Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?

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Offline Mjhavok

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Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« on: 17/11/2006 03:29:27 »
Polish "Scientist" Maciej Giertych wrote into Nature after their story about Polish MPs trying to get Creationism in schools. He talks about evolution and current recent evidence against it. Is he talking mince? His correspondence is below.


Creationism, evolution:nothing has been proved

SIR — In your News story “Polish scientists fight creationism” (Nature 443, 890–891; 2006), you incorrectly state that I have called for the “inclusion of creationism in Polish biology curricula”. As well as being a member of the European Parliament, I am a scientist
— a population geneticist with a degree from Oxford University and a PhD from the University of Toronto — and I am critical of the theory of evolution as a scientist, with no religious connotation. It is the media that prefer to consider my comments as religiously inspired, rather than to report my stated position accurately.

I believe that, as a result of media bias, there seems to be total ignorance of new scientific evidence against the theory of evolution. Such evidence includes race formation (microevolution), which is not a small step in macroevolution because it is a step towards a reduction of genetic information and not towards its increase. It also includes formation of geological strata sideways rather than vertically, archaeological and palaeontological evidence that dinosaurs coexisted with humans, a major worldwide catastrophe in historical times, and so on.

We know that information exists in biology, and is transferred over generations through the DNA/RNA/protein system. We do not know its origin, but we know it exists, can be spoiled by mutations, but never improves itself spontaneously. No positive mutations have ever been demonstrated — adaptations to antibiotics or herbicides are equivalent to immunological adaptation to diseases, and not a creation of a new function. We keep on searching for natural explanations of everything in nature. If we have no explanations we should say so, and not claim that an unproven theory is a fact.

Maciej Giertych
Institute of Dendrology,
Polish Academy of Sciences,
62-035 Kórnik, Poland
« Last Edit: 17/12/2006 16:09:13 by ukmicky »
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Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #1 on: 17/11/2006 03:32:31 »
I just read that again. Does he actually say humans coexisted with dinosaurs? Surely this isn't wright. Humans existed since 100,000 years ago and dinosaurs 65 millions. Surely this is bogus. Anyone more versed on complex evolutionary theory and current evidence please clarify.
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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #2 on: 17/11/2006 18:18:59 »
There is evidence that primitive humanoids existed 2 million years ago (Richard Leakey discovered 1.5 million-year-old remains near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya and recently remains have been found in west Africa that have been dated at 2 million years old) but, as you say, dinosaurs became extinct (with a few exceptions such as crocodiles) 65 million years ago. There is no way the 2 could have co-existed unless paleantological, geological and carbon dating theories are seriously flawed.
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #3 on: 17/11/2006 20:33:40 »
I have a question for all the "intelligent" design acolytes :

Would you prefer your computers, cars and airplanes designed by priests or engineers ?

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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #4 on: 17/11/2006 20:44:19 »
There is no way the 2 could have co-existed unless paleantological, geological and carbon dating theories are seriously flawed.

This reminds me of something.

Let us for the moment assume that carbon dating is flawed in some way.
How does one react to this information ?
Does one take stock and start looking around for new ways to verify the age of things or does one assume that the age of things cannot be verified and cease to look for new information ?

Those who have been misled by "intelligent" design would have us abandon all ways of trying to find out new ways to date things and examine only that which "proves" their own brand of irrationality.

Personally I find it very difficult to understand what can possibly have gone awry in a mind that it refuses and denies the relevance of the quest for knowledge.
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #5 on: 17/11/2006 20:45:51 »
Evidence against evolution is this nonsense ?
Yes.

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Offline gecko

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #6 on: 18/11/2006 03:14:56 »
ok, im all for ripping "intelligent design" a new one, but in all fairness, this scientist didnt mention intelligent design being the logical alternative, just that he questions evolution.

we, by assuming he is an ID proponent, are making the same logical fallacy they are, that there are only 2 possible ways life could happen, and therefore "if we proove one wrong, the other is true!".

that said, i dont think the facts he presents, even if theyre true, amount to disprooving evolution. all they do is question certain mechanisms of it.
 

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Offline gecko

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #7 on: 18/11/2006 03:16:44 »
and besides, his credibiliy is tarnished in the first place. we all know about the polish mathematician.
 

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Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #8 on: 18/11/2006 17:16:06 »
The guy who wrote the letter is a major conservative and total ID freak. Check him on wikipedia.
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Offline daveshorts

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #9 on: 20/11/2006 13:05:52 »
I like the way at the end that he essentially says, 'ignoring some very good examples of mutations with positive effects there are no examples of positive mutations....'
:)

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Offline gecko

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #10 on: 25/11/2006 02:44:42 »
ok.
 

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Offline chris

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #11 on: 10/12/2006 14:52:09 »
There is evidence that primitive humanoids existed 2 million years ago (Richard Leakey discovered 1.5 million-year-old remains near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya and recently remains have been found in west Africa that have been dated at 2 million years old) but, as you say, dinosaurs became extinct (with a few exceptions such as crocodiles) 65 million years ago. There is no way the 2 could have co-existed unless paleantological, geological and carbon dating theories are seriously flawed.

Mammals did co-exist with the dinosaurs, but humanoids, which popped into existence about 6 million years ago, certainly did not. In fact it was the demise of the dinosaurs that enabled the mammals to gain a toehold and subsequently the upper hand. This Polish politician and creationist is totally misguided in the picture he paints. Religion aside, people like this are dangerous because they misquote "facts" and confuse people. Some have gone so far as to say that Nature should perhaps not have published that letter.

On the other hand, science is all about informed debate - and judging by this letter, some workers are clearly better informed than others!
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #12 on: 11/12/2006 22:21:53 »
Some have gone so far as to say that Nature should perhaps not have published that letter.

They have been criticised and in my view, rightly so.
But only because they have given a veneer of legitimacy to this buffoon who will now go around trumpeting this "legitimacy" to the bovines who stop to listen and then some of them at least will start thinking that he is legitimate because :
"Well, he's been published in the premier scientific journal on the planet so there must be something in what he says." Said a random member of the miseducated public.

This sort of thing does not help our case.
Yes, most of the people who actually read the article realise the man is clearly unbalanced and can reason him out of the picture but most of the people who will hear what he will be squawking about did not read the article and have undeveloped critical thinking skills. They just watch the box and accept whatever the obviously legitimate guy on there is telling them.

This is very, very bad.
Especially if the scientific community does not stand up as one and demonstrate to the public that these people are talking absolute nonsense.


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On the other hand, science is all about informed debate...

Absolutely.
However there is one critical point concerning ID that almost everyone seems unaware of.
It is this :
THERE IS NO DEBATE.

There is no debate concerning ID.
They want us to engage in a debate about the scientific relevance and applicability of an utterly unscientific thing.
I will paraphrase a parallel argument...

Scientist : 2+2=4
ID(iot)    : Well we think that 2+2=5 and we want a debate about it.
Scientist : 2+2=4, what do you want a debate about ? There is nothing to debate. These are the facts as we understand them. 2+2=4.
ID(iot)    : Well not everyone says that 2+2=4. We think that 2+2=5 and we think our views should be taken into account.
Scientist : It doesn't matter what your views are. 2+2=4. End of story.
ID(iot)    : Well surely we can come to some sort of compromise where both our views are taken into account ?
Scientist : You cannot compromise the facts. If you have an idea and experiments, observation and reason do not back it up then it's wrong.
ID(iot)    : We will fight you in Congress and Parliament. We will have our voice. We will show the public that you will not listen to other reasoned argument. That your minds are closed. That you refuse to take other information into account.
Scientist : ??!!!??!?!?!!?????????
ID(iot)    : *smug*
Government: We propose the redefinition of 2+2 to equal 4.25 which is a compromise acceptable to all.
Scientist  : !!!!!!! *starts looking for a job in advertising*

That's about the top and bottom of the entire thing.

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Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #13 on: 12/12/2006 04:14:51 »
lol Heliotrope. Good summary.
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Offline chris

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #14 on: 16/12/2006 12:02:47 »
The reason debates are useful is because they enable both sides of an argument to have the opportunity to make their points and back them up with appropriate evidence. If that evidence is shaky or not forthcoming, the weaker side loses the debate.

I suspect that there were lots of debates historically about whether the Earth was round or flat. And people even lost their lives for trying to argue that the Earth travels round the Sun. So the mere fact that people are holding a debate is to be saluted, not so much because people are no longer being executed but because it gives us an opportunity to teach people something.

I'll bet that in the wake of the intelligent design debacle a lot more people now know a lot more correct "facts" about evolution than they ever did before. I doubt that the same number of "converts" can be said to have been won over by the intelligent design argument.

Whilst I don't condone school teachers in the US having to go to court to defend the right to keep what amounts to religious education out of their science lessons, I'm glad of the opportunity provided by the creationists to get people talking about something real and tangible, which is evolution!

Chris
« Last Edit: 16/12/2006 12:09:02 by chris »
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #15 on: 16/12/2006 15:05:33 »
That's all true.
However all that rests on one single assumption : That there is a level playing field.

Reagrding the ID buffoonery there is definitely not a level playing field.

The problem is the media in general and the highly developed skills of the ID(iots) in manipulating it to show them in the light that they choose.
Scientists seem woefully underrepresented in the media. The general public do not understand what scientists do, what they are trying to achieve or why they do what they do. Wild hair, lab coats and thick glasses etc... That's the popular view of a scientist.
Hence all that the man in the street sees is a group calling down the establishment for not being fair and holding an open discussion.

Science in general has yet to mount an effective counter campaign to demonstrate the flaws in ID and why it should not be taught in schools.
Now we all know those reasons but you can bet your car on the fact that my neighbours do not. Nor do yours. Nor anyone that they know.
Basically no one knows.
All they hear and see is the media which is already being controlled by the ID(iots).
Hence we have a situation where the general public are calling for a debate insomething that is undebatable.
And we now have politicians getting on the bandwagon.

I would suggest that hardly anyone knows any more facts about Evolution after the debate than before it.
That is because they are not being told about it. They are not being shown what Evolution actually is. They are not being shown how it has been arrived at.
All they see is the final product presented on a plate for their consumption because the establishment says that's what they must consume.
None of this involves any understanding on the part of the public.
So when they are presented with two different things on plates they sit in front of the 'box and assume that they are both equally valid.
The public assume that they must be equally valid otherwise they would not have been presented to them as such.
This is a faulty assumption but that's what happens.
It's the media.

Scientists need to get out there and show people what is going on.
Ivory towers are all very well but when your livelihood and the education of your children depends on something other than rationality you'd better get your arse out in the street and do something about getting the facts across.

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Offline chris

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #16 on: 16/12/2006 18:29:08 »
True; I could not agree more, and that's why we set up the Naked Scientists - to improve the public perception of science and scientists. Through our podcasts, website and this forum I think we're making progress!

There is some way to go, however, and Tony Blair and his loony leftie cronies' ridiculous political correctness drives, which give a voice to everyone and suppresses the right to object to anything on the grounds that it might offend someone, are not helping.

Interestingly, when I was at the AAAS in St Louis (February 2006) and hosting a series of programmes from the meeting for BBC Radio Five Live we held a debate on intelligent design inviting people to offer their opinions. I also interviewed the school teachers who won their court case not to include ID in science lessons, and also a woman employed to travel the US giving conferences on the science of evolution.

In response to that half hour programme, one person (from the UK) contributed about 5 vitriolic emails accusing me, and the BBC, of being one-sided, un-impartial and small minded. They reminded me that civilisations didn't exist before 6000 years ago and hence God must have made us.

Clearly that person was more up on their bible study than their anthropology or they might have realised that in the last 20-30,000 years there were at least 3 species of humanoids existing side by side on Earth (Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Flores man).

Chris
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #17 on: 16/12/2006 23:29:59 »
True; I could not agree more, and that's why we set up the Naked Scientists - to improve the public perception of science and scientists. Through our podcasts, website and this forum I think we're making progress!

Me too.
That's one of the reasons why I'm here.
I wish I could become more involved in showing the public what science is all about.
The mass media still needs to be cracked but the more people there are visiting places like this and asking questions the better.
More advertising, more publicity, more information and more education.
The public are not stupid. But if people do not have information then they cannot help but make decisions based upon the information they do have. If that information comes from the ID(iots) then that's what gets the upper hand.
It is ignorance that must be battled.
Education and information are the only weapons with which to fight it.
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #18 on: 16/12/2006 23:43:13 »
In response to that half hour programme, one person (from the UK) contributed about 5 vitriolic emails accusing me, and the BBC, of being one-sided, un-impartial and small minded.

*shakes head in despair*
Heard this sort of thing many times.
And what really galls me about it is not that there are people out there who have assorted beliefs and who wish to criticise others for having contrary beliefs.
What I have a problem with is that the organisations that receive these complaints seem to pay hugely disproportionate amounts of attention to them and simply accede without reference to the wider public view.
So you get a programme broadcast to 30 million people and 10 letters of complaint which are accounted enough weight to change the course of programming for the other 29,999,990 people who enjoyed the broadcast.


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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #19 on: 16/12/2006 23:45:27 »
Oh, and I know it's really a percentage game but even with the most outrageous statistical weighting methodology you cannot get 10 complaints to represent 51% of the viewing public.

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Offline chris

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #20 on: 17/12/2006 09:59:11 »
This is completely true. The vast majority were completely happy with what they heard / saw but one wasn't. So what do we do? That's right, we pander to the whim of the one. Tony Blair would be proud of us.

It's happening at all levels of society. We've got to be as inclusive as possible. And if that means bringing the level down so that everyone can have an A grade at A level, then that's what we have to do, it would appear.

I've been doing a bit of interviewing recently. All of the students I saw had (pretty much) A's across the board, but the spread of abilities amongst them was huge. Where once an A grade meant "top dollar" it now means 25% of the population.

Why I object to this is that it is not helping the students. When grades were more strictly awarded it was easier for young people to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses. They could tell where their abilities, and their futures, best lay. Young people need all the guidance they can get because in late teenage you may not appreciate your real talents and abilities.

Now everyone's told they're brilliant at everything. Some poor souls will end up wasting a lot of time flogging a dead horse; They will make less informed (and hence more chancy) career choices, which will be based on a pipedream and little else.

This sickly namby-pamby sugar-coated world we're striving to create for ourselves is letting people down in a big way. It needs an injection of good old fashioned harsh reality, and Tony Blair and his bunch to be given the boot.

Chris
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Offline chris

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #21 on: 17/12/2006 10:02:52 »
Someone from Cambridge University wrote to the radio show the other day asking the question "Did God invent Darwin?". Genius.
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #22 on: 17/12/2006 11:31:48 »
Someone from Cambridge University wrote to the radio show the other day asking the question "Did God invent Darwin?". Genius.
[;D]
Brilliant.

There was another good one I heard in an interview.
Michael Shermer, author of 'Why Darwin Matters' was asked "What do you think will happen over the next 20 years or so with the ID issue in schools..."
He replied, "Oh, It'll evolve. Really, seriously it will. It'll mutate into something else."

I almost can't wait for it[;D]

Reference : http://www.theskepticsguide.org/skepticsguide/podcastinfo.asp?pid=63
« Last Edit: 17/12/2006 11:35:59 by Heliotrope »
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Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #23 on: 18/12/2006 05:15:42 »
True; I could not agree more, and that's why we set up the Naked Scientists - to improve the public perception of science and scientists. Through our podcasts, website and this forum I think we're making progress!



Chris

And I am glad you did set it up :-D
« Last Edit: 18/12/2006 05:25:21 by Mjhavok »
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Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #24 on: 18/12/2006 05:23:05 »
I have many problems with religion, intelligent design, creationism bla bla bla.

My main point and probably my first ever point that made be an "atheist" (I don't really think I should have to label myself with what I don't believe it) was this point.

1. Christians or Muslims or whatever say that their book is the word of god. How do they know? It says it in the book or people have told them. I find this incredibly insane. I can easily write a book of utter nonsense about anything and say it was the word of god. Does this make it so? NO!. Just because someone says something is the word of god doesn't make it the word of god. The books where created by a human being, in most cases many human beings. If someone wrote a new holy book today and said it was the word of god people would ridicule him, but somehow it is accepted from people from over 1900 years ago.

Just because something is written down doesn't make it true or the word of god. Just because someone tells you something doesn't make it the truth.

Evidence is where in the truth lies. Science is backed by evidence. Religion is backed by witness testimony and fictional literature no more true than Shakespeare or Charles Dickens. Definetly not as entertaining as William Gibson, Iain M Banks or Raymond E. Feist. At least in my opinion.
« Last Edit: 18/12/2006 05:24:57 by Mjhavok »
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Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #25 on: 18/12/2006 16:07:40 »
The danger of the IDiots is their ubiquity. Then I noticed Dr. Maciej Giertych's affiliation: he is with the Institute of Dendrology, in Poland. You see - branches everywhere!
Observe; collate; conjecture; analyse; hypothesise; test; validate; theorise. Repeat until complete.

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Offline eric l

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #26 on: 18/12/2006 16:11:04 »
The danger of the IDiots is their ubiquity. Then I noticed Dr. Maciej Giertych's affiliation: he is with the Institute of Dendrology, in Poland. You see - branches everywhere!
Dendrology ?  Branches indeed... 
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Offline science_guy

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #27 on: 18/12/2006 16:39:02 »
This "argument" seems to be pretty one sided.

First thing on the plate, the tendency for you people to call my particular community a bunch of ID(iots).  The proper term to place on that particular group of people, who have different views than you do, are creationists.  And I am calling your group Evolutionists respectively.

Second:  You seem to be throwing away the possibility that the universe was created by a higher being, just because it was an idea that was put forth by people from more than 200 years ago, and therefore unreliable.  Not the best form of logic.

There are many Scientists who are creationists, and many of them are good scientists, even though our atheist community has a definition of a "good" scientist to be an evolutionist.  The real definition of a good scientist is one who examines the facts, and comes to his own conclusion.

Neither theory has been entirely proven, or entirely disproven, and should be treated as such.
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Offline chris

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #28 on: 18/12/2006 18:28:40 »
I don't think that anything we know scientifically about the origin of the universe and the Big Bang can rule out creation. If God did create the universe, and hence the Earth, then why not invent some rules to govern its evolution and development? They're necessary. Without them the system just could not survive. But that's not the same as saying that God made the Earth 6000 years ago.

I don't think creationism and evolution are the mutually exclusive worlds that people perceive them to be. Something must have preceeded the Big Bang. Who knows what and how? But sentimentality must not be allowed to muddy the scientific waters of our attempts to understand the world around us.

Chris

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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #29 on: 18/12/2006 19:25:12 »
This "argument" seems to be pretty one sided.

Of course it's one sided.
There isn't another side.
There is only one side.
Furthermore there is no argument either.
Same as there is no debate.

Quote
First thing on the plate, the tendency for you people to call my particular community a bunch of ID(iots).

Incorrect.
That is my propensity.
No one else has used the term.
Do you have a more suitable word for those who do not aknowledge rationality and reason ?
I'll be more than happy to use it.

Quote
The proper term to place on that particular group of people, who have different views than you do, are creationists.

Not at all.
There are many people who have different views than I do.
Not all of them are creationists.

Quote
And I am calling your group Evolutionists respectively.

As you wish.
Rationalists would be more accurate however.
Furthermore, it would be an error of judgement to polarise this or any other discussion into two opposing groups. Indeed a false dichotomy would result.
There are many different viewpoints and not all of them fall into one of these two categories.

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Second:  You seem to be throwing away the possibility that the universe was created by a higher being, just because it was an idea that was put forth by people from more than 200 years ago, and therefore unreliable.  Not the best form of logic.

This is a nonsequitur.
No one is throwing away any possibilities at all.
There is nothing in science so far that excludes the possibility that the Universe was created by some form of divine being.
There is, however, a great deal in science that excludes the possibility that the Universe was created by a divine being some time after approximately 15 billion years ago.

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There are many Scientists who are creationists, and many of them are good scientists,

Absolutely.

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even though our atheist community has a definition of a "good" scientist to be an evolutionist.

Incorrect.
The measure of a "good" scientist is experimental and observational rigor. Not what they have as personal beliefs.

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The real definition of a good scientist is one who examines the facts, and comes to his own conclusion.

Incorrect.
A "good" scientist comes to the inescapable conclusion that is in the data they have gathered.
Personal opinions do not come into it.
If the data contradict the scientist's own opinions then their opinions are incorrect.
The scientist must take stock and come to some sort of internal standpoint that they are happy with.
This does not affect the data or the observations and certainly does not affect the conclusions to be drawn from them.

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Neither theory has been entirely proven, or entirely disproven, and should be treated as such.

Why on Earth do you think there are so many scientists all searching Nature for clues about how we came to be ?
They are searching for insight into questions such as "Why are we here ?", "What is the Universe for ?", "How does the Universe work ?" etc... etc...
The answers to some of these questions can, at present, only be guessed at.
There are others that are yielding to experiment and observation.
In the future more of these fundamental questions will be able to be tackled in a rational way with experiment and observation.

Scientists are looking for the answers to the same questions as creationists.
Answers to the same questions that every 8 year old child asks of it's parents.
BUT, they are doing it without preconceived ideas about what they will find.

Creationism presupposes that "god did it".
Science tries to find out if god did it.

« Last Edit: 18/12/2006 19:33:07 by Heliotrope »
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #30 on: 18/12/2006 19:34:07 »
Dendrology ?  Branches indeed... 

[;D] [;D]
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Offline rosy

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #31 on: 18/12/2006 21:48:20 »
I feel inclined to point out that whilst IDiots may be Heliotrope's choice of dismissal, and I can see why those who favour the intelligent design hypothesis might object to that, I don't believe science_guy speaks for all those who think a higher intelligence was involved in the universe coming into existence in disclaiming the description "Intelligent Design" in favour of "Creastionist", I was under the impression that the ID camp was a pretty broad spectrum of people with a lot of different outlooks from (a)-god-(orotherbeing)-set-up-evolution to god-made-the-world-in-7-days.
Incidentally, I'd be interested to know what colour of (to use his preffered term) creationists science_guy belongs..

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Offline eric l

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #32 on: 19/12/2006 10:56:45 »
I agree that it is not possible to know wether the "Big Bang" was an act of will from some "Intelligent Designer" it is a matter of belief.
Wether you believe or not will depend on
  • your own personality and/or experience
  • the trust you put in the person who wants you to believe or disbelieve and his or her argumentation
It is quite possible to imagine an intelligent designer who creates not so much a universe as we know it, but a set of rules by which we evolve to the universe as we know it.  And that may be a fair point to start a discussion.
One of my points against creationism is that it seems to be designed to see man as the "ultimate creature", like Teilhard de Chardin's "point omega".  Considering the vulnerability of the "ultimate creature" to primitive organisms like e.g. the bird flue virus, the "intelligent designer" must have taken some stupid risks ! 
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Offline daveshorts

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #33 on: 19/12/2006 13:00:22 »
Science doesn't tell you what is true, it tells you what is probably the case, where the probablility in probably is variable, depending on whether you are talking about string theory or whether the ball I just threw is going to hit Jupiter.

Science can't rule out the possibility that the universe was created 4000years ago, or for that matter 2 miliseconds ago, but it can say that if this was the case the flying spaghetti monster made a bloody good job of making it look 15 billion years old when it touched us with it's noodley appendage and created the universe last tuesday. So if we want to find oil/iron ore or guess where the planets are going to be next week it is best to assume that it is 15 billion years old and get on with life.

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Offline science_guy

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #34 on: 19/12/2006 16:00:42 »
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I'd be interested to know what colour of (to use his preffered term) creationists science_guy belongs..

I am of what most people might call an old earth creationist.

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god-made-the-world-in-7-days.

That is not our view for this particular view on things.  The Bible did not come in English, but was translated into english from many different languages.  The language that it originated from is the hebrew language.  There are many words for "day" in hebrew, but the one that was used in the bible is translated to "any period of time in which somthing is accomplished", or somthing similar to that effect.

the old Earth creationist view of things is that God created everything, including nature.  Because God does not lie, then his record that we find in nature is true, though subject to different views and explanations that we, as scientists, put out to the community.  Therefore, If we find evidence that the Universe was created 15 billion years ago, then that must be when it was created. 
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Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #35 on: 19/12/2006 16:08:31 »
How convenient.
Steven
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Offline chris

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #36 on: 19/12/2006 16:36:26 »
Science_guy:

To take a religious example, it strikes me that to stand up and say you're a creationist on this forum must you must feel a bit like Daniel in the lion's den?!

Chris
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #37 on: 19/12/2006 19:52:07 »
I am of what most people might call an old earth creationist.

Gotcha.
Now I know where you're coming from.
(I think)

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the old Earth creationist view of things is that God created everything, including nature.  Because God does not lie, then his record that we find in nature is true, though subject to different views and explanations that we, as scientists, put out to the community.  Therefore, If we find evidence that the Universe was created 15 billion years ago, then that must be when it was created. 

I'd just like to clarify something.
Assuming that there is evidence that the Universe came into being 15 million years ago is it your understanding that the "creation event" (perhaps a poor term) ocurred before that time ?
Also, given the above, is it your view that everything that has come after 15 million years ago does not require the intervention of god or is it your view that god still has an ongoing hand in things ?

I'm just trying to get a handle on the limits of your belief.

Personally I have no problems with what people choose to believe. Beliefs are beliefs and are not subject to verification of any sort other than the person holding them... holds them.

I find fascinating the places where belief and verifiable information come into contact so I ask in all openness.
I personally would have no problem with someone who holds that god created the Universe at some time even in the face of absolutely incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.
I also have no problem understanding that people who hold beliefs might not want to have to examine their beliefs too closely and do not require verification of them or not. The comfort, guidance and support they bring far outweigh any desire to find out their limits or where they come from or the usefulness, to them, of such information.

All I ask from someone is that they aknowledge their beliefs might not be the whole, or part, of the way things can be observed to work.

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There are many words for "day" in hebrew, but the one that was used in the bible is translated to "any period of time in which somthing is accomplished", or somthing similar to that effect.

I didn't know that.
Makes more sense like that.
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #38 on: 19/12/2006 19:54:35 »
Science_Guy,
I'm also curious as to why you (seem to) think that because you are a believer in the traditional creation you are a proponent of ID.
Unless you are a proponent of ID as well of course.
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #39 on: 19/12/2006 20:01:07 »
I agree that it is not possible to know wether the "Big Bang" was an act of will from some "Intelligent Designer" it is a matter of belief.

Incorrect.
It is a matter of investigation and observation.
Those investigations have not yet progressed to the point at which it is possible to decide which is the case.
Just because something is unknown does not mean that it is unknowable.
That would be to fall for a logical fallacy.

Quote from: The Skeptic's Guide To The Universe
Confusing currently unexplained with unexplainable.

Because we do not currently have an adequate explanation for a phenomenon does not mean that it is forever unexplainable, or that it therefore defies the laws of nature or requires a paranormal explanation. An example of this is the "God of the Gaps" strategy of creationists that whatever we cannot currently explain is unexplainable and was therefore an act of god.
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Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #40 on: 20/12/2006 11:31:20 »
Just two 'housekeeping' corrections relating to Heliotrope.
Firstly, I was so proud of my dendrology-branches joke that I felt real disappointment when Helio picked it up only via eric's comments.
Second, I also referred to ID supporters as IDiots, a term that is surely vastly preferable to intellectually dishonest, conniving, hypocritical scumbags.

Science_guy, as Chris pointed out a scientific viewpoint does not currently exclude the possibility of a creator. (Personally, I find atheism as ill conceived as theism. I am resolutely wedded to my agnosticism: my indecision is final.) What disturbs me about the hard core Intelligent Design advocates is that they focus exclusively on what is wrong with evolution (suprise, suprise - we don't know everything yet), but offer no evidence for their alternative view.

Observe; collate; conjecture; analyse; hypothesise; test; validate; theorise. Repeat until complete.

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Offline science_guy

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #41 on: 20/12/2006 16:00:13 »
Quote
To take a religious example, it strikes me that to stand up and say you're a creationist on this forum must you must feel a bit like Daniel in the lion's den?!

not so.  I came to this forum because I have a deep interest in the workings of all things existing, and I also firmly believe in my viewpoint, and will scream it out to the world without fear of repercussion.

[joke]Besides, what do I have to fear from a bunch of guys in lab coats? [::)][/joke]

Quote
I'm also curious as to why you (seem to) think that because you are a believer in the traditional creation you are a proponent of ID.
Unless you are a proponent of ID as well of course.

the belief of creationism is that an intelligent being created, or designed, the universe.  Is that not what a proponent of ID is?

Right now, I do not know every answer to your questions, and possibly because some of them do not exist.  I have posted this link at least three times, but lets do it once more: http://www.reasons.org/.  This site belongs to the organization, Reasons to Believe, founded by Dr. Hugh Ross, Astrophysicist.  I know him personally and he is very good at what he does.
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Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #42 on: 20/12/2006 16:38:30 »
the belief of creationism is that an intelligent being created, or designed, the universe.  Is that not what a proponent of ID is?.
No. It is possible to believe that an entity created the Universe, establishing its Laws and characteristics in such a way that stars, galaxies and planets would arise, and that later life, some of it intelligent would come to exist on one or more of these planets.
A proponent of ID argues that the complexity of life is such that it could not have arisen by chance, and most certainly not by the 'random' process of natural selection over a period of four billion years. ID is a counterargument to evolution. It is not, in my view, the respectable face of creationism.
Observe; collate; conjecture; analyse; hypothesise; test; validate; theorise. Repeat until complete.

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Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #43 on: 20/12/2006 17:17:25 »
IDiots have been debunked by people older than my granmother who are long gone by now.
Steven
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #44 on: 21/12/2006 12:27:55 »
Firstly, I was so proud of my dendrology-branches joke that I felt real disappointment when Helio picked it up only via eric's comments.

[:D]
It was the dryness of Eric's comment that made me laugh.
[;D]

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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #45 on: 21/12/2006 12:47:30 »
[joke]Besides, what do I have to fear from a bunch of guys in lab coats? [::)][/joke]

[;D]
Touche.

Quote
Quote
I'm also curious as to why you (seem to) think that because you are a believer in the traditional creation you are a proponent of ID.
Unless you are a proponent of ID as well of course.

the belief of creationism is that an intelligent being created, or designed, the universe.  Is that not what a proponent of ID is?

Definitely not.
Believers in creationism simply have a different viewpoint with varying degrees of interaction in the Universe on the part of their deity.
No problems there at all. You believe what you want. I'll back you up to the hilt.

ID(iots) are destructive and nihilistic.
They have only the extinction of Darwinism, Evolution and the evidence for Natural Selection in mind as their objectives.
They do not seem (to me) to believe in anything except wanton intellectual vandalism.
ID(iots) offer nothing, no new information, nothing that can be understood, nothing that can be used to make anyone's life better.

Creationism still follows it's own internally consistent 'laws'. It gives support and comfort to those who require it.
Science follows internally consistent laws arrived at by observation and experiment. It gives sureity and repeatability to those who require it.
ID follows no laws. It has no internal self-consistency. It gives nothing to anyone.
It would strip sciene of it's validity by destroying the methodologies that allow it to function and it would also strip traditional creationism of it's comfort and solidity by founding it's distorted tenets on the ashes of Darwinism.

ID offers nothing.
ID is utterly empty.
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Offline science_guy

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #46 on: 21/12/2006 15:52:17 »
Quote
ID(iots) are destructive and nihilistic.
They have only the extinction of Darwinism, Evolution and the evidence for Natural Selection in mind as their objectives.
They do not seem (to me) to believe in anything except wanton intellectual vandalism.
ID(iots) offer nothing, no new information, nothing that can be understood, nothing that can be used to make anyone's life better.

Creationism still follows it's own internally consistent 'laws'. It gives support and comfort to those who require it.
Science follows internally consistent laws arrived at by observation and experiment. It gives sureity and repeatability to those who require it.
ID follows no laws. It has no internal self-consistency. It gives nothing to anyone.
It would strip sciene of it's validity by destroying the methodologies that allow it to function and it would also strip traditional creationism of it's comfort and solidity by founding it's distorted tenets on the ashes of Darwinism.

ID offers nothing.
ID is utterly empty.

ok... I see your point.  But, I still see calling them ID(iots) is rude and uncalled for.  Scientists are usually supposed to be above such antics.  They ARE Human Beings, and also should be treated as such, even if you dislike them.
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Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #47 on: 21/12/2006 23:42:40 »
Sometimes a spade is just a spade. Calling it a misguided digging instrument doesn't make it any less a spade.
Steven
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Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #48 on: 22/12/2006 10:46:05 »
ok... I see your point.  But, I still see calling them ID(iots) is rude and uncalled for.

I can be rude when I choose.
And I choose to be rude to them.
I'd prefer to be hitting them with a piece of wood that had a nail hammered through the end but you can't have everything.
Not even for Christmas.
*shrug*
[;D]

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Scientists are usually supposed to be above such antics.

I'm not a scientist. Even though I would very much like to be.
I'm an Electronic Design Engineer, drummer and photographer.
I take your point though.

It is extremely frustrating when it seems that all around one is falling apart due to the seemingy routine acceptance of quite the most crassly stupid and obviously incorrect things.
It's back to the stick with the nail in the end.
As I said I don't have any issues with what people choose to believe. They are the masters of the insides of their own heads.
If they choose to be idiots then that's their lookout.
My problem comes when some of them get themselves into positions where they can distort the information being fed to our children and the public at large.
I actually don't have any children. I intend to sustitute them with a Bentley [:D] Less hassle all around methinks.
Anyway...

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Offline gecko

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Re: Is evidence against evolution all nonsense?
« Reply #49 on: 25/12/2006 00:56:15 »
i never understood that either, that somehow a book from thousands of years ago is "more credible" than a book today. its a logical fallacy, that someone old must be correct and something new incorrect.

case in point- the scientology garbage. its written by a "prophet" from our time with a bunch of illogical, nonsense beliefs, and most people can see right through it as having no truth or substance. why then, are older holy books revered? they have the same "proof" to back them up. just because it happened long ago, and through force and political control it has been forced onto people to where they are born into it, its accepted.