Monday, October 29, 2007
Design Without A Designer - The Teleological Teat, Revisited.
“I’ve been perusing The Counter-Creationism Handbook by Mark Isaak - and it’s a compilation of the plethora of casuistic counter-evolutionary claims, and it’s a long, looonnnggg list of complaints lodged against evolutionary theory, most of them niggling little nuggets of nonsense.
I seriously advise picking up this book. It gathers the commoner counter-claims, and lays them to rest in a rational, logical fashion, quite similar to the Talkorigins site.”
Unfortunately, Mr. Isaak’s arguments in favor of evolution are not the end-all of the discussion, as “KA” would have us believe. Isaak’s book is based on his TalkOrigins article, “Five Major Misconceptions About Evolution”, which has been critiqued by Mr. T. Wallace of the TrueOrigins website. At best, Isaak’s article appears to be a fine example of an evolutionary snake-oil salesman’s simplified justification of Naturalism, as Wallace thoroughly demonstrates. I can’t imagine Isaak’s book is any better. You can read the article and rebuttals here:
“Here’s a few tasty little morsels:
Could life arise spontaneously? If you read How Cells Work, you can see that even a primitive cell like an E. coli bacteria — one of the simplest life forms in existence today — is amazingly complex.
This is a ridiculous comparison. A ‘primitive’ cell today is by far more complex than a primitive cell a billion years ago. Argument from incredulity. Try a different tack - I use the term ‘compounded simplicity’. “
Unfortunately, it’s KA’s argument that’s ridiculous, and based on a foolish assumption. First of all, we have NO idea of what an ancient one-celled creature was like because no fossilized specimen has ever been discovered. Next, even when computer modeling what a primitive one-celled creature might have been like, the number of basic parts required to create a functional survivable organism defies the mathematical probability that such an animal could have been generated spontaneously, and the evolutionary process fails miserably to justify how one could be developed in natural stages.
The cosmos is fine-tuned to permit human life. If any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, life would be impossible. (This claim is also known as the weak anthropic principle.)
“The Talk Origins link covers this nicely:
The claim assumes life in its present form is a given; it applies not to life but to life only as we know it. The same outcome results if life is fine-tuned to the cosmos. We do not know what fundamental conditions would rule out any possibility of any life. For all we know, there might be intelligent beings in another universe arguing that if fundamental constants were only slightly different, then the absence of free quarks and the extreme weakness of gravity would make life impossible. Indeed, many examples of fine-tuning are evidence that life is fine-tuned to the cosmos, not vice versa. This is exactly what evolution proposes.”
Actually, the TalkOrigins argument opens up a bigger can of worms: mainly, what other forms of life are they proposing, if not carbon-based? No other form of life has ever been observed, and most conditions of the universe, if changed even the slightest bit, would make it impossible for anything remotely resembling life to exist.
“The argument from long odds:
…the odds calculated by Morowitz and Hoyle are staggering. The odds led Fred Hoyle to state that the probability of spontaneous generation ‘is about the same as the probability that a tornado sweeping through a junk yard could assemble a Boeing 747 from the contents therein.’ Mathematicians tell us that any event with an improbability greater than one chance in 1050 is in the realm of metaphysics — i.e. a miracle.1
This is perhaps the most specious of arguments. We’re here, and what criterion is used to generate this number? But really, how on earth do you calculate these odds? Do we have alternate universes that have these components misarranged for comparison? Yes, this is abiogenesis - but I’ve seen this concept applied to the argument from fine tuning, (see above) i.e., if select items were just a little bit off kilter, we wouldn’t be here. “
The “we’re here, so evolution must have worked” argument is the weakest of all. The Creationist can make the very same claim.
By the way, both the Anthropic Principle and the Multiverse Theory are non-observable and non-testable, thereby making them, according to the Judge Jones Court of Scientific Qualification, NON-science, and placing those theories in the same camp as the Theory of Intelligent Design.
"Of course, the (not-so) clever word play creeps in - “Hey, if you use the word ‘design’, it implies a designer!” Well, design is in the natural order of things, but it doesn’t necessitate a supernatural first cause. Or the good ole “So everything was an accident!?!?”, which I disemboweled here - because after all, language is a two-edged sword, is it not?"
Well, KA might want to explain to the reader then, how systematic order evolves from disorder. And while on the subject, KA needs to justify how a fully functional organism erupts from chemistry, when the supposedly non-designed ORDER demands that an existent need for a function is what precedes an evolutionary adaptation. And, then, after the miracle of a spontaneous natural emergence of the first one-celled creature, perhaps KA could describe for us what there was for the poor thing to eat.
As for the authoritative nature of the agenda-driven TalkOrigins website, here’s link to a critique of Talk Origins by a scientist:
Of course, my good friend, Mr. raindogzilla, a.k.a. GORD, weighed in with his usual hilariously inept, Liberal-Talking-Point programmed commentary, once again demonstrating what an original thinker he is:
October 28th, 2007 at 12:19 pm
The thing I find most annoying about these IDiots is the desperation, the raw stench of fear clinging to all their efforts.
Part of it, I think, is that they have, for whatever reason, come to acknowledge that there is something to this “science” thing- unlike their YEC brethren for instance.
Unfortunately, for them, science in the brain, like some benevolent virus, systematically roots out illogic and delusion from the deepest recesses, like a Swiffer to cobwebs. The IDiot, seeing(or feeling) this onslaught of rationale and enlightenment, feels the very underpinnings of his/her personal existence are under siege.
(Which they are. Which is actually a good thing. Which would be a moment to really consider doing so when told to “Get a life!”.)
The flight instinct leads to their sacrificing everything just to shore up that last, shifting wall with bucket after bucket of “goddidit, goddidit, goddidit!”- if you listen real close, it sounds like frogs. And, now, they can’t help themselves. They’ve been infected by science and their “goddidits” become increasingly convoluted and sciencey- even extrasciencey.
It is at this moment that I wonder whether any studies have been done looking at figures of self-trepannation in IDiots. I mean, look at Ben Stein. How do we know that Hollywood makeup magic isn’t disguising the asymmetrical hole in the middle of his forehead he excavated with his own cocaine-length pinkie nail?
That's just the kind of high-brow rant you can expect from a Lefty about Ben Stein, coming straight from a guy who would have been immediately eliminated as a contestant on "Win Ben Stein's Money". What a hoot!
Hey, raindog, allow me introduce you to one of the eminent IDiots (as you see fit to call them). He is Raymond Bohlin, PhD. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Zoology, a Masters Degree in Population Genetics, and a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology. He is a published, peer-reviewed scientist who has been lecturing and debating on college campuses all over the United States. He’s also one of those fundies you love to hate so much, and a fellow at the Discovery Institute. Dr. Bohlin’s accomplishments are in three fields that qualify him particularly to examine and criticize the Darwinian dogma being preached in the public school system.
You might want to whip out your advanced degrees in biology or chemistry that qualify you to call ID proponents a bunch of Idiots, junior.
Otherwise, why don’t you enjoy a nice hot cup of ‘Shut-Up’?
And then, KA closes with:
“But we are. And everything just is. And we all make our own purpose, no?
Till the next post, then.”
I can hardly wait.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Here's another typical "interesting" [post started by] "Bob" at gods4suckers.com:
"Finally, I call for godbotherers of every stripe to be fitted with permanent cowbells around their necks. This would insure a couple things; one, that we’d always hear them approaching just in case, that day, their Adult Imaginary Friend told them it was a-okay to stab a nonbeliever in the kidney"
Typical. This knucklehead, in spite of what he might say, really has little or no idea about what the Bible preaches concerning the harming of other human beings... I guess he'd rather base his views on the sins of the early Church rather than get it straight from the source: God's Word.
"and, two, that the clanking prefacing everything they said would let us know that whatever eventually spewed forth was unworthy of our attention. "
Sounds like we could use a similar warning system for stupid atheist websites.
"I mean, come on. Blind folks got canes and dogs, the deaf talk with their hands, mongoloids look like, well, mongoloids."
Does this guy's line of reasoning also infer that all black people speak in "Ebonics", Asians are good with computers, and Mexicans drive cars with skinny wheels? I'm sure [the respondent] would vigorously deny that. But his words have already shown the blackness in his heart.
"Shouldn’t there be some way to identify these [expletive deleted] without having to waste the breath of conversation on them. "
What a disgusting bigot. I guess, if this Nazi had his way, "imperfect" humans (including religious ones) would have been aborted before birth. Now the best he can hope for is be able to pick people like this out of a crowd so he can avoid them. And I thought atheists were supposed to be the 'tolerant ones'... BZZZZZZZT!!! Wrong answer!
Perhaps [the gods4suckers crowd] might consider taking a cue from their white supremacist ancestors and have believers tattooed with a symbol of their religious affiliations, right on their foreheads where all the fair-minded atheists could see. Then they wouldn't have to waste their precious, Starbucks Coffee-laced breath on the religious "fools".
Actually, Christians don't feel a compelling need to tag atheists with some kind of marker. If we want to avoid hearing some lefty atheist's diatribe, we just avoid the propaganda being spewed by the liberal mass media and 99% of the crap that the Entertainment Industry produces for consumption by the masses. We know garbage by its smell."Wait, that might have given the impression that I don’t want to talk with the blind, deaf, or retarded either and that’s just not true. Very Nice!"
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Then why you make that loathesome comment about the mentally challenged and the physically handicapped? Liar.
"As an aside, I refuse to refer to Gwad as “Gord” because Gord is short for Gordon and I am Gordon and I can assure you that I exist and that my ego needs no more inflating."
That's the first comment GORD made that I agree with. GORD's ego is so huge I imagine his car needs a sunroof so his head can fit.
You can read the rest of [the atheist] spew right here:
GORD also puts in a plug for the new book by Hector Avalos, the militant atheist religious studies professor at Illinois State University. It seems Prof. Avalos is calling for an end to all religious studies programs because he claims those programs are dominated by people with a pro-religious agenda, as if an atheist who tries to use his program as a means to debunk religion doesn't have some kind of agenda himself. So typical of the intellectual dishonesty of atheists in general. No wonder ["GORD"] can't wait for the book.
Friday, October 19, 2007
An atheist was walking through the woods. "What majestic trees"! "What powerful rivers"! "What beautiful animals"! He said to himself.
As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path.
He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him. He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer. He tripped & fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him.
At that instant the Atheist cried out, "Oh my God!"
Time Stopped.The bear froze.The forest was silent.As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky.
"You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident." "Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer"?
The atheist looked directly into the light, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian"?
"Very Well," said the voice.
The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:
"Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen."