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Peer review: How much more believable than fortune telling these days?

A number of red flags have shot up recently about comfy relationships between science, media, and corporate interests. Here’s a small batch to contemplate:

- Elizabeth Landau asks at CNN, “Where’s the line between research and marketing?” (October 13, 2010):

JAMA, one of the premier peer-reviewed health publications in the United States, published the Jenny Craig-funded study that had to do with — surprise! — women losing weight in the Jenny Craig weight-loss program. The study found that women in the Jenny Craig program lost between three and four times as much weight as those who dieted independently.

Fontanarosa says the study passed the journal’s requirements for a privately funded study: the sponsor – Jenny Craig – tried to minimize its influence over the management analysis of data and reporting of the findings. An academic investigator had access to all data, and an academic biostatistician conducted the analysis.

But some experts say the public should have extra skepticism than when viewing the results of a study like this.

The experts’ further advice, as properly recounted by Landau, is no substitute for plain old hardline skepticism. Here’s some skeptical advice on weight loss programs in general.

- In “Lies, damn lies, and medical science”(The Atlantic, November 2010) David H. Freedman reports on the shifting sands of health dangers uncovered by peer-reviewed studies:

That question has been central to Ioannidis’s career. He’s what’s known as a meta-researcher, and he’s become one of the world’s foremost experts on the credibility of medical research. He and his team have shown, again and again, and in many different ways, that much of what biomedical researchers conclude in published studies—conclusions that doctors keep in mind when they prescribe antibiotics or blood-pressure medication, or when they advise us to consume more fiber or less meat, or when they recommend surgery for heart disease or back pain—is misleading, exaggerated, and often flat-out wrong. He charges that as much as 90 percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed. His work has been widely accepted by the medical community; it has been published in the field’s top journals, where it is heavily cited; and he is a big draw at conferences. Given this exposure, and the fact that his work broadly targets everyone else’s work in medicine, as well as everything that physicians do and all the health advice we get, Ioannidis may be one of the most influential scientists alive. Yet for all his influence, he worries that the field of medical research is so pervasively flawed, and so riddled with conflicts of interest, that it might be chronically resistant to change—or even to publicly admitting that there’s a problem.[ ... ]

It didn’t turn out that way. In poring over medical journals, he was struck by how many findings of all types were refuted by later findings. Of course, medical-science “never minds” are hardly secret. And they sometimes make headlines, as when in recent years large studies or growing consensuses of researchers concluded that mammograms, colonoscopies, and PSA tests are far less useful cancer-detection tools than we had been told; or when widely prescribed antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil were revealed to be no more effective than a placebo for most cases of depression; or when we learned that staying out of the sun entirely can actually increase cancer risks; or when we were told that the advice to drink lots of water during intense exercise was potentially fatal; or when, last April, we were informed that taking fish oil, exercising, and doing puzzles doesn’t really help fend off Alzheimer’s disease, as long claimed. Peer-reviewed studies have come to opposite conclusions on whether using cell phones can cause brain cancer, whether sleeping more than eight hours a night is healthful or dangerous, whether taking aspirin every day is more likely to save your life or cut it short, and whether routine angioplasty works better than pills to unclog heart arteries.

Go here for more.

- And don’t expect the legacy mainstream media to run to help.

Too many of them are part of the pattern themselves, as Paul Raeburn at Knight Journalism Tracker points out:

Yesterday, I criticized the foundation for taking funding from Pfizer for its “all-expenses-paid” annual cancer conference for reporters.This morning, I looked at the press foundation’s donors. In its 2009 annual report, the foundation said “nearly 300 journalists benefitted from our training in Washington, around the world, online and through webinars. And it boasted that “in one of the tumultuous years in the U.S. media business, we did all this without charging journalists a dime, with programs that received some of our highest evaluations ever.”

How did the National Press Foundation do it?

Raeburn figures they did it because pharmaceutical corporations contributed about one quarter of the money and the journalism organizations’ contributions were “far smaller.” He adds,

When the National Press Foundation says in its annual report that it is funded, in part, by “concerned corporations,” it’s right on the money. You can bet that Pfizer, Merck, and the others are concerned about what appears in the press!

No kidding. The corruption here isn’t open, it’s insidious. The questions one does not ask, the research one does not do, the people one knows better than to confront, the backing down and the sliding away … Sound familiar, anyone?

Do I say peer review is bad? No, but it can be useless or misleading. The key problem is that it is treated as a seal of approval. Yet it can often be the means by which third rate stuff gets attention and serious stuff is suppressed. The system is now corrupt enough that one can no longer take seriously claims like “Orthodox science doesn’t accept this.” My immediate response is, “Is THAT all you got by way of objection?”

I have written about the peer review scandal elsewhere:

“Peer review, mere review, and smear review”

“Peer review: Life, death, and the British Medical Journal

Science: A year-end wad of fraud, falsified data, and other award-winning tenure strategies …

Peer review: What if your peers would have to be otherconspiracy theorists? (No, really!)

Peer review: Gold standard or gold in “them thar hills”

* In fairness, journalism has been hit hard in recent years by layoffs, etc. But that’s when we should just hold cheaper conferences and lump it until good stories start making money again.

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28 Responses to Peer review: How much more believable than fortune telling these days?

  1. Good article Denyse.

    My atheist and Darwinist brother once brought up “peer review” to argue how scientists that support evolution can’t be wrong and how those that don’t buy into their evolutionary blather are just plain stupid.

    Following the herd is a dangerous proposition. A couple of recent examples from the financial and corporate world and we’ll get the picture:

    1. Securities rated AAA that were not worth the paper they were written on. Financial crisis anyone?

    2. Corporate boards that sanctioned the actions of inept CEO’s before the company went under. Enron, anyone?

    Caveat emptor.

  2. Thank you, aedgar!

    Peer review is usually about consensus, but that tells us only what opinions are fashionable.

    There’s nothing wrong with holding a fashionable position, if for morally acceptable reasons, but we mustn’t suppose that we are any more likely to be right just because a bunch of people think as we do.

  3. notes:

    Michael Behe -No Scientific Literature For Evolution of Molecular Machines – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5302950/

    “There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation of such a vast subject.”
    James Shapiro – Molecular Biologist

    “The response I have received from repeating Behe’s claim about the evolutionary literature, which simply brings out the point being made implicitly by many others, such as Chris Dutton and so on, is that I obviously have not read the right books. There are, I am sure, evolutionists who have described how the transitions in question could have occurred.” And he continues, “When I ask in which books I can find these discussions, however, I either get no answer or else some titles that, upon examination, do not, in fact, contain the promised accounts. That such accounts exist seems to be something that is widely known, but I have yet to encounter anyone who knows where they exist.”
    David Ray Griffin – retired professor of philosophy of religion and theology

    The following expert doesn’t even hide his very unscientific preconceived philosophical bias against intelligent design,,,

    ‘We should reject, as a matter of principle, the substitution of intelligent design for the dialogue of chance and necessity,,,

    Yet at the same time the same expert readily admits that neo-Darwinism has ZERO evidence for the chance and necessity of material processes producing any cellular system whatsoever,,,

    ,,,we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.’
    Franklin M. Harold,* 2001. The way of the cell: molecules, organisms and the order of life, Oxford University Press, New York, p. 205.
    *Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, Colorado State University, USA

    Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design (Annotated) – updated regularly
    http://www.discovery.org/a/2640

    Michael Behe – bio. and list of peer reviewed papers:
    http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/faculty/behe.html

    Should Intelligent Design Be Taught as Science? Michael Behe debates Stephen Barr – 2010 – video
    http://www.isi.org/lectures/fl.....4/lectures

    Is Intelligent Design “Creationism in a Cheap Lab Coat”? – Casey Luskin – September 2010
    http://www.idthefuture.com/201.....ation.html

    A lot of people are concerned about the constitutionality of teaching evidence against evolution in public schools because of the establishment clause. The following article by Casey Luskin, who has a law degree, reveals that it is constitutional to teach evidence against evolution in public schools:

    Is It Legally Consistent for Darwin Lobbyists to Oppose Advocating, But Advocate Opposing, Intelligent Design in Public Schools? – August 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....37311.html

    This following, excellent, article by Casey Luskin has many references defending ID from both a evidential, and legal, point of view from a pretty nasty ‘smear article’ written by some Darwinist professors at SMU (Southern Methodist University):

    Responding to John Wise’s Table Pounding at Southern Methodist University – October 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....38841.html

  4. bornagain:

    Since you have an impressive command of the ID literature, perhaps you’d send me a link to the latest documented example of the designer creating a species.

    Thanks.

  5. mikev6, since you have impressive command of evolutionary literature, perhaps you’d send me a link of Darwinism creating any novel functional protein whatsoever.

    I do have a picture of God creating the universe though:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?i.....38;bih=637

  6. bornagain:

    mikev6, since you have impressive command of evolutionary literature, perhaps you’d send me a link of Darwinism creating any novel functional protein whatsoever.

    Right. Still can’t provide any evidence of ID that doesn’t require mentioning evolution.

  7. you know mikev6,

    Darwinism’s bread and butter argument is the theological argument of ‘God would not have done it that way’,,,

    Refuting The “Bad Design” Vs. Intelligent Design Argument – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4109211/

    … you know mikev6, like the bad design argument of the ‘inverted retina’ that was used since evolutionists could not even ‘evolve’ a single novel protein for an eye, much less the integrate pathways of proteins for eyesight:

    Retinal Glial Cells Enhance Human Vision Acuity A. M. Labin and E. N. Ribak
    Physical Review Letters, 104, 158102 (April 2010)
    Excerpt: The retina is revealed as an optimal structure designed for improving the sharpness of images.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-354274

    Evolution Vs. The Miracle Of The Eye – Molecular Animation – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4189562/

    The Miracle Of Eyesight
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc.....d25mdjRocQ

    And yet you accuse me of having to prove ID by ‘mentioning evolution’???? The truth is, mikev6 , that Darwinism is a parasitic science that absolutely depends on the Theistic framework being true in the first place to even be able to masquerade as the pseudo-science that it does as, whereas Theism has no essential dependence on Darwinism being true for it to be true in and of itself. In fact science itself would be impossible if Theism were not true:

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Proof That God Exists – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

  8. notes:

    The Sudden Appearance Of Photosynthetic Life On Earth – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4262918

    The Cambrian Explosion – Back To A Miracle! – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4112218

    Deepening Darwin’s Dilemma – Jonathan Wells – The Cambrian Explosion – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4154263

    More Pow in the Cambrian Explosion – May 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists have found more fossil evidence for sudden emergence of animal body plans in the Cambrian strata.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100511a

    Fossil Finds Show Cambrian Explosion Getting More Explosive – May 2010
    Excerpt: Cephalopods, which include marine mollusks like squid, octopus, and cuttlefish, are now being reported in the Cambrian explosion fossils.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....n_exp.html

    Origin of Phyla – The Fossil Evidence – Timeline Graph
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc.....#038;hl=en

    Ancient Fossils That Have Not Changed For Millions Of Years – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4113820

    Fossils Without Evolution – June 2010
    Excerpt: New fossils continue to turn up around the world. Many of them have an amazing characteristic in common: they look almost exactly like their living counterparts, despite being millions of years old,,,
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100618a

    Punctuated Equilibrium and Patterns from the Fossil Record – Casey Luskin
    Excerpt: “The Cambrian Explosion is by no means the only “explosion” in the fossil record. One evolutionist concedes that for the origin of fishes, “this is one count in the creationists’ charge that can only evoke in unison from paleontologists a plea of nolo contendere [no contest].” Plant biologists have called the origin of plants an “explosion,” saying, “the … radiation of land (plant) biotas is the terrestrial equivalent of the much-debated Cambrian ‘explosion’ of marine faunas.” Vertebrate paleontologists believe there was a mammal explosion because of the few transitional forms between major mammal groups: “There are all sorts of gaps: absence of gradationally intermediate ‘transitional’ forms between species, but also between larger groups — between, say, families of carnivores, or the orders of mammals.” Another study, “Evolutionary Explosions and the Phylogenetic Fuse,” found a bird (as well as a mammal) “Early Tertiary ‘explosion’” because many bird and mammal groups appear in a short time period lacking immediately recognizable ancestral forms. Finally, others have called the origin of our own genus Homo, “a genetic revolution” where “no australopithecine (ape) species is obviously transitional” leading one commentator to call it, like others called the Cambrian Explosion, a “big bang theory” of human evolution.”
    http://www.ideacenter.org/cont.....hp/id/1232

  9. mikev6 in 4:

    “Since you have an impressive command of the ID literature, perhaps you’d send me a link to the latest documented example of the designer creating a species.

    and in 6:

    “Right. Still can’t provide any evidence of ID that doesn’t require mentioning evolution.”

    Which of these statements actually count as an rational argument for anything? It seems that mikev6 is only venting his emotions and frustrations in these comments.
    Just as a hint if I want to read emotional “arguments” I can read Youtube comments. Thanks.

  10. mekev6:

    Origins science is forensic. You cannot recreate it and there are no eye witnesses. On the other hand real science can be observed and recreated.

    Every time I get on a plane I trust that I will arrive at my destination because there are observable and repeatable laws of physics that allow an airplane to overcome gravity and make flight possible.

    In the forensic science of origins you interpret the evidence based on your worldview. You can 1) believe in a Creator, or 2) deny that He exists and believe in molecules to man evolution by natural selection acting on random mutations. Since there are no observable and repeatable laws for the latter, belief in it is as much a matter of faith as the belief in a Creator.

    In which of these worldviews do you think the evidence fits best? You choose.

    Ponder in what Dawkins once said: “Evolution has been observed. It’s just that it hasn’t been observed while it’s happening.” This would not give me a warm and cozy feeling if I were pondering to believe in evolution. Again, caveat emptor.

  11. Innerbling:

    Which of these statements actually count as an rational argument for anything? It seems that mikev6 is only venting his emotions and frustrations in these comments.

    Nope – merely rehashing old arguments. It’s like the old joke about prison inmates who know each other’s jokes so well they just shout out numbers and everyone laughs.

    Bornagain likes to copy long lists of references, throwing in the occasional quote-mined pro-evolution reference (presumably to see if anyone is paying attention). I, on the other hand, recognizing that long lists of things that evolution doesn’t have an answer for yet doesn’t necessarily provide evidence that ID is correct, would rather discuss the direct evidence for ID. (It’s a shorter list.)

  12. mikev6,

    since EVERYTHING in life and the universe exhibits design, and would constitute a very long list indeed, and you are given to ‘very short list’ instead of long list, perhaps you would like to be the first neo-Darwinists on the face of earth to add just one item to the vacant list of complex systems that have been arrived at by evolutionary processes.

  13. mikev6, as well you seem to be quite oblivious to the fact that every time you write a post demanding evidence for Intelligent Design, you are in fact you yourself providing direct evidence that conscious intelligence can and does generate functional information well about that which can reasonably be expected from the entire material processes of the universe over the entire history of the universe, which is about 140 functional bits per Durston, whereas the average functional information on a single page of a written letter is +700 FITS (functional information bits). So mikev6, do you now want to claim that you are not intelligent???

  14. correction:

    ,,,well above that which can reasonably be expected,,,

  15. Slightly off topic. Dembski has made some recent comments confirming his young earth stand. Am I understanding this correctly ?

  16. aedgar:

    I fully agree that forensic science has many unknowns – probably why this on-going argument will never be settled.

    However, I find it a bit odd that worry about evolution which (as you claim) has no “observable or repeatable laws”, yet you’re perfectly comfortable with a Creator that also is neither “observable [n]or repeatable”.

    Evolution has a host of observable mechanisms generating change in populations, and we have evidence that these have been operating into the distant past. In addition, we have cases where species have started to diverge.

    On the other hand, ID posits a designer yet can’t explain how that designer was supposed to operate, nor why any design activities strangely stop now that people are looking for them. Also, since I have no idea about the identity of the designer nor it’s motivation, that certainly doesn’t leave me with a “warm and cozy feeling”.

  17. bornagain:

    since EVERYTHING in life and the universe exhibits design, and would constitute a very long list indeed, and you are given to ‘very short list’ instead of long list, perhaps you would like to be the first neo-Darwinists on the face of earth to add just one item to the vacant list of complex systems that have been arrived at by evolutionary processes.

    1) Me.

    How did your guy do it?

  18. Mikev6,,,

    PROVE IT!!!

  19. bornagain:

    PROVE IT!!!

    Science doesn’t ‘prove’ things. You can’t prove your position either. (Proof is for mathematicians.) From what I see, the weight of evidence is clearly on the side of evolution. You disagree, I’m sure.

    However, you haven’t addressed my second question. I have a body of evidence and theory that purports to explain how I got here.

    How did your guy do it? If you want to convince me with reason, you need to have the better explanation. Just saying “it was designed” isn’t an explanation. It’s just the starting point.

  20. mikev6 you state:

    ‘Science doesn’t ‘prove’ things. You can’t prove your position either. (Proof is for mathematicians.)’

    Then why in the world don’t you listen to the ‘proof’ of mathematics?

    Indeed, math is not kind to Darwinism in the least when considering the probability of humans ‘randomly’ evolving:

    In Barrow and Tippler’s book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, they list ten steps necessary in the course of human evolution, each of which, is so improbable that if left to happen by chance alone, the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have incinerated the earth. They estimate that the odds of the evolution (by chance) of the human genome is somewhere between 4 to the negative 180th power, to the 110,000th power, and 4 to the negative 360th power, to the 110,000th power. Therefore, if evolution did occur, it literally would have been a miracle and evidence for the existence of God. William Lane Craig

    William Lane Craig – If Human Evolution Did Occur It Was A Miracle – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUxm8dXLRpA

    Along that same line:

    Darwin and the Mathematicians – David Berlinski
    “The formation within geological time of a human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field, is as unlikely as the separation by chance of the atmosphere into its components.”
    Kurt Gödel, was a preeminent mathematician who is considered one of the greatest to have ever lived. Of Note: Godel was a Theist!
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....cians.html

    “Darwin’s theory is easily the dumbest idea ever taken seriously by science.”
    Granville Sewell – Professor Of Mathematics – University Of Texas – El Paso

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations – Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that ‘‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’’ (Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’’ using their model (which nonetheless “using their model” gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

    This following calculation by geneticist John Sanford for ‘fixing’ a beneficial mutation, or for creating a new gene, in humans, gives equally absurd numbers that once again render the Darwinian scenario of humans evolving from apes completely false:

    Dr. Sanford calculates it would take 12 million years to “fix” a single base pair mutation into a population. He further calculates that to create a gene with 1000 base pairs, it would take 12 million x 1000 or 12 billion years. This is obviously too slow to support the creation of the human genome containing 3 billion base pairs.
    http://www.detectingtruth.com/?p=66

  21. mikev6 you then state:

    ‘From what I see, the weight of evidence is clearly on the side of evolution.’

    You have ZERO observational evidence that evolution is true! This is not me ‘believing otherwise’,,, this is how the actual observational evidence sits! If you disagree then produce observational evidence of ID being falsified:

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A

    you then state:

    However, you haven’t addressed my second question. I have a body of evidence and theory that purports to explain how I got here.

    You have no ‘body of evidence’! You only have facts that have been twisted to accord to the preconceived philosophical biases of Darwinists!

    you then state:

    How did your guy do it? If you want to convince me with reason, you need to have the better explanation. Just saying “it was designed” isn’t an explanation. It’s just the starting point.

    mikev6 you want to know the mechanics of a miracle?,, Of how infinite God actualizes/materializes stuff in this 3D universe from His transcendent realm? Well since quantum waves collapse to quasi particle/waves, collapse to each unique point of observation in the universe, and is clearly indication of the ‘miraculous’, Let’s see what atheists have chosen to believe rather than the miraculous in this instance:

    It is interesting to note that materialists, instead of honestly dealing with the obvious theistic implications of quantum mechanics, will many times invoke something called Everett’s Many Worlds interpretation, also referred to as decoherence, when dealing with quantum mechanics. Yet this ‘solution’ ends up creating profound absurdities of logic rather than providing any rational solution:

    Quantum mechanics
    Excerpt: The Everett many-worlds interpretation, formulated in 1956, holds that all the possibilities described by quantum theory simultaneously occur in a multiverse composed of mostly independent parallel universes.[39] This is not accomplished by introducing some new axiom to quantum mechanics, but on the contrary by removing the axiom of the collapse of the wave packet:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics

    Perhaps you may say that Everett’s Many Worlds interpretation of infinite parallel universes is not so absurd after all, if so,, then in some other parallel universe in which you also live, Elvis just so happens to be president of the United states, and you just so happen to come to the opposite conclusion, in that parallel universe, that Many Worlds is in fact absurd! For me, I find that type of ‘flexible thinking’, stemming from Many Worlds, to be completely absurd!

    Dr. Bruce Gordon – The Absurdity Of The Multiverse & Materialism in General – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5318486/

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world. Neither is it the case that “nothing” is unstable, as Mr. Hawking and others maintain. Absolute nothing cannot have mathematical relationships predicated on it, not even quantum gravitational ones. Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.,,, the evidence for string theory and its extension, M-theory, is nonexistent; and the idea that conjoining them demonstrates that we live in a multiverse of bubble universes with different laws and constants is a mathematical fantasy. What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale.
    For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    thus mikev6, it is clearly apparent that atheists have chosen to believe whatever there imagination can conjure up rather than choosing to believe in the living God who created and sustains them!!! Needless to say mikev6 this absurd position of atheists is as far removed away from actual science as can be!

    notes:

    The fact that photons are shown to travel as uncollapsed quantum information waves in the double slit experiment, and not as collapsed particles, is what gives us a solid reason for proposing this mechanism of the universal quantum wave collapse of photons to each conscious observer.

    Double-slit experiment
    Excerpt: In quantum mechanics, the double-slit experiment (often referred to as Young’s experiment) demonstrates the inseparability of the wave and particle natures of light and other quantum particles. A coherent light source (e.g., a laser) illuminates a thin plate with two parallel slits cut in it, and the light passing through the slits strikes a screen behind them. The wave nature of light causes the light waves passing through both slits to interfere, creating an interference pattern of bright and dark bands on the screen. However, at the screen, the light is always found to be absorbed as though it were made of discrete particles, called photons.,,, Any modification of the apparatus that can determine (that can let us observe) which slit a photon passes through destroys the interference pattern, illustrating the complementarity principle; that the light can demonstrate both particle and wave characteristics, but not both at the same time.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....experiment

    This following experiment extended the double slit experiment to show that the ‘spooky actions’, for instantaneous quantum wave collapse, happen regardless of any considerations for time or distance i.e. The following experiment shows that quantum actions are ‘universal and instantaneous’:

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

  22. Graham:

    Slightly off topic. Dembski has made some recent comments confirming his young earth stand. Am I understanding this correctly?

    Probably not.

    Ya see it all depends on what you mean by “young”- ya see there are day-age Creationists- those who say that one of God’s days are actually long stretches of time.

    There isn’t anything in the Bible that states the first 7 days of genesis were 24 hour days.

  23. Graham,

    Here is a reference:

    day-age creation

    Here is another:

    Does Genesis One Conflict with Science? Day-Age Interpretation:

    I believe in what has been called the “day-age” interpretation of Genesis one – that is, that each “day” is actually a long period of time during which God created life. This interpretation is not figurative in any way, but adheres to the scientific method in its analysis of the biblical texts. At its foundation is a literal translation of the Hebrew word, yom, which can mean a twelve hour period of time, a twenty-four hour period of time, or a long, indefinite period of time. The biblical basis for the translation of the word yom as long periods of time appear on another page.

  24. bornagain:

    You have ZERO observational evidence that evolution is true!

    Well, I disagree somewhat on this – we do have a considerable amount of observational evidence on mechanisms. We are dealing with a forensic science, however, so I think we’re both aware of the difficulties in that.

    However, I would point out that you have no observational evidence either. Your entire thesis is that evolution is unable to “go the last mile” and create new species, thus requiring the intervention of a designer. Yet you have no observations of this happening; not in biology or any other science. Nor do you have any observations of mechanism or even any idea how or when this intervention occurred.

    However, you haven’t addressed my second question. I have a body of evidence and theory that purports to explain how I got here.

    You have no ‘body of evidence’! You only have facts that have been twisted to accord to the preconceived philosophical biases of Darwinists!

    Well, I feel I have one. This is the theme I keep coming back to – you spend all your time trying to poke holes in evolution rather than looking at your own theory in detail. Don’t just tell me my theory sucks – make your’s more compelling with evidence that is so incontrovertible that I can’t help being convinced.

    How did your guy do it? If you want to convince me with reason, you need to have the better explanation. Just saying “it was designed” isn’t an explanation. It’s just the starting point.

    mikev6 you want to know the mechanics of a miracle?,, Of how infinite God actualizes/materializes stuff in this 3D universe from His transcendent realm? Well since quantum waves collapse to quasi particle/waves, collapse to each unique point of observation in the universe, and is clearly indication of the ‘miraculous’[...]

    So, I take it from this that you aren’t able to suggest how a designer might have created a species? OK, I can wait and you can fill me in when the data is available. In the meantime, Occam and I will stick with evolution.

    BTW – how do you know this infinite being in his transcendent realm is your particular god? Just curious.

  25. mikev6,

    give me a break,,, you state,,,

    ‘Your entire thesis is that evolution is unable to “go the last mile”’

    excuse me, but evolution is unable to go the first planck length much less the ‘last mile’!

    mikev6 you then state,,,

    ‘Yet you have no observations of this happening; not in biology or any other science.’

    Excuse me again, I do have evidence of intelligent agents creating functional information, just like we have in biology, and in EVERY other science! in fact you have just done created functional information!

    Stephen C. Meyer – The Scientific Basis For Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4104651/

    mikev6, since neo-Darwinism has yet to produce any evidence that it can produce functional information, and since you yourself have provided evidence that intelligence can produce functional information, do you now want to claim you are not an intelligent agent?

    You then state,,,

    ‘Nor do you have any observations of mechanism or even any idea how or when this intervention occurred.’

    You are wrong, The creation of the universe itself which we can peer back in time and see as to the CMBR does in fact give us a ‘front row’ seat as to ‘transcendent information’ being actualized into the entirety of ‘physical’ reality itself!

    you then state:

    ‘Don’t just tell me my theory sucks – make your’s more compelling with evidence that is so incontrovertible that I can’t help being convinced.’

    mikev6, if the complexity, which dwarfs anything we have ever built in our manmade machines, being found in the simplest cell on earth is not enough to show you your theory ‘sucks’ I’m afraid there is little I can do to remedy your bias against ID.

  26. mikev6,

    since the evidence from cosmology, quantum mechanics, biology, and paleontology, etc.. etc.., overwhelmingly supports the Intelligent Design position and yet you are still unwillingly to honestly face the evidence squarely and admit the obviousness of Design inherent therein, I have come to the conclusion that you must have a ‘emotional’ problem with God. Seeing as I am not a psychologist trained in the subtleties of walking people through such deep personal emotional issues, I’ve taken the liberty of looking up a renowned psychologist who just so happens to specialize in walking people through their deep tender issues with God. I hope you find this helpful:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaFy0x_Uixo

  27. bornagain:

    Well, I don’t think I’ve seen this argument before. Let me recap to see if I get it right:

    Speciation events have happened in the past.
    These events are unobserved, so we can’t show they were caused by evolution
    However, thanks to a transcendent quantum multiverse thing, the designer did them
    These events are now proof of ID. They’re still unobserved, but that’s OK, since they’re on the ‘good’ side now.

    I doubt there’s much I can say further on this.

    Ah, and thanks for the video link, but I really don’t have an “‘emotional’ problem with God”. I’m an atheist – I simply don’t see enough evidence that he/she/it exists. Emotion has very little to do with it.

  28. mikev6,

    Since science primarily is concerned about deducing law-like patterns in nature, and since all ‘beneficial adaptations’ we see in nature come at a cost of molecular functionality/information, such as, sickle cell, antibiotic resistant bacteria and pesticide resistance in insects, why in the world is Genetic Entropy not the reigning paradigm for explaining all ‘beneficial adaptations’ (sub-speciations) we see in nature instead of evolution??? Does not Genetic Entropy actually more honestly reflect the evidence we now have??? Do you, or any other Darwinists, have any evidence whatsoever of functional information being generated above the level that was already present in the parent species? Since you do not have such evidence, Why in blue blazes is the much more disingenuous term of ‘evolution’ used to describe the law-like pattern of loss of functional information/complexity we find in nature? and please do tell me why do you so readily support the misconception, to the general public, that is engendered by such a loose play/equivocation with the terminology of the word ‘evolution’?

    Some bacterium spores, in salt crystals, dating back as far as 250 million years have been revived, had their DNA sequenced, and compared to their offspring of today (Vreeland RH, 2000 Nature). To the disbelieving shock of many scientists, both ancient and modern bacteria were found to have the almost same exact DNA sequence.

    The Paradox of the “Ancient” Bacterium Which Contains “Modern” Protein-Coding Genes:
    “Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.” Heather Maughan*, C. William Birky Jr., Wayne L. Nicholson, William D. Rosenzweig§ and Russell H. Vreeland ;
    http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/...../19/9/1637

    In reply to a personal e-mail from myself, Dr. Cano commented on the ‘Fitness Test’ I had asked him about on ancient bacteria:
    Dr. Cano stated:

    “We performed such a test, a long time ago, using a panel of substrates (the old gram positive biolog panel) on B. sphaericus. From the results we surmised that the putative “ancient” B. sphaericus isolate was capable of utilizing a broader scope of substrates. Additionally, we looked at the fatty acid profile and here, again, the profiles were similar but more diverse in the amber isolate.”:
    Fitness test which compared ancient bacteria to its modern day descendants, RJ Cano and MK Borucki

    Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? – ‘Fitness Test’ – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3995248

    List Of Degraded Molecular Abilities Of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria:
    http://www.trueorigin.org/bacteria01.asp

    Nylon Degradation – Analysis of Genetic Entropy
    Excerpt: At the phenotypic level, the appearance of nylon degrading bacteria would seem to involve “evolution” of new enzymes and transport systems. However, further molecular analysis of the bacterial transformation reveals mutations resulting in degeneration of pre-existing systems.
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....n-bacteria

    Poly-Functional Complexity equals Poly-Constrained Complexity
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc.....Zmd2emZncQ

    This following quote reiterates the principle that material processes cannot generate functional information:

    “There is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter.” Werner Gitt, “In the Beginning was Information”, 1997, p. 106. (Dr. Gitt was the Director at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology) His challenge to scientifically falsify this statement has remained unanswered since first published.

    Materialists simply do not have the ‘beneficial’ mutations they need to make evolution work. The following site has numerous quotes, studies and videos which reveal the overwhelmingly negative mutation rate which has been found in life:

    Mutation Studies, Videos, And Quotes
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc.....ZnM5M21mZg

    Evolution vs. Genetic Entropy – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028086

    The foundational rule of Genetic Entropy for biology, which can draw its foundation in science from the twin pillars of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and from the Law of Conservation of Information (Dembski, Marks, Abel), can be stated something like this:

    “All beneficial adaptations away from a parent species for a sub-species, which increase fitness to a particular environment, will always come at a loss of the optimal functional information that was originally created in the parent species genome.”

    Genetic Entropy also fits very well with the theological question that many children ask their teachers, ‘Why would a loving God allow pathogenic viruses and bacteria to exist?’

    What about parasites? – September 2010
    Excerpt: these parasites must have been benign and beneficial in their original form. Perhaps some were independent and free-living, and others had beneficial symbiotic relationships with animals or humans. ,,,These once-harmless creatures degenerated, and became parasitic and harmful.
    http://creation.com/what-about-parasites

    etc.. etc.. etc..

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