The Secular Outpost
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Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.
The Time Magazine “debate” of two scientists (Drs. Collins and Dawkins) does not appear to be helpful, IMHO. First, even the preamble of the debate conceeds that science and belief do not have to be hostile to one-another, citing “great conciliators”.
If so, why the debate?
If there need to be a debate (to sell magazines $3.95 apiece), why permit the debate degenerate into “name calling” (“clowns who should be given the time of the day”)?
The real science issue, that actually both scientists went on record with (both in somewhat controversial manner) is not given even one word.
This issue is the “Junk DNA” – even by Time’s standards admitted in an earlier issue that the 4% difference in the “non-coding DNA” separates the human from the chimp.
As seen on e.g. the “news column on Junk DNA”, http://www.junkdna.com/new_citations.htmlDr. Collins in his recent book made the statement that “it took some hubris [essentially, arrogance] to call any part of the DNA ‘junk’”. (Yet, in the same book he “leaves some room for *some* junk, anyway).
Dr. Dawkins usually cites two salamanders as an example that closely related sub-species may contain vastly different amount of DNA (and thus, “junk”). He permits *some* DNA possibly not “junk” – but most of it he believes, is disposable.
So why not FOCUS on this hard-core science issue of what “junk DNA” is, and how is it possibly related to the emergence of species?????
Actually, since 2002 the FractoGene approach pointed to the possibility of the emergence of a (deterministic, not random) fractal process. It may look random-like (to the mathematically unseasoned), but e.g. the Mandelbrot set, with its maddening complexity and self-similarity was designed by Benoit Mandelbrot by the simple elegance of absurd truth:
Z=Z^2 + C
(The truth of this elegant mathematical statement, that contains Mandelbrot-sets of *any* elaboration, may be called “absurd” since Z here is not a real number, but a complex number, where one axis is real — the other is axiomatically non-existent [imaginary, the square root of minus 1].)
Would it make sense to do a little real science here, e.g. to contemplate that the emergence of species may be deterministic by whoever “designed” an “intelligent equation” (with all it’s built-in absurdity)?
Certainly, the assumption that the entire process is based on randomly occurring errors, sounds as simplistic as any close to one-and-a-half-century-old concept may reasonably look like…
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