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  Topic: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed., Sternberg, Gonzalez, Crocker - A film< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Glen Davidson



Posts: 752
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2007,15:09   

I'm starting to seriously doubt the Expelled bunch's commitment to allowing comments to run without censorship, though they did fairly well in the past.  Btw, as others have apparently found, Dawkins' forum sucks too.  Regardless, I'm now archiving the fisking I did of Ben's latest blog (there are a couple of repeats of posts):

(OK, I'll actually put the posts here when I can get through)

I'm finally getting around to putting in what I wanted to archive, though it looks like what they posted is going to stay there for some time.  As for the bit above about Dawkins' forum, I'm not sure that it doesn't suck, but at least they didn't totally wipe out the post that made me say they suck.  They moved it and took their time in telling me about it.  

Anyway, to save these from possible future censoring:

Quote
Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 6:40 pm
Let’s make this short and sweet. It would be taken for granted by any serious historian that any ideology or worldview would partake of the culture in which it grew up and would also be largely influenced by the personality of the writer of the theory.

Actually, you could make it shorter and sweeter by actually, you know, bringing in evidence. As pathetic as your knowledge of science is, Ben, even you must have some notion that it isn’t “Darwinism” that is being taught today, it is a combination of ideas that have been, and continue to be, tested against the evidence.

I suppose that as long as you lack intellectual integrity, however, you will equate modern evolutionary theory with “Darwinism,” not despite the dishonesty of it, but because of the dishonesty of it. Again, I know that your knowledge of science is abysmal, but you could try to tell the truth, and you could try to deal with a theory that has had many contributions made to it through time and across cultures. However, you don’t, you simply act as if science is as mindless as your sponsors are, beholden to authority rather than to the evidence. It’s much easier, of course, for you to attack strawmen dishonestly set up, than it is to actually deal with biological science, so this is part of your sleazy tactics.

No less a genius than the evil Karl Marx noted that even after capitalism succumbed to Communism, society would still be imbued with the class artifacts and cultural values of the system that preceded it.

Oooh, great authority there. Likely it’s true, but then Marx predicted that religion would fade away as well. Has it?

Much smarter analysts than I have noted that the whole system of Marxism, especially its sharp attacks on capitalists as a class, was motivated by Karl Marx’s envy of the much wealthier industrialist/capitalist members of the Marx family.

A rather simplistic analysis, but it probably played a role in it. So what? Adam Smith wrote in support of his class, and Machiavelli was an apologist for rulers to whom he hoped to suck up. One judges ideas on their merits, not on personalities. Which makes this whole attack on “Darwinism” Ben’s pathetic fallacy of argumentum ad hominem. That’s the best you can do, Ben?

In other words, major theories do not arise out of thin air. They come from the era in which they arose and are influenced greatly by the personality and background of the writer.

Already you’re digging your own grave there, Ben. Evolutionary thought comes from across time and culture, and its origin (if we understand Darwin as the origin–there were others) happens to also be the country of Newton and the Enlightenment. Yes, it is understandable that Darwin would integrate biology into causal science in the country that largely gave rise to causal science. That’s highly preferable to the acausal non-science that you’re supporting now, Ben.

To be continued below:

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 6:42 pm
continuing from my post above:

(In law, this theory is known as “legal realism”. Judges make up their minds on the basis of their prejudices and then rationalize their decisions by pretending to be bound by prior case law. One might call what happens with ideologies “political realism.” Persons make up their ideologies based on their times and their life situations.)

Yes, funny that, judges care about causation, and you do too in the area of history, Ben. Yet you’re pushing magic as an appropriate alternative to your causal methods in the biological realm, and you have absolutely no basis from which to do this.

Darwinism, the notion that the history of organisms was the story of the survival of the fittest and most hardy, and that organisms evolve because they are stronger and more dominant than others, is a perfect example of the age from which it came: the age of Imperialism.

Very selective there, Stein. You know very well that Newton’s was an age of slavery, plunder, colonialism, and religious bigotry. Yet you praise Newton and his science, while you rubbish Darwin’s science by association. That’s not intellectually honest in the least.

What is more, Darwinism as such fits your own political posture rather well, Ben, as you favor the haves over the have-nots.

When Darwin wrote, it was received wisdom that the white, northern European man was destined to rule the world. This could have been rationalized as greed–i.e., Europeans simply taking the resources of nations and tribes less well organized than they were.

Sure, and this differs from Newton’s time, how? IOW, do you have a point that doesn’t undercut what you’ve written heretofore?

Anyway, as it happens, the capitalism of Victorian Britain is somewhat analogous to Darwinism (and is not actually very akin to traditional society, as we evolved to be more cooperative than Ben’s politics prescribes), and it may indeed have helped to give the right idea to Darwin. What of that? One has to get ideas from somewhere, the only real issue being the one that Ben avoids, the issue of evidence that so strongly supports evolutionary theory, and does not support the creationistic views that Ben and Ruloff wish to impose on science.

It could have been worked out as a form of amusement of the upper classes and a place for them to realize their martial fantasies. (Was it Shaw who called Imperialism “…outdoor relief for the upper classes?”)

So what’s your point? Are we supposed to throw out English science, since it was based in a non-politically correct economic system? Here’s Ben saying that Western culture must (selectively) go, due to its many sins. Ben the PC man. Very good, Ben, you’re now part of the ranks of the nihilists and bigots who fault civilization’s advances just because much of the past evil was retained for so long (and into the present, one might (or might not) argue).

But it fell to a true Imperialist,

Arguably, Stein is rather more an imperialist than upper-class Darwin was. Darwin didn’t much trouble with politics, he was one of the privileged Brits who dabbled in the sciences because it was very interesting and socially rewarded, not because it yielded any great imperial or capitalist prizes. Indeed, a good deal of science was done that way, while Ben selectively condemns evolutionary science simply because he’s bigoted against it.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 6:46 pm
continuing from my post above:

[Darwin was] from a wealthy British family on both sides, married to a wealthy British woman, writing at the height of Imperialism in the UK, when a huge hunk of Africa and Asia was “owned” (literally, owned, by Great Britain) to create a scientific theory that rationalized Imperialism.

Colonialism was pursued in part (or at least excused by this concept) to stop the slave trade in Africa. You know, the slave trade, which America persisted in even as America came up with better ideas about government, and which Britain engaged in both at that time and during Newton’s time. Once again I note how tendentious Ben’s rendering of history is, and how really lacking in honesty it is.

More to the point, however, is that “Darwinism” didn’t cause Imperialism (which Ben tacitly allows), nor was most of the propaganda in favor of it after Darwin actually based on evolutionary ideas. God and country were the main pillars upon which imperialism was based, with God supposedly ordaining the white races to impose their rule and (again supposedly) better the world. Learn some history, Ben.

By explaining that Imperialism worked from the level of the most modest organic life up to man, and that in every organic situation, the strong dominated the weak and eventually wiped them out,

Your understanding of evolution is as deficient as your understanding of history, Stein. Modern evolutionary theory is definitely not about that, and even Darwin understood the intra-species and inter-species cooperation in an imperfect sense. After all, he had to deal with the objections involving altruism and mutualism, meaning that while his theory may have been analogous with British imperialism, it also took many exceptions to it. Try to explain that, Ben.

Darwin offered the most compelling argument yet for Imperialism. It was neither good nor bad, neither Liberal nor Conservative, but simply a fact of nature.

It’s rather funny how Ben the Social Darwinist keeps railing against Imperialism, when of course “Darwinism” tended to be used more as a prop for capitalism than for imperialism (mostly people in the UK weren’t focused on the latter, but were on the former). But in his tendentious rendering of history, the attack must be on imperialism, and not on his precious capitalism, though neither one came from “Darwinism” at all (it was used to justify both, but it’s far from what actually produced both of them).

In dominating Africa and Asia, Britain was simply acting in accordance with the dictates of life itself. He was the ultimate pitchman for Imperialism.

Really? You mean that Darwin was the main propagandist for the imperialism of religious Britain? Then why is your despicable film portraying evolutionists as being opposed to religion, when by your claims the religionists of Britain were happily using “Darwinism” to support imperialism? Of course they weren’t really, they were operating on religious fictions of the ordination of their Empire, and of the “white man’s burden.” If Darwinism was used as well it hardly matters, because few were really motivated by such an abstract biological concept, while many were motivated by racialism and nationalism.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 6:50 pm
continuing from my post above:

Now, we know that Imperialism had a short life span. Imperialism was a system that took no account of the realities of the human condition.

Much like Stein’s politics do not.

Human beings do not like to have their countries owned by people far away in ermine robes. They like to be in charge of themselves.

Do they now? Then why did intellectuals of the UK’s former colony, the US, take up Darwinism without much fuss? Didn’t they understand it as propaganda in favor of imperialism?

Of course they didn’t, and neither does God-soaked Mexico, which happens to maintain a historical animus against imperialism and colonialism. Why would that be, Ben? Do you think that it might just be that Newtonian physics and “Darwinian” biology just happen not to be imperialistic in and of themselves, nor atheistic in and of themselves?

Imperialism had a short but hideous history–of repression and murder.

And also of ridiculous people who equate science with imperialism, without any true justification for it. I think that we have little reason to expect anything honest in this film, given the appalling dishonesty of its main characters on this blog.

But its day is done.

Well, not according to those who try to impose their views onto science. You know, Islamic fundamentalists, and IDists, the sorts of people who won’t allow science to progress according to its own standards and mutual agreements.

Darwinism is still very much alive, utterly dominating biology.

Wow, I guess that’s true–if you totally ignore the substantial developments since then, as, of course, Ben does. So is much of Newtonian physics alive (like evolution, significantly added to and superseded in some areas), from an even darker and more brutal time.

And geology from that time and place also serves as the basis for geology today in many aspects.

Despite the fact that no one has ever been able to prove the creation of a single distinct species by Darwinist means, Darwinism dominates the academy and the media.

Species aren’t created, they evolve. And yes, we have huge amounts of evidence that species have evolved through Darwinian (and the other processes of evolution) means. One does not write of “Darwinist means,” unless one is a science illiterate, as Ben is.

Behe, btw, accepts evolution by natural selection, with an unevidenced role for the “designer” as one who supplies the right mutations. So Ben is using his ad hominem fallacy against “Darwinism”, while one of his precious IDists largely accepts Darwin’s contribution to evolution, disagreeing sans merit with MET vis-a-vis the source of variation and of new information.

And yes, Ben has failed to answer the three questions I have posed, which is how to explain the Linnaean taxonomic system with its apparent genealogical structure, why the mostly sexual eukaryotes evolve quite differently from asexual prokaryotes (and in the manner predicted by MET), and why it is that vertebrate wings are derived from legs, when no known designer would make wings out of legs. I think it’s safe to conclude that he has no answer, while all of these provide evidence for MET, or what Ben tendentiously labels “Darwinism”.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 6:55 pm
continuing from my post above:

Darwinism also has not one meaningful word to say on the origins of organic life, a striking lacuna in a theory supposedly explaining life.

It isn’t a lacuna, ignorant one, because other processes than evolutionary mechanisms come into play during the origins of life. Darwin even allowed at one time that the Creator may have made life, while Darwin himself was simply explaining the patterns that we see in life, including the speciation of finches on the Galapagos Islands.

Alas, Darwinism has had a far bloodier life span than Imperialism. Darwinism, perhaps mixed with Imperialism, gave us Social Darwinism,

No, those were your buddies, who distorted a scientific concept into excuses for ravaging and despoiling peoples, including their own countrymen.

a form of racism so vicious that it countenanced the Holocaust against the Jews and mass murder of many other groups in the name of speeding along the evolutionary process.

I wouldn’t suppose that someone so bereft of intellectual honesty as Ben is would even attempt to supply evidence for his scurrilous charges. He blames the science of evolution for the decidedly unscientific and unsupportable beliefs of Hitler. Well, why not violate Godwin’s law, when you yourself can’t support a single one of your statements, Ben?

The true fact of history is that the Enlightenment spawned Darwin’s thought in the birthplace of the Enlightenment, England (Newton, above all exemplifies such Enlightenment). The Enlightenment was anathema in much of Germany, and especially to the faction which took over Germany in the 1930s (the Nazis were also not in favor of Darwin, for the most part). The Enlightenment countries, which unquestionably had many faults, were the ones who had both the science and the decency to defeat the fascists. Ben disparages the Enlightenment types who promote science and decency, and who defeated the rank evil of Hitler.

Now, a few scientists are questioning Darwinism on many fronts.

Yes, and they always have. The IDists, of course, are not “questioning Darwinism”, they’re using labels, like Ben does, to suggest that evolutionary theory depends on a man and moment in history, when in fact MET is a cross-cultural, cross-religion phenomenon, accepted by religionists and atheists, and by East and West. IDists simply hate the Enlightenment, tell lies about science being “materialistic”, and try to impose their anti-Enlightenment beliefs upon free societies.

I wonder how long Darwinism’s life span will be.

Until bigoted theists (and, fortunately, many theists are totally unlike Ben and his cohorts) destroy it along with the rest of science. And it’s not “Darwinism” (not in the US–in the UK that term is conflated with MET much more than here), that’s just dishonest propaganda.

Marxism, another theory which, in true Victorian style, sought to explain everything,

More tendentious nonsense. Darwinism and its successors have never ever sought to explain everything. Darwin sought to integrate biology with Newtonian-type science, and largely succeeded. But I guess Ben has no truthful criticisms to make of MET, so he resorts to what IDists always end up using, untrue assertions.

[Marxism] is dead everywhere but on university campuses and in the minds of psychotic dictators.

Yes, see, if you really understood history, you’d know why non-Enlightenment, non-scientific Marxism had to perish of its own contradictions, while evolutionary theory remains indispensible for doing biology.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 7:05 pm
I’m trying to post this section of my reply again, since it doesn’t show up in the preview.

Continuing from my post above:

Darwinism also has not one meaningful word to say on the origins of organic life, a striking lacuna in a theory supposedly explaining life.

It isn’t a lacuna, ignorant one, because other processes than evolutionary mechanisms come into play during the origins of life. Darwin even allowed at one time that the Creator may have made life, while Darwin was simply explaining the patterns that we see in life, including the speciation of finches on the Galapagos Islands.

Alas, Darwinism has had a far bloodier life span than Imperialism. Darwinism, perhaps mixed with Imperialism, gave us Social Darwinism,

No, those were your buddies, who distorted a scientific concept into excuses for ravaging and despoiling peoples, including their own countrymen.

a form of racism so vicious that it countenanced the Holocaust against the Jews and mass murder of many other groups in the name of speeding along the evolutionary process.

I wouldn’t suppose that someone so bereft of intellectual honesty as Ben is would even attempt to supply evidence for his scurrilous charges. He blames the science of evolution for the decidedly unscientific and unsupportable beliefs of Hitler. Why not violate
Godwin’s law, when you yourself can’t support a single one of your statements, Ben?

The true fact of history is that the Enlightenment spawned Darwin’s thought in the birthplace of the Enlightenment, England (Newton, above all exemplifies this). The Enlightenment was anathema to much of Germany, and especially to the faction which took over Germany in the 1930s (the Nazis were also not in favor of Darwin, for the most part). The Enlightenment countries, which had many faults indeed, were the ones who had both the science and the decency to defeat the fascists, and Ben despises the Enlightenment types who
promote science and decency.

Now, a few scientists are questioning Darwinism on many fronts.

Yes, and they always have. The IDists, of course, are not “questioning Darwinism” (though they’re attacking it), they’re using labels like Ben does to suggest that evolutionary theory depends on a man and moment in history, when in fact MET is a cross-cultural, cross-religion phenomenon, accepted by religionists and atheists, and by East and West. IDists simply hate the Enlightenment, tell lies about science being “materialistic”, and try to impose their anti-Enlightenment beliefs upon free societies.

I wonder how long Darwinism’s life span will be.

Until bigoted theists (and many theists are totally unlike Ben and his cohorts) destroy it along with the rest of science. And it’s not “Darwinism” (not in the US–in the UK that term is conflated with MET much more than here). That’s just dishonest propaganda.

Marxism, another theory which, in true Victorian style, sought to explain everything,

More tendentious nonsense. Darwinism and its successors have never ever sought to explain everything (not even Marxism did, in fact, though it went well beyond reasonable grounds). Darwin sought to integrate biology with Newtonian-type science, and largely succeeded. But I guess Ben has no truthful criticisms to make of MET, so he resorts to what IDists always end up using, untrue assertions.

[Marxism] is dead everywhere but on university campuses and in the minds of psychotic dictators.

Yes, see, if you really understood history, you’d know why non-Enlightenment, non-scientific Marxism had to perish of its own contradictions, while evolutionary theory remains indispensible for doing biology.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 7:06 pm
continuing from my post above:

Maybe Darwinism will be different. Maybe it will last.

It survived the efforts of Marxists to stamp it out in the Soviet Union. You know why? Because it’s science. If you had the slightest notion of what science is, Stein, you’d cease trying to impose your version of Social Darwinism upon science.

But it’s difficult to believe it will. Theories that presume to explain everything without much evidence rarely do.

I’d like to know where you got such a disingenuous idea as that “Darwinism” presumes to explain everything. Or where you got the notion that MET is without much evidence. I’d guess from evil liars, most likely the sorts of anti-science anti-intellectual persons that you claim were “persecuted,” when in fact they’ve merely been held to account for their own tendentious nonsense.

Theories that outlive their era of conception and cannot be verified rarely last unless they are faith based.

That’s why Lysenkoism and ID have never been able to last in science, and why both have attempted (Lysenkoism succeeded) to use government to impose themselves into a science whose rules and methods end up excluding them based on their lack of evidence. Indeed, evolutionary thought has lasted where other ideas have fallen by the wayside, although many specific ideas about evolution have been brought up only to be ultimately rejected by the science (like Haeckel’s ideas were).

And Darwinism has been such a painful, bloody chapter in the history of ideologies, maybe we would be better off without it as a dominant force.

It isn’t a “dominant force”, it is just the primary theory in biology. What is more, it isn’t “Darwinism”, for Darwin’s writings did contain a fair amount of Victorian baggage which needed to be discarded (expelled, something science does to bad ideas), and did not know about many of the details of evolution (like neutral evolutionary concepts), and has been substantially modified in light of the evidence.

Maybe we would have a new theory:

Maybe you need to learn what the present theory is, and even to know what must be in scientific theories, like actual explanations of phenomena–which ID lacks.

We are just pitiful humans. Life is unimaginably complex.

Not all of us are as pitiful as you anti-science ranters.

And life is more like “imaginably complex,” for we use evolutionary algorithms precisely where our human design processes fail due to complexity, yet where evolutionary processes succeed. Evolution is something like a computational program, one that is massively parallel.

We are still trying to figure it out.

Yes, we are still trying to figure it out, which is why we’re unwilling to give up the only theory that reduces conceptual complexity, evolutionary theory. ID only wants us to abandon the predictive theory, in preference of dealing with everything as if it were only contingency (or where it understands data according to MET, yet denies MET’s causal mechanisms which predict those data).

We need every bit of input we can get.

Actually, we do not. We do not need the input of Ptolemy to understand the complexity of the heavens, we need people who understand science developments to input their knowledge and creativity. That’s why we have standards in science, among other reasons.

Let’s be humble about what we know and what we don’t know, and maybe in time, some answers will come.

I saw absolutely no humility in Stein’s propaganda against “Darwinism”. Only the usual arrogance of the ignorant, as they insist that bad ideas are as deserving of consideration as the ideas which have guided biological research for at least a hundred years.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 7:18 pm
This blog is good at allowing comments, but bad in making us wait to see if we got through. I’m going to try again to post one section (it should come after my first post), again because I don’t see it on the preview. If it is a repeat, it should be easy to ignore.

Continuing from my first post on this blog thread:

(In law, this theory is known as “legal realism”. Judges make up their minds on the basis of their prejudices and then rationalize their decisions by pretending to be bound by prior case law. One might call what happens with ideologies “political realism.” Persons make up their ideologies based on their times and their life situations.)

Yes, funny that, judges care about causation (well, that’s not actually Ben’s point, but what is his point? That the justice systems doesn’t work, or does it work dispense justice most of the time?), and you do too in the area of history, Ben.

Yet you’re pushing magic as an appropriate alternative to your causal methods in the biological realm, and you have absolutely no basis from which to do this.

Darwinism, the notion that the history of organisms was the story of the survival of the fittest and most hardy, and that organisms evolve because they are stronger and more dominant than others, is a perfect example of the age from which it came: the age of Imperialism.

Very selective there, Stein. You know very well that Newton’s was an age of slavery, plunder, colonialism, and religious bigotry. Yet you praise Newton and his science, while you rubbish Darwin’s science by association. That’s not honest in the least.

Anyway, at least capitalize properly. It’d be “Age of Imperialism” if you’re capitalizing “imperialism”, not “age of Imperialism.”

What is more, Darwinism as such fits your own political posture rather well, Ben, as you favor the haves over the have-nots.

When Darwin wrote, it was received wisdom that the white, northern European man was destined to rule the world. This could have been rationalized as greed–i.e., Europeans simply taking the resources of nations and tribes less well organized than they were.

Sure, and this differs from Newton’s time, how (I know it does differ, but how does it differ in a better manner?)? IOW, do you have a point that doesn’t undercut what you’ve written heretofore?

Anyway, as it happens, the capitalism of Victorian Britain is somewhat analogous to Darwinism (and is not actually very akin to traditional society, as we evolved to be more cooperative than Ben’s politics prescribes), and it may indeed have helped to give the right idea to Darwin. What of that? One has to get ideas from somewhere, the only real issue being the one that Ben avoids, the issue of evidence that so strongly supports evolutionary theory, and does not support the creationistic views that Ben and Ruloff wish to impose on science.

It could have been worked out as a form of amusement of the upper classes and a place for them to realize their martial fantasies. (Was it Shaw who called Imperialism “…outdoor relief for the upper classes?”)

So what’s your point? Are we supposed to throw out English science, since it was based in a non-politically correct economic system? Here’s Ben saying that Western culture must (selectively) go, due to its many sins. Very good, Ben, you’re now part of the ranks of the
nihilists and bigots who fault civilization’s advances just because much of the past evil was retained for so long (and into the present, one might (or might not) argue).

But it fell to a true Imperialist,

Arguably, Stein is rather more an imperialist than upper-class Darwin was. Darwin didn’t much trouble with politics, he was one of the privileged Brits who dabbled in the sciences because it was very interesting and socially rewarded, not because it yielded any great
imperial or capitalist prizes. Indeed, a good deal of science was done that way, while Ben selectively condemns evolutionary science simply because he’s bigoted against it.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7
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Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy

   
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