Intelligent Design

PZ Meyers Demonstrates Projection

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In his Panda’s Thumb article Ann Coulter: No evidence for evolution? Paul demonstrates a classic case of projection with this statement:

I’m not interested in writing such a lengthy rebuttal, and I’m sure this is exactly what Coulter is counting on—tell enough lazy lies, and no one in the world will have time enough to correct them conscientiously. She’s a shameless fraud.

This sounds exactly like what the tireless defenders of chance and necessity have done in their doctrinal libraries of “evidence” that chance and necessity are the drivers of change that turned bacteria into baboons. Tell enough lazy lies of all this evidence, 150 years worth of it now, and no one in the world will have time enough to correct them conscientiously. These tireless defenders of Darwinian doctrine are shameless frauds.

Actually that was the pre-internet strategy. It isn’t working so well anymore because the internet isn’t subject to censorship by a corrupt system of peer review where any scientist who dares oppose the group-think Darwinist dogma is ostracized as is any editor who would dare allow such opposition to appear in print. Now the only crutch allowing the Darwinian narrative dogma to limp along with exclusivity in our schools is to call any criticism of its dogmatic preaching a breach of the establishment clause of the constitution. So the purveyors of Darwinian dogma continue to hold an exclusive but increasingly tenuous grasp on the indoctrination of young minds into their chance worshipping worldview. They know full well that any honest examination of the evidence will support natural selection changing the size of finch beaks and color of moth wings, that the fossil record and common genetic code among extant creatures strongly implies a deep common relationship among all species living and extinct, but that there is no empirical evidence that these relationships are without purpose, thought, or design. They also know that any honest evalution of the evidence, most notably the nanometer scale molecular evidence acquired in the last few decades, shows that the basic molecular machinery of all living things is a complex digital program code that drives complex interdependent nanometer scale machines with no conceivable way of self-assembling in the first place. Honest examination of the actual evidence with honest criticisms of dogmatic interpretations of it can’t be tolerated in public schools. That’s because the evidence doesn’t support the Darwinian dogma and even a 9th grader, perhaps especially a 9th grader who still has an open mind and willingness to question authority, can see how hollow the Darwinian narrative really is and absent indoctrination to the contrary, the few that will proceed to higher education in the biological sciences will carry their skepticism with them all the way through.

The other dishonest thing Paul does right off the bat is uses the term “evolution” in the loosest sense of descent with modification and then presumes that Coulter is disavowing that broad definition of evolution when in fact Coulter is doing nothing of the sort but is rather only bashing, and bashing really well, the baseless notion that evolution is a purposeless process driven solely by chance and necessity. It’s a good thing Meyers is a flaming atheist because if he thought for a moment he might be held accountable by a higher authority for his flaming dishonesty he’d have to rethink the whole equation.

35 Replies to “PZ Meyers Demonstrates Projection

  1. 1
    crandaddy says:

    PZ Myers is one ginormous excercise in projection. He defends his materialist creation myths with as much zeal as any YEC. The only difference is that YECists typically display the love of Christ, whereas Myers unabashedly spews the vitriolic hatred typical of most atheists.

  2. 2
    Qualiatative says:

    Tell enough lazy lies of all this evidence, 150 years worth of it now, and no one in the world will have time enough to correct them conscientiously.

    hahahaha

    Excellent diagnosis, DaveScot! PZ definitely has a severe case of projection. I think his incessant rants are primarily reaction formation. That is, he knows there are (or perhaps “could be”) valid points behind ID. Since ID’s implications are unacceptable, he must viciously attack ID.

  3. 3
    Rude says:

    Finally got Coulter’s book and immediately read the ID chapters–really good! Seems that the way to clip Coulter is to endlessly critique the lack of politeness–even many so-called conservatives spend oodles of hours distancing themselves from her bruskness while never getting to what she says–namely her support of ID and the insight of Darwin’s role as apostle of secularism. Evidently niceness is required only of truth. The culture celebrates liars who lie with audacity. Well finally someone actually does “speak truth to power” with some attention getting chutzpah. Lacking the logic power condemns the style, but maybe it’s the style that will get the attention of the working masses who bankroll these clowns.

  4. 4
    Chris Hyland says:

    Sorry if some of this is OT

    I would be very interested to know people’s perception of the ‘conspiracy’ of evolution. Do people think that all biologists actually think that evolution is a bad theory and are purposefully dictating what can and cannot be taught to cover up this fact? Is it just a few top scientists or all biologists?

    Perhaps a compromise would be to point out in science classes that it has not been proved that evolution has occured solely as a puposeless process and there are many things we don’t have any evolutionary explanation for. The complaint seems to be that evolution promotes atheism by denying the existance of God in the process, would making it clear that this isn’t the case help? It seems a shame that how evolution is taught in schools is causing these problems.

  5. 5
    teleologist says:

    This sounds exactly like what the tireless defenders of chance and necessity have done in their doctrinal libraries of “evidence” that chance and necessity are the drivers of change that turned bacteria into baboons. Tell enough lazy lies of all this evidence, 150 years worth of it now, and no one in the world will have time enough to correct them conscientiously. These tireless defenders of Darwinian doctrine are shameless frauds.

    LOL! That was my thought exactly. Darwinian devotees will also go down to their basement and rummage through their garbage pile of old bones. Find a piece that looks just a little bit different from the last one and come back up and yell “missing link”. The rubes needs to be reminded that the answer is out there. 🙂

  6. 6
    Charlie says:

    That sounds like the start to a pretty good compromise, Chris.
    Would that statement be read at the beginning of the unit on evolution? Or perhaps affixed as stickers to a text book?
    Or maybe it would be ok to make the statement across the hall, in a philosophy class….or maybe it wouldn’t be.

  7. 7
    tinabrewer says:

    Chris Hyland @4: I wouldn’t think of it as a conspiracy in the conventional sense of a bunch of people getting together in a darkened room and agreeing on a devious secret plan. A cursory look at human history should be sufficient to illustrate the fact that “truth” is often muddied by the desires and limitations of the humans who seek it. People cling to things which are demonstrably untrue because those things serve a deeper need in their being than the mundane world of “facts”. One doesn’t need to look at science to observe this effect; take a simple example of a woman who is married to a drunk for 25 years. She never finished school, she is too old to get a meaningful job, and is terrified of being destitute if she should leave this loser. This situation provides an extremely strong incentive for the woman to live in denial of the true nature of her husband’s behavior, and she will probably go to great, and objectively ridiculous, lengths to conceal the drunkenness from her own consciousness. It simply CAN NOT be true, for if it is, then…

    In a similar way, when someone models their life based upon a particular worldview, and comes to have a sense of peace about that worldview, the deepest part of their being can become invested in the validity of the science which is associated with (if not directly a proof of) that worldview. While neo-Darwinian evolution does not PROVE that there is no God or designer of nature, it definitely makes perfect sense, in the light of the blind and purposeless nature of the alleged creative mechinism, to believe that there is no designer, which can be a buffer to the idea that there is no ultimate meaning, no ultimate goal, and perhaps, no ultimate responsibility. From this deep inner need to be free from the demands and responsibilities associated with “ultimates”, the committed Darwinian scientist might simply refuse to process the obvious facts of nature in a way which could indicate design. Like the broken and hopeless spouse of an alcoholic, such a person cannot face the existential pain of recognizing that they have committed themselves to something which is not only empty but utterly deadening. Of course, this analysis works both ways. If someone is deeply committed to the idea that life is created, and has purpose, he will be thrown into absolute crisis by the notion that science has “proven” that this is untrue. Actually, this is what happened about a hundred plus years ago to our whole society!

    I am always amazed at the change which as taken place between the nihilists of old and the new generations of believers in the “we are a cosmic accident” worldview: In the nineteenth century, (you know, back when God died), artists and intellectuals had the dignity to at least be depressed about it! The didn’t go around pretending that it was just wonderful to be alive and glory in the greatness of being while staring into the gaping black hole of nothingness which could strike at any moment. That hole filled them at LEAST, with NAUSEA. Now, however, the collective unconscious has shifted. Apparently, it has become possible to be an intellectually AND spiritually fulfilled atheist. I mention this only because I realize that this fact significantly weakens my own argument about why people cling to the blind watchmaker thesis with such vigor. In reality, the reasons go much deeper, and extend into the territory only covered by religion (IMHO)which would make it grossly off-topic. But in any case, it is not a conventional conspiracy.

    What you might ask yourself, in order to become clearer about the nature of the ‘conspiracy’ is “In the real world, what actual harm can reasonably be expected to result from “teaching the controversy”, and does even a liberal estimate of this harm come anywhere close to justifying the intense and vitriolic firestorm of condemnation which has greeted ID?”

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    I would be very interested to know people’s perception of the ‘conspiracy’ of evolution. Do people think that all biologists actually think that evolution is a bad theory and are purposefully dictating what can and cannot be taught to cover up this fact? Is it just a few top scientists or all biologists?

    Most scientists defer to the specialists. Most biologists don’t actually comprehend “the theory” and have a naive view in which evolutionary progress is inevitable.

    Who was it that asked scientists what it was from their own particular specialty which led them to accept evolution?

  9. 9
    Chris Hyland says:

    Well preferably students would be taught some philosophy of science such that they understand that all scientific theories are inferences based on the evidence, as opposed to absolute concrete truth. Most people like Ann Coulter, and other people who want the school childern not to learn evolution or to be taught ‘critisisms’ seem to do so becuase they percieve the theory as making atheistic claims. In all the time I’ve spoken to evolutionary biologists none of them has ever said things like “we can conclusively prove that life is purposeless and operates solely on chance and nessecity”. If changing the language used when science is taught can alliviate some of these problems then I’m all for it. Of course I’m well aware I’m not going far enough for a lot of people, but at least we’d be arguing about the same thing.

    No Chris. People like Ann Coulter perceive it as making unsupported claims about past evolution, a process that is unpredictable, unrepeatable, and unobserved. Claims that are nothing more than narrative and passing this off as knowledge as well grounded as gravity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Gravity is predictable, repeatable, and constantly observed in all its full effects. The absurdity of equating the two is simply mind boggling. It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who equates gravity and evolutionary theory, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that). -ds

  10. 10
    Atom says:

    Chris asked: “Do people think that all biologists actually think that evolution is a bad theory and are purposefully dictating what can and cannot be taught to cover up this fact?”

    I do think that at some level cognative dissonance kicks in, and Darwinists are no longer able to see the absurdity of what they propose. If you remove their arguments from a biological context, they will probably be the first ones to denounce the bad logic. For example, it has been argued that we cannot infer design apart from prior knowledge of intentions and technology of the designer. Yet many times in archeology scientists (some of them Darwinists, undoubtably) do exactly that. And what about possible ET intelligence? (Re SETI)

    As you mentioned, this has been discussed before many times. When two sides get so entrenched in their positions, winning the argument at hand takes precedence over the truth. And at that point you get Dar-logic and an inability to even evaluate the other side’s arguments.

  11. 11
    Atom says:

    PS, not to mention the rush to keep people from “critically evaluating” their theory. I get the distinct feeling that Darwinists have something to hide from their actions. I know what they have to hide from my knowledge of Darwinism, namely all of the things they want excluded from any classroom discussion.

  12. 12
    tinabrewer says:

    Chris Hyland: I have taken biology and am personally aquainted with professional biologists. My experience is that although of course no one would make the strong version of the statement of proof you give, the fact is that an overwhelming majority teach evolution in a protective cloak of a weak version therof. I am personally completely uninterested in “teaching the controversy” because of its potentially atheistic connotations: I have never been an atheist, and was never inclined in that direction even during my education in science. I likewise have little to no fear or concern that my own children will be affected in that way. What interests me is the evidence. It seems to be overwhelmingly in favor of clear designed intent. Even biologists of the NDE ilk admit this tacitly: that is why they have to teach themselves to call it an illusion, and pay ritual homage to the wonders of RM+NS. If I could bring myself to believe that what we observe in biology is the result of chance and necessity, my mind would also be blown.

  13. 13
    Raevmo says:

    It blows my mind too, as a biologist, that what we observe in biology is the result of chance and necessity. Yet I choose to believe for the moment that this is true. I believe the properties of matter and the laws of emerging properties are sufficient to explain the emergence of life from non-living matter, and I believe that life as we know it has evolved from there, natural selection being an important mechanism. The reason why I believe this is that I have seen no evidence yet to contradict this believe, only evidence that confirms this believe. As long as there is no *positive* evidence for an intelligent designer, I see no reason to give up my believe. I can see that we are nowhere close to explaining how the molecular machinery of the cell has evolved, but that in itself is no reason to believe that we won’t be able to in the future. Of course I realise that my atheism plays a big role in my believe, and I probably would be an ID-ist if I weren’t an atheist. But I am an atheist, and until there is positive proof that life has been designed I will remain one.

    What evidence confirms your belief that non-living matter can self-assemble into molecular scale machines more complex than all the engineering accomplishments of mankind to date? Personally I don’t see it. What I do know is that in every single case where I see a machine and I know its origin it was the result of intelligent agency. I have witnessed no machines that self-assemble out of inanimate components and have heard no plausible accounts of how digital program driven machinery can materialize without intelligent agency involved. There’s no reason whatsoever to believe that what has never been observed and has not been explained is possible. Until then I’m going with the only proven source of complex machinery and that is intelligent agency. I’m afraid your atheist worldview is interfering with acceptance of the most reasonable explanation for the origin and subsequent evolution of life on this planet. You’re a bright person and I hope that someday you can remove the blinders you wear. -ds

  14. 14
    Raevmo says:

    It seems I am back on moderation. Did I say anything stupid and/or offensive?

    Nothing specific. Too little originality. If we’ve heard all the arguments you make already then your days here are numbered. We don’t need to hear them again and again. -ds

  15. 15
    bFast says:

    Raevmo: “I can see that we are nowhere close to explaining how the molecular machinery of the cell has evolved…” I find this honesty refreshing from an atheist biologist.

    Raevmo: “Of course I realise that my atheism plays a big role in my believe, and I probably would be an ID-ist if I weren’t an atheist.” Again, I appreciate your honesty. If you were a true “I don’t know if there is a God or not, there very well may be” agnostic, would you be an IDer or an NDE evolutionist?

  16. 16
    Chris Hyland says:

    “Raevmo: “I can see that we are nowhere close to explaining how the molecular machinery of the cell has evolved…” I find this honesty refreshing from an atheist biologist.”

    I don’t see anything wrong with that statement, especially when if refers to things like evolution of the transcriptional machinery, which no biologist would say we are close to understanding. As far as the atheist thing goes, I live in a particularly secular country and I’d say among the biologists I work with just under 50% would classify themselves as religious. I once new a biologist who believed the bible to be literally true but she accepted evolution to be ‘scientifically true’.

    “I believe the properties of matter and the laws of emerging properties are sufficient to explain the emergence of life from non-living matter”

    I’m sure a lot of biologists operate under that assumption, but it is really irellevant to the discussion of evolution at present.

    “the fact is that an overwhelming majority teach evolution in a protective cloak of a weak version therof”

    From the age of about 15 onwards when taught biology I heard the words ‘we don’t know’ as much as ‘we do know’. Personally I would say what I now understand to be the modern theory of evolution is no less ‘secure’ than the version I was taught in school.

    “I do think that at some level cognative dissonance kicks in, and Darwinists are no longer able to see the absurdity of what they propose. If you remove their arguments from a biological context, they will probably be the first ones to denounce the bad logic. For example, it has been argued that we cannot infer design apart from prior knowledge of intentions and technology of the designer. Yet many times in archeology scientists (some of them Darwinists, undoubtably) do exactly that. And what about possible ET intelligence? (Re SETI)”

    To be fair SETI and archeology are quite different things to what ID proposes, on the other hand in principle this kind of design inferrence may be possible, but there are a couple of major stumbling blocks. At what point do you think this cognative dissonance kicks in?

  17. 17
    j says:

    tinabrewer @7: “In the nineteenth century, (you know, back when God died)…”

    Not necessarily…

    Another non-Darwinian ideology in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was finalism… Those who adopted finalism assumed that evolution moved necessarily from lower to higher, from primitive to advanced, from simple to complex, from imperfect to perfect. They postulated the existence of some built-in force, because, they said, how else can one explain the gradual evolution from the lowest bacteria up to orchids, giant trees, butterflies, apes, and man? The belief in finalism goes at least as far back as Aristotle, who recognized it as one of the causes, indeed the final cause. For many years after 1859, finalism was still accepted by a large proportion of evolutionists, but never by Darwin. …And so for the first 80 years after the publication of On the Origin of Species, Darwin’s theory of variational evolution had to battle with three other major evolutionary theories attempting to explain evolution…

    Transmutationism

    …The transmutationist postulates that a mutation results in the sudden origin of a new kind of individual. This individual, together with its offspring and their descendants, represents a new species. [Transmutationists included] some of Darwin’s firends, including T.H. Huxley. Although was vigorously criticized by Weismann and other Darwinians (sic), it remained popular for almost 100 years. …(De Vries, Bateson, Johannsen… Goldschmidt 1940; Willis 1940; Schendewolf 1950)”

    Transformationism

    …the type could become gradually “transformed” in the course of time, although it was still essentially invariable at any given moment in time. …Evolution of a species, it was said, was like the development of a zygote from the fertilized egg to the adult. Indeed, the term evolution was first used by the Swiss philosopher Bonnet for the preformation theory of individual development… Transformationism was undoubtedly the most widely adopted evolutionary theory from 1859 until the evolutionary synthesis of the 1940s.”

    [There are two types of transformationism: Owing to environmental influences, and orthogenesis.]

    — Ernst Mayr, What Evolution Is According to a Philosophical Materialist (2001), pp. 75-82.

    [FYI, regarding orthogenesis, Mayr says, “[It was] abandoned when no mechanism could be found to drive such trends. Furthermore, such drives, if they existed, should result in “rectilinear” (straight) evolutionary lineages, but the paleontologists showed that all evolutionary trends sooner or later change their direction or may even reverse themselves. Finally, one can explain linear trends as the product of natural selection. Indeed there is no evidence whatsoever to support any belief in cosmic teleology.”

    Not that I necessarily subscribe to it, but IMHO, this is a lame “refutation”…]

  18. 18
    leebowman says:

    To tinabrewer @ 7 re: the drunk husband:

    I like your analogy, although there is no true analogy for the trained scientific mindset gone south. But let’s alter it a bit. Rather than the poor woman “living in denial” and covering for his drunkenness, how about first being beaten by not just him, but also by his friends, then getting tossed out of the house into the street (if she doesn’t continue to support him)?

    I don’t quite agree with her being too old to get a meaningful job. Hey, after 4 – 6 years of college and thousands of dollars, some maybe still owed, she could always get a job in a fast food restaurant (I see the help wanted signs all time). So if doubt comes forth, you just stifle it, and press onward. With the evo-devo crowd, you’ll always have support from your peers.

    Tina continues, “People cling to things which are demonstrably untrue because those things serve a deeper need in their being than the mundane world of “facts”. Yes, and it’s hard to argue with that. Good pay, prestige, recognition for new finds, a good retirement and benefits, with lots of loyal compadres. And who knows, maybe RM+NS is true!

    And now for PZ Myers, who’s found a comfortable niche at pandasthumb.org. Here he hops on Ann Coulter with both feet (at least they’re not webbed anymore), and basically attacks her credentials, which isn’t really very hard to do, and then goes on with his same old rhetoric. Citing PubMed’s 150,000 articles on evolution, he implies that that legitimizes it, but he fails to distinguish macro- and micro- as separate study topics, or cite any real breakthroughs. He then lists (with links) a slew of science blogs, book lists, information sites, and the Library of Congress, resting his case on the timeworn ‘preponderance of evidence’ claim.

    As he’s done over the years, Myers goes on to attack the strawman of Christian fundamentalism on his blog, as if this is the current support for Intelligent Design, then smiles and sends you off to a ‘proof’ article by him called ‘Evolution of Polyphenism’, which talks about recombination of extant alleles to produce new phenotypes. This is irrefutable prove of evolution, he declares. But as we all know, variations in specific populations are notis no controversy! But let’s let PZ answer that question.

    “While we’ve built this world class scientific establishment and created a strong science elite, we’re having our foundation cut out from under us by a seductive, anti-intellectual grassroots effort by creationists. Are you worried yet? I’m worried. Just when we’re challenged with new crises that require a sophisticated workforce, that requires our science and engineering nation to buckle down and find solutions, we discover that the coming generation is being undermined from within, stripped of the skills that we need.”

    And on Sunday’s blog, he lets us in on what we can truly expect out of him.

    “I don’t know if you can handle the truth, but here it is. Connect the dots, people. Everyone who meets me says I’m so nice and softspoken; I’ve got the beard; I’m not so svelte anymore; I’m producing this stuff at a prodigious rate; I’m giving it away for free.”

    “I’m Santa Claus gone godless, and every day is freakin’ Christmas. No GI Joes or Barbies anymore, everyone is getting math and science and cold cruel atheism in their stockings.”

    Nice. Can’t wait till Christmas.

  19. 19
    johnnyb says:

    “I would be very interested to know people’s perception of the ‘conspiracy’ of evolution.”

    Chris —

    It’s fairly simple to me. I don’t claim to know whether it’s a conspiracy or just institutionalized bad logic [this certainly wouldn’t be the first time this happened in science], but the complete disparity between facts, philosophy, and logic make it eye-opening to me.

    How do symbolic coded systems arise without a mind?
    How do multistep changes (not just tens or hundreds, but thousands) occur in at least semi-coordination by happenstance without a higher-order logic working them out?
    How does one even infer universal common ancestry without knowing the mechanism of abiogenesis? In order to be certain that homologies are the result of ancestry, one would first have to recognize whether or not the pre-life causes would have produced that homology. In order to know that, you have to know the mechanism of abiogenesis!
    How can the material create a mind?

    All of these questions are just poo-pooed away by the community at large. The only place where they were even remotely touched as far as I’m aware was Michael Ruse’s “Biology and Philosophy” journal. The ID crowd is the only one even attempting to tackle the large-scale informational issues systematically.

    The fact that these questions are ignored, and that potential answers to them from a theistic or even pantheistic perspective are forbidden by fiat, indicates that there is, if not an outright explicit conspiracy, a “cultural conspiracy” at play (i.e. — cultural forces that act the same as if there was a conspiracy — think about the “religious right” in America — these are the most uncoordinated group ever around, yet their shared cultural values make them seem like a “vast right-wing conspiracy” to outsiders). And then the whole Sternberg case was a case-study in this type of behavior from the biological community.

  20. 20
    tribune7 says:

    Raevmo, you said “Of course I realise that my atheism plays a big role in my believe, and I probably would be an ID-ist if I weren’t an atheist. But I am an atheist, and until there is positive proof that life has been designed I will remain one.”

    Why don’t you reject the possibility that we are here by random chance?

  21. 21
    idnet.com.au says:

    I like hearing from Raevmo. There is a frankness and intelligence in what ?he writes. Presupposition based on atheism necessitates RM+NS. There is no choice.

    “I choose to believe … I believe … I believe … The reason why I believe is that I have seen no evidence yet to contradict this. … there is no *positive* evidence for an intelligent designer, I see no reason to give up my belief.

    My atheism plays a big role in my belief, and I probably would be an ID-ist if I weren’t an atheist. But I am an atheist, and until there is positive proof that life has been designed I will remain one.”

    This is a valid position. That is what ID is about. We are demonstrating the positive proof Raevmo wants. Let us articulate it in a way that will convince people like Flew and Raevmo to change.

  22. 22
    GilDodgen says:

    Re #19. johnnyb is right on the money with “institutionalized bad logic,” a “cultural conspiracy,” and “All of these questions are just poo-pooed away by the community at large.”

    Put yourself in the mindset of a thoroughgoing philosophical naturalist or materialist. You are absolutely convinced, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that matter in motion is all there is or ever was. Therefore, neo-Darwinism simply must be true, and no evidence against it can possibly exist. If it appears that evidence against it exists, then the evidence must be in error, or we must be misinterpreting the evidence.

    Therefore, anyone who challenges the propositions of neo-Darwinism must be a religious kook who is either nefarious or stupid, and therefore an enemy of science.

  23. 23
    Raevmo says:

    Ds, I am quite impressed by the ability of viruses to self-assemble. The host machinery produces the DNA/RNA and the coat proteins, but somehow these components manage to self-assemble into complete viruses. That suggests to me that early life could also pull off a similar trick. I wouldn’t underestimate the self-assembly ability of molecular machinery.

    Tribune7 asked me why I wouldn’t reject the possibility that we are here by random chance. Well, I’m not sure what random chance really means. If the tape of evolution were played twice I have the feeling that intelligent life would show up again, but I doubt it would look very much like us. It might well be more reptilian-like. Who knows? Maybe the universe is such that intelligent life is inevitable. I like to think so.

    Sometimes in science things are observed so reliably, so often, and without exception they are promoted from theory to law. The law of gravity is a good example. No one has ever observed anything falling up and countless trillions of observations have been made of things falling down. Biology has a weird twist in it from the chance worshippers who won’t face reality. That is the observation that life comes from life. In any other science this would be called a law of nature. Life has never been observed coming from non-life (not even viruses if you don’t count the recent virus particles constructed by gene splicing machines) and there have been countless billions of direct observations of life coming from life. There’s a latin phrase for it “omne vivo ex ovum” which means everything comes from an egg. As far back as we can determine there’s an unbroken cell line where life comes from life. Only in biology is what would normally be a law of nature broken without any evidence whatsoever that the law has been broken or can even possibly be broken. Again Raevmo, your atheism is blinding you to an indisputable law of nature that is staring you right in the face – life comes from life. I hold out the hope that you can remove your blinders someday. Science is agnostic, not atheist. Science goes where the evidence leads and in this case the evidence does not lead to abiogenesis. -ds

  24. 24
    tribune7 says:

    “But I am an atheist, and until there is positive proof that life has been designed I will remain one.” “Maybe the universe is such that intelligent life is inevitable. I like to think so.”

    Raevmo — Can you any inconsistancy here?

  25. 25
    tribune7 says:

    “Science is agnostic, not atheist.”

    Good point, Dave.

    I think I’d put it as “science is not faith, and faith is not science”.

    Now, a rational person will understand that he shouldn’t take everything on faith. But he’d also understand that he shouldn’t submit every event in his life through the filter of science. If the scientist leaves the lab or office and analyzes every glass of wine he drinks, and television show he watches, and song he hears, he is going to be a pretty unhappy person.

    And a scientist is quite capable of going to chuch and praying without the fabric of the universe being torn asunder.

    And priest is quite capable. after ordination, of calculating the beginning of the universe a la Lemaître or founding the science of genetics a la Mendel.

  26. 26
    Raevmo says:

    Tribune7, I don’t think that’s inconsistent. I think that the properties of matter are such that life is (almost) inevitable. That seems to me a more beautiful view than to assume that once in a while a designer has to interrupt and give life a kick start. If I were the designer that’s how I would do it: create matter with such properties that life were inevitable, even under the influence of “random” forces, and then see what happens.

    For the record I don’t think the designer intervened, at least not in the history of this planet. I think phylogeny, at least on this planet, unfolded according to a plan contained in the original cell just like an individual human grows from a single cell according to a plan contained in the egg cell. In both cases the environment provides nothing more than triggers or checkpoints for proceeding to the next stage. Don’t make me rehash it all. You can google it up from my comments and articles here. I call the original cell a phylogenetic stem cell. Everything in evolution makes perfect sense in the light of a phylogenetic stem cell. -ds

  27. 27
    tribune7 says:

    Chris — I would be very interested to know people’s perception of the ‘conspiracy’ of evolution.

    I think it has to do with people losing jobs, hope for tenure, etc. if they express doubt in it.

  28. 28
    Raevmo says:

    “Science goes where the evidence leads and in this case the evidence does not lead to abiogenesis. -ds”

    That is your opinion. The jury is still out on that. Let’s wait for the jury to come out. But how would you feel if it was shown experimentally that life could emerge from lifeless chemicals? I would feel tremedous awe. And at the same time, in my opinion this event wouldn’t change the likelihood that some designer were responsible for life.

    Sure. But while the jury is out (technically it’s always out in science – everything is tentative) we should not teach one hypothesis, excluding all others, to school children. This is especially egregious when the hypothesis enjoying exclusivity isn’t the one that best fits the empirical data. That’s my only gripe, actually. I resent the chance worshippers abusing the establishment clause to give their pet theory of evolution exclusivity in public education. It’s just that simple. Teach the controversy and stop abusing the establishment clause. -ds

  29. 29
    tribune7 says:

    Raevmo — ” I think that the properties of matter are such that life is (almost) inevitable. That seems to me a more beautiful view than to assume that once in a while a designer has to interrupt and give life a kick start.”

    That’s fine, but the point is there is no “positive proof” in that.

  30. 30
    Chris Hyland says:

    “Chris — I would be very interested to know people’s perception of the ‘conspiracy’ of evolution.

    I think it has to do with people losing jobs, hope for tenure, etc. if they express doubt in it.”

    It seems to me it would be quite possible, assuming people were tactful. So for example as long as you didn’t title all your papers ‘evoltuion is wrong’, and presented your argument in steps, ie several papers. The best way to do it of course is to present a theory that fits the data better than the current theory, but before that you can do a lot of ‘setup’, publishing some of your arguments that don’t nesseceraly contradict evolution, so people are less able to dispute your theory. Thats how I would do it, unless I had uncontradictbale proof of ID, and a very good model. What’s most important of course is doing a lot of original research and generating a lot of data first.

  31. 31
    tribune7 says:

    Chris -It seems to me it would be quite possible, assuming people were tactful. So for example as long as you didn’t title all your papers ‘evoltuion is wrong’, and presented your argument in steps, ie several papers.

    In other words, if people titled their papers “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories” everything would be OK?

  32. 32
    johnnyb says:

    Chris —

    In addition to tribune7’s point, also take note of the treatment of Guillermo Gonzalez, and he _did_ follow the roadmap you specified.

  33. 33
    Chris Hyland says:

    I don’t really know much about what happened to Guillermo Gonzalez, do you have a link?

    “In other words, if people titled their papers “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories” everything would be OK?”

    I didn’t mean just the title, my point that was you need a lot more evidence and research than is in the paper before you can start to make the kind of conclusions it does. Thats why the best thing to do is build up to it IMHO, surely theres a lot of research ID can do, it’s results that count.

  34. 34
    scordova says:

    Raevmo,

    I appreciate your candor. I mingle with atheist freely and appreciate many of them even though I disagree. Many who are pro-ID or at least sympathetic today were former atheists. It is for that reason, you will rarely hear me rail against atheists (unless they are like Madelein O’Hare)…

    I point you to this essay by a formerly convinced atheist, who is now an ID friendly physicist:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....chives/852

    I point out too John Sanford was an atheist. I highly recommend you consider getting ahold of his book. The theoretical content within it is very sound. And given he was a former atheist, I hope it should lessen somewhat your metaphysical leaning in hearing a pro-ID argument.

    Salvador

  35. 35
    tribune7 says:

    Chris

    The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories

    http://www.discovery.org/scrip.....38;id=2177

    This is the one that got Dr. Richard Sternberg in trouble for okaying it’s publication in a peer reviewed journal.

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