Intelligent Design

How ID helps scientists: providing a framework for complexity

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ATP Synthase

COMPLEXITY =/=> EVOLUTION
Many Darwinists equate complexity with evolution. They see the fossil record of increasing complexity with time as precisely what defines Evolution. But is increasing complexity always a good thing? The history of computers is instructive.

Your iPhone and laptop computer are constructed using base-2, principally because flip-flops and early binary circuits were easy to make, even the earliest electronic memory based on circular ferrites was two-state. This base-2 necessity led to an explosion in the study of Boolean Algebra and binary logic in the 1950’s, which demonstrated that everything you could do in base-10 could be done in base-2.

By the late 50’s, the Russians were falling further and futher behind the US in computer technology, and being the math-nerds they are, they thought that perhaps binary computers were just the first step in a necessary evolution of computers. So if evolution was complexity, then the obvious next evolutionary step should be ternary logic, or 3-state systems. Rather than (-1,1), they built circuits that used (-1, 0, 1) as logic states.

After much effort, they had their first ternary computer up and running and programmed, and they could compare it to the US binary machines. They were abysmally slower. Not only so, but they were slower even if one emulated ternary logic in software on a binary machine–for you FORTRAN afficionados, this was the FOR66 arithmetic goto statement. I personally translated a 40-line FOR66 program CURFIT from Philip Bevington’s 1969 “Data Analysis” textbook into TurboPascal, and wrestled for a whole week with the ternary logic. It was devilish, ultra-compact, but a royal pain.  Five years later I was translating it into “C” (TurboPascal having died an early death) and read Kernighan and Richie’s classic text where they said about “clever” ternary algorithms the same thing that my poetry instructor had told me in college–“Kill all your little darlings.” Or as the Brits would say, “Too clever by half.”

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69 Replies to “How ID helps scientists: providing a framework for complexity

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    C is too complex

  2. 2
    CharlieD says:

    How ID helps scientists? Ha good one!
    You guys get me every time! I know if I need a good laugh I can always find one here.

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    If you want laughs I could expose myself to you.

    Want to meet?

  4. 4
    CharlieD says:

    Hmm, pass. Your buddies here give me more than enough material.

  5. 5
    Robert Byers says:

    By the way. There is NO evidence that this creature is less complex then that creature.
    If so then pick the least complex one and recreate it using materials in your backyard.
    Further the idea of simple to complex is a geological claim and not a biological one even if it was true.
    Come on ID’ers. Evidence please.

    These less complex creatures Darwin talked about were suited to their calling.
    they are not less complex. A neck don’t make you complicated.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    CharlieD you snark at Dr Sheldon’s suggestion:

    How ID helps scientists? Ha good one!
    You guys get me every time! I know if I need a good laugh I can always find one here.

    CharlieD you may find it funny, and obviously false, that ‘Design thinking’ can help scientists, but you would be sadly mistaken in that thought. To demonstrate this mistake in your thinking, let’s see what breakthroughs in science the converse of ‘Design thinking’, i.e. your Darwinian presumption that life is/was not designed, has led to.

    “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.,,
    Darwinian explanations for such things are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive – except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed – except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.,,
    Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology. This becomes especially clear when we compare it with a heuristic framework such as the atomic model, which opens up structural chemistry and leads to advances in the synthesis of a multitude of new molecules of practical benefit. None of this demonstrates that Darwinism is false. It does, however, mean that the claim that it is the cornerstone of modern experimental biology will be met with quiet skepticism from a growing number of scientists in fields where theories actually do serve as cornerstones for tangible breakthroughs.
    – Philip S. Skell (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University
    http://www.discovery.org/a/2816

    Podcasts and Article of Dr. Skell
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....40981.html

    ‘It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case. It is difficult enough to study what is happening now. To figure out exactly what happened in evolution is even more difficult.’
    – Francis Crick – co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953 – atheist

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

    Where are the Scientific Breakthroughs Due to Evolution? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSYoWHaBIwI

    In fact, ‘non-design thinking’, neo-Darwinism, besides failing to provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology, actually hinders biological research. This unnecessary hindrance that Darwinian thinking places on biological research is perhaps best illustrated by the JUNK DNA fiasco,,

    Is Panda’s Thumb Suppressing the Truth about Junk DNA?
    Excerpt: Dr. Pellionisz sent me an e-mail regarding his recent experiences at Panda’s Thumb. Pellionisz reports that Panda’s Thumb is refusing to print his stories about how he has personally witnessed how the Darwinian consensus rejected suggestions that “junk” DNA had function. Dr. Pellionisz’s e-mail recounts how some rogue Darwinian biologists have believed that “junk” DNA had function, but it also provides historical proof that this went against the prevailing consensus, and thus such suggestions that “junk”-DNA had function were ignored or rejected by most Darwinian scientists.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....03947.html

    It seems obvious to me, but you tell me CharlieD, did presupposing non-functionality help or hinder research in regards to ‘Junk’ DNA?

    Junk No More: ENCODE Project Nature Paper Finds “Biochemical Functions for 80% of the Genome” – Casey Luskin September 5, 2012
    Excerpt: The Discover Magazine article further explains that the rest of the 20% of the genome is likely to have function as well:
    “And what’s in the remaining 20 percent? Possibly not junk either, according to Ewan Birney, the project’s Lead Analysis Coordinator and self-described “cat-herder-in-chief”. He explains that ENCODE only (!) looked at 147 types of cells, and the human body has a few thousand. A given part of the genome might control a gene in one cell type, but not others. If every cell is included, functions may emerge for the phantom proportion. “It’s likely that 80 percent will go to 100 percent,” says Birney. “We don’t really have any large chunks of redundant DNA. This metaphor of junk isn’t that useful.””
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....64001.html

    Closer to home, it is found that Darwinism is useless in medical diagnostics:

    Darwinian Medicine and Proximate and Evolutionary Explanations – Michael Egnor – neurosurgeon – June 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47701.html

    In fact, as to the somewhat minor extent evolutionary reasoning has influenced medical diagnostics, it has led to much ‘medical malpractice’ in the past:

    Evolution’s “vestigial organ” argument debunked
    Excerpt: “The appendix, like the once ‘vestigial’ tonsils and adenoids, is a lymphoid organ (part of the body’s immune system) which makes antibodies against infections in the digestive system. Believing it to be a useless evolutionary ‘left over,’ many surgeons once removed even the healthy appendix whenever they were in the abdominal cavity. Today, removal of a healthy appendix under most circumstances would be considered medical malpractice” (David Menton, Ph.D., “The Human Tail, and Other Tales of Evolution,” St. Louis MetroVoice , January 1994, Vol. 4, No. 1).
    “Doctors once thought tonsils were simply useless evolutionary leftovers and took them out thinking that it could do no harm. Today there is considerable evidence that there are more troubles in the upper respiratory tract after tonsil removal than before, and doctors generally agree that simple enlargement of tonsils is hardly an indication for surgery” (J.D. Ratcliff, Your Body and How it Works, 1975, p. 137).
    The tailbone, properly known as the coccyx, is another supposed example of a vestigial structure that has been found to have a valuable function—especially regarding the ability to sit comfortably. Many people who have had this bone removed have great difficulty sitting.
    http://www.ucg.org/science/god.....-debunked/

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    And CharlieD, let’s not forget Darwinism’s horrendously negative impact on society as a whole:

    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

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

    Moreover CharlieD, as shocking as it may be for you to learn, modern science was born out of, and is continuously dependent on, Theistic presuppositions:

    The Historical Alliance of Christianity and Science – Kenneth Richard Samples
    Excerpted quote: “Modern science was conceived, and born, and flourished in the matrix of Christian theism. Only liberal doses of self-deception and double-think, I believe, will permit it to flourish in the context of Darwinian naturalism.”
    ~ Alvin Plantinga
    http://www.apu.edu/cris/pdfs/h.....liance.pdf

    In fact CharlieD, Darwinism, if true, would undermine the epistemological foundation of science itself:

    Alvin Plantinga – Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r34AIo-xBh8

    Thus CharlieD, you may laugh at the notion that ID can help scientists, but the fact is that it does help, and non-design thinking hinders scientists.

  8. 8
    CharlieD says:

    You do realize that evolutionary biology is its own scientific field right? You can belittle it all you want but there is more scientific evidence that supports evolution than you can comprehend. Wow so some WWII doctor didnt need it to study antibiotics…therefore it must be useless! Nice. Youre to used to dealing with people who have only a basic knowledge in Biology. I assure you I am not one of these people and when someone has this knowledge it is quite easy to see through your pitiful arguments. This entire site is nothing but anti-science propaganda, hoping to cast doubt on the scientific community.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    CharlieD you claim:

    “You do realize that evolutionary biology is its own scientific field right? You can belittle it all you want but there is more scientific evidence that supports evolution than you can comprehend.”

    You certainly are right CharlieD, evolutionary biology is in its own completely separate scientific field as can be for no one can seem to find a way to rigorously test its claims (some would call lack of testability, “pseudoscience”):

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)

    “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific” – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

  10. 10
    CharlieD says:

    Haha oh boy. Look old man, evolution connects all the dots from every other field of biology. Open any college level biology-related book and you will find evolution mentioned numerous times. The only pseudoscience here is your bullshit.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    “The only pseudoscience here is your bullshit.”

    REALLY?? How interesting for you to claim that, can you please lay out the exact falsification criteria of Darwinism since no one I know of can seem to find it?

    Macroevolution, microevolution and chemistry: the devil is in the details – Dr. V. J. Torley – February 27, 2013
    Excerpt: After all, mathematics, scientific laws and observed processes are supposed to form the basis of all scientific explanation. If none of these provides support for Darwinian macroevolution, then why on earth should we accept it? Indeed, why does macroevolution belong in the province of science at all, if its scientific basis cannot be demonstrated?
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....e-details/

  12. 12
    computerist says:

    Thorton is here?

  13. 13
    CharlieD says:

    Evolution is built on observations, studies, and experiments of the natural world from every field of science. You love to pretend that scientists just sit in their labs and make things up as they go along, but you have no clue waht you are talking about. The amount of time and effort that goes into the theory of evolution that is taught in schools today is mind boggling. Since Darwin’s ideas were published we have continuously found supporting evidence in each discovery about how nature works.

  14. 14
    Barb says:

    CharlieD writes,

    You do realize that evolutionary biology is its own scientific field right? You can belittle it all you want but there is more scientific evidence that supports evolution than you can comprehend.

    Yes, I know evolutionary biology is its own field of study. Did you realize that some of the evidence you claim exists has been called into question by scientists? Time magazine, while saying that there are “many solid facts” backing the evolution theory, nonetheless concedes that evolution is a complex tale with “many holes and no shortage of competing theories on how to fill in the missing pieces.”

    Wow so some WWII doctor didnt need it to study antibiotics…therefore it must be useless! Nice. Youre to used to dealing with people who have only a basic knowledge in Biology. I assure you I am not one of these people and when someone has this knowledge it is quite easy to see through your pitiful arguments. This entire site is nothing but anti-science propaganda, hoping to cast doubt on the scientific community.

    So, you are setting yourself up as a knowledgeable person, one who is competent enough to understand arguments both for and against evolution. The thing is, since you’re not a public figure (like, say, Michael Ruse), you have to convince your audience (the readers at UD) that you have credibility. How do you do that? Credibility is another name for “ethos” (Greek, from which the English word “ethics” is derived) and refers to the honesty, moral character, and intellectual competence of the speaker (in this case, you).
    However, immediately after proclaiming yourself as an expert, you immediately fall victim to a logical fallacy known as guilt by association. You wrongly assert that this entire site is anti-science when, in fact, it is not.

    Haha oh boy. Look old man, evolution connects all the dots from every other field of biology. Open any college level biology-related book and you will find evolution mentioned numerous times. The only pseudoscience here is your bullshit.

    Here is another logical fallacy: argumentum ad populum. College-level textbooks mention evolution, as do middle school and high school textbooks. This does not prove that evolution is correct. In fact, many scientists have doubts regarding the exact mechanism for evolution (witness Stephen Jay Gould’s theory of punctuated equilibrium). Truth is not determined by the number of people who believe in a particular concept. I’d think someone of your intellectual caliber would know to avoid illogical thinking.

    Evolution is built on observations, studies, and experiments of the natural world from every field of science.

    Although evolution is usually presented in scientific language, it is really a religious doctrine. It teaches a philosophy of life and an attitude toward God. Its beliefs are subtly attractive to mankind’s selfish, independent tendencies. Many who believe in evolution say that they also believe in God. However, they feel free to think of God as one who has not created things, does not intervene in man’s affairs, and will not judge people. It is a creed that tickles people’s ears.

    If evolutionists lack explanations, why do they preach their ideas so loudly? Behe explains: “Many people, including many important and well-respected scientists, just don’t want there to be anything beyond nature.” The tyranny of authority was noted even during Jesus’ time. It proves nothing.

    One points out: “Darwin’s model of evolution . . . , being basically a theory of historical reconstruction, . . . is impossible to verify by experiment or direct observation as is normal in science . . . Moreover, the theory of evolution deals with a series of unique events, the origin of life, the origin of intelligence and so on. Unique events are unrepeatable and cannot be subjected to any sort of experimental investigation.” (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, by Michael Denton) Another speaks of “the fact of evolution.” Nevertheless, he points up a major difficulty in proving this “fact”: “When you look for links between major groups of animals, they simply aren’t there.”—The Neck of the Giraffe, by Francis Hitching.

    You love to pretend that scientists just sit in their labs and make things up as they go along, but you have no clue waht you are talking about.

    This is a simple ad hominem fallacy. The truth is, nobody here pretends that scientists just “make things up” (maybe the ones who promoted cold fusion). However, ignoring the fact that scientists can and do make mistakes is faulty thinking. There have been cases of scientific fraud.
    This four-word propaganda line, ‘Evolution is a fact,’ is little (little in content), is a simple sentence (easily said), and is repeated persistently (even 12 times in one short essay). It qualifies as effective brainwashing propaganda, and with repetition it reaches the status of a slogan—and slogans everywhere repeated are soon programmed into brains and tripped off tongues with little critical examination or skeptical dissection. Once a theory has been sloganized into community thinking, it no longer requires proof, and any who dissent are scorned. If such dissenters present rational refutation of the slogan’s validity, they are especially irritating and subjected to the only available response, namely, ridicule.

    The amount of time and effort that goes into the theory of evolution that is taught in schools today is mind boggling. Since Darwin’s ideas were published we have continuously found supporting evidence in each discovery about how nature works.

    But scientists are often left with more questions than answers. And in many cases, what was touted as evidence for evolution has proven to be nothing of the sort.

    One of the core cocepts of evolution is that mutations provide the raw material to make new species. What has experimentation proven? Even so, the data now gathered from some 100 years of mutation research in general and 70 years of mutation breeding in particular enable scientists to draw conclusions regarding the ability of mutations to produce new species. After examining the evidence, Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, a scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Germany, concluded: “Mutations cannot transform an original species [of plant or animal] into an entirely new one. This conclusion agrees with all the experiences and results of mutation research of the 20th century taken together as well as with the laws of probability. Thus, the law of recurrent variation implies that genetically properly defined species have real boundaries that cannot be abolished or transgressed by accidental mutations.”

    Another tenet of evolution is natural selection, and many point to Darwin’s finches for support. In the 1970’s, a research group led by Peter and Rosemary Grant began studying these finches and discovered that after a year of drought, finches that had slightly bigger beaks survived more readily than those with smaller beaks. Since the size and shape of the beaks is one of the primary ways of determining the 13 species of finches, these findings were assumed to be significant. “The Grants have estimated,” continues the brochure, “that if droughts occur about once every 10 years on the islands, a new species of finch might arise in only about 200 years.”

    However, the NAS brochure neglects to mention some significant but awkward facts. In the years following the drought, finches with smaller beaks again dominated the population. Thus, Peter Grant and graduate student Lisle Gibbs wrote in the science journal Nature in 1987 that they had seen “a reversal in the direction of selection.” In 1991, Grant wrote that “the population, subjected to natural selection, is oscillating back and forth” each time the climate changes. The researchers also noticed that some of the different “species” of finches were interbreeding and producing offspring that survived better than the parents. Peter and Rosemary Grant concluded that if the interbreeding continued, it could result in the fusion of two “species” into just one within 200 years.
    Back in 1966, evolutionary biologist George Christopher Williams wrote: “I regard it as unfortunate that the theory of natural selection was first developed as an explanation for evolutionary change. It is much more important as an explanation for the maintenance of adaptation.” Evolutionary theorist Jeffrey Schwartz wrote in 1999 that if Williams’ conclusions are correct, natural selection may be helping species to adapt to the changing demands of existence, but “it is not creating anything new.”
    Indeed, Darwin’s finches are not becoming “anything new.” They are still finches. And the fact that they are interbreeding casts doubt on the methods some evolutionists use to define a species. In addition, they expose the fact that even prestigious scientific academies are not above reporting evidence in a biased manner.

    A third tenet of evolution is the fossil record. In 2004, National Geographic described the fossil record as being like “a film of evolution from which 999 of every 1,000 frames have been lost on the cutting-room floor.” Niles Eldredge, a staunch evolutionist, admits that the record shows that for long periods of time, “little or no evolutionary change accumulates in most species.”
    To date, scientists worldwide have unearthed and cataloged some 200 million large fossils and billions of microfossils. Many researchers agree that this vast and detailed record shows that all the major groups of animals appeared suddenly and remained virtually unchanged, with many species disappearing as suddenly as they arrived. After reviewing the evidence of the fossil record, biologist Jonathan Wells writes: “At the level of kingdoms, phyla, and classes, descent with modification from common ancestors is obviously not an observed fact. To judge from the fossil and molecular evidence, it’s not even a well-supported theory.”

  15. 15
    Joe says:

    Evolution is built on observations, studies, and experiments of the natural world from every field of science.

    What evolution are you talking about? What observations, studies and experiments demonstrate that unguided evolution can produce functional multi-protein configurations, like ATP synthase?

    Lenski- 50,000+ generations and no new proteins, no new functions, just an old protein used in an O2 rich environment.

    And yes, we can understand how nature works because that is what we were designed to do. And we were placed in a great location from which to do it.

  16. 16

    CharlieD:

    The amount of time and effort that goes into the theory of evolution that is taught in schools today is mind boggling.

    Yep. And still, despite all the mind boggling time and effort, it doesn’t answer any of the fundamental questions about the origin and diversity of life on the Earth. Perhaps it is time to move on from this 1900’s theory that has yielded so little.

  17. 17
    CharlieD says:

    Oh boy, you guys are really clueless huh? You have absolutely no idea how complex and extremely difficult it is to study nature on the molecular level do you? We’ve only really been studying this stuff for a hundred years or so at best. Evolution is still in its infancy in my opinion, we have the basics down but many of the details still need to be worked out. You guys take advantage of the huge amount of information science still hasnt found, promote it as science being wrong, and then wonder why science hasnt fond all the answers. Well guess what, the reason we know so little is because peckerwood jackasses like you guys are holding back society by showing science in a bad light and promoting the intellectual uselessness that is religion.
    Thanks guys.

  18. 18
    Barb says:

    CharlieD:

    Oh boy, you guys are really clueless huh? You have absolutely no idea how complex and extremely difficult it is to study nature on the molecular level do you?

    More ad hominem arguments. You realize that insulting your audience doesn’t make you look smarter, right? And that use of logical fallacies to prove a point only makes you look unintelligent, right?

    Dr. Michael Behe noted the difficulties in showing evolution on a molecular level back in 1996. Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority. . . . There are assertions that such evolution occurred, but absolutely none are supported by pertinent experiments or calculations. Since no one knows molecular evolution by direct experience, and since there is no authority on which to base claims of knowledge, it can truly be said that . . . the assertion of Darwinian molecular evolution is merely bluster.”—Darwin’s Black Box.

    We’ve only really been studying this stuff for a hundred years or so at best. Evolution is still in its infancy in my opinion, we have the basics down but many of the details still need to be worked out.

    Evolution has been extensively studied (according to you) for over 150 years. Well over 100 million fossils have been discovered and cataloged in museums worldwide. If you are still “working out the details” and gathering data, then don’t proclaim that it’s an absolute fact since, by your logic, you don’t have conclusive enough data to state that.

    You guys take advantage of the huge amount of information science still hasnt found, promote it as science being wrong, and then wonder why science hasnt fond all the answers.

    We don’t promote it as science being wrong, just that science doesn’t have all the answers yet. It is foolish to assert otherwise. Absence of evidence is, well, absence of evidence. You logically cannot draw conclusions (at least not correct conclusions) if you don’t have all the data.

    Well guess what, the reason we know so little is because peckerwood jackasses like you guys are holding back society by showing science in a bad light and promoting the intellectual uselessness that is religion.
    Thanks guys.

    Yet more idiotic ad hominem argumentation from someone who claims to be intelligent. Try again.

    If you think religion is intellectual uselessness, then explain how modern science is built on the works of those like Galileo, Newton, et al, who were religious.

  19. 19
    CharlieD says:

    Im sure galileo was religious, right up until the church put him on house arrest for his ideas that the sun was the center of our solar system…

  20. 20
    Barb says:

    CharlieD, Galileo remained religious until he died. The fact is, however, that the heliocentric theory was not criticized by theologians alone. Pope Urban VIII, who played a prominent role in the case, rigidly insisted that Galileo refrain from undermining the centuries-old church teaching that the earth is the center of the universe. That teaching came, not from the Bible, but from the Greek philosopher Aristotle.

    In the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, Mario D’Addio, a noted member of the special commission set up by Pope John Paul II to review Galileo’s 1633 conviction, said: “The so-called heresy of Galileo does not seem to have any foundation, neither theologically nor under canon law.” According to D’Addio, the Inquisition court overstepped its authority—Galileo’s theories did not violate any article of faith. The Vatican newspaper admitted that the conviction of Galileo for heresy was baseless.

    Yet, when pointing to the case of Galileo to demonstrate religious suppression of science, scientists would do well to remember that Galileo’s discovery was not accepted by the research establishment of his day. Contrary to contemporary thought, the Bible was not out of harmony with that truth. God’s Word needed no revision. It was the Catholic Church’s misinterpretation of the Bible that caused the problem.

  21. 21
    Mung says:

    You do realize that evolutionary biology is its own scientific field right?

    It’s a great field!

    But what makes it scientific?

    You can belittle it all you want but there is more scientific evidence that supports evolution than you can comprehend.

    Then why does a leading proponent, a semi-regular poster here at UD, and an “expert” in the field of “macro-evolutionary theory” consistently refrain from supplying references to standard texts in his alleged scientific field?

    Is he just a hack?

  22. 22
    CharlieD says:

    Feel free to open a biology book, an evolutionary biology book, a scientific article on evolution, etc and find out. That would be too much to ask of anyone here though im sure.

  23. 23
    Joe says:

    I have read biology books- no evidence for natural selection producing multi-protein configurations. And yet living organisms contain many such configurations.

    And CharlieD- the geocentric was the scientific view at the time of Galileo- see Ptolemy.

  24. 24
    CharlieD says:

    Im not talking about your high school freshman biology book that you read the first page of and gave up. I understand evolution is a hard pill to swallow for many, but that is because for it to go down easily, you have to be well-versed in a number of the fields of biology.

    And even if what you say is true, men were still punished by the church for their geocentric ideas.

  25. 25
    Barb says:

    CharlieD:

    And even if what you say is true, men were still punished by the church for their geocentric ideas.

    We shouldn’t be deceived into thinking that all religion is automatically good enough for God, merely because it falls into the category of “religion.” When we examine this word and its usage in the Bible, it becomes apparent that a religion is either wrong or right in God’s sight.

    Speaking of the time when he was a Jewish Pharisee, the apostle Paul says: “According to the most sure sect of our religion I lived, a Pharisee.” (Acts 26:5, Dy) He also warned the Christians at Colossae: “Let no man seduce you, willing in humility and religion of angels.” (Col. 2:18, Dy) In both instances Paul uses the word “religion” in connection with worship that was false and unacceptable to God.

    Merely sincerely accepting and following a religious organization will not guarantee God’s approval and protection through this world’s end. Sincerity, conviction, or intensity of devotion will not change falsehood into truth.

    The church’s theologians no doubt were sincere in their conviction that the earth did not revolve about the sun, as evidenced by their frantic reaction to Galileo’s views. However, did their sincerity, conviction and intensity of reaction make null and void Galileo’s findings? Has not true science determined that the planets do indeed revolve about the sun? Did the church’s stand somehow cause the earth to cease traveling its God-assigned orbit around the sun? No. The church’s views were at fault, incorrect. Their sincerity could not void actuality.

  26. 26
    CharlieD says:

    Sure, just another example of the church’s promotion of ignorance. If it were up to the church, we’d still think the solar system revolved around us.

  27. 27
    Barb says:

    That’s one church, Charlie. The Roman Catholic Church. Which, eventually, acknowledged its error and granted Galileo a pardon.

    You surely are intelligent enough–given all the experiences you claim to have had–to know that the behavior of a group in one religion does not affect the behavior of groups in other religions.

  28. 28
    JLAfan2001 says:

    It was theists who discovered the opposite to this, fool, not atheists.

  29. 29
    JLAfan2001 says:

    CharlieD

    Out of all the scientists ever in history, name one who was persecuted and imprisoned by the church other than Galileo. I don’t mean opposed, challanged or questioned. I mean persecuted like he was.

  30. 30
    CharlieD says:

    Theists discovered the earth revolves around the sun? Of course they did you dumbass, everyone was a theist back then, especially the people who wanted a good education.

  31. 31
    Barb says:

    You do know that atheists existed during Galileo’s day, Charlie? It wasn’t until the 18th and 19th centuries (the Enlightenment) that atheism became tenable.

  32. 32
    JLAfan2001 says:

    AH, I see blame theists for the bad because they had a choice but don’t give them credit for the good because they had no choice. Stellar logic, Opie.

  33. 33
    CharlieD says:

    An early scientific society, Academia de Lincei, was founded in early 1600s and subsequently closed when it clashed with the church.

  34. 34
    JLAfan2001 says:

    Were they persecuted and put in jail or just opposed because anyone can oppose anyone in a free society, right?

  35. 35
    CharlieD says:

    The sciences were heavily influenced by the church, experimental science was still in its infancy back then anyways. Religion has been around for a long time, its going to take a while to undo its misdeeds.

  36. 36
    Barb says:

    An early scientific society, Academia de Lincei, was founded in early 1600s and subsequently closed when it clashed with the church.
    Thus shutting down all scientific inquiry forever. Oh, wait.

    Interesting point: the academy reopened in 1870 and is the national academy of Italy, encompassing science and literature in its concerns (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accademia_dei_Lincei).

  37. 37
    CharlieD says:

    And what do you think would happen if the church tried to force the academy to shutdown tomorrow? I dont think it would go over very well. Thankfully the church does not have the power to do so anymore. In the 1600s it did, and thats exactly what it did. It used its power to hinder free-thinking individuals where it could.

  38. 38
    JLAfan2001 says:

    So if religion is bad, why did natural selection keep it going for so long? Wouldn’t it make us extinct by now? But no because science was heavily influenced by the church so we prospered because of it. Wait, they were all theists back then because they din’t have a choice because natural selection didn’t allow them to.

  39. 39
    JLAfan2001 says:

    Freedom From Religion is trying to shut down the church today so I guess that’s good thing in your book? It’s only good when done against the church because science has the final say on who\s a thinker and who’s not.

  40. 40
    Barb says:

    Charlie @ 37: Why would the church (Catholic) try to shut down the academy? The Catholic Church has publicly stated that evolution is true. And as I pointed out, shutting down one academy in Italy did not stifle scientific investigation forever. I find it truly amusing that you ignore the larger points that contradict your view; it’s what’s known as “not being able to see the forest for the trees.”

  41. 41
    CharlieD says:

    Try to keep up, it was a hypothetical.
    The church in the 1600s stifled where it could.
    If Freedom From Religion is truly trying to shut down the church then I would disagree with their ideas, as I dont think the human race is ready for that…yet.

  42. 42
    CharlieD says:

    38 was just a terrible attempt at humor. A+ for effort though.

  43. 43
    Barb says:

    Yes, the church in the 1600s did stifle science to a degree. Did this stop science from progressing? No, because the Protestant Reformation took some of the power away from the church. Atheistic thinking and philosophy became more commonplace in the 18th century (the Enlightenment).

    JLAfan makes a good point: if we’ve all evolved, then where and how did religion develop? Why and how did natural selection and random mutations account for the development of a variety of religious belief?

  44. 44
    CharlieD says:

    It slowed the progress of science.
    Are you seriously trying to apply natural selection to the evolution of an idea? Cmon guys really?
    Religion is the invention of our own minds to give us exactly what JLA originally posted in that list: explanations, meaning, morals, all that jazz. Religion makes life easier.
    If you want to talk about the evolution of religion, well thats a whole other can of worms in itself.

  45. 45
    JLAfan2001 says:

    Look up some literature. There are lots that claim religion was a product of evolution that was selected for. Natural selection has gone far from being just biological. Think about it. If evolution shaped our brains, how do you think religion came about?

    Be sure to let Freedom From Religion know when you think humanity is ready to let go of it because they sure as hell think it now. I’m sure they would care about your opinion.

  46. 46
    CharlieD says:

    I guess you could make a case that our brains could possibly be “pre-wired” to accept religion or even want it. Going even further back though, i think our brains are prewired to want to assign meaning to life, or to know that everythings going to be alright, or that granny is in a better place; religion fills this void.

  47. 47
    JLAfan2001 says:

    Exactly. Now if our brain has lied to us already what makes you think that you can trust it for finding your meaning, purpose or doing science. Remember, you need your lying brain to reason when you do science. Science is a way of using our reason to test if our reason is reasonable but it already starts with a deceiving organ.

  48. 48
    CharlieD says:

    Oh brother here we go with the whats real, whats not. Brains dont “lie” you dipshit. Either start making sense or piss off.

  49. 49
    JLAfan2001 says:

    All you are is your brain, fuckhead. Neuroscience has been saying that for years. Your entire personhood is just a product of brain activity and nothing more. You don’t make decisions, your brain does. NO YOU BECAUSE THERE IS NO YOU. Again , this is what science says. You have no clue what kind of worldview you’re getting into, my friend. Do some research on neuroscience. Listen to Alex Rosenberg. Read Sam Harris and then come back and say I’m wrong.

  50. 50
    CharlieD says:

    Look bud, im willing to bet i know more about how the brain works then most people here. You dont have to tell me to read up. Have you heard about the guy who took a metal stake through his skull and lived? He had good portion of his brain fucked up, but he was still able to survive. Testimonies from many people that knew him all say he is a very different person now. How we act, who we are, all of that shit is just neural connections, neurotransmitters, etc.

  51. 51
    JLAfan2001 says:

    “Look bud, im willing to bet i know more about how the brain works then most people here. You dont have to tell me to read up. Have you heard about the guy who took a metal stake through his skull and lived? He had good portion of his brain fucked up, but he was still able to survive. Testimonies from many people that knew him all say he is a very different person now. How we act, who we are, all of that shit is just neural connections, neurotransmitters, etc.”

    THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING ALL THIS TIME!!!! so how can you believe anything if it’s just in your brain. A hard blow to the head and you will be believing aliens next. And I bet you know as much about the brain as you know about evolution which you already admitted isn’t much. BTW, people have also had half their brain removed without being any different too.

  52. 52
    CharlieD says:

    And here we go again with whats real/whats not…
    Your probably right, I dont know much about evolution or the brain, but its still way more than most people here.

  53. 53
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    JLAfan2001, given our past exchanges on this blog, I confess to being intrigued by some of your comments. Are you accepting the implications of atheism as a matter of fact, or are you taking issue with those implications by noting their absurdities? Either way, your thoughts are appreciated.

  54. 54
    CharlieD says:

    Youre inrtigued? Are you sure? Or were you just hit in the head a few times earlier today and you dont remember it? Apparently JLA was hit in the head a lot. Hed rather talk about how we cant believe anything in our brain.
    Maybe these words youre reading are really jibberish and nobody else can understand them but youfagafdgfdhbfdbdfbfvbab

  55. 55
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    “Youre inrtigued? Are you sure? Or were you just hit in the head a few times earlier today and you dont remember it?…Hed rather talk about how we cant believe anything in our brain. Maybe these words youre reading are really jibberish and nobody else can understand them but youfagafdgfdhbfdbdfbfvbab”

    Yes. Quite. I don’t think so. He’s correct, given certain premises. Yes.

  56. 56
    CharlieD says:

    You keep on not believing your brain. Let me know how that goes for you.

  57. 57
    Barry Arrington says:

    CharlieD, you are a guest on this blog. Please comport yourself as such. One more vulgarity and you will be shown the exit.

  58. 58
    PeterJ says:

    BA #57,

    Why delay it?

    Send him to room 101 where he belongs.

    Tolls!! Who needs em!!

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    You can’t make this stuff up. Cf here on the reductio ad absurdum of evo mat. (I wonder how TSZ is taking the bad news?) KF

  60. 60
    Joe says:

    CharlieD,

    Your position cannot account for the brain, neural connections nor neurotransmitters, etc.

  61. 61
    CharlieD says:

    Theres other people being vulgar on here too, but of course im singled out. No surprise there really.
    Go fuck yourself.

    Also Joe, my position most certainly can account for the brain. Cellular communication is the basis of life, and it is accounted for in neurons by neurotransmitters, and the localization of nerve cells in the anterior region of an organism is the basis of the brain. Its not that difficult.

  62. 62
    Joe says:

    CharlieD:

    Also Joe, my position most certainly can account for the brain.

    Nope, it can’t even account for metazoans, nor meiosis and mitosis.

  63. 63
    CharlieD says:

    Nor why the sky is blue, nor how the red sox came back to beat the yanks in 03, nor why water is wet.
    You have no idea what you are talking about.

  64. 64
    Joe says:

    Unfortunately for you, I do know what I am talking about.

    And it was 2004- the year the Red Sox came back and beat the Yankees. In 2003 Boone hit a home run off of Wakefield- signs of Bucky Dent- to beat the sox in game 7.

    BTW metazoans are biological organisms and meiosis and mitosis are biological processes. IOW they are relevant whereas your assnine examples are irrelevant.

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    CD: Vulgarity is not a value at UD. It is normally policed. Where someone occasionally slips off the wagon is one thing, willful defiance and escalation as above are another. If you don’t clean up your act real fast, you will not be here long. For cause. KF

  66. 66
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: If you check the name plate you will see just who you reacted to so rudely just now. Management. KF

  67. 67
    Axel says:

    ‘Look bud, im willing to bet i know more about how the brain works then most people here.’

    Gosh! That trumps any arguments from people who’ve forgotten more about the brain than you would ever be capable of learning. I think you’re a high-school student. And not one of their brightest.

  68. 68
    Joealtle says:

    Well there’s your problem.
    Thinking is obviously not one of your strong suits.

  69. 69
    tjguy says:

    @Charlie

    Theres other people being vulgar on here too, but of course im singled out. No surprise there really.
    Go – yourself.

    When JLA was confronted for using unkind language and ridicule, he immediately apologized! Quite admirable actually for someone who doesn’t even believe in God.

    However when Charlie was confronted, he just made excuses and played the victim. He couldn’t bring himself to admit that he was wrong. This is not surprising considering his chosen worldview. Admitting sin is quite an uncomfortable process if there is no solution for it.

    But, Charlie’s response is very typical of sinful human nature. Make excuses for your bad behavior and try and justify it.

    Claiming others do it, doesn’t make it right. That’s the kind of thing my junior high boy says to me when I point out something. He just ignores it or makes excuses for why it should be OK.

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