Non-creationist critiques of Darwinism

Marquette philosophy professor Howard Kainz reviews two new books in which atheist scholars critique Darwinism:

Surprisingly, two recent books by atheist philosophers of science have joined with ID theorists in the criticism of neo-Darwinism.

Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, in What Darwin Got Wrong come at neo-Darwinism from a number of directions. Initially, they draw a comparison with B.F. Skinner’s psychological theory of “operant conditioning,” which attempted to explain changes in human behavior by patterns of stimulus and response. Limitations of that theory have eventually been revealed: it did not take into account internal mechanisms in organisms subjected to external stimuli; and the intention of researchers or subjects affected the results of experiments. Skinner’s behaviorism can be corrected by taking these aspects into account. But no such correction is possible in neo-Darwinism, which has no interest in “the internal organization of creatures . . . (genotypic and ontogenetic structures)” and recognizes no “intentions” in evolutionary processes.

The remaining chapters of their book add qualifications that almost seem like ID arguments: Fibonacci patterns, in which each term is equal to the sum of the two preceding ones, seem to be prior to all evolutionary developments; scaling factors in organisms are multiples of a quarter, not of a third, according to the “one-quarter power law”; computational analysis of nervous systems of organisms show that their “connection economies” are perfect; “cost versus speed” analyses of the respiratory patterns of the song of canaries show the most efficient use of energy; tests of the ratio of foraging honeybees to those staying in the hives show perfect solutions in all situations. There is perfection everywhere. They also offer an example of a type of wasp whose patterns of feeding her young competes with ID theorist Michael Behe’s notion of “irreducible complexity.”

But the major neo-Darwinist problem, they conclude, is that natural selection, in analogy to artificial selection, depends on the existence of a mythical “Mother Nature.” But since there is no Mother Nature, “she is a frail reed for [adaptationists] to lean on. Ditto, the Tooth Fairy; ditto the Great Pumpkin; ditto God. Only agents have minds, and only agents act out of their intentions, and natural selection isn’t an agent.”

Bradley Monton, in Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design, in contrast to Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini, is not so much concerned with deficiencies in neo-Darwinism, but rather in pointing out unfairness and invalid criticisms of arguments by proponents of ID. Monton maintains he is looking for the truth, wherever it leads.

via Intelligent Design: Atheists to the Rescue | First Things.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I am not sure why Kanz is surprised – the very nature of good science is iterative, constantly winnowing, questioning, re-questioning, re-testing, etc. Nothing is sacrosanct. Evidence is collected, classifed, investigated, re-investigated, tested with new-methods etc. Especially in the “forensic sciences” like geology and paleolontology, and their manifold cousins.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I am not sure why Kanz is surprised – the very nature of good science is iterative, constantly winnowing, questioning, re-questioning, re-testing, etc. Nothing is sacrosanct. Evidence is collected, classifed, investigated, re-investigated, tested with new-methods etc. Especially in the “forensic sciences” like geology and paleolontology, and their manifold cousins.

  • Tom Hering

    “Nothing is sacrosanct.”

    Ha! :-D

  • Tom Hering

    “Nothing is sacrosanct.”

    Ha! :-D

  • WebMonk

    Neither Fodor or Palmarini are knowledgeable about biology. They are philosophers, not knowledgeable about the topic on which they are writing – biological evolution. From what I can find, EVERY expert who has read the book and posted a review has concluded that it is filled with blatantly false statements about biology and evolution.

    It’s the standard problem of really smart people writing about a topic of which they know very little. They’re experts in one field and falsely feel that they have understanding of another field.

    Look at the guy who wrote the review of the book – a professor of philosophy. Not even remotely qualified (as far as I can tell) to provide a serious critique of the facts of the book.

    Maybe the authors of the book and the review of the book are a notch above news reporters, but that’s an extraordinarily low bar to pass and doesn’t qualify them as worthy of any trust when they talk about a topic of which they know very little.

    But, don’t let that stop anyone from trusting them and promoting them as brilliant critiques of evolution. Facts haven’t stopped anyone in the past, why start now?

  • WebMonk

    Neither Fodor or Palmarini are knowledgeable about biology. They are philosophers, not knowledgeable about the topic on which they are writing – biological evolution. From what I can find, EVERY expert who has read the book and posted a review has concluded that it is filled with blatantly false statements about biology and evolution.

    It’s the standard problem of really smart people writing about a topic of which they know very little. They’re experts in one field and falsely feel that they have understanding of another field.

    Look at the guy who wrote the review of the book – a professor of philosophy. Not even remotely qualified (as far as I can tell) to provide a serious critique of the facts of the book.

    Maybe the authors of the book and the review of the book are a notch above news reporters, but that’s an extraordinarily low bar to pass and doesn’t qualify them as worthy of any trust when they talk about a topic of which they know very little.

    But, don’t let that stop anyone from trusting them and promoting them as brilliant critiques of evolution. Facts haven’t stopped anyone in the past, why start now?

  • WebMonk

    I also have all sorts of red flags popping up when I hear really ridiculously bizarre statements like “Fibonacci patterns,… seem to be prior to all evolutionary developments”.

    Anyone who can say that with a straight face, thinking it is some sort of critique of evolution is an ignoramus on the subjects of math, physics, and evolution.

    If they’re making such horribly, stupidly false statements like that on a topic, I will lay strong odds that anything else they say on that topic will also be false.

  • WebMonk

    I also have all sorts of red flags popping up when I hear really ridiculously bizarre statements like “Fibonacci patterns,… seem to be prior to all evolutionary developments”.

    Anyone who can say that with a straight face, thinking it is some sort of critique of evolution is an ignoramus on the subjects of math, physics, and evolution.

    If they’re making such horribly, stupidly false statements like that on a topic, I will lay strong odds that anything else they say on that topic will also be false.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Not having read the book, nor looking at the background of the authors, I was willing to hear about it, as per my statement – nothing is sacrosanct. However, after seeinf Webmonks report, I will join him in saying – Hah! and having another coffee. I’m so tired of half-baked philosophers yapping on about science.

    Let me spell it out:

    E – V – I – D – E – N – C – E.

    and

    D – A – T – A

    These cannot be made to fit into a 6-10 millenium timespan. And I’m just talking about the subjects I do know a lot about. Geology in general. Geochronology a little more. Sedimentology. Volcanology. etc etc.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Not having read the book, nor looking at the background of the authors, I was willing to hear about it, as per my statement – nothing is sacrosanct. However, after seeinf Webmonks report, I will join him in saying – Hah! and having another coffee. I’m so tired of half-baked philosophers yapping on about science.

    Let me spell it out:

    E – V – I – D – E – N – C – E.

    and

    D – A – T – A

    These cannot be made to fit into a 6-10 millenium timespan. And I’m just talking about the subjects I do know a lot about. Geology in general. Geochronology a little more. Sedimentology. Volcanology. etc etc.

  • Dust

    Right on, philosophers should not play scientists! But just and true, scientists should not play philosophers! And by the way, philosophy trumps science….always has, always will :)

  • Dust

    Right on, philosophers should not play scientists! But just and true, scientists should not play philosophers! And by the way, philosophy trumps science….always has, always will :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Dust – because getting head over the head by a philosophical construct hurt so much more than getting hit by a forewardly propelled tonallitic gneiss…. :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Dust – because getting head over the head by a philosophical construct hurt so much more than getting hit by a forewardly propelled tonallitic gneiss…. :)

  • DonS

    “Nothing is sacrosanct” — would that this were the case. But the problem with origin theories is that they are assumed to be true. Evidence is sought to confirm the theory rather than to test the theory. Bad science, that.

  • DonS

    “Nothing is sacrosanct” — would that this were the case. But the problem with origin theories is that they are assumed to be true. Evidence is sought to confirm the theory rather than to test the theory. Bad science, that.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Dons – and you say that based on..?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Dons – and you say that based on..?

  • Tom Hering

    “And I’m just talking about the subjects I do know a lot about. Geology in general. Geochronology a little more. Sedimentology. Volcanology. etc etc.”

    Louis?

  • Tom Hering

    “And I’m just talking about the subjects I do know a lot about. Geology in general. Geochronology a little more. Sedimentology. Volcanology. etc etc.”

    Louis?

  • DonS

    Klasie, I say it based on observation of scientists in the field. With regard to the currently faddish climate change theories, we see it in the Climategate emails that are still emerging, evidencing attitudes that the theory must be protected and supported at all costs, regardless of evidence to the contrary.

  • DonS

    Klasie, I say it based on observation of scientists in the field. With regard to the currently faddish climate change theories, we see it in the Climategate emails that are still emerging, evidencing attitudes that the theory must be protected and supported at all costs, regardless of evidence to the contrary.

  • Dust

    Klasie….sticks and stones (a tonalitic gneiss for example) may break my bones, but words (or a philosophical construct) can never hurt me…physically of course, but not necessarily true of my ego :)

    On another note, and it’s a sidetrack, so you don’t have to answer, but hope you would….in your comments back on the penny thing, you said that tODD had exposed Peter as a fraud. Personally, I liked Peter’s comments and am wondering if you would be so kind as to elaborate as to the nature of the alleged fraud. Was it a total fraud, that is, everything he said about himself was a fabrication? Like Harvard, Porcellian Club, MIT, etc. or was other stuff? Would really like to know, but if you don’t want to talk about it, that will be fine…

    Cheers!

  • Dust

    Klasie….sticks and stones (a tonalitic gneiss for example) may break my bones, but words (or a philosophical construct) can never hurt me…physically of course, but not necessarily true of my ego :)

    On another note, and it’s a sidetrack, so you don’t have to answer, but hope you would….in your comments back on the penny thing, you said that tODD had exposed Peter as a fraud. Personally, I liked Peter’s comments and am wondering if you would be so kind as to elaborate as to the nature of the alleged fraud. Was it a total fraud, that is, everything he said about himself was a fabrication? Like Harvard, Porcellian Club, MIT, etc. or was other stuff? Would really like to know, but if you don’t want to talk about it, that will be fine…

    Cheers!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom – yes. Now shuddupaboutit :).

    Dust – the persona was a fabrication. But not an online character, if you know what I mean, but an intentional misrepresantation, a lie. There is a difference. That is the last I’m going to say about the matter.

    DonS – Climate change is real – there is no “steady state climate”. Catastrophic, sola anthropogenic climate change by means of CO2 production only is not fully proven yet (ie, it is a hypothesis), but has achieved a political life of its own. As a geologist, I’m painfully aware of that. I have lots of comments about climate change, coming from ageological background, but this might not be the best thread for it….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom – yes. Now shuddupaboutit :).

    Dust – the persona was a fabrication. But not an online character, if you know what I mean, but an intentional misrepresantation, a lie. There is a difference. That is the last I’m going to say about the matter.

    DonS – Climate change is real – there is no “steady state climate”. Catastrophic, sola anthropogenic climate change by means of CO2 production only is not fully proven yet (ie, it is a hypothesis), but has achieved a political life of its own. As a geologist, I’m painfully aware of that. I have lots of comments about climate change, coming from ageological background, but this might not be the best thread for it….

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 13: Obviously, climate change, per se, is real. Like you say, it isn’t steady state and was much warmer in medieval times than it is today.

    My point wasn’t to argue for or against the current CO2 theories — it was to clarify that sometimes scientists become invested in their theories before the evidence is in. If you are trying to prove a theory, rather than test it, you are not impartial and therefore not a fair judge of the evidence you uncover. We have seen that, in spades, in the Climategate affair, and I believe it is also the case with respect to origins theory (on both sides of the issue, by the way). That’s all I’m saying.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 13: Obviously, climate change, per se, is real. Like you say, it isn’t steady state and was much warmer in medieval times than it is today.

    My point wasn’t to argue for or against the current CO2 theories — it was to clarify that sometimes scientists become invested in their theories before the evidence is in. If you are trying to prove a theory, rather than test it, you are not impartial and therefore not a fair judge of the evidence you uncover. We have seen that, in spades, in the Climategate affair, and I believe it is also the case with respect to origins theory (on both sides of the issue, by the way). That’s all I’m saying.

  • Dust

    Klasie….ok, thanks! Hopefully tODD would “fill in the gaps” as it were, as was not paying attention when this fraud thing went down :(

  • Dust

    Klasie….ok, thanks! Hopefully tODD would “fill in the gaps” as it were, as was not paying attention when this fraud thing went down :(

  • WebMonk

    DonS @ 8: “But the problem with origin theories is that they are assumed to be true. Evidence is sought to confirm the theory rather than to test the theory.”
    DonS @ 11: “I say it based on observation of scientists in the field.”

    How many geologists have you worked with in the field? How many genetics papers do you read every week? How many years did you spend in astronomy labs?

    I suspect your statement in @11 should actually be “I say it based on what I read about scientists from news sources and YEC publications ….”

    Dust
    “Peter” was a retired public school teacher of many years. Theoretically maybe he did get a masters Harvard, serve as head of departments at MIT, pall around with numerous luminaries, work as the chairman of the board of a mega-millions investment firm, and travel to vacation homes around the world.

    However, tODD with a little bit of checking through Google, showed that Peter had lived for the last few decades in a modest house in MA working as a public school teacher.

    Maybe he did all his big, fancy stuff as a young man, and only spent the last couple decades as a teacher and then retirement. However, I doubt it since immediately after tODD demonstrated what his life was actually like, Peter disappeared from these boards.

  • WebMonk

    DonS @ 8: “But the problem with origin theories is that they are assumed to be true. Evidence is sought to confirm the theory rather than to test the theory.”
    DonS @ 11: “I say it based on observation of scientists in the field.”

    How many geologists have you worked with in the field? How many genetics papers do you read every week? How many years did you spend in astronomy labs?

    I suspect your statement in @11 should actually be “I say it based on what I read about scientists from news sources and YEC publications ….”

    Dust
    “Peter” was a retired public school teacher of many years. Theoretically maybe he did get a masters Harvard, serve as head of departments at MIT, pall around with numerous luminaries, work as the chairman of the board of a mega-millions investment firm, and travel to vacation homes around the world.

    However, tODD with a little bit of checking through Google, showed that Peter had lived for the last few decades in a modest house in MA working as a public school teacher.

    Maybe he did all his big, fancy stuff as a young man, and only spent the last couple decades as a teacher and then retirement. However, I doubt it since immediately after tODD demonstrated what his life was actually like, Peter disappeared from these boards.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – the medieval warm period was one period sure. But essentially we have a broad warming trend since the peak of the last ice age, but with an irregular sine curve along that trend between mini-warm and cool ages, till today. Think of it this way: Where I am sitting today, there was, at peak glaciation an ice sheet 3-4km thick. Although there where at least 6 or 7 major episodes, peak glaciation was only 17 000 years ago. When the glaciers retreated, they left on average over a 100m of glacial sediments in Central Saskatchewan. today – that is covered by forest, grasslands, wheat farms, where the summer temperature can rise to above 40C. Quite abit of warming, eh? Today, the remants of those glaciers have retreated far to the north, on Baffin Island etc. Another couple of centuries, and they’ll all be gone. Yet, even longer ago, before the ice age, there were forests on Baffin Island, as they have recently discovered. The earth was even warmer then. Up and down. Colder, and warmer. Sometimes, when “everything aligns”, such as at the end of the Permian period, when you had a very warm period, which lead to a greenhouse earth due to excessie biological activity, things were “capped off” by massive CO2 release from huge flood basalts, and within a short period, (couple of 1000 years), you had a massive loss in biodiversity, due to sudden warming and climatic fluctiation (scorched earth), and the great Permian extinction took place – currently it seems as if we lost up to 90% of all species. Yes climate change can be catastrophic. But it can, and has been, entirely natural too.

    As to your origins comment: Having been in the field, there is always a danger of confirmation bias. But having looked at evidence, I’m sorry to report but Creation science has no credibility whatsoever. Creation science is 100% Confirmation bias, whereas confirmation bias occasionaly happens in say evolutionary biology, but the paradigms are constantly challenged. And changed. The “human evolutionary tree” has been revised many times as new evidence came to light. Ironically, most creationst critique is still so stuck in past confirmation bias that it critiques the wrong tree!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – the medieval warm period was one period sure. But essentially we have a broad warming trend since the peak of the last ice age, but with an irregular sine curve along that trend between mini-warm and cool ages, till today. Think of it this way: Where I am sitting today, there was, at peak glaciation an ice sheet 3-4km thick. Although there where at least 6 or 7 major episodes, peak glaciation was only 17 000 years ago. When the glaciers retreated, they left on average over a 100m of glacial sediments in Central Saskatchewan. today – that is covered by forest, grasslands, wheat farms, where the summer temperature can rise to above 40C. Quite abit of warming, eh? Today, the remants of those glaciers have retreated far to the north, on Baffin Island etc. Another couple of centuries, and they’ll all be gone. Yet, even longer ago, before the ice age, there were forests on Baffin Island, as they have recently discovered. The earth was even warmer then. Up and down. Colder, and warmer. Sometimes, when “everything aligns”, such as at the end of the Permian period, when you had a very warm period, which lead to a greenhouse earth due to excessie biological activity, things were “capped off” by massive CO2 release from huge flood basalts, and within a short period, (couple of 1000 years), you had a massive loss in biodiversity, due to sudden warming and climatic fluctiation (scorched earth), and the great Permian extinction took place – currently it seems as if we lost up to 90% of all species. Yes climate change can be catastrophic. But it can, and has been, entirely natural too.

    As to your origins comment: Having been in the field, there is always a danger of confirmation bias. But having looked at evidence, I’m sorry to report but Creation science has no credibility whatsoever. Creation science is 100% Confirmation bias, whereas confirmation bias occasionaly happens in say evolutionary biology, but the paradigms are constantly challenged. And changed. The “human evolutionary tree” has been revised many times as new evidence came to light. Ironically, most creationst critique is still so stuck in past confirmation bias that it critiques the wrong tree!

  • SKPeterson

    I don’t know about these philosophers specifically, but there is a definite field involving the philosophy of science which is also related to epistemology. It basically concerns itself with either how can we draw valid conclusions from data and evidence, particularly understanding the difference between correlation and causality, and how we come to know what we know. As a result, it attempts to impose a logical structure on data, understand underlying assumptions that might condition expectations and outcomes, and test methodologies against probabilities of generating spurious results.

    If one simply looks at the history of science, science has often fallen into lockstep and becomes loathe to change its stances even in the face of contrary evidence to long held establishment positions, a position clearly documented by Kuhn in his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

    As to climate change, I have to laugh at those who are worried about BIG OIL funding studies, but are nonplussed at the interference of politicians and the political appointees in charge of government agencies. It is much like the assertion that the EPA makes “science-based” decisions on environmental policy. I suppose they do, but only after a completely politicized re-write of the research that minimizes the science and plays up the politics.

  • SKPeterson

    I don’t know about these philosophers specifically, but there is a definite field involving the philosophy of science which is also related to epistemology. It basically concerns itself with either how can we draw valid conclusions from data and evidence, particularly understanding the difference between correlation and causality, and how we come to know what we know. As a result, it attempts to impose a logical structure on data, understand underlying assumptions that might condition expectations and outcomes, and test methodologies against probabilities of generating spurious results.

    If one simply looks at the history of science, science has often fallen into lockstep and becomes loathe to change its stances even in the face of contrary evidence to long held establishment positions, a position clearly documented by Kuhn in his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

    As to climate change, I have to laugh at those who are worried about BIG OIL funding studies, but are nonplussed at the interference of politicians and the political appointees in charge of government agencies. It is much like the assertion that the EPA makes “science-based” decisions on environmental policy. I suppose they do, but only after a completely politicized re-write of the research that minimizes the science and plays up the politics.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP – that has happened (the lock step thing). But it also happens in every other human endevour – humans are a conservative lot (in the bad sense of the word). But in my experience, the epistemological critiques can be interesting, but it would help if the poor sods had actually done some real science themselves.

    As to your latter comment – absolutely. At this stage, the whoole thing is so damn politicized, that all rational debate is lost. From both sides. That is why I try to highlight geological history, which shows that yes, climate change can be catastrophic, happens naturally, and that we still need to demonstrate how much, if any is anthropogenic, but everybody has gone deaf, because of the shrillness of the debate….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP – that has happened (the lock step thing). But it also happens in every other human endevour – humans are a conservative lot (in the bad sense of the word). But in my experience, the epistemological critiques can be interesting, but it would help if the poor sods had actually done some real science themselves.

    As to your latter comment – absolutely. At this stage, the whoole thing is so damn politicized, that all rational debate is lost. From both sides. That is why I try to highlight geological history, which shows that yes, climate change can be catastrophic, happens naturally, and that we still need to demonstrate how much, if any is anthropogenic, but everybody has gone deaf, because of the shrillness of the debate….

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 17: Reading your comments @ 17 and 19, I don’t think we disagree. Clearly, there is evidence of recent warming that should be evaluated — my argument is over the jump to establishing non-natural causation as the primary source, and politicizing the issue long before any kind of scientific consensus is close to being reached.

    Humility is an essential trait of a good scientist.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 17: Reading your comments @ 17 and 19, I don’t think we disagree. Clearly, there is evidence of recent warming that should be evaluated — my argument is over the jump to establishing non-natural causation as the primary source, and politicizing the issue long before any kind of scientific consensus is close to being reached.

    Humility is an essential trait of a good scientist.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    First off: Sigh. Okay, that said … I don’t know anything about these particular books, nor am I particularly knowledgeable about, oh, any of this — evolution, philosophy of science, etc. — but why should that stop me from weighing in?

    As SK notes (@18), there is the field of philosophy of science, and it might very well offer up valid critiques of modern science, evolution included. I’ve read very basic summaries of some such critiques and, well, to the degree I understood anything, they seemed to have something to say. What’s my point? Reactions from those deep in the science themselves (I’m looking at you, KK @5) demanding “evidence” and “data” may very well miss the point of such critiques. Because such demands come from within the modern scientific system, while the critiques are usually from outside it. That’s about all I have to say about that.

    That said, I think there is an irony to approaches like DonS’s (@8, 11). And it is this, Don: I believe you engage in the behavior you decry. You say:

    Evidence is sought to confirm the theory rather than to test the theory. … The theory must be protected and supported at all costs, regardless of evidence to the contrary.

    Frankly, from what I’ve seen, this describes your interactions with modern science. You’re not a very scientific guy, best I can tell. You’re far more interested in and vocal about political stances. I say this as description — no offense is intended. But I frequently see people like you touting “Climategate” as all the evidence you need to understand the state of modern climate science. Meanwhile, the actual science goes almost completely unread and, it goes without saying, misunderstood. This is exactly the sort of cherry-picking confirmation bias that you decry in climate scientists!

    Prove me wrong, if you want. But I see little in your comments that interacts with actual science. No, it’s all about economic impact, political parties, government control — things you actually are interested in. You have a very large built-in bias towards believing that modern climate science is all wrong.

    Oh, sure, we all have biases. But I don’t really see you owning up to yours. I’m much more likely to listen to KK’s commentary on the matter, because he’s clearly knowledgeable about the topic (to some degree, and about science in general), but also because of the apparent even-handedness of his commentary. Note how he admits the politicization as a bad thing, even as he holds to his position.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    First off: Sigh. Okay, that said … I don’t know anything about these particular books, nor am I particularly knowledgeable about, oh, any of this — evolution, philosophy of science, etc. — but why should that stop me from weighing in?

    As SK notes (@18), there is the field of philosophy of science, and it might very well offer up valid critiques of modern science, evolution included. I’ve read very basic summaries of some such critiques and, well, to the degree I understood anything, they seemed to have something to say. What’s my point? Reactions from those deep in the science themselves (I’m looking at you, KK @5) demanding “evidence” and “data” may very well miss the point of such critiques. Because such demands come from within the modern scientific system, while the critiques are usually from outside it. That’s about all I have to say about that.

    That said, I think there is an irony to approaches like DonS’s (@8, 11). And it is this, Don: I believe you engage in the behavior you decry. You say:

    Evidence is sought to confirm the theory rather than to test the theory. … The theory must be protected and supported at all costs, regardless of evidence to the contrary.

    Frankly, from what I’ve seen, this describes your interactions with modern science. You’re not a very scientific guy, best I can tell. You’re far more interested in and vocal about political stances. I say this as description — no offense is intended. But I frequently see people like you touting “Climategate” as all the evidence you need to understand the state of modern climate science. Meanwhile, the actual science goes almost completely unread and, it goes without saying, misunderstood. This is exactly the sort of cherry-picking confirmation bias that you decry in climate scientists!

    Prove me wrong, if you want. But I see little in your comments that interacts with actual science. No, it’s all about economic impact, political parties, government control — things you actually are interested in. You have a very large built-in bias towards believing that modern climate science is all wrong.

    Oh, sure, we all have biases. But I don’t really see you owning up to yours. I’m much more likely to listen to KK’s commentary on the matter, because he’s clearly knowledgeable about the topic (to some degree, and about science in general), but also because of the apparent even-handedness of his commentary. Note how he admits the politicization as a bad thing, even as he holds to his position.

  • Dust

    The politicization of the global warming issue is perfectly fair and understandable, especially in a democratic system like ours.

    Before a whole new regime of regulations can be enacted that will extract billions and billions of dollars from the civilian community, it’s only fair that they have something to say about it, and it’s only prudent that everyone is certain about the causes. Particularly, when it’s discovered that there may be reasons other than man-made for the warming.

    It’s the way our system works….you can love it or leave it :)

  • Dust

    The politicization of the global warming issue is perfectly fair and understandable, especially in a democratic system like ours.

    Before a whole new regime of regulations can be enacted that will extract billions and billions of dollars from the civilian community, it’s only fair that they have something to say about it, and it’s only prudent that everyone is certain about the causes. Particularly, when it’s discovered that there may be reasons other than man-made for the warming.

    It’s the way our system works….you can love it or leave it :)

  • DonS

    tODD @ 21: Well, it’s not about me, and it’s not about KK and it’s not about you. To address your critique, I have an engineering degree and a physics degree, so I have a background in science. But, I practice law, so I’m not in the field day-to-day, and I’m certainly not theorizing or doing research to test theories. On this blog, I take a political role when political subjects arise, and I believe it is fair to say that origin theory and climate change theory have become hotly debated political topics.

    So, why do I say it’s not about me? Because it doesn’t matter what my biases are, and I have already acknowledged that both sides of the origins theory debate are full of scientists having full-blown confirmation biases. They are not researching objectively. This seems to be the case in the climate change field as well. These fields of science have become tainted because those with political axes to grind chose to use scientific theory to effect political change having great impact on the lives and lifestyles of the population. It’s as simple as that.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 21: Well, it’s not about me, and it’s not about KK and it’s not about you. To address your critique, I have an engineering degree and a physics degree, so I have a background in science. But, I practice law, so I’m not in the field day-to-day, and I’m certainly not theorizing or doing research to test theories. On this blog, I take a political role when political subjects arise, and I believe it is fair to say that origin theory and climate change theory have become hotly debated political topics.

    So, why do I say it’s not about me? Because it doesn’t matter what my biases are, and I have already acknowledged that both sides of the origins theory debate are full of scientists having full-blown confirmation biases. They are not researching objectively. This seems to be the case in the climate change field as well. These fields of science have become tainted because those with political axes to grind chose to use scientific theory to effect political change having great impact on the lives and lifestyles of the population. It’s as simple as that.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Todd, I returned with “evidence”, and “data”, because while on the surface some of these critiques seem valid, in my very personal experience they often boil down to postmodern semantic games. A philospoher can argue about ccause and affect all day, and about obdervations and epistemology all night, but a knock over the head with a cedar plank will hurt more than a knock with a balsa one, and one knock will leave one bump, and two will leave two, and we can keep on testing, but I guarentee you that eventualy the philospher will agree or wear out :) . My point being that the esoteric should not overtake simple reality. Otherwise we become like the German philospher who dreamt about a knife without a blade which had no handle…

    This world conforms neither to Platonism, Neoplatonism, nor to Atomism. If we want to understand it, we test it, measure it, prod it, throw it off a bridge, dissect it….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Todd, I returned with “evidence”, and “data”, because while on the surface some of these critiques seem valid, in my very personal experience they often boil down to postmodern semantic games. A philospoher can argue about ccause and affect all day, and about obdervations and epistemology all night, but a knock over the head with a cedar plank will hurt more than a knock with a balsa one, and one knock will leave one bump, and two will leave two, and we can keep on testing, but I guarentee you that eventualy the philospher will agree or wear out :) . My point being that the esoteric should not overtake simple reality. Otherwise we become like the German philospher who dreamt about a knife without a blade which had no handle…

    This world conforms neither to Platonism, Neoplatonism, nor to Atomism. If we want to understand it, we test it, measure it, prod it, throw it off a bridge, dissect it….

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Over the last couple of months, I have read 3 books concerning themselves with different aspects of Evolutionary Theory. I have to agree with Tom’s account at the begginning of this thread. By far the worst book I read was Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True”, the answer? Because it is true! As for the other two books I did enjoy them a bit better, I didn’t agree with them completely, maybe not at all, but Koonin came out to say that a theory of evolution is all but impossible to assemble. (Yet evolution is still true, even if you can’t explain how it happened.) I also enjoyed Shapiro, even though I was left thinking that there were some gaps between the evidence, and the “logical” conclusions that he came too.
    So if those on this page who are in or pretend to be in the scientific community, want to complain about Philosophers critiquing the work of evolutionists, though they don’t have any background in biology, that’s fine. But perhaps you could read the books and actually give a better critique, because the problem I’m running into is this, when I read those who are writing the books explaining evolution to the masses, the arguments are not the ones that are made in more advanced biology classes than those I have taken, or the scientists could do well to listen to these philosophers who make it there business to understand arguments and logic. Perhaps being a Philosopher is not an excuse not to take a biology degree before writing a book on evolution, I’m not sure I agree with that though. But having a degree in biology does not give you the right to do away with logic, and failing to distinguish between facts and speculation, when you are writing a book about it, if you do, expect the philosophers to criticize.
    Another atheist who has had some harsh critiques of Evolution is Thomas Nagel of New York University. He teaches both philosophy and constituional law, and his book “Sceintific Naturalism and the Religious Temperament” is very well worth the read. He sees no reason, constitutionally speaking why I.D. Should not be incorporated into the curriculum, and suggests if the biology teachers aren’t smart enough to comprehend the argument or teach it, perhaps it should be built into the curriculum in another venue.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Over the last couple of months, I have read 3 books concerning themselves with different aspects of Evolutionary Theory. I have to agree with Tom’s account at the begginning of this thread. By far the worst book I read was Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True”, the answer? Because it is true! As for the other two books I did enjoy them a bit better, I didn’t agree with them completely, maybe not at all, but Koonin came out to say that a theory of evolution is all but impossible to assemble. (Yet evolution is still true, even if you can’t explain how it happened.) I also enjoyed Shapiro, even though I was left thinking that there were some gaps between the evidence, and the “logical” conclusions that he came too.
    So if those on this page who are in or pretend to be in the scientific community, want to complain about Philosophers critiquing the work of evolutionists, though they don’t have any background in biology, that’s fine. But perhaps you could read the books and actually give a better critique, because the problem I’m running into is this, when I read those who are writing the books explaining evolution to the masses, the arguments are not the ones that are made in more advanced biology classes than those I have taken, or the scientists could do well to listen to these philosophers who make it there business to understand arguments and logic. Perhaps being a Philosopher is not an excuse not to take a biology degree before writing a book on evolution, I’m not sure I agree with that though. But having a degree in biology does not give you the right to do away with logic, and failing to distinguish between facts and speculation, when you are writing a book about it, if you do, expect the philosophers to criticize.
    Another atheist who has had some harsh critiques of Evolution is Thomas Nagel of New York University. He teaches both philosophy and constituional law, and his book “Sceintific Naturalism and the Religious Temperament” is very well worth the read. He sees no reason, constitutionally speaking why I.D. Should not be incorporated into the curriculum, and suggests if the biology teachers aren’t smart enough to comprehend the argument or teach it, perhaps it should be built into the curriculum in another venue.

  • Dust

    This always makes me laugh, so just for fun, check this out:

    and from a more serious perspective:

    http://www.observer.com/1998/06/is-the-big-bang-just-a-big-hoax-david-berlinski-challenges-everyone/

    cheers!

  • Dust

    This always makes me laugh, so just for fun, check this out:

    and from a more serious perspective:

    http://www.observer.com/1998/06/is-the-big-bang-just-a-big-hoax-david-berlinski-challenges-everyone/

    cheers!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Bror – where to begin?

    For the rest of you, in the months where I was away, Bror and I had some interchanges on facebook regarding these subjects. Now, my time has been quite limited of late, to the extent that I even had to scale back other extra-curricular activities. So, no time to read much – I still have book from my colleague next doo to me on the Medieval Warm Period that has been lying in my desk for about 3 months or so, untouched.

    But looking at the Amazon reviews of some of the books you (Bror) mention, I find this on the Koonin book:

    Koonin brings mathematics and analysis to the process of evolution, showing how random chance combines with survival of the fittest, and demolishes the classical notion of evolution as striving towards greater complexity or improvement. Indeed, he shows through numerous examples how the complexity of evolution makes modeling immensely difficult. One particular noteworthy image is the 3-d surface plot of a “fitness landscape” showing how certain maxima can increase fitness, but random chance can move from one peak to another. There is no tree of life, no strive towards complexity. There is a random forest with localized maxima of fitness where species will land, with no direction in particular.

    Which to me, with a maths background, and being a geologist, makes perfect sense. This is not disproving evolution. This is not even a new paradigm. This is just refining our understanding of it. I would suggest that other readings (taking into account, of course, that I have not read the manuscript), that suggest a “disproof of evolution” is a sort of confirmation bias, or even wish fulfillment.

    As to Coyne – I never read apologists. Not atheists, not Christian apologists. Apologetics is an inane subject. You believe or you don’t. You cannot test for God in a test tube.

    Bringing me to the subject of ID: ID is not science. It is a philosophical construct. For precisely the preceding reason – you cannot test for it, you cannot find evidence for it. It is a philosophical construct to account for a perceived lack of evidence – ie a philosophical stopgap. You might wish to make God a stopgap, but I will never stoop to that. He is the Prime originator. We may or may not discover every modus. But to construct a philosophical construct to make us jump the puddles of unknowns, only to later discover the solutions to that puddles is a very dangerous move, because that sets us up for a crisis in faith, later.

    Lastly, to the elephant in the room: Let me borrow a phrase from the arch scoundrel, Ken Ham (imagine an Aussie accent ;) ). “And what do we find? Billions and billions of dead things, laid down in rock layers, all over the earth!”. But what does he omit?? That those billions and billions of dead things form a very nice, yet complex, narrative, from stromatolites and other simple organisms at the bottom to more complicated and evolved organisms higher up to Homo Sapiens right here. Through many cycles of rock, through multiple events, through recordings of dry periods and wet periods, through hothouse earths and ice ages, and massive volcanic and magmatic events to deserts and carbonate platforms, through uplifts and earthquakes, and continents separating and coming together, all tying in quite well with radiometric ages which are constantly being refined, through better and better analytical methods, from various isotopes. It is called, in my words ealier:

    Data

    And

    Evidence.

    Pax.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Bror – where to begin?

    For the rest of you, in the months where I was away, Bror and I had some interchanges on facebook regarding these subjects. Now, my time has been quite limited of late, to the extent that I even had to scale back other extra-curricular activities. So, no time to read much – I still have book from my colleague next doo to me on the Medieval Warm Period that has been lying in my desk for about 3 months or so, untouched.

    But looking at the Amazon reviews of some of the books you (Bror) mention, I find this on the Koonin book:

    Koonin brings mathematics and analysis to the process of evolution, showing how random chance combines with survival of the fittest, and demolishes the classical notion of evolution as striving towards greater complexity or improvement. Indeed, he shows through numerous examples how the complexity of evolution makes modeling immensely difficult. One particular noteworthy image is the 3-d surface plot of a “fitness landscape” showing how certain maxima can increase fitness, but random chance can move from one peak to another. There is no tree of life, no strive towards complexity. There is a random forest with localized maxima of fitness where species will land, with no direction in particular.

    Which to me, with a maths background, and being a geologist, makes perfect sense. This is not disproving evolution. This is not even a new paradigm. This is just refining our understanding of it. I would suggest that other readings (taking into account, of course, that I have not read the manuscript), that suggest a “disproof of evolution” is a sort of confirmation bias, or even wish fulfillment.

    As to Coyne – I never read apologists. Not atheists, not Christian apologists. Apologetics is an inane subject. You believe or you don’t. You cannot test for God in a test tube.

    Bringing me to the subject of ID: ID is not science. It is a philosophical construct. For precisely the preceding reason – you cannot test for it, you cannot find evidence for it. It is a philosophical construct to account for a perceived lack of evidence – ie a philosophical stopgap. You might wish to make God a stopgap, but I will never stoop to that. He is the Prime originator. We may or may not discover every modus. But to construct a philosophical construct to make us jump the puddles of unknowns, only to later discover the solutions to that puddles is a very dangerous move, because that sets us up for a crisis in faith, later.

    Lastly, to the elephant in the room: Let me borrow a phrase from the arch scoundrel, Ken Ham (imagine an Aussie accent ;) ). “And what do we find? Billions and billions of dead things, laid down in rock layers, all over the earth!”. But what does he omit?? That those billions and billions of dead things form a very nice, yet complex, narrative, from stromatolites and other simple organisms at the bottom to more complicated and evolved organisms higher up to Homo Sapiens right here. Through many cycles of rock, through multiple events, through recordings of dry periods and wet periods, through hothouse earths and ice ages, and massive volcanic and magmatic events to deserts and carbonate platforms, through uplifts and earthquakes, and continents separating and coming together, all tying in quite well with radiometric ages which are constantly being refined, through better and better analytical methods, from various isotopes. It is called, in my words ealier:

    Data

    And

    Evidence.

    Pax.

  • Lou G.

    Data and evidence mean nothing without interpretation.
    Man is an arbiter of the natural world, precisely because God gave him reason and understanding. Every person’s understanding or interpretation of data and evidence is guided by his premises.

    The Bible is clear about this:
    Romans 1:19 “For what can be known about God is plain to men, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

    Philosophy plays an important role in science, because it is the lens through which all men interpret data and evidence.

    The continuing contributions of scientific research are extremely important and worth consideration, I believe. However, we should must know the scientist’s premises before accepting his conclusions. It is not his conclusions that invalidate the evidence, rather his premises which most certainly may well invalidate his conclusions. Therefore, premises (or presuppositions, if you prefer) are highly relevant.

  • Lou G.

    Data and evidence mean nothing without interpretation.
    Man is an arbiter of the natural world, precisely because God gave him reason and understanding. Every person’s understanding or interpretation of data and evidence is guided by his premises.

    The Bible is clear about this:
    Romans 1:19 “For what can be known about God is plain to men, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

    Philosophy plays an important role in science, because it is the lens through which all men interpret data and evidence.

    The continuing contributions of scientific research are extremely important and worth consideration, I believe. However, we should must know the scientist’s premises before accepting his conclusions. It is not his conclusions that invalidate the evidence, rather his premises which most certainly may well invalidate his conclusions. Therefore, premises (or presuppositions, if you prefer) are highly relevant.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Lou, yes and no. It sure sounds like the philosophical high road. But in practice, for evolution, for major geology etc etc., not to be true, 1 + 1 doesn’t equal 2, Logic fails, reason means nothing, human observation can never be trusted, and for all intents and purposes, extreme post-modern epistemological critiques hold – that truth is unknowable and essentially irrelevant – and therefore language is nothing but a power game, and conveys no meaning at all. Yes, I mean that. Why. Because of – evidence, and data. Piles of it. And that logic and reason operating on that data, and that evidence. Simple 1+1=2 logic – one step at a time, done over many years, building up an increasingly complcated picture, iteratively. And yes, testing of premises – and retesting, and retesting, and retesting, and… I think you get the picture.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Lou, yes and no. It sure sounds like the philosophical high road. But in practice, for evolution, for major geology etc etc., not to be true, 1 + 1 doesn’t equal 2, Logic fails, reason means nothing, human observation can never be trusted, and for all intents and purposes, extreme post-modern epistemological critiques hold – that truth is unknowable and essentially irrelevant – and therefore language is nothing but a power game, and conveys no meaning at all. Yes, I mean that. Why. Because of – evidence, and data. Piles of it. And that logic and reason operating on that data, and that evidence. Simple 1+1=2 logic – one step at a time, done over many years, building up an increasingly complcated picture, iteratively. And yes, testing of premises – and retesting, and retesting, and retesting, and… I think you get the picture.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Also, science cannot proof, or disprove God. That is why the atheist apologists, like Dawkins, have it so incredibly wrong, just as much as the Creationists like Ham. hey are fundamentally wrong for the same reason, essentially – they sit in the same Rationalist boat – they think you can rationalise God and faith. But you cannot. Science is rational. Faith isn’t. The two are in entirely different categories. Faith isn’t inferior because it is not rational – it isn’t irrational, it could be described as supra-rational, maybe. Science cannot test for God, as I’m fond of saying. Dawkins is wrong. Ham is wrong. Paul is right – the just shall live by faith.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Also, science cannot proof, or disprove God. That is why the atheist apologists, like Dawkins, have it so incredibly wrong, just as much as the Creationists like Ham. hey are fundamentally wrong for the same reason, essentially – they sit in the same Rationalist boat – they think you can rationalise God and faith. But you cannot. Science is rational. Faith isn’t. The two are in entirely different categories. Faith isn’t inferior because it is not rational – it isn’t irrational, it could be described as supra-rational, maybe. Science cannot test for God, as I’m fond of saying. Dawkins is wrong. Ham is wrong. Paul is right – the just shall live by faith.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Dust – Berlinski is a crank – by his own admission. He, never having made any contributiuons of his own, chases strawmen. In an entertaining wiki article, the following is quoted:

    Berlinski’s radical and often wrong-headed skepticism represents an ascendant style in the popular debate over American science: Like the recent crop of global-warming skeptics, AIDS denialists, and biotech activists, Berlinski uses doubt as a weapon against the academy—he’s more concerned with what we don’t know than what we do. He uses uncertainty to challenge the scientific consensus; he points to the evidence that isn’t there and seeks out the things that can’t be proved. In its extreme and ideological form, this contrarian approach to science can turn into a form of paranoia—a state of permanent suspicion and outrage. But Berlinski is hardly a victim of the style. He’s merely its most methodical practitioner.”

    IE, he has descended into one of those permanent state sof paranoia, normally associated wih tinfoil hat – wearing conspiracy theorists that read and publish self-financed pamphlets of alternating hilarity and dumbfounded ignoramity….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Dust – Berlinski is a crank – by his own admission. He, never having made any contributiuons of his own, chases strawmen. In an entertaining wiki article, the following is quoted:

    Berlinski’s radical and often wrong-headed skepticism represents an ascendant style in the popular debate over American science: Like the recent crop of global-warming skeptics, AIDS denialists, and biotech activists, Berlinski uses doubt as a weapon against the academy—he’s more concerned with what we don’t know than what we do. He uses uncertainty to challenge the scientific consensus; he points to the evidence that isn’t there and seeks out the things that can’t be proved. In its extreme and ideological form, this contrarian approach to science can turn into a form of paranoia—a state of permanent suspicion and outrage. But Berlinski is hardly a victim of the style. He’s merely its most methodical practitioner.”

    IE, he has descended into one of those permanent state sof paranoia, normally associated wih tinfoil hat – wearing conspiracy theorists that read and publish self-financed pamphlets of alternating hilarity and dumbfounded ignoramity….

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I recall no conversations on Facebook with a Klasie Kraalagies….
    However, you may say that Koonin has redefined, sharpened evolution, I say perhaps, but he attacks the former models of evolution for all the same deficiencies to which it seems to me that I.D. Proponents have attacked it, and along the same lines, and what he has left in its place is completely different, and has its own problems.
    But I don’t see I.D. as being a stop gap. I think this is an unfair caricature. I don’t see them trying to stop any research whatsoever. In fact, I do believe many are actually engaged in research to a high degree.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I recall no conversations on Facebook with a Klasie Kraalagies….
    However, you may say that Koonin has redefined, sharpened evolution, I say perhaps, but he attacks the former models of evolution for all the same deficiencies to which it seems to me that I.D. Proponents have attacked it, and along the same lines, and what he has left in its place is completely different, and has its own problems.
    But I don’t see I.D. as being a stop gap. I think this is an unfair caricature. I don’t see them trying to stop any research whatsoever. In fact, I do believe many are actually engaged in research to a high degree.

  • Dust

    Klasie…thanks for your comments! Yes, Berlinski is a crank and he traffics in doubt…that’s what is so refreshing and wonderful about him to those who enjoy crankiness and doubt.

    But seriously folks, it was always my understanding that one mark of an genuine scientist was to doubt the status quo and look for answers outside the box? You know, like Galileo, Copernicus and Darwin, to name a few? If true, then he is in good company :)

    Here are a few more links that may be of interest to you (would try to comment on your comments on faith and logic and rational vs. irrational, etc. but the topics are “above my pay grade” so to speak, so it’s best to let the pros get down with it):

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/so-you-think-you-understand.html

    http://worldsciencefestival.com/videos/the_limits_of_understanding

    Cheers!

  • Dust

    Klasie…thanks for your comments! Yes, Berlinski is a crank and he traffics in doubt…that’s what is so refreshing and wonderful about him to those who enjoy crankiness and doubt.

    But seriously folks, it was always my understanding that one mark of an genuine scientist was to doubt the status quo and look for answers outside the box? You know, like Galileo, Copernicus and Darwin, to name a few? If true, then he is in good company :)

    Here are a few more links that may be of interest to you (would try to comment on your comments on faith and logic and rational vs. irrational, etc. but the topics are “above my pay grade” so to speak, so it’s best to let the pros get down with it):

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/so-you-think-you-understand.html

    http://worldsciencefestival.com/videos/the_limits_of_understanding

    Cheers!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I read Coyne, after numerous pleas from other friends to read him, assured that he would convince me that the Evolutionary Metanarative as thought up by Darwin was correct.
    As for the bones and billions of dead things. You see in there a “very nice, yet complex, narrative” Perhaps there is one. But it seems to me two things, there are too many unknowns to tell anyone what that narrative might be with any certainty. I think if you fossilized the bottom of a duck pond today you would be fossilizing many of the “simpler forms of life” that one sees at the bottom of these stratta. And that is just it. One could, and evolutionists often do, create the same sort of narratives from animals that are alive today, largely basing this upon Lineaus categorizing animals in relation to one another, nesting and so forth. However, another could look at these same things could just as well say they were created that way. I mean I hate presupisilationism, but I think this is an area where it largely fits, and people are no longer examining the assumptions they are making.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I read Coyne, after numerous pleas from other friends to read him, assured that he would convince me that the Evolutionary Metanarative as thought up by Darwin was correct.
    As for the bones and billions of dead things. You see in there a “very nice, yet complex, narrative” Perhaps there is one. But it seems to me two things, there are too many unknowns to tell anyone what that narrative might be with any certainty. I think if you fossilized the bottom of a duck pond today you would be fossilizing many of the “simpler forms of life” that one sees at the bottom of these stratta. And that is just it. One could, and evolutionists often do, create the same sort of narratives from animals that are alive today, largely basing this upon Lineaus categorizing animals in relation to one another, nesting and so forth. However, another could look at these same things could just as well say they were created that way. I mean I hate presupisilationism, but I think this is an area where it largely fits, and people are no longer examining the assumptions they are making.

  • Lou

    Klasie Kraalogies: I disagree with almost all of your premises.

    First and foremost, as Christians, we understand that reason and logic come from God. Yet you assert the opposite: that if evolution is not true, then logic fails and reason means nothing. This is the crux of the issue with the debate. You’ve committed the logical fallacy of begging the question (petitio principii) by assuming the initial point – that evolution must be true, in order to try to prove that evolution is true. Premises.

    In addition, faith is rational. We are called to be ready to give a defense and a reason for our faith. That and thinking/consideration go hand in hand. Doubt is based on taking our eyes off ultimate things and letting our sensory perception rule our thoughts.

    Those who posit the false dichotomy of faith vs. science are merely falling into the modernist trap that somehow materialism trumps or drives logic. If I can’t touch it, see it, smell it test it, then it doesn’t exist or can’t be proven. That is a false understanding of reality.

    If anything, the honest scientist has to admit that materialism is not ultimately explanative and cannot have the first or last word. Constantly, new scientific inventions rock previous theories based in empiricism — for example the electron microscope put an end altogether to Darwin’s “simple cell” hypothesis — a *key* premise upon which he derived “the origin of species”.

    Point being, the faith vs. science argument doesn’t hold water.

  • Lou

    Klasie Kraalogies: I disagree with almost all of your premises.

    First and foremost, as Christians, we understand that reason and logic come from God. Yet you assert the opposite: that if evolution is not true, then logic fails and reason means nothing. This is the crux of the issue with the debate. You’ve committed the logical fallacy of begging the question (petitio principii) by assuming the initial point – that evolution must be true, in order to try to prove that evolution is true. Premises.

    In addition, faith is rational. We are called to be ready to give a defense and a reason for our faith. That and thinking/consideration go hand in hand. Doubt is based on taking our eyes off ultimate things and letting our sensory perception rule our thoughts.

    Those who posit the false dichotomy of faith vs. science are merely falling into the modernist trap that somehow materialism trumps or drives logic. If I can’t touch it, see it, smell it test it, then it doesn’t exist or can’t be proven. That is a false understanding of reality.

    If anything, the honest scientist has to admit that materialism is not ultimately explanative and cannot have the first or last word. Constantly, new scientific inventions rock previous theories based in empiricism — for example the electron microscope put an end altogether to Darwin’s “simple cell” hypothesis — a *key* premise upon which he derived “the origin of species”.

    Point being, the faith vs. science argument doesn’t hold water.

  • Dust

    Lou at 35….thanks, that’s very much along the lines of what I was referring to in my comment at 33….you must be one of the pros :)

  • Dust

    Lou at 35….thanks, that’s very much along the lines of what I was referring to in my comment at 33….you must be one of the pros :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Bror – me, aka Louis. :) And you conveniently grasp presuppositionalism as a weapon of last resort – nice. Also, the too many unknowns argument – fiddlesticks. As a professional in the field of geology, I am telling you know that the evidence in my fields is overrwhelminf. Furthermore, the evolutionary progression, if I may call it thus, from Archean to Holocene, is so damn obvious that you have to be pretty damn obstinate to miss the obvious implications. There are many loose ends, sure. But to miss the forest calls for one thing only, and that is wilful blindness.

    As to the ID argument – well, I am not sure how else to put it. I’m not buying your argument, and you are not buying mine. Let’s have a beer.

    Lou – you could set up a fishmongers with all youur red herrings. That is if you haven’t filled the barn with strawmen yet. Way to assume things about someone, buddy.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Bror – me, aka Louis. :) And you conveniently grasp presuppositionalism as a weapon of last resort – nice. Also, the too many unknowns argument – fiddlesticks. As a professional in the field of geology, I am telling you know that the evidence in my fields is overrwhelminf. Furthermore, the evolutionary progression, if I may call it thus, from Archean to Holocene, is so damn obvious that you have to be pretty damn obstinate to miss the obvious implications. There are many loose ends, sure. But to miss the forest calls for one thing only, and that is wilful blindness.

    As to the ID argument – well, I am not sure how else to put it. I’m not buying your argument, and you are not buying mine. Let’s have a beer.

    Lou – you could set up a fishmongers with all youur red herrings. That is if you haven’t filled the barn with strawmen yet. Way to assume things about someone, buddy.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Btw, Lou, say hello to Chuck Finney for me :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Btw, Lou, say hello to Chuck Finney for me :)

  • Dust

    Klasie….not very classy if you don’t mind, to call all of the folks who respectfully and kindly disagree with you crazy, stupid, and/or otherwise denigrate their attempts at dialogue…well that’s how it appears to me, even if you do it with a smile on your face and an invitation to share a beer, perhaps it’s proper to say in this case, it all comes across as a bit too shrill :)

  • Dust

    Klasie….not very classy if you don’t mind, to call all of the folks who respectfully and kindly disagree with you crazy, stupid, and/or otherwise denigrate their attempts at dialogue…well that’s how it appears to me, even if you do it with a smile on your face and an invitation to share a beer, perhaps it’s proper to say in this case, it all comes across as a bit too shrill :)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com bror erickson

    See klasie,
    I figured it had to be you.
    Now, I look for the evidence, I look for the data,. Klasie, I’ve read more books by evolutionists at this point then I ever have of creationists. And I share your dislike of ken ham. But seriously, the more I probe into the whole question the more I am left skeptical. And that is all I can say. Now pwrhaps there is a book or something out there that presents the data in a convincing manner. I have yet to find it. As for dating rocks, I really want to understand that but that is another thing that I have not found a convincing treatise on.
    I also have to echo lou a little bit here, if evolution is true, it is then that reason becomes suspect.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com bror erickson

    See klasie,
    I figured it had to be you.
    Now, I look for the evidence, I look for the data,. Klasie, I’ve read more books by evolutionists at this point then I ever have of creationists. And I share your dislike of ken ham. But seriously, the more I probe into the whole question the more I am left skeptical. And that is all I can say. Now pwrhaps there is a book or something out there that presents the data in a convincing manner. I have yet to find it. As for dating rocks, I really want to understand that but that is another thing that I have not found a convincing treatise on.
    I also have to echo lou a little bit here, if evolution is true, it is then that reason becomes suspect.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Bror: Actually, for a concise yet surprisingly well written summary of geochronology, try the online Brittanica article – at http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/152243/dating/69756/Principles-of-isotopic-dating

    I want to counter your claim: Having seen enough data & evidence, it is quite clear that reason indicates that the evidence points towards evolution, an old age etc. If evolution/old age for the earth/universe is somehow all a deception, then I cannot trust Reason – which means I cannot trust language, which is but another extension of reason. If I cannot trust language, I cannot trust what I read in Scripture, for I cannot trust my comprehension of the words. Hence, it all falls apart. Of course, my trust is not in evidence. But I think or hope) you understand what I am getting at). We either live in a more or less rational universe, or we don’t. If we do, well, I can tell you right now what the evidence heavily favours. If we don’t then how the hell do we know anything, even the words which we utter??

    Dust: I call ‘em as I see ‘em: No use pretending – if someone utter claims that are truly ridiculous, I am not going to be hypocritical about it. Now Bror argues vigorously, but fairly. Lou attacks in mysterious ways, as he accuses what he cannot prove, much as your example, Berlinski.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Bror: Actually, for a concise yet surprisingly well written summary of geochronology, try the online Brittanica article – at http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/152243/dating/69756/Principles-of-isotopic-dating

    I want to counter your claim: Having seen enough data & evidence, it is quite clear that reason indicates that the evidence points towards evolution, an old age etc. If evolution/old age for the earth/universe is somehow all a deception, then I cannot trust Reason – which means I cannot trust language, which is but another extension of reason. If I cannot trust language, I cannot trust what I read in Scripture, for I cannot trust my comprehension of the words. Hence, it all falls apart. Of course, my trust is not in evidence. But I think or hope) you understand what I am getting at). We either live in a more or less rational universe, or we don’t. If we do, well, I can tell you right now what the evidence heavily favours. If we don’t then how the hell do we know anything, even the words which we utter??

    Dust: I call ‘em as I see ‘em: No use pretending – if someone utter claims that are truly ridiculous, I am not going to be hypocritical about it. Now Bror argues vigorously, but fairly. Lou attacks in mysterious ways, as he accuses what he cannot prove, much as your example, Berlinski.

  • Dust

    Klasie above….you said:

    “if someone utter claims that are truly ridiculous”

    Fair enough, but can you give some specific examples of claims that you feel are truly ridiculous? Not Berlinski, thank you very much, but Lou or me please.

    Cheers!

  • Dust

    Klasie above….you said:

    “if someone utter claims that are truly ridiculous”

    Fair enough, but can you give some specific examples of claims that you feel are truly ridiculous? Not Berlinski, thank you very much, but Lou or me please.

    Cheers!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Dust, I’m often guilty of jumping from the specific to the general to quoickly! But in Lou’s case, there are very seriouse epistemological problems. You did not really make any statements, so I can’t really address anything there. But to properly address Lou’s issues, I shouls really. Put in a bit more time and effort – more than I could probably find this weekend alone. Let me think about it, and get back to you. I would really like to address the epistemological issues often raised, as I think there are serious misuse of those arguments, whicch are often used in an add hoc manner, without due consideration given to , for isttance, the philosophical context of say the Pauline writings. Folks like Lou apply a modern reading to a pre-modern text, and then build what is obviusly an invalid epistemology, or demand invalid epistemological requiremnents. This leads to a situation where a theoplogy is created which would be foreign to for instance the Church Fathers, because they wouldd never read the Scriptures in such a way. I hope I’m not getting too obscure here. Hence my quip about Chuck Finney, because that is exactly what lead to him becoming an arch-oheretic. Now I’m NOT saying that Lou is one, not at all. What I am saying is that the process is similar. I guess these thoughts coming from me is very surprising to most here, as I would guess that they would accuse me the dreaded “old earther” and “evolutionist” as being the heterodox one. But it is precisely the opposite for me – I, who wasbrought as a virulent creationist, evangelical etc., acknowledged the truth of scientific consensus because of my commitment to honesty AND orthodoxy, using reason and logic.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Dust, I’m often guilty of jumping from the specific to the general to quoickly! But in Lou’s case, there are very seriouse epistemological problems. You did not really make any statements, so I can’t really address anything there. But to properly address Lou’s issues, I shouls really. Put in a bit more time and effort – more than I could probably find this weekend alone. Let me think about it, and get back to you. I would really like to address the epistemological issues often raised, as I think there are serious misuse of those arguments, whicch are often used in an add hoc manner, without due consideration given to , for isttance, the philosophical context of say the Pauline writings. Folks like Lou apply a modern reading to a pre-modern text, and then build what is obviusly an invalid epistemology, or demand invalid epistemological requiremnents. This leads to a situation where a theoplogy is created which would be foreign to for instance the Church Fathers, because they wouldd never read the Scriptures in such a way. I hope I’m not getting too obscure here. Hence my quip about Chuck Finney, because that is exactly what lead to him becoming an arch-oheretic. Now I’m NOT saying that Lou is one, not at all. What I am saying is that the process is similar. I guess these thoughts coming from me is very surprising to most here, as I would guess that they would accuse me the dreaded “old earther” and “evolutionist” as being the heterodox one. But it is precisely the opposite for me – I, who wasbrought as a virulent creationist, evangelical etc., acknowledged the truth of scientific consensus because of my commitment to honesty AND orthodoxy, using reason and logic.

  • Lou

    Wow Klasie. Way to go with a parade of fallacious argumentation! Superb accomplishments, I must say.
    After being exposed by several others, you resort to a red herring — by accusing the other of no less than red herring argumentation! HaHaHa — that was a good one (37)!!! But then you continued to build your case with the mother of logical fallacies — a classic Ad Hominem slander (#38).
    Oh, nicely done my brother!

    (let us know if you decide to actually have a discussion or debate…)

  • Lou

    Wow Klasie. Way to go with a parade of fallacious argumentation! Superb accomplishments, I must say.
    After being exposed by several others, you resort to a red herring — by accusing the other of no less than red herring argumentation! HaHaHa — that was a good one (37)!!! But then you continued to build your case with the mother of logical fallacies — a classic Ad Hominem slander (#38).
    Oh, nicely done my brother!

    (let us know if you decide to actually have a discussion or debate…)

  • Lou

    Dust #35 — agreed! Thank you.

  • Lou

    Dust #35 — agreed! Thank you.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Lou, ok, let’s reset the clock. You responded to my comments earlier in the thread, so how about this:

    You disagreed with me about the nature of faith. This is a disagreement that will take a long time to hash out, so let’s put that one aside for the moment, to be returned to later. In the rest of my arguments, name one fallacy. I will respond, andd we can take it from there. How do feel about that?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Lou, ok, let’s reset the clock. You responded to my comments earlier in the thread, so how about this:

    You disagreed with me about the nature of faith. This is a disagreement that will take a long time to hash out, so let’s put that one aside for the moment, to be returned to later. In the rest of my arguments, name one fallacy. I will respond, andd we can take it from there. How do feel about that?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    In the absence of any response, I’m formulating a general response to the accusation of epistemological invalidity regarding the arguments, evidence and data supporting evolution, an old earth etc.

    Most often when these objections are raised they seem profound, even sophisticated, but often betray a misunderstanding of science and the process of acquiring knowledge in general. Geology, palaeontology and related subjects are of a forensic character, but they are not devoid (especially in the case of geology) of experimental opportunity, as well as contemporaneous examples and the careful observation of these. Thus we can go ta a river and watch the depositional process, we can observe the workings of a volcano, we can go to a flume, and by controlling flow speed and sediment load, understand both rates of deposition of different materials under different fluid regimes, as well as the sedimentary textures formed under these. We can experiment with material under pressure and temperature to understand the pressure and temperature regimes under which certain minerals form. All this has happened, and continues to happen. This information is correlated with what is observed in the field. Simple reason is applied – one can see how layers form, how the older is at the bottom, newer higher up. Evidence of structural events – faults etc., can be followed. One can see where a hiatus took place – by virtue of an unconformity (for instance). Obviously I’m skimming the surface – one cannot put 4 years of University education in a blog comment.

    But the facts are that the rocks can be interpreted without weird and wonderful assumptions. I do not have to assume a flood or no flood, for instance – I simply look at the evidence like a detective. And there wasn’t a global flood. I do not have to assume anything that one does have to assume in everyday life – if gravity worked now; it probably worked throughout the existence of the earth. That type of thing. It might have been slightly different had the density of the earth been different. But the maths – the same. In short, a rational universe.

    Now, some of the creationist community like to somehow throw the accusation of “assumptions” and “bad epistemology” as a last ditch effort against the flood of Evidence and Data out there. A weird obsession with uniformitarianism, which is but an interpretive principle, often features in this. But the attack is uninformed – it is simply a general way of describing that we can see what happens in the sediments in say a river delta today, and find the same sedimentary textures in an ancient rock. In conjunction with other data, we could could concluded that the sandstone we are looking at, is representative of an ancient delta. This is no different to some of those famous scenes in the CSI type shows where they compare the remnants of one item to existing items to determine its identity / the nature of the murder weapon etc. IE, it is a forensic principle.

    Now, a brief comment about related matters: Earlier in this thread, I recommended an article about radiometric dating methods to Bror. This article is recommended, and I’d appreciate it if those that wanted to raise objections, at least inform themselves. About fossils: Now, I’m not a palaeontologist, but I know enough to be able to say that once having gone through years of analysis like outlined above, it is clear that there is a progression of fossils. We have trace fossils of stromatolites (for instance) in Archean rocks. We go up in the stratigraphy, and we find progressively “more advanced” fossils – throughout the geological column. There is no way around it – the fossils are not mixed up, they form a very nice progression, no matter how you try to spin it. Then to cap it off – the relative ages – with oldest at the bottom etc etc , following the line of geological evidence; the radiometric data, across many minerals, methods, isotopic regimes; and lastly the fossil evidence, all dovetail to tell the same saga. It is what it is.

    Now, if one wants to really discuss a epistemological problem, what about the modernist baggage we bring with us when we read Scripture? We read the first 11 chapters of Genesis as a blow by blow scientific account, without considering what its purpose was to its prime audience at the time of its writing. Even if we go back to the early Church, we find varied treatments of the Genesis accounts – St Augustine’s words, Origen’s comments, even St Basil’s commentary which focuses on the intent and message, more than on the detail. God as prime and sole Originator of the Cosmos.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    In the absence of any response, I’m formulating a general response to the accusation of epistemological invalidity regarding the arguments, evidence and data supporting evolution, an old earth etc.

    Most often when these objections are raised they seem profound, even sophisticated, but often betray a misunderstanding of science and the process of acquiring knowledge in general. Geology, palaeontology and related subjects are of a forensic character, but they are not devoid (especially in the case of geology) of experimental opportunity, as well as contemporaneous examples and the careful observation of these. Thus we can go ta a river and watch the depositional process, we can observe the workings of a volcano, we can go to a flume, and by controlling flow speed and sediment load, understand both rates of deposition of different materials under different fluid regimes, as well as the sedimentary textures formed under these. We can experiment with material under pressure and temperature to understand the pressure and temperature regimes under which certain minerals form. All this has happened, and continues to happen. This information is correlated with what is observed in the field. Simple reason is applied – one can see how layers form, how the older is at the bottom, newer higher up. Evidence of structural events – faults etc., can be followed. One can see where a hiatus took place – by virtue of an unconformity (for instance). Obviously I’m skimming the surface – one cannot put 4 years of University education in a blog comment.

    But the facts are that the rocks can be interpreted without weird and wonderful assumptions. I do not have to assume a flood or no flood, for instance – I simply look at the evidence like a detective. And there wasn’t a global flood. I do not have to assume anything that one does have to assume in everyday life – if gravity worked now; it probably worked throughout the existence of the earth. That type of thing. It might have been slightly different had the density of the earth been different. But the maths – the same. In short, a rational universe.

    Now, some of the creationist community like to somehow throw the accusation of “assumptions” and “bad epistemology” as a last ditch effort against the flood of Evidence and Data out there. A weird obsession with uniformitarianism, which is but an interpretive principle, often features in this. But the attack is uninformed – it is simply a general way of describing that we can see what happens in the sediments in say a river delta today, and find the same sedimentary textures in an ancient rock. In conjunction with other data, we could could concluded that the sandstone we are looking at, is representative of an ancient delta. This is no different to some of those famous scenes in the CSI type shows where they compare the remnants of one item to existing items to determine its identity / the nature of the murder weapon etc. IE, it is a forensic principle.

    Now, a brief comment about related matters: Earlier in this thread, I recommended an article about radiometric dating methods to Bror. This article is recommended, and I’d appreciate it if those that wanted to raise objections, at least inform themselves. About fossils: Now, I’m not a palaeontologist, but I know enough to be able to say that once having gone through years of analysis like outlined above, it is clear that there is a progression of fossils. We have trace fossils of stromatolites (for instance) in Archean rocks. We go up in the stratigraphy, and we find progressively “more advanced” fossils – throughout the geological column. There is no way around it – the fossils are not mixed up, they form a very nice progression, no matter how you try to spin it. Then to cap it off – the relative ages – with oldest at the bottom etc etc , following the line of geological evidence; the radiometric data, across many minerals, methods, isotopic regimes; and lastly the fossil evidence, all dovetail to tell the same saga. It is what it is.

    Now, if one wants to really discuss a epistemological problem, what about the modernist baggage we bring with us when we read Scripture? We read the first 11 chapters of Genesis as a blow by blow scientific account, without considering what its purpose was to its prime audience at the time of its writing. Even if we go back to the early Church, we find varied treatments of the Genesis accounts – St Augustine’s words, Origen’s comments, even St Basil’s commentary which focuses on the intent and message, more than on the detail. God as prime and sole Originator of the Cosmos.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Well “what Darwin Got Wrong” came in the mail yesterday, and it has captured my attention. I haven’t read the whole thing, but what I have is extremely interesting.
    It is not, btw, a refutation of evolution. The authors believe in Evolution. It is a refutation of Darwinism, and more pointedly the idea that Natural Selection is the driving force behind evolution. It is a refutation of the Theory of Natural Selection.
    Furthermore, they show how the dogma that has surrounded neo-darwinism, has been more guilty of squelching scientific research than any I.D. proponent. Fascinating discussion on that. Not only squelching, but then the rest of the time having scientists in almost all fields chasing red herrings on the assumption that Darwin could not be wrong.
    Third, and this especially for you, Klasie, is they show how Darwinian evolution, undermines epistemology.
    So I know you have an aversion to this sort of thing, but I highly recommend the book, to all reading this blog, and especially to you Klasie. Perhaps then we can take the dialogue concerning the book to my blog, or Facebook.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Well “what Darwin Got Wrong” came in the mail yesterday, and it has captured my attention. I haven’t read the whole thing, but what I have is extremely interesting.
    It is not, btw, a refutation of evolution. The authors believe in Evolution. It is a refutation of Darwinism, and more pointedly the idea that Natural Selection is the driving force behind evolution. It is a refutation of the Theory of Natural Selection.
    Furthermore, they show how the dogma that has surrounded neo-darwinism, has been more guilty of squelching scientific research than any I.D. proponent. Fascinating discussion on that. Not only squelching, but then the rest of the time having scientists in almost all fields chasing red herrings on the assumption that Darwin could not be wrong.
    Third, and this especially for you, Klasie, is they show how Darwinian evolution, undermines epistemology.
    So I know you have an aversion to this sort of thing, but I highly recommend the book, to all reading this blog, and especially to you Klasie. Perhaps then we can take the dialogue concerning the book to my blog, or Facebook.

  • Dust

    For those who are broad minded enough, such as Bror, to look into all sides of an issue, you may find the following video (there are more, but you can find them easily or ask me):

    http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=YzI5Zjg0Mzc4ZjgzZTI3MWE5M2Y5ZTAyOTU2YzZhZGE=

    It’s a William F. Buckley sort of style interview program from the Hoover Institution on Standford University. Here’s the link to all the programs available:

    http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/

    Am sure not everyone will enjoy these, it’s think tank kind of stuff and conservative as well….now you have been warned :)

    This particular series is with the author of the book “The Devil’s Delusion” with a subtitle “Atheism and it’s Scientific Pretensions” which am sure is enough to scare away some folks, but others will find it informative and worthwhile.

    Cheers!

  • Dust

    For those who are broad minded enough, such as Bror, to look into all sides of an issue, you may find the following video (there are more, but you can find them easily or ask me):

    http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=YzI5Zjg0Mzc4ZjgzZTI3MWE5M2Y5ZTAyOTU2YzZhZGE=

    It’s a William F. Buckley sort of style interview program from the Hoover Institution on Standford University. Here’s the link to all the programs available:

    http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/

    Am sure not everyone will enjoy these, it’s think tank kind of stuff and conservative as well….now you have been warned :)

    This particular series is with the author of the book “The Devil’s Delusion” with a subtitle “Atheism and it’s Scientific Pretensions” which am sure is enough to scare away some folks, but others will find it informative and worthwhile.

    Cheers!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Bror – as I commented earlier – I am woefully behind in reading, and my available time (and money for books) is pitiful, so I’m sticking to comments etc now. Of course, I’m responding wrt to what I’m an expert in, mostly, which is geology. And the fact that the fossil record ties in etc.

    Not having read the book, but from what you say, would be able to comment that of course Darwin’s ideas could be substantially imporoved upon. I myself dislike the use of “….isms”. A lot depends on ones definition of a term, and thus also the criticism thereof.

    I also happen to have something of an understanding of Applied Mathematics, especially Dynamial Systems (ie Chaos Theory), as well as Geostatistics – in the latter role, I’m sometimes called an Economic Geologist. I mention this, to indicate that in my line of work, I have to very aware of the variances and vagrancies of natural systems. As such, I can see the simplicity of Darwin’s original description of natural selection, and how it needs updating. I’m also aware of experimental results indicating how natural selection could work – there is an ongoing experiment using Salmonella which is very intruiging, and which indicates how rapidly population diversion and evoultionary changes do occur – fascinating stuff. Furthermore, as I have pointed out again and again – the fossil record is quite clear. What the quibbling is about is not if evolution did occur, but what the mechanisms are, and exactly how they operate. That is a major difference.

    Squelching research – happens all the time, everywhere, in every field. Creationists do it too. ID’s too. Climate Change fanatics too. Climate Change deniers too. Eventually resistance crumble. Human nature. That’s the way it always is. But ID is not science – it is a philosophical construct – for reasons previously outlined. There has yet to be a single credible Creationist theory – because the evidence is overwhelming. There is no need to suppress Creationist ideas, because they have no substance. For some years I checked into them, and some fellows I know still do it – and every single one rings hollow – data supression, outright lies and manipulation etc – enough to make Kim Il Jung II a fan. I’m not lying. I will find you some references if you want.

    As to the epistemology charge, it sounds interesting, I would like to see more on that one. But as a geologist, in the end of the day, I’m want to see the evidence. Me – mountain. Other guy ?

    BTW – have you looked at that geochronology page I sent you?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Bror – as I commented earlier – I am woefully behind in reading, and my available time (and money for books) is pitiful, so I’m sticking to comments etc now. Of course, I’m responding wrt to what I’m an expert in, mostly, which is geology. And the fact that the fossil record ties in etc.

    Not having read the book, but from what you say, would be able to comment that of course Darwin’s ideas could be substantially imporoved upon. I myself dislike the use of “….isms”. A lot depends on ones definition of a term, and thus also the criticism thereof.

    I also happen to have something of an understanding of Applied Mathematics, especially Dynamial Systems (ie Chaos Theory), as well as Geostatistics – in the latter role, I’m sometimes called an Economic Geologist. I mention this, to indicate that in my line of work, I have to very aware of the variances and vagrancies of natural systems. As such, I can see the simplicity of Darwin’s original description of natural selection, and how it needs updating. I’m also aware of experimental results indicating how natural selection could work – there is an ongoing experiment using Salmonella which is very intruiging, and which indicates how rapidly population diversion and evoultionary changes do occur – fascinating stuff. Furthermore, as I have pointed out again and again – the fossil record is quite clear. What the quibbling is about is not if evolution did occur, but what the mechanisms are, and exactly how they operate. That is a major difference.

    Squelching research – happens all the time, everywhere, in every field. Creationists do it too. ID’s too. Climate Change fanatics too. Climate Change deniers too. Eventually resistance crumble. Human nature. That’s the way it always is. But ID is not science – it is a philosophical construct – for reasons previously outlined. There has yet to be a single credible Creationist theory – because the evidence is overwhelming. There is no need to suppress Creationist ideas, because they have no substance. For some years I checked into them, and some fellows I know still do it – and every single one rings hollow – data supression, outright lies and manipulation etc – enough to make Kim Il Jung II a fan. I’m not lying. I will find you some references if you want.

    As to the epistemology charge, it sounds interesting, I would like to see more on that one. But as a geologist, in the end of the day, I’m want to see the evidence. Me – mountain. Other guy ?

    BTW – have you looked at that geochronology page I sent you?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Dust – any comments on my reply?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Dust – any comments on my reply?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Bror – I’ll check if the library has a copy here. I’ll let you know….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Bror – I’ll check if the library has a copy here. I’ll let you know….

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Klasie,
    I have book marked that page to be read when I have a little more time. I wish I could print it. On the surface though, it seems there are at least a few assumptions made at the beginning of the processes. I understand that that is sometimes necessary, and not all assumptions are the same, some have good reason to be made. But I do get leery concerning it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Klasie,
    I have book marked that page to be read when I have a little more time. I wish I could print it. On the surface though, it seems there are at least a few assumptions made at the beginning of the processes. I understand that that is sometimes necessary, and not all assumptions are the same, some have good reason to be made. But I do get leery concerning it.

  • Dust

    Klasie….thanks for your offer (on the tv thread) to email, but am most likely going to take a pass on it. Nothing personal, you seem like a good guy who likes a good discussion, but for me there is really no point to it. My mind is made up and nothing can change it. Am not sure how to say it, but it’s not just a theological point to me, but also a philosophical one. Am not qualified to explain exactly why, but have referred you with several links to those who do a decent job, in particular Edward Feser back up there in comment 33.

    It might also be worth pointing out have been around Mathematics and Computers and Science all my life and have lots of friends in the science, engineering and medical professions and have had all sorts of discussions and so have heard much of the arguments before. Indeed, that is why the reference to the Whitman poem “When I heard the Learned Astronomer”…..all that data and evidence that gets you all excited, is just so boring and dry to me. It’s not that I can’t understand it as I did very well in school, thank you very much, as well as professionally, but it all just doesn’t add up to the same conclusion to me as it does for you, and so it’s really just a waste of time and effort, both of which are the two most precious, and non-renewable resources to me. Even taking the time to comment on this blog wears me out, partly because while am quite comfortable with Mathematics and hard sciences, I really don’t like to write and it’s difficult for me…guess it’s called writer’s block and could be even writer’s anxiety? So this will be my swan song on this topic….too bad we can’t just go discuss this over a beer or bottle of wine, or, it’s not my thing, but perhaps you prefer to get stoned..ha, just kidding :)

    Cheers!

    PS. Did think it was rather good natured of you to call me intense :)

  • Dust

    Klasie….thanks for your offer (on the tv thread) to email, but am most likely going to take a pass on it. Nothing personal, you seem like a good guy who likes a good discussion, but for me there is really no point to it. My mind is made up and nothing can change it. Am not sure how to say it, but it’s not just a theological point to me, but also a philosophical one. Am not qualified to explain exactly why, but have referred you with several links to those who do a decent job, in particular Edward Feser back up there in comment 33.

    It might also be worth pointing out have been around Mathematics and Computers and Science all my life and have lots of friends in the science, engineering and medical professions and have had all sorts of discussions and so have heard much of the arguments before. Indeed, that is why the reference to the Whitman poem “When I heard the Learned Astronomer”…..all that data and evidence that gets you all excited, is just so boring and dry to me. It’s not that I can’t understand it as I did very well in school, thank you very much, as well as professionally, but it all just doesn’t add up to the same conclusion to me as it does for you, and so it’s really just a waste of time and effort, both of which are the two most precious, and non-renewable resources to me. Even taking the time to comment on this blog wears me out, partly because while am quite comfortable with Mathematics and hard sciences, I really don’t like to write and it’s difficult for me…guess it’s called writer’s block and could be even writer’s anxiety? So this will be my swan song on this topic….too bad we can’t just go discuss this over a beer or bottle of wine, or, it’s not my thing, but perhaps you prefer to get stoned..ha, just kidding :)

    Cheers!

    PS. Did think it was rather good natured of you to call me intense :)


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