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Friday, September 17, 2010

Dawkins gets testy when questioned about Evolution



The British newspaper The Independent is reporting on an exchange between evolutionary biologist and atheist apologist Richard Dawkins and a lady in the audience who dared question macroevolutionary theory. More specifically, on the question of blood clotting.




"A lady wanted to know how evolution could explain phenomena like the clotting of blood, which – she claimed – required a number of agents all to be present at the same time, and if one were taken away, the blood would not clot.

That, he retorted, was "a creationist lie". And even if it were true, it would not prove the existence of an intelligent designer. "You have got to look at the detail," he added. "You have got to stop being lazy and saying, 'Oh, I can't explain that so God did it.'"


The retort by Dawkins, if it has been accurately reported, is devoid of any meaningful explanation for the step-by-step evolution of this phenomenon. It also resorts to the default position of some adherents of the Darwinian faithful, that if macroevolution does not readily explain how something came about, then it automatically infers Creationism and fails to consider that there might actually be a third alternative yet to be considered out there. But far too many evolutionists are locked-in to their own Weltanschauung to even question their preferred paradigm and thus, far too often, legitimate discussion on the subject is stifled.


On a related note, check out the reaction when the Irish science minister decided to help launch a book critical of the evolutionary position. If this is what passes for academic freedom in the West, then God help us.

18 comments:

ATVLC said...

Blood clotting is not irreducibly complex. Other animals have less "agents" and can their blood still clots.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K_WrqNiQoU

This link is about the actual evolution of blood clotting:
http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/DI/clot/Clotting.html

GentleSkeptic said...

…if macroevolution does not readily explain how something came about, then it automatically infers Creationism and fails to consider that there might actually be a third alternative…

What, exactly, is this third way? VERY curious.

JD Curtis said...

What, exactly, is this third way? VERY curious

The "third way' is hypothetical for this example. If macroevolution turns out to be a farce, it would be another origin of life theory that is decidedly not even being considered or sought for at this point due to the overemphasis on macro (species to species) evolution.

JD Curtis said...

I'll check out the links later.

photogr said...

what is the point on blood clotting? Most liquids will clot or evaporate depending on their molecular composition.

JD Curtis said...

Photogr, check out the link I provided up above.

OT- RE: An earlier post on this blog... After losing primary to Tea Party candidate, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (Alaska), to run as a write-in

Froggie said...

JD,
I doubt if you were trying to be funny, but you succeeded in creating quite a bit of hilarity for me over my morning coffee."

"The "third way' is hypothetical for this example."
Indeed, and so would the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th ways be hypothetical. Hypothetically, you are a grub living by the root of a tree with your own little computer broadcasting over your neighbor's wireles. Come now.

"If macroevolution turns out to be a farce, it would be another origin of life theory that is decidedly not even being considered or sought for at this point due to the overemphasis on macro (species to species) evolution."

Since Darwin's humble observations on common descent, every new discovery has further supported his observations.

If you think scientists cover up evidence contrary to common descent then you don't understand the motivation of scientists. There are almost a half a million natural scientists in the USA and every one of them would love to discover evidence that evolution is wrong. They would instantly become world famous and go down in history. Their name would be instantly go down in history.

A scientific theory is comprised of a collection of facts that supports the theory, just as a collection of facts support the theory of gravity.

If you do not know of, or understand the facts supporting the theory of evolution, then you have some work to do. I will help you out if I can.

JD Curtis said...

Take for example this statement from biologist Franklin Harold.

"Life arose on earth from inanimate matter, by some kind of evolutionary process..This is not a statement of demonstrable fact..but an assumption...It is not supported by any direct evidence, no is it likely to ever be, but it is consistent with what evidence we do have"

Based on his definition of how this is a "fact", aren't I entitled to a bit of skepticism? Especially when coupled with it's unparalleled record within the scientific comunity of outright fraud, hoaxes and speculation?

Froggie said...

JD,
First, "Life arose on earth from inanimate matter, by some kind of evolutionary process..This is not a statement of demonstrable fact..but an assumption...It is not supported by any direct evidence, no is it likely to ever be, but it is consistent with what evidence we do have"

When we come to the yet unexplained portions of any science, certain creationist leaning people are wont to try to include the word "evolution" into the science of abiogenesis. That is what we see here. There is no need, and it is Will ful leading for him to try to confuse the origin of life (abiogenesis) with The Theory of Evolution.

"Based on his definition of how this is a "fact", aren't I entitled to a bit of skepticism?"
You are entitled to all the skepticism you can muster, but no scientist I have ever heard of refers to any "facts" the origin of life.

" Especially when coupled with it's unparalleled record within the scientific comunity of outright fraud, hoaxes and speculation?"

Unparalleled record?" Surely you jest! This is merely creationist mumbo jumbo.

When you look at the millions of pages of research and the scientific advancements over the last two hundred years, fraud is insignificant.

It is important to remember that scientists are like junk yard dogs with sharp teeth and are constantly looking to tear into collegues work if and when they see the opportunity. Scientists are humans too. Some of them are predisposed to cook the books but nothing like we see in other segments of society. Copare science with Wall street scandels and political scandels over the last year.

I have worked with scientists. They are the most skeptical group I have ever seen, and even more importantly, they are completely ready to admit when they do not know something.

Finally, you may have heard about the bit of academic scandal that's been happening at Harvard recently. Marc Hauser is a Professor in the Departments of Psychology, Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, and Biological Anthropology. He was the leading researcher on the evolution of morality and moral behavior in primates and humans and an author of a number of books, including Moral Minds and (in progress) Evilicious: Our Evolved Taste for Being Bad.

Hauser was found guilty of scientific misconduct, including fabrication of data that will result in several papers being retracted.

Hauser was outed by his post doc students. He has lost his credentials and his career is all but over. The vetting process in the scientific community is not without it's faults, but remains the most rigorous motivation to be honest amongst all professions.

Froggie said...

*****"Based on his definition of how this is a "fact", aren't I entitled to a bit of skepticism?"
You are entitled to all the skepticism you can muster, but no scientist I have ever heard of refers to any "facts" the origin of life.*****

There are, however a myriad of facts that are evidence of evolution, and no other explanation has ever appeared explaining the diversity of life.

Personally, I would be overjoyed if some new theory were to arise. I love new scientific discoveries.

GentleSkeptic said...

Hey JD: Did you come up with an ID-related satisfactory explanation for lanugo yet? It happens to every human fetus, and evolution explains it quite cleanly, you know…

Duke of Earl said...

Really, and what "explanation" would that be? That human's are related to apes?

Fine, unpigmented hair forms during infant development. Probably helping the hair follicles form properly.

It's fine and unpigmented, therefore it's not ape hair. It may serve a useful purpose helping our hair follicles function properly.

SmartLX said...

So are you still denying the plausible evolution of blood clotting, JD, or have you fallen back to "macroevolution" and abiogenesis at the first link to something of substance on blood clotting? Was Dawkins right or not?

Meanwhile, how macro would an evolutionary event have to be before it counted as your version of "macroevolution"? Documented speciations such as drosophilia apparently aren't satisfactory.

JD Curtis said...

According to the article, Dawkins didn't actually answer the question. He just muttered something about ot being a "creationist lie" and left it at that.

SmartLX said...

That's all I'm referring to. Is the evolutionary pathway to blood clotting presented in ATVLC's two links plausible, or is the idea that there is no plausible evolutionary pathway a genuine creationist lie? Or at least a falsehood, if they really believe it and don't think they're lying?

JD Curtis said...

Please note that I'm not ducking the question. I'm "still linin' in the 90's" here with my dial-up connection and watching video isn't very easy on this end.

GentleSkeptic said...

It's fine and unpigmented, therefore it's not ape hair.

Ever seen a premie still bearing her lanugo?

It may serve a useful purpose helping our hair follicles function properly.

Which makes one wonder why "hairless" apes need to develop hair/follicles at all. Apparently God is a hairless ape.

SmartLX said...

Right, sorry JD, I skipped the post when you said you were looking into it.