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Fred Flintstone Fossils

Often when we ask the evolutionist what might falsifiy the notion that humans evolved sometime in recent epochs from previous non-human animal species they tell us that discovery of human and dinosaur fossils in the same strata would falsify it.

The scientific method behind that goes something like this:

Observation: Human and human-like fossils are seen only in recent strata.

Hypothesis: Humans evolved from animals in a recent epoch.

Prediction: No human and dinosaur fossil will ever be found together in strata that can be reliably dated to an older epoch.

Test: Dig dig dig, date date date

Okay. I’ll buy that. Oynate man was a hoax but it’s illustrative. Now let’s look at the clockmaker argument.

Observation: Clocks are only observed after clockmakers appeared.

Hypothesis: Clocks only come from clockmakers.

Prediction: No clock will ever be found where the origin can be traced to anything other than a clockmaker.

Test: Examine as many clocks as possible and determine their origin.

Is there any difference in methodology here? Are both not instances of the scientific method? I believe they are equivalent. If the former is “scientific” so is the latter.

Onward to the modern clockmaker hypothesis – intelligent design.

Observation: Irreducibly complex machinery, where the origin can be determined, is only the result of intelligent agency.

Hypothesis: The irreducibly complex (IC) machinery in every living cell is the result of intelligent design.

Prediction: No amount of experimentation will ever demonstrate a method of origination for the IC machinery in the living cell that is independent of intelligent agency.

Test: Experiment, experiment, experiment

I assert that this is just as scientific as any of the prior examples given.

What’s good for the Darwinian evolutionist is good for the design theorist. Evolutionists, you can’t have your cake and eat too! Sorry! :-)

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43 Responses to Fred Flintstone Fossils

  1. There are some problems with your analogies. First of all, in your clockmaker argument you will need to examine, not only clocks, but also other mechanical devices. You will find devices similar to clocks, and containing many of the components of clocks, appearing in the historical records before the first functioning clock appeared. Indeed, you will find that a working clock was not suddently created when nothing like it appeared before, but there was a long progression in the development of time-keeping and other mechanical devices before the first working clock was constructed. Ultimately, you will find a time in the distant past when no time-keeping devices existed, but humans, the ‘ancestors’ of clocks did exist.

    Your ID hypothesis is different from all other scientific hypotheses in one very critical regard. A scientific hypothesis must offer a way for the hypothesis to be proven or explicitly disproven via experimentation. In contrast, your hypothesis states that it cannot be proven or disproven by normal scientific experimentation. Your hypothesis demands acceptance of a supernatural origin of IC machinery. The laws of science do not allow for supernatural explanations, that is the realm of religion.

    Going back to the clock analogy. We can reasonably conclude that clocks were created by an intelligent designer because we have evidence of who created them and how. We cannot reasonably conclude that life on Earth (and human life) was created by an intelligent designer because we have no evidence of a creator or the act of creation. Without evidence of an intelligent creator we must go with the evidence we have on record: life arose on Earth billions of years ago and evolved (through natural processes) over the course of those billions of years into the forms we see at present.

  2. MikeG

    “You will find devices similar to clocks, and containing many of the components of clocks, appearing in the historical records before the first functioning clock appeared.”

    Great point.

    I invite you do demonstrate in the laboratory a plausible sequence of assemblies each with fitness value for natural selection to act upon which results in the bacterial flagellum. If and when you get done with that (Behe’s challenge) you can start on my challenge and do it with the ribosome and DNA molecule.

    I will concede the whole debate at that point.

    Fair enough?

  3. DaveScott,
    I’m not a molecular biologist, but I am a biologist so take a look at this:
    http://www.health.adelaide.edu.....agella.htm
    and this:
    http://www.talkdesign.org/faqs/flagellum.html

    There is still work to be done to examine the flagellar apparatus, but these articles provide some great insight into the evolution and development of the system.

  4. MikeG, telling me that the flagellum has homolgous components with other machines, tells me absolutely nothing about how a Darwinian mechanism built it. It’s essentially like saying that because the motor of a motorcycle can be used as a blender, therefore the motor evolved into the motorcycle. It falls into the category of untested just-so story. The fact remains that neither direct, nor indirect Darwinian pathways are capable of building a machine whose IC core requires all of it’s parts simultaneously, to function. Here…

    http://www.arn.org/docs2/news/.....inning.htm

    http://www.designinference.com.....isited.pdf

  5. MikeG

    Been there, seen that.

    The appearance of the flagellum preceded the Type III secretory system in nature. Rather than the TTSS being co-opted and modified for locomotion into the more complex flagellum, it appears the flagellum devolved into the simpler TTSS and was co-opted for secretion.

    Devolving into a simpler system that is co-opted for a new purpose is a lot easier path to navigate.

    http://www.discovery.org/scrip.....38;id=2997

    Plus I want to see the proposed chain of mutations demonstrated in a laboratory to ensure there aren’t any impossible steps along the way and each step must be explainable in terms of fitness advantage. Anything less is just story telling.

  6. Furthermore, one would expect to see the same or similar components in other systems… design economy, or good engineering. ;)

  7. Like I’ve said, I’m not a molecular biologist so discussing the fine points of flagellar structure is not my strength. You have all obviously been around this argument for far longer than I have and I’m sure you have an answer to everything I could say.

    Can someone address the point I made in my second paragraph about the non-scientific requirement of ID that demands a supernatural explanation?

  8. Sure… it’s a straw man. ID does not require that the designer be supernatural. ID is, very modestly, the observance of specified complexity in biologicial systems. It cannot and does not address who or what the designer is. That is a second-order question for philosophers and theologians to debate.

  9. Actually ID does encompasses – the fine-tuning of the cosmological constants and Complex Specified Information as we see encoded along the spine of the DNA molecule, to be more thorough.

  10. MikeG

    “Can someone address the point I made in my second paragraph about the non-scientific requirement of ID that demands a supernatural explanation?”

    I fail to see why ID requires a supernatural explanation.

    No laws of physics are violated by intelligent design. Human genetic engineers have proven that tinkering with genomes for fun and profit isn’t something only deities can accomplish.

    As far as falsification… the falsification of guided evolution is the verification of unguided evolution and vice versa. Evolutionists insistent that evolution is an unguided process don’t get to have their cake and eat it too. If they can verify unguided evolution then that constitutes the falsification of guided evolution. Pretty cool how that works, eh?

  11. The identification of the designer is anything but a straw man, it’s the key missing point in the entire ID hypothesis! If you can’t expect to scientifically identify the designer and the way in which he/she acted then it by definition is supernatural and lies outside the realm of science. You admit that it’s a question for philosphers and theologians. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. You can’t say that ID is scientific and also that the full explanation can’t be reached by the scientific method.

  12. Everything in both ontogeny and phylogeny demands a supernatural explanation. It is not my fault that the God or Gods are all dead. Think about it as Einstein did:

    “The main source of the present-day conflicts beween the spheres of religion and science lies in the concept of a personal God.”
    Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions

    That was in 1954, written shortly before he died. It is much worse now as the Christian Fundamentalists have progressively become more militant. That is part of what feeds the frenzy. It is a great tragedy and was quite unecessary. Blame the Protestants, not the Catholics.

    I’ll bet tbis will stir a response!

  13. By the way, your response counter need to be reset.

  14. Mike, ID cannot scientifically identify the designer. Period. Please don’t conflate the science with it’s implications.

  15. Whoever the intelligent designer is, he/she was/is acting in such a manner that is undetectable by scientific inquiry. That makes it supernatural!

    The theory of evolution has an immense body of scientific evidence supporting it and nothing that disproves it. If ID is to compete as a valid theory it must develop a body of scientific evidence that supports it. Irreducible complexity of some microbiological structures is a start, but only a meager one at that. ID will need to develop evidence from palaeontology, behavioral sciences, and other disciplines before it can begin to compete as a valid theory against evolution.

    How does the hypothesis of ID help the scientific method to understand our world and how it works today? Evolution provides a solid basis for understanding the way organisms relate to each other and exist in the world today and in the past. How does ID help us to understand such phenomena such as how a virus that infects birds can suddenly begin infecting humans? Why do humans, chimps, and gorillas share 99% of our DNA, other primates share lesser amounts, and other mammals share even less than them? Why do we find hominid fossils that are remarkably human-like, and are more human-like the younger they are? Why do we find dinosaur fossils with feathers and bird fossils with dinosaur anatomy? These are simply a very few of the questions where the theory of evolution can help us to understand the processes involved and bring these seemingly disparate phenomena under one umbrella. Invoking an intelligent designer as the cause of these situations doesn’t help us to understand them, or make predictions as to what could happen in the future. It’s all out of the realm of our being able to understand it. We can’t learn from them to figure out what else is possible.

  16. Bombadill,
    “ID cannot scientifically identify the designer. Period. Please don’t conflate the science with it’s implications.”

    You can’t have a valid scientific hypothesis that includes something that science cannot validate! If you have no hope of identifying the designer then you shouldn’t incorporate a designer into your hypothesis.

  17. Mike G,

    The first point in your rebuttal omits one critical factor in the surmised evolution of the clock – that the clock maker was guiding the processs every step of the way. The point of the clockmaker argument is that if one assumes there is not an intelligent clockmaker available, then the emergence of the clock due to random, unguided causes is analogous to Darwinian evolution (with the excepton that the clock is not self replicating, but that isn’t what the analogy is concerned with).

    You also state that we reasonably conclude that the clock was designed because we have evidence of who created it and how. But that’s just the point that gets missed in this argument more often than not: the analogy doesn’t presume a designer at all, in fact the analogy works best if one assumes the clock is first found by a primitive walking through the jungle. He would recognize the clock as something that was designed (i.e. was not produced by a natural cause such as grown on a tree) for a purpose (i.e. seems to track the cycle of day and night). The primitive doesn’t have to know anything at all about the designer to correctly infer that there was one. If you were that primitive you would very quickly stop asking how it came to be, and focus instead on who the intelligent agent was who designed it.

    Think of it in different terms – you’re walking down a forest trail and come across a glowing sphere the size of a volkswagen. The sphere has a red spot above which is drawn what is obviously a sun with planets rotating around them. There is a blue line drawn between the third and fourth planets. Would you marvel at how nature could produce such an orb, or would you think you had just found proof that intelligent life exists on Mars and they sent a package to tell us so (or possibly wonder who created this hoax and why)?

    So the whole point of the clockmaker analogy is that there had to be an intelligence involved, and one doesn’t have to either know who the intelligence was or try to identify it – it is simply a statement that the evidence strongly infers the intelligence was there.

    Lastly, on the topic of testability… Since analogies seem to be such a useful tool to use, let’s consider the Big Bang one more time. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, so I’ll be brief. Big Bang is the widely accepted scientific explanation for the origin of the universe. But it is not a testable theory. It is not subject to being “explicitly disproven” either for the same reason it is not testable – because we do not have the ability to directly observe what happened at the beginning of time or to experimentally create our own universe to confirm it. So it cannot be tested or disproven and yet it is the accepted theory because it is what the evidence points to. The point is that “science”, such as it is, does not in fact follow the testability-disproveability dogma uniformly or even fairly. If it did, Darwinian Evolution would have been on the trash heap of failed scientific theories long ago.

    But at the same time, the Big Bang example gives us hope – that eventually the evidence will lead to the truth even if the truth is a bitter pill for scientific naturalists dedicated to Darwin’s inference.

  18. Dougmoran:

    You seem to misunderstand why the big bang is considered science. May I reccomend http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_bang

    “The Big Bang theory developed from observations and theoretical considerations”

    Observations Doug. Observations.

    And the Big Bang Theory HAS been tested. That’s why it is science. I would also recommend reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

    A theory has to make predictions. If not, it’s not useful. The Big Bang Theory made predictions that turned out to be correct. They turned out to be correct by OBSERVABLE evidence. Now, if the predictions would have been incorrect, the theory would have been scrapped (or adjusted.) This is how we can test theories that while we may not have “been there when it happened”, we can still see the validity of the theory.

  19. The clockmaker analogy wasn’t mine, I just did the best I could with what was written. It was a pretty poor analogy in the first place. Analogies are usually pretty bad tools.

    Typical ID argument regarding the Big Bang. You can’t refute that ID is not a valid scientific theory, so you attack other scientific theories. The Big Bang theory can be modified (and has been numerous times) with the discovery of new information. The Big Bang theory says nothing about what came before or what happened at the instant of creation, only that it happened and how it transpired. Science does follow the testability-disprovability dogma quite well, despite what ID proponents say.

  20. ID doesn’t claim you cannot pursue the identity of the designer using other means. ID is just fairly limited in scope (design detection) and doesn’t include, at present, scientific methods for identifying the designer.

  21. dougmoran,

    “…if one assumes the clock is first found by a primitive walking through the jungle. He would recognize the clock as something that was designed…”

    Do you believe that it’s possible for something that we know is not designed to appear designed?

    Imagine taking some rounded pebbles from the beach to a “primitive” who’s never seen the sea. To him, the smooth roundness of the pebbles would probably indicate to him that they were designed. He may even offer an explaination as to how they were designed: by deliberate sculpture, or just tumbled with other rocks in a barrel until smooth.

    False positive?

    False analogy. The machinery inside a living cell is more complicated than the space shuttle combined with everything at Cape Canaveral that isn’t alive, all of it operational during a launch. Show that to the primitive. Any chance he’ll get it wrong, you think? :-) -ds

  22. MikeG,

    If you accept the premise that some intelligence besides ourselves “may” have influenced some things in this world, then you are not in any way limited in science. You can investigate anything your heart desires because the restriction is only that some things “may” have been influenced. Go anywhere you want with this premise. You will keep in the back of your mind that there may be the possibility that some things may not follow the natural laws. But nothing is off limits including gradual changes in life forms due to random mutations and natural selection adding up to major morphological and functional changes.

    If suppose however, you accept the premise that no intelligent being (supernatural or otherwise) has ever influenced anything in the history of life or the construction of the universe. But suppose they did. Then you are in a straight jacket. Yes, you can go a lot of places and science has under this premise but if you start to go some places that looks like someone influenced the result, then you must stop because that is not an accepted conclusion. If the evidence points to what in other circumstances would logically be the result of intelligent intervention, you must find some alternative explanation no matter how absurd and defend it because the intervention of an intelligence is not a legitimate option. Darwin’s ideas once sounded like they were a likely explanation but when they were put to the scrutiny of the scientific method they fail big time. You thus get the nonsense that passes as evolution science today by those who defend the Neo Darwinian view of evolution. In addition every alternative theory that does not leave room for some intelligent intervention also contains massive self contradictions.

    Maybe some day there will be a coherent explanation of evolution that does not require the intervention of an intelligence at any point in life’s history, but it does not exist now nor are there any likely candidates. Just a bunch of wishful speculations. Neo Darwinism and its competitors are not science.

  23. MJ:
    ““The Big Bang theory developed from observations and theoretical considerations”

    Observations Doug. Observations. ”

    Yes, but not observations of the Big Bang. Rather, observations of the universe that Infer a Big Bang. Nobody has reported actually observing the Big Bang as far as I know, only that they see the evidence of it, can show it is consistente with mathematical models, and infer it as fact. More often than not Science deduces or infers it’s theories from observations of the world that are not direct observations of what the scientist theorizes. If science depended on direct observations for it’s theories then few of them (theories) would even exist. That list would include the Big Bang and Darwinian evolution, neither of which can be observed but both of which can be infered from observations that are possible (i.e. an expanding universe, background radiation, similarties in body plans, etc).

    But I do agree with your comments regarding theories making predictions, etc.

  24. Doug,
    I think we both agree (and maybe I mistated my point) that the Big Bang is not observable. But the theory is testable based on the predictions it makes.
    Sorry if my point got lost.

  25. Davscot said:

    “Observation: Irreducibly complex machinery, where the origin can be determined, is only the result of intelligent agency.

    Hypothesis: The irreducibly complex (IC) machinery in every living cell is the result of intelligent design.

    Prediction: No amount of experimentation will ever demonstrate a method of origination for the IC machinery in the living cell that is independent of intelligent agency.

    Test: Experiment, experiment, experiment”

    Precisely Dave. This is the perfect scientific method. But I ask: What experiments did Behe do to confirm his hypothesis of IC?

  26. Mike G,

    I agree analogies are not always useful tools. Too easily misinterpreted.

    You said: “Science does follow the testability-disprovability dogma quite well, despite what ID proponents say.”

    I agree in general that scientists do indeed try. But I also think that most theories develop over time incrementally, and are very often accepted (or rejected) prematurely without closing the testability-disprovability criteria.

    Also, I don’t think I was trying to attack the Big Bang theory because I “can’t refute that ID is not a valid scientific theory”. On the contrary, when it was first proposed the Big Bang theory was considered “unscientific” primarily because of it’s philosophical implications and because it was a new theory with immature theoretical basis. Over time, a great deal more theoretical work went into the theory and more observations were made that eventually made it impossible to conclude anything but the Big Bang theory. This is not unsimilar to how Darwinian Evolutionary Theory started

    But I’m not attacking either theory when I use them as analogous to ID in their beginnings. ID is very much a theory in it’s infancy just as the Big Bang was when it was first submitted. Like the Big Bang theory, ID theory has to be developed based on observations of the living world and needs theoretical models to substantiate it’s claims that some living systems require the input of an intelligent agent to come into existence. The theory is based on observations, has some models to be considered & developed further, and makes predictions that need to be tested with more research. But what I hear every day from supposedly open minded people is that ID is creationism not science so there is no point in letting ID theorists even test their theory. I just think that conclusion is not logical – rather it is deeply dishonest from an intellectual perspective. Even if you believe ID is not scientific, why would you want to prevent those who believe it is do the research they need to do? Why not let the evidence lead wherever it does? ID theorists are willing to put it on the line… why would you want to prevent them from failing or succeeding on their own accord? I think all they ask for is a level playing field.

  27. I beg your pardon. There is already a coherent hypothesis to explain organic evolution that is in complete accord with everything we currently know from both the fossil record and the experimental laboratory. It is called the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis. Someday is right now. Even if it should prove to be inadequate, which I do not anticipate, nothing will save the Darwinian fairy tale from its well deserved and long overdue oblivion. It has proven to be the biggest hoax in the history of science, dwarfing both the Phlogiston of Chemistry and the Ether of Physics.

    How do you like them raw Rocky Mountain oysters on the half shell? Slippery aren’t they?

    I’m bored.

  28. Mike G.,

    I think you misunderstand the difference between empirically verifying that something is intelligently designed and empirically verifying that something is best explained as being the result of intelligent design. You are correct in saying that the former cannot be subjected to observation and experimentation where nature is concerned and is, thus, unscientific. However, the latter can be observed and tested.

    Think of it this way. Let’s divide all physical phenomena into two categories–things which are intelligently designed and things which are not. From our past experience with recognized intellligent agents, is there anything that they produce which is objectively distinguishable from the rest of nature? There is. Intelligent agents are innovators and problem solvers; they incorporate means to achieve ends which would otherwise be highly improbable. Life, itself, can be seen as such an end which requires means to achieve its realization. The living cell incorporates many parts, processes, and pathways to accomplish one goal above all others–survival and reproduction. Thus, when we look at the different parts and functions therein (as well as in many other aspects of biology), we think in terms of purpose. I, therefore, place the whole burden on evolutionary science to show me how such purpose can arise from unintelligent processes. At present, I remain quite unconvinced.

  29. Your analogy is a good one and perfectly demonstrates the weakness of intelligent design arguments. If the only proof for common ancestry of humans and other animals were the lack of contradictory fossils, then ID and standard evolutionary explanations WOULD be on equal footing. However, we have a great deal of data that provides strong positive evidence of common ancestry. For example, there are a large number of non-adaptive happenstance genomic features shared between e.g. humans and chimps that indicate shared ancestry. We can, for example, trace deletions in pseudogenes in primates relative to the orthologous functional gene in, say, mouse. We find that the patterns of deletions match up very nicely with our phylogenetic tree for primates. ID has no model that can explain these observations. Another example is the very large number of inactive transposable elements (TEs) shared between humans and chimps. Evolutionary biologists have a good explanation for this: 1) TE family X was active before the divergence of chimps and humans and produced many copies. 2)The common ancestor of evolved a mechanism for suppresing TE family X so that replication stopped. The TEs accumulated mutations and all became nonfunction. 3) The divergence between chimps and humans occured. Both carry the inactive TEs from the ancestor. Again, ID has no model to explain this.

    Unlike standard evol. theory, ID has no positive evidence. The whole argument (including Dr. Dembski’s explanatory filter) comes down to nothing more than “if evol. biologists can’t explain Z then it must have been designed.”

    ID does not argue against common ancestry. Come back when you know enough about ID so you’re doing more than wasting bandwidth. Goodbye. -ds

  30. Now here is a real thigh slapper. STANDARD, mind you, doesn’t that have a nice ring to it, EVOLUTIONARY THEORY. Thank you vraki whoever that is and I am sure he won’t make that very evident any time soon because he is probably afraid to. You are precious. There is nothing standard about anything that is not even an hypothesis because the Darwinian fairy tale cannot even predict what its cornerstone, Nature, is going to do next. In other words it is an hypothesis that cannot make predictions. Think about it vraki if you are capable that is. It is a hideous joke.

    Where do you find these people Dave and why, oh why, must they persist in exposing themselves like this time after time, forum after forum? Every where one looks you find a Darwinian still reciting the same old chant like George Wallace used to say about segregation – “Segregation now, segregation forever,” except it now has become -”Darwinism now, Darwinism forever,” in utter oblivion that it is a fairy tale without a shred of evidence in its support, a gigantic illusion based on the unsubstantiated assumption that organic evolution had an exogenous cause which most certainly has never been identified for the simple reason that it never existed.

    It is hard to believe isn’t it?

    I can’t take much more of this idiocy Dave. I think I will go to bed. Wake me up if anything important transpires. You have my phone number. Otto my Dachshund is also tired of all this crap and is already under the covers.

    It has to be called -something-. Standard only means “usual” and Darwinian evolution is nothing if not the usual explanation. -ds

  31. That Mr. Davison has some spunk. :)

    I did find Mike G’s comment humorous “If you can’t expect to scientifically identify the designer and the way in which he/she acted then it by definition is supernatural and lies outside the realm of science”. I see, so if Mike sees a painting and we don’t know the identity of the artist and don’t know the method used to paint it, then the painting must have evolved through natural selection because it can’t have a designer. In other words, the painter is, according the laws of Mike’s science, deemed supernatural because we don’t know who or how the painting was created. No offense, but that is bizarre to say the least. Mike has just proven that, if we don’t know the artist or his method of painting, then the painting evolved. Huh?

    Mike also looks at a flagellum and says it didn’t have a designer because that kind of designer (supernatural) can’t exist. He can’t exist because science says he can’t.
    Who makes these rules anyway? Why are scientists with presuppositions (creator can’t exist) allowed to make the rules of science, which are actually philosophical in nature? When has science ever provided reasonable evidence that a supernatural creator can’t exist? They start with a philosophical presupposition that the supernatural can’t exist and end up with the horrid lie of evolution that will soon land on the ASHEAP OF HISTORY!!!

    By the way, if there is a creator, which it’s obvious that there is, these scientists making these rules are the greatest fools ever created by the Creator himself. The joke really is on them.

    They will basically be wrong about the entire foundation of science! I wished I had learned this stuff in ID class in high school. ☺

    According to Mike and science today “The laws of science do not allow for supernatural explanations”. Is this law scientific?

    Saxe

  32. Questions from MikeG (in post #15), and answers:

    Q. “How does ID help us to understand such phenomena such as how a virus that infects birds can suddenly begin infecting humans?”

    A. Re-use of, or similar, design in birds and humans.

    Q. “Why do humans, chimps, and gorillas share 99% of our DNA, other primates share lesser amounts, and other mammals share even less than them?”

    A. Re-use of, or similar, design in humans, chimps, and gorillas.

    Q. “Why do we find hominid fossils that are remarkably human-like, and are more human-like the younger they are?”

    A. Because the human race and possibly all other organisms were formed over a long period of time from (a) common ancestor(s). ID does not entail rejection of developmental or evolutionary processes.

    Q. “Why do we find dinosaur fossils with feathers and bird fossils with dinosaur anatomy?”

    A. Because the human race and possibly all other organisms were formed over a long period of time from (a) common ancestor(s). ID does not entail rejection of developmental or evolutionary processes.

    Q. “Invoking an intelligent designer as the cause of these situations doesn’t help us to understand them, or make predictions as to what could happen in the future.”

    A (actually a Q). What future evolutionary development does Darwinian evolutionary theory predict for any living organisms, other than that the “fittest” will survive? How is it determined what the “fittest” are?

  33. MikeG,

    You said: “If you can’t expect to scientifically identify the designer and the way in which he/she acted then it by definition is supernatural and lies outside the realm of science. You admit that it’s a question for philosphers and theologians. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. You can’t say that ID is scientific and also that the full explanation can’t be reached by the scientific method.
    Whoever the intelligent designer is, he/she was/is acting in such a manner that is undetectable by scientific inquiry. That makes it supernatural!”

    I take issue with the idea that God is or even could be supernatural. I think God is very natural indeed. The idea that God goes against the laws of nature is absurd.
    What are you talking about, lying outside the realm of science? Nothing lies outside the realm of science. Science is about studying what is so. We all would like to know what’s going on here, right? Even if there is a God, we must carry on. Look, if there is a God, that would be a different reality than if there isn’t one – so what? Is science defeated?
    We can’t say that the scientific method can never discover God. We don’t know what evidence, possibly indirect, that God leaves lying about and we don’t know what scientific tools will be in the future.

    John Davison,

    You said: “It is much worse now as the Christian Fundamentalists have progressively become more militant. That is part of what feeds the frenzy.”

    Do you know, IMO, that just as the Protestants are the natural daughters of the Catholic church, so do I think that modern atheism is the natural result of both churches, which directly gave birth to them.

  34. The Catholic Church kept Greek science and culture alive all throughout the middle ages when the heathen hordes were ravaging the civilized world. It has always been the friend of science and remains so to this day. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has Nobel Prize winners among its members. Where is the Protestant Academy of Sciences? Does anyone ever expect to see one? I don’t. Martin Luther was an arrogant backslid monk with a messiah complex running around nailing edicts on doors and causing all sorts of disruption everywhere he went, the quintessential troublemaker. He hated not only Catholics but Jews as well. He was to religion what Richard Dawkins is to evolutionary science. It is my way or the highway if you know what I mean, intolerant, bigoted and uninformed. Dawkins too has a messiah complex and for the same reason. He was probably “born that way.” Either that or he was molested by an Anglican (Protestant) priest as a child.

    I am not a religious person except in the same deeply humble sense that Einstein was. Anyone denying a past intelligence far beyond out powers to comprehend and who is trying to explain either ontogeny or phylogeny in terms of exogenous forces is living in a fantasy world and is in a state of what has to be a congenital intellectual coma which seems to be incurable through rational discourse. That is the one lesson to be learned from what is going on today. Darwinism is nothing but one gigantic mass hysteria that has lasted for 147 years and thankfully is about to end. The reason it is ending is simply that everything we are now learning and have learned from the experimental laboratory and the fossil record demonstrates loud and clear against any role for chance whatsoever in either ontogeny or phylogeny. Nothing, absolutely nothing, in neoDarwinian dogma ever had anything to do with evolution beyond the trivial production of varieties and subspecies and many life forms do not have the innate genetic plasticity to manage even that. For all practical purposes contemporary species, the final products of an undeniable past evolution, are immutable just as Cuvier and Linnaeus assumed. We witness in the fossil record the orthogenetic, internally driven ascending creation of final terminal morphological ideals in the horse, the lion, the elephant and every other contemporary life form including ourselves. The horse series while it had many side branches nevertheless proceeded inexorably through the loss of digits from five to four to three to two to one with never a single reversal. Where do you go from one? All of evolution was orthogenetic, orchestrated from within somehow and goal directed. Chance played no role in any of it and it is finished folks. Get used to it. It is my firm conviction that there is at present not a single living creature, plant or anmal, that is any longer capable of becoming anything very different from what it is right now. I have repeatedly asked for examples and received nothing but the usual “incipientt species” nonsense. Incipient species are not species and are not on the road toward becoming species either just as Goldschmidt recognized 66 years ago. Creative evolution is finished. Robert Broom was, I believe, the first to realize this and Julian Huxley stole the idea from Broom as I have demonstrated in my Manifesto. Pierre Grasse independently reached the ame conclusion and it is implicit in the writings of Otto Schindewolf without question the greatest paleontologist of all time.

    The Grand Plan has been completed and here we are, Homo sapiens, the only creatures in the universe capable of ultimately figuring out how it was done. And what are we doing but squabbling among ourselves like hens in a barnyard. It is pathetic.

    Anti-scientific Christian fundamentalism has been the product of the Protestant Reformation pure and simple and remains today the primary source of the stupid ideologiocal conflict we see still raging right here on this forum and throughout cyberspace. It is the age old battle over man’s position in the universe. Is he an accident as Gould and Dawkins claim or is he the product of a plan. I am sure everyone knows by now where I stand. The architects (I think there had to be at least two) that drew up the plans for phylogeny and ontogeny are no longer with us and it is a mistake to insist that they are.

    “The main source of the present-day conflicts between the spheres of religion and science lies in the concept of a personal God.
    Albert Einstein

  35. John,

    As I discovered last night, I have your Manifesto. This made me happy, but sad that there is one less thing for me to read. Is there another paper in which you lay out more of your ideas? What’s this about there being two architects? Have you addressed your opinions as to origin of life, and what about the jump from single-celled to multiple-celled organisms?
    The Catholic Church may not be quite the enemy of science as commonly thought, but it certainly required a rebellion. There is the little matter of the inquisition. Try reading The Closing of the Western Mind by Charles Freeman. Anyway, the problem with Protestants is that they are still Catholic; the damage done to the psyche by the Catholic church has rendered them endlessly bewildered as to a way out.

    On the question of a personal God – the heart says yes and the mind says no. Oh well.

  36. Oh, and I agree about evolution being an internal process. That’s the way I think about it.

  37. avocationist

    Go to Google and plug in (Davison evolution) and you will find plenty of references to my papers and how ridiculous they all are. Its a fun read. Enjoy and thanks for the interest. I recommend you read “How the Catholic Church built Western Civilization” by Woods.

    Just remember what Montaigne said:

    “He that I am reading seems always to have the most force.”

    That is why I agree with Cyrus Noe:

    “I read as little of Richard Dawkins as possible.”

  38. My point – perhaps not well made – is that no one would consider it good science to say “we know that common ancestry occurs because we havn’t found any counterexamples”. You can “prove” almost anything this way. We believe in common ancestry because of a great deal of positive evidence, not because we haven’t observed any counterexamples. Your strategy of proclaiming it as true unless we can disprove it is exactly the opposite of accepted scientific practice.

    That is simply wrong. Gravity is accepted because there are no counter examples. When an observation is made “things fall toward the earth” or “living things come from other living things” and there are countless observations with no exceptions then these become not just theories but laws, until an exception it found. Where is the exception to “living things come from other living things”? Show me and I’ll hop off the descent with modification bandwagon in a heartbeat.

  39. Vrakj,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but mustn’t evolutionary theory hypothesize that non-living matter turned itself into living matter through natural means? If this is true, where has this feat EVER been observed? There are, in fact, “countless examples” showing that non-living matter can’t turn itself into living matter via. Therefore, using your logic, mustn’t we conclude the necessity of a designer because “there are no counter examples” for non-living matter coming alive using natural law? I know, I know, science has ruled out the supernatural so this must have happened. Sorry, but this game seems extremely rigged.

    Evolution can’t even account for living matter, much less anything that supposedly followed.

    Saxe

  40. Dr. Davison,

    In comment #35 you said: “Anti-scientific Christian fundamentalism has been the product of the Protestant Reformation pure and simple and remains today the primary source of the stupid ideologiocal conflict we see still raging right here on this forum and throughout cyberspace.”

    You’re a good contributor, and I’m glad you’re here. But please ease off the Protestant bashing. Statements such as this are incendiary and non-productive.

  41. I think Dave was referring to the way you used “creationist” rather than the word, itself. You may not have meant it, but the way your comment above is worded seems to imply that creationists are bad.

  42. “Martin Luther was an arrogant backslid monk with a messiah complex running around nailing edicts on doors and causing all sorts of disruption everywhere he went, the quintessential troublemaker. He hated not only Catholics but Jews as well. _He was to religion what Richard Dawkins is to evolutionary science_.”

    Brilliant! Professor Davison, you are my hero!

  43. avocationist wrote:

    “The Catholic Church may not be quite the enemy of science as commonly thought, but it certainly required a rebellion. There is the little matter of the inquisition. Try reading The Closing of the Western Mind by Charles Freeman.”

    ****

    “The popular view is, that Copernicus ‘discovered’ that the earth moves around the sun. Actually the _hypothesis_ that the earth revolves round the sun is at least as old as the third century B.C., when it was advanced by Aristarchus of Samos . . . Secondly, it is generally believed that the Church tried to keep the discovery dark. Actually Copernicus did not himself want to publish _De Revolutionibus Orbium_, and was only eventually prevailed on to do so by the importunity of two eminent Churchmen . . . When the ordinary man hears that the Church told Galileo that he might teach Copernicanism as a hypothesis that saved [i.e., accounted for] all the celectial phenomena satisfactorily, but ‘not as being the truth’, he laughs. But this was really how Ptolemaic astronomy had been taught! In its actual place in history it was not a casuistic quibble; it was the refusal (unjustified it may be) to allow the introduction of a new and momentous doctrine. It was not simply a new theory of the nature of the celestial movements that was feared, but a new theory of the nature of theory; namely, that, if a hypothesis saves all the appearances, it is identical with truth.”

    -”Saving the Appearances, A Study in Idolatry” by Owen Barfield, Wesleyan University Press, 1965

    For a much fuller history of astronomy (as well as the Church’s involvement in it) read P. Duhem’s “Le Systeme du Monde. Histoire des Doctrines Cosmologiques de Platon a Copernic” (Paris 1913-1917. 5 volumes).

    French rusty? Read instead “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science” by Tom Bethell, Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2005. See Chapter 12 especially.

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