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Creationist Paper Published in Peer-Reviewed Biology Journal, UD Author Cited — Origins 2012 Conference

Belated congratulations to creationist Dr. Todd Wood for having his paper published in the peer reviewed Journal of Evolutionary Biology!

See: Using creation science to demonstrate evolution

Dr. Wood made the announcement at the Origins 2012 Conference held at Patrick Henry College, Friday July 27, 2012. The announcement of the paper’s acceptance was made at Todd Wood’s website some time ago, but it was big news to me at the Origins 2012 conference. The conference was sponsored by the Creation Biology Society (once known as the Baraminology Study Group) and the Creation Geology Society.

Also congratulations to our very own Uncommon Descent author johnnyb (Jonathan Bartlett) for his work being mentioned in Wood’s paper. To my knowledge, the current tally of Uncommon Descent authors and commenters that have been published or mentioned in scientific journals: William Dembski, Michael Behe, Nick Matzke, Rob Sheldon, Caroline Crocker, Winston Ewert, Paul Nelson, Cornelius Hunter, Granville Sewell, John A. Davison, Allen MacNeill, Andrea Bottaro, Abbie Smith, Peter Olofsson, Albert Voie, Andras Pellionisz, Albert De Roos, Walter ReMine, Paul Giem, Jonathan Sarfati, Arthur Hunt, Steve Matheson, Larry Moran, johnnyb, Eric Anderson, Casey Luskin, and yours truly scordova. [If I missed anyone, please chime in.]

A notable attendee and speaker at Origins 2012 was Stephen J. Gould’s most notorious creationist student, Kurt Wise. Wise got his PhD at Harvard while Gould, Ernst Mayr, and Richard Lewontin were still teaching there. Wise was Lewontin’s teaching assistant and one of Gould’s pupils. Also in attendance at the conference were Marcus Ross, Andrew Snelling, Steve Austin, Roger Sanders, Gordon Wilson, Joe Francis, Steve Gollmer.

What was a little sad was the absence of the ID contingent that had attended in years past: Richard Sternberg, Paul Nelson, Stephen Meyer, and the co-founder of Baraminology, Walter ReMine. In fact, Marcus Ross and I were the only ones that had any formal affiliation with ID (Ross was a former fellow of the Discovery Institute, and I was a member of IDEA).

Whether the absence of the ID contingent means anything, for sure there has always been somewhat chilly relations between some YECs and IDs big tent. See this article by Paul Nelson: Just Whose Science Is Todd Wood Stopping.

And from Todd Wood himself:

in the end, when the Bible is clear, I will concede to its authority as the Word of God.

That’s why I don’t care about the origin of life (and why I’ll probably never finish reading Meyer’s book). I already know where life came from. I open the book of Genesis, and the Bible tells me exactly where life came from. Speculating on how it might have happened in a naturalistic scenario seems like a waste of time to me. Just like it would seem like a waste of time to an atheist to study the logistics of Noah’s Ark.

That’s also why I’m not terribly interested in design as an inference. Design is obvious. The Bible makes that crystal clear. Arguing to design seems fruitless to me

Is Design Inference?

But not every creationist feels that way, and certainly, there are creationists who have had their doubts about the Bible. ID may be fruitless for Todd, but not fruitless for every creationist in general. If creationism is mostly believed because “it says so in the Bible, therefore it is true,” then I want no part of it. In days past, the Lord expected his people to test those claiming to be prophets and apostles, therefore even on those grounds, it is reasonable to suppose the Lord would not be too offended for us in the present day to investigate whether the Bible is true, rather than just blindly accepting whatever it says or however other people interpret it. There is a place in God’s kingdom for doubting Thomases.

Thus it matters to me whether evolutionism can be scientifically refuted. It matters to me if there is evidence of a global flood. It matters to me that the there could be evidence the world is younger than what our present models suppose (however outrageous the hypothesis is, it is still worth hoping for).

I’m sorry to say this, but people who boast “the Bible said it, therefore I believe it” makes them sound like they are supremely gullible. For those who hear such boasts, it can inspire more doubt than faith, and that is not a good thing, imho. Much more faith is inspired by the testimony of Dean Kenyon or Don Johnson or John Sanford, who began as evolutionists, but were later persuaded by the evidence. Even Jesus said, if you can’t believe his words, believe his works. Todd’s sentiments are noble, but they are not for everyone…certainly not for someone like myself who is sympathetic but deeply skeptical of Young Earth Creation.

So what happened in this conference? Perhaps it would be notable to describe what didn’t happen. There was no plea or strategizing about what to do with the public school system. Nothing was mentioned about how evil, wicked, or illogical evolutionary theory is, and how it is corrupting souls. Nothing about legislation or public relation campaigns or trying to convert people to become creationists. If anything, Todd Wood spoke of Darwin’s brilliance. That comment from Wood sort of made me vomit. Now if Wood had praise for Haldane or Fisher or Kimura, that would have been a different story, but Darwin? C’mon….

From my prior encounters with Kurt Wise, he said he will never say anything negative of his teachers (Gould, Lewontin, Mayr, Raup). So there was no bashing of evolutionism or Darwin at this conference. In fact, there was the lament that creation biology should have a larger vision than just criticizing evolution. Attempts to discredit evolution weren’t even on the radar.

So what do creationists discuss at such a conference? Nerdy biology and paleontology and geology. A good third of the Friday session focused on Baraminology, the study of created kinds. Clearly biological organisms can be grouped into hierarchical relationships based on their characters. The Creationist Linnaeus was famous for pioneering the hierarchical classification system which biologists use to classify organisms into groups and sub groups. Baraminologists seek to identify which hierarchical properties are the result of common ancestry and speciation (technically speaking the ability to breed together) and which are the result of creation. The method of choice to establish common ancestry is recognition of hybridization data. But problems arise when organisms which might share common ancestors cannot be experimentally hybridized because of practical barriers (especially true with extinct species!).

ReMine pioneered the idea that Baraminology can proceed purely on observational and empirical grounds. Like myself, even if we are sympathetic to the Bible, we would prefer to make scientific inferences on the evidence at hand rather than appeal to theological authority as some sort of scientific proof. One can suppose special creation on the grounds of irreducible complexity. The mechanism of creation may not be accessible, but on scientific grounds it is a reasonable supposition. If one doesn’t like the theological undertones of special creation, one can simply argue for an unknown mechanism which produces the same result as a special creation and thus Baraminology can proceed on purely scientific grounds.

Other topics covered in Origins 2012 were Noah’s Flood, Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (the mechanism of the flood, and various geological features), radiometric dating, and various other topics. The Saturday session focused on theology, but I was not in attendance…

The conference reminds me again of the cultural barriers that define the young earth creationists in the Big Tent of ID. ID has a basic claim: “features of life and the universe are designed.” In contrast, in the creationist community there are an abundance of competing claims and interpretations of history. ID does not attempt to construct a historical or theological narrative, whereas that is the principal focus of creationism. Also, within the big tent of ID, even in private communication, discussion of theology is limited. I think that is in part because of the diverse religious backgrounds within the ID community –Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Islamic, agnostic, and even atheist. People can feel uncomfortable talking about or being asked about their religious beliefs.

In contrast, Young Earth creationists are usually composed of evangelicals Christians and 7th Day Adventists. Many of the leaders are affiliated with religious institutions, whereas ID has considerably more secular affiliations. For example, to speak or publish in some Young Earth circles (like ICR, CRSQ, ICC, etc), you have to pass through a theological inquisition and sign documents affirming that you have certain religious beliefs. The Creation Biology Society is the happy exception, but this openness seems far too rare. I’ve complained the YECs try to run their scientific research more like a church than a scientific enterprise.

Given the cultural and philosophical barriers, the question continues to arise whether YEC would benefit from being involved with ID and conversely whether ID would benefit being involved with YEC? I answer both questions with a qualified “yes”.

ID has a place even among those that are already friendly to the notion of design, like creationists. For one, ID arguments, in terms of their critique of evolutionary theory, have good scholarship and thought and depth. I’ve tried to tell creationists, the approach of making appeals to the Bible can actually inspire more doubt than faith. Creationist benefit from learning the sort of solid criticism found in a book like Denton’s rather than merely rereading of the book of Genesis.

Secondly, there may be designs whose discovery might help in medical science. Todd Wood last night highlighted that there seems to be a language in biology, and I really wanted to interject and say, “ID proponents have argued this and even some of the members of the IDEA clubs of years past have seen it in their protein research.” ID’s formalisms can help creationists interested in advancing medical science by helping elucidate designs that may be in the gene sequences but have not been fully elucidated. These designs might only be detectable by comparing species, but it will help us understand human biology more readily and thus advance medical science more rapidly. For more details, see: How IDists can with the war

Can ID benefit from being involved with YEC? That is harder to answer yes. To understand the problem Bill Dembski has this to say:

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

Bill Dembski
Scoundrel Scoundrel?…I like the sound of that?

So as far as ID goes, the YECs are described as members of “organized crime”, “unsavory associates”, “disreputable company”. :-) But ID proponents need YECs partly because of the sheer numbers (like 40% of the US population for starters).

But even if the YECs are wrong, they still raise scientific questions that demand answers, and they have a growing catalog of serious anomalies that put into question mainstream views. Even if one may question YEC biases, YECs still have legitimate scientific questions which can further scientific inquiry, even if in the end the YECs are wrong (which I think it is too early to say one way or another definitively). There is no need to for ID to distance itself from those wishing to question the status quo as long as there is serious empirical reason for those questions…

What are those questions? A sampling was put forward at the Origins 2012 conference by the speakers, and then in some poster and lunch time discussions. Below are listings of some of my encounters at the conference.

MARCUS ROSS DURING THE POSTER SESSION

I expressed my thoughts that fossilization usually happens via rapid burial, not slow burial. This is empirically evident. Thus much of the geological column marked by fossils is evidence of rapid sedimentation, not slow sedimentation over millions of years. Ross generally agreed with my objections to mainstream models of the geological column.

Ross also pointed out the soft tissue discoveries in fossils dated over 65 million years ago near the K-T boundary. He didn’t think such soft tissue should still exist after such a long time. I also believe racemization of the amino acids can’t be arrested for that long even assuming extremely cold conditions without some sort of active repair (such as done in living organisms). The claim by Darwinists that the soft tissues are older 65 million years is in violation of known principles of physical chemistry, thus the dating is suspect on empirical grounds alone.

Ross admitted that creationists still have to be circumspect about some of our conclusions, no matter how promising some of our empirical findings may be.

LUNCHTIME WITH PHYSCIST STEVE GOLLMER

We talked about changing of nuclear decay rates. Gollmer cited this finding which apparently is costing a graduate student his PhD: Inconstancy of Radioactive Decay Rates.

Granted the decay rate changes are small, and we don’t see many such anomalies, but the modern era provides only a only a small sample space of how physics has behaved through the ages. It leaves open a small possibility of mechanisms in the past that have affected radioactive decay rates, and thus the need to recalibrate radioactive dating in the deep past.

I also mentioned evidence of transmutation via electrical and chemical means. Gollmer was astonished. I pointed him to this paper in the prestigious scientific journal Nature: Neutron generation in lightning bolts which was the to the discovery of nuclear effects via electrical means. This paper was the precursor to a developing flap between two of the most important scientific societies in the USA: the American Chemical Society versus the American Physical Society. See: Cold fusion” moves closer to mainstream acceptance. Electro chemists in particular are claiming they can effect nuclear processes via electrical and chemical and mechanical means. This is politically incorrect physics. Gotta love it. :-)

I mentioned it to Dr. Gollmer because these development would seem to have some bearing on radiometric dating since they may point to not-well-understood mechanisms of nuclear stability.

KURT WISE ON CATASTROPHIC PLATE TECTONICS

Kurt ought to be nominated to be the star of Origins 2012. I can’t go into all the detail of his talk because of amount of material.

Wise pointed out serious anomalies in paleomagnetic data in lava flows. Which suggests the Earth’s North Pole was flipping to the South every few days and during large scale global cataclysm. Russell Humphreys predicted if Noah’s flood was caused by something like a geological cataclysm the magnetic poles should have been flipping every few days or so during the cataclysm. This was in good agreement with some politically incorrect findings published in peer-reviewed literature. Andrew Snelling describes the findings here:
Rapid Reversals of the Earth’s Magnetic Field

Wise also pointed out to sedimentary evidence of huge tidal waves which swept over continents.

Wise pointed to the inferred cold spots in the Earth’s mantle that indicate recent geological activity (less than 100,000 years ago).

Even recently, I became aware of a disturbing magnetic anomaly affecting the Hubble space telescope because the Earth’s magnetic field is decaying. These are circumstantial clues about the youthfulness of some of the Earth’s features (if not the youthfulness of the entire Earth).

ANDREW SNELLING ON RADIOMETRIC DATING

Snelling pointed out the discordant long-term radio metric dates. This suggests some mechanism of decay isn’t well understood and may have been at work in the past in a way it not in the present.

He cited the abundance of helium (from alpha particle decay) in Zircons as evidence that radioactive decay rates have changed, or at least our interpretation of daughter elements is flawed. He said more field work and experiments need to be done. The mainstream unfortunately isn’t interested.

Nevertheless, Snelling conceded there are serious problems with assuming accelerated decay, not the least of which is the incineration of life!

UNNAMED STRUCTURAL GEOLOGIST FROM A MAINSTREAM UNIVERSITY

At the conference I talked to structural geologist who had been in the oil industry and now a professor of geology at a secular school. He said one problem with the presumption that oil is millions of years old is that oil eating bacteria should have destroyed it all by now. See: Oil Eating Bacteria

Hmm….

BRIEF CONVERSATION WITH STEVE AUSTIN
I finally got around to thanking Dr. Austin personally for his talk in 2008 on “The Coming Mudrock Revolution” where he highlighted recent experiments with turbidity currents and mudrocks that discredited Glen Morton’s claims against fast stratification. I couldn’t help but gloat.

WHAT I WISH I SAID TO DR. WOOD

Dr. Wood is extremely interested in the topic of Adam and Eve. I wanted to remind him that creationists like John Sanford and evolutionists like Bryan Sykes predict that the human species will go extinct relatively soon (on the order of 100,000 years). This flies in the face of evolution and agrees more with Christ’s genealogy (and that of all men) as described in Luke Chapter 3. The data support a specially created Adam and Eve, they do not support evolution from ape-like creatures.

That to me is the most serious anomaly. Even supposing the universe is old, there are some features (like man) that can’t in principle be that old. Then we have those marine fossils on tops of mountains and artifacts of huge tidal waves sweeping across entire continents. Darwinists say one thing, the evidence tells a different story. We surely won’t know answers to the questions these anomalies raise unless we are willing to revisit these issues.

And the above list only scratches the surface of legitimate anomalies that demand an explanation. And if exploring these anomalies lead to a revision of mainstream paleontology and timelines, this has relevance to ID. I think YECs like John Sanford at Cornell have brought serious evidence the human race is young, and if the YECs can even prove a small fraction part of their claims, like Genetic Entropy and the relative youthfulness of the human race, ID will be vindicated, and that’s how ID could benefit from associating with YECs.

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38 Responses to Creationist Paper Published in Peer-Reviewed Biology Journal, UD Author Cited — Origins 2012 Conference

  1. I think YECs put too much emphasis on science. I think the scientific work they are doing is useful and resources are thin, however the debate is much larger than science. We need serious work on theology, philosophy of science, and law — which is why I was excited to attend the Saturday conference. Lectures by Dr Chou and Dr Davis were exceptional.

  2. It seems that Todd is saying that it is a waste of time to form a design inference because design is obvious and all we really have to do is start studying it.

  3. bevets,

    Hey! I was there on Friday, did we miss running in to each other? If so, sorry our paths didn’t cross.

    Sal

  4. Joe –

    You are correct in your interpretation of Todd’s words. The problem is that it is hard to study something without a formal knowledge of its properties. You can do this informally, but if you want to do it formally, you have to create a formal structure to do it in. This is precisely what is resisted by Todd, and it is also what is resisted by the Thomists, but I think for different reasons. I think the Thomists think of it as a category error, while Todd doesn’t see the connection between the two.

  5. By the way, I was really excited when I discovered that my work was cited in JEB. Unfortunately the citation wasn’t about anything deep or profound (just whether or not creationists are open to the idea of beneficial mutations) but hopefully the citation gave it some exposure it might not have had before.

  6. johnnyb-

    Thanks for the response. However I think that Todd and Newton have it correct- they see scienceais the study of God’s creation because as Behe acknowleged “poof” could have been the mechanism.

    The best we can then do is try to put it into a framework in which WE would have done it- or some being that couldn’t do “poof”.

    I am just under the impression that Todd is OK with God having some mysteries we will never figure out but we have plenty to work on as it is.

  7. you have to create a formal structure to do it in. This is precisely what is resisted by Todd,

    Exactly!

    Reading the book of Genesis, using, Todd’s line of reasonging, he will conclude life is designed. But Genesis doesn’t say:

    “The hierarchical structure of the Cytochrome-C proteins is a designed linguistic feature. ”

    If the hierarchical relationships are indeed a design feature, the verification of it as a real design (versus an artifact of our imagination) is something that comes through ID formalisms, and it is not in explicitly in the Bible.

    At Origins 2012, Todd showed the sequence similarity among proteins of alpha globulin molecule. He wondered at what God might be trying to tell us by the architecture. I could have screamed and said, “well, Todd you won’t find the answer to that question in the Book of Genesis.” You need ID for that, assuming the question could even be answered in principle.

    The Bible does not record all that God reveals or does with man ( john 20:30).

    I wanted to say, it seems biology is optimized for scientific discovery. It is friendly to hackers who are eager to reverse engineer biological organism. Steganograpy to the max.

    The protein and DNA researchers in my IDEA clubs used sequence comparison to identify active sites. That is design detection that won’t be arrived at soley by more study of the Bible. God didn’t make the world that way. He said in the Pslams, his works are studied by all who delight in them. That is to say, we study his WORKS not just his WORDS.

    Understandably, some might be uncomfortable exploring things that are not explicitly mentioned in God’s word, but that is how God made the world, and He has given us his blessing to study His works. In fact we have obligation to proclaim His works, not just his word.

    To detect steganography, one will need the formalisms of ID. Hence creationists will do well to study ID if they wish to further biological science beyond just a critique of evolution. Furthering biological science entails identifing structural relationships that transcend evolution. These structural relationships might act as a means for accelerated discoveries related to medical science.

    I’ll give a very very simple example. We have what we might consider deeply “conserved” regions. These regions may be the key to understanding the speed at which our genomes are deteriorating. It will help us identify hereditary diseases. These sequence comparisons will be at variance with the claims of paleoantrhopologists. But so what, they’re almost never right. But these sequence studies will be helpful in tracking and managing and understanding emergence of new heritable diseases.

    The “conserved” regions may indicate gramatical significance. It may help us to reverse engineer the higher levels of organization and possible liguistic structures that organisms use to function.

    The presumption that an artifact is only the first level of a design inference. Detecting the other layers of design is where ID is a valuable tool for creationists wanting to do more than just prove creationism is true, but those wanting to actually bring operation and medical significance to creationism. Already this is starting to happen with Sanford’s genetic entropy thesis. Creationist research is already making scientific predictions of the future evolution of the human race. Something, the paleoantrhopoligists don’t do. Hence, creationism is already outpacing mainstream science in some areas of medical significance.

  8. I think YECs put too much emphasis on science

    I think its quite scary to hear someone say such a thing. Prominent YEC Andrew Snelling said something similar at the ICC in pittsburg in 2008. As if my confidence in YEC wasnt low enough. YECs dont get any respect from the scientific community as it is. They insist that there is some conspiracy to undermine genesis and rebel against God in secular science, as if that even crosses scientists minds when doing their work. They sound like a bunch of crackpots. Yeah, ignore science even more.
    That will help clear up your anti-science image.

  9. Prominent YEC Andrew Snelling said something similar at the ICC in pittsburg in 2008

    Hey were you there too Kuartus? Johnnyb, bevets, Jason Rosenhouse, Walter ReMine, etc. were there.

    Walter, me, John Sanford, Marcus Ross and Johnnyb were probably the only representatives of the ID contingent there (sorry if I left any one out, but there weren’t many of us for sure).

    I feel more at home with the ID movement whose founding father said:

    Get the Bible and the Book of Genesis out of the debate

    Phil Johnson

    That echoes my sentiments, and it also explains why I don’t get along too well with my YEC brethren despite being sympathetic to their position.

    I’m so sympathetic to the YEC position that I feel comformtable being called a YEC (albeit a provisional one, and that by a whisker). But Phil’s sentiments (which are my own) don’t endear me to the YEC community. So I don’t feel completely at home with my own family, I feel more at home in the ID community.

    PS
    in light what I just said, I want to say, I find it astonishing that Darwinists lump IDists and creationists together. As someone who has floated in both circles, I can definitely see there are distinct disciplines and cultures.

  10. Scordova: “…certainly not for someone like myself who is sympathetic but deeply skeptical of Young Earth Creation.

    Hey, Sal, do I correctly understand this as your way of saying that you are no longer a YEC?

  11. Hey, Sal, do I correctly understand this as your way of saying that you are no longer a YEC?

    I’m a YEC, but provisional. While at ARN I said was anywhere from 50% to 70% convinced. That’s about where I am today, but mostly on a hunch, given the enormous challenge of arguments against YEC. What has changed is I’m am considerably more versant in the arguments against YEC, and they are substantial, particularly physics and cosmology.

    Independent of the age of the universe, I’m almost 100% certain humans are as recent as the Genealogy of Christ in Luke Chapter 3 suggests. This can be arrived at by purely scientific means. This is because of the work of John Sanford and Walter ReMine. I have become more convinced of this as the years have passed since I got involved in the debate in 2003 (when at the time I was an OEC).

    Thanks for asking.

  12. If pastors, priests. rabbis, and “so called” Christians would stop their false (old Earth) and foolish (young Earth) teachings, and start promoting the truth of Genesis (Observations of Moses), then there would hardly be any room for the ridiculous teaching of evolution.

    Collectively, Bible believers are so “blind”, that their approach to Genesis is a joke. Instead of seeking the truth, they continue to support the current lies and foolishness of Creationism. Genesis does not have any “Creation accounts”. When you keep telling a person that their car is running out of gas, and they refuse to lookat the fuel gauge and go to the gas station, you begin to wonder how “dumb” they are.

    Perhaps they are just like the Jews, who value tradition over the truth of scripture.

    Herman Cummings
    [email protected]

  13. Hi Herman,

    I think you posted a similar comment at my blog. I wish you would explain what you mean when you say that Genesis does not have any creation accounts.

  14. I think YECs put too much emphasis on science

    Relative to my discussions on science, my discussion of the Christian faith are rare here. Partly because it is personal, and partly because I do not feel worthy most days to speak on these matters given my many sins, I try to limit my faith-based discussions. Also, not all within the ID community share my faith, and out of respect for them, I try to minimize my discussion of these topics.

    Still, on occasion I should take the opportunity to share my personal beliefs, and I will do so here.

    The one spiritual topic I raised with Marcus Ross at Origins 2012 was totally out of nowhere. I asked him if during his time at Liberty University he heard Reverend Jeff Stuecker speak.

    Reverend Stuecker is better known as the guy in this 2-minute video clip of a relatively famous Hollywood Movie [warning graphic violence and language]:

    Black Hawk Down: Pilla’s Death

    Marcus said he heard Stuecker talk at Liberty, and there was no way he would have missed it. Stuecker was one of the real-life stars of Black-Hawk Down.

    Stuecker’s talk makes sense of so many of the deep questions of life which science, Darwin, and evolutionary theory cannot make sense of.

    ID helps some of us (not all) believe in a Creator. If creation is true, then what Stuecker had to say about his Mogudishu moment makes sense of all the troubles we face in our “Mogudishu” moments.

    For your’s and other’s blessing and edification, I present this 33-minute clip which articulates my reason for living:

    Revered Jeff Stuecker – Liberty Convocation

    The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you, bevets.

  15. 15

    As a YEC, I realize there are some questions that are above and beyond science’s ability to answer. I believe natural life can only come from life (as Pasteur claimed) so how GOD created life on earth is not a scientifically tenable question for me. That doesn’t mean I ignore any research into the origin of life, in fact just the opposite. I find it fascinating to see how scientists are discovering just how difficult it would be for a cell to come into existence from non-living matter, on its own.

    So, whether God created a single lifeform and let it evolve randomly, guided it, or created everything fully formed is what interests me and what I think can be deduced from the evidence.

    From everything I’ve seen, the fossil record is static, we have no evidence random genetic mistakes (mutations) can build complex features, and natural selection can only help retain, not create. With that in mind, YEC makes the most sense to me.

  16. Sal,

    Sorry I missed you. I was only there Saturday.

    kuartus

    YECs dont get any respect from the scientific community as it is.

    I suspect 98% of people who dis YEC science have never had a conversation with Kurt Wise (the other 2% are liars) I am thankful for the scientists, however science is not the ultimate arbiter of Truth.

  17. At Origins 2012, Todd showed the sequence similarity among proteins of alpha globulin molecule. He wondered at what God might be trying to tell us by the architecture. I could have screamed and said, “well, Todd you won’t find the answer to that question in the Book of Genesis.” You need ID for that, assuming the question could even be answered in principle.

    Huh? But we’re told that ID says nothing about the designer, so how could it answer the question of what The Designer is saying?

  18. “it matters to me whether evolutionism can be scientifically refuted.”

    It can’t. Since evolutionism is (not a science, but) an ideology, it can only be refuted ideologically. What ideology would you choose in your corner to try to refute it with? Refusing all ideology in this case and just trying to refute evolutionism with science would be to concede failure before starting.

  19. Now, here’s a thought exercise for you, Gregory. If evolution can’t be scientifically refuted, then tell us how it might explain rabbit fossils in the Cambrian.

    (I think we can assume that the fossil is genuinely in a Cambrian stratum, and not a later intrusion)

  20. “If evolution can’t be scientifically refuted…”

    Read again please, more carefully this time. Notice 3 letters difference?

    “Since evolutionism is (not a science, but) an ideology, it can only be refuted ideologically.”

  21. Ah, OK. I see.

    What distinguishes “evolutionism” from “evolutionary biology”, and who follows “evolutionism”?

  22. Too clarify my opening statement (and in partial agreement with Gregory): I think EVERYONE puts too much emphasis on the science (making the assumption that all questions have a scientific answer). YECs should know better.

  23. Huh? But we’re told that ID says nothing about the designer, so how could it answer the question of what The Designer is saying?

    For the same reasons we might figure out ancient writings of designers we don’t know. Duh!

    I mean, we figured this one out without knowing exactly who the desigerner was:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism

  24. “Since evolutionism is (not a science, but) an ideology, it can only be refuted ideologically.”

    Ideologies can be refuted scientifically to the extent they make scientifically testable claims.

    Example:
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Lysenkoism

    Lysenkoism, named for Russian botanist Trofim Lysenko, was a political doctrine in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union that mandated that all biological research conducted in the USSR conform to a modified Lamarckian evolutionary theory. The underlying appeal was that it promised a biology based on a plastic view of life that was consistent with the plastic view of human nature insisted upon by Marxist-Leninist dogma.

    and

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Physik

    Deutsche Physik (literally: “German Physics”) or Aryan Physics was a nationalist movement in the German physics community in the early 1930s against the work of Albert Einstein, labeled “Jewish Physics” (German: Jüdische Physik).
    ….
    It is occasionally put forth that there is a great irony in the Nazis’ labeling modern physics as “Jewish science”, since it was exactly modern physics—and the work of many European exiles—which was used to create the atomic bomb.

  25. scordova

    Ideologies can be refuted scientifically to the extent they make scientifically testable claims.

    Good point, but (I would argue) that the more efficient strategy is to attack the root of the ideology rather than the fruit. The ideologue will always be confident that better answers are just around the corner.

  26. These ancient writings, and the antikythera mechanism, are all the work of humans, so we start off knowing quite a lot about them and how they think and work. In contrast, isn’t it considered presumptuous to claim to know the mind of God?

  27. LoL! Just because something is the work of humans does NOT mean we start off knowing quite a lot about them and how they think and work.

  28. In contrast, isn’t it considered presumptuous to claim to know the mind of God?

    We can know the mind of God if:

    1. He is willing to reveal it to us
    2. We are willing to listen

    Personally, I don’t claim to know the mind of God, but it would seem, an intelligence has left an artifact (life) that has linguistic features. If that intelligence were God, then we are studying the language of God.

    Even the head of the Human Genome project Francis Collins, called DNA, “The Language of God”. Unfortunately, Collins believes the God used Darwinian processes to create this language. But Collins is has the right idea.

  29. @a gene

    so, earth blows up tomorrow (hit by asteroid). Next day, aliens from another solar system arrive on Mars and find the rovers we left there. They check out the other planets left in solar system, and find no sign of life. So, can they now try to figure out what the purpose of the rover is, w/o knowing of existence of humans? They don’t know if designer is the creator of universe, or any other designer.

  30. @a gene

    [continued]

    they might assume designer is “rational”.

  31. I didn’t know stone cold steve Austin was a yec

  32. Starbuck,

    There were several Steve Austin’s involved in the discussion of human evolution. We’re you thinking of this Steve Austin that was in a plane crash and then evolved later via human technology?

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

    :-)

  33. Stone cold steve austin was or a popular wresler in the world wresling federation.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dGaoKz6i_Ms

  34. 34

    Joe,

    “LoL! Just because something is the work of humans does NOT mean we start off knowing quite a lot about them and how they think and work.”

    excellent point! very clear!

    sergio

  35. Salvador,

    The study of ideology offers something that natural and applied sciences do not. It looks at why people believe what they do, how ideas can take hold of people, can define their worldview, and can obscure them from considering alternative perspectives. This meaning-communication aspect of ideology is completely overlooked in the notion that ‘evolutionism’ is a science. It is not.

    “Ideologies can be refuted scientifically to the extent they make scientifically testable claims.” – Sal

    First, this misses the point of what ideologies are. They do not make ‘scientifically testable claims’ like sciences do. They can however, define the framework in which a science takes place, including its empirical claims. They are bigger than sciences and more complicated because they involve presuppositions, motivations, community and political pressures, worldview emotions, financial favoritism, etc. Talk about ‘intelligent design’ is far more about ideology than most people seem to realise. Studying ideology should be part of ID-curriculum, but so far, it is largely ignored.

    Secondly, ideologies involving peoples’ names (e.g. Lysenkoism, Marxism, Darwinism, Ken Hamism/Kent Hovindism, etc.) differ from ideologies based on a concept/percept or idea (e.g. pragmatism, naturalism, materialism, scientism, creationism, etc.). In the former, one can agree with one aspect of a person’s thought (e.g. the importance of agriculture for society, the everyday needs of people and their daily lives and obvious exploitation by ‘ruling classes,’ etc.) while disagreeing with other aspects (e.g. the rejection of evolutionary biology, historical and dialectical materialism and the inevitability of communism, building ‘creation science’ museums, committing offenses that send you to jail, etc.). For the latter (concept ideologies), one needs to concentrate on the appropriate borders and boundaries of the concept around which the ideology is built, i.e. where it should not be used and where it is appropriately used, to be able to protect oneself against its exaggeration. For the former (name ideologies), one simply needs to show where the person didn’t have knowledge, interest or focus to determine the limitations of the ideology.

    Universal Darwinism is obviously one of the most ridiculous notions ever suggested. That people lack training in ideology that would knock Dawkins out in a single competitive punch seems to have been lost on Americans who avoided much of the discourse about ideology that Marxism brought to the international table.

    bevets in this case is right (yes, even YECs can sometimes be right!): “the more efficient strategy is to attack the root of the ideology rather than the fruit.”

    If you try to disprove ideology using the tools of natural or applied sciences, as you seem to currently prefer, then you are clearly taking the wrong approach. You need to study and understand ideology to be able to counter or overcome it. That is why I asked what alternative ideology you would choose in your corner to try to refute evolutionism. So far, Salvador, you haven’t come up with anything.

  36. Btw, Salvador, if you think ideology *is* studied specifically by someone or some people in the IDM, would you please name him or her or them and direct me to some of this work, e.g. a chapter in a book or an article, etc. which directly and competently addresses ideology? No doubt you can canvas help from others in the IDM who might know better than you, in case you don’t, so probably an answer wouldn’t be that difficult to find. Does the IDM study ideology as ideology or is that simply not part of its scholarly research interests?

  37. An additional question to Salvador (though it seems he wants not part of the topic) : is it possible that intelligent design theory could also turn into an ideology if exaggerated beyond its appropriate limits? If so, what would ‘intelligent designism’ look like and how is it possible to protect legitimate ID theory from becoming ID ideology?

  38. Dancing with Unicorns – a video about ‘creationism’ by an Orthodox Priest (a controversial N.A. one), who speaks about ideology intertwining with religion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE6Y-HMOPXs

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