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



Posts: 320
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,15:11   

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 27 2008,10:40)
Okay, here’s a question with an unfortunately long lead-up: The way I see it, one reason ID is so controversial is that it argues mind precedes matter in the form of a creative intelligence; whereas classic evolutionary theory says that mind is a product of matter. Intelligence is one of the last things to appear on the scene.

But when confronted with the question of how life began, many evolutionary theorists allow that perhaps Panspermia had something to do with it. This theory is broadly accepted as a scientific possibility even though it also posits that mind came first and matter—at least the highly organized arrangements of matter we call living things—second.

So my question is, why is one theory so controversial and the other not? What if you stripped away all of the religious and political baggage from ID? Would the theory be more acceptible then? And wouldn’t ID and Panspermia become nearly indistinguishable? After all, both argue that perhaps the best possibility for explaining how life began is a higher intelligence that seeded it on earth. We can argue all day about what the nature of that intelligence really is. But that’s beside the main point: Do we need intelligence to explain things like the origin and diversity of life or not? Classical evolution says no, ID and Panspermia say yes. Two different answers to the same question. I fail to see how one answer is scientific and the other not. That being said, I’m sure someone is going to go off about the scientific method and how the IDers aren’t serious scientists, that they’re a bunch of liars, etc. But once again, that’s beside the point. Never mind their methods or their ethics. Is the question the ID community is asking scientific or not?

If you really want to know here's how it happened.

Two molecules were chemically attracted. They made a copy and here you are.

Replicators are a given in the right chemical environment.

Once there are replicators. Evolution.

  
factician



Posts: 77
Joined: Aug. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,15:18   

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 27 2008,12:08)
Erasmus: You can't be serious in saying evolutionary theory has nothing to say about the origin of life. Have you ever read "The Blind Watchmaker?" "Darwin's Dangerous Idea"?

I hope I can clarify for you.

The mistake you're making is that because scientists are interested in the origin of life, and because scientists generally think the theory of evolution is correct, that the theory of evolution speaks to the origin of life.  It does not, though these questions are related.

We're all interested in the origin of life (or many of us, anyway) but the theory of evolution doesn't even get started until the first replicating organism shows up on the scene.  How did this first replicating organism form?  That's an interesting question.

Panspermia doesn't even address the origin of life question (and please stop referring to it as the theory of panspermia - it hardly qualifies as a theory, more of a hypothesis with no data attached).  Panspermia addresses the origin of life on Earth.  It just moves the origin of life to another planet, and still leaves us the question of how life arose (on said other planet, galaxy, nebula, dark matter chunkoid, etc).  Intelligent design says that there's a Designer.  We don't know when, or where.  And please don't ask.  Oh, and He's pretty complicated.  And nothing came before Him.  But don't ask us how we know that.

But let's pretend for a moment that panspermia and intelligent design are equivalent.  I think they're both bs, but I can't prove that panspermia is bs.  It's just my personal prejudice.

Panspermia predicts several things that we can test experimentally.  1)  That life arose somewhere else, and we could find it somewhere else.  Okay, this one is difficult to detect, but NASA is ostensibly trying to ask this question by digging around on Mars with robots.  2)  That we might find life on asteroids.  3)  That the earliest life forms would be associated with periods of bombardment on Earth.  4) ???  These are what I can come up with off the top of my head.  I really don't spend a lot of time thinking about panspermia.

Intelligent design makes the prediction that:  1)  Things will be pretty complicated.  Except that evolution also makes the prediction that things will be complicated.  And how do you define complicated, anyway?  Cause it looks complicated?  So I guess that's not a really good predictor for intelligent design.  Well then, we have prediction number 1)  ???

Perhaps you can fill that in for me, Kevin?

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conspiracyfactory.blogspot.com

   
tsig



Posts: 320
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,15:18   

Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 27 2008,12:34)
Quote (Paul Flocken @ Feb. 27 2008,08:56)
When marketers want to publicize movies they want the public to go see, don't they usually, well, invite critics?  When I hear that a movie was not screened it always means they have a dud on their hands and they dont want people to know it.  I wonder how many non-disclosure agreements Lucas forced people to sign before watching the original StarWars?

In my professional experience, they are so eager for reviewers that they
1) Will let in anyone who says they’re a reviewer from such-n-such rag/paper (although I have never actually tried this, of course - I have ethics)
2) Give out free tickets to the public
3) Throw t-shirts at the crowd
4) Distribute press packets

Actually, non-disclosure agreements do have precedent – such as the secret audience preview of Gone with the Wind. However, I think that was verbal, simply to not reveal the plot, etc.

It was the ending.

  
Stanton



Posts: 266
Joined: Jan. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,15:40   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Feb. 27 2008,11:10)

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 27 2008,11:05)
I'm sorry these guys are confused, Carlsonjok, but if you go back to my original question, what I'm asking is, why is panspermia considered scientific and ID is not. I think I made it pretty clear there.


Panspermia is regarded as a scientific hypothesis because it builds on the observed facts that a) water and organic molecules are found in outer space, b) spores of bacteria and fungi are capable of surviving intact in outer space-like conditions (whether or not they can remain viable has yet to be seen), and c) bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms are capable of living and thriving in Mars-like conditions, and then proposes that life, or certain lineages of organisms on Earth are descended from life and or organic molecules from outer space.

Panspermia can not progress beyond the hypothetical stage because no "alien" lifeform has been found and recognized with which to compare indigenous lifeforms with.

Intelligent Design proposes that, because biological systems are complicated, biological systems could not have appeared or evolved without the assistance of an "intelligent designer" that is beyond the scrutiny of mere mortal scientists.  Having said this, Intelligent Design proponents have been extremely hesitant to demonstrate how one can go about detecting "design."

Dembski alleges that his "Explanatory Filter" can detect design, but, he leaves very much to be desired, given as how he has never actually demonstrated how to detect design with his filter in a genuine organism.

Behe's idea of "irreducible complexity" has been repeatedly killed and butchered by the fact that all of the biological systems he labeled as being "irreducibly complex," including the vertebrate immune system, the blood-clotting cascade, and the eukaryote and bacterial flagella have all had their evolutionary histories discovered, as well as how the details of the mechanics of each system relate to related details in other biological systems, i.e., in that echinoderms have a similar immune system to chordates, or that the proteases used in blood clotting are the same proteases used in digestion, or even the documentation of the evolutionary history of the genes that produce the "antifreeze" glycoproteins in Antarctic icefish, or the appearance of the 2 versions of nylonase.

Then there is the fact that all Intelligent Design proponents have been extraordinarily hesitant in either explaining how Intelligent Design "theory" would help contribute to Science, or even how Intelligent Design "theory" is even science.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10080
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,15:43   

Quote (Stanton @ Feb. 27 2008,15:40)
[quote=carlsonjok,Feb. 27 2008,11:10][/quote]
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 27 2008,11:05)
I'm sorry these guys are confused, Carlsonjok, but if you go back to my original question, what I'm asking is, why is panspermia considered scientific and ID is not. I think I made it pretty clear there.


Panspermia is regarded as a scientific hypothesis because it builds on the observed facts that a) water and organic molecules are found in outer space, b) spores of bacteria and fungi are capable of surviving intact in outer space-like conditions (whether or not they can remain viable has yet to be seen), and c) bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms are capable of living and thriving in Mars-like conditions, and then proposes that life, or certain lineages of organisms on Earth are descended from life and or organic molecules from outer space.

Panspermia can not progress beyond the hypothetical stage because no "alien" lifeform has been found and recognized with which to compare indigenous lifeforms with.

Intelligent Design proposes that, because biological systems are complicated, biological systems could not have appeared or evolved without the assistance of an "intelligent designer" that is beyond the scrutiny of mere mortal scientists.  Having said this, Intelligent Design proponents have been extremely hesitant to demonstrate how one can go about detecting "design."

Dembski alleges that his "Explanatory Filter" can detect design, but, he leaves very much to be desired, given as how he has never actually demonstrated how to detect design with his filter in a genuine organism.

Behe's idea of "irreducible complexity" has been repeatedly killed and butchered by the fact that all of the biological systems he labeled as being "irreducibly complex," including the vertebrate immune system, the blood-clotting cascade, and the eukaryote and bacterial flagella have all had their evolutionary histories discovered, as well as how the details of the mechanics of each system relate to related details in other biological systems, i.e., in that echinoderms have a similar immune system to chordates, or that the proteases used in blood clotting are the same proteases used in digestion, or even the documentation of the evolutionary history of the genes that produce the "antifreeze" glycoproteins in Antarctic icefish, or the appearance of the 2 versions of nylonase.

Then there is the fact that all Intelligent Design proponents have been extraordinarily hesitant in either explaining how Intelligent Design "theory" would help contribute to Science, or even how Intelligent Design "theory" is even science.

Welcome Stanton. Epic 1st post!

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"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
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Kristine



Posts: 3037
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,15:50   

Quote (tsig @ Feb. 27 2008,14:18)
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 27 2008,12:34)
 
Quote (Paul Flocken @ Feb. 27 2008,08:56)
When marketers want to publicize movies they want the public to go see, don't they usually, well, invite critics?  When I hear that a movie was not screened it always means they have a dud on their hands and they dont want people to know it.  I wonder how many non-disclosure agreements Lucas forced people to sign before watching the original StarWars?

In my professional experience, they are so eager for reviewers that they
1) Will let in anyone who says they’re a reviewer from such-n-such rag/paper (although I have never actually tried this, of course - I have ethics)
2) Give out free tickets to the public
3) Throw t-shirts at the crowd
4) Distribute press packets

Actually, non-disclosure agreements do have precedent – such as the secret audience preview of Gone with the Wind. However, I think that was verbal, simply to not reveal the plot, etc.

It was the ending.

*Brightens* Okay, smarty-pants! It was not the ending – after all, everyone knew that (and really, the last line in the film is rather like an ID “prediction,” no?). It was the “will they-won’t they” say that other line.

Yes, that famous line, which could also express the audience’s attitude toward Expelled when it finally opens, the possibility of which hovers like a vulture over Stein’s anguish over losing his money, doesn’t it? :D

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

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Glen Davidson



Posts: 752
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,16:19   

I can't say that I have any desire to bother with Miller's droning cant (how many times have we heard the exact same mistakes?), but I thought there were a couple of somewhat interesting media remarks about Expelled.  And so, cross-posting plus modifying from Pharyngula, here:

Quote
More Expelled news, and PZ ("Paul Zachary") mentioned again:

 
Quote
Everybody's favorite dead-pan teacher and game show host, Ben Stein, is the face of a new documentary to be released this April called "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed". It's ostensibly a movie about attacks on freedom of speech in today's hostile climate among scientists in academia, but on closer inspection it really seems to be a thinly veiled screed for Intelligent Design.

A quick search of the web provides the background: the production company for the film is the same that produced The Passion of the Christ; its CEO and one of the film's producers recently questioned the Godliness of the administration at Baylor University over an ID-related incident; and the producers used Stein as the narrator specifically because he wasn't "overtly religious."

What's perhaps most dangerous about the film is not that it works to present Intelligent Design as a legitimate scientific theory, but that it tries to tear down Darwinism by equating it with Social Darwinism and therefore eugenics and racism (and Nazis; see Godwin's law).

Professor Paul Zachary Myers at the University of Minnesota is one of the scientists interviewed for the film. He's recently been caught up in a blog exchange with the film's producers regarding this and other topics to do with the movie. Read the arguments and decide for yourself whether you'll see the film. You can find the producer's first post here followed by Myer's response, followed by the producer's response. So, what do you think? Will you watch "Expelled" when it hits theaters?


Popular Science's remarks about Expelled

I couldn't have hoped for better comments from Popular Science than those.

Expelled is increasingly becoming known, but the stench from that shitpile is the introduction that most seem to get from the media.

Human Events tries to make the flexibility of scientists out to be a bad thing, due to the fact that they won't accept meaningless, evidence-free "hypotheses":

 
Quote
And, oh my God, scientists aren't opposed to "design," which supposedly is all that ID is about, they're simply opposed to "hypotheses" in science regarding magic beings who do something (we can't know what), at some time (we can't know when), for some purpose (which is undetectable), make life (we don't know why):

 
Quote
The responses are amazing, even if you think you know what to expect. It turns out some of the most hardened, doctrinaire anti-design zealots in the scientific establishment -- people such as Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion" and consequently the de facto leader of the worldwide atheist movement -- aren't really opposed to the notion of design at all. They just can't accept God as the designer.

You will hear some of the world's most celebrated evolutionists admit design is possible -- just not by the hand of God.


The rest at Human Events

And no, liar, we don't say that design by the hand of God is impossible, we say that it is impossible to come up with any evidence that this supposed God exists, or that any magical beings have interfered with the laws of physics.

IOW, your only complaint, Farah, is that scientists want to keep science operating by honest standards and methods.

Glen D

P.S. Bill Buckley has died. Whatever one thinks of him, it's sad that one of the last acts he'll be remembered as making is his laudatory praise for Berlinski's most recent dumb book.


--------------
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p....p

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy

   
Reed



Posts: 274
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,16:33   

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 27 2008,11:20)
Certain versions of Panspermia don't require an external intelligence, but others do. Apart from that though, I agree that the best Panspermia can ever be is a hypothesis, because it doesn't answer the ultimate question of how life originated in the universe, just how it originated on earth.

Aside from apparent confusion about what theory and hypothesis mean in science, you are making a couple of other fundamental errors.

1) Specific variants of the panspermia (or perhaps more properly exogenesis) hypothesis could be confirmed or disproven to a high degree of certainty. If we find life off Earth, there's a very good chance we could that figure out how it is related, if it all, to Earth life. Progress in understanding abiogenisis could also make the concept more or less attractive.

IOW, these hypotheses make testable predictions, and as such, are firmly in the realm of science. We don't have the data now, but as we explore the universe, we could find evidence. Until that time, panspermia/exogenesis will remain a speculative footnote. It's worth noting that no one is campaigning for the "panspermia controversy" to be taught in k-12 schools, and if there were, it the only proper reaction would be to reject it, since there is currently not enough data to warrant more than a passing mention if anything at all.

2) The panspermia hypothesis doesn't make any claim to explain abiogenesis,  the ultimate origin of life. To say that it can "never be more than a hypothesis" because of this is just nonsensical. Creationists like to make the same complaint against the "Theory of Evolution" but it similarly makes no such claim*. Neither explains gravity or star formation either, yet seems to care about how this might affect their credibility ;)

*One would expect chemical abiogenesis to have some very evolutionary qualities, but classical evolution doesn't depend on this about this.


/first post from a long time lurker

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10080
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,16:51   

Welcome Reed. Looks like we've picked up a couple of stars today.



WHERE IS MY COMISSION?

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

  
LawnBoy



Posts: 3
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,17:19   

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 27 2008,11:20)
Apart from that though, I agree that the best Panspermia can ever be is a hypothesis, because it doesn't answer the ultimate question of how life originated in the universe, just how it originated on earth.

As to your second point, I'm trying to cut away the religious and political baggage attached to this issue and focus on the scientific questions.

Quote
I'll concede your first point--sort of. Certain versions of Panspermia don't require an external intelligence, but others do


That's true in a way, but it actually partially answers your questions.  There's an inverse correlation between how much a particular version of panspermia relies on external intelligence and how will respected that version is.  A version that says the precursors of life came and asteroid or a comet provide testability (we can look for forms of life in asteroids and comets), whereas a version that says that an intelligent alien colonized the earth gives us nothing testable.

Quote
Apart from that though, I agree that the best Panspermia can ever be is a hypothesis, because it doesn't answer the ultimate question of how life originated in the universe, just how it originated on earth.


I can't quite agree.  It's possible that we will find evidence of life on asteroids or comets or Mars in a form very similar to what evidence says earliest life on Earth was like.  If that combined evidence were strong enough (and resolved correlation/causation issues), then panspermia could be considered a valid Scientific Theory of how life started on Earth.

However, it wouldn't answer the question of how life started in the universe - it just pushes the question of original creation of life back.  In that case, it would be a valid Theory for one problem and irrelevant to another problem.

  
Copernic



Posts: 1
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,17:33   

Kevin, I'm glad you are choosing to stick around.  You no doubt can see a lot of folks are fairly irate about how they are being portrayed by the IDists.  I hope you take that to heart but still engage with us.

I'd like to point out that tacitus did a bang up job of putting the Panspermia issue to rest.  
Panspermia is not an alternative to biological evolution.  No working scientist, that I'm aware of, thinks it is.

In fact, if there was the slightest chance that microbes had seeded the earth from "out there" they still would succumb to biological evolution to create the forms we see today and throughout biological history.   Additionally, evolutionary forces would have played a part on their home world as well.  So, it is not an alternative to evolution but rather an idea as to how biological systems might migrate between ecosystems...nothing more.  There, that's done.

As for evolution saying something about the beginning of life, I understand your frustration.  You'll hear people saying it doesn't address it.  What they mean is that the "fact" of biological evolution doesn't address it....and what they mean by that is "genetic change over generations" or "change in allele frequency within populations over time" doesn't talk to the origin of life.

However, the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection may say something about abiogenesis, in concept.

Within the  known operations of aquatic and organic chemistry, all you need is simple organic replicators, variations in stability, fecundity, concentration of and competition for available organics, etc.  Voila! simple life, and probably very different than what we'd recognize today.

Is abiogenic evolution a strong theory? No.  Is it tough to test?  Yes.  Is is logically consistant with science?  Yes.

Creation or ID is not a theory at all, is impossible to test, and is not logically consistant with science.

So, the concept of evolution does have something to say about abiogenesis and the scientists who are looking into it are using biological evolution (both fact and theory) as a tool kit to guide their own studies.

But, the "fact of biological evolution", by definition, says nothing about the beginning of life.    

J

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5375
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,17:37   

Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 27 2008,16:50)
Yes, that famous line, which could also express the audience’s attitude toward Expelled when it finally opens, the possibility of which hovers like a vulture over Stein’s anguish over losing his money, doesn’t it? :D

"Frankly my dear, I won't give a dime"?

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

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Reed



Posts: 274
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,17:57   

A few questions I'd like to ask Kevin, related to the apparent belief there is a significant connection between Nazism/Stalinism and evolutionary theory:
1) Do you believe this perceived association affects the value or credibility of evolution as a scientific theory ?
2) Do you believe that other ideas used to justify these and similar atrocities should be rejected ?
2b) If yes to 2), should this rejection depend on the objective verifiability or usefulness of those ideas ?
3) Do you believe that if true, evolutionary theory provides an actual justification for the atrocities of the Nazis and Stalinists ?

I see a couple typos slipped into my earlier post, with no edit button in sight.
yet seems to should be yet no one seems to
and the final
about this is extraneous.

  
abb3w



Posts: 1
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,18:09   

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 25 2008,23:33)
As for being mystified by "my cause," my main interest in this project is the whole philosophy of science angle. How do we conceptualize science and its implications? How can we know that we know anything?

1) The foundations of mathematics were established by the Principia Mathematica and Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, even though rocked by Goedel. Mathematics is a branch of philosophy, however, which does not necessarily have any connection to reality; looking up the Banach-Tarski sphere dissection (a mathematical proof where people's initial response resembles exposure to the infamously NSFW "goatse" JPEG :O ) will convince most people of this.

2) Turing machines may be developed via ZF. They helped lead directly to Goedel's proof. Similarly, one may develop the basis for probability using ZF (although no-one in their right mind would work that way directly).

3) The Strong Church-Turing Universe Thesis says that the Universe has a formal level of complexity that is no greater than an ordinary Turing machine. While uncertain, no-one's figured out how to create a "hypercomputer" yet. If SCTUT holds,it provides an anchor between the  perfectable-as-possible ideal of mathematics and the solidity of the Real Universe.

4) The Wallace and Dowe paper "Minimum Message Length and Kolmogorov Complexity" and closely related Vitanyi and Li paper "Minimum description length induction, Bayesianism, and Kolmogorov complexity" (both findable in PS or PDF on-line) establish a mathematical basis for Occam's razor; informally, that the simplest explanation that encodes all the available data (to within the data's uncertainty) that is output by a Turing Machine, is the one most likely to correctly predict future results and "be correct," even if subject to later disproof.

Ergo, if the SCTUT holds, and ZF does not contradict itself, the WDVL theorems hold in the Real World, and the simplest encoding is most likely the "truth", and allows for as solid a foundation for "science" as can be obtained until someone falsifies ZF or SCTUT.

By representing the evidence from individual fossils and species, one may reduce the encoding size by describing the evolving transformations from one species to another, much as video codecs compress information from one frame to the next. Ergo, evolution is much more probable to be correct than creationism.

As for Intelligent Design, the existence of the additional element of the Designer adds to the length of the encoding, and is thus less probably correct. Additionally, I point those interested to George Basalla's "The Evolution of Technology," which persuasively argues that human Design is an evolutionary process (of variation, reproduction, and competitive selection.) Or, in other words, the reason biology looks like design, is because design is a special case of evolution.

  
Doc Bill



Posts: 1000
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,18:18   

If Kev won't answer a simple question like from what was Sternberg expelled and by whom, how can anyone expect him to engage in a discussion, even at a 6th grade level, on science?

Insane.

Further insanity is to turn Ben Stein loose to do interviews.  Stein said, and I quote, "Where did thermodynamics come from?"

What?  WTF what?

Yes, I understand the words but sense not do they make.

No wonder they're keeping this docu-travesty under wraps.  It's going to need a health warning:  exposure to this kind of nonsense may cause burns and severe nausea.

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5375
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,18:21   

Quote (Reed @ Feb. 27 2008,18:57)
I see a couple typos slipped into my earlier post, with no edit button in sight.
yet seems to should be yet no one seems to
and the final
about this is extraneous.

Wesley has asked that missing edit buttons be brought to his attention by PM, Reed.

Welcome to the board.

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

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,18:37   

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 27 2008,11:03)
I think you ask a very telling question here: What difference does the origin of life make to current evolutionary theory about the diversity of life? (I'm summarizing.) There are two ways to answer that question. First, if it makes no difference (as you seem to be saying) then what's all the fuss about ID?

The fuss about ID is that it is an attempt to introduce religious, non-scientific notions into school science instruction. There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support it, there is no theory, no predictions and no possible way to refute the idea that a god or gods had a hand in developing the great variety of life on Earth. In short, it is a completely empty concept.

You imply that ID is only concerned with the origin of life on Earth. I suspect many supporters of the concept would strongly disagree with you although it is hard to sure because it is a subject on which they stifle discussion.

Quote
If we look at a cancer cell as nothing but a highly successful Darwinian accident, that assumption will affect how we attempt to combat it. But if we can assume it was designed, we can reverse-engineer the cancer cell and potentially develop much more effective ways of defeating it's internal programming.

This sounds like hand-waving to me. Can you give an example of the kind of 'reverse-engineering' you have in mind and explain why it would not be possible unless we accept that 'goddidit'?

Something that I've always wondered about in connection with 'Intelligent Design' is that designing a car, a building or a dress does not result in the car, building or dress just popping into existence. Someone has to actually make it. Can you tell me how IDers envision the implementation of any design process? Sprites pushing around bits of DNA, angels zapping nuclei or what?

But before you answer any of these questions, what is the Theory of Intelligent Design?

--------------
All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
qetzal



Posts: 308
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,20:17   

Let's remind ourselves and Kevin what the Discovery Institute says the "theory" of ID is (link):

 
Quote
The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

[T]he dominant theory of evolution today is neo-Darwinism, which contends that evolution is driven by natural selection acting on random mutations, an unpredictable and purposeless process that "has no discernable direction or goal, including survival of a species." (NABT Statement on Teaching Evolution). It is this specific claim made by neo-Darwinism that intelligent design theory directly challenges.


In other words, Kevin, ID isn't just about where the universe came from, or even where the first life came from. ID claims that evolution cannot account for the current diversity of life, no matter where the first life form came from, and that an intelligence must have repeatedly intervened.

This claim is directly contrary to the actual evidence, which shows that evolution can account for existing diversity, existing biological complexity, etc.*

ID is like claiming that the first humans in North America must have been teleported here, because the existing explanations involving land bridges are impossible.

*Of course, the fact that evolution can account for biology is not proof that evolution does correctly account for biology, but that's beside the point here.

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5375
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,20:42   

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 27 2008,12:13)
Carlsonjok said, "To the extent that panspermia is a legitimate scientific question (and I am not necessarily convinced it is*), it would be so because it makes no untestable appeals to supernatural intervention."

But neither does ID!

That's not to say people don't hijack the theory to extrapolate to some sort of supernatural intelligence. But as I said in the lead up to my question, the nature of the supposed intelligence is beside the point. The question is, do we need to posit some sort of intelligence for the origin of life or not? I've yet to hear anyone attempt a full frontal answer to that question.

Oh come on.  Let's stop playing the disingenuous BS game of "We don't know anything about The Designer - it could be Space Aliens!!!11!!!"

The real scientists don't buy it, and even the sycophants can't repeat it for ten minutes without waxing poetic with “2,000 years ago someone died on a cross. Can’t someone take a stand for him?” and breaking into spontaneous choruses of Amazing Grace.

Where the hell is Lenny when you need him?

You want a "full frontal answer"?

No.

Happy?

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

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Paul Flocken



Posts: 290
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,20:53   

Where is Lenny?

Not that I am complaining.  I am one of those who thought there was just a little too much Lenny at times, but zero Lenny is not much better.

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"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.  Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."-John F. Kennedy

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5375
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,20:56   

Quote (Paul Flocken @ Feb. 27 2008,21:53)
Where is Lenny?

Not that I am complaining.  I am one of those who thought there was just a little too much Lenny at times, but zero Lenny is not much better.

Last I heard, he's on hiatus until such time as he feels his services are once again necessary.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?  Only the Lenny knows.

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

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Zarquon



Posts: 71
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,21:07   

Lenny's hanging out in news:talk.origins if you need a fix. He seems to have lost his pizza guy, though.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,21:10   

Well Christ on a cracker if the stuff Septic has been spouting today is not an open invitation to the good reverend Flank nothing is.

I just want to say that I am excited about the new members on the board, and I'm glad to see you guys here, even if it took a smarmy intellectual whore selling out the fruits of enlightenment for thirty shekels of silver, to make it happen.

here's to less navel gazing solipcist all opinions are equal and to more sciencing!!*

*stick around fellers you'll see it all.

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

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

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

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

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1950
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,21:26   

This Disko Whore seems to think that they know something about origin of life research.

In a very short form;

Short amino acid chains (10> X < 20) have been shown to easily form abiotically.

Even better, alternating D- and L- amino acids in short peptides forms a helical molecule.

Better yet, such molecules are easily found as membrane pores in archaea, and marine bacteria.

Membranes readily form from abiotic lipids.

Still more better, these pores can establish charge gradients. These are metabolisms.

Mapping these peptides into a PNA, or RNA establishes a genome.

Holding a genome within the membrane establishes a cell.

There is no particular problem with terrestrial abiogenesis, even with the far more demanding criteria used in the sciences as opposed to creationism.

However, there is nothing in evolutionary biology that depends on knowing the origin of life.

Here is all that Darwin had to say about the origin of life in his Origin of Species.  

Quote
“ I believe that animals are descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lessor number.

Analogy would lead me one step farther, namely, to the belief that all animals and plants are descended from some one prototype.  But analogy may be a deceitful guide.  Nevertheless all living things have much in common, in their chemical composition, their cellular structure, their laws of growth, and their liability to injurious influences.  ...  Therefore, on the principle of natural selection with the divergence of character, it does not seem incredible that, from some such low and intermediate form, both animals and plants may have been developed; and, if we admit this, we must likewise admit that all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth may be descended from some one primordial form.  But this inference is chiefly grounded on analogy, and it is immaterial whether or not it be accepted.  No doubt it is possible, as Mr. G. H. Lewes has urged, that at the first commencement of life many different forms were evolved; but if so, we may conclude that only a very few have left modified descendants.”

And, from the book’s last sentence;

“There is grander in this point of view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one ; ....”


So I note that Darwin was consistent in his opinion that there were few first life forms, and merely a possibly that  there could have been only one.  Also note that Darwin is little interested in the issue using well under one page of text from a 450 page book.

From the 6th edition,
http://www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/

“Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved. “

Charles R. Darwin, in a letter to the botanist Joseph Hooker (1871) wrote, "It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are present, which could ever have been present. But if (and Oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc., present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed. "

Later in the same letter, he observed,

"It is mere rubbish thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter."

Edited by Dr.GH on Feb. 27 2008,19:35

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,21:38   

but gary how does all these chemical reackshunz explain how come it feels so good to get drunk and eat puppies and be nazis and hump grandmaws and burn teh churches?

we gotta keep our story straight.  I know facts are irrelevant just wondering how I should hold my mouth.

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

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

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

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

  
Doc Bill



Posts: 1000
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,22:23   

Getting back to the theme of the movie, Expelled, for the life of me I just can't figure out who's been expelled for what by whom.

I've seen the trailers, I've read the blog, I've read the pre-reviews and I just can't figure it out.  I mean, all the people interviewed in the film have jobs and seem to be OK, so is Expelled some kind of big secret?

Too bad we don't have anyone who, like, was involved in writing the script or something to enlighten us.

  
tsig



Posts: 320
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 27 2008,22:34   

Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 27 2008,15:50)
Quote (tsig @ Feb. 27 2008,14:18)
 
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 27 2008,12:34)
   
Quote (Paul Flocken @ Feb. 27 2008,08:56)
When marketers want to publicize movies they want the public to go see, don't they usually, well, invite critics?  When I hear that a movie was not screened it always means they have a dud on their hands and they dont want people to know it.  I wonder how many non-disclosure agreements Lucas forced people to sign before watching the original StarWars?

In my professional experience, they are so eager for reviewers that they
1) Will let in anyone who says they’re a reviewer from such-n-such rag/paper (although I have never actually tried this, of course - I have ethics)
2) Give out free tickets to the public
3) Throw t-shirts at the crowd
4) Distribute press packets

Actually, non-disclosure agreements do have precedent – such as the secret audience preview of Gone with the Wind. However, I think that was verbal, simply to not reveal the plot, etc.

It was the ending.

*Brightens* Okay, smarty-pants! It was not the ending – after all, everyone knew that (and really, the last line in the film is rather like an ID “prediction,” no?). It was the “will they-won’t they” say that other line.

Yes, that famous line, which could also express the audience’s attitude toward Expelled when it finally opens, the possibility of which hovers like a vulture over Stein’s anguish over losing his money, doesn’t it? :D

edited for common sence

  
snaxalotl



Posts: 9
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 28 2008,00:09   

Quote
Kevin, sorry to be the one to break the news to you, but consciousness is material.


sorry to break the news to you, but consciousness is one of the most fuzzily defined concepts in all of philosophy. I would agree that all mental phenomena are constructed from material phenomena, but to me almost any statement of fact involving the word consciousness wouldn't look less silly if you replaced consciousness with sticktuitiveness

--------------
Quid quid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur

  
Cubist



Posts: 346
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 28 2008,07:42   

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 27 2008,10:40)
Okay, here’s a question with an unfortunately long lead-up: The way I see it, one reason ID is so controversial is that it argues mind precedes matter in the form of a creative intelligence; whereas classic evolutionary theory says that mind is a product of matter. Intelligence is one of the last things to appear on the scene.

I kinda doubt that that has anything to do with why ID is so 'controversial'. Somehow, I rather suspect that ID's 'controversial' nature has just a teensy bit more to do with the facts that science is all about testable ideas, that ID simply doesn't have any testable ideas, and that IDists still insist that ID is just as good as real science.
But regardless of whether or not I am correct about why ID is 'controversial', I note that your remarks here don't come within a country megaparsec of answering one simple question:
What is the scientific theory of Intelligent Design, and how can this theory be tested by means of the scientific method?
Quote
But when confronted with the question of how life began, many evolutionary theorists allow that perhaps Panspermia had something to do with it. This theory is broadly accepted as a scientific possibility even though it also posits that mind came first and matter—at least the highly organized arrangements of matter we call living things—second.

Yes, panspermia is, indeed, accepted as a "scientific possibility". The main reason for this is, we have good ideas on how we could go about testing panspermia. Of course, the necessary tests (stuff like "go searching on other planets to see if there's life there") are just a tad impractical, which is why panspermia is generally accepted as a scientific possibility, and not as a scientific theory. ID differs from panspermia in that there really isn't any way to actually test the son of a bitch. Which reminds me that this paragraph of yours, like the one before, does not come anywhere near answering my simple question:
What is the scientific theory of Intelligent Design, and how can this theory be tested by means of the scientific method?
Quote
So my question is, why is one theory so controversial and the other not? What if you stripped away all of the religious and political baggage from ID?

I don't know, Kevin. What if you did "strip... away all of the religious and political baggage from ID]? And shouldn't you really be asking ID's supporters why the heck they haven't "stripped away all of the religious and political baggage from ID"? One way to go about stripping away said baggage would be if ID's supporters would quit whining about how Teh Evil Darwinianismists are so horribly unfair to ID, and instead answer, in plain language, one simple question:
What is the scientific theory of Intelligent Design, and how can this theory be tested by means of the scientific method?
Quote
Would the theory be more acceptible then? And wouldn’t ID and Panspermia become nearly indistinguishable? After all, both argue that perhaps the best possibility for explaining how life began is a higher intelligence that seeded it on earth.

as has already been pointed out, panspermia does not "argue that perhaps the best possibility for explaining how life began is a higher intelligence that seeded it on earth". All panspermia does argue is that however life in the universe began, it happened someplace other than Earth.
Be that as it may, I note that you still haven't yet come within a country gigaparsec of answering one simple question:
What is the scientific theory of intelligent Design, and how can this theory be tested by means of the scientific method?
Quote
We can argue all day about what the nature of that intelligence really is. But that’s beside the main point: Do we need intelligence to explain things like the origin and diversity of life or not? Classical evolution says no, ID and Panspermia say yes. Two different answers to the same question. I fail to see how one answer is scientific and the other not.

If you don't see why ID is not scientific, you must surely have an answer to my simple question:
What is the scientific theory of intelligent Design, and how can this theory be tested by means of the scientific method?
So why haven't you, like, answered that simple question, Kevin? Why have you chosen to go off on a tangent about a speculative hypothesis like panspermia, rather than just answering this simple question:
What is the scientific theory of intelligent Design, and how can this theory be tested by means of the scientific method?
Quote
That being said, I’m sure someone is going to go off about the scientific method and how the IDers aren’t serious scientists, that they’re a bunch of liars, etc. But once again, that’s beside the point. Never mind their methods or their ethics. Is the question the ID community is asking scientific or not?

You're assuming that the "ID community" is asking a question, Kevin. As far as I can tell, those guys ain't asking jack shit; rather, they're asserting "Somehow, somewhere, somewhen, someway, evolution is wrong." don't know, Kevin. What if you did "strip... away all of the religious and political baggage from ID]? And shouldn't you really be asking ID's supporters why the heck they haven't "stripped away all of the religious and political baggage from ID"? One way to go about that would be to ask ID's supporters one simple question:
What is the scientific theory of intelligent Design, and how can this theory be tested by means of the scientific method?

  
Cubist



Posts: 346
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 28 2008,08:04   

Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Feb. 27 2008,08:46)
 
Quote
The trouble is, nobody else in the ID movement seems to know, either!


Cubist, I'd say that they do know.  And I'd agree with them partway (separating for the moment the messengers).  If you take what some of these demonstrated liars say at face value, their claim is that sometimes we can analytically deduce some property of some features of some objects as being 'designed' by some agents.

That's the ID claim, yes. But that claim is false. Consider that the class of "Designed entities" covers everything from a ham sandwich to a performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to a F-18 fighter jet; exactly what 'signature of Design' do all Designed entities share in common? Hell, what 'signature of Design' can all Designed entities share in common? Thus, looking for Design is a fool's game. So what real scientists do is, they note that every Designed object known to Man must necessarily have been manufactured, and therefore, real scientists look for signs of Manufacture. And if they find signs of Manufacture, that how they know whatever-it-was is a Designed entity.
ID, of course, is absolutely silent on the question of how the Designer implemented His/Her/Its/Their Design(s)...

  
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