Behe and Medved on ID

Denyse O’Leary has an interesting post on Michael Medved’s interview with Michael Behe, Ph.D.1 Naturalistic evolutionists love to hate Behe. This, even though he agrees with common descent. Darwinists have displayed their maturity level on a number of occasions.2,3

“At what point in your academic career, did you begin to feel that the standard explanation of random purposeless natural selection might have some problems.”

“I remember it pretty clearly. It was late 1980s. I was tenured associate professor at Leheigh. I believed pretty much the standard story of evolution. … I read a book called Evolution: A theory in crisis. … Denton at the time was an agnostic. … He was, at the time, just tired of what he saw as large problems with evolution. … I was shocked, because I had never heard a scientist challenge Darwin’s theories. …”

O’Leary also references the fact that men like big….er…well, because evolution makes us.4 So, next time you get smacked for staring when you shouldn’t, blame evolution (“I’m sorry honey….My genes made me do it.” Yeah, that’d work for me. I’d get smacked twice as hard.).

Until very recently, it was a mystery to evolutionary psychology why men prefer women with large breasts, since the size of a woman’s breasts has no relationship to her ability to lactate. But Harvard anthropologist Frank Marlowe contends that larger, and hence heavier, breasts sag more conspicuously with age than do smaller breasts. Thus they make it easier for men to judge a woman’s age (and her reproductive value) by sight-suggesting why men find women with large breasts more attractive.

1 http://listserv.discovery.org/emailmarketer/link.php?M=281023&N=867&L=1664&F=H
2 http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/ervs-challenge-to-michael-behe/
3 http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2008/10/recombination_retrovirus_sex.php#more
4 Hypothesis for the Evolution of the Human Breasts and Buttocks

Advertisements

50 Responses

  1. An elegant piece of speculation, but unless it can be tested, it’s no better than pixie dust.

  2. The breast part or other Carl??? I’m confused…

  3. Yes, I meant the speculation as to the origins of male fascination with large breasts. It’s so close to being a “Just-So” story that I can see why some people don’t take evolutionary narratives seriously at all.

  4. Evolutionary psychology is rife with this kind of thing–just imagine a scenario and present it. That’s all that’s needed for it to be “scientific.” Thanks for your comment.

  5. Actually, that brings up an interesting point regarding sexual nature:

    This may sound vulgar, and I apologize if it does, but I like to pose the ‘orgasm’ test to evolutionists:

    Making babies is what perpetuates a species, NOT making mutants, or “positive, beneficial, life-affirming selections”. If we randomly evolved the ability to have sexual gratification (more specifically, orgasm) by blowing our noses or scratching our feet, instead of having it tied to the reproductive process, then the human race would have died out a long, long time ago (but died happy, at least!). To me, that sounds like somebody knew what they were doing!!

    [And how many tries do you think it took natural selection to figure out where to attach that particular pleasure that to? In fact, why male & female at all, come to think of it. We would do far better by just splitting in two like our single-cell ancestors!]

  6. Mike, why not take the time to find out what evolutionary theorists have actually said about the evolution of sex? A five-second search on evolution and sex on Amazon revealed a lot of hits.

    Think of it this way: it’s easy to criticize people like Dawkins for not bothering to investigate theology before making their criticisms of religion. But if you make criticisms of evolutionary theory without taking the time to investigate it thoroughly, how are you behaving any differently? And if you rely on your public school education for your knowledge of science, how are you any different from critics of religion whose conception of God stopped growing when they were in Sunday school?

  7. Carl,

    I have no idea what the explanation is. But I’m sure that within the worldview of the evolution, it makes perfect sense. Just as expecting an atheist to investigate the claims of Christians that Jesus turned water into wine. Outside of a Christian-biased worldview, that claim is absurd.

    Better to prove the bigger miracles first (like the resurrection, or evolution), and then let the smaller ones comfortably rest on faith. What explanation could I give you outside of my biased Christianized worldview of the water-to-wine miracle? That would sure be some crazy science I would need to come up with, wouldn’t it?

  8. I would think that the more one tried to explain the transformation of water into wine, the less it would be a miracle.

    But I certainly don’t accept the premise that evolution and Christianity are mutually exclusive world-views. The former is a scientific theory; the latter is a existential position of faith. They are apples and oranges.

    Another way of seeing where I’m coming from here is this: I simply don’t understand the animosity and contempt that creationists and intelligent design people have for theistic evolutionists. If it’s all about the science, I can see how a design theorist will say, “those people are well-meaning Christians, but they’re wrong about the science.” But that’s usually not what is said. Instead, design theorists often say, “those theistic evolutionists aren’t really Christians at all!” I find this utterly baffling.

  9. I would think that the more one tried to explain the transformation of water into wine, the less it would be a miracle.

    We could implore a chemist to try and invent, or hypothesize a formula. But does that mean it really happened? That’s the point I was making. Even if a formula could be arrived at, would you believe it actually happened – without believing that Jesus had the power to do such things?

    But I certainly don’t accept the premise that evolution and Christianity are mutually exclusive world-views. The former is a scientific theory; the latter is a existential position of faith. They are apples and oranges.

    Not apples and oranges. They can be compared based on historicity. But in my view, one must be discarded.

    Another way of seeing where I’m coming from here is this: I simply don’t understand the animosity and contempt that creationists and intelligent design people have for theistic evolutionists.

    Well, I can only speak for myself Carl. I harbor no animosity toward theistic evolutionsts. But I do believe Christian theology absolutely conflicts with Christian evolutionism.

    (For the record, I am not a YEC, theistic evolutionist or gap theory proponent. But I won’t say more than that at the moment.)

    Here are a couple of points for any Christian to consider regarding theistic evolutionism:

    Given a belief that:

    1) Adam and Eve, and the garden of Eden narrative is myth or metaphor.

    2) Humans evolved from lower forms, and therefore always lived, suffered and died naturally. (ie: death didn’t come into the world via original sin).

    3) “Sin” is just a result of the conflict between our highly-evolved brains (or spiritual nature ***) and our basic animalistic, primal instincts.

    (*** I’m assuming that this belief system requires that somewhere along the line God stepped in and granted us mindless primates a spiritual nature, because I can’t imagine how a professing Christian would deny he has a soul!! Perhaps one would say that all creatures have a spiritual nature, but only man evolved enough to become aware of it?)

    Given 1), 2), and 3), then how can we account for the *entirety* of Christian theology? One must construct an alternate theology of Origins *and* Purpose (but probably not Ethics).

    Also consider: God’s evolutionary mechanism screwed up royally, didn’t it? Because we evolved as a species of evil-doers, didn’t we? We were better off as mindless knuckle-dragging primates. That would seem more life-affirming to me, rather than a species naturally-selected to evolve the means to destroy itself with a couple of button pushes. And if the “sin nature” evolved naturally, then we really didn’t need Jesus to come and “save us” from it, did we? On the other hand, if the “sin nature” was by divinely-guided by God’s evolutionary processes, then God purposely made us evil sinners, didn’t he? And I guess Jesus came to clean up God’s mess?

  10. Since I’m a Jewish agnostic and not a Christian, I feel it would disingenuous of me to act as an advocate of Christian (theistic) evolutionism. I would do so only as a “devil’s advocate,” as someone who has less invested in the discussion than the others.

    We could implore a chemist to try and invent, or hypothesize a formula. But does that mean it really happened? That’s the point I was making. Even if a formula could be arrived at, would you believe it actually happened – without believing that Jesus had the power to do such things?

    If a chemist could explain the spontaneous transformation of mere water (H20) to a complicated solution of water, ethanol, tannins, acids, sugars, aromatic aldehydes, ketones, phenolics, enzymes, pigments, many vitamins, some minerals — some 300 separate types of molecules overall! — well, my first thought would be that the chemist is mistaken, and my second thought would be that everything I know about chemistry is fundamentally mistaken. (And I took three semester of chemistry in college, including one semester of organic chemistry).

    But suppose that it could be empirically demonstrated that water could become wine. Well, since the hallmark of empirical demonstrability is repeatable testing, then the more this demonstration is tested, and the more probable it becomes that this transformation could happen, then the less “supernatural” and the more “natural” this transformation seems, and so the less “miraculous.”

    Still, given what we do know about the molecular composition of water and of wine, it would nothing short of supernatural — i.e. miraculous — for water to become wine. So anyone who thought that this had really happened would have to conclude that it was a miracle, i.e. something that cannot be understood by unaided human reason.

  11. Carl said,

    Since I’m a Jewish agnostic…

    Just curious, does this mean that you are a Jew by birth only? If yes, then why would you bother to use the term, “Jewish” in front of “agnostic?” Why not just say “agnostic,” since, I would think, from an agnostic/scientific position, only people of Hebrew descent could truly be called Jewish. The rest, as with all Christians, are just proselytes.

  12. Carl said,

    If a chemist could explain the spontaneous transformation of mere water (H20) to a complicated solution of water, ethanol, tannins, acids, sugars, aromatic aldehydes, ketones, phenolics, enzymes, pigments, many vitamins, some minerals — some 300 separate types of molecules overall! — well, my first thought would be that the chemist is mistaken, and my second thought would be that everything I know about chemistry is fundamentally mistaken. (And I took three semester of chemistry in college, including one semester of organic chemistry).

    On the opposite side, this is very much the reason why I can’t hold to a theistic evolutionist’s scenario. It doesn’t fit with what I know to be the truth: my first thought would be that the theistic evolutionist is mistaken, and my second thought would have to be that God is a liar. (And I’ve spent the last twenty two years seeking and experiencing God and His Truth.)

  13. Just curious, does this mean that you are a Jew by birth only? If yes, then why would you bother to use the term, “Jewish” in front of “agnostic?” Why not just say “agnostic,” since, I would think, from an agnostic/scientific position, only people of Hebrew descent could truly be called Jewish.

    I put it that way in order to indicate that Christianity does not have even an emotional pull on me. It does not speak to me, personally, in any way; I cannot even imagine what it would be like to see the world from a Christian point of view. Whereas there is a Jewish aspect to my soul; I can see the world from a Jewish point of view very easily, although I am neither observant nor wish to be.

  14. so:

    1) we need to find a process that can produce the result (in the lab, at least)

    2) we need to assign an acting agent we believe did/can initiate such a process (in the real world, outside the lab)

    3) we need to assume the particular process we can empirically test and verify (in 1) is the *actual* process that was used by our assigned agent (in 2).

    In the Jesus scenario, given 2, and even 1 as a known (as in your example), we know 3 is false because Jesus didn’t have a chemistry lab, based on the written texts.

    I’m not sure the evolution of orgasms even makes it that far Carl!

  15. My apologies to the Country Shrink if a few rather curious “o” words start appearing in the keywords sidebar on this blog!

  16. Don’t make me paranoid Mike! My site’s been hacked about 3 or 4 times in the past week and a half. Mysterious appearances get me a little jittery right now. 🙂 That’s one reason I haven’t been commenting or writing much. Just trying to put out fires and make sure the hackers can’t come back!! My commenting and writing may be a bit light for the next several days, because I working on transferring to a better server. But I’m enjoying the comments of all involved!

  17. Carl,

    So, could it be that Judaism has (religiously) influenced your perception of Christianity, as well as science, since it still has an “emotional pull” for you? If yes to this question, then why should an agnostic be influenced by any belief in God?

  18. 1) we need to find a process that can produce the result (in the lab, at least)

    2) we need to assign an acting agent we believe did/can initiate such a process (in the real world, outside the lab)

    3) we need to assume the particular process we can empirically test and verify (in 1) is the *actual* process that was used by our assigned agent (in 2).

    Just in case someone reading my post above thinks that the evolutionist answer for 2 is “Natural Selection” (with 1 being genetic mutation or manipulation), I must remind the reader that Natural Selection is not an acting agent at all. It’s just a term that we invented to describe differences in the data. Science hasn’t admitted to believing in a energy force called “Natural Selection”, to my knowledge. So what actually mutated the genes, and changed the DNA of our ancestors? Wind? Electomagnetic fields? Over-use of anatomical features (a la Lamark). X-rays? Viruses? Aliens? etc…

    So 2, really, is an unknown.

  19. An elegant piece of speculation, but unless it can be tested, it’s no better than pixie dust.

    Further observation and testing of female breasts is necessary? I’d volunteer, in the interest of science.

    If it is story time then here is one that may be a little better than: “Once upon a time men realized that women had breasts and then they liked them or somethin’.”

    Instead here’s a story of a creature of the earth, an earthling/”Adam” and its Maker.

    One day a Mind thought, “I think I will make a mini-me.” He will be like Me but very, very mini, a tiny little one, like Me…but mini. Then this mini-me will have me to talk to and it will be nice for him. I like to make such nice things, so I will make him. And so He made Himself a tiny little mini. He was like that, making things. He also made Himself many other nice things. Now He and his mini had some conversations about many things, so many things. For He had made many nice things but one day, the mini-him said, “I noticed something, you know!” But He just laughed…then said, “What is that?” And he replied, “Well, after I observed the first couple of things of course I noticed.” He laughed again, He liked to laugh. But then He said, “Oh…alright.” So He made the mini-him go to sleep and then split the mini-him in two so that he could be a couple too.

    …the mini-him woke up and said, “What happened?” But the Man just said, “I am the Maker and what I make is good!”

    “Whoa Man! You are right.” replied the mini. Then the Man said, “Of course I am. I am always right. I AM that I AM! Every jot and tittle is always just so.”

    “Yes, every tittle…I say, some tittles seem rather titillating to me!” But then the woman said, “Don’t you have work to do?”

    The Man just laughed….and as He walked away He heard her say, “How’s my figure?” and thought, “The codes I used to form her will be hard for my little fellow to figure out! I figured her to be a well-rounded individual and she is rounded well indeed.”

    The End

  20. Mynym wrote:

    Further observation and testing of female breasts is necessary? I’d volunteer, in the interest of science.

    Yes, I don’t think it would be hard to find male research subjects.

    I like your tale!

  21. I found the tale fascinating, but parts of it were udder-ly ridiculous;-)

  22. So, could it be that Judaism has (religiously) influenced your perception of Christianity, as well as science, since it still has an “emotional pull” for you? If yes to this question, then why should an agnostic be influenced by any belief in God?

    I don’t understand what you’re asking.

  23. Carl,

    I withdraw the question.

  24. Just in case someone reading my post above thinks that the evolutionist answer for 2 is “Natural Selection” (with 1 being genetic mutation or manipulation), I must remind the reader that Natural Selection is not an acting agent at all. It’s just a term that we invented to describe differences in the data. Science hasn’t admitted to believing in a energy force called “Natural Selection”, to my knowledge. So what actually mutated the genes, and changed the DNA of our ancestors? Wind? Electomagnetic fields? Over-use of anatomical features (a la Lamark). X-rays? Viruses? Aliens? etc…

    So 2, really, is an unknown.

    Wow – what an exercise in sophistry! I don’t think any of that makes sense. Natual selection being a result of pure-chance reproductive environments, is an agent. My questioning of causes of mutation really only apply across different kinds (ie: fish to amphibian, mouse to man etc…). I completely accept observable natural selection within types , or kinds (speciation?).

  25. The problem with that, Mike, is that there are no such things as “kinds.” There are only species, i.e. reproductively isolated populations. Everything else — families, classes, phyla, etc. — is just a feature of our system of classification which measures degrees of similarity and dissimilarity between species. Take any one of those distinctions in “kinds”, and when you get down to the level of species, it’s as fine-grained as the evolution within a species or from one species to another.

    In other words, the distinction between “macroevolution” and “microevolution” is a difference in the coarseness or fineness of temporal resolution — that’s all.

  26. In other words, the distinction between “macroevolution” and “microevolution” is a difference in the coarseness or fineness of temporal resolution — that’s all.

    Yes, but it is my strong opinion that there in fact are definite lines, or delineations of types, that I see no evidence of being crossed (as in the tiktaalic example for instance). Hence, I do make that macro/micro distinction.

  27. Yes, but it is my strong opinion that there in fact are definite lines, or delineations of types, that I see no evidence of being crossed…

    The problem from a singular Creator’s perspective would seem to be this, characters among disparate organisms which show their unity in design can be arranged in classification systems to show their unity in descent instead. It’s interesting to think that if that unity in characteristics was lacking then someone like Dawkins would be the first to argue: “The Jews said that there is one God who is the God of Life but would you just look at all this evidence for a lack of unity!” In fact Darwinism never predicted biological universals like DNA and the hypothetical goo which typifies Darwinism would have been “synthesized”/merged with any biological observation. Given that Darwinists fail to deal with abiogenesis they have no reason to claim that Darwinism predicts common descent or biological universals, although such things comport well with creationism. In fact it seems that organisms are designed to resist naturalistic explanation. Even when the environment is arranged in a sequence from aquatic to semi-aquatic to land in order to establish some semblence of a sequence many organisms have characters which don’t fit, this leads to the notion of convergent evolution. But what is the notion of “convergent evolution”? Did a specified and complex structure evolve through random mutation and natural selection in the same way two times or many more? Did the chameleon and the sandlance have a common ancestor or perhaps the sandlance-like creature is actually ancestral to the chameleon and despite the fact that virtually everything else about the organism changed it retained the same visual system. From the sea and back again, like mammals? Is the supposed selective pressure under the sea the same as in the jungle tree? And then there is the simple fact that natural selection is a process of culling and preservation, so one couldn’t point to selective pressure as if it has anything to do with the actual origins of eyes, whether the chameleon’s or any other.

    One can imagine how things came to be but imagining things about the past isn’t really knowledge.

  28. Yes, but it is my strong opinion that there in fact are definite lines, or delineations of types, that I see no evidence of being crossed (as in the tiktaalic example for instance). Hence, I do make that macro/micro distinction.

    Whereas it is my strong opinion that in fact coffee ice cream is fundamentally superior to all other flavors. Hence I do make the coffee ice cream/non-coffee ice cream distinction.

  29. If that’s an analogy, I don’t get it. If it’s mockery I don’t get it either! But I do know I like coffee ice cream as much as the next guy.

  30. It was intended as gentle mockery, Mike. My point was that once you’ve retreated into saying, “it’s my opinion,” the most anyone can say is, “well, that’s great for you, but so what?” And when that sort of move is made in response to a remark about contemporary scientific consensus, I see it as a retreat from public discourse and from a request to be taken seriously.

    For one thing, it simply won’t do for a teacher to say, “the vast majority of scientists think _______ based on empirical and theoretical considerations, such as _________, but some people are of the opinion that ______.” Based on what?

  31. I like the taste of ice cream in all (well most) forms, but abhor it for it’s antinutrient characteristics. I avoid it and other things with refined sugar as much as possible. I’m digressing here, but as long as we think about what God designed us to like (sweet taste, and thus originally fruits-with attendant nutrients and vitamins), we’ll see this as unhealthy. Oh well, I’ll stop now as this is so much off-topic. I also like chewing tobacco, which is well, who actually knows based on the research available. So… ???

    Anyway, with all the necessary genetic components for an immune system and eyes in a sea anemone, the notion of homology becomes pretty difficult. Mynym points out several other problems. Of course, naturalists will continue to construct tall tales and utilize imagination as science as long as they continue to exist and breath. Critics will look at Creationists and IDists as stupid and backward, and those criticized will continue to view evolutionists as naive and biased. Is this prophetic? No, and please don’t stone me if I’m incorrect. I’m making a statement based on human nature, that I feel pretty certain is not going to change any time soon.

  32. Based on what?

    Based on the fact that evolution has never been observed by one single human being – and I’m not talking lab-controlled protein concoctions (and given such, what next?), or fish developing thicker fins (and given such, then what?), or bacteria mutating into different bacteria (ad infinitum until it becomes…what?)

    Evolution is a faith-based position.

    Empirical evidence? How about this: Human DNA is 98% similar to a chimps. Until someone can tweak a pair of mating chimps enough in a lab so that its descendants eventually turn into humans, I will remain unconvinced.

    If scientists can figure out what to do on a genetic level, then why wait billions of years like natural selection did? Especially since “punctuated equilibrium” means that they needn’t waste time with gradual changes. They should be able to pull if off in a few generations, no? Hey, why not go for the grand prize and turn a mouse into a man (70% similar DNA)?

    And scientists most definitely should be able to know what genetic tweaks would be needed, because they make bold statements of fact that a stupid pure-chance process already figured it out, and laid it bare for all mankind to see.

  33. I say, Bravo, Mike and admin (formerly known as “Shrink” before the forces of evil web-hosting tried to destroy all sites adverse to God and creation!), because you’re points are valid, in my opinion. (Whoops, I did it again!)

    It sounds to me like Carl’s argument is, “Hey, if the consensus of scientists say its true (even without the missing proof that Mike, the Shrink, Mynym and others have pointed out) then the opinions of millions and billions of people are of no value and should be ignored!” It’s Hollywood, Baby! It’s what’s in! It’s what’s happening now that counts, not the truth! The tail is wagging the dog, as per usual!

    The arguments against evolution are always either ignored or scoffed at by its worshippers, but they’re never addressed. Scientific philosophical and psycho babble are excellent at avoiding the real issue, which is, the evolutionary king is NAKED!

  34. If evolution really was the caricature you insist on painting it as, you’d be right, DB.

    But so far as I can tell, no one here has taken the time to actually find out of the caricature of evolution is true or not. You’re much happier to rely on the distortions, misinformation, and oversimplifications which you picked up in high school or maybe college.

    I know what I’m talking about when I talk about intelligent design because I’ve read Darwin on Trial (Johnson), Intelligent Design (Dembski), and Nature’s Destiny (Denton). Do you know what you’re talking about when you talk about evolution? Thus far I’m not convinced.

  35. Let’s see, Carl, so my college education, in science, was “misinformation” and “oversimplification?” If this is true and I was ripped off, then why would I believe Johnson, Dembski, Denton or anyone else, including you, who claims to have the goods! The point of my remark above, is that you, as well as my college profs and others, don’t seem to be able to convince me on this issue, and yet you seem to, in your own words, “gently mock” what I have learned and do know, even though you know little about me.

    I don’t need a degree in botany to know if an apple tree is dead or if its fruit is rotten, because “you’ll know the tree by the fruit it bears…” What I do know, and am convinced of, is that your arguments never address the subjects that are put forth. You do a clever dance around these subjects, but I never hear a convincing reply from you that I can sink my teeth into, which is common to higher academic types! You’re the expert, as you have just stated, therefore, it’s on you to lead us out of our ignorant state and show us the light. You, however, have, so far, not accomplished this, and so “thus far I’m not convinced” either!

  36. I’m not exactly an expert in biology, but I have studied it extensively and carefully, and from what I can tell, you haven’t.

    I’m not willing to invest the time in correcting what I regard as your misunderstandings of what evolution is and isn’t. If you’re interested in teaching yourself, then there are several books I can highly recommend. If you’re not, then you’re not.

  37. Also, I wasn’t gently mocking what you’ve learned and know — I was gently mocking (at least I hope it was gentle!) the way in which Mike resorted to mere subjective opinion in his response to my point about contemporary scientific practice.

    As for what you’ve learned and know, I’m not mocking anything — I’m downright skeptical about whether you know enough about evolution, as opposed to caricatures about evolution, to be in a position to evaluate it fairly.

    One of the most widespread criticisms of Dawkins’ The God Delusion, and I think a perfectly fair one, is that Dawkins showed little interest in theology. (My favorite example of this criticism is that of Terry Eagleton, who wrote, “Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology.”) For what it’s worth, I was disappointed by Dawkins and thought quite highly of McGrath and McGrath’s The Dawkins Delusion.

    In short, I think that intellectual integrity requires that if you’re going to criticize something, take the time to understand the best case your opponent can make. That’s not what Dawkins did, and from what I can tell, that’s not what the opponents of evolution on this blog have done, either. I do think that I’ve done with respect to intelligent design, and I’m willing to be called on that.

  38. Carl wrote:

    I’m not exactly an expert in biology, but I have studied it extensively and carefully, and from what I can tell, you haven’t.

    I feel pretty certain you’d believe evolution even if you hadn’t given it careful study. Not only that, but I doubt you read the ID books in order to “objectively” evaluate the issues.

  39. Well, sorry Carl, but I’m a skeptic. And I think I know enough about the premise to have an opinion of it without committing intellectual barbarism on one hand, or getting lost in minutiae discussing the science behind a non-falsifiable theory on the other hand.

    You want to believe the periodic table is a cookbook without a recipe? Go ahead. You may be right. But you’re going to have to actually bake the cake to prove it to me.

  40. Carl said,

    That’s not what Dawkins did, and from what I can tell, that’s not what the opponents of evolution on this blog have done, either.

    If this is what you believe and sense about the “opponents of evolution on this blog,” then why are you wasting your time?

    I am no more a proponent of ID than I am of evolution, although from what I’ve read about ID, much of it makes more sense than what I was indoctrinated by in college science classes, and what I’ve read over the years dealing with evolution. BTW, I went out of my way to take courses in college that would convince me there was no God, and that evolution was a reality. My “skepticism” of this theory has come from years of listening to its followers back peddle on one issue after another, just as I see you do when mynym or the Shrink call you out. If I have become an unbeliever in evolution, it is due to this and the realization that there is a God and He created us. I resent your snide and condescending attitude. But, I’m not surprised by it, since I’ve been dealing with this kind of attitude probably longer than you’ve been evolving.

    Again, Carl, you claim expertise, but when we disagree with your intellectual ramblings, then, according to you, we are lacking in the knowledge to have a say in the conversation. You never address mynym and I think we both know why. You can’t answer him.

  41. I feel pretty certain you’d believe evolution even if you hadn’t given it careful study. Not only that, but I doubt you read the ID books in order to “objectively” evaluate the issues.

    Whereas I doubt that you know me well enough to have that opinion of me. But since you “feel pretty certain,” there’s no point in my saying anything beyond that, is there?

    And I think I know enough about the premise to have an opinion of it without committing intellectual barbarism on one hand, or getting lost in minutiae discussing the science behind a non-falsifiable theory on the other hand.

    You surely believe that you know enough, but do you know that you know enough? In other words, how warranted is your confidence in your beliefs? For example, how do you know that evolution is non-falsifiable? Do you know? Or do you merely believe that it is?

  42. I’d like to apologize for the tone I’ve taken in the last few days. There’s some personal and professional stress on my end of things, and I’ve been allowing that hostility to creep into my contributions here. I’m going to take a few days off from posting so I can get done what I need to get done; hopefully I’ll be more calm and mature when I return.

  43. Apology accepted. I think we’ve all become a little carried away at various points along the way on this blog! It’s easy to do. I hope things get better for you soon.

  44. A casual scan across the internet and I think one will notice that majority pro-evolutionist/atheist sites or blogs are not run by scientists, just as neither are the anti-evolutionist/Christian sites.

    So, it’s obvious that there is a personal stake involved here, which is why tempers seem to flare up on these things. After all, the thought that one’s faith/worldview may be potentially based on fiction is a scary one.

    In the end it won’t matter who is right. Either we will all get on with our inevitable non-existence, or be confronted with a greater reality. I personally opt for the latter, so we may all have a laugh about it later.

  45. You surely believe that you know enough, but do you know that you know enough? In other words, how warranted is your confidence in your beliefs? For example, how do you know that evolution is non-falsifiable? Do you know? Or do you merely believe that it is?

    Is this question coming from the same guy who doesn’t believe in the existence of absolutes?

  46. I think we’ve all become a little carried away at various points along the way on this blog!

    This is Shrink normally: “I disagree but I could be wrong.”

    This is Shrink carried away: “I disagree and you’d believe what you believe no matter what!”

    Or Carl: “Well most scientists disagree with you.”

    Getting carried away: “Scientists disagree with you, so you’re ignorant.”

    Yeah, wow.

    Maybe they both need to get more carried away, Shrink with a little psychological analysis of why people believe what they believe and Carl with a little specification about what critics of Darwinism are ignorant of. (No, literature bluffing, book bluffing and knowledge/scientia bluffing in general isn’t really specifying or demonstrating anything.)

    I’ll have a go at psychology. It’s a bit like evolution so it can be fun. It seems to me that most people taken in by Darwinian reasoning have an unconscious urge to merge, thus such reasoning doesn’t have to be especially powerful, specified or verifiable based on empirical facts. Indeed, it is often based on little more than imagining things about the past just as some of the first philosophers to illustrate this type of urge to merge simply imagined a world of random body parts coming together. This urge comports with the cosmic Oedipus complex typical to atheists like Daniel Dennett who lecture about their Mommy Nature, supposedly down to her last jot and tittle. But that last tittle always seems to be just out of reach for the poor little fellows that want to nurse at the teat of their Mother Nature. If Darwinian “reasoning” is valid then why reject Freudian reasoning? Is imagining things about the past all that different than imagery drawn from dreams or reducing people to events in their childhood?

    At any rate, if you’re going to get carried away it seems to me that one might as well bring the topic back to breasts.

  47. I’ve read…Nature’s Destiny (Denton).

    Hmmm? And you still think that teological thinking is little more than an illusion of blind processes like natural selection?

    I’ll try to remember to check back in a few days. I wouldn’t want anyone getting carried away.

  48. Hmmm? And you still think that teleological thinking is little more than an illusion of blind processes like natural selection?

    I think that the sort of teleology defended in Nature’s Destiny rests on two logical mistakes. The first mistake is the assumption that because certain events have necessarily caused other events, then entire causal sequence is necessary. The second mistake is the assumption that if the entire causal sequence is necessary, then this necessity must be explained by something outside of that causal sequence.

    If you agree with my interpretation of Denton — that he makes those assumptions — then I’d be willing to explain why I regard them as mistakes of logic. (Or we can talk about breasts — I’m happy either way.)

  49. The first mistake is the assumption that because certain events have necessarily caused other events, then entire causal sequence is necessary.

    But it isn’t logic, it’s an observation. The only way out of the observation that a certain set of events or conditions (e.g. the observed properties of water) has caused or is necessary for another set of events or conditions (the existence of life) is by imagining alternative worlds and so on. Putting that aside what can be observed in this world is that the properties of water are necessary for the existence of life as we know it. This seems trivial but as Thomas Jefferson noted it leads to “an answer [as] obvious to the senses, as that of walking across the room was to the philosopher demonstrating the nonexistence of motion.” One could sum this up by noting that philosophers argue for silly things sometimes, from the non-existence of motion to the non-existence of purposes and ends.

    …then this necessity must be explained by something outside of that causal sequence.

    Neither Aristotle nor to my recollection Denton would say that teleology must necessarily be explained by something outside of a causal sequence but Aristotle would note that ultimately one unmoved Mover is more likely than an infinite regress of finite things leading back to nothing/chance.

  50. Actually, in order to avoid confusion I should note that I probably don’t even agree with your premises which are probably rooted in a modern view of philosophy.

    I apologize for the length but any disagreement we have probably has to do with the difference in thinking between modern philosophers and Aristotle summarized here:

    …Aristotle would be mystified by the modern tendency to treat cause and effect as essentially a relation between temporally ordered events. The standard story goes something like this: Suppose a brick is thrown toward a window. That’s one event. Now suppose the window shatters. That’s another event. Obviously, the first event came before the second one. But why do we say this? Many events are not caused by the events they follow. So why do we think things are different in this case? After all, even in this case it is at least “conceivable” that the first event could occur without the second. The throwing of the brick could, in theory, be followed by the brick’s vanishing into thin air, or turning into a rabbit or a Snicker’s bar. Logically speaking, the events are “loose and separate,” with no “necessary connection” between them. So maybe it’s just the fact that they are “constantly conjoined” in our experience that leads us to think there is such a connection. Maybe the necessity is in us and not in the objective world; that is to say maybe there really is no objective connection at all between bricks being thrown and windows shattering, and it’s just the way our minds happened to be wired that makes us think there is. Maybe “cause and effect” is just a matter of there being regular or “lawlike” correlations between events, and science must rest content with discovering these correlations. Or maybe…
    ….The way of posing the “problem” of cause and effect just described, and some of the phrases used in doing so, owe much to the Scottish philosopher David Hume…and philosophers have been oohing and aahing over his “discovery” of this “problem” ever since. No doubt they consider it an improvement on anything Aristotle had to say. In fact Hume’s supposedly weighty conundrum is, as we shall see, just one of many “traditional” problems of philosophy that have arisen only since, and only because of, the abandonment of Aristotelianism. They mark a precipitous decline in philosophical understanding, not an advance; in particular, and contrary to the self-image of their peddlers, they manifest an appalling lapse of care and rigor in analysis and argumentation.
    Suppose you ask your uncle (or whomever) what caused the broken window. Unless he’s a philosopher, he’d probably say, “The brick did” -the brick, not “the event of the brick’s being thrown.” In other words, for common sense it is ultimately things that are causes, not events. Aristotle would agree. He would also say that the immediate efficient cause of an effect, and the one most directly responsible for it, is simultaneous with the effect, not temporally prior to it. In the case of the broken window, the key point in the causal series would be something like the pushing of the brick into the glass and the glass’s giving way. These events are simultaneous; indeed, Aristotle would say that the brick’s pushing into the glass and the glass’s giving way are really just the same event, considered under different descriptions.
    ….in examples like these, there is no question of cause and effect being “loose and separate” or lacking a “necessary connection”; to say that a brick’s pressing through the glass might “conceivably” not be accompanied by the glass’s giving, of that a hand’s shaping the clay might “conceivably” occur without the clay’s being shaped, wouldn’t pass the laugh test of even the most jaded modern philosopher (Though I admit you can never be too sure.)
    Yet the analysis of any event ultimately resolves, for Aristotle, into a series of causes intimately related in just this way. Hence there is no room for Hume’s “problem” even to arise. Hume and his acolytes miss this because their analysis remains at too crude a level-again, speaking glibly as they do of “the event of the brick’s being thrown” followed by “the event of the window’s shattering,” ignoring all the fine-grained detail inherent in the sequence.
    (The Last Superstition by Edward Feser :65-67)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: