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On receptivity to new ideas

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From neurosurgery pioneer Wilfrid Trotter (3 Nov 1872 – 25 Nov 1939):

The mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein, and resists it with a similar energy. It would not perhaps be too fanciful to say that a new idea is the most quickly acting antigen known to science. If we watch ourselves honestly, we shall often find that we have begun to argue against a new idea even before it has been completely stated. I have no doubt that that last sentence has already met with repudiation—and shown how quickly the defense mechanism gets to work.

Some of us enjoy asking, just for fun, what would cause a follower of unguided evolution to think it must be guided in some way? (nothing, no type of evidence) What would cause the crowd at BioLogos to reject some specific tenet of strictly unguided, Darwinian evolution? (anything? any specific tenet?)

Darwinians discovered the Truth in the 19th century and their truth will never disappoint them.

Trotter’s collected papers (1941).

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Hat tip: Timothy Kershner

17 Replies to “On receptivity to new ideas

  1. 1
    Adapa says:

    News

    Some of us enjoy asking, just for fun, what would cause a follower of unguided evolution to think it must be guided in some way?

    Positive evidence that evolutionary processes are guided could include:

    The mechanism the Designer used to physically manufacture the creations.

    A demonstration that the mechanism actually works and can manipulate matter at the molecular level.

    The timeline and if possible the location for the manufacturing.

    The source of the Designer’s knowledge of biochemistry, physics, and genetics that allowed him to come up with the designs

    The identity of the Designer(s).

    To my knowledge ID does not offer any of those things. Just imagine if it could.

  2. 2
    Sirius says:

    Theistic evolutionists are messed up in the head. They believe in evolution AND they believe in God? If the latter, why the former? And if the former, why the latter? Do they think that God is just “there” but leaves no mark on anything? I am genuinely puzzled. Can someone illuminate this mystery?
    Dawkins, who calls them appeasers, is more logical.
    Notice that the ire of the TE brigades is strictly reserved for the IDers, who tell us that Darwin’s SCIENCE is bad. Mostly it consists of extrapolation from micro- to macro-evolution.
    The TE’s are more afraid of getting a thumbs down from the science establishment than they are getting a thumbs down from God.
    The Darwinian atheists and the creationists are both more logical.
    I’d like to hear a dissent, or an explanation from someone. To me, theistic evolutionists make no sense.

  3. 3
    ppolish says:

    “The Christian idea of the world is that it originated in a very complicated process of evolution but that it nevertheless still comes in it’s depths from the Logos. It thus bears reason in itself.”
    -Joseph Ratzinger
    Pope Benedict XVI

    That made good sense to me when I was a Theistic Evolutionist. Certainly a more complete view than “No God” Evolution. Deeper and more complete.

    Now for me ID makes even more sense than Theistic Evolution. I mean c’mon, there are mountains of evidence for ID. Theistic Evo was more a matter of faith. Not there is anything wrong with Faith lol. But Faith & Science is more complete. God is Awesome beyond comprehension though duh.

  4. 4
    roding says:

    That made good sense to me when I was a Theistic Evolutionist. Certainly a more complete view than “No God” Evolution. Deeper and more complete.

    I am not trying to be glib about this, but does it really matter? I mean, if a Christian believes in ID, evolution, creationism or something in between is it going to impact their salvation?

    I’m an agnostic myself, but it seem the Bible is all rather ambiguous about this. People look to the Bible for support for their particular position, but perhaps the Bible deliberately has nothing to say about it?

    If Christians believe that their mission in life is to facilitate saving souls (at least I know some think that), then maybe this whole argument is just a distraction – particularly when Christians seem to be at loggerheads with each other about it?

  5. 5
    Mapou says:

    Adapa:

    News

    Some of us enjoy asking, just for fun, what would cause a follower of unguided evolution to think it must be guided in some way?

    Positive evidence that evolutionary processes are guided could include:

    The mechanism the Designer used to physically manufacture the creations.

    A demonstration that the mechanism actually works and can manipulate matter at the molecular level.

    The timeline and if possible the location for the manufacturing.

    The source of the Designer’s knowledge of biochemistry, physics, and genetics that allowed him to come up with the designs

    The identity of the Designer(s).

    To my knowledge ID does not offer any of those things. Just imagine if it could.

    It must be really hard for you to figure out that Stonehenge was designed by intelligent beings. Wow. It must be depressing to be so skeptical. I take the extreme opposite stance: ANY pattern is a sign of intelligent design, no exception.

  6. 6
    Adapa says:

    Mapou

    It must be really hard for you to figure out that Stonehenge was designed by intelligent beings.

    For Stonehenge we have the five items I listed above

    1. The manufacturing mechanism
    2. Demonstrations that the mechanism works
    3. A timeline and source for the raw materials
    4. Knowledge of earlier stone designs
    5. The identity of the builders

    Why is it hard to figure out Stonehenge was designed?

  7. 7
    Mapou says:

    Adapa, you must know a lot more about Stonehenge than most archaeologists. Nobody knows how the megaliths were transported from the quarry, except you apparently. Lame theories and storytelling do not count.

  8. 8
    Collin says:

    Teddy Roosevelt said, “It’s not the critic who counts. It’s not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled. Credit belongs to the man who really was in the arena, his face marred by dust, sweat, and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs to come short and short again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.”

    People like Michael Behe and Bill Dempski have put out new ideas and put their reputations on the line. Even if their ideas turn out to be wrong, kudos for them for putting them forward. 99.9% of their critics don’t do the same.

    Adapa,

    If you saw Stonehenge, but knew nothing about how it was made or the people who made it, could you not make a design inference?

  9. 9
    Box says:

    W.Trotter: The mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein, and resists it with a similar energy.

    Is Trotter right about the body’s dislike for strange proteins?

    Bonnie Bassler (youtube): “I know that you think of yourself as human beings but I think of you as 90 to 99% bacterial” and “You have a hundred times more bacterial genes playing a role in you or on you all of your life.”

    Does chimerism conform with Trotter’s statement?

    New York Times: “As scientists begin to search for chimeras systematically — rather than waiting for them to turn up in puzzling medical tests — they’re finding them in a remarkably high fraction of people. In 2012, Canadian scientists performed autopsies on the brains of 59 women. They found neurons with Y chromosomes in 63 percent of them. The neurons likely developed from cells originating in their sons.”
    “The latest findings make it clear that mosaicism is quite common — even in healthy cells.”

  10. 10
    Joe says:

    We don’t know how Stonehenge was built. And we cannot test to see if the peoples from thousands of years ago had the capability to build it.

  11. 11
    Adapa says:

    Collin

    If you saw Stonehenge, but knew nothing about how it was made or the people who made it, could you not make a design inference?

    I’d still have a large amount of previous information on the techniques, materials, and designers (humans) of other similar monuments like the ones at Göbekli Tepe to draw from.

    Would you make a design inference on this?

    Stone face

    Why or why not?

  12. 12
    Joe says:

    That stone face no longer exists. However any investigation would have turned up a big no to intelligent design- no signs of work/ counterflow. It is all in the way you looked at the structure.

  13. 13

    This simple question that came to mind should work:
    How did proponents of “unguided evolution” rule out the possibility that they are attempting to explain how a genetic cognitive system works by using a non-cognitive theory that can only lead to false conclusions in regards to what is (or is not) “intelligent” and guiding?

  14. 14
    Collin says:

    Adapa,

    I would consider the hypothesis that it was designed and look for principles that would tell me if it was designed. Some have suggested irreducible complexity as a method. Doesn’t seem to fit here. How about FCSI? Also doesn’t seem to fit. I would need then to resort to other methods. In the end, it could have been designed, but it is impossible to tell so I’d have to default to not designed.

    What about Stonehenge on Mars? Or a strange metal-and-plastic probe on Pluto? How do we tell if that is designed? Maybe it is a self-replicating form of life that travels through space and uses metal and plastic instead of carbon. How could we tell?

    My point is that we can tell by using scientific methods and those methods are being pioneered by ID scientists. And they meet with scorn and derision by Darwinists.

  15. 15
    Collin says:

    Adapa,

    Also, Michael Behe discusses your specific example in this talk he gave: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....f-toronto/

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Evidence of photosynthesis implied in oldest Banded Iron Formations (ca. 3.8 Byr-ago)
    Life’s history in iron – Nov. 7, 2014
    Excerpt: A new study examines how Earth’s oldest iron formations could have been formed before oxygenic photosynthesis played a role in oxidizing iron.,,,
    Microorganisms that photosynthesize in the absence of oxygen assimilate carbon by using iron oxide (Fe(II)) as an electron donor instead of water. While oxygenic photosynthesis produces oxygen in the atmosphere (in the form of dioxygen), anoxygenic photosynthesis adds an electron to Fe(II) to produce Fe(III).
    “In other words, they oxidize the iron,” explains Pecoits. “This finding is very important because it implies that this metabolism was already active back in the early Archean (ca. 3.8 Byr-ago).”
    http://phys.org/news/2014-11-l.....-iron.html
    of note, there are no surviving rocks older than 3.8 Byr-ago, so this finding implies life has been present on earth from the beginning:
    – Archean
    Excerpt: ,,,a period of intense meteorite bombardment in the period 4.0-3.8 Ga pulverized all rocks at the Earth’s surface during the period. Some think that the similar age of the oldest surviving rocks and the “late heavy bombardment” is not coincidental.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archean

  17. 17

    Adapa:

    Positive evidence that evolutionary processes are guided could include:

    The mechanism the Designer used to physically manufacture the creations.

    A demonstration that the mechanism actually works and can manipulate matter at the molecular level.

    The timeline and if possible the location for the manufacturing.

    The source of the Designer’s knowledge of biochemistry, physics, and genetics that allowed him to come up with the designs

    The identity of the Designer(s).

    To my knowledge ID does not offer any of those things. Just imagine if it could.

    Just imagine the problem actually being that you are so behind the times in what is now happening in science that future generations are going to find your comments to be laughably unscientific. You seriously need to carefully study all of this:

    https://sites.google.com/site/theoryofid/home/TheoryOfIntelligentDesign.pdf

    http://www.planetsourcecode.co.....8;lngWId=1

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