Darwinism Evolution

Coffee!! Darwin’s finches wait your answer

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In “Evolution Drives Many Plants and Animals to Be Bigger, Faster (ScienceDaily, Mar. 9, 2011), we learn:

For the vast majority of plants and animals, the ‘bigger is better’ view of evolution may not be far off the mark, says a new broad-scale study of natural selection. Organisms with bigger bodies or faster growth rates tend to live longer, mate more and produce more offspring, whether they are deer or damselflies, the authors report.

Researchers working at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center compiled and reviewed nearly 150 published estimates of natural selection, representing more than 100 species of birds, lizards, snakes, insects and plants. The results confirm that for most plants and animals, larger body size and earlier seasonal timing — such as earlier breeding, blooming or hatching — confer significant survival advantages.

“It’s a very widespread pattern,” said co-author Joel Kingsolver of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Hmmm. Various suggestions are offered, including

Another possibility is that environments simply change from one season to the next, such that the traits that confer the greatest advantage change over time. “In Darwin’s finches, for example, there are years where large-beaked birds have an advantage because large seeds are more abundant, and years where smaller-beaked birds do better because small seeds are more abundant,” Diamond said.

So, is it okay now to admit that Darwin’s finches are not evolving rapidly into new species, but rather one type or another is simply more likely to dominate, depending on the weather pattern?

108 Replies to “Coffee!! Darwin’s finches wait your answer

  1. 1
    GilDodgen says:

    Hmmm… Let us ponder this. Faster would seem to be better than slower, but snails are really, really slow and seem to have survived just fine. So slow is good, but fast (e.g., cheetahs) is equally good! If only snails could run as quickly as cheetahs we would really have something super-survivable!

    The wonderments of Darwinian speculation never cease to amaze and titillate the mind. What other “scientific theory” can explain everything and its exact opposite with equal ease and facility?

    Horse pucky can be smelled from a mile away, if you have a good nose and the wind is blowing in the right direction.

  2. 2
    paulmc says:

    So, is it okay now to admit that Darwin’s finches are not evolving rapidly into new species, but rather one type or another is simply more likely to dominate, depending on the weather pattern?

    ‘Darwin’s finches’ already represent perhaps 15 species across 4 genera, divergent primarily on beak morphology.

    That selection acts in the short term on those beaks is widely discussed in the literature and certainly not something that needs ‘admitting’.

    The principal researchers for decades have been the Grants. I’d recommend their excellent, plain-language book How and Why Species Multiply to understand how both speciation and short term adaptation have occurred in these species.

  3. 3
    paulmc says:

    Gill says:

    The wonderments of Darwinian speculation never cease to amaze and titillate the mind. What other “scientific theory” can explain everything and its exact opposite with equal ease and facility?

    That a theory can explain divergent patterns occurring in different situations would usually be seen as a strength, and not a weakness.

  4. 4
    proponentist says:

    What other “scientific theory” can explain everything and its exact opposite with equal ease and facility?

    It explains that a potentially infinite variety of effects can result from the same or different causes, or that no effect at all may occur. This is dependent upon an unspecified number and kind of random environmental factors.

    Evolution causes some animals to grow larger and faster.
    Evolution does not cause some animals to grow larger and faster.

    A theory in which both the thesis and anti-thesis are correct has no explanatory power. It has no real value at all.

  5. 5
    paulmc says:

    Proponentist says:

    Evolution causes some animals to grow larger and faster.
    Evolution does not cause some animals to grow larger and faster.
    A theory in which both the thesis and anti-thesis are correct has no explanatory power. It has no real value at all.

    Do you really believe the thesis of evolution is ‘evolution makes some animals grow larger and faster but not others’.

    Plate tectonics theory explains why earthquakes happen in some places but not in others. Does that make it wrong?

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, could you please provide a semi-exact falsification criteria for Darwinian evolution??? Such as the semi-exact falsification criteria that Dr. Behe presents here for ID;

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A

    or as Dr. Gauger and company tried to do here;

    Testing Evolution in the Lab With Biologic Institute’s Ann Gauger – podcast with link to peer-reviewed paper
    Excerpt: Dr. Gauger experimentally tested two-step adaptive paths that should have been within easy reach for bacterial populations. Listen in and learn what Dr. Gauger was surprised to find as she discusses the implications of these experiments for Darwinian evolution. Dr. Gauger’s paper, “Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness,”.
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....4_13-07_00

  7. 7
    paulmc says:

    BA77:

    could you please provide a semi-exact falsification criteria for Darwinian evolution??? Such as the semi-exact falsification criteria that Dr. Behe presents here for ID

    I’d note straight off that Darwinian evolution, by which I assume you mean evolutionary theory broadly (because you are contrasting it with ID), is not a single hypothesis. It is a large set of principles across many disciplines. I would recommend reading some of Arlin Stoltzfus’s blog on the two meanings of theory if you are unsure what I am talking about. Perhaps you could choose a particular hypothesis that you would like to address and we could start there. There are already examples in the literature of adaptive evolution, speciation, positive and negative selection, gene duplication, mutagenesis and the spread of alleles in population-genetic frameworks, all of which are part bases for evolutionary theory. The simplest explanation I know of that is broadly consistent with our observations of biology and biological diversity is the theory of evolution. A more complicated explanation (introducing an unknown and perhaps unknowable agent of design) requires some positive evidence and better predictive power than the simpler theory.

    Now, I disagree that there is falsification criteria for ID. A major reason for this is that I do not see any justification for the principal claim that information in the genome could only be the result of intelligence (or that ‘irreducible complexity’ requires ID – see Muller, 1918). This is further complicated by the lack of a cohesive picture explaining what such a designer might look like (a perfect god that exists outside of time or an imperfect alien race acting within the boundaries of phyiscal laws?) and whether such a designer works through naturalistic or non-naturalistic means. Thus ID claims to absorb both good ‘design’ and bad or incomprehensible ‘design’ as being evidence for a designer, on the assumption that there must be designer if there is complex and (at least loosely) specified information.

    Specifically, in the video link you provide, Behe does not provide falsification criteria for ID. He provides one example of an experiment that he would consider sufficient to disprove his contention that the bacterial flagellum was intelligently designed.

    Further, the experiment is extremely unlikely to work. Under an evolutionary framework the bacterial flagellum is not expected to have sprung up out of no where, and is unlikely to evolve in a laboratory de novo. It comprises many parts and many of those parts have been co-opted into use in the flagellum (or at least so it would seem). Also, the more complex something is, the less likely for it to be repeated by a random process – more likely some other form of motility would evolve given enough time and given selective pressure for it to do so.

    Critically, at most, we could give such an experiment decades to run – even if someone was willing to run it. Decades, and not millions of years.

    Lastly, if – against all odds – someone were to actually do this experiment and if – against all odds – a bacterial flagellum actually evolved, this would still not disprove ID, regardless of what Behe says. It would show only that a bacterial flagellum does not require design. Other systems might require design, and the flagellum that exists in nature could still have been designed, whether it required design or not.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    pualmc, Since you think the test provided by Dr. Behe was too restrictive, Perhaps you care to show just one violation of the much broader ‘fitness test’, so as to tentatively falsify ID and validate neo-Darwinian evolution?

    Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? – ‘The Fitness Test’ – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3995248

    Testing the Biological Fitness of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria – 2008
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....-drugstore

    Thank Goodness the NCSE Is Wrong: Fitness Costs Are Important to Evolutionary Microbiology
    Excerpt: it (an antibiotic resistant bacterium) reproduces slower than it did before it was changed. This effect is widely recognized, and is called the fitness cost of antibiotic resistance. It is the existence of these costs and other examples of the limits of evolution that call into question the neo-Darwinian story of macroevolution.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....s_wro.html

    Or perhaps you could locate the ‘proof’ for neo-Darwinian evolution that Dr. Behe could not locate despite scouring four decades of lab work;

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.(that is a net ‘fitness gain’ within a ‘stressed’ environment i.e. remove the stress from the environment and the parent strain is always more ‘fit’)
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Michael Behe talks about the preceding paper on this podcast:

    Michael Behe: Challenging Darwin, One Peer-Reviewed Paper at a Time – December 2010
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....3_46-08_00

    Or perhaps paulmc you can tell me exactly why neo-Darwinian processes failed to generate any ‘non-trivial’ complexity in the largest real world tests that can be performed for Darwinian processes;

    A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
    The numbers of Plasmodium and HIV in the last 50 years greatly exceeds the total number of mammals since their supposed evolutionary origin (several hundred million years ago), yet little has been achieved by evolution. This suggests that mammals could have “invented” little in their time frame. Behe: ‘Our experience with HIV gives good reason to think that Darwinism doesn’t do much—even with billions of years and all the cells in that world at its disposal’ (p. 155).
    http://creation.com/review-mic.....-evolution

    Dr. Behe states in The Edge of Evolution on page 135:

    “Generating a single new cellular protein-protein binding site (in other words, generating a truly beneficial mutational event that would actually explain the generation of the complex molecular machinery we see in life) is of the same order of difficulty or worse than the development of chloroquine resistance in the malarial parasite.”

    That order of difficulty is put at 10^20 replications of the malarial parasite by Dr. Behe. This number comes from direct empirical observation.

    Richard Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth Shies Away from Intelligent Design but Unwittingly Vindicates Michael Behe – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: The rarity of chloroquine resistance is not in question. In fact, Behe’s statistic that it occurs only once in every 10^20 cases was derived from public health statistical data, published by an authority in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The extreme rareness of chloroquine resistance is not a negotiable data point; it is an observed fact.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....est_s.html

    Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution, pg. 162 Swine Flu, Viruses, and the Edge of Evolution
    “Indeed, the work on malaria and AIDS demonstrates that after all possible unintelligent processes in the cell–both ones we’ve discovered so far and ones we haven’t–at best extremely limited benefit, since no such process was able to do much of anything. It’s critical to notice that no artificial limitations were placed on the kinds of mutations or processes the microorganisms could undergo in nature. Nothing–neither point mutation, deletion, insertion, gene duplication, transposition, genome duplication, self-organization nor any other process yet undiscovered–was of much use.”

    or perhaps paulmc you can tell me exactly why the oldest bacteria we can find look exactly like modern bacteria of today?

    Static evolution: is pond scum the same now as billions of years ago?
    Excerpt: But what intrigues (paleo-biologist) J. William Schopf most is lack of change. Schopf was struck 30 years ago by the apparent similarities between some 1-billion-year-old fossils of blue-green bacteria and their modern microbial microbial. “They surprisingly looked exactly like modern species,” Schopf recalls. Now, after comparing data from throughout the world, Schopf and others have concluded that modern pond scum differs little from the ancient blue-greens. “This similarity in morphology is widespread among fossils of [varying] times,” says Schopf. As evidence, he cites the 3,000 such fossils found;
    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/.....a014909330

    Though it is impossible to reconstruct the DNA of these earliest bacteria fossils, scientists find in the fossil record, and compare them to their descendants of today, there are many ancient bacteria spores recovered and ‘revived’ from salt crystals and amber crystals which have been compared to their living descendants of today. Some bacterium spores, in salt crystals, dating back as far as 250 million years have been revived, had their DNA sequenced, and compared to their offspring of today (Vreeland RH, 2000 Nature). To the disbelieving shock of many scientists, both ancient and modern bacteria were found to have the almost same exact DNA sequence.

    The Paradox of the “Ancient” Bacterium Which Contains “Modern” Protein-Coding Genes:
    “Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.” Heather Maughan*, C. William Birky Jr., Wayne L. Nicholson, William D. Rosenzweig§ and Russell H. Vreeland ;
    http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/...../19/9/1637

    In reply to a personal e-mail from myself, Dr. Cano commented on the ‘Fitness Test’ I had asked him about:
    Dr. Cano stated: “We performed such a test, a long time ago, using a panel of substrates (the old gram positive biolog panel) on B. sphaericus. From the results we surmised that the putative “ancient” B. sphaericus isolate was capable of utilizing a broader scope of substrates. Additionally, we looked at the fatty acid profile and here, again, the profiles were similar but more diverse in the amber isolate.”:
    Fitness test which compared ancient bacteria to its modern day descendants, RJ Cano and MK Borucki

    Thus, the most solid evidence available for the most ancient DNA scientists are able to find does not support evolution happening on the molecular level of bacteria. In fact, according to the fitness test of Dr. Cano, the change witnessed in bacteria conforms to the exact opposite, Genetic Entropy; a loss of functional information/complexity, since fewer substrates and fatty acids are utilized by the modern strains.

    paulmc, you say evolution is true, yet I can find no ‘proof’ that it is. All I can find is the blind faith, and blatant dishonesty, of neo-Darwinists to support the claim that Darwinism is true!

  9. 9
    paulmc says:

    BA77:

    pualmc, Since you think the test provided by Dr. Behe was too restrictive, Perhaps you care to show just one violation of the much broader ‘fitness test’, so as to tentatively falsify ID and validate neo-Darwinian evolution?

    Behe was not too restrictive, he more plainly failed to provide the claimed test for falsifiability.

    If I understand it correctly from the websites/blogs you link to, the so called “fitness test” appears to demonstrate a misunderstanding of neoDarwinian evolution. When an environment changes, a bacterium may evolve a better fit to that environment. So, in the presence of an antibacterial agent, a mutation that results in survival is a genuine gain of fitness in the organism’s current environment. Selection can only ‘test’ against the environment, otherwise it would be a teleological force, invalidating a principal component of neoDarwinism.

    Undoubtedly, many adaptations in organisms that occur in changing environments would be considered tradeoffs in other environments. All organisms are complex; why should there be adaptations that are fit for every conceivable environment?

    In this way, antibacterial resistance works precisely in the fashion we would expect by chance mutations that are under selection. Especially for short-term observations over a few years/decades.

    Futhermore, if organisms were had wholesale, across-the-board fitness gains, there would be far less co-existence of species within similar niches than we observe. The literature on fitness trade-offs in complex traits is so vast (one interesting example – seed size/number), I find it difficult to believe that there is some errant expectation that fitness tradeoffs shouldn’t occur under neoDarwinian evolution.

  10. 10
    paulmc says:

    Also, I did not state that evolution is ‘true’. Those are your words.

    What I have said is that evolution is the best-fit and simplest explanation for a plethora of observations in numerous and independent fields.

    I have also said that any alternative should be testable, and should have a better predictive power if it is going to introduce more complexity than the simpler model.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, so no matter how we test for neo-Darwinian evolution (short-term, long term, hundreds of millions of years) it is unfalsifiable??? OK paulmc since no matter where we look we fail falsify neo-Darwinian evolution in your view, because of ‘convoluted’ excuses, here is what does falsify neo-Darwinian evolution:

    Materialism, upon which neo-Darwinism is built, is falsified by quantum entanglement;

    The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism – November 2010
    Excerpt: The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....alism.html

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142824.htm

    and yet paulmc, though materialism is falsified by quantum entanglement, now quantum entanglement is found in molecular biology;

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Further evidence that quantum entanglement/information is found throughout entire protein structures:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-373214

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

    paulmc, It is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology, for how can quantum entanglement, in molecular biology, possibly be explained by the materialistic framework of neo-Darwinism, a framework which is predicated on the presupposition of being constrained by time and space, when Alain Aspect and company have falsified the validity of local realism (reductive materialism) in the first place with quantum entanglement? It is simply ludicrous to appeal to the materialistic framework, which undergirds the entire neo-Darwinian framework, that has been falsified by the very same quantum entanglement effect that one is seeking an explanation to! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space! Probability arguments, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply! i.e. there ARE NO LOOPHOLES for neo-Darwinian evolution to appeal to for explaining this!

    —————-

    further proof that transcendent information is ‘central to life;

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
    Excerpt: It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/journals.asp?iid=47

    4-Dimensional Quarter Power Scaling In Biology – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5964041/

    The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology
    Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale
    with body size as power laws of the form:

    Y = Yo M^b,

    where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent.
    A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.
    http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~dre.....18_257.pdf

    “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection.” Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-369806

    Though Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini rightly find it inexplicable for ‘random’ Natural Selection to be the rational explanation for the scaling of the physiology, and anatomy, of living things to four-dimensional parameters, they do not seem to fully realize the implications this ‘four dimensional scaling’ of living things presents. This 4-D scaling is something we should rightly expect from a Intelligent Design perspective. This is because Intelligent Design holds that ‘higher dimensional transcendent information’ is more foundational to life, and even to the universe itself, than either matter or energy are. This higher dimensional ‘expectation’ for life, from a Intelligent Design perspective, is directly opposed to the expectation of the Darwinian framework, which holds that information, and indeed even the essence of life itself, is merely an ’emergent’ property of the 3-D material realm.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, so no matter how we test for neo-Darwinian evolution (short-term, long term, hundreds of millions of years) it is unfalsifiable??? OK paulmc since no matter how we look at it we fail to falsify neo-Darwinian evolution in your view, here is what does falsify neo-Darwinian evolution:

    Materialism, upon which neo-Darwinism is built, is falsified by quantum entanglement;

    The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism – November 2010
    Excerpt: The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....alism.html

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142824.htm

    and yet paulmc, though materialism is falsified by quantum entanglement, now quantum entanglement is found in molecular biology;

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Further evidence that quantum entanglement/information is found throughout entire protein structures:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-373214

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

    paulmc, It is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology, for how can quantum entanglement/information, in molecular biology, possibly be explained by the materialistic framework of neo-Darwinism, a framework which is predicated on the presupposition of being constrained by time and space, when Alain Aspect and company have falsified the validity of local realism (reductive materialism) in the first place with quantum entanglement? It is simply ludicrous to appeal to the materialistic framework, which undergirds the entire neo-Darwinian framework, that has been falsified by the very same quantum entanglement effect that one is seeking an explanation to! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space! Probability arguments, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply! i.e. there ARE NO LOOPHOLES for the framework of neo-Darwinian evolution to appeal to for explaining this!

    —————-

    further proof that transcendent information is ‘central to life;

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
    Excerpt: It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/journals.asp?iid=47

    4-Dimensional Quarter Power Scaling In Biology – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5964041/

    The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology
    Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale
    with body size as power laws of the form:

    Y = Yo M^b,

    where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent.
    A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.
    http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~dre.....18_257.pdf

    “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection.” Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79

    Though Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini rightly find it inexplicable for ‘random’ Natural Selection to be the rational explanation for the scaling of the physiology, and anatomy, of living things to four-dimensional parameters, they do not seem to fully realize the implications this ‘four dimensional scaling’ of living things presents. This 4-D scaling is something we should rightly expect from a Intelligent Design perspective. This is because Intelligent Design holds that ‘higher dimensional transcendent information’ is more foundational to life, and even to the universe itself, than either matter or energy are. This higher dimensional ‘expectation’ for life, from a Intelligent Design perspective, is directly opposed to the expectation of the Darwinian framework, which holds that information, and indeed even the essence of life itself, is merely an ’emergent’ property of the 3-D material realm.

  13. 13
    proponentist says:

    Plate tectonics theory explains why earthquakes happen in some places but not in others. Does that make it wrong?

    If evolutionary theory worked in a similar way, then that would be a good analogy.

    Plate tectonics seeks explanations which are universally applicable. So, it’s not a question of having to create an explaination for every geographical space on earth. If certain physical features and changes are present on the planet, then earthquakes will occur.

    Evolutionary theory, in contrast, cannot explain why, under the same environmental conditions, some organisms grow larger and faster, while others do not. Instead, it offers something more like this statement which I copied from one of your later replies on this thread:

    When an environment changes, a bacterium may evolve a better fit to that environment.

    Yes, or it may not.
    In the end, this is not an explanation. It cannot predict what will happen. At best, it’s a speculation about what might have happened.

    I think it’s important to admit also that Darwinian theory purports to explain all of the diversity of life on earth.

  14. 14
    paulmc says:

    BA77 says:

    paulmc, so no matter how we test for neo-Darwinian evolution (short-term, long term, hundreds of millions of years) it is unfalsifiable??? OK paulmc since no matter how we look at it we fail to falsify neo-Darwinian evolution in your view

    Could you kindly point me to where I stated this?

  15. 15
    paulmc says:

    Proponentist says:

    Evolutionary theory, in contrast, cannot explain why, under the same environmental conditions, some organisms grow larger and faster, while others do not.

    It is your assertion that evolutionary theory cannot explain why some organisms grow larger and faster and others do not. The problem is there is a massive body of literature addressing these ideas in great detail. But also, pPart of the problem is statistical – I explain this below.

    I want to mainly address your other point however because this is critical, and relates to the above in any case:

    When an environment changes, a bacterium may evolve a better fit to that environment.

    Yes, or it may not.
    In the end, this is not an explanation. It cannot predict what will happen. At best, it’s a speculation about what might have happened.

    The problem with your line of thinking is that there isn’t one thing that happens in nature. Some lineages evolve in a particular way and others do not. This is a statistical problem, not a deterministic one. Evolutionary theory doesn’t predict X will happen when we there are probabilities that either X or Y will happen. It attempts to predict those probabilities, something that you are denying it. This is not so different from the analogy of tectonic plates and earthquakes.

    So, back to bacteria. Put into an environment containing an antibacterial agent, a bacterial species will either evolve a resistance, likely at a fitness cost in the original environment, or it will become locally extinct. If the antibacterial agent is not completely effective, the bacteria will be able to survive in reduced numbers with a selective pressure for antibacterial resistance.

    The smaller the change required to acquire resistance (e.g. a single nucleotide substitution) the more likely it is to occur. In a sufficiently large population given sufficient time, this change becomes effectively inevitable, and is a process that can be modelled. We can predict how long on average it will take for resistance to evolve from the mutation rate, generation time, and effective population size. We can predict how long it will take to spread to become the locally dominant allele based on the strength of selection.

    Where is the lack of predictive power in this?

    You also say:

    I think it’s important to admit also that Darwinian theory purports to explain all of the diversity of life on earth.

    I agree, as long as you mean Darwinian theory, sensu stricto. Darwinian evolution – evolution by natural selection – is only a part of evolutionary theory, a range of stochastic/non-deterministic processes are also critical in understanding the maintenance of biodiversity.

  16. 16
    paulmc says:

    **Sorry that last paragraph should read that I agree that Darwinian evolution cannot explain all diversity of life on earth.**

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, If you think neo-Darwinian evolution is the best fit for the evidence you have been severely misguided, or you have severely deceived yourself! The ‘best fit’ for ALL THE EVIDENCE is top-down design not bottom up evolution. In fact the true rule for all biological adaptations is Genetic Entropy not neo-Darwinian evolution!

    Evolution Vs Genetic Entropy – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028086/

    for a list of consistent failed predictions of neo-Darwinian evolution, that has forced it into a hopeless tailspin, or is that ‘tale-spin’, of superfluous and convoluted excuses, see this site;

    Darwin’s Predictions
    http://www.darwinspredictions.com/

  18. 18
    proponentist says:

    We can predict how long it will take to spread to become the locally dominant allele based on the strength of selection.

    Where is the lack of predictive power in this?

    I think the lack of predictive power is evident in the way you minimalized the scope of evolutionary claims. The news item on this thread is about how plants and animals get bigger and faster, and some speculations are offered as to why that happens. So that’s the broader claim (actually only part of it) — and it speaks specifically only of Darwinian processes.
    But to indicate the predictive power of this process, you used anti-biotic resistence in bacteria as the model.
    This drastically reduces the scope of the argument. In the most simple organisms, we can predict how resistence will spread through a population with some degree of accuracy.
    But if this was a model for evolutionary theory on the grand scale, then there would be no need for the patchwork of hypotheses, corrections, reversals, falsifications and appeal to blind chance that we find in evolutionary science.
    Instead, bacterial resistance is a model for some minor adaptations. I requires an enormous leap to project those adaptations as the driving cause of the diversity of all plant and animal life.
    The challenge for evolutionary theory is to show the developmental path from bacterial resistance to higher organisms and then on to plants and animals which necessarily “driven to become bigger and faster”.

  19. 19
    proponentist says:

    Darwinian evolution – evolution by natural selection – is only a part of evolutionary theory, a range of stochastic/non-deterministic processes are also critical in understanding the maintenance of biodiversity.

    I don’t know if you’d agree, but I’d summarize it like this:

    Darwinian theory has been falsified. It made claims about all of the diversity of life on earth. Darwin’s followers have defended those claims for a long time. An appeal to a “range of processes” means that natural selection does not cause all of the variation in nature, as originally claimed.
    So, I’d also conclude that the high degree of certainty that was claimed for Darwinian theory in the past was very much overstated.
    Now the “theory” (or collection of evolutionary ideas and claims) continually grows with complexity and uncertainty. However, we continue to find exaggerated claims about the explanatory power and importance of this idea.
    Evolutionary theory still fails to correctly predict what is found in nature — in fact, there is no evolutinary theory which can consistently predict what will happen, or even accurately explain what did happen in the past.
    Again, what we have is a collection of ideas which are more or less accurate and which are often contradictory.
    I think if we could get more evolutionary scientists to agree with that last sentence, we could have far more success in learning about the development of nature.

  20. 20
    paulmc says:

    I think the lack of predictive power is evident in the way you minimalized the scope of evolutionary claims. The news item on this thread is about how plants and animals get bigger and faster, and some speculations are offered as to why that happens. So that’s the broader claim (actually only part of it) — and it speaks specifically only of Darwinian processes.

    Well, it is a news story. The article it based on is much more measured and detailed. I don’t know if you have access to a journal database to read it or not.

    I have no desire to defend news writing, I am no fan of how the literature is treated by journalists (or by the researchers when they exaggerate or oversimplify their claims for nice little quotes).

    However, ultimately there is no reason why we can’t make the predictions about plants and animals to do with body size. They will be subject to noise as there are myriad interacting selection factors in nature. The problem is that we won’t be able to observe large shifts in body size because these are predicted to occur over long periods of time. This is not a failing of evolutionary theory, it is the result of long generation times and relatively small population sizes in metazoans compared to bacteria.

    I referred to antibacterial resistance in bacteria because there was an earlier claim in this thread that this somehow didn’t meet an imaginary criterion as a test of evolutionary theory.

    Also, antibacterial resistance occurs in timeframes that we can directly observe in standard studies. Many of the resistance alleles are easily studied, rather than the complex, multifactorial, quantitative traits affecting body size in animals.

    We do know that selection causes morphological shifts in metazoan traits – my first post above discussed this very thing in the context of the OP – Darwin’s finches. This is just one example, there are plenty of others – but the Grants have done a great job getting to know the finches.

    Hence we are not just extrapolating from bacteria to all of life, there are numerous intermediate steps. However, you also have to be realistic about exactly what can and cannot be directly observed in one’s lifetime. If something falls outside of that time frame, it is not a failing of evolutionary theory.

  21. 21
    paulmc says:

    Darwinian theory has been falsified. It made claims about all of the diversity of life on earth. Darwin’s followers have defended those claims for a long time. An appeal to a “range of processes” means that natural selection does not cause all of the variation in nature, as originally claimed.

    This is one area where we need to be very careful about definitions. I understand the policy of this site is to use “Darwinism” and “evolutionary theory” more-or-less interchangeably. Yet they are not synonyms, and this is a time where the distinction is important.

    I agree that Darwinism, in the strict sense, is incomplete. It does not model the whole of evolution adequately, especially not at the DNA level. That does not mean it has been falsified, it means that it operates within certain bounds.

    I have stated several times that non-deterministic processes/stochastic processes – are central to understanding evolution. Of course, mutation is one such process, but so is genetic drift, and its ‘relative’ genetic draft. We can discuss these and their importance more if you like.

    I am not a Darwinist in the sense that I do not have the singular focus of someone like Richard Dawkins on selection. Selection is a part of the picture.

    Again, what we have is a collection of ideas which are more or less accurate and which are often contradictory.

    I fear that you are not appreciating the difference between models operating within limits and models when they are applied without consideration for their assumptions. It is the latter that causes contradictions, and I have no interest in defending such clumsiness.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc you are thoroughly disingenuous to the scientific evidence when you state:

    ‘I referred to antibacterial resistance in bacteria because there was an earlier claim in this thread that this somehow didn’t meet an imaginary criterion as a test of evolutionary theory.’

    The whole point paulmc is that antibacterial resistance ALWAYS comes at a cost! The ‘imaginary criterion’, as you put it, has been failed to be met time and time again. For you to use this as evidence for evolution, as it is generally taken to mean the progress from simple to complex, severely compromises any unbiased analysis I would have granted to you!

    Or as Phillip

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is population genetics, you are so confident is a successful prediction of Darwinism for bacteria, extrapolated to whale evolution paulmc:

    Whale Evolution Vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg PhD. in Evolutionary Biology – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4165203

  24. 24
    paulmc says:

    BA77:

    paulmc you are thoroughly disingenuous to the scientific evidence …

    The ‘imaginary criterion’, as you put it, has been failed to be met time and time again.

    I have already responded to this, and you did not respond to any of the points I made. It is not a valid criterion, as it does not match the predictions made under evolutionary theory. See post #9.

    Also, I have tried to be as transparent as possible about the scientific evidence. Your accusation of me being disingenuous is unreasonable, and adds no substance to your argument, which so far has consisted mostly of metacafe videos.

    The whole point paulmc is that antibacterial resistance ALWAYS comes at a cost!

    In the short term it does, yes. As I’ve already noted, this is consistent with evolutionary theory for quite specific reasons. Note, over longer evolutionary timescales it would be difficult to justify the ‘ALWAYS’ in your comment.

    Selection drives allele frequencies in populations based on the environment in question. The trade-off in other areas is more than compensated by the increased fitness conferred by resistance. This is the crux of the Darwinian part of evolutionary theory, because selection is a blind process without foresignt and without teleology.

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is your disingenuousness in a nutshell paulmc;

    When our leading scientists have to resort to the sort of distortion that would land a stock promoter in jail, you know they are in trouble. – Phillip Johnson
    http://www.arn.org/docs/johnson/chofdarwin.htm

    or;

    Whoever thinks that macroevolution can be made by mutations that lose information is like the merchant who lost a little money on every sale but thought he could make it up on volume.’ – Lee Spetner

    The failure to observe even one mutation that adds (functional prescriptive) information is more than just a failure to find support for the theory. It is evidence against the theory. We have here a serious challenge to neo-Darwinian theory – Lee Spetner
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....ally-a-god

    Of course paulmc you will deny this has any relevance but the fact is that this is crushing to your theory and you will not honestly admit it. Thus you are thoroughly disingenuous to the evidence. If you take it and learn so much the better, but if you fail to be honest it will only serve to make you look worse!

  26. 26
    paulmc says:

    BA77 – you right that I will say that has no relevance. I will go further and say it is complete non-sequitor and complete timewasting. You have addressed, so far, nothing of substance in anything I have written, and given a generic list of quotes, blogs and videos in lieu of meaningful responses.

    This time you have provided a list of a couple quotes that talk generally about evolutionary theory. Yet, you haven’t given me an example of me writing something disningenuous. Linking to Answers in Genesis is not an argument against the substance of my writing.

    Your definition of me being disingenuous is effectively that I don’t reject evolutionary theory. If you can’t see the circularity in this in the context of this discussion, there is no hope for constructive dialogue between us.

    Alternatively, feel free to start again, and discuss any of the points that are actually made in this thread.

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, all you have stated is a bunch of ‘just so excuses’ as to why we don’t ever find any hard evidence for evolution. i.e. it is all fluff, THERE IS NOTHING OF SUBSTANCE in your responses for me to respond to.

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    as well paulmc, instead of playing stupid games could you please tell me why evolution is not falsified here;

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-374021

  29. 29
    paulmc says:

    Come on. I asked for specific criticisms instead of generic quotes. Somehow you think I’m playing stupid games? You’ve yet to address any of the points relevant to this thread.

    THERE IS NOTHING OF SUBSTANCE in your responses for me to respond to.

    What about in post 9, referred to above as well, where I explained why evolutionary theory does not predict an abundance of short term universally beneficial mutations, but tradeoffs that are beneficial in some environments and not others?

    What about short-term selection on finch beaks?

    instead of playing stupid games could you please tell me why evolution is not falsified here

    Or perhaps you could explain how it is falsifed by your video links, in your own words? I have no expertise in quantum theory, and feel unqualified to comment in any detail or with any degree of authority. I don’t see how ‘quantum entanglement’ such as the electron states in DNA, has any bearing on whether evolution has occurred. We are only beginning to learn about the weird properties of the quantum world. Just because these properties are weird and suprising and behave differently than the higher/emergent levels of organisation that we are more familiar with doesn’t mean that these properties cause observations made at those higher levels to be false. It is in fact reductionism to assume that the higher levels of organisation do not have their own emergent properties that are unexplained by the fundamental levels.

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, quantum entanglement, through refutation of Einstein’s hidden variable argument (Alain Aspect), has falsified local realism, better known as ‘reductive materialism’,

    The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    ,, reductive materialism is the premise upon which the entire neo-Darwinian edifice rests. Yet, Quantum entanglement is found to be foundational and integral to molecular biology;

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    ,, Thus since neo-Darwinism is based on reductive materialism, then it is impossible for neo-Darwinism to explain an quantum effect that has in fact falsified its premise in the first place. Simple enough for you? Or do you want to go through the whole history?

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, if you are interested I have a few more references in this area of molecular biology that I can give you.,,, As well, if you are interested, the first part of this following paper has a bunch of references of much broader scope that may help you get a better grasp on the ‘quantum topic’, if you are genuinely struggling with incorporating quantum mechanics into your ‘worldview’, for lack of better word.

    Intelligent Design – The Anthropic Hypothesis
    http://lettherebelight-77.blog.....is_19.html

  32. 32
    paulmc says:

    Simple enough for you?

    I can’t imagine a situation where I would call the concepts you are referring to simple. I find it odd that you would link to Aspect’s work on quantum entanglement and then ask if a couple vague sentences are ‘simple enough’, as if in jotting a few words you had comprehensively refuted the entirety of evolutionary biology. You have not.

    Provided the universe at the observed level of biology has properties that are consistent with our understanding of physical laws at that level, then *no* evolution has not been falsified. Evolutionary theory is a model of what we perceive – it is useful if it helps us to understand the world on the level we experience it – even if the physical world happened, unknowably, to be an illusion. Shadows on the wall of a cave, or the contemporaneous equivalent.

    There is further no reason to single out evolution. What you have claimed would apply to all material science, yet I wonder whether you bring such matters up in chemistry forums.

    Ecology cannot be explained in its entirety by biology, multicellular life cannot be fully explained by cellular processes alone, cells themselves cannot be reduced to chemistry, nor chemistry to physics etc. Each additional level in the hierarchy of organisiation has emergent properties, properties not readily explained by the lower level. A biologist may be largely ignorant of physics and still an excellent biologist.

  33. 33
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, search as you may, but you will not find an explanation for a quantum entanglement phenomena within the materialistic framework. This is science paulmc, I care not one iota if the materialistic philosophy is overthrown by quantum mechanics, I only care that I am true to the evidence! Sure science can be done within the materialistic framework, much like work in science is still done within the Newtonian framework for gravity, but the point is that materialism is falsified whether it is useful or not!

    In the following article, Physics Professor Richard Conn Henry is quite blunt as to what quantum mechanics reveals to us about the ‘primary cause’ of our 3D reality:

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (personally I feel the word “illusion” was a bit too strong from Dr. Henry to describe material reality and would myself have opted for his saying something a little more subtle like; “material reality is a “secondary reality” that is dependent on the primary reality of God’s mind” to exist. Then again I’m not a professor of physics at a major university as Dr. Henry is.)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    Professor Henry’s bluntness on the implications of quantum mechanics continues here:

    Quantum Enigma:Physics Encounters Consciousness – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.
    And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial…
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-designer/

    As Professor Henry pointed out, it has been known since the discovery of quantum mechanics itself, early last century, that the universe is indeed ‘Mental’, as is illustrated by these quotes from Max Planck.

    “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
    Max Planck – The Father Of Quantum Mechanics – Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944)(Of Note: Max Planck was a devout Christian, which is not surprising when you realize practically every, if not every, founder of each major branch of modern science also ‘just so happened’ to have a deep Christian connection.)
    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_Planck

  34. 34
    paulmc says:

    I take it you don’t actually read anything I write, you just paste another list of quotes and links related to your last thoughts.

    Otherwise you might have noticed I’d already discussed half of that directly above and concluded it wasn’t important.

    The material world could indeed be an illusion and it still wouldn’t make evolution an incorrect interpretation of what we perceive.

  35. 35
    Clive Hayden says:

    paulmc,

    The material world could indeed be an illusion and it still wouldn’t make evolution an incorrect interpretation of what we perceive.

    We don’t perceive evolution, we infer it; we don’t see the woodland ape in our backyard have babies that eventually morph into humans. By perception you must mean infer. That inference is invalid, by the way.

  36. 36
    paulmc says:

    Clive, I said we perceive the material world, regardless of its reality or otherwise. I did not say that we perceive evolution.

  37. 37
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, one more time,,,, finding quantum entanglement in molecular biology falsifies neo-Darwinism since neo-Darwinism is built upon the materialistic framework. i.e. you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the same effect you are seeking to explain! Whether you personally ‘find it important’ or not I don’t care for it is the truth whether you admit it or not. ,,, As far as your objection to the simplicity of the proof, I bet you really hate e=mc^2,, 🙂

  38. 38
    paulmc says:

    If you actually view this as a matter of you having “the truth” and me having to “admit it”, we’re not really having a fruitful discussion here, are we?

  39. 39
    Clive Hayden says:

    paulmc,

    The material world could indeed be an illusion and it still wouldn’t make evolution an incorrect interpretation of what we perceive.

    That is saying that we perceive evolution.

  40. 40
    paulmc says:

    Clive:

    The material world could indeed be an illusion and it still wouldn’t make evolution an incorrect interpretation of what we perceive.

    That is saying that we perceive evolution.

    That may just be your perception 🙂

    What I said was that evolution is an interpretation – inference would have been better word – based on what we perceive as reality, regardless of whether than reality is real or not.

  41. 41
    proponentist says:

    paulmc,

    Hence we are not just extrapolating from bacteria to all of life, there are numerous intermediate steps. However, you also have to be realistic about exactly what can and cannot be directly observed in one’s lifetime. If something falls outside of that time frame, it is not a failing of evolutionary theory.

    Yes, I agree and I think you’re careful about what you’re defending (and I’m glad you distance yourself from Dawkins and some of the more common Darwinian claims).

    But my concern is that antibiotic resistance in bacteria doesn’t even seem to be to be a single step along what is a pathway of a nearly infinite number of intermediates that are required to move from bacteria to human, for example — and from bacteria to the hundreds of thousands of plant and animal species on earth.

    So, yes, this is just a news article with all the exaggerations and lack of precision one can expect, but evolutionary scientists actually say such things as “some animals get bigger with evolution”. Incredibly, this is the language of Ph.D.’d experts in evolutionary biology also. In the very same commentary about increased size, the author points out: “[there are] years where smaller-beaked birds do better because small seeds are more abundant”.
    This strikes me as trivial and an insight of very little value. It also doesn’t answer the question, for example, as to why there are not finches that have beaks which are just as successful eating smaller seeds as larger ones — without needing any growth or change at all. Seed sizes have fluctuated for as long as birds have existed — why not a universal beak which has more advantages than either smaller or larger ones and thus no need to change when the climate does?

  42. 42
    paulmc says:

    Proponentist:

    But my concern is that antibiotic resistance in bacteria doesn’t even seem to be to be a single step along what is a pathway of a nearly infinite number of intermediates that are required to move from bacteria to human

    I completely understand your concern. The addition of organismal complexity is a massive challenge in explaining the full extent of life’s diversity from bacteria to chordates, and one we can only infer from looking to the past.

    Previously, you had been discussing diversity in a general sense, an area in which finch beaks and bacterial resistance are quite useful, as they give plausible bases for the genesis of genetic divergence and co-existence. But these examples do not address changes in complexity. This is the domain of gene regulation, duplication, polypoidy, horizontal gene transfer, endosymbiosis and so forth.

    the author points out: “[there are] years where smaller-beaked birds do better because small seeds are more abundant”.
    This strikes me as trivial … It also doesn’t answer the question, for example, as to why there are not finches that have beaks which are just as successful eating smaller seeds as larger ones — without needing any growth or change at all. Seed sizes have fluctuated for as long as birds have existed — why not a universal beak which has more advantages than either smaller or larger ones and thus no need to change when the climate does?

    It is an interesting question. The most straightforward answer I can see is very much a Darwinian one. The target of selection in the finches is well known – it is the regulation of the bone morphogenic protein 4 (BMP4). When we look at the range of shapes produced by different regulatory regimes we see that the beaks do not simply change in size, but also in shape. Large seed cracking beaks are quite short and squat, while the smaller beaks are also longer and more slender.

    Hence, regulation of BMP4 does not appear to produce morphologies that suit all food types. There could be other more complex mutations that would produce the best all-round beak but selection is simply acting blindly on the short-term consequences of seed abundance. In other words, this is just the sort of thing we would expect to see under natural selection acting over a relatively short period of time.

    These observations are obviously not definitive. However, the evidence to date is certainly supportive of a naturalistic conclusion as I’ve briefly outlined above.

    To invoke an intelligent designer one might indeed ask – as you have – why a designer would not just make a better beak that suits a wider range of food. I’m sure ID can avoid the question by stating that we cannot second guess what a designer would do – but that certainly doesn’t get us anywhere in terms of explaining why there are 14 or 15 finch species with different beak morphologies that change over time through differential mortality induced by the variability in food. However a neoDarwinian approach to evolutionary theory does.

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, throwing a neo-Darwinian gloss over finch beak variation is severely misleading, for it takes for granted the primary question being debated, namely how did finch beaks originate in the first place? This is very similar to the blatant dishonesty that Darwinists impose on antibiotic resistance;

    as Philip Skell states;

    Evolution is not an observable characteristic of living organisms. What modern experimental biologists study are the mechanisms by which living organisms maintain their stability, without evolving. Organisms oscillate about a median state; and if they deviate significantly from that state, they die. It has been research on these mechanisms of stability, not research guided by Darwin’s theory, which has produced the major fruits of modern biology and medicine. And so I ask again: Why do we invoke Darwin?
    Philip Skell
    Fordham University Bronx, NY
    http://www.discovery.org/a/2950

    Much less is Darwinism fruitful for research;

    I would tend to agree. Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.

    I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.

    In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology. – Philip Skell
    http://www.the-scientist.com/2005/08/29/10/1/

  44. 44
    paulmc says:

    Ba77->

    paulmc, throwing a neo-Darwinian gloss over finch beak variation is severely misleading, for it takes for granted the primary question being debated, namely how did finch beaks originate in the first place?

    Really? If you read what Proponentist had written and my response to it, it is quite clear that the question being debated in my response was ‘why has a singularly superior beak not arisen in darwin’s finches?’ – not ‘what are the origins of beaks?’. The question that Proponentist asked and I answered can be addressed in a neoDarwinian framework. I did not say anything about extending this observation to the origins of beaks.

    I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance

    If the researchers are interested in effective pest control, they will probably focus on the pathways by which the toxicity happens, its affect on non-target species, its ability to accumulate in soils or bioaccumulate. None of these questions require an evolutionary framework.

    However, if you are interested in how pesticide resistance arises, the question is certainly a neo-Darwinian one. What genetic changes would confer resistance? What is the population size of the pest? These factors will help to determine the longevity of the pesticide, based on assumptions about differential mortality in the population if resistant alleles arise.

    These researchers might not sit down and think about evolution, so it is possible they might not even directly appreciate the value of Darwin’s work and the resulting evolutionary literature in underpinning their own.

    I wonder whether Skell asked researchers who use simulations of random mutation and selection in designing electronics components and planes whether Darwin’s work is important to them.

    I wonder if Skell asked researchers studying the adaptive radiation of anole lizards in the Carribean (or any other study of biogeography) whether Darwin’s work was important to them, either.

    Probably not.

  45. 45
    bornagain77 says:

    Well paulmc, let’s see let’s start here;

    ‘I wonder whether Skell asked researchers who use simulations of random mutation and selection in designing electronics components and planes whether Darwin’s work is important to them.’

    Actually paul,,,

    ‘In computer science we recognize the algorithmic principle described by Darwin – the linear accumulation of small changes through random variation – as hill climbing, more specifically random mutation hill climbing. However, we also recognize that hill climbing is the simplest possible form of optimization and is known to work well only on a limited class of problems.
    Watson R.A. – 2006 – Compositional Evolution – MIT Press – Pg. 272’

    you also state;

    ‘However, if you are interested in how pesticide resistance arises, the question is certainly a neo-Darwinian one. What genetic changes would confer resistance? What is the population size of the pest? These factors will help to determine the longevity of the pesticide, based on assumptions about differential mortality in the population if resistant alleles arise.’

    Actually paulmc Dr. John Sanford, who invented the ‘gene-gun’, has done extensive work in this area, especially with plant breeding and ‘genetic engineering’ food crops. And his conclusion, after decades of stellar work, led him to a ‘genetic entropy’ conclusion, certainly not a neo-Darwinian one;

    Evolution Vs Genetic Entropy – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028086/

    In fact Dr. Sanford has written a computer program that gives an accurate account, for varying scenarios, of the ‘change’ we can expect from mutations spreading throughout various populations;

    Using Computer Simulation to Understand Mutation Accumulation Dynamics and Genetic Load:
    Excerpt: We apply a biologically realistic forward-time population genetics program to study human mutation accumulation under a wide-range of circumstances. Using realistic estimates for the relevant biological parameters, we investigate the rate of mutation accumulation, the distribution of the fitness effects of the accumulating mutations, and the overall effect on mean genotypic fitness. Our numerical simulations consistently show that deleterious mutations accumulate linearly across a large portion of the relevant parameter space.
    http://bioinformatics.cau.edu......aproof.pdf
    MENDEL’S ACCOUNTANT: J. SANFORD†, J. BAUMGARDNER‡, W. BREWER§, P. GIBSON¶, AND W. REMINE
    http://mendelsaccount.sourceforge.net
    http://www.scpe.org/vols/vol08/no2/SCPE_8_2_02.pdf

    As for ‘adaptive radiations’ I can tell you that ‘parent species’ will have a propensity to rapidly radiate, while ‘newer species’ will have far less ability to radiate. This fact is consistent with what we expect for a ‘created kind’ radiating from a parent lineage, and is frustrating to Darwinists, since it once again illustrates strict limits to variation, not opened ended variation as required by atheists/Darwinists,,,

    Biological Variation – Cornelius Hunter
    Excerpt: One hint that biology would not cooperate with Darwin’s theory came from the many examples of rapidly adapting populations. What evolutionists thought would require thousands or millions of years has been observed in laboratories and in the field, in an evolutionary blink of an eye.
    http://www.darwinspredictions......_variation

    Cichlid Fish – Evolution or Variation Within Kind? – Dr. Arthur Jones – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4036852

    African cichlid fish: a model system in adaptive radiation research:
    “The African cichlid fish radiations are the most diverse extant animal radiations and provide a unique system to test predictions of speciation and adaptive radiation theory(of evolution).—-surprising implication of the study?—- the propensity to radiate was significantly higher in lineages whose precursors emerged from more ancient adaptive radiations than in other lineages”
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g.....d=16846905

    The following article is important in that it shows the principle of Genetic Entropy being obeyed in the fossil record by Trilobites, over the 270 million year history of their life on earth (Note: Trilobites are one of the most prolific ‘kinds’ found in the fossil record with an extensive worldwide distribution. They appeared abruptly at the base of the Cambrian explosion with no evidence of transmutation from the ‘simple’ creatures that preceded them, nor is there any evidence they ever produced anything else besides other trilobites during the entire time they are found in the fossil record).

    The Cambrian’s Many Forms
    Excerpt: “It appears that organisms displayed “rampant” within-species variation “in the ‘warm afterglow’ of the Cambrian explosion,” Hughes said, but not later. “No one has shown this convincingly before, and that’s why this is so important.””From an evolutionary perspective, the more variable a species is, the more raw material natural selection has to operate on,”….(Yet Surprisingly)….”There’s hardly any variation in the post-Cambrian,” he said. “Even the presence or absence or the kind of ornamentation on the head shield varies within these Cambrian trilobites and doesn’t vary in the post-Cambrian trilobites.” University of Chicago paleontologist Mark Webster; article on the “surprising and unexplained” loss of variation and diversity for trilobites over the 270 million year time span that trilobites were found in the fossil record, prior to their total extinction from the fossil record about 250 million years ago.
    http://www.terradaily.com/repo.....s_999.html

    Dollo’s law and the death and resurrection of genes:
    Excerpt: “As the history of animal life was traced in the fossil record during the 19th century, it was observed that once an anatomical feature was lost in the course of evolution it never staged a return. This observation became canonized as Dollo’s law, after its propounder, and is taken as a general statement that evolution is irreversible.”
    http://www.pnas.org/content/91.....l.pdf+html

    as well paulmc, don’t you find it the least bit suspicious that when Dr. Behe set out to see exactly what neo-Darwinism could do, and found it severely wanting for any creative power, that he was so demonized by neo-Darwinists??? You would think that neo-Darwinists would be at the forefront in trying to clearly elucidate what neo-Darwinism is capable of instead of such despicable personal attacks!!!

  46. 46
    paulmc says:

    ba77 – I’m well aware of the limitations of a strictly darwinian approach to fitness landscapes. In fact if you had read my post above about regulation of BMP4 you would see I discussed some of those limitations and the how the ‘blindness’ of Darwinian selection is limiting.

    As for ‘adaptive radiations’ I can tell you that ‘parent species’ will have a propensity to rapidly radiate, while ‘newer species’ will have far less ability to radiate. This fact is consistent with what we expect for a ‘created kind’ radiating from a parent lineage, and is frustrating to Darwinists, since it once again illustrates strict limits to variation, not opened ended variation as required by atheists/Darwinists

    The first sentence is fine. After this, everything is completely, and I sincerely mean completely untrue. I’d suggest you hit the primary literature sometime and steer clear of strawman caricatures of imaginary darwinists, who are apparently all atheists too, another point that is pointedly wrong. No evolutionary biologist/ecologist predicts a world of limitless morphological or phylogenetic variation. The limitations are understood on an additional level, through genetics, so it is not simply a case of wondering why some things evolve quickly (e.g. quantitative traits) while others do not (body plan, e.g.). Heard of evolutionary contraints, perhaps? Niche conservatism? These layers of understanding are part of what makes evolutionary biology a powerful tool for understanding life’s diversity.

    Incidentally, the pattern of adaptive radiations follows our understanding of biogeography and ecological niche theory. Read some Glor or Rabosky or Losos (e.g. this paper).

  47. 47
    bornagain77 says:

    well paulmc, perhaps you can dig through all your literary heroes of Darwinian storytelling and tell me exactly why trilobites suddenly appeared, rapidly radiated, demonstrated long term stasis, and then slowly lost diversity until they went extinct, without ever evolving into any other kind of animal during the entire 270 million years they were in the fossil record?!? I mean come on paulmc, 270 million years for Darwinism to work its all powerful magic!!! Perhaps you can throw enough big words at that crushing problem to deceive yourself even further into thinking you have no problems with scientific integrity by defending such a bankrupt theory!

    notes;

    Evolution vs. The Trilobite Eye – Prof. Andy McIntosh – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4032589

    The Optimal Trilobite Eye – per Dr. Don Johnson – Programming of Life page 68-66 and appendix F:
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1TiZcs0eginyh6rijCGd3kwC3CeawjQV1AsC6Xvvnx44

    Trilobites suddenly appeared in the Cambrian (lowest fossil-bearing) stratum with no record of ancestry. The trilobite eye is made of optically transparent calcium carbonate (calcite, the same mineral of its shell) with a precisely aligned optical axis that eliminates double images and two lenses affixed together to eliminate spherical aberrations [McC98, Gal00].

    Paleontologist Niles Eldredge observed, “These lenses–technically termed aspherical, aplanatic lenses–optimize both light collecting and image formation better than any lens ever conceived. We can be justifiably amazed that these trilobites, very early in the history of life on earth, hit upon the best possible lens that optical physics has ever been able to formulate” [Eld76]. Notice these lenses weren’t just good as, but were better than anything modern optical physicists have been able to conceive! ,,, “The design of the trilobite’s eye lens could well qualify for a patent disclosure” [Lev93p58].,,,

    The trilobite lens is particularly intriguing since the only other animal to use inorganic focusing material is man. The lens may be classified as a prosthetic device since it was non-biological, which also means the lens itself, with apparently no DNA inherent within, was not subject to Darwinian evolution. The manufacturing and controlling of the lenses were obviously biological processes, with an unknown number DNA-prescribed proteins (each with a prescriptive manufacturing program) for collecting and processing the raw materials to manufacture the precision lenses and create the refracting interface between the two lenses.

    The lenses do not decompose as any other animal’s lenses would, so they are subject to rigorous scientific investigation,,, Since no immediate precursors of trilobites have been found, Darwinists are without any evidence as to how an organism with an eye as complex as a trilobite could have arisen,,, especially in,, the lowest multi-cellular fossil-bearing stratum,,,

    Appendix F:

    “Trilobites had solved a very elegant physical problem and apparently knew about Fermat’s principle, Abbe’s sine law, Snell’s laws of refraction and the optics of birefringent crystals” [Cla75]

    “the rigid trilobite doublet lens had remarkable depth of field (near and far focusing) and minimal spherical aberration” [Gon07]

    Physicist Riccardo Levi-Setti observes:

    “In fact, this doublet is a device so typically associated with human invention that its discovery comes as something of a shock. The realization that trilobites developed and used such devices half a billion years ago makes the shock even greater. And a final discovery – that the refracting interface between the two elements in a trilobite’s eyes was designed in accordance with optical constructions worked out by Descartes and Huygens in the mid-seventeenth century – borders on sheer science fiction” [Lev93p57].

    “The trilobites already had a highly advanced visual system. In fact, so far as we can tell from the fossil record thus far discovered, trilobite sight was far and away the most advanced in Kingdom Animalia at the base of the Cambrian,,, There is no other known occurrence of calcite eyes in the fossil record” [FM-trib].

    Poster on the Trilobite Eye

    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=h.....0186278779

    Thinnest ever camera sees like a trilobite – December 2010

    Excerpt: An unusual arthropod eye design that maximizes image resolution has inspired the design of the thinnest stills and video camera yet made.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....nline-news

    The Fossil Record – The Myth Of +99.9% Extinct Species – Dr. Arthur Jones – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028115

    “Stasis in the Fossil Record: 40-80% of living forms today are represented (fairly deeply) in the fossil record, despite being told in many text books that only about 0.1% are in this category. The rocks testify that no macro-evolutionary change has ever occurred. With the Cambrian Explosion complex fish, trilobites and other creatures appear suddenly without any precursors. Evidence of any transitional forms in the fossil record is highly contentious.”
    Paul James-Griffiths via Dr. Arthur Jones
    http://edinburghcreationgroup......paper1.php

    Fantasy Island: Evolutionary Weirdness Does Not Favor Islands – July 2010
    Excerpt: “We concluded that the evolution of body sizes is as random with respect to ‘isolation’ as on the rest of the planet,” he said. “This means that you can expect to find the same sort of patterns on islands and on the mainland.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100708b

    Amazing Insects Defy Evolution – October 2010
    Excerpt: India spent tens of millions of years as an island before colliding with Asia. Yet the fossil record contains no evidence that unique species evolved on the subcontinent during this time,
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20101026a

    Seeing Ghosts in the Bushes (Part 2): How Is Common Descent Tested? – Paul Nelson – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: Fig. 6. Multiple possible ad hoc or auxiliary hypotheses are available to explain lack of congruence between the fossil record and cladistic predictions. These may be employed singly or in combination. Common descent (CD) is thus protected from observational challenge.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....es_pa.html

  48. 48
    paulmc says:

    ba77 – this is such a blatant case of goalpost-shifting. Why are you unable to stay on a topic for more than one post? So now you want to discuss long-extinct lineages… Perhaps you could make a few guesses yourself about trilobites. Consider the concepts of evolutionary constraints, perhaps. You want definitive answers for why something failed to happen, but we can only guess. We cannot study the genomics of trilobites, for example, which might help to answer some of these questions.

    Also, for about the third time, I am not trying to offer some blanket defence for “Darwinism”. You, however, are incapable of seeing or discussing in any depth the merits of any aspects of neoDarwinian evolutionary theory, and favour throwing around insults and strawmen.

    Perhaps you can throw enough big words at that crushing problem to deceive yourself even further into thinking you have no problems with scientific integrity by defending such a bankrupt theory!

    This sort of empty talk is not worth responding to. I will suggest though that if you are having trouble with “big words” you may not be overly familiar with the literature that you are so contemptuous of, and are so willing to offhandedly dismiss.

  49. 49
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, there are zero merits of neo-Darwinian theory to discuss. It is, without parallel, the dumbest idea ever taken seriously by science!!! The most ardent supporters of neo-Darwinism are in fact the most deceptive people I have ever met. And are people who propagate their theory through all sorts of underhanded backstabbing, intimidation, censoring, elitism, and judicial fiat. That American biological science would be infiltrated by such men of low integrity at such key posts is a crying shame. And once again paulmc, neo-Darwinism has contributed absolutely nothing to science, and has in fact, considering just the junk DNA and vestigial organ fiasco, severely hampered progress of biological science!

    Science Owes Nothing To Darwinian Evolution – Jonathan Wells – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028096

    Is evolution pseudoscience?
    Excerpt:,,, Thus, of the ten characteristics of pseudoscience listed in the Skeptic’s Dictionary, evolution meets nine. Few other?pseudosciences — astrology, astral projection, alien abduction, crystal power, or whatever — would meet so many.
    http://creation.com/is-evolution-pseudoscience

    “A Masterful Feat of Courtroom Deception”: Immunologist Donald Ewert on Dover Trial – audio
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....1_03-08_00

    EXPELLED – Starring Ben Stein – Part 1 of 10 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj8xyMsbkO4

    Slaughter of Dissidents – Book
    “If folks liked Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” they will be blown away by “Slaughter of the Dissidents.” – Russ Miller
    http://www.amazon.com/Slaughte.....0981873405

  50. 50
    paulmc says:

    there are zero merits of neo-Darwinian theory to discuss. It is, without parallel, the dumbest idea ever taken seriously by science!!!
    …neo-Darwinism has contributed absolutely nothing to science

    If you literally believe that neo-Darwinian theory has zero merit you are one who is being deceptive. That is an indefensible position.

    Incidentally, I sincerely doubt you actually understand the history of thought around ‘junk’ DNA because it was the strictest of Darwinists who ardently argued against the concept when it was proposed.

    I wonder if you understand why people argue that there is ‘junk’ DNA?

  51. 51
    bornagain77 says:

    Shoot paulmc if you hate the obvious fact of neo-Darwinism forcing junk-DNA down everybody’s throat, you are really going to hate this:

    From Darwin to Hitler – Richard Weikart – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5EwYpLD6A

    How Darwin’s Theory Changed the World

    Rejection of Judeo-Christian values

    Excerpt: Weikart explains how accepting Darwinist dogma shifted society’s thinking on human life: “Before Darwinism burst onto the scene in the mid-nineteenth century, the idea of the sanctity of human life was dominant in European thought and law (though, as with all ethical principles, not always followed in practice). Judeo-Christian ethics proscribed the killing of innocent human life, and the Christian churches explicitly forbade murder, infanticide, abortion, and even suicide.
    “The sanctity of human life became enshrined in classical liberal human rights ideology as ‘the right to life,’ which according to John Locke and the United States Declaration of Independence, was one of the supreme rights of every individual” (p. 75).
    Only in the late nineteenth and especially the early twentieth century did significant debate erupt over issues relating to the sanctity of human life, especially infanticide, euthanasia, abortion, and suicide. It was no mere coincidence that these contentious issues emerged at the same time that Darwinism was gaining in influence. Darwinism played an important role in this debate, for it altered many people’s conceptions of the importance and value of human life, as well as the significance of death” (ibid.).
    http://www.gnmagazine.org/issu.....-world.htm

    —————-

    Amazingly, many leading evolutionists (Ayala in 2010; Francis Collins in 2010) still insist that most of the genome, which does not directly code for proteins, is useless ‘Junk DNA’.

    Francis Collins, Darwin of the Gaps, and the Fallacy Of Junk DNA – Wells, Meyer, Sternberg – video
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....40361.html

    This irrational stance by them has severely hindered scientific progress:

    On the roles of repetitive DNA elements in the context of a unified genomic-epigenetic system. – Richard Sternberg
    Excerpt: It is argued throughout that a new conceptual framework is needed for understanding the roles of repetitive DNA in genomic/epigenetic systems, and that neo-Darwinian “narratives” have been the primary obstacle to elucidating the effects of these enigmatic components of chromosomes.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12547679

    As well it is now known that many of the hereditary diseases that afflict humans arise from the large ‘Junk DNA’ regions of the genome which do not directly code for proteins but which many evolutionists still tragically write off as ‘Junk’.

    International HoloGenomics Society – “Junk DNA Diseases”
    Excerpt: A primary goal of IHGS is to elevate awareness of the fact that “some, if not all” hereditary diseases do not stop at the boundaries of “genes”
    http://www.junkdna.com/junkdna_diseases.html
    Excerpt: “elaborated in more detail in my “Obituary of Junk DNA “
    http://www.junkdna.com/#obituary_of_junk_dna”
    uncounted millions of people died miserable deaths while scientists were looking for the “gene” causing their illnesses – and were not even supposed to look anywhere but under the lamp illuminating only 1.3% of the genome (the genes).”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-357177

    Some materialists have tried to get around the failed prediction of Junk DNA by saying evolution never really predicted Junk DNA. This following site list several studies and quotes by leading evolutionists that expose their falsehood in denying the functionless Junk DNA predictions that were made by leading evolutionists:

    Functionless Junk DNA Predictions By Leading Evolutionists
    http://docs.google.com/View?id=dc8z67wz_24c5f7czgm

    This following site tells of a fairly embarrassing exchange for three Darwinian professors who insisted Intron sequences in DNA were junk yet were contradicted by the evidence:

    Introns – The Fact-Free “Science” of Matheson, Hunt and Moran: Ridicule Instead of Reason, Authority Instead of Evidence – Jonathan Wells – June 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....35521.html

  52. 52
    paulmc says:

    It was always only a matter of time before the Hitler claims came rolling out.

    Anyways, I shall take this exchange as tacit acknowledgement that you are ignorant of the history of thought around ‘junk’ DNA, and are unaware of why the concept of ‘junk’ DNA was proposed or why ultraDarwinists were vehemently opposed to it.

  53. 53
    bornagain77 says:

    Well paulmc, I glad you are so magnanimous as to inform me of my ignorance on junk-DNA and the neo-Darwinian connection, I’m duly noted and humbled but such a great man who has no doubt in his own brilliance. 🙂 But if you could just get around to Francis Collins to inform him of his ignorance, I think you could have far greater effect in stopping this damnable heresy of junk-DNA and the neo-Darwinian connection that is spreading around;

    Francis Collins, Darwin of the Gaps, and the Fallacy Of Junk DNA – Wells, Meyer, Sternberg – video
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....40361.html

  54. 54
    paulmc says:

    Sadly, you appear to consistently miss the distinction between ‘evolutionary theory’, ‘neo-Darwinism’ and ‘ultraDarwinism’.

    I talked specifically about arguments that occurred at the time that the concept of junk DNA was proposed, involving the most Darwinian of thinkers. Most evolutionary biologists nowadays accept some degree of junk DNA exists – although I suspect there are still a few with a particularly hardlined functionalist approach who remain sceptical.

    Regardless, Francis Collins is not an ultraDarwinist. He has no reason to reject the existence of junk DNA.

    The concept of junk DNA is not (as your link there would have you believe) that no function can ever be found for the so-called junk, but that these stretches have no known function. Further, the genomic parts that have no known function and tend to evolve relatively fast reflect a lack of evolutionary constraint that implies they probably serve no current purpose. It is dogmatic in the face of such evidence to simply refuse to as much as entertain the possiblity that some DNA is junk. As far as I can tell, junk DNA wouldn’t even necessarily be a problem for ID, provided you allow for some ‘signal degradation’.

    Are those distinctions and lines of reasoning clear?

    There are regular discoveries of function in small sections of non-coding DNA, but the reality is we know of no purpose for a vast majority of the human genome. And, Francis Collins understands that.

  55. 55
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, in your condescending tone you state;

    ‘Sadly, you appear to consistently miss the distinction between ‘evolutionary theory’, ‘neo-Darwinism’ and ‘ultraDarwinism’.’

    Well paulmc, seeing as that all 3 of them try to deceive people into believing they descended from primordial slime by time and chance alone, (with ‘political acceptance’ of theistic evolutionists notwithstanding), and though one may take a more cerebral route through that deception to obfuscate the shere stupidity of it, what difference does it make to you? Are you somehow more impressed if someone rationalizes a lie to you with big words than small words???? Does it somehow make you smarter than others when it takes so much more bullshit to deceive you into believing your life is meaningless???

  56. 56
    paulmc says:

    If my tone has become at all condescending it is because when I have tried to discuss scientific evidence you ignore it; you have linked my position on finch beaks and speciation to Hitler, infanticide and sucide; you keep accusing me of believing I am smarter than others; you have accused those who – as I do – side with science of lying; you’ve consistently shifted topics; and now finally you’ve started swearing a bit, in case there was any doubt about your civility (incidentally, violating the comment policy here). In other words, I think on blalance I’ve been quite tolerant and forgiving considering the tone coming from you.

    The thing is, I have no interest in deceiving anyone. I seek only the best understanding of the world I can. I am sorry that you find this so abhorrent.

  57. 57
    Sonfaro says:

    Hey Paulmc,

    Quick question before BA pops back in, as I’m curious about the whole concept of Junk DNA in general. You say:

    -“The concept of junk DNA is not (as your link there would have you believe) that no function can ever be found for the so-called junk, but that these stretches have no known function.”

    If that is the case, why not just say that ‘at this time these strands have no known function’ and leave it at that? That seems to be more honest. When one calls something ‘Junk’ one is saying that the thing serves no purpose. So when I hear ‘Junk DNA’ the image I get is that the DNA is useless, which isn’t necessarily the truth. You’re saying that some early Evolutionary theorists didn’t agree with that stance, but then why did it become so popular? (This is a genuine question, as I don’t know the particulars).

    – Sonfaro

  58. 58
    QuiteID says:

    Sonfaro, I was intrigued by Paulmc’s post as well, but I think he says more than your summary. Following the part you quote he writes, “Further, the genomic parts that have no known function and tend to evolve relatively fast reflect a lack of evolutionary constraint that implies they probably serve no current purpose.” If this is true — that there are parts that both have no known function and tend to evolve relatively fast — then I think the conclusion holds. (BTW, I don’t see why the junk DNA concept has anything to do with ID.)

  59. 59
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, do you believe that random variations filtered by natural selection produced undreamed of levels of integrated complexity in genomes that vastly exceed what man is capable of in his most sophisticated computer programs, though no one has ever seen purely material processes generate any functional prescriptive information whatsoever? If you disagree that purely material processes have never produced functional prescriptive information, please publish your experimental results in peer review so that you may collect 1 million dollars.

    “The Origin-of-Life Prize” ® (hereafter called “the Prize”) will be awarded for proposing a highly plausible natural-process mechanism for the spontaneous rise of genetic instructions in nature sufficient to give rise to life. The explanation must be consistent with empirical biochemical, kinetic, and thermodynamic concepts as further delineated herein, and be published in a well-respected, peer-reviewed science journal(s).
    http://www.us.net/life/

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf
    Can We Falsify Any Of The Following Null Hypothesis (For Information Generation)
    1) Mathematical Logic
    2) Algorithmic Optimization
    3) Cybernetic Programming
    4) Computational Halting
    5) Integrated Circuits
    6) Organization (e.g. homeostatic optimization far from equilibrium)
    7) Material Symbol Systems (e.g. genetics)
    8 ) Any Goal Oriented bona fide system
    9) Language
    10) Formal function of any kind
    11) Utilitarian work
    http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/ag

    The Law of Physicodynamic Insufficiency – Dr David L. Abel – November 2010
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”,,, After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided. The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction: “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    http://www.scitopics.com/The_L.....iency.html

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.” – R. C. Wysong
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-363647

    Systems biology: Untangling the protein web – July 2009
    Excerpt: Vidal thinks that technological improvements — especially in nanotechnology, to generate more data, and microscopy, to explore interaction inside cells, along with increased computer power — are required to push systems biology forward. “Combine all this and you can start to think that maybe some of the information flow can be captured,” he says. But when it comes to figuring out the best way to explore information flow in cells, Tyers jokes that it is like comparing different degrees of infinity. “The interesting point coming out of all these studies is how complex these systems are — the different feedback loops and how they cross-regulate each other and adapt to perturbations are only just becoming apparent,” he says. “The simple pathway models are a gross oversimplification of what is actually happening.”
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....0415a.html

    “There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation of such a vast subject.”
    James Shapiro – Molecular Biologist

    Stephen C. Meyer – The Scientific Basis For the Intelligent Design Inference – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4104651

    the materialistic argument essentially appears to be like this:

    Premise One: No materialistic cause of specified complex information is known.
    Conclusion: Therefore, it must arise from some unknown materialistic cause.

    On the other hand, Stephen Meyer describes the intelligent design argument as follows:

    “Premise One: Despite a thorough search, no material causes have been discovered that demonstrate the power to produce large amounts of specified information.
    “Premise Two: Intelligent causes have demonstrated the power to produce large amounts of specified information.
    “Conclusion: Intelligent design constitutes the best, most causally adequate, explanation for the information in the cell.”

  60. 60
    Sonfaro says:

    Hey QuiteID,

    Well, yeah… I guess my question broils down to phrasing and popularity really (though I guess he answered to popularity thing). Why not ‘transitional DNA’ or something?

    *shrug*

    Also:

    -“(BTW, I don’t see why the junk DNA concept has anything to do with ID.)”

    I may have this deathly wrong, but Junk DNA is kind of a prediction of Darwinian Evolution, right? And if you know us Christians (BA and myself atm) you know many of us ain’t to fond of the Charlie. We take pot-shots from time to time I guess. Has no bearing on ID overall though. Just our little corner of it.

    – Sonfaro

  61. 61
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus paulmc, the way the ‘science’ stands, which you claim you are on the side of, is that you have zero evidence of material processes producing any non-trivial information, much less do you have any examples of material processes producing any molecular machines, and yet you by what you write in your own posts are providing concrete evidence that intelligence can and does produce more functional information than can reasonably be expected from the material processes of the universe, over the entire history of the universe, with Planck time thrown in for good measure. On top of all this quantum mechanics has shown that the universe is actually Theistic in its foundation. And yet despite your extreme poverty of any substantiating evidence whatsoever, you maintain that all the diversity of life we see around us, in all its wonder and complexity, came about by purely material processes? But then when I point out that this is ludicrous and blatantly dishonest to the scientific evidence we have in hand, and that anyone who continues to deceive people despite this evidence lacks integrity, you have the nerve to be offended??? Excuse me if I shed no tears for your hurt feelings!

  62. 62
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, I would like to draw your attention to this comment I made on another thread earlier this evening, which you may find interesting for it ‘scientifically’ points to a ‘higher dimension’;

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-374337

  63. 63
    paulmc says:

    Hi Sonfaro ->

    why not just say that ‘at this time these strands have no known function’ and leave it at that? That seems to be more honest. When one calls something ‘Junk’ one is saying that the thing serves no purpose. So when I hear ‘Junk DNA’ the image I get is that the DNA is useless, which isn’t necessarily the truth. You’re saying that some early Evolutionary theorists didn’t agree with that stance, but then why did it become so popular?

    I think that is a fair point. In fact, when Ohno proposed the idea in 1972, he put scare quotes around the term. He didn’t mean that it was literally junk, I believe he was being quite flippant. Certainly the phrase was not meant to be dishonest. I don’t know why it stuck, but sometimes quite vivid and easy-to-remember phrases do, regardless of their accuracy.

    Quite a lot of evolutionary biologists agree that the word junk gives the wrong impression – but it is part of the landscape.

    As you say ‘junk’ isn’t necessarily the truth – the corollary is that it could be the truth for much of the human genome. I would certainly warn against the stance of someone like BA77 who seems to dogmatically reject the possibility of junk.

    Why not ‘transitional DNA’ or something?

    Transitional DNA would be a worse term because it implies that it is on the way to becoming something. There is no evidence of that for the majority of the human genome.

    but Junk DNA is kind of a prediction of Darwinian Evolution, right? And if you know us Christians (BA and myself atm) you know many of us ain’t to fond of the Charlie.

    There are also many Christians who accept evolutionary theory. But, even if you honestly believe as BA77 does that Darwinism caused the holocaust, it doesn’t make evolutionary theory an incorrect view of the world. I think there is power in recognising that the world of nature is a nasty one – a literally dog-eat-dog world, but that we have the capacity to rise about it with our intellect. That view could invoke God but it also doesn’t have to. Not having a God does not make me hate people or undervalue life. In fact, my world view makes me love life as I see it as all we have!

    Anyway – that is besides the point. Back to “junk”.

    ‘Junk’ DNA is more correctly a prediction of the ‘nearly neutral’ theory of molecular evolution. This theory states that amongst other things gene duplications could accumulate in relatively small populations – like mammals – because they are unable to purge them via purifying selection, which is weaker in small populations. Hence the duplications, even serving no purpose, are effectively ‘neutral’ to selection.

    The second component of the neutral theory that provides evidence for junk DNA is that purifying selection will be weaker in sequences that have no function. This means they will accumulate more changes than sequences that are functional (where many changes are negative and get purged). Thus, the elevated rate of sequence evolution in pseudogenes is interpreted as evidence for their lack of function and hence lack of evolutionary constraint.

    This idea goes against the stricter Darwinian interpretations of evolution that argue that non-functional sequences would not last in a population because they aren’t positively selected for.

    A final point in favour of the interpretation of ‘junk’ in the genome relates to population size. Lynch (2007) has shown population size threshholds exist – populations larger than the threshhold do not accumulate DNA, populations smaller than the threshhold do. In this way, neutral evolution can contribute directly to complexity, by allowing pseudogenes to accumulate, some of which may occasionally acquire new functions – in theory at least.

    I’d like to repeat at this point that it is valuable to make that distinction between evolutionary theory and Darwinism. Evolutionary theory includes modes of evolution such as neutral/nearly neutral evolution that Darwinism in the strict sense does not accommodate.

  64. 64
    Sonfaro says:

    Hey paulmc,

    Thanks for the reply. Forgive me if I skip over some of your response. Much of your post made sense, so I didn’t feel the need to reply. However, I did want to speak on these things a bit.

    You say:

    -“Transitional DNA would be a worse term because it implies that it is on the way to becoming something. There is no evidence of that for the majority of the human genome.”

    I guess that’s a fair point. Thows things way to far our way I guess. Still, wish there were a better term though.

    -“There are also many Christians who accept evolutionary theory. But, even if you honestly believe as BA77 does that Darwinism caused the holocaust, it doesn’t make evolutionary theory an incorrect view of the world. I think there is power in recognising that the world of nature is a nasty one – a literally dog-eat-dog world, but that we have the capacity to rise about it with our intellect. That view could invoke God but it also doesn’t have to.”

    Just want to make it clear that there were a lot of factors involved in the Holocaust. Darwinian evolution among them. But people had a hatred for Jews long before Darwin showed up (unfortunately, some of them from a misinterperitation of biblical scripture). Darwins theory just gave ’em a reason to go for it.

    Now, to the meat of your section here. Two things on this.

    One.) If by “evolution” you mean life changing over time via natural selection, then yeah, Christians can accept evolutionary theory. (heck, quite a few YEC’s are okay with life ‘evolving’ in a general sense.) The problem comes from things like random chance and a singular tree of life and what not.

    Two.) There’s that whole objective morality thing. Dr. Craig says it better than I can, but I’m sure you’ve heard it before and have some reasoning around it.

    -“Not having a God does not make me hate people or undervalue life. In fact, my world view makes me love life as I see it as all we have!”

    Again. That objective morality thing.

    Glad to see you’re a nice guy though! 😉

    -“I’d like to repeat at this point that it is valuable to make that distinction between evolutionary theory and Darwinism. Evolutionary theory includes modes of evolution such as neutral/nearly neutral evolution that Darwinism in the strict sense does not accommodate.”

    Ah, thanks for clearing that up for me.

    – Sonfaro

  65. 65
    paulmc says:

    Just want to make it clear that there were a lot of factors involved in the Holocaust. Darwinian evolution among them.

    I really don’t want to start a big debate about this, but you could also invoke Christianity as much as Darwinism in the causes of the holocaust when looking at Hitler’s actual beliefs (and as you say at least part of the general anti-semitism). But my only real point was no matter how badly misused Darwinism might have been – it does not prove evolutionary theory to be wrong about the way life evolves.

    If by “evolution” you mean life changing over time via natural selection, then yeah, Christians can accept evolutionary theory.

    Officially the catholic church – representing two-thirds of all Christians – accept evolutionary theory (although I do realise many Catholics still personally disagree). And evolutionary biologists such as Ayala are Christian, with no reservations about evolutionary theory.

    Again. That objective morality thing.

    I am not a philosopher of morality, many of my ideas are probably poorly developed. However, I would state that I am not wedded to the idea of universal and eternal moral truths.

    It appears to me that society derives the rules that are appropriate at any given time, and that these vary across time and between cultures in a way that suggests a lack of universality. Nonetheless, lots of those rules never really change, because they are always appropriate (murder e.g.). Even murder may not be a good example, as an acceptable response in some places to murder is another, socially sanctioned murder (i.e. the death penalty). Under Christianity, Jesus apparently had to be murdered to save us from our sins. This seems to be a contradictory requirement for our salvation if murder is universally wrong.

    Other moral rules are clearly more plastic again – for example, around sexuality. You may or may not argue, for example, that homosexuality is objectively wrong. For argument’s sake, let’s say you do object to homosexuality.

    I do not share that moral objection. My basis for defining homosexuality as being morally acceptable is an understanding that it is not a choice, that it hurts no one, that I don’t find it personally abhorrent, that it has no negative impact on society. You could tell me you found the concept personally abhorrent, or that it is wrong according to the bible, or it was wrong biologically speaking.

    How do we resolve this conflict? The least satisfying attempt at a resolution for me would be an argument based around a universal law of morality that homosexuality is wrong. So being told that it is wrong because of the bible or because deep down we all know it’s wrong, or because it just is – these would be the least convincing arguments, because I don’t share any of those views – plus it is circular because it is based on the assumption that the bible is true or god is real.

    Homosexuality is rampant in the animal kingdom, implying a natural origin, even if it is a biological mistake or mixup of some sort. Whole cultures have accepted homosexual practices without a view that they are wrong. I think we would have to agree that it is morally relative (or we’d disagree and each believe the other to be wrong). In either case, I don’t see the objective truth there.

    I have answered because you asked, but I was not trying to discuss morality or even God – only evolutionary theory, and more proximately ‘junk’ DNA 🙂

  66. 66
    Sonfaro says:

    Hey again Paulmc,

    I’ll try to keep this short. I NEEDS SLEEP. Still…

    You write:

    -“I really don’t want to start a big debate about this, but you could also invoke Christianity as much as Darwinism in the causes of the holocaust when looking at Hitler’s actual beliefs (and as you say at least part of the general anti-semitism). But my only real point was no matter how badly misused Darwinism might have been – it does not prove evolutionary theory to be wrong about the way life evolves.”

    and I wrote:

    -“Just want to make it clear that there were a lot of factors involved in the Holocaust. Darwinian evolution among them. But people had a hatred for Jews long before Darwin showed up (unfortunately, some of them from a misinterperitation of biblical scripture). Darwins theory just gave ‘em a reason to go for it.”

    I’m not sure theres a discrepancy(sp?) (maybe you weren’t going for one it’s late… meh) It feels like we pretty much said the same thing. Lots of factors made Hitler & Friends.

    (Though I’m pretty sure Hitler wasn’t a Christian either. He was some weird proto mix of lies, naturalism, paganism, and pseudo-catholic mumbo-jumbo only a crazy person would make up. Quite of few of his head honchos were atheists, but again, that has no bearing on whether Darwin was right or wrong. It only means crazy people took it WAY too serious.)

    Also, you write:

    -“Officially the catholic church – representing two-thirds of all Christians – accept evolutionary theory (although I do realise many Catholics still personally disagree). And evolutionary biologists such as Ayala are Christian, with no reservations about evolutionary theory.”

    and I write:

    -“One.) If by “evolution” you mean life changing over time via natural selection, then yeah, Christians can accept evolutionary theory. (heck, quite a few YEC’s are okay with life ‘evolving’ in a general sense.) The problem comes from things like random chance and a singular tree of life and what not.”

    So… I think we’re in agreement. Right? The catholic church can and does have an acceptance for much of Evolutionary theory. By its very stance though I’m pretty sure they don’t believe in random chance happenstance or whatnot. As the ‘New’ Atheists love to mock, they tend to believe “Goddunnit”. Otherwise we’d get the sort of “Christianity” that Dowd guy was pushing in that article a few pages back. (Shivers)

    Like I said, the problem comes when certain principles like random chance come into play, or – for my branch of the faith – a single tree of life (we think there are multiple trees that share branches everynow and again. “Everything to it’s kind”) And that’s a ‘Darwinian’ evolutionary problem, not the overarching theory.

    On Homosexuality: I’m a theatre kid so I don’t have to much of a problem with Lori liking Cindy or Mike and Stu making out on the couch (so long as I’m not dragged in). That said, just becase the animal kindom does something doesn’t mean we should either. Lots of animals practice canibalism for instance (a grotesque example, sorry). Just saying “Look! They’re doin’ it” shouldn’t be good enough exuse for us too.

    (Note: Sonfaro is NOT Homophobic *sigh*)

    As for the moral problem: When I mean objective morality I mean things like killing without a cause is objectively bad, as is sex by force not choice, or causing physical and mental damage willfully without purpose. Dr. Craig explains it better, I’m not a philosopher. I’m too sleepy to post it accurately. I can tomorrow I guess if we want to keep this going, but I feel like we’ve gotten SO far away from the original topic, so for now I’ll leave it at that.

    Anyway, thanks for replying and clearing things up for me. Sorry for dragging you into a God debate. Hope this random post makes sense. (near delirious… must sleep…)

    😉

    – Sonfaro

    (That wasn’t short at all *weeps*)

  67. 67
    paulmc says:

    Sonfaro,

    Yeah I think I’m pretty happy with the *actually* brief summary that we basically agree on much of that stuff broadly although we could no doubt debate the details to death.

    Just to be clear I was not presupposing anything about your stance on homosexuality, just giving an example for argument’s sake.

    So, good night!

  68. 68
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc,

    you state,

    ‘But, even if you honestly believe as BA77 does that Darwinism caused the holocaust,’

    Actually what I believe primarily caused the Holocaust is the fact that man is basically evil by ‘nature’,,, And without God guiding our lives and society that evil is manifest in its most hideous form. Thus I believe a compromised belief in God brought on by the pseudo-science of Darwinism is the ‘sufficient cause’ for the holocaust. ,,, For example if we take a look at the atheistic countries, instead of just Hitler’s twisted paganism, we find the ‘evil’ manifest in man was much more extreme than even in Hitler’s ‘Darwinized Paganism’;

    Stalin’s Brutal Faith
    http://www.icr.org/index.php?m.....038;ID=276

    The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression:
    Excerpt: Essentially a body count of communism’s victims in the 20th century, the book draws heavily from recently opened Soviet archives. The verdict: communism was responsible for between 85 million and 100 million, non-war related, deaths in the century. (of note: this estimate is viewed as very conservative by many, with some more realistic estimates passing 200 million dead) (Of Note: Atheistic Communism is defined as Dialectic Materialism)
    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Bo.....0674076087

    Study: Rising Religious Tide in China Overwhelms Atheist Doctrine

    Excerpt: One of the last great efforts at state-sponsored atheism is a failure. And not just any kind of failure. China has enforced its anti-religion policy through decades of repression, coercion and persecution, but the lack of success is spectacular, according to a major new study.
    No more than 15 percent of adults in the world’s most populous country are “real atheists.” 85 percent of the Chinese either hold some religious beliefs or practice some kind of religion, according to the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....11665.html

    Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions By David Berlinski – list of genocides by atheists
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    Atheist Atrocities Frightening Stats About Atheists – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP1KpNEeRYU

    The unmitigated horror visited upon man, by state sponsored atheism, would be hard to exaggerate,,,

    Chairman MAO: Genocide Master
    “…Many scholars and commentators have referenced my total of 174,000,000 for the democide (genocide and mass murder) of the last century. I’m now trying to get word out that I’ve had to make a major revision in my total due to two books. I’m now convinced that that Stalin exceeded Hitler in monstrous evil, and Mao beat out Stalin….”
    http://wadias.in/site/arzan/bl.....de-master/

    Lives Saved By Christianity
    Excerpt: here is an article, detailing how Christianity improved the status of women and saved millions of people in ancient Rome from death by female infanticide and from the plagues which periodically swept the Roman Empire:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-337994

    From Josh McDowell, Evidence for Christianity, in giving examples of the influence of Jesus Christ cites many examples. Here are just a few:

    1. Hospitals
    2. Universities
    3. Literacy and education for the masses
    4. Representative government
    5. Separation of political powers
    6. Civil liberties
    7. Abolition of slavery
    8. Modern science
    9. The elevation of the common man
    10. High regard for human life

    notes;

    As we have seen, World War I broke out because of European thinkers, generals and administrators who saw warfare, bloodshed and suffering as a kind of ‘development’, and thought they were an unchanging ‘law of nature. ‘ The ideological root that dragged all of that generation to destruction was nothing else than Darwin’s concepts of the ’struggle for survival’ and ‘favored races’.,,,
    That the Nazis were influenced by Darwinism is a fact that many historians accept.,,,
    In short, there is an unbreakable link between the theory of evolution and communism. ,,,
    http://absolute-truth.net/2009.....27s_theory

    I believe the body count for abortion is over 50 million now in America since it was legalized in 1973:

    Born Alive – Abortion Survivor Gianna Jessen
    http://www.faithandfacts.com/a.....na-jessen/

    The Dark Legacy Of Charles Darwin – 150 Years Later – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4060594/

  69. 69
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc,

    you state,

    ‘But, even if you honestly believe as BA77 does that Darwinism caused the holocaust,’

    Actually what I believe primarily caused the Holocaust is the fact that man is basically evil by ‘nature’,,, And without God guiding our lives and society that evil is manifest in its most hideous form. Thus I believe a compromised belief in God brought on by the pseudo-science of Darwinism is the ‘sufficient cause’ for the holocaust. ,,, For example if we take a look at the atheistic countries, instead of just Hitler’s twisted paganism, we find the ‘evil’ manifest in man was much more extreme than even in Hitler’s ‘Darwinized Paganism’;

    Stalin’s Brutal Faith
    http://www.icr.org/index.php?m.....038;ID=276

    The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression:
    Excerpt: Essentially a body count of communism’s victims in the 20th century, the book draws heavily from recently opened Soviet archives. The verdict: communism was responsible for between 85 million and 100 million, non-war related, deaths in the century. (of note: this estimate is viewed as very conservative by many, with some more realistic estimates passing 200 million dead) (Of Note: Atheistic Communism is defined as Dialectic Materialism)
    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Bo.....0674076087

    Study: Rising Religious Tide in China Overwhelms Atheist Doctrine

    Excerpt: One of the last great efforts at state-sponsored atheism is a failure. And not just any kind of failure. China has enforced its anti-religion policy through decades of repression, coercion and persecution, but the lack of success is spectacular, according to a major new study.
    No more than 15 percent of adults in the world’s most populous country are “real atheists.” 85 percent of the Chinese either hold some religious beliefs or practice some kind of religion, according to the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....11665.html

    Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions By David Berlinski – list of genocides by atheists
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    Atheist Atrocities Frightening Stats About Atheists – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP1KpNEeRYU

    The unmitigated horror visited upon man, by state sponsored atheism, would be hard to exaggerate,,,

    Chairman MAO: Genocide Master
    “…Many scholars and commentators have referenced my total of 174,000,000 for the democide (genocide and mass murder) of the last century. I’m now trying to get word out that I’ve had to make a major revision in my total due to two books. I’m now convinced that that Stalin exceeded Hitler in monstrous evil, and Mao beat out Stalin….”
    http://wadias.in/site/arzan/bl.....de-master/

    Lives Saved By Christianity
    Excerpt: here is an article, detailing how Christianity improved the status of women and saved millions of people in ancient Rome from death by female infanticide and from the plagues which periodically swept the Roman Empire:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-337994

    Whereas the blessing visited upon man by Christianity has greatly outshined the evil that is inherent within man;

    From Josh McDowell, Evidence for Christianity, in giving examples of the influence of Jesus Christ cites many examples. Here are just a few:

    1. Hospitals
    2. Universities
    3. Literacy and education for the masses
    4. Representative government
    5. Separation of political powers
    6. Civil liberties
    7. Abolition of slavery
    8. Modern science
    9. The elevation of the common man
    10. High regard for human life

  70. 70
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc,

    Removal Of Prayer From School in 1963 – The Devastating Effect On America – David Barton – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6063727/

    U.S. schools were the envy of the world not so long ago but now that reputation is slipping badly. The root cause for this decline in education is fairly straightforward and simple. The reason is because we have pretty much shut out THE TEACHER OF ALL WISDOM (God) from the classroom.

    Focus on education;

    The Real Reason American Education Has Slipped – David Barton
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4318930/

    How did the removal of voluntary prayer from the schools of the United States affect our nation as a whole? That question has been answered in detail by a research company in Texas which has gathered and tabulated statistics from hundreds of sources relating to the rates of moral decline in America.

    Specialty Research Associates, under the direction of David Barton, has released a report entitled America: To Pray or Not to Pray which uses over 100 pages of graphs and statistical analysis to prove that crime, venereal disease, premarital se^x, illiteracy, suicide, drug use, public corruption, and other social ills began a dramatic increase after the Engel vs. Vitale Supreme Court decision was made in 1962 which banned school prayer.

    Prayer in schools prior to 1962 was utilized in school districts all over the U.S. in many varieties. Some teachers used extemporaneous prayers, simply expressing their thoughts and desires; others implemented structured prayers, such as the Lord’s Prayer or the 23rd Psalm, or others approved by local school boards. New York students prayed each day: ‘Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee and beg Thy blessing over us, our parents, our teachers, and our nation.’ It was this simple prayer which came under fire and went to the Supreme Court for the landmark decision.

    Says David Barton, ‘It is impossible to know how many of the 39 million children were involved in daily verbal prayers, but most accounts indicate that a clear majority of the students voluntarily participated in daily school prayer. Is it possible that the prayers that were being offered by these children and their teachers across the nation actually had any measurable, tangible effect?’

    It was this question that led Barton to uncover the statistical proof that the removal of prayer did indeed take its toll on America. Below are just a few of the charts featured in Barton’s report, with a brief explanation of each:

    Figure 1: The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is an academic test that measures the developed verbal and math reasoning of a student exiting from high school or some similar type of learning facility. The results of these tests are commonly used by colleges and universities to indicate the strength of a student’s academic preparation and his potential for success on the college level.

    Figure 1 shows how drastically the actual knowledge of high school students began to drop at an accelerating rate after 1962. Barton notes in his report that the upturn in SAT scores since 1981 is due to the increase in private Christian educational facilities which began to flourish at that time. Statistics have proven that students from private Christian schools showed higher academic achievement and higher test scores.

    Figure 2: This graph shows the increase in s^exual activity in unmarried teen-age girls after the 1962 Supreme Court decision. It is evident from the figures provided that in the years previous to the removal of prayer the rates remained stable and relatively unchanged. In the post- prayer years the numbers immediately began to soar. The sudden increase on the graph appears as if a great restraining force had suddenly been removed.

    Figure 3: Unwed women 15-19 years of age showed a phenomenal increase in the rate of pregnancies after the School Prayer decision. Note that the figure jumps drastically after the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision which made abortion legal in the U.S. The United States now has the highest incidence of teen-age motherhood in any Western country.

    Figure 4: For the 15-19 and 20-24 age group, the rates of youth suicide remained relatively unchanged during the years from 1946 to the School Prayer decision in 1962. But in the years since, suicides among the same group have increased 253 percent, or an average of 10.5 percent per year.

    Figure 5: Stability in the family has also been affected since the 1962 decision. Divorce, single parent families, couples living together but not married, and adultery are areas of family breakdown which have experienced radical growth in recent years. In the graph above, the increase in single parent families (households with only a mother and children) are detailed. Note the dotted line at the bottom, which shows the rate of growth prior to the 1962 decision.

    Figure 6: Crime, productivity, and national morality had been on a fairly stable level prior to the 1962 decision, but that is no longer the case. It is obvious that such a quantity of students praying for their nation had a very positive effect on the course that this nation had taken. The rate of violent crime, as shown above, has risen over 330 percent.

    If you would like a copy of America: To Pray or Not to Pray?, send $7.95 to Specialty Research Associates, P.O. Box 397, Aledo, TX 76008. All of the figures and statistics compiled in this book are taken from data made available by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control, Statistical Abstracts of the United States, Vital Statistics of the United States, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other official sources

    http://forerunner.com/forerunn.....opped.html

    The following video is very suggestive to a ‘spiritual’ link in man’s ability to learn new information in that the video shows that almost every, if not every,founder of each discipline of modern science was a devout Christian:

    Christianity Gave Birth To Science – Dr. Henry Fritz Schaefer – video
    http://vimeo.com/16523153

  71. 71
    paulmc says:

    In the same way that you argue that it is a “a compromised belief in God” that led Nazis to commit the holocaust, you should be able to recognise that it is a compromised version of Darwinism that could be twisted to support such an atrocity. I’m sure you would see any example of a horrendous act committed by a Christian as not reflecting Christian values, so not caused by Christianity. Yet for those horrendous acts caused by atheists or suspected atheists, you have no trouble pointing the finger at the cause – atheism! Your only defense of this is “the fact that man is basically evil by ‘nature’” which is a statement I not only disagree with but find quite disturbing. As it derives from Christian doctrine and is being used as a defense for Christianity as a source of good, it is more circular than it is compelling.

    Broadly. what you have outlined here is a case against totalitarianism run by psychopaths.

    Otherwise you have provided a transparently biased account of both Christianity and ‘atheism’. Just a single example – you quote someone about divorce rates being linked to the loss of public school prayers. The divorce rate is higher amongst fundamentalist christians than amongst atheists.

  72. 72
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, the body count I cited is horrendous and reflects the reality of the evil man is capable of without God. Do you think these atheistic psychopaths could have done what they did to their own populations without atheism in place to devalue human life in the first place?? Perhaps you need to reflect on these numbers at the following site a bit!!!!,,, Your denialism and rationalizations just to defend the indefensible is pathetic!!! Think about it paulmc, The worse mass murder in the entire history of mankind was mass murder that was propagated not by war against another people, but in atheistic states murdering their very own people!!!

    Chairman MAO: Genocide Master
    “…Many scholars and commentators have referenced my total of 174,000,000 for the democide (genocide and mass murder) of the last century. I’m now trying to get word out that I’ve had to make a major revision in my total due to two books. I’m now convinced that that Stalin exceeded Hitler in monstrous evil, and Mao beat out Stalin….”
    http://wadias.in/site/arzan/bl.....de-master/

    Think about that paulmc!!! Murdering their VERY OWN PEOPLE!!!, and just how does the atheistic/materialistic/darwinistic belief system truly account for the value of one human life in the first place, since materialism renders value judgments merely subjective instead of objective??? Not to mention the transcendent values of truth and beauty are remdered subjective!!! Materialism simply cannot provide a absolute value for the value of man. Whereas in Christianity the value of one human life is seen as infinite for God Himself has redeemed mankind through His work of one human life on the cross. At least for all who will accept this priceless gift!!!

    You state something about the divorce rate being higher among conservative Christians? paulmc please don’t believe anything that atheists tell you about Christianity!

    The Christian divorce rate myth (what you’ve heard is wrong)
    Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, explains from his analysis of people who identify as Christians but rarely attend church, that 60 percent of these have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced
    http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34656

    further notes;

    “Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites …and Other Lies You’ve Been Told,” (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2010)

    How Darwin’s Theory Changed the World

    Rejection of Judeo-Christian values
    Excerpt: Weikart explains how accepting Darwinist dogma shifted society’s thinking on human life: “Before Darwinism burst onto the scene in the mid-nineteenth century, the idea of the sanctity of human life was dominant in European thought and law (though, as with all ethical principles, not always followed in practice). Judeo-Christian ethics proscribed the killing of innocent human life, and the Christian churches explicitly forbade murder, infanticide, abortion, and even suicide.
    “The sanctity of human life became enshrined in classical liberal human rights ideology as ‘the right to life,’ which according to John Locke and the United States Declaration of Independence, was one of the supreme rights of every individual” (p. 75).
    Only in the late nineteenth and especially the early twentieth century did significant debate erupt over issues relating to the sanctity of human life, especially infanticide, euthanasia, abortion, and suicide. It was no mere coincidence that these contentious issues emerged at the same time that Darwinism was gaining in influence. Darwinism played an important role in this debate, for it altered many people’s conceptions of the importance and value of human life, as well as the significance of death” (ibid.).

  73. 73
    Puragu says:

    Hi everyone. This is a very nice blog. Thanks for the opportunity to post here.

    paulmc, there is a major distinction between atheism and Christianity and that is that Christianity has at its core teachings against violence, murder, etc. Atheism does not. Atheism at best is perfectly neutral toward these.
    In Christianity, God created man in His image and God died for man, this means man is special. Each and every person has dignity which is automatically assigned to this person and cannot be taken away by anyone but God. Not even the Pope can legally do this. I know in the past sometimes this happened (defensive wars against Muslims, some Inquisitions which wanted to keep stability and peace by pretty nasty ways etc) but this was more of an exception than the rule and it is now something that most Catholics (and other Christians) condemn. Atheism by itself has no reason to condemn any behaviour except perhaps behaviour which supports religious views. So you will condemn Caritas which is helping non-Christian Japanese right now with the same fervour as you will condemn any medieval inquisitor.

    In fact atheism posits man as the giver of any moral law (if there is moral law). In this way man (e.g. Hitler or Lenin) can decide who lives or dies. A Jew or a Pole or a Kulak can be labeled an ‘Untermensch’ or an enemy of the state and become expendable.

    If Hitler or Lenin had set up their regimes according to Christian doctrine, they would have to do a lot of logical wrangling to explain away why they were not emulating Christ in being merciful, anti-violence and full of love/compassion when dealing with their fellow humans (of any nation).
    On the other hand an atheist Lenin or secular (and practically atheist) Hitler can disregard this old fashioned, sentimental Christianity and just go with any latest fad. Social experiments involving millions of people may be carried out, after all each person has no intrinsic value and there is no-one to punish you as long as you remain in power.

    Nothing in atheism can stop an atheist from doing bad things, but for a Christian to do bad things (such as murder people) he must be in contradiction with what Christ taught. One can then point this problem out to him and if he is sincere, he will have to abandon his ways or drop his Christianity.

    Thanks.

  74. 74
    Sonfaro says:

    paulmc, sorry to jump back into the argument. Just a quick point and I’m out again.

    You say:

    -“The divorce rate is higher amongst fundamentalist christians than amongst atheists.”

    a.) There are more ‘fundamentalist’ Christians than there are atheists.
    b.) quite a few atheist don’t get married. “Social construct” and what not. If we’re counting common law marriage deals where two people are living together for five years plus the curb for atheism would probably be much higher (don’t have the stats in front of me. Could look ’em up if you want.)

    Alright, I’m quietly bowing out again.

    – Sonfaro

  75. 75
    bornagain77 says:

    Sonfaro, didn’t you catch this;

    The Christian divorce rate myth (what you’ve heard is wrong)
    Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, explains from his analysis of people who identify as Christians but rarely attend church, that 60 percent of these have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced
    http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34656

    Perhaps you would appreciate this book Sonfaro,,,

    Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths From the Secular and Christian Media
    http://www.amazon.com/Christia.....0764207466

  76. 76
    paulmc says:

    Sonfaro – the rate of divorce refers to the proportion of people who get divorced, not the total number. Fundamentalist Christians have a higher divorce rate than atheists (and a higher rate than Catholics).

    I am not painting a picture of those Christians as hypocrites or bad people. I am saying blaming atheism is not a straightforward proposition, and likewise Christianity is not a magic bullet for social problems.

  77. 77
    Sonfaro says:

    Hey BA,

    I caught it. Just had a different angle on the situation is all. Sometimes people forget the whole “we don’t need no stinkin’ marriage” group.

    – Sonfaro

  78. 78
    paulmc says:

    Ba77

    Do you think these atheistic psychopaths could have done what they did to their own populations without atheism in place to devalue human life in the first place??

    Yes, because they were psychopaths.

    Do you think the Spanish could have possibly perpetrated mass genocide in the Americas without Christianity?

  79. 79
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, as I have already outlined, and you refused to acknowledge, the number you cite is severely ‘nursed’, whereas I did no ‘nursing’ whatsoever in the body count of atheistic countries! That you would be reduced to such a deceptive tactic of ‘selective statistics’ to try to score a few cheap points against Christianity is really quite telling as to how unbalanced is your judgment against Christianity.

  80. 80
    paulmc says:

    The numbers come straight from a survey. I suppose you are now accusing those who conducted the survey of some unknown conspiracy against you.

    I have no judgement against Christianity, I am not trying to score cheap points. I am trying to address some balance. You are deciding cause and effect by ignoring all the complex factors that have led to genocide and singling out atheism.

    Again, I am not judging anyone. Let me quote myself:

    “I am not painting a picture of those Christians as hypocrites or bad people. I am saying blaming atheism is not a straightforward proposition, and likewise Christianity is not a magic bullet for social problems.”

  81. 81
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, again you are being unfair in your judgment. Though the Spanish were a ‘Christian’ nation, they were driven by their ‘evil’ lust for gold to so brutally treat the American Indians rather that by any overriding love to ‘spread the gospel’. And again the Atheists MURDERED FAR MORE OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE than in wars against other people. paulmc, that you would ignore that absolutely shocking fact shows that you could care less about the truth and are only concerned with protecting your atheistic belief no matter what lie you have to tell yourself or what contrived rationalization you have to believe. The sheer and blatant dishonesty you are subjecting yourself to would be absolutely funny for me if the consequences were not so horrendous for you!

    Bill Wiese on Sid Roth – 23 Minutes In Hell – Scientific Reality of ‘Eternal Dimension’ discussed in Description
    http://www.vimeo.com/21230371

  82. 82
    Sonfaro says:

    “Sonfaro – the rate of divorce refers to the proportion of people who get divorced, not the total number. Fundamentalist Christians have a higher divorce rate than atheists (and a higher rate than Catholics).”

    Again though, there are people out there who think marriage is crap in the first place and decide just to live together. This is typically an irreligious position, as after a while if one of the two is religious there tends to be an itch to get married eventually. Just saying ‘fundys get divorced more’ feels like it ignores the whole ‘Atheists don’t always marry anyway’ issue.

    -“I am not painting a picture of those Christians as hypocrites or bad people. I am saying blaming atheism is not a straightforward proposition, and likewise Christianity is not a magic bullet for social problems.”

    Meh, I didn’t think you were. I’m just not sure your Christian/Atheist marriage comparison is as sound as you think it is. Only reason I posted.

    – Sonfaro

  83. 83
    bornagain77 says:

    as well paulmc, A lot of people become Christians late in life when they are finally are ‘broken’ enough to realize they need Christ in their lives so thus the divorce rate is truly a ‘fluid’ number by which to decide if Christianity has impacted lives for good or evil. As for my personal life, I can tell you that my life was an absolute mess before I completely accepted Christ.

  84. 84
    paulmc says:

    Meh, I didn’t think you were. I’m just not sure your Christian/Atheist marriage comparison is as sound as you think it is. Only reason I posted.

    Fair enough, and you may well be right. The only point I was trying to make is that there isn’t evidence as far as I can see that atheism is destroying the fabric of societies, while Christianity is the pillar of morality (which was in response to BA77 on prayer in american schools).

  85. 85
    paulmc says:

    A lot of people become Christians late in life when they are finally are ‘broken’ enough to realize they need Christ in their lives … I can tell you that my life was an absolute mess before I completely accepted Christ.

    Sure. I’m happy for you that you found something that works for you and helps to keep you grounded. That’s a fantastic thing – and everyone needs that in their life, whereever they get it from.

    On the other hand, people who lack a belief in God are not generally broken or in need of Christ or other religious consolation as they have equivalent foundations that support them in other parts of their lives.

    While we’re making personal disclosures, I’ll say that I was raised as a Christian myself. I have no animosity towards Christianity, but do not feel that it added anything to my life. Nor did I ever have the sense that it was “true”. On a personal level I accept many of the principles of the NT because they resonate with me. I also have the freedom to reject those aspects that I don’t agree with.

  86. 86
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, to get to a more ‘hard’ number, is 47 million abortions in America since 1967 the result of Christianity or not? If not do you consider 47 million abortions to be upholding to the ‘fabric of society’ as you put it?

  87. 87
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, you need to see materialism for what it is, and cannot pick and choose what moral precepts from Christianity that make your life better without realizing the fact that materialism offers you zero foundation for establishing a moral basis in the first place. As Paul Nelson stated in this podcast;

    Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....7_16-07_00

    ,,, you would not want to live next door to a materialist who actually lived consistently within his worldview!

  88. 88
    Sonfaro says:

    paulmc,

    It’s all good, thanks for being a good sport.

    (Sonfaro now runs far away from the argument.) -_-‘

    – Sonfaro

  89. 89
    paulmc says:

    you need to see materialism for what it is, and cannot pick and choose what moral precepts from Christianity that make your life better without realizing the fact that materialism offers you zero foundation for establishing a moral basis in the first place.

    This is bollocks. I do not pick bits of Christianity to live by. I live as I see fit, and many of the principles coincide because they are sensible.

    The moral basis is biologically derived: we are highly intelligent social beings. What is good for society at any given time is considered morally good at the time. Indeed, there are few constants in morality if we look over time and between cultures.

  90. 90
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, it is impossible to derive any morality whatsoever from materialism;

    William Lane Craig – Moral Relativism – Cruel Logic – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4347138/

    As well please answer my question on the 47 million abortions.

  91. 91
    paulmc says:

    paulmc, it is impossible to derive any morality whatsoever from materialism

    I know of no evidence for objective and eternal moral truths, only for socially derived morality. As I said, our morality appears to derive from our biological, social nature.

    Craig claims that objective moral standards exist independently of one’s belief in God (i.e. we intrinsically know right from wrong). So why are there not cross-cultural standards of morality that have remained unchanged over human history? This seems odd if we accept that a belief in God is not required – which Craig explicitly states is the foundation of atheistic morals.

    As well please answer my question on the 47 million abortions.

    OK, you want to pin abortion on atheism. However, there are – as you must know – a large number of Christians who also accept abortion.

    I know there are a handful of odds and ends in the bible that can be loosely interpreted as anti-abortion. But there doesn’t seem to be a lot of direct guidance there. Maybe this is why there isn’t a christian consensus on abortion.

    Interestingly, over the history of Christianity there has been nothing like a consensus on abortion at all. The current stance is relatively recent.

  92. 92
    bornagain77 says:

    HOLY SCRIPTURES ON ABORTION
    The Holy Scriptures speak of a fetus as a person, not simply tissue that can be discarded if found to be a bother or nuisance. Since the fetus is a person from the moment of conception, then the destroying of the fetus is killing a person. “In the past, some people have mistakenly speculated that perhaps the body might be in the process of formation for some time, and then ‘God breathes a soul into it.’ They had it backward. The life that is present forms matter into a body for itself’ (Joseph Breig, “Life Forms Matter,” The Catholic News, Jan. 24, 1974, p. 8).

    “Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk … and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit” (Job 10:8-12 NIV).

    “Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name…and now the LORD says–he who formed me in the womb to be his servant…” (Isaiah 49:1, 5).

    “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’” (Jeremiah 1:4-5).

    In the following passages we note that personality is ascribed to the unborn.

    “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that fully well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13-16).

    “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3).

    Exodus 21:22-25 relates how Israel was to judge a circumstance relating to the death of the unborn:

    “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

    All of the latter deals with unintentional hurt that comes to a pregnant woman; how much more will divine penalty come upon those who intentionally discard the fetus? The Gospel of Luke ascribes personality to the fetus within Elizabeth:

    “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit… As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy” (1:41, 44).

    Mere tissue does not leap for joy; only personhood leaps for joy. The Bible regards the fetus as having personality. In Galatians, Paul speaks of himself as a person while still in his mother’s womb, but more a person consecrated by God for a holy mission (compare Jeremiah 1:5 for the same accent):

    “But when God, who set me apart from birth, and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles…” (Gal. 1: 15-16).

    Since the Bible regards the fetus as personality, then the aborting of the fetus is murdering personality.

    Some verses from Scripture dealing with murder are then appropriate for study, such as Genesis 9:6: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.” Also, read Exodus 23:7: “Have nothing to do with a false charge, and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.” Note I Peter 4:15: “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer…”

    “For all the talk of freedom and self-determination, the abortion movement is at its heart a movement denying rights to a silent segment of humanity and soliciting public sanction, support and subsidy to its own cause”

    (Donald P. Shoemaker, ABORTION, THE BIBLE AND THE CHRISTIAN, Hayes Publishing Co., 1976, p. iv).
    http://www.illinoisrighttolife.....ortion.htm

  93. 93
    paulmc says:

    All of that (which I had preemptively acknowledged) fails to explain the lack of consensus within Christianity on abortion, both currently and throughout history.

  94. 94
    bornagain77 says:

    And paul once again I point out that materialism, which you presuppose to be true, has no absolute framework for you to work with in the first place;

    Atheists impart the word ‘imaginary’ to things spiritual to denote what they believe is a non-conformity to reality, but the fact is that the ‘physical’ evidence actually indicates that it is their very own belief in a ‘absolute 3-D material frame of reference’ that is what is truly ‘imaginary’ in the first place?

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (personally I feel the word “illusion” was a bit too strong from Dr. Henry to describe material reality and would myself
    have opted for his saying something a little more subtle like; “material reality is a “secondary reality” that is dependent on the primary reality of God’s mind” to exist. Then again I’m not a professor of physics at a major university as Dr. Henry is.)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    further notes;

    atheists also think that life after death itself is ‘imaginary’. Yet to suggest ‘imaginary’ denotes that someone thinks that life after death is somehow a ‘non-conformity’ to reality. Yet, there are several lines of evidence that point to the ‘physical’ reality of a ‘higher dimension’ above this 3-Dimensional (3-D) reality;

    Please note how 3-D reality folds and collapses into a tunnel shape, in direction of travel, as the constant for the speed of light is approached, in this following video. Please pay particular attention to the full relativistic effect at the 3:22 minute mark;

    Traveling At The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/

    Note how the full relativistic effect at the 3:22 mark matches the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ effect noted in many Near Death Experiences, as well as conforms to the tunnel experience Bill Wiese mentioned in the video;

    The NDE and the Tunnel – Kevin Williams’ research conclusions
    Excerpt: I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.(Barbara Springer)

    Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200200/

    As well, please note mass would disappear from our sight if it could go the speed of light, because, from our non-speed of light perspective, distance in direction of travel will shrink to zero for the mass going the speed of light, whereas conversely, if mass could travel at the speed of light its size will stay the same while all other frames of reference not traveling the speed of light will disappear from its sight.

    Special Relativity – Time Dilation and Length Contraction – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSRIyDfo_mY

    As well, please note how special relativity also confirms the reality of a higher ‘eternal’ dimension for time, which is also noted in very many Near Death Experiences;

    ,,, when traveling at the speed of light time, as we understand it, comes to complete stop for light, i.e. speed of light travel gets us to the eternal, ‘past and future folding into now’, framework of time. This higher dimension ‘eternal’ inference for the time framework of light is warranted because light is not ‘frozen within time’ yet it is shown that time, as we understand it, does not pass for light.

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest
    http://www.readersdigest.co.za.....26pageno=3

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    Mickey Robinson – Near Death Experience testimony

    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544

    ‘When you die, you enter eternity. It feels like you were always there, and you will always be there. You realize that existence on Earth is only just a brief instant.’
    Dr. Ken Ring – has extensively studied Near Death Experiences

    As well, please note how quantum entanglement cannot be reduced to any explanation in this 3-D material framework;

    Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182

    And please note, how this quantum entanglement, which blatantly defies any constraints of this 3-D material realm, is found to be integral and foundational to molecular biology i.e. to biological life;

    Quantum Information In DNA & Protein Folding
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Further evidence that quantum entanglement/information is found throughout entire protein structures:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-373214

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

  95. 95
    bornagain77 says:

    And paul once again I point out that materialism, which you presuppose to be true, has no absolute framework for you to work with in the first place;

    Atheists impart the word ‘imaginary’ to things spiritual to denote what they believe is a non-conformity to reality, but the fact is that the ‘physical’ evidence actually indicates that it is their very own belief in a ‘absolute 3-D material frame of reference’ that is what is truly ‘imaginary’ in the first place?

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (personally I feel the word “illusion” was a bit too strong from Dr. Henry to describe material reality and would myself
    have opted for his saying something a little more subtle like; “material reality is a “secondary reality” that is dependent on the primary reality of God’s mind” to exist. Then again I’m not a professor of physics at a major university as Dr. Henry is.)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    further notes;

    atheists also think that life after death itself is ‘imaginary’. Yet to suggest ‘imaginary’ denotes that someone thinks that life after death is somehow a ‘non-conformity’ to reality. Yet, there are several lines of evidence that point to the ‘physical’ reality of a ‘higher dimension’ above this 3-Dimensional (3-D) reality;

    Please note how 3-D reality folds and collapses into a tunnel shape, in direction of travel, as the constant for the speed of light is approached, in this following video. Please pay particular attention to the full relativistic effect at the 3:22 minute mark;

    Traveling At The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/

    Note how the full relativistic effect at the 3:22 mark matches the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ effect noted in many Near Death Experiences, as well as conforms to the tunnel experience Bill Wiese mentioned in the video;

    The NDE and the Tunnel – Kevin Williams’ research conclusions
    Excerpt: I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.(Barbara Springer)

    Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200200/

    As well, please note mass would disappear from our sight if it could go the speed of light, because, from our non-speed of light perspective, distance in direction of travel will shrink to zero for the mass going the speed of light, whereas conversely, if mass could travel at the speed of light its size will stay the same while all other frames of reference not traveling the speed of light will disappear from its sight.

    Special Relativity – Time Dilation and Length Contraction – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSRIyDfo_mY

    As well, please note how special relativity also confirms the reality of a higher ‘eternal’ dimension for time, which is also noted in very many Near Death Experiences;

    ,,, when traveling at the speed of light time, as we understand it, comes to complete stop for light, i.e. speed of light travel gets us to the eternal, ‘past and future folding into now’, framework of time. This higher dimension ‘eternal’ inference for the time framework of light is warranted because light is not ‘frozen within time’ yet it is shown that time, as we understand it, does not pass for light.

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    Mickey Robinson – Near Death Experience testimony

    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544

    ‘When you die, you enter eternity. It feels like you were always there, and you will always be there. You realize that existence on Earth is only just a brief instant.’
    Dr. Ken Ring – has extensively studied Near Death Experiences

    As well, please note how quantum entanglement cannot be reduced to any explanation in this 3-D material framework;

    Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182

    And please note, how this quantum entanglement, which blatantly defies any constraints of this 3-D material realm, is found to be integral and foundational to molecular biology i.e. to biological life;

    Quantum Information In DNA & Protein Folding
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Further evidence that quantum entanglement/information is found throughout entire protein structures:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-373214

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.

  96. 96
    bornagain77 says:

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
    Excerpt: It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/journals.asp?iid=47

    As well, please note the ’4-Dimensionality’ that pervades every measurement for ‘power scaling’ in biology;

    The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology
    Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale
    with body size as power laws of the form:

    Y = Yo M^b,

    where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent.
    A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.
    http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~dre.....18_257.pdf

    “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection.” Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79

    4-Dimensional Quarter Power Scaling In Biology – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5964041/

    Though Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini rightly find it inexplicable for ‘random’ Natural Selection to be the rational explanation for the scaling of the physiology, and anatomy, of living things to four-dimensional parameters, they do not seem to fully realize the implications this ‘four dimensional scaling’ of living things presents. This 4-D scaling is something we should rightly expect from a Intelligent Design perspective. This is because Intelligent Design holds that ‘higher dimensional transcendent information’ is more foundational to life, and even to the universe itself, than either matter or energy are. This higher dimensional ‘expectation’ for life, from a Intelligent Design perspective, is directly opposed to the expectation of the Darwinian framework, which holds that information, and indeed even the essence of life itself, is merely an ‘emergent’ property of the 3-D material realm.

    As well, please note the uniqueness of this 3-Dimensional image on this 2-Dimensional surface:

    Shroud Of Turin’s Unique 3 Dimensionality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041182

    Turin Shroud Enters 3D Age – Pictures, Articles and Videos
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1gDY4CJkoFedewMG94gdUk1Z1jexestdy5fh87RwWAfg

  97. 97
    bornagain77 says:

    So Basically paulmc reality is shown to be theistic in its foundation, as well ‘physical’ evidence strongly supports the conclusion that our souls, the real us, goes to a ‘eternal’ dimension when we die. And yet though you have been shown that a ‘Mind’ is behind reality, you prefer to live in a world of materialistic make believe? This is totally irrational paulmc!

    further notes;

    These following studies and videos confirm this ‘superior quality’ of existence for our souls/minds:

    Miracle Of Mind-Brain Recovery Following Hemispherectomies – Dr. Ben Carson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994585/

    Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives:
    Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining; In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study: “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08.....lives.html

    The Day I Died – Part 4 of 6 – The Extremely ‘Monitored’ Near Death Experience of Pam Reynolds – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560

    The Scientific Evidence for Near Death Experiences – Dr Jeffery Long – Melvin Morse M.D. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4454627

    Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) – Pim von Lommel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599/

    Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This ‘anomaly’ is also found for deaf people who can hear sound during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).)
    http://findarticles.com/p/arti....._65076875/

    Quantum Consciousness – Time Flies Backwards? – Stuart Hameroff MD
    Excerpt: Dean Radin and Dick Bierman have performed a number of experiments of emotional response in human subjects. The subjects view a computer screen on which appear (at randomly varying intervals) a series of images, some of which are emotionally neutral, and some of which are highly emotional (violent, sexual….). In Radin and Bierman’s early studies, skin conductance of a finger was used to measure physiological response They found that subjects responded strongly to emotional images compared to neutral images, and that the emotional response occurred between a fraction of a second to several seconds BEFORE the image appeared! Recently Professor Bierman (University of Amsterdam) repeated these experiments with subjects in an fMRI brain imager and found emotional responses in brain activity up to 4 seconds before the stimuli. Moreover he looked at raw data from other laboratories and found similar emotional responses before stimuli appeared.
    http://www.quantumconsciousnes.....Flies.html

    Study suggests precognition may be possible – November 2010
    Excerpt: A Cornell University scientist has demonstrated that psi anomalies, more commonly known as precognition, premonitions or extra-sensory perception (ESP), really do exist at a statistically significant level. Psi anomalies are defined as “anomalous processes of information or energy transfer that are currently unexplained in terms of known physical or biological mechanisms.”

    Mind-Brain Interaction and Science Fiction (Quantum connection) – Jeffrey Schwartz & Michael Egnor – audio
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....8_39-08_00

    In The Wonder Of Being Human: Our Brain and Our Mind, Eccles and Robinson discussed the research of three groups of scientists (Robert Porter and Cobie Brinkman, Nils Lassen and Per Roland, and Hans Kornhuber and Luder Deeke), all of whom produced startling and undeniable evidence that a “mental intention” preceded an actual neuronal firing – thereby establishing that the mind is not the same thing as the brain, but is a separate entity altogether.

    “As I remarked earlier, this may present an “insuperable” difficulty for some scientists of materialists bent, but the fact remains, and is demonstrated by research, that non-material mind acts on material brain.” Eccles

    “Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder.”
    Heinrich Heine – in the year 1834

    A Reply to Shermer Medical Evidence for NDEs (Near Death Experiences) – Pim van Lommel
    Excerpt: For decades, extensive research has been done to localize memories (information) inside the brain, so far without success.,,,,Nobel prize winner W. Penfield could sometimes induce flashes of recollection of the past (never a complete life review), experiences of light, sound or music, and rarely a kind of out-of-body experience. These experiences did not produce any transformation. After many years of research he finally reached the conclusion that it is not possible to localize memories (information) inside the brain.,, In trying to understand this concept of mutual interaction between the “invisible and not measurable” consciousness, with its enormous amount of information, and our visible, material body it seems wise to compare it with modern worldwide communication,,,

  98. 98
    paulmc says:

    In your three flood-posts you have failed to address the three points I actually made:

    1) The lack of consensus within Christianity on abortion, both currently and throughout history.
    2) The lack of cross-cultural standards of morality that have remained unchanged over human history. This contradicts Craig’s explicit statement that morals are absolute and independent of a belief in god.
    3) That morality has the strong appearance of being socially derived rather than absolute, and that our status as social animals is precisely what gives the foundation for a material view of morality.

  99. 99
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, I show you that, according to the best scientific evidence we have, materialism itself is false and theism is true, and you want to play games because moral standards have varied??? This is ludicrous paulmc, since materialism is shown to be false you have no basis in reality in which to appeal for a precept to argue to and from!!! That is exactly why I ‘flooded’ you with the scientific proof against materialism, for it undercuts any legitimate foundation you may have thought/imagined you had in the first place! With no materialistic foundation You simply have no basis in reality!!!

  100. 100
    bornagain77 says:

    Now paulmc, if you refute the scientific proof I mustered, and can further muster, against the materialistic framework, or if you want to argue from different form of Theism than Christianity so that you may have a foundation to argue from in the first place, then you may legitimately continue to debate the peculiars that arise within the Theistic framework. But as I see it, and whether you admit it or not, you no longer have a leg to stand on in which to make your ‘materialistic case’!

  101. 101
    paulmc says:

    I do not want to play games, I would like you to address the actual points I have made.

    For all of your repetition of Aspect’s work on quantum entanglement, it has been known for a long time that his work is not conclusive. Regardless of this, his work does not justify a leap to a theistic worldview. You’ve never defined what you think materialism is, such that it has been refuted, or really how theism is supposed to resolve this problem in a coherent fashion. Are you sure you’re being consistent with a modern perspective on materialism (e.g. someone like Philip Stahl)?

  102. 102
    bornagain77 says:

    As far as morality, I maintain that Jesus is the highest moral authority on Earth since He was God incarnate! Who do you say He was/is if you even admit that He existed at all? Was He just a good man? Who exactly do you say that He was?

    As far as the falsification of materialism;

    Do you presuppose atoms and molecules to be the ultimate basis of reality, as is required by the Darwinian framework? i.e. reductive materialism?

    falsification of reductive materialism;

    The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    The falsification for local realism (reductive materialism) was recently greatly strengthened:

    Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism – November 2010
    Excerpt: The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....alism.html

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142824.htm

    Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups
    Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original (that was destroyed),,,
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistrywo.....ammeup.asp

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....1769/posts

    Double-slit experiment
    Excerpt: In 1999 objects large enough to see under a microscope, buckyball (interlocking carbon atom) molecules (diameter about 0.7 nm, nearly half a million times that of a proton), were found to exhibit wave-like interference.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....experiment

    falsification of non-reductive materialism;

    Gödel’s Incompleteness: The #1 Mathematical Breakthrough of the 20th Century
    Excerpt: Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem says:
    “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle – something you have to assume to be true but cannot prove “mathematically” to be true.”
    http://www.cosmicfingerprints......pleteness/

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.faqs.org/periodical.....27241.html

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Proof That God Exists – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    Nuclear Strength Apologetics – Presuppositional Apologetics – video
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....pologetics

    Dr. Bruce Gordon – The Absurdity Of The Multiverse & Materialism in General – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5318486/

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world. Neither is it the case that “nothing” is unstable, as Mr. Hawking and others maintain. Absolute nothing cannot have mathematical relationships predicated on it, not even quantum gravitational ones. Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.,,, the evidence for string theory and its extension, M-theory, is nonexistent; and the idea that conjoining them demonstrates that we live in a multiverse of bubble universes with different laws and constants is a mathematical fantasy. What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale.
    For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    etc.. etc.. etc..

    So paulmc who do you say Jesus was, and which form a materialism do you care to defend? Or will you play the ‘you just understand what I’m talking about because I’m smarter than you’ card?

  103. 103
    bornagain77 says:

    As far as morality, I maintain that Jesus is the highest moral authority on Earth since He was God incarnate! Who do you say He was/is if you even admit that He existed at all? Was He just a good man? Who exactly do you say that He was?

    As far as the falsification of materialism;

    Do you presuppose atoms and molecules to be the ultimate basis of reality, as is required by the Darwinian framework? i.e. reductive materialism?

    falsification of reductive materialism;

    The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    The falsification for local realism (reductive materialism) was recently greatly strengthened:

    Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism – November 2010
    Excerpt: The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview.

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.

    Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups
    Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original (that was destroyed),,,

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.

    Double-slit experiment
    Excerpt: In 1999 objects large enough to see under a microscope, buckyball (interlocking carbon atom) molecules (diameter about 0.7 nm, nearly half a million times that of a proton), were found to exhibit wave-like interference.

    falsification of non-reductive materialism;

    Gödel’s Incompleteness: The #1 Mathematical Breakthrough of the 20th Century
    Excerpt: Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem says:
    “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle – something you have to assume to be true but cannot prove “mathematically” to be true.”

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Proof That God Exists – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    Dr. Bruce Gordon – The Absurdity Of The Multiverse & Materialism in General – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5318486/

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world. Neither is it the case that “nothing” is unstable, as Mr. Hawking and others maintain. Absolute nothing cannot have mathematical relationships predicated on it, not even quantum gravitational ones. Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.,,, the evidence for string theory and its extension, M-theory, is nonexistent; and the idea that conjoining them demonstrates that we live in a multiverse of bubble universes with different laws and constants is a mathematical fantasy. What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale.
    For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.

    etc.. etc.. etc..

    So paulmc who do you say Jesus was, and which form a materialism do you care to defend? Or will you play the ‘you just understand what I’m talking about because I’m smarter than you’ card?

  104. 104
    paulmc says:

    Do you presuppose atoms and molecules to be the ultimate basis of reality, as is required by the Darwinian framework? i.e. reductive materialism?

    We appear to be getting somewhere. No, I do not accept that “atoms and molecules” are the ultimate basis of reality. That is not a modern view of materialism. The quantum world is a part of modern materialism. That it has laws unique to that level of organisation is not evidence against materialism – all levels of organisation have this property.
    Please consider reading some recent work on the topic by someone sympathetic to a materialist understanding of the world, I’ve already suggested an author above.

    IOW what you claim is required by the “Darwinian” framework is not required at all.

  105. 105
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, I think this video is very pertinent:

    Richard Dawkins Lies About William Lane Craig AND Logic! – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1cfqV2tuOI

    Notice that this is from the Debate: Does the Universe have a purpose?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6tIee8FwX8

    Arguments that Dawkins refused to address or even offer counter-argument to;

    1. Argument From Contingency – God is the best explanation for why anything exists rather than nothing.

    2. Kalam Cosmological Argument – God is the best explanation for the beginning of the universe.

    3. Teleological Argument – God is the best explanation for the fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe for intelligent life.

    4. Moral Argument – God is the best explanation for the existence of objective moral values and duties in the world,,, even for the existence of evil which is a departure from the way things ‘ought’ to be.

    5. Ontological Argument – modal – The very possibility of God’s existence entails that God exists.

    6, Comprehensibility Argument – God is the best explanation for why the universe can be grasped and understood by the mind of man in the first place.

    7. Law Like Structure Argument – God is the best explanation for why the universe obeys a set of invariant transcendent laws.

    God Is Not Dead Yet – William Lane Craig – article discussing each argument
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ml?start=1

    Reasonable Faith – Dr. William Lane Craig’s official website:
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer

  106. 106
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, you claim,

    IOW what you claim is required by the “Darwinian” framework is not required at all.

    EXCUSE ME? neo-Darwinism is not based on the random variations of material particles??? Why paulmc you have just overturned 150 years of Darwinian thinking!!!

    It is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology, for how can quantum entanglement, in molecular biology, possibly be explained by the materialistic framework of neo-Darwinism, a framework which is predicated on the presupposition of being constrained by time and space, when Alain Aspect and company falsified the validity of local realism (reductive materialism) in the first place with quantum entanglement? It is simply ludicrous to appeal to the materialistic framework, which undergirds the entire neo-Darwinian framework, that has been falsified by the very same quantum entanglement effect that one is seeking an explanation to! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space! i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Probability arguments, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply!

  107. 107
    bornagain77 says:

    paulmc, it is clear that you have no interest in the truth, for you merely don’t care about believing in God for whatever personal reason, and will put up any convoluted excuse, no matter how transparent, just so you can deceive yourself into believing God does not exist. Thus I will give you the last shot, but I will not respond anymore for it is futile and I have better things to do than waste hours with you.

  108. 108
    paulmc says:

    EXCUSE ME? neo-Darwinism is not based on the random variations of material particles??? Why paulmc you have just overturned 150 years of Darwinian thinking!!!

    You miss my point, BA77. Of course it is, but that view does not require that atoms are the fundamental level of existence. Something more fundamental could easily exist (and does). There could be levels of organisation more fundamental than the quantum world too. Who would know?
    NeoDarwinism is not falsified by quantum phenomena in the same way that biology is not falsified by the existence of chemistry (even though at one time, we understood the what we did of the world of biology without any real knowledge of chemistry).
    Perhaps with greater understanding, the quantum world will lead to changes in how we view emergent phenomena like evolution. At the moment we are not there, but the prospect sounds exciting to me.

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