Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Do dead dogs stay dead dogs? TSZ’s Seversky says “no”, Neil not far behind


Comments by Skeptical Zone evolutionists are a never ending source of entertainment. I made what I thought was a simple, indisputable statement:

I don’t see dead cells evolving into living ones. A dead dog stays a dead dog. Law of biogenesis, etc.

But far be it for an evolutionist to ever be seen agreeing with a creationist on the most basic truths. In response to my claim, “A dead dog stays a dead dog,” Severky says,

No, it doesn’t.


Serversky justifies his claim by saying how a dead dog doesn’t stay a dead dog if its dead body parts get digested by another living organism. What about the dog’s memories and experiences, everything that defines the dog. Where did that go when it got turned to dog meat and became Obama’s happy meal?

Could Serversky then claim, “if dead dogs don’t stay dead dogs, neither do cannibalized humans stay dead humans”. If that were the case, then the cannibal Jeffery Dahmer wasn’t a murderer! Extrapolatiing Serverky’s perversky worldview, Dahmer’s victims didn’t remain dead, they lived on in Jeffrey Dahmer.

How about the Neil Rickert solution to abiogenesis and evolution:

stcordova: I don’t see dead cells evolving into living ones.


I am eating some bread (dead wheat). And, that will make the dead wheat into part of living human cells.

Neil Rickert on Creationist Isaac Newton

So in Neal Rickert’s view, digestion counts as an example of dead cells evolving into living ones. Consumption as a mechanism of evolution? A cow turns into hamburgers turns into Paris Hilton — a new form of abiogenesis and macro evolution!

cow hamburger

paris hilton business insider

Evolution is about the evolution of the structure of matter, not the transfer of matter from one structure to another. Usually evolution means a parent has offspring and the descendant is modified. In the case of mindless OOL, chemical evolution is lifeless chemicals self-assembling into a living organism without aid of pre-existing life or intelligence.

Neil has totally redefined these notions of evolution and OOL to include digestion as mechanism. He equivocated a plain sense reading of what I meant into some strange notion of what it means for life to evolve from non-life. I was talking about OOL after all, not digestion. 🙄 I was talking about the inability of an isolated dead cell to reassemble itself (Jonathan Wells’ Humpty Dumpty scenario).

They could have said, “The OOL problem is serious for the reasons you illustrated, but it doesn’t mean ID is true.” But nooo, Sal is a creationist and they can’t concede one micron of ground. If Sal says, “a dead dog stays a dead dog”, they’ll have to find a way to disagree on something so simple even if it makes them look a little kooky.

Does a dead dog stay a dead dog? According to Seversky:

No, it doesn’t.

And Neil isn’t far behind. And did anyone over yonder at TSZ bother challenging Serverky’s claims?


1. I thought we’d seen it all in terms of outrageous claims: Law of Large Numbers vs. Keiths and Jerad and Neil Riekert Double Down and A Statistics Question for Nick Matzke. Serversky’s is now the top of the list.

2. I mentioned Paris Hilton because she got arrested while driving to buy a burger. The arrest had some connection to a DUI charge. So I presume she’s eaten the product of dead cows before, plus in the glory days of UD, Bill Dembski had a post in 2006 that showed a parody of Paris Hilton’s burger commercials: Darwinists need to recruit Paris Hilton (the links in Bill’s post have died, here is the accolo recruiting video Bill was showing to highlight the point that at the time Darwinists were behaving in very unattractive ways to garner public favor: parody of Paris Hilton’s burger commercial. So that’s partly why I seem to recall the Burger/Paris Hilton connection from Bill’s earlier post.

3. Photo credits: Ssarts.com, Business Insider.

4. Jonathan Wells’ Humpty Dumpty scenario:

If we place a small amount of sterile salt solution in a test tube at just the right temperature and acidity, add a living cell, and then poke a hole in that cell with a sterile needle, the contents will leak out. We will have in our test tube all of the molecules needed for life, in just the right proportions (relative to each other) and already assembled into complex specified DNAs, RNAs, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. But we will not be able to make a living cell out of them. We cannot put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

jw777, nicely put CentralScrutinizer
The fact that this even warrants discussion is outlining how much closer we are getting to uncovering the fundamental impasse: if you begin with the presumption that mindless matter is all that is, it is entirely internally consistent to conclude that "life" is not Really anything different than "non-life." Notice I said internally consistent. The moment you consider even the possibility (not the plausibility or assumption) of mind or purpose, of course, things break down. That's the rub. This is why naturalistic materialism, though helpful in subjective snapshots, is anti-science as an absolute. As an absolute, every single one of the arguments for naturalistic materialism can be fairly and accurately distilled down to this: if I include the conclusions in my premises, you cannot come up with a different conclusion than this one that I came up with. Hence, arguing that a dead dog isn't dead "makes sense." Wow. Talk about an inquiry stopper. I really do want to be moved by a compelling argument; but that doesn't even qualify as an argument, let alone a compelling one. As such, you have Michael Shermer writing a whole book about how our flawed minds are looking for and finding patterns which aren't actually there, which is, of course, a conclusion from assessing patterns which he just argued don't actually exist with something he just argued isn't actually there. And, on the same side of the coin, you have people making truth statements about dead dogs not actually being dead, and then retreating from their own conclusions "whimsically" when confronted by their fallacious tact. Who ya gonna believe: me or your lyin eyes? This once was cute; but in the modern arena it is just alchemistic garbage. The fact that it has been incorporated into atheistic apologetics is ironic. I thought the compelling argument against God was that I can't see Him. Now the argument is that I can't trust my eyes that see his handiwork, my mind that deduces our universe's existence must owe its start to a free will agent, or the inference that life really is somehow special. Epicycles anyone? jw777
I realize that the Internet is a wonderful source of knowledge and learning. But the response ("no, it doesn't") to a simple factual claim is quite possibly the dumbest thing I've ever read on the Internet. Barb
supplemental notes: Quantum Entanglement and Information Quantum entanglement is a physical resource, like energy, associated with the peculiar nonclassical correlations that are possible between separated quantum systems. Entanglement can be measured, transformed, and purified. A pair of quantum systems in an entangled state can be used as a quantum information channel to perform computational and cryptographic tasks that are impossible for classical systems. The general study of the information-processing capabilities of quantum systems is the subject of quantum information theory. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/ and matter and energy reduce to 'non-local' quantum information. Quantum information does not reduce to matter and energy as Materialists presuppose: Quantum Teleportation of a Human? - video https://vimeo.com/75163272 bornagain77
this definition of life:
'a dead dog doesn’t stay a dead dog if its dead body parts get digested by another living organism'
as weird as it seems, actually makes sense in the grand atheistic/materialistic scheme of things. For, as far as I can tell, the most basic definition of life for an atheist/materialist is defined as the capacity of a set of molecules to self replicate and undergo Natural Selection:
WHAT DID FIRST LIFE LOOK LIKE? “I really think that the crucial step, where I would say that these molecules became lifelike, is when two types of polymers cooperated with each other.” —Nicolas Hud, Georgia Tech “I think you don’t really have life until you’ve got natural selection operating, and I don’t see it as operating on anything less than something like RNA.” —Nick Lane, University College London “A self-sustaining chemical system capable of evolution. If I’m in a dark alley with a gun to my head, that’s the definition I’m going to give.” —Niles Lehman, Portland State University “It’s hard to define life, a satisfying definition for life, but basically all of them, I think, would have the word evolution in them. If you don’t have a system that is capable of Darwinian evolution, then it’s hard to make an argument that it’s a living system.” —Michael Robertson, Scripps Research Institute http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/39252/title/RNA-World-2-0/
Thus to the atheist/materialist, if a set a molecules that were once a dog acquires the capacity to self-replicate once again then yes the dog is no longer dead to the atheists but is once again alive. The trouble in using such a low benchmark as the definition of life is that, I guess, even the builders of this following self replicating machine could argue that they are, using the materialist's definition of life, far closer to creating life than Darwinists are:
Self-replicating machine - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX-iJLHZt8M
of related note: Here is a glimpse at the complexity that goes into ‘simple’ self-replication for molecular life (List of requirements is around the 21:00 minute mark):
The Design of the Simplest Self-Replicator (Mignea) - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCqb_hyFHEA
Something has been severely 'lost in translation' with the materialists definition of life.,,, The Bible has a far different, and more clear, definition of what is dead and what is alive:
Biblical Definition of Death as separation Excerpt: 1. Physical Death The separation of the body and soul 2. Spiritual Death The separation of the man from God 3. Hell as the second spiritual separation from God http://www.bible.ca/d-death=separation.htm
But in order for the Theistic claim to be true, that life comes from God, there must be something beyond space in time present within life. Do we evidence of such a beyond space and time entity within life? Yes! The very same thing that Darwinists have consistently failed to explain the origination of:
The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings - Steve Talbott Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary. ,,,Rather than becoming progressively disordered in their mutual relations (as indeed happens after death, when the whole dissolves into separate fragments), the processes hold together in a larger unity. http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-unbearable-wholeness-of-beings
In fact there is evidence of 'non-local', beyond space and time quantum information/entanglement in life on a massive scale:
Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA - Elisabeth Rieper - short video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/
The implications of finding 'non-local' quantum information in molecular biology on a massive scale, indeed finding it to be 'holding life together', are fairly obvious:
Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff - video (notes in description) http://vimeo.com/29895068
Verse, Picture, Quote, and Music
Genesis 2:7 "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Strange! Humans Glow in Visible Light - Charles Q. Choi - July 22, 2009 Schematic illustration of experimental setup that found the human body, especially the face, emits visible light in small quantities that vary during the day. B is one of the test subjects. The other images show the weak emissions of visible light during totally dark conditions. The chart corresponds to the images and shows how the emissions varied during the day. The last image (I) is an infrared image of the subject showing heat emissions. http://i.livescience.com/images/i/000/006/481/original/090722-body-glow-02.jpg?1296086873 'I was in a body and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head. It had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And 'it' was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.' - Vicky Noratuk's Near Death Experience (Blind From Birth) part 1 of 3 youtube ROYAL TAILOR – HOLD ME TOGETHER – music video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbpJ2FeeJgw
Neil, Thank you for your honest response.
Normally, I would agree. In the context of that dreadful quote from Jonathan Wells, I’m not sure what I would say.
Yes, exactly. To say, "a dead dog stays a dead dog" is too much ammunition for the IDists and creationists, so you can't bring yourself to say it. Thank you again for your cordial and direct reply. Sorry we have to be at odds with each other on this issue, I'm sure you and I would otherwise have many good and enjoyable conversations outside the origins discussion. I have high regard for mathematicians, sorry we must disagree. scordova
Dead dogs wag no tails... D'oh Joe
I said “dead dogs stay dead dogs”. What say you?
Normally, I would agree. In the context of that dreadful quote from Jonathan Wells, I'm not sure what I would say. Neil Rickert
Or maybe he things the dog is only "mostly dead" See here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9tAKLTktY0 at the 1:50 mark Barry Arrington
Classic symptoms of DDS (Darwinist Derangement Syndrome -- see here https://uncommondescent.com/glossary/) Barry Arrington
Neil, I said “dead dogs stay dead dogs”. What say you? scordova
Seversky is watching the "Lion King" too many times- "circle of life" an all. Humans who are cremated are taken out of teh circle. Humans in tombs or caskets also get taken out unless mother nature reclaims them somehow. Joe
I took Seversky as also being whimsical. However, I don't read minds, so I could be mistaken about that. Neil Rickert
Neil, Thanks for commenting. Do you agree or disagree with Serversky. I said "dead dogs stay dead dogs". He said "no", what say you? scordova
I'm not sure of your point here. You do seem to have missed my point. The ways of biology are not the same as the ways of mechanical engineering. Your comments at TSZ, to which I was responding, seemed to be based on a mechanical engineering way of thinking about material. My whimsical response was only intended to point out that your language didn't fit well with the ways of biology. You seem to be trying to read far too much into it. Neil Rickert

Leave a Reply