Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

Have Darwinists “Jumped the Shark”?

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From an ID supporter (let’s hope he is right):

It seems that by persecuting Richard Sternberg and Guillermo Gonzalez the Darwinists have jumped the shark.

From Wikipedia: The phrase [“jumping the shark”] refers to a scene in a three-part episode of the American television series “Happy Days” first broadcast on September 20, 1977. In the “Hollywood” episode, Fonzie — wearing swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket — jumps over a tank containing a shark while on water skis. Many have noted the shark episode as the moment when they realized the show was no longer worth watching, when it became impossible to maintain a certain suspension of disbelief. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

After Fonzie jumped the shark, “Happy Days” lost its viewers and sank into oblivion. This now appears to be happening to Darwinism. From now on dogmatic Darwinists will increasingly be unable to do anything to reverse their inexorable cultural demise. The only thing that could help them would be if ID proponents start making stupid mistakes themselves.

19 Replies to “Have Darwinists “Jumped the Shark”?

  1. 1
    sartre says:

    Who made this comment?

  2. 2
    DaveScot says:

    Who made the comment?

    Rumor has it the dude’s name is YHWH. I don’t have a clue how that’s pronounced so don’t ask. Something else that’s weird. I did a DMV search for a driver’s license issued to YHWH and in the date-of-birth it said NA.

  3. 3
    JohnLiljegren says:

    I think the ID supporter is right that “From now on dogmatic Darwinists will increasingly be unable to do anything to reverse their inexorable cultural demise.”

    I’m sure he’s also right that the dogmatic Darwinists would be helped “if ID proponents start making stupid mistakes themselves.” But I don’t think such mistakes and various distortions by the mainstream media can prevent the DDD [dogmatic Darwinists demise].

    There are too many of us out here who have been lifelong believers in evolution, based on ignorance, trust and assumptions, but who have recently come to see the emptiness of the macro evolutionary claims and feel lied to and deceived. Some of us don’t intend to be nearly as nice as Johnson, Dembski, Behe and others in the war for truth.

    Over time, another slice of the general population, and then another and another, will get ‘converted’ the same way.

    Also, over time more and more effective ways of explaining the problems with the macro evolutionary claims. Different people will respond to different facts, questions, and analogies. As Dembski and others see what works best with different listeners and readers, they will become more and more effective, and the army of supporters will grow.

    As this happens, the Darwinists with a totalitarian bent will get more and more shrill—focusing on personal attacks even more than is already the case. That will speed their defeat. But since they don’t have any of that old fashioned stuff called evidence—something we can actually see [that quaint scientific notion of “observation”], not just “maybe it happened like this” fantasies—they really don’t have any choice but to engage in personal attacks. That will backfire.

    Of course, I’m a lifelong Cubs fan—hope springs eternal. So maybe what I am saying is based more on hope than reality.

  4. 4
    sartre says:

    I think my biggest problem is that it seems to me (correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t see evidence of it) that ID proponents only see two alternatives, Darwinism or ID. Physicists focus on thermodynmaics to explain evolution (and many biologists are jumping on board), but I do not see ID proponents critiquing these ideas. In fact, they do not even focus enough attention on emergence, self-organization chaos theory, etc., which is one of the central tenets in modern physics.

    As for Darwin in demise, it just seems like another ID propoganda. If you go to the labs and talk to MOST biologists, they are not concerned with this battle. They are too busy doing the real work. Eugenie Scott, Richard Dawkins, etc. are concerned with educational problems. Other biologists are more concerned with letting the evidence speak for itself. It is time for ID proponents to get into the labs and work on developing a scientific theory through experimentation. There is too much time being wasted on these political debates that most biologists, where the data is published, do not even care about. Those are the ones you have to convince.

  5. 5

    It does seem that the dogmatic Darwinist responses to ID are becoming more nonsensical, shrill, and desperate.
    Anymore, I expect to see this type of intellectual transaction happening instead of thoughtful debate:
    ID proponent: Does Darwinian evolution have an answer for Irreducible Complexity?

    ID opponent: Piss off, you God loving fascist. Keep your hate out of my schools. F*ck You!

    ID proponent: I think you’re missing the point. See, can evolution as we know it today explain how an organism can function with no singular part…”

    ID opponent: Shut up or I’ll shut you up. Why don’t we all worship noodles – we could be Pastafarians? Ha ha – ignorant creationist…

    ID proponent: Who said anything about God?

    ID opponent: You did, you Jesus Freak.
    I think they have to do better than this to refute ID. They’re not, though, which gives credence to “jumping the shark” theory for sure. I’m sure Happy Days had its delusional hold-outs into the 1978 season too.

  6. 6
    sartre says:

    That is a gross misrepresentation of the debate. It is widely known of the dirty tricks what ID proponents do in their writings. They grossly misrepresent what actual scientists write. They only use ad hominem attacks about the person’s credentials. They say that their critics comments are a waste of their time so they do not have to address them.

    I am sure that some Darwinists are put off by the non-science of ID (such as IC, which has been shown not to be a problem in the areas of self-organization, so quit harping about that). However, to group them all in one category is just another instance of ID misrepresentation.

  7. 7
    Srdjan says:

    Sartre #4
    I agree in principle with your post and think it is correct notion. However regarding self-organization chaos theory, this has been addressed by ID proponents (at least Kauffman’s version of it) but, yes we can argue if it was given enough attention.

    Sartre #6
    This post shows that you are blinded by your prejudice and that you have no idea of the content of the debate.

  8. 8
    johnnyb says:

    “Physicists focus on thermodynmaics to explain evolution (and many biologists are jumping on board)”

    “In fact, they do not even focus enough attention on emergence, self-organization chaos theory, etc., which is one of the central tenets in modern physics.”

    Can you provide a good book to read on either of these two subjects?

  9. 9
    MGD says:

    Sartre, Eugenie Scott and Richard Dawkins are nothing but athiest propagandists motivated by nothing but protecting their fragile egos from attacks on their creation myth and trying to force their world veiw on others. I wonder how many of the most loud mouthed supporters of darwinism are such neurotic athiests. Perhaps we should identify them all and use their religious motivations to discredit them, since religion has no place in science.
    ” (such as IC, which has been shown not to be a problem in the areas of self-organization, so quit harping about that)”
    I have read what you have to say on this in some other posts. You clearly dont understand what is meant IC or CSI. Try reading this it might help. In your case I doubt it.


    I also know that Thaxton and Bradley have tackled this subject in “The Mystery of Lifes Origin”. That was about 20 years ago.

    “They only use ad hominem attacks about the person’s credentials”

    Yes, Sartre, that does seem to be the only line of attack that materialists have today. Hypocrite.

  10. 10
    MGD says:

    ” They say that their critics comments are a waste of their time so they do not have to address them.”

    Sartre, you are a liar without shame! Go to the Discovery Institute’s website for example. There is an entire section of articles answering critics. You obviously dont have a clue. Since you have chosen the name of a dead french athiest marxist novelist (he doesn’t deserve to be called a philosopher) as a login, perhaps you are one of those neurotic athiests I reffered to above (or maybe your name is Sartre).
    If so, could your athiest religion possibly be influencing your opinions? Do some “soul searching”, know thyself as the Philosopher says, and get back to us. Maybe you’re not as smart as you think you are.

  11. 11
    sartre says:


    I do not think that ID proponents have give hardly any attention to self-organization. When they do consider it, it is based on misunderstanding it. Consider Dembski’s comment on the Benard cell experiment where he claims that heat is causal specific. However, this is not how physicists regard causality. Heat did not magically create the cells to order. Heat was a new condition where the cells, through thermodynamic laws, extracted the field potentials. In this occurrence, the potentials in the environment were minimized and the entropy was increased. This is true for all non-linear systems far from equilibrium. This is how physicists describe the phenomena and biologists are moving in this direction.

    Dembski, in NFL, only states self-organization on five pages. On these pages, he only mentions the idea in a few sentences. However, emergence was also noted five times. But the thing is he creates a strawman. In none of the literature do self-organization/emergent theorists claim that an emergent property can be reduced to one causal agent. In fact, they say the OPPOSITE.

    So, to say that I am blind to my prejudice goes against the facts. Dembski mischaraterizes what these terms are. I know most of the people on here (not all, since I have talked to some level-headed people on here) will be against me. However, they usually do not provide any back-up for what they say.

  12. 12
    sartre says:

    So, I challenge all of you this. Show me where any non-ID proponent defines self-organization and emergence as Dembski does. Don’t say that I am prejudice where you have no evidence to support yourself.


    A good place to start is to look at Prigogine’s work. Also, Kauffman has writted much on the literature.

  13. 13
    MGD says:

    I found three chapters from “The Mystery of Life’s Origin” online




    see esp. chapter 9.

  14. 14
    sartre says:


    First, it is widely known that Dembski does not look at critics if he does not think their credentials are good enough.

    [Sartre: On my designinference.com website I’ve responded to grad students. I’ve responded to Nick Matzke, who holds only a masters in geology. I’ve responded to Richard Wein at length, and he only has a B.A. in statistics. Moreover, I have responded to Shallit and Perakh, but not by name and on the terms that they would prefer. This is your last post on this blog. –WmAD]

    Case in point, Dembski states, “I’m happy to acknowledge my critics where I think they are being insightful. There tends to be a disconnect, however, between the criticisms I regard as insightful and those that my critics regard as insightful. I’m afraid that Wesley Elsberry and Mark Perakh do not rank high among those I regard as insightful critics. Since I’m quite busy and have plenty of critics, they tend to fall low in the queue. Consider, for instance, that Tom English on this board at least engaged the mathematics in my article. I’ve seen no indication that Elsberry or Perakh could even state the gist of it in plain English.”

    No reputable scientist, mathematician, etc. would say such a thing. In published works, if someone criticizes another, the latter ought to defend his position. Ignoring the problem because HE thinks it will be unbeneficial is absurd. It is like he is saying that he is the authority and who he says is credible will only deserve his attention. Outrageous.

    Here is a post that shows one of Dembski’s mischaracterizations: http://evolutionblog.blogspot......icity.html .

    Also, I have found that some ID websites have mischaracterized Prigogine’s idea of spontaneous ordering (interestingly enough, creationists also borrowed the quote and mischaracterized it as well): http://search.yahoo.com/search.....#038;x=wrt .

    There is a pattern here. ID proponents take a quote where the author is setting up an argument, and then later on amend the earlier comment. Why do ID proponents refuse to read the entire argument?

    Here is another tidbit of unethical behavior: http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/000047.html

  15. 15
    sartre says:


    While writing the last post, I have decided that your posts are not worth discussing. I have provided my case that IDists do not provide an adequate survey of self-organization and emergence. And, in the discussion that they do have, they misinterpret the phenomena. As Weber wrote in “Irreducible Complexity and The Problem of Biochemical Emergence” published in “Biology and Philosophy” (14), “Behe provides an extraordinary brief and incomplete summary of Kauffman’s program [in “Origins of Order”]. He argues that Kauffman only can get self-organization to occurr in his computer simulations under specific initial and boundary conditions and that only certain types of interactions amond the components of his lead to organized behavior. Since self-organization does not arise by totally random chance events, but requires certain “propensities” of interaction and further some type of selection, Behe concludes that Kauffman’s approach can be safely dismissed as irrelevant to the problem of emergence of living systems” (598). Weber goes on to say that, “The propensities exist in nature; to model their existence the [computer] programmer must introduce some sort of similar constraint. To demand that self-organization emerge from a totally ergodic system is deny that there are no proponseties, intial and boundary conditions in the real world” (598-99).

    Furthermore, NOBODY says that totally random chance events must be the ONLY mechanism. Kauffman did not think that the entire system had to be random. There are also thermodynamical laws that push forward the system. Also, selection was a main contributor since competing autocatakinetic sets in their weaker states were competing for molecules.

    Behe’s characterization that randomness and chance is the sole contributor is just like the mischaracterization of Prigigoine’s idea that there is no way that life could occur by accident. No kidding. Prigogine and Kauffman didn’t think that it did. There were physical laws that led to the origin of life.

    But, since you slandered me while not having any substance in your comments (you overlooked words to fit your hate agenda and you misinterpreted what I said as well). But the fact is, your slanderous remarks show what kind of character you really have. The funny thing is you say how hateful atheists are, but you can’t see it in your own actions. Maybe you should take your own advice and look at yourself.

    I will not respond to you any further due to your lack of respect and your weak-winded responses that carry no substance. I really hope that you can become civilized in some manner. Time will only tell.

    Also, I will respond to this in advance in case it comes up. I responded to DaveScot in a hateful manner, but that was due to his consistent mischaracterizations, ad hominems, substanceless remarks (just like yours), and his touting that he is brilliant and a millionaire (which nobody cares about and I am willing to be skeptic about). My remarks were in response to what he was saying, not personal attacks like yours were.

    The end.

  16. 16
    johnnyb says:

    “Behe’s characterization that randomness and chance is the sole contributor is just like the mischaracterization of Prigigoine’s idea that there is no way that life could occur by accident. No kidding. Prigogine and Kauffman didn’t think that it did. There were physical laws that led to the origin of life.”

    So they believe in theistic evolution? That’s essentially what you are describing. If you have a set of laws that must lead to life, then you have the essentials of theistic evolution.

    Also, I think you are mischaracterizing the way Behe and others use “chance” and “accident”. It does not always mean “randomness”. I think a better term would be “happenstance”. If the initial conditions and laws were set of to gear towards life, that certainly would be an unlikely happenstance occurrence, and thus would be a good argument for theistic evolution.

    I blogged about genetic algorithms along the same lines — you might be interested:


    Anyway, I’ll check out those authors. However, do you have a specific book which would be the best to get started with? I have a long reading list as it is, and it would be nice to go straight to the best.

  17. 17
    MGD says:

    Yes, Sartre my remarks were full of hate, hate you have earned. I figured you were thin skinned. You are an arrogant little kid who needs the chip knocked off his shoulder. Just because someone says they were misunderstood doesn’t mean it is so. Prove that Behe’s acount is incorrect, with facts, you know the ones that speak for themselves. What about Thaxton and Bradley? I am a biologist, and this has been my hobby since you were in diapers. Your bluster will not convince me of what I have already known to be false. The real problem is that I hit too close to the mark with you didn’t I? Did I say anything about you that wasn’t true? You are either a liar or willfully ignorant as to your remark about ID proponents answering critics. Dembski answers critic here:


    shurely you have been there. Once again, just because a critic doesnt like or agree with a response doesn’t mean the response hasn’t been made. But you say I’m uncivilized, thanks for the compliment. And yet, you constantly malign ID proponents. They use dirty tricks, they dont answer critics, they use politics instead of arguments, on and on and on. But I’m wrong to call you a hypocrite. Ha!

    “There were physical laws that led to the origin of life.”

    PROVE IT! Assertions are not evidence. Appeals to authority are a logical fallacy.

    As to the substance of my remarks, you have not addressed any of the links I posted. Once again, citing other peoples claims is not evidence. Your claims about Behe’s characterization of self organization and chance are not the substance or his critique in the link I provided. Did you even read it?

    I am so glad that you will not respond to me again as your posts are painful to read. In any case I have little more to say to you. I believe that you are just as I characterized you, and if it hurt your feelings: who cares?! My post was not for you anyway but for others. I have made a long strange journey from athiesm, to paganism, to Christ. Perhaps I will be forgiven for keeping one arm unbaptized to deliver death blows. I am finnished with you now, for good.

  18. 18
    taciturnus says:


    I’ve not read Kauffman’s book but am thinking about it based on your posts. Does Kauffman really detail computer models that are able to simulate self-organization on the scale of living organisms? My experience with this sort of computer simulation is that they are like alleged perpetual motion machines: If you look closely at the details, you can always find some small level of cheating that invalidates the experiment. One way or another, the programmer surreptitiously introduces design into the experiment. That’s a big reason that I am skeptical of evolution: Every time it is significantly modelled, it fails, and inadvertently proves intelligent design. But that isn’t to say that someone might some day successfully demonstrate it.

    Is Kauffman, in your view, the one guy who has taken the best shot at demonstrating simulated self-organization? If you say he is, I’ll read his book and get back to you. If he really does it, I will be a convert to Darwinism.

  19. 19
    DaveScot says:

    Computer simulations of reality are not equivalent to reality. Just ask any weather forecaster.

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