Evolution Intelligent Design News

When a post goes viral, you learn who lives where …

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Intellectually speaking.

Recently, one of Vince Torley’s posts here attracted a lot of attention: A world-famous chemist tells the truth: there’s no scientist alive today who understands macroevolution:

Professor James M. Tour is one of the ten most cited chemists in the world. He is famous for his work on nanocars … , nanoelectronics, graphene nanostructures, carbon nanovectors in medicine, and green carbon research for enhanced oil recovery and environmentally friendly oil and gas extraction. He is currently a Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Computer Science, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Rice University. He has authored or co-authored 489 scientific publications and his name is on 36 patents. Although he does not regard himself as an Intelligent Design theorist, Professor Tour, along with over 700 other scientists, took the courageous step back in 2001 of signing the Discovery Institute’s “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism”, which read: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

On Professor Tour’s Website, there’s a very revealing article on evolution and creation, in which Tour bluntly states that he does not understand how macroevolution could have happened, from a chemical standpoint … More.

So where did all those people come from? One source seems to be a page at Reddit (subreddit?), which offered the following gems from various contributors, starting with Beelzebuddy:

there’s no scientist alive today who understands macroevolution

That’s because there’s no such thing. It’s a Creationist red herring. There is no microevolution, and there is no macroevolution.

There is only evolution.

Along comes GreenGemsOmally

I’m not sure if you know what you are talking about: From John S. Wilkins Historian and Philosopher of Science from the Talk Origins website:

What is macroevolution?

First, we have to get the definitions right. The following terms are defined: macroevolution, microevolution, …

I know you are trying to help but giving people inaccurate information could make them look bad when debating a savy creationist.

Beelzebuddy responds,

Who cares? Creationists redefine and misuse words and expressions until they speak a completely different language. Debating Creationists is like playing chess with pigeons.

And so it goes.

Beelzebuddy is in good company, actually. Well known science writer John Horgan has said it is okay to lie to defend global warming. For other instances, go here.

The same people who say it is okay to lie, of course pretend outrage that people don’t believe their claims. Or—a chilling thought but worth considering—they are indeed outraged, that we are not so stupid.

It looks increasingly as though they will have to fire their audience and hire another.

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4 Replies to “When a post goes viral, you learn who lives where …

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    News, after the thread hits 100,000 . . . likely later this evening . . . we can look at how people have been reacting to it and dissect to our heart’s content. Right now the issue is to watch what is happening despite the belittling and smearing. KF

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: The notion that “creationists” are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked reflects arrogant prejudice and want of common decency, not the reality. I’ll bet none of these hecklers can come near matching Dr Tour, or probably even just Dr Torley. KF

  3. 3
    Chalciss says:

    KF- UD has excellent posts on these topics. Please keep them coming.

    And to that we say– Amen! alright alright alright! 🙂

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: wiki struggles mightily to paper over the problems.

    Article, microevolution:

    Microevolution is the changes in allele frequencies that occur over time within a population.[1] This change is due to four different processes: mutation, selection (natural and artificial), gene flow, and genetic drift.

    Population genetics is the branch of biology that provides the mathematical structure for the study of the process of microevolution. Ecological genetics concerns itself with observing microevolution in the wild. Typically, observable instances of evolution are examples of microevolution; for example, bacterial strains that have antibiotic resistance.

    Microevolution over time may lead to speciation or the appearance of novel structure, sometimes classified as macroevolution.[2] Contrary to claims by creationists however, macro and microevolution describe fundamentally identical processes on different time scales.[2][3] . . . .

    Microevolution can be contrasted with macroevolution, which is the occurrence of large-scale changes in gene frequencies in a population over a geological time period (i.e. consisting of extended microevolution). The difference is largely one of approach. Microevolution is reductionist, but macroevolution is holistic. Each approach offers different insights into the evolution process. Macroevolution can be seen as the sum of long periods of microevolution, and thus the two are qualitatively identical while being quantitatively different.

    Let’s draw out a few observations, in steps:

    1 –> Wiki is forced to acknowledge the existence and use of the terms as legitimate terms. So much for the, it’s only those dumb or dishonest Creationists . . .

    2 –> It identifies that micro evo describes pop changes regarding allelle frequencies, where allele means: “one of a number of alternative forms of the same gene or same genetic locus.[1][2] It is the alternative form of a gene for a character producing different effects. Sometimes, different alleles can result in different observable phenotypic traits, such as different pigmentation. However, many genetic variations result in little or no observable variation.”

    3 –> So, if in a pop of moths, we move from mostly mottled white to mostly mottled black, that is “evolution.” (Never mind the varieties were there all along and never mind later reversion to the original dominance once cleanup happened.)

    4 –> The observed cases of “evolution” are overwhelmingly micro. (That is already a significant point, macro is inferred or assumed as cumulation of micro, not generally directly observed.)

    5 –> Cases of micro seem to take up the usual trumpeted cases of observation, so it is in the interests of adherents to extrapolate.

    6 –> Has anyone actually seen the most relevant form of macro, formation of body plans? Nope.

    7 –> So, then, how do we know macro is simply mostly linear accumulation across the tree of life? We don’t, it is a built in assumption.

    8 –> Also, is it generally so that one can modify a complex functional object incrementally into something quite disparate, preserving advantageous function every step of the way . . . no long range foresight allowed? Not generally, this is an extremely constraining assumption.

    9 –> So the extrapolation thesis, once we move beyond the often debatable species etc level . . . think Red Deer and American Elk turning out to be interfertile in New Zealand, or the interfertility discovered across Galapagos species in the ’80s, etc . . . to creating major novel body plan features such as flight with wings [Wallace, co-founder of Evolutionary theory cited this case in his book arguing intelligent evolution], muscles, feathers and control systems, or vision, or the like.including the human verbal language and reasoning capacity.

    10 –> We are back to the challenge to actually empirically ground the tree of life icon.

    11 –> And we have only touched on how even macro evo is compatible with a design view, and how the challenge to empirically show blind watchmaker macro evo at body plan level is unmet.

    KF

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