Intelligent Design News

September 2014: Events that made a difference to ID

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Further to August 2014 (and to Barry’s suggestion that readers kindly remember Uncommon Descent in their year end giving tax receipt) – via the Donate button (our Christmas stocking) on the main page):

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

Well, try to remember that time in September … It was becoming obvious that no one who knows the facts need be defensive about no longer believing the spin.

– On the information theory front: William Dembski on what information is And Robert Marks of the Evolutionary Informatics Lab on probability and random processes (the one Baylor’s Darwin followers tried to shut down). Look, finally the books have to be balanced.

Guy cooks up “information theory” origin of life that sounds just like the usual naturalist stuff. ID theorist Bill Dembski responds. Memo to guy: Stop protecting naturalism Try learning how information works. And then there’s – Rob Sheldon on why a “bottom up” cosmos just doesn’t work anyway.

Along those lines, a guided tour of no free lunch theorems, and a note that William Dembski’s Being as Communion is now available on Kindle. Some admit the problems, of course, but stay on the right side of naturalism.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Meanwhile, catching up with Darwin’s followers:

Along the lines of the Central Dogma of evolution, DNA to RNA to protein, all proceeding like falling dominoes: Pond scum smashes genome into over 225k parts, then rebuilds it. Doesn’t matter; Darwin has spoken.

Embryologist Jonathan Wells comments on biology’s ongoing quiet revolution:

So it is not true that biologists know all the basic features of living cells and are merely filling in the details. Nor is it true that Darwinian evolution is a settled scientific “fact,” as its defenders claim. Huge unanswered questions remain, and they will only be answered by going beyond the discredited myth that “DNA makes RNA makes protein makes us.”

The discredited myth he refers to is a key doctrine of modern Darwinism.

Most of the really interesting research today is non-Darwinian, irrespective of whatever rubbish researchers must emit (convincingly emote?) in order to get publication or funding. Horizontal gene transfer, epigenetics, stasis, fantastically (probably irreducibly) complex systems, are examples, just for starters.

Meanwhile, are you this guy’s student?: “Evolution Professor: Every ,Year I Give My Students ‘The Talk.”

Yeah, we know. It’s a kind of a two-punch thing. That guy does all our initial public relations for us. Then the students read Darwin’s Doubt and they are ours. That’s the main reason so few North Americans believe in Darwin. 😉

– Neanderthal symbols were found in a Gibraltar cave. That shuffling fellow, second from the right in the Ascent of Man march, turns out to just not exist, or anyway not like they claim. Or as I (O’Leary for News) asked: A deep and abiding need for Neanderthals to be stupid. Why?

– Then there were the stories that are best explained like this: Neuroscience tried wholly embracing naturalism, but then the brain got away:

Man born without connection between two halves of brain functions normally—at 88. Condition was discovered by accident when he walked into a clinic to complain of a minor problem. Also, a woman of 24 has no cerebellum in her brain. Oh, and patients show consciousness in a vegetative state This is not a mystery if we start with the assumption that life is principally information, not matter. There are laws and rules, sure, but not necessarily the same ones.

Just for fun:

– Could we be living in a one-dimensional universe? A 0-D universe? A single point. With no dimensions at all? It makes no less sense than much of the interstellar gas around the multiverse. For one thing, if we start with the assumption that our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth (standard naturalist dogma), there is no way of knowing what type of universe we are living in, even at the most basic level anyway. There is no information and nothing to apprehend.

– Stephen Hawking revises the end of all things. As I noted,

A curious change during my own lifetime is that “end of all things” rhetoric has moved over from religion to science. Today, churches teach “he shall come again in glory to judge” as a conventional accepted doctrine. If you are a good Christian, you are supposed to believe that, but not pry into it or act like it is imminent. In science, on the other hand…

At times, it seems like apocalyptic science loons splinter lecterns across the nation.

New Scientist: Origin of life more likely if we weight the dice  One would think so, because anything that is possible benefits from weighting the dice—which is also known as design.

– Liberals know little about evolution?:

Most creationists actually know more about evolution than McCardle’s liberals. Of course they do. If one truly believes fatuous effluvia from pop sci mags, one needs no reasons other than: It’s me. It’s here. It’s now. It’s in. It’s cool.

Actually, it’s better not to know very much about evolution if one is prepared to believe as much as they do. Self-described liberals are also more likely to believe in astrology.

– PZ Myers reinvents the meaning of “vestigial organs”: He insists, Vestigial means “reduced in size or utility compared to homologous organs in other animals” Huh? As noted at the time,

But this makes no sense. A doctor can remove a man’s gangrenous leg without anyone getting the idea that the leg was vestigial.

Myers’s reworking of the idea of the vestigial organ as a useless evolutionary leftover (that was the point of its role in arguing for Darwin’s mechanism of evolution) is just another blatant attempt to save the Darwin-in-the-classroom idea of vestigial organs – in the light of modern evidence that there are few or none of them. Heck, even whales’ claspers turn out to be needed for reproduction.

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

February 2014: Events that made a difference to ID
We are definitely past having to care what Christians for Darwin think.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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4 Replies to “September 2014: Events that made a difference to ID

  1. 1
    awstar says:

    … reworking of the idea of the vestigial organ as a useless evolutionary leftover (that was the point of its role in arguing for Darwin’s mechanism of evolution) is just another blatant attempt to save the Darwin-in-the-classroom idea of vestigial organs – in the light of modern evidence that there are few or none of them

    How soon will it be before some recent-grad, Ralph Nader type, hungry lawyer finds it lucrative to sue cash rich universities on behalf of students who have been deliberately deceived by their profs? Perhaps evolving into a new species of class action suits from that which squashed such popular cars as the Chevy Corvair?

  2. 2
    News says:

    Awstar at 1, like most Canadians, your News writer is NOT a big fan of lawsuits.

    If there must be such suits, I would prefer to focus on direct denials of academic freedom or subversion of careers in order to protect a failing orthodoxy.

    Quite apart from the harm done to the individual, *the public should not have to support the First and Only Church of Darwin* through tax funds.

    Yet that is essentially what happens.

    How many people will work an extra two hours a year to pay for indoctrination in Darwinian-only evolution, through tax funds? Isn’t it time we started asking?

  3. 3
    awstar says:

    News #2

    I agree with you on all points. But when things go too far out of whack, the pendulum always seems to find a way of swinging back, and it’s not usually just because it’s the right thing to do.

  4. 4
    rvb8 says:

    That could be difficult for several reasons.

    First the alleged deception would have to be clearly proven, and given the history of ID in court that is problematic.

    Second, if this alleged deception is proven to the judge’s satisfaction, then the judge might ask for someone to explain the fully worked out scientific theory to replace the alleged deception.

    Finally, if this is not forth coming the judge may say that, because the alleged deception is merely alleged, we should retain the alleged deception until this alternative is sufficiently robust to be a suitable replacement for the aforementioned alleged ‘deception’.

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