About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadPage 0Page 1Forward one pageLast Page


Post 0

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 10:54pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
George,

Yes - I read The Chronicle of Higher Education first, since it is job-related, and I hadn't looked at RoR first. Congrats on scooping me!




Post 1

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 8:13amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ascribing motivation to an opponents arguments is a curious way to win a debate.



Sanction: 17, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 17, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 17, No Sanction: 0
Post 2

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 3:28pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Robert:

Ascribing motivation to an opponents arguments is a curious way to win a debate.
But this isn't a scientific debate, that debate is long over. It is a political/religious debate, in which the motivation of the opponent's arguments is of crucial importance.




Post 3

Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 7:38amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Anyone who equates intelligent design with creationism is misinformed. 

Just as it is perfectly acceptable in physics to ponder the origin of things, the big bang being the current favorite, it is equally legitimate for the biological sciences to do so.  Unofortunately for biology the previously held theory that a bolt from the blue cooked non-life into a living cell is kaput.




Sanction: 20, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 20, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 20, No Sanction: 0
Post 4

Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 10:10amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Robert:

Anyone who equates intelligent design with creationism is misinformed. 
Intelligent design is creationism, pure and simple. Not the crude and primitive creationism of those who take every word in the Bible literally, and who therefore think that the Earth is just a few thousand years old and that there never has been an evolution of living beings. The modern version is more sophisticated, designed to pull the wool over the eyes of the layman. So they don't pretend that living beings are created instantaneously (like the old theory) - they accept the fact that evolution has occurred, but they claim that "some intelligent designer" has been steering evolution, in other words they propose "creation by steering evolution". In their official publications they are careful not to use the term "God", to avoid the accusation that they bring religion into science, but there is enough evidence that they do mean "God" when they're talking about the intelligent designer and that they do not for one moment think that it could have been some alien (which by their own argument would only lead to an infinite regression of intelligent designers).

Their argument boils down to: "we can't explain the complexity of this organ/part/system of a living being and therefore it must be the result of "intelligent design". This is the typical "god of the gaps" argument, and it is unscientific as it is unfalsifiable. Moreover, the examples they give of so-called "irreducibly complex systems" have been thoroughly debunked. So the ID theory is not a scientific theory, only a last attempt of the creationists to get a foot in the door to American education.

Just as it is perfectly acceptable in physics to ponder the origin of things, the big bang being the current favorite, it is equally legitimate for the biological sciences to do so.  Unofortunately for biology the previously held theory that a bolt from the blue cooked non-life into a living cell is kaput
I don't know what "previously held theory" you mean, perhaps you're referring to the Miller experiment in the fifties. If you think that biology hasn't advanced since then, you should do some reading. Even at the time nobody claimed that you could get a living cell by some lightning discharge in a certain atmosphere under the right conditions - the experiment only showed that you could get amino acids that way, and while that may have been suggestive, nobody claimed that this explained how you could get a living cell. There are several theories about how living systems may evolve from inanimate matter, but they're necessarily speculative, as it is unlikely that we can find hard evidence (such as the fossils of a later stage in the evolution). Perhaps we may once find similar stages on other planets. But we don't need any supernatural explanation, such as the unscientific ID "theory".




Post 5

Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 11:40amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Well, at least you actually know the difference between ID and creationism.  You are one of the few.  It was a nice post really, until you smuggled in the word supernatural gratuitiously at the end.

The problem with evolution is this:

http://www.arn.org/blogsq/index.php?cat=22




Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Post 6

Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 11:53amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Robert,

I said this before regarding the link you provided:

Robert,

Interesting link. The problem with ID, however, is that the Intelligent Designer falls victim to the question of how it came about. Who or what created the creator? Darwin's theory is just that, a theory that fits the evidence. If evidence proves it false, then we have room for debate. That's fine, but that still doesn't get us to an acceptance of ID, due to the issue I mentioned here.

Ethan

The difference between ID and evolution is that we can note the arguemnt provied in that link you provided and try to explain it going forward. With ID, the issue I raise in my above quote completely kills the concept. If everything came from a creator, where did the creator come from? Evolution is the current theory, and it will stand or fall based on evidence. You are correct that many supporters of evolution act as if it were a proven  correct fact. It isn't, but it's the best working theory we have. ID isn't a theory, it's a contradiction. In the realm of American politics, it is merely being used as a smuggle job by those who want to advance a Christian state and Christian ideas.

Ethan




Post 7

Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 11:56amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Excellent post Calopteryx, both explaining how ID can be broader than typical creationism, and how it is nonetheless still a useless argument from ignorance. I especially liked the phrase 'god of the gaps' and will happily steal it.




Sanction: 13, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 13, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 13, No Sanction: 0
Post 8

Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 12:03pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Robert D.,

Repetition is not an argument. As has been pointed out before, on this very forum, the alternative to "incipient structures" is that most components of evolved systems did not evolve in complexity from more primitive forms that were not yet suitable for any function (as Mivart assumes, without any good reason) - but rather that complex systems evolved by assimilation of components that originally had other functions, and only eventually lost those previous functions as a result of co-evolution with other components of a complex system.

But that is a natural explanation. Could that be why you continue to blank-out on it?




Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Post 9

Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 12:47pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Adam,

Thanks for that elegant reply to a particularly annoying intelligent design proponent on this forum. They continue to engage in the arbitrary.




Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Post 10

Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 2:40pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Why is it that the cry of evolution almost continually refers to biological evolution, as if it were something different and apart from the evolvement of the integrated universe itself?  Evolution is nothing more - or less- than the dynamics of an integrated universe... and it pertains to each and all of its constuent parts or sections.  Further, since the universe is the sum of that which is - that which exists - then it is as complex as is needed for its constituent evolving parts to function.



Post 11

Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 6:28pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Adam,

Repetition is not an argument. As has been pointed out before, on this very forum, the alternative to "incipient structures" is that most components of evolved systems did not evolve in complexity from more primitive forms that were not yet suitable for any function (as Mivart assumes, without any good reason) - but rather that complex systems evolved by assimilation of components that originally had other functions, and only eventually lost those previous functions as a result of co-evolution with other components of a complex system.
Because it is pure sophistry unless you can prove it.

Ethan, James and Dragonfly,

Aristotle while agreeing that the circular creator argument was annoying insisted that eventually it would resolve itself into a prime mover.  This is not an impossible point of view, e.g. mathematicians pursue a seemingly enless solution for pi.


(Edited by Robert Davison on 12/22, 6:35pm)




Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Post 12

Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 8:30pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Any mathematician claiming he's found the 'last digit' of pi would be as irrational as the number itself. This supports prime-mover arguments how exactly?




Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Post 13

Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 9:51pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Robert,

The actual fossil record, when available, shows exactly this process of assimilation of previously evolved components into new systems, followed by refinement by co-evolution with other components of the same system. For example, the auditory transduction system in the mammalian inner ear consists of several bones that at this time appear uniquely adapted to their function in this system. If the fossil record were still unknown, as it was in Mivart's time, one might indeed wonder how ancestral bones that were less perfectly suited for these functions could have been selected for. But now that the fossil record is available, we find that these bones originally evolved to permit articulation of reptilian jaws. Because of accidental proximity to the eardrum, they were assimilated to the function of auditory transduction. They originally performed this function very imperfectly, but eventually co-evolved into the current system - and in the process completely lost their original functions.

This is the case in every instance for which the fossil record is known. There are no cases in the fossil record of an ancestral structure that would have been, as Mivart postulated, too primitive for any function that would give the organism a selective advantage. There is no need for anything ("Intelligent Design" or anything else) to explain something that, from available evidence (and against Mivart's assumption) never happened.




Post 14

Friday, December 23, 2005 - 7:07amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Adam,

No one in the field makes the extraordinary claim that the fossil record is complete, nearly complete, or even complete enough to draw these conclusions.
Further, no one claims as you appear to, that evolution is efficient. The idea that species consciously 'shop' for the best evolved body parts, an ear from here and an eye from there, is a bit far fetched. The history that evolutionists point to is full of gaps, false starts, blind alleys, unsuccessful species, and trial and error over millions of years.

If you truly believe "most components of evolved systems did not evolve in complexity from more primitive forms" you are rejecting Darwin. 




Post 15

Friday, December 23, 2005 - 7:14amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Aaron,

The comparison is that the pursuit of the final digit is like Aristotle's belief that the circular argument ultimately has a resolution.  Clearly mathematicians are not ready to conclude that the geometry of the circle is only approximately correct, therefore they continue to believe in and search for that final digit. 




Post 16

Friday, December 23, 2005 - 7:15amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Deleted


Post 17

Friday, December 23, 2005 - 7:15amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I'll leave this topic for those more masochistic than myself. Please don't assume my lack of response as being an acceptance of ID in any way.



Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 18

Friday, December 23, 2005 - 7:48amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
"Clearly mathematicians are not ready to conclude that the geometry of the circle is only approximately correct, therefore they continue to believe in and search for that final digit."

No, they don't.

Pi to twenty digits is more than precise enough to guide spacecraft to Pluto. Why do mathematicians continue to find billions of digits?

1) Testing a new algorithm which may deliver more digits in fewer iterations (eg. consider Leibniz' method vs Newton's method vs newer more exotic ones like Chudnovsky's)
2) A performance benchmark or accuracy test of new computer hardware
3) Pure, usually ephemeral, intellectual glory of claiming the record for most digits found

However, pi was proved irrational (ie. not representable as the fraction of two integers, which necessarily means having no last digit) by Lambert and Legendre in the late 1700s. Despite the occasional misguided crank or the occasional state legislature which tries to dictate pi's value, the search for 'more' digits does not imply a search for a 'final' digit, and no serious mathematician since Euler's era thinks there is a last digit to be found.




Post 19

Friday, December 23, 2005 - 10:17amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Even "one-third" has no final digit: 0.3333333333 ...



Post to this threadPage 0Page 1Forward one pageLast Page
User ID Password reminder or create a free account.