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Richardthughes



Posts: 10080
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,16:40   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Jan. 31 2008,16:39)
so missed the live broadcast, how the feck do i find it?

Check this page later for an archive?

http://www.kkms.com/LocalHosts/15/

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Chayanov



Posts: 289
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,16:49   

That "debate" was awesome. I wish every encounter with a cdesign proponentsist went so well that even their own supporters turned on them at the end of it. Those UD comments are hilarious too. They weren't so impressed by PZ as they were completely disappointed by Simmons. Even DaveScot should have appreciated the plug for Scientific American -- "Your source for info about whale fossils!"

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Help! Marxist literary critics are following me!

  
celdd



Posts: 18
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,16:53   

A quotable quote from this "debate" from PZ Myers:

(regarding disucssion about the fossil record in regard to whales referring to Simmons)

 
Quote
"Your ignorance.... is not evidence..."


PZ Myers, January 31, 2008
 
There are several suggestions that this be made into a T-shirt on Pharyngula.

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,17:47   

Quote
10

Atom

01/31/2008

5:09 pm
I’m with you bFast, I was disappointed by Dr. Simmons’ arguments and performance and think PZ easily won the debate.

Oh well, hopefully they’ll choose someone else for the anti-Darwin side next time…(Sorry Dr. Simmons!)


Hey maybe Wells, Dembski or Behe will debate PZ? Demsbki likes to challenge Barbara Forrest to debate, I don't see the cowardly Dembski chellenging PZ...

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,17:49   

Ian invited Dembski to play the intelligent designer challenge.  Dembski just posted the email

here  I wonder if the leading Deign Theorist can solve the riddle....


ps: Good lord is FtK full of shit or what?  What a sorry excuse for a human being.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Ptaylor



Posts: 879
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,18:10   

Golly, the new post by Dr Dr Dembski has pushed all the other stuff a long way down the page!

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“To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.” - Isaac Asimov

"Grow up, assface" - Joe G., grown up ID spokesperson, Sandwalk, April 2014

  
Nerull



Posts: 317
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,18:14   

Quote
The flat-earthers of old no doubt often “won” debates against the less informed and less debate-able round-earthers.


Is this a sockpuppet, or real?

The Greek scientists (Yes, thats scientists, IDers, not those with a religious axe to grind) determined it was round and even the approximate size, did they not? They're about as far from less informed as you could get for the time.

If its real, its quality tard. If its a sockpuppet - well done. ;)

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To rebut creationism you pretty much have to be a biologist, chemist, geologist, philosopher, lawyer and historian all rolled into one. While to advocate creationism, you just have to be an idiot. -- tommorris

   
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,18:19   

Quote (Ptaylor @ Jan. 31 2008,18:10)
Golly, the new post by Dr Dr Dembski has pushed all the other stuff a long way down the page!

That thread could end up being fan-tard-astic!  All the loons will trip over one another to prove how ignorant they are about both science AND IDC.

I predict some quality tard is headed to that thread.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10080
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,18:21   

Quote (Ptaylor @ Jan. 31 2008,18:10)
Golly, the new post by Dr Dr Dembski has pushed all the other stuff a long way down the page!

Dembski wants help with his homework.

Go Joe G and autodidact DaveTard!

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Chayanov



Posts: 289
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,18:46   

What ever happened with Dr. Dr. D's super-secret list of confirmed ID predictions? Gone the way of the leprechaun and pink unicorn?

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Help! Marxist literary critics are following me!

  
Mister DNA



Posts: 466
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,21:29   

bFast:
Quote
In my opinion we should just close our eyes and pretend that this debate never happened.

Better yet, maybe Dr. Dembski will refute PZ's arguments with another flash animation.

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CBEB's: The Church Burnin' Ebola Blog
Thank you, Dr. Dembski. You are without peer when it comes to The Argument Regarding Design. - vesf

    
Jasper



Posts: 76
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,22:50   

Quote
Quote
"Your ignorance.... is not evidence..."


PZ Myers, January 31, 2008

There are several suggestions that this be made into a T-shirt on Pharyngula.



  
sparc



Posts: 1676
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,22:53   

Patrick  
Quote
The Designer, Musgrave, rigged the question to get just that result.

Indeed, and all the evil scientists who added sequences to genbank, swissprot, ensembl etc. did this    
Quote
purposely
which is a clear    
Quote
instance of design
.
In addition, they do not allow ID-creationists to    
Quote
to do any research to discover the functionality for the sequences.
Furthermore BLAST is obviously
 
Quote
an alternative method for detecting design
I only wonder why Dembski didn't make these points himself.

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"[...] the type of information we find in living systems is beyond the creative means of purely material processes [...] Who or what is such an ultimate source of information? [...] from a theistic perspective, such an information source would presumably have to be God."

- William Dembski -

   
sparc



Posts: 1676
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,23:04   

I forgot that that's beneath him  
Quote
As for your example, I’m not going to take the bait. You’re asking me to play a game: “Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.” ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories. If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots. True, there may be dots to be connected. But there may also be fundamental discontinuities, and with IC systems that is what ID is discovering.”


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"[...] the type of information we find in living systems is beyond the creative means of purely material processes [...] Who or what is such an ultimate source of information? [...] from a theistic perspective, such an information source would presumably have to be God."

- William Dembski -

   
sparc



Posts: 1676
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,23:28   

BTW, I would appreciate a sequence analysis tool based on Dembski's Explanatory Filter to judge sequencing results. If natural sequences are designed such a tool should easily identify errors introduced during sequencing.
Hopefully, Dembski doesn't regard this as another pathetic level of detail?

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"[...] the type of information we find in living systems is beyond the creative means of purely material processes [...] Who or what is such an ultimate source of information? [...] from a theistic perspective, such an information source would presumably have to be God."

- William Dembski -

   
Mister DNA



Posts: 466
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2008,23:28   

Meltdown in the making? Michaels7:
 
Quote
I’d submit back to Ian PhD a challenge to him or his student Abbie “ChristKiller” Smith.

She declared in childish mocking tones after sniffy fits against Behe. that she was the Christ Killer.

Yehoshua Ha Moshiach ben Yoseph, ben Yahuda, son of Miriam, from the order of Melchizedek, Shem, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of the tribe of Judah, line of David. A Jew of Judah, loved by thousands of Jews who never layed a hand on any man in anger to harm them.

Challenge: Show us the bones of your victorious death announcement. Prove it by DNA match using whatever process you like. She should be able to sequence DNA and trace results thru the original Daveedic line.

She can have a lifetime. Killing can be messy sometimes, her memory may fail her forgetting where she buried him.

The award for killing a Jewish Messiah that healed the sick, fed the poor, and taught instructions of Love your fellow man? Stone turned upon stone, a barren land, 1832 years of exile from Jerusalem, of which all the Jewish prophets foretold and were truly slaughtered by corrupt leaders, not just mocked.


It's off-the-hook insane enough to take Dr. Dembski away from his important research and issue a warning:
 
Quote
Michaels7: Stay on the topic of this thread.


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CBEB's: The Church Burnin' Ebola Blog
Thank you, Dr. Dembski. You are without peer when it comes to The Argument Regarding Design. - vesf

    
Bob O'H



Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,00:56   

Ouch.  On the nuclear pores thread, the first three comments:

Quote


1

DLH

01/31/2008

10:38 am

Excellent find.

ID hypothesis on the same data:

1) Nuclear pores are essential to DNA function and duplication.

2) DNA is essential to express the proteins in nuclear pores and the mechanism to assemble them.

3) Nuclear pores are irreducibly complex.

2

hrun0815

01/31/2008

12:05 pm

DLH, how are nuclear pores essential to DNA function and duplication if there are countless organisms that get by without a nucleus in the first place?

3

DLH

01/31/2008

12:54 pm

hrun0815
Good observation. That demonstrates that an ID hypothesis can be tested and thus be part of the scientific process. ...


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ID theorists don’t postulate a designer for their arguments. - Crandaddy
There is no connection between a peppered moth, natural selection, and religion that I can see. - FtK

   
CeilingCat



Posts: 1654
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,02:04   

The buggers just 404'd the entire debate thread!  Luckily, I saved it:
Quote
31 January 2008
Dr. Geoff Simmons vs PZ Myers Debate (link to listen to it)
DaveScot
Click here to listen live at 3PM Central Standard Time today: Dr. Geoff Simmons vs PZ Myers Debate

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
       
Email This Post  Print This Post
This entry was posted Thursday, January 31st, 2008 at 12:06 pm and is filed under Intelligent Design. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
31 Responses
1

morgantj

01/31/2008

2:25 pm
I’ll listen to this debate this evening. Thanks for sharing.

2

todd

01/31/2008

4:30 pm
I’m listening right now. Dr Simmons just responded to PZM, which I only heard near the end, to inform us that he was a committed evolutionist for 40 years and does not believe in the Bible or Christianity, but changed his mind due to evidence he’s seen as a physician.

He’s forcefully answering PZM as I type about transitional fossils.

3

todd

01/31/2008

4:30 pm
PZM just accused Simmons of making stuff up.

4

Atom

01/31/2008

4:38 pm
PZ caught Dr. Simmons over the pakicetus and ambuloucetus (spelling?) fossils. Made him look a little underinformed (especially for someone who wrote a book on missing links.)

5

todd

01/31/2008

4:45 pm
The Mary Jane West-Eberhard book Myers referenced is on Google books - the Gaps and Inconsistencies portion is online here

6

todd

01/31/2008

4:47 pm
Atom,

PZM missed Simmons point - he didn’t have the names handy, but mentioned a recent article in Scientific American which he claimed buttressed his point, the specific names notwithstanding.

7

Atom

01/31/2008

4:50 pm
I heard Dr. Simmons’ response; the point is how he made Dr. Simmons look…Dr. Simmons is asking him for reading recommendations and PZ is coming off as more knowledgable in the areas they’re discussing…

Just my perception.

8

bFast

01/31/2008

5:01 pm
My running response to this debate:

PZ - What a critical start.

SIMmons - Discusses “diff btw man and monkey” brings out timing issues of transition of

birth. I suspect chimps also have precision timing. While this may be a serious issue w/

placentals, I don’t see the separation btw humans and chimps here.

PZ - challenges that ID has no positive case.

PZ blows away SIM on whale fossils. PZ mentions specific “intermediate” whale fossils, SIM

is unaware of the names of the 5 to 10 transitionals that is claimed — shame! Frustrating

as this is SIM’s area of publication, and SIM brought it up.

PZ - recommends West-Eberhard, “Developmental Plasticity and Evolution”. PZ expresses

specific respect for the fact that she “recommends alternative explanations” rather than

saying anything about “god did it”. I personally reject PZ’s opinion that the only valid

falsification of NDE is an alternative positive theory. As a valid scientific theory, NDE

must be independantly falsifiable w/o a need for a replacement theory.

SIM - Brain too complex for evolvability.

PZ - “Brain is experimental” Brain is “perfect analog of natural selection”.

PZ - “What is difference btw human and chimp brain”, Only difference is in volume, in magnitude.

SIM - Produced no serious response to PZ on this. Ooooh. This guy is a medic! He throws in some snip about 180 degrees different between chimps and man.

PZ - Closes w/ brain evolution. Suggests that Simmons presented no “true” facts.

The topic question “Is Darwinism Religion” was truly not discussed.

If I had to use this debate to judge the validity of NeoDarwinism, I would be a Darwinist. Simmons is a terrible dissappointment. I shall pass on his books, though they haven’t been on my short list.

9

Mats

01/31/2008

5:01 pm
PZ’s gems:

“We do debate evolution a lot of time”

“You know nothing about the field”

“We know quite a bit about how the brain developed”

10

Atom

01/31/2008

5:09 pm
I’m with you bFast, I was disappointed by Dr. Simmons’ arguments and performance and think PZ easily won the debate.

Oh well, hopefully they’ll choose someone else for the anti-Darwin side next time…(Sorry Dr. Simmons!)

11

mynym

01/31/2008

5:13 pm
The Mary Jane West-Eberhard book Myers referenced…

Simmons should have pointed out that PZ was still censoring a viewpoint a priori, the view that a story/history of “evolution” is not applicable and therefore one need not to try to imagine one against known facts.

After all, what is the problem with admitting that a chain of natural history leads back to a singularity or that there is an uncaused cause in the present or the past that breaks apart a story or history rooted in naturalism? If naturalism is false in any instance then why must all be forced to try to imagine false stories against known facts?

Note that someone who admits that singularities, intelligence or some type of uncaused cause need not be censored even if it does form a gap in naturalism can see both secondary natural causes and their origins in singularities or acts of intelligent choice. It’s those who try to prop up a metaphoric Blind Watchmaker who have to make themselves blind to anything but a history that seems “natural” to them. Yet what is so dangerous about admitting that history is not an unbroken chain and why must the idea be censored? What if it is a dangerous idea that would stop progress and lead back to the “Dark Ages” which is true?

12

todd

01/31/2008

5:20 pm
atom,

Good point. If Simmons is going to use whale transitions in anti-darwinian talking points, due diligence requires he be able to express why PZM’s cited examples are insufficient to counter his claim. He seemed to generally hint at lack of blow holes, but wasn’t very forceful.

13

FtK

01/31/2008

5:22 pm
Just a suggestion…

What you guys might want to consider doing is address any of debate topics discussed that might have been perceived as being “won” by PZ.

I think that is something that might be helpful to lurkers who may have listened to the debate and are curious about what additional information Simmons could have brought to the table.

14

Mapou

01/31/2008

5:27 pm
I’m with you bFast, I was disappointed by Dr. Simmons’ arguments and performance and think PZ easily won the debate.

The ID movement is wasting its time and resources, in my opinion. This ID vs. evolution fight will never be won with either debates, arguments, brochures, web sites or what have you. The opposition has a propaganda machine that is impervious to this strategy. If public debates and discussions are the best that we can do, I’m afraid we have lost the war before it has even started.

ID needs a BIG EVENT. It needs something that will get everybody (laymen and experts alike) to stand up and take notice, something that will quickly and decisively nullify the enemy’s defences. I don’t see these endless debates and arguments making a dent in their armor. They’re stronger than ever.

Education and arguments are nice but they will only be effective after we’re on top, not before. Sorry to sound so negative but that’s the way I see it at the moment.

15

FtK

01/31/2008

5:28 pm
*of [the] debate…typo queen.*

BTW, I’ve not listened to the debate yet…probably will. But, after reading this thread, it appears that I can look forward to becoming phyically ill afterward.

16

mynym

01/31/2008

5:31 pm
“We know quite a bit about how the brain developed”

You may say that these are gems sarcastically but he basically got away with passing them off as real, mainly because he could get away with assuming or imagining that his form of knowledge is the total truth or all the truth that matters. Given that his philosophy of knowledge wasn’t challenged the only response is: “Well, no we don’t know that much about it.” to which he will reply: “Well then get out of the way and let us progress on to more knowledge, naturally as scientists we’re working on it and stuff.”

Why not reply: “No, you don’t know quite a bit about how the brain developed, you’re just imagining stories about what you think you know based on natural selection. What is actually observed given our knowledge of the brain is intelligence at work, except in your case.” Or: “What is actually observed and known is that natural selection does not apply to man now, even Dawkins has admitted this, so why should we imagine that it always applied in all brains in the past?” Etc. You have to attack based on knowledge instead of sitting around waiting to point out a gap in knowledge assuming that the Darwinian way of imagining things about organisms is true.

17

DLH

01/31/2008

5:39 pm
Good idea FtK
One area that came up was the complexity of the brain.

I understood PZ to say that the details evolution of the brain were well known.
(Does anyone know of any brain fossils?)

Simmons pointed out the numerous proteins required (30?) for just one part, implying irreducible complexity or the difficulty of that all coming together by natural causes.

cf Dr. Howard Glicksman discusses vision:
Part V: Vision Part 2 –The Retina

Part VI: Vision Part 3 – What Does the Brain See?

A opthamologist technician mentioned the incredible accuracy of directing the optic nerves to the two halves of the brain.

18

PaV

01/31/2008

5:40 pm
I very quickly read someone’s post that says that Simmons was a-religious and a Darwinist most of his life. This all changed when he started looking into Darwinism.

With this background, and based on Simmon’s style of argumentation, it appears that Simmon’s was simply naive enough to think that if he pointed out to PZMeyers how “unlikely” it was that all these trillions of neural connections should come about through trial and error in only 150,000 years, that PZMeyers would say: “Oh, gee, I never looked at it that way,” and the debate would be over. Simmons is a reasonable man; because he’s reasonable, when inconvenient facts came to his attention, he changed his way of thinking; he’s made the mistake of thinking Darwinists are reasonable men and women, just simply under-informed. I would think that today was a learning experience for him.

19

Atom

01/31/2008

5:41 pm
For FtK’s request:
The Evolution of the long-necked giraffe: What Do We Really Know? - Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig

As for the whales lack of transitions, you could probably find some info on any young earth creation site. (BTW, ID wouldn’t necessarily argue that whales didn’t evolve from land-based creatures - only that the coordinated changes needed were not the result of random variation and environmental pruning.)

20

Borne

01/31/2008

5:48 pm
Atom:
“PZ mentions specific “intermediate” whale fossils, SIM is unaware of the names of the 5 to 10 transitionals that is claimed — shame! Frustrating ”
Perhaps but every transitional claim is dubious from the start once you understand the way they are decided to be deemed “transitionals”.

You must assume Darwinism is true in order to call anything a transitional! “Looks like this and that, therefore is a transitional between this and that” is a clear logical fallacy. (Undistributed Middle)
Unfortunately the majority of people never figure that out.

You can take ANY proclaimed transitional and undo it’s transitional status w/o much fuss - just using logic and the facts. And one of the facts is that, according to Darwinism, there ought to be millions and millions of clear transitionals. There aren’t.  

“PZ easily won the debate.”
Thankfully “winning” a debate does not the truth make.

The flat-earthers of old no doubt often “won” debates against the less informed and less debate-able round-earthers.

21

mynym

01/31/2008

5:53 pm
I think that is something that might be helpful to lurkers who may have listened to the debate and are curious about what additional information Simmons could have brought to the table.

All additional information would be treated as ignorance for as long as the philosophy and narrative behind PZ’s views is left alone. It would fit these little narratives:

“We do know quite a bit.”

“No you don’t, see how this information over here doesn’t fit what you think you know.”

“You’re trying to stop us from progressing towards knowledge, if you want progress then you should help make it fit or get out of our way.”

“Well, here’s another big problem.”

“We’re still progressing, besides you didn’t know what you were talking about last time.”

“But you actually didn’t know what you were talking about either. After all, how could you have just made progress towards better knowledge if you weren’t wrong or ignorant back then?”

“I am right about progress so it doesn’t matter when I’m wrong, that’s the beauty of it!”

At some point empirical facts and bits of knowledge do make a difference, yet given the hypothetical goo typical to Darwinian reasoning and the way it is woven into a mythology of progress empirical facts will not make as much difference as they should.

22

larrynormanfan

01/31/2008

5:55 pm
Borne,

“You must assume Darwinism is true in order to call anything a transitional!”

No wonder anti-evolutionists say there are no transitional forms.

23

Mapou

01/31/2008

6:02 pm
DLH: I understood PZ to say that the details evolution of the brain were well known.

Myers is lying, of course. He can get away with lying in a public debate because he comes off as being knowledgeable. The fact is that evolution cannot explain why the hemispheres are crisscrossed. This is an extremely over-complicated architecture with no survival value. Besides, there are no missing links with a non-crisscrossed architecture. Heck, evolution cannot explain why animals need two hemispheres in the first place let alone why they are organized in such a weird manner. After all, roboticists do not design double neural networks in the brains of their robots. Finally, evolution does not explain why humans “evolved” their inordinate infatuation with music and the arts. There are so many aspects of the brain that defy an evolutionary explanation that it’s hard to fathom how anybody with a modicum of honesty would fall for this nonsense.

Like I said previously, we are not going to win this war with honest arguments. If arguments could do it, it would have done it already. The enemy is fighting a political war, not a scientific one. They will lie as often as they have to. They are well equipped for it. Myers is a skilled and consummate liar, in my opinion.

24

Atom

01/31/2008

6:07 pm
Borne, you quoted bFast with my name.  

As for your point on transitions, sure you can put any collection of items into a transitional sequence whether they are related by descent or not. (Scott Adams makes this point in “God’s Debris” using tea china as an example.) So there are always at least two ways of looking at any collection.

The relevant issue, however, is which view makes more sense? Is the transition a clear one, with complete skeletons, showing all different lines of morphology transitioning in the correct sequence to a relatively smooth progression? If so, I’d say that descent with modification is the best view, even if the mechanism of that modification is up for debate.

As for my personal preference, the “transitions” are not very smooth (the fossil record has a very jerky appearance in general with sudden appearance and stasis being the general trend) even for the supposed best examples (horse, giraffe, whale, hominid.) When you look in detail at these transitions (as Lonnig did in the linked article above) you usually end up finding the usual Darwinist bluster and extreme extrapolation from limited data points.

25

The Scubaredneck

01/31/2008

6:51 pm
Borne said:

You must assume Darwinism is true in order to call anything a transitional! “Looks like this and that, therefore is a transitional between this and that” is a clear logical fallacy. (Undistributed Middle)
Unfortunately the majority of people never figure that out.

Scubaredneck responds:

While similarity does not necessarily imply relatedness (it could be an example of convergence), I don’t believe that an argument that similar critters might be transitional necessarily commits an Undistributed Middle fallacy. It may very well be wrong but that doesn’t mean it’s fallacious.

26

Patrick

01/31/2008

7:07 pm
The ONLY difference is in volume, in magnitude? Heck, I don’t spend as much time keeping up with research in that area and even I know that is proving not to be the case.

http://biology.plosjournals.or.....0&ct=1

For one thing, a big brain is a metabolic drain on our bodies. Indeed, some people argue that, because the brain is one of the most metabolically expensive tissues in our body, our brains could only have expanded in response to an improved diet. Another cost that goes along with a big brain is the need to reorganise its wiring. “As brain size increases, several problems are created”, explains systems neurobiologist Jon Kaas (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States). “The most serious is the increased time it takes to get information from one place to another.” One solution is to make the axons of the neurons bigger but this increases brain size again and the problem escalates. Another solution is to do things locally: only connect those parts of the brain that have to be connected, and avoid the need for communication between hemispheres by making different sides of the brain do different things. A big brain can also be made more efficient by organising it into more subdivisions, “rather like splitting a company into departments”, says Kaas. Overall, he concludes, because a bigger brain per se would not work, brain reorganisation and size increase probably occurred in parallel during human brain evolution. The end result is that the human brain is not just a scaled-up version of a mammal brain or even of an ape brain.
….
As far as understanding how our brains evolved, more questions remain than have been answered. One problem is that we don’t really know enough about how our brains differ from those of other mammals and primates, although work by Zilles and others is helping here. We also know very little about how the areas of our brain are physically linked up, and we need to understand that before we can see how we differ from our nearest relatives. And as far as identifying the gene changes that were selected during evolution, although we have several candidates, we don’t know how or if these gene variants affect our cognitive abilities. It is one thing, concludes Dunbar, to identify genetic or anatomic differences between human and ape brains, but quite another to know what they mean in terms of actual cognitive processes.

Then there’s Homo florensiensis with its apparently full cognitive abilities despite decreased volume. “It’s not the volume, but the wiring…University of California at San Diego studied MRI scans of 24 monkeys and apes and 10 humans, and found that the frontal cortex, the supposed seat of human wisdom and understanding, was not proportionally larger than expected for a primate of our stature. This undermines the [hypothesis] that an enlargement of the frontal lobe is what gives humans the capacity for increased cognition and intelligence.”

Also, when I read the work of actual researchers I don’t get the impression that “we know quite a bit about how the brain developed.” Usually I see references to the huge problems that must be overcome by Darwinian processes.

27

bFast

01/31/2008

7:58 pm
I personally would love to see the topic of simiarities and differences between human and chimp brains, as well as a serious, humble, view of science’s debth of knowledge of brains discussed here. Albiet, I would like to see a genuine expert present the data.

I suspect that the differences between human and chimp brains are vastly more significant than PZ makes them out to be. I note, for instance, the HAR1F gene that is rock stable throughout mammals, yet is different in 18 bps in humans. I find the HAR1F to be inexplicable within a neo-Darwinan framework.

28

vesf

01/31/2008

9:07 pm
I agree with FtK - the Discovery Institute should put out a transcript of the debate with notes rebutting the lies of the atheist PZ Meyers.

29

Mapou

01/31/2008

9:08 pm
Patrick and bFast,

In my study of the brain’s memory system, I have discovered that the human mind can do amazing things that cannot be explained by neuroscience. These are things that the mind can do with ease that are nevertheless biologically impossible. Human episodic memory can instantly record and reliably play back any short random sensory sequence up to the capacity and duration of working memory. What makes this amazing is the random nature of the sequence. This randomness is also apparent in our ability to instantly conceptualize (i.e., imagine) new random sequences at ease. Why is this biologically impossible? The reason is that instantaneous random memory access is physically achievable only on a fast computer. To access a memory node or neuron, the brain has to grow an axon and a synapse and make a physical connection with the neuron. This is a time consuming process. It cannot explain episodic memory.

I believe that this random access capability of humans is what makes us superior to animals, not the size of our brain. If brain size was the only thing that accounted for the superiority human intelligence, there is no reason that a dog could not be conditioned to learn chess or checkers even at the beginner level. Dogs certainly have enough neurons and they are certainly plenty intelligent in the things that they do. They can’t learn chess because the range of instant associations that they can make is limited by the wiring of their brains. Humans are not so handicapped.

But it gets even more interesting than this. Some savants can remember every sensory sequence perfectly including what they were thinking and feeling at the time. There is no possible way that a neural network, even with the capacity of the human brain, can record its own state moment to moment. There is something awesome, miraculous even, going on in the human brain that materialists and evolutionists cannot even begin to explain, their vociferous protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

30

bFast

01/31/2008

9:47 pm
vesf:


I agree with FtK - the Discovery Institute should put out a transcript of the debate with notes rebutting the lies of the atheist PZ Meyers.

In my opinion we should just close our eyes and pretend that this debate never happened.

Mapou, “I believe that this random access capability of humans is what makes us superior to animals, not the size of our brain.” It would be interesting to test whether animals have this random access capability. I bet they do. Animals have proven time and time again that their mental and emotional capacity is much greather than we have given them credit for.

On savants, well, this is an intriguing topic, and an intriguing challenge to NDE. There is one guy running around right now that can do math beyond belief. Further, he challenged that he could learn any language within a week. They stuck him up in Iceland for a week. At the end of the week he was interviewed on Icelandic national television where he demonstrated a rich ability to dialog in Icelandic. Absolutely amazing. What makes it the most amazing, however, is that this ability is the direct result of a brain injury as a child. What up wi dat.

Further, they took mouses, and killed an gene. The resultant mouses were significantly stronger, faster and smarter than their peers. How on earth does NDE create or maintain superior abilities that are governed down. Why would the governor gene just mutate to death producing super-mice? I cannot for the life of me put my NDE hat on (it works pretty good) and understand this.

31

nullasalus

02/01/2008

12:46 am
I think people may be taking this debate a bit harder than they really should. Even if Dr. Simmons came off looking bad, interactions like these are always instructive at the very least. Identify Myers’ criticisms, determine which of them where valid, which of them were invalid, which of them were misunderstood, etc.

Some people simply aren’t cut out for debating, while others are. I’ve not read Dr. Simmons’ books, but to compare, I would never have expected Dinesh D’Souza to be as extremely capable as he is in debate by his opnion articles. Ask yourself if there were better responses to Myers’ claims than were presented by Simmons, and if Simmons did not make strong points he otherwise could have. If the answer is ‘yes’ to both of these, in a way you should be celebrating.

Then again, I’m an optimist.


Fair use!

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Like every other academic field, philosophy of religion has its share of hacks and mediocrities.   Edward Feser

‘Anything is a “real possibility” in the mind of one seeking to deny the obvious.’ – William J Murray

  
Mister DNA



Posts: 466
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,02:16   

Quote (CeilingCat @ Feb. 01 2008,02:04)
The buggers just 404'd the entire debate thread!  Luckily, I saved it:

Excellent work, Ceiling Cat. You ARE watching, apparently...

The other debate thread is still there, but it doesn't have any of the "We just got pwned" comments.

--------------
CBEB's: The Church Burnin' Ebola Blog
Thank you, Dr. Dembski. You are without peer when it comes to The Argument Regarding Design. - vesf

    
Richardthughes



Posts: 10080
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,02:16   

FtK will no doubt cry "censorship!"

*Rolls eyes*

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,03:10   

Casey can't stop lying!
 
Quote
Dembski’s methods of design detection can discriminate between informational patterns that are produced by chance/law, or alternatively were produced by intelligence. When there is real design to be detected, Dembski’s methods of design detection can work regardless of whether the designer was human or non-human.

Does it? I don't think so. How about giving us an example, Casey, and show how you did it!
 
Quote
it seems the challenge has an inappropriate assumption: namely, that naturally occuring gene sequences were not designed.

Why don't you use the EF to show this Casey? If it's true...
 
Quote
Dr. Musgrave may think that the correct “answer” is that only certain sequences were designed, because he knows they were designed by humans. But someone applying rigorous methods of design detection might find that other sequences were designed as well.

And who is this "someone"? And why don't they? What's stopping this "someone" proving without doubt that all DNA is designed? It'd prove ID and that's what you want, right? And why "might" they find design? I thought you were 100% convinced? A little doubt with your faith there Casey?
 
Quote
Dr. Musgrave might then proclaim that the ID proponent is wrong, when in fact he is the one who is wrong because he assumed from the beginning that no naturally occurring gene sequence was designed. This is something to keep in mind if anyone submits analyses here.

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Tell ya what Casey, lets assume from the beginning that all the gene sequences were designed. Now determine the one designed by a human. Can't do it? What a surprise.

Casey "don't show my photo" Luskin

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I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
CeilingCat



Posts: 1654
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,03:15   

From Pharyngula - the MP3 is posted:

 
Quote
FYI, the MP3 link is working, but not posted yet.

http://www.kkmslive.com/MP3/15013108-Simmons%20&%20Myers.MP3

Posted by: rpenner | January 31, 2008 10:04 PM


I must say they have more honesty than UD!

--------------
Like every other academic field, philosophy of religion has its share of hacks and mediocrities.   Edward Feser

‘Anything is a “real possibility” in the mind of one seeking to deny the obvious.’ – William J Murray

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,06:00   

I just listened to the "debate". What a joke it was. I am impressed that PZ didn't just flat out laugh uproriously. A five year old with Mark Isaak's "Counter Creationism Hanbook" could have swatted the insect that was Dr Simmons.

Pathetic.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4234
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,06:52   

Quote (CeilingCat @ Feb. 01 2008,03:04)
The buggers just 404'd the entire debate thread!  Luckily, I saved it...

And I've linked to your comment as documentation of yet another mode of operation of the Nixplanatory Filter.

Good Catch!

--------------
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

  
Mister DNA



Posts: 466
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,07:02   

Quote (Louis @ Feb. 01 2008,06:00)
I just listened to the "debate". What a joke it was. I am impressed that PZ didn't just flat out laugh uproriously. A five year old with Mark Isaak's "Counter Creationism Hanbook" could have swatted the insect that was Dr Simmons.

Pathetic.

Louis

Good grief. PZ could have stayed silent and just let this guy talk and he still would have won the debate.

I almost feel bad for Dr. Simmons.

Almost.

--------------
CBEB's: The Church Burnin' Ebola Blog
Thank you, Dr. Dembski. You are without peer when it comes to The Argument Regarding Design. - vesf

    
N.Wells



Posts: 746
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,09:33   

Quote
ID needs a BIG EVENT.


Perhaps they could pray for a documented miracle?


Thanks from me as well, CeilingCat, on saving that thread.

  
Mister DNA



Posts: 466
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,09:37   

Quote (N.Wells @ Feb. 01 2008,09:33)
Quote
ID needs a BIG EVENT.


Perhaps they could pray for a documented miracle?

They've already got the big tent... maybe they can put on a circus.

--------------
CBEB's: The Church Burnin' Ebola Blog
Thank you, Dr. Dembski. You are without peer when it comes to The Argument Regarding Design. - vesf

    
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,09:37   

I hope in the future Ian and others will continue to provide opportunities to Dembski and his cultists to detect the designer.   It nothing else it provides great entertainment to watch them run for cover.

I wonder if Ian invited Behe to participate?

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Mister DNA



Posts: 466
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,09:43   

Speaking of big events, I'm holding a contest to see who can correctly predict who will author the inevitable DI press release spinning the PZ Myers/Geoff Simmons debate.

Winner gets an "Ignorance is not Evidence" t-shirt - if they're not printed by the time the contest is over, they get an "I'm With the Banned" T-Shirt.

--------------
CBEB's: The Church Burnin' Ebola Blog
Thank you, Dr. Dembski. You are without peer when it comes to The Argument Regarding Design. - vesf

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4465
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2008,09:54   

I'll take the "no response" response option.

That's what they did for the June 17th, 2001 Haverford Conference when Bill Dembski, Michael Behe, and Warren Nord were paired off with me, Ken Miller, and Genie Scott for presentations. And there's even video of that online.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
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