it’s not my fault that you’re ignorant. It’s **your** fault.

  104. deadman_932 Says:

    For those that are actually interested in how Information Theory began, this is a good historical & technical overview: http://www.ils.unc.edu/~losee/b5/node7.html

    Back in the 1940’s Claude Shannon (and others) worked in the Bell Telephone Labs. They were interested in how to QUANTIFY the concepts of information.

    This is why Shannon’s work — the founding basis of Information Theory — is called “The **MATHEMATICAL** Theory of Communication.”

    If you look around the interwebz, you’ll see lots of crank science sites that take something with a mathematical basis (say Information Theory or General Relativity) and then pretend to present an “alternative” or an “extension” of it ….without ANY mathematical basis. http://www.crank.net/ http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html

    In very simple and straightforward terms, they are seeking to baffle with bull. They toss out jargon and engage in long-winded fakery that is difficult for the non-scientist to see through. But the great part about hard sciences is that math is eventually required to appear, because you can’t lie with it so easily. Words alone are very slippery. Math is not as susceptible to fraud.

    As the Mathematician John Baez explains (in the site I posted above), a lack of mathematical foundation is a bad thing, especially in the mathematically-based world of hard sciences. I

    n his Crackpot Index system, he gives 10 points (towards crackpot-dom) for each statement along the lines of “I’m not good at math, but my theory is conceptually right, so all I need is for someone to express it in terms of equations”.

  105. zygosporangia Says:

    I also am not convinced why the theorems MUST be supported by math.

    You don’t understand why something dealing with information theory, which is based entirely on statistics and mathematics, must be supported by math? You obviously don’t come from a strong math or science background.

    Zygo: define what you mean by an increase in information.

    Specifically, in my example of genetic algorithms, it is possible for mutation, cross-over, and fitness functions to yield new information. In this example, the new information is the solution to a problem previously unknown by the developer of the system. You are attempting to dive into “information theory” to show that mutation cannot yield new information. I’m just showing that if we interpret actual information theory, new information most definitely arises using processes similar to what happens in biology. GAs work so well, in fact, that they are used nearly exclusively for a wide range of optimization problems.

    We can find no evidence in history that the miracles did not happen as recorded. Thus we cannot object to the Bible’s claim on the basis of historical inaccuracy.

    You really ought to change your moniker, McDonald. There is nothing at all skeptical about you. You accept “truths” by default, without subjecting them to any sort of rigorous testing. What if I told you that I think that leprechauns control all computers, and what I say must be true because there has been no recorded historical data to refute my claims? I wouldn’t be standing on firm ground, would I? Neither are you.

    There is a fundamental difference between us, McDonald. Only one of the two of us has the requisite tools available to find actual truth. I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t you.

  106. deadman_932 Says:

    This one is still making me laugh:

    —————–

    “Skepticism” ( little Johnny McDonald) Wrote:

    “Deadman – you accuse me once again of making God of the gaps arguments.

    You must not understand the meaning of the term.

    I don’t need God to explain something. See, here is the difference. I actually start with God’s explanation…

    I have no problem with accepting the Scripture as a source of INFALLIBLE AND INERRANT TRUTH” which supersedes the ramblings and inductive “discoveries” of scientific investigation.

    ————-

    Seriously, John McDonald, try some honesty once in a while– Develop some personal ethics and morals. Believing in God is fine. Attempting to force-fit science to your infantile and insulting “interpretation” of God and the Bible is not acceptable.

    You have chosen to reject the notion that what we actually see in the natural world and can show exists in the natural world…is God’s handiwork.

    You reject the testable, falsifiable, repeatable evidence in favor of a narrow Biblical view that was given to you by your culture. This means that you are a Bibliolatrist — you worship only the Bible as you interpret it, despite it being written by flawed men who left flaws in it that can’t be rationally denied, only “explained away” by apologetics that would make a politician blush. Feel free to worship your egotistical interpretations of a flawed book while simultaneously denying God the power to set things in motion that the Bible doesn’t speak of at all — like evolution.

    The word “fundament” can also mean “butt” and in your case, fundamentalism is a result of you inserting your head where it shouldn’t be ; choking off oxygen and resulting in FunDementia.

    My advice is get your bloody head out of your bloody arse and let your bloody brains breathe.

  107. zygosporangia Says:

    Fundament… or fundaMENTAL?

  108. firemancarl Says:

    those are pretty blasphemous statements

    Hey, I’m just sayin’. No need to get in a snit. Besides, I only speaketh the trutheth.

  109. Wolfhound Says:

    Sheesh, I go away for a few days and see more flailing, goal post shifting, and apologetics where, as Zygo so astutely pointed out, John dismisses all of the other religions of the world for reasons which he won’t honestly (key word here) apply toward his own. Truth of the matter is that he was born into his particular flavor of woo, reads only those things which support his fantasy and trash others, and likely cannot see how blinkered he really is with regard to critical analysis of the stupidity contained within the pages of his holy text. Dude, your book has a freakin’ TALKING SNAKE in it, fer cryin’ out loud! Then it’s all just downhill from there.

  110. Skepticism Says:

    Again we return to epistemology. You guys are logical positivists. You do not hold to science, but rather scientism. You accuse me of bibliolatry, and I accuse you of worshipping science. You cannot arrive at absolutes or universals by your induction. Your a priori (which is strange because you boast nothing but a post priori knowledge) commitment to materialism doesn’t help your epistemological nightmare either.

    Wolfhound, so glad you could join us again and dazzle us with more wish projection. As a matter of fact, I was not brought up in a Christian home. You also wish that you could simply dismiss Christianity as you can the other world religions, one magic bullet if you will to end religion forever. It doesn’t work with Christianity. Furthermore, I do not see how you can criticize a talking snake when you entertain such notions as spontaneous generation and multiple universes.

  111. deadman_932 Says:

    Way to address the issues there, champ.

    Chalk up “Information Theory” and “Gitt” as victims in your all-encompassing black hole of stupid.

  112. Skepticism Says:

    Thanks, Mr. Patton.

  113. deadman_932 Says:

    So…there you have it, wee Johnny McDonald. Congratulations.

    Even when you wrap yourself in flimsy reeking tatters from “Answers in Genesis” (as a pretense of personal knowledge on your part)… it gets stripped away easily. Unwind the shabby rags and there’s nothing actually there, junior.

    I mean, seriously…so far, with you, it’s not “the Emperor has no clothes,” it’s more like “there was no ‘Emperor’ to begin with.”

  114. Wolfhound Says:

    “Wolfhound, so glad you could join us again and dazzle us with more wish projection.”

    It’s my gift to you, Mr. Pot Calling the ‘Fridge Black. :)

    “As a matter of fact, I was not brought up in a Christian home.”

    I doubt that you are being truthful but since I cannot verify the veracity of your statement, I’ll concede the point. Some people do get dumber as they age. You are obviously one of those. Shrug.

    “You also wish that you could simply dismiss Christianity as you can the other world religions, one magic bullet if you will to end religion forever. It doesn’t work with Christianity.”

    I can and I have and it does. Sadly, though, as long as there are credulous morons in this world, religion will never end. This is fine, so long as they don’t seek to inject their woo into public policy and education. Your religion is just as ridiculous as every other one. That you cannot and will not apply the same test toward your own that you do toward all of the other religions and gods just shows how far down the rabbit hole you are. You DO know that that Muslims, Jews, etc., KNOW that their faith is the one, TRUE faith, right? You DO know that they make the same claims about prophecy, blah blah blah, that you do, right? And then there are all of the various sects within your own blanket of Christianity who think only THEY have the correct interpretation and the rest of you are going to hell. You can’t ALL be right, you know.

    “Furthermore, I do not see how you can criticize a talking snake when you entertain such notions as spontaneous generation and multiple universes.”

    LOL@Johnny! Believe in your talking snake, talking donkey, talking bush (with flames!), flying people, 800 year old people, people turning into mineral deposits, giant people, people with magical hair that makes them strong, people having sex with angels, people walking on water, people rising from the dead, people turning one substance into another, etc., etc., etc. We’ll all just point and laugh. Try to put this ridiculous crapola on equal footing with science and observable reality and we’ll laugh harder. :)

  115. Noodlicious Says:

    So Christianity is the only *real* (TM) religion? I suppose that Skep’s preferred version, out of the 33,820 versions of Christianity worldwide, (at least in 2000….probably a few more *real* ones been added since) is the only real *real* (TM) one ?

    LOL! :)

  116. Noodlicious Says:

    Yea, all science so far Skep!

  117. Noodlicious Says:

    # zygosporangia Says:
    August 18th, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    “or fundaMENTAL?”

    Fund a Mental?
    Hmmm….word is that’ll cost you a weekly 10% tithe, directly debited from your weekly wage for your convenience of course :)
    God and that boy of his always seem to be broke! You wouldn’t think they’d need so much money with all of their combined superpowers would you!

  118. zygosporangia Says:

    God and that boy of his always seem to be broke! You wouldn’t think they’d need so much money with all of their combined superpowers would you!

    Actually, I wonder where in McDonald’s bible it’s mentioned that people should pay even that much?

    Organized Religion is big business, nothing else. McDonald’s just trying to peddle his wares here, and trying to sharpen his argument skills to use against his flock whenever one of the sheep should fall out of line. His job as a youth minister is to outwit small children to brainwash them so they grow up to be good members of his particular cult.

    At first, I’d be a bit turned off by the idea of helping him get better at arguing… but then I realize that any twelve-year-old with a reasonable skill at debate could school this guy.

  119. Noodlicious Says:

    “Actually, I wonder where in McDonald’s bible it’s mentioned that people should pay even that much?”

    Blood sacrifices were one of the ways used to fleece the populace back when in the dark ages of the OT. Remember the burnt-offerings and meat-offerings for thank-offerings, sin-offerings, and trespass-offerings of Leviticus.
    Hard buy a nice expensive car or jewelry or stocks with a bullock, sheep or goat these days…..even an unblemished one!

    “Organized Religion is big business, nothing else. McDonald’s just trying to peddle his wares here, and trying to sharpen his argument skills to use against his flock whenever one of the sheep should fall out of line. His job as a youth minister is to outwit small children to brainwash them so they grow up to be good members of his particular cult.”

    Yep, yep, yep and yep!

  120. Noodlicious Says:

    Makes me visualize witchdoctors and voodoo rituals…

    Leviticus

    1:5 And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

    1:6 And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces.

    1:7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire: 1:8 And the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 1:9 But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

    1:10 And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish.

  121. zygosporangia Says:

    Well, keep in mind that, as the story goes, animal sacrifice just wasn’t enough. Instead, human sacrifice was needed. Brutal indeed. But, what do you expect from a bronze age sheep herding cult?

  122. Skepticism Says:

    Note to Readers: Notice how FCS members, when sufficiently refuted, resort to ad hominem attacks.

  123. zygosporangia Says:

    Notice how FCS members, when sufficiently refuted, resort to ad hominem attacks.

    Refuted? You’ve got to be kidding. You have yet to refute anything I have said about genetic algorithms.

    I’m not resorting to ad hominem attacks, I’m simply commenting on how ridiculous your world view is.

  124. zygosporangia Says:

    I mean, come on. You believe in talking snakes, burning bushes, and immaculate conception. Next, you’re going to tell me about storks and cabbage patches. How’s your pal Santa Claus?

  125. Skepticism Says:

    Zygo, let me then comment on how rediculous your life is: you can’t be sure of anything you claim to know, you have no purpose except one that you create for yourself, you have no morals except those you create and self-impose, and no significance or self-worth. You also have no freedom in that all that you do is biologically and hence mechanistically determined. These are the logical conclusions of your materialistic worldview which you hold to a priori! You claim to be scientific but then you have a priori presuppositions about the world before you ever start your scientific inquiry. Absolutely pathetic.

  126. deadman_932 Says:

    Insults divorced from any actual argument are not ad hominem, they are merely insults.

    You already failed in regard to the original topic of this thread…the 2nd Law of Therm, then in the following: AI Milano, information theory, genetic algorithms, Gitt, ” Biblical inerrancy” and prophecy.

    There are no ongoing “arguments” since you have abandoned them or merely been directly refuted using your own sources.

    Thus, any insults directed at you are not “ad homs” merely insults. Again, your ignorance isn’t anyone else’s fault. It’s yours.

    An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: “argument to the man”, “argument against the man”) consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

  127. Skepticism Says:

    Hmm, can’t refute the above statements about your materialistic worldview so you make a few remarks on ad hominem. Pathetic.

  128. Karl Says:

    Note to readers: Notice how fundies like ole Skepy, can ONLY resort to ad hominem attacks PERIOD considering that their position has no scientific or logical basis whatsoever to form a coherent argument.

    I’d wager, Skepy, that if you grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household, you’d be an atheist and here’s the kicker: You’d be just as militant and intolerant of opposing viewpoints as you are now because your personality defect forces you to confront and discriminate against all those who don’t agree with you. In this case, you just happen to use God as justification for all that bigotry. I suppose it does seem less racist to dislike Muslims because they don’t believe in your god than finally come out and say that you don’t like them because they happen to be brown.

  129. zygosporangia Says:

    Hmm, can’t refute the above statements about your materialistic worldview so you make a few remarks on ad hominem.

    McDonald – I’d be more than happy to refute your materialist pseudo-logic babble… as soon as you respond to my points on genetic algorithms. You are attempting to shift the argument because you are losing. I’m here to keep you on topic.

  130. deadman_932 Says:

    What was “pathetic” John McDonald, was your clear and unequivocable abandonment of your own arguments after you had direct refutations shoved in your face.

    What is pathetic now is your avoidance of this reality and your attempt to divert.

    What was also pathetic was your use of outdated and false claims about science and scientists that appear to be drawn directly from the presuppositionalist Gordon H. Clark who died in 1985 and did the majority of his work in the 1950’s- 1960’s.

    Example: your insistence that scientists MUST be “Logical Positivists” which is simply false. Logical Positivism *as propounded by the Vienna Circle* hasn’t been held by ANY scientist for decades now, in fact, over half a century. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_positivism

    Can you name ONE scientist TODAY (not a philosopher promoting Neo-Logical Positivism! A SCIENTIST! ) that says “I’m a logical positivist?” No, I’m sure you can’t.

    Then there’s your caricature of Materialism. Your apparent insistence that somehow there can be no scientists who hold to any basic philosophy BUT your infantile cartoon version of materialism — Ever hear of non-reductive materialism? I bet not, since you’re seemingly operating ONLY on the basis of crap written a half-century ago. Philosophy, like Science, marches on, and you’re still in the dust, sonny boy.

    —————————————————————-

    In regard to THIS thread

    This thread was about the 2nd Law of Therm and related topics. Information fell under that latter category, and you were spanked so thoroughly that you scooted off like a spineless squid behind a cloud of philosophical ink.

    This thread is not the proper venue for purely philosophical discussions, but Theology Web, which is run primarily by theists…is. http://www.theologyweb.com/

    If you’d like to be spanked more there, Skepticism, great.

    You can quote Clark or van Til verbatim and I’ll be quite happy to fold his “logic” into sharp little corners and insert them where your head now resides.

    I’m not going to discuss anything but therm and related topics in *this* thread. If you’d like to discuss the relative philosophical merits of Presuppositionalism and Modern Materialism, great. Theology Web is the proper venue. We can link to it in every thread, that way you can exult in your great victories over me, right?

    But don’t expect me to clutter up threads on thermodynamics with 100 posts nailing you down on why Presuppositionalism is a farce and why your cartoon version of materialism is inadequate to explain the state of the Philosophy of Science TODAY.

    Let’s see if your mosquito brain can back your alligator mouth, junior.

    Theology Web.
    http://www.theologyweb.com/

  131. Skepticism Says:

    Zygo, your insistence on algorithms borders on resurrecting Conceptualism. Mathematical possibility does not necessitate existence in reality. Furthermore, I have already shown that you miss a critical dimension in regard to the information in DNA. It’s not just bits of info but a message with intended functionality. You do not take this point into account. Your idea of new information is new bits of data, even if original bits of data are lost in the process, rather than new messages with intended functionality. Big difference.

    So, tell me Zygo, how can you justify the principles of math using induction alone? That’s right, you can’t. Now you got a problem. You keep boasting your beloved math, but can’t even justify it by your beloved induction. Pathetic.

  132. deadman_932 Says:

    Actually, “Skepticism” you haven’t shown anything about information being ONLY “messages with intended functionality.”

    You TRIED to use Gitt to make that claim, but his “theories” are flawed from the beginning, as I showed. You ran from that. But now try to claim that you’ve somehow “shown” information to only be valid by your fraudulent “definition?”

    Again, what’s pathetic is your continual use of fallacies and sheer fraud.

  133. deadman_932 Says:

    Let me make myself very clear , “Skepticism.” I’ll use smaller words again so you can understand. What you don’t understand, look up.

    The “intent” of DNA or RNA is simply replication. Period. It’s a quasi-crystalline structure.

    YOU want to impose “intent” on an inanimate thing, as if it has a goal in “mind” — a teleological fallacy. There is no “intent” in a water droplet freezing and forming a fractal (repeating, replicating) structure called a snowflake.

    Yet you insist that RNA or DNA “must” have an “intended meaning?” Shouldn’t you demonstrate that first? Along with showing how Gitt can claim to use Shannon when he’s not?

    Fallacies abound in your claims.

  134. zygosporangia Says:

    Zygo, your insistence on algorithms borders on resurrecting Conceptualism. Mathematical possibility does not necessitate existence in reality.

    If you attempt to use this fallacy, then you also remove your inane arguments about “information theory” from the table. If you argue for your inane “information theory” points, then GAs definitely count as a refutation. So, choose. Do you concede that your “information theory” points are bunk, or do you concede that GAs can create new information? Either way, you lose.

    You aren’t even in the same league of debating as me, McDonald. Go home and soak your head.

  135. deadman_932 Says:

    I dunno if little Johnny should attempt to do anything with his head. It’s all blowed up like a hoppy-toad — filled with ego, hot air and some foul blackish substance.

    I’m afraid that if he even moves his ginormous melon, it might just asplode.

  136. Skepticism Says:

    Zygo, I think it could be said that GA’s produce new information if by information is meant simply bits of data. But if we are talking about bits of data forming meaningful messages with intended functionality, then no.

    Readers: notice how questions involving the logical conclusions of materialism are avoided here, as well as the inability of induction to arrive at any universals, including mathematical principles. Pathetic.

  137. zygosporangia Says:

    Zygo, I think it could be said that GA’s produce new information if by information is meant simply bits of data. But if we are talking about bits of data forming meaningful messages with intended functionality, then no.

    So, you don’t consider solutions to optimization problems to be new information? Be very careful how you answer this one. (I’ll give you a hint, you’re about to lose again…)

    Readers: note how John McDonald keeps trying to shift the argument since he knows he’s losing.

  138. Noodlicious Says:

    Skepticism Says:
    “It’s not just bits of info but a message with intended functionality.”

    You want to give us the standard creo rundown on the intended functionality of junk DNA while you’re at it Skep?

    Come on….don’t hold back now :p

  139. Noodlicious Says:

    Let’s see……how about regaling us with the intended functionality of pseudogenes, transposons, short interspersed elements (SINEs), long interspersed elements (LINEs) and highly conserved non-coding non-essential DNA?

  140. Wolfhound Says:

    The Lord works in mysterious ways, guys! ;)

  141. Noodlicious Says:

    On second thought, in the interest of conserving readers eyes against even more of Skep’s intellectually dishonest public mental masturbations and serial keyboard verbal diarrhoea, I’ll repost this from Laurence A. Moran (Professor of Biochemistry) of Sandwalk.

    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2006/12/junk-dna-disproves-intelligent-design.html

    “Junk DNA Disproves Intelligent Design Creationism”

    Micheal Denton (I’m sure you all remember Denton? :) explains it in Nature’s Destiny on page 289.

    “If it is true that a vast amount of DNA in higher organisms is in fact junk, then this would indeed pose a very serous challenge to the idea of directed evolution or any teleological model of evolution. Junk DNA and directed evolution are in the end incompatible concepts. Only if the junk DNA contained information specifying for future evolutionary events, when it would not in a strict sense be junk in any case, could the finding be reconciled with a teleological model of evolution. Indeed, if it were true that the genomes of higher organisms contained vast quantities of junk, then the whole argument of this book would collapse. On any teleological model of evolution, most, perhaps all, the DNA in the genomes of higher organisms should have some functions.”

    Professor Moran responds:
    “Sorry Michael, it is true. The genomes of many complex multicellular organisms have vast quantities of DNA that serves no purpose. It’s junk. The whole argument of your book just collapsed, as did any argument for intelligent design.

    The fact of junk DNA disproves intelligent design and discredits strict Darwinism as well. The IDiots lose twice. Their strawman version of evolutionary biology is wrong and so is design by God.”

  142. Noodlicious Says:

    Not so mysterious ways Wolfhound, the creator must have been rolling drunk at least. Perhaps in addition to a few other chemical alterations to His sensory perceptions as well!

    His Noodliness does prefer we aim tell the Truth (TM) regarding His day of *Creativity.

  143. Skepticism Says:

    Noodle, not sure how you’ve missed it, but we are discovering functions carried out by “junk” DNA.

  144. Noodlicious Says:

    Let’s have some of those discovered functions from you then John :)

  145. Noodlicious Says:

    BTW who might “we” be Skep?

  146. Noodlicious Says:

    It’s only fair to offer creationists the opportunity to personally discredit themselves over and over with their own words…give “enough rope” so to speak :)

  147. firemancarl Says:

    What are those functions skep.?

  148. Karl Says:

    Well, to be fair, there are a number of hypothesis (and note the term: HYPOTHESIS) on the various functions that junk DNA could serve (unknown regulatory functions, buffer zones against DNA damage, etc), and despite the fact that removing some sections of junk DNA would still allow an organism to function and exhibit no phenotypical defects, a minimum amount appears to be necessary to maintain growth models. Now, what I want to know is, how junk DNA, however disputed regarding its functionality, supports ID.

  149. PatrickHenry Says:

    firemancarl Says:

    What are those functions skep?

    Junk DNA is essential for the construction of a creationist brain.

  150. Skepticism Says:

    I think the better way to look at it is this: Junk DNA does not preclude ID, so it is not a valid argument against ID.

  151. zygosporangia Says:

    How do you figure, McDonald?

    Why would your designer include junk DNA?

  152. zygosporangia Says:

    Also, I’m still waiting on your response regarding GAs.

  153. Karl Says:

    What junk DNA does do is remove one of the arguments supporting ID through its very existence. So in a sense, it does preclude ID as long as ID still uses Denton’s arguments as support material. I’m assuming you read how Denton was trying to justify ID by claiming that most/all of the human genome is functional. While Denton’s work may be a little outdated, but DI still cites the same tidbits in their current propaganda despite Denton himself asking to be removed from their website, and having published later material that contradicts many of his earlier claims.

  154. PatrickHenry Says:

    In this Discovery Institute blog entry: Another Intelligent Design Prediction Fulfilled: Function for a Pseudogene, Casey Luskin (that noted authority on nothing) declares that junk DNA has a purpose, because:

    … intelligent agents design objects for a purpose, and therefore intelligent design predicts that biological structures will have function.

  155. Skepticism Says:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v14/i2/junk_dna.asp

    The bottom line – we are finding functions for what has been called junk DNA. It is also necessary that we reevaluate exactly what we mean by junk DNA.

  156. deadman_932 Says:

    The bottom line is that you were once again talking out of your sphincter concerning things that YOU PERSONALLY know nothing about…information theory and genetics.

    FIRST UNDERSTAND THEN CRITICIZE, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

    If you had any real ethics, you’d do that — But I’m fairly sure at this point that you’ll say and do lots of unethical things just to maintain fictions that you have made essential to your identity.

    Creationists tend to do that a lot.

  157. Noodlicious Says:

    Skep says:
    “The bottom line – we are finding functions for what has been called junk DNA. It is also necessary that we reevaluate exactly what we mean by junk DNA.”

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v14/i2/junk_dna.asp

    An AiG classic :)
    “But now many of the DNA sequences formerly relegated to the junk pile have begun to obtain new respect for their role in genome structure and function, gene regulation and rapid speciation. On the other hand, there are examples of what seem to be true junk DNAs, sequences that had lost their functions, either to mutational inactivation that could have occurred post-Fall, or by God-ordained time limits set on their functions.”

    AiG goes on to quote all the papers and proposed functionsand then finishes up with:

    “There are several possible scenarios for the presence and function of the putative junk DNA sequences described above:
    • They all perform God-designed functions in present day organisms in their present form and location, though current research has not revealed what those are as yet. This is unlikely, as it seems clear that in some individuals and species, the placement or particular sequence of one of a family of non-coding DNAs can lead to deleterious effects such as cancer and genetic disease. This would contradict the Bible’s description of God’s original perfect creation.

    • All non-coding sequences could have been created with functions, but some have lost their functions due to God’s purposeful limitations, and/or accumulation of mutations post-Fall. This would fit in with our observation of the rest of creation, where, though the perfection of God’s design can be seen, it has become obscured by consequences of the Fall, allowing death and suffering to enter the world.

    • There is the possibility that some of the elements, such as the mobile elements in particular, have never had designed functions. Rather, they are pieces of degenerate DNA affected by the Fall that randomly move about and mutate genomes, causing only deleterious effects.”

    So if junk DNA is found to have a beneficial function, it’s part of God’s plan, but if it’s true junk DNA then it’s fallen DNA…..from the fall…sooooo only some DNA is fallen? Bit confused here Skep! Have you got references to the biblical passages that tell us which DNA is fallen and which isn’t?
    Thanks :)

  158. Noodlicious Says:

    Love all the “we”s Skep. Is that to try and give people the impression that creationists are somehow supportive/involved in the actual science of genetic investigations?

  159. zygosporangia Says:

    Still waiting on McDonald’s response regarding GAs…

  160. Skepticism Says:

    Noodle – Creationists are involved in the science of genetics and are involved in many other areas of science as well. Shocker huh?

    Zygo – already commented on the GA’s. Nothing further needs to be said. See above.

  161. Karl Says:

    I suppose you can consider them involved for their efforts in corrupting the core principles of genetics…

  162. zygosporangia Says:

    McDonald –

    I show that GAs generate new information, and you attempt to shift the definition of information.

    I’ll ask you again. Would you consider the solution to an optimization problem to be information, or not?

  163. Skepticism Says:

    Well, first, what do you mean by information? How can I answer your question if I don’t know how you are defining information?

  164. Noodlicious Says:

    “Creationists are involved in the science of genetics and are involved in many other areas of science as well.”

    Oh yeah….forgot about all the creationist quote mining of genuine research. Still waiting for the elusive peer reviewed *creation science* research paper published in a reputable science journal….

    In the mean time, about those bible references to DNA? Surely God wouldn’t have neglected to mention it?

  165. PatrickHenry Says:

    Noodlicious Says:

    “Creationists are involved in the science of genetics and are involved in many other areas of science as well.”

    Oh yeah….forgot about all the creationist quote mining of genuine research.

    Creationists are also involved in cosmology. They look up at the night sky and go: “Uhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhhhh! Ooooooooh!”

  166. zygosporangia Says:

    Nah. They look up at the night sky and think that what they see is no big deal, because their god made it in one day. “Pfft, whatever… those stars are only six thousand years old. Big whoop.”

    Of course, that brings up some very interesting logic conflicts. Creationists cannot hold to Relativity, or to any of the measurements we give to the stars. If we say a star is one million light-years away, they put their hands over their ears and rant incoherently about how the universe is only six thousand years old, and either light can magically travel faster, or the stars are much smaller and much closer than we think.

  167. zygosporangia Says:

    Perhaps the speed of light slowed down after the Fall?

    The very idea of such ridiculousness makes me laugh out loud.

  168. PatrickHenry Says:

    zygosporangia Says:

    Perhaps the speed of light slowed down after the Fall?

    The very idea of such ridiculousness makes me laugh out loud.

    It takes no imagination to construct an argument like that. For example, I’ve had it revealed to me that I’m Napoleon. Very long lifespan. I seem to have forgotten my French, but I don’t need it now.

    All evidence contrary to my TRUE identity is false. You’ll never convince me that I’m wrong. Know why? Because I am Napoleon!

  169. Noodlicious Says:

    Note to all creationists, (especially Skep), if you want to attempt discussing/debating science, do yourself a big big favor and read this article at Napoleon’s site link!

    “Advice for Creationists”
    http://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2008/08/22/advice-for-creationists/

  170. Noodlicious Says:

    I take the liberty of reposting a few of those excellent guidelines at the The Sensuous Curmudgeon so as Skep is more likely to actually see them!

    1. Neither ignorance of, astonishment at, dislike of, nor refusal to accept an existing theory will serve as scientific objections. All such arguments are really about you, not the theory.

    3. It should be obvious that denial of verifiable facts doesn’t score any points; it just costs you credibility. And blindly copying material found at frequently discredited websites — especially their often bogus quotes from alleged experts — is intellectually vacuous and makes you appear ridiculous.

    6. Likewise, quoting opinions of people who aren’t practicing in the field is of little value, because a scientific theory isn’t about opinion — it’s about testable explanations of verifiable data.

    7. Claiming that the theory somehow causes undesirable consequences — even if such claims were true — is irrelevant to the validity of the theory. Atomic theory, for example, is not discredited because of the bomb, nor is gravity discredited because someone gets tossed out of a window.

    Perhaps if they’re reminded enough times…and with the FSM’s aid…. and if pigs would fly…

  171. PatrickHenry Says:

    Noodlicious Says:

    I take the liberty of reposting a few of those excellent guidelines …

    Wow! Great find!

    /s/ Napoleon

  172. Noodlicious Says:

    Oh oh oh….and this..
    “Method One: If you want to present a rational argument against a theory — instead of a meaningless rant — probably the best method is to point out a verifiable fact that clearly contradicts the theory. But … to do this, you must understand the theory, so that you understand what might contradict it.”

    And…and…
    “Method Two: Another method of arguing against a theory is to present a testable theory of your own….”

    Just read ALL of it Skep!

  173. Noodlicious Says:

    Napoleon

    Great link! :)

  174. PatrickHenry Says:

    Noodlicious Says:

    Great link!

    That’s not a link. I wrote the thing. In fact, I’m still tweaking it. Soon I’ll add this near the end of the list of things not to do:

    8. Claims that a scientist (like Darwin) renounced his theory are meaningless, even if true — but as with Darwin’s fictitious deathbed recantation, such tales are rarely true. However, Galileo really did renounce the solar system (when threatened with torture), yet the heliocentric solar system theory survives quite handily. A scientific theory can survive renunciation by its originator, while a religion would probably collapse under similar circumstances, because a scientific theory is based on objectively verifiable evidence, not the support of its founder or anyone else.

  175. Noodlicious Says:

    PatrickHenry Says:

    “That’s not a link. I wrote the thing”

    Yeah…kinda guessed that :p)
    You do an excellent job over there. The Sensuous Curmudgeon has been on my bookmarks for quite some time, I have a number of saved pages from there in my *ammo* folder (:), but alas I don’t get over there often enough.

    Kudos for the great effort.

  176. Noodlicious Says:

    You know, it really beats me how Christian creationists can willfully ignore evidence like this…

    “Galactic ‘spaghetti monster’ powered by magnetic fields”
    http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn14573-galactic-spaghetti-monster-powered-by-magnetic-fields.html?DCMP=ILC-hmts&nsref=news1_head_dn14573

    The evidence just keeps piling up on an almost weekly basis!

  177. Skepticism Says:

    I read it the first time Noodle, but wasn’t impressed. I could make a similar humorous list for Evolutionists. But I think Lewontin’s famous quote will suffice and summarize your position nicely:

    “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

    Need I say more?

  178. deadman_932 Says:

    “Need you say more?”

    Sure, if you were honest, you COULD have said a great many things — things like:

    (1) Lewontin not speaking for all scientists.
    (2) Scientists (unlike servile theists) being unimpressed by authoritarian claims, regardless of the source. Not all will agree with all or even most of what Lewontin writes.
    (3) Lewontin was talking about astronomy, specifically.
    (4) You used a known quote mine.

    Here’s the full quote, in context, taken from

    Richard Lewontin, 1997. “Billions and billions of demons,” The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997 (review of Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark).

    “With great perception, Sagan sees that there is an impediment to the popular credibility of scientific claims about the world, an impediment that is almost invisible to most scientists. Many of the most fundamental claims of science are against common sense and seem absurd on their face. Do physicists really expect me to accept without serious qualms that the pungent cheese that I had for lunch is really made up of tiny, tasteless, odorless, colorless packets of energy with nothing but empty space between them? Astronomers tell us without apparent embarrassment that they can see stellar events that occurred millions of years ago, whereas we all know that we see things as they happen. When, at the time of the moon landing, a woman in rural Texas was interviewed about the event, she very sensibly refused to believe that the television pictures she had seen had come all the way from the moon, on the grounds that with her antenna she couldn’t even get Dallas. What seems absurd depends on one’s prejudice. Carl Sagan accepts, as I do, the duality of light, which is at the same time wave and particle, but he thinks that the consubstantiality of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost puts the mystery of the Holy Trinity “in deep trouble.” Two’s company, but three’s a crowd.

    Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.”

    Lewontin, along with Gould, believed that science was a tool — to be used for sociopolitical purposes in regard to class struggle. I wrote a paper back in high school disagreeing with this stance, among other things found in Gould and Lewontin. Dawkins also has written extensively on this, along with many other scientists.

    Furthermore, whatever Lewontin’s opinion on this matter or any matter, it is his opinion alone. Again, as I listed earlier, in science what counts is the intense competition of ideas, not blindly following. Stupid people (like yourself, “Skepticist”) seek only to confirm their own ideas. Smart people look for ways to DISPROVE their own ideas. You don’t even try to disprove anything that you accept blindly. All that you do is pretend that contrary evidence doesn’t exist.

    Example: Your claims (stolen from Gitt) on Information theory. You simply ran away from it.

    Oh, and don’t try to pretend that “evolutionists” are equally guilty in this regard.

    Here’s the facts: IF ID OR SOME OTHER FORM OF CREATIONISM HAD ANY VALID EVIDENCE, OR EVEN A RIGOROUSLY DEFINED MEANS OF SETTING FORWARD A VALID RESEARCH PROGRAM, SCIENCE WOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT.

    But neither ID or any other kind of creationism has ever set forward any valid, testable, supportable, repeatable, verifiable, falsifiable means of determining the validity of their vacuous claims.

    That’s the fact of the matter, Jack… and the funny part is that you’re simply too unaware to even know about this.

    You are merely a ventriliquist’s dummy regurgitating claims from creationists while simultaneously not being capable of knowing you’re spouting a falsehood or a quotemine , as you did with Lewontin.

  179. Skepticism Says:

    Deadman, the truth is Lewontin embarasses you, but you know you cannot truly differentiate yourself from him in regard to your materialistic philosophy. Furthermore, you act as if evolution has been tested and verified. There’s the big issue, and where you form your gigantic lie. Evolution has been tested, BUT FOUND WANTING. You also try to dismiss important quotes by crying “quotemine” but it is clear to all that Lewontin is not mincing words. Now run to Daddy Dawkins and suckle.