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February 2014: Events that made a difference to ID


Further to January 2014 (and to Barry’s suggestion that readers kindly remember Uncommon Descent in their year end giving, via the Donate button on the main page):

My sense is that we are making some headway against what Leon Wieseltier has referred to as Darwinist dittoheads, and I’d like to point to some more stories, this time from February 2014, that explain why:

1. The origin of life field was going nowhere so fast that just the February news dump shows that it must be gradually dawning on many people (who may not be free to admit it). We can’t talk about life without talking about information theory. We are currently told: Life originated only fifteen million years after the Big Bang? Or at 9.7 billion years ago? Of course, there are various avoid-the-Big-Bang theories like iceball universe, in the same month’s dump. And then again, some claim the early universe warmed up later than needed for Big Bang life. Others that Earth’s crust cooled only 160 million years after the solar system formed. Also, a new No-Bang theory posits an infinite very cold past. (But others say no, impossible. ) OOL researchers sounded glum about progress this year. Can’t think why.

Okay, good news: Origin of life will be understood better when information is accepted as the critical driver of life and information does not just “happen.” Research should be directed at researching information, not lucky accidents. See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (origin of life)

2. Cosmologist Sean Carroll, seeking support for the multiverse, suggested that we all just retire falsifiability as a science idea. So it has come to that, has it? The news has started slowly seeping out: Cosmology has filed for divorce from science. This month, that suggestion led to a rebuke in Nature. Meanwhile, a multiverse advocate defended himself in Scientific American against charges that his claims are “unscientific nonsense”. Columbia mathematician Peter Woit has called the whole business a religious enterprise, which of course it is.

But the squabble provokes a concern: If the multiverse is addressed in the same way Darwinism has been, it can be ruled true from the bench. And if cosmologists must get such a ruling  to entrench their claims, what does that tell us about their claims?  See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (cosmology).

3. Online media started banning discussions and comments on ID-related issues.For example, a moderator for a science mag article on how DNA studies shake the tree of life banned discussion of “whether evolution is true.” Yet at the same time, another journalist wondered why the Creation Museum inspires rage but whole foods scams don’t.  Ah, understand that, and you understand the pop science culture pretty well. The remarkable thing is that anyone asked.

4. A Christian mag went from giving ID a platform years ago to viciously attacking it. Later, the mag attempted to take it back, but unearned contempt is hard to take back, as I said at the time:

The key problem is: How did such a clueless piece as Meredith’s ever get into First Things? Steve Meyer is STILL #2 in paleontology (with many of his “reviewers” now doubtless wishing they had actually read Darwin’s Doubt first).

And First Things – which once argued out serious issues in the history of life – is reduced to printing an emitter of feeble pseudo-Thomist drivel, instead of delving into what an information approach to the history of life even means.

It’s going to take more to resolve this than printing someone who is kind enough to merely correct misrepresentations that should never have aired in FT in the first place.

Yes, my response (O’Leary for News) is less generous than Barry’s in the OP. Indeed, mine is encapsulated in Elizabeth Bennet’s reply to Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Pride and Prejudice: “You can now have nothing further to say. You have insulted me by every possible method and I must beg to return to the house.”

Design in nature is becoming more apparent by the year, as are the evasions of Christian scholars who have sought to make their reputations by helping Christians adjust, without despondency, to the idea that there really is no design in nature (also, God is so great he need not exist, but don’t worry about that; worry is a sin).

Take home point: The ID community is rapidly getting beyond the need to even care what such persons think.

5. Researchers began to acknowledge that epigenetics should lead to revisions in textbooks, and indeed one textbook did increase its coverage. (It turned out there was a shrine to Darwin left vacant… ?) Meanwhile, a microbiologist admitted Darwinism’s shortcomings, but recommended we stick with it for now anyway because … well … That guy actually hung on for some time at BigThink despite a serious assault by Darwin’s followers.

The hairline fractures just keep growing. March is up next

See also: January 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  (My sense is that we are making some headway against what Leon Wieseltier has referred to as Darwinist dittoheads.)

March 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Old, taken-for-granted “truths” are collapsing; an information theory approach may help us forward.

April 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Despite these developments, naturalists would prefer chaos and nonsense to signals that point away from naturalism.

May 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  BUT then things took a really odd turn: It turned out that everyone who doubts Wade’s race theories is a creationist. Hey, is “creationist” the new “think for yourself”?

June 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  In June we began to think seriously about William Dembski’s then upcoming Being as Communion, a more philosophical look at design in nature

July 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Among many other events, a UD Post where a famous chemist says no scientist understands “macroevolution” passed 200,000 views.

August 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Famous Darwin follower, Jerry “Why evolution is true” Coyne, was really mad that information theorist William Dembski is allowed to speak at his fort, Fort Chicago University

September 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  It was becoming obvious that no one who knows the facts need be defensive about doubting the naturalist spin.

October 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Even establishment science media are now moving to recognize the problems with Darwinian evolution theory.

November 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Not only has the kill-ID bomb not exploded, but lots of people besides us are beginning to notice that fact.

December 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Fake Facebook pages started in an attempt to discredit ID theorists. (People fake Rolexes, not Timexes.)

O’Leary for News

So JW, you throw all Christians into the same hate filled boat?
Obiously not.
Funny, Mother Teresa, and numerous other saints, do not fit too well into your stereotype of hatred!
You don't need to be a "saint" to reject the hateful messages. You reject them. I reject them. Most UD visitors reject them. JWTruthInLove
News, Yes, scientific hypotheses (as per Buddy from Dinosaur Train: an idea you can test) would have to be testable as to whether true or false. In that case an experiment is required that will determine one way or another. I'm not into Multiverse models (I favor a Cyclical model of the universe) but from my experience with ID theory the philosophical "falsification" is a whole other realm where theory of operation to explain how a modeled system works is expected to meet bogus requirements that lead to wasting time talking about finding a rabbit fossil in Cambrian period strata and weeks works of other junk. Both science and ID would seriously be better off keeping "falsification" where it belongs, in philosophy, not science classrooms. Science teachers already have enough to teach anyway without having to get lost in the thousands of pages of information on the scientifically controversial practice. Gary S. Gaulin
So JW, you throw all Christians into the same hate filled boat? Funny, Mother Teresa, and numerous other saints, do not fit too well into your stereotype of hatred! bornagain77
@ba77: Merry Christmas to you, too! Music: "Cure for Aids" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTjiMOlSl8c JWTruthInLove
#5 bornagain77 Well said! Thanks.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. [Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)] [Immanuel means God is with us] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. [Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)]
virgin. The Hebrew word occurs seven times in the Old Testament. It means a young woman of marriageable age, normally a virgin (Gen. 24:43). The Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament made about 150 b.c.) translated with a word more specifically meaning “virgin.” The New Testament understands Isaiah to be designating the Virgin Mary (Matt. 1:23). See “The Virgin Birth of Jesus” at Luke 1:27. Immanuel. “God with us.” The name conveys God’s promise to save, bless, and protect His children. The identity of the virgin and the child has been the subject of considerable discussion. Three major views have been proposed. First, some, especially Jews of the second century a.d., understood the prophecy to mean Ahaz’s wife and her child, Hezekiah (2 Kin. 18:2). But as Jerome (c. 400 a.d.) pointed out, Hezekiah was already born. Second, others identify the woman as Isaiah’s wife or a woman betrothed to him (Is. 8:3). The child is then Isaiah’s son, Maher-shalal-hashbaz. This interpretation is questionable. The Hebrew term translated “virgin” would not normally be used for a woman who was already a mother (of Shear-jashub, Is. 7:3). If someone engaged to the prophet is meant, it becomes necessary to assume that his first wife had died. Also, the interpretation requires that the child have contradictory names: “God Is With Us” (Immanuel) and “The Spoil Speeds, the Prey Hastens” (Maher-shalal-hash-baz). Though not impossible, it seems unlikely. Finally, the child’s diet of “curds and honey” suggests that He would grow up after Judah’s destruction. Tradition suggests a third interpretation, identifying the child as the Messiah, a divine personage whose birth is above nature. It equates the Child named “Immanuel” with the Child possessing God’s titles in Is. 9:6, and with the “Branch” of ch. 11. According to Matthew, the virgin is Mary and the Child is Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:22, 23). In v. 16, the birth seems nevertheless to be imminent. Perhaps the prophecy has a partial fulfillment in the birth of Isaiah’s son Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Is. 8:1–3), while the definitive fulfillment waits for the birth of Jesus Christ, who secures God’s throne forever. child . . . son. The good news is the birth of Jesus Christ. The four royal names express His divine and human qualities, giving assurance that He is indeed “Immanuel” (Is. 7:14). born . . . given. The verbs are consistent with His humanity and deity respectively. Mighty God. As a warrior, God protects His people (Is. 10:21; Deut. 10:17; Jer. 32:18). Everlasting Father. The Father and King cares for His subjects (Is. 40:9–11; Is. 65:17–25; Matt. 18:12–14; 23:9–12; Rom. 8:15–17). Prince of Peace. His government brings peace (Is. 2:4; 11:6–9; Ps. 72:7; Zech. 9:10; Luke 2:14). [Commentary from the Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries] Dionisio
JW at 4, it seems to me that your comments over the last several months (perhaps years) are drifting further and further into nonsense. So I am either slowly losing my ability to reason properly or you are. Seeing as everyone else seems to be keeping an even keel on their reasoning over the same time period, my guess is for your downward shift. Merry Christmas from the 'Trinitarian cult'! :) Music: What Child Is This? Third Day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcGQqzvRqhI bornagain77
alien pet rabbit and time travel theories (...) cult will
These are facinating intelligent design theories. Please do tell more about your trinitarian intelligent design cult. JWTruthInLove
Gary S. Gaulin: Falsification does not work if we are dealing with people who are willing to entertain alien pet rabbit and time travel theories as an alternative to accepting the results of research and experiment. Anyone who has tried arguing someone out of a cult will, of course, be familiar with the problem. The author clearly means to say that - in THAT atmosphere - falsification criteria for the hypothesis he is about to introduce will simply not work as usually intended. They are not meant to. That has no bearing on a proposal to dump or reduce reliance on falsification altogether, among those who are willing to be persuaded by evidence. The multiversers don't HAVE evidence, which is why they would like to eliminate falsification based on failure to produce any evidence. Thanks for an opportunity to clarify that. News
From the second part of Preface for the Theory of Intelligent Design:
FALSIFICATION It is said that finding a rabbit fossil in the Cambrian period (where none should exist) would easily “falsify” Darwinian evolutionary theory. But in reality such a discovery would only lead to alien pet rabbit and time travel theories. Darwinian Evolutionary Algorithms would still work as well as they did before. Lab evolution experiments would continue. Yet opponents of this Theory of Intelligent Design are known to endlessly reject any falsification given, even though they cannot falsify the theory they defend and wrongly believe is evidence against this one. The tactic could be used to stop any theory from being accepted. For that reason falsification proved to be an unscientific science-stopper, which must not be entertained in the following scientific text. A theory is a testable explanation for how a phenomenon works, and philosophical/religious arguments against it are as out of bounds of science as are philosophical/religious arguments for it.
Gary S. Gaulin

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