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Can We Afford To Be Charitable To Darwinists?

An earlier thread here wondered which group (presumably, Darwinists or IDists/Creationists) was more charitable. At TSZ,  a rhetorical post full of anti-ID venom popped up asking if IDists “deserved” charity (as in, charitable interaction & debate).  (Previously, I would have provided a link to the TSZ post, but I’m no longer interested in “fair play”.)

I used to be one that diligently attempted to provide Darwinists charitable interaction.  I tried not to ridicule, demean, or use terms that would cause hurt or defensive feelings.  My hope was that reason, politely offered, would win the day.  My theistic perspective is that returning the bad behavior I received at sites like TSZ would be wrong on my part.  I thought I should stick to politely producing logical and evidence-based exchanges, regardless of what Darwinists did. I note that several others here at UD do the same.  Lately, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that what I’m attempting to do is the equivalent of bringing a knife to a gun fight; polite reasoning with Darwinists, for the most part, is simply setting up our own failure.  It’s like entering a war zone with rules of engagement that effectively undermine a soldier’s capacity to adequately defend themselves, let alone win a war.  While pacifism is a laudable idea, it does not win wars. It simply gives the world to the barbarians.

And that’s the problem; a lot of us don’t realize we’re in a war, a war where reason, truth, religion and spirituality is under direct assault by the post-modern equivalent of barbarians.  They, for the most part, have no compunction about lying, misleading, dissembling, attacking, blacklisting, ridiculing, bullying and marginalizing; more than that, they have no problem using every resource at their means, legal or not, polite or not, reasonable or not, to destroy theism, and in particular Christianity (as wells as conservative/libertarian values in general).  They have infiltrated the media, academia and the entertainment industry and use their influence to generate narratives with complete disregard for the truth, and entirely ignore even the most egregious barbarism against those holding beliefs they disagree with.

Wars are what happen when there is no common ground between those that believe in something worth fighting for.  There is no common ground between the universal post-modern acid of materialist Darwinism and virtually any modern theism. There is no common ground between Orwellian statism-as-God and individual libertarianism with freedom of (not “from”) religion.   There is only war.  One of the unfortunate problems of war is that certain distasteful methods must be employed simply because they are the only way to win. In this war, in a society that is largely a low-information, media-controlled battleground, logic and reason are, for the most part, ineffective.  The truth is ineffective because it is drowned out by a concerted cacophony of lies, or simply ignored by the gatekeepers of low-information infotainment.  What has been shown effective is the Alinsky arsenal of rhetoric, emotional manipulation, and narrative control.

I would find it distasteful to pick up a gun in a ground war and have to shoot others to defend my family and way of life, but I would do so.  Should I not pick up Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and employ the weapons of my adversaries, if it is the most effective way  – perhaps the only way – of winning the cultural war?  There comes a point in time where all the high ground offers is one’s back against the precipice as the barbarian horde advances.

Does it make one a barbarian if one employs the tactics of the barbarian to win the war?  I’ve seen that argument countless times in the media: we will become that which we are fighting against.  I used to identify with that – I wouldn’t lower myself to “their” level.  The war wasn’t worth winning if it meant using the tactics of the enemy.  Now, however, I see that sentiment as part of the cultural conditioning towards the failure of good, principled people while the post-modernists employ our principles, our sense of reason, of good, of fair play, against us.  They have no compunction using the principles of Christianity (or any rational theistic morality) as a bludgeon to coerce the religious/spiritual into giving up social ground.

I would never pick up a gun and use it on anyone other than in circumstances where myself or my loved ones or way of life was at risk; and, after protecting those things, I would set it aside.  I have realized that there are weapons that must be used in a cultural war like we now face that I would never employ otherwise.  Using them in such a case doesn’t make me like those who use them all the time, in every case and instance, for whatever they want. Using a club to beat the barbarians back doesn’t make me a barbarian; it keeps the barbarians from taking over. Politely reasoning with them to protect a politely reasoning society only serves to hand the city over to the horde.

It isn’t using a club, or Alinsky-style tactics, that makes one a barbarian; it’s what one uses those tools in service of that makes the difference.  Would you lie to, ridicule, blacklist, bully a Nazi, if it meant saving your civilization? Make no mistake: that’s how they see us – as neanderthal Nazis standing in the way of their utopian, statist, religion-free, morally relative, science-as-gospel society – and they are willing to do anything to win their goal.

So, the question isn’t, to paraphrase the TSZ heading, “do Darwinists deserve charity”; of course they deserve it. Everyone does. That’s part of our modern, moral, rational theistic morality.  But the sad fact is, we cannot afford to give them charity, because to give them charity, IMO, is to give aid and comfort to an enemy bent upon our destruction, and the destruction of our way of life.

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752 Responses to Can We Afford To Be Charitable To Darwinists?

  1. I STRONGLY disagree. I think you have the wrong objective. The people over at TSZ (for the most part) will never EVER be won over by reason, evidence, or logic. However, the people WITNESSING the debate, with an open mind, could possibly be won by those very ingredients if applied in a charitable manner.

    “Be not weary in well doing.”

    We should always strive to maintain a polite and civil discourse with those who oppose themselves by believing in lies.

    It takes MUCH self-control and a hard shell, but stooping to their level will not work.

  2. ‘And that’s the problem; a lot of us don’t realize we’re in a war, a war where reason, truth, religion and spirituality is under direct assault by the post-modern equivalent of barbarians.’

    I haven’t yet finished reading your post, William Murray, but this is absolutely spot on.

    We are engaged in both a political and a spiritual battle here, just part of the ubiquitous spiritual battle of extraordinary ferocity of our diurnal affairs in this World; not polite academic exchanges, putatively generating only light. Consequently, it intrigues me to see the sporadic recrudescence of threads in which a mutual admiration society congratulates itself on its mutual courtesy and all-round decency – not like SOME PEOPLE….!

    Another consideration is a simple fact of my own experience: There are people who will give you a very hard time, unless and until you ‘lose it’ and ‘lower the boom’ on them. It’s as if they want to know what boundaries you set for them, draw a ‘line in the sand’ (‘pace’ Reynard); an affective response engaging the emotions, not a matter of establishing mutually-agreed truths in an atmosphere of mutually docile serenity.

    Perhaps, most importantly, from the political angle, in the face of wilful, obdurate ignorance, (sometimes perhaps serious enough to constitute blasphemy against the Holy Spirit), there is simply no substitute for mockery and derision. It’s the only weapon we have, pending a new, spiritual dawn, but a very powerful one, and able to exert very far-reaching effects.

    Total wars mean many staple moral commandments have to be marginalised, in favour of all-out attack, which of course, is, also, defence of the last, desperate resort. But unavoidable.

  3. I disagree, John. But respect your Christian attitude.

  4. One more thought: The battle will NEVER be won by arguing on internet discussion forums (he said while arguing on an internet discussion forum).

    Do your best to CHARITABLY educate your family, your friends, your co-workers, and those you come into contact with in the “real world” and use the internet to sharpen your skills and educate yourself.

    You can be 100% right and lose an argument because you were rude. I know this because I’ve done it. If you lose the person you were having a discussion with because you could not (or would not) control your temper, the substance of your argument doesn’t matter. ’nuff said and God bless-

  5. Incidentally, deeply ironical mockery was a part of Jesus’ and his Apostles’ own armoury, in their defence against a lethal, religious Establishment.

    ‘I have cured many people of illnesses and performed many acts of kindness. For which of these are you reproaching me.’ Not verbatim, but close enough. I think with Peter, it was the cure of a crippled man.

    And his imputation that the true status of the rich man, who didn’t care tuppence about the indigent Lazarus, was lower than that of the street dogs, who, in their hapless, stumbling compassion licked Lazarus’ sores, was pretty ‘strong meat’, indeed, could scarcely have been more withering.

  6. It’s total war. The raucous, anti-ID, materialist polemicists tend not to be the ones who are in good faith.

    Like the homosexual activists, who will stop at nothing to achieve their ends, including closing down Catholic adoption agencies throughout the UK, quite different from many of their confreres, often quiet, gentle souls, who just want to carry on with their lives as best they can with the cards they feel they’ve been dealt, in peace and quiet.

  7. A good example of employing the tactics of the barbarian is Discovery Institute’s demand for Ball State University to investigate the “Dangerous Ideas” course whose sole textbook is an anthology edited by a prominent atheist that includes articles arguing (among other things) that “Science Must Destroy Religion.”
    Arguing against academic freedom is barbaric but I believe Discovery Institute is right in doing so:

    “If BSU is serious about its new neutrality standard for professors on religious questions, then the standard needs to be applied to atheist professors just as much as theistic ones.”

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....76591.html

  8. WJ:

    I hear you, you are right about the total nature of a culture struggle we face.

    But, today is Battle of Britain day.

    That reminds us that a force in being strategy can block a ruthless agenda.

    Long run, so long as we are a viable force that stands and makes our case, exposing and correcting the opposition, we win. When you are up against abundant, credible signs in the world that point to design of cosmos and life, up to and including us, then you have a really uphill struggle,a s you have to ideologically warp ability to see what is there.

    You cannot warp the vision of all the people all the time, and when you face a force in being you cannot do as you please.

    Cf here

    KF

  9. Ephesians 6:10-18
    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
    And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

    Music:

    Skillet – Awake and Alive
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aJUnltwsqs

    Kingdom Of God Vs. Kingdom Of Darkness
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4060606

    Creed – Bullet
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtCHFLMRX78

    Flyleaf – Chasm (Living Water)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-BvOuE7wfw

    Red – Feed The Machine
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj2uZO7xnus

    Then again:

    Lit – My Own Worst Enemy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc5iTNVEOAg

    :)

    Addison Road – Fight Another Day-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_6aJr2yZW8

  10. We musn’t forget, Jesus was being completely charitable while overturning the money changers tables, or calling the Pharisees a brood of vipers.

    Let’s read the whole Bible please, and not interpret it in light of our tradition, but only in light of what it really is saying. Harder said than done, but we’d better try our darndest if we are going to even think about living as Christ.

    I decided quite some time ago that being charitable to new atheists was telling them how stupid they are. And so I do.

  11. Brent:

    [snip]
    ‘If a good man strikes or reproves me it is kindness;
    but let not the oil of the wicked not anoint my head.
    Let my prayer be ever against their malice.

    Their princes were overthrown by the side of the rock;
    then they understood that my words were kind.
    [snip]

    … from Psalm 141

  12. Impressive how you can convert under-informed people ranting against science that they don’t understand, on a blog, into a war against Nazis in defense of all that is good and true in the world.

  13. timaeus, take my advice – whatever you do in your time participating at UD, just don’t make a comment in this thread about being uncharitable to ghosts. Ignore that this actually *is* part of ‘IDism’ and the movement that IDT has spawned among neo-creationists. It would tar you with association to the IDM. You’re an anti-atheist warrior just as much as WJM is and Brent is, after all, right? ;)

    “It’s total war.”

    This thread is both wonderful and pitiful! :P WJM probably doesn’t realise how badly this OP and his attitude reflects on IDism to most people, i.e. to non- and anti-IDists. And the comments so far from Alex and Brent especially are a perfect example of what IDism is actually mainly about. It’s not really about ‘science’; it’s first and foremost part of a culture war…by intention, by activism, by choice.

    Ah, those war-mongering American ‘movements’! Why not just fight your way out of all your problems?

    Of course, not all atheists are uncharitable, nor are all IDists. Nevertheless, imo, the level of thought and scientific competence is substantially higher at TSZ than here at UD, with its many YECists, aka ‘backwards folks.’

    But then again, as this thread shows, IDism isn’t really about ideas, it’s mainly about attempts at ‘cultural renewal’ and employs ‘resistance’ to the rising secularism in the USA, just as the original name of the “Centre for the Renewal of Science and Culture” displayed. It makes one wonder if UDers realise why the Disco changed the title, dropping “the Renewal” – was it just too obvious and counter-productive to the ‘strictly [natural] scientific’ aims of IDism? And yet here’s WJM with more Renewal talk as if he doesn’t understand.

    Perhaps a Nigerian-Brit can provide some hope – “Even in War”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SDTXpC7ytQ

    Calls for peace and reconciliation will probably slip by many UDers as you continue to angrily attack pretty much anyone for disagreeing logically, coherently, rationally and effectively against IDism. That’s partly why most scientists, philosophers and theologians who are theists that gave IDT an initial opportunity to be relevant and meaningful have given up on IDism. They/we realise that all you folks want to do is complain and argue, yet with very little of any serious science to offer moving forward.

    Iac, for the record, I proposed charity on the TSZ thread in question.

    You Christian-IDist ‘warriors’ who don’t actually do serious scholarship that could eventually change what is problematic in the current situation employ such strange tactics, especially in the USA with its amazingly distorted views of ‘evolution.’ The Roman Catholic Church is so far above Americanistic ideas about ‘evolution’ it is not even fair to compare these ‘institutions’ of thought, mind and life.

    Bomb Syria to h#ll any *anyone* who disagrees with IDism. Such is the sad attitude of spirit displayed in this thread so far.

  14. I don’t know who said it, but I am certain it’s true: “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” The demise of Darwinism and its replacement with ID is such an idea. The reason that Darwinists are fighting so ferociously and desperately is because they can see the writing on the wall, and they are deeply afraid, afraid for their worldview and with it how they identify themselves. I agree with John, adopting their rudeness and venom will only impede the process.

    Darwinism’s demise will usher in a new birth of spirituality. But although I know a lot of you on this blog will object, it will not be a renewal of Christianity, or indeed any currently recognized religion. There are millions of people in this country and around the world who accept the existence of a Creator but who reject all the old forms of worship, who are open to a new understanding of God and our relationship with Him/Her/It. The result of the demise of Darwinism and with it the materialist view of the world will be a flowering of this new and deeper understanding of the true nature of God, ourselves, and the creation.

  15. Gregory,

    You seem intelligent enough to make some very good points, but your lack of either ability (doubtful) or willingness (more likely) to parse the actuality of the situation and circumstances only guarantees you to be wizzing in the wind.

    There are many posts by those advocating, or at least not unwilling to consider using, what are considered (kindly note and think about those italics) uncharitable means to shame (that is at least what I hope to achieve, because shame is exactly the medicine required) those who are being shameless, that are quite charitable.

    Hopefully that last (long) sentence can help you step back and consider the actual situation, that perhaps the “uncharitableness” we are speaking of here is only a very subsequent tool used in a much broader battle; yes, of actual science. Perhaps you can then allow yourself to consider that the foot that the shoe fits on — the shoe of ideology leading the way — belongs to the naturalist, materialist, atheists. If it didn’t, then it seems rather strange that it is well documented of how such ruthlessly try to silence the rigorous dissenting voices.

  16. Some of this I agree with, some of this I disagree with.

    First, I agree that you shouldn’t try to be “nice” in dealing with materialists. You shouldn’t attempt good faith debate with individuals who don’t, and can’t, argue in good faith.

    Darwinian materialism implies the nonexistence of objective truth, of objective rules of logic, and of our ability to grasp objective rules of logic to find and know objective truth. For the materialists, establishing the “truth” is all about winning the “narrative” by any means necessary rather than reason, so it’s foolish to enter a debate with them expecting anything other than ridicule, lies, appeals to consensus, threats, violence where they have the power to get away with it, and so forth.

    However, the whole reason for combating them is to bring people to the Truth, to reestablish truth and reason as supreme, and to dispel lies and false narratives. That’s where I can’t agree with the full use of the Alinskyite arsenal: too many of Alinsky’s tactics revolve around dishonesty and the promulgation of lies.

    We should all be unrelentingly truthful – with an emphasis on the “unrelenting”. That does not preclude going after opponents with both barrels, mocking them for their logical perversity and subjectivism, and using other high-pressure tactics to cow them and undermine their credibility. While this means you will lack one of their weapons – the use of convenient lies – it also means that they will lack a weapon that you have, that being the fact that peoples’ natural common sense and capacity for reason will be on your side. And remember: every lie you expose is a lie you can mock.

  17. “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.”

    That was the atheist, Victor Hugo.

    IDism is far from being a ‘revolution’ in the making. The rhetoric-frantic, PR project at the Disco Institute isn’t convincing natural scientists to adopt their ideology. Why should you?

    And theists, who Bruce David mostly ignores out of myopia for his IDist activism, are defending good and responsible science too, including limited evolutionary theories.

    If the world was created by God, then ‘strictly [natural] science’ can neither prove nor disprove that. It requires philosophy and theology, something IDists have shown themselves mostly incapable of adding fruitfully to the discourse. And now we see they want to act uncharitably against atheists, whom they already discriminate against by the logic of their ‘Transcendent Designer’ theory.

    There’s no need to be afraid of IDism because it is self-disqualifying from the outset.

  18. Here is the link that William declined to give in his opening post:

    Do ID proponents deserve charity?

    I think there may be a typo in the thread title. William surely intended to ask “Can we afford not to be charitable to Darwinists?”

    And some words from Matthew 5:38-44

    Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

    But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

    And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

    Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

    Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

    But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

  19. Neil Rickert,

    Did you not notice that those injunctions/commandments of Jesus addressed personal slights and transgressions against a person, made by another individual?

    And how virulently unforgiving and vehemently condemnatory Jesus’ tone and even his actions were, (as Brent pointed out with his reference to the moneylenders in the Temple), when addressing the wickedness of organised, oppressive, exploitatory groups, such as the religious Establishment who eventually had him judicially murdered.

    Note how they couldn’t effect his murder with sufficient cruelty, without bending the rules by getting the Romans to crucify him. Always the way of the most despotic politicians – we make the laws, we don’t have to abide by them.

    It’s not safe to quote scripture, unless you cherish it; and even then it’s easy to miss the true import. It is a sacramental object as full of mystery as the Ark of the Covenant.

  20. Given the unremitting burden of the text, I’m astonished that you could have fancied WM had made a typo in his title. Exegesis is definitely not your strong point, Neil. Back to the drawing board.

  21. Did you not notice that those injunctions/commandments of Jesus addressed personal slights and transgressions against a person, made by another individual?

    Of course. Neil was just attempting another Aliskyite tactic: “Make your opponent live up to his principles.” It doesn’t matter whether those actually are your principles, or that Neil doesn’t believe those principles himself. Again, materialists (and particularly eliminativist materialists) don’t really believe in objective truth, or in rational argument. The point is just to hamstring you and make you play on the materialist’s terms.

  22. Mr. Matzke,

    I read with great interest and enjoyment Dr. Berlinski’s thorough rebuttals of your review of “Darwin’s Doubt”:

    A Graduate Student (Nick Matzke) Writes – David Berlinski July 9, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74221.html

    A One-Man Clade – David Berlinski – July 18, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74601.html

    Hopeless Matzke -David Berlinski & Tyler Hampton August 18, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....75631.html

    I actually felt a little bad for you after such a intellectual beating by Berlinski. Moreover I found that, just as I had thought, that you did not really understand the science behind Darwin’s Doubt after reading it in only one day and posting your review on Amazon. Have you had a chance to re-read Darwin’s Doubt, this time for ‘scientific’ understanding, so as to offer a coherent scientific response to these crushing critiques against your arguments against Darwin’s Doubt? If so please list them so that your lies may be taken apart once again!

    I saw that you referenced ‘NAZI’s’ in your post. Funny you should bring that up, for Dr. Weikart has made a very compelling case that ‘evolutionary ethics’ deeply influenced NAZI ideology:

    From Darwin To Hitler – Richard Weikart – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5EwYpLD6A

    How Darwin’s Theory Changed the World
    Rejection of Judeo-Christian values
    Excerpt: Weikart explains how accepting Darwinist dogma shifted society’s thinking on human life: “Before Darwinism burst onto the scene in the mid-nineteenth century, the idea of the sanctity of human life was dominant in European thought and law (though, as with all ethical principles, not always followed in practice). Judeo-Christian ethics proscribed the killing of innocent human life, and the Christian churches explicitly forbade murder, infanticide, abortion, and even suicide.
    “The sanctity of human life became enshrined in classical liberal human rights ideology as ‘the right to life,’ which according to John Locke and the United States Declaration of Independence, was one of the supreme rights of every individual” (p. 75).
    Only in the late nineteenth and especially the early twentieth century did significant debate erupt over issues relating to the sanctity of human life, especially infanticide, euthanasia, abortion, and suicide. It was no mere coincidence that these contentious issues emerged at the same time that Darwinism was gaining in influence. Darwinism played an important role in this debate, for it altered many people’s conceptions of the importance and value of human life, as well as the significance of death” (ibid.).
    http://www.gnmagazine.org/issu.....-world.htm

    The Moral Impact Of Darwinism On Society – Dr. Phil Fernandes – video
    http://www.nwcreation.net/vide.....ciety.html

    At some future period … the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and
    replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous
    [Having or suggesting human form and appearance] apes … will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized
    state, as we may hope … the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at
    present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla”
    Charles Darwin,The Descent of Man pg. 201, published in 1871:

  23. As well Mr. Matzke, as a Christian who was saved by the grace of Christ at a low point in my life, i.e. personal experience, and seeing as how you fight tooth and nail against the truth, it would be very uncharitable of me not to warn you about what awaits those who purposely set themselves against God in this life, i.e. hell! Here is a former militant atheist’s NDE account of hell

    video – Howard Storm continues to share his gripping story of his own near death experience. Today, he picks up just as Jesus was rescuing him from the horrors of Hell and carrying him into the glories of Heaven.
    http://www.daystar.com/ondeman.....KvFrYYsE31

    “I knew for certain there was no such thing as life after death. Only simple minded people believed in that sort of thing. I didn’t believe in God, Heaven, or Hell, or any other fairy tales. I drifted into darkness.
    Drifting asleep into anihilation.,,(Chapter 2 – The Descent),, I was standing up. I opened my eyes to see why I was standing up. I was between two hospital beds in the hospital room.,,, Everything that was me, my consciousness and my physical being, was standing next to the bed. No, it wasn’t me lying in the bed. It was just a thing that didn’t have any importance to me. It might as well have been a slab of meat in the supermarket”,,,
    Howard Storm – former hard-core atheist – Excerpt from his book, ‘My Descent Into Death’ (Page 12-14) http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    Why Hell is so Horrible – Bill Wiese – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hd_so3wPw8

    Also of note, ‘eternity’ is not something that is made up by Christians but is actually now found to be a very real part of reality:

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6545941/

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    It is also very interesting to note that this strange higher dimensional, eternal, framework for time, found in both special relativity and in general relativity at the event horizon of black holes, finds corroboration in Near Death Experience testimonies:

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    Mickey Robinson – Near Death Experience testimony – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544

  24. johnp,

    I respect your attitude, but for the most part those whom we are in battle with are beyond reason and civil discourse, and only employ such inasmuch as it will further their agenda, using any means necessary to get their way.

    That being rude loses an argument otherwise based on logic and evidence only demonstrates my position about the low-information public; if rudeness will sway them away from reason, their fealty is up for grabs via rhetoric and emotional pleading anyway. They are not devotees of logic and reason, but owe allegiance only to emotion.

  25. I’m not a Christian, Neil.

  26. Yes, Deuce, I was just taunting Neil. Great to see your input on this thread, though.

    They have this weird way of wanting to quote scripture and its usually suicidal. And look at that Panda’s Thumb blog (not literally).

    First they got the business about the Panda’s thumb wrong. Then, in order to give force to what they would like to co-opt as their rallying cry, they quote from a particularly sonorous and declamatory speech by Oliver Cromwell, beseeching whoever he was addressing, ‘in the bowels of Christ.’ Why? Why, to add force to their insipid, moral-relativist tosh, of course.

    I don’t think Cromwell’s invocation of Christ would convince the Irish of his piety, any more than that of Panda’s Thumb’s finest.

  27. Deuce:

    It doesn’t matter whether those actually are your principles, or that Neil doesn’t believe those principles himself.

    I do try to live up to those principles myself, though I often fall short.

    Again, materialists (and particularly eliminativist materialists) don’t really believe in objective truth, or in rational argument.

    I am not a materialist nor an eliminativist.

  28. Give honor to whom honor is due. We should be as charitable to Darwinists as we would be to any citizen.

    Many of my professors and mentors were Darwinists. An ex-girlfriend was a Darwinist, but her being a democrat was more of a disqualifier.

    As far as charity goes, we dispense it independent of one’s level Darwinism, but on other factors.

    If the Darwinists is someone like laser-inventor and Christian Charles Townes, we honor them as they are due. If the Darwinists are Jeffrey Dahmer or Amy Bishop we throw them in jail.

  29. WJM:

    I’m not a Christian, Neil.

    You don’t have to be a Christian to respect and be charitable toward those with whom you disagree.

  30. 30

    From my perspective, what this thread strongly indicates is that “the intelligent design movement” (as distinct from the “theory” of intelligent design) relies on a series of conflations between a number of quite different concepts and positions. The key terms that enable this conflation are “materialism” and “Darwinism”. Without these vague (and, I think, utterly useless) terms, there would be much less (if anything) to tie together evolutionary theory with secularism and humanism.

    The conflation functions by allowing a string of associations between the scientific-empirical issues (evolutionary theory and design theory), the epistemological issues (pragmatism and rationalism), the metaphysical issues (naturalism and theism), the religious-political issues (secularized humanism and political theology), the cultural-political issues (liberalism/progressivism and social conservativism).

    The intelligent design movement is sustained by the perception of linkages between these quite different (and wholly separable) domains. At work is a very stark, black-and-white, with-us-or-against-us, Manichean mentality.

    Of course, it doesn’t help that there are people, such as myself, who both accept evolutionary theory and line up on the pragmatist, naturalistic, secularistic, humanistic, and liberal-progressivist side of the issues. But there are also lots of people who stake out all sorts of different combinations, and who are given short shrift by the Manichean mentality.

  31. Attention Phil and anyone else interested:

    Nick Matzke is now officially Nick Matzke, Ph.D. with a dissertation explicitly on evolutionary biology from the University of California at Berkeley.

    H/T Wesley Elsberry

  32. William

    I can assure you it feels almost exactly opposite to me. I try very hard to be polite and criticise the argument not the person (like you I sometimes fail). Yet whenever I get involved in any debate of length here I can almost count on receiving personal abuse – have you seen some of Joe or Chris Doyle’s comments? It is true of internet debate in general – people type things they would never say face to face.

    But your warlike words worry me slightly. There is nothing like fear for creating hatred. Who are these terrible Darwinists? Most of the population of Europe and virtually all scientists accept a broadly Darwinian account of life. A large proportion are atheist/materialists and lead happy, peaceful and fufilled lives. Darwinians include economically and socially conservative people and also many theists. Could you identify the enemy?

    Thanks and peace!

    Mark

  33. I used to be one that diligently attempted to provide Darwinists charitable interaction.

    When was this, William?

    Must have been before I became aware of Uncommon Descent, eight years ago. And seeing things in terms of a battle joined with arguments and reasoning all the while ignoring or miscomprehending simple facts is not likely to be persuasive.

  34. “At work [in the IDM] is a very stark, black-and-white, with-us-or-against-us, Manichean mentality.” – Kantian Naturalist/Emergentist

    Yes, I would agree with that assessment of many IDists. This is also part of the Expelled Syndrome mentality, which makes them talk of ‘war’ and ‘battle’ so easily in public. Perhaps becoming angry, alarmist and uncharitable is simply part of what ‘joining’ the IDM does to people. It is no wonder that thoughtful Abrahamic believers have tended to stay away from them.

    Dr. Matzke? Welcome to the club.

  35. This thread has been quite interesting. It has shown me that some are seriously lacking in self-awareness.

  36. Impressive how you can convert under-informed people ranting against science

    This should win an award for being among the most ignorant statements ever said.

  37. MF: What did you have to say in correction to the TSZ thread with an OP resting on slanders, lies, false accusations, poisonous mudslinging that then egged on a hate fest? Until you show yourself decent we have to regard you as nothing more than an enabler of the foulest willful deception and hate. I think it is time to make the dividing line between the civil and the barbarians quite clear, and as a Briton you will understand what it means when on Battle of Britain day, I point to that example of the power of a force in being strategy that resists the surging tide of evil and thereby brings it to a standstill, and thereby enables a base for resisting and overthrowing evil to be maintained. Those who stand now will in the long run be remembered as those who in our time were as Fighter Command was in its Hurricanes, Spitfires and even the failed Defiants, then. And yes, I am saying that the slanderous hate fest we are seeing shows us just who is standing in for Uncle Herman’s boys. KF

    PS: Americans, George Washington’s strategy during your revolution was a similar force in being strategy until he could get help from the French. But never forget that it was that thin line of WWI technology — still partly fabric and framework — Hurricanes [predominantly!] and a leavening of the more advanced Spitfires manned by too often half trained pilots, that stood between Hitler and subjecting the world to a night of barbarism as has never been seen before. So thin, was the margin of survival for freedom and civlisation.

  38. WJM:

    Now I have a little more time, let me respond more specifically.

    As you will have seen, I am highlighting the effectiveness of a force in being, hold the base and build a centre of refuge and resurgence strategy to hold the line and blunt the surging tide of evil. (I should mention the disproportionate impact of the Poles, Czechs and others in Fighter Command in 1940.)

    And if what I am seeing at BSU and TSZ do not classically exemplify slanderous malice, evil and hate, leading to oppression if it has power to get away with it, nothing does.

    Such evil needs to be exposed and resisted, firmly. Stoutly. Steadfastly. Relentlessly, at every step.

    Jesus put it bluntly: “go tell that fox . . . ,” speaking of Herod.

    yes, we will not be able to reach the rage, slander and hate blinded, who are besotted with an ideology that undermines basic morality and reason.

    But that means they will show themselves as just that irrational, vicious, unreasonable, deceitful, slanderous. And those who go along will show themselves to be enablers playing a good cop bad cop manipulative game. No police force that allows that to get out of control will hold the trust of the populace, and the payback is going to be bigtime. As the US Navy says, trust cannot be surged.

    We are inevitably flawed human beings, but we must show ourselves to be decent, honourable, brave and standing in a way that shows sufficient strength to stand the day in the teeth of evil.

    Remember, the hidden audience of the Battle of Britain was the USA, and the preserving of the British Isles was the basis for June 6, 1944. Americans, when the French saw a few pivotal American victories, it knew it could reinforce success, and so the French intervention came that won your independence.

    BSU, I suspect, is going to be a test case.

    The censorship is so blatant as can be seen from the two contrasted courses, that we see here a test of the integrity of the American academy and probably eventually the court system, and as well the media.

    If this case is lost, it will be plain where these institutions stand, and they will simply have to be replaced. The time for secession will have come. No sensible parent should send a child to a school like this, no alumnus should give them a red cent — and should tell them just why, sending a copy of a gift to a design theory institute and a College that can be supported with the refusal.

    With the Internet, we can establish schools in jurisdictions beyond the reach of the corrupt courts and offer courses.

    If there is a refusal to respect the credentials, then we simply erect an alternative economy.

    A mass boycott is called for anyway.

    Dump newspapers, cable subscriptions etc, too.

    Use the broadband web that the pornographers built to enmesh people in the porn-perv agenda, for a good purpose.

    Solid education.

    Formal and informal.

    Time for serious sponsorship to build online webs that give a solid grounding in origins science, from a balancing perspective, and for solid presentations of design theory, including exposes of a rogues gallery of deception, hate, slander and worse.

    Don’t over looks the worldviews debate, and exposing the implications and history of evolutionary materialism from Plato to today. The rage at that expose is of the ilk: fling stone inna hog pen, a de one it lick dat bawl.

    Web debates won’t make much difference to the en-darkened and venomous, whether they want to play bad cop or good cop. (The two are in cahoots, don’t forget.)

    As to the Alinsky all angels on our side only devils on the other tactics, I would first and foremost EXPOSE the tactics for what they are so that those who resort to them will discredit themselves.

    As in Dr Dawkins and co, including TSZ in light of the recent thread of slanders, if you imagine that hose who disagree with you could only do so because they are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked, all it shows is your sophomoric bombast, silly pride and arrogant pomposity.

    And nope you will not be allowed to get away with trying to redefine science as applied materialism. That undermines the credibility of science as a means of pursuing the empirically reliable truth about our world based on experiment, observation, hypothesis, testing and analysis.

    Science is too important to be allowed to be held hostage by hate-filled ruthless ideologues.

    And, you have shown yourselves to be that for all to see.

    Where, those who play good cop-bad cop games with such, only show themselves to be enablers of vicious evil and slander.

    Just remember, you started the fight, darwinists. Started it a long time ago, and have openly showed the hate, slander and dishonourable nature of your cause.

    We will finish it — and we will do so with honour.

    Bydand!

    GEM of TKI

    PS: WJM, I think we need to have a private discussion on worldviews and beliefs. (This and this may be a good start point for such.)

  39. PPS: TSZ thread duly archived for future reference. I think fair warning should be given to anyone hanging around and going along quietly in a thread that falsely accuses of a right wing totalitarian agenda — read that as code for “nazi” folks, they don’t know nazism was statist-left as National SOCIALIST German Workers/Labour Party directly says — resting on a conflation of the design inference with creationism in the OP (onlookers cf the UD WAC’s 1 – 8 or so for longstanding correctives to these smears that are known or should be known — the post is willfully deceitful) and seemingly without compunction takes a commenter’s false accusation — actually, stated assumption — of fraud as a point of departure. EL should note her responsibilities as thread owner. And BTW on a historic note, those dismissing a “low traffic site” should note that the Germans in 1940 were always harping on about the last 400 Spitfires (the Hurricanes, the majority, got no respect . . . ). Somehow, they just could not shoot down enough to knock out Fighter Command. If you think lies and smears such as I just listed will ultimately drown out the truth, think again.

  40. FYI-FTR: UD WAC no 8, on the theocratic totalitarian agenda smear:

    __________

    >> 8] Intelligent Design is an attempt by the Religious Right to establish a Theocracy

    Darwinist advocates often like to single out the “Discovery Institute” as their prime target for this charge. It is, of course, beyond ridiculous.

    In fact, all members from that organization and all prominent ID spokespersons embrace the American Founders’ principle of representative democracy. All agree that civil liberties are grounded in religious “principles” (on which the framers built the republic) not religious “laws” (which they risked their lives to avoid), and support the proposition that Church and State should never become one.

    However, anti-ID zealots too often tend to misrepresent the political issues at stake and distort the original intent, spirit, and letter of the founding documents.

    Historically, the relationship between Church and State was characterized not as a “union” (religious theocracy) or a radical separation (secular tyranny) but rather as an “intersection,” a mutual co-existence that would allow each to express itself fully without any undue interference from the other. There was no separation of God from government. On the contrary, everyone understood that freedom follows from the principle that the Creator God grants “unalienable rights,” a point that is explicit in the US Declaration of Independence. Many Darwinists are hostile to such an explicitly Creation-anchored and declaratively “self-evident” foundation for liberty and too often then misunderstand or pervert its historical context – the concept and practice of covenantal nationhood and just Government under God. Then, it becomes very tempting to take the cheap way out: (i) evade the responsibility of making their scientific case, (ii) change the subject to politics, (iii) pretend to a superior knowledge of the history, and (iv) accuse the other side of attempting to establish a “theocracy.”

    In fact, design thinking is incompatible with theocratic principles, a point that is often lost on those who don’t understand it.

    Jefferson and his colleagues — all design thinkers — argued that nature is designed, and part of that design reflects the “natural moral law,” which is observed in nature and written in the human heart as “conscience.” Without it, there is no reasonable standard for informing the civil law or any moral code for defining responsible citizenship. For, the founders held that (by virtue of the Mind and Conscience placed within by our common Creator) humans can in principle know the core ideas that distinguish right from wrong without blindly appealing to any religious text or hierarchy. They therefore claimed that the relationship between basic rights and responsibilities regarding life, liberty and fulfillment of one’s potential as a person is intuitively clear. Indeed, to deny these principles leads into a morass of self-contradictions and blatant self-serving hypocrisies; which is just what “self-evident” means.

    So, as a member of a community, each citizen is should follow his conscience and traditions in light of such self-evident moral truth; s/he therefore deserves to be free from any tyranny or theocracy that which would frustrate such pursuit of virtue. By that standard, religious believers are permitted and even obliged to publicly promote their values for the common good; so long as they understand that believers (and unbelievers) who hold other traditions or worldviews may do the same.

    Many Darwinists, however, confuse civil laws that are derived from religious principles and from the natural moral law (representative democracy) with religious laws (autocratic theocracy). So, they are reduced to arguing that freedom is based on a murky notion of “reason,” which, for them, means anti-religion. Then, disavowing the existence of moral laws, natural rights, or objectively grounded consciences, they can provide no successful rational justification for the basic right to free expression; which easily explains why they tend to support it for only those who agree with their point of view. Sadly, they then too often push for — and often succeed in — establishing civil laws that de-legitimize those very same religious principles that are the historic foundation for their right to advocate their cause. Thus, they end up in precisely the morass of agenda-serving self-referential inconsistencies and abuses that the founders of the American Republic foresaw.

    So, it is no surprise that, as a matter of painfully repeated fact, such zealots will then typically “expel” and/or slander any scientist or educator who challenges their failed paradigm or questions its materialistic foundations. That is why for instance, Lewontin publicly stated:

    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. [Bold emphasis added]

    The point of all this should be clear. ID does not seek to establish a theocracy; it simply wants to disestablish a growing Darwinist tyranny. >>
    __________

    Beyond this point anyone going along with or trumpeting the smear is doing so in the teeth of what s/he knows or should know and is being a party to a willfully deceitful slander. That specifically includes the blog owner as hosting slander is to have significant moral responsibility for it.

    Also, remember, that in another week or so, it will be a full year with no serious takers for a challenge to freely host here at UD an essay laying out the observationally anchored case for the darwinist tree of life from the roots up. That is, there has been ample opportunity to address the matter on the merits as a scientific debate. Rejected and derided, but instead we see the foulness summarised and answered above.

    In terms of the essence of the design theory view, it is that the deep past of origins cannot be directly observed so we must study its traces, and infer explanatory models on causal factors shown to produce consequences directly comparable to the traces. Thus such features, where characteristic of a cause, are an empirically reliable sign. And while inductive reasoning on signs is always provisional, it can be highly reliable.

    Mechanical necessity such as F= ma, gives rise to low contingency natural regularities that are often reduced to laws. Chance processes yield high contingency outcomes that may follow relevant statistical distribution models such as the normal curve. Design will often be highly contingent also, but will frequently yield patterns such as functionally specific complex organisation and associated information (such as the text string in this post) that are maximally implausible on chance but are on billions of cases observed a reliable sign of design.

    No great mystery, and directly empirically testable, just show blind chance and mechanical necessity producing FSCO/I.

    Only, that has not happened, many attempts notwithstanding.

    So, we have good reason to rule out mechanical necessity if we see high contingency of outcomes under similar starting conditions, and chance if we see something utterly implausible by chance. This being done on a per aspect basis for an object, process, phenomenon, etc.

    Nothing intrinsically strange or hard to follow, or in breach of canons of inductive, scientific reasoning.

    And certainly no reference to the Nicene Creed or the Chicago declaration on inerrancy etc. No, quote Bible and try to guide science based on interpretation thereof. That is, not inherently religious.

    The problem is, Darwinists nailed their flag to the mast 150 years ago, but over the past 60 years it has become plain that the world of life is chock full of signs of design, from DNA on up.

    And the further problem over the same 60 years, is that the observed cosmos turns out to give every indication of being fine tuned in many ways that facilitate C chemistry, aqueous medium cell based life.

    Those who saw Darwinism as an excellent way to dress up atheism and materialism in a lab coat and seize the prestige of science to advance their ideology, have run into big trouble.

    And they are throwing a royal, foully uncivil temper tantrum, as the TSZ thread shows.

    KF

  41. KF

    What exactly is it you claim is slanderous at TSZ? Please be specific.

  42. Kantian Naturalist, re. #30:

    The conflation functions by allowing a string of associations between the scientific-empirical issues (evolutionary theory and design theory), the epistemological issues (pragmatism and rationalism), the metaphysical issues (naturalism and theism), the religious-political issues (secularized humanism and political theology), the cultural-political issues (liberalism/progressivism and social conservativism).

    The intelligent design movement is sustained by the perception of linkages between these quite different (and wholly separable) domains. At work is a very stark, black-and-white, with-us-or-against-us, Manichean mentality.

    Well, first of all, you make a good point about conflating different types of issues. I myself am certain that living things were designed. There is no other reasonable explanation for the incredibly sophisticated, elegant, and mind-numbingly complex engineering of living organisms, from cells on up to the most advanced multicellular creatures, along with the astounding amount of information needed for their operation, maintenance, and replication. On the other hand, I am a political liberal. I am a theist, true, but no Christian.

    However, there is one conflation which I think is justified on the whole, and that is that an atheist/materialist metaphysical position and Darwinism go hand in hand more often than not. And I believe that it is true that in the vast majority of cases, Darwinism is defended so fervently because without it, the materialist metaphysic is much, much harder to sustain. One can see this at work in the writings of many Darwin defenders, from Dawkins to Coyne to P. Z. Myers.

    Also, I think you mis-perceive by whom the ID movement is really being sustained. It isn’t primarily the people who contribute to this blog. It is the people who write books and engage in public lectures and debates—people like Stephen Meyer, William Dembski, Michael Behe, Phillip Johnson, David Berlinski, and Douglas Axe. You won’t find them making the kinds of conflations you note, at least not in public. They stick to the science and the evidence and reasoned arguments. They are invariably polite and reasonable, even in the face of serious ridicule and slander (although Berlinski has a wicked wit, I will admit).

  43. Darkness exists because there isn’t enough light. Darwinism/atheism exist because we IDers/theists are not smart enough to show the splendour of God and His designs. Let’s continue to retry with patience, the patience of the Truth, patiens quia aeterna.

  44. 44

    That specifically includes the blog owner as hosting slander is to have significant moral responsibility for it.

    An important principle; I’m sure you’ll bring it to Barry Arrington’s attention the next time Robert Byers shares with us his anti-semitism and misogyny.

  45. KN: Your dishonourable attempt at moral equivalency is duly noted, with sadness. Perhaps it has not dawned on you that RB has repeatedly been corrected on his misbehaviour and has been repudiated. I do not hold moderation powers, but I certainly believe that having been warned, further abusive behaviour on his part should meet the three strikes, out rule. There simply is no case at UD of the level of slander and hate fest as is currently ongoing at TSZ. That crosses the line, bigtime and is at the enough is enough level. KF

  46. AF: You know or easily should know EXACTLY what has been done, just where and why my summary above is accurate. Shame on you for further enabling of smears. KF

  47. 47

    Bruce David,

    However, there is one conflation which I think is justified on the whole, and that is that an atheist/materialist metaphysical position and Darwinism go hand in hand more often than not. And I believe that it is true that in the vast majority of cases, Darwinism is defended so fervently because without it, the materialist metaphysic is much, much harder to sustain. One can see this at work in the writings of many Darwin defenders, from Dawkins to Coyne to P. Z. Myers

    I see the point, and I have various conflicting (or semi-conflicting) views about it.

    I have a strong dislike for “the materialist Darwinists,” because (among many other things) I think they muddy the waters every bit as much design proponents do. Dawkins famously claimed that “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist,” and that is surely false. (Was Spinoza not intellectually fulfilled, or not an atheist?)

    Dawkins would have been on firmer ground if he had said that Darwinism offers a response that the Epicurean can use to deal with the Stoic objection to Epicureanism — but to put the point that way would require a greater knowledge of the history of metaphysics than possessed by the average reader.

    More generally, however, I think that the materialist interpretation of Darwinism does a number of disservices — for one thing, it means that those who are opposed to Epicurean materialism for all sorts of reasons (philosophical, religious, and/or political) can ‘associate’ Darwinism with what they oppose, and as a result, scientific theories are drawn into the culture war. The result is predictably disastrous.

    Also, I think you mis-perceive by whom the ID movement is really being sustained. It isn’t primarily the people who contribute to this blog. It is the people who write books and engage in public lectures and debates—people like Stephen Meyer, William Dembski, Michael Behe, Phillip Johnson, David Berlinski, and Douglas Axe. You won’t find them making the kinds of conflations you note, at least not in public. They stick to the science and the evidence and reasoned arguments. They are invariably polite and reasonable, even in the face of serious ridicule and slander (although Berlinski has a wicked wit, I will admit).

    Fair point, though these published authors need an audience to buy their books, download their lectures, attend their debates, and in general, make the whole gig a money-maker for the publishers and distributors and creators of media content. If there weren’t money to made in it, or no way for the money spent to effect policy, there wouldn’t be an intelligent design movement — just a few people talking to one another. And I take it that Uncommon Descent is just one of many sites where that audience can constitute itself as an audience, where the newest books on design theory or criticisms of ‘Darwinism’ can find the appropriate audience, and so on.

  48. KN, re. #47:

    Fair point, though these published authors need an audience to buy their books, download their lectures, attend their debates, and in general, make the whole gig a money-maker for the publishers and distributors and creators of media content. If there weren’t money to made in it, or no way for the money spent to effect policy, there wouldn’t be an intelligent design movement — just a few people talking to one another. And I take it that Uncommon Descent is just one of many sites where that audience can constitute itself as an audience, where the newest books on design theory or criticisms of ‘Darwinism’ can find the appropriate audience, and so on.

    Stephen Meyer’s most recent book made several best seller lists. It would be interesting to see a breakdown of who actually bought it. Also, lectures and debates by leading ID authors are, I believe, generally well attended. Again, I wonder what the breakdown is between those in the “choir”, those who come to dispute, and those who come with an open mind seeking understanding. I really don’t know. . .

  49. Your #22, Philip:

    What a so and so that Berlinski, Philip! How about this for a stiletto between Matske’s ribs…!

    ‘… and had Matzke devoted more thought to his critique, he might have spared us the embarrassment of improving his arguments before rejecting his conclusions.

  50. From the OP:

    used to be one that diligently attempted to provide Darwinists charitable interaction. I tried not to ridicule, demean, or use terms that would cause hurt or defensive feelings.

    I try to do this as well. There’s no point in resorting to ad hominem argumentation, because it proves nothing.

    Lately, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that what I’m attempting to do is the equivalent of bringing a knife to a gun fight; polite reasoning with Darwinists, for the most part, is simply setting up our own failure.

    Polite reasoning, or any other reasoning for that matter, does not work with people whose minds are firmly closed. And that is obviously true of the numerous Darwinian trolls we’ve had here recently (JLAfan2001, AVS, Proton).

    As a Christian, I look at it this way: others like me are also living in an anti-Christian world and are suffering like persecutions. The most common and widespread form of suffering Christians are called upon to endure today is the attitude adopted by so many persons: people otherwise polite become intolerant and insulting. Rebuff after rebuff is experienced, besides what Jesus himself suffered, namely, the “contrary talk by sinners against their own interests.” (Heb. 12:3) It’s designed to wear down patience and courage. I think of 1 Peter 3:15 where Christians are exhorted to be ready to “make a defense” before anyone demanding an explanation of one’s faith.

  51. Wm J Murray:

    I respect your attitude, but for the most part those whom we are in battle with are beyond reason and civil discourse, and only employ such inasmuch as it will further their agenda, using any means necessary to get their way.

    For a very long time, I tried to be as patient and charitable as possible with our Darwinist friends. However, it moves the discourse nowhere as it turns out.

    The Bible tells us that a “word to the wise is sufficient.” When dealing with “true-believers”, ten million words is not sufficient.

    I have a rule, “Speak softly, but carry a big stick!” When people are blinded, words simply can’t penetrate their grey matter. That’s when the ‘stick’ has to come out. When dealing with a donkey, many times you have to hit the poor beast over the head with a 2″ x 4″ to first get their attention. Then you might be able to get it to do the right thing. Sadly, even this doesn’t work with our “true-believer” friends.

    So, Wm, I applaud your new style of confrontation; though, again, “Speak softly, but carry a big stick!” When people are reasonable and open, civil discourse is not only advisable, but indispensable. However, when arguments have been gone over time and time again, and the opponent uses invective as a way of undermining your position without recourse to facts and reason, then the “knives” should be put away, and the 2″ x 4″ employed.

    In my opinion, it is not “charity” to be “nice”, when “nice” means leaving other people in their ignorance. Somehow, people forget that Jesus, himself, fashioned a whip and drove out the money-changers. Sometimes speaking ‘softly’ won’t get the job done.

    How many here remember the “MathGrrl” affair. It very quickly became obvious to me that this was very likely someone not interested ‘one iota’ in learning anything about ID, but only interested in driving home the idea that there was no such thing as a proper definition of CSI. When I told her—you do remember that it turned out MathGrrl was a guy, who played this blog for a fool?—to “just go away,” there were many who told me how bad this was for the UD website and for ID. But I knew it was time to bring out the ‘big stick.’ It would have saved lots of time and energy if she=he was banned from the get-go. But, no, I guess we had to be “nice.” So not only was this rogue interloper not banned, but was given license to put up post! “Be as gentle as doves, but as cunning as a fox.” It’s always wise to know who you are dealing with.

    Congratulations Wm. on arriving at the right decision.

  52. … and Coyne, ‘genuflecting spastically.’(!!!!)

    That Berlinski’s priceless. Savage and pitiless, but priceless, as long as they Mother Nature’s munchkins, not you, are in his sights. And to think poor young Matzke got his PhD today!

  53. I am in full agreement with William J Murray on this one. The only thing I’d add in – not that he needs to hear it – is that we should always strive to properly identify ‘people who simply disagree with us, but who argue in good faith, on common ground, and with respect’ and ‘people who just want to win, and actively hate their opponents’.

    Speaking specifically about TSZ – it is heavily populated by people who were regulars at a forum that was called ‘the swamp’ by detractors. We’re talking about a place where people would go and seethe with hatred at various ID proponents, including mocking them with homophobic slurs, altering their RL photos to mock them with, etc. In fact, some of the superficially ‘nicest’ TSZ members were – all nice and smiles and obnoxious smiley face asciis – were members there, giddily taking part in those insults, never urging anyone that they were going too far and making things too personal, etc.

    Calm, reasoned discussion, charity, and good faith absolutely requires mutual respect and common ground. I want to be clear: this does not mean ‘feigned politeness’. It means sincere feelings of mutual respect. When it’s lacking – when you’re just ‘the enemy’, to be defeated at all costs – then trying to be respectful and forgiving and charitable is a lost cause, and will do damage to yourself and others.

    There are plenty of people who don’t accept ID, who are not theists, and yet nevertheless are people with whom a conversation can be had. People we can ‘talk with’. But there’s also, especially online, an abundance of people who don’t fit this mold. There’s no ‘talking with’ them. Merely talking at.

    And a good share of the TSZ crowd needs exactly that.

  54. It would have saved lots of time and energy if she=he was banned from the get-go. But, no, I guess we had to be “nice.” So not only was this rogue interloper not banned, but was given license to put up post! “Be as gentle as doves, but as cunning as a fox.” It’s always wise to know who you are dealing with.

    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

    We owe them no seat at the table of UD, nor IMO should we allow that ilk here. TSZ is nothing but a pitiful collection of anti-theistic, hate-filled swine run by a clever, polite enabler of civilization-destroying marxist, materialist darwinism.

    Even if a few are only useful idiots parroting nihilistic propaganda, we shouldn’t tolerate the persistent nonsense Neil, Alan and others keep spreading here.

  55. WJM:

    I’m not a Christian, Neil.

    Well, that certainly explains a lot. No wonder you think it is right to return evil for evil.

    If you are not a Christian, then what are you? A Deist? Why aren’t you a Christian – you certainly believe in God it seems.

    But you don’t believe in Jesus? You don’t believe in the cross or forgiveness of sins?

    Obviously then you don’t believe in the Bible. So what do you believe about God – gods – religions etc?

    Just curious.

    Christians believe that the enemy is not flesh and blood. Ultimately it is a spiritual battle against the Enemy who blinds the eyes of unbelievers. It takes God’s Spirit to open their eyes. Reasoning with them can be used by God, but if we stoop to their level, then we lose the upper hand that we have.

    The objective on looker will see the difference.

    How many people want to be like them – really? talk, act, and speak like them?

    Righteous anger is permitted even as Jesus demonstrated, but it is hard to keep anger truly righteous. I think we will lose respect if we stoop to their level.

    Are you advocating all of their methods or just certain ones?

    Don’t worry.

    One day, they will have to answer for their actions, beliefs, attitudes, words, and even thoughts. They will not win the war even if they win some battles here.

  56. Well said, Mr. Murray! I am very glad to see another who realizes that ends-justify-the-means tactics require a like response, due to the information-poor, emotion-driven people in the audience.

    Always stress that when good wins, charitableness returns. If the other side wins, incivility continues without end. This is the clear distinction between the sides.

  57. tjguy: I call myself a rational theist. No, I don’t believe in forgiveness of sin, but then how I see “what sin is” is probably different from what Christians think. IMO, it’s not something that can be “forgiven” – even by god.

    I believe that no one escapes the consequences of their intent; not of their actions, but of their intent. Applying the methodology of one’s opponent is not the same as adopting their intent.

    I’m not worried about the war because, at the end of the day, the afterlife is more my true home than this world. But while I’m here, I play to win, not to score style points or make it look to others as if I’m a good guy. I don’t care if onlookers think I’m a bad guy as long as what I do services the good.

    However, I believe each of us has certain abilities and talents and limitations; we all can only do what we can do, as we can do it. If others are compelled to play nice by their perspective, that’s fine by me, but I’m still going to be making a case, for those that are willing, to take it to the streets – so to speak.

  58. 58

    TSZ is nothing but a pitiful collection of anti-theistic, hate-filled swine run by a clever, polite enabler of civilization-destroying marxist, materialist darwinism.

    Oh, don’t mince words now — tell us how you really feel about us!

  59. EDTA: Exactamundo.

  60. PaV @ 51

    How many here remember the “MathGrrl” affair. It very quickly became obvious to me that this was very likely someone not interested ‘one iota’ in learning anything about ID, but only interested in driving home the idea that there was no such thing as a proper definition of CSI.

    I remember that. It was an abject farce, a complete waste of time. The proposed scenarios for which IDers were challenged to compute the CSI were almost incoherent. The same can be said of Elizabeth’s ‘challenge’ to compute CSI for some random grey-scale photo.

    It would have saved lots of time and energy if she=he was banned from the get-go. But, no, I guess we had to be “nice.” So not only was this rogue interloper not banned, but was given license to put up post! “Be as gentle as doves, but as cunning as a fox.” It’s always wise to know who you are dealing with.

    I agree completely. I realize that many of the TSZ folks are just chomping at the bit to charge UD with squashing dissenting views, but there’s little value in a blog site that’s overrun with trolls. Sometimes one has to prune a tree in order for it to flourish.

  61. WJM:

    In a shooting war, battles are won with weapons that kill and maim. So if you have only a knife but your opponent has a gun, you are at a distinct disadvantage, granted. However, in a war of ideas, truth is the most powerful weapon there is. It often takes time to manifest its power, however.

    What exactly do you hope to gain by rudeness, invective, slander, and ad hominem? How do you imagine that that kind of “weapon” will gain any traction in a war of ideas? Whom are you going to convince with such tactics?

  62. Null @ 53

    Calm, reasoned discussion, charity, and good faith absolutely requires mutual respect and common ground. I want to be clear: this does not mean ‘feigned politeness’. It means sincere feelings of mutual respect.

    I completely agree. It seems like the vast majority of ID critics on these boards enter into discussions without even a modicum of respect for those with whom they disagree. Perhaps the lack of civility that such persons exhibit is symptomatic of the culture of skepticism, which seems to gorge itself on irreverence, ridicule, self-congratulatory rhetoric, and contempt for humility.

    In fact, some of the superficially ‘nicest’ TSZ members were – all nice and smiles and obnoxious smiley face asciis – were members there, giddily taking part in those insults, never urging anyone that they were going too far and making things too personal, etc.

    They are obnoxious, aren’t they? No number of smiley faces can offset willful blindness, obfuscation, condescension, and intransigence.

  63. IMO, one of the downsides of tolerating incessant trolling is that it seems to have drowned out much of the thoughtful conversation that takes place here. This has especially been the case since Elizabeth was allowed back on UD. At least a few of the more interesting commenters haven’t been on the boards as much for a while.

  64. I became a Christian 3 years ago; and this is what I’ve learned….

    1.) The most important part about Christianity is belief, then behavior, as you know saved by grace (belief) not by works (behavior). Grace (belief) however compels us to do good (behavior) because it does please our Father.

    Now to my point; No amount of nice talk, bad talk, fighting, loving or any type of convincing no matter the tactic will work unless there is belief. I was once an unbeliever and I remember the way I treated those that was ignorant and idiotic in their beliefs of the bib sky daddy. Not a single theist no matter how hard they tried could convince me of God’s existence, not even the evidence could do that!

    Whether you are a Christian or not the best advice on this matter you could ever receive comes from Peter…

    1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

  65. @WJM:

    tjguy: I call myself a rational theist. No, I don’t believe in forgiveness of sin, but then how I see “what sin is” is probably different from what Christians think. IMO, it’s not something that can be “forgiven” – even by god.

    Mr. Murray, how do you even know what sin is if you don’t believe the Bible? Do you make up your own definition for sin? It seems like you do from what you say here. How do you know your definition of sin is right, if it even exists?

    I believe that no one escapes the consequences of their intent; not of their actions, but of their intent. Applying the methodology of one’s opponent is not the same as adopting their intent…. But while I’m here, I play to win, not to score style points or make it look to others as if I’m a good guy. I don’t care if onlookers think I’m a bad guy as long as what I do services the good.

    OK, so you agree with Jesus that motive is important. But does that mean that only our intent matters or that our actions do not matter at all? I don’t think so. You are advocating the end justifies the means. So, for Muslims who kill to advance the cause of Islam, how could you condemn that? Their intent is good in their eyes, is it not? Who determines what qualifies as a legitimate intent?

    I’m not worried about the war because, at the end of the day, the afterlife is more my true home than this world.

    How do you know there is an afterlife? How do you know where you will spend the afterlife? If you don’t believe the Bible, where do you come up with your personal views? It seems like you reject Jesus’ teaching on the afterlife, so how did you arrive at your own views?

    However, I believe each of us has certain abilities and talents and limitations; we all can only do what we can do, as we can do it. If others are compelled to play nice by their perspective, that’s fine by me, but I’m still going to be making a case, for those that are willing, to take it to the streets – so to speak.

    That’s your prerogative of course. I don’t think it will help. Stooping to their level, even if it wins you a few battles, is not worth it in the end in my view, but we will just have to agree to disagree. If I were not a Christian, I’m sure I would feel as you. Sometimes actually I do “feel” like you do. We all do. We all get frustrated, but that is where our moral standards impact how we act, what and why and how we say things, etc. If your standards are different, then certainly your methods will differ. I just don’t think those methods are fitting for people who represent Jesus in this world. Evidently, you do not see yourself as such a person, so that explains your opinion.

    I thought though that you wrote a book entitled “My Life Without God”. That sure makes it sound as though you became a follower of Jesus. How can you look at Jesus as a Great Teacher and Moral Leader and yet reject His teachings? Was He lying? Was He deceived? Maybe you think He never said those things? But all the disciples obviously believed he did and they gave their lives to follow Him. If He hadn’t said them, they would have known it. If following Jesus and spreading his “false” teaching meant that they would suffer greatly, do you think they would really have done that?

    Sorry. I don’t know exactly what you believe about Jesus, but from the reviews of this book, like this one, it sure makes it seem as if you are a Christian.

    Atheist Madalyn O’Hair’s son recounts his turbulent childhood, his search for truth and subsequent commitment to Christ. Bill shares how God’s love helped him cope with his family’s disappearance and tragic deaths.

  66. @61 Bruce said:

    However, in a war of ideas, truth is the most powerful weapon there is. It often takes time to manifest its power, however.

    What exactly do you hope to gain by rudeness, invective, slander, and ad hominem? How do you imagine that that kind of “weapon” will gain any traction in a war of ideas? Whom are you going to convince with such tactics?

    Well said! For the most parts, those tactics simply make the opposition angrier and more hateful. The Bible says “A soft answer turns away wrath.” It also tells us to “speak the truth in love.” Neither of these were taught by Jesus, but are moral principles taught in the Bible.

    Jesus publicly scourged the Pharisees at times for their hypocrisy, but this was righteous anger. Calling them out on their hypocrisy is fine, but our motive, as believers, should be to show them grace, Christ’s love, and the difference that Jesus makes in a person’s life. There are times I’d like to do the same thing, but it would be wrong for me to do that.

  67. @62 Andre

    Andre, what did convince you not only that God exists, but that Jesus died for you? What did convince you to give your life to Him?

    Just curious.

  68. WJM what are you trying to achieve through this war?

    Virtually all internet debate includes large chunks of acrimonious personal abuse. It hardly matters what the subject is – gun control, climate change, economics, or who is the best football team. I happen to think Lizzie does an extraordinary job of limiting it on TSZ. Nevertheless it happens there and it happens a lot right here on UD (I have just accepted that I will be called stupid, without morals, dishonest, and holding similar views to a mass-murderer). You can become part of it if it gives you some kind of emotional satisfaction but it is not going to enlighten you or anyone else and I can’t see what else it is going to do for you.

    It is also naive to suppose that anyone is going to change their mind on the spot as a result of rational arguments. However,

    * they might turn it over in their mind and come to a different conclusion later.

    * someone else might follow the discussion and change their mind

    * you might learn to refine your own thoughts and express them more clearly (I certainly have)

    But none of this is going to happen if you engage in a war of words. It is just hot air. Or are you thinking of moving from a war or words to something more physical?

  69. 69
    Christian-apologetics.org

    I suggest that we get pasted because we deserve to get pasted. Perhaps not in the nasty vitriolic way that often happens, but that is the way the other side play.

    If we want to be respected then we need to up our game and start contributing to the culture. I believe it was William Lane Craig who pointed out that Jews have contributed more to science in the USA than Evangelicals. What are their relative population percentages I wonder?

    Speaking as an Evangelical, I say that we need 10x or even 100x the current number of Evangelical scientists in the USA and around the world. But we are too busy entertaining ourselves, watching stupid movies, indulging in the Godless entertainment culture, and wasting our lives. We are asleep in the light, and our churches are full of dumb leaders and dumb youth leaders that have little idea about intellectual engagement. (A book came out about 2 years ago demonstrating the pathetic amount of time given to science in youth group and church studies, drawing upon around 1,200 Evangelical and Catholics young people).

    As I said, we get what we deserve.

  70. I asked KF What exactly is it you claim is slanderous at TSZ? Please be specific.

    KF responds with the non-answer:

    AF: You know or easily should know EXACTLY what has been done, just where and why my summary above is accurate. Shame on you for further enabling of smears. KF

    It is precisely that I strongly doubt that there is anything slanderous at TSZ that I ask you to make clear what words or comment you are referring to.

    What exactly is it you claim is slanderous at TSZ? Please be specific.

  71. MF:

    With all due respect, given your intersection with TSZ and the slander, lying and hate fest now in progress, before anything else, you now need to convince us you are not simply a “good cop” enabler of fever swamp hysterical hate, slander and lying.

    Do, let us know what specific practical steps you have taken in recent days to correct or at least firmly protest and dissociate yourself from what is happening in the hate fest thread: ____________________ .

    Failing that, we have every right to conclude that you are little more than an enabler of nihilistic Alinskyite agit-prop, and to regard everything you say as part of a strategy summed up by that Machiavellian agitator as follows:

    “The end is what you want, the means is how you get it. Whenever we think about social change, the question of means and ends arises. The man of action views the issue of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms. He has no other problem; he thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action. He asks of ends only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work. … The real arena is corrupt and bloody.” p.24 RFR

    The first step in community organization is community disorganization. The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization. Present arrangements must be disorganized if they are to be displace by new patterns…. All change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new.” p.116, RFR

    [Rules of action]

    3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

    4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

    5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.” . . . .

    13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. [NB: Notice the evil counsel to find a way to attack the man, not the issue. The easiest way to do that, is to use the trifecta stratagem: distract, distort, demonise.] In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’…

    “…any target can always say, ‘Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?’ When your ‘freeze the target,’ you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments…. Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target…’

    One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” [pp. 127 - 134, RFR]

    If you show yourself to be either a “good cop” enabler of or “bad cop” overt participant in such tactics, we have a right to view you as the moral equivalent of an outlaw; one who preys on civility in order to destroy its framework and replace it with the sort of amoral, nihilistic barbarism that destroys the civil peace of justice and sets up target groups for systematic harassment, oppression or worse, much much worse.

    Let me put my declaration regarding the sort of tactics that are already in play by fellow traveller radicals on the table, in light of the point that the stickup artist who points a gun at my head and says your money or your life threatens both:

    He who would rob me of my livelihood . . .
    threatens my life;
    He who would rob me of my conscience . . .
    threatens my soul:
    He who would rob me of my children . . .
    threatens my posterity.

    So, your lame excuse that a lot of Internet debates show incivility cuts no ice. Especially when your ilk — and yes the fever swamp bigots are plainly your chosen ilk — are showing themselves to be in service to amoral nihilism, and in thralldom to the precursor to violence, hate.

    When wolf packs are known to be roaming, we have every right to act in defence of the sheep, the sheep fold and the pasture. In particular if what seems to be a sheep shows itself a wolf hiding under sheep’s clothing, by wolfish tactics, there is a right of reasonable self protection and defence of the civil peace of justice.

    For instance, the fever swamp activists have long had an agenda of disruption of discussion here at UD. It is reasonable in defence that if a commenter behaves uncivilly or disruptively and in an evidently incorrigible manner — I am not here talking about those who are trying but occasionally fall off the wagon — then the same tactics that protect the classroom are in order. Out you go to the principal’s office, and if necessary, out you go from the school. And no, despite cynical lies to the contrary, that is not “censorship.” Censorship is what is happening as we speak at BSU, where a course advocating atheism and using atheistical propaganda has free course but a professor who dared to explore the limits of science through a discussion based seminar and proved sympathetic to ID has been issued a gag order by the president of the institution on instigation of an atheist activist group.

    And, can you kindly tell me what you and your ilk, being professed to be zealous, have done about such cases of censorship: _______________

    So, while it is plain that I have points at difference with WJM in the OP and otherwise, it should be equally plain that reasonable steps must be taken in defence of civil discussion.

    GEM of TKI

  72. Mr Fox: You have just removed all doubts as to your status as a “good cop” enabler and ENDORSER of the hate, lying and slander fest now in progress at TSZ. That removes you from the circle of civil discussion. GEM of TKI

  73. We owe them no seat at the table of UD, nor IMO should we allow that ilk here. TSZ is nothing but a pitiful collection of anti-theistic, hate-filled swine run by a clever, polite enabler of civilization-destroying marxist, materialist darwinism.

    Even if a few are only useful idiots parroting nihilistic propaganda, we shouldn’t tolerate the persistent nonsense Neil, Alan and others keep spreading here.

    What purple prose!

    Tell you what guys. Let me propose an experiment. I suggest all Marxists, Darwinists, materialists, anti-theists, civilization-destroyers, hate-filled swine, useful idiots (have I missed anyone who might not fit the ID paradigm) all stop posting here, say for the next month? Let’s see what happens.

    Nullasalus may remember a blog called Telic Thoughts. It used to be quite a lively place for discussion, front-loader Mike Gene and a few other articulate ID proponents raised the level of discourse and brought in anti-ID commenters from the scientific community. Discussion was generally civilized and interesting. Incompetent moderation drove away all regular dissenters and Telic Thoughts is now defunct.

    So, calling all ID skeptics! Join me in an experiment. WJM says “We owe you no seat at the table of UD”. Let’s all agree to this polite request and leave UD to it’s own devices.

  74. KF:

    Mr Fox: You have just removed all doubts as to your status as a “good cop” enabler and ENDORSER of the hate, lying and slander fest now in progress at TSZ. That removes you from the circle of civil discussion. GEM of TKI

    Another non-answer.

    What exactly is it you claim is slanderous at TSZ? Please be specific.

  75. Mr Fox:

    As one consequence of your enabler status, you have decisively undermined the presumption of truthfulness or at least sincerity in your remarks.

    Inter alia, that means that the burden of proof lies on you to show — despite your low credibility status — show on solid and independent evidence — that the design theory movement as a whole is a fraud, perpetrated by theocratic, neo-nazi right wing radicals [that itself is a major blunder on what nazism and fascism historically and ideologically are, onlookers . . . rooted in Stalin's propaganda] intent on creating a religious tyranny, and that the design inference has no merit on principles of induction and a historically and philosophically justified understanding of science and its methods to the point where it is not merely controversial or potentially false (many scientific claims are like that or have been like that including quantum theory and relativity) but willful fraud.

    While such smears are all too common, onlookers, they are ill founded as can be easily learned.

    AF is in a position where he knows this or full well SHOULD know this, but for reasons of supporting the amoral, nihilism enabling ideology of evolutionary materialism, has chosen to support smears.

    KF

  76. Onlookers: Notice, right from the beginning, I have listed the claims being made in the slander and hate fest at TSZ (in a thread that may easily be seen there, a thread I have archived for reference). AF’s pretence that I am not being specific [and so am dubious] and/or that I have no grounds to object to the assertions in the hate fest, which he has been repeating drumbeat style is false, and he knows or should know it to be false. That is, this is a big lie drummed out repeatedly to create the false impression of truth. AF’s enabling is on further display, to the detriment of any shreds of credibility he may have left. KF

  77. AF: Let me just put it this way, you are now at strike two, and need to show good cause for endorsing the accusations at TSZ, or be openly revealed as an enabler and endorser of slander. KF

  78. Notice, right from the beginning, I have listed the claims being made in the slander and hate fest at TSZ (in a thread that may easily be seen there, a thread I have archived for reference).

    Where? And you have to justify statements are slanderous. I have read the wedge document. The alliance between the fundamentalist Christian sects and the Republican party was all too clear at GWB’s non-election.

  79. AF: Your evidence and reasoning to back up the sort of grave accusations you have endorsed in 69 above in this thread, is: __________________ on grounds ___________________. Kindly fill in. KF

  80. AF: Let me just put it this way, you are now at strike two, and need to show good cause for endorsing the accusations at TSZ, or be openly revealed as an enabler and endorser of slander. KF

    What exactly is it you claim is slanderous at TSZ? Please be specific.

  81. AF, the wedge docume4nt has been twisted into a smear by activists acting in accord with Alinskyite tactics, as has long since been shown on record that you should have accessed if you were at all responsible. As to debates on Bible believing Christians being in the main supporters of the republican party int he US that has utterly nothing to do with the design inference, and it has nothing to do with the scientific evidence that points strongly to design in the world of life and the cosmos in light of standard inductive reasoning. Bush/Blair Derangement Syndrome — itself a fever swamp hate and slander fest phenomenon — does not constitute a justification for false accusations of scientific fraud, of neo-nazism, of intent to impose a tyranny rooted in some imagined magisterium or inquisition and the like. But it does reveal the smug sophomoric arrogance and supercilious sneering that seem to drive your ideology. FYI, Dawkins’ assertion that those who differ with him are ignorant, stupid insane or wicked is arrant foolishness, a case of ignorant conceit and ill-bred contempt for others. SHAME ON YOU. KF

  82. AF: Your evidence and reasoning to back up the sort of grave accusations you have endorsed in 69 above in this thread, is: __________________ on grounds ___________________. Kindly fill in. In addition, you have plainly falsely pretended — thus, another false accusation — that I have not listed the specific points of concern and have not pointed to the source, even in the context where you have tried to justify those accusations by appealing to smears against the Wedge document so called, and to Bush/Blair hate derangement syndrome. SHAME ON YOU. KF

  83. F/N: Onlookers needing a reference for corrections on the Wedge document smears, should cf here. Until and unless AF can show specific cause why the corrections there to commonly circulated accusations do not stand, we can disregard the accusations premised on that longstanding slander, as more of the same coming from an enabler of hate and slander fests. KF

  84. words from KF but still no response to my simple question.

    Kairosfocus!

    What exactly is it you claim is slanderous at TSZ? Please be specific.

  85. F/N 2: Let me cite the in-brief — details are linked onwards –response of DI CSC tot he pattern of smears we are seeing:

    ____________

    >> The Truth About Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture
    By: Staff
    Discovery Institute
    February 3, 2006

    [--> Note, longstanding, so objectors like AF should have taken reckoning of the substance of the below long since before spreading grave false accusations]

    Misinformation and mischaracterization are rampant in the media coverage of the debate over evolution. Because Discovery Institute’s views and positions recently have been inaccurately reported, and because Discovery Fellows have been maligned in the media in the past, over the past few years we have published a number of Truth Sheets to set the record straight.

    We have gathered all of these Truth Sheets here to make it easy for the public to learn the truth about the Institute, its Fellows and the work it supports. For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Institute, the Center for Science & Culture, and its positions on issues related to the debate over evolution click here.

    The Truth About Critical Analysis of Evolution

    Overview:A favorite Darwinist conspiracy theory is to claim that education policies requiring critical analysis of evolution are simply a guise for teaching intelligent design (ID) [--> or Creationism typically conflated with design, in another manifestation of malice aforethought] . For example, Professor Patricia Princehouse was quoted saying “critical analysis is intelligent design relabeled, just as intelligent design was creationism relabeled.” This truth sheet provides five solids reasons why teaching critical analysis of evolution is very different from teaching about intelligent design.

    Does intelligent design postulate a “supernatural creator?”

    Overview:No. The ACLU, and many of its expert witnesses, have alleged that teaching the scientific theory of intelligent design (ID) is unconstitutional in all circumstances because it posits a “supernatural creator.” Here we provide several actual statements from intelligent design theorists that the scientific theory of intelligent design does not address metaphysical and religious questions such as the nature or identity of the designer.

    [--> Just as we can infer arson on evidence of arson as process without knowing a specific arsonist, one can infer design on empirically tested reliable signs of design.]

    The Positive Case for Design

    Overview:Many critics of intelligent design have argued that design is merely a negative argument against evolution. This could not be further from the truth. Leading design theorist William Dembski has observed that “[t]he principle characteristic of intelligent agency is directed contingency, or what we call choice.” This brief piece shows that observing the sorts of choices that intelligent agents commonly make when designing systems, a positive case for intelligent design is easily constructed by elucidating predictable, reliable indicators of design.

    Six Myths About the Evolution Debate.

    Overview: Across the United States the debate over how to teach evolution is reaching a fevered pitch. Newspapers are daily reporting on one aspect or another of whether to teach evolution, whether to teach criticisms of evolution or even whether to teach alternatives such as the emerging theory of intelligent design. In the midst of all this reporting several misconceptions seemed to have caught on and continue to be repeated with little regard for truth or accuracy. Here are six of the most popular myths debunked.

    Discovery Institute and “Theocracy”.

    Overview: Periodically certain Darwinists make false and unsubstantiated claims that Discovery Institute advocates “theocracy” or is part of the “radical Christian right” or supposedly supports something called “Christian reconstructionism.” These charges are little more than smears, and they show the bankruptcy of the Darwinists’ own position. Rather than argue about the substance of the scientific debate over neo-Darwinism, all Darwinists can do is engage in baseless ad hominem attacks.

    The “Wedge Document”: How Darwinist Paranoia Fueled an Urban Legend.

    Overview: In 1999 someone posted on the internet an early fundraising proposal for Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture. Dubbed the “Wedge Document,” this proposal soon took on a life of its own, popping up in all sorts of places and eventually spawning what can only be called a giant urban legend. Among true-believers on the Darwinist fringe the document came to be viewed as evidence for a secret conspiracy to fuse religion with science and impose a theocracy. These claims were so outlandish that for a long time we simply ignored them. But because some credulous Darwinists seem willing to believe almost anything, we decided we should set the record straight. For a more detailed response please read “The Wedge Document: So What?”.

    [--> Go here for this smear rebuttal document; until the specific rebuttals in it are adequately answered, we can dismiss those repeating smears as irresponsible. And Wikipedia or the like do not count as adequate responses. In addition, the pivotal issue for science is the empirical evidence and inductive logic behind the design inference, notice, not one of the ever so hot objectors has taken on the summary I gave in 40 above. All of these are little more than red herrings led out to strawmen soaked in toxic ad hominems and set alight to cloud, confuse polarise and poison the atmosphere.]

    Discussions about how evolution should be covered in school curricula should focus on science and evidence, not on personal attacks. Unfortunately, when you try to improve the teaching of evolution in your school district, groups opposed to teaching any criticisms of evolutionary theory may attack your motives, your sources, and your honesty. They may also seek to smear the personal characters of leading scientists who are skeptical of neo-Darwinism. This has happened to Dr. Jonathan Wells repeatedly. Here are some resources for responding to some of most common attacks you may encounter:

    The Real Truth about Jonathan Wells: Responding to Smears against the Author of Icons of Evolution.

    Overview: Since the publication of Icons of Evolution (2000), biologist Jonathan Wells has been subjected to a smear campaign by Darwin-only lobbyists, who have attacked everything from Dr. Wells’s integrity as a scholar to his personal religious beliefs. This fact sheet rebuts some of the most outrageous smears.

    Alan Gishlick and National Center for Science Education (NCSE) Misrepresent Jonathan Wells’s Science Credentials.
    Overview: In 2002, NCSE Officials Kevin Padian and Alan Gishlick misrepresented Jonathan Wells’s science credentials, and they still refuse to correct the record. In The Quarterly Review of Biology (March, 2002), National Center for Science Education (NCSE) officials Kevin Padian and Alan Gishlick published false and defamatory information about Jonathan Wells’s science credentials. Although Padian and Gishlick have been presented with documentation about their false claims, they still refuse to correct the record.

    The NCSE Uses a “Push Poll” to Discredit Discovery Institute’s Bibliography.

    Overview: In 2002, Discovery Institute prepared for the Ohio State Board of Education a bibliography of 44 peer-reviewed science journal articles written by evolutionists that discussed unresolved questions about various aspects of neo-Darwinism. In response, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) surveyed the authors of the articles and purported to show that Discovery Institute had misrepresented the articles. In fact, the NCSE was the one engaging in misrepresentation. Its so-called “survey” completely mischaracterized the Institute’s bibliography, and it failed to substantiate the charge that the bibliography was inaccurate.

    How the NCSE Uses False Charges of “Misquotation” to Stifle Scientific Debate.

    Overview: Like the boy that cried “Wolf!,” the National Center for Science Education (NSCE) and its supporters repeatedly charge that scientists affiliated with Discovery Institute misquote or otherwise misrepresent the research of evolutionary biologists. On closer inspection, however, these charges turn out to be groundless. They are an intimidation tactic employed by the NCSE to stifle legitimate scientific debate over neo-Darwinism. If the NCSE wants to be taken seriously, it should stop inventing false charges of misquotation and start answering the arguments offered by Darwin’s scientific critics.

    Letters of Doctoral Support for Icons of Evolution

    Overview: In the midst of the Texas State Board of Education’s review of classroom biology textbooks in 2003, Jonathan Wells’ Icons of Evolution was distributed across the state, exposing the false evidence that these textbooks contained. Encouraging the board to present Icons of Evolution in the classroom, these letters from Dr. Dean H. Kenyon, Dr. Marvin J. Fritzler, and Dr. Paul K. Chien addressed to the Texas Board of Education demonstrate their doctoral approval of the book.

    The ACLU’s Selective and One-Sided Advocacy: Ignoring Biology Textbooks that Promote Philosophical Materialism

    Overview: The ACLU is quick to file lawsuits to censor scientific evidence that they think advances theistic religious viewpoints in schools. Yet they selectively ignore the explicit promotion of philosophical materialism included in textbooks around the nation. Though even leading Darwinists admit that philosophical materialism constitutes a religious viewpoint, this sheet lists many instances of promoting philosophical materialism in textbooks. Why doesn’t the ACLU file lawsuits against using these textbooks?

    The ACLU’s Selective and One-Sided Advocacy: Ignoring Biology Textbooks that Disparage Intelligent Design

    Overview: The ACLU challenged a biology textbook that presents intelligent design favorably as a scientific theory as unconstitutional, claiming it represents an “inherently religious view.” Constitutional law states requires the “principal or primary effect” of a law “must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion.” (Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 612 (19971).). Why does the ACLU selectively challenge only textbooks that favorably discuss intelligent design yet never file lawsuits that bash what they consider to be a religious viewpoint? Their hypocrisy reveals their true intention: not to protect religious rights, but to censor evidence that challenges evolution.

    Secular Purposes for Teaching about Intelligent Design

    Overview: Teaching students about intelligent design can serve many genuine secular purposes in the science classroom. This list of reasons to teach intelligent design extends from informing students of competing scientific ideas, to developing critical thinking skills, to ultimately enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction.

    Alan Gishlick and National Center for Science Education (NCSE) Misrepresent Jonathon Wells’s Science Credentials

    Overview: In The Quarterly Review of Biology (March, 2002), National Center for Science Education (NCSE) officials Kevin Padian and Alan Gishlick published false and defamatory information about Jonathan Wells’s science credentials. Although Padian and Gishlick have been presented with documentation about their false claims, they still refuse to correct the record.

    Should we Teach Criticisms of Neo-Darwinism? Many Authorities say YES!

    Overview: Should schools teach students about both scientific strengths and weaknesses of Neo-Darwinism? Authorities ranging from U.S. Congress, to the U.S. Supreme Court, to the U.S. Department of Education and many State Department of Educations say YES—you can and should teach about problems with Darwin! According to authorities listed here, even Charles Darwin himself would support teaching about scientific criticisms of Neo-Darwinism.

    Have Design Proponents “Invented” Terms about “Darwinism”?

    Overview: Some critics have accused intelligent design proponents of inventing terms such as “Darwinism,” or “Darwinist”. The reality is that these terms are commonly used by mainstream scientists in the scientific literature – often exclusively to describe evolutionists when combating a pejoratively used term which they nearly exclusively use: “anti-evolutionism.” Below are results of searches of leading journals revealing the common usage of these terms in the mainstream scientific literature.

    FAQ about the New Kansas Science Standards

    Overview: Adopted in November 8, 2005, the Kansas State Science Standards incorporated critical analysis of evolution into the curriculum and teach students about both scientific strengths and weaknesses of Neo-Darwinism. As this FAQ explains, the standards to not teach intelligent design, and answer numerous questions such as “What is the scientific basis for the changes?” or “How do parents want evolution taught?” This document also responds to circulating criticisms and misinformation on the decision to adopt these science standards.

    State Science Standard Language on Evolution

    Overview:This list compiles direct quotes from several state science standards on the topic of evolution. Many states specifically outline a requirement of student critique and evaluation of the scientific supporting or challenging data for evolution. More than just encouraging analysis, these standards emphasize exposing weaknesses and challenging the generally accepted theory.

    For daily coverage of how the media reports on the debate over evolution please visit our blog, Evolution News & Views at http://www.evolutionnews.org. >>
    ____________

    In short, we see ideological accusations not serious and sober discussion, now being openly endorsed by AF.

    KF

  86. AF: One last time, your evidence and reasoning to back up the sort of grave accusations you have endorsed in 69 above in this thread, is: __________________ on grounds ___________________. Kindly fill in. In addition, you have plainly falsely pretended — thus, another false accusation — that I have not listed the specific points of concern and have not pointed to the source, even in the context where you have tried to justify those accusations by appealing to smears against the Wedge document so called, and to Bush/Blair hate derangement syndrome. SHAME ON YOU. KF

  87. F/N: Methinks AF and ilk at and around TSZ, would do well to heed the following bit of hard-bought wisdom from a piece of classical literature they so patently despise:

    Isa 5:18 ????????Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,
    who draw sin as with cart ropes, . . .

    20 ????????Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
    21 ????????Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!

    22 ????????Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
    and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
    23 ????????who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    and deprive the innocent of his right! [ESV]

    A word to the wise, or at least, those who have hopes of being wise. KF

  88. “If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” – Bob Hope

    “Having leveled my palace, don’t erect a hovel and complacently admire your own charity in giving me that for a home.” – Emily Bronte

    “I’m very much a Christian in ideals and ethics, especially in terms of belief in fairness, a deep set obligation to others, and the virtues of charity, tolerance and generosity that we associate with traditional Christian teaching.” – E. O. Wilson

    “Charity. To love human beings in so far as they are nothing. That is to love them as God does.” – Simone Weil

  89. F/N 2: I need to add for record, from my remarks on alleged right wing theocratic fascism here, some notes on fascism’s true nature. In so doing, let me openly confess my bias: anti-fascism is my FIRST political commitment, from childhood, literally absorbed at my mother’s knee, with commitment to truly democratic historic Christian Civilisation inspired by the sentiments in the US Declaration of Independence a close second. Third, comes a commitment to principled reformation in light of the pervasive moral hazards of finite, fallible, morally fallen/struggling, too often ill willed human beings and institutions shaped by such, and of sound principles of sustainability informed by worldview issues, the Kantian Categorical Imperative influenced by the Golden Rule and the principle of legitimacy in government committed to the defence of the civil peace of justice. (And as I recall, in my boyhood, when we played at soldiers or drew battlefield sketches, the enemy were always nazis, complete with swastikas — and of course in our boyhood imaginations they always lost.) However, I believe on serious investigation long since passing 10,000 pp of serious readings over the years, that the following (written in warning to Caribbean people in concern over the idolatry of statist political messianism)is fully justified:

    [on evidence summarised and linked] let no one even dare to begin to suggest that Hitler was anything more or less than a plainly demonic false political messiah who led his deluded followers into unspeakable evil.

    We need to understand this, we need to allow it to burn deep into our consciousness, to see just how dangerous and destructive political messianism — a species of idolatry that, frankly, too many in the Caribbean are peculiarly vulnerable to — and the notion of a man of destiny who can save us from all our ills are. So, any time we form an undue emotional bond to a politician, or think he is the only one who can save our community from its ills, or mindlessly mouth his or his spin-meisters’ talking points, or see him as though he can do no wrong, we are in danger of disloyalty to the true and living God.

    Not to mention, of doing a lot of harm to our community, for such a politician is almost certainly a political con-man and snake-oil cure-all salesman or worse.

    (And if you hear in my directness, concern that we have too often been victimised by such charming, glib-tongued deceivers here in the Caribbean, yes, it is there. In fact, I have a deeper worry, our vulnerability to outright fascism.)

    Fascism.

    Right wing fanaticism!

    I hear someone: “Of course that is really dangerous, but we are not going to be taken in by such, especially those silly fundy TV preachers and their fleeced, mindless flocks! Not to mention the right-wing politicians who prey on them!”

    That sentiment brings out my precise concern.

    First, are you aware that the founder figure of modern Fascism — he was trying to become a modern Caesar — was a leading socialist in Italy, who then took on the focus on nationalism that led to his identity politics? [Cf. Steele's summary here.]

    Are you aware of the statism — utter dominance of the state in political and community life — that is pivotal to fascism from its roots?

    Let me cite Mussolini’s words:

    “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.”

    And, let me add (April 28, 2013) this from Hitler in a May day Speech, May 1, 1927:

    [picture, with the words in part: "We are Socialists . . . and we are all determined to destroy [Capitalist systems] under all conditions”]

    . . . . Boiling down: Fascism is an irrational — hysterical and brainwashed — cultic political reaction to difficult circumstances, manifested in worship of the state as saviour of the dominant “victim group”, multiplied by blind loyalty to the projected political messiah and usually intensified by the focussing of “legitimised” hate, slander and blame on designated scapegoat groups and individuals.

    If we look hard in the mirror, too often — if we are honest, we will recognise ourselves in this summary.

    The solution to this, first, is to identify political messianism as idolatry. Putting the state, glib-tongued politicians and their real or imagined powers in the place of loyalty and devotion that belong only to God.

    Then, we need to repent.

    After that, we can set about truly sustainable development, in light of good and sound participative democratic and just government and sound community life, with an economy that is built on a solid education system and finding a way to compete effectively in targetted markets that suit our resources and capabilities.

    In this context, the smears that have been used to try to label me or invidiously associate me with nazism are not only ill informed slanders, they are deeply offensive expressions of contemptible bigotry fully equivalent to racism, and of disrespect to the point of being a mortal insult.

    One who resorts to or endorses such needs to know that such crosses the line of civility and for cause will be taken as a declaration of hate-driven enmity on his or her part.

    Now, I am a Christian, and am duty-bound to remember in all things, that those on the other side, however warped by sin, are made in God’s image also. I have a duty of that basic respect called neighbour love. At the same time, I have the same duty of care towards those who the nihilists resorting to such smears would mislead and poison. So, I have the duty of the shepherd, to act in defence from the wolf, overt or hidden under the skin of some poor sheep who trusted only to learn the hard way what happens when one is naive about wolves.

    Fair warning.

    GEM of TKI

  90. Gregory needs to take serious stock, to see to what extent he has become a fellow traveller with evil and/or what Lenin called a useful idiot.

  91. TJGUY

    It’s personal testimony, The day I called out to Jesus and he responded in a manner that could not have been by chance, luck or coincidence. On that day I accepted Jesus as my savior.

  92. 92

    Tell you what guys. Let me propose an experiment. I suggest all Marxists, Darwinists, materialists, anti-theists, civilization-destroyers, hate-filled swine, useful idiots (have I missed anyone who might not fit the ID paradigm) all stop posting here, say for the next month? Let’s see what happens.

    Count me in — I’m tired of trying to be where I’m clearly not wanted.

  93. tjguy: I’m not O’Hare’s son. I’ve never read the Bible.

    Bruce David said:

    However, in a war of ideas, truth is the most powerful weapon there is. It often takes time to manifest its power, however.

    That’s a fine, faith-based spiritual sentiment, but there’s a reason that nobody tries to sell you anything by telling you the truth. There’s a reason that news outlets and academia and political parties don’t attempt to win your vote with the truth. There’s a reason that the entertainment media doesn’t try to get our money by telling us the truth.

    Identifying emotionally with a product, idea or group, either positively or negatively, is the most powerful tool in the war on ideas. “Truth” has become a disinformation-buried, relativistic commodity in this postmodern world of imagery and terminology manipulation.

    What exactly do you hope to gain by rudeness, invective, slander, and ad hominem? How do you imagine that that kind of “weapon” will gain any traction in a war of ideas? Whom are you going to convince with such tactics?

    Low-information people that think with their emotions. They can be turned in the right direction, but “the truth”, for them, is only what is emotionally compelling. That is why good people can be swayed into doing and supporting bad things; it is made emotionally compelling, and they lack the critical reasoning skills to see through such manipulations.

    A good rhetorical sound bite or t-shirt slogan, or a good movie with a theme of good character, can do far, far more than any critical reasoning and foray into “truth”.

  94. F/N: I will say this on KN’s part, he comes closest to an attempt at civility at the TSZ thread I have seen so far. From my archival PDF (and I leave the annoying formatting that imposes as evidence):

    ______________

    >> Kantian Naturalist
    on September 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm said:

    Returning to Lombrozo’s article — which occasioned the piece at Uncommon Descent
    — I can’t imagine that she would say that “charity” goes “all the way down,” so to
    speak, to include empirical matters of fact. When it comes to empirical matters of
    fact, including the highly generic statements of well-confirmed empirical theory, there
    is not much room for charity. About empirical matters of fact one can be wrong (as
    creationists are) or not even wrong (as ID proponents are).

    [--> KN, the FACT is that we cannot and have not observed the actual past of origins and are forced to inductively infer on signs. The further FACT is that FSCO/I exists as posts in this thread demonstrate as do the PCs we are using. It is a FACT that FSCO/I per billions of cases is a reliable sign of design. It is a FACT that life from the cell up is full of FSCO/I. It is a FACT that one is reasonable to take such as a basis for INFERRING inductively, that this is a sign of the design of life. It is a further FACT that in so inferring no appeal or assumption was made that has necessary roots in any religious tradition. It is also a FACT that one may reasonably infer from sign to causal process and observe that as designs reflect purposeful intelligence in action, a designer is the best explanation of an evident design, thus the evidence of design as process SUPPORTS the credibility of there being a designer of life. Onwards on similar cosmological evidence one may reasonably argue to the cosmos as designed and that this is best explained on and provides suppoer for a cosmological designer.]

    However, when it comes to considerably more metaphysical statements and
    principles — such as naturalism and theism — we are dealing with notions only
    tangentially connected (at best) with empirical matters of fact, and in that domain,
    charity is clearly the best policy.
    The much murkier cases, between the obviously empirical and the obviously
    metaphysical, are in the ethical and political domains. For example, think about folks
    who have religious objections to alternatives to abstinence-only sex education. It’s not
    really clear how the interests of public health are best balanced against the right to
    freedom from state interference in one’s private life. But at least some charity
    towards one’s opponents, and not demonizing the other side, would go a long way.

    [--> KN, you are acting in the face of a slander and hate fest any you failed to directly confront it. Indeed you seem unhappy but intimidated and try hints at an unrelated matter. Remember, this is a case of false accusation of fraud and of totalitarian intent, in words that are a code for accusation of nazism in effect. I think it is fair and well merited comment for me to say here, not good enough. Please do better next time.]>>
    ________________

    Sad.

    KF

  95. WJM: We need to build ability to reason, drain the intensity and rage that warp judgement, and expose the cynically deceptive and destructive. Yes short quips, stories, vids and images are important but in the end PISTIS in its proper sense and rhetorical context is about soundly based conviction and trust that one is willing to act on. It so happens too that in counselling Timothy Paul uses this term in his reference to “continue in the things you have learned and become CONVINCED OF” KF

  96. IMO, most people do not move from one idea to an entirely different one because of facts or sound critical reasoning; they move to a different idea largely because they are emotionally attracted to that idea and are emotionally dissatisfied with their previous idea.

    This is why many people become atheists. They become emotionally dissatisfied with/repulsed by their current idea of god (easy enough to do, given the right rhetoric and uncritical emotional pleading), and become emotionally attached to logically unsupportable atheistic sound bites and tropes.

    The infotainment industry and academia pave the way for this emotional manipulation by always portraying the religious or spiritual as evil or crazy, and portray agnostics or atheists as rational, more intelligent, or more “enlightened”. For example, in virtually any futuristic sci-fi movie or series, if religion is presented at all, it is always the earmark of a backwards, foolish society. Always.

    There are no critical arguments about first principles and necessary axioms in the media. There is a manipulation of sentiment and feeling by portraying sequences of imagery and text a certain way.

    This also reflects why our political landscape is the way it is. People in great numbers are not moved by critical thinking on the issues and facts, but rather by how information and imagery is manipulated to appeal to them emotionally.

  97. KF,

    Yes, it would be nice to build the general population’s ability to reason – but, IMO, that is a multi-generational project. What must be done **right now** is to make atheism/materialism emotionally unappealing, and make theism/spirituality/religion emotionally satisfying.

    IMO, ID is an idea that can be used in that manner. I’m not saying we should give up the science or the critical arguments in favor of it, but negative invective about the materialists clinging to the inventiveness of the chance faeries to build complex interdependent code-operated machinery would be, IMO, more effective on more people.

    Because the truth is, materialists hold a ridiculous position; that such complex bio-architecture was generated by a series of chance mistakes is an appallingly stupid position. We should call it such. People should be made to feel stupid for adopting such a stupid position. We should make that position as emotionally unappealing as possible.

    People naturally gravitate towards ID and religious/spiritual ideas anyway – because that is how they are designed, and it offers a sense of belonging to something greater, of purpose and value.

    The truth isn’t enough, IMO; we need better marketing.

  98. WJM, I don’t really want to opine about this thread, although I have very strong professional opinions about these topics. I just want to say that I really appreciate what you do. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  99. WJM:

    Strat marketing in the market of ideas and agendas, will have to start with worldviews.

    (I think here Bass S- curve dynamics and the associated issue of adopters and refusers in an adoption wave. We have pioneers and early adopters, but do need the investments in a problem child to move growth rate to surge to dominance in the teeth of an entrenched and ruthless orthodoxy. The strategy is idea- insurgency, and viable force in being with a powerful base online and in a good, independent, well funded secure brick and mortar base. Some online education and the like will help. If we can get a couple of good talk radio shows and podcasts going that will help. The strategy of going around the lockout in science institutions through the IEEE etc has been very successful. Just this is going to take time. At popular level there needs to be a strong appeal to common good sense in light of obvious cases. Capital case in point is that the living cel contains digital code and implements algorithms to make proteins, tracing to code stored in DNA. The last time we saw codes popping out of noise and algorithms, was: __________. And, with proper backup, the Lewontin and Provine quotes are worth their weight in gold. The NSTA board declaration and its joint action with NAS to hold children in Kansas hostage are also potential scandals. False accusations of theocratic nazism and the like need to be exposed and the absence of effective anser in this thread speaks volumes.)

    We are indeed in a Kulturpampf, with pivotal institutions at stake, such as the academy, legislatures, science. Yes, there is a need for a popular, persuasive case, and this will have to take some of the dimensions of a public relations campaign, but that is by no means the core of the case to be made. There is going to have to be a patent breakdown of a system, and there will have to be credible alternative ideas and implementers. Int his case, a return to proper inductive logic and balanced critical awareness informed by sound analysis and scientific research, will be key. That is in part why I just said to KN:

  100. OOps, lost my train of thought. Just said to KN in reply to his “not even wrong” appeal to “facts”:

    the FACT is that we cannot and have not observed the actual past of origins and are forced to inductively infer on signs. The further FACT is that FSCO/I exists as posts in this thread demonstrate as do the PCs we are using. It is a FACT that FSCO/I per billions of cases is a reliable sign of design. It is a FACT that life from the cell up is full of FSCO/I. It is a FACT that one is reasonable to take such as a basis for INFERRING inductively, that this is a sign of the design of life. It is a further FACT that in so inferring no appeal or assumption was made that has necessary roots in any religious tradition. It is also a FACT that one may reasonably infer from sign to causal process and observe that as designs reflect purposeful intelligence in action, a designer is the best explanation of an evident design, thus the evidence of design as process SUPPORTS the credibility of there being a designer of life. Onwards on similar cosmological evidence one may reasonably argue to the cosmos as designed and that this is best explained on and provides support for a cosmological designer.

    We are dealing with people who want to warp people’s minds to perceive a highly questionable theory about the deep and unobserved past, on dynamics that simply have not been shown to have the suggested capability, that the pictured past is a FACT.

    That is a serious bit of mind-bending and it needs to be exposed.

    KF

  101. WJM for president!
    I very much agree that we need better marketing. For starters I propose a T-shirt slogan thread.

    Also uncommondescent should get a facelift, including the addition of a decent menu with indexes of topics.

  102. I completely agree with WJM.

  103. What must be done **right now** is to make atheism/materialism emotionally unappealing, and make theism/spirituality/religion emotionally satisfying.

    By whatever means necessary and facts be damned!

    Because the truth is, materialists hold a ridiculous position; that such complex bio-architecture was generated by a series of chance mistakes is an appallingly stupid position. We should call it such. People should be made to feel stupid for adopting such a stupid position. We should make that position as emotionally unappealing as possible.

    Right, because the evidence points to that very complex bio-architecture having been generated be a temperamental, invisible dude who forbids people to masturbate.

  104. WJM, re. #92:

    Low-information people that think with their emotions. They can be turned in the right direction, but “the truth”, for them, is only what is emotionally compelling. That is why good people can be swayed into doing and supporting bad things; it is made emotionally compelling, and they lack the critical reasoning skills to see through such manipulations.

    What you are describing is propaganda. It is what is used by people and organizations to persuade when truth is not an option. Personally, if I felt that my only recourse to bring about the change I wished to see was to use propaganda, I would find something else to occupy my time. But in any case, effective propaganda never relies on the kind of invective you are proposing here. It is much more subtle.

    Be wary of the Pogo dictum: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” When one stoops to the level of those with whom one is fighting, there is always the danger of becoming that which you despise.

  105. When the metaphysical findings of quantum mechanics of 80+ years ago, and ever since, for that matter c.f. bornagain77′s dismissal as a spammer(!), are routinely scoffed at by the metaphysical naturalists, here, we are bound to conclude that we are dealing with refractory children, not intellectual peers; children, moreover, who should not even be in a regular school, but a reformatory school.

    The fact of the matter is that it serves the interests of the hyper-cynical, large corporations to have science touted as the ultimate paradigm of all knowledge. (Must keep religion out of it. That’s just for imaginary stuff..).
    But crucially science qua scientism.

    Once the mechanistic paradigm is relegated to its proper metaphysical station, immeasurably below QM, the game will be up for them. It will be much more difficult for them to ‘manufacture consent’, to use Chomsky’s term. The only corrupt propaganda tool left to them will be politicians’ staple: opinion polls.

  106. #LarTanner: Right, because the evidence points to that very complex bio-architecture having been generated be a temperamental, invisible dude who forbids people to masturbate.

    I feel that Lar Tanner is right in bringing this up, since several people insert bible quotes in this thread. It’s up to them to defend Christianity.
    I wonder about the bible quoting. For sure it’s no good ‘war tactics’, since the conjuncture intelligent design & Christianity is doubly vulnerable.
    I’m very much interested in intelligent design, but I’m no christian. The suggestion of the existence of the aforementioned conjuncture makes me feel rather uncomfortable from time to time at uncommondescent.

  107. WJM said:
    Because the truth is, materialists hold a ridiculous position; that such complex bio-architecture was generated by a series of chance mistakes is an appallingly stupid position. We should call it such. People should be made to feel stupid for adopting such a stupid position. We should make that position as emotionally unappealing as possible.

    LarTanner said:
    Right, because the evidence points to that very complex bio-architecture having been generated be a temperamental, invisible dude who forbids people to masturbate.

    If you so enjoy parading your stupidity perhaps we can all pitch in and buy you a neon sign.

    We had to know that someone would come up with a post to vindicate everything WJM has said. Congratulations, LarTanner.

  108. Tell you what guys. Let me propose an experiment. I suggest all Marxists, Darwinists, materialists, anti-theists, civilization-destroyers, hate-filled swine, useful idiots (have I missed anyone who might not fit the ID paradigm) all stop posting here, say for the next month? Let’s see what happens.

    KN:

    Count me in — I’m tired of trying to be where I’m clearly not wanted.

    Me too – it will help me kick the habit – no more comments on UD until 16th of October.

  109. WJM: See why I emphasise the appeal to common good sense of the equivalent to the unprejudice4d man in the Clapham bus stop, informed by reasonably accessible facts? And, notice how the above objections simply do not address the facts in evidence. LT, for instance, kindly point out a case where complex functionally specific digital code that works in algorithms and is associated with implementing machines came about in our observation by blind chance and mechanical necessity: _________. Correct answer, nil. Such is routinely seen to be produced by intelligence and is only plausibly done by design, on needle in haystack grounds. Now, the evo mat agenda wants us to rule out this possibility ahead of examining the facts so that regardless of the utter implausibility it will be concluded that it “must” have happened by blind chance and mechanical necessity despite the evidence. The patent question begging, once the ordinary person understands this, will cause such agendas to implode. That is why there is such an effort to poison the atmosphere by slander — slanders that LT and others need to very explicitly distance themselves from and repudiate. KF

  110. Wow, Gregory! What a first choice as a paragon of ‘heart’. Bob Hope. He might have given a lot of money to charity (not exactly the widow’s mite), but he was a major, serial adulterer.

  111. Box

    I did cite a biblical passage above.

    Which part of:

    Isa 5:18 Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,
    who draw sin as with cart ropes, . . .

    20 Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
    21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!

    22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
    and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
    23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    and deprive the innocent of his right! [ESV]

    . . . do you reject as wise counsel (all that I said it is) and why.

    Do, let us know.

    KF

  112. Onlookers:

    Ducking out just now allows MF to avoid addressing the issue of enabling of blatant and abusive smearing ongoing at one of his fav hangouts, TSZ.

    The good cop bad cop game proceeds.

    KF

  113. Bye, materialists! Promises, promises.

    They have to come back here. This is where the de facto authority is. You cannot keep atheists away even from general, Christian forums. They must bore the living day-lights out of each other on their own threads. And what intellectual fare can they profer. More Forrest Gump news flashes?

  114. KF, you first: Kindly point out a case where complex functionally specific digital code that works in algorithms and is associated with implementing machines came about in our observation by an immaterial, all-powerful, all-knowing being.

    My response to WJM simply showed that if he wants a war based on ridiculous positions, the Christian position is itself open to profound ridicule — deservedly and justifiably — on several fronts.

  115. PS: The Christian faith and wider Judaeo-Christian, theistic worldview, can be addressed on merits, though UD is not the place for a general debate. Save where someone like Dawkins plays at atmosphere poisoning or pretends that the existence of Jesus of Nazareth is historically dubious. Similarly, this worldview has a voice through its incorporated major ethical tradition — pivoting on the Golden rule and our equal worth as made in God’s image. I make references here on and here on for those interested in a 101 on warrant.

  116. The Christian church seemed vulnerable 2000 years ago. Especially with its catchy motto: ‘Take up your cross and follow me.’

  117. Sorry. I mean to address 115 to you, Box.

  118. LT, the attempted turnabout shows a strawman caricature of the design argument. As you know or should know, the evidence of FSCO/I in light of known causal forces, points to design as causal process per reliable empirically tested sign. That is the empirical case. So, FSCO/I points to design. That is empirically grounded evidence that then calls up the question, that we know also that design reflects purpose, which is associated with intelligent, volitional agent. So, on evidence of design as causal mechanism, we face questions — which may go beyond science of candidate designers. All of this you know or should know by now so your repeated resorts to strawman caricatures and the associated toxic context in view raise serious questions indeed about your agenda. KF

  119. Guys as much as it frustrates me too, the idea of using propaganda, marketing and sticking it to them just does not sit well.

    That does not win the war that just makes it ugly. The truth will always win…..

  120. Mark Frank #107

    Me too – it will help me kick the habit – no more comments on UD until 16th of October.

    Nooooo Mark :( Please reconsider your decision. (I like Mark… he is the unique person who appreciates my English :) )

  121. #111 Kairosfocus
    To me, as a non-christian perhaps, the profound wisdom of this quote (and many others) is lost on me. For the most part the verse strikes me as rather obvious.
    It seemed a fitting description for islam, until the wine and strong drink was introduced.

  122. LT,

    My response to WJM simply showed that if he wants a war based on ridiculous positions, the Christian position is itself open to profound ridicule — deservedly and justifiably — on several fronts.

    I take it you want that sign?

  123. What you are describing is propaganda.

    Yes. Among other things, we need to better propagandize for our views, and against those of our enemies.

    It is what is used by people and organizations to persuade when truth is not an option.

    If by “not an option” you mean “useless for the most part”, then yes. The truth is useless when it comes to swaying the views of most people, IMO.

    Personally, if I felt that my only recourse to bring about the change I wished to see was to use propaganda, I would find something else to occupy my time.

    As I said, you are free to do whatever you wish. Is using a gun in defense of truth and religious liberty somehow less evil than using propaganda in defense of truth and religious liberty? Yes, that’s exactly what the side without principles wishes us to think – that propagandizing and marketing is somehow beneath us, and should be left for the evil to utilize. And so we let them hypnotize the masses and march us off of our high ground edifice.

    But in any case, effective propaganda never relies on the kind of invective you are proposing here. It is much more subtle.

    Effective propaganda and marketing uses a multi-tiered approach that includes the 2×4 as well as the subtle. If you doubt it, just look at TSZ – it’s full of people that have bought the blatant dismissal and ridicule hook, line and sinker, and act as the cultural shock troops. You may not wish to believe that people are manipulated by overt invective, but many are.

    Be wary of the Pogo dictum: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” When one stoops to the level of those with whom one is fighting, there is always the danger of becoming that which you despise.

    And there you are, parroting the mantra of the enemy, beseeching us to not use effective tactics because those tactics will make us “like them”. Because I use a gun to stop a serial killer doesn’t mean I’m a serial killer.

    Yes, if most people in the world were spiritual, philosphical intellectuals like you and KN, then polite, rational debate might win the day. Unfortunately, that is not what we find in the world. We’re up against implacable, non-rational, hate-filled nihilists and real theocratic warlords (not the ones Western atheists imagine reformed, post-enlightenment Christians to be, but the real, radical, Caliphate Muslim variety).

    Polite, rational debate is not going to win the day against those extremists.

  124. We need a force in being strategy, and a growth strategy. the first level is that we need to put on the table the basic issues of reasoning and reasoning about experiential matters by induction. Science is under this. There is an important place for technical scientific work through research and analysis, empirical and theoretical. There is need to develop further articulate and project a soundly based common good sense persuasiv e case that can be gasp3ed by the man in the Clapham bus stop. In an informaiton age, it will be much easier, and the key case is the living cell as an entity that uses codes in DNA [thus language and symbols], step by step specific, goal oriented procedures [algorithms], and associated execution machinery. A key icon of design to be used is the Ribosome with the mRNA as control tape, making a new protein. That is a NC factory process unit. And this reeks of design tothe point that an ordinary man will see that no way is it plausible that this originated by chance and necessity, blindly, in some warm little pond. It helps that OOL is so serious a case that Darwin’s defenders try to keep this off the table. Then, point out that this is the root of the tree of life the very first icon used by Darwin. No roots, no shoots and nothing else. Also, design is there from teh roots up so whatever happens thereafter it cannot be properly excluded. Body plans are more of the same. Notice, objectors have no answer tothis, they resort to all sorts of shenanigans to distract, polarise and poison. Notice also not a single appeal to any religious tradition. The attempt to conflate design with creationism is a lie and a smear built on an earlier smear of creationists. It will help to expose the a priori materialism used to bias what is allowed as science and pushed on kids in school. INDOCTRINATION driven by ideology. Then, we can show and expose the false accusations of theocracy for what hey are. Also, we can ask pointed questions about where evolutionary materialist secular humanism and fellow travellers lead. On history and on the issue of grounding principles of fairness and decency. The darwin defenders off in their fever swamps have no answer tothese and so they smear and try every species of Alinskyite distractor. Alinsky tactics need to be identified and exposed. Int his context tee shirts and hte like do play a role but the core issue is at common good sense level. It needs to be known that the core matters at stake are not he technobabble that glazes over people’s eyes, but basics that are easy to follow and go directly to what is going on. Along the way, it needs to be highlighted that evo mat has serious and self refuting implicaitons for our ability to think, reason, make responsible decisions and more, leading to opening the door to manipulation, and nihilist thuggery. We need to ask what happens w3hen such get power, and point to cases around us now. Right now the case with the TSZ slander and hate fest where people spread poisonous lies they know or should know are utterly wrong and irresponsible, is a good ilustration. I assure you I would not want my children taught by toxic people like that. I would not want them reporting to such people at work. I would not want them standing before such in a court room. And I sure would not want such with a finger on the proverbial big red button. KF

  125. WJM, re. #122:

    Effective propaganda and marketing uses a multi-tiered approach that includes the 2×4 as well as the subtle. If you doubt it, just look at TSZ – it’s full of people that have bought the blatant dismissal and ridicule hook, line and sinker, and act as the cultural shock troops.

    You haven’t made the case that the people who believe the party line regarding origins do so because of the venomous invective of other people on TSZ or elsewhere. It’s far more likely that they have bowed to the authority of the alleged scientific consensus, IMO.

    When I say that the truth will prevail in the end, the truth to which I refer is that the sublime, sophisticated, mind-numbingly complex engineering present in all living things simply could not have been the result of blind random natural processes, even if mediated by natural selection. This is intuitively obvious to anyone with an open mind on the question, and has been thoroughly supported by experimental evidence and mathematical analysis. This truth simply cannot be denied forever, and will eventually be openly acknowledged by the vast majority of scientists, and as a consequence, by the population at large. It’s just a matter of time. And in fact, no one really knows how many scientists already accept this truth but are afraid to acknowledge it publicly. This will eventually change. The truth will out.

  126. You haven’t made the case that the people who believe the party line regarding origins do so because of the venomous invective of other people on TSZ or elsewhere. It’s far more likely that they have bowed to the authority of the alleged scientific consensus, IMO.

    An alleged scientific consensus painted out as such utilizing the very invective I speak of against those who believe otherwise, ruining careers, expelling actual skeptics and offering a curriculum that ridicules and marginalizes theists and non-Darwinists.

  127. WJM, re. #125:

    An alleged scientific consensus painted out as such utilizing the very invective I speak of against those who believe otherwise, ruining careers, expelling actual skeptics and offering a curriculum that ridicules and marginalizes theists and non-Darwinists.

    Yes, these things have been done, certainly. What you haven’t shown is that the portion of these acts that can be characterized as venomous invective has any influence on what people believe. Put more bluntly, I don’t believe that there is any evidence that nastiness changes anyone’s mind, except possibly to discredit its producer.

  128. What you haven’t shown is that the portion of these acts that can be characterized a s venomous invective has any influence on what people believe.

    Did you ever see any WWII propaganda “commercials” at the movies? Do you think the brutal invective levied against the Japanese and the Germans didn’t sway public opinion significantly, or raise patriotic nationalism for the war effort? Do you think the invective parents or other figures of authority use against groups has no effect on children but to push the children away from their parents’ views? You don’t think that movies that give us a constant diet of invective against corporations or wealth move public opinion an inch in that direction?

    I don’t consider it my job to make a case for what is obvious.

  129. Put more bluntly, I don’t believe that there is any evidence that nastiness changes anyone’s mind, except possibly to discredit its producer.

    You don’t think negative campaign ads produce the results desired many times in elections?

  130. BD: Unfortunately, mutually question begging, atmosphere clouding, poisoning and polarising, mind closing fallacies such as we see aplenty in the TSZ slander fest are mutually reinforcing. KF

  131. WJM, re. #128:

    Did you ever see any WWII propaganda “commercials” at the movies? Do you think the brutal invective levied against the Japanese and the Germans didn’t sway public opinion significantly, or raise patriotic nationalism for the war effort?

    Demonizing an outside group (or an inside group which is considered to be separate from the rest of the body politic, like the Jews in Germany prior to and during WWII) is one of the major techniques of effective propaganda. But that is not what we are talking about here. We are discussing situations in which two groups of people with different beliefs are debating in some forum, be it in a thread such as this or a public debate, and one group begins a venomous invective against the other, as you did in #54:

    TSZ is nothing but a pitiful collection of anti-theistic, hate-filled swine run by a clever, polite enabler of civilization-destroying marxist, materialist darwinism.

    There is no evidence that such tactics in a debate will ever change anyone’s mind other than to make them question the credibility of the person making the accusation.

    Do you think the invective parents or other figures of authority use against groups has no effect on children but to push the children away from their parents’ views?

    Of course authority figures can have effects on the beliefs children. Go ahead, load your kids up with all the invective you please. You might not like the ultimate result, however.

  132. A follow-up to my post #131:

    When a group is being demonized for propaganda purposes, it is essential that its members be cut off from the power to defend themselves publicly from the attacks. In other words, they must be prevented from having access to public media. This is clearly not the case with Darwin defenders. If anything, the reverse is true. Darwinism critics are far more frequently denied access, as we all know.

  133. But that is not what we are talking about here. We are discussing situations in which two groups of people with different beliefs are debating in some forum, be it in a thread such as this or a public debate, and one group begins a venomous invective against the other, as you did in #54:

    I don’t think WJM was trying to persuade any onlookers with the observation he was making in that particular case. He was explaining his estimation of much of the TSZ crowd frankly.

    There is no evidence that such tactics in a debate will ever change anyone’s mind other than to make them question the credibility of the person making the accusation.

    Where is the evidence that this will “make them question the credibility of the person making the accusation”?

    When a group is being demonized for propaganda purposes, it is essential that its members be cut off from the power to defend themselves publicly from the attacks. In other words, they must be prevented from having access to public media.

    No, not really. Especially not nowadays, where ‘the public media’ is an increasingly fragmented spread of sources.

    And why is it essential? You’ve been making the claim that negative press just doesn’t work because all nastiness ever does is make people dislike the person saying it.

    Also, narcissists never win political elections, because who would support a narcissist?

  134. Here in the Netherlands Europe all of the media and political parties (except one) are liberal, anti-religion (with the exception of islam, because of reasons of political correctness), leftist and of course pro-Darwinian.
    The average Dutchman hasn’t even heard about intelligent design.
    The religious political parties are ‘religious’ only by name. They have nothing to say about Darwinism. Neither are there any TV-personalities who have anything to say about Darwinism. Over here Darwinism is no longer controversial …
    From the ’60 and onwards Christianity has been ridiculed into oblivion.

  135. So, lets play nice. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone with empirical facts.

  136. Uh huh.

    That’s what happens when you don’t preserve a solid force in being with bastions that cannot be taken. Holland was knocked out in a few days in 1940, too. Belgium took a few weeks, and France not much more — and the casualties incurred only showed the magnitude of the defeat.

    It was Britain that stood, held because of Fighter Command, then was the bastion for the invasion that took W Europe back from Hitler.

    If you want an older case, Islamic forces swept through most of Spain in the early 700′s. But, there were mountain fastnesses that held out. Slowly, they pushed back, finishing in 1491, and that is why in 1492 Chris Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

    Getting the picture?

    If an aggressive ideology does not hit hard resistance that stops it, it tends to sweep all before it, once it gains power to do so. Then it uses power to indoctrinate and brainwash.

    You are right about the power of unchecked ridicule and other agit prop techniques.

    In reply, hard resistance has to preserve a force in being that blunts the onslaught, then bleeds down the forces until a resurgence can be pushed.

    Old story.

    And, we had better get ready to do it again.

    (Notice, how — suddenly — I am not sounding like I am over the top, but instead realistic? I have not changed, just many who were formerly naive are seeing the true ruthless colours of what we are up against. I am sure a lot were buying the line that I was a half crazy whiner to protest invidious association with nazism. Now, we see from that TSZ thread with a hate fest probably still in progress, that this is how these folks have been indoctrinated to view us all. We are nazis, religious fanatics wanting to impose a theocracy, destroy science and more. So, why is it that I have a triple major undergrad sci-math degree and a grad degree in science? Because I hate science? The silly propaganda falls of its weight in the cold light of day, but in the intoxicating fever swamps with the drums pounding the party line and the blood-rage pounding in the heads things don’t look that same way. [Any yup, it was the same way with the Marxists too, who were pumped full of propaganda they were convinced was THE TRUTH. But, there were un-crackable hard centres that held the line until Marxism cracked.)

    Here’s the deal folks: They started the fight with sucker punches below the belt. We will finish it, and finish it with honour intact.

    The fallacies, question begging, agit prop and ruthless nihilism and bully boy attitudes and behaviour will be exposed. We will know that this is a case where we cannot compromise with people willing to lie, spread slanders, falsely accuse us of fraud, censor, but careers and worse.

    We are locked in a kulturkampf with a DISHONOURABLE ideology.

    Too many of even the nicest seeming are just enablers of evil, going along with a good cop bad cop game. The line needs to be drawn: if you are an enabler of dishonourable conduct, you too are dishonourable.

    No ifs, ands, buts or maybes.

    That may sound hard, but we did not throw the first punch and we are the ones who have been taking hits below the belt.

    And when you tried to out and threaten my family, that was a limit.

    I am not forgetting that, and what it tells me about you and your ilk.

    Just remember, in a few days now, it will have been a full year that darwinists were unable to seriously take up an open challenge to warrant your evolutionary materialist claims per observational evidence, for OOL and OO body plans, including the darwinist tree of life.

    That silence in response to a free kick at goal tells us all we need to know about the proud boasts and declarations.

    Bluff called folks, and the goods were not there to back it up.

    Let us remember that, going forward.

    KF

  137. So, lets play nice. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone with empirical facts.

    Guess I’ll have to stop posting at TSZ.

  138. Mung, ever heard of Hitler’s order to shoot captured commandos, even those taken in uniform — on a flimsy excuse? (I am happy to report that several of his henchmen faced a rope or a firing squad over that order, after due process.) KF

  139. Onlookers: Notice how no one above has been able to justify the accusations in the hate and slander fest over at TSZ? (You had better believe that if the darwin defenders thought they could justify the claims in an open forum, they would be swarming all over us. Instead they have taken any excuse to get out of Dodge city.) KF

  140. #136 KF, you may judge my fellow countrymen too harshly. One look at the map should tell you that Holland stood no chance. The Germans just rolled their tanks in. Some obvious strategical disadvantages: no sea to protect us, and not even one mountain.
    On top of that the Germans didn’t play nice http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotterdam_Blitz .

  141. Box, Yes, there is a point to that, though deliberate flooding may have allowed a holdout bastion to form probably in the Scheldt, much as the corner of Belgium in WW I. in any case the point is, force in being, bastion, hold the line, then resurge. Holds for Kulturkampf too. KF

  142. Upright BiPed, re. #135:

    So, lets play nice. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone with empirical facts.

    Did I say I was against invoking empirical facts? That is precisely what does work in intellectual debate. See #125 above.

  143. KF,

    So what’s your plan? Arm ourselves and shoot the bastards?

  144. DB:

    If they come in my front door for my wife and children (they have made threats, remember and I cannot totally rule that out . . . ), it will be over my dead body.

    But that is not the main idea, as has been outlined above.

    Start with the 7 – 8″ tablet PC, multiply by the broadband internet built through porn subscriptions that have enmeshed so many in the porn perv agenda. (BTW, that too is part of what is benumbing consciences and besotting minds. Its not just that mad man from Ohio.)

    Think about accessing an entire alternate education, and having access to solid news, views etc also. Bypassing the bastions of indoctrination and propaganda. Web fastnesses of truth, soundness and sense standing in the teeth of the rubbish, hate fests and fever swamps out there. Gradually growing as the sheer repulsiveness of evil exposes its true demonic nature. (Just cf that slander fest.)

    Sound education.

    And when attempts are made to censor or intimidate, they are rapidly exposed and countered. BSU, this means you. And even if the almost inevitable suit is won by the censors, it will be a hollow victory, for it will reveal the rot in two key institutions, the academy and the courts. Maybe, too the old line media.

    Building an alternative, starting from a force in being.

    Counter-culture.

    And BTW, prepare for hard, dark days ahead, on so many levels.

    KF

  145. Bruce, my comment really wasn’t in response to your analysis. If you want to promote sticking to empirical facts, then I’m all for it. If you’ve watched many of my comments over the past years here, then you’ll see I hardly drive the conversation towards anything else. For what it’s worth, I don’t think WJM is a content-free vulgar bastard and I would be surprised to see him seriously advocate anyone else be a content-free vulgar basterd. I think the thrust of his comments are limited in who they apply to, and are generally in the appropriate direction. If I stop to read this whole thread and see otherwise, I’ll say so. Until that point, I’ll probably disregard those who overreact to the typical frustration someone feels after being mocked and ignored over empirical facts.

  146. Initially, what I suggest is creating social-media friendly graphics with relatively short memes attached, which can be easily uploaded and shared.

    The following are some that I’m working on. I’m open to suggestions and corrections:

    ATHEISM is the belief that the finely-tuned fundamental properties of the universe that allow intelligent life to exist is nothing more than coincidence.

    ATHEISM is the belief that advanced, highly complex, precision nanotechnology can be created by the magic of chance.

    ATHEISM is the belief that logic is subjective.

    ATHEISM is the belief that truth is subjective.

    ATHEISM is the belief that we do not have free will.

    ATHEISM is the belief that “good” is relative.

    ATHEISM is the belief no act is intrinsically wrong or evil – not even torture.

    DARWINISM is the belief that RAPE is simply another naturally-selected means of genetic distribution.

    DARWINISM is the belief that PEDOPHILIA is just another naturally-occurring attraction.

    DARWINISM holds that Hitler and Mother Teresa were moral equals.

    ATHEISM is the belief that, if you can get away with it, there is no downside to harming others for personal gain.

    ATHEISM is the belief that humans are not endowed with unalienable rights.

    ATHEISM is the belief that murdering and cannibalizing a human is not intrinsically any different from killing and eating a cow.

    People killed by ATHEISTIC regimes in the last century: 153 million. People killed by THEISTIC regimes in 20 previous centuries: 5-10 million.

    Religious THEISTS have been scientifically shown to live longer, happier, healthier lives than ATHEISTS.

    THEISTS invented all currently employed scientific principles and methodology.

    THEISTS made and catalogued virtually all major scientific discoveries.

    THEISTS founded virtually all currrent hospital and university systems.

    RELIGION provided the funding, training and infrastructure for virtually all early scientific progress.

    There are thousands of RELIGIOUS charities. There are only a handful of ATHEISTIC charities.

    MATERIALISM, the broader philosophy of ATHEISM, was disproven decades ago by easily reproduced quantum physics experiments.

    Several NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING scientists have asserted that life after death has been scientifically proven.

    DARWINISM is a victorian-age, anti-theistic fable that if you put random errors in the blueprint code for arms long enough, you’ll get fully functioning wings and an entire body redesigned to sustain flight.

  147. MATERIALISM is invented by BLIND CHEMICAL REACTIONS.

    MATERIALISM is the belief that we as persons DON’T EXIST

  148. You actually believe in ‘memes,’ WJM, which were coined by a ‘Darwinist’?

    Wow, there is some seriously messed-up thinking and feeling in this thread. Talk about fringe IDism. KF throws around the word ‘slander’ like pennies to bottles in a fair.

    What’s funniest to me of WJM’s proposed ‘memes’ for the New Look UD is this one:
    “THEISTS invented all currently employed scientific principles and methodology.”

    Then I guess you should stop using the term ‘memes,’ eh, cuz it was ‘invented’ by an atheist! :P

  149. Gregory:

    Stop enabling by playing good cop in cahoots with bad cop.

    When people are being subjected to a hate-fest of lies meant to polarise, hurt, marginalise and harm, that is slander. That has been happening at any number of hostile blogs for years, but now the sheep’s clothing has been dropped at TSZ, and the wolfish ravening is obvious for all to see.

    I notice you have had nothing to say by way of reply on the merits to the refutation of the right-wing neo-nazi Christo-fascist theocracy smear here. All you have is superficial, sneering dismissals and enabling reflecting a thinly veiled hostility, contempt and smugness. That want of substance tells us all we need to know, given what has happened above in this thread and what is going on at TSZ.

    You have just told us all we need to know about you.

    That smear you have enabled — one based on twisting the so-called wedge document into pretzels — is plainly driving all sorts of hostility, hate, lies, false accusations that those making them do or should know better than, and more.

    You are enabling that slander-, bigotry- and hate fest that has been going on at TSZ.

    SHAME ON YOU!

    Go take a long look in the mirror, then think again and do better. A lot better.

    KF

  150. F/N: Gregory has ignored the relevant history on the founding of modern science. Let’s set him straight — cf. here [an article by a noted scholar] — and see if he has any sense of duty to evident truth. KF

  151. This OP is ridiculous. Nothing in that post at TSZ approaches the regular vitriol that is posted daily here at UD against “Darwinists”.

    More to the point, the rules at TSZ are simple and any ID proponent is welcome to post, as are people of all faiths and none.

    By no means all the regulars at TSZ are even atheists.

    This is largely a phoney war, whose only “real” dimension is the specific church-state separation debate in the US. My site hosts that debate as well as more interesting (to my mind) debates about science and philosophy.

    This attempt by William to stir up enmity where none exists is discreditable, IMO. To assert that one’s arguments have not been refuted is simply to assert that one has not been persuaded of any error in one’s argument. From my PoV, William has not presented a persuasive argument, nor has he mounted any persuasive rebuttal of any argument he has attempted to refute.

    But his view clearly differs. That’s why we try to debate.

  152. This attempt by William to stir up enmity where none exists is discreditable, IMO.

    ‘Stir up enmity where none exists’? The ‘enmity’ has been there since likely before the founding of After The Bar Closes – you know, the little hate site where you and the regulars wallow in your own filth as you slime others cheerfully?

    You seem to think, Elizabeth, that so long as you’re all smiles and sunshine (God, tell us the one again about how you ‘believe in God – just with two O’s, teehee!’) on more obviously public forums, that you’re a nice, fair, well-meaning individual – and your cooperation with, cheering on, and general tolerance of people doing everything from slinging homophobic slurs to defacing public pictures to more, of the very people you’re trying to have a discussion with is somehow excused.

    It doesn’t. It makes you two-faced.

    And your tendency to reinvent definitions on the fly whenever you find your back to the wall in an argument – which is damn often – coupled with your habitual dishonest representation of yourself and your opponents’ arguments, doesn’t exactly do much to smack down the charges of intellectual dishonesty.

    Nothing in that post at TSZ approaches the regular vitriol that is posted daily here at UD against “Darwinists”.

    Not only is that false, but when compared to AtBC – which is connected with TSZ – it is *laughably* false. Once again: the fact that you blast out the ascii smiley faces like they were going out of style in some forums, and that you can cherry pick particular moments of (in context, what is quite reasonably regarded as feigned) civility, doesn’t erase that.

    “From my PoV”, William is correct in his summing up of TSZ’s culture, and I’d apply it to AtBC as well. There is no shortage of atheists, agnostics, ID skeptics and otherwise with whom civilized debate on these and various religious and philosophical topics is worthwhile. You, and most of the lot at TSZ, do not make the cut.

    Now, this is the part where you stammer, ‘I’m sorry you feel that way, Nullasalus. :(‘, say your recollection is otherwise, and yammer off another set of nonsense. But do me a favor – try not to make claims like ‘Stirring up enmity where none exists’, when it’s trivial to see otherwise with a simple trip to Google. If you had any arguments or observations that were powerful – if that was what you really cared about, ultimately – your lot wouldn’t resort to the hate and encouragement of hate you do on a regular basis.

  153. It seems to me that by shifting the argument from the ‘science’ of ID to a supposed culture war ID proponents can avoid dealing with the lack of a coherent ID hypothesis and draw attention away from the lack of hard evidence and research that supports their view. By utilising the politics of fear and the power of nightmares the ID community is attempting to rally the troops so they don’t lose interest and/or give up hope. They portray those of us who disagree with them as ‘enemies’ who want to destroy their ‘culture’. This is plainly absurd. I’m thinking of the typical argument: atheists don’t believe in absolute morals so what’s to stop them from rampaging, raping and pillaging? Anyone who thinks they need God and his threats of fire and brimstone to prevent anarchy has a real authoritarian issue they need to deal with. AND, if there is no God, then how did we get to the relatively high level of civilisation and technical expertise we all enjoy?

    IF ID is going to gain any real scientific traction then it needs to find some evidence, do some research and decide what it is really all about. You can’t just keep living on: because we don’t think unguided, natural processes aren’t up to the job we think a designer did it. No one can even say WHEN design was implemented!!

    Stop playing the fear card and get to work.

  154. ‘Stir up enmity where none exists’? The ‘enmity’ has been there since likely before the founding of After The Bar Closes – you know, the little hate site where you and the regulars wallow in your own filth as you slime others cheerfully?

    And the above isn’t “stirring up enmity”?

    You seem to think, Elizabeth, that so long as you’re all smiles and sunshine (God, tell us the one again about how you ‘believe in God – just with two O’s, teehee!’) on more obviously public forums, that you’re a nice, fair, well-meaning individual – and your cooperation with, cheering on, and general tolerance of people doing everything from slinging homophobic slurs to defacing public pictures to more, of the very people you’re trying to have a discussion with is somehow excused.

    Tell me where I have every “cheered on” anyone “slinging homophobic slurs or “defacing public pictures”.

    It doesn’t. It makes you two-faced.

    So anyone who posts here, and who does not explicitly condemn, say, some of JoeG’s outrageous comments here and elsewhere, is “two-faced”? I don’t think so.

    And your tendency to reinvent definitions on the fly whenever you find your back to the wall in an argument – which is damn often – coupled with your habitual dishonest representation of yourself and your opponents’ arguments, doesn’t exactly do much to smack down the charges of intellectual dishonesty.

    In science we do not “reinvent definitions on the fly”. We make them explicit for the purposes of the argument. Your perception, I suggest, is erroneous. What you see as “reinventing definitions on the fly” is the reverse – it is an attempt to pin down arguments to specific definitions in order to avoid equivocation.

    For example “evolution” means different things in different contexts. In order to understand a claim about “evolution” it is important to understand the definition being used in the claim, and not to extrapolate the claim to other claims using a different definition.

    It is precisely to avoid equivocation that I am a stickler for definitions.

  155. They portray those of us who disagree with them as ‘enemies’ who want to destroy their ‘culture’. This is plainly absurd.

    This attempted camouflage whereby hostility towards the swamp-extension that is TSZ becomes hostility towards ‘anyone who disagrees with ID’ is a bad joke. The focus is not merely on people who don’t agree with ID’s conclusions, or methods, or who don’t think ID is science. It’s with a particular group of people for whom the hostility towards ID is a bit more personal than that.

    You may as well be trying to cast, say… Richard Dawkins as just some mild-mannered fellow who, beg your pardon, just isn’t sure he believes in the claims of Christianity, rather than someone who says he wants to destroy Christianity and who is locked in a war against ‘religion’ and ‘theism’ generally.

    This is plainly absurd. I’m thinking of the typical argument: atheists don’t believe in absolute morals so what’s to stop them from rampaging, raping and pillaging?

    An absurd rendition of the argument, especially when mechanisms to stop rampaging, raping and pillaging are acknowledged even by those criticizing the intellectual results of rejecting objective morality. That’s really the key: it’s not ‘without objective morals, chaos rules supreme!’ that’s being claimed, but ‘without objective morals, rotten societies – such as the atheistic North Korea – can be easily justified, and may even thrive, such as they are’.

    ID proponents do plenty of work. They outline their arguments, they perform research, they review others’ research – all demonstrable. Why, they even convince some people that their arguments have merit. And I say this as someone who is on record as being pretty skeptical of some fundamental aspects of the ID project. But you know all this – what’s going on with your reply is pretty well exactly what WJM pointed out. It’s about dishonesty and deception – playing to the crowd, and trying to slur your opponents so their arguments and reasoning are rejected out of hand.

    Please, keep it up. I’m sure others will love seeing examples of what WJM was talking about presented in the same exact thread.

  156. William wrote:

    I thought I should stick to politely producing logical and evidence-based exchanges, regardless of what Darwinists did. I note that several others here at UD do the same. Lately, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that what I’m attempting to do is the equivalent of bringing a knife to a gun fight; polite reasoning with Darwinists, for the most part, is simply setting up our own failure. It’s like entering a war zone with rules of engagement that effectively undermine a soldier’s capacity to adequately defend themselves, let alone win a war. While pacifism is a laudable idea, it does not win wars. It simply gives the world to the barbarians.

    William, in the view of many posters at tSZ, did not offer “polite reasoning” but extremely obscure posts, not always polite, that were met with repeated requests for clarification. His case that there were “rules of engagement” that “undermined” his capacity to defend himself, is absurd. He certainly did not succeed in persuading many – any? – of his case. That is not because of unfair “rules of engagement” but because, well, he did not, in the view of those engaging with him, make a good case.

    That’s what I mean by “stirring up enmity where none exists”. Disagreement, frustration, and miscommunication there may be all round, but trying to make that into a “war” is what I am objecting to.

    If we want to counter barbarism, we need to try get break down barriers, not erect more.

  157. And the above isn’t “stirring up enmity”?

    There you go again. I said you made an inane claim about ‘stirring up enmity where none exists’, and pointed at the general scummery that takes place on AtBC. Suddenly, your focus is on ‘stirring up enmity’, period. Yes, Elizabeth, I am pointing out your hypocrisy, and your clique’s actions – that stirs up enmnity. But it damn well existed way, way before WJM made any post about the matter. In fact, I think it predates his appearance on this site.

    Tell me where I have every “cheered on” anyone “slinging homophobic slurs or “defacing public pictures”.

    Check the After the Bar Closes threads, and we’ll see you posting cheerfully alongside people doing exactly what I said, laughing and/or turning a blind eye to everything from the foulest name calling to picture alteration to more.

    So anyone who posts here, and who does not explicitly condemn, say, some of JoeG’s outrageous comments here and elsewhere, is “two-faced”? I don’t think so.

    I think you’ll find that anyone who makes over the top insulting comments regularly gets called out on here regardless of the side they’re on, and that those who do not call such comments out generally don’t try to pretend they’re open-minded individuals who, gosh, just want to get along with people who disagree.

    Yes, I think so.

    In science we do not “reinvent definitions on the fly”.

    First off – yes, it does happen. Scientists are no more immune to deceptive wording and misrepresentation than anyone else. You may as well be telling me that scientists never BS when talking about their findings when applying for grants. They may not all be guilty of it – maybe not even most – but it does happen.

    Second, who brought up science? See, Elizabeth, if in the course of an argument a person keeps changing their definitions their argument relies on after the claim they were arguing for failed as a result of it, that’s not a case of ‘being real super precise and scientific!’ It’s just good ol’ fashioned BSing. Goalpost moving. Misdirection. Intellectual dishonesty.

    I never said you were a ‘stickler for definitions’. I said that you changed definitions as you needed in the course of an argument whenever things start going south for you. Feel free to try and make it sound like I accused you of, darnit, just being too *precise*, when that clearly wasn’t the case – it just serves to illustrate your intellectual shortcomings.

    Once again: skeptics of ID, people who have arguments and questions or differences of opinion, are not the problem here. It’s a different crowd, with a different motivation – the difference between a person who simply doesn’t believe in God, and a ‘I want to destroy Christianity’ Richard Dawkins sort. TSZ is overly populated by wannabes of the second variety.

  158. I think you’ll find that anyone who makes over the top insulting comments regularly gets called out on here regardless of the side they’re on,

    That is simply and sadly not true.

    and that those who do not call such comments out generally don’t try to pretend they’re open-minded individuals who, gosh, just want to get along with people who disagree.

    On another thread I was called brain-dead and liar and a moron. And I was told by a commenter that I shouldn’t complain about technical descriptions. And no one called any of the UD regulars on their language or manners.

  159. EL:

    A long time ago (early in your career as UD critic), I actually put up a post here at UD praising you as the sort of critic that is what is needed.

    How far, how sadly far, have you fallen oh Lucifer, son of the morning.

    I am sorry madam, YOU are the owner of TSZ and are currently hosting a scurrilous hate, bigotry- tantamount- to- lurid- racism and slander fest that from the OP on is spreading poisonous lies rooted in dishonest, wedge document pretzel twisting propaganda.

    FYI, design theory is self-evidently not a right wing, Christo-fascist, neo-nazi theocratic attempt to subvert science and civilisation into a new religious tyranny under a new magisterium and inquisition, and it is equally obviously not scientific fraud — and I just described the essence of the thread you are hosting. (If you had bothered to pay attention to even just the weak argument correctives in the resources tab for this and every UD page, you would have known better. And, as a responsible, educated person you full well SHOULD know better. Frankly, you are personally liable, as the host of defamation.)

    If you doubt what I mean, I challenge you to show me guilty of FRAUD and conspiracy to commit FRAUD.

    That — which you are hosting — is not merely an over the top remark, it is a mortal insult, and frankly tortious.

    Imagine yourself sitting across from me in my living room, looking me in the eye in front of my wife and family, and telling me the things in the OP and comments, then telling me they are justified. (On what possible grounds could you begin to imagine that such could be in the remotest degree acceptable comment??????)

    I would be fully in my rights to demand that you leave my house immediately and never ever return, even after apology. (It is by the grace that tells me, turn the other cheek in response to insult, that I am trying to get you to see what you are doing, in hopes that you will wake up. Before it is too late.)

    FYFI, if you actually think that such a farrago of false, uncivil, bigoted, hateful and insulting accusations is an acceptable pattern of claims or want to excuse such under the notion that free expression does not include duties of care to accuracy, truth, fairness and respect then you are here removing all doubt that you are a good cop enabler of the bad cops.

    Madam, the conduct now going on at TSZ is dishonourable.

    Snap the sword, tear off the rank and medals, drum you out of the camp dishonourable.

    Conduct unbecoming and dishonourable.

    It is a declaration of war by dishonourable attack.

    Understand that.

    And, its consequences.

    GEM of TKI

  160. This thread is amazing, just amazing! Both amazing and sad at the same time.

    Initially, I thought that News/Moderators would erase it as soon as possible and scold WJM for the anger of posting it.

    But then most of the first IDist commentors actually lauded WJM’s anti-charity speech. (!) I was already in awe, especially after having visited the DI several times where there are decent and kind people, nothing like the anger and venom being demonstrated here. Casey Luskin, for example, as terribly wrong about IDism as a ‘strictly [natural] scientific’ theory as he is, couldn’t hurt a flea. Gentle and naive to a fault.

    Would the IDM let a few IDists full of anger and hatred (and Alinskyism) spoil its ‘revolutionary’ theory by guilty association? It surprisingly seems UD is willing to allow it. Expelled Syndrome is quite obviously becoming a nasty affliction that societies should warn their children against.

    The language of a few IDists here makes most TSZ regulars (aside from a few fellow extremists there) look like generous, meditative and caring souls, simply trying to find their way in our troubled world while radical fanatics set traps for them in the name of IDT with the intent to ideologically hurt and harm.

    I see little commendable towards ‘opponents’ (I don’t choose the term ‘enemy’ as the samurai-IDists do) either by the Christian-IDists or by the eclectic post-modern ‘religious’ folks like WJM, KF and Joe at UD. It’s a very strange situation. And I’d like (and expect) to see a higher stand from IDists than what this thread displays.

    This site has some significant spillage of emotion to deal with…and yes, the factor that FSCO/I will quite obviously *NEVER* be accepted broadly in society or by the scientific community should be understood point blank, with such completely unrealistic, distraught advocacy coming from the Carribean, should finally be taken into account head-on. But if the IDM’s confrontation (or more accurately, lack thereof) with YECism is an indication, this unexcuseably absurd display will be allowed to continue even longer.

    Perhaps if Denyse sent this thread-link to Meyer, Dembski, Behe, Wells, Nelson, Axe, Gauger, et al. and asked if this is what they would like to encourage by their IDist followers you’d get a much different reaction from them than “YEAH, DO IT – TOTAL WAR!” :( Amazing.

  161. Jerad: You are lying — whether by directly saying what you know is false or by saying what you SHOULD know is false but don’t have enough regard for truth in haste to score debate points makes little difference. I know for a fact, that commenters who go over the top are routinely corrected in-thread (not least, because I have routinely done it, up to yesterday when I saw a comment that needed it.) Now, too, it is interesting that instead of dealing with the merits, or getting the wedge document pretzels straightened out, or facing facts on conduct unbecoming at TSZ, you are trying the oldest trick in the nazi propaganda book: turnabout accusation. In short, you just joined the ranks of the enabling good cops acting in cahoots with the bad cops. You just utterly destroyed your own credibility. Shame on you! KF

  162. Gregory:

    You are — as usual — misrepresenting what has happened in this thread. From the beginning [cf. comment no 1 and many remarks since, leading to a dialogue with WJM), WJM has been corrected on the side where he has gone too far, and the issue has been focussed on what is a reasonable way forward.

    FYI, the way forward is Fighter Command at Battle of Britain. Firm but fair resistance, creating a force in being. Notice, the RAF pilots were not shooting German pilots in parachutes.

    And onwards, the Allies fought an in the main honourable war — inevitable exceptions notwithstanding. (Notice for instance the nearly 100 Americans executed by Courts Martial for crimes.)

    Then, after the war, war crimes were put on trial, setting a precedent.

    You knew that, or should have known that.

    Do you think it is by accident that I singled out that as the exemplar from history?

    Think again.

    Your continued enabling behaviour for the utterly dishonourable is utterly revealing.

    KF

  163. EL: FYI, not only has JG been repeatedly corrected in thread but — sine you force this to be said — has received notice. He has been trying to stay on the wagon, and has been routinely corrected when he slips off. And this is not the first time that that has been noted so you should have known better. KF

  164. Jerad: You are lying — whether by directly saying what you know is false or by saying what you SHOULD know is false but don’t have enough regard for truth in haste to score debate points makes little difference.

    From this thread: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....evolution/

    Axel, comment 56: If you think such complex machinery could have arisen from random chance, Jerad, you must be brain dead.

    Axel, comment 58: And I expect people thought I was exaggerating when I opined that you are brain-dead.

    Mapou, comment 67: Just because you are too grey-matter challenged or too much of a poltron to see it does not mean it’s not true.

    Joe, comment 110: Now you are proving that you are a liar. I grasp the mathematics of infinity. It’s just that infinity does NOT exist outside of our minds! We made it up.

    Joe, comment 111: Perhaps to your bitty mind, yet it is very telling that you cannot even produce a testable hypothesis for it.

    Joe, comment 112: Ya see Jerad, reality dictates that in the absence of direct observation or designer input the only possible way to make any scientific determination as to the who, how, when, where and how is by studying the design and all relevant evidence- just ask your alleged archaeologist of a wife. (Insulting someone he’s never even conversed with.)

    Joe, comment 114: Here Jerad, choke on this:

    Joe, comment 119: Or you are just a bluffing loser.

    Joe, comment 122: You are a bluffer and a liar. AND Jerad you are an ass- I have looked. You are also lying, as usual. AND It’s as if you are proud of your stupidity. AND You are a liar. AND And if you stopped lying and started presenting some actual evidence, my tone would change. However when all you do is lie and deflect then I will respond accordingly.

    Joe, comment 125: s that the extent of your childishness?

    Joe, comment 172: Cuz a scientifically illiterate Jerad sez so? AND you are just a bluffing liar and a gullible sad-sack. AND Jerad is either really ignorant or very dishonest.

    Joe, comment 174: Then you do not belong in this discussion.

    Joe, comment 201: I have looked, Jerad. Your position has nothing but mental midgets supporting it. AND Then please present that evidence or admit that you are lying.

    Joe, comment 214: Alan Fox wallows in his willful ignorance: AND IOW Alan loves his ignorasnce so much he refuses to listen to reason.

    Mung, comment 217: And thanks to Alan as well! For exposing, once again, for all to see, your complete ignorance of the argument put forth by Upright BiPed.

    Mung, comment 218: Alan, didn’t you previously admit that you were incapable of comprehending the argument that Upright BiPed makes and thus are unable to provide any relevant commentary on it? Since that still seems to be the case, why not just remain silent?

    In short, you just joined the ranks of the enabling good cops acting in cahoots with the bad cops. You just utterly destroyed your own credibility. Shame on you! KF

    And the accusations continue . . .

  165. Your continued enabling behaviour for the utterly dishonourable is utterly revealing.

    As is his axe-grinding. He couldn’t more clearly be saying ‘I am angry at the DI for not giving my largely unimpressive work more prominence’ if he had it emblazoned on a t-shirt – and then put that t-shirt on a jumbotron.

    I would love to paste some good ol’ posts from the TSZ regulars and friends, courtesy of After the Bar Closes – but there’s no way to do so without violating several of this site’s standards regarding language, to say nothing of courtesy. And before anyone whines that I’m being quite disrespectful of the TSZ’s atheist crew, let me say – I’m well aware. They, unlike other selective skeptics and atheists, deserve it.

    I’ll say it again: dialogue and debate requires, absolutely requires, sincere mutual respect and common ground. Various atheists, ID skeptics, and more have this. Some do not. TSZ tends to be a vortex of those who do not, and they’ve got a track record of hate going back roundabout a decade. Contra Gregory, I’ll put the track record of UD – and it has downs as well as ups – against theirs any day of the week, in terms of not only content of thought (even when I disagree with it), but civility. I simply don’t believe in feigning congeniality with people who do not deserve it.

  166. Gregory:

    I see you trying to be personal:

    the factor that FSCO/I will quite obviously *NEVER* be accepted broadly in society or by the scientific community should be understood point blank, with such completely unrealistic, distraught advocacy coming from the Carribean, should finally be taken into account head-on.

    This is after, days ago, it was shown that functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information were discussed in the literature in the decades before the surge of the design theory movement from the 90′s on. As in Wicken, Orgel and co. From that point on, complex specified information, explicit or implicit in organised multi-part entities has been an obvious, objective reality. As blatant as the ASCII code in the text of your post as just clipped. And as real as the PC that processed that coded text.

    That reality has nothing to do with my hailing from the Caribbean, or anything to do with my personality. Though, as one who has studied and been qualified in relevant disciplines, I have a full right to speak in my own voice in stating blatant facts.

    Including, the fact that we live in a world with billions of cases of what I have descriptively abbreviated as FSCO/I, frequently explaining the abbreviation.

    So, if you cannot face such facts but must try to resort to personalities and the imagined judgement of the materialist magisterium duly dressed up in the holy lab coat, it speaks volumes on the lack of substance in your case.

    Including, regarding the further fact that FSCO/I has just one known, characteristic causal source, design. That is, it is a reasonable and scientific inductive inference to conclude that until and unless it can be shown otherwise — a proviso that obtains for all science — something with that sort of support shows us that the best explanation for FSCO/I is design.

    The problem is not the induction, it is the ideology it challenges, as life from the cell up is chock full of FSCO/I.

    Very well, if you are inclined to reject this in the name of science, bring forth examples in our observation where blind watchmaker type chance and necessity have produced: code systems of symbols and rules, coded data strings expressing algorithmic process steps, start, next, next, next, . . . stop — such as we see in the ribosome.

    The answer is obvious: you cannot, and those you enable cannot.

    But, there is an ideological agenda that must proceed regardless, so instead of facing the issue you attack the man.

    Shame on you.

    KF

  167. Jerad:

    You are posting from one thread [and remember I for one have a real life that right now bears heavily on me so that my present involvement is restricted, it is only the sheer pivotal importance of this thread that has drawn me out], and whatever happened there cannot overturn the facts that I have laid on the table.

    You are setting up a strawman and knocking it over in order to continue a willful misrepresentation.

    You are being utterly unfair to the point of willful misrepresentation.

    And remember, if that is all you can put up as a current parallel to the horrific slander fest that has been going on at TSZ [we need not go into the much worse sites that can be named that Null has all too accurately described . . . just remember that part of what you are defending by implication includes attempted outing of and therefore also threats against my uninvolved family], that itself speaks volumes.

    Wake up man!

    KF

  168. Ah, yes, the way IDists choose atheists as their preferred dancing partners. You folks deserve each other. Dembski and Dawkins play together revealingly.

    THIS DOES NOT MEAN I AM DEFENDING ATHEISTS OR THEIR RELATED ANGERS.

    Moderates and thoughtful scholars don’t want to be associated with IDism either. Abrahamic believers who have seen through IDism’s scientistic facade are not bothered by it anymore unless it gets LOUD AND PROUD (which sometimes happens), but can just watch the ungodly carnage between IDists and their atheist dancing partners either amused or saddened. nullasalus tries to take the higher path, but is unfortunately brought down by his unconventional IDism defense and choice of dancing partner.

    This thread alone, nullasalus, as well as your advocacy of it, makes UD stink to high heaven. I’ll be sure to highlight this thread when unknowning people want to know what IDism and its Expelled Syndrome is really about in the beliefs of its followers and victims. DI leaders and Moderators at UD should be ashamed and this thread should be erased. But please do keep it open as amazing evidence.

  169. “Shame on you” coming from KF sounds like “Can you spare me a quarter?”

  170. Just bow your head and be silent, KF/GEM. Your FSCO/I is not nearly as credible as you imagine. You’re only possibly fooling other IDists who desperately want a ‘strictly [natural] scientific’ proof of IDism.

    And you have stated here that you are not (out of Expelled Syndrome victimhood) willing to test FSCO/I openly and honestly with your peers. I think you’d get shut down too hard for you to imagine.

    Charity? That’s just not good enough for Carribean Comfort GEM. Instead, anger, rage, and Alinskyism is what he wants.

    Lord help us from such a travesty as IDism has caused.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwK73QbNPKo

  171. Jerad, 153:

    the lack of a coherent ID hypothesis

    As in, Jerad, which part of this — from my comment clipping a AC comment in reply to one of the key smears being trotted out at TSZ, is incoherent ( which normally means self-contradictory) — and for that matter, which part of it is not more than abundantly backed up by facts:

    ___________

    KF, 40 supra: >>Also, remember, that in another week or so, it will be a full year with no serious takers for a challenge to freely host here at UD an essay laying out the observationally anchored case for the darwinist tree of life from the roots up. That is, there has been ample opportunity to address the matter on the merits as a scientific debate. Rejected and derided, but instead we see the foulness summarised and answered above.

    In terms of the essence of the design theory view, it is that the deep past of origins cannot be directly observed so we must study its traces, and infer explanatory models on causal factors shown to produce consequences directly comparable to the traces. Thus such features, where characteristic of a cause, are an empirically reliable sign. And while inductive reasoning on signs is always provisional, it can be highly reliable.

    Mechanical necessity such as F = ma, gives rise to low contingency natural regularities that are often reduced to laws. Chance processes yield high contingency outcomes that may follow relevant statistical distribution models such as the normal curve. Design will often be highly contingent also, but will frequently yield patterns such as functionally specific complex organisation and associated information (such as the text string in this post) that are maximally implausible on chance but are on billions of cases observed a reliable sign of design.

    No great mystery, and directly empirically testable, just show blind chance and mechanical necessity producing FSCO/I.

    Only, that has not happened, many attempts notwithstanding.

    So, we have good reason to rule out mechanical necessity if we see high contingency of outcomes under similar starting conditions, and chance if we see something utterly implausible by chance. This being done on a per aspect basis for an object, process, phenomenon, etc.

    Nothing intrinsically strange or hard to follow, or in breach of canons of inductive, scientific reasoning.

    And certainly no reference to the Nicene Creed or the Chicago declaration on inerrancy etc. No, quote Bible and try to guide science based on interpretation thereof. That is, not inherently religious.

    The problem is, Darwinists nailed their flag to the mast 150 years ago, but over the past 60 years it has become plain that the world of life is chock full of signs of design, from DNA on up.

    And the further problem over the same 60 years, is that the observed cosmos turns out to give every indication of being fine tuned in many ways that facilitate C chemistry, aqueous medium cell based life.

    Those who saw Darwinism as an excellent way to dress up atheism and materialism in a lab coat and seize the prestige of science to advance their ideology, have run into big trouble.

    And they are throwing a royal, foully uncivil temper tantrum, as the TSZ thread shows. >>

    _________________

    Jerad, put up, or shut up.

    KF

  172. Onlookers, a year ago my pro-darwinism essay challenge was specifically issued in reply to Jerad, who declined to respond. Also, in the year sine there has been no cogent, serious attempt — and note my responses to Wikipedia and the linked claimed 29 evidences in lieu of the empty chair. Bear that in mind. KF

  173. Of course there hasn’t been an attempt to address your challenge, KF.

    That’s because your challenge is incoherent. You refer to:

    the Darwinist explanation, as extended to include OOL, is adequate to explain origin and diversification of the tree of life.

    There is no “Darwinist explanation” for OOL. There cannot be. There may be explanations from chemistry and physics, and there may be Darwinian processes that take self-replicators from chemistry and physics to what we now know as life, but we don’t have them yet, although we have leads.

    If you really want to know about these hypotheses, then the output from the Szostak lab is a good place to start.

    But nobody is going to write the essay you ask for because a) it makes no sense and b) there isn’t even, as yet, a complete account of any sort for OOL.

  174. Onlookers: Notice, more personalities, improper appeals to modesty in the face of allegedly august authority and the like from Gregory instead of anything substantial. Let’s see if he can actually show cause as to his dismissive claims. I doubt it, as can be seen from his first problem, to wit:

    in trying to dismiss the empirically evident reality of functionally specific complex organisation and associated information (what the FSCO/I he would dismiss means) he has inadvertently and inescapably provided two examples of in posting his attempted retort — a coded text string, and using algorithm implementing computers to implement it. In addition, he has exemplified the only known, routinely observed cause of such FSCO/I . . . design. He has even managed to show forth the only empirically known cause of designs, intelligent agents.

    As in, reductio ad absurdum.

    KF

  175. EL

    In your attempt to excuse the non-response for the past year, you just provided an example of a strawman:

    KF: the Darwinist explanation, as extended to include OOL, is adequate to explain origin and diversification of the tree of life [Context: the TOL is the only illustration in Origin of Species, as originally published, i.e it is the first icon of evolution]

    EL:There is no “Darwinist explanation” for OOL

    See the key difference?

    In short the incoherence you pretend is there is one of your own manufacture.

    You have — yet again — set up and knocked over a strawman.

    And you are also suppressing a key fact.

    The OOL is the ROOT of the tree of life as the diagram I used from the Smithsonian Institution — those fundy rednecks, NOT — showed explicitly.

    For a year, that has been there just requiring a look.

    For that matter, ever since I first did High School biology, the textbooks routinely discuss OOL in the context of onward macro-evolution across the tree of life, so the attempt to pretend there is a dividing wall between the two is a patent misrepresentation covering up the first, utterly decisive gap in the explanatory power of the grand evolutionary materialist paradigm from hydrogen to humans by cosmological, chemical, biological macro and then finally socio-cultural evolutions.

    I defy you to tell me that this overall framework is not the dominant one being pushed in our whole civilisation, with a straight face, dressed up in a lab coat.

    I am saying and have long said, no roots, no shoot or anything else. That is, design is there from the root of the tree up as a viable and valid explanation of FSCO/I, which is present everywhere in the world of life.

    And I can freely say that there is simply no good, non question-begging account for the molecular origins of the systems in the cell, backed up by actual OBSERVATIONS. There are all sorts of speculations that a few years ago climaxed in the following mutual refutations by Shapiro and Orgel, speaking for the two main schools of thought:

    [[Shapiro:] RNA’s building blocks, nucleotides contain a sugar, a phosphate and one of four nitrogen-containing bases as sub-subunits. Thus, each RNA nucleotide contains 9 or 10 carbon atoms, numerous nitrogen and oxygen atoms and the phosphate group, all connected in a precise three-dimensional pattern . . . . [[S]ome writers have presumed that all of life’s building could be formed with ease in Miller-type experiments and were present in meteorites and other extraterrestrial bodies. This is not the case.

    A careful examination of the results of the analysis of several meteorites led the scientists who conducted the work to a different conclusion: inanimate nature has a bias toward the formation of molecules made of fewer rather than greater numbers of carbon atoms, and thus shows no partiality in favor of creating the building blocks of our kind of life . . . .

    To rescue the RNA-first concept from this otherwise lethal defect, its advocates have created a discipline called prebiotic synthesis. They have attempted to show that RNA and its components can be prepared in their laboratories in a sequence of carefully controlled reactions, normally carried out in water at temperatures observed on Earth . . . .

    Unfortunately, neither chemists nor laboratories were present on the early Earth to produce RNA . . .

    [[Orgel:] If complex cycles analogous to metabolic cycles could have operated on the primitive Earth, before the appearance of enzymes or other informational polymers, many of the obstacles to the construction of a plausible scenario for the origin of life would disappear . . . .

    It must be recognized that assessment of the feasibility of any particular proposed prebiotic cycle must depend on arguments about chemical plausibility, rather than on a decision about logical possibility . . . few would believe that any assembly of minerals on the primitive Earth is likely to have promoted these syntheses in significant yield . . . . Why should one believe that an ensemble of minerals that are capable of catalyzing each of the many steps of [[for instance] the reverse citric acid cycle was present anywhere on the primitive Earth [[8], or that the cycle mysteriously organized itself topographically on a metal sulfide surface [[6]? . . . Theories of the origin of life based on metabolic cycles cannot be justified by the inadequacy of competing theories: they must stand on their own . . . .

    The prebiotic syntheses that have been investigated experimentally almost always lead to the formation of complex mixtures. Proposed polymer replication schemes are unlikely to succeed except with reasonably pure input monomers. No solution of the origin-of-life problem will be possible until the gap between the two kinds of chemistry is closed. Simplification of product mixtures through the self-organization of organic reaction sequences, whether cyclic or not, would help enormously, as would the discovery of very simple replicating polymers. However, solutions offered by supporters of geneticist or metabolist scenarios that are dependent on “if pigs could fly” hypothetical chemistry are unlikely to help. [[Emphases added.]

    Itis also well worth noting how, in an Aug 18, 2009 Scientific American article on “The Origin of Life on Earth,” Alonso Ricardo and Jack Szostak — neither of whom support Intelligent Design — in speculating on RNA world possibilities (based on the synthesis of component chemicals developed by recent researchers) were forced to begin:

    Every living cell, even the simplest bacterium, teems with molecular contraptions that would be the envy of any nanotechnologist. As they incessantly shake or spin or crawl around the cell, these machines cut, paste and copy genetic molecules, shuttle nutrients around or turn them into energy, build and repair cellular membranes, relay mechanical, chemical or electrical messages—the list goes on and on, and new discoveries add to it all the time.

    It is virtually impossible to imagine how a cell’s machines, which are mostly protein-based catalysts called enzymes, could have formed spontaneously as life first arose from nonliving matter around 3.7 billion years ago. To be sure, under the right conditions some building blocks of proteins, the amino acids, form easily from simpler chemicals, as Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey of the University of Chicago discovered in pioneering experiments in the 1950s. But going from there to proteins and enzymes is a different matter . . .

    It is utterly revealing that, a full year after the challenge has been issued and stands unanswered, your first and presumably strongest attempt to dismiss it is to set up a strawman distortion that also dodges commonplace known context.

    Utterly revealing.

    Especially of the key point that is the reason why it is unanswered.

    Namely, despite a common pretence otherwise, there is no cogent, observationally anchored account that explains on blind chance and mechanical necessity in a warm little pond or similar, how the systems of cell based life came to be without design.

    Especially in light of the revelations of the past 60 years that highlight codes, coded algorithmic info in strings and algorithm implementing machinery, just using protein manufacture as a key example.

    KF

  176. You are posting from one thread [and remember I for one have a real life that right now bears heavily on me so that my present involvement is restricted, it is only the sheer pivotal importance of this thread that has drawn me out], and whatever happened there cannot overturn the facts that I have laid on the table.

    Discussions on that thread went on for days and you were one of the participants yet you did not request any of the other participants to moderate their language.

    You are setting up a strawman and knocking it over in order to continue a willful misrepresentation.

    You are being utterly unfair to the point of willful misrepresentation.

    Are you saying I’m lying?

    And remember, if that is all you can put up as a current parallel to the horrific slander fest that has been going on at TSZ [we need not go into the much worse sites that can be named that Null has all too accurately described . . . just remember that part of what you are defending by implication includes attempted outing of and therefore also threats against my uninvolved family], that itself speaks volumes.

    I do not participate in discussions at TSZ or AtBC. I am defending nothing. I am merely pointing out that comments can be quite rude. And that there is little to no moderation of such comments. And since you participated in the thread I referenced then you knew of the behaviour I have highlighted.

    Wake up man!

    I’m not asleep. Nor am I blindly following some ideology. Or being ‘utterly unfair to the point of wilful misrepresentation.’ Any other motivations you’d care to ascribe to me?

  177. Onlookers, a year ago my pro-darwinism essay challenge was specifically issued in reply to Jerad, who declined to respond.

    Actually, what I said was that if GEM was not swayed by all the information and evidence published about the theory of evolution in the last 150+ years then I didn’t see the point of me making an attempt.

    I also pointed out that if I did make the effort and it was shot down it doesn’t take away the fact that evolutionary theory is supported by multiple lines of evidence, has great explanatory power, is accepted by almost all biologists and is actually getting ‘stronger’ all the time. A short essay, no matter how well written, is not sufficient to extoll all the reasons why evolutionary theory IS a theory in the science sense.

    Meanwhile, ID has no central coherent hypothesis except: some undefined, undetected, unknown designer did it.

    Again, instead of trying to poke holes in evolutionary theory and trying to inflame a culture war maybe ID proponents should do some work establishing their notions (whatever they are). If you really want to silence your critics then DO SOME WORK.

  178. Nullasalus

    I think you’ll find that anyone who makes over the top insulting comments regularly gets called out on here regardless of the side they’re on, and that those who do not call such comments out generally don’t try to pretend they’re open-minded individuals who, gosh, just want to get along with people who disagree.

    And at TSZ equivalent comment are removed from the thread.

    Your accusations of hypocrisy are unfounded.

  179. This thread alone, nullasalus, as well as your advocacy of it, makes UD stink to high heaven. I’ll be sure to highlight this thread when unknowning people want to know what IDism and its Expelled Syndrome is really about in the beliefs of its followers and victims.

    Gregory, if that’s supposed to come across as a threat, let me say flatly and openly – I’m quite sure that most people who have an extended interaction with you quickly write you off as bonkers, and don’t pay much attention to you.

    I have little concern with your judgments, and I stand by every word I’ve said in this thread. Rational discourse requires mutual respect and common ground. Both of these are lacking at TSZ. People who don’t accept ID, who are skeptical of ID, who are atheists, etc, are not the problem here. A subset of them are, who are engaged fully in a culture war.

    I appreciate that TSZ may have given you some very tiny soapbox to stand on, and that at this point you’ll take what you can get. My loyalty cannot be bought so cheaply. In fact, it can’t be bought at all – my tune would not change, even if by some twist of fate I were banned from UD right this moment.

    Do what you will.

  180. They’re just doing exactly what I said they do – attacking and trying to shame us for even thinking about using their tactics, while EL continues to play the happy-face, blissfully ignorant enabler and Gregory plays the role of self-righteous collaborator.

    DARWINISM is the belief that RAPE is, ultimately, nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution. As such, DARWINISTS should be excluded from the table of civilized discourse and treated with contempt.

  181. KF: I repeat: you cannot “extend” the “Darwinist explanation” to “include OOL”, because the Darwinian mechanisms require a population of entities that self-replicate with heritable variance in reproductive success.

    So your challenge is a nonsense.

    Nobody, at present knows how life began. So nobody can write your essay.

    If they could, they’d be shooting for the Nobel, not an OP on UD.

  182. DARWINISM is the belief that RAPE is, ultimately, nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution. As such, DARWINISTS should be excluded from the table of civilized discourse and treated with contempt.

    Nice to see such a grand display of mutual respect and open-mindedness.

  183. William:

    DARWINISM is the belief that RAPE is, ultimately, nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution.

    If that is not an example of reinventing definitions on the fly, I don’t know what is.

    But if you want my view on record, I do not hold “the belief that RAPE is, ultimately, nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution.”

    If that disqualifies me as a Darwinist, fine. In fact, by that definition, I doubt there’s a Darwinist on the face of the earth.

    And if you are alleging that that is what the people you call “Darwinists” believe, then it is an outrageous slur.

  184. Check the After the Bar Closes threads, and we’ll see you posting cheerfully alongside people doing exactly what I said, laughing and/or turning a blind eye to everything from the foulest name calling to picture alteration to more.

    Guilt-by-association, Nullasalus? What did the founder of your religion think about that?

    Second, who brought up science? See, Elizabeth, if in the course of an argument a person keeps changing their definitions their argument relies on after the claim they were arguing for failed as a result of it, that’s not a case of ‘being real super precise and scientific!’ It’s just good ol’ fashioned BSing. Goalpost moving. Misdirection. Intellectual dishonesty.

    Yes, indeed, Nullasalus. But I do not do that.

  185. EL: If you are an atheist, and you believe in Darwinistic evolution, then you necessarily believe that rape is nothing more, ultimately, than a natural means of genetic distribution – because it cannot be anything else under the Darwinistic perspective.

    That you and most Darwinists lie to yourselves about it (and so many other things) to avoid facing shameful but necessary ramifications of the beliefs you hold is not my problem. It’s not my job to allow your ilk to walk around destroying society in your blissful ignorance of the ramifications of your poisonous views. It’s my job – now – to point out your shameful positions without phrasing them in such a way to avoid your discomfort.

    Darwinism necessarily holds that rape & pedophilia cannot be anything other than a naturally selected-for trait, like being right-handed or having blue eyes. Punishing such behavior would be like punishing someone for having dark hair. Condemning rapists and pedophiles would be like condemning someone for having a different skin color. If you don’t acknowledge this view, you are a hypocrite and at best self-deceived liar.

  186. Regarding the lead question, “Can we afford to be charitable to Darwinists?”, I have a comment.

    “Darwinism” can (though Gregory doesn’t like to admit it) refer to a strictly biological theory, i.e., what Behe calls “Darwinian evolution.” In fact, biologists were using the term “Darwinism” for the model of evolution built on “natural selection” very early on (as far as I know, before “social Darwinism” appeared as a term, though I’m willing to be corrected on that). You still see “Darwinism” used from time to time to refer to the biological theory, and you certainly see “neo-Darwinism” (which is the main target of ID writing) used to refer to a scientific theory, not an ideology or social doctrine of any kind. Often ID writers use “Darwinism” as a convenient short form for “neo-Darwinism,” or a sort of blanket term to cover both the original Darwinian theory and neo-Darwinism, since they have a main thesis in common (natural selection acting on variation can function as a designer substitute) and since the later descended from the earlier (by the addition of Mendelian genetics, advanced mathematical treatment, and the notion of “random mutations”).

    Now if we understand “Darwinists” simply as advocates of the aforementioned scientific theory, then of course we should be “charitable” to them, as we should be “charitable” to anyone who advances any scientific theory (or historical hypothesis, or social science theory, etc.). That is, we should assume, at the outset, that they are intellectually honest, and as concerned about getting at the truth as we are; that their agenda is scientific and not religious or political; that they are not out to get us personally but merely disagree with our views. These are minimal social requirements for debating in good faith, and you can’t have something like a university, or a civilized society, without them.

    So we shouldn’t demonize someone merely because he or she believes that random mutations filtered by natural selection can produce a man from a bacterium without an intelligent designer’s involvement. We should try to find out why the person believes that; we should examine the person’s evidence and arguments. And we should offer, without commentary on the person’s alleged motives, our critique of the arguments, and state our own position, without rancor.

    On the other hand, if “Darwinism” moves beyond a strictly scientific theory, and becomes wedded to atheism and/or materialism, and to social policies such banning all religious symbols from the public square, or to political policies such as forbidding science teachers from even mentioning *scientific* criticisms of Darwinian theory in biology classes, etc., then we of course have the right to challenge the ideological, theological, religious, etc. elements in Darwinism *as* ideological, theological, religious, etc., and refute them the way we would refute ideological, theological, religious propositions (as opposed to scientific propositions).

    So the proper way to refute Dawkins’s *Blind Watchmaker* is via something like Behe’s *Darwin’s Black Box*. In those books, both Dawkins and Behe largely “stick to the science.” People will differ over whose scientific argument is better, but I think it’s fair to say that the debate there is scientific. Behe, in his criticism of the neo-Darwinism of Dawkins (whose BW book he praises for its clarity in setting forth the Darwinian position), avoids speculating about Dawkins’s motives and concentrates on what in his mind is the inadequacy of Dawkins’s mechanism.

    But when Dawkins starts raving against religion, and makes false historical claims against it, and gets its contents wrong, and exhibits what looks like a personal vendetta against it, then he reveals a non-scholarly, non-scientific attitude toward his material, and he should be “called” on that. Being “charitable” doesn’t require us to be meek in responding to his prejudiced and one-sided attack. We can be quite stern in rebuking Dawkins, or others who write in the same vein.

    That doesn’t mean we should be impolite. We don’t need to call Dawkins names. But we can say that he is being unfair, that he has made no effort to represent religion fully or in a balanced way, that he focuses on the worst rather than the best arguments in favor of religion, etc. We can, where the evidence warrants, accuse him of evasiveness, deliberate suppression of contrary evidence, personal animus, verbal bullying, over-the-top rhetoric, substituting mockery for argument, intellectual narrow-mindedness, etc. We can dress him down for his bad intellectual procedures and for engaging in sub-academic demagogy. And we aren’t required to be gentle or smiley-faced when we do it.

    And Dawkins is relatively polite in comparison with some of our opponents. Coyne and Shallit drip with sarcasm and condescension, and Myers is downright rude (in addition to being probably most intellectually vacuous of all our opponents outside of his narrow field, as shallow a “science geek” as you will find in the whole design/Darwinism debate). When these people start saying things that have nothing to do with “Darwinism” in the scientific sense, we can legitimately respond to them exactly as they deserve, with no punches pulled. When we are sure they are lying, and not merely making a mistake, we can say they are lying. When we have the evidence to prove they act out of personal animus, we can accuse them of that. When they call for the firing of professors or the flunking of students who don’t agree with Darwinian theory (note: they want to punish those who “don’t agree with,” not “don’t understand”; Paul Nelson understands Darwinian theory better than many a Darwin-defender, but doesn’t agree with it), we can rightly accuse them of advocating the suppression of ideas and of paving the way for a totalitarian society.

    As long as these guys stick to biology, we should do the same. But the moment they move outside that province, and become culture warriors of various kinds, they move into a different kind of debate, where different standards apply. In science, arguments about the personal motives of the opponent are rightly ruled out of court; in social affairs, personal motives are highly relevant and can be brought to light and sharply criticized. In the extreme case, it may sometimes be necessary to publically call Myers a Philistine lacking all breeding, and a science geek with a woeful lack of a good general education, in order to humiliate him publically and curtail his evil influence on public affairs. But that should never be done when he is making strictly scientific arguments. We should never hit below the belt when our opponent is playing by the rules.

    Thus, while we all know that Larry Moran can personally be quite a jerk (and many of his students think so, too, as you can see when you read some of the comments attached to his abysmally low teacher ratings on one of the websites where students rank their teachers), the fact that he is sometimes a jerk as a human being doesn’t give us the right to dismiss his scientific arguments. On the other hand, if he so frequently interlaces his scientific arguments with personal comments about IDiots etc. that it consumes too much of our time and effort to sort out the wheat from the chaff in his writing, we aren’t required to *read* those arguments; if he is not willing to learn the way that scientific debate is conducted, he has no right to an audience. So we have every right to say that we will not deign to reply to material that is written in an immature and partisan spirit. We have every right to say: “Larry, we are not going to read your arrogant and sarcastic blogging any more; cut out all the non-scientific crap, drop the attitude, distill the scientific essence, and publish the pure argument in a peer-reviewed journal (something you don’t seem to have done for over ten years now!), and then we will examine what you have to say.” That’s not “uncharitable”; it’s just telling Moran to grow up and act like a man and a scientist, not a quarrelsome twenty-something grad student in a pub. It’s what he needs to hear, to become a better scientist and a better human being, and therefore it’s the kindest, most charitable thing we can do for him.

  187. That you and most Darwinists lie to yourselves about it (and so many other things) to avoid facing shameful but necessary ramifications of the beliefs you hold is not my problem. It’s not my job to allow your ilk to walk around destroying society in your blissful ignorance of the ramifications of your poisonous views. It’s my job – now – to point out your shameful positions without phrasing them in such a way to avoid your discomfort.

    And no one from UD is telling you to stop.

    Darwinism necessarily holds that rape & pedophilia cannot be anything other than a naturally selected-for trait, like being right-handed or having blue eyes. Punishing such behavior would be like punishing someone for having dark hair. Condemning rapists and pedophiles would be like condemning someone for having a different skin color. If you don’t acknowledge this view, you are a hypocrite and at best self-deceived liar.

    I would very much like to know which of the UD moderators and regular commenters agree with this. Also does this kind of accusation fit in with UD’s policies on civilised discourse?

  188. William:

    EL: If you are an atheist, and you believe in Darwinistic evolution, then you necessarily believe that rape is nothing more, ultimately, than a natural means of genetic distribution – because it cannot be anything else under the Darwinistic perspective.

    In my view, William, as I have said many times, this argument is fallacious. Rape is sex without mutual consent. That is far more than “a natural means of genetic distribution”.

    You are confusing “natural” with “morally justified”.

    That you and most Darwinists lie to yourselves about it (and so many other things) to avoid facing shameful but necessary ramifications of the beliefs you hold is not my problem. It’s not my job to allow your ilk to walk around destroying society in your blissful ignorance of the ramifications of your poisonous views. It’s my job – now – to point out your shameful positions without phrasing them in such a way to avoid your discomfort.

    First of all, you do not have to be an atheist to hold that Darwin’s theory of evolution is a good and well-supported scientific theory, and many are who do so are not atheists.

    Second, you do not have to hold that Darwin’s theory of evolution is a good and well-supported theory to be an atheist, and I’ve met many atheists who know zilch about the theory of evolution.

    Third, what one’s views are whether Darwin’s theory of evolution is a good and well-supported theory has nothing to do with one’s views on morality.

    Fourth, contrary to your repeated assertion, it is perfectly possible to hold the belief that it is wrong to exploit others’ welfare for your pleasure without simultaneously holding the belief that there is a god or gods.

    Fifth, I simply reject your allegation that atheists are walking around destroying society. That is precisely the kind of enmity that I accuse you of stirring up in your OP, where none exists.

    Darwinism necessarily holds that rape & pedophilia cannot be anything other than a naturally selected-for trait, like being right-handed or having blue eyes.

    And this indicates the profundity of your misunderstanding of evolutionary theory, as well as your conflation of is with ought.

    Punishing such behavior would be like punishing someone for having dark hair. Condemning rapists and pedophiles would be like condemning someone for having a different skin color. If you don’t acknowledge this view, you are a hypocrite and at best self-deceived liar.

    No, merely someone clear-sighted enough to realise that “punishment” does not merely consist of treating someone they way they think they “deserve” but also of treating someone in a way that is likely to result in, at best, their behaving better, and, at worst, doing less harm.

  189. In my view, “civilized discourse” does not equal “posts without rude words in them”.

    Accusing others of lying, of hypocrisy, and of trying to destroy society, is just as uncivilised, in my view, as doing the same thing using ruder words.

    That’s why the rule at TSZ is “assume other posters are posting in good faith” not “do not use rude words when accusing others of posting in bad faith”.

  190. Timaeus: Thank you for that post.

  191. In my view, “civilized discourse” does not equal “posts without rude words in them”.

    Accusing others of lying, of hypocrisy, and of trying to destroy society, is just as uncivilised, in my view, as doing the same thing using ruder words.

    It’ll be interesting to see if some of the UD regulars agree.

    But, I suppose all things are fair in love and war . . .

    Except spelling ‘civilised’ with a ‘z’! That sure is beyond the pale!

  192. Jerad:

    As was already documented, the dominance of evolutionary materialism has been in a context where a prioris have been injected. The issues I am raising are saying, show the observationally anchored driving dynamics, or else yield to the force of the logic of induction used in science and admit that there is a known causal factor capable of FSCO/I as is needed to explain both OOL and OO body plans.

    Now also there is a twistabout attempt above that tries to pretend that my not having time or energy — I barely have either for this thread, I am forcing myself and will pay for it — to denounce relatively mild invective somehow invalidates the fact that I have stood up routinely to address breakdowns of civility at UD, and by extension that this invalidates strictures against a slander fest of false accusations of fraud, right wing neo-nazi wedge document in a pretzel conspiracy stories and more.

    Sorry, there is no equivalency.

    For the record — I don’t have time to go looking for a thread, those design upporters who resorted to schoolyard taunts were definitely counter-productive to a side that stands on the merits and should refrain themselves from such adolescent indulgences that prove nothing. But to point out that strawman tactics, red herrings, ad hominems, slanders and worse are routinely resorted to on the other side is in order.

    The identification of a good cop bad cop vicious enabling of evil game is most definitely in order, and in order in a context of false accusation of in effect nazisn. As in the prototypical genocide and police state tyranny of the century past. Of course, don’t you dare point out the links from Darwin and Haevkel to Hitler and co, or H G Wells’ warnings in his popular sci fi like War of the worlds etc.

    Nio no no, we must never learn from the warnings of history on what darwinism influenced extremists have done, even as they are right now indulging again in slander, scapegoating, censorship — BSU that’s you, and career busting — BSU again.

    We weren’t born yesterday, and your side started the fight, below the belt.

    As is the use of several devastating cat out of the bag statements that take on new meaning in light of what we are seeing at TSZ.

    Let me just put up one from 2350 years ago, asking reasonable onlookers to reflect on just how sadly well the cap fits. Plato, in the Laws, Bk X:

    Ath. . . . [[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only. [[In short, evolutionary materialism premised on chance plus necessity acting without intelligent guidance on primordial matter is hardly a new or a primarily "scientific" view! Notice also, the trichotomy of causal factors: (a) chance/accident, (b) mechanical necessity of nature, (c) art or intelligent design and direction.] . . . .

    [[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT. (Cf. here for Locke's views and sources on a very different base for grounding liberty as opposed to license and resulting anarchistic "every man does what is right in his own eyes" chaos leading to tyranny. )] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [[ Evolutionary materialism leads to the promotion of amorality], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [[Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality "naturally" leads to continual contentions and power struggles; cf. dramatisation here], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [[such amoral factions, if they gain power, "naturally" tend towards ruthless tyranny], and not in legal subjection to them.

    Now I have to go, the day is tapping feet impatiently. There are crises to attend to, negotiations to address. And meanwhile time ticks away to frightening surgery.

    KF

  193. Timaeus:

    When these people start saying things that have nothing to do with “Darwinism” in the scientific sense, we can legitimately respond to them exactly as they deserve, with no punches pulled. When we are sure they are lying, and not merely making a mistake, we can say they are lying. When we have the evidence to prove they act out of personal animus, we can accuse them of that. When they call for the firing of professors or the flunking of students who don’t agree with Darwinian theory (note: they want to punish those who “don’t agree with,” not “don’t understand”; Paul Nelson understands Darwinian theory better than many a Darwin-defender, but doesn’t agree with it), we can rightly accuse them of advocating the suppression of ideas and of paving the way for a totalitarian society.

    Precisely.

    In this thread, in response to the slander fest at TSZ and the censorship and career busting at BSU, that has been shown. In reply to the slanders and scapegoating based on twisting the so called wedge document into pretzels, this has been repeatedly linked and shorter summaries given.

    Notice, no substantial, cogent reply.

    There is a reason, because the toxic accusations are patently groundless and false.

    They are dishonourable smears, driven by what is or should be known to be false.

    Instead of retraction and apology, we have met enabling.

    I am therefore, for cause, calling good cop bad cop game.

    The time has come to expose evil and name it for what it is.

    Gotta go.

    KF

  194. Dr Liddle in #178 says:

    “Your accusations of hypocrisy are unfounded.”

    - – - – - – -

    July 2012

    In the previous thread, RB was forced to concede the underpinnings of both of his main arguments. RB and I reached that point without too much overt mud-slinging, at least not beyond what is generally seen in such exchanges. At (and around) the point of his concessions, the condescension and mockery from the gallery became a runaway train. Elizabeth then took action. In perfect form, she very graciously put the entire thrust of the issue squarely on my shoulders, naming no one else whatsoever, and envisioned an extended conversation where people could communicate without the hyperbole. She stated:

    “I think what I might do is to start a new thread, in which the rules of this site are more strictly enforced … Upright BiPed, please read the forum rules here. They are not onerous, and I have no wish to censor ideas. I do want to ensure that emotional baggage and assumptions about other posters’ motivations are rigorously excluded. Let’s conduct this in an academically rigorous way … Violating posts will be moved”

    Mike Elzinga’s contribution to the conversation prior to Elizabeth taking action:

    “your effort seem like a naive and pretentious attempt to replace well-understood phenomena with something woo-woo … I find both UBP and WJM excruciatingly boring; and I suspect that the reason is that there is a remarkable similarity to other crackpots … one begins to wonder if there is any thought process there at all. I would suggest not … they hone their marketing shtick for their presentations to the gullible … There is another frequent correlation one sees among crackpotists; they often quote scripture from the Christian bible … has an instinctive hatred and distrust of science and any other perceived “competing authority” … don’t even appear to understand the question … a familiar characteristic of pseudo-science … you have no idea what you are talking about or what it is that you are attempting … Your obvious distain for age, experience, knowledge, and the female gender … YOU – I repeat – YOU were the one … you don’t have the slightest clue … You have no idea … you really have no clue … You have made no “material observations” … You have never taken a chemistry or physics class … comes from the socio/political culture of ID/creationism … The words don’t matter … bury his reification of ID/creationist misconceptions … an increasingly complex labyrinth of obfuscation and condescension … simply gussies it all up … an air-tight bundle of circular reasoning … Another would be ID “theorist” bites the dust … it too dissolves into nothingness … such lengthy, turgid prose … a quagmire of words … Crackpots never let go voluntarily; they will ride you to death”.

    …and Elzinga’s contributions after Elizabeth’s action:

    His language has another purpose, namely, to establish a sectarian version of the universe …this is what UB is trying to do … As is evident in all of UB’s communication, he has never freed himself from projection … his own inner demons onto others … The Semiotic Theory of Intelligent Scattering … It is curious that ID/creationists don’t jump on things … Making a caricature of science and then shooting it down with great fanfare has been the socio/political tactic of creationists … every ID/creationist does it, and their rube followers – such as UB here … Just make up stuff and simply assert that anyone who knows anything about science is stupid … the fundamentalists who are against everything secular and the educational dropouts who harbor intense hatreds for those who actually try to learn … his rants pretty much revealed that he is engaged in a game of revenge … impressions I sometimes get from UB’s turgid writing … UB doesn’t appear to have any sense of humor whatsoever …This isn’t an intellectual discussion for him … it’s a personal vendetta against all smart people.

    And the enlightened contributions of others, like petrushka, pendant, flint, and others…

    The argument from ignorance is no way to go through life … UPB, and most ID advocates have not studied the history of science, or have learned nothing from it …UPB is arguing that because the templating process involved in translation is so complicated, it isn’t templating … Creationists (a group which includes ID-pushers) explicitly reject … The magic threshold … Why, then, do Creationists think … I think it touches on their “designer” … UPB’s argument relies on the following premises: If you haven’t observed it, it doesn’t exist … Perhaps we should all adopt a worldview that doesn’t require this pathetic level of detail … Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New ‘Intelligent Falling’ Theory … The goal is NOT to understand how something came to be … FIRST, assume goddidit as the default … and POOF using our conclusions as our assumptions once again “proves” our conclusions … In all of these efforts, the creationists make abundant use of a simple tactic: They lie. They lie continually, they lie prodigiously, and they lie because they must … What do you do to support a lie? You lie!

    So what is Elizabeth’s response to this “academically rigorous” critique which “ensures that emotional baggage and assumptions about other posters’ motivations are rigorously excluded?”

    Well, again in perfect form, she joins in and chats right along. That is all fine. No problem, it’s hardly important, and certainly nothing else was expected from her.

    I simply wanted to point out the hypocrisy.

  195. Why don’t you ever provide an actual link Upright BiPed?

    You know, so that people can see the context, and make their own evaluation regarding my alleged “hypocrisy”?

  196. Yes Liddle, go with something like…

    “BiPed is lying about this”

    That should work.

  197. I’m not accusing you of lying, Upright BiPed. I am accusing you of making allegations without providing a link whereby people can see whether they form the same view as you did.

    I’m perfectly sure that you are not lying when you say I am a hypocrite.

    I am also perfectly sure you are mistaken.

  198. #183 ElizabethBL

    #180 WJM: DARWINISM is the belief that RAPE is, ultimately, nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution.

    WJM presents the well-known problem of morality for Naturalism and Darwinism: many philosophers have argued that these hypothesis are unable to accommodate morality.
    Since there is no point in pretending that there is anything new here, Elizabeth’s first sentence is lacking intelligible meaning.

    #183 ElizabethBL: If that is not an example of reinventing definitions on the fly, I don’t know what is.

    #183 ElizabethBL: But if you want my view on record, I do not hold “the belief that RAPE is, ultimately, nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution.”
    If that disqualifies me as a Darwinist, fine.

    Pretending to be ignorant of the well-known morality problem for Darwinism, pretending to not understand why WJM is saying what he is saying, pretending to be morally outraged and trying to cover up matters with the statement ‘I’m against rape’, disqualifies you as intellectually honest person.

  199. Hard to imagine a thread more fated to be utterly pointless than this one.

  200. Box:

    WJM presents the well-known problem of morality for Naturalism and Darwinism: many philosophers have argued that these hypothesis are unable to accommodate morality.

    1. “Darwinism” is not a hypothesis. Darwinian mechanisms are hypothesised to account for adaptive evolution. It doesn’t not “accommodate morality” and doesn’t have to, any more than the germ theory of disease has to “accommodate morality”. Like all scientific hypotheses, it just has to account for data.

    2. “Naturalism”, if take to mean the belief that there are no forces in the world apart from those discoverable by science, is also not a hypothesis but a philosophical position.

    3. Some philosophers have argued that “naturalism” is incompatible with morality. Others have argued that moral systems are reachable by reason and do not require belief in god or gods.

    4. By any definition of Darwinism, or rape, the view that rape is “nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution” is absurd”. There are many perfectly natural means of genetic distribution, and most of them are not rape. Rape, therefore, is sometimes more, and also less. Rape is, as you well know, sex without consent. That is one heck of a lot more than “a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution”.

    5. By accusing “Darwinists”, by which WJM appears to mean atheists, of believing that “that RAPE is, ultimately, nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution” he is at worst attributing to atheists an amorality and callousness that I have never come across in any atheist, and, at best, merely promoting his conviction that it is not possible to be an atheist and have a “non-stolen” morality.

    Many people disagree with him on this, and have mounted cogent counter-arguments. He is not persuaded by them.

    Neither am I by his.

  201. Hard to imagine a thread more fated to be utterly pointless than this one.

    It’s worse than “pointless”. It’s potentially damaging to any dialogue between ID proponents and those of us who think that Darwin had an extraordinarily fruitful scientific idea that has given rise to an extremely good account of biological evolution.

  202. One cannot convince by reason those who are immune to it. Which is why, as I have pointed out here, other tactics – such as marketing and propagandizing the low-information media consumer – are warranted.

    The goal is not to try and convert the entrenched, intractable intelligensia, but rather to redirect culture from the ground up via emotional perceptions and attachments.

  203. Dr Liddle at 197,

    I am accusing you of making allegations without providing a link whereby people can see whether they form the same view as you did.

    You are implying that there was an appropriate context for the comments above.

  204. One cannot convince by reason those who are immune to it. Which is why, as I have pointed out here, other tactics – such as marketing and propagandizing the low-information media consumer – are warranted.

    The goal is not to try and convert the entrenched, intractable intelligensia, but rather to redirect culture from the ground up via emotional perceptions and attachments.

    Who are the ‘low-information media consumer[s]‘? ‘[E]motional perceptions and attachments’ instead of reasoned arguments, data and research?

    There’s something here that smacks of elitism to me. But maybe I’m just immune to reason.

  205. I am not implying anything. I am overtly noting the fact that, as on similar occasions, you have provided no link that would enable people to judge for themselves whether they draw the same conclusions from the context as you do.

    You clearly have a record of the post. What on earth is the problem in providing an actual citation?

  206. WJM:

    One cannot convince by reason those who are immune to it.

    This is probably true. But irrelevant, as it begs the question as to what is reasonable and who is “immune”.

    Which is why, as I have pointed out here, other tactics – such as marketing and propagandizing the low-information media consumer – are warranted.

    So you assume that because you have not been persuasive, that your readers are “immune to reason” and must be propaganized instead.

    You forget an alternative scenario: that your readers found you unpersuasive because your argument was flawed.

    The goal is not to try and convert the entrenched, intractable intelligensia, but rather to redirect culture from the ground up via emotional perceptions and attachments.

    I find the arrogance of this statement truly chilling.

  207. Maybe we should all just get back to the pretty tale of how the lawd said “let there be FSCO/I,” and there was, and it was optimal.

  208. There’s something here that smacks of elitism to me.

    You can call it it elitism if you want, but that doesn’t make it any less true. It’s the well-established, successful practice of successful marketing and advertising. Your average consumer purchases products because they positively, emotionally identify with the marketing slogans and imagery.

    Most people come to their beliefs via emotion, not via logic. Most people don’t even know the basic principles of logic, much less how to appropriately utilize them.

    That’s also the reason why rational debates matter much, much less in the cultural arena than a good, emotional meme, whether or not that meme is true or false.

  209. DARWINISM is the belief that RAPE is, ultimately, nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution. As such, DARWINISTS should be excluded from the table of civilized discourse and treated with contempt.

    A natural means of genetic distribution? As opposed to what? A supernatural means of genetic distribution?

    Is this a reference to the book A Natural History of Rape (2000)? If it is, it’s probably worth pointing out that: 1) The book received very little support and 2) The authors actually argued for much stronger penalties for rape.

  210. Elizabeth B Liddle #201

    Darwin had an extraordinarily fruitful scientific idea that has given rise to an extremely good account of biological evolution.

    Errata corrige:
    Darwin had an extraordinarily erroneous pseudo-scientific idea that has given rise to an extremely absurd account of biological creation.

    Lizzie, open your beautiful eyes, please.

  211. Elizabeth @205,

    that would enable people to judge for themselves whether they draw the same conclusions from the context as you do

    Folks like WJM, KF and other IDists don’t want even the possibility of people drawing different conclusions from the context. Why would they want that, when they already possess the full and complete truth?

    Those poor schmoes out there — that is, the “onlookers” — might reach the wrong conclusion. The lost souls might be misled to believe ID has no science behind it and only stacks-upon-stacks of rhetoric, quote-mines, anti-atheism, anti-science, fantasies of being “persecuted,” borrowed concepts, stale philosophy, ever-mobile goalposts, fuzzy math, a love of Godwin’s Law, perpetual visions of crisis and apocalypse, and pretty much the worst collective sense of humor ever.

    That’s why WJM has such bitterness for high-information media consumers and instead wants to sucker the “low-information media consumer” — whoever that may be, perhaps by 82-year-old uncle.

    That’s why KF keeps banging on about some inconsequential challenge he issued (ooooh, if it’s a challenge then we better alert the scientists!), and about how FSCO/I really is a real concept that supports ID, and about how Plato’s cave applies to atheists and not to theist-ideologues like himself.

    That’s why Robert Byers and Joe get to post their inanity day-after-day. Whatever censure they get, if any, must be happening behind the scenes.

    That’s why deNews doesn’t fact-check. Why bother, when the truth is already known? Atheism-materialism-Darwinism-”The Beard” = bad, bad, bad.

  212. 212

    In re: Liddle @ 201:

    It’s worse than “pointless”. It’s potentially damaging to any dialogue between ID proponents and those of us who think that Darwin had an extraordinarily fruitful scientific idea that has given rise to an extremely good account of biological evolution.

    I think you’re missing the point of what’s going on in this thread. Murray, KF, Box, Axel, and a few others here have decided that there is no point to any further attempts at “dialogue”, because we are not persuaded by their arguments, nor us by theirs. “Dialogue” is no longer their intention. The basic attitude, as they have displayed it here, is that all attempts at reasonable dialogue have failed, because they have failed to persuade us that they are right.

    In the year or so that I’ve been posting here, I’ve tried to argue for the following claims:

    (1) pragmatism is not only a viable alternative to rationalism, but preferable because it avoids Agrippa’s Trilemma;

    (2) neo-Darwinism, qua well-confirmed empirical theory, is world-view neutral, i.e. fully consistent with both ‘naturalism’ and ‘theism’.

    (3) ‘objectivity’ can and should be construed along pragmatist, rather than rationalistic, lines — as argued by pragmatists such as Hilary Putnam, Cheryl Misak, and others;

    (4) naturalism is fully consistent with pragmatic objectivity in morality, as argued by Dewey, C. I. Lewis, Sellars, Flanagan, Foot, Kitcher, and Churchland;

    (5) naturalism need not be committed to “reductionism,” “materialism,” or “physicalism” because of self-organization theory provides conceptual articulation of the concept of ‘emergence’, as argued by Stuart Kaufman, Evan Thomson, and Terrence Deacon;

    (6) hence one can affirm the reality of teleology with respect to life without grounding teleology in design — in effect, reconciling “Darwin” with “Aristotle”;

    (7) “materialism” is better conceived of as modern-day Epicureanism, and has inherited all the defects of Epicurean metaphysics and epistemology;

    (8) the Epicurean Darwinists, beginning with Monod and continuing today with Dawkins and a few others, have done the popular perception of ‘Darwinism’ more harm than good by saddling ‘Darwinism’ with the defects of Epicurean metaphysics and epistemology;

    None of these claims have enjoyed any acceptance here, but I’m willing to continue the conversation. But the seeming majority of Uncommon Descent contributors have decided that the time for conversation is over. I find that sad, and regrettable, but if that’s their decision, then there really is no point to trying to continue it.

    Of course, they all seem to think that we’re the ones who terminated the possibility of reasonable dialogue, because we haven’t been persuaded by them.

    As usual in life, there’s more than enough blame to go around, and the “who started it?” is just another way of perpetuating the cycle of violence.

  213. Dr Liddle,

    I am not implying anything. I am overtly noting the fact that, as on similar occasions, you have provided no link that would enable people to judge for themselves whether they draw the same conclusions from the context as you do.

    You are avoiding the question (and the responsibility) as to whether you think there is an appropriate context for the comments above, recorded on your site. You are stalling this answer because there was no appropriate context for those comments, and you know it. As a consequence, this demonstrates the hypocrisy you displayed by allowing it to take place for two months, and then effectively blaming me for it. As blog owner and administrator, you provide the rules and make the judgments. For you to dodge that responsibility with some diversion about a link is utter garbage.

  214. #200 ElizabethBL: It [Darwinism] doesn’t not “accommodate morality” and doesn’t have to, (…)”.

    So you are saying, with WJM, that Darwinism does not condemn rape, because it is unable to accommodate morality; which, according to you, it doesn’t have to?

    #200 ElizabethBL: Some philosophers have argued that “naturalism” is incompatible with morality. Others have argued that moral systems are reachable by reason and do not require belief in god or gods.

    Naturalism is the absurd hypothesis that what ultimately exist are just fermions and bosons and the physical laws that describe the way these particles and that of the larger objects made up of them behave. These laws make no reference to purposes, designs, final causes, or teleology of any sort.

    #200 ElizabethBL: Others have argued that moral systems are reachable by reason and do not require belief in god or gods.

    Oh you didn’t know: Naturalism is also not able to accommodate reason. According to naturalism anything that is real is really just fermions and bosons behaving in the purposeless, meaningless ways described by physics.

  215. So you assume that because you have not been persuasive, that your readers are “immune to reason” and must be propaganized instead.

    My world doesn’t revolve around your little blog, Liz. History, the realities of marketing and advertising, and life experience demonstrate the efficacy of good propaganda and marketing over logical argument any day of the week.

    I find the arrogance of this statement truly chilling.

    I find the feigned naivete of this statement truly laughable.

  216. I’m sure it doesn’t, William. Nonetheless my blog was what your OP specifically references.

  217. When one cannot get simple logical and necessary truths, even after being shown time and time again — things as simple as two plus two equals four — then clearly we are not dealing with an intellectual problem. It’s either a lobotomy case, or sin.

  218. Box:

    So you are saying, with WJM, that Darwinism does not condemn rape, because it is unable to accommodate morality; which, according to you, it doesn’t have to?

    No, I’m saying what I actually said. Go back and check my post.

    I don’t know what “Darwinism” is, and I am not a “Darwinist”. I said that Darwinian mechanisms, namely self-replication with heritable variance in reproductive success are a hypothesis for adaptive evolution. The “hypothesis” does not “condemn rape” because scientific hypotheses don’t condemn anything. They are simply models put forward to account for data.

    Naturalism is the absurd hypothesis that what ultimately exist are just fermions and bosons and the physical laws that describe the way these particles and that of the larger objects made up of them behave. These laws make no reference to purposes, designs, final causes, or teleology of any sort.

    If that is how you are defining “naturalism” then I am not a naturalist. I think that “larger objects” have properties not possessed by their parts. This properties include the capacity to have purposes, designs, moral principles, beauty, love, anger, and fear.

    My view is not a minority one.

    Oh you didn’t know: Naturalism is also not able to accommodate reason. According to naturalism anything that is real is really just fermions and bosons behaving in the purposeless, meaningless ways described by physics.

    Well, the philosophers who have argued that naturalism is compatible with morality, indeed that morality is natural, apparently do not use your definition of naturalism.

    Not surprisingly, as self-evidently people behave in purposeful meaningful, and indeed moral ways.

  219. KN,

    Narcissistic, much?

    Failure to convince you or anyone that comes here, or those at TSZ, is not the reason I advocate more emphasis on marketing and propaganda techniques via social media or other more broad-based venues.

    If the goal is to win the culture war, less emphasis should be put on what is at best an ineffective tactic even if, occasionally, an Antony Flew changes his mind about ID. Internet debates such as these, even if they change a few minds, are irrelevant to the cultural war, although they might be personally satisfying.

    The real effort should be directed at a mass marketing campaign, not door-to-door selling against those who are already convinced your product is no good.

  220. Upright Biped

    You are avoiding the question (and the responsibility) as to whether you think there is an appropriate context for the comments above, recorded on your site. You are stalling this answer because there was no appropriate context for those comments, and you know it.

    I have no way of judging the context, Upright Biped, as you refuse to provide any way of me seeing it. Provide the link and I will answer your question.

    As a consequence, this demonstrates the hypocrisy you displayed by allowing it to take place for two months, and then effectively blaming me for it. As blog owner and administrator, you provide the rules and make the judgments. For you to dodge that responsibility with some diversion about a link is utter garbage.

    Indeed I do. And if you provide a link to where you think I fell short I will tell you whether I agree.

    Is there some reason why you are so reluctant to provide a link?

  221. William, what “culture war”?

  222. Brent:

    When one cannot get simple logical and necessary truths, even after being shown time and time again — things as simple as two plus two equals four — then clearly we are not dealing with an intellectual problem. It’s either a lobotomy case, or sin.

    What “simple logical and necessary truths” are you referring to?

    Who has argued that two plus two does not equal four?

  223. “Darwinism” is not a hypothesis.

    By any definition of Darwinism, or rape, the view that rape is “nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution” is absurd”.

    I don’t know what “Darwinism” is, and I am not a “Darwinist”. I said that Darwinian mechanisms, namely self-replication with heritable variance in reproductive success are a hypothesis for adaptive evolution.

    The “hypothesis” does not “condemn rape” because scientific hypotheses don’t condemn anything. They are simply models put forward to account for data.

    ROFL

  224. KN:

    As usual in life, there’s more than enough blame to go around, and the “who started it?” is just another way of perpetuating the cycle of violence.

    Yes indeed. Which is why I’m not a fan of blame. And why I started a blog where we could try to get beyond that stuff, hard though it is.

  225. William, perhaps you would share the joke.

    If you meant “atheism” or “naturalism” you could have said. I have no idea what “Darwinism” is supposed to be.

    What you posted would still be both wrong and an outrageous slur, but at least it would be clearer who you were slurring.

  226. Since the other thread on “charitability” has now been closed by johnnyb, and since on that thread, I was harshly accused of uncharitable reading by Gregory, I want to achieve closure by responding here to Gregory’s accusation that I was not charitable toward his proposal for “human extension.”

    See this column (Sept. 12, 2013):

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....le-ground/

    under which Gregory wrote (#97, Sept. 16, 2013):

    “He had the opportunity to comment constructively and charitably on my definition of ‘evolutionism’ before and instead *intentionally stood in the way of potentially fruitful dialogue about Human Extension*.” [emphasis added]

    Is this true? Let the facts decide.

    The thread to which Gregory is referring, where I allegedly “intentionally stood in the way,” is:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....extension/

    On this year-old thread, Gregory and I had a marathon exchange about the relevance of his work on “human extension” to the biological and cosmological investigations of ID proponents. (By way of clarification, the work on “human extension” involves, among other things, the investigation of designers, the designing process, and various other aspects of human creativity and social activity.) We disagreed on much when it came to ID, but I do not believe there is any evidence that I “intentionally stood in the way” of any investigations in the social sciences generally, or investigations into “human extension” specifically. However, I will let my words speak for themselves. Here are the most relevant excerpts, arranged by the numbers of the posts in which they appear. My closing remarks, written today, appear after the asterisks following the last excerpt.

    ******************

    49:

    In short, Gregory, no one has anything against your project to study “intelligent design” in the human/social context. It’s a perfectly reasonable area of academic investigation, and one of social significance.

    60:

    Again, there is nothing wrong with Gregory’s project. A “phenomenology of human design” could be quite illuminating for social science and even for the humanities.

    70:

    There is nothing wrong with a humanities/social science analysis of the phenomenon of “design” (or related concepts, such as purpose); I’m quite happy for Gregory to spend his time doing such work.

    97:

    Gregory: “My attempt to chart a new way forward is obviously disconcerting to him …”

    Timaeus: Gregory’s attempt to “chart a new way forward” is not “disconcerting” to me. In fact, though Gregory appears to read too hurriedly or carelessly to have noticed, I’ve said about five times now that I think his project would make an excellent addition to human/social studies.

    103:

    Exactly right. No one in ID is forbidding anyone, anywhere, from talking about designers or “designing activity” – if they can get hold of information about that.

    107:

    I’m going to take one last shot at getting you to see something. But before I take it, I want to make clear my motives, since in the past you have often accused me of being out to get you, or of desiring to put you down, or of having motives of self-aggrandizement. So please listen to this preamble.

    1. I am not trying to embarrass you.
    2. I am not trying to prove that I am smarter than you.
    3. I am not questioning your competence in your own field.
    4. I am not out to attack Human Extension as an area of academic investigation.

    Remember, Gregory, I am not saying that Human Extension is false. I am not saying it is worthless. I am not saying that it should not be studied or written about.

    118:

    And now, let’s move on. I’ve already granted you that Human Extension, done properly, could be a very valuable project in social science. I’ve already said that ID people have no objection whatsoever if you pursue that project. Nothing prevents you from pursuing the insights of Marshall McLuhan or of Buckminster Fuller or of Berdyaev or of anyone else, while ID people pursue the insights provided by modern biochemistry, probability theory, information theory, etc. There can be peace between Human Extension and ID.

    If there is war instead, the war will be caused, not by ID people, but by Human Extension supporters behaving imperialistically, trying to alter the language of ID and trying to change the behavior of ID proponents.

    Sincere best wishes for your project of Human Extension.
    *********************************************************

    So I would say to Gregory, regarding his accusation of more than a year later: Where in the above remarks do you find any “intentional attempt” to block fruitful discussion of human extension? And which of the above remarks is “uncharitable”?

    I would say that the above remarks could be regarded as “uncharitable” only by someone who read them, not for their plain and straightforward meaning, but with a view to uncovering some hidden, sinister motive behind them. In other words, they could be taken as uncharitable only by someone who himself read them uncharitably.

  227. 227

    Oh you didn’t know: Naturalism is also not able to accommodate reason. According to naturalism anything that is real is really just fermions and bosons behaving in the purposeless, meaningless ways described by physics.

    Not that one would know it from Internet debating sites like Uncommon Descent and The Skeptical Zone, but there is actually a thriving and very interesting discussion amongst philosophers about whether or not naturalism can accommodate reason — it’s not a settled issue!

    Crudely put, proponents of liberal naturalism hold that there is a via media between scientific/reductive naturalism and supernaturalism — that is, a version of naturalism that acknowledges the criticism that scientific naturalism cannot accommodate reason but that a more liberal naturalism can successfully do so. For more, see Naturalism and Normativity (reviewed here).

    That said, the debate between scientific naturalism (as represented by Alex Rosenberg) and liberal naturalism (as represented by Hilary Putnam and John McDowell) — with Kitcher and Churchland being somewhere in the middle, I think — is really quite distinct from the questions of the explanatory strengths and limits of “Darwinism” (construed broadly enough to include the extended evolutionary synthesis (PDF).

  228. EL @222,

    Truths such as that you cannot have a binding morality without a binding agent. You say that morality evolved, but that it is binding. It obviously cannot be. It is moronic.

  229. I’m sure it doesn’t, William. Nonetheless my blog was what your OP specifically references.

    So, you were under the impression that I consider the specific membership of TSZ a significant threat to society, and are whom I am exclusively referring to when I talk about getting marketing out to the low-information public?

    Are you really that self-absorbed?

  230. You can call it it elitism if you want, but that doesn’t make it any less true. It’s the well-established, successful practice of successful marketing and advertising. Your average consumer purchases products because they positively, emotionally identify with the marketing slogans and imagery.

    Most people come to their beliefs via emotion, not via logic. Most people don’t even know the basic principles of logic, much less how to appropriately utilize them.

    That’s also the reason why rational debates matter much, much less in the cultural arena than a good, emotional meme, whether or not that meme is true or false.

    So, arguing the science of ID has been a colossal waste of time? It doesn’t matter because many people are only going to change their minds in the direction their heart leads?

    I’m amazed that a moderator here at UD is saying such things. I guess if you don’t even take the scientific debate seriously then why should the rest of us?

  231. When one cannot get simple logical and necessary truths, even after being shown time and time again — things as simple as two plus two equals four — then clearly we are not dealing with an intellectual problem. It’s either a lobotomy case, or sin.

    Another sterling example of good will and civilised discussion.

    Nice to know what you all really think though.

  232. WJM: No, and therefore No.

  233. Brent:

    Truths such as that you cannot have a binding morality without a binding agent.

    True. And is perfectly possible to have a binding moral code that is enforced using a social and legal justice system.

    You say that morality evolved, but that it is binding. It obviously cannot be. It is moronic.

    I didn’t say “morality evolved” although I think the capacity to use reason, and interact in cooperative social groups did. These, and other capacities, in my view conferred on us the ability to and motivation to construct and implement moral systems. These systems enable us to live in productive harmony with each other.

  234. #218

    ElisabethBL: I think that “larger objects” have properties not possessed by their parts. This properties include the capacity to have purposes, designs, moral principles, beauty, love, anger, and fear.

    Aha, Emergentism!
    Here is Barry Arrington on materialist poofery:

    Emergence is materialist poofery. Take the mind-brain problem again. The materialist knows that his claim that the mind does not exist is patently absurd. Yet, given his premises it simply cannot exist. So what is a materialist to do? Easy. Poof – the mind is an emergent property of the brain system that otherwise cannot be accounted for on materialist grounds.

    Check out Edward Feser on emergentism.

  235. KN:

    Not that one would know it from Internet debating sites like Uncommon Descent and The Skeptical Zone, but there is actually a thriving and very interesting discussion amongst philosophers about whether or not naturalism can accommodate reason — it’s not a settled issue!

    *Waiting with bated breath to see what the philosophers settle on…without recourse to the very reason in question.*

  236. True.

    Good.

    And is perfectly possible to have a binding moral code that is enforced using a social and legal justice system.

    Off-the-charts not good. You either have to say that morality is, then, defined by the laws (made by men), or the laws were based on some other code. Where did that come from???

    I didn’t say “morality evolved” although I think the capacity to use reason, and interact in cooperative social groups did. These, and other capacities, in my view conferred on us the ability to and motivation to construct and implement moral systems. These systems enable us to live in productive harmony with each other.

    So, you say the moral laws come from man.

    If man is the source of the moral law, then man governs the moral law, and the moral law doesn’t govern man.

    And, as is always the case, you base everything on a hidden “initial” moral base, i.e. the “productive harmony” law. Who says we ought to live in harmony? (I so think I’m going to get a Christopher Hitchens response)

  237. Yes, well, Box, with all due respect to Barry, I disagree with him. I think it is perfectly obvious that molecules, for instance, have properties not possessed by their constituent atoms.

    I see no “poofery” in the idea that an animal can act with purpose, even though its neurons cannot.

    Indeed we know a great deal about the neuroscience of how such purposes are formed and executed.

  238. Phinehas @235,

    Ding-ding-ding!

  239. Brent, if you would like to continue this conversation at TSZ you would be very welcome.

    My sole point in this thread is that there is a perfectly substantial philosophical literature on the derivation of morality via reason.

    You may not agree with it, but it is not a slam dunk either way.

    And personally, I thought that William made a very poor fist of the case against at TSZ. Perhaps you will be more persuasive :)

  240. EL,

    I really would just like a simple response to this:

    If man is the source of the moral law, then man governs the moral law, and the moral law doesn’t govern man.

    Is this not true? If we are its creator, we are its master.

  241. ‘I don’t know what “Darwinism” is, and I am not a “Darwinist”. I said that Darwinian mechanisms, namely self-replication with heritable variance in reproductive success are a hypothesis for adaptive evolution.’

    For crying out loud, Elizabeth! You claim not to know what Darwinism or Darwinist is; and in the next breath, you hold forth on Darwinian mechanisms! Am I missing something here? Or am I going mad? Or is Elizabeth contradicting herself without the decent interval surely the merest modicum of decorum requires?

    ‘ The “hypothesis” does not “condemn rape” because scientific hypotheses don’t condemn anything. They are simply models put forward to account for data.’

    I don’t know (never do) whether you are being deliberately disingenuous, or are truly blind to the potential of a scientific hypothesis to possess dimensions (beyond the scope of scientism) which impinge inextricably and in a thoroughly primordial fashion upon human/divine morality.

    For practical purposes and prima facie, WJM is right about the advertising, propaganda, spin, what have you, so that, for example, newspapers are not concerned with communicating information but engaging the emotions of the readers. The owners know it’s what sells their papers.

    It’s true with regard to all of us, actually, when it comes down to our assumptions, so that, the deepest truths being so abstruse, we end up believing what we want to. It just happens, understandably enough since he inspired such a bias, that God made the world to fit our particular, sacred, religious predilections.

    The emotional investment in your kind of solipsistic, if not hedonistic, credos (necessarily, all axiomatically subjective) also attests to this phenomenon. However, up to a point, that is a digression, from the element of truth in the criticisms of a sort of intellectual elitism I wanted to address.

    WJM, imo, introduced it unnecessarily. The fact of the matter is that most people without an academic education grow up with the notion instilled in them by the worldly wise (who have a vested interest in the notion that, irrespective of any possibly quite catastrophically seminal folly they may entertain in their assumptions, they are more intelligent.) As a result, they will tend to lack confidence in their own judgment, when some putatively educated Yahoo peddles what they would otherwise immediately recognise as manifest nonsense.

    However, the public at large (for want of a less elitist and unpretentious term) still tend to have a firmer grasp on common sense than the intelligentsia, most notably, of an atheistic persuasion. So, imo, it is not a matter of engaging the emotions of the general public to achieve the desired end, as WJM would have it, but rather to explain the extraordinary offence against common sense of, for example, positing that nothing could turn itself into everything, which the so-called Consensus try to impose. The emotion of disgust and derision from the public will ensue after the event, just as surely, if not more so, as it does with us Idists on here.

  242. @ Elizabeth, KN, Jerad, etc.
    For the record, I will affirm that there are a number of comments/posts at UD with which I disagree, sometimes quite strongly. I’ll even say (without personal rancor) that there are certain commenters that dont even read (e.g. Joe). Additionally, though I unapologetically support ID on the whole, there are aspects that I find unconvincing (e.g. that its presently possible to produce a numerical value of physical complexity that is meaningful). So even though ID is a robust intellectual venture, there is room for cogent, constructive criticism. There are certainly areas to tighten up terminology, reduce ambiguity, and refine argumentation. Having said this, I think most of the criticisms that you (and your fellows) have presented here at UD are quite muddled and have been addressed ad nauseum in articles, books, and blog posts by ID proponents. Critiques such as – ‘who designed the designer’, alleged violations of the principle of parsimony, arguments from imperfection, unreasonable demands to specify the nature of the designer, appeals to artificial methodological principles, prolonged obfuscatory semantic criticisms, etc. have repeatedly been found wanting, obviously so. So I think that what happens at times in these debates is that ID proponents, accustomed to being greeted with insincere discussion, simply assume that the critic is being disingenuous. It can produce rhetoric that is over the top – a consequence that is lamentable but hardly unnatural. Why not give consideration to someone like Monton or Nagel so that your future criticisms of ID might go over better?

  243. Your #223, WJM:

    ‘ROFL’

    Hilariously economical!!!!

  244. Brent:

    I really would just like a simple response to this:

    If man is the source of the moral law, then man governs the moral law, and the moral law doesn’t govern man.

    Is this not true? If we are its creator, we are its master.

    You’ve got an equivocation in there, between collective “men” and individual “men”. Let me rephrase what you have said in a form in which I think it holds true:

    If human societies are the source of the moral law, then human societies govern the moral law, and the moral law governs members of those societies.

    In other words, human societies create moral laws, and members of those societies both contribute to them and are subject to them.

  245. One wonder if this entire thread is result of the fact that Meyer’s _Darwin’s Doubt_ has failed to deliver the death-blow to evolution that it promised.

    Paging P. T. Barnum, white courtesy phone. P. T. Barnum, white courtesy phone.

  246. Optimus:

    Critiques such as – ‘who designed the designer’

    I agree.

    alleged violations of the principle of parsimony

    Usually off the mark.

    arguments from imperfection,

    Valid if design hypothesis is constrained; if design hypothesis is unconstrained, it is unfalsfiable

    unreasonable demands to specify the nature of the designer,

    If there are no specifications as to the nature of the designer, the hypothesis is unfalsfiable; if there are, then the demand is reasonable

    appeals to artificial methodological principles,

    Not sure what this refers to but certainly many ID arguments are methodologically unsound

    prolonged obfuscatory semantic criticisms, etc.

    Most “semantic criticisms” I have read are absolutely on point. You cannot conduct science without rigorous operational definitions. These are frequently lacking in ID arguments.

    Why not give consideration to someone like Monton or Nagel so that your future criticisms of ID might go over better?

    I was interested in Nagel’s argument, and consider it one of the better arguments against “materialism”. I still think it flawed though, on two rather important grounds.

  247. Love that ‘principle of parsimony’, having discovered that their Brightest and Best have, in all seriousness, postulated a multiverse.

    I originally wrote, ‘mutiverse’. Perhaps a more apt name.

  248. Axel: you mean “hilariously free of content”.

    LarTanner: Yes, I have seen no cogent response to my simple point that Meyer does not understand the relationship between phylogenetics and taxonomy, as is evident in his own diagrams, and that this misunderstanding undermines his entire case.

  249. #237 EBL

    Yes, well, Box, with all due respect to Barry, I disagree with him. I think it is perfectly obvious that molecules, for instance, have properties not possessed by their constituent atoms.

    Strawman. No one denies this, certainly not Barry.
    So what you are saying is that, because it is perfectly obvious that molecules have properties not possessed by its parts, it should also be perfectly obvious that a lump of meat can *poof* have the properties of ‘purpose’, ‘design’, ‘moral principles’, ‘beauty’, ’love’, ‘anger’ and ‘fear‘?

    I see no “poofery” in the idea that an animal can act with purpose, even though its neurons cannot.

    So even though its neurons cannot act with purpose you see no poofery whatsoever in the idea that an animal can act with purpose? I’ve read your sentence three times now, but I haven’t got the faintest idea how your logic works. These words: ‘I see no poofery whatsoever’ … how can you say that?

    Indeed we know a great deal about the neuroscience of how such purposes are formed and executed.

    Wrong. Neuroscience has never been (and will never be) able to study purpose. Purpose is part of consciousness – the subjective (hidden, private) domain.

  250. So, when you say “morality” and when I say “morality”, you know that you don’t mean the same thing I do, but won’t let on to that fact (like with many other words you use in this thread).

    Underhanded BS.

    There can be no discussion with people who change meanings of words.

    Hope the operation went smoothly for you. You are pathetic.

  251. 251

    In re: 235 . . .

    *Waiting with bated breath to see what the philosophers settle on…without recourse to the very reason in question.*

    Well, in one clear sense, quite right: reason is an unavoidable presupposition of all inquiry. Or, as I would put it, we necessarily take ourselves (and others) to be inhabitants of “the space of reasons” — the ‘space’ in which logical and extra-logical inferential relations between concepts are formed, evaluated, corrected, and so on. And so the space of reasons is necessarily a space of norms or of ‘oughts.’

    Now, the Big Question for naturalists is two-fold: (a) is the space of reasons reducible to “the realm of law”, where “the realm of law” refers to the totality of physical laws (or law-like generalizations), and (b) if the answer to (a) is “no,” does that spell the end of naturalism?

    The basic idea of liberal naturalism is that “no” is the correct answer to both questions. In contrast, scientific naturalism (in its most frequently held version) thinks that the correct answer to (a) is “yes”, and supernaturalism holds that the correct answer to (a) is “no” and that the correct answer to (b) is “yes.”

    So liberal naturalists and supernaturalists agree that the space of reasons is irreducible to the realm of law, but disagree about whether that irreducibiity is the death-knell of naturalism tout court.

    [The above way of sketching out liberal naturalism is based on John McDowell’s masterpiece Mind and World, with which I have a few, fairly minor and technical, reservations, but I’m basically sympathetic to it.)

    In re: 244 — yes, nicely said. But one would need to look to primatology and paleoanthropology to get a comprehensive and detailed picture of how norms, moral and otherwise, emerge.

  252. #241:

    For crying out loud, Elizabeth! You claim not to know what Darwinism or Darwinist is; and in the next breath, you hold forth on Darwinian mechanisms! Am I missing something here? Or am I going mad?

    In case you haven’t noticed, “Darwinism” is used to mean all kinds of bizarre things around here. In fact, the Darwinian mechanism is often the one thing that can be completely left off of any description.

  253. 253

    Neuroscience has never been (and will never be) able to study purpose. Purpose is part of consciousness – the subjective (hidden, private) domain.

    That second sentence can’t be right just as it is — that would entail that I can never know anyone’s purposes besides my own, unless I were telepathic. Or that I can’t know my cat’s purposes.

    It would be more correct to say that we have first-person access to purposes — how I know my own purposes is different in kind from how other people know them — yet others may have deeper understanding of my own intentions and desires than I do, depending on the avoidance or denial at work — and we have second-person access to the purposes of others (by asking them) — and we have third-person access to purposes, by observation, for those kinds of things that have purposes (including all sorts of organisms).

    Language and consciousness make a difference in the modes of access to purposes that are available, but it certainly doesn’t follow that purposes are constituted by consciousness or only accessible through consciousness.

    I think that matters get much more interesting, and much harder to resolve clearly, if we ask, not about fairly trivial cases like cats, but about, say, earthworms or bacteria. Do earthworms have purposes? Goals? Intentions? Desires? Honestly, I’m not sure just how to go with this question — but if they don’t have goals and intentions, they have something extremely close. Certainly their behavior is teleologically structured, and that counts for a lot.

    And in general, I take it that x count as a living thing if, but only if, it characteristically displays teleological behavior. But that’s just a description of the phenomenon of life, not an explanation of it.

    Instead of thinking of “mind” (“consciousness”, “subjectivity”) as something added to “matter” to produce purposive behavior, we can think of “mind” as an abstraction from what is originally purposive behavior — “mind” is what is left over once purposive behavior is subjected the disenchantment of nature driven by the impetus to dominate, manipulate, and control.

    The “body” in “the mind/body problem” is the dead body analyzed by medicine aided by technology, and “the mind” is the parts of purposive behavior that don’t fit into the conception of the body as studied by anatomy and physiology.

    [That’s a quick sketch of an argument developed by the existential phenomenologist Merleau-Ponty and existential biologist Hans Jonas, and has been significantly built upon since their ground-breaking work. Thompson’s Mind in Life is the cutting-edge work in the subject.)

  254. So Dr Liddle, you need me to provide you a link to a thread you started on your site and that you personally participated in, so that you can determine if this:

    “your effort seem like a naive and pretentious attempt to replace well-understood phenomena with something woo-woo … I find both UBP and WJM excruciatingly boring; and I suspect that the reason is that there is a remarkable similarity to other crackpots … one begins to wonder if there is any thought process there at all. I would suggest not … they hone their marketing shtick for their presentations to the gullible … There is another frequent correlation one sees among crackpotists; they often quote scripture from the Christian bible … has an instinctive hatred and distrust of science and any other perceived “competing authority” … don’t even appear to understand the question … a familiar characteristic of pseudo-science … you have no idea what you are talking about or what it is that you are attempting … Your obvious distain for age, experience, knowledge, and the female gender … YOU – I repeat – YOU were the one … you don’t have the slightest clue … You have no idea … you really have no clue … You have made no “material observations” … You have never taken a chemistry or physics class … comes from the socio/political culture of ID/creationism … The words don’t matter … bury his reification of ID/creationist misconceptions … an increasingly complex labyrinth of obfuscation and condescension … simply gussies it all up … an air-tight bundle of circular reasoning … Another would be ID “theorist” bites the dust … it too dissolves into nothingness … such lengthy, turgid prose … a quagmire of words … Crackpots never let go voluntarily; they will ride you to death … His language has another purpose, namely, to establish a sectarian version of the universe …this is what UB is trying to do … As is evident in all of UB’s communication, he has never freed himself from projection … his own inner demons onto others … The Semiotic Theory of Intelligent Scattering … It is curious that ID/creationists don’t jump on things … Making a caricature of science and then shooting it down with great fanfare has been the socio/political tactic of creationists … every ID/creationist does it, and their rube followers – such as UB here … Just make up stuff and simply assert that anyone who knows anything about science is stupid … the fundamentalists who are against everything secular and the educational dropouts who harbor intense hatreds for those who actually try to learn … his rants pretty much revealed that he is engaged in a game of revenge … impressions I sometimes get from UB’s turgid writing … UB doesn’t appear to have any sense of humor whatsoever …This isn’t an intellectual discussion for him … it’s a personal vendetta against all smart people…The argument from ignorance is no way to go through life … UPB, and most ID advocates have not studied the history of science, or have learned nothing from it …UPB is arguing that because the templating process involved in translation is so complicated, it isn’t templating … Creationists (a group which includes ID-pushers) explicitly reject … The magic threshold … Why, then, do Creationists think … I think it touches on their “designer” … UPB’s argument relies on the following premises: If you haven’t observed it, it doesn’t exist … Perhaps we should all adopt a worldview that doesn’t require this pathetic level of detail … Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New ‘Intelligent Falling’ Theory … The goal is NOT to understand how something came to be … FIRST, assume goddidit as the default … and POOF using our conclusions as our assumptions once again “proves” our conclusions … In all of these efforts, the creationists make abundant use of a simple tactic: They lie. They lie continually, they lie prodigiously, and they lie because they must … What do you do to support a lie? You lie!

    …meets your standards for this:

    I do want to ensure that emotional baggage and assumptions about other posters’ motivations are rigorously excluded. Let’s conduct this in an academically rigorous way

  255. Dr Liddle, if you really need a link to the two month long conversation that the quotes above were pasted from, you can find it by going to your personal blog, (theskepticalzone.com) and clicking on the link by Upright BiPed…then click on the thread called Semiotic Theory of ID. You’ll be able to distinguish it from the others because when you started the thread, you began with “Upright BiPed has been proposing what he has called a “semiotic” theory “.

  256. # 253 KN

    #294 Box: Neuroscience has never been (and will never be) able to study purpose. Purpose is part of consciousness – the subjective (hidden, private) domain.

    #253 KN: That second sentence can’t be right just as it is — that would entail that I can never know anyone’s purposes besides my own, unless I were telepathic. Or that I can’t know my cat’s purposes.

    Excuse me, Kantian Naturalist, my choice of words was inaccurate.
    Neuroscience will never observe purpose directly. Even the most powerful microscope won’t enable a neuroscientist to directly observe a purpose, concept, consciousness. She or he will never point a finger and say ‘right there is the purpose to be persuasive’.
    Agree?

  257. EL @ 246
    (Pardon my lack of quotes – smartphone typing is a difficult art)
    Regarding arguments from imperfection, I couldn’t tell if you agreed or not, so I’ll leave that to you to clarify. I would say in brief that their principle defect is the illegitimate assumption that design necessarily produces perfection (perfection in and of itself being an incredibly subjective criterion). Concerning the nature of the designer, there’s no experiential warrant for thinking that artifacts will always (or even often) allow sound inferences to be drawn about the nature of the artificer. Did you ever figure out a response to my hypothetical about Lego’s?
    When I mentioned ‘artificial methodological principles’ I was referring to MN. I consider it superfluous to genuine scientific investigation, which is better practiced when starting from a position of agnosticism. I dispute your characterization of ID arguments but can say nothing farther as you have produced no specific examples. Finally, I agree that careful definitions are important, but ID critics too often use these to avoid dealing with the substance of arguments. For example, in discussing whether observed microevolution sufficiently grounds larger macroevolutionary claims, many ID critics spend all their energy splitting hairs about defining the terms but ignore the substantive question of whether minor morphological changes justify believing that very dramatic changes to morphology (I.e. body plan level) can occur in a stepwise, unguided fashion.

  258. /#256 follow up/
    KN, you were referring to the second sentence! Excuse me again.
    I’m talking about direct observation of purpose. I can let you in on my purposes, but you (or a neuroscientist) have no direct observational access. That’s what I’m saying.

  259. Hi Optimus, and congratulations on a far more coherent post than I ever manage on a smartphone!

    Here is my view on arguments from imperfection:

    I think myself that ID is, in principle, a perfectly testable hypothesis, as long as we are testing a designer with specific constraints. Constraints allow us to make a prediction. However, those constraints need, obviously, to be different from the constraints of the alternative hypothesis, e.g. darwinian evolution, otherwise we have no way of seeing which fits the data better.

    So we certainly cannot conclude that because design is evidently constrained, that there was no designer – it could have been a constrained designer.

    But nor can we conclude a designer. Indeed, without a specific design hypothesis we cannot, in my view, either exclude design, nor draw a design conclusion. I do not think that “science/darwin shows there was no designer” is a supported conclusion, nor could it ever be.

    I’m afraid I can’t remember your hypothetical about Legos – could you repeat? Either here, or, if you prefer, at TSZ. If you register I can give you author permissions.

    When I mentioned ‘artificial methodological principles’ I was referring to MN. I consider it superfluous to genuine scientific investigation, which is better practiced when starting from a position of agnosticism.

    It depends on what you mean by this. Science works on the assumption that things are predictable. I certainly don’t think science should start from the position that ID is not possible – that would be unscientific. But it must start from the position that hypotheses make predictions, and that is not possible with the hypothesis of an unconstrained ID.

    Finally, I agree that careful definitions are important, but ID critics too often use these to avoid dealing with the substance of arguments. For example, in discussing whether observed microevolution sufficiently grounds larger macroevolutionary claims, many ID critics spend all their energy splitting hairs about defining the terms but ignore the substantive question of whether minor morphological changes justify believing that very dramatic changes to morphology (I.e. body plan level) can occur in a stepwise, unguided fashion.

    I hear your complaint, but I suggest that the thing you are complaining about is more apparent than real. It is absolutely vital, when discussing a claim, to be absolutely clear what that claim is, and what the counter-claim is. This is not “splitting hairs” – it is simply how science must proceed if it is to make claims. So if by “macro-evolution” you mean “very dramatic changes to morphology”, then you are not using the term in the way biologists use the term. That’s fine, but in that case we need to know what examples you have in mind for “very dramatic changes to morphology”. And when you clarify by saying “body plan level”, we will tend to point out that at “body plan level” (e.g. the difference between bilateral symmetry and radial symmetry), at the time this happened, these were not “very dramatic changes”. It’s not as though a chordate is supposed to have evolved into a starfish. At the time various symmetries were emerging, there wasn’t much to a “body-plan” other than symmetry. However, once a particular symmetry was established in a lineage, subsequent evolution continued down that body-plan lineage, giving us, for example, chordata down one lineage and echinoderms down another.

  260. Brent:

    So, when you say “morality” and when I say “morality”, you know that you don’t mean the same thing I do, but won’t let on to that fact (like with many other words you use in this thread).

    Underhanded BS.

    It is no such thing, Brent. If you meant something different, then clearly I misunderstood you. Please explain what you meant.

    And do not assume that when you are misunderstood, that “underhanded BS” is going on.

    There can be no discussion with people who change meanings of words.

    There can certainly be no discussion when people do not define words in the same way. If you are using the word in a different way to the way I was using it, the answer is to try to resolve the ambiguity, not to accuse others of lack of integrity.

    Hope the operation went smoothly for you. You are pathetic.

    I don’t really have a response to that.

  261. 261

    Box, that’s definitely more clear, but I still don’t agree. On your view, my own first-person access to my own purposes (goals, intentions, etc.) is direct, or immediate, in a way that someone else’s access to those intentions or purposes cannot be. And I don’t think that that’s true, because my own introspective access to my own intentions and purposes is conceptually mediated, just as other people rely on conceptual mediation to apprehend my purposes. If someone has a more sophisticated battery of concepts, he or she may be able to discern things about my purposes that I cannot recognize — that’s why counseling can be effective. (Even though I have to incorporate those insights into my own conceptual framework in order to alter my behavior.)

    So, on one point, I don’t think that purposes are essentially private, essentially apprehended from the first-person or subjective point of view alone. On another point, as to whether there can be an objective science of purposes — well, sociology and psychology would seem to count, right? (To some degree, anyway.)

    That said, I do agree that studying the behavior of neurons is not going to tell us a lot about the purposes, desire, and intentions of human persons — it’s not going to radically upset thousands of years of humanistic learning, let alone ‘common sense’. But neuroscience will probably tell us how the purposes, desire, and intentions of human persons emerge from the interactions of neurons.

  262. Concerning the nature of the designer, there’s no experiential warrant for thinking that artifacts will always (or even often) allow sound inferences to be drawn about the nature of the artificer.

    What do you think about ID proponents’ attempts at arguing a designer into existence? If it’s not possible to infer aspects of the designer from the design then are you sure that a designer exists? Why is it not possible to expect there to be other evidence for the designer’s existence?

    Why are all these questions not addressed? What is ID actually saying? Aside from: some unknown, unspecified designer did it? Is it really a scientific notion?

    Do you agree with Mr Murray that it’s more important to focus on winning hearts over minds?

    Do you think he’s right to categorise the ‘conflict’ as a war?

  263. Hope the operation went smoothly for you. You are pathetic.

    Civil discourse lives . . . somewhere . . . I hope.

  264. Upright Biped:

    Dr Liddle, if you really need a link to the two month long conversation that the quotes above were pasted from, you can find it by going to your personal blog, (theskepticalzone.com) and clicking on the link by Upright BiPed…then click on the thread called Semiotic Theory of ID. You’ll be able to distinguish it from the others because when you started the thread, you began with “Upright BiPed has been proposing what he has called a “semiotic” theory “.

    What on earth is wrong with you, Upright Biped, that you cannot post a simple link? There are six threads on your theory at TSZ, and the one you have (finally) specified has over 1000 replies.

    If you want a response to your post, then please link to wherever it was that I said I was thinking of starting a thread with stricter rules. I don’t think I ever did, in the end.

    But I’d like to see where I said it, seeing as you are basing your accusation of hypocrisy on it.

    BTW, in case you do not know, if you right-click on the date on a comment, you will have the option to copy the link location, which will put the URL to the post into your copy buffer. Ditto with the title of an OP.

  265. #261

    KN: And I don’t think that that’s true, because my own introspective access to my own intentions and purposes is conceptually mediated, just as other people rely on conceptual mediation to apprehend my purposes. If someone has a more sophisticated battery of concepts, he or she may be able to discern things about my purposes that I cannot recognize — that’s why counseling can be effective.

    I don’t think we should conflate understanding purposes with the direct experience of purposes. I agree that a wiser person may have a better understanding of my purposes, but only after I let her/him in on my private purposes. A wiser person cannot have a better experience of my purposes (or my thoughts, feelings or my consciousness).
    And this what I’m talking about: the direct subjective private experience / observation of purpose.

    KN:
    But neuroscience will probably tell us how the purposes, desire, and intentions of human persons emerge from the interactions of neurons.

    I strongly disagree. Fermions and bosons behaving in the purposeless, meaningless ways described by physics, are not behind the steering wheel. That follows from your absurd metaphysical belief.

  266. So, arguing the science of ID has been a colossal waste of time? It doesn’t matter because many people are only going to change their minds in the direction their heart leads?

    Depends on what one’s motivations are, and whom they are arguing with. Both can be done, and both have different sets of opportunities. My point here is that there are Alinsky-ish marketing and propaganda techniques – even if one still keeps away from tactics like outright lying and threatening people – that should be utilized to counter decades of anti-theistic propaganda and marketing.

    I’m amazed that a moderator here at UD is saying such things. I guess if you don’t even take the scientific debate seriously then why should the rest of us?

    First, I’m not a moderator, I’m a contributor. I don’t have any moderator powers that I’m aware of. Second, please note your sloppy logic. Just because I think that it’s more important in the cultural battle to better mass market the product doesn’t mean I don’t take the scientific debate seriously. Third, I actually don’t take the Darwinist side of the debate seriously any more, because it’s incredibly, overwhelmingly stupid.

    Axel made a good point about the common sense of the general public. Note how the general public in America still largely resists the idea of Darwinistic evolution.

    The problem, though, is that given enough time (like in several European countries), marketing, and propaganda given with the air of scientific authority, even basic common sense can be eroded. History is full of societies that have had their common sense, and innate morality, eroded in such a manner.

    My view is that it would help to use some direct, no-nonsense marketing imagery and slogans that would serve to bolster and rekindle that common sense knowledge, not that scientific debates are useless or should be abandoned.

    From what I can see, the science side of the debate has turned. There’s just too much design in life for any reasonable person to assign to non-intelligent cause. As Bruce David said, its a powerful idea whose time has come. Incredulity may not be a scientific or proper logical rebuttal, but it’s all the public needs to turn against an idea.

    And that’s what I’m hoping to do my part in facilitating: by giving the public all the common-sense incredulity it needs to turn it’s back on Darwinism, atheism, materialism, and all the emotional appeal it is looking for in order to be comfortable once again with its theism.

  267. William:

    Third, I actually don’t take the Darwinist side of the debate seriously any more, because it’s incredibly, overwhelmingly stupid.

    I will note that you, to your credit, claim no scientific or quantitative expertise.

    I will also note that that doesn’t put you in a strong position to declare an entire domain of science “incredibly, overwhelmingly stupid”.

  268. Box:

    I strongly disagree. Fermions and bosons behaving in the purposeless, meaningless ways described by physics, are not behind the steering wheel. That follows from your absurd metaphysical belief.

    No, it does not. It only follows from the absurd claim that a whole has identical properties to those of its parts, which is self-evidently false.

    Of course “fermions and bosons behaving in the purposeless, meaningless ways” are not “behind the steering wheel”. Fermions and bosons configured into atoms, configured into molecules, configured into cells, configured into organisms, within an environment which the organism has evolved to survive and exploit, and navigate and understand, for which it has, necessarily, to behave in purposeful meaningful ways.

    It is the system that is “behind the steering wheel”, not the parts, and that system has, clearly, properties not possessed by its parts.

    Whether that process was planned by a deity or not is possibly an interesting question. Whether the resulting organisms can do things that fermions and bosons cannot is a rather boring question, because self-evidently they can.

    Just as hydrogen and oxygen, configured into water, is a benign liquid, while hydrogen and oxygen not so configured, is a highly explosive gas.

  269. Elizabeth
    Thank you for your response. I will post the thought experiment later on tonight on this thread.

  270. First, I’m not a moderator, I’m a contributor. I don’t have any moderator powers that I’m aware of. Second, please note your sloppy logic. Just because I think that it’s more important in the cultural battle to better mass market the product doesn’t mean I don’t take the scientific debate seriously. Third, I actually don’t take the Darwinist side of the debate seriously any more, because it’s incredibly, overwhelmingly stupid.

    You are honest to a fault.

    Axel made a good point about the common sense of the general public. Note how the general public in America still largely resists the idea of Darwinistic evolution.

    The problem, though, is that given enough time (like in several European countries), marketing, and propaganda given with the air of scientific authority, even basic common sense can be eroded. History is full of societies that have had their common sense, and innate morality, eroded in such a manner.

    So, you reject the ideas that much of European society has come to accept modern evolutionary theory because it makes a strong and compelling case?

    My view is that it would help to use some direct, no-nonsense marketing imagery and slogans that would serve to bolster and rekindle that common sense knowledge, not that scientific debates are useless or should be abandoned.

    Any slogans in mind? Doubt Darwin, think Theism. Devine Design. I am not an accident. Design: it just makes sense. I have a purpose, what’s yours?

    Do you think that any means are justified by the appropriate end?

    From what I can see, the science side of the debate has turned. There’s just too much design in life for any reasonable person to assign to non-intelligent cause. As Bruce David said, its a powerful idea whose time has come. Incredulity may not be a scientific or proper logical rebuttal, but it’s all the public needs to turn against an idea.

    Yeah but . . . is ID true? Surely that needs to be established with scientific methods?

    And that’s what I’m hoping to do my part in facilitating: by giving the public all the common-sense incredulity it needs to turn it’s back on Darwinism, atheism, materialism, and all the emotional appeal it is looking for in order to be comfortable once again with its theism.

    Ah yes, keep the customer satisfied. Comfortable. It’s all marketing clearly.

  271. #268 EBL: It is the system that is “behind the steering wheel”, not the parts, and that system has, clearly, properties not possessed by its parts.

    Identify ‘the system’ please. Take for instance a bacterium. What is the so-called ‘system’? DNA, RNA, proteins or all three? Is it the bacterium as a whole? What do you consider to be the system?

  272. Depends what properties you are referring to.

    As I keep saying, the properties of a system differ from those of its parts. Each of those parts is also a system whose properties differ from those of its parts, right down to those bosons and fermions, and right up to the universe, or existence itself.

    But the capacity to conceive and execute a purpose seems to be a rather specific property of animals.

  273. KN:

    So liberal naturalists and supernaturalists agree that the space of reasons is irreducible to the realm of law, but disagree about whether that irreducibiity is the death-knell of naturalism tout court.

    I’m not sure how this addresses the issue, let alone solves it.

    Unreliable reasoning cannot rely on itself in declaring itself reliable. You’d have to create quite the philosophical blizzard to convince someone to abandon this simple truth. In general, I find ever more complex and convoluted attempts to explain away simple truth less and less compelling. “When words are many, transgression is not lacking.”

  274. Folks, there’s no time left to comment, moving countries again.

    This 2013 song seems to speak to the heavy ‘emotion’ involved in this thread. Sure, she may be in prison, but that’s about as ‘raw’ and ‘resonant’ as it comes wrt N. America today. It’s meant to shake people from their complacency. This, indeed, is the CONTEXT in which Uppercase ‘Intelligent Design’ Theory is being proposed in America.

    If the words/lyrics go to fast, they’re worth looking up and meditating on, as Lauryn is likely doing right now in her small confined room away from her children. Thankfully, she differs greatly from YECist Dr. Dino in so many ways, while IDism continues to shelter their ‘brothers and sisters’ in ‘arms’ for the so-called ‘strictly [natural] science’ of IDT.

    Neurotic Society:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBBxFKCAaCo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl0u_m0TeB4

  275. #268 ElizabethBL: It is the system that is “behind the steering wheel” (…)

    #271 Box: What do you consider to be the system?

    #272 ElizabethBL: Depends what properties you are referring to.

    Is the system a epiphenomenon (*poof*) or is the system a configuration of parts and is the property of this configuration (this system) new?
    Can you define how you use ‘system’ and ‘property’?

  276. 276

    In re: Box @ 265

    I don’t think we should conflate understanding purposes with the direct experience of purposes. I agree that a wiser person may have a better understanding of my purposes, but only after I let her/him in on my private purposes. A wiser person cannot have a better experience of my purposes (or my thoughts, feelings or my consciousness).
    And this what I’m talking about: the direct subjective private experience / observation of purpose.

    Well, it’s certainly true that another person doesn’t experience my purposes in the way that I do, but I don’t think that my experience of my purposes is “direct” or “immediate” in a way that another person’s experience of my purposes is not. But I am making a distinction here between purposes (in the sense of purposive behavior) and “the stuff of inner life” — thoughts, feelings, etc. And perhaps this is not a distinction you are making?

    Though even those are made more concrete and vivid to myself when written down or expressed in conversation — I frequently have the experience of not really knowing what I think or feel about something until it unfolds in conversation or in writing, which is a sort of conversation with oneself.

    Where I’m coming from, the really important issue is about concepts. The view I’m opposing — and perhaps this is not your view at all? — is the idea that my own awareness of my own inner mental states is wholly independent of my conceptual framework.

    Fermions and bosons behaving in the purposeless, meaningless ways described by physics, are not behind the steering wheel. That follows from your absurd metaphysical belief.

    Well, ok — sort of — but that objection assumes that emergentism is incoherent, and I really don’t think that’s been shown conclusively.

    I’ve only briefly looked at Feser’s criticisms, and on first pass, they strike me as relying too much on the vocabulary of Aristotelian/Thomistic metaphysics — a vocabulary that I find simply too impoverished to capture what we get from, for example, autopoiesis theory. That said, I acknowledge that the debate about the metaphysics of emergence is not my strongest area of philosophy. I mostly work in the intersection of phenomenology and pragmatism, with a bit of critical theory here and there.

  277. Liz:

    I will note that you, to your credit, claim no scientific or quantitative expertise.

    I will also note that that doesn’t put you in a strong position to declare an entire domain of science “incredibly, overwhelmingly stupid”.

    And I will note that your notes appear more directed toward insulating said domain than in defending it on the merits. Arguments from authority are so much less compelling when they come from those who cannot be said to have evolved upward. :)

  278. Can We Afford To Be Charitable To Darwinists?

    Freely you have received, freely give.

  279. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Nothing in that post at TSZ approaches the regular vitriol that is posted daily here at UD against “Darwinists”.

    And the author of that OP didn’t just create another thread at TSZ with the title, “Totalitarianism and The American Intelligent Design Movement – Part I”

    You would think that if wants to troll he’d come here to do it!

  280. ‘I will also note that that doesn’t put you in a strong position to declare an entire domain of science “incredibly, overwhelmingly stupid”.’

    No, Elizabeth. William’s point is precisely that it is not recognisable as science, still less, indeed, as a particular domain of science, for the simple reason that, in its agony, its death throes, IT does not, itself, recognise science, the scope of science that has enabled science to garner respect.

    It is a farrago of fantasy, continuing ever more farcically to this very day. In fact, even in its prime, it was a conjecture which, insofar as reasonable people ever found it plausible, was, in very short order, destined to disappoint them.

    It is evidently a hallucinogenic to which secular fundamentalists of that persuasion are well and truly hooked. Hence the continuing surreally-quixotic, Sisyphean quest to establish that nothing turned itself into everything… and that there might be a Multiverse of an infinite number of universes, one of which would validate whatever they had posited. Or anything else posited by anyone else, for that matter, literally, ad infinitum.

  281. #276 KN: Well, it’s certainly true that another person doesn’t experience my purposes in the way that I do, but I don’t think that my experience of my purposes is “direct” or “immediate” in a way that another person’s experience of my purposes is not. But I am making a distinction here between purposes (in the sense of purposive behavior) and “the stuff of inner life” — thoughts, feelings, etc. And perhaps this is not a distinction you are making?

    Indeed, I didn’t make that distinction. I was referring to purpose in the sense of, what you call, “the stuff of inner life”. In my (inner) experience purpose usually is a very complex, layered even, phenomenon. Often there is a mixture of doubt, fear, longing, perseverance etc. involved which is almost impossible to describe or convey to another person. Aren’t we all alone in the sense that we lack the possibility to fully express our inner world? Another question is if that would lead to a better world.

    #276 KN:
    Though even those are made more concrete and vivid to myself when written down or expressed in conversation — I frequently have the experience of not really knowing what I think or feel about something until it unfolds in conversation or in writing, which is a sort of conversation with oneself.

    I know what you mean. Sometimes I ‘know’ that I have an idea but I have to search for matching words. Writing or talking out loud to myself helps most of the time.

    #276 KN:
    Where I’m coming from, the really important issue is about concepts. The view I’m opposing — and perhaps this is not your view at all? — is the idea that my own awareness of my own inner mental states is wholly independent of my conceptual framework.

    Well, I have to agree that one looks at oneself (and others) through a conceptual framework. On the other hand there is something mystical about self-awareness. It is relentless, you can fool others but not yourself. It is mysteriously accurate and at the same time lacking of the vivid colors, images and sounds of the outer world.

  282. For goodness sake, Elizabeth, in one of his lucid moments Darwin said as much, himself. He wasn’t too enamoured of the idea of being a ‘meat-head’, if it meant he was reduced to an automaton, and his thoughts no better than those of an advanced monkey.

  283. please link to wherever it was that I said I was thinking of starting a thread with stricter rules. I don’t think I ever did, in the end.

    Are you out of your mind? Do you really think the words I attributed to you in post #194 are ones that I just made up??

    Really? As if I need deception where you are concerned.

  284. Incidentally, Johnb, please accept my sincere apologies for so callously disparaging what was just some charitable posters on our side offering each other mutual encouragement, in their endeavours to treat with us berserkers.

  285. LT, 211:

    >> That’s why KF keeps banging on about some inconsequential challenge he issued (ooooh, if it’s a challenge then we better alert the scientists!),>>

    1 –> Alinskyist mockery to dismiss what has not been cogently answered

    2 –> And what is this: the absence of a blind mechanism backed up by observation that is capable of accounting for the origin of FSCO/I in cell based life (thus, origin of life) and of major body plans (thus, the Darwinist tree of life)

    3 –> What LT would distract from is that the open challenge was that I would host a feature length Darwinist article that would provide observationally backed warrant for those things, full well knowing that a successful essay would utterly devastate design arguments in the domain of life.

    4 –> Net result of a free shot at goal offer given a year ago: mockery, distraction, dismissals, but no serious takers. (And, in lieu of the empty chair, I took time to address Wiki’s articles and the proffered claimed 29 evidences of macro evo. None of which made the grade.

    5 –> obvious conclusion: there is nothing really substantial there once question begging a prioris are off the table and once the actual scientific standard that dynamics should have adequate empirical backing, is applied.

    >> and about how FSCO/I really is a real concept>>

    6 –> Of course, to try to dismiss the descriptive term, functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information — abbreviated for convenience FSCO/I — LT produced a case in point, a complex organised ASCII text string in accord with the rules and symbols of English. He made use of another, the computing machinery used to submit same.

    7 –> Both abundantly exemplify that FSCO/I is routinely observed and is just as routinely observed to be produced by design.

    8 –> Indeed, per fair comment, on billions of observed cases, FSCO/I (never mind a large number of failed attempted counter-examples . . . the probable reason for the attempt to switch to trying to dismiss the term) is reliably seen to result from design and is a sign pointing to it, per canons of inductive reasoning. As in, the logic behind the methods of science.

    >>that supports ID,>>

    9 –> Why, by the logic of science, yes.

    >>and about how Plato’s cave applies to atheists and not to theist-ideologues like himself. >>

    10 –> A turnabout rhetorical attempt.

    11 –> The parable of Plato’s cave is a parable about — at relevant level — manipulation of a public to have a common false perception of the world through deceptive shadow shows, and what happens when a prisoner gets loose, and discovers the cheat, escapes and learns more about the world then tries to come back to help. Unsurprisingly, the denizens of the cave turn on him perceiving him as a fool and a threat. The story of Socrates is blatantly lurking just below the surface. And the The Matrix movies are a distant descendant, as was pointed out to me by a student a long time ago now . . . I am no movie fan.

    12 –> So, how does one avoid manipulative false enlightenment that is only a shadow show? Is it just a matter of who has the cleverer manipulation backed up by bigger guns?

    13 –> By proper worldviews analysis in light of factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power, cf. here on, or the in a nutshell here, which you can see was a part of a compulsory course in a . . . shudder . . . Seminary. (And LT knows about this, he is playing at manipulative rhetoric.)

    14 –> In particular, there are self evident first principles of right reason and other key first truths that serve to winnow out many belief systems, leading us to a reasonable set of first plausibles. And while we will err as we are fallible there is no reason why we cannot have well warranted high confidence in well grounded systems of thought. I happen to think that, on many grounds, the Judaeo-Christian ethical theistic worldview is sound, and that Jesus of Nazareth is on quite adequate grounds [cf here on], Messiah. It so happens that — as can be seen from the earlier points — this is essentially independent of the inductive logic grounds on which I believe FSCO/I is a good sign of design as cause.

    _____

    Bottomline, this is a backhanded admission of no solid case; behind a smokescreen of distractors and barbed remarks.

    KF

  286. Folks, there’s no time left to comment, moving countries again.

    Snowden? Snowden, is that you?

  287. Elizabeth Liddle:

    I do not think that the proposition that “the world/life/whatever was designed by an Intelligent Designer” can be refuted.

    Mung:

    Yes, even after all her time spent here at UD, that’s still her conception of ID. I’d really like to know how her conception of ID has changed since I first encountered her at UD.

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    My statement is quite clear, Mung.

    It’s not a statement of what ID is. It is a statement of what I think cannot be refuted.

    I know that the ID is that certain patterns are best explained by an intelligent designer.

    Mung:

    You failed to mention that when you use the terms “design” and “Intelligent Designer” that you’re specifically not including “Intelligent Design.”

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    I think myself that ID is, in principle, a perfectly testable hypothesis, as long as we are testing a designer with specific constraints. Constraints allow us to make a prediction. However, those constraints need, obviously, to be different from the constraints of the alternative hypothesis, e.g. darwinian evolution, otherwise we have no way of seeing which fits the data better.

    So we certainly cannot conclude that because design is evidently constrained, that there was no designer – it could have been a constrained designer.

    But nor can we conclude a designer. Indeed, without a specific design hypothesis we cannot, in my view, either exclude design, nor draw a design conclusion. I do not think that “science/darwin shows there was no designer” is a supported conclusion, nor could it ever be.

    Still confused about ID, are you?

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    But as you appear committed to quote-mining my posts for the appearance of inconsistency, I guess there’s not a lot of point in pointing this out.

    Well there you go. I did it again. Not charitable.

  288. Unusually, I chuckle along with you this time, ‘Mung’. In just over a month I’ll be in Moscow. If Mr. Snowden crosses my path, I’ll put in a word for you. Blagotvoritelnost – charity has an interesting history in Russia, on the far other side of the wanna-be ‘Orthodox’ claims of IDism.

  289. Lizzie:

    please link to wherever it was that I said I was thinking of starting a thread with stricter rules. I don’t think I ever did, in the end.

    UB:

    Are you out of your mind? Do you really think the words I attributed to you in post #194 are ones that I just made up??

    Really? As if I need deception where you are concerned.

    Oh, ferchrissakes you two.

    Here is the link:

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/?p=659

    And here is what Lizzie said, in its entirety:

    I think what I might do is to start a new thread, in which the rules of this site are more strictly enforced. However, rather than send violating posts to guano, I will move them here.

    Upright BiPed, please read the forum rules here. They are not onerous, and I have no wish to censor ideas. I do want to ensure that emotional baggage and assumptions about other posters’ motivations are rigorously excluded. Let’s conduct this in an academically rigorous way.

    Let everyone address questions presented to them as clearly as they can, and read the responses as carefully as they can.

    Then we may make some progress. junkdnaforlife has made a good start, and I’ll repost his/her post above in the new thread.

    So, no new rules, but stricter enforcement of rules already in place. I do think UB was a bit unfairly singled out, as others were equally guilty of motive mongering.

    Not that any of this made any difference. Within 24 hours UB accused Lizzle of dissembling, others returned the compliment, and it was off to the races for just about everyone from there.

    Biped, you seem to have weirdly thin skin when it comes to Lizzie. Your bitter disappointment over her withdrawal from your original discussion is still palpable. You sound for all the world like a jilted lover.

  290. From the Darwinism Lexicon:

    Quote mining: 1. using any quote that undermines the position of the Darwinist or supports intelligent design. 2. any quote that demonstrates the self-refuting, hypocritical or dissembling nature of a Darwinist’s argument

  291. Perhap I do, Bill, perhaps I do. But I assure you its nothing of the sort. I just have this little issue with people who cannot be trusted to act in good faith. In Dr Liddle’s case, I had actually expected better. Perhaps that is it.

  292. Ah, shattered expectations. That’s why I always try to start out at or near the bottom in any debate, then people can only be pleasantly surprised when I improve.

  293. @ Elizabeth
    OK so here’s the thought experiment (it’s quite simple really):

    In front of you sits a model house (let’s say it’s the White House, just for kicks) made of Lego bricks. You didn’t witness its origin and possess no documentary evidence that would give away its origin. There are no finger prints on the structure. Given that data, what can be inferred about its origin? Specifically:
    1. Was it the product of intelligent agency (i.e. a person)?
    2. If so, what can be known about the agency responsible?
    – What are its physical characteristics?
    – What was its mental state when designing and fabricating?
    – Why did the designer build the Lego house?
    – What is the educational level of the designer?
    – Was there more than one intelligent agent involved?
    – When was the structure fabricated?
    – How long did it take?
    3. If not, what process could be considered a viable explanation for the existence and nature of the house?

    Feel free to share with the TSZ regulars. I’d be interested to know how they answer.

  294. Jerad @ 262

    What do you think about ID proponents’ attempts at arguing a designer into existence? If it’s not possible to infer aspects of the designer from the design then are you sure that a designer exists? Why is it not possible to expect there to be other evidence for the designer’s existence?

    Why are all these questions not addressed? What is ID actually saying? Aside from: some unknown, unspecified designer did it? Is it really a scientific notion?

    Do you agree with Mr Murray that it’s more important to focus on winning hearts over minds?

    Do you think he’s right to categorise the ‘conflict’ as a war?

    I have addressed at length the issue of inferring design in the absence of detailed knowledge of the designer before, so I have no desire to devote the whole of my evening to doing so again. I will, therefore, limit myself to a few brief statements. For any event in the remote past, our ability to know the details of what happened is sharply contingent on the available data. If we have data (e.g. eyewitness testimony, well-preserved artifacts, DNA, documentary evidence, etc.) then we may be able to say a great deal about the past event. If we lack the data, then we probably can’t. This is not just a cop out from ID proponents, it is a fundamental limitation on our ability to know the remote past with any justifiable certainty. No ID proponent (to my knowledge) has ever discouraged investigation of the identity of the designer. We simply think that it’s ludicrous to hold the design inference hostage to an unreasonable standard of proof. That ID doesn’t try to answer every conceivable question about the whens and whys of the designer doesn’t indict it anymore than the inability of evolutionary theory to explain why any particular mutation arose. I invite you to try the thought experiment I proposed to Dr. Liddle so that you may evaluate matters for yourself.

  295. This is not just a cop out from ID proponents, it is a fundamental limitation on our ability to know the remote past with any justifiable certainty.

    Typo – omit ‘just’. :P

  296. For any event in the remote past, our ability to know the details of what happened is sharply contingent on the available data. If we have data (e.g. eyewitness testimony, well-preserved artifacts, DNA, documentary evidence, etc.) then we may be able to say a great deal about the past event. If we lack the data, then we probably can’t. This is not just a cop out from ID proponents, it is a fundamental limitation on our ability to know the remote past with any justifiable certainty. No ID proponent (to my knowledge) has ever discouraged investigation of the identity of the designer. We simply think that it’s ludicrous to hold the design inference hostage to an unreasonable standard of proof. That ID doesn’t try to answer every conceivable question about the whens and whys of the designer doesn’t indict it anymore than the inability of evolutionary theory to explain why any particular mutation arose. I invite you to try the thought experiment I proposed to Dr. Liddle so that you may evaluate matters for yourself.

    Dr Belinski has estimated how many mutations it took to turn an ungulate into a whale in the proposed time frame and then challenged evolutionary theorists to show how that could have happened. Many ID proponents claim a limit to the ability of mutations to achieve certain ‘goals’. If we don’t ‘observe’ such transitions actually occurring is it therefore logical to assume they won’t happen and that natural processes aren’t up to the job. And, thus, design?

    Are you sure you’ve been keeping up with the kind of reasoning used by other ID proponents?

    Can you not, at the very least, decide between a one-off, front loading design paradigm vs an incremental design model? What kind of explanatory power do you think ID will ever be capable of? You’ve got the same fossils, morphological studies, genetic information and the bio-geographic data that evolutionary biologists use. What can it tell you about the design inference?

  297. In front of you sits a model house (let’s say it’s the White House, just for kicks) made of Lego bricks. You didn’t witness its origin and possess no documentary evidence that would give away its origin. There are no finger prints on the structure. Given that data, what can be inferred about its origin? Specifically:
    1. Was it the product of intelligent agency (i.e. a person)?
    2. If so, what can be known about the agency responsible?
    – What are its physical characteristics?
    – What was its mental state when designing and fabricating?
    – Why did the designer build the Lego house?
    – What is the educational level of the designer?
    – Was there more than one intelligent agent involved?
    – When was the structure fabricated?
    – How long did it take?
    3. If not, what process could be considered a viable explanation for the existence and nature of the house?

    Based on the bricks used it would be easy enough to estimate a date before which the house could not have been built. Chemical analysis might even reveal a bit more about when and where the bricks were made. As the White House has undergone changes over the years it MIGHT be possible to further narrow down the date of construction depending on if certain changes are reflected in the model.

    No fingerprints I’ll take to mean no DNA either. Still, there might be wear marks or blemishes on some of the bricks.

    It would be worth figuring out how the bricks could have been purchased. That is: could the bricks used have come from a combination of existing sets (which is how most Lego bricks are sold these days). It that was determined then it would be possible to narrow down the time when the various sets were purchased based on the dates they were available for sale.

    It would also be possible to get an estimate of the amount of money required. Which would give some idea of the financial resources available to the designer/model maker.

    It would be easy enough to count the number of bricks and get a rough estimate of the assembly time required given an average brick placement time.

    It would be plausible to roughly estimate the intellectual level of the designer based on the complexity of the design. Also, some inferences could be made depending on how accurate the representation is.

    Depending on the location of the model it would be useful to examine the records of the site (ownership, recent use, etc) to attempt to get some idea of who had access and when. If the model is really massive then the logistics would have been complicated.

    The point being, depending on the level of interest in the construction, there might be much that could be discerned. And there certainly could be many, many hypothesises regarding aspect of the method used, the time taken, etc.

    Which begs the question: how interested are ID proponents in discerning/hypothesising about the designer?

  298. No, Elizabeth. William’s point is precisely that it is not recognisable as science, still less, indeed, as a particular domain of science, for the simple reason that, in its agony, its death throes, IT does not, itself, recognise science, the scope of science that has enabled science to garner respect.

    It is a farrago of fantasy, continuing ever more farcically to this very day. In fact, even in its prime, it was a conjecture which, insofar as reasonable people ever found it plausible, was, in very short order, destined to disappoint them.

    It is evidently a hallucinogenic to which secular fundamentalists of that persuasion are well and truly hooked. Hence the continuing surreally-quixotic, Sisyphean quest to establish that nothing turned itself into everything… and that there might be a Multiverse of an infinite number of universes, one of which would validate whatever they had posited. Or anything else posited by anyone else, for that matter, literally, ad infinitum.

    Well, it’s demise has been predicted before and yet . . .

    So, all the research, all the publications, all the books and television shows are just all . . . fantasy? It’s all just been made up and everyone is too embarrassed and too busy feeding at the funding trough to admit that it’s all been a great hoax?

  299. 299

    1. I love real science

    2. Darwinists (the advocates of the Modern Synthesis) are not real scientists.

    3. I am an agnostic.

    4. I am not a Bible thumping fundamentalists.

    In short, Darwinists are self-deluded idiots.

    It’s SO obvious.

    Gawd, please, you Darbots. PLEASE post summore bull sh*t and bore me to death. You would do me a great service, since I’m suicidal.

    TYVM

  300. #293 – Optimus

    A Lego house is a human-made thing, is it not?

    I went through a similar exercise with StephenB re: sandcastle – though he didn’t insist on “no documentary evidence” as if the sandcastle just dropped out of the sky into your lap – and he didn’t last it out. I doubt Optimus will do any better given that the same category error is in play.

    ID folks don’t seem willing to learn; they ask such questions, then listen, but don’t hear. And Optimus was even there in that thread!

    timaeus can be dealt with later…I’ve got travelling to do! :P

  301. Axel, 241:

    the public at large (for want of a less elitist and unpretentious term) still tend to have a firmer grasp on common sense than the intelligentsia, most notably, of an atheistic persuasion. So, imo, it is not a matter of engaging the emotions of the general public to achieve the desired end, as WJM would have it, but rather to explain the extraordinary offence against common sense of, for example, positing that nothing could turn itself into everything, which the so-called Consensus try to impose. The emotion of disgust and derision from the public will ensue after the event, just as surely, if not more so, as it does with us Idists on here.

    Nailed it!

    Here is the apostle Paul on the ethics and dynamics of building of sound conviction as the basis for personal, familial, institutional and community transformation:

    2 Cor 4:1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God,[a] we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice[b] cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants[c] for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. [ESV, read on]

    Likewise, we note a key point in Jn 8:44 or so, where Jesus warns some interlocutors, that they were in such a state of willful blindness that BECAUSE he tells the truth, they cannot hear what he has to say. The essence of deception is to think yourself right when you are ever so wrong. One locked into and drawing the benefits of “the flesh-pots of Egypt” will actually often think the truth sitting in front of his nose is absurd nonsense. Too often, only crushing pain beyond endurance due to collapse of the system due to collision with reality suffices to break that Plato’s Cave bewitchment.

    But also, that which is false and unreasonable will show itself so by failing the test of truth and the test of reason: it will simply not accurately report on reality. In Aristotle’s terms in Metaphysics 1011b, truth says of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not. That is why self evident first principles of right reason and self evident first truths about the real world as we experience it are so pivotal. These are the bedrock cornerstone and plumbline that allow us to build in the right place in correct alignment with reality. And, they include first moral truths, also, such as that we are inherently valuable and under the moral government of justice (as testified to be conscience and the demand for fairness in our quarrels) . . . which has vast implications. (As in, cf. the argument in a nutshell in Rom 1:19 ff.)

    Simon Greenleaf, in Evidence Vol 1 Ch 1 has some choice words also — in the context that in a jury trial one seeks to show a case to a reasonable standard of responsible warrant to ordinary people (in British thought, the man in the Clapham bus stop). In effect, the public here are the biggest grand jury of all time:

    Evidence, in legal acceptation, includes all the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved . . . None but mathematical truth is susceptible of that high degree of evidence, called demonstration, which excludes all possibility of error [--> Greenleaf wrote almost 100 years before Godel], and which, therefore, may reasonably be required in support of every mathematical deduction.

    Matters of fact are proved by moral evidence alone; by which is meant, not only that kind of evidence which is employed on subjects connected with moral conduct, but all the evidence which is not obtained either from intuition, or from demonstration. In the ordinary affairs of life, we do not require demonstrative evidence, because it is not consistent with the nature of the subject, and to insist upon it would be unreasonable and absurd.

    The most that can be affirmed of such things, is, that there is no reasonable doubt concerning them.

    The true question, therefore, in trials of fact, is not whether it is possible that the testimony may be false, but, whether there is sufficient probability of its truth; that is, whether the facts are shown by competent and satisfactory evidence. Things established by competent and satisfactory evidence are said to be proved.

    By competent evidence, is meant that which the very-nature of the thing to be proved requires, as the fit and appropriate proof in the particular case, such as the production of a writing, where its contents are the subject of inquiry. By satisfactory evidence, which is sometimes called sufficient evidence, is intended that amount of proof, which ordinarily satisfies an unprejudiced mind, beyond reasonable doubt.

    The circumstances which will amount to this degree of proof can never be previously defined; the only legal test of which they are susceptible, is their sufficiency to satisfy the mind and conscience of a common man; and so to convince him, that he would venture to act upon that conviction, in matters of the highest concern and importance to his own interest. [A Treatise on Evidence, Vol I, 11th edn. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1888) ch 1., sections 1 and 2. Shorter paragraphs added. (NB: Greenleaf was a founder of the modern Harvard Law School and is regarded as a founding father of the modern Anglophone school of thought on evidence, in large part on the strength of this classic work.)]

    We must recognise that all of this is happening in an age of manipulation by ever so cleverly calculated shadow shows, using the same techniques that persuaded us about which brand of soap to buy. And as also persuaded us to buy rolled up paper tubes full of toxic dried up leaves and smoke them, to the detriment of our health. On this, the Marlboro Man campaigns were a classic. (Cf. my discussion here.)

    In that context, the expanding hate and slander fest at what is now obviously the scurrilous AtBC’s “respectable” front operation, TSZ, and its “good cop” in cahoots with the “bad cop” enablers are telling us that we are under assault by ruthless, manipulative, utterly cynical, disrespectful Alinskyite nihilists. Such radicals do not yield to the force of reason, they only reckon with the logic of force; here, the question in their corrupt minds being, “can I get away with it.” If they think there is a reasonable chance they will try to manipulate the naive and marginalise, turn people against and scapegoat the few who see through the cheat.

    But, the undeniable fact of hypocritical censorship and career busting at BSU are in the table — notice, not one of the enablers above tried to defend that! — and the deceitful hate and slander fest at TSZ is obvious to ant decent person regardless of the rhetorical devices of the good cop enablers here. (Notice, not one of those enablers has been able to give a cogent response to the DI corrective of the NCSE’s twisting of the so called wedge doc into strawman pretzels. The talking points about a nefarious theocratic Christo-fascist neo-nazi right wing plot to impose an anti-science totalitarian tyranny of censorship etc etc complete with renewing the inquisition against politically correct groups and agendas is little more than the most lurid of conspiracy theories, swallowed by the gullible.)

    In response, right now we need a force in being strategy, much like on Sept 15, 1940. So long as Fighter Command is intact and can rapidly respond to and expose then disrupt a significant percentage of rhetorical raids and efforts to impose censorship and career busting etc, the agenda to impose utter nihilism is checked. Then, eventually, over time, a critical mass of the undeceived will build up and the juggernaut will fall of its own weight as the rot proceeds apace within. (It is no accident or surprise that the new atheists have fallen into sex scandals, for instance.)

    It is a grim summer, but the time will come when the threat of Invasion will recede, and then we can rebuild as a bastion and beacon of hope, to resurge and to rescue. Members of the resistance in captured territory, we shall return.

    KF

  302. In short, Darwinists are self-deluded idiots.

    It’s SO obvious.

    Gawd, please, you Darbots. PLEASE post summore bull sh*t and bore me to death. You would do me a great service, since I’m suicidal.

    You wonder why you bother sometimes I bet.

  303. Actually, Jerad:

    I DO say that evolutionary materialist ideologues are in question-begging, self-referentially incoherent reduction to absurdity, and show just why — have done so openly for over 25 years in fact.

    Cases in point:

    CLASSICS: “Marxists commonly derided opponents for their “bourgeois class conditioning” — but what of the effect of their own class origins? Freudians frequently dismissed qualms about their loosening of moral restraints by alluding to the impact of strict potty training on their “up-tight” critics — but doesn’t this cut both ways? Should we not ask a Behaviourist whether s/he is little more than yet another operantly conditioned rat trapped in the cosmic maze? And — as we saw above — would the writings of a Crick be any more than the firing of neurons in networks in his own brain? . . . . For further instance, we may take the favourite whipping-boy of materialists: religion. Notoriously, they often hold that belief in God is not merely cognitive, conceptual error, but delusion. Borderline lunacy, in short. But, if such a patent “delusion” is so utterly widespread, even among the highly educated, then it “must” — by the principles of evolution — somehow be adaptive to survival, whether in nature or in society. And so, this would be a major illustration of the unreliability of our conceptual reasoning ability, on the assumption of evolutionary materialism.”

    Sir Francis Crick, in The Astonishing Hypothesis: “”You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing. ”

    Haldane, c. 1930: “”It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [["When I am dead," in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (Highlight and emphases added.)] ”

    Patricia Churchland, with a sidelight from Darwin: “Boiled down to essentials, a nervous system enables the organism to succeed in . . . feeding, fleeing, fighting, and reproducing. The principal chore of nervous systems is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive . . . . Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing is advantageous so long as it is geared to the organism’s way of life and enhances the organism’s chances of survival [[Churchland's emphasis]. Truth, whatever that is [[ --> let's try, from Aristotle in Metaphysics, 1011b: "that which says of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not" . . . ], definitely takes the hindmost. (Plantinga also adds this from Darwin: “the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”)”

    Dawkins in A Devil’s Chaplain, 2004, paraphrased and with Reppert’s expose: ” the cause of the belief system of evolutionary materialism, “must” also be reducible to forces of blind chance and mechanical necessity that are sufficiently adaptive to spread this “meme” in populations of jumped- up apes from the savannahs of East Africa scrambling for survival in a Malthusian world of struggle for existence. Reppert brings the underlying point sharply home, in commenting on the “internalised mouth-noise signals riding on the physical cause-effect chain in a cybernetic loop” view:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.”

    Lewontin, 1997: “the problem is to get them to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth [[--> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]. . . . 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 [[--> another major begging of the question . . . ] 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 [[--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” [And if you want to resort to a "quote mining" dismissal as has been attempted, kindly cf wider cite and comments <a href = http://iose-gen.blogspot.com/2.....riorihere.

    Provine, 1998: " Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists [--> thus, on this view morality is a grand delusion . . . opening the door to cynical nihilistic manipulation as we are seeing]; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent [--> which implies that we do not have responsible freedom of thought in reasoning or choosing, i.e. the mind is dead and man is dead.] . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will . . .”

    Case proved. QED

    I would suggest that the incoherence and moral hazards revealed are sufficient cause for a reasonable person to rule out such materialism from the list of live options for a worldview.

    But then, part of the focal problem in this thread is the loss of regard for reason guided by sober examination of the material facts. It’s a Marlboro Man world of image and dramatic impression over substance.

    KF

  304. Hey, I got no 303! (a symbol of sound authority standing up to tyranny and chaos in the person of one Tommy Atkins, at 15 – 30 RPM rapid.)

  305. CS, 299: Please, if you are in such a state, get help fast. That is a permanent “solution” [NOT] to a temporary problem. KF

    PS: Do, on the broken window theory, watch language. We do not need to encourage the web vandals.

  306. I DO say that evolutionary materialist ideologues are in question-begging, self-referentially incoherent reduction to absurdity, and show just why — have done so openly for over 25 years in fact.

    Interesting that if things are as you say that you think the deluded, misguided, ideologically driven materialists are in charge. What enabled that then? When did the paradigm shift from the pure/right way to the reality denying current crop of trough feeders?

    How do you explain that in many European countries there is not an us vs them mentality over such issues as evolution or climate change? Are the Norwegians and Danes and Swedes and Brits just too mired in the muck to realise there’s another way?

    I’m quite sure that you and some others here do believe that there is some kind of grand conspiracy that exists to keep the truth down and the masses placated. But there isn’t. Nor is there a culture was except that promulgated by those who think they’re being oppressed when, in reality, some of them are the ones trying to bamboozle the public with their agenda.

    I feel sorry for some of you that are unwilling pay masters for the Discovery Institute. Make no mistake about it, Casey Luskin, Dr Wells, Dr Meyer, Dr Berlinkski, etc. make a living selling you guys books and such. Their main buyers are their true believers. Every year or so they pump out another book that you all will buy and help keep the dream alive. But who’s paying for that? You are. And what have you got out it so far? Aside from lots of derision from most of the scientists in the world. Oh, I forgot, they have to do that to make sure no one takes you seriously. My bad.

  307. OK, thanks for the link, Reciprocating Bill.

    Yes, I agree, Upright Biped that the post of Mike’s that you quoted violated the rules in a thread that I said would be more rigorously moderated.

    I apologise for that omission.

    However, I still take issue with the comment you made in that thread, and which you copied here:

    Well, again in perfect form, she joins in and chats right along. That is all fine. No problem, it’s hardly important, and certainly nothing else was expected from her. I simply wanted to point out the hypocrisy.

    I did not “join in” Mike’s rule-violation, nor did I comment on it, nor did I “join in” with any rule-breaking. I probably failed to read it. But if it is hypocrisy to fail to moderate a violating post having said I would do so, then yes, you have a point. I did not moderate that post, and it should have been moved from the thread.

    Ideally it would be good to have some kind of alert-system at TSZ so that posters can raise the alarm on rule-violating posts, but I’m not sure that is possible in WordPress.

    I will look into it.

  308. Optimus:

    @ Elizabeth
    OK so here’s the thought experiment (it’s quite simple really):

    In front of you sits a model house (let’s say it’s the White House, just for kicks) made of Lego bricks. You didn’t witness its origin and possess no documentary evidence that would give away its origin. There are no finger prints on the structure. Given that data, what can be inferred about its origin? Specifically:
    1. Was it the product of intelligent agency (i.e. a person)?
    2. If so, what can be known about the agency responsible?
    – What are its physical characteristics?
    – What was its mental state when designing and fabricating?
    – Why did the designer build the Lego house?
    – What is the educational level of the designer?
    – Was there more than one intelligent agent involved?
    – When was the structure fabricated?
    – How long did it take?
    3. If not, what process could be considered a viable explanation for the existence and nature of the house?

    Feel free to share with the TSZ regulars. I’d be interested to know how they answer.

    I’d probably infer that it was designed by humans given that I apparently know that it is a model of a human house.

    If I didn’t know that, I would probably infer that it was made by living intelligent beings if I knew such things existed in the locality.

    If I found it on Mars, and had never seen a human house, I would probably think first in terms of crystalline processes, and possibly biological processes, and if it didn’t obviously reproduce itself, I would probably again infer that it had been produced by a living thing, either instinctively, as, say, with a wasp’s nest or a termite mound, or intelligently, as with a human artefact.

  309. Central Scrutinizer:

    1. I love real science

    So do I!

    2. Darwinists (the advocates of the Modern Synthesis) are not real scientists.

    I am still unsure who these so-called “Darwinists” are supposed to be. But I guess they may not be scientists.

    3. I am an agnostic.

    4. I am not a Bible thumping fundamentalists.

    In short, Darwinists are self-deluded idiots.

    It’s SO obvious.

    Gawd, please, you Darbots. PLEASE post summore bull sh*t and bore me to death. You would do me a great service, since I’m suicidal.

    TYVM

    I think you may have misunderstood what evolutionary science claims (and does not claim). And please look after yourself. This world is wonderful, whether you think it was designed by a creator deity, or whether you think, as I do, that it emerged by means of processes just as awe-inspiring (more so, even). Please be part of it!

  310. Quote-mining: using quotations out of context, often with ellipses, without a link to the source, to support a point that is the opposite of the one the author intended to make.

  311. Phinehas:

    And I will note that your notes appear more directed toward insulating said domain than in defending it on the merits. Arguments from authority are so much less compelling when they come from those who cannot be said to have evolved upward.

    It is impossible to “defend it on its merits” to someone who lacks the basic grasp of methodology to comprehend the defence. I have spent a lot of time attempting to explain scientific and quantitative methodology to William and to others, only to have those explanations rejected on grounds that simply do not make any sense, and which arise from a profound misunderstanding of the nature of science.

    If this sounds arrogant, it does not come from arrogance, but from the experience of learning science the hard way, and discovering just what you can claim validly and what you can not.

    And I would say that the following two claims are scientifically invalid:

    “Evolutionary theory is sufficient to explain life”.

    “We can infer Design from the insufficiency of evolutionary theory to explain life”.

    Any “evolutionist” who claims the former is not making a valid scientific claim. No model is ever “sufficient”.

    However, any ID proponent who, correction perceiving this, then claims the latter is also not making a scientific claim.

    My sense is that the ire and scorn directed at “Darwinists” is directed at people who are perceived to be making the first of those two statements. I am not one of them.

    However, much of the ire and scorn directed at IDists is based on the invalidity of the second statement, which is what many ID arguments boil down to.

    If ID is to be taken seriously as science, it needs to stop focussing on the insufficiency of evolutionary theory, and start focussing on actual differential predictive hypotheses.

  312. We SHALL return, General KF (or is it Air Marshall?)!!! Very interesting post, your #301.

    I once took evening classes in export law, as an aid to my then work as a generalist translator, and was all but moved to tears of wonder at the profound and searching wisdom of lawyers in matters where money and worldly power are involved, in the starkest contrast, of course, with the law’s treatment of more essentially personal, human affairs. (Stand easy, Barry!)

    They would certainly have the warrant issue in this matter very astutely categorised, wouldn’t they? I also read that fraud is particularly difficult to prove, and statistics is one of the few weapons in the prosecution’s armoury; or maybe the only one in the surely invariable absence of a ‘smoking gun’. Maybe statistical studies of the imperviousness to empirical research of the evolutionists’ mindset would be worth undertaking.

  313. Jerad:

    Clearly, you have not appreciated the force of the underlying point WJM has been making, that while we are capable of reason, too often — especially in the collective — we do not use it.

    Have you followed the history of C20?

    For instance, how could the most advanced scientific-industrial countries with one of the richest cultures and perhaps the best overall educational system fall to a blatantly nonsensical and self-refuting ideology led by an ill bred demagogue and guttersnipe associated with a shadow army of street toughs? Utterly absurd, but it happened. (And I need not go on to the other absurd ideology that then dominated the next 50 years.)

    Did you study Barbara Tuchman’s march of folly thesis, or simply read the microcosm story in Acts ch 27?

    I suggest you take a moment and read the already linked on the Marlboro man advertising revolution. (Remember, a generation past, NON-smokers were a distinct minority, often derided as being uptight religious fanatics refusing one of the pleasures of life because of silly rules in a silly book.)

    You have evidently not looked in detail at WHY I hold — with some pretty good company — that evolutionary materialism is self refuting, and I also think the list of cases given underscores the point. Instead, you are appealing to “fifty million frenchmen cannot be wrong.” That is why I have first pointed out the horrific impact of the march of folly on history, even living memory history.

    Philip Johnson, replying to Lewontin as cited, shows how the self-same false ideology takes its grip on minds and institutions, once we have swallowed scientism and a naive positivist selective hyperskepticism:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    In short in the aftermath of the dynastic wars associated with religion, we moved down a line of increasingly secularist thought, more and more opening the door to a priori materialist scientism. By the time of Darwin and the generations after him, positivism, scientism and materialism ruled the day, dressed in the holy lab coat. This increasingly dominated the academy, education, media and popular culture. Don’t forget, this is the era of social darwinism, eugenics and aggressive evolutionism-rooted ideologies. For telling instance, Marx’s system was “Scientific Socialism.”

    We have inherited that toxic brew as our intellectual atmosphere — even eugenics keeps on rearing its ugly head.

    So, I have no great surprise to see a self-refuting ideology in an institutionally dominant position. And, the first centres were Germany and neighbouring countries, so it is just that this side of the Atlantic is lagging.

    Unless the trend is broken.

    And a first point in that is precisely to point out the massive absurdity involved.

    If you doubt the absurdity, kindly take up a second challenge (never mind the one ducked for a year) ground the realities of mind and moral government soundly on an evolutionary materialist worldview and scientific footing. The terms would be try not to go over 6,000 or so words, though links can be used, and I would also offer to host here at UD.

    (Here on is my already standing presentation at 101 level.)

    Prediction: cannot be effectively done on a sound basis.

    KF

  314. Axel, one of my job skills is strategic analysis, with hints of strat marketing and a bent to worldviews influenced geostrategic analysis, in an onward context of sustainable development. Mix in a lifelong love of history and that first political issue imbibed at mother’s knee: antifascism. KF

  315. PS: Simon Greenleaf was a founder of Harvard Law School, and was a Christian. He applied the same principles to The Testimony of the Evangelists. J W Montgomery has an interesting update.

  316. Re your #290, William, the extreme distaste of materialists for quotes of historically major scientists, of whom they can count precious few, indeed, in their own pantheon, would I suppose be axiomatic, wouldn’t it?

    With so little ammunition and armour of that nature at their disposal, they have every reason to resent such extremely persuasive appeals to authority. Indeed, the mathematically-derived implications of QM ought to be, what I believe lawyers designate as ‘binding’; not solely in their daily work, because obligatory as the most successful/advanced of all paradigms, but metaphysically as undermining their materialism.

  317. I read Barbara Tuchman’s ‘The Guns of August’, KM, and double up laughing when I remember that saying of hers, ‘War is the unfolding of miscalculations.’

    What a bitch! It takes a woman to write something like that! How withering can you get???!!!

  318. What a bitch! It takes a woman to write something like that! How withering can you get???!!!

    Remind me why I participate in this forum?

  319. With so little ammunition and armour of that nature at their disposal, they have every reason to resent such extremely persuasive appeals to authority. Indeed, the mathematically-derived implications of QM ought to be, what I believe lawyers designate as ‘binding’; not solely in their daily work, because obligatory as the most successful/advanced of all paradigms, but metaphysically as undermining their materialism.

    I’m trying to figure out how quantum mechanics (which have a very well defined and verified series of equations which spell out the situation) undermines materialism . . .

  320. With respect to that fateful August, that is an apt — sadly, brutally, massively bloodily apt — summary. The memorial at St Cyr (roughly, their Sandhurst or West Point) IIRC correctly reads, to the memory of the class of 1914. Nor can I forget the memorial at my Bajan High School to those alumni lost in two world wars, with the list for the first one disproportionately long. And in our own conflict, at length my heart bleeds when I realise the eternal significance of too much of what goes on, as men are so often influenced by bad ideas to take a fatal direction of life.

  321. Jerad, look at the3 case of the quantum double slit exercise especially that with the detector AFTER the slit. KF

    PS: I believe the term used was meant as a compliment, to one guarding her brood from future marches of folly.

  322. Somebody wrote:

    “timaeus can be dealt with later…I’ve got travelling to do!”

    Gee, that makes it sound as if a reply to what I wrote would require a lot of time and effort.

    I would have thought one sentence would do it; something like:

    “The extensive documentary evidence provided from the thread in question makes it clear that Timaeus was not at all guilty of the charge of obstruction, and the charge is withdrawn instantly, and with apologies.”

    *If* someone *were* to write a sentence here something like that, that would wrap things up quickly and nicely. But I must not suggest *who* that person should be, lest I be accused again of “putting words in (someone’s) mouth.”

    Of course I do not expect that the hypothetical apology will appear on this site before the date of Armageddon. My goal was only to show that an apology was warranted, not to actually elicit one.

  323. Jerad, look at the3 case of the quantum double slit exercise especially that with the detector AFTER the slit. KF

    And that undermines materialism how?

    PS: I believe the term used was meant as a compliment, to one guarding her brood from future marches of folly.

    A very poor choice of words at the very least.

  324. Pandas says that all things result from two kinds of causes; natural and intelligent. Their classification implies that intelligence is unnatural! How do other “manufactured” items, such as beaver dams, and the nests of birds, wasps and termites fit into such a scheme? The analogy of the coded information in DNA to a message in a known language is highly exaggerated. The information is not organized into “words, phrases, and sentences.” Even if scientists succeeded in determining the entire base sequence of an organism’s genome, they would still be far from understanding how an organism results from that information. Because that information codes for many polymers of RNA and protein and the sequence in which they are to be synthesized so that their inherent self-organizing properties will “make” the organism. Also, molecular biologists have discovered that a large proportion of that “information” is nonfunctional nonsense.

    from Critique: “Of Pandas and People”

    http://ncse.com/book/export/html/11773

    Dr Liddle if you’re wondering why we are “gatvol” (fed up) The paragraph above highlights why…..

  325. Jerad, there is a second challenge on the table, to ground a reasonable evolutionary material;ist account of mind and moral government, on similar terms to a year ago. KF

  326. Sr Liddle

    you said “This world is wonderful, whether you think it was designed by a creator deity, or whether you think, as I do, that it emerged by means of processes just as awe-inspiring (more so, even). Please be part of it!”

    Who’s your god greater than God?

  327. Jerad, there is a second challenge on the table, to ground a reasonable evolutionary material;ist account of mind and moral government, on similar terms to a year ago. KF

    Yup, saw that.

    I don’t consider myself a materialist exactly. Nor do I have the knowledge to address the issues.

  328. F/N: To forestall yet another pointless — save the purpose of enabling the unspeakably contemptible –red herring chase, let me note that from Plato in The Laws Bk X, 2350 years ago, there has been a well understood contrast between the natural and the ART-ificial, as can be seen on your friendly local food nutrients label. The natural denotes that which happens by nature acting freely, i.e. by blind chance and mechanical necessity in light of initial conditions. The latter, actions of directed contingency towards purposes. It will be found that evolutionary materialists cannot give a non-question begging definition of the natural, and that the often repeated contrast between how science must explain by NATURAL causes and the imagined chaos of the alternative they stress, the supernatural, sets up and knocks over a rhetorically loaded strawman. The issue in the design inference is to distinguish natural or material causes acting through chance and necessity, and art acting by design, on empirically grounded reliable signs. Functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information is a useful summary term for many of these signs. KF

  329. #318, Jerad: ‘Remind me why I participate in this forum?’

    Remedial work on your sense of humour by-pass?

    #319: ‘I’m trying to figure out how quantum mechanics (which have a very well defined and verified series of equations which spell out the situation) undermines materialism . . .’

    Try the non-locality of photons for size.

    #323
    ‘A very poor choice of words at the very least.’

    My, that one had sting in its tail! And the more substantive ripostes you’ve spared us?

  330. Jerad, go look it up. You will see a case of utterly contrasting outcomes dependent on an OBSERVATION made presumably after the interference is supposed to happen at the slit. If you look, a particle pattern. If you don’t, a wave pattern. Quantum weirdness on steroids. KF

  331. A corollary of light photons having an absolute speed, its measurement as such, not being subject to the relative motions of the rest of objects in space-time, is that its origin is a non-local reference-frame.

    Moreover, how else can you explain that curious phenomenon other than the supervening of an omniscient and omnipotent being, aka God? Since such agent needs to know who (which potential Observers) are motionless or traveling at a constant speed, where on the globe, and at what speed, in order to adjust the speed of such photons to always hit said traveling object at its absolute speed.

    That is, unless we have two worlds coinhering – which is what the mainstream religions attest. Certainly Christianity.

  332. Don’t confuse him, KF, there’s a good chap.

  333. EL, please don’t think I’ve reconsidered my implication in the last post to you that I will no longer attempt to dialogue with you.

    But, for your information and others’, clearly you hope to leave a feeling for others that you believe in an objective morality when you say “binding”. For something to really be binding in a moral sense, it must be objective. But you cannot call your “morality” objective if you say that society determines the moral code, which is the whole point you’ve underhandedly avoided.

    I was not equivocating by saying “man” and then “a man”. I was equalizing, for you attempt to say that society makes the moral code, but act as if the society isn’t made up of men! Incredible! (Your response will surely be, “I never said that “men” (people) don’t make up a society.” But you act as if saying “society” frees you from the obvious fact that it is the people that make up society that make the moral code (according to you), and you’ve not, then, answered my challenge in the least (If men make up the moral code then man is the governor of that code, and not the other way around). As I said, incredible.) And you would be left with no defense in saying a single man cannot make the moral code, unless you want to say that it is “might makes right”, or the majority, which you cannot justify. If that is the case, none of the moral code could ever be changed. Once the most powerful or majority had spoken, then that would be it. But that isn’t the case, as there has been moral progress, such as treating blacks equal, along with women. (Now you’ll say, “but the majority view changed”, which is a very bad answer, for to have the majority view change, the new idea must have started with a few, but, since they were not the majority at that time, they were, according to your story, actually wrong! And if you say they weren’t objectively wrong, then the moral code isn’t, and never was, truly binding.)

    If the people that make up societies determine the moral code, then the people govern the moral code, and the moral code doesn’t govern the people.

  334. Remedial work on your sense of humour by-pass?

    It certainly isn’t for the sympathetic responses.

    Try the non-locality of photons for size.

    And that validates materialism? Because ‘material’ is a slightly slipperier idea than we thought doesn’t mean there aren’t rules and laws which define how it behaves. Are you sure you understand quantum mechanics?

    My, that one had sting in its tail! And the more substantive ripostes you’ve spared us?

    I just thought I’d point out that there seems to be a double standard on this forum regarding language and the way people are referred to and no one really seems to acknowledge that or want to do anything about it.

    I’m just a visitor here so I don’t make the rules. If rules there are.

  335. Onlookers: Observe how the foundational issues of a landerfest and censorship, are being quietlt tippy-toed around. And when one of the usual talking point objections is firmly answered, that line of attack is dropped for now. Let’s try another raid vector and mix. And as for the expose of the utter self-refuting irrationality of evolutionary materialism as admitted inadvertently on the most part, silence. Sorry, good cop enablers of bad cop behaviour, business as usual is over. The naked hate expressed in slanderous conspiracy theories is revealed, and it is now evident that TSZ is little more than a fighting brand front operation of the unspeakably monstrous AtBC. But, Fighter Command is still in business and those last 400 “spitfires” [mostly Hurricanes built in large part with WWI fabric and stringer technology) are not going away, regardless of how tired the pilots and fitters are. KF

  336. Re your #321, KF: Yes, I think most people would have grasped that my expostulation, ‘The bitch!’, was an ironic expression of admiration.

  337. Jerad

    And that validates materialism? Because ‘material’ is a slightly slipperier idea than we thought doesn’t mean there aren’t rules and laws which define how it behaves. Are you sure you understand quantum mechanics?

    You are of course welcome to your own opinion, but you’re not welcome to your own facts. By your statement it is clear that you don’t really know what you are talking about because did you do that you would know that current material processes are incapable to communicate at the speeds required. Lastly, if the universe is governed by laws as you admit where does the laws come from? You know every law has a lawgiver right?

  338. I forgot to add about EL, she still bases this all on a hidden actual moral base which cannot be justified within her framework: that men ought to listen to the society. Says who?

  339. ‘Try the non-locality of photons for size.

    And that validates materialism?’

    Don’t be foolish. It undermines it totally. And I don’t need to understand the mathematics of QM to set you straight on some of its most basic implications.

  340. Jerad, go look it up. You will see a case of utterly contrasting outcomes dependent on an OBSERVATION made presumably after the interference is supposed to happen at the slit. If you look, a particle pattern. If you don’t, a wave pattern. Quantum weirdness on steroids. KF

    Yes, I know the experiment. Choosing different methods of ‘observation’ give you two different types of behaviour. That defeats materialism? Why can’t particles have (what you consider) contrasting characteristics? The quantum level is different.

    A corollary of light photons having an absolute speed, its measurement as such, not being subject to the relative motions of the rest of objects in space-time, is that its origin is a non-local reference-frame.

    Uh, perhaps you could rephrase that so it makes a bit more sense.

    Moreover, how else can you explain that curious phenomenon other than the supervening of an omniscient and omnipotent being, aka God? Since such agent needs to know who (which potential Observers) are motionless or traveling at a constant speed, where on the globe, and at what speed, in order to adjust the speed of such photons to always hit said traveling object at its absolute speed.

    If God is behind quantum mechanics then God follows certain equations slavishly just like a deterministic system.

    I’ll stick to the equations thanks. They work. They’re verified. They deliver the goods.

    That is, unless we have two worlds coinhering – which is what the mainstream religions attest. Certainly Christianity.

    You really should spend some time reading up on quantum mechanics before you sling terms around in odds ways.

  341. Jerad, do you understand giving a little leeway to someone known to be gentlemanly who is a widower mourning his obviously much loved angel? [And, A, sorry to put a finger on a raw wound, you will see why.) Or are you so hell bent on manufacturing an imagined immoral equivalency between unusual use of a legitimate term as a compliment and a slander fest and censorship? Please, think again. KF

  342. Lizzie:

    If ID is to be taken seriously as science, it needs to stop focussing on the insufficiency of evolutionary theory, and start focussing on actual differential predictive hypotheses.

    1- There isn’t any evolutionary “theory”

    2- The way to any given design inference is through non-design concepts

    3- ID has predictive hypothesis. OTOH unguided evolution still has nothing.

  343. Materialism can’t be tested. Unguided evolution can’t be tested. Tat is what makes both total nonsense wrt science.

  344. Sorry for my mistake. I had obviously meant to say ‘invalidates’ materialism. Not that it seems to have thrown anyone off which is good.

    You are of course welcome to your own opinion, but you’re not welcome to your own facts. By your statement it is clear that you don’t really know what you are talking about because did you do that you would know that current material processes are incapable to communicate at the speeds required. Lastly, if the universe is governed by laws as you admit where does the laws come from? You know every law has a lawgiver right?

    I think the ‘laws’ of the universe come from the was the basic particles and constructs interact with each other. Why did some . . . being have to decide? What do you mean by current material processes?

    Observe how the foundational issues of a landerfest and censorship, are being quietlt tippy-toed around. And when one of the usual talking point objections is firmly answered, that line of attack is dropped for now. Let’s try another raid vector and mix. And as for the expose of the utter self-refuting irrationality of evolutionary materialism as admitted inadvertently on the most part, silence. Sorry, good cop enablers of bad cop behaviour, business as usual is over. The naked hate expressed in slanderous conspiracy theories is revealed, and it is now evident that TSZ is little more than a fighting brand front operation of the unspeakably monstrous AtBC. But, Fighter Command is still in business and those last 400 “spitfires” [mostly Hurricanes built in large part with WWI fabric and stringer technology) are not going away, regardless of how tired the pilots and fitters are

    I don’t always choose to respond again to topics that I figure we’ve exhausted for the time being. And I’m not really any more interested in your paranoia regarding some invented conspiracy. Besides, you should really try and find a purpose in life other than responding to a website forum.

    Don’t be foolish. It undermines it totally. And I don’t need to understand the mathematics of QM to set you straight on some of its most basic implications.

    So . . . you don’t understand the mathematics which means you don’t know all the implications of the model. Which means you can’t really use or understand the mathematical model.

  345. Jerad, do you understand giving a little leeway to someone known to be gentlemanly who is a widower mourning his obviously much loved angel? [And, A, sorry to put a finger on a raw wound, you will see why.) Or are you so hell bent on manufacturing an imagined immoral equivalency between unusual use of a legitimate term as a compliment and a slander fest and censorship? Please, think again. KF

    I’m not a monster KF. If I am aware of situations then I would take them into account. I’ve lost a child myself and I know it’s something you never get over; you just learn to work around it.

  346. So, all the research, all the publications, all the books and television shows are just all . . . fantasy? It’s all just been made up and everyone is too embarrassed and too busy feeding at the funding trough to admit that it’s all been a great hoax?

    What you are failing to distinguish between is the factual, physical data that scientific research accumulates, which can be repeated, and the inferences and conclusions drawn from that data.

    Whereas even the factual data is subject to error, inadvertent bias or deliberate fraud in service of one’s ideological position, reputation and/or funding, what is laughable are the irrational inferential constructs Darwinists attempt to cobble together out of the data to support their atheistic, materialist perspective.

    For instance, why is the qualifier “random” and “chance” attached to “mutation” and “variation”? Is there some way to determine if the sequence of variations through aeons of time were “random” or “chance”? Why is the qualifier “natural” attached to selection? How can one determine that historical selection sequences were not artificial (intelligently designed), which is what such a qualification would take?

    Why not just call the process heritable variation and survival differential? Why add the ideology-promoting, unsubstantiated qualifiers “random” and “natural”?

    Then there is the problem that there is no means by which to falsify any claim about what RM & NS are capable of producing. What are the theoretical limiations of RM & NS? How is that RM & NS can explain both divergent and convergent evolution, evolutionary stasis and rapid transition, low and high birth rates, complex and simple organisms, gain and loss of features? How can any serious scientific theory predict both X, and not-X?

    The idea that “natural” and “random” forces (meaning undirected by foresighted intelligence) can create the most sophisticated, complex, interdependent code-based manufacturing and self-regulation system ever seen, and by chance generate novel, functional, integrated form and function that requires the spontaneous, happenstance generation of thousands of perfectly fitted parts and modifications to current architecture and code, is horrendously stupid. There is absolutely no reason in any of the data to think that unaided natural and chance interactions can spontaneously generate such things.

    But, that is the ideological necessity that all factual evidence is interpreted to fulfill, as Lewontin admitted, no matter how counter-intuitive or absurd it is on the face of it. That is blind ideology masquerading as scientific inference and conclusion, and that is what is laughable and not worthy of serious debate until there is even a smidgen of substantive evidence that “chance” and “nature” are remotely capable of such accomplishments.

  347. 1- There isn’t any evolutionary “theory”

    Despite there being 150 years of papers and books and research spelling it out.

    2- The way to any given design inference is through non-design concepts

    Whatever that means.

    3- ID has predictive hypothesis. OTOH unguided evolution still has nothing.

    You keep saying the same thing! Oh well, at least you’re concise.

  348. Jerad,

    If God is behind quantum mechanics then God follows certain equations slavishly just like a deterministic system.

    This is silly. Have you done any significant theology?

    Let me clip just a bit so you can see:

    Col 1:16 For by[f] him [the Eternal Son] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Heb 1:2 but in these last days he [God] has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. . . .

    Jn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

    You may disagree with Christian theology or the Judaeo_Christian worldview as you please, but kindly do not twist it into a strawman to ridicule it. The essential point is that God is reason himself who has made and actively sustains an orderly cosmos by his word of power. That he may for good reasons occasionally act beyond the ordinary course does not make him a slave to his rules on the one hand nor a chaotic force on the other. Indeed, for miracles to serve as signs pointing beyond the usual course of the world, there has to be that usual course. Nothing stands out in a chaos as there simply is no pattern to mark a difference against. And more.

    Of course, I point this out at the risk of yet another line of talking points, that ID is creationism in a cheap tuxedo. To which the first rebuttal is, on the declared agendas of too many, evo mat science often seems to be atheism trying to get prestige from a lab coat. But more directly, the inference to design is on inductive logic and empirical evidence, no reference to any religious tradition being necessary.

    So, let us set aside yet another sophomoric talking point or two and focus the pivotal issues.

    KF

  349. For instance, why is the qualifier “random” and “chance” attached to “mutation” and “variation”? Is there some way to determine if the sequence of variations through aeons of time were “random” or “chance”? Why is the qualifier “natural” attached to selection? How can one determine that historical selection sequences were not artificial (intelligently designed), which is what such a qualification would take?

    If they’re unpredictable, don’t follow a pattern, arise without warning then . . . what would you call them? Claiming they were not random would be impossible to prove or disprove without making some specific statements about the designer’s motives. Which you will not do.

    Some people have criticised the use of the phrase ‘natural selection’. But it’s the underlying concept that’s important. And most people figure it out.

    Gotta go!

  350. To continue from my 346:

    To show how far into the surreal devotees of atheism and materialism go, and why they are compelled to offer up inane hypothesis after inane hypothesis to interpret the facts according to their ideology, look no further than Hawking.

    In order to avoid the obvious interpretation of the fine-tuning facts (that an intelligent being set our universe up deliberately, fine tuning the fundamental constants so life would be possible), Hawking postulates virtually infinite numbers of universes that sprang from nothing.

    Infinite universes … from nothing. Just to avoid the obvious conclusion from overwhelming scientific evidence that indicates our universe was most likely intelligently designed.

  351. FYI Jerad, My sympathies. You however force me to be plain. Axel has recently lost his wife. I feel like a heel to have to repeatedly put that out in plain words that will hurt him, but you force me to. Your over-reaction to what was obviously meant as a compliment to a woman whose wit he admired, is very inapt here. And for that matter, in the face of a slander fest, I have had to expend energies these past two days that I ought to be husbanding to deal with frightening surgery for a close family member. And that is before I come to other matters on my plate. Remember, when these little toxic rhetoric games are played, they are cutting real people who have maybe more than their fair share of painful life challenges handling. And that goes double for what has been going on at TSZ. KF


  352. 1- There isn’t any evolutionary “theory”

    Despite there being 150 years of papers and books and research spelling it out.

    And yet you can’t link to it. That means you are either ignorant or dishonest.


    2- The way to any given design inference is through non-design concepts

    Whatever that means.

    Ignorance it is then.


    3- ID has predictive hypothesis. OTOH unguided evolution still has nothing.

    You keep saying the same thing!

    Because it’s true! And nothing you can say will ever change that!

  353. Jerad:

    If they’re unpredictable, don’t follow a pattern, arise without warning then . . . what would you call them?

    The 1′s and 0′s on a buss are unpredictable, don’t follow any pattern aut warning, yet we know they are directed.

  354. It was very kind, if characteristic of KM, Jerad, but please don’t go easy on me on the grounds of my bereavement, as my faith has enabled me to weather it with far less pain than would otherwise have been the case. When I start going easy on you and the other trolls, you’ll know something’s wrong!

    ‘If God is behind quantum mechanics then God follows certain equations slavishly just like a deterministic system.’

    That is simply childish, Jerad. For crying out loud, what makes you think God is coterminous with the equations he has used in his construction and maintenance of the universe? I don’t know why I’m even arguing with you when your capacity for logic is to ‘challenged’.

    ‘A corollary of light photons having an absolute speed, its measurement as such, not being subject to the relative motions of the rest of objects in space-time, is that its origin is a non-local reference-frame.’

    ‘Uh, perhaps you could rephrase that so it makes a bit more sense.’

    I could rephrase it, but it would be futile, as you appear incapable of inferring physical or metaphysical implications. You’re a troll, a spoiler, aren’t you. I’ll know better than to be ‘led up the garden path’ by you again. I can’t waste my time arguing at length with someone determined not to understand. I’ll just point out your more obvious mistakes, as and when.

    ‘You really should spend some time reading up on quantum mechanics before you sling terms around in odds ways.’

    Don’t come the raw prawn with me, laddie. If Niels Bohr opined that anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it, the clear implication is that it is you, who have not understood it. Bohr seems to have volunteered it, without my asking him. How about that. And you’re none the wiser, I’ll bet.

    Just to help you get some kind of a handle on it, he also had this to say about QM:

    ‘We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.’

    This is the answer to you request for me to ‘rephrase’ my words,’ so that they make a little more sense….’ Your own failure to ‘create images and establish mental connections’ is your problem, and you are foolish enough to blame the messenger.

    You proudly that trumpet that you can’t see further than the mathematical equations, with which you imply that you are familiar and understand. You’re like the man who told the stranger who’d asked directions, ‘Well, if I wanted to go there, I wouldn’t set out from here….’

  355. WJMurray, how about this photo of Dawkins? Is this what you mean by ‘social-media friendly graphics’ at post #146?

  356. But, of course, the great mysteries of QM are just stuff waiting to be explained when the fabled ‘promissory note’ is cashed in, aren’t they Jerad. Merely counter-intuitive.

  357. William:

    What you are failing to distinguish between is the factual, physical data that scientific research accumulates, which can be repeated, and the inferences and conclusions drawn from that data.
    Whereas even the factual data is subject to error, inadvertent bias or deliberate fraud in service of one’s ideological position, reputation and/or funding, what is laughable are the irrational inferential constructs Darwinists attempt to cobble together out of the data to support their atheistic, materialist perspective.

    Again, William, this point reveals your misunderstanding of scientific hypothesis testing. Scientists fit models to data. What you are calling “irrational inferential constructs” are highly constrained models that are evaluated quantitatively on how well they fit the data; worse fitting models are rejected in favour of better fitting models. You seem to think that scientists just stare at the data and dream up a story. That’s not how it works. The story needs to generated testable quantitative hypotheses, and those hypotheses need to fit the data better than some alternative hypothesis, to a statistically significant degree.

    For instance, why is the qualifier “random” and “chance” attached to “mutation” and “variation”? Is there some way to determine if the sequence of variations through aeons of time were “random” or “chance”? Why is the qualifier “natural” attached to selection? How can one determine that historical selection sequences were not artificial (intelligently designed), which is what such a qualification would take?

    “Random” in science usually means either “unmodeled” or “orthogonal to the variable of interest. “Chance” is not usually used at all in this context. “Random” does not, in science, mean “unintended”. In other words, the Darwinian conclusion is not that mutations are unintended but that they are orthogonal to fitness. When it comes to “natural selection” the answer to your question is straightforward – it is simply the word Darwin chose to indicate the “natural” culling of those with heritable characteristics less likely to promote successful breeding in an environment contrast to the “artificial” selection by human breeders. In any case, there is simply no doubt that natural selection occurs – it has been observed in the lab and in the field, and very few people doubt it (although they often call it “microevolution”).

    Why not just call the process heritable variation and survival differential? Why add the ideology-promoting, unsubstantiated qualifiers “random” and natural”?

    I do call it that: heritable variation in reproductive success is how I almost always put it. But I suggest you are reading “ideology promotion” where there is none. You are interpreting “random” in a way that scientists do not use it, and “natural” is simply, historically, Darwin’s term.

    Then there is the problem that there is no means by which to falsify any claim about what RM & NS are capable of producing. What are the theoretical limiations of RM & NS? How is that RM & NS can explain both divergent and convergent evolution, evolutionary stasis and rapid transition, low and high birth rates, complex and simple organisms, gain and loss of features? How can any serious scientific theory predict both X, and not-X?

    The limits of heritable variation in reproductive success are lateral, not longitudinal. It couldn’t account for the transfer of a solution from one lineage wholesale into another. It can certainly explain both gain and loss of features very easily, because what it predicts is that characteristics that promote reproductive success in a given environment will tend to evolve, and those that reduce it, will tend to be weeded out. If legs or eyes are a nuisance, then legs or eyes will tend to disappear. If they are useful, then they will tend to evolve. Darwinian mechanisms also predict convergent evolution if there are a limited range of solutions to a habitat problem – so if streamlining is widely advantageous for any marine animal, any animal that moves into an aquatic environment will tend to evolve streamlining. However, there is no expectation, under Darwinian theory, that the streamlining will involve the same modifications to the same features, and of course they don’t. So while a seal tail looks superficially rather like a fish tail and a whale tail, and are both used for steering, they are not anatomical homologues. This is a strong argument for common descent and evolution, not for design.

    The idea that “natural” and “random” forces (meaning undirected by foresighted intelligence) can create the most sophisticated, complex, interdependent code-based manufacturing and self-regulation system ever seen, and by chance generate novel, functional, integrated form and function that requires the spontaneous, happenstance generation of thousands of perfectly fitted parts and modifications to current architecture and code, is horrendously stupid.

    No, it isn’t. It only seems that way because your understanding of the hypothesised mechanism is so weak. Not because you are stupid, but because you have not acquired the necessary quantitative skills to be able to critique the arguments. Or even comprehend what they are. Darwinian evolution is not the theory that life was unintended. It is the theory that heritable variation in reproductive success will lead to adaptive evolution, which in turn accounts for the nested hierarchies we observe in living things, and which suggest common-descent with adaptive modification.

    There is absolutely no reason in any of the data to think that unaided natural and chance interactions can spontaneously generate such things.

    There is a great deal of reason, but you’d have to actually understand the reasoning.

    But, that is the ideological necessity that all factual evidence is interpreted to fulfill, as Lewontin admitted, no matter how counter-intuitive or absurd it is on the face of it. That is blind ideology masquerading as scientific inference and conclusion, and that is what is laughable and not worthy of serious debate until there is even a smidgen of substantive evidence that “chance” and “nature” are remotely capable of such accomplishments.

    Which makes no sense, seeing as most evolutionary scientists have no ideological baggage whatsoever, and many are theists. The reason the overwhelming majority (see the Steve project) of scientists accept evolutionary theory is because it is such a fantastic fit to the data. It may not be a sufficient account, but nobody is claiming that. It is the obsession with the notion that “evolution” means “no intelligent designer” that dogs the ID movement. Evolution doesn’t mean that. There might well be an intelligent designer. But just as the intelligent designer has a neat trick for ensuring that apples fall without having to personally guide each one to the ground, she seems also have a neat trick for ensuring that biological organisms evolve.

    I expect she’s enjoying the show, right, now, from her laz-e-boy in the sky.

  358. WJM:

    Infinite universes … from nothing. Just to avoid the obvious conclusion from overwhelming scientific evidence that indicates our universe was most likely intelligently designed.

    No. That is not the motivation behind multiverse theory, no matter how much you would like it to be, any more than heliocentric theory was motivated by the desire to avoid the conclusion that God placed the earth at the centre of the universe.

    At it’s simplest, multiverse theory is almost identical – it proposes that we are not at the dead centre of the universe, only at the dead centre of the observable universe.

    To assume that all we can see is all there is would seem to be to invite hubris

  359. No. That is not the motivation behind multiverse theory, no matter how much you would like it to be, any more than heliocentric theory was motivated by the desire to avoid the conclusion that God placed the earth at the centre of the universe.

    At it’s simplest, multiverse theory is almost identical – it proposes that we are not at the dead centre of the universe, only at the dead centre of the observable universe.

    To assume that all we can see is all there is would seem to be to invite hubris

    Can anyone take this seriously?

    Take one possible implication of an idea (crazy or not), and substitute it for the main idea itself, while acting as if it doesn’t affect (eradicate in this case) some main important aspects of the original idea!? “Yep! That’s all it’s saying, basically.”

    EL has flushed the rest of the little credibility she imagined she had down the toilet.

  360. Brent: do you think that the observable universe is the limit of the entire universe?

    If not, do you accept that the universe is probably many orders of magnitude larger than the observable universe?

  361. Great questions, EL.

    Maybe you should consider how they undermine the multiverse before you post them.

  362. I don’t mind whether multiverse theory is undermined or not, Brent. Contrary to what is frequently implied here, I’m interested in science, not ideology. If multiverse theory fits the data well, great. If not, great.

    So what is your answer?

  363. Scientists fit models to data.

    And human beings construct models that comport with their worldview, whether they are scientists or not. This is why new paradigms in science are so difficult to get through; scientists are just human beings, subject to the same frailties, ego, stubborn beliefs and irrational commitments as anyone else.

    The question is, how much of a Rube-Goldberg model are they willing to construct, however absurd and counter-intutive, in order to preserve their worldview or serve their ego, protect their reputation or grants?

    It is either laughably naive or despicably deceptive to portray scientists as being above ego, bias and other human frailties and flaws as they “match models to data” as if such “matching” can be done in a objective vacuum free of a priori commitments. Materialism (and atheism) is the a priori commitment mainstream models of biological data are constructed through, and which data is interpreted by.

    Also, we get “infinite universes caused by nothing” from the Hawking, just to avoid the obvious, which you actually reiterate – unknowinging, apparently – with variant terminology.

    “It is hubris to think that we are the center of things, so our model of the universe must comport with the view that we are not the center of things, even if that means there must be infinite universes generated from nothing.”

    That’s a model made to fit an ideology, not the data. All kinds of models can be made to fit the data; the problem is that the models a scientist is willing to conceive of is usuallly dictated by their fundamental worldview commitments.

    Box @ 355: That’s a keeper!

  364. EL said:

    I don’t mind whether multiverse theory is undermined or not, Brent.

    You are too predictable. I knew you’d say that.

    If multiverse theory fits the data well, great. If not, great

    WHAT DATA!!! You already have said that we can’t even observe our very own universe to its edges! And you expect to say it is scientific to suggest that there are other universes??? If we can’t even observe fully our own universe, what data can Hawking and ilk have? They have nothing but an uncomfortable conscience and an ideology driven metaphysical leap of blind faith.

  365. Brent: do you think that the observable universe is the limit of the entire universe?

    If not, do you accept that the universe is probably many orders of magnitude larger than the observable universe?

    You were talking about fitting models to data; what data do we have of other universes? Can we observe them? Have we collected any data from them? What is the point of hypothesizing such infinite universes? What “problem” does the hypothesis solves?

    You see, the reason the heliocentric theory was proposed was because it solved problems in the data that didn’t comport with the geocentric model, problems that kept mounting and for which a more and more Rube-Goldberg-esque theory of Geocentrism had to be constructed.

    Why? Because geocentrism was a worldview, an a priori commitment through which models were designed in order to explain the data in terms of the predominant worldview.

    What “problems with the data” is multiverse theory an attempt to solve? Hawking flat out said in his book that he was solving the problem of the fine-tuning we find in our universe. How is the apparent fine-tuning of our universe a “problem that needs to be solved” at all, much less solved with something so ridiculous as a “infinite universes from nothing” hypothesis.

    You see, the fine-tuning of our universe is only a problem to atheistic ideology because it implies our universe had a designing fine-tuner. That the fundamental constants of our universe are finely-tuned doesn’t create problems for any scientific models; it only creates a problem for an ideological model – the one that holds that it is “hubris” to think that our universe is, in fact, finely tuned to support life.

    That’s what the available data indicates; that our universe is fine-tuned for life. That many scientist ideologically disagree with the implications of that fact of data drives them to concoct all sorts of theories there is no evidence for just to protect their failing worldview.

    Your use of the term “hubris” reveals your a priori, ideological commitment.

  366. What “problems with the data” is multiverse theory an attempt to solve? Hawking flat out said in his book that he was solving the problem of the fine-tuning we find in our universe. How is the apparent fine-tuning of our universe a “problem that needs to be solved” at all, much less solved with something so ridiculous as a “infinite universes from nothing” hypothesis.

    Hawking’s grand foray to damn parsimony.

  367. I can’t imagine how Elizabeth will respond to that, but she will…. she will. And if you’re not darned careful so will KN! I tell you: it’s mad-house, WJ.

  368. I expect nirwad would adjudge as merely ‘ynomisrap’ to the power of infinity.

  369. If we can’t even observe fully our own universe, what data can Hawking and ilk have?

    Brilliant. Let’s just assume no data at all exists. No need to do homework, go directly to the knee of Jesus.

  370. F/N: As the shoals of red herrings are slip-sliding away from the central issues . . .

    EL, I have not forgotten that you are now hosting a hate- slander- and conspiracy theory- fest and are showing yourself the god cop enabling partner of a bad cop game.

    In that context, it is entirely in order for us to draw some pretty stark conclusions, and take appropriate action.

    I say this, because it is now highly evident that TSZ is a “fighting brand” set up to counter UD, and serves as a relatively respectable — things are THAT bad — front for the utterly scurrilous AtBC.

    You should be seriously ashamed for what you have been doing and enabling.

    I am quite sure you can do better, a LOT better.

    KF

  371. Brent:

    WHAT DATA!!! You already have said that we can’t even observe our very own universe to its edges! And you expect to say it is scientific to suggest that there are other universes??? If we can’t even observe fully our own universe, what data can Hawking and ilk have? They have nothing but an uncomfortable conscience and an ideology driven metaphysical leap of blind faith.

    Data from the WMAP, for instance, or the LHC. Like William, you seem to think scientists just sit around idly dreaming up stories that will get them out of going to church, instead of constructing testable predictive models.

    I don’t know whether multiverse theory is likely to be true or not, or, if it is, which one is the better model (there are many). But the fact that we can’t observe them directly is no reason to throw out the theory – many things cannot be observed directly, yet the hypothesis that they exist is highly predictive.

    There’s a nice article making that point here.

    Scoffing at scientific ideas because they defy “common sense” has a long history of hubris. Look at the quantum physics BA77 posts about – none of it passes the common sense smell test. Yet it makes superb predictions.

    That’s the only test of the a validity scientific theory : whether it makes predictions that are supported by new data.

    Whether you like the story it tells is utterly irrelevant to its validity.

  372. KF:

    EL, I have not forgotten that you are now hosting a hate- slander- and conspiracy theory- fest and are showing yourself the god cop enabling partner of a bad cop game.

    I am doing no such thing, KF. Sure, some people have conspiracy theories about the ID movement, but then people have conspiracy theories about “Darwinists” too, as is evident in this thread alone. What I enable is dialogue.

  373. LT: You are being rudely sophomoric and disrespectful. Maybe it has not dawned on you that beyond the horizon where recessional velocity per Hubble expansion of space itself hits c, there is no observability. Also, speculative other universes are unobservable. At this point cosmology slips across into the philosophy dept, too often without notice or recognition. In phil, no one view gets to set the rules for others, especially on grounds like, well we wear lab coats and hold our qualifications in the physical sciences. Hawking’s speculations and those of the gentlemen confusing themselves over what nothing is come to mind as examples of the problems. KF

  374. 374

    I’m a little bit unclear on what work is being done by the metaphor of “fine-tuning.”

    I do think that the basic laws of physics in this universe, and the value of the basic physical constants, are strongly “biased” towards life. In fact, I would expect that life is widespread throughout the universe, though much of it is likely to be uninteresting and beyond the range of our ability to travel or communicate.

    That said, I’m not really clear on what makes this fact (if it is a fact) a problem, or how we would recognize a solution to it, one way or the other.

  375. Small improvements and variations on portrait of Dawkins here and here.

  376. EL, I hate to be direct but that is a brazen lie. You are currently enabling unsubstantiated and ill founded false accusations of fraud, theocratic totalitarian neo-nazi conspiracies and other poisonous and bigoted lies fully equivalent to racism. Those are public facts. Worse, the immediate context in which this is happening is one of censorship and career busting in the academy so the false accusations are a part of blame the victim turnabout false accusation stereotyping and scapegoating. Pretending to be a good cop hosting polite dialogue while in fact this is what is going on on a blog you founded and own, simply tells us that you are the good cop enabler in a good cop bad cop toxic manipulation game. As I said already, were you to try these tactics in my living room, which is private, you would for cause be instructed to leave and never return. YOU ARE DOING THIS IN PUBLIC. Your behaviour is one of hosting defamation. Trying to toss out dismissals and blame the victim immoral equivalencies simply compounds the wrong.GEM of TKI

  377. ou are being rudely sophomoric and disrespectful.

    Thank you. Yet I was quite polite as a freshman.

    Maybe it has not dawned on you that beyond the horizon where recessional velocity per Hubble expansion of space itself hits c, there is no observability.

    Irrelevant to my point. EL at 371 does a nice job of providing useful information. You should follow her model.

    Also, speculative other universes are unobservable. At this point cosmology slips across into the philosophy dept, too often without notice or recognition. In phil, no one view gets to set the rules for others, especially on grounds like, well we wear lab coats and hold our qualifications in the physical sciences.

    Your last statement is a classic expression of passive-aggressive penis envy.

    Hawking’s speculations and those of the gentlemen confusing themselves over what nothing is come to mind as examples of the problems.

    Feel free to write them long letters demonstrating the utter clarity of your mind and worldview.

  378. WJM

    You were talking about fitting models to data; what data do we have of other universes? we have of other universes? Can we observe them? Have we collected any data from them? What is the point of hypothesizing such infinite universes? What “problem” does the hypothesis solves?

    The data are those we gather from the observable universe, which present a number of problems, some of which may, or may not, be solved by theories in which multiple universes are posited. We do not have to observe phenomena directly to have support for the hypothesis that they exist. Indeed most phenomena are not directly observable.

    You see, the reason the heliocentric theory was proposed was because it solved problems in the data that didn’t comport with the geocentric model, problems that kept mounting and for which a more and more Rube-Goldberg-esque theory of Geocentrism had to be constructed.

    Right. And there are equivalent problems with the current cosmological model, not least the problem that we are necessarily bang in the middle of the observable part, and so the vast bulk of it is highly likely to be in the unobservable part. This means that we cannot necessarily extrapolate from this part to other parts, and inflation, for instance, which occurred in our part, may not have happened in the same way in other parts, hence Alan Guth’s theory of Eternal Inflation. It may well be wrong, but there is no a priori reason to reject it, and it is certainly not motivated by a desire to get out of god, but a desire to get a better model.

    Here is a news article from 2011, on evidence to support the eternal inflation model, from WMAP data.

    Why? Because geocentrism was a worldview, an a priori commitment through which models were designed in order to explain the data in terms of the predominant worldview.

    What “problems with the data” is multiverse theory an attempt to solve? Hawking flat out said in his book that he was solving the problem of the fine-tuning we find in our universe. How is the apparent fine-tuning of our universe a “problem that needs to be solved” at all, much less solved with something so ridiculous as a “infinite universes from nothing” hypothesis.

    Why don’t you actually read some of the physics?

    You see, the fine-tuning of our universe is only a problem to atheistic ideology because it implies our universe had a designing fine-tuner. That the fundamental constants of our universe are finely-tuned doesn’t create problems for any scientific models; it only creates a problem for an ideological model – the one that holds that it is “hubris” to think that our universe is, in fact, finely tuned to support life.

    That’s what the available data indicates; that our universe is fine-tuned for life.

    It indicates that we live in a fairly narrow window, certainly. But there’s no terribly good reason to think that it’s the only window that exists.

    That many scientist ideologically disagree with the implications of that fact of data drives them to concoct all sorts of theories there is no evidence for just to protect their failing worldview.

    This is your ignorant assertion, William. You freely admit you do not have the math to evaluate these theories, but you nonetheless assume that there is no good math, just ideological blinkers. You have very little idea of the problems that cosmologists are trying to solve, so you just assume that they are trying to avoid confronting a divine creator. Even though some of them are devout theists.

    Your use of the term “hubris” reveals your a priori, ideological commitment.

    No, it doesn’t. It reveals some experience of thinking things are obviously false, then finding that there is actually good data to support them.

  379. KF:

    EL, I hate to be direct but that is a brazen lie. You are currently enabling unsubstantiated and ill founded false accusations of fraud, theocratic totalitarian neo-nazi conspiracies and other poisonous and bigoted lies fully equivalent to racism.

    No more, and I suggest considerably less, than is done here. I have offered you free right of reply to anything you object to, including posting permissions for an OP. I believe in dialogue, not suppression, and I do not think anything posted on my site is a lie. It may not be true, but that is different from a lie.

    Similarly there are numerous allegations in this thread alone that, in my view, are untrue. I do not call them lies because I think they are likely to be made in good faith. Nonetheless I try to put the counter view. You are welcome to do so at my site.

    Those are public facts. Worse, the immediate context in which this is happening is one of censorship and career busting in the academy so the false accusations are a part of blame the victim turnabout false accusation stereotyping and scapegoating. Pretending to be a good cop hosting polite dialogue while in fact this is what is going on on a blog you founded and own, simply tells us that you are the good cop enabler in a good cop bad cop toxic manipulation game. As I said already, were you to try these tactics in my living room, which is private, you would for cause be instructed to leave and never return. YOU ARE DOING THIS IN PUBLIC. Your behaviour is one of hosting defamation. Trying to toss out dismissals and blame the victim immoral equivalencies simply compounds the wrong.GEM of TKI

    I have been personally defamed in this very thread, not least, as a liar, right now, in your own post.

    I defend your right to do so. I defend the rights of posters on my blog to write what they believe to be the truth, whether or not what they write is true.

    And I do not lie.

  380. WJM:

    Initially, what I suggest is creating social-media friendly graphics with relatively short memes attached, which can be easily uploaded and shared.

    The following are some that I’m working on. I’m open to suggestions and corrections:

    ATHEISM is the belief that the finely-tuned fundamental properties of the universe that allow intelligent life to exist is nothing more than coincidence.

    ATHEISM is the belief that advanced, highly complex, precision nanotechnology can be created by the magic of chance.

    ATHEISM is the belief that logic is subjective.

    ATHEISM is the belief that truth is subjective.

    ATHEISM is the belief that we do not have free will.

    ATHEISM is the belief that “good” is relative.

    ATHEISM is the belief no act is intrinsically wrong or evil – not even torture.

    DARWINISM is the belief that RAPE is simply another naturally-selected means of genetic distribution.

    DARWINISM is the belief that PEDOPHILIA is just another naturally-occurring attraction.

    DARWINISM holds that Hitler and Mother Teresa were moral equals.

    ATHEISM is the belief that, if you can get away with it, there is no downside to harming others for personal gain.

    ATHEISM is the belief that humans are not endowed with unalienable rights.

    ATHEISM is the belief that murdering and cannibalizing a human is not intrinsically any different from killing and eating a cow.

    People killed by ATHEISTIC regimes in the last century: 153 million. People killed by THEISTIC regimes in 20 previous centuries: 5-10 million.

    Religious THEISTS have been scientifically shown to live longer, happier, healthier lives than ATHEISTS.

    THEISTS invented all currently employed scientific principles and methodology.

    THEISTS made and catalogued virtually all major scientific discoveries.

    THEISTS founded virtually all currrent hospital and university systems.

    RELIGION provided the funding, training and infrastructure for virtually all early scientific progress.

    There are thousands of RELIGIOUS charities. There are only a handful of ATHEISTIC charities.

    MATERIALISM, the broader philosophy of ATHEISM, was disproven decades ago by easily reproduced quantum physics experiments.

    Several NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING scientists have asserted that life after death has been scientifically proven.

    DARWINISM is a victorian-age, anti-theistic fable that if you put random errors in the blueprint code for arms long enough, you’ll get fully functioning wings and an entire body redesigned to sustain flight.

    It doesn’t bother you that most of these are downright false, and the remainder, at best, grossly misleading?

  381. Dr Liddle at 307,

    Your attempted pretense (of merely a single violation of your house rules) does nothing whatsoever to change the record – as anyone can easily tell from my post at 194. I sometimes wonder if you simply forget that these conversations are recorded, or just count on that fact that few will go back and actually look, or simply don’t give a shit.

    - – - – - – - – -

    If any more UD regulars wonder why a few of us simply can no longer buy your polite granny routine, they needn’t look any further.

  382. No, of course I don’t “forget that these conversations are recorded”, Upright Biped, and I invite anyone interested to go and read it for themselves which must be pretty obvious from the fact that I kept on asking you to provide a link.

    Why would I do that if I didn’t want people to read the originals? It was precisely to enable people to read the originals that I kept asking you for links!

    There was certainly a rule-violation by Mike of the house rules in the new thread before you posted in it, and I should have picked that up, because I had said very specifically that it was a “Penguin Rules” thread. And the reason I did so was that you, Upright Biped, had repeatedly violated the Penguin Rules in the previous thread, and I had largely ignored the violations, because I wanted the conversation to continue, and also, therefore, ignored violations by others.

    So the Penguin Rules thread was supposed to be a fresh start for all, which is why I reminded you of the rules. Which are simple: assume the other posters are posting in good faith (which therefore means do not imply that other posters are lying, or have ulterior motives).

    I generally moderate with a light-ish hand, and sometimes issue reminders rather than move posts, but those are the rules, nonetheless, and I encourage posters to stick to them.

  383. ‘That’s what the available data indicates; that our universe is fine-tuned for life.

    It indicates that we live in a fairly narrow window, certainly. But there’s no terribly good reason to think that it’s the only window that exists.’

    FAIRLY NARROW window, William!!! ROFL! Elizabeth, this kind of infinitesimally small approximation of the truth often seems to slip through people’s radar, though it’s very much part of your stock-in-trade.

    Correct me if I’m wrong about the latter. It’s just that the odds against the coincidence of that range of fine-tuning are so huge they are effectively notional. Something like a much vaster number than there are sub-atomic particles in the universe, I believe.

  384. ‘… but those are the rules, nonetheless, and I encourage posters to stick to them.’

    …sounds like the liberal Christian’s Decalogue: The Ten Suggestions.

  385. Well, they are not moral prescriptions, Axel. And I don’t have time to read every post, so reminders have to do the job a lot of the time.

  386. Axel:

    ‘That’s what the available data indicates; that our universe is fine-tuned for life.

    It indicates that we live in a fairly narrow window, certainly. But there’s no terribly good reason to think that it’s the only window that exists.’

    FAIRLY NARROW window, William!!! ROFL! Elizabeth, this kind of infinitesimally small approximation of the truth often seems to slip through people’s radar, though it’s very much part of your stock-in-trade.

    Whats the problem, Axel?

    Correct me if I’m wrong about the latter. It’s just that the odds against the coincidence of that range of fine-tuning are so huge they are effectively notional. Something like a much vaster number than there are sub-atomic particles in the universe, I believe.

    My entire point, Axel, is that we have no way of calculating those odds. So much of what is wrong with ID arguments revolves trying to calculate odds without a value for the denominator.

    What seems highly likely is that the observable universe is a tiny proportion of the whole. So we don’t even know how many “sub-atomic particles” there are in the whole. The Seth-Lloyd bit estimate btw, was based on the observable universe.

    And we don’t know how many universes there are, nor what other values pertain in those universes. There might be only one, or there might be many. But there doesn’t seem any particularly good reason to assume there is only one, and some evidence to support the idea of more.

    It could be wrong, of course, but what is weird is the scoffing that goes on here at any mention of more than one universe. Most people don’t seem to be terribly aware that even if there is only only, it is almost certainly far larger than the bit we can observe.

  387. 382

    Translation: I didn’t like that you came to my house and backed Reciprocating Bill into a concession without calling him names or resorting to vulgar language. I also didn’t like it that I had to agree with your terms and observations. So I’m going to pretend that you started all the nastiness from the very start, and that elzinga, thorton, flint and the others were just following your lead. That way, I can say I’ve never heard an ID argument of any merit.

  388. EL:

    Drop the pretence.

    This is not a college seminar room, save maybe one where censorship and back-knifing are being plotted.

    You have become host for vicious slander, false accusations of fraud, and conspiracy theorising about an imagined theocratic neonazi totalitarian plot.

    All in a context where the simple inductive logic of the inference to design cannot be squarely faced, and where you have made up strawman caricatures to hide the fact that evolutionary materialist origins stories have not got an observation-backed chance and necessity dynamic to account for origin of cell based life and body plans, as has been made evident by the ducking and dodging over the past year.

    I have no interest whatsoever to try to clean up the fever swamp you have cultivated.

    It is you as blog owner who needs to set the minimum standard that slander and other forms of incivility are not reasonable discussion.

    As it is, you patently have no intention to clean up the fever swamp stinking of hate, bigotry and false accusations.

    I simply acknowledge the fact that it is of the ilk of several similar sites and think Null’s description of a shared culture tells me this is a fighting brand front operation.

    Good cop bad cop game over, all the enablers are irretrievably tainted with the incivility they enabled.

    Welcome to your first tour of shame, for dishonourable conduct unbecoming.

    I hope you have enough sensitivity left in your conscience to be deeply ashamed.

    If you do, that would be a glimmer of hope.

    GEM of TKI

  389. No, that is not a “translation”, Upright Biped. You can read your own posts in that first thread, and look at the rules, and see where you violated them, as I pointed out in the thread. You did exactly as you are doing here, which was to repeatedly cast doubt on other people’s good faith. That is against the game rules at TSZ. Possibly you don’t even know you are doing it.

    I don’t especially mind, but I set up TSZ to try to provide a space where we could temporarily shelve mutual suspicion of motives so as to help drill down to the actual differences of opinion.

    And no, I don’t think that “elzinga, thorton, flint and the others” were “just following your lead” and I didn’t say so. But given that I was giving leeway to you, I also gave leeway elsewhere.

    Then I started a new thread, under “Penguin Rules”.

    I am not the slightest bit afraid of arguments, and had I been loathe to engage with you I’d scarcely have started several threads on your theory so that we could continue the conversation. So your “translation” doesn’t even fit the objective evidence.

    The problem, it seems to me, is that you are so persuaded of the validity of your own argument that you have lost any sense that it is possible that other people might honestly disagree (whether rightly or wrongly), and assume that anyone who offers a counter-argument is doing so dishonestly. And perhaps forget that this assumption becomes very transparent in the language that you use.

    You are very welcome to post a new OP at TSZ, and I will do my best to moderate it as strictly as I can.

    At least I am slightly clearer now as to where at least some of the miscommunication has arisen.

  390. Oh, Elizabeth, you’re self-defeating again. We should just hand this whole blog over to you for your idiosyncratic discursions. You make Hamlet seem like Horatio. Laertes, in fact.

    ‘What seems highly likely is that the observable universe is a tiny proportion of the whole. So we don’t even know how many “sub-atomic particles” there are in the whole. The Seth-Lloyd bit estimate btw, was based on the observable universe.’

    I believe they are fairly confident that the observable universe is a tiny proportion of the whole. But that would hardly render the number of sub-atomic particles in our known universe with its trillions of galaxies, negligible!!!

    ‘So much of what is wrong with ID arguments revolves trying to calculate odds without a value for the denominator.’

    We don’t try to calculate odds with or without a value for a denominator. We leave it to expert physicists and mathematicians.

    The following is from the beginning of the Chapter entitled, Entropy, in the book; What your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (but Should):

    ‘Amazingly, our universe was at its minimum entropy at the very beginning, which begs the question, “how did it get so orderly?” Looking just at the initial entropy conditions, what is the likelihood of a universe supportive of life coming into existence by coincidence? One in billions of billions? Or trillions of trillions? Or more?

    Roger Penrose, a famous British mathematician and a close friend of Stephen hawking, wondered about this question and tried to calculate the probability of the initial entropy conditions of the Big Bang.

    According to Penrose, the odds against such an occurrence were of the order of 1 in 10 to the power of 10 to the power of 123.

    It is so large that it’s hard even to imagine what this number means. We can use “superscript” (I can’t) to indicate the order of magnitude, but we’d need “super-superscript” to properly write the “123″ following it. In math, the value 10 to the 123rd power means one followed by 123 zeros. This is, by the way, more than the total number of atoms[10 to the 79th power] believed to exist in the whole (known) universe. But Penrose’s answer is vastly more than this: It requires 1 followed by 10 to the power of 123 zeros.

    …. if there are six zeros, it’s called a million, if nine, a billion; if twelve, a trillion and so on. There is not even a name for a number that has 1 followed by 10 to the 123rd power zeros.

    In practical terms, in probability theory.odds of less than1 in 10 to the fiftieth power = “zero probability”. Penrose’s number is more than a trillion. trillion, trillion times less than that. In short, Penrose’s number tells us that the “accidental” or “coincidental” creation of our universe is an impossibility.

    Concerning this mind-boggling number, Roger Penrose comments:

    This is how precise the Creator’s aim must have been, namely, to to an accuracy of one part in 10 to the 10 to the power of 123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full in the ordinary denary notation: it would be 1 followed by 10 to the power of 123 successive 0′s.

    Even if we were to write a 0 on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire (known) universe – and we could throw in all the other particles for good measure – we would fall short of the figure needed.’

    Makes my 33/1 shot the other day seem very small beer.

    Anyway, Elizabeth, if only as a public service, I’m sure you’ll be able to set Professor Penrose straight about denominator, and his whole house of cards will come crashing down.

  391. KF, there is nothing on my site that is any worse that what is regularly tolerated on this one.

    I am not ashamed of my site, the rules are clear, and as long as people do not break the few ban-worthy ones (which have nothing to do with the content of arguments) anyone is welcome to post, and opportunities to post an OP are in general granted on request. You are welcome to post one yourself, as I have said many times.

    But it is one of the principles of my site that comments are neither edited nor deleted, unless they contain illegal content.

    Nothing posted there comes close to legal slander, and frankly comes way short of the aspersions that are regularly cast on the moral and intellectual integrity of me and others on this site.

  392. Then there is the problem that there is no means by which to falsify any claim about what RM & NS are capable of producing. What are the theoretical limiations of RM & NS? How is that RM & NS can explain both divergent and convergent evolution, evolutionary stasis and rapid transition, low and high birth rates, complex and simple organisms, gain and loss of features? How can any serious scientific theory predict both X, and not-X?

    IF you took the time to really read serious discussions of evolutionary theory you’d realise how intently some of these issues have been debated and what a struggle it has been for there to arise a consensus regarding them. You can’t just stand on the outside and declaim: I don’t understand it!

    The idea that “natural” and “random” forces (meaning undirected by foresighted intelligence) can create the most sophisticated, complex, interdependent code-based manufacturing and self-regulation system ever seen, and by chance generate novel, functional, integrated form and function that requires the spontaneous, happenstance generation of thousands of perfectly fitted parts and modifications to current architecture and code, is horrendously stupid. There is absolutely no reason in any of the data to think that unaided natural and chance interactions can spontaneously generate such things.

    I don’t see how an argument from ignorance proves your point.

    But, that is the ideological necessity that all factual evidence is interpreted to fulfill, as Lewontin admitted, no matter how counter-intuitive or absurd it is on the face of it. That is blind ideology masquerading as scientific inference and conclusion, and that is what is laughable and not worthy of serious debate until there is even a smidgen of substantive evidence that “chance” and “nature” are remotely capable of such accomplishments.

    What you fail to understand or acknowledge is that every single aspect of evolutionary theory has been debated and fought over by people working in the field ever since the idea was first proposed. You stand on the outside, not aware of all the debates and you can’t understand the reasoning. You need to do some work and read some research and FIND OUT why the consensus has got to where it is now.

    It’s not all just made up and cobbled together.

  393. ‘It indicates that we live in a fairly narrow window, certainly.’

    Love the emphatic ‘certainly’!!! you’re too generous, Elizabeth. I bet Penrose and his fussy mathematicky ilk doesn’t deserve it.

  394. This is silly. Have you done any significant theology?

    Nope. Is that a requirement of discussing accepted scientific models?

    You may disagree with Christian theology or the Judaeo_Christian worldview as you please, but kindly do not twist it into a strawman to ridicule it. The essential point is that God is reason himself who has made and actively sustains an orderly cosmos by his word of power. That he may for good reasons occasionally act beyond the ordinary course does not make him a slave to his rules on the one hand nor a chaotic force on the other. Indeed, for miracles to serve as signs pointing beyond the usual course of the world, there has to be that usual course. Nothing stands out in a chaos as there simply is no pattern to mark a difference against. And more.

    I do not understand the idea of a being being reason manifest. It’s not possible to study, and make part of science, an entity that acts capriciously and without trace or ‘documentation’. I’d ask you to document a full-blown, unambiguous, slam-dunk miracle but I suspect you’d mention Christ’s resurrection and then we’d be off debating the historicity of that. Which can only lead nowhere really.

    Of course, I point this out at the risk of yet another line of talking points, that ID is creationism in a cheap tuxedo. To which the first rebuttal is, on the declared agendas of too many, evo mat science often seems to be atheism trying to get prestige from a lab coat. But more directly, the inference to design is on inductive logic and empirical evidence, no reference to any religious tradition being necessary.

    So, let us set aside yet another sophomoric talking point or two and focus the pivotal issues.

    I don’t think asking you for hard empirical evidence of design or a designer is referencing any particular religious tradition unless you choose to see it that way. You’ve come up with a hypothesis and I’d like to hear your extraordinary evidence for your extraordinary claim. Given that your claims for complex specified information and ‘islands of functionality’ are, at this point, only contentions and not established scientific currency.

  395. FYI Jerad, My sympathies. You however force me to be plain. Axel has recently lost his wife. I feel like a heel to have to repeatedly put that out in plain words that will hurt him, but you force me to. Your over-reaction to what was obviously meant as a compliment to a woman whose wit he admired, is very inapt here.

    In my experience, women of my acquaintance do not like to be referred to as a ‘bitch’. But, if I misinterpreted the comment then I shall withdraw on that point.

    And for that matter, in the face of a slander fest, I have had to expend energies these past two days that I ought to be husbanding to deal with frightening surgery for a close family member.

    Why are you here if your attention should be elsewhere? Why are you neglecting responsibilities which only you can address?

    And that is before I come to other matters on my plate. Remember, when these little toxic rhetoric games are played, they are cutting real people who have maybe more than their fair share of painful life challenges handling. And that goes double for what has been going on at TSZ.

    I have never, ever had anything to do with TSZ or AtBC. Please stop judging me based on your mis-interpretation of the motivations of the participants of those forums.

    Sometimes, you sound too blinded by your worldview to treat people like individuals instead of cardboard cutouts from your fantasy culture war.

  396. The 1?s and 0?s on a buss are unpredictable, don’t follow any pattern aut warning, yet we know they are directed.

    If we know the process that drives them and what the output of that process is then they are not unpredictable.

    Unpredictable does not mean you personally cannot predict them. I know you like to interpret reality based on your personal experience but there’s more to it than just what you can understand with your limited view, experience and education. And I would say the same about myself.

  397. Axel: I do not think Penrose means what you think he means.

    Yet again: you cannot calculate “odds” for an event unless you know the conditions under which the event for which you are calculating the “odds” takes place. Probability is a measure of uncertainty. The probability of an event is not a property of the event but a property of our knowledge of the factors governing the event.

    Penrose calculation might mean a stupendous coincidence; it might mean an Intelligent Designer; it might mean that there are so many universes even unlikely events are likely to turn up some time; or it might mean that we simply still don’t understand where the 2nd law of thermodynmics comes from. As he says, shortly after the passage you cite:

    How can we gain any further understanding of the origin of the second law? We seem to have been forced into an impasse. We need to understand why space-time singularities have the structures that they appear to have; but space-time singularities are regions where our understanding of physics breaks down.

    Infer God from that lack of understanding if you like, but at least let scientists attempt to increase their understanding without accusing them of trying to avoid God.

  398. It was very kind, if characteristic of KM, Jerad, but please don’t go easy on me on the grounds of my bereavement, as my faith has enabled me to weather it with far less pain than would otherwise have been the case. When I start going easy on you and the other trolls, you’ll know something’s wrong!

    Which is what I’d assume. You’re an intelligent adult. If you’re here, joining the debate, then you’re ‘in’. If you need some time away then you’ll take the time. I wouldn’t want anyone judging me or evaluating my arguments based on my personal life.

    That is simply childish, Jerad. For crying out loud, what makes you think God is coterminous with the equations he has used in his construction and maintenance of the universe? I don’t know why I’m even arguing with you when your capacity for logic is to ‘challenged’.

    IF there is a god behind quantum physics then, based on observations and experimentation, s/he/it looks a lot like a series of equations. I’m not ascribing any behaviour or motivations to a deity. I’m saying that the phenomena we observe can be restricted and defined by a limited set of rules. Is that your God?

    I could rephrase it, but it would be futile, as you appear incapable of inferring physical or metaphysical implications. You’re a troll, a spoiler, aren’t you. I’ll know better than to be ‘led up the garden path’ by you again. I can’t waste my time arguing at length with someone determined not to understand. I’ll just point out your more obvious mistakes, as and when.

    It’s your call. Spend time as you see fit.

    Don’t come the raw prawn with me, laddie. If Niels Bohr opined that anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it, the clear implication is that it is you, who have not understood it. Bohr seems to have volunteered it, without my asking him. How about that. And you’re none the wiser, I’ll bet.

    I still can’t quite grasp why you think your interpretation is correct given that almost all physicists think that the theory of quantum mechanics is pretty deterministic.

    ‘We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.’

    Quantum mechanics addresses things that are not able to be experienced by humans in their daily lives. From a metaphoric point of view it’s akin to poetry. But . . . the mathematics is clear and solid and proven.

    This is the answer to you request for me to ‘rephrase’ my words,’ so that they make a little more sense….’ Your own failure to ‘create images and establish mental connections’ is your problem, and you are foolish enough to blame the messenger.

    I still think you are misinterpreting the data.

    You proudly that trumpet that you can’t see further than the mathematical equations, with which you imply that you are familiar and understand. You’re like the man who told the stranger who’d asked directions, ‘Well, if I wanted to go there, I wouldn’t set out from here….’

    I do not think that you can interpret the findings of quantum mechanics on the macro-scale. I do not think it can be interpreted as giving any validation to any attempt to ‘undermine materialism’. The rules of quantum mechanics are clear and established and deterministic. From our perspective they may seem strange and ambiguous but they are strict and limited.

  399. But, of course, the great mysteries of QM are just stuff waiting to be explained when the fabled ‘promissory note’ is cashed in, aren’t they Jerad. Merely counter-intuitive.

    Not at all. The laws of quantum mechanics are clear and established.

  400. EL has flushed the rest of the little credibility she imagined she had down the toilet.

    Dr Liddle is perfectly capable of standing up for herself. And can defend her positions much better that I can. But i find it deeply offensive that someone who has spent hours/days/weeks/months attempting to have a civilised dialogue on this forum is treated with such disrespect.

  401. J: IF there is a god behind quantum physics then, based on observations and experimentation, s/he/it looks a lot like a series of equations. I’m not ascribing any behaviour or motivations to a deity. I’m saying that the phenomena we observe can be restricted and defined by a limited set of rules. Is that your God?

    A: This is silly. Have you done any significant theology?

    J: Nope. Is that a requirement of discussing accepted scientific models?

    Nah, but it is certainly helpful when discussing what God “looks a lot like.”

  402. And human beings construct models that comport with their worldview, whether they are scientists or not. This is why new paradigms in science are so difficult to get through; scientists are just human beings, subject to the same frailties, ego, stubborn beliefs and irrational commitments as anyone else.

    Which is why results are always preliminary, subject to peer review and generally considered provisional until confirmed by repeated verification by several (at least) parties.

    The question is, how much of a Rube-Goldberg model are they willing to construct, however absurd and counter-intutive, in order to preserve their worldview or serve their ego, protect their reputation or grants?

    You can propose anything you like. Any silly, wild, stupid idea can be brought up. But the ones that gain some tractions are the ones that are explanatory and are verifiable to some extent. The ones that become theories have been verified to the extent that to deny them is less credible than to accept them.

    It is either laughably naive or despicably deceptive to portray scientists as being above ego, bias and other human frailties and flaws as they “match models to data” as if such “matching” can be done in a objective vacuum free of a priori commitments. Materialism (and atheism) is the a priori commitment mainstream models of biological data are constructed through, and which data is interpreted by.

    Scientists are people and are fallible and frequently wrong. Science is slower, more conservative and slower to accept strange and new ideas until they’ve been verified by many people over a long period of time under various circumstances.

    That’s a model made to fit an ideology, not the data. All kinds of models can be made to fit the data; the problem is that the models a scientist is willing to conceive of is usuallly dictated by their fundamental worldview commitments.

    But the models that become consensus are the ones that move past the preliminary, crazy, unfounded, what-the . . . stage.

  403. So, the trumpets are sounding, a viable force is at the ramparts, the gloves are off. You’re in Spitfires giving Jerry hell (AK AK AK AK AK AK, take THAT, Nazi bastards!) At AtBC they said, “This is tard.” But at UD they say, “This is WAR.”

    Gromit, these amoral atheist materialist Darwinists are going to get the what for now.

    (Anybody asks me about UD, I’m linking them to this thread.)

  404. Box:

    Wrong. Neuroscience has never been (and will never be) able to study purpose. Purpose is part of consciousness – the subjective (hidden, private) domain.

    Just because something cannot be observed directly, does not mean it cannot be studied.

    The way we conceive of and execute purpose (and why the process sometimes goes wrong, as in psychosis) is an active area of neuroscience research, and indeed, some of my own work is in this area.

  405. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Quote-mining: using quotations out of context, often with ellipses, without a link to the source, to support a point that is the opposite of the one the author intended to make.

    You didn’t supply a link appears to be the excuse du jour.

    Here’s yet more of my wicked “quote-mining:”

    My criticism of ID is not of the principle of attempting to detect design, but of the specific arguments made, and methods advanced. I don’t think they are valid, for a number of reasons.

    But I’ve frequently said that I think that ID investigations could be made rigorous. The problem is that that depends on investigating the methods of the designer. Front-loading is one example that might make different predictions to those of evolution. But an all-purpose “Designer must have done it” doesn’t work – because it is simply a gap-filler, and makes no predictions that can be tested.

    Whereas a designer who, for instance, frontloaded the genome, could, in principle make a testable prediction.

    If my “quote-mining” makes it appear as if you’re contradicting yourself it’s for one simple reason. You’re contradicting yourself.

  406. Elizabeth Liddle:

    And I would say that the following two claims are scientifically invalid:

    “Evolutionary theory is sufficient to explain life”.

    “We can infer Design from the insufficiency of evolutionary theory to explain life”.

    As if the two claims are somehow equivalent. As if the latter claim is one that ID people who post here or at TSZ make. As if Elizabeth is being intellectually honest.

  407. Liz #404
    So, I guess the next thing you are going to tell me is that by looking through the microscope you are studying ‘free will’ – or even consciousness itself.

    p.s. you owe me a definition of ‘system’ and property; see #275.

  408. You did exactly as you are doing here, which was to repeatedly cast doubt on other people’s good faith.

    The problem for you Dr Liddle is that you demonstrate your bad faith and have it recorded on these forums on a regular basis. Like when I asked you if X is even possible without A and you say “no”, then I ask if X is even possible without B, and you say “no”, and so finally I ask if A and B are irreducible conditions for X and you say, “well I don’t see why that is”. You do this just because you can’t allow yourself to agree with an ID advocate that biological systems demonstrate irreducibly complex arrangements. That is not merely a misunderstanding, Dr Liddle, it’s just plain ole bad faith, and the recorded examples of it can be presented over and over again. It’s the same kind of bad faith you displayed when you could not simulate the rise of information based on a material definition of information. But instead of having the integrity to admit it, you played it off that you meant Dembski’s CSI instead. Unfortunately, you can’t make a minor spectacle of how important my operational definition of information is, and then turn around after failing to produce it and pretend you thought I meant Dembski’s CSI. It’s intellectually dishonest Dr Liddle. And when you are finally forced to agree with the observations of semiosis, and asked to retract your standing claim to know “no valid argument for design” you can’t then turn around and suddenly start to wonder what semiosis could possibly have to do with design. It’s just flat dishonest, Dr Liddle, yet you parade yourself around here as a paragon of scientific reason and refinement, peppering the participants here with a constant non-stop flow of personal advertising, promoting yourself in a never ending stream of public announcements as the epitome of a disinterested, metaphysically-neutral scientist – when nothing could be further from the truth. It just doesn’t play anymore. But you are not just a benign spectacle of self-denial Dr Liddle, you are also on the attack to protect your territory, and that only makes it worse. After I posted literally dozens of trash comments thrown at me while I was debating Bill, you came back to imply that perhaps (just maybe) there was one by elzinga that crossed the line. Then you go right back to into the masquerade; explaining how your new thread was “Penguin Rules” where you’ll not tolerate offending comments. But as it is always the case with you, over and over again, the problem is reality. Half the comments I posted came from your new thread. There was never even the slightest intent by you to remove any comments, and certainly none to reign in your swamp dogs. Your entire positioning statement on the matter, like The Skeptical Zone itself, is a complete charade. It just doesn’t play anymore. At least not for me. Others apparently feel differently, and that is fine. You and I needn’t interact.

    You want to be a shining example of science and reason? The next time someone gives you an argument for design, where you must agree with observations and cannot dispute the rationale; then don’t deny it (even if it doesn’t convince you). Instead, try saying “I cannot deny your argument, but I am not convinced by it”.

    It’s really not that hard, unless you can’t do it.

  409. Mung, the second claim is essentially that made by Dembski.

    The first is one often alleged to be made by “Darwinists.

    They are not “equivalent” indeed, but both are scientifically invalid.

  410. Box

    Liz #404
    So, I guess the next thing you are going to tell me is that by looking through the microscope you are studying ‘free will’ – or even consciousness itself.

    Certainly we can study will and consciousness, using the techniques of neuroscience. Sometimes a microscope is involved, more often techniques like fMRI and electrophysiology (EEG, MEG).

    p.s. you owe me a definition of ‘system’ and property; see #275.

    OK. Well, I’m using “system” to refer to an assembly of parts that have properties not possessed by the parts, and by “properties”, I mean stuff that can be said about them, for instance, colour, phase (solid, liquid, gaseous), what they do, how they behave, etc.

    So you might describe a habitat as a “system” consisting of organisms and inorganic resources, while those organisms are themselves “systems”, consisting in their turn of subsystems (organs, tissues, cells, organelles, molecules, atoms, sub-atomic particles) and so on. At each level we have a system of parts that has properties that are different from the constituent parts.9

  411. Gads, Elizabeth, you are so frustrating. Why do I assert you’re intellectually dishonest? Is the claim warranted?

    Here’s what you wrote, which I quoted up-thread. Do you deny you wrote it?

    I know that the ID is that certain patterns are best explained by an intelligent designer.

    From your own MOUTH you KNOW that you misrepresent ID every single time you post something like this:

    “We can infer Design from the insufficiency of evolutionary theory to explain life”.

    AT BEST that is a straw-man. AT WORST you KNOW it is.

  412. Elizabeth Liddle:

    KF, there is nothing on my site that is any worse that what is regularly tolerated on this one.

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    And I do not lie.

    TSZ:

    “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.”

  413. Jerad:

    IF you took the time to really read serious discussions of evolutionary theory you’d realise how intently some of these issues have been debated and what a struggle it has been for there to arise a consensus regarding them.

    I’m sure we’d read it if you could ever be bothered to engage in a serious discussion of evolutionary theory.

  414. Liz

    Liz #410 Certainly we can study will and consciousness, using the techniques of neuroscience. Sometimes a microscope is involved, (..)

    Since you claim to study purposes, free will and consciousness, surely you are willing to share with the world their locations in the brain.

    //about systems:
    Is consciousness a property of a system? And if so, does consciousness, as a property, have decision-power? Or lies decision-power with the system?

  415. Reciprocating Bill:

    (Anybody asks me about UD, I’m linking them to this thread.)

    Is that because in this very thread you posted your absolute best argument in favor of neo-Darwinism and you want lots of people to read that, or because they would find here in this thread your best refutation of the arguments for intelligent design?

  416. Upright Biped:

    The problem for you Dr Liddle is that you demonstrate your bad faith and have it recorded on these forums on a regular basis.

    That, even if true, and of course, I dispute it, is irrelevant to the rule at TSZ, which is that posters must assume, for the purposes of discussion, that other posters are posting in good faith, whether they believe it to be the case or not.

    I set up that rule because I wanted to get, if possible, past the mutual suspicion and on to the substance of disagreements.

    Like when I asked you if X is even possible without A and you say “no”, then I ask if X is even possible without B, and you say “no”, and so finally I ask if A and B are irreducible conditions for X and you say, “well I don’t see why that is”.

    Well, I’d certainly want a link to context before I could comment on that. As I recall, we had a great deal of difficulty in finding clear operational definitions for the terms of our debate, and it is possible that what you are referring to arose from that difficulty.

    You do this just because you can’t allow yourself to agree with an ID advocate that biological systems demonstrate irreducibly complex arrangements.

    It’s not that I “can’t bring myself to agree”, Upright Biped. In fact, I agree that some biological systems are Irreducibly Complex. I just don’t agree (with good reasons) that that is a bar to evolvability.

    That is not merely a misunderstanding, Dr Liddle, it’s just plain ole bad faith, and the recorded examples of it can be presented over and over again.

    Well, as you don’t even seem to have understood my position, I’d say it was misunderstanding.

    It’s the same kind of bad faith you displayed when you could not simulate the rise of information based on a material definition of information. But instead of having the integrity to admit it, you played it off that you meant Dembski’s CSI instead.

    Upright BiPed, as there are no rules here about assuming good faith I am going to tell you this straight: this is a lie.

    It is, firstly untrue, and secondly, you know it is untrue. I made it very clear, as soon as you made it clear to me that you were not referring to Dembski’s CSI, that my claim did not apply to your measure. This is on record, and you can find the posts, with the dates. In fact, you have already done so in the past, and so have I. That is why I know you know this is untrue.

    For months – years – now, you have been hounding me about this, and no matter how many times I have said – absolutely explicitly – that I had no confidence I could meet your challenge (though i was willing to have a go), because my original claim had referred to something else – you will not give up accusing me of “bad faith”.

    This is extremely irritating.

    Unfortunately, you can’t make a minor spectacle of how important my operational definition of information is, and then turn around after failing to produce it and pretend you thought I meant Dembski’s CSI.

    No, indeed. Which is why that wasn’t what happened. My original claim wasn’t even addressed to you.

    It’s intellectually dishonest Dr Liddle.

    It is plain dishonest to say things that are not true.

    And when you are finally forced to agree with the observations of semiosis, and asked to retract your standing claim to know “no valid argument for design” you can’t then turn around and suddenly start to wonder what semiosis could possibly have to do with design.

    I do not “agree with the observations of semiosis”. I still find your argument largely incomprehensible. It may be valid or it may not be. But I do not know it to be valid.

    It’s just flat dishonest, Dr Liddle, yet you parade yourself around here as a paragon of scientific reason and refinement, peppering the participants here with a constant non-stop flow of personal advertising, promoting yourself in a never ending stream of public announcements as the epitome of a disinterested, metaphysically-neutral scientist – when nothing could be further from the truth.

    Oh for goodness’ sake, Upright Biped. I am not “parading” – I am having conversations with people. This is simply smear.

    It just doesn’t play anymore. But you are not just a benign spectacle of self-denial Dr Liddle, you are also on the attack to protect your territory, and that only makes it worse.

    I am not attacking anything. I am attempting to defend attacks on my own integrity.

    After I posted literally dozens of trash comments thrown at me while I was debating Bill, you came back to imply that perhaps (just maybe) there was one by elzinga that crossed the line.

    I noted that there was a post by Mike, before yours, in the new Penguin Rules thread, that I should have moved. In the previous thread there were a large number of rule-violating posts, by a number of posters, including you.

    Which is fine, because the rule is not a moral rule, it’s just a game rule, which I temporarily suspended.

    Then you go right back to into the masquerade; explaining how your new thread was “Penguin Rules” where you’ll not tolerate offending comments. But as it is always the case with you, over and over again, the problem is reality. Half the comments I posted came from your new thread. There was never even the slightest intent by you to remove any comments, and certainly none to reign in your swamp dogs.

    Actually there was. And if I did not move subsequent posts, then I apologise. I do not always have the opportunity to moderate as diligently as I would like. But on a quick skim I do not see any other posts that I would move.

    Your entire positioning statement on the matter, like The Skeptical Zone itself, is a complete charade. It just doesn’t play anymore. At least not for me. Others apparently feel differently, and that is fine. You and I needn’t interact.

    Indeed.

    You want to be a shining example of science and reason?

    No, I just want to find out about the world, and discuss it.

    The next time someone gives you an argument for design, where you must agree with observations and cannot dispute the rationale; then don’t deny it (even if it doesn’t convince you). Instead, try saying “I cannot deny your argument, but I am not convinced by it”.

    What if I don’t even understand the rationale, or the alleged “observations”? From my PoV you have not made a coherent case, Upright Biped.

    It’s really not that hard, unless you can’t do it.

    I am still waiting for you to make a case that I understand.

  417. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Mung, the second claim is essentially that made by Dembski.

    The first is one often alleged to be made by “Darwinists.

    They are not “equivalent” indeed, but both are scientifically invalid.

    First claim first:

    “Evolutionary theory is sufficient to explain life”.

    Is this a claim you’ve frequently encountered here at UD? In your extensive interactions with Upright BiPed, is that his claim? KF, claims this? Barry claims this? VJT claims this? WJM claims this? PaV claims this? News claims this? Cornelius Hunter claims this? Kirk Dunston claims this? StephenB claims this? I could go on and on and on.

    Please point to the OP here at UD where it is asserted that Darwinists claim that “Evolutionary theory is sufficient to explain life.”

    Contrary to your assertion, everyone here that I know of claims the exact opposite.

    The claim of ID is that Darwinism does not and cannot, even in principle, explain life.

  418. Since you claim to study purposes, free will and consciousness, surely you are willing to share with the world their locations in the brain.

    I do not think that purposes, free will and conciousness have “locations in the brain”. I think that brains, and particular brain networks are necessary for an organism to conceive a purpose and choose to act in a way that will bring it about, and to be concious of the environment, itself, and its own purpose, but I’d say that these capacities – to be conscious of the world and to conceive and excecute a purpose – are properties of the whole organism. To ask the location is like asking which tree is the forest.

    //about systems:
    Is consciousness a property of a system?

    Yes. It’s a property of some organisms, human beings, for example, although we are not always conscious of very much.

    And if so, does consciousness, as a property, have decision-power? Or lies decision-power with the system?

    I’d say that being consciousness is part of the process of deliberate decision-making. It’s also possible to train yourself to act “unconsciously” as when we learn to be fluent in a musical instrument, for instance, when we don’t need to make individual decisions to move our fingers, yet their is an overall decision to play a phrase, or a chord, or an entire piece of music.

    But normally we do not call actions, at least at the level above trained and flexible automaticity, “decisions” unless we are conscious of making them.

    When conscious decisions are made, there is evidence for greater involvement of certain brain networks, particularly a network including frontal (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and parietal regions (intraparietal sulcus), and there is also another network, involving the anterior insula and the anterior cinculate cortex that seems to be important for registering what is important, and recruiting brain areas necessary for dealing with it (sometimes called the “salience network”). There is also an area in the medial frontal cortex that seems particularly important in self-referential thought. But that doesn’t mean that these things are “located” in these regions – it means that these are the parts of ourselves we use when we are actively attending to and engaging with the world. In other words, in my view, “I” am a whole organism, of which my brain is an important, but not, clearly, the only part, nor the only part involved in consciousness and decision-making.

  419. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Mung, the second claim is essentially that made by Dembski.

    The first is one often alleged to be made by “Darwinists.

    They are not “equivalent” indeed, but both are scientifically invalid.

    Second claim second.

    You assert that Dembki’s arguments for ID can be reduced to, in essence, the claim that:

    “We can infer Design from the insufficiency of evolutionary theory to explain life”.

    This demonstrates a profound misreading of Dembski. It calls into question any claim you’ve ever made to have understood Dembski or to have dealt with his argument.

  420. Elizabeth Liddle:

    I am still waiting for you to make a case that I understand.

    She would never have offered to refute your argument if she had ever understood it. It’s all your fault, Upright BiPed.

    The excuses wear thin.

  421. Mung:

    “Evolutionary theory is sufficient to explain life”.
    Is this a claim you’ve frequently encountered here at UD?

    It’s a simple statement of a claim I’ve frequently seen attributed to “Darwinists”, who have been challenged to defend it. Another version is “Chance and necessity are sufficient to explain life”.

    In your extensive interactions with Upright BiPed, is that his claim? KF, claims this? Barry claims this? VJT claims this? WJM claims this? PaV claims this? News claims this? Cornelius Hunter claims this? Kirk Dunston claims this? StephenB claims this? I could go on and on and on.

    Please point to the OP here at UD where it is asserted that Darwinists claim that “Evolutionary theory is sufficient to explain life.”

    Well, refer to the Explanatory Filter – if Chance and Necessity are not Sufficient then conclude Design.

    William of course attributes other beliefs to “Darwinism”:

    DARWINISM is the belief that RAPE is simply another naturally-selected means of genetic distribution.

    DARWINISM is the belief that PEDOPHILIA is just another naturally-occurring attraction.

    DARWINISM holds that Hitler and Mother Teresa were moral equals.

    By comparison, the claim that Darwinism says that evolutionary theory is sufficient to account for life is only a little bit wrong.

    And if nobody here thinks that’s what Darwinism says, I’m delighted. Because of course, it would be an invalid claim.

    Contrary to your assertion, everyone here that I know of claims the exact opposite.

    What, that “Darwinists” don’t think that evolutionary theory is sufficient to explain life? Or that evolutionary theory isn’t sufficient to explain life?

    It is certainly not valid to claim that “evolutionary theory is sufficient to explain life”. No scientific model is ever sufficient.

    The claim of ID is that Darwinism does not and cannot, even in principle, explain life.

    It certainly cannot explain OOL, and, as yet, we do not have a complete OOL theory. And, depending on what you mean by “Darwinism”, it is not a complete explanation for evolution, firstly because to Darwinian mechanisms we must add drift, and secondly because Darwin made no attempt to explain the origins of heritable variance, and we have only scratched the surface of that so far. There will never be a complete account of what evolved from what, and why or how, and so there will never be a sufficient body of evolutionary theory.

    This means that it is invalid for any scientist to claim: we know everything now; that means that there is no Designer.

    Science cannot rule out Design.

  422. Mung:

    She would never have offered to refute your argument if she had ever understood it. It’s all your fault, Upright BiPed.

    I offered to try to refute it, and tried hard to understand it. I also said I had no confidence I could do it.

    And then I timed out.

    So no, it wasn’t all Upright Biped’s fault. But I do think his argument has serious conceptual problems.

  423. Box: And if so, does consciousness, as a property, have decision-power? Or lies decision-power with the system?

    Liz: I’d say that being consciousness is part of the process of deliberate decision-making. It’s also possible to train yourself to act “unconsciously” as when we learn to be fluent in a musical instrument, for instance, when we don’t need to make individual decisions to move our fingers, yet their is an overall decision to play a phrase, or a chord, or an entire piece of music.

    You are not answering my question at all. We are talking past each other. This has been going on for several posts now. I have done my best to ask clear questions. I did rephrase some of them several times. I’m done. Thank you for trying to communicate.

  424. Mung:

    You assert that Dembki’s arguments for ID can be reduced to, in essence, the claim that:

    “We can infer Design from the insufficiency of evolutionary theory to explain life”.

    This demonstrates a profound misreading of Dembski. It calls into question any claim you’ve ever made to have understood Dembski or to have dealt with his argument.

    I disagree. In fact, I suggest that a large number of posters here do not understand Dembski’s argument, and have therefore failed to note the problems it has.

    But yes, that is what his equation boils down to – it’s what the Explanatory Filter boils down to.

    If Chance and Necessity are not sufficient to explain life, then we can infer Design.

    Later he dropped “Necessity” and subsumed under his “Chance hypothesis” “Darwinian and other material mechanisms”.

    And his claim is that if a pattern has a small enough probability of occurring under the Chance hypothesis, then Design can be inferred. In other words, if Chance [including evolutionary mechanisms] is insufficient to account for a pattern, say, life, given the opportunities claimed to have been available in the universe to date (that’s the 500 bit part), then we can infer Design.

  425. Box

    You are not answering my question at all. We are talking past each other. This has been going on for several posts now. I have done my best to ask clear questions. I did rephrase some of them several times. I’m done. Thank you for trying to communicate.

    And I have done my best to give clear answers. It is sometimes difficult when people have very different mental pictures to match an answer to a question, so I am sorry I did not address yours.

    You asked: “does consciousness, as a property, have decision-power? Or lies decision-power with the system?”

    Consciousness, I am saying, is a property of the system (the organism). In other words, the organism can be described as “conscious” – of itself, of the world. The “property” doesn’t have “decision-power” – but the organism (the system) has “decision-power” in part by virtue of its property of being conscious.

    In other words “I” – Lizzie, me, the organism” – is the system, and it is I who am conscious and it is I who has decision-power, at least while I am conscious. If I do something in my sleep, while I am not conscious, I would not call that a “free will” decision, and would not expect to be held morally (or legally) responsible for any actions I took while asleep. But I would certainly take moral and legal responsibility for decisions and actions taken while conscious.

    Anyway, thanks for the conversation. I’m sorry communication has not been more successful.

  426. Elizabeth Liddle:

    In other words “I” – Lizzie, me, the organism” – is the system, and it is I who am conscious and it is I who has decision-power, at least while I am conscious.

    Well Lizzie, maybe you should thank God that you were not the organism I found in my shower and squashed.

    And I can shudder at the thought of the number of organisms you annihilated the last time your cleaned house.

  427. Not sure of your point, Mung. I do not think all organisms are capable of consciousness or free will. I doubt the one you squashed in your shower was. As I said, a quite complicated brain is probably rather an important prerequisite.

  428. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Mung, the second claim is essentially that made by Dembski.

    The first is one often alleged to be made by “Darwinists.

    They are not “equivalent” indeed, but both are scientifically invalid.

    Third claim third.

    Both are “scientifically invalid,” but they are not equivalent.

    So what, in your mind, discriminates between these two “scientifically invalid” claims? You presented them as analogous, even if you don’t realize it. And now you claim that they are not analogous. Why not?

  429. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Not sure of your point, Mung. I do not think all organisms are capable of consciousness or free will. I doubt the one you squashed in your shower was. As I said, a quite complicated brain is probably rather an important prerequisite.

    Yes, I understand that many of my points and arguments are obscure to the uninitiated. :) Just send 29.95 to the following address for your free gift of this reproduction of an artists rendering of the hem of Jesus’ garment straight from the Holy Land.

    My point, for whatever it’s worth, was to point out your choice of wording.

    In other words “I” – Lizzie, me, the organism” – is the system, and it is I who am conscious and it is I who has decision-power, at least while I am conscious.

    Most of here at least make the attempt to treat you like a PERSON.

    But if you are merely an organism, a system, who is conscious (whatever that means) and who has “decision-power” (whatever that means), what is it, precisely, that distinguishes you from the thing I squashed in my shower or the organisms you killed the last time you cleaned your bathroom?

  430. Liz

    There is emergentism which denies mental causation (in line with the principle of causal closure) and emergentism which allows for mental causal effect. You clearly adhere to the latter version. Does ‘biological naturalism’ – John Searle – ring your bell? Or is there another philosopher you can name?

  431. It doesn’t bother you that most of these are downright false, and the remainder, at best, grossly misleading?

    False & misleading according to what means of arbiting true statements from false?

  432. Mung, I did not say the statements were analogous, or not analogous. I said they were scientifically invalid.

  433. Mung

    But if you are merely an organism, a system, who is conscious (whatever that means) and who has “decision-power” (whatever that means), what is it, precisely, that distinguishes you from the thing I squashed in my shower or the organisms you killed the last time you cleaned your bathroom?

    I did not say that I was “merely” an organism. I said I was an organism. Which is true. So are you. So are all living things.

    I am not a brain, or a foot, or a neuron, I am an organism. I am also the type of organism we call a “human being”. I am the specific human beings people call “Lizzie”.

    And many things distinguish human beings from bacteria, for instance, as I’m sure you are aware, but notable ones in this context are those you mention – the capacity to be conscious of things, including other human beings and oneself, to make informed purposeful decisions.

  434. William: in the case of your claims, just about any criterion you care to mention.

  435. Box:

    There is emergentism which denies mental causation (in line with the principle of causal closure) and emergentism which allows for mental causal effect. You clearly adhere to the latter version. Does ‘biological naturalism’ – John Searle – ring your bell? Or is there another philosopher you can name?

    I’m a neuroscientist, not a philosopher, Box, I’m afraid. But philosophers that come closest to my position would be Hofstadter and Dennett.

    I think that what causes my actions is me – the whole human organism known as Lizzie. One of the properties of Lizzie (and other human beings) is that she can think, and take many things into account when weighing up a decision, including the likely consequences of her actions for herself and others. We call that property a “mind” but it is not a thing separate from the organism – it’s a property of the organism.

  436. EL:

    389: “I set up TSZ to try to provide a space where we could temporarily shelve mutual suspicion of motives so as to help drill down to the actual differences of opinion.”

    391: “there is nothing on my site that is any worse that what is regularly tolerated on this one.”

    A classic of big lie bland assertions followed up by turnabout immoral equivalency false accusation.

    TSZ in fact is currently hosting a slander- and hate-fest complete with false accusations of fraud against design theory as a whole [--> remember this implies an accusation of fraud against me as an individual too, which I not only know to be false but to be defamatory not a mere error], and the loonie tunes conspiracy theory that it is a front for an imagined grand theocratic, Christo-Fascist neo-nazi conspiracy to reduce our civilisation under some new religious tyranny. All, without any significant effort on your part to return to a focus on the substantial matters you allege are primary to your blog.

    Second, in a very few days now, it will be a full year since a good faith challenge to address the range of core issues on the merits was put.

    It was ducked, apart from attack- attack- attack tactics.

    Above in this thread you yourself indulged a strawman caricature of the challenge in order to excuse ducking it, and so far as I can see you have never taken back the misrepresentation or apologised for such. That strongly suggests that it was calculated and continues.

    On the other, blame the victim, side what you are doing is enabling defamation in order to justify scapegoating and targetting, involving false accusations without any serious foundation (notice onlookers how the repeatedly linked response that shows just how utterly unwarranted the conspiracist accusations are was ducked, cf here again). Also, this is in a context of censorship and career busting — in a further context where similar false accusations have repeatedly been used in harming careers unjustly, in abusing education to indoctrinate in ideological materialism dressed up in a lab coat and even in courtrooms.

    There have been moments from time to time where people at UD have gone over the top, they have been corrected and in one long term recovery case, they have been administratively warned. Ther eis no evidence whatsoever of any intention to be responsible over what is happening live at TSZ, and that is a direct implication of the assertions of the blog owner, yourself, having been confronted with what is going on.

    We are entitled to infer that TSZ is in fact a front operation for AtBC, given the considerable overlap in personalities and substance, through it seems TSZ is working as a somewhat less scurrilous front intended to project an aura of “dialogue.”

    We are further entitled to infer and conclude that y70ou Dr Liddle are an enabler of the slander strategy, and that you have no intention to amend your ways.

    You are playing good cop in a corrupt good cop bad cop game.

    Let me just say to you that you would be incensed if someone were to accuse you and your field of conspiracy to commit fraud. (I think, on good reason, that the whole arena of evolutionary materialism tainted, ideologised science is in gross error and self referential incoherence to the point of absurdity evident to all not caught up int eh system, but that has happened time and again in the history of ideas.)

    You would be outraged if someone were to seize on something close to your identiy, e.g. that you are a woman, and attach all sorts of insults and accusations of totalitarian intent to that.

    You would be very concerned if someone — especially someone you had reason to believe was a slave to drink and probably worse, was evidently suffering PTSD and seemed to be a gun nut — were to in that context try to out your family including your children and in so doing subject them to implied threats.

    Do you begin to understand what you are enmeshed with as an enabler, madam?

    Or, do you intend to continue to pretend that all is sweetness and light there are only and all angels on our side and the other side are only and all devils.

    That is what you are so plainly doing and in that pursuit you have been busy trying to get this thread to focus on anything but the fever swamp realities you do not wish to face.

    All I will say to you is that to lie is to speak with disregard to the truth you know or should know and to hope to profit by what is being said, suggested or implied being perceived as true.

    You either know better or you full well SHOULD know better than you speak and act. Just as, ever so many “good Germans” in the 1930′s and 40′s knew or should have known better than they spoke and acted. But, for one reason or another, they ended up enabling monstrous evil.

    Here is the rebuke of the White Rose Movement’s martyrs to such enabling:

    WR, II: Since the conquest of Poland three hundred thousand Jews have been murdered in this country in the most bestial way . . . The German people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals . . . Each man wants to be exonerated of a guilt of this kind, each one continues on his way with the most placid, the calmest conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty!

    WR, IV: Every word that comes from Hitler’s mouth is a lie. When he says peace, he means war, and when he blasphemously uses the name of the Almighty, he means the power of evil, the fallen angel, Satan. His mouth is the foul-smelling maw of Hell, and his might is at bottom accursed. True, we must conduct a struggle against the National Socialist terrorist state with rational means; but whoever today still doubts the reality, the existence of demonic powers, has failed by a wide margin to understand the metaphysical background of this war.

    Resemblance to Saul Alinsky’s rules for radicals is NOT coincidental. Let me refresh our memories from RFR, as there is a tendency in threads like this to bury and forget pivotal but unwelcome matters under a pile of irrelevancies. Let us understand what is happening in our education systems, institutions, communities and civilisation as a whole at the hands of ruthless nihilists and their enablers:

    “The end is what you want, the means is how you get it. Whenever we think about social change, the question of means and ends arises. The man of action views the issue of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms. He has no other problem; he thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action. He asks of ends only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work. … The real arena is corrupt and bloody.” p.24

    “The first step in community organization is community disorganization. The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization. Present arrangements must be disorganized if they are to be displace by new patterns…. All change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new.” p.116

    1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” . . . .

    3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

    4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

    5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.” . . . .

    13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. [NB: Notice the evil counsel to find a way to attack the man, not the issue. The easiest way to do that, is to use the trifecta stratagem: distract, distort, demonise.] In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’…

    “…any target can always say, ‘Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?’ When your ‘freeze the target,’ you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments…. Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target…’

    “One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” pp. 127 – 134.

    And here is the OSS’ evaluation of that demonic madman Hitler’s techniques:

    [Hitler's] primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it. [Hitler as His Associates Know Him (OSS report, p.51), courtesy Wiki.]

    As of this point, Dr Liddle, consider yourself exposed as a good cop enabler whose word is not to be trusted and whose behaviour is not to be trusted either. You therefore as of now have zero credibility and will be treated as a good cop enabler in cahoots with fever swamp conspiracy theorists and destructive nihilistic zealots.

    Exhibit no 1 for this is the blog you are maintaining as a front operation for the fever swamp conspiracyism at AtBC.

    Take a long, hard look in the mirror and be ashamed, Dr Liddle, deeply ashamed. If you have enough conscience left. Then, for the sake of all that is holy and decent, turn and make amends for what you have been doing.

    GEM of TKI

  437. OOPS: Forgot to link the response to the slanderous conspiracy theories on the so-called wedge document, here.

  438. Indeed, KF, I am regularly incensed by accusations here and elsewhere that scientists commit fraud in order to push a materialist agenda. Read William’s OP of this very thread:

    And that’s the problem; a lot of us don’t realize we’re in a war, a war where reason, truth, religion and spirituality is under direct assault by the post-modern equivalent of barbarians. They, for the most part, have no compunction about lying, misleading, dissembling, attacking, blacklisting, ridiculing, bullying and marginalizing; more than that, they have no problem using every resource at their means, legal or not, polite or not, reasonable or not, to destroy theism, and in particular Christianity (as wells as conservative/libertarian values in general).

    Your own posts are frequently laced with such accusations, and dire warnings about what you are “up against here”.

    But I do not demand that you retract them, I attempt to rebut them.

    And my blog is not a “front organisation” for anything. It is a blog on which I offer posting permissions to anyone who asks, including you.

  439. Exhibit no 1 for this is the blog you are maintaining as a front operation for the fever swamp conspiracyism at AtBC.

    Considering that most readers of this forum would consider any association with AtBC an extremely damning and damaging link, your statement could be considered slanderous.

    If you have any evidence that could support your declaration then you’d best present it or your own reputation will be brought into question.

    Unless no one here really cares if it’s true. If the point is to cut down your opponent no matter what the cost.

  440. Well, I don’t think it is slander to express a derogatory opinion of someone on a blog. No lawyer I know thinks so.

    And KF’s idea that TSZ is a “front organisation” for anything is absurd. I do occasionally post at AtBC, but I am not ashamed of that. I have occasionally been shocked at stuff I’ve encountered there, and have let my protest be known (not being backward about being forward).

    But there’s a quite a big overlapping community of people interested in evolution questions, posting at various sites including IIDB as was, Pharyngula, RDF, JREF, TalkRational, TWEB, Panda’s Thumb and various other blogs. The idea that because that community also overlaps with the posters at TSZ means that my blog must be a “front organisation” for one of them, is absurd.

    In any case, trying organise that crowd is like herding the proverbial cats, as I know only too well. On the other hand, rattle the tin and they come running.

  441. 441

    “Fever swamp conspiracyism” — oh, like you mean what Murray was talking about in the OP, and on which many others quickly chimed in with loud agreement? The “Darwinism is the end of civilization!” — now that is “fever-swamp conspiracyism”!

    I post occasionally at AtBC and somewhat frequently at TSZ, as well as here. That’s why I use a pseudonym. I wouldn’t contribute to any of these forums if I had to do so under my real name. It would be too embarrassing if any of these sites came up during a web-search on me.

  442. Dr Liddle,

    You’re looking in the wrong direction, Dr Liddle. The reception of your gallery was entirely predictable. The issue at hand is you walking around in a fairy tale, pretending that the participants on your blog have anything whatsoever to do with good faith. You advertise the very thing you don’t possess, and you seem surprised that anyone might understand the correlation.

    As for the remainder of your post, I really just have to wonder what were you thinking? Again, do you not realize that these conversations are recorded?

    Liddle: “My original claim wasn’t even addressed to you.”

    June 2011 (The day we began our conversation)

    …..

    Liddle: I simply do not accept the tenet that replication with modification + natural selection cannot introduce “new information” into the genome. It demonstrably can, IMO, on any definition of information I am aware of.

    UB: Neo-Darwinism doesn’t have a mechanism to bring information into existence in the first place.

    Liddle: Well, tell me what definition of information you are using, and I’ll see if I can demonstrate that it can

    - – - – - – - – - – -

    Liddle: ”I still find your argument largely incomprehensible.”

    Liddle: ”What if I don’t even understand the rationale, or the alleged “observations?”

    Liddle: ”I am still waiting for you to make a case that I understand.”

    July 2011 (58 days after we began the conversation)

    …..

    Dr Liddle: However, Upright BiPed suggested something much more along the lines of Meyer’s quoted definition from Merriam-Webster, in which “information” is not a property of a pattern, as with CSI, but the property of a process. This makes a lot more sense to me, as I’ve said, and would mean that the ID claim, which I set out to refute, is:
    Chance and Necessity cannot create information, where information is arrangements of things that have specific effects.

    So we have protocol in there now – information is not just a pattern but a pattern that has effects. And not just any effects – effects specific to a pattern. In other words there is a mapping between pattern and effect.

    However, Upright BiPed also made an additional caveat, which is that to be true information, the mapping has to be achieved via an inert arbitrary intermediary pattern of some kind (as is done by tRNA in a cell).

    And in addition, I made the caveat that the specific effects should probably be functional in some way – e.g. promote faithful self-replication.

    And so the ID claim becomes:

    Chance and Necessity cannot generate information, where information consists of arrangements of something that produce specific functional effects by means of inert intermediary patterns.

    April 2012 (330 days after we began the converasation)

    …..

    Liddle: Upright BiPed wants to describe this as a “semiotic” system, because many sets of tRNA molecules would do the job, as long as there was only tRNA molecule for each possible triplet, and that each tRNA molecule could only attach to one amino acid. It doesn’t matter, of course, if more than one tRNA molecule binds to the same amino acid, and that is in fact what we have.

    So the system of tRNA molecules is a bit like a symbol system – each tRNA molecule “represents” an amino acid. Not only that, but the mRNA molecule also “represents” an amino acid, but that representation, like a human symbol system, is arbitrary – any triplet could “represent” any amino acid; the fact that any one triplet “represents” any one amino acid is simply an epiphenomenon of the particular set of tRNA molecules that the DNA molecule templates for.

    An equally good system could work with a completely different set of tRNA molecules as long as the rule that there has to be only on tRNA molecule for each triplet, and each tRNA molecule has to be specific to one amino acid.

    So let’s grant that such a system can be described as “semiotic” on the grounds that the mapping is arbitrary, not a matter of necessary chemistry.

    In principle we could alter the DNA of a cell so that a different set of tRNA molecules was produced, and recode the protein coding portions of the genes into the new mapping, and get a perfectly well functioning cell. So in that sense the “language” of the cell is the “language” of a community of “shared symbol-users”, so that as long as the DNA in a community of cells conforms to the community symbol system, i.e. each cell’s DNA generates the same set of tRNA molecules, each cell’s DNA will be “read correctly” correctly by the cell’s tRNA molecules and the correct protein produced at the correct time.

    And, it seems, all living things have (roughly) the same “symbol” system. In practice this means that all living cells have a stretches of DNA that form templates for the same set of tRNA molecules.

    So far so good.

    But UBP then draws two conclusions that are IMO quite unsupported. He says that:

    “The modest conclusion of the semiotic argument is simply that the transfer of genetic information during protein synthesis materially demonstrates a semiotic state”

    which I will provisionally accept on the assumption that the “semiotic state” of “the transfer of genetic information” simply means that translation from mRNA sequence to amino acid sequence is achieved by means of a specific but arbitrary set of tRNA molecules templated by the DNA

    “and therefore requires a mechanism capable of creating it.”

    Sure. There needs to be a mechanism by which that set, or an equivalent set, of tRNA molecules came to be templated by the DNA, and not some useless set in which one triplet could result in any one of a number of amino acids.

    So?

    Why shouldn’t evolutionary mechanisms result in such a set?

    - – - – - – - – - – -

    Liddle: ”I do not “agree with the observations of semiosis”.

    March 2012 (405 days after we began the conversation)

    …..

    UB: And what about you Elizabeth? Are you prepared to affirm that semiosis exist in protein synthesis? Or are you affirming the material observations, as you seem to suggest, but still playing the silly game of arguendo.

    Liddle: I am prepared to accept that the word “semiosis” as you are defining it covers protein synthesis.

    Liddle: I am affirming the material observations, but I do not play silly games.

    Liddle: I agree that the word semiosis as you are defining it, covers protein synthesis. What I want to know is why this is an argument for Intelligent Design.

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

    Liddle: ” From my PoV you have not made a coherent case, Upright Biped.”

    Then point out what you find incoherent:

    In a material universe, it is not possible to transfer any form of recorded information into a material effect without using an arrangement of matter (or energy) as an information-bearing medium. If that is true, then other material necessities must follow. Firstly, such a medium must evoke an effect within a system capable of producing that effect. Universal observation and logical necessity demonstrate this to be true. Secondly, if a medium contains information as a consequence of its arrangement, then that arrangement must be physically arbitrary to the effect it evokes. Again, universal observation and logical necessity demonstrate this to be true. And thirdly, if an arrangement of matter requires a system to produce an effect, and if that arrangement is arbitrary to the effect it evokes, then the system itself must contain a second arrangement of matter to establish the otherwise non-existent relationship between the arrangement of the medium and its effect. Once again, universal observation and logical necessity demonstrate this to be true. If each of these things are true, then in order to transfer and translate any form of recorded information, the process fundamentally requires two arrangements of matter operating as an irreducible core within the system. And because Darwinian evolution requires the transfer and translation of recorded information in order to exist itself, it cannot be the source of this system. Given these observations, a mechanism capable of establishing this semiotic state is necessary prior to the onset of Darwinian evolution and information-based organization.

  443. As I told you upthread Dr Liddle:

    The next time someone gives you an argument for design, where you must agree with observations and cannot dispute the rationale; then don’t deny it (even if it doesn’t convince you). Instead, try saying “I cannot deny your argument, but I am not convinced by it”.

    But to say you it’s “incoherent” and that you “don’t understand it” is patently dishonest.

  444. No, it isn’t dishonest, Upright BiPed. I certainly don’t understand it, and having spend many hours trying to, I concluded that it is incoherent.

    I may be wrong, but it is my honest view.

  445. On my screen your denial that you understand it is about six inches from your explanation of it.

  446. UB at 442. You ask what is incoherent about this your last paragraph. I think it is completely incoherent. I honestly have no idea what it means.

    For Darwinian evolution to occur, what is needed is a population of self-replicators that replicate with heritable variance in reproductive success. Clearly that will involve information transfer from parent to offspring, or, more likely in a pre-biotic environment, duplication of information.

    There is a good series of animations of possible scenarios, some parts of which have been tested, from the Szostak lab, here:

    Whether or not these scenarios are what happened, or close to what happened, what is clear in principle is that self-replication with heritable variance in reproductive success does not involve the kind of “arbitrary” mapping you seem to consider essential.

    And the one essential for Darwinian processes to kick in is self-replication with heritable variance in reproductive success.

    This means that Darwinian processes can precede, and therefore be a causal factor in, the evolution of more complex information transfer systems such as DNA.

    Clearly “arrangements of matter” can “produce specific functional effects” in many ways, sometimes with an inert intermediary, sometimes not.

  447. Lizzie:

    what is clear in principle is that self-replication with heritable variance in reproductive success does not involve the kind of “arbitrary” mapping you seem to consider essential. And the one essential for Darwinian processes to kick in is self-replication with heritable variance in reproductive success.

    I would say, “necessarily involve.” Otherwise, precisely my objection:

    Your problem now is that you think that Liz’s statement helps your position given that change, when it does not. “Darwinian evolution,” and “replication with heritable variation in reproductive success” (same thing) are not synonymous with “a semiotic state”/your entailments, as you claim. Simpler replicators, devoid of some or all of your entailments, may be possible, yet capable of Darwinian evolution. Therefore while Darwinian evolution can’t account for the emergence of the first Darwinian process (duh), it may account for the first instances of systems you choose to characterize as “semiotic,” and the entailments thereof.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-471868

  448. Yes, thanks for the correction, RB. That’s what I meant to type.

    I also meant to delete the last sentence, which was left over from an earlier draft!

  449. UB:

    On my screen your denial that you understand it is about six inches from your explanation of it.

    In that case your paragraph is extraordinarily badly written.

    And in any case, my post at 446 still applies. At the time we had the conversation you cite, I had not appreciated that you really didn’t think that Darwinian evolution could occur in the absence of a DNA-RNA-protein system.

    I thought you were essentially claiming that the DNA-RNA-protein system was unevolvable, not that no Darwinian-capable system was possible without it.

    I never envisaged that I could get from no-self-replicators to simple-self-replicators to the self-replicators with an inert-intermediary information transfer system without Darwinian evolution in between.

    I’m almost certain that it’s impossible.

  450. self-replication with heritable variance in reproductive success does not involve the kind of “arbitrary” mapping you seem to consider essential.

    You are confused Dr Liddle. “Self-replication with heritable variance in reproductive success” isn’t known to exist anywhere but in living systems, and those systems use a physicochemically-arbitrary protocol instantiated in their operation. It’s a physical necessity in order to input informational constraint over a deterministic system capable of producing the effect prescribed by the information. Self–replicating cells are not made of nucleotides, so at some point the informational medium must map to something other than the informational medium. And that will require a semiotic state.

    What you’ve done is confuse reality with a projection from your imagination; you simply assume your speculation is true. Moreover, you want to rebut observations you cannot refute, by means of an appeal to that assumption. Do you think that an advocate of materialism should be made to demonstrate that a material process can exists prior to argiung that it does? Given your robust respect for the rules of science, what exactly is the standard for that?

    In any case, your rebuttal in #446 only demonstrates once again that you understand the issues. Your retort that you don’t understand the observations (posted immediately under your previous explanations of those observations) is horribly strained, and it remains dishonest by any reasonable definition of the word.

  451. UB: On my screen your denial that you understand it is about six inches from your explanation of it.

    Liddle: In that case your paragraph is extraordinarily badly written.

    I’m sure you’re right Dr Liddle, however, my paragraph has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that you demonstrated your understanding of the system by explaining its operation in several posts over the course of the past two years, then suddenly today you claimed you didn’t understand the system.

    And as far as my paragraph is concerned, I asked to you to point out what you don’t understand. I am still waiting.

  452. Sept:

    I never envisaged that I could get from no-self-replicators to simple-self-replicators to the self-replicators with an inert-intermediary information transfer system without Darwinian evolution in between.

    July:

    I have never, ever, suggested that you could produce a system of self-replicators from a system of non-self-replicators by Darwinian evolution. If you thought I suggested such a thing, either I mistyped, or you misread… Clearly it would be an absurd claim, because you have to have self-replicators before you can have Darwinian evolution. By definition.

    You’re folding back upon yourself. When the horse is dead, get off.

  453. Dr Liddle, allow me to offer you some charity.

    Goodbye

  454. Upright Biped

    You are confused Dr Liddle. “Self-replication with heritable variance in reproductive success” isn’t known to exist anywhere but in living systems, and those systems use a physicochemically-arbitrary protocol instantiated in their operation.

    I am not confused, Upright Biped. I know perfectly well that all known instances of “Self-replication with heritable variance in reproductive success” that are not man-made are DNA based.

    But that begs the question as to whether a simpler Darwinian-capable system is possible. You may believe that it is not, but it is, literally, begging the question (petitio principii) to say that it is not possible because we have not observed any instances, and therefore there can have been no instances of it because it is not possible.

    It is the contention of OOL researchers that it is possible. They may be wrong, but simply saying “it’s never been observed” is not a persuasive argument. The Szostak lab have already made substantial headway in proof-of-principle studies of various components of a putative simpler self-replicator (a lipid vesicle in a nucleotide-rich environment).

    It’s a physical necessity in order to input informational constraint over a deterministic system capable of producing the effect prescribed by the information. Self–replicating cells are not made of nucleotides, so at some point the informational medium must map to something other than the informational medium. And that will require a semiotic state.

    I cannot make any sense of your first sentence here. AS for the second, we are not necessarily talking about self-replicating modern cells. In Szostak’s scenario we are talking about lipid vesicles, which grow and divide, which are permeable to nucleotides but not polynucleotides, and which therefore tend to absorb nucleotides which then form double-stranded polynucleotides within the cell. These strands periodically dissociate and reform, resulting in replication of the strand. When the whole vesicle then divides in two, we have two vesicles each containing copies of the original strands.

    The only informational mapping that has taken place is during the replication of the polynucleotide.

    What you’ve done is confuse reality with a projection from your imagination; you simply assume your speculation is true.

    No, I have not. All science is about “imagination” in the sense that we invent models – but those models are then tested against data. I am certainly not assuming the Szostak model is true, although it looks very promising. On the contrary, you appear to be assuming that no such model is possible, on the apparent grounds that you don’t know of any system that has been observed to work that way.

    That is confusing what we know can be with what can be.

    Moreover, you want to rebut observations you cannot refute, by means of an appeal to that assumption. Do you think that an advocate of materialism should be made to demonstrate that a material process can exists prior to argiung that it does? Given your robust respect for the rules of science, what exactly is the standard for that?

    No, I do want to “rebut observations I cannot refute”. If your somewhat tortured prose boils down to the observation “all known self-replicators that replicate with heritable variance in reproductive success use DNA-RNA-protein” then I entirely agree. I’m not sure what the rest of your words above mean, but clearly, modern organisms, and indeed, almostly certainly all fossilised organisms, use the DNA-RNA-protein system, and if you want to call that “semiotic”, then I agreed that by the definition of semiosis you gave, it is.

    There is no argument from me on that score. My point is that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. You cannot take an example and then declare by fiat that it is the only possible example. And the entire field of OOL is predicated on the hypothesis that the DNA-RNA-protein system evolved from something much simpler, and it that it was that much simpler thing that emerged from a soup of non-self-replicators.

    In any case, your rebuttal in #446 only demonstrates once again that you understand the issues. Your retort that you don’t understand the observations (posted immediately under your previous explanations of those observations) is horribly strained, and it remains dishonest by any reasonable definition of the word.

    It actually did not even occur to me that what I’d written was some kind of equivalent to your final paragraph. It doesn’t seem to bear much resemblance to me.

  455. You’re folding back upon yourself. When the horse is dead, get off.

    For pete’s sake, Upright Biped, they mean exactly the same thing!

    And as I don’t trust your “goodbye” i.e. I don’t trust you not to go around saying that I am a liar, let me show you:

    Non-self-replicator TO Simple Darwinian-capable self-replicator: Can’t be done by Darwinian evolution.

    Simple Darwinian-capable self-replicator TO DNA-RNA-protein self-replicator: Can be done by Darwinian evolution.

    Get it?

    My initial proposal was to do step one. Then you asked for the end point of step 2.

    I never proposed that I could get from the end point of step 2 without step 1.

    So my plan was to attempt both steps.

  456. Elizabeth Liddle says:

    I don’t know what “Darwinism” is, and I am not a “Darwinist”

    Elizabeth Liddle also says:

    “Darwinism” is not a hypothesis.

    By any definition of Darwinism, or rape, the view that rape is “nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution” is absurd”.

    By comparison, the claim that Darwinism says that evolutionary theory is sufficient to account for life is only a little bit wrong.

    And if nobody here thinks that’s what Darwinism says, I’m delighted. Because of course, it would be an invalid claim.

    One wonders, if she does not know what Darwinism is, how can she make these claims about Darwinism?

  457. I don’t know what you mean by “Darwinism”.

    And I made no claims about “Darwinism” in that post, apart from the fact that it’s not a hypothesis.

    At least not in any version of English I know.

  458. Dr Liddle, comment 440:

    Well, I don’t think it is slander to express a derogatory opinion of someone on a blog. No lawyer I know thinks so.

    Perhaps GEM’s comment is not strictly slander. But he expressed it as a statement of fact and not opinion. He clearly intended to harm your reputation at least in the eyes of readers of UD. He offered no evidence in support of his statement. And, most interestingly, he has no participated in this thread since then.

    I think GEM knows he overstepped a line but will not admit it. I call on him to either establish his statement with evidence or rescind it. I’m tired of what seems to me to be an obvious double standard wherein ‘friendly’ UD posters get away with saying whatever they wish short of actual profanity but unfriendly commenters can be banned just for disagreeing.

    And KF’s idea that TSZ is a “front organisation” for anything is absurd. I do occasionally post at AtBC, but I am not ashamed of that. I have occasionally been shocked at stuff I’ve encountered there, and have let my protest be known (not being backward about being forward).

    You are being condemned by association. If GEM thought you were using similar logic with him he’d object strenuously.

    Let’s see if GEM is honourable enough to support his claim or withdraw it.

  459. I honestly don’t think he gets it.

  460. Dr Liddle, comment 459:

    I honestly don’t think he gets it.

    I’m sure he doesn’t. He seems to be coming unstuck generally. But it has to be noted that someone with thread posting privileges at UD is over the stated lines.

    Unless, of course, the rest of the UD moderators and authors condone his views. If they agree with what he’s been posting then . . .

  461. EL, 438:

    I am regularly incensed by accusations here and elsewhere that scientists commit fraud in order to push a materialist agenda. Read William’s OP of this very thread:

    And that’s the problem; a lot of us don’t realize we’re in a war, a war where reason, truth, religion and spirituality is under direct assault by the post-modern equivalent of barbarians. They, for the most part, have no compunction about lying, misleading, dissembling, attacking, blacklisting, ridiculing, bullying and marginalizing; more than that, they have no problem using every resource at their means, legal or not, polite or not, reasonable or not, to destroy theism, and in particular Christianity (as wells as conservative/libertarian values in general).

    Your own posts are frequently laced with such accusations, and dire warnings about what you are “up against here”.

    H’mm, EL, do you remember that Mr Dawkins leads a movement known as the New Atheists that sets out to do pretty much as WJM describes? That views bringing up a child within a theistic tradition as child abuse worse than sexual abuse?

    That as we speak, censorship is happening in BSU?

    That on wider fronts, people of principled conscience are being harassed, robbed of employment and enterprise, are being dragged before courts and are suffering for conscience? Not just in Pakistan, but in our own civilisation? I don’t need to talk about merely verbal and social expressions of that hostility. I will only mention the attempt to out and threaten my uninvolved family, which has been cosseted at forums in the circle of hostile sites we are dealing with.

    Have you forgotten that just now you are hosting a slander and hate fest at your own blog that is driven by people with decade long agendas of animosity manifesting in false and malicious willful misrepresentations amounting to conspiracy theories that design theory is fraud (when anyone could ascertain the actual substance which consistently objectors such as yourself distort). That looks a lot like speaking with disregard to truth hoping to profit from falsehood being perceived as truth to me.

    Similarly there is a lurid fantasy and scapegoating exercise that projects unto Christians imagined neo-nazi theocratic tyrannical plots that are used to justify hate speech, abuse, censorship and career busting, often connected to what has been called Bush Derangement syndrome.

    And more.

    So, it seems to me that what we have here is turnabout false accusations resting on misrepresentations of easily accessible facts, the better to stereotype and scapegoat targets of bile. Where there is in fact a long train of abuses and usurpations to justify WJM’s observation about enmity and culture war.

    In short, you are simply digging in your heels and saying that by projecting unto you what I have been enabling, you are to blame for the slander directed at you.

    Fully worthy of applause by Dr Goebbels.

    Sorry, bland denials by an enabler or two joined to turnabout accusations and further misrepresentations don’t cut it.

    And as for TSZ’s front status, this is plain from the people involved, the common talking points, the common slanders, and smears. You may well have originally intended TSZ to be a fair forum but what it has become is just what I have said. Your status as an enabler of slander emanating from an obvious source is plain. (Onlookers, if you want a more detailed discussion try Nullasalus’ summary in 165 above:

    I would love to paste some good ol’ posts from the TSZ regulars and friends, courtesy of After the Bar Closes – but there’s no way to do so without violating several of this site’s standards regarding language, to say nothing of courtesy. And before anyone whines that I’m being quite disrespectful of the TSZ’s atheist crew, let me say – I’m well aware. They, unlike other selective skeptics and atheists, deserve it.

    I’ll say it again: dialogue and debate requires, absolutely requires, sincere mutual respect and common ground. Various atheists, ID skeptics, and more have this. Some do not. TSZ tends to be a vortex of those who do not, and they’ve got a track record of hate going back roundabout a decade. Contra Gregory, I’ll put the track record of UD – and it has downs as well as ups – against theirs any day of the week, in terms of not only content of thought (even when I disagree with it), but civility. I simply don’t believe in feigning congeniality with people who do not deserve it.

    And no, Jerad, a well warranted conclusion does not need apology in the face of a turnabout attempt based on further misrepresentations.

    I read the above as more of the same, straight out of the Alinsky playbook, and then beyond him Dr Goebbels.

    KF

  462. Have you forgotten that just now you are hosting a slander and hate fest at your own blog that is driven by people with decade long agendas of animosity manifesting in false and malicious willful misrepresentations amounting to conspiracy theories that design theory is fraud (when anyone could ascertain the actual substance which consistently objectors such as yourself distort). That looks a lot like speaking with disregard to truth hoping to profit from falsehood being perceived as truth to me.

    Similarly there is a lurid fantasy and scapegoating exercise that projects unto Christians imagined neo-nazi theocratic tyrannical plots that are used to justify hate speech, abuse, censorship and career busting, often connected to what has been called Bush Derangement syndrome.

    In short, you are simply digging in your heels and saying that by projecting unto you what I have been enabling, you are to blame for the slander directed at you.

    Fully worthy of applause by Dr Goebbels.

    And as for TSZ’s front status, this is plain from the people involved, the common talking points, the common slanders, and smears. You may well have originally intended TSZ to be a fair forum but what it has become is just what I have said. Your status as an enabler of slander emanating from an obvious source is plain.

    And no, Jerad, a well warranted conclusion does not need apology in the face of a turnabout attempt based on further misrepresentations.

    I read the above as more of the same, straight out of the Alinsky playbook, and then beyond him Dr Goebbels.

    You really do need to take a break and consider your statements and accusations. At least you didn’t use the phrase ‘in the teeth of.’ I was really getting tired of that one.

  463. PS: It is worth saying what I have often noted of scientists and science educators from a classic cat out of the bag comment by Lewontin, for years:

    the problem is to get them to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth [[--> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident [[--> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them . . . the proper definition of "self evident"; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . ] that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [--> equal to reality for materialists] . . . .

    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 [[--> another major begging of the question . . . ] 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 [[--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [In case you imagine this clip from RL's 1997 NYRB essay is out of context and without proper reference kindly cf. the more extended citation and notes here.]

    In short, ideological bias and question-begging that distorts the nature and understanding of science and its findings. This is not fraud in and of itself, but it causes major error.

    There are of course notorious cases of fraud, from Haeckel’s embryos that were in use to deceive for 100 years, to the notorious Piltdown man that had nearly a 50 year run, to the bird dinosaurs that forced Nat Geog to retract.

    What is not so obvious but is worrying is consistent misrepresentation of design theory, the design movement and design thinkers by people on the other side in a position to easily know and do better [e.g. they have been repeatedly corrected but insist on willfully and often patently malice driven distortions], such as the current case of slanders at TSZ and the current case of censorship at BSU.

    In that context, enabling good cop behaviour in the teeth of repeated correction plainly is also of the same taint.

  464. In that context, enabling good cop behaviour in the teeth of repeated correction plainly is also of the same taint.

    I knew he couldn’t resist using ‘in the teeth of’ for too long!!

  465. Jerad: more turnabout attempts in the teeth of repeated correction. I can stand by the record above. At no point have you or your ilk properly warranted grave accusations and it is evident that they are in fact groundless, rooted in things like pretzel twisting of the so-called Wedge document. Again I put this on the table to show the repeated unresponsiveness to correction of slander. Do you not see that that in and of itself more than warrants some pretty stringent conclusions about enabling good cop behaviour that supports slander by the AtBC etc bad cops. Think again and do better, or face the consequence of your behaviour, utter loss of credibility. KF

  466. Kairosfocus:

    I really think you need to calm down. You have a lot to worry about at the moment, and your language is becoming really alarming. Surely even you can see the irony of comparing me to Goebbels?

    Take a break from worrying about TSZ. It’s just a little low traffic blog in an obscure corner of the internet.

    When things are going better for you, it may be easier for you to take a longer view.

    I wish you and yours the very best

    Lizzie

  467. Jerad: more turnabout attempts in the teeth of repeated correction. I can stand by the record above. At no point have you or your ilk properly warranted grave accusations and it is evident that they are in fact groundless, rooted in things like pretzel twisting of the so-called Wedge document. Again I put this on the table to show the repeated unresponsiveness to correction of slander. Do you not see that that in and of itself more than warrants some pretty stringent conclusions about enabling good cop behaviour that supports slander by the AtBC etc bad cops. Think again and do better, or face the consequence of your behaviour, utter loss of credibility. KF

    I find your accusations and conclusions groundless. You cannot understand how or why anyone would disagree with you unless they had some nefarious agenda. You think your way of thinking is the only just and correct way. You have a habit of repeating the same things over and over again ‘in the teeth’ of challenges.

    In comment 436 you stated:

    We are entitled to infer that TSZ is in fact a front operation for AtBC, given the considerable overlap in personalities and substance, through it seems TSZ is working as a somewhat less scurrilous front intended to project an aura of “dialogue.”

    We are further entitled to infer and conclude that y70ou Dr Liddle are an enabler of the slander strategy, and that you have no intention to amend your ways.

    And:

    Exhibit no 1 for this is the blog you are maintaining as a front operation for the fever swamp conspiracyism at AtBC.

    You can infer all you like but it doesn’t make you correct. But I guess being correct is not the issue here anymore. It’s about attacking your perceived ‘enemy’. Making yourself look strong and righteous. Rhetoric over reason.

    You may have managed to muzzle Joe but you haven’t changed the well-poisoning tactics used by yourself and others on this forum.

    But then, if I am a brain-dead, evo-zombie, materialist, Christian-hating Darwinist I would say that.

  468. Elizabeth Liddle:

    But yes, that is what his equation boils down to – it’s what the Explanatory Filter boils down to.

    If Chance and Necessity are not sufficient to explain life, then we can infer Design.

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    And his claim is that if a pattern has a small enough probability of occurring under the Chance hypothesis, then Design can be inferred. In other words, if Chance [including evolutionary mechanisms] is insufficient to account for a pattern, say, life, given the opportunities claimed to have been available in the universe to date (that’s the 500 bit part), then we can infer Design.

    By your own admission you know there is more to Dembski’s argument than “We can infer Design from the insufficiency of evolutionary theory to explain life.”

    Intellectual dishonesty.

    Now could you please point out where Dembski set intelligent design against Darwinian evolution as competing hypotheses for the origin of life, because if true that would be real howler. I’d love to see it.

  469. So, EL says, repeatedly, that we don’t need to directly be able to observe something in order to know it exists: we can infer the existence of some things based on their effects, and we do it all the time.

    Agreed! We do this quite often . . . WITH THINGS IN OUR OWN UNIVERSE! But that will be lost on her, just like the meaning of “Darwinism”, “society”, “morality”, “binding”, and 101 other things.

    My internal conflict is really only whether EL pretends not to understand, or if she actually is that intellectually challenged.

    EL’s gig is up. She throws around words, attempting to make distinctions, but without a difference. She says that men don’t make up the moral code, but that “society” does. Brilliant!

    She says she doesn’t know what Darwinism means as WJM used it. If that isn’t telling, nothing is. She has no excuse to not know based on the context of what WJM wrote. And if she disagrees with how he used the term, she should have attempted correction, and then dealt with WJM’s arguments directly. But if she doesn’t simply do so, but instead says, “I don’t know what you mean”, then it is only because she doesn’t have a good answer. That’s fine. It’s not a weakness to not always have a good answer. What is a weakness is to bluff as if you do, or would. This is exactly the point where we are able to judge and be justified in saying that EL has flushed her credibility down the toilet, when she says indefensible things such as that she doesn’t know what someone means by a word, even though a schoolboy can decipher it easily enough from the context in which it is used, not to mention that she knows very well the thinking of the person who used it!

    My “charitable” contribution to this thread and in regards as to what to do about EL:

    First: I don’t hate her or wish her ill in the least, and no one should. However, there is no reason not to be blunt and severe with her.

    Second: Don’t follow the rabbit. She is very, very good at shifting things away from where she feels she cannot make a good response. She will stall, she will post silly and obvious things that are not germane to the subject directly (i.e., a favorite of hers is to say, “I never said . . .”, which is usually true, but only in the strict sense of not saying it verbatim, and she starts using words that murk things up. Note: it is more common to say, “I didn’t mean . . .” and then clarify, but she rarely does that, because that would actually be a bald-headed lie in most cases.). But, don’t let her off the hook, and make her stay on a point until she squirms.

    Third: If you do follow the rabbit, remember why you are doing it, and bring it back around to where you started. If you go far enough down that trail, the benefit is that she will contradict herself. It is always a pesky problem associated with not having the truth.

    Fourth: And more generally, keep in mind that these discussions do have in impact, not only on bystanders, but also on those who take part in them. It’s one thing to put up a good front on a forum or blog, but God sets everyone alone in their own thoughts (thoughts either accusing or else excusing them) at various times, and it will be there that the facade will crumble. And WJM is right, it is often for emotional reasons that people act and change, and so the most off the wall event could easily be a catalyst for a conscience to become engaged, like releasing a clutch. And for that, we do need charity, and an abundance of wisdom. But charity, real charity, is not always gentle, and when combined with wisdom, can be downright ugly on the surface.

    As for EL, I’m trying to make it obvious that I will no longer dialogue with her directly, although I will critique her equivocations, obfuscations, and the like. I hope she improves and becomes useless on this blog sometime, because her methods thus far are actually destructive, causing many wasted hours replying to her because of her most hypocritical characteristic of saying “assume others are posting in good faith”, while it is demonstrable that she doesn’t in fact post in good faith, but with the knowledge that she doesn’t mean the same thing as others by certain words, denies that she knows what certain words mean, and on and on and on. I hope she wakes up sometime.

  470. I find it deeply ironic that my repeated attempts to pin people down to definitions for the terms they bandy around is regarded as “obfuscation” or “equivocation”.

    It is quite the reverse.

    To me, the fundamental problem with the ID movement is that it is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of scientific claims, and extrapolates from perceived scientific claims to a perceived ideology which it fears and opposes. This is quite explicit in the Wedge document which says:

    The social consequences of materialism have been devastating. As symptoms, those consequences are certainly worth treating. However, we are convinced that in order to defeat materialism, we must cut it off at its source. That source is scientific materialism

    “Scientific materialism” does not exist. It is a bogeyman. Nothing in science can tell you that there is no God, or no spiritual realm, or that the material is the limit to what exists, and any claim appears to tell you that is either unscientific or misunderstood.

    If you want to fight a culture war, fight a culture war. If you want to argue about science, then argue about science.

    But the myth that the two are the same needs debunking, and to do that, it is important to make the distinction between science and ideology absolutely clear.

  471. And Mung: your allegations of intellectual dishonesty are trumped up.

    But to answer your question, please read Dembski’s “Specification: the Pattern that Signifies Intelligence”. In it, he sets up a detailed argument in which he argues that we can infer “Design” if our data falls in the “rejection region” of a null distribution, where the null is “The relevant Chance hypothesis”, which he defines as “including Darwinian or other material processes”.

    In other words, exactly what I said.

  472. Agreed! We do this quite often . . . WITH THINGS IN OUR OWN UNIVERSE! But that will be lost on her, just like the meaning of “Darwinism”, “society”, “morality”, “binding”, and 101 other things.

    My internal conflict is really only whether EL pretends not to understand, or if she actually is that intellectually challenged.

    Leaving your rather crude insult aside I think you’re not understanding the reasons why it’s necessary to pin down precisely how someone is using certain terms. My background is in mathematics and, for example, when I’m talking to a graph theorist then when I speak of a tree or a path I’m using those terms in very narrow ways specific to that sub-discipline.

    If you’re not clear about how you’re using key terms then it’s inevitable that your points will not be clear or understood.

    It’s a double-edged sword of course. If you narrowly define your terms then you are restricted to those definitions.

  473. But to answer your question, please read Dembski’s “Specification: the Pattern that Signifies Intelligence”. In it, he sets up a detailed argument in which he argues that we can infer “Design” if our data falls in the “rejection region” of a null distribution, where the null is “The relevant Chance hypothesis”, which he defines as “including Darwinian or other material processes”.

    Quite true. I’d recommend that everyone on this forum read the paper and make sure they are very clear about what is being said and what is not being said. The mathematics used is not that advanced.

  474. Jerad @472,

    Oh I agree. But it isn’t always the case that terms are unclear, and in the cases that can be easily taken from this thread, very many weren’t.

    My “crude insult” is, probably ineffectively, an attempt to shake her and shame her. She is pretty shameless, but I’ve come to think she’d probably take that as a compliment.

  475. Oh I agree. But it isn’t always the case that terms are unclear, and in the cases that can be easily taken from this thread, very many weren’t.

    No harm in being sure you’re all starting from the same place though. I used to get really fed up in math classes having to restate my definitions so often. But I discovered that it avoided lots of argumentation that might otherwise arise.

    Perhaps it would be good if UD hosted a glossary of terms that we could all use as a basis for discussions? Or is there already such a thing? One that’s been updated and agreed upon by many ID supporters?

  476. Ah, so UD DOES have a glossary!

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/glossary/

    Could I ask that y’all take some time reading over what is there and see if it is correct? Well, not ‘correct’ . . . acceptable?

    Also, I think it would be good if there was a thread for discussing the glossary. Could one of the people with thread creating power do that please? It’s a good resource to have so it’s worth while having a look to make sure we can all use it as a ‘standard’.

  477. I take it neither as an insult nor as a compliment, Brent.

    I simply reject your allegations completely.

    Box asked:

    WJM presents the well-known problem of morality for Naturalism and Darwinism: many philosophers have argued that these hypothesis are unable to accommodate morality.

    In this post Box is using “Darwinism” apparently to refer both to an ideology (i.e. something that can, or cannot, “accommodate morality”) and to a “hypothesis”.

    An ideology is not a hypothesis, and Darwin’s scientific hypothesis no more “accommodates morality” than any other scientific hypothesis.

    The ideology referred to as “Darwinism” might or might not, but without knowing what ideology is referred to, then it is impossible to comment.

    That is why I tried, in my response, to distinguish between these two very different meanings for “Darwinism”, and to elicit some specific definition for the latter.

    I still don’t know what is meant, here, by “Darwinism” as an ideology.

    It seems to be used as a general boogy word for some perceived worldview to do with with atheism, evolutionary biology and sometimes the political left.

    But whether Common Descent, or Darwinian adaptive evolution are supported scientific hypothesis is completely unrelated to the issue of whether the ideology referred to as “Darwinism” is damaging or otherwise.

  478. Heh. Well, according to that glossary, “Darwinism” refers to the “neo-Darwinist synthesis” i.e. to a scientific theory.

    Ironically, in the DI document “The “Wedge Document”: So What?” linked above, the authors write:

    First, we are challenging the truth of particular scientific theories (such as neo-Darwinism and the theory of chemical evolution) using appropriate scientific methods, canons of reasoning and evaluation and, most importantly, scientific evidence. To say that challenging a particular scientific theory constitutes an attack on science itself is to misunderstand science profoundly. Science advances precisely by such challenges. Reasoned argument about how best to interpret scientific evidence is, and always has been, essential to the practice of science—indeed, in a real sense it is science.

    Second, as noted, we are challenging the philosophy of scientific materialism, not science itself. Our detractors fail to make this critical, but obvious, distinction. We don’t know why. But we suspect that some scientists have so equated science with their own materialistic worldview that they regard any challenge to that worldview, or any challenge to the theories that give it plausibility, as tantamount to an attack on science itself.

    And yet, when I attempt to make “this critical, but obvious, distinction”, I am accused of “obfuscation”, or, contradictorily, with making a “distinction without a difference”.

    That document defines “scientific materialism” as: “the simplistic philosophy or world-view that claims that all of reality can be reduced to, or derived from, matter and energy alone.”

    If people want to debate “scientific materialism”, that’s fine. If they want to debate neo-Darwinism, or any other evolutionary theory, that’s fine. But those are very different debates, and if either is to be comprehensible, then it is absolutely vital that it is clear which debate we are having.

    It is also absolutely vital that people recognise that the truth or otherwise of evolutionary theory has no bearing on the truth, or otherwise of “scientific materialism”. Falsification of some evolutionary hypothesis will do nothing to demonstrate that scientific materialism is false; nor will demonstrating support for some evolutionary hypothesis demonstrate that scientific materialism is true.

    The glaring problem with the Wedge and the So What? documents is that the very conflation of ideology with science that they accuse their opponents of is being made by the DI. As a result, we have a culture war masquerading as a scientific project, and a scientific project mistaken for a culture war.

    Nothing in evolutionary theory, or indeed any scientific theory, does, or can, support the view that “all of reality can be reduced to, or derived from, matter and energy alone”.

  479. Brent@474:
    Why would you want to deliberately try to shame someone? That’s kind of childish.

  480. EL, 478: More strawmen, and you manage to avoid addressing the most glaring issue, the conspiracy theory, while twisting things into pretzels to blame the victim as immorally equivalent for hitting back first. As to ideology built into science start from Lewontin’s cat out of the bag then come back to us. As usual, misrepresentations. Enabling. KF

  481. There is no ideology built into science. Either you misunderstood Lewontin or he was wrong.

  482. Yes Lizzie, there shouldn’t be any ideaology built into science, however scientists prove you wrong on a daily basis.

    To me, the fundamental problem with the ID movement is that it is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of scientific claims,..

    Evidence please- your say-so is meaningless.

    “Scientific materialism” does not exist.

    That’s a joke, right?

    If you want to argue about science, then argue about science.

    We would love to but your position doesn’t have any science.

  483. F/N: Re El at 478:

    we have a culture war masquerading as a scientific project [--> a priori materialism wearing a lab coat!], and a scientific project mistaken for a culture war. [--> The design inference]

    Of course, I am pretty sure EL meant it in a very different way, I have highlighted the turnabout accusation blame the victim mentality that is driving what she is doing.

    Now, on some substantiation, let me cite some longstanding clips that EL knows or should know but evidently refuses to acknowledge the force of:

    LEWONTIN, 1997: To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident [[--> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . ] that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [[--> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    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 [[--> another major begging of the question . . . ] 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 [[--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [And if you swallow the usual talking point on quite mining cf the just linked]

    NSTA DiRECTORS, 2000: The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts . . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. . . . . Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations

    NAS, 2008: In science, explanations must be based on naturally occurring phenomena [euphemism for natural-ISTIC]. Natural causes are, in principle, reproducible and therefore can be checked independently by others. If explanations are based on purported forces that are outside of nature [strawman, th4e issue is nature meaning undirected blind chance and necessity vs art, intelligently directed contingency ever since Plato, cf also your food label and much more], scientists have no way of either confirming or disproving those explanations. Any scientific explanation has to be testable — there must be possible observational consequences that could support the idea but also ones that could refute it. Unless a proposed explanation is framed in a way that some observational evidence could potentially count against it, that explanation cannot be subjected to scientific testing. [a real but usually unacknowledged problem for the materialist a priori imposed on science and also for mechanisms alleged to account for OOL and OO body plans]

    In short the shoe is most definitely on the other foot.

    KF

  484. From Elizabeth Liddle:

    I don’t know what “Darwinism” is, and I am not a “Darwinist”

    “Darwinism” is not a hypothesis.

    By any definition of Darwinism, or rape, the view that rape is “nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution” is absurd”.

    By comparison, the claim that Darwinism says that evolutionary theory is sufficient to account for life is only a little bit wrong.

    And if nobody here thinks that’s what Darwinism says, I’m delighted. Because of course, it would be an invalid claim.

    I don’t know what you mean by “Darwinism”.

    I made no claims about “Darwinism” in that post, apart from the fact that it’s not a hypothesis.

  485. 5for @ 479: Brent is doing it all for Jesus, so it’s OK.

    That’s the entire point of this thread and UD writ large.

  486. Well, William, tell me what YOU mean by “Darwinism”.

    According to the UD glossary:

    When ID proponents on this site use the term “Darwinism,” they are referring to Neo-Darwinism, also called the modern evolutionary synthesis or Neo-Darwinian evolution (“NDE”), the basic tenants [sic] of which are described in the New World Encyclopedia as follows:

    none of which refer to any ideology at all.

    So why should a scientific theory (the “neo-Darwinian synthesis”) have anything to say about what rape is, or is not?

    Or did you mean something else by “Darwinism”?

  487. Onlookers: One of the perpetual annoyances in dealing with EL is that she routinely ignores or twists cogent responses into strawman pretzels, and even when forced at length into grudging and calculated admissions, will come back later as if nothing has happened. For instance, she full well knows that we have not distorted Lewontin, that Lewontin was summarising the views of Sagan and most other elite scientists, a group of which he is a mamber, and that the views expressed can be substantiated far and wide. The views document a serious problem of ideological imp[osition on science of a priori materialism multiplied byt he scientism that — self refutingly — presumes science to be the “only begetter” of knowledge. These views are patently wrong, but they are serious indeed the partyline we deal with. KF

  488. KF, does it not occur to you that the reason there are “turnabout accusations” may be because there really is some hypocrisy going on?

  489. There is no ideology built into science.

    Could Elizabeth mean something so utterly stupid as equations and machinery and facts having ideology? I hope not. Does she mean something so inane as the idea that the humans who conduct science do not have ideologies? Not likely. Does she think that “methodological naturalism” is not an ideological concept? Surely not.

    One wonders then what Elizabeth can possibly mean by the phrase “there is no ideology built into science”; science itself is a philosophical construct, and so is necessarily ideological in nature.

    Elizabeth’s position on science reminds me of a time when people thought that the news coming from Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley was just objective reporting. No bias. No ideology. Just the facts.

  490. LT: You full well know that the issues of the design inference are independent of any religious tradition, tracing to application of basic inductive logic and findings of fact to FSCO/I. In addition, your words are calculated to feed into a scurrilous hate-fest and slander-fest currently in progress and multiplied by a case of censorship in part driven by the slanders in question, so it is evident that you are yet another enabler. You just shot your credibility in the foot. You need to go to the UD WACs and carefully review the first eight or so, though of course you will not do so this time around either. KF

  491. Could Elizabeth mean something so utterly stupid as equations and machinery and facts having ideology? I hope not. Does she mean something so inane as the idea that the humans who conduct science do not have ideologies? Not likely. Does she think that “methodological naturalism” is not an ideological concept? Surely not.

    That last thing, William, that last thing.

    One wonders then what Elizabeth can possibly mean by the phrase “there is no ideology built into science”; science itself is a philosophical construct, and so is necessarily ideological in nature.

    No it isn’t. It’s a methodology not an ideology.

    Elizabeth’s position on science reminds me of a time when people thought that the news coming from Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley was just objective reporting. No bias. No ideology. Just the facts.

    I didn’t say that there is no bias in science. There is. That’s why so much of scientific methodology is specifically designed to minimise bias. It cannot eliminate it, however.

    But that doesn’t make science an ideology. It isn’t.

  492. Onlookers: One of the perpetual annoyances in dealing with EL is that she routinely ignores or twists cogent responses into strawman pretzels, and even when forced at length into grudging and calculated admissions, will come back later as if nothing has happened. For instance, she full well knows that we have not distorted Lewontin, that Lewontin was summarising the views of Sagan and most other elite scientists, a group of which he is a mamber, and that the views expressed can be substantiated far and wide.

    This is false. I “know” no such thing. I think you have distorted his view. However, whether this is true or not, the fact is that if you think that science is an ideology, you are incorrect.

    It is not. It is a methodology. It can have nothing to say about the Divine, because the Divine is not detectable by the methodology. That means it can neither detect it nor exclude it.

    The views document a serious problem of ideological imp[osition on science of a priori materialism multiplied byt he scientism that — self refutingly — presumes science to be the “only begetter” of knowledge. These views are patently wrong, but they are serious indeed the partyline we deal with. KF

    They are an invention, KF, from your fearful imagination.

  493. EL, more turnabout tactics. There is a substantial issue on your part that you have given zero indication of willingness to deal with as blog owner of a site currently indulging a fever swamp slander fest. Your response on being corrected? Blame the victim, and keep blaming the victim. Then, when you at length deign to get around to reading the corrective DI has, you duck and dodge the main issue and twist what you cite into pretzels again to further blame the victim, projecting imoral equivalency. I point it out, and lo and behold, I am the hypocrite. FYI, if we had to be all perfect before we could correct, then civilisation would descend into chaos as all that evil needs to triumph is that the fundamentally good though struggling find excuses to stand by and do nothing to make a difference. For instance, do you think I imagine Churchill a perfect man, or the UK of 1940 a perfect country? Do you think that I am blind to the 1,000 year history of Britain as a state founded by pirates [William and co] and practicing invasions and depredations on the rest of the world for centuries, down to today at Chagos Islands? But, I know the difference between what is reformable and what is unmitigated evil, so that is why I celebrate Battle of Britain Sunday and indeed blogged on it right here at UD and in my personal blog. Joe can tell you of the longstanding pattern of back forths between us especially when he slips off the wagon again. But the difference is at least here he seems to be trying. I hope he is trying elsewhere too. And you are of course implying how dare you show moral outrage at being slandered, falsely and maliciously accused, subjected to hate, to scurrilous caricature of photographs, to outing and threatening of uninvolved family including children and more. Sorry, there is a time to stand up stoutly and say STOP. And EL, you are the host for slander and bigotry of the worst kind. STOP. Just, STOP. For all that is decent and holy, STOP!!!!!!!! KF

  494. EL, if you don’t know it is because you refuse to acknowledge the evident truth pointed out to you with substantial examples again and again, and as is evident from much else all around. If you don’t know, you are just as responsible, you full well SHOULD know. Enough. KF

  495. Well, William, tell me what YOU mean by “Darwinism”.

    So, after saying you don’t know what it is, and making several claims about what it isn’t and cannot “under any definition” mean and how things I wrote about what Darwinism means are false (thereby making claims about what it necessarily is and means in contrast)….. then, after I repeatedly point out the ridiculousness of such a series of posts …

    …. you finally get around to asking me what I mean by “Darwinism”?

    IMO, you are clearly an intellectually dishonest shill.

  496. As I have already pointed out, William, I haven’t actually made any claims about Darwinism.

    But under any definition, the claim about rape is absurd.

    Are you going to tell us what you meant by the word in that “slogan”, or not?

    If not, I suggest you are an intellectually dishonest shill.

  497. No it isn’t. It’s a methodology not an ideology.

    Because a thing is a methodology doesn’t mean it isn’t ideological in nature. Starting with the Bible as one’s source of facts and using it to validate or dismiss any finding is a methodology, Liz. That doesn’t mean the methodology isn’t ideological in nature.

    Naturalism is an ideological view. Methodological naturalism is a methodology rooted in a naturalistic ideology.

    Nobody is this stupid.

  498. Elizabeth Liddle, doubling down:

    I don’t know what “Darwinism” is, and I am not a “Darwinist”

    “Darwinism” is not a hypothesis.

    By any definition of Darwinism, or rape, the view that rape is “nothing more than a perfectly natural means of genetic distribution” is absurd”.

    By comparison, the claim that Darwinism says that evolutionary theory is sufficient to account for life is only a little bit wrong.

    And if nobody here thinks that’s what Darwinism says, I’m delighted. Because of course, it would be an invalid claim.

    I don’t know what you mean by “Darwinism”.

    I made no claims about “Darwinism” in that post, apart from the fact that it’s not a hypothesis.

    I haven’t actually made any claims about Darwinism.

    But under any definition, the claim about rape is absurd.

  499. KF

    EL, if you don’t know it is because you refuse to acknowledge the evident truth pointed out to you with substantial examples again and again, and as is evident from much else all around. If you don’t know, you are just as responsible, you full well SHOULD know. Enough. KF

    When are you going to learn, KF, that when someone disagrees with you, that does not necessarily mean that they are in ignorance of the the thing you keep telling them is true? It may mean that they disagree with you that it is true.

    As in this case. My reading of Lewontin’s review is that he was saying what is true, which is that the Divine is beyond the power of scientific methodology to detect. If he meant something else, then I believe he is wrong. But I don’t think he meant something else.

    I think the entire force of his argument was that we have moved on from explaining things in terms of supernatural agents (water spirits, sun gods) and on to a method in which the supernatural is excluded.

    That does not mean that the supernatural is not real. It simply means that it is beyond scientific methodology. This is because scientific methodology is predicated on the assumption that the universe is predictable. That is merely a working assumption – it could be false.

    But we cannot show that it is false. We can only show that there is some of it that we can predict, and devise models that make good predictions.

    A supernatural agent makes no predictions, so cannot be part of science.

    That does not mean that intelligent agencies cannot be inferred. It just means that we cannot infer a supernatural intelligent agency.

    We can still believe in such an agency, and such an agent could still exist.

    But science cannot not tell us whether or not it does.

  500. William

    Because a thing is a methodology doesn’t mean it isn’t ideological in nature. Starting with the Bible as one’s source of facts and using it to validate or dismiss any finding is a methodology, Liz. That doesn’t mean the methodology isn’t ideological in nature.

    Naturalism is an ideological view. Methodological naturalism is a methodology rooted in a naturalistic ideology.

    Nobody is this stupid.

    No, it is not, William. Certainly some methodologies are ideological, but science is not. it is not “rooted in a naturalistic ideology”.

    That is why “naturalism” is, in philosphical parlance, subdivided into “philosophical naturalism” and “methodological naturalism”. All scientists are methodological naturalists, because they all use the scientific method which makes the working assumption that the world is predictable, and that “natural” laws can be discovered that predict it.

    There is no requirement that a scientist be a “philosophical naturalist” – in other words, to believe that there is no reality beyond the “natural”. Some are, some are not. Whether one is or isn’t makes no difference to the science.

    This is because science is not an ideology. It is simply a method of investigating the world. There are others.

  501. William are you going to say what you meant by DARWINISM when you said that:

    DARWINISM is the belief that RAPE is simply another naturally-selected means of genetic distribution.

    or not?

    Because as sure as eggs is eggs, the scientific theory of neo-Darwinism is not the “belief that RAPE is simply anotehr naturally-selected means of genetic distribution”.

    Nor is any ideology that I have ever met.

  502. I will concede one thing:

    “Darwinism”, as defined in the ID glossary, is, it turns out, a hypothesis.

    However, as used by William, it does not appear to be.

    But I still await William’s definition, which he seems curiously reluctant to give.

  503. No, it is not, William. Certainly some methodologies are ideological, but science is not. it is not “rooted in a naturalistic ideology”.

    Ideology begets methodology, Liz. There’s no other place for a methodology to come from.

    Methodological naturalism is rooted in the ideological notion that phenomena are available to explanation via “natural” laws that can be discovered and predict it.

    Ideology must beget methodology. There is no other place for a methodology to come from, other than from beliefs about what the world is and how it works.

    So yes, any methodology any scientists uses is ideological in nature, whether that scientist shares that ideology or not.

  504. There is no requirement that a scientist be a “philosophical naturalist” – in other words, to believe that there is no reality beyond the “natural”. Some are, some are not. Whether one is or isn’t makes no difference to the science.

    Like Newton, a strong Christian who did excellent science. And Dr Kenneth Miller. Dr Francis Crick. Dr Michael Behe has done good science that has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Many, many noteworthy scientists are not philosophical naturalists in their personal beliefs.

  505. But I still await William’s definition, which he seems curiously reluctant to give.

    Of course I’m reluctant to give it to you. You’re drowning in your own self-contradicting, doubled-down dishonesty, why should I throw you a lifeline?

  506. William:

    Ideology begets methodology, Liz. There’s no other place for a methodology to come from.

    Methodological naturalism is rooted in the ideological notion that phenomena are available to explanation via “natural” laws that can be discovered and predict it.

    That is a working assumption, William, not an ideology.

    An assumption is not a belief, therefore it is not an ideology.

    Setting out to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow requires the working assumption that such a pot of gold exists. It does not entail the belief that such a pot of gold exists.

    Failure to find the pot of gold does not tell us that it does not exist. Finding it, however, tells us that it does. It does not tell us that there are more pots of gold to be found.

    Ideology must beget methodology. There is no other place for a methodology to come from, other than from beliefs about what the world is and how it works.

    A working assumption is not a belief or an ideology. A hypothesis is not a belief or an ideology.

    So yes, any methodology any scientists uses is ideological in nature, whether that scientist shares that ideology or not.

    Nope. Not without stretching the definition of “ideology” to the point of uselessness.

    And specifically, scientific methodology is not based on the ideology of “philosophical naturalism”, or as the DI puts it, of “scientific materialism”.

    It simply entails the assumption that there are natural laws to be discovered. A good assumption, it turns out, as we have found rather a lot.

    It is not based on the ideology that everything is explainable by natural laws.

    Therefore it is false to say that science is an ideology “that claims that all of reality can be reduced to, or derived from, matter and energy alone.”

    Science does not, and can never, make that claim.

  507. William:

    Of course I’m reluctant to give it to you. You’re drowning in your own self-contradicting, doubled-down dishonesty, why should I throw you a lifeline?

    I am not contradicting myself, William. I do not know what you mean by “Darwinism”. According to the glossary here, it is a specific scientific hypothesis, in which case your assertion is incorrect.

    So clearly you mean something else. And as no “ism” that I have ever come across is “belief that RAPE is simply another naturally-selected means of genetic distribution” (which would be absurd) it clearly isn’t that.

    Or is it, by your idiosyncratic definition? In which case, can you point to a single “DARWINIST”?

    You are flailing William, and attempting to shift the burden of explanation to me.

    It was not my claim, it was yours.

    The onus is on you to support it. Otherwise it is a disgusting slur on all those who consider the neo-Darwinian synthesis a well-supported scientific theory, or indeed anyone else who qualifies as a “Darwinist” under some other definition.

  508. Jerad,

    Whether or not a scientist personally adopts the ideology that beget the methodology they are employing doesn’t mean the methodology is not constructed according to an ideology. Lots of atheists have used scriptural literalism as a methodology in an attempt disprove its scientific validity; because they used the methodology doesn’t mean they shared the ideology, but because they didn’t share the ideology of the methodology doesn’t mean the methodology wasn’t ideological in nature.

    There is no means by which to construct a methodology without an ideology of some sort, whether one realizes they are employing an ideology or not. If one sees something happening in the world, they may wonder “why did that happen”, but even that rudimentary concept that there was some cause to the effect is a belief in cause and effect, which is itself ideological in nature.

    Then one might wonder, “what being made that happen” and construct a whole methodology of assigning spirits to events; or one might start assigning natural laws to events.

    Because Liz doesn’t understand that her methodology is ideological in nature doesn’t change the fact that it is. It must be. There’s no way to have a “methodology” without a root framework about “how things should work” to inform your methodological practices, parameters, etc.

  509. You are flailing William, and attempting to shift the burden of explanation to me.

    Liar. I haven’t asked you to explain anything, nor have I implied it is your job to explain what Darwinism means. I have only pointed out the self-conflicting nature of your comments.

    It was not my claim, it was yours.

    First, you seem to have forgotten what this entire thread is about Liz, and the context surrounding those quotes. Do the words “propaganda” and “marketing” ring a bell? It’s not my job to logically argue for the provable validity of phrases or memes explicitly intended only to serve the purpose of negatively propagandizing the opposition.

    Second (even though I am under no obligation to support anything I clearly stated was for propaganda use), included in my definition of Darwinism is holding the view that all human traits, actions, thoughts, beliefs, etc., are the result of chance mutations sorted by natural selection as a means, so to speak, of successfully distributing genetic material. That would make any predilection or trait – including rape – nothing more, ultimately, than a naturally occurring (via chance variation) and/or naturally selected means of genetic distribution. Just like courting, humor, brown hair, blue eyes, etc.

    Just because Darwinists might hold other views about rape that are not reconcilable with their fundamental premise of Darwinism doesn’t change the logical necessity of what “rape” must be under the Darwinist premise, and so my propaganda meme is true enough for its intended use.

  510. EL, it would be laughable if it were not in the end so sad. I have and othere have, time after time on subject after subject for over two years, taken you through the facts, issues, reasoning, proper definitions and more. Predictably, you have twisted us into strawman pretzels, played evasion games, moved goalposts, only admitted correction under extreme pressure, and then sooner or later doubled back to the old talking points again. In this cycle, you will not acknowledge that there is a significant problem of ideological materialism in contemporary science and related areas, which is like saying the sky is blue. To date you have never been able to accurately and fairly characterise what design theory is about and why the design inference is an application of scientific, inductive logic. You are currently hosting at your blog a slander fest that makes up unsubstantiated accusations of fraud, nazi-like totalitarian theocratic conspiracies and more. (Last time around it was the undersigned who was invidiously associated with nazism, now it is everyone a whole movement.) You have stoutly resisted or diverted from or ignored well merited cogent correction every step of the way. You have repeatedly crossed the line to willful continued misrepresentations in the teeth of cogent correction. I suggest you think again and do better, a lot better. KF

  511. #398

    ‘The rules of quantum mechanics are clear and established and deterministic. From our perspective they may seem strange and ambiguous but they are strict and limited.’

    What on earth makes you raise the issue of the rules of QM?
    You stress repeatedly that you accept that the rules of QM are ‘strict and limited’, nevertheless, none of you, as far as I’m aware have explicitly conceded that experiments with photon entanglement indicate unambiguously that their origin is supernatural, i.e. non-local, outside our reference frame of space-time.

    And other paradoxes/ mysteries are also ignored by your people, as if best kept for a rainy day some time in the distant future; such as decisions made for the trajectory of a photon, after an event, determining its trajectory at the outset, before it began its trajectory!

    Also, the fact referred to by another of your leading lights, that establishing the age of the earth can only be partially significant, since QM indicates it might be less than a nanosecond old to the individual.

    Also that it has now been proved that when a person ceases to see the world, insofar, the world ceases to exist.

    Also, particles can only be viewed subjectively, which, again, indicates that we each live in a world of our own.
    Is there not every indication then that we each live in a little world of our own, which however, is matched in a coordinated way with everyone else’s. At the atomic level our worlds are not joined seamlessly.

    Despite QM’s unique success as a paradigm, I am not saying that the world viewed from a non-QM perspective is wholly wrong, but it needs to be acknowledged by materialists that it can only be partially correct. We live in a dual reality.

    The one that science can get a good handle on, even while accepting a QM content that is a priori, not counter-intuitive, but counter-rational, is just part of the picture. It seems to be of the nature of some kind of hologram with additional dimensions invisible to us, wherein we can can test our worldly intelligence as if dealing with a jigsaw puzzle.

    I say this, as it seems to me more likely that somehow our world would be adjusted so that the absolute speed of light would always be absolute in relation to an Observer travelling in the same direction at constant speed, than that light or the agent controlling it would adjust its speed to compass that purpose.

    The other world-view, of QM, is and always will be utterly mysterious to the analytical intelligence, while thousands of years of mainstream religious traditions have claimed not without evidential justification that by modifying our moral nature as per Aldous Huxley’s eponymous essay, The Perennial Philosophy, such transcendent mysteries become in some measure accessible to what he describes as the ‘unitive intelligence’.

  512. WJM:

    First, you seem to have forgotten what this entire thread is about Liz, and the context surrounding those quotes. Do the words “propaganda” and “marketing” ring a bell? It’s not my job to logically argue for the provable validity of phrases or memes explicitly intended only to serve the purpose of negatively propagandizing the opposition.

    It is your job as propagandist not to be misleading. And so it is most certainly your job to be able to explain what you mean by “Darwinism” when you characterise it in such offensive terms.

    If I were to say that:
    THEISM is the belief that babies are delivered by stork

    You would be perfectly within your rights to demand that I either gave my idiosyncratic definition of theism, or retracted a false statement.

    So to say that

    DARWINISM is the belief that RAPE is simply another naturally-selected means of genetic distribution, demands either a relevant definition of Darwinism, or a retraction.

    Otherwise it is a simple lie.

    Second (even though I am under no obligation to support anything I clearly stated was for propaganda use), included in my definition of Darwinism is holding the view that all human traits, actions, thoughts, beliefs, etc., are the result of chance mutations sorted by natural selection as a means, so to speak, of successfully distributing genetic material. That would make any predilection or trait – including rape – nothing more, ultimately, than a naturally occurring (via chance variation) and/or naturally selected means of genetic distribution. Just like courting, humor, brown hair, blue eyes, etc.

    Right. Please note, “onlookers”, that WJM is using “Darwinism” not to mean “neo-Darwinian synthesis” as defined in the UD glossary but a specific set of beliefs, that he ascribes to some people not otherwise specified, and who may not exist.

    “Nothing more, ultimately” – I notice the additional weasel word “ultimately” you have inserted there, William. It does not make your assertion any truer. Rape is defined as sex without mutual consent. It is not “nothing more, ultimately” something else, any more than soap is “nothing more, ultimately” than baryons and fermions, or than the DNA is “nothing more than” a string of nucleotides, or the Mona Lisa is “nothing more than” paint molecules. They are all much more than your “nothing more thans”. They exist, they are particular, they satisfy specific conditions that are not satisfied merely by “some baryons and fermions”. They are patterns of things.

    They may be made of baryons and fermions but that does not mean that that is all they are. Self-evidently they are a highly specified subset and arrangement of those baryons and fermions. Therefore “baryons and fermions” is a totally inadequate specification. You need to supply something more.

    Just because Darwinists might hold other views about rape that are not reconcilable with their fundamental premise of Darwinism doesn’t change the logical necessity of what “rape” must be under the Darwinist premise, and so my propaganda meme is true enough for its intended use.

    On the contrary, it is utter and pernicious nonsense.

  513. KF, William has just called me a liar.

    Should I call that slander?

  514. It is your job as propagandist not to be misleading.

    No, it is not. My job as a propagandist is to simply sway public opinion, whether what I say is misleading or not.

  515. Well, if you don’t think that lying is wrong, I guess so.

    You might want to watch out for the Truth in Advertising campaign though.

    You wouldn’t want to end up on their Wall of Shame.

    Not good propaganda.

  516. KF, William has just called me a liar.

    Should I call that slander?

    And do you now see at last that this site is ENABLING such reprehensible, Alinskyite tactics on the part of WJM!

    Enabling “the foulest willful deception and hate” (comment 37).

    Enabling “good cop bad cop” manipulative games (comment 38).

    Enabling “vicious evil and slander” (comment 38).

    Enabling “civilization-destroying,” religiously-driven, anti-reason thuggery (comment 54).

    Enabling “fever swamp hysterical hate, slander and lying” (comment 71, and my favorite).

    Enabling “hate and slander fests” (comment 84).

    Repent, KF, the Dread Pirate Roberts is here for your SOUL!

  517. Why would you want to deliberately try to shame someone? That’s kind of childish.

    Shame serves a very good purpose, namely to keep one’s self from doing things that shouldn’t be done. It is a perfectly good emotion to try to illicit, and you see it as childish presumably because shame isn’t something normally difficult for one to feel, and therefore needs no encouragement. Some people, however . . .

  518. 518

    Lizzie,

    William seems to have decided that the culture war can’t be won by telling the truth — since, he reasons, if it could be won by telling the truth, it would have been won long ago (or perhaps not even started?). He’s made it entirely clear that he thinks most people are swayed by emotion, not by logic or evidence.

    Given that (in my view, pessimistic and unwarranted assumption about human beings), and given that he cares about winning the war, if the culture war can be won for social conservatives/libertarians by making up all sorts of ridiculous claims about “Darwinism” or “atheism,” then that’s what he is willing to do.

    In other words, William doesn’t care about telling the truth any more, because telling the truth won’t help him win the culture war. Mind you, I’ll bear this all in mind if he has the gall to accuse me of “sophistry” ever again.

    So there’s no point in telling him that his claims are absurd or false — he doesn’t care about that.

  519. Well, if you don’t think that lying is wrong, I guess so.

    Not all lying is wrong, IMO. Like most things, it depends on the intent and the circumstances, and especially what goal purpose is serving.

    However, I don’t consider any of those memes lies.

  520. *”what goal or purpose one is serving”

  521. KN,

    You are wrong, and are entirely misrepresenting what I have said.

    I didn’t say the culture war cannot be won by telling the truth. I didn’t say that I don’t care about telling the truth. I didn’t say that I consider my memes untrue. What I said is that the culture war can be better fought by using better marketing and propaganda. I also corrected Liz on some of her misapprehensions about what propaganda is and whether or not I bear any onus to support that which I have only committed to as propaganda.

    But, I went ahead and supported it, because I do consider it true. I don’t consider any of those memes ridiculous or untrue.

    I’ll grant you that on occasion you have paraphrased me correctly before, but you are blindingly incorrect here.

    Also, there is a difference between the inane sophistry you spout (that, thankfully, most of the public is immune to) and using broad-brush memes with easily-understood, traditional concept and imageery to effectively market an idea to the public.

  522. One can use simple, truthful memes and imagery in a way that establishes an emotional reaction. I consider the memes I listed truthful, but I’m not going to make arguments for them here. I’ve already made arguments for most of them elsewhere.

  523. 523

    Oh, I don’t doubt that you really do believe all those assertions about “atheism” and “Darwinism.” I don’t doubt your sincerity. But there’s a difference between whether one considers one beliefs to be true, and whether ones beliefs are actually true. To care about the truth is to care about that difference.

    And, since all of those assertions are false, and have been shown to be false by Lizzie, and myself, and countless others in countless books, articles, etc. — and since you can’t even be bothered to read a single one of them — that’s what I mean by saying that you don’t care about the truth — not that you’re being insincere, but that you can’t be bothered to take the time to find out if you’re right, because you are unshakably confident that you are.

  524. Brent, I feel shamed when I do things I am ashamed of. I feel no shame for doing what I think right. I would be ashamed if I did otherwise.

  525. KN,

    Nothing more hilarious than someone for whom “truth” is a subjective commodity within variant, social constructs scolding someone about their lack of commitment to the truth.

  526. But I guess it makes sense for a guy that seems to read countless books and articles to say that reading countless books and articles is the means by which one’s commitment to the truth should be measured. In KN’s world, reading countless books and articles is p