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Zachriel



Posts: 2581
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 31 2007,21:44   

GilDodgen  
Quote
My point was that the default position should be design, until proven otherwise, because design seems to scream at us.

No, GilDodgen, the default scientific position is "We don't know." If you want to propose a scientific hypothesis based on voices you hear screaming in your head, that's fine. However, to constitute a valid hypothesis, it must make specific empirical predictions that can be used to distinguish that assertion from the infinitude of other such assertions. Intelligent Design fails to meet this criteria. Intelligent Design doesn't even form a reasonable scientific speculation as it repudiates what is already known and refuses to be bound by empiricism.

--------------
The struggle against ignorance is to the end of time. But it is said that if you die in tard, you will be reborn in Tardhalla.

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4354
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 31 2007,21:52   

Quote (Zachriel @ Mar. 31 2007,20:44)
GilDodgen  
Quote
My point was that the default position should be design, until proven otherwise, because design seems to scream at us.

No, GilDodgen, the default scientific position is "We don't know." If you want to propose a scientific hypothesis based on voices you hear screaming in your head, that's fine. However, to constitute a valid hypothesis, it must make specific empirical predictions that can be used to distinguish that assertion from the infinitude of other such assertions. Intelligent Design fails to meet this criteria. Intelligent Design doesn't even form a reasonable scientific speculation as it repudiates what is already known and refuses to be bound by empiricism.

Zachariel:  I think your post just summed up the totallity of the entire ID vs. reality position.

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Kristine



Posts: 3037
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 31 2007,22:18   

GilDodgen, Hon, is the voice screaming: "I DESERVE CHOCOLATE!"? That's me. Sorry. :)  I'm on page 20 of my 3rd attempt to get through this, that's why. (I'm farther than the other 2 times.) I've already blatted at my boyfriend about the nonsequitors. (I can hear his voice, too, in my head: "So why do you read that crap, then?")

Dembski mentions SETI in this one too, Lenny. *Sigh* But I gotta tell ya, some good stuff here:
Quote
Even though I accept standard astrophysical and geological dating (12 billion years for the universe, 4.5 billion years for the Earth), young-earth creationists deserve credit here. They see the crucial significance, theologically, of preserving the link between evil (both personal and natural) and human sin. That’s why, when asked what’s riding on a young earth, proponents of this position invariably cite Romans 5:12, which speaks of death as a consequence of human sin.
It's an old world after all! *Shim-shimmeries* :D

Then, as I was starting to nod, came this little gem:      
Quote
Given that time means different things from an earthly and heavenly vantage, Genesis 1 confronts us with the problem of aligning natural history (chronos) with the order of creation (kairos). To this problem, young-earth creationism offers a straightforward solution: it identifies natural history with the order of creation. This solution is, to be sure, theologically neat. Yet, in our current noetic environment, informed as it is by modern astrophysics and geology, the scientific community as a whole regards young-earth creationism as scientifically untenable. Some young earth creationists will even concede this point, admitting that the preponderance of scientific evidence goes against their position. Nevertheless, they feel compelled to maintain their young-earth position because they see Scripture as requiring it. Their hope is that science in the future will vindicate their position.
HAHAHA!  :D

So now you know what's up with the YECs! And I deserve chocolate!

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
N.Wells



Posts: 579
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 31 2007,22:53   

Quote (Zachriel @ Mar. 31 2007,20:44)
GilDodgen    
Quote
My point was that the default position should be design, until proven otherwise, because design seems to scream at us.

No, GilDodgen, the default scientific position is "We don't know." If you want to propose a scientific hypothesis based on voices you hear screaming in your head, that's fine. However, to constitute a valid hypothesis, it must make specific empirical predictions that can be used to distinguish that assertion from the infinitude of other such assertions. Intelligent Design fails to meet this criteria. Intelligent Design doesn't even form a reasonable scientific speculation as it repudiates what is already known and refuses to be bound by empiricism.

At http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....omments
Dave Scot quotes a speech by Priestley Medalist George Whitesides on the origin of life:  
Quote
Most chemists believe, as do I, that life emerged spontaneously from mixtures of molecules in the prebiotic Earth.  How? I have no idea.

In the comments, C. Bass says,
 
Quote
Isn’t this the sort of thing Richard Dawkins is talking about when he defines “faith” as “belief without evidence”? I mean, why do “most chemists believe…that life emerged spontaneously” if there is no evidence as to how that can happen?

I've got to agree with Bass, for much the same reason that Zachriel disagrees with GilDodgen.  

Whitesides is clearly talking very loosely and is exaggerating for rhetorical effect, but nonetheless scientists shouldn't be dealing in beliefs and shouldn't be using that sort of language.  In parallel with what Zachriel said, the default here is, we know very little about the origin of life, but we're working on it, and we have some suspicions and some hypotheses.  Whitesides is welcome to his personal hunches, and is certainly welcome to state the reasons behind his hunches, but this is otherwise regrettable language.

- - - - - - -


Also, chocolate for Kristine:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/images/287964.jpg
or for the story,
www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/dailynews/4012155a12.html

  
blipey



Posts: 2061
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 31 2007,23:29   

Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 31 2007,21:18)
Dembski mentions SETI in this one too, Lenny. *Sigh* But I gotta tell ya, some good stuff here:  
Quote
Even though I accept standard astrophysical and geological dating (12 billion years for the universe, 4.5 billion years for the Earth), young-earth creationists deserve credit here. They see the crucial significance, theologically, of preserving the link between evil (both personal and natural) and human sin. That’s why, when asked what’s riding on a young earth, proponents of this position invariably cite Romans 5:12, which speaks of death as a consequence of human sin.
It's an old world after all! *Shim-shimmeries* :D

Good lord, Kristine, how can you muddle through that stuff?  What the #### is he talking about and how would anyone know?

From this paragraph, one would assume that if we are all innately good (as the Barenaked Ladies say), then Arabic numerals would never have been invented--no one needing to count that high and all.  And someone named Roman is keeping this a secret from us.

Bully for you, though, actually reading in depth and all.

--------------
But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG

And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10006
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,00:00   

Oh the hypocrisy!
Davetard asks someone to show their workings, mathematically like:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-107971

Quote
5

DaveScot

03/31/2007

8:52 pm
illion

Quote

SETI ought to be abandoned, since the probability of detecting an actual signal (as opposed to the random noise which is continuously detected) is so astronomically remote as to be meaningless.


I’d be quite surprised if you could show me the evidence and numbers you used to arrive at the astronomically remote probability.

Why can’t people admit that some things are simply unknown and incalculable at present? No one knows what the odds are of SETI discovering intelligence on another world.


Poor Davetard - I don't think he's thought through the implications of what he's posted with regard to that cult he's in.

--------------
"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

  
keiths



Posts: 2022
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,00:24   

Quote (DaveTard @ Mar. 31 2007,10:54)
My daughter who works at Dell sent me this. I thought it might be appreciated by all who’ve witnessed the deluge of Mac vs. PC television adverts.

Quote (chunkdz @ Mar. 31 2007,22:37)
Dell blows.


--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don’t belong there and thoughts into my mind that don’t belong there. -- KF

  
Kristine



Posts: 3037
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,00:27   

Yeah, bully for me, I may as well wade through the theology, atheistic Bible study star that I was, so you don't have to! :) Get a load of this - Bill D. quotes David Snoke:
Quote
The young-earth creationist and the atheist Darwinist have in common their belief that God would never create killer things. The atheist removes God from the picture to account for the natural evils of this world, while the young-earth creationist removes the record of killer animals from the picture to preserve the goodness of God. Both of these views need to interact with a fully biblical picture of God, as he is revealed in Scripture and in nature—powerful, uncontrollable, and able to pour out extreme violence, yet also just, merciful, and able to bless beyond all our expectations.
Way to frame another false "golden mean!" First of all, these people need to get out of their armchairs and learn about the real world out there.

Secondly, they need to allow themselves to contemplate the ultimate taboo but obvious answer: that God, if he exists, would be both good and evil. That He, having no higher authority to appeal to (which according to Bill is the source of our goodness), could be just a shitty parent after all, lost and fumbling, needing, and perhaps wanting, our forgiveness for all the evil in the world. I would be okay with that.

I'm not saying what I believe, but I am raising this as an example of the only theodicy that I consider to be consistent with modern science. It's also the only relationship with any deity I can think of that is mature and reciprocal, and lacking the abused-child-syndrome of minimizing and justifying the Parent's abuse.

Everything that we know about dysfunctional relationships goes right out the window when people talk about God. Bring it on, Bill D. When you were witnessing to people on sidewalks I already had developed an immunity.

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
blipey



Posts: 2061
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,00:33   

Quote
Whitesides is welcome to his personal hunches, and is certainly welcome to state the reasons behind his hunches, but this is otherwise regrettable language.


edit to actually include Whiteside's comment:

Quote
Most chemists believe, as do I, that life emerged spontaneously from mixtures of molecules in the prebiotic Earth.  How? I have no idea.


This is a particular argument that has always rubbed me the wrong way.  As an actor, I very much understand the importance of language and its usage.  However, I've ever been irritated by people claiming phrases like Whiteside's are ill-conceived.

I don't believe they are.  There are situations where words need to be chosen very carefully--situations that require great specific detail in order to communicate a message.  Most situations do not fall into this category.  For the most part, we get a sense of message from the context of what we're hearing/seeing/feeling.

When a scientist is the one speaking/writing/punching us in the nose, we generally know where he's coming from.  His words can be interpretted through our understanding of his role as a scientist.

Walking on linguistic eggshells is not what we should be worried about (and, indeed, I don't believe for the most part we are).  We should be more concerned with educating people to be able to think in real life situations.  Even so, some people will not be helped--we don't need to tread lightly for them.

--------------
But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG

And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin

   
Cedric Katesby



Posts: 55
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,06:05   

Quote
Phonon said …”OT, but this is great!!

http://scienceblogs.com/mikethe....ter.php

And is that Phyllis Schafly or Rita Cosby?”
Off topic-follow up.

Speaking of peanut butter...
I’ve been slumming at a creationist website.
One of the hosts is a YEC guy called Aaron.
(The other host is a mysterious entity called Seeker who claims “I have a degree in biochemistry and did many years of genetic research.”)
Understand that if you can.

Anyway, back to Aaron...

He didn't believe it was real!
       
Quote
“I thought it was funny from a perspective that it was well done to look like a Christian program, but the point was silly and blasts a strawman all to pieces real good.”


Peanut Butter Christians.  Mmmmm.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4223
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,07:18   

Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 31 2007,21:18)
GilDodgen, Hon, is the voice screaming: "I DESERVE CHOCOLATE!"? That's me. Sorry. :)  I'm on page 20 of my 3rd attempt to get through this, that's why. (I'm farther than the other 2 times.) I've already blatted at my boyfriend about the nonsequitors. (I can hear his voice, too, in my head: "So why do you read that crap, then?")...

I read this paper some time ago, and my anandamide receptors, long in retirement from external manipulation, screamed at me as well. That's because they are known to mediate forms of forgetting.

What I found entertaining, beyond watching WAD tie himself into knots to accomplish his apologetic purposes (even the knots have knots), is the solution he devises for 'the fall,' which is essentially a multiverse solution:
           
Quote
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve simultaneously inhabit two worlds—two worlds intersect in the Garden. In the one world, the world God originally intended, the Garden is part of a larger world that is perfect and includes no natural evils. In the other world, the world that became corrupt through natural evils that God brought about by acting preemptively to anticipate the Fall, the Garden is a safe haven that in the conscious experience of Adam and Eve (i.e., phenomenologically) matches up exactly with their conscious experience in the perfect world, the one God originally intended. In the originally intended world, there are no pathogenic microbes and, correspondingly, there is no need for Adam and Eve to have an immune system that wards off these microbes. In the imperfect world, whose imperfection results from God acting  preemptively to anticipate the Fall, both pathogenic microbes and human immune systems exist. Yet, in their garden experience, Adam and Eve never become conscious of that difference. Only after they sin and are ejected from the Garden do they become conscious of the difference. Only then do they glimpse the world they might have inhabited but lost, a world symbolized by the tree of life. Only then do they realize the tragedy they now face by being cast into a world full of natural evil and devoid of a tree that could grant them immortality.

If that makes sense to you, you'll agree that time and causality are not time and causality:
           
Quote
Because God knows the future and is able to act preemptively to anticipate future events, divine action properly follows not a causal-temporal logic but a teleological-semantic logic. This teleological-semantic logic treats time as nonlinear (cf. kairos) and sees God as acting in the world to accomplish his purposes in accord with the meaning and significance of the events happening in the world. The causal-temporal logic underlying the physical world and the teleological-semantic logic underlying divine action are not at odds—they do not contradict each other. At the same time, they are not reducible to each other.

(Which no doubt accounts for the fact that, for advocates of ID, the results are in before the science is done.)  

Which brings us to GilDodg'em's question vis credibility:
           
Quote
Friday Musings: The Credible Versus The Incredible
GilDodg'em

...Thus, at least among many intellectual elites and others, the incredible is given precedence over the credible as the default position. How did we arrive at this curious state of affairs?

Gil - take a squint at Bill's paper, and I think you'll have your answer.

(Design is screaming at you because it is PISSED.)

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

  
Zachriel



Posts: 2581
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,08:16   

Quote (N.Wells @ Mar. 31 2007,21:53)
 
Dave Scot quotes a speech by Priestley Medalist George Whitesides on the origin of life:                                  
Quote
Most chemists believe, as do I, that life emerged spontaneously from mixtures of molecules in the prebiotic Earth.  How? I have no idea.

In the comments, C. Bass says,
                                 
Quote
Isn’t this the sort of thing Richard Dawkins is talking about when he defines “faith” as “belief without evidence”? I mean, why do “most chemists believe…that life emerged spontaneously” if there is no evidence as to how that can happen?

I've got to agree with Bass, for much the same reason that Zachriel disagrees with GilDodgen.  

Whitesides is clearly talking very loosely and is exaggerating for rhetorical effect, but nonetheless scientists shouldn't be dealing in beliefs and shouldn't be using that sort of language.  In parallel with what Zachriel said, the default here is, we know very little about the origin of life, but we're working on it, and we have some suspicions and some hypotheses.  Whitesides is welcome to his personal hunches, and is certainly welcome to state the reasons behind his hunches, but this is otherwise regrettable language.

You're right in that Whitesides's language might lead to a bit of conflation on the term "believe". There are two different definitions at work here.

 1) to have a firm religious faith
 2) to hold as an opinion

We can presume that Whitesides is using the second definition (deduced from his appeal to authority). There is ample reason to suggest that life arose due to naturalistic mechanisms: We know that life is a chemical process. We know that the basic principles of chemistry (though perhaps not the particulars) were the same on the primordial Earth. We know that life once did not exist on Earth; but once it began, it evolved and diversified from primitive ancestors; and as we peer further back in time, we peer further back into this ancestry. The more closely we look, the more reasonable natural abiogenesis appears.

As an analogy, Friedrich August Kekulé might not have known how a benzene molecule was constructed, but he could make a reasonable scientific inference (based on what was already known about chemistry) that the atoms were held together by naturalistic mechanisms. "How? He had no idea." But from there, he could hypothesize various structures. (The solution actually appeared to Kekulé in a dream.)              
Quote
I was sitting writing on my textbook, but the work did not progress; my thoughts were elsewhere. I turned my chair to the fire and dozed. Again the atoms were gamboling before my eyes. This time the smaller groups kept modestly in the background. My mental eye, rendered more acute by the repeated visions of the kind, could now distinguish larger structures of manifold conformation; long rows sometimes more closely fitted together all twining and twisting in snake-like motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes. As if by a flash of lightning I awoke; and this time also I spent the rest of the night in working out the consequences of the hypothesis.



On Blipey's point. I think most people make a real attempt to communicate with one another. If a word such as "believe" is subject to misunderstanding, they simply ask for clarification rather than trying to manipulate the language for rhetorical purposes. IDers seem to think that a perceived rhetorical victory inevitably results in scientific acceptance.

Zachriel                      
Quote
There is no complete theory of abiogenesis. The general hypothesis is that chemicals can form primitive replicators. Abiogenesis is not a component of the Theory of Evolution, or Germ Theory for that matter. The first life form on Earth may have been a lucky accident, a natural property of carbon and liquid water, a unique circumstance, seeded by comets, or even a Divine Miracle. The Theory of Evolution concerns the diversification of life, not its origin. However, it is known that life did not always exist on Earth, but that once it began, it diversified into a variety of forms.


--------------
The struggle against ignorance is to the end of time. But it is said that if you die in tard, you will be reborn in Tardhalla.

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,09:49   

Quote (Zachriel @ April 01 2007,16:16)
 
Quote (N.Wells @ Mar. 31 2007,21:53)
 
Dave Scot quotes a speech by Priestley Medalist George Whitesides on the origin of life:                                
Quote
Most chemists believe, as do I, that life emerged spontaneously from mixtures of molecules in the prebiotic Earth.  How? I have no idea.

In the comments, C. Bass says,
                             
Quote
Isn’t this the sort of thing Richard Dawkins is talking about when he defines “faith” as “belief without evidence”? I mean, why do “most chemists believe…that life emerged spontaneously” if there is no evidence as to how that can happen?

I've got to agree with Bass, for much the same reason that Zachriel disagrees with GilDodgen.  

Whitesides is clearly talking very loosely and is exaggerating for rhetorical effect, but nonetheless scientists shouldn't be dealing in beliefs and shouldn't be using that sort of language.  In parallel with what Zachriel said, the default here is, we know very little about the origin of life, but we're working on it, and we have some suspicions and some hypotheses.  Whitesides is welcome to his personal hunches, and is certainly welcome to state the reasons behind his hunches, but this is otherwise regrettable language.

You're right in that Whitesides's language might lead to a bit of conflation on the term "believe". There are two different definitions at work here.

 1) to have a firm religious faith
 2) to hold as an opinion

We can presume that Whitesides is using the second definition (deduced from his appeal to authority). There is ample reason to suggest that life arose due to naturalistic mechanisms: We know that life is a chemical process. We know that the basic principles of chemistry (though perhaps not the particulars) were the same on the primordial Earth. We know that life once did not exist on Earth; but once it began, it evolved and diversified from primitive ancestors; and as we peer further back in time, we peer further back into this ancestry. The more closely we look, the more reasonable natural abiogenesis appears.

As an analogy, Kekulé might not have known how a benzene molecule was constructed, but he could make a reasonable scientific inference (based on what was already known about chemistry) that the atoms were held together by naturalistic mechanisms. "How? He had no idea." But from there, he could hypothesize various structures. (The solution actually appeared to Kekulé in a dream.)          
Quote
I was sitting writing on my textbook, but the work did not progress; my thoughts were elsewhere. I turned my chair to the fire and dozed. Again the atoms were gamboling before my eyes. This time the smaller groups kept modestly in the background. My mental eye, rendered more acute by the repeated visions of the kind, could now distinguish larger structures of manifold conformation; long rows sometimes more closely fitted together all twining and twisting in snake-like motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes. As if by a flash of lightning I awoke; and this time also I spent the rest of the night in working out the consequences of the hypothesis.

On Blipey's point. I think most people make a real attempt to communicate with one another. If a word such as "believe" is subject to misunderstanding, they simply ask for clarification rather than trying to manipulate the language for rhetorical purposes. IDers seem to believe that perceived rhetoric victory inevitably results in scientific acceptance.

Zachriel                    
Quote
There is no complete theory of abiogenesis. The general hypothesis is that chemicals can form primitive replicators. Abiogenesis is not a component of the Theory of Evolution, or Germ Theory for that matter. The first life form on Earth may have been a lucky accident, a natural property of carbon and liquid water, a unique circumstance, seeded by comets, or even a Divine Miracle. The Theory of Evolution concerns the diversification of life, not its origin. However, it is known that life did not always exist on Earth, but that once it began, it diversified into a variety of forms.

Another truly most excellent post oh great President of Jupiter.

Complete with a little cameo of a great mind unraveling the secrets of nature as found (which is another way of saying created).

Note the means by which Friedrich August Kekulé arrived at his conclusion.

His unrestrained primitive subconscious mind served up an explanation in a visual language during a dream that explained a conundrum not available to conscious thought.

That is exactly how mythology including Christianity originated.

Stories harvested from dreams to explain the world and told as though they were real and since they resonate at a primitive subconscious level seem true.

Even though they are not true in the absolute waking world they  blur the line between fiction and fact in the suggestive world of public fantasy and the super ego.

The idea that the world is created by a super human like being is a childish projection of the first order and comes direct from the subconscious mind which for some unfortunates is indistinguishable from reality.

Practically all the semiotic symbols of the modern religion (I know that's an oxymoron) talking snakes, magic fruit trees, flud myths, self immolating bushes, babies in tiny boats, a one and only ‘ Son of God’ (the Egyptians had one of those), rising from the dead, life after death, virgin births etc etc are drawn from older myths.

Even the trope of the snake eating its own tail is a common mythological symbol.

As is the idea death is a punishment from god because a man can’t keep from stealing money from blind idiots (Geez Bill that record is so warn …oh woe is me boo hoo hoo…can we have something new?)

The creativity of the human brain is almost boundless and would shame most gods even if they existed. In some ways as long as idiots like Dembski and his loyal cadres constantly froth to the surface of the cess pool that represents the boundary between reality and dream  ……the idea of a god  may be a good thing.

Otherwise who else will take the litany of excuses when he shuffles off his mortal coils?

If he has an invisible sky daddy he can make his apologies to for being his own talking snake……hiss…… who am I to complain?


Dembskis deathbed confession:

I’m sorry god, nobody important believed you created ID.
I’m sorry god, nobody important believed I created ID for you but only for my personal pecuniary interest.
I’m sorry god but the TLC thought $20k was well spent even though I ran squawking like a chicken from Barbara Forrest’s Deposition for the Dover trial…..and no it wasn’t because I don’t believe in you….(WMaD crosses fingers and closes eyes).
I’m sorry god  for my last book …..You didn’t read it did you? I know…it was shit…but hey……. the wages of sin and all that.
.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Zachriel



Posts: 2581
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,10:39   

Quote (k.e @ April 01 2007,09:49)
Note the means by which Friedrich August Kekulé arrived at his conclusion. His unrestrained primitive subconscious mind served up an explanation in a visual language during a dream that explained a conundrum not available to conscious thought... Even the trope of the snake eating its own tail is a common mythological symbol.

Kekulé; work, inspiration, work.

That was a bit of a nod to Kristine's previous comments — in the hopes that she wouldn't try to hit herself in the head with a hammer.


   
Quote (quote-mined Kristine @ Mar. 31 2007,10:57)
... what revelation, other than a hammer from heaven smacking you in the head, is there for you to have?




--------------
The struggle against ignorance is to the end of time. But it is said that if you die in tard, you will be reborn in Tardhalla.

   
Kristine



Posts: 3037
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,12:37   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 01 2007,06:18)

Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 31 2007,21:18)
GilDodgen, Hon, is the voice screaming: "I DESERVE CHOCOLATE!"? That's me. Sorry. :)  I'm on page 20 of my 3rd attempt to get through this, that's why. (I'm farther than the other 2 times.) I've already blatted at my boyfriend about the nonsequitors. (I can hear his voice, too, in my head: "So why do you read that crap, then?")...

I read this paper some time ago, and my anandamide receptors, long in retirement from external manipulation, screamed at me as well. That's because they are known to mediate forms of forgetting.

What I found entertaining, beyond watching WAD tie himself into knots to accomplish his apologetic purposes (even the knots have knots), is the solution he devises for 'the fall,' which is essentially a multiverse solution:
Quote
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve simultaneously inhabit two worlds—two worlds intersect in the Garden. In the one world, the world God originally intended, the Garden is part of a larger world that is perfect and includes no natural evils. In the other world, the world that became corrupt through natural evils that God brought about by acting preemptively to anticipate the Fall, the Garden is a safe haven that in the conscious experience of Adam and Eve (i.e., phenomenologically) matches up exactly with their conscious experience in the perfect world, the one God originally intended. In the originally intended world, there are no pathogenic microbes and, correspondingly, there is no need for Adam and Eve to have an immune system that wards off these microbes. In the imperfect world, whose imperfection results from God acting  preemptively to anticipate the Fall, both pathogenic microbes and human immune systems exist. Yet, in their garden experience, Adam and Eve never become conscious of that difference. Only after they sin and are ejected from the Garden do they become conscious of the difference. Only then do they glimpse the world they might have inhabited but lost, a world symbolized by the tree of life. Only then do they realize the tragedy they now face by being cast into a world full of natural evil and devoid of a tree that could grant them immortality.

If that makes sense to you, you'll agree that time and causality are not time and causality:
Actually, I'm not up to that part yet, but I do "understand" it, because I was raised a Christian and can enter and leave this realm. The chronos and kairos of which he speaks, the temporal realm and the eternal realm of the Godhead, form a cross! The first intersection (cross) is in the Garden, and the second is the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Get it? :) So nice, so neat, and so useless - except perhaps as a means to prevent Alzheimer's. ;) But it doesn't have anything to do with the real world.
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 01 2007,06:18)

Which brings us to GilDodg'em's question vis credibility:
Quote
Friday Musings: The Credible Versus The Incredible
GilDodg'em

...Thus, at least among many intellectual elites and others, the incredible is given precedence over the credible as the default position. How did we arrive at this curious state of affairs?

Gil - take a squint at Bill's paper, and I think you'll have your answer.

(Design is screaming at you because it is PISSED.)
The Designer is looking for an argument.

And that's the final irony. Even if Bill, Gil, et al convince people of the Designer's existence, they can't dictate our reaction to it. Dawkins exhorts us to rebel against our selfish genes, so why can't we rebel against "design" too?

After all, I don't "worship" Darwin or evolution. Modern medicine and technology is about using the world's realities to subvert them as much as we can, because evolution isn't a nice creation story.

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
N.Wells



Posts: 579
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,12:39   

Quote
(From Blipey): This is a particular argument that has always rubbed me the wrong way.  As an actor, I very much understand the importance of language and its usage.  However, I've ever been irritated by people claiming phrases like Whiteside's are ill-conceived.

I don't believe they are.  There are situations where words need to be chosen very carefully--situations that require great specific detail in order to communicate a message.  Most situations do not fall into this category.  For the most part, we get a sense of message from the context of what we're hearing/seeing/feeling.

When a scientist is the one speaking/writing/punching us in the nose, we generally know where he's coming from.  His words can be interpretted through our understanding of his role as a scientist.


 
Quote
(From Zachriel) There are two different definitions at work here.

1) to have a firm religious faith
2) to hold as an opinion

We can presume that Whitesides is using the second definition (deduced from his appeal to authority).

On Blipey's point. I think most people make a real attempt to communicate with one another. If a word such as "believe" is subject to misunderstanding, they simply ask for clarification rather than trying to manipulate the language for rhetorical purposes.


Obviously, people are usually trying to communicate and in most cases people give or get the benefit of the doubt.  Also obviously, Whitesides was using the looser definition of "believe".  I'm sure Whitesides' immediate audience understood him just fine, but these days he should be aware that his audience is not just his fellow-chemists.

More specifically, it should be obvious to all working scientists that creationists and IDists are all too ready to twist any comment they can out of context to serve their own purposes.  The existence of the IDists and their notorious attempts to miscommunicate and misrepresent means that we are exactly in a situation "where words need to be chosen very carefully."  It therefore behoves scientists not to go around handing them choice nuggets.  

(This includes the standard exaggerations and put-downs about the weaknesses and deficiencies in prior understanding that people make in the introductions to their papers, to build up the significance of the contributions they are about to make.  Whitesides' comments are exactly of this sort because he is not being truthful when he says he lacks any supporting evidence for abiogenesis - he's just exaggerating for the sake of a little drama.  Nonetheless, his statement feeds right into IDist misrepresentation, and he should have seen that coming.  A simple statement that chemists lack a inadequate set of hypotheses and speculations and are in dire need of some fresh facts and/or ideas would have been correct and appropriate.)
 
I have no problem with a scientist saying something like, "My hunch is that .....", or even,  "As a catholic I believe in ....".  However, even if creationism and ID didn't exist, it is obvious that the general public has a really poor grasp of the scientific method and do indeed tend to view scientific controversies as competions between opposing beliefs. Thus it doesn't help public understanding of science to have a scientist say prominently that he believes something scientific even though he has no supporting evidence.  And if he really does believe it, evidence or not, then he's falling down on his intellectual responsibilities as a scientist.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,13:03   

Quote (N.Wells @ April 01 2007,12:39)
More specifically, it should be obvious to all working scientists that creationists and IDists are all too ready to twist any comment they can out of context to serve their own purposes.  The existence of the IDists and their notorious attempts to miscommunicate and misrepresent means that we are exactly in a situation "where words need to be chosen very carefully."  It therefore behoves scientists not to go around handing them choice nuggets.  

Bah.  Why on earth should we allow a handful of nutters to determine what we should or shouldn't say?  Screw 'em.  Let 'em go right ahead and quote-mine to their heart's content --- they've been doing it for almost half a century now, and it hasn't helped them accomplish diddley doo.  (shrug)  

Words should communicate.  His words communicated.  Mission accomplished.

Let the fundies twitter all they want.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
phonon



Posts: 396
Joined: Nov. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,14:39   

I don't have a problem with Whitesides' comment about what he believes (i.e. thinks) is the case for life arising by itself. I have a problem with the part where he says he has no idea. Maybe he really doesn't (I think he does, Whitesides is an expert in self-assembly) but the people who are working on OOL research do have ideas as to how it arose. They aren't fully fleshed out theories yet, mainly because they haven't amassed nearly enough data. But to say "we have no idea" is just incorrect.

--------------
With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another. - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation. - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

  
Zachriel



Posts: 2581
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,14:44   

Joseph  
Quote
The figures on Easter Island were determined to be designed before it was determined how they were designed and how they were moved to their final position. The figures on the Nasca Plain were determined to be designed before it was determined how they were configured. Stonehenge was determined to be designed before it was determined how it was constructed.

I would point out that constellations, planetary movements, the apparition of comets, wind, weather, lightning, volcanoes, earthquakes, gemstones, disease, the flooding of the Nile, and fairy rings were also "determined" to be designed.

What distinguishes the successful determinations you mention with the less than successful counterexamples?

--------------
The struggle against ignorance is to the end of time. But it is said that if you die in tard, you will be reborn in Tardhalla.

   
Kristine



Posts: 3037
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,15:01   

Quote (phonon @ April 01 2007,13:39)

but the people who are working on OOL research do have ideas as to how it arose. They aren't fully fleshed out theories yet, mainly because they haven't amassed nearly enough data. But to say "we have no idea" is just incorrect.
Right. That gets my chimp as well.

Plus the assertion that "life" and "nonlife" are totally opposite, mutually exclusive chategories drives me nuts. We're talking about inorganic and organic chemistry. (Why do we have a chemistry at all, if we're all "life spirit"?)

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4223
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,16:00   

Quote (Kristine @ April 01 2007,12:37)
The chronos and kairos of which he speaks, the temporal realm and the eternal realm of the Godhead, form a cross! The first intersection (cross) is in the Garden, and the second is the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Get it? :) So nice, so neat, and so useless - except perhaps as a means to prevent Alzheimer's. ;) But it doesn't have anything to do with the real world.

Plus they forgot the parallel realm in which Spock is evil, and wears an evil goatee.

(But he is still logical and honest, which is more than I can can say for Dembski in this context).
   
Quote
That gets my chimp as well.

I would have sworn you were the bonobo type.

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

  
stevestory



Posts: 8749
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,17:38   

Quote (N.Wells @ Mar. 31 2007,23:53)
I've got to agree with Bass, for much the same reason that Zachriel disagrees with GilDodgen.  

Whitesides is clearly talking very loosely and is exaggerating for rhetorical effect, but nonetheless scientists shouldn't be dealing in beliefs and shouldn't be using that sort of language.  In parallel with what Zachriel said, the default here is, we know very little about the origin of life, but we're working on it, and we have some suspicions and some hypotheses.  Whitesides is welcome to his personal hunches, and is certainly welcome to state the reasons behind his hunches, but this is otherwise regrettable language.

- - - - - - -


Also, chocolate for Kristine:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/images/287964.jpg
or for the story,
www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/dailynews/4012155a12.html

The recent Salvador incident shows it doesn't matter what you say, they will misuse your words.

   
N.Wells



Posts: 579
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,19:00   

True, but why make it easy for them?  

Scientists who are about to speak about science or scientific results are supposed to think about how to communicate clearly and effectively, taking into account the audience and the ways they could misunderstand what they are about to hear.  Why make it easy for people to misunderstand or misrepresent by saying either A) "I believe" when what you really mean is simply "I think" or "I suspect", or "I'd bet that ...", or  B) "I have no idea" or "there's no evidence", when those simply aren't true?

We know that creationist / IDists love to paint scientific conclusions as just another belief, and we know that science proceeds by hypothesis testing and disproof, not by  asserting beliefs.  Yes, I'm being cranky here, but Whitesides is being very unhelpful.

  
phonon



Posts: 396
Joined: Nov. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,19:37   

I just now am going to the uncommon descent website. Can't they get anything right? They say that the quote comes from the ACS news magazine Chemical & Engineering Times. The name of the magazine is Chemical & Engineering News, ferschissakes.

shaner74 misses the point entirely:
Quote
“Most chemists believe, as do I, that life emerged spontaneously from mixtures of molecules in the prebiotic Earth.”

Another ode to materialism (yawn). Golly why can’t we figured this stuff out? ID is supposed to be the science-stopper right??
Uh, yeah. Saying "we've figured this stuff out" is a science stopper.

and then apollo230  does a little projection:
Quote
At least Dr. Whiteside has a degree of intellectual honesty: if he does not know something, he admits it. More than I can say for these super-duper doctorates who hand-wave and dance their way past gaping questions like the origin of life.
Oh ok, then saying "life was designed" instead of "we don't know" is perfectly acceptable.

--------------
With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another. - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation. - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

  
stevestory



Posts: 8749
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,19:51   

Quote (phonon @ April 01 2007,21:37)
shaner74 misses the point entirely:
Quote
“Most chemists believe, as do I, that life emerged spontaneously from mixtures of molecules in the prebiotic Earth.”

Another ode to materialism (yawn). Golly why can’t we figured this stuff out? ID is supposed to be the science-stopper right??

It's definitely the Journal Stopper.

   
Kristine



Posts: 3037
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,21:07   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 01 2007,15:00)
I would have sworn you were the bonobo type.
Oh dear. I'd better tone down my online personality! :D  
 
Quote (Zachriel @ April 01 2007,09:39)

Note the means by Kekulé; work, inspiration, work.

That was a bit of a nod to Kristine's previous comments — in the hopes that she wouldn't try to hit herself in the head with a hammer.
Too late. I just crossed the "Christian Theodicy" finish line!
And I offer this comment, without snark: wow.

I mean that, I'm not just being a smartass: wow. The guy believes in an old earth and in Adam and Eve (metaphorically, I think), in our (possible) evolution from hominids (he hedges about it) and in the Garden of Eden, which was spiritually isolated from the "natural evil" allowed to exist in the world in anticipation of humanity's choice to sin through free will... Uh, doesn't ask much of himself, does he? This is a lot to reconcile.

Okay, yeah, I hear the sniggering out there, but despite my Bill bias ya gotta give the guy some credit for being an abstract thinker - I don't buy what he's selling, but I would have rather sat through this than all the "God is fun, fun, fun!" pep-talks that have passed for sermons aimed at kids since the 1970s. I prefer intellectual games.

I guess I come away from this being impressed that he is really a good person at heart, but blinded by his worldview so that he has no moral qualms about shoehorning biology into his little retrofitted spirit world. He's intelligent, but a two-dimensional thinker; I wish he would make an attempt to put aside all the preconceived ideas and just learn - about biology, about literature, about a lot of things without trying to pigeonhole them.

I don't have a neat and whole worldview like this, but he probably assumes that I (and other "Darwinists") do; he doesn't understand how to live with uncertainty, so he assumes that we do the same thing he's doing here. No, no, not so. At least I have a better understanding of the gulf between us and ID believers.

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
stevestory



Posts: 8749
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,21:23   

mike1962 is a tard
Quote

“Most chemists believe, as do I, that life emerged spontaneously from mixtures of molecules in the prebiotic Earth. How? I have no idea.”
That says it all. Religion masquerading as science.
Obviously being a “scientist” is no guarantee against being a fool.



The idea of a UDer calling George Whitesides a fool is hysterical.

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,22:23   

Quote (Kristine @ April 02 2007,05:07)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 01 2007,15:00)
I would have sworn you were the bonobo type.
Oh dear. I'd better tone down my online personality! :D  
 
Quote (Zachriel @ April 01 2007,09:39)

Note the means by Kekulé; work, inspiration, work.

That was a bit of a nod to Kristine's previous comments — in the hopes that she wouldn't try to hit herself in the head with a hammer.
Too late. I just crossed the "Christian Theodicy" finish line!
And I offer this comment, without snark: wow.

I mean that, I'm not just being a smartass: wow. The guy believes in an old earth and in Adam and Eve (metaphorically, I think), in our (possible) evolution from hominids (he hedges about it) and in the Garden of Eden, which was spiritually isolated from the "natural evil" allowed to exist in the world in anticipation of humanity's choice to sin through free will... Uh, doesn't ask much of himself, does he? This is a lot to reconcile.

Okay, yeah, I hear the sniggering out there, but despite my Bill bias ya gotta give the guy some credit for being an abstract thinker - I don't buy what he's selling, but I would have rather sat through this than all the "God is fun, fun, fun!" pep-talks that have passed for sermons aimed at kids since the 1970s. I prefer intellectual games.

I guess I come away from this being impressed that he is really a good person at heart, but blinded by his worldview so that he has no moral qualms about shoehorning biology into his little retrofitted spirit world. He's intelligent, but a two-dimensional thinker; I wish he would make an attempt to put aside all the preconceived ideas and just learn - about biology, about literature, about a lot of things without trying to pigeonhole them.

I don't have a neat and whole worldview like this, but he probably assumes that I (and other "Darwinists") do; he doesn't understand how to live with uncertainty, so he assumes that we do the same thing he's doing here. No, no, not so. At least I have a better understanding of the gulf between us and ID believers.

Who is trying to have their blind spot beyond their horizon and their rosy world view too?

I seem to recall Bill the confessor gloating over a certain professor of comparative religion's (in Kansas?) black eye ostensibly received from a couple of red neck truck drivers on a quiet country road, which occurred after his infamous email 'sticking it to their fat fundy faces' when he was going to add ID/creationism as simple myth to his course.

Romanticize away with 'Billy the Kreationist Kid' a Psalm Slinger of the Old East as he rides into town on the back of his flock of sheep with his devil may care disregard of the law (in particular the constitution).

His Law comes out of the mouth of his ass as some sort of Sharia, where one gives unto Kaiser Bill what is gods.

Who needs a Stasi (Ministerium für Staatssicherheit) god squad  when it can be outsourced to the free market? Dissenters in his heaven are 'taken care of' and Jesus packs heat. All with his Alfred E. Neuman  'who me' look.

As far as I'm concerned he's lower than a snakes arsehole in a wagon rut.

You could try seeing if he can be 'converted' to play on the other team ...I suppose... but it would take more than a shimmy in a feather boa.

In which case I say ...bring me the head of Bill the Baptist.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
stevestory



Posts: 8749
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 01 2007,22:32   

Remember the guy with the spectacularly dumbass SLoT disproof of evolution, Granville Sewell? He's back:

Quote
31 March 2007
Is ID science?–a 30-year old opinion
Granville Sewell

In 1978-79 I was visiting professor in the computer science department at Purdue University, when the student newspaper (the Exponent) published a letter to the editor comparing “creationists” to “flat-earthers”. My reply, given below, was published a few days later. The reason I thought this 30-year-old letter might be of some interest to UD readers is how nicely it anticipates the current debate on whether ID is science or not (especially the last paragraph):


As Pat Hayes said:

Quote
The March of Progress
Granville Sewell: Defending creationism then, supporting ID today. Because it's all about the scientific evidence.


http://redstaterabble.blogspot.com/
http://uncommondescent.com/

   
blipey



Posts: 2061
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 02 2007,00:16   

Quote (N.Wells @ April 01 2007,19:00)
True, but why make it easy for them?  

Scientists who are about to speak about science or scientific results are supposed to think about how to communicate clearly and effectively, taking into account the audience and the ways they could misunderstand what they are about to hear.  Why make it easy for people to misunderstand or misrepresent by saying either A) "I believe" when what you really mean is simply "I think" or "I suspect", or "I'd bet that ...", or  B) "I have no idea" or "there's no evidence", when those simply aren't true?

We know that creationist / IDists love to paint scientific conclusions as just another belief, and we know that science proceeds by hypothesis testing and disproof, not by  asserting beliefs.  Yes, I'm being cranky here, but Whitesides is being very unhelpful.

I don't mean to disagree with you, N. Wells, but I don't hold the general public in quite the same regard as you do.  I think you and I are quite simpatico in regards to our personal views of what science is saying.  Where we differ is in how we think it is appropriate to communicate these ideas.

I believe that if we couch all scientific discoveries and discussions in language appropriate for creationists we will never be able to communicate amongst ourselves.  As Lenny said up-thread, who the heck cares what the creationists think about scientific issues?

Sure, it is appropriate to use language very precisely when speaking to creationist groups or addressing the issues when debating creationists.  Other than that, screw 'em.  they'll quotemine from anything, so I don't believe it is necessary to watch your language 24 hours a day--merely a waste of energy.

It is more useful to completely reveal their quotemines and   lies.  Of course, this requires that we, as a society, respect and admire logical thought and education.  These are the areas that I believe we are most deficient in and that our educational system should most engage in.

--------------
But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG

And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin

   
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