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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

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The Scientists-Versus-Scientific-Spokesmen Divide

On evolution, the public is more in line with scientific skepticism than Darwin's defenders would give you to understand. David Klinghoffer http://www.discovery.org/p/209
Categories: Anti-Science News

You Can Now Watch the Meyer-Giberson Debate on YouTube

I've just watched it myself, and it matches my expectations based on what I had read. David Klinghoffer http://www.discovery.org/p/209
Categories: Anti-Science News

War on Humans Is Named Official Selection for the Life Fest 2014 Film Festival; See It in Los Angeles, May 10

Wow, congratulations to the team from Discovery Institute, especially John West and Wesley Smith! David Klinghoffer http://www.discovery.org/p/209
Categories: Anti-Science News

Black Mountain Project's Ironic "Uncivilization"

My new ebook, The War on Humans, documents the decline of the environmental movement toward a utopian and explicit anti-human ideology. Wesley J. Smith http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism
Categories: Anti-Science News

Wildlife

AE Public Forum - Fri, 2014-04-25 00:28
Post by dhogaza
OK, a few from this week …









Yes, that last one is of a very young calf.
Categories: AE Public BB

A Separate Thread for Gary Gaulin

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-04-24 23:59
Post by GaryGaulin
Quote (N.Wells @ April 24 2014,10:09)I'd like to re-iterate my view of that algorithm.  It's usable for modelling artificial selection.  It would also be okay for a model of natural selection that was designed to allow users to tweak natural selection pressures or set minimum fitness levels before being allowed to reproduce, just to let the users see how populations respond to different levels of selection.

The ID Causation model indicates that "artificial selection" and "natural selection" are an unnecessary false dichotomy:
Quote
From Theory of Intelligent Design:

As in Social Learning Theory, there is reciprocal causation where the person (or living thing), the behavior, and the environment can have an influence on each other (A influences B and B influences A).

There is no algorithm variable that allows users to "tweak natural selection pressures". That would require purposely interfering with what programmatically develops in the model, or purposely leaving something out such as continental drift.

Quote (N.Wells @ April 24 2014,10:09)However, it's not particularly good for modelling real-world evolutionary progressions, because the real world keeps changing both the context in which evolution is occurring and the levels of performance in meeting life's challenges that permit success in reproduction: new predators, competitors, and/or potential prey species move in, other predators / competitors / prey species go extinct or move away; the climate keeps changing; sea levels rise or fall, frequencies of natural hazards change; continents split apart, and so on and so forth.  Therefore, in the real world there is no such thing as a "desired level of fitness".  Possibly even worse, there is no such thing as a target in evolution. Every individual has the de facto goal of reproducing and successfully raising offspring (more technically, ensuring and even enhancing the propagation of their genes over succeeding generations).

That's why I program using an algorithm that does not have these inherent ambiguities.

Quote (N.Wells @ April 24 2014,10:09)However, there is no set target, such as "we have to develop long necks" or "big brains" or "become a whale".

That also becomes another unnecessary false dichotomy. Humans have long been on target to develop big brains. The question becomes: What set that target and not another target?

Quote (N.Wells @ April 24 2014,10:09)There is simply the de facto goal of whatever works well enough, for the moment, because any genome that fails to reproduce itself disappears.

And what has for millions of years worked for humanity is the set target towards increasing multicellular brainpower. It's also more than just making brains bigger, we required improved brain circuit designs. I expect that this set target is still set.
Categories: AE Public BB

Uncommonly Dense Thread 5

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-04-24 19:33
Post by midwifetoad
Quote (Soapy Sam @ April 24 2014,14:13)If God had wanted us not to masturbate, he'd have organised things such that we couldn't. I can't tickle myself, so that's obviously something He has put beyond the pale.
But if you don't record it, you're an undocumented wanker.
Categories: AE Public BB

Uncommonly Dense Thread 5

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-04-24 19:13
Post by Soapy Sam
If God had wanted us not to masturbate, he'd have organised things such that we couldn't. I can't tickle myself, so that's obviously something He has put beyond the pale.
Categories: AE Public BB

A Separate Thread for Gary Gaulin

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-04-24 18:45
Post by NoName
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 21 2014,09:31) Quote (Nomad @ April 21 2014,06:00)Pssst.  Hey Gary.  You know how you're so proud about your model possessing "rat level navigation"?

How about bird level navigation?

http://researchbank.rmit.edu.au/eserv......sis.pdf

In this instance evolutionary algorithms were used to evolve the control logic to autonomously fly a simulated unmanned aerial vehicle to a landing on board a naval vessel.

Can your bug do that?
Yes.
Also known as the Sheldon Cooper defense -- it can but it chooses not to.

Pity Gary is neither as talented nor as funny as Sheldon, or the actor that portrays him.
Categories: AE Public BB

A Separate Thread for Gary Gaulin

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-04-24 18:43
Post by NoName
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ April 24 2014,13:57) Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 24 2014,09:28)The causation model has a “Design” form and the software can be tweaked in a way that makes the user the Designer. But since this represents all the behavioral levels on down to the “behavior of matter” it's simply a way to get around the technological problem of atoms on up modeling of an entire planet currently being impossible, in which case “behavioral cause” then “intelligent cause” would create the virtual plants and animals including humans.
This paragraph makes no sense whatsoever.  I know this is like "Dog Bites Man," but it provides a good example of how muddled thinking results in muddled writing.
Insofar as sense can be extracted from it, it blows two of Gary's claims out of the water.
First, that intelligence "emerges".  This bit of Dadaist prose asserts that it's intelligence all the way down and all the way up.
Second, it reinforces the view that Gary's effluent is circular and ultimately question begging.  Gary "explains" intelligence by insisting that it is somehow 'already there', at every level from 'the behavior of matter' to the level of organisms.

Gary never tires of repeatedly shooting himself in the foot with these sorts of absurd and self-refuting claims.
'Sewn together wrong.'
Categories: AE Public BB

A Separate Thread for Gary Gaulin

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-04-24 17:57
Post by Jim_Wynne
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 24 2014,09:28)The causation model has a “Design” form and the software can be tweaked in a way that makes the user the Designer. But since this represents all the behavioral levels on down to the “behavior of matter” it's simply a way to get around the technological problem of atoms on up modeling of an entire planet currently being impossible, in which case “behavioral cause” then “intelligent cause” would create the virtual plants and animals including humans.
This paragraph makes no sense whatsoever.  I know this is like "Dog Bites Man," but it provides a good example of how muddled thinking results in muddled writing.
Categories: AE Public BB

Repeal effort fails again in Louisiana

Louisiana's Senate Bill 175 (PDF) was tabled on a 3-1 vote in the Senate Education Committee on April 24, 2014, which effectively kills the bill in committee, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate (April 24, 2014).

Categories: Pro-Science News

Uncommonly Dense Thread 5

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-04-24 17:18
Post by midwifetoad
more selfie than selfless.
Categories: AE Public BB

Wildlife

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-04-24 16:23
Post by Lou FCD
Pileated Woodpecker (male) yesterday at Greenfield Lake.

Pileated Woodpecker (male) by Lou FCD, on Flickr
Categories: AE Public BB

A Separate Thread for Gary Gaulin

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-04-24 15:09
Post by N.Wells
I'd like to re-iterate my view of that algorithm.  It's usable for modelling artificial selection.  It would also be okay for a model of natural selection that was designed to allow users to tweak natural selection pressures or set minimum fitness levels before being allowed to reproduce, just to let the users see how populations respond to different levels of selection.  

However, it's not particularly good for modelling real-world evolutionary progressions, because the real world keeps changing the context in which evolution is occurring: new predators, competitors, and/or potential prey species move in, other predators / competitors / prey species go extinct or move away; the climate keeps changing; sea levels rise or fall, frequencies of natural hazards change; continents split apart, and so on and so forth.  Therefore, in the real world there is no such thing as a "desired level of fitness".  Possibly even worse, there is no such thing as a target in evolution. Every individual has the de facto goal of reproducing and successfully raising offspring (more technically, ensuring and even enhancing the propagation of their genes over succeeding generations).  However, there is no set target, such as "we have to develop long necks" or "big brains" or "become a whale".  There is simply the de facto goal of whatever works well enough, for the moment, because any genome that fails to reproduce itself disappears.
Categories: AE Public BB

A Separate Thread for Gary Gaulin

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-04-24 14:28
Post by GaryGaulin
I just looked up “genetic algorithm desired fitness” and found a good amount of academic information, including at Google Scholar where the phrase “Desired Properties” was also found.

Maybe I should just agree this GA step that goes by several names is not “in nature” then wait to see where the discussion goes from here. In my opinion the generalization (within limits) has some usefulness, even though it is can also be used as a misleading oversimplification.

I also need to add:
The causation model has a “Design” form and the software can be tweaked in a way that makes the user the Designer. But since this represents all the behavioral levels on down to the “behavior of matter” it's simply a way to get around the technological problem of atoms on up modeling of an entire planet currently being impossible, in which case “behavioral cause” then “intelligent cause” would create the virtual plants and animals including humans.
Categories: AE Public BB

Revisionist History in Cosmos

ID the Future - Thu, 2014-04-24 11:04
Listen Now. On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin talks with Senior Fellow Jay Richards about distortions and outright falsehoods presented in the re-vamped Cosmos TV series. Dr. Richards discusses how Cosmos presents science and religion as...
Categories: Anti-Science News

Theistic Evolution Is Nearly as Problematic as Atheistic Darwinism

ID the Future - Thu, 2014-04-24 11:04
Listen Now. On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin discusses his recent article in Salvo Magazine, "Deity Added: Theistic Evolution Is Nearly as Problematic as Atheistic Darwinism," which explains many scientific problems with the theistic evolution viewpoint....
Categories: Anti-Science News

The Debater's Tail: Giberson Shares His Take on the Confrontation with Stephen Meyer

As a proof of Darwinian evolution, Karl Giberson is very stuck on the curious phenomenon of babies born with what looks like a little tail. David Klinghoffer http://www.discovery.org/p/209
Categories: Anti-Science News

No, Dogs Are Not "Like Children"

The pressure to elevate animals to our status -- which would be to actually reduce us to theirs -- continues to grow. Wesley J. Smith http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism
Categories: Anti-Science News
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