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Prediction, prediction, who’ll bet the RENT on a prediction?

Recently, a hoo-haw among some Darwinists vastly spiked traffic to one of my blogs, The Post-Darwinist, out of all proportion to usual interest levels. It had to do with some predictions I had made.

People who can force the taxpayer to fund their activities are generally mega rotten at understanding the point of view of people who make a living offering goods and services to a public that actually has a choice in the matter. But that is a story for another day.

Anyway, predictions, predictions. What does Darwinian evolution predict?

Strictly speaking, nothing. By definition, it is the one form of evolution that banished purpose (teleology) from nature. That was supposed to be its big advantage, right? So by definition, it makes no predictions. Not that you’d know, from Darwinist huffing.

That doesn’t mean no one can predict anything. Here are some more of of my predictions:

If Darwinian evolution predicts anything at all, other than grants for its promoters and persecution for its doubters, it should predict that such an event as the beefalo does not happen, yet it does.

And lots of other similar events happen too, some of which we will unfold in due course at The Design of Life blog.

However, at this point, I think Darwinian evolution mainly predicts:

Lo, I saw a great grant machine, and behold, it was funded by the taxpayer, and – what marvel yet again! – it is administered by a small class of people who are ideological atheists and have learned how to turn that into an excellent financial proposition.

And a couple of further predictions (since I am here anyway),

Doubters who dare to offer facts in support of their views are hounded in a thoroughly unprofessional way.

Allegedly Christian institutions abet the persecution because they need to suck up to elite atheists in order to think well of themselves (I confess I do not know why. It is inconceivable to me how anyone could take those people’s opinions seriously, given that the entire twentieth century has been a vast disconfirmation of same.)

The idea that the universe shows evidence of intelligent design is treated as a threat to human rights.

Oops, all this has already HAPPENED! A day late and a dollar short.

Okay, so let me make three predictions that – to the best of my knowledge – haven’t already happened:

1. Academic institutions will force students to sign statements saying that they renounce the idea that the universe could be intelligently designed. So students from most normal human traditions will be forced to sign a statement saying that their tradition is actually lies, garbage, and drivel. Even though the evidence of the fine tuning of the universe actually supports their traditions’ most basic elements. And if they appeal to the judiciary, the judgebots will demand that they sign, if they want an education.

2. Many religion profs, divinity profs, chaplains, alleged Christians in science, etc., will urge the students to sign the statement, because – whether they know it or not – they are totally in the materialist camp. They hope that they can get a salary while they sell out their tradition. It is unclear why these profbots and revbots should not be booted, given that the evidence from science actually supports rather than undermines traditional beliefs about the basic nature of the universe. But lots of people get a salary to pretend otherwise, and they will go on doing so.

3. Social workers will come out from under the floorboards from every direction to urge the young people to be “nice” and sign.

Some of these young people will face a very difficult challenge. They will begin slowly to realize that some of their elders are a disgrace. All the worse for them, as they are traditionalists and think that they should be polite to elders. It is best to deal with family disgrace discreetly, so I assume they will. After all, the sellout of the “theistic evolutionists” is a disgrace in the eyes of the whole world and of history, so we need our best resources to address it decently and minimize the damage it has caused.

Please write to me if these predictions have already happened. Sure, I’d like to be a prophet, but I am really just a journalist. I don’t need to be ahead of the news, just not too far behind it.

New at The Design of Life and The Mindful Hack

Why did you say goodbye just like that? What do we know about extinction?

How do unconscious people know when to wake up? They shouldn’t, but they do, and so …

To make sense, any theory of mind needs to address the data from physics. Notice, I said data from physics, not from Materialism 101.

This reviewer of The Spiritual Brain thinks that the God Helmet is as funny as I did. (Look, why don’t atheists get out more? They could try going to church, for example, if they want to attack religion effectively. You can learn way more about the down side of religion at church than in some atheist think tank.)

Is human consciousness a trick to ensure survival? Well, let’s start with the question of whether it even helps much to ensure survival. Do animals commit suicide? Start wars over ideology? Consciousness creates numerous risks to life that would not otherwise exist.

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16 Responses to Prediction, prediction, who’ll bet the RENT on a prediction?

  1. darwinism predicts: que sera, sera

  2. Denyse – you seem to be arguing that only a teleological process can be predicted. A corollary of this must surely be that the force of gravity is teleological. Is this what you’re suggesting?

    Bob

  3. “Look, why don’t atheists get out more? They could try going to church, for example, if they want to attack religion effectively. You can learn way more about the down side of religion at church than in some atheist think tank.” – Denyse O’Leary

    Isn’t that the truth!

    But I think the reason atheists don’t get out more is that you meet people with faces when you go out – and it’s a whole lot harder to hate people with faces than people without them.

  4. A corollary of this must surely be that the force of gravity is teleological. Is this what you’re suggesting?–Bob O’H

    Gravity is a design parameter, as are all laws that govern this universe. That is why we can put them in mathematical form and use those forms to make accurate predictions.

  5. Bob O’H,

    you said

    “you seem to be arguing that only a teleological process can be predicted. A corollary of this must surely be that the force of gravity is teleological. Is this what you’re suggesting?”

    I read Denyse’s post, how did you come to that conclusion?

    Physics is getting pretty good at predicting things that are based on the basic laws of nature. However, it does not look like biology or human behavior follows the laws of physics in any way we know. Or at least no one has a clue how physics works at the biological level.

    I am sure you will think of something that might follow the laws of physics in biology and when you do we will be grateful for your examples. But in general no one has a clue how to apply physics to biology. Thus, your comment about gravity was specious and silly.

    Are you willing to predict that no one will ever ask students to sign something like a pledge to Darwinian principles before they are allowed to enter certain classes?

  6. Denyse,

    I have a point of view that I have expressed many times on this site that Darwinian processes account for most of what we call species in our world and is completely compatible with Intelligent Design.

    It would predict the Beefalo and many other phenomena in life’s progress through the eons. Wolves can mate with dogs, lions can mate with tigers and most of what we call species in the various genera and families are nothing more than refinements of an original gene pool. So when someone brings up that there are thousands of cichlid species or 60,000 different beetles one can point to Darwinian processes that narrow the gene pool of a certain population and produce what we have called different species. Occasionally there will be the minor mutation that will affect a species but they will always be minor. The Darwinian process essentially narrows and rarely expands gene pools.

    This Darwinian process allows for a richness of life because certain refinements of the original gene pool can better flourish in certain environments. It however, does not explain how the original gene pool came about that enables these subspecies to form. It also does not allow how real novelty ever arose in life as Behe pointed out in the Edge of Evolution.

    So the students should be able to sign a limited Darwinian manifesto and declare that Darwinian processes are great design implemented by an immense intelligence but Darwinian processes are unable to explain life’s major progressions during the eons but can explain the Beefalo.

    We will now open a new chain of fast food delicacies call “ID Burgers”

  7. jerry – you missed my point. Denyse wrote

    By definition, it is the one form of evolution that banished purpose (teleology) from nature. That was supposed to be its big advantage, right? So by definition, it makes no predictions.

    The only way I can interpret this is that Denyse is saying that anything that is not teleological cannot make predictions. Ergo, if Newtonian mechanics is predictive, it must be teleological.

    Bob

  8. Bob, O’H,

    I believed Denyse used the word “evolution” in the sentence. So I still can not see why invoking gravity is worthy of a counter example. It is not even a “Gotcha.”

    I actually see Darwinian processes as predicting many things and these have been born out in nature. Namely, that changes will be trivial and/or be in the direction of narrowing the gene pool. This is what Darwin observed on his trip on the Beagle and what every evolutionary biologist uses to justify the grand scheme of Darwinian evolution.

    The Darwinian processes are very successful at both narrowing the gene pool and producing trivial changes to the gene pool through mutations but are utter failures at generating anything complex.

    So I personally would not get upset with taking an oath that said Darwinian processes are limited to trivial examples.

  9. I believed Denyse used the word “evolution” in the sentence. So I still can not see why invoking gravity is worthy of a counter example.

    Sorry, I can’t follow your logic. I’m using gravity as a counter-example to the claim that processes have to be teleological to be predictive. Denyse states that evolution is non-teleological (and I agree), and hence is not predictive (here I don’t agree). I was looking for another process that was non-teleological, but could be predictive.

    I actually see Darwinian processes as predicting many things and these have been born out in nature.

    That’s fine.

    I’d like to hear Denyse respond – she knows better what she was trying to communicate.

    Bob

  10. Bob O’H wrote: Denyse states that evolution is non-teleological (and I agree), and hence is not predictive (here I don’t agree). I was looking for another process that was non-teleological, but could be predictive.

    Haysoos Martinez! Must you be so anal retentive in order to make a lame point? All O’Leary was saying is that ID predicts the existence of a designer, i.e., a prime mover, whereas Darwinian evolution does not. Neo-Darwinism is the only “scientific” hypothesis that assumes that a process can be intelligent without being anticipatory. Try explaining this “revolutionary” type of intelligence to an expert in behavioral intelligence and you’ll be ridiculed back to the primordial ooze.

    If you applied the same anal retentiveness to Darwinism, you’d soon find yourself expelled or denied tenure or refused a grant or something of that nature. LOL.

  11. Bob O’H,

    your said

    “that processes have to be teleological to be predictive.”

    I cannot believe anyone ever held such a position let alone Denyse. I still cannot find it in what she said. All one has to do is predict the sun will rise tomorrow as a counter example. I have no idea what your game is or what you are trying to prove or say but so far I can find no content in it.

  12. jerry – let’s go through this carefully. This is what Denyse wrote:

    Anyway, predictions, predictions. What does Darwinian evolution predict?

    Strictly speaking, nothing. By definition, it is the one form of evolution that banished purpose (teleology) from nature. That was supposed to be its big advantage, right? So by definition, it makes no predictions. Not that you’d know, from Darwinist huffing.

    So, she says
    1. Darwinian evolution doesn’t predict anything.
    2. Darwinian evolution has by definition banished teleology.
    3. Therefore by definition it does not make predictions.

    The only way I can see this being a logical argument is if Denyse is making that assumption that only teleological processes can be predicted. How else can one make a logical inference from 2 to 3?

    I would still like to see Denyse explain what she was trying to say, so this can be sorted out.

    Bob

  13. Bob O’H,

    You can fuss all you want but it is over a pimple on an elephants rear end. All I think Denyse is saying is that Darwinian processes by definition do not predict anything which is true but if it they were teleological it would. Is all this about being a little bit more precise on an obvious example. Why bother. She has written a ton of stuff on evolution and has never denied the obvious so I would expect whatever might be wrong with the expression she used it is due to writing too quickly.

    Why don’t you try wording it correctly and ask Denyse, if this is what she meant. You can get her email address on her website.

    In fact Darwinian process do not predict any specific thing but in general predict what will be expected over time. It will predict there will be changes and give some overall description of the changes to be expected but never say what the specific changes will be. If it was teleological then one may get more precise with the changes expected but never as close as with the laws of physics.

  14. 14

    I would expect whatever might be wrong with the expression she used it is due to writing too quickly.

    Quick writing is her métier.

  15. Mapou (10),

    I don’t think any advocate of evolution considers it to ne an intelligent process. What makes you think it is?

  16. Denise wrote:

    “What does Darwinian evolution predict?

    Strictly speaking, nothing.”

    Actually, Darwinian evolution was successfully used to predict where and when animal life made the tarnsition from sea to land. That is why researchers trekked all the way up to the far north of the beautiful country of Canada to look for the relevant fossils. And they succeeded – the fossil is Tiktaalik.

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