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khan



Posts: 1484
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 18 2008,16:28   

Quote (Quack @ Nov. 18 2008,17:13)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 18 2008,12:18)
 
Quote (Quack @ Nov. 18 2008,07:01)
Wow, this really is the bathroom wall! (Started smoking in 1943, quit smoking in 1964.)

1943? Had they even invented tobacco by then?

A war was going on outside and tobacco was heavily rationed but in mysterious ways some trickled down to us from the Germans, I still remember reading from the cigarette boxes - this was in the days when flat cigarettes still were in vogue:

Warum ist Juno rund? Aus gutem grund ist Juno rund.

Besides, there were always the option of collecting German cigarette butts in cafe's.

When we could not get our favourite, a pack of Brinchman Stolz and roll our own...

Still kicking... Upgraded from Win2k to XP the other day, maybe Vista soon too. Or maybe Ubuntu.

Miscellaneous memories:

My father was born in March 1927.

He was on his way to Europe in May 1945 when the war in Europe ended.

He was part of the occupation forces.

He got 2? packs of cigarettes in his rations; he didn't smoke.

He got into black market operations. He wasn't supposed to send more than his pay ($30/mo?) back to the states, but found he could bribe various people with cigarettes.

--------------
"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
bfish



Posts: 267
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 18 2008,16:58   

Quote (khan @ Nov. 18 2008,14:28)
Quote (Quack @ Nov. 18 2008,17:13)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 18 2008,12:18)
   
Quote (Quack @ Nov. 18 2008,07:01)
Wow, this really is the bathroom wall! (Started smoking in 1943, quit smoking in 1964.)

1943? Had they even invented tobacco by then?

A war was going on outside and tobacco was heavily rationed but in mysterious ways some trickled down to us from the Germans, I still remember reading from the cigarette boxes - this was in the days when flat cigarettes still were in vogue:

Warum ist Juno rund? Aus gutem grund ist Juno rund.

Besides, there were always the option of collecting German cigarette butts in cafe's.

When we could not get our favourite, a pack of Brinchman Stolz and roll our own...

Still kicking... Upgraded from Win2k to XP the other day, maybe Vista soon too. Or maybe Ubuntu.

Miscellaneous memories:

My father was born in March 1927.

He was on his way to Europe in May 1945 when the war in Europe ended.

He was part of the occupation forces.

He got 2? packs of cigarettes in his rations; he didn't smoke.

He got into black market operations. He wasn't supposed to send more than his pay ($30/mo?) back to the states, but found he could bribe various people with cigarettes.

My father-in-law was also in the occupation forces. When he had time off, instead of doing whatever other soldiers did for a good time, he attended the trials at Nuremberg. Sat feet away from many of the principles. It affected the course of his entire life, especially the GI bill, which allowed him to attend college.
Anyway, if Quack or Khan's father have any interest in comparing stories with another veteran, my father-in-law is always interested in such correspondence.

  
skeptic reborn



Posts: 16
Joined: Nov. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 18 2008,18:43   

Just wanted to stop by to invite you all to visit me if you feel the inclination.  I don't know why I didn't think of this before.

Skeptic's Corner

No need to worry that I'll be hanging around in an annoying manner.  Take care. :D

  
stevestory



Posts: 8990
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 18 2008,19:09   

Quote (sledgehammer @ Nov. 18 2008,14:46)
Steve, I think i understand where you're coming from. Nicotine is a great drug, it's the various delivery systems that suck.  When I quit years ago, I tried replacement therapy (gum, patch).  It didn't work too well, because I never got the "kick" from those that inhaling nicotine laden smoke did. After looking at a comparison of blood nicotine levels that result form smoking to that of the patch, it was clear what the problem was.  The time profile of inhaled nicotine consisted of a low background level interspersed with these enormous spikes in concentration, whereas the patch kept a nice even concentration of nicotine in the blood, but at a level way below the spikes. If the background level was raised to the level of the spikes, it would probably be lethal (arrhythmia being one of the significant symptoms of nicotine overdose).
 So here's what worked for me:  you get yourself some patches and instead of sticking them to your body, stick them to a piece of tissue paper, and then put them back in the foil envelope.  Then, when you feel the need, take a deep snort from the foil package, sucking air past the exposed patch.  The nicotine vapor is so concentrated that not only will you feel the familiar tightness in your lungs that you get from a good hit off an unfiltered Camel, but hold your breath, like with a good toke, and you'll get the head rush that says, ahhh that's what I needed. A couple of hits of that, and it's like you smoked a whole cig. Pure nicotine, no added carcinogens (except for the mutagenic effects of the nicotine itself, of course)
 I kept that up for a few weeks and naturally began hitting it less and less.  After a month or so, I quit entirely. I've been nicotine free for six years now.

ooooo, sledge, yours is the best post so far.

   
k.e..



Posts: 2995
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 18 2008,20:20   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 18 2008,20:16)
Quote (k.e.. @ Nov. 18 2008,06:39)
 
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Nov. 18 2008,15:29)
better yet get you a can of that'ar copenhagen fine cut.  you know, worm dirt.  get a good pinch of snuff and pack your upper and lower lips with it.

then you put 3 - 4 of those nicotine patches on your soft spots, like underneath the nards and the inside of your thighs and armpits.  light a cigar.

now get your license or something similar out.  pour the snuff on the counter.  cut the snuff up with your license into tiny little rows and snort all of them, the whole damn rest of the can, up yer nose through a straw.  then smoke a cigarette and swallow your dip spit.  

and then hush honey chile.  if nicotine ain't cutting it for you i suggest crack cocaine.  Hey, it can get you elected mayor of washington DC.

CHRIST RAS!!!! THATS EXACTLY WOT THAT GIRL IN DAR ES SALAAM DID TO ME LAST TIME I WAS THERE!!!

FUCK, LUCKY FOR ME I FELL ASLEEP BEFORE HER FRIEND SHOWED UP.

AND LUCKY FOR HER FRIEND AND HER THOSE NOTHERN MOZAMBIQUAN GIRLS PLAIN MADE SURE THERE WAS NOTHING LEFT THE 3 NIGHTS BEFORE I GOT THERE!!!


TALK ABOUT EXTREME

YOU ARE SERIOUSLY BENT MY FRIEND.

CRIKEY I WOULD SHAVE MY ASS AND WALK BACKWARDS TO GET INTO YOUR LEAGUE.

I just figured something out.

K.E. and Erasmus are in fact one and the same person.

Bravo, you had us going for almost a year and a half!

mmmmmmmmmmmmm.....Eskimos



HOMO!

--------------
"I get a strong breeze from my monitor every time k.e. puts on his clown DaveTard suit" dogdidit
"Abbie Smith (ERV) who's got to be the most obnoxious arrogant snot I've ever seen except for when I look in a mirror" DAVE TARD
"ID is deader than Lenny Flanks granmaws dildo batteries" Erasmus

  
k.e..



Posts: 2995
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 18 2008,20:34   

Quote (Quack @ Nov. 19 2008,00:13)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 18 2008,12:18)
 
Quote (Quack @ Nov. 18 2008,07:01)
Wow, this really is the bathroom wall! (Started smoking in 1943, quit smoking in 1964.)

1943? Had they even invented tobacco by then?

A war was going on outside and tobacco was heavily rationed but in mysterious ways some trickled down to us from the Germans, I still remember reading from the cigarette boxes - this was in the days when flat cigarettes still were in vogue:

Warum ist Juno rund? Aus gutem grund ist Juno rund.

Besides, there were always the option of collecting German cigarette butts in cafe's.

When we could not get our favourite, a pack of Brinchman Stolz and roll our own...

Still kicking... Upgraded from Win2k to XP the other day, maybe Vista soon too. Or maybe Ubuntu.

hahahahahaha

Hail to a life addict!!!

--------------
"I get a strong breeze from my monitor every time k.e. puts on his clown DaveTard suit" dogdidit
"Abbie Smith (ERV) who's got to be the most obnoxious arrogant snot I've ever seen except for when I look in a mirror" DAVE TARD
"ID is deader than Lenny Flanks granmaws dildo batteries" Erasmus

  
JohnW



Posts: 2293
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,10:09   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 18 2008,10:16)
I just figured something out.

K.E. and Erasmus are in fact one and the same person.

Bravo, you had us going for almost a year and a half!

K.E. = Erasmus
FTK = Louis

We're approaching ATBC Grand Unification.  Within a few weeks, there should be overwhelming evidence that we're all Denyse O'Leary.

--------------
Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it.
- Robert Byers

  
bfish



Posts: 267
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,10:20   

Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 19 2008,08:09)
Within a few weeks, there should be overwhelming evidence that we're all Denyse O'Leary.

Watch your step with that, before the weasel vomits on the curtains your shadow is reflecting badly upon.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,10:37   

skeptic why bother posting that here if you aren't even going to let comments through?

you'd think you had learned something here.

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
skeptic reborn



Posts: 16
Joined: Nov. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,12:32   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Nov. 19 2008,10:37)
skeptic why bother posting that here if you aren't even going to let comments through?

you'd think you had learned something here.

Apologies, this is my first go-around with a blog site.  I will look into that and get that issue corrected.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,13:36   

well it's ok skeptic i was just being friendly and dropped you a note.  it wasn't like i opened up that old moldy can of epistemological worms we dropped a while back.

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,19:37   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 18 2008,09:04)
                       
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 18 2008,11:51)
Nice dodge Bill, but let's think about this for a moment...

Whose theory is actually falisifiable by empirical research - yours or mine?

What's my theory? I don't know enough about the technical and theoretical issues pertaining to OOL to formulate a theory. That I leave to the professional scientists.

That said, well formed empirical hypotheses articulated within the framework of methodological naturalism strive to be testable by means of specific empirical research.

IOW, not yours.

Perhaps I'm wrong. Describe to us the empirical predictions and resulting research efforts that arise uniquely (or potentially could arise) from your position, motivating empirical research that will otherwise not be pursued.

What do you know about the history of empirical science Bill?

The scientific paradigm, at the time Darwin proposed his theory of natural selection, was, (what I would call), the "God paradigm" - it was widely held that a creator God had made the universe and everything in it and that all of creation was a reflection of God's character.  Much research and many great discoveries were made within that framework, including the classification of species, the concept of genetics and the classification of geological strata by index fossils, to name but a few.  

When Darwin proposed his theory, it was controversial and untested, and not immediately accepted, (especially in Europe).  It purported to allow for life without the need for a creator - it purported that life as we know it could be the result of natural forces alone.  That was revolutionary.  Much research was done, and the paradigm shifted back and forth before finally settling on the Darwinian interpretation.  Scientists were able to demonstrate, from the evidence available at the time, that life had clearly evolved and that natural explanations were sufficient.  God was no longer required!  Science had demonstrated that.

But then something happened.  As man developed the technology to examine life at higher and higher resolutions, new evidence began pouring in that suggested that life was not so easily explainable by natural mechanisms.  The structure and information content of DNA, the world of cellular machinery, the dizzying complexity of something so "simple" as cellular division, and many other such discoveries caused the scientific world to grope for adequate natural explanations.

This is where we are today, which brings us to the issue of falsification.  How do you falsify the theory of evolution?  And, was the "God theory" ever falsified in the first place?

Darwin said, "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."  That is the criteria for falsification of Darwinian evolution.  I would modify that for the modern synthesis perhaps like this: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by natural mechanisms, the modern theory of evolution would absolutely break down."  Now think about that for a minute.  If that is the true criteria for falsification, (and I can't think of another - can you Bill?), then in order to falsify the ToE, one would basically have to demonstrate that something is impossible.  This, (I will argue), is in itself impossible, because - no matter how many demonstrations you are able to make that something is not possible via the tested mechanism or pathway - it can always be argued that there may still be some other mechanism or pathway that has yet to be tested that would make it possible.  So, unless you are able to eliminate every possible mechanism and every possible pathway, the appeal to future knowledge cancels out any purported falsification of the ToE.  It can't be falsified!

But what is the falsification test for the God paradigm and has it been met?  I would modify Darwin's words thus: "If any complex organ existed, which could be demonstrated as capable of having been formed by natural mechanisms, the God theory would absolutely break down."

Now it was thought, when the cell was believed to be nothing more than a glob of protoplasm, that this criteria had been met and that the God theory had forever been put to rest.  (God was dead and buried, there were parties, and the atheists danced on his grave!)  But, as it turns out, (and as I have sought to demonstrate here), the criteria has not been met!  Science has yet to come up with a demonstrable natural pathway - one that takes into account everything we now know about life - for any complex organ.  (God is no longer in his grave, the parties have turned into sad drinking binges, and the atheists don't dance so much anymore.)

So to sum up:

A) The God theory can be the basis of empirical science and can provide a framework for research (it has done so in the past).

B) The currently held theory cannot be empirically falsified because its test for falsification is flawed and can be circumvented by endless appeals to future discovery.

C) Modern science has not demonstrated that God is not required.

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
k.e..



Posts: 2995
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,19:59   

God of the gaps projects:

 
Quote
So to sum up:

A) The God theory Pink Teapot dream  can be the basis of empirical science pure speculation and can provide a framework for research magical realism (it has done so in the past).

B) The currently held theory (God of the gaps)cannot be empirically falsified because its test for falsification is flawed and can be circumvented by endless appeals to future discovery.

C) Modern science has not demonstrated that God is not required or for that matter required, however it will never stand up in court unless Jerusalam or Sharia lore superceeds Roman law as our basis for justice. Anyone for palm reading in court? Or sentencing young female rape victims to death by stoning?
Or woooo .....weather forecasting by Divine Revelation





Why all the god talk DS?

Losing some ground?

--------------
"I get a strong breeze from my monitor every time k.e. puts on his clown DaveTard suit" dogdidit
"Abbie Smith (ERV) who's got to be the most obnoxious arrogant snot I've ever seen except for when I look in a mirror" DAVE TARD
"ID is deader than Lenny Flanks granmaws dildo batteries" Erasmus

  
Reed



Posts: 274
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,20:01   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 19 2008,17:37)
The scientific paradigm, at the time Darwin proposed his theory of natural selection, was, (what I would call), the "God paradigm" - it was widely held that a creator God had made the universe and everything in it and that all of creation was a reflection of God's character.

...

A) The God theory can be the basis of empirical science and can provide a framework for research (it has done so in the past).

You keep making this very fundamental mistake over and over.

The fact that belief in God was widespread does not imply that the belief provided any kind of foundation for the science of the day.

The scientific advances of the Enlightenment came in spite of prevailing dogma, not because of it. F=ma whether or not you accept Alchemy.

While many past scientists (and more than few present ones) have held the opinion that the study of science is a way of honoring the Creator, the validity of their results is based on logic and observation, and is completely independent from this belief.

There are many more errors in your post, but perhaps you could address this first ?

  
khan



Posts: 1484
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,20:26   

Quote
But then something happened.  As man developed the technology to examine life at higher and higher resolutions, new evidence began pouring in that suggested that life was not so easily explainable by natural mechanisms.  The structure and information content of DNA, the world of cellular machinery, the dizzying complexity of something so "simple" as cellular division, and many other such discoveries caused the scientific world to grope for adequate natural explanations.


But how big is god's penis?

--------------
"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
k.e..



Posts: 2995
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,20:39   

Quote (khan @ Nov. 20 2008,04:26)
Quote
But then something happened.  As man developed the technology to examine life at higher and higher resolutions, new evidence began pouring in that suggested that life was not so easily explainable by natural mechanisms.  The structure and information content of DNA, the world of cellular machinery, the dizzying complexity of something so "simple" as cellular division, and many other such discoveries caused the scientific world to grope for adequate natural explanations.


But how big is god's penis?

I'm sure if you ask 'Ras he'll get his measuring stick onto it

That's not fair Daniel is teh gayer and confused. If she does exist (and I've yet to be proven wrong) she has legs that go all the way to heaven and knows how to shake it especially with additional piroquet then a coy look over her shoulder and a slow bump and grind...

..ooooooh that's Freudian ...isn't it?

--------------
"I get a strong breeze from my monitor every time k.e. puts on his clown DaveTard suit" dogdidit
"Abbie Smith (ERV) who's got to be the most obnoxious arrogant snot I've ever seen except for when I look in a mirror" DAVE TARD
"ID is deader than Lenny Flanks granmaws dildo batteries" Erasmus

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,20:42   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 19 2008,20:37)
...So to sum up:

A) The God theory can be the basis of empirical science and can provide a framework for research (it has done so in the past).

B) The currently held theory cannot be empirically falsified because its test for falsification is flawed and can be circumvented by endless appeals to future discovery.

C) Modern science has not demonstrated that God is not required.

That's an interesting fable, Daniel.

Would you point out to me the empirical prediction and resulting research that arose uniquely (or potentially could arise) from your position, motivating empirical research that would otherwise not be pursued?

I'm just not seeing it. But since the God theory can be the basis of empirical science and can provide a framework for research, you shouldn't have difficulty describing one. Why are you holding out?

Like many, you seem incapable of grasping the notion of methodological naturalism. Methodological naturalism, which excludes the supernatural, isn't a theory; it is a method, and a prerequisite for doing empirical research. Advocacy of methodological naturalism is not motivated by a perverse desire to exclude supernatural causation. It is motivated by the fact that an acceptance of supernatural causation renders prediction and empirical test meaningless, and provides no traction from which to do real science. This is because any observation can be reconciled with the action of an "all powerful" being capable of moving matter and energy by acts of will.

Questions about the supernatural, on one hand, are simply beyond the reach of science, and, on the other, simply cannot contribute constructively to the actual conduct of science. There may be a God, but that notion both lies beyond the reach of the empirical and is no help in conducting empirical research into topics that are within reach.

I don't know why this notion is so hard for you and yours to grasp. But there it is.

Is evolutionary theory falsifiable? Well formed hypotheses derived from that framework are. Here are some examples, from the Kenneth Miller chapter on the clotting cascade to which I linked earlier:
     
Quote
Can we know for sure that this is how blood clotting (or any other biochemical system) evolved? The strict answer, of course, is we cannot. The best we can hope from our vertebrate ancestors are fossils that preserve bits and pieces of their form and structure, and it might seem that their biochemistry would be lost forever. But that's not quite true. Today's organisms are the descendents of that biological (and biochemical) past, and they provide a perfect opportunity to test these ideas.

Even a general scheme, like the one I've just presented, leads to a number of very specific predictions, each of which can be tested. First, the scheme itself is based on the use of well-known biochemical clues. For example, most of the enzymes involved in clotting are serine proteases, protein-cutting enzymes so-named because of the presence of a highly reactive serine in their active sites, the business ends of the protein. Now, what organ produces lots of serine proteases? The pancreas, of course, which releases serine proteases to help digest food. The pancreas, as it turns out, shares a common embryonic origin with another organ: the liver. And, not surprisingly, all of the clotting proteases are made in the liver. So, to "get" a masked protease into the serum all we'd need is a gene duplication that is turned on in the pancreas' "sister" organ. Simple, reasonable, and supported by the evidence.

Next, if the clotting cascade really evolved the way I have suggested, the the clotting enzymes would have to be near-duplicates of a pancreatic enzyme and of each other. As it turns out, they are. Not only is thrombin homologous to trypsin, a pancreatic serine protease, but the 5 clotting proteases (prothrombin and Factors X, IX, XI, and VII) share extensive homology as well. This is consistent, of course, with the notion that they were formed by gene duplication, just as suggested. But there is more to it than that. We could take one organism, humans for example, and construct a branching "tree" based on the relative degrees of similarity and difference between each of the five clotting proteases. Now, if the gene duplications that produced the clotting cascade occurred long ago in an ancestral vertebrate, we should be able to take any other vertebrate and construct a similar tree in which the relationships between the five clotting proteases match the relationships between the human proteases. This is a powerful test for our little scheme because it requires that sequences still undiscovered should match a particular pattern. And, as anyone knows who has followed the work in Doolittle's lab over the years, it is also a test that evolution passes in one organism after another.

There are many other tests and predictions that can be imposed on the scheme as well, but one of the boldest was made by Doolittle himself more than a decade ago. If the modern fibrinogen gene really was recruited from a duplicated ancestral gene, one that had nothing to do with blood clotting, then we ought to be able to find a fibrinogen-like gene in an animal that does not possess the vertebrate clotting pathway. In other words, we ought to be able to find a non-clotting fibrinogen protein in an invertebrate. That's a mighty bold prediction, because if it could not be found, it would cast Doolittle's whole evolutionary scheme into doubt.

Not to worry. In 1990, Xun Yu and Doolittle won their own bet, finding a fibrinogen-like sequence in the sea cucumber, an echinoderm. The vertebrate fibrinogen gene, just like genes for the other proteins of the clotting sequence, was formed by the duplication and modification of pre-existing genes.

Countless similar examples could be cited.

Now you describe an empirical prediction and resulting test of said prediction that arose uniquely (or potentially could arise) from your assertion that that life is so intricately organized it requires God as its source - a test of sufficient power to falsify your hypothesis, in a manner similar to the tests Miller describes above.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Henry J



Posts: 4098
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,21:19   

Quote
A) The God theory can be the basis of empirical science and can provide a framework for research (it has done so in the past).


No. Those results in the past were not a result of "God theory". They were a result of careful observation and analysis of the data.

Quote
B) The currently held theory cannot be empirically falsified because its test for falsification is flawed and can be circumvented by endless appeals to future discovery.


Consider finding that a known species fits unabmiguously in one place in the nested hierarchy based on its anatomical structures, but unambiguously somewhere else entirely based on its DNA, or one that's in two distinct places in the hierarchy based on different parts of its anatomy, or different sections of its DNA). If such were found it would put a definite crimp on confidence in the current theory. (And of course, there's always that rascally precambrian rabbit to look for.)

Perhaps the problem is that you're thinking in terms of trying to falsify the whole thing at once, but only specific hypotheses are apt to be falsified by any one discovery or experiment. The way to falsify evolution is to find enough contrary examples to cause the basic premises to be determined to be unreliable. Given the huge amount of data already known to be consistent with the theory, that would take a huge amount of additional data inconsistent with what's been collected over the last century and a half. That doesn't make it unfalsifiable in principle; that makes it extremely unlikely that it will be - which is what would be expected if it's not wrong in its basic points.

Quote
C) Modern science has not demonstrated that God is not required.


So what? That isn't the goal of science; the goal of science is to understand how things work.

Henry

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 19 2008,21:42   

hey danny you got a little sweat on your lips there honey.

Quote
What do you know about the history of empirical science Bill?


roflmao.  the tard is strong with this one.

Quote
The scientific paradigm, at the time Darwin proposed his theory of natural selection, was, (what I would call), the "God paradigm" - it was widely held that a creator God had made the universe and everything in it and that all of creation was a reflection of God's character.  Much research and many great discoveries were made within that framework, including the classification of species, the concept of genetics and the classification of geological strata by index fossils, to name but a few.


Daniel it's time we get this bullshit over with.  You have been dribbling down your leg for page after page after page about absolutely nothing.  

here you claim that the "classification of species" is a fucking discovery.

how so?

didn't adam classify the species?

didn't jacob discover genetics?

 
Quote
But then something happened.  As man developed the technology to examine life at higher and higher resolutions, new evidence began pouring in that suggested that life was not so easily explainable by natural mechanisms.  The structure and information content of DNA, the world of cellular machinery, the dizzying complexity of something so "simple" as cellular division, and many other such discoveries caused the scientific world to grope for adequate natural explanations.


"life is not easily explainable by natural mechanisms".  that is rich.

listen close.  lean in.  closer, my puppet.

LIFE IS A NATURAL MECHANISM YOU IDIOT

all this stupid wanking about is exactly because you fail to grasp that point.  

Yet it moves.  With no gods to turn the crank (or is god making me say this?  What was that?  My dog just barked, I can only guess God did it.  not only the bark but God is pushing the infinite wavelength beam buttons and making those silly little ATPs).

The theory of evolution, dear daniel, (as you well fucking know you dense little troll) is not a theory of "the origin of organs".  If so it would have to explain the lack of some of the organs with cognitive function in your lineage.

If you won't define "life" outside of your erector set essentialist uber-reduction masturbatory god-fantasies, perhaps you will entertain us with your definition of "species" (because right now you are just being a vacuous twit, so do change your tune little bird).

who the fuck are you anyway?  I'm fairly sure that you are a sock.  It's hard to imagine how anyone could be this willfully ignorant.

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Lowell



Posts: 101
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2008,10:29   

Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Nov. 19 2008,21:42)
who the fuck are you anyway?

Maybe he's the guy who said this:
   
Quote
I grew up in a Christian, but more than a Christian household a spiritual household where prayer and personal spiritual life was more of a focus, not religion. It wasn't about a bunch of rules you know, it was about real spiritual life, real talking to God and hearing from God. I remember being really young and talking to God and knowing he's real. I, of course, like any spoiled teenager you know, you want to move on and do your own thing, and you want to make sure that it isn't just your parents belief system and blah, blah blah. You try to grow up, I went through that, exploring different ideas and in late college God just kept bugging me and he just kept just hounding me and kept telling me "Don't forget who I've made you to be." And I am a child of God, and that's who we're all made to be, that's who we are and so I got tired of fighting and doing my own thing and being miserable and lonely and selfish and I gave up my own plans and told God I'd do whatever he wants. So that was my return to my spiritual quest, you know, my lifelong quest of doing less of what I want to do and more of what God wants me to do. As for the supernatural, I think the supernatural is part of the creation of anything. God is the creator of all things, and the enemy is a theif and a liar. So, theologically I can"t see how evil can create anything I only believe that the Creator can create things. And so, to me, if we're looking to make things and talk about new ideas to make something out of nothing, I think that's something only God can do. For me, I don't see it as trying to jam spiritual ideas into art making. I see it as you can"t make art without God. Clearly, many don't believe that, and many artist and people who create things don"t give God credit, but that doesn't mean that God isn't doing it. So for me, the more that I can turn myself over to God, hopefully that'll take in his good ideas instead of my pretend ideas. And so I'm not trying to jam any agenda or any kind of propaganda into what I make, but it's just going to come out. When I'm trying to make something joyous, we're going to talk about joy because that"s what"s there, that's who God is. We"re going to talk about love, we're going to talk about peace, and also we're going to talk about struggle, talk about frustration, I mean these are all things that life is made of.


--------------
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most well documented events of antiquity. Barry Arrington, Jan 17, 2012.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2008,12:46   

nice catch lowell.

if that is our daniel I humbly retract puppet accusations.

of course, if that is not our daniel then I suppose those allegations stand.

any help here DS?

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Lowell



Posts: 101
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2008,13:05   

Upon further investigation, I really doubt that's our Daniel Smith. This guy's actually kind of interesting.

He's a Christian rock musician in a band, Danielson, that perform in nurses uniforms (to symbolize spiritual healing, I gather).

And it looks like they're on tour right now. They have dates coming up in Dallas; Memphis; Athens, GA; and Asheville, NC.

--------------
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most well documented events of antiquity. Barry Arrington, Jan 17, 2012.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2008,13:08   

the grey eagle (Asheville) is a good place to see music.  I highly recommend it if you are ever in that area.  Not sure about this band though.  christian missionaries in drag doesn't appeal to me.

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2008,13:27   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Nov. 20 2008,13:08)
christian missionaries in drag doesn't appeal to me.

Still got your nose out of joint from when FTK gave you whatfer, huh?

--------------
It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5379
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2008,18:48   

It would appear the Republican war on the planet will continue to the very bitter end:

From CNN

Quote
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Animals and plants in danger of becoming extinct could lose the protection of government experts who make sure that dams, highways and other projects don't pose a threat, under regulations the Bush administration is set to put in place before President-elect Obama can reverse them.

The Bush administration wants to make changes to the endangered species rules.

The Bush administration wants to make changes to the endangered species rules.

The rules must be published Friday to take effect before Obama is sworn in Jan. 20. Otherwise, he can undo them with the stroke of a pen.

The Interior Department rushed to complete the rules in three months over the objections of lawmakers and environmentalists who argued that they would weaken how a landmark conservation law is applied.

A Nov. 12 version of the final rules obtained by the Associated Press has changed little from the original proposal, despite the more than 250,000 comments received since it was first proposed in August.

The rules eliminate the input of federal wildlife scientists in some endangered species cases, allowing the federal agency in charge of building, authorizing or funding a project to determine for itself if it is likely to harm endangered wildlife and plants.

Current regulations require independent wildlife biologists to sign off on these decisions before a project can go forward, at times modifying the design to better protect species.

The regulations also bar federal agencies from assessing emissions of the gases blamed for global warming on species and habitats, a tactic environmentalists have tried to use to block new coal-fired power plants.

Tina Kreisher, an Interior Department spokeswoman, could not confirm whether the rule would be published before the deadline, saying only that the White House was still reviewing it. But she said changes were being made based on the comments received.

"We started this; we want to finish this," said Kreisher.

If the rules go into effect before Obama takes office, they will be difficult to overturn since it would require the new administration to restart the rule-making process. Congress, however, could reverse the rules through the Congressional Review Act, a law that allows review of new federal regulations.

It's been used once in the last 12 years, but some Democratic lawmakers have said they may employ it to block the endangered species rules and other midnight regulations by the Bush administration.

Rep. Nick Rahall, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said Wednesday that he and other Democrats were committed to "the change that is needed."

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said the House will be looking at ways to overturn the endangered species rules and other midnight regulations.

"The House, in consultation with the incoming administration and relevant committees, will review what oversight tools are at our disposal regarding this and other last minute attempts to inflict severe damage to the law in the waning moments of the Bush administration," Hammill said.

The Bush administration has made no secret of its intent to complete the endangered species changes quickly.

When the proposal was first announced in August, the public was initially given 30 days to comment. That period was later doubled after Democratic lawmakers pressed for more time.

Then, last month, the head of the endangered species program corralled 15 experts in Washington to sort through 200,000 comments in 32 hours.

"This is definitely lightning quick," said John Kostyack, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation's Wildlife Conservation and Global Warming initiative. "I would be surprised that they spent all this time rushing it through if it wasn't greased."

If successful, the Bush administration will accomplish through rules what conservative Republicans have been unable to achieve in Congress: ending some environmental reviews that developers and other federal agencies blame for delays and cost increases on many projects.

Supporters of the changes also expected it to be finalized later this week.

The Pacific Legal Foundation, which advocates for property rights, urged that the rules be approved.

"Litigious activists have used the Endangered Species Act to fight projects," Reed Hopper, the foundation's principal attorney, said in a statement. "The administration's current proposal is a step toward curbing these abuses."


--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
khan



Posts: 1484
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2008,18:59   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 20 2008,19:48)
It would appear the Republican war on the planet will continue to the very bitter end:

From CNN

Quote
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Animals and plants in danger of becoming extinct could lose the protection of government experts who make sure that dams, highways and other projects don't pose a threat, under regulations the Bush administration is set to put in place before President-elect Obama can reverse them.

The Bush administration wants to make changes to the endangered species rules.

The Bush administration wants to make changes to the endangered species rules.

The rules must be published Friday to take effect before Obama is sworn in Jan. 20. Otherwise, he can undo them with the stroke of a pen.

The Interior Department rushed to complete the rules in three months over the objections of lawmakers and environmentalists who argued that they would weaken how a landmark conservation law is applied.

A Nov. 12 version of the final rules obtained by the Associated Press has changed little from the original proposal, despite the more than 250,000 comments received since it was first proposed in August.

The rules eliminate the input of federal wildlife scientists in some endangered species cases, allowing the federal agency in charge of building, authorizing or funding a project to determine for itself if it is likely to harm endangered wildlife and plants.

Current regulations require independent wildlife biologists to sign off on these decisions before a project can go forward, at times modifying the design to better protect species.

The regulations also bar federal agencies from assessing emissions of the gases blamed for global warming on species and habitats, a tactic environmentalists have tried to use to block new coal-fired power plants.

Tina Kreisher, an Interior Department spokeswoman, could not confirm whether the rule would be published before the deadline, saying only that the White House was still reviewing it. But she said changes were being made based on the comments received.

"We started this; we want to finish this," said Kreisher.

If the rules go into effect before Obama takes office, they will be difficult to overturn since it would require the new administration to restart the rule-making process. Congress, however, could reverse the rules through the Congressional Review Act, a law that allows review of new federal regulations.

It's been used once in the last 12 years, but some Democratic lawmakers have said they may employ it to block the endangered species rules and other midnight regulations by the Bush administration.

Rep. Nick Rahall, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said Wednesday that he and other Democrats were committed to "the change that is needed."

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said the House will be looking at ways to overturn the endangered species rules and other midnight regulations.

"The House, in consultation with the incoming administration and relevant committees, will review what oversight tools are at our disposal regarding this and other last minute attempts to inflict severe damage to the law in the waning moments of the Bush administration," Hammill said.

The Bush administration has made no secret of its intent to complete the endangered species changes quickly.

When the proposal was first announced in August, the public was initially given 30 days to comment. That period was later doubled after Democratic lawmakers pressed for more time.

Then, last month, the head of the endangered species program corralled 15 experts in Washington to sort through 200,000 comments in 32 hours.

"This is definitely lightning quick," said John Kostyack, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation's Wildlife Conservation and Global Warming initiative. "I would be surprised that they spent all this time rushing it through if it wasn't greased."

If successful, the Bush administration will accomplish through rules what conservative Republicans have been unable to achieve in Congress: ending some environmental reviews that developers and other federal agencies blame for delays and cost increases on many projects.

Supporters of the changes also expected it to be finalized later this week.

The Pacific Legal Foundation, which advocates for property rights, urged that the rules be approved.

"Litigious activists have used the Endangered Species Act to fight projects," Reed Hopper, the foundation's principal attorney, said in a statement. "The administration's current proposal is a step toward curbing these abuses."

I will vote Republican no more forever.

--------------
"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2008,19:28   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 19 2008,18:42)
           
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 19 2008,20:37)
...So to sum up:

A) The God theory can be the basis of empirical science and can provide a framework for research (it has done so in the past).

B) The currently held theory cannot be empirically falsified because its test for falsification is flawed and can be circumvented by endless appeals to future discovery.

C) Modern science has not demonstrated that God is not required.

That's an interesting fable, Daniel.

Would you point out to me the empirical prediction and resulting research that arose uniquely (or potentially could arise) from your position, motivating empirical research that would otherwise not be pursued?

I'm just not seeing it. But since the God theory can be the basis of empirical science and can provide a framework for research, you shouldn't have difficulty describing one. Why are you holding out?

Like many, you seem incapable of grasping the notion of methodological naturalism. Methodological naturalism, which excludes the supernatural, isn't a theory; it is a method, and a prerequisite for doing empirical research. Advocacy of methodological naturalism is not motivated by a perverse desire to exclude supernatural causation. It is motivated by the fact that an acceptance of supernatural causation renders prediction and empirical test meaningless, and provides no traction from which to do real science. This is because any observation can be reconciled with the action of an "all powerful" being capable of moving matter and energy by acts of will.

Questions about the supernatural, on one hand, are simply beyond the reach of science, and, on the other, simply cannot contribute constructively to the actual conduct of science. There may be a God, but that notion both lies beyond the reach of the empirical and is no help in conducting empirical research into topics that are within reach.

I don't know why this notion is so hard for you and yours to grasp. But there it is.

Is evolutionary theory falsifiable? Well formed hypotheses derived from that framework are. Here are some examples, from the Kenneth Miller chapter on the clotting cascade to which I linked earlier:
                   
Quote
Can we know for sure that this is how blood clotting (or any other biochemical system) evolved? The strict answer, of course, is we cannot. The best we can hope from our vertebrate ancestors are fossils that preserve bits and pieces of their form and structure, and it might seem that their biochemistry would be lost forever. But that's not quite true. Today's organisms are the descendents of that biological (and biochemical) past, and they provide a perfect opportunity to test these ideas.

Even a general scheme, like the one I've just presented, leads to a number of very specific predictions, each of which can be tested. First, the scheme itself is based on the use of well-known biochemical clues. For example, most of the enzymes involved in clotting are serine proteases, protein-cutting enzymes so-named because of the presence of a highly reactive serine in their active sites, the business ends of the protein. Now, what organ produces lots of serine proteases? The pancreas, of course, which releases serine proteases to help digest food. The pancreas, as it turns out, shares a common embryonic origin with another organ: the liver. And, not surprisingly, all of the clotting proteases are made in the liver. So, to "get" a masked protease into the serum all we'd need is a gene duplication that is turned on in the pancreas' "sister" organ. Simple, reasonable, and supported by the evidence.

Next, if the clotting cascade really evolved the way I have suggested, the the clotting enzymes would have to be near-duplicates of a pancreatic enzyme and of each other. As it turns out, they are. Not only is thrombin homologous to trypsin, a pancreatic serine protease, but the 5 clotting proteases (prothrombin and Factors X, IX, XI, and VII) share extensive homology as well. This is consistent, of course, with the notion that they were formed by gene duplication, just as suggested. But there is more to it than that. We could take one organism, humans for example, and construct a branching "tree" based on the relative degrees of similarity and difference between each of the five clotting proteases. Now, if the gene duplications that produced the clotting cascade occurred long ago in an ancestral vertebrate, we should be able to take any other vertebrate and construct a similar tree in which the relationships between the five clotting proteases match the relationships between the human proteases. This is a powerful test for our little scheme because it requires that sequences still undiscovered should match a particular pattern. And, as anyone knows who has followed the work in Doolittle's lab over the years, it is also a test that evolution passes in one organism after another.

There are many other tests and predictions that can be imposed on the scheme as well, but one of the boldest was made by Doolittle himself more than a decade ago. If the modern fibrinogen gene really was recruited from a duplicated ancestral gene, one that had nothing to do with blood clotting, then we ought to be able to find a fibrinogen-like gene in an animal that does not possess the vertebrate clotting pathway. In other words, we ought to be able to find a non-clotting fibrinogen protein in an invertebrate. That's a mighty bold prediction, because if it could not be found, it would cast Doolittle's whole evolutionary scheme into doubt.

Not to worry. In 1990, Xun Yu and Doolittle won their own bet, finding a fibrinogen-like sequence in the sea cucumber, an echinoderm. The vertebrate fibrinogen gene, just like genes for the other proteins of the clotting sequence, was formed by the duplication and modification of pre-existing genes.

Countless similar examples could be cited.

Now you describe an empirical prediction and resulting test of said prediction that arose uniquely (or potentially could arise) from your assertion that that life is so intricately organized it requires God as its source - a test of sufficient power to falsify your hypothesis, in a manner similar to the tests Miller describes above.


Predictions can be made from such a perspective and were made from such a position in the past.  Scientists in the past expected to find order and organization at the heart of creation.  They expected this, and predicted it, because that's what one expects if the universe and life was created by a rational being.  Such a prediction is not made from the perspective of naturalism - except from the fact that life is already observed to be orderly and organized.  It is not rational to expect it to be such if it was the product of accidents and chaos.  There is no logical reason to predict that molecules would be used to carry information from a purely naturalist perspective.  The only reason such a prediction would be made by a naturalist is because life is already observed to work as if it were based on information.  I don't know if you can see the subtle difference Bill, but "nature" doesn't tend towards "organization for the purpose of conveying information" - life does.  Rock formations don't tend towards information repositories.  Stars don't organize themselves to convey a coded "meaning".  There is no natural force that you can point to and say "If I knew nothing of life, I'd predict it based on this."  What natural force would bring about such a prediction?  Natural selection?  Selection of what?  However, within the God-centered empirical framework, we'd predict that a rational, creative God would create spectacular, incredibly marvelous things.  That's based on our framework Bill - not yours.  Methodological naturalism studies life under the assumption that it was the product of natural forces, and then points to that life and says "see what natural forces can do!".  This is circular reasoning Bill.

Another thing that can be discovered uniquely through the framework of ID is insight into the personality, nature and mechanisms of the intelligent rational being who created the universe and everything in it.  This does not require a different method so much as a different mindset.

Let me give you an analogy that may help you see it a little clearer:

Let's say that an ancient alien race created life on earth via advanced technology and then left no other trace of their existence.  How would we learn about that alien race except by the study of life?  We could learn about their thinking, their level of technology, and even gain insights into how their civilization may have operated.  If, on the other hand, we decided to limit our scope of study strictly to how natural mechanisms formed life, we could learn none of those things.  We would miss it and would instead be spinning our wheels.  If life was indeed created by a rational being - even a natural one - methodological naturalism could never discover such a thing with the limitations it is presently saddled with, whereas a methodology that is open to the possibility of a designer not only could, but it could also discover many things about this rational being.

It's the same with God.  You're too hung up on the supernatural side of it though.  I'm not talking about trying to discover the supernatural, or simply labeling all mechanisms as "supernatural".  No, I'm talking about looking at the natural and gaining insights into the kind of mind that would create such wonderful things.  Now, I'm sure that these insights would probably be useless to an atheist, but to those of us who believe, such exploration is fascinating.

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2008,20:00   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 20 2008,20:28)
Predictions can be made from such a perspective and were made from such a position in the past.  Scientists in the past expected to find order and organization at the heart of creation.

Daniel, observing a blue sky, then stating "I would have predicted beautiful blue skies from my God centered view" is not making a prediction. Nor does it provide an explanation.

Similarly, observing the exquisite order and complexity of living organisms all around us, then stating "I would have predicted beautiful order and complexity from my God centered view" is not making a prediction. Nor does it provide an explanation.

What I am asking you for is something simple. I don't find it in your response. I asking for an empirical prediction and resulting test of said prediction that arose uniquely (or potentially could arise) from your assertion that that life is so intricately organized it requires God as its source - a test of sufficient power to falsify your hypothesis.

Something similar to the experimental tests Miller described.

I'm not asking you to "predict" things we already know.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
khan



Posts: 1484
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2008,20:08   

Quote
It's the same with God.  You're too hung up on the supernatural side of it though.  I'm not talking about trying to discover the supernatural, or simply labeling all mechanisms as "supernatural".  No, I'm talking about looking at the natural and gaining insights into the kind of mind that would create such wonderful things.  Now, I'm sure that these insights would probably be useless to an atheist, but to those of us who believe, such exploration is fascinating.  


I'm still waiting for HIM to heal me.  Why can't he manage that?

--------------
"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
stevestory



Posts: 8990
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2008,20:14   

Quote (khan @ Nov. 20 2008,19:59)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 20 2008,19:48)
It would appear the Republican war on the planet will continue to the very bitter end:

From CNN

 
Quote
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Animals and plants in danger of becoming extinct could lose the protection of government experts who make sure that dams, highways and other projects don't pose a threat, under regulations the Bush administration is set to put in place before President-elect Obama can reverse them.

The Bush administration wants to make changes to the endangered species rules.

The Bush administration wants to make changes to the endangered species rules.

The rules must be published Friday to take effect before Obama is sworn in Jan. 20. Otherwise, he can undo them with the stroke of a pen.

The Interior Department rushed to complete the rules in three months over the objections of lawmakers and environmentalists who argued that they would weaken how a landmark conservation law is applied.

A Nov. 12 version of the final rules obtained by the Associated Press has changed little from the original proposal, despite the more than 250,000 comments received since it was first proposed in August.

The rules eliminate the input of federal wildlife scientists in some endangered species cases, allowing the federal agency in charge of building, authorizing or funding a project to determine for itself if it is likely to harm endangered wildlife and plants.

Current regulations require independent wildlife biologists to sign off on these decisions before a project can go forward, at times modifying the design to better protect species.

The regulations also bar federal agencies from assessing emissions of the gases blamed for global warming on species and habitats, a tactic environmentalists have tried to use to block new coal-fired power plants.

Tina Kreisher, an Interior Department spokeswoman, could not confirm whether the rule would be published before the deadline, saying only that the White House was still reviewing it. But she said changes were being made based on the comments received.

"We started this; we want to finish this," said Kreisher.

If the rules go into effect before Obama takes office, they will be difficult to overturn since it would require the new administration to restart the rule-making process. Congress, however, could reverse the rules through the Congressional Review Act, a law that allows review of new federal regulations.

It's been used once in the last 12 years, but some Democratic lawmakers have said they may employ it to block the endangered species rules and other midnight regulations by the Bush administration.

Rep. Nick Rahall, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said Wednesday that he and other Democrats were committed to "the change that is needed."

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said the House will be looking at ways to overturn the endangered species rules and other midnight regulations.

"The House, in consultation with the incoming administration and relevant committees, will review what oversight tools are at our disposal regarding this and other last minute attempts to inflict severe damage to the law in the waning moments of the Bush administration," Hammill said.

The Bush administration has made no secret of its intent to complete the endangered species changes quickly.

When the proposal was first announced in August, the public was initially given 30 days to comment. That period was later doubled after Democratic lawmakers pressed for more time.

Then, last month, the head of the endangered species program corralled 15 experts in Washington to sort through 200,000 comments in 32 hours.

"This is definitely lightning quick," said John Kostyack, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation's Wildlife Conservation and Global Warming initiative. "I would be surprised that they spent all this time rushing it through if it wasn't greased."

If successful, the Bush administration will accomplish through rules what conservative Republicans have been unable to achieve in Congress: ending some environmental reviews that developers and other federal agencies blame for delays and cost increases on many projects.

Supporters of the changes also expected it to be finalized later this week.

The Pacific Legal Foundation, which advocates for property rights, urged that the rules be approved.

"Litigious activists have used the Endangered Species Act to fight projects," Reed Hopper, the foundation's principal attorney, said in a statement. "The administration's current proposal is a step toward curbing these abuses."

I will vote Republican no more forever.

Letterman or Leno or someone recently said "Can the new guy start a little early this time?"

   
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