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“Scoundrel? Scoundrel…I like the sound of that”

Have you noticed that heroes are often scoundrels too (at least in the movies)? Can we say Rhett Butler or Han Solo?

Recall this romantic scene from The Empire Strikes Back:

Scoundrel I like the sound of that

Han: Hey! Your worship, I’m only trying to help.
Leia: Would you please stop calling me that?

Han: Sure…Leia.
Leia: You make it so difficult sometimes.

Han: I do. I really do. You could be a little nicer, though. C’mon admit it, sometimes you think I’m alright.
Leia: Occasionally, maybe, when you aren’t acting like a scoundrel.

Han: Scoundrel? Scoundrel…I like the sound of that.
Leia: Stop that. [as Han reaches for her hand]

Han: Stop what?
Leia: Stop that. My hands are dirty.

Han: My hands are dirty too. What are you afraid of?
Leia: Afraid?

Han: You’re trembling.
Leia: I’m not trembling.

Han: You like me because I’m a scoundrel. There aren’t enough scoundrels in your life.
Leia: I happen to like nice men.

Han: I’m a nice man.
Leia: No, you’re not… [as she kisses Han]

How appropriate that one of the most recent pro-ID books (by Tom Woodward) is named after The Empire Strikes Back. How appropriate that ID proponents (the “scoundrels” if you will) are winning the hearts and minds of the public.

Some Darwinists (like Barbara Forrest) must wonder why it is their smear campaigns are having inadequate effect. Didn’t creationist Kent Hovind go to jail after all, and didn’t creationist Ted Haggard admit to drug deals and a double life? Surely, that would have given incentive for creationists to abandon their beliefs….

But what is really at issue? Is it motivations? Is it integrity? Not at all. Here is what is really at stake — it was so aptly put by Hannah Maxson last year:

It’s not a personality issue at all, it’s an issue of good math and rigorous science, and avoiding charlatan rebuttals…

Dembski’s character is not a matter of discussion on this thread; even if he is a vile scoundrel, that is perfectly irrelevant. The question here has to do with math, which, happily, is not relative and cannot be tarnished by unsavory associations

Unsavory associations? Reminds me of the “unsavory associates” mentioned here

Throughout my brief tenure as director of Baylor’s Michael Polanyi Center, adversaries as well as supporters of my work constantly pointed to my unsavory associates. I was treated like a political figure who is unwilling to renounce ties to organized crime. It was often put to me: “Dembski, you’ve done some respectable work, but look at the disreputable company you keep.” Repeatedly I’ve been asked to distance myself not only from the obstreperous likes of Phillip Johnson but especially from the even more scandalous young earth creationists.

Bill Dembski

The creationists were likened to The Godfather. [note: the picture in the link even has Brando wearing a tuxedo!]. I love it.

The Darwinists can attempt character assassination of ID proponents and creationists all they want. We can be likened to corrupt politicians in league with organized crime. But in the end, even if we are vile scoundrels, that is perfectly irrelevant to scientific truth. The inference remains that life and the universe were intelligently designed.

And this inference is becoming more and more widely accepted as hinted by this poll. 66% accept the idea that God created man only 10,000 years ago. This number is slightly higher than in previous polls. And let’s be clear, both Young Earth Creationists (YECs) and a good number of Old Earth Creationists (OECs) agree that modern man was specially created recently 10,000 years ago. Acceptance of special creation implies a growing acceptance also of ID.

Was it only 538 ago that judge John E. Jones’ kangaroo court ruled that criticisms of Darwin in the science classroom were unconstitutiona? At the time, Jones’ Dover ruling seemed like the end of ID. Hardly!

Now, regarding that poll, the specialness of the number 10,000 is not limited to YECs, but is subscribed to by many OECs, and ironically even by some anti-IDists!

Harold Morowitz (of Mclean vs. Arkansas fame and public critic of ID) wrote:

The rate of change has sped up from the earliest hominids onto the cultural domain. Throughout the Holocene, the changes have been anthropogenic, caused by Homo Sapiens. Something very major emerged about 10,000 years ago.
….
Homo Sapiens as a species is about 200,000 years old and has spread over much of the habitable world. Many groups have been isolated from others, as seen in the evolution of races. Yet within a 6,000-year window, agriculture seems to have been discovered (implemented) by seven very diverse and widely separated groups.
….
We have to reason from knowledge of modern humans in a variety of cultures and the historical record, which covers only about 6,000 years.…..

The mind is much more of a primitive [a fundamental entity] than are atoms and quarks. For us, the mind and the universe are not separable….

We study God’s immanence through science…

Harold Morowitz
Emergence of Everything

Let the facts continue to prevail. And if an aspiring ID proponent is accused of being a scoundrel, let him respond, “Scoundrel? Scoundrel…I like the sound of that.”

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30 Responses to “Scoundrel? Scoundrel…I like the sound of that”

  1. Ha! Sal, I wonder if you typed that from memory. Good points anyway.

    I like to think that in regards to a Biblical world view, I’ve cast other’s opinions to the wind; I’m no longer reluctant to confess belief. Although until the poll, I enjoyed thinking of myself as being in the minority, a sort of literalist rebel, or “scoundrel.”

    The results are rather surprising, I suppose. Until you consider that people are often reluctant to say in public what they really believe, because the bullies abound. You can get it out of them in relative privacy, where others can’t use their statements against them.

  2. Ah, back from vacation. So much to read up on!

    Regarding this poll – I’m not sure I trust the validity of it, as I believe ‘these are your two choices’ are a little narrow. There are middle-grounds, and the two extremes both carry implications I don’t favor.

    That said, there’s one thing I can agree with – like it or not, humanity as we understand it is not as old as our biological components alone would seem to be. Agriculture, human history, etc are recent developments.

    I don’t believe humans appeared out of nowhere that long ago; old earth, old ancestry, even common descent is fine by me. But “something special” certainly seems to have happened to this beast called homo sapiens sapiens relatively recently in our history. Is the distinction between a professor of evolutionary biology and a man of 20k years ago distinct enough to consider them to be in a different class compared to each other? I think it’s worth pondering, regardless of the age of the meat, so to speak.

  3. Here is some surprising attempts at geneologies from other cultures. They all shockingly converge on the figure Morowitz cites:

    RECORDS OF HUMAN LONGEVITY FROM OTHER NATIONS

    Data From 88 Generations of Kings of China – 2943 B.C.-314 B.C.

    Data From 124 Generations of Kings of India – 2964 B.C.-1193 A.D.

    They also corroborate Cornell geneticist John Sanford’s Genetic Entropy hypothesis.

    What is especially astonishing:

    1. 7 geographically dispersed cultures independently discover agriculture

    2. written language appears about the same time (again, in geographically dispersed regions).

    3. Artifacts like pyramids appear about the same time in geographically dispersed regions.

    4.Geneological records go back only to those times (ask yourself, why did this happen simultaneously to geographically dispersed cultrues).

    Of course, one could argue there are geneologies that reach farther back, we just haven’t found them. They are missing links….

  4. Sal – I think the explanation for a rise in civilisation 10 000 years ago is based around climatic change, as that was the end of the Younger Dryas, when the earth (or at least bits of it) became warmer again.

    Steven Mithen’s book After the Ice is a good source on what happened, and the evidence.

    Bob

  5. Han: I’m a nice man.
    Leia: No, you’re not… [as she kisses Han]
    —-
    Wrong – it should be… [Han kisses her]

    ;-)

  6. Sal – I think the explanation for a rise in civilisation 10 000 years ago is based around climatic change, as that was the end of the Younger Dryas, when the earth (or at least bits of it) became warmer again.

    Then you have to add to Sal’s list of new human innovations “induce climate change”. Perhaps the first farmers were employing slash-and-burn agricultural techniques.

  7. 7

    I just saw this story today: “Investigating a collection of graves from the Upper Paleolithic (about 26,000 to 8,000 BC), archaeologists found several that contained pairs or even groups of people with rich burial offerings and decoration.”

    http://news.aol.com/topnews/ar.....0000000001

  8. How come nobody here doubts the radiometric datings?

    Do you all believe that dinosaurs’ proteins/DNA survived for 100 million years?

  9. 9
    sagebrush gardener

    How come nobody here doubts the radiometric datings?

    I am highly skeptical, but not having a technical background in the subject I have been keeping my doubts to myself. I was hoping an educated doubter would chime in sooner or later.

    SG

  10. I believe radiometric dating is common throughout geology and involves several different measures. Thus, thousands are taught this methodology each year and tens of thousands if not more observations are made also every year. From what I understand to do it right is tricky and requires care of sample and methodolgy.

    If a system such as this was bogus, then there would be a big outcry from those who care nothing about evolution one way or the other and who just wanted an accurate method of dating materials. Apparently each isotope has its own decay rate and a rock or other material is evaluated on several isotopes to estimate its age. If the measures disagree on a particular object then it is stated and other means are used to reconcile the differences.

    It might be suspect if radiometric dating was just one test but it is a whole suite of tests. To dispute it is in a sense challenging a lot of the finding in physics in the last 100 years.

    Maybe someone with a geology background would want to comment.

  11. Salvador,

    An explanation for your statements is that there might have been trade going on. On the other thread about what happened 10,000 years ago, I mentioned that there is evidence of walled cities and trade at about 9,000 BC and the dates you are mentioning are much later. There certainly were mass miigrations before this as the Americas were populated well before this time so there is no reason to think that there might not have been some trade or an exchange of ideas.

    So there could have been an ancient diffusion of innovation. Smart people copy what others are doing.

  12. 12
    sagebrush gardener

    Matthew,

    Here is a Google search that leads to a lot of articles expressing doubts about the accuracy of radiometric dating methods.

    Knowing the philosophical biases of the scientific community, I strongly suspect that an initial assumption of an old earth combined with more than a little circular reasoning was involved in the development of these methods.

  13. Matthew Tan wrote:

    How come nobody here doubts the radiometric datings?

    Do you all believe that dinosaurs’ proteins/DNA survived for 100 million years?

    I think there are errors in radiometric dating and some of my research into racemization (inspired by the best YECs in the world at Loma Linda/GRI), suggested C-14 dates for certain fossils were pulled totally out of the air. I did this in 2004. One of the data points by Protsch and Jeffrey Bada measured in the 1970′s looked totally bogus. In 2004, Portsch was then found guilty of falsifying data including the papers he authored in the 1970′s. It was satisfying that the work of the YECs in Loma Linda/GRI and some of my research independently confirmed Protsch’s data points were bogus, and the C-14 numbers in question were highly suspicious.

    See this thread: Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil

    [That thread was a bit comical because one of the Darwinist PhD candidates by the name of Josh Rosenau was totally botching the science. He totally blew basic algebra and Chemistry and I had a field day with him.]

    But radiometric dating should NOT be totally dismissed. You may be interested in the ongoing discussions at a YoungCosmos.com

    The website is in the middle of construction, but it’s functional. Feel free to look at 2 threads:

    History of the Light-Speed Debate by Helen Setterfield

    and

    Criticisms of YEC RATE group

  14. I’d like to offer that there are 2 distinct approaches to affixing dates to the human past:

    1. A demonstratable succession of records being handed down (i.e. recorded history)

    2. Speculative affixing of dates

    With respect to the geneologies, I would be curious what the paper trail is.

    Some of the dates affixed to burial sites etc. could be totally incorrect, but if correct, we get even more astonishing finds where we have “evidence” of advanced human activity 50 million years ago. That is the topic of Forbidden Archaeology.

  15. Jerry, Scordova, sagebrush gardener

    “If a system such as this was bogus, then there would be a big outcry from those who care nothing about evolution one way or the other and who just wanted an accurate method of dating materials.”

    Theory is one thing. But practice is another thing. The fact of the matter is, if radiometric dating is so good, then there is no need to date geological strata by fossils. And that is an undeniable fact. Fossils are used to date strata, and the rocks from the strata are used to date fossils. In one of my readings, it was said that evolutionists put more faith on evolution-based-fossil datings than on radiometric datings.

    The problem is people who ask for datings are evolutionists, and they get their own “trusted” laboratories to do the datings.

    The dates have to be within the limits predicted by evolutionary history. If not, they are rejected as “wrong” dates.

    Scordova (above @14) gave the example of “Forbidden Archaeology”.

    There was excellent documentation on one fossil example in Marvin Lubenow’s book, Bones of Contention (2004) In this example, a hominid fossil was dated to be several hundred millions years old several times. Re-datings were done over a period of more than ten years, yielding vastly different results. In the end, the date was “settled” by reference to a pig fossil. So, it was the assumed evolutionary fossil date of the pig that settled the dating of the hominid fossil.

    I believe the hominid in question was KNM-ER 1470. I read this almost ten years old. So, I am writing from memory. The book I read was 1992 edition, Chapter: The Dating Game.

  16. “the historical record, which covers only about 6,000 years”

    This is the primary reason I suspect that we have been fooled by radiometric datings of human fossils.

    Homo erectus were found in Java, supposedly 250,000-400,000 years ago. If they were able to cross the seas to islands so far away from mainland S.E. Asia, they must be very intelligent.

    Yet, recorded history only began about 6000 years ago.

    See the figurines in the pictures here, supposedly dated dated between 28,000 and 25,000 BC.

    http://users.hol.gr/~dilos/prehis/prerm4.htm

    I find it hard to believe that intelligent people capable of sea-faring and craft work (figurines) took so long to have our/their history recorded.

    Also, Neanderthals were known to make musical instrument (something like flute that produced the right notes) and necklaces.

  17. Sal,

    The fossil record is not a record incremental change, but of saltations (which Darwinists are desperate to deny and explain away). I’ve described this as biological epiphany (as though biology had a sudden awakening or insight, and something completely new came about in one fell swoop, such as bird-like flight).

    Since the fossil record is a consistent record of sudden transition to something new and fundamentally different, wouldn’t it be consistent with the evidence and bio-historical track record that humanity, as we think of it today, appeared suddenly on the scene, saltationally, just like other major innovations?

  18. Matthew Tan: “Theory is one thing. But practice is another thing. The fact of the matter is, if radiometric dating is so good, then there is no need to date geological strata by fossils. And that is an undeniable fact. Fossils are used to date strata, and the rocks from the strata are used to date fossils. In one of my readings, it was said that evolutionists put more faith on evolution-based-fossil datings than on radiometric datings.”

    The reason radiometric dating is not a panacea for dating fossils is because fossils are generally found in sedimentary rocks, and radiometric dating requires ingneous rocks, especially crystals like zircon. You can have very new sedimentary rock containing very old crystals. The radiometric date might be completely valid, and tell you exactly the age of the zircon, but nothing at all about the age of the sedimentary rock in which it is found. This is no fault of the radiometric method.

    When conditions are good for radiometric dating (generally in rocks without a fossil in sight!) modern, independent methods can control and correct for diffusion and contamination and provide results so close together, so often, it is hard to see how they can all be invalid (except if you start playing around with fundamental constants like Setterfield et al., who tacitly accept the technique but modify the time scale). I started out as a YEC sceptic of this stuff years ago, but I’ve worked with people involved with this, and they are very careful, conservative scientists with no agenda.

    Writing off an entire method because of a few bad practictioners, or a few bad data points, is not a good way to conduct science, no matter what the subject.

  19. “Writing off an entire method because of a few bad practictioners, or a few bad data points, is not a good way to conduct science, no matter what the subject.”

    No problem, and I agree with you here. I do not question the age of the Earth, and many things like the age of Cambrian layers.

    But I have plenty of doubts about dating of human fossils. Pre-suppositions drive evolution science – this is admitted by quite a number of distinguished evolutionists themselves.

    And evolutionary pre-suppositions will decide whether the evolutionist will use carbon dating or potassium/argon dating, for example. And that alone is sufficient to decide whether something is less or more than 30,000 – 60,000 years old.

    Now, how do you explain Homo erectus (or related early human species) ending up in Java, Bali,Flores,Timor, Australia, etc.?

    They said Homo erectus must be carried there in the seas by floating mat of vegetation. Is that believable?

    Or the alternative? That is, Homo erectus built rafts for fishing purpose, and then develop rafts to cross the seas?

    See here for the map of Indonesian islands.

    http://encyclopedia.thefreedic.....IA_map.jpg

    See here for experimental efforts to ascertain the minimum requirements for Stone Age people to cross Indonesian seas – based on the theory that Stone Age people really built sea-navigation capable rafts.

    The minimum requirements should serve to prove or disprove that Homo erectus could be carried across the seas by floating vegetation.

    http://www.sciencenews.org/art.....8/bob8.asp

  20. On early humans navigating Indonesian seas, and Stone Age culture.

    …Our Stone Age ancestors were certainly smart enough to have traversed a nautical obstacle course such as the Lombok Strait, Bednarik contended in the April Cambridge Archaeological Journal. Findings by researchers working in Asia and Africa suggest that rock art, decorative beads, engraved stones, and hunting spears all originated at least several hundred thousand years before the appearance of H. sapiens. Such accomplishments would require that individuals speak to one another and assign abstract meanings to various objects and symbols, in Bednarik’s opinion.

    Only watercraft navigators and especially hardy, swimming creatures reached the island in the thick of the Stone Age, Morwood says. Dating of stone-tool-bearing sediment indicates that H. erectus occupied the island 840,000 years ago, in his view. At that time, fossil discoveries show that rodents and now-extinct elephants also lived there. Modern versions of these animals are renowned as long-distance swimmers.

    “[Stone Age] seafaring appears to have been possible,” says anthropologist Tim Bromage of Hunter College, City University of New York. Southeast Asian bamboo that grows in stalks as thick as 12 inches across provides a versatile material for building rafts with the aid of simple stone tools, he notes.

    The next phase of Bednarik’s rafting experiments has moved to Europe. Proposals that H. erectus intentionally traveled to Mediterranean islands and entered Europe from Africa via the Strait of Gibraltar have attracted considerable controversy (SN: 1/4/97, p. 12).

    [Another opinion]

    A small number of H. erectus individuals may accidentally have reached Flores, perhaps by floating on mats of vegetation, in Davidson’s opinion.

    [Comment on "armchair archaelogists"]

    For now, academic squabbling worries Bednarik far less than the challenge of navigating a raft through the Strait of Gibraltar’s strenuous currents. “Armchair archaeologists, who think that sea crossings are a piece of cake, really ought to try doing this on drifting vegetation,” he says.

    http://www.sciencenews.org/art.....8/bob8.asp

  21. When conditions are good for radiometric dating (generally in rocks without a fossil in sight!) modern, independent methods can control and correct for diffusion and contamination and provide results so close together, so often, it is hard to see how they can all be invalid (except if you start playing around with fundamental constants like Setterfield et al., who tacitly accept the technique but modify the time scale). I started out as a YEC sceptic of this stuff years ago, but I’ve worked with people involved with this, and they are very careful, conservative scientists with no agenda.

    I welcome your views on this. If you have links to criticisms of the YEC RATE group, I would be very much appreciative.

    I tend to accept dates that can have a paper trail (i.e. we can start from today, and work an uninterrupted time line to the earliest records). I am suspicious of “dates” fixed out of the air.

    I was a Darwinist, turned Old Earth Creationist (I’m still 15% OEC provisionally). It would be an interesting scholarly study to trace back uninterrupted paper trails of human history. I would suppose the 10,000 year number will continue to indicate something very special and extra-ordinary happened at that time.

    We can think of how slowly languages change. It seems, like the Cambrian Explosion, there was also a language explosion, and only micro evolution, not macro-evolution of languages. Ah, the subject of another inquiry!

  22. scordova,

    You might be interested in reading Bill Cooper’s book, “After the Flood,” which is online here.

    From the back cover of my 1995 copy:

    The author lays out astonishing evidence showing how the earliest Europeans recorded their descent from Noah through Japheth in meticulously kept records, knew all about Creation and the Flood, and had encounters with creatures we would call dinosaurs. These records of other nations lend chapters 10 and 11 of Genesis a degree of accuracy that sets them apart from all other historical documents of the ancient world.

  23. Janice,

    Thank you!!! I posted a discussion of it at YoungCosmos.

    More proof of the great flood…

  24. Sal,

    Are you a YEC?

  25. Visit http://www.YoungCosmos.com to get a better idea of my position.

    Here is a direct answer to your question. Genesis and Other Scriptures

    Sal

    PS
    Great seeing you at the last to Discovery Institute events.

  26. Yah, Sal, I wanted to talk to you more, darn it, now I won’t get the chance! – I’m moving to SoCal next week.

    I would have liked to discuss your views in person. I am finding myself more interested in YEC theses, and I will be perusing your site.

  27. [...] Bill Dembski Scoundrel Scoundrel?…I like the sound of that? [...]

  28. [...] 6. ID was invented to get creationism into public schools and is part of a right wing conspiracy to create a theocracy, and ID proponents are scoundrels and liars. These claims are false, but even if true, they are completely irrelevant to the truth or falsehood of ID in biology. I posted on the irrelevance of ID proponents being scoundrels. See: Scoundrel? Scoundrel?…I like the sound of that. [...]

  29. [...] Scoundrel Scoundrel, I like the sound of that [...]

  30. [...] Scoundrel Scoundrel, I like the sound of that [...]

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