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My Sociology Experiment

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In my last post I highlighted an exchange between commenters “Joe” and “AVS” concerning whether Darwinian evolution is a blind, unguided process.  My purpose was not to open the issue Joe and AVS were discussing for debate, because there really is no debate on that issue.  AVS, who took the position that evolution is, in some sense, “guided” should begin to worry when even frequent Darwinist commenter Mark Frank says, “Surely ‘guided’ is the wrong term for natural selection.”  Dawkins sums the matter up nicely:

Natural selection, the blind, unconscious automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind.  It has no mind and no mind’s eye.  It does not plan for the future.  It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all.

Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, 5.

No, there isn’t any real controversy on that topic, and my purpose was not to debate with AVS on this matter.  Instead, I was conducting a little sociology experiment regarding Darwinist Derangement Syndrome (See here for what that term — “DDS” for short — means).  I used AVS’s antics to demonstrate certain lamentable tactics among some of the Darwinists that appear on these page, and in this post I will describe those tactics and speculate on the psychological impulses that motivate them.

To recap, in a comment to this post Joe suggested that evolution is “unguided.”  AVS disagreed, and said:   “Natural selection guiding evolution is a hallmark of the theory.”  He later stated, “Cmon people its called SELECTION . . . it is guided.”

Of course, as we have already discussed, AVS is plainly wrong.  He has committed the reification fallacy.  To “reify” a concept means to conceive of an abstract concept as if it were a concrete thing.  For example, suppose someone were to say that gravity attracts objects to one another.  In a sense, this is true.  The law of gravity states that the force of attraction varies inversely as the square of separating distance of masses M and m.  But it would be a mistake to conceive of gravity as a sort of concrete thing that causes attraction.  It is not.  It is an abstract idea.  The equations of gravity model an observed regularity, not a causal agency.

It is very easy to reify the concept of natural selection.  As AVS insisted, “it’s called SELECTION.”  And from this AVS lept to the erroneous conclusion that some force “selects.”  Thus, we see that the word “selection” has in it the seeds of reification (as, perhaps, Darwin knew when he analogized natural selection to artificial selection).  Intelligent agents “select” one thing over another in order to accomplish a purpose.  Therefore, it is easy to fall into the error of thinking that natural selection is a sort of agent that picks evolutionary winners and losers, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Natural selection is merely the name we have given to a process that results in differential survival rates.  For example, certain bacteria may develop resistance to antibiotics.  Those bacteria survive and their bacterial cousins who did not develop the resistance die, and this results in the modified strain largely displacing the unmodified strain through the process of natural selection.  This does not mean that some “force” called “natural selection” chose the modified strain to survive and the unmodified strain to die.  It merely means that for whatever reason the modified strain did in fact survive and the unmodified strain did in fact die.  In no meaningful sense of the word did natural selection “guide” the process by which the modified strain survived and the unmodified strain died.

As he wallowed in his error, AVS demonstrated many of the attributes that we have come to associate with DDS:

1.  Arrogant assertion of superior knowledge

Even in the midst of his egregious error, AVS was serenely confident in his acuity.  He described himself as “the person who has forgotten more biology than [Joe] will ever know.”

2.  Ridicule of ID proponents who seek to correct him accompanied by the assumption (sometimes implied; sometimes expressed) that the ID proponent cannot possibly understand Darwinism

AVS proceeds on the assumption that the only reason that Joe could possibly disagree with him is that Joe simply does not understand Darwinian theory.  This is particularly ironic, because AVS was wrong and Joe was correct.  Joe understands Darwinian theory better than AVS.  Nevertheless,  AVS embarrassed himself by saying things like:

“trying to talk to you about science would be like trying to talk to a wall.”

“If you can’t get [the erroneous reification of natural selection] through your head, Joe, then you should probably see yourself out of here before making this site look even more ridiculous.”

“Really? Seriously, I think I overshot when I said 7th grade.”

“Do you guys share notes around the kool-aid cooler? Seriously Joe, why are you still talking about biology?  You know nothing about it.”

“Sounds like you have no idea what you are talking about”

“You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.  You have no knowledge to speak of on this topic, sorry.”

“I’m only going to say this once more: you have no idea what you are talking about”

“Wow, ok then apparently you are simply in denial or you simply have no idea what you are talking about.”

“I’m sitting here laughing at your attempts to talk science and you’re running around with your hair on fire. Relax, everyone knows you are the sharpest marshmallow here.”

3.  False quote mining charge

When Joe quoted Dawkins and a college website to support his assertion, AVS responded: “SO you mash two quotes up from two unrelated people and repeat them completely out of context? You are worse than BA, at least his quotes have sources and are correctly cited to their actual individual sources.”

“Before you start learning about science you need to learn the difference between mined quotes from your friends on here and actual information that is in context.”

Note that AVS never defended his quote mining charge.  Indeed, the charge was indefensible.  In context the writers Joe quoted meant the very thing for which he quoted them.

4.  When corrected, don’t admit error; double down

After he was corrected, instead of admitting his error, in comment 5 to my post he doubled down on that error.

5.  Never apologize

Finally, after it became evident that he had lost and that even his more honest Darwinist friends would not support him, AVS simply vanished.

Did admit that he was wrong?  No.

Did he apologize to Joe for the false quote mining charge?  No.

Did he show any remorse for ridiculing Joe when Joe was actually correct and he was in error?  No, no no.  AVS should be ashamed of himself.  He does not seem to be.

Diagnosis:  AVS is suffering from a particularly acute case of DDS.  Thankfully, not all of the Darwinists who comment on these pages suffer from DDS.  Sadly, however, many of them, including some of the more prominent ones (are you listening Nick?), do display the symptoms of DDS to one degree or another.

On the topic of consciousness he ignores anaesthetics.
Explain. CentralScrutinizer
Lincold Philpps: [Barry] so ignores technology like fMRI in which thoughts can be seen.
Certain areas are activated during certain mental events. Nobody denies this. But this no more explains consciousness than to say that movies projected on a screen at the movie theater explains consciousness. At best, brain researchers have found correlations to conscious qualia, not causation of it. Nobody denies the brain is involved in determining our experiences. That is a far cry from saying the brain generates consciousness. If you assert that it does, the burden is on you to demonstrate without gaps how this is so. On the topic of consciousness he ignores anaesthetics. CentralScrutinizer
Lincoln Phipps- It is very telling tat you NEVER present any evidsence to support anything that you say. Joe
LP: "Thoughts can be seen" is a case of reification if there ever was one. At most Magnetic Resonance Imaging shows regions of neuronal activity in the brain. Materialistic assumptions are distorting perceptions and understanding. KF kairosfocus
Mr. Phipps states:
He claims things like “The mental cannot, in principle, be reduced to the physical.” and so ignores technology like fMRI in which thoughts can be seen. On the topic of consciousness he ignores anesthetics.
That's it people, problem solved!, We have here in black and white,, via fMRI, courtesy Mr. Phipps, "thoughts can be seen",, Who would a thunk?, if I may be so bold as to presume there is actually a me to think, that we can actually take a picture of a thought. :) Science is just so amazing! :) Although, Not to be a party pooper Mr Phipps, but something tells me that you (assuming there actually is a 'you') may be just a bit premature in this confident pronouncement of yours that, ahem, 'thoughts can be seen'.
“No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” Max Planck (1858–1947), the originator of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931 "quantum theory entails and irreducible subjective element in its conceptual basis. In contrast, the theory of relativity when fully exploited, is based on a totally objective view." Sachs - 1986 How observation (consciousness) is inextricably bound to measurement in quantum mechanics: Quote: "We wish to measure a temperature. If we want, we can pursue this process numerically until we have the temperature of the environment of the mercury container of the thermometer, and then say: this temperature is measured by the thermometer. But we can carry the calculation further, and from the properties of the mercury, which can be explained in kinetic and molecular terms, we can calculate its heating, expansion, and the resultant length of the mercury column, and then say: this length is seen by the observer. Going still further, and taking the light source into consideration, we could find out the reflection of the light quanta on the opaque mercury column, and the path of the remaining light quanta into the eye of the observer, their refraction in the eye lens, and the formation of an image on the retina, and then we would say: this image is registered by the retina of the observer. And were our physiological knowledge more precise than it is today, we could go still further, tracing the chemical reactions which produce the impression of this image on the retina, in the optic nerve tract and in the brain, and then in the end say: these chemical changes of his brain cells are perceived by the observer. But in any case, no matter how far we calculate -- to the mercury vessel, to the scale of the thermometer, to the retina, or into the brain, at some time we must say: and this is perceived by the observer. That is, we must always divide the world into two parts, the one being the observed system, the other the observer. In the former, we can follow up all physical processes (in principle at least) arbitrarily precisely. In the latter, this is meaningless. The boundary between the two is arbitrary to a very large extent. In particular we saw in the four different possibilities in the example above, that the observer in this sense needs not to become identified with the body of the actual observer: In one instance in the above example, we included even the thermometer in it, while in another instance, even the eyes and optic nerve tract were not included. That this boundary can be pushed arbitrarily deeply into the interior of the body of the actual observer is the content of the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism -- but this does not change the fact that in each method of description the boundary must be put somewhere, if the method is not to proceed vacuously,,," John von Neumann - 1903-1957 - The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, pp.418-21 - 1955
In fact, due to advances in quantum mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality. 2. If consciousness is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality. 3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality. 4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality. Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit
Supplemental notes:
Self-awareness in humans is more complex, diffuse than previously thought - August 22, 2012 Excerpt: Self-awareness is defined as being aware of oneself, including one's traits, feelings, and behaviors. Neuroscientists have believed that three brain regions are critical for self-awareness: the insular cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the medial prefrontal cortex. However, a research team led by the University of Iowa has challenged this theory by showing that self-awareness is more a product of a diffuse patchwork of pathways in the brain – including other regions – rather than confined to specific areas. The conclusions came from a rare opportunity to study a person with extensive brain damage to the three regions believed critical for self-awareness. The person, a 57-year-old, college-educated man known as "Patient R," passed all standard tests of self-awareness. He also displayed repeated self-recognition, both when looking in the mirror and when identifying himself in unaltered photographs taken during all periods of his life. "What this research clearly shows is that self-awareness corresponds to a brain process that cannot be localized to a single region of the brain,",,, http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-self-awareness-humans-complex-diffuse-previously.html
In fact Mr. Phipps, I have my own "fMRI's", if you will, that tell me something quite a bit different than your materialistic 'just so story' for consciousness:
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 fo 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 http://www.livescience.com/7799-strange-humans-glow-visible-light.html Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Exodus 34:29-30: "Moses didn't realize as he came back down the mountain with the tablets that his face glowed from being in the presence of God. Because of this radiance upon his face, Aaron and the people of Israel were afraid to come near him." Shroud of Turin - The Historical Trail 2004: Another result of the restoration was the discovery of the Shroud's double face image. Italian scientists, Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolio of Padova University were able to analyze scans of the backside of the Shroud after it was removed from the backing cloth. This had never been done before. The previous backing cloth had been attached since 1534 as part of the restoration following the fire of 1532. Examining the scans revealed faint superficial images of the face and hands. The image occurs only on the top surface of the fibers, similar to the front side of the Shroud but there is no coloring of the threads in between. http://shroud2000.com/FastFacts.html ’2nd face’ on Shroud points to supernatural origin – April 2010 Excerpt: The researchers, in other words, found a “doubly superficial” face image on both the front and back sides such that “if a cross-section of the fabric is made, one extremely superficial image appears above and one below, but there is nothing in the middle.” The shroud, therefore, they concluded, was not created by paint soaking through the linen or by a photographic image printing through to the reverse side, because the front and back facial images are not identical and the center fibers show no image creation whatsoever. Fanti and Maggiolo concluded the shroud image was created by a “corona discharge,” understood as a radiant burst of light and energy that scorched the body image of the crucified man on the topmost fibers of the shroud’s front and back sides, without producing any image on the centermost of its linen fibers. “Imagine slicing a human hair lengthwise, from end to end, into 100 long thin slices; each slice one-tenth the width of a single red blood cell,” writes Daniel Porter, editor of ShroudStory.com. “The images on the Shroud of Turin, at their thickest, are this thin.” Fanti and Maggiolo found the faint image of the face on the reverse side of the shroud contained the same 3-D information contained in the face and body image of the crucified man seen on the shroud’s front side. http://www.wnd.com/2010/04/146689/ Matthew 17:1-2 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. How Great Is Our God (World Edition) [feat. Chris Tomlin] - music video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg5qDljEw7Q&feature=c4-overview&list=UU--bRDxn5YWEiqs3p8zzvlw
He claims things like “The mental cannot, in principle, be reduced to the physical.” and so ignores technology like fMRI in which thoughts can be seen.
Your'e serious, right? Nagel asked What is it like to be a bat? I'm almost certain that's the question at hand. How exactly is that conveyed on a spectrograph? Are you even sure it can? Are you sure its the kind of thing we can take in through our eyes? You might be asking a bit much. ;) Upright BiPed
Whilst others reasonably state that humans are uncertain as to what is consciousness, that doesn't stop Barry from pontificating. He claims things like "The mental cannot, in principle, be reduced to the physical." and so ignores technology like fMRI in which thoughts can be seen. On the topic of consciousness he ignores anaesthetics. Lincoln Phipps
F/N 2: Kindly note the first publisher and work I cited, OED, Clarendon Press, 1990. Yes, I have cause to have a disagreement with the current editors, who are allowing a contamination of language by ideological materialism to pass. No authority is better than his or her facts, assumptions and reasoning. KF kairosfocus
Q: Planetariums apparently commonly in effect implement the Ptolemaic model through calibrated sets of gears representing planets, stars sun etc. That is because deferents and epicycles etc can mimic an ellipse. Then project to the surface of a wall-sized hemisphere modelling the celestial sphere. Good enough for illustrative and instructional work. KF kairosfocus
F/N: Older, uncontaminated dictionaries weigh in . . . I: Concise OED (Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1990), 8th edn.: >> reify: convert (a person, abstraction etc.) into a thing; materialize.>> II: Webster's 7th Collegiate (Sptingfield, Mass., USA: G & C Merriam, 1965), 7th edn: >>reify: to regard (something abstract) as a material thing >> KF kairosfocus
RB, we are revisiting a circle. I warned that recent dictionaries are being contaminated by materialism. Several weeks ago this case came up at UD and as an upshot I have designated several major dictionaries in the family as heirlooms, never to be sold, given away or discarded, from the 1990's to the 1950's with an 1828 outlier into the bargain. 1984 is coming into play a generation later than scheduled. Reality, FYI is not to be equated with physicality, and it is a fallacy to assume or imply that if abstract or non-physical then not real. KF kairosfocus
I think that DDS is simply an acute case of ideological contamination. Incidentally, a great example of reification is the transmutation of the nested celestial spheres in early cosmology into real spheres . . . from a model of reality into reality. The "quintessence" of this perspective is that the reliability of the nested spheres model provides evidence that the model is real. The model is indeed reliable, however we're pretty sure that it's not real. I understand that the existence and motions of the comets passing through the spheres was later considered problematic. Nevertheless, scientists at that time ignored or rationalized the problems---the same as Darwinists do today regarding evolution. -Q Querius
seventrees, what you are saying is that mental events are a different kind of "stuff" than the physical stuff the brain is made of. Correct. That is why no matter how much blithering the materialists spew out about consciousness emerging from the electro-chemical processes of the brain, it will never ring true. The mental cannot, in principle, be reduced to the physical. Those who would say otherwise have the burden demonstration. Barry Arrington
Greetings. This is OT, but I hope I can be pardoned for this. Joe, there is something I want to know about emergence. Considering the examples you have given, what I have noticed is that somehow, those examples have at least a thermodynamic relationship. But consciousness itself, if it emerged directly from matter, does not have any known thermodynamic relationship up till now (and I do not see it happening). I found an example on Wikipedia (as I use Wikipedia for quick and fundamental understanding), and one example they give of emergence is this:
The shape and behaviour of a flock of birds or school of fish are good examples of emergent properties.
But if I reduce this example, I could at least say with some certainty that it emerged directly from their awareness. This is why "behavior", which can't be quantified in a thermodynamic sense is related to consciousness. My point: It seems that there is a discontinuity from matter to consciousness if consciousness is an emergent property of matter. But there is a continuity from consciousness to behavior because they both do not have a thermodynamic relationship. Is my conclusion faulty? There seems to a misunderstanding on my part. Others can feel free to contribute. And if my conclusion is faulty, I hope anyone who has knowledge can give me an example of a phenomenon or property which directly emerged from matter and has no thermodynamic relationship apart from consciousness. seventrees
And there is no doubt, materialists have the best kickers in the league. :) Upright BiPed
UB, Well, if you refer to calling in infinite universes to handle the problem "papering over". I prefer to call it "punting". William J Murray
...materialists or design proponents? Upright BiPed
Re: papering over evidence. To translate genetic information necessarily requires a physical discontinuity between the medium and it's effects, and that discontinuity is resolved by two sets of matter that operate in an irreducibly complex system. Without both sets, the loss of function is no less than the real fundamental capacity to organize the cell. Now, who is papering over the evidence, materialists is design proponents? Upright BiPed
Firstly, LP's position assumes it's conclusion against contrary evidence, and secondly, positing an unknown mechanism can never be brought to a test of its validity, making it nonfalsifiable, and therefore nonscientific. Perhaps that's why he's so certain of himself. Upright BiPed
Barry, To be fair to emergence- ists, we do observe some amazing phenemena arising from the the combination of elements and energy & matter in general. With electricity we get magnetic lines of flux, eddy currents and hysterisis loss. With elements either sodium or chloride we would probably die from consuming them. But put them together and salt emerges. Tin and lead combo give us solder, which has a melting point less than either tin or lead. So we do see stuff emerge that really wasn't predicted, but we learned from it and used it. And yes all of that is a long, long way from the emergence of consciousness or living organisms. However emergence may be testable if someone ever figures out how to make a living organism from scratch. Joe
Lincoln Phillips:
ID evidence in the end papers over our lack of knowledge of natural events. Be it the Big Bang, stellar nuclesynthesis, abiogenesis or LUCA they find the gaps in knowledge and whack in the silly-putty of design and it’s so flexible it fits any gap you care to mention.
This from a guy who probably attributes consciousness to “emergence,” the ultimate confession of ignorance disguised as an explanation. If “emergence” is not silly putty filler, nothing is. Barry Arrington
To reify is to attribute reality to an abstraction without justification,
And that is what AVS did. Joe
Not “reality” but concrete reality. This one is a further level of blunder even found in current dictionaries.
Per the online OED:
Reify: "Make something abstract more concrete or real.”
The “or” in that definition allows that “make something abstract more real” without “concrete” is apt usage. If you wish to quarrel with that, take it up with the editors of the OED. In any event, no definition states that ALL ascriptions of reality to abstractions are instances of reification. As I stated above, “However, the ascription of reality to abstractions is not always mistaken.” And the point of my post above was that Barry's citation of the use of "gravitation" does not correctly exemplify reification - in fact, it exemplifies the ascription of reality to an abstraction with justification. So your remark is somewhat beside the point. Reciprocating Bill
The discussion highlights an interesting point. The term "natural selection" implies a guided process. We don't say a die "selected" the number 1 when the single dot faces up after a roll. Perhaps a better term would be "natural conservation". Heritable traits that increase an organism's chances of survival in the particular environment it finds itself in tend to be "conserved", meaning passed on to future generations. I suppose "natural conservation" isn't as catchy as far as explaining the apparent design in life. jpg564
RB: Not "reality" but concrete reality. This one is a further level of blunder even found in current dictionaries. So deep is the influence that a priori materialism (which is self-refuting) has, leading some to ascribe the notion that if not material, or not physical then not real. The truth in 2 + 3 = 5 is real but abstract, and the true proposition that asserts it is real but abstract. Too many are speaking and acting as though the result or EFFECT of differential reproductive success across varieties is an active agent -- a causal force -- that substitutes for a breeder. Particular environmental circumstances may react with whether or not a population of sheep are heavily wooly, to affect survival across harsh winters. But that is not at all the same as that information is injected by the resulting die-offs [it is actually subtracted] or that anything more than an immediate result is achieved [there is no foresight, the process is blind and will remove changes that if reinforced longer term may be advantageous]. So, there is a reification at work that needs to be curbed. In the cited case, there was an assertion of GUIDING, which does imply purpose and foresight. KF kairosfocus
LP, I'm not seeing a personal attack by Mr. Murray. Did I miss something or are you just thin-skinned? RexTugwell
Most evos think that genetic algorithms, which employ goal-oriented targeted searches, mimic natural seelction which isn't even a search at all. Lizzie Liddle makes that stupid mistake. Alan Fox makes that stupid mistake. olegt makes that stupid mistake- ALL the TSZ regulars make that stupid mistake. What is wrong with these guys that they can actually be so demented to say that an obviously telic process is the same as an obvioulsy blind and mindless process? It's as if they are proud to be dishonest. Joe
Mark Frank, Only darwinists/ evolutionists lie in the face of the evidence. And they are the only people who run around falsely accusing tgheir opponents and never making their case. Joe
And RB chimes in but he too is devoid of positive evidence for unguided evolution. Very telling... Joe
Joe also seems to repeat questions about a guiding agency with NS but that’s the problem with people anthropomorphising nature.
Buy a vowel- evos do that. I just goaround finding out what new evos do accept. Also it is very teling that you cannot prsent any evidence for natural seelction actually doing something. LP:
We can’t ask when or where or how or why or who
THat is wrong. IF does NOT prevent anyone from askingh such questions. AGAIN THEY ARE SEPARATE FROM WHETHER OR THE THE OBJECT/ STRUCTURE/ EVENT UNDER INVESTIGATIUN IS DESIGNED OR NOT. It's as if you think that your ignorance means something here. But anyways Lincoln, if you could present positive evidence for unguided evolution ID would be in trouble. Joe
To “reify” a concept means to conceive of an abstract concept as if it were a concrete thing.  For example, suppose someone were to say that gravity attracts objects to one another.  In a sense, this is true.  The law of gravity states that objects are attracted to one another in proportion to the inverse square of their masses.  But it would be a mistake to conceive of gravity as a sort of concrete thing that causes attraction.  It is not.  It is an abstract idea.
To reify is to attribute reality to an abstraction without justification, to mistakenly ascribe reality to an abstraction. However, the ascription of reality to abstractions is not always mistaken. Our models of gravitation (as, for example, mathematically described) are abstractions that in fact do have as a referent, and are justified by, countless interactions between objects - from which we derived the abstraction in the first place. The notion of “gravity” does not exemplify “reification.” As you correctly point out, whether or not "natural selection" reflects "reification" depends upon how the concept is deployed. Reciprocating Bill
Rather than looking to see if the analogy works, they discover it does (or are just worried it does) but then panic and attack the person presenting the analogy. Someone said "Challenge their beliefs, and you've attacked them personally" but Mr Murray skips the challenge and jumps straight into personal attacks. Oh snap it was you William that said that. Given we're discussing pseudo-medical terms (*), Doctor, Heal Thyself. (*) as an aside Barry Arrington should probably not start indicating he is doing a medical/psychologist diagnosis as he is unlikely to have licensure in Colorado for that role. An attorney specialising in Bankruptcy and similar financial problems doesn't make one an expert in medical conditions and arguably the number of posts including one with a reference to the DSM, a casual glance could suggest an unlicensed practice of medicine given we don't see the usual disclaimers that lawyers are so fond of. Lincoln Phipps
DDS syndrome: arguing that sieves & gutters can be natural, as if a happenstance, Rube Goldberg collection of natural "sieves & gutters" is categorically "the same thing" as what it takes to construct the equivalent of a fully functioning, computerized battleship that can not only repair itself, but make copies of itself. Darwinist "arguments" in the end paper over what we categorically know cannot be the product of natural events by hilariously making comparisons to "sieves & gutters". William J Murray
Joe also seems to repeat questions about a guiding agency with NS but that's the problem with people anthropomorphising nature. If your car wheel gets caught in a rain gutter then the gutter steers the car and guides it along the gutter until you steer out. Down the road from us is a particularly deep rain gutter and at the end is a wall and pole with the usual impact marks including photos. It goes without saying that the rain gutter is inanimate and not an agent but it is valid in English to say that if a car wheel drops into that gutter then the gutter guides the car's path. Same with say gravel traps for trucks. A gravel trap could be naturally forming or man-made. The effect is the same and the trap slows the vehicle. It would be good if ID people accurately stored the nuances of what is meant instead of assuming an effect means agency and that as no one is saying that NS has agency then anyone using "guide" or "select" is presenting a contradiction. They think this is a big win in point scoring for ID. For NS a better analogy is to compare a sieve verses an agent picking out objects of a certain size. NS is the sieve and the mesh is the natural environment that the organism is in. It's not a simple "too big" nor a single "thing" but NS is as infinitely scalable as there are resources that living things may use (sunlight, chemicals, space). The sun is part of that NS sieve, the land is part of that and other living things are part of this too. The ID flip side is some agency is involved. We can't ask when or where or how or why or who but we are told accept ID without question and the evidence that is presented is a copy+paste word-salad involving "complexity" and "jello" mathematics involving probability. The conundrum that ID/creationists haven't yet worked out is that such a sieve could be naturally formed or the holes punched out by an agent. When simple examples are presented the ID tactic is to cry that "you can't compare effect 'x' with effect 'y'". Simple examples are rejected and they hide in our ignorance of more complex examples. Why ? ID evidence in the end papers over our lack of knowledge of natural events. Be it the Big Bang, stellar nuclesynthesis, abiogenesis or LUCA they find the gaps in knowledge and whack in the silly-putty of design and it's so flexible it fits any gap you care to mention. Lincoln Phipps
Is DDS treatable? JGuy
Barry DDS would be better named IDS - Internet Discussion Syndrome. We all, you included, commit all sorts of incivilities, evasions and errors during internet discussion. There is nothing particularly Darwinist or IDist about it. Mark Frank

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