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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Science by Flash Mob





Ann Coulter enlightens us as to how a reasonable person can doubt Darwinian evolution. Apparently it took up a great deal of space in her 2007 book Godless: The Church of Liberalism....




"Most devastating for the Darwiniacs were advances in microbiology since Darwin's time, revealing infinitely complex mechanisms requiring hundreds of parts working together at once -- complex cellular structures, DNA, blood-clotting mechanisms, molecules, and the cell's tiny flagellum and cilium.

Darwin's theory was that life on Earth began with single-celled life forms, which by random mutation, sex and death, would pass on the desirable mutations, and this process, over billions of years, would lead to the creation of new species.

The (extremely generous) test Darwin set for his theory was this: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."

Thanks to advances in microscopes, thousands of such complex mechanisms have been found since Darwin's day. He had to explain only simple devices, such as beaks and gills. If Darwin were able to come back today and peer through a modern microscope to see the inner workings of a cell, he would instantly abandon his own theory.

It is a mathematical impossibility, for example, that all 30 to 40 parts of the cell's flagellum (above) -- forget the 200 parts of the cilium! -- could all arise at once by random mutation. According to most scientists, such an occurrence is considered even less likely than John Edwards marrying Rielle Hunter, the "ground zero" of the impossible."


I've always been fascinated by the arguments raised by mathematicians insofar as the probability of macroevolution having ever occurred. Perhaps that is why I link mathemataicians like William Dembski and One thing you will never hear mentioned by a True Believer in the Cult of Darwin are the findings of the mathematicians that participated in the Wistar Institute Symposium.


33 comments:

Justin Vacula said...

""Most devastating for the Darwiniacs were advances in microbiology since Darwin's time, revealing infinitely complex mechanisms requiring hundreds of parts working together at once -- complex cellular structures, DNA, blood-clotting mechanisms, molecules, and the cell's tiny flagellum and cilium."

We have explanations for these things. Even if we did not, this does not entail that evolution is thrown out the window because it is still the best explanation to account for the given data.

"The (extremely generous) test Darwin set for his theory was this: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."

This is a famous quote-mine of Darwin. You should read what he has to say after. Also, who cares what Darwin said? There have been tremendous advances in our knowledge about evolution since his book.

It is a mathematical impossibility, for example, that all 30 to 40 parts of the cell's flagellum (above) -- forget the 200 parts of the cilium! -- could all arise at once by random mutation. According to most scientists, such an occurrence is considered even less likely than John Edwards marrying Rielle Hunter, the "ground zero" of the impossible."

It is not arising all at once. Start from a false premise/assumption and you'll have an unreasonable position.

JD Curtis said...

this does not entail that evolution is thrown out the window because it is still the best explanation to account for the given data

I'm beginning to see what Karl Popper meant when he described evolution as a "a metaphysical research programme".

It is simply bound up with a strict materialism that is presupposed.

This is a famous quote-mine of Darwin. You should read what he has to say after

Can you recommend a link?

It is not arising all at once. Start from a false premise/assumption and you'll have an unreasonable position

Perhaps. But remove one of these parts and the just system doesn't work.

I am reminded of the argument, 'Which evolved first? Blood, blood vessels or the heart?'

Reynold said...

Well, since you like Coulter's book so much, you may want to take up PZ's challenge:

By the way, the Coulter challenge is still open, and has been for five years. All anyone has to do is pick one paragraph, any paragraph, from her evolution chapters in Godless, and post it with a defense of its accuracy. That shouldn’t be so hard, should it? She wrote this whole book, I’m letting you pick the very best, most solid, strongest argument against evolution from it and present it here to stump us all. It’s strange that no one has managed to do that in all this time.

Mhich said...

JD Curtis,

>> Justin Vacula: "This is a famous quote-mine of Darwin. You should read what he has to say after

You: “Can you recommend a link?”

No problem!

Here's the entire paragraph: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case. No doubt many organs exist of which we do not know the transitional grades, more especially if we look to much-isolated species, round which, according to my theory, there has been much extinction. Or again, if we look to an organ common to all the members of a large class, for in this latter case the organ must have been first formed at an extremely remote period, since which all the many members of the class have been developed; and in order to discover the early transitional grades through which the organ has passed, we should have to look to very ancient ancestral forms, long since become extinct." (emphasis mine)

Here’s the link: text

(forward the document until page 90 on Chapter VI - Difficulties on Theory and read the second paragraph. But I advise you to read the whole book; you might actually learn something)

JD Curtis said...

I'm sorry Reynold, but is this debate challenge coming from someone who has repeatedly adopted the Run And Hide method of argumentation when challenged to a debate by someone who has a Bachelors degree in economics? Yes or no?

Mhich said...

JD Curtis,

Really? A Bachelor's degree in economics means nothing when the person knows nothing/ignores everything about scientific facts.

Your argument would be justifiable if the discussion here was about economics, but that's not the case; the debate is about evolution and a bachelor's degree in economics doesn't make someone's arguments more valid and - to tell you the truth - means nothing since the subject has more to do with biology than anything else.

JD Curtis said...

You are assuming that Day knows nothing about science and that is not the case.

Myers would get destroyed by Day because Day has forgotten more about logical argumentation than Myers could ever learn.

Day feels quite confident in exposing Dawkins as well, and although Dawkins rises to a level a bit higher than a community college biology department prof, Dawkins' Run and Hide re: debating William Lane Craig is getting downright embarrassing and why anyone would put any stock into what either one of them has to say is beyond me.

Reynold said...

JD Curtis said...

I'm sorry Reynold, but is this debate challenge coming from someone who has repeatedly adopted the Run And Hide method of argumentation when challenged to a debate by someone who has a Bachelors degree in economics? Yes or no?

Oh, the same "run and hide" by the person who bitch-slapped Simmons on another conservative talk radio show?

As to why Myers won't debate Day, especially on a conservative venue is this:
Besides, I learned my lesson in the Geoffrey Simmons radio debate: it's a waste of time to go up against one of these insane babblers, because all they can do is high-frequency repetition of nonsensical claims. I've also acquired a deep distrust of conservative radio — the outcome of that debate, in which Simmons was flattened, was that they merely reinvited him back on the show without me around to puncture his claims. The fact that the Northern Alliance radio show actually thinks Vox Day is a credible voice for conservative thought tells me right away that there is something wrong with them, and no, I'm not going to trust them at all.


It has been shown that Vox Day indeed does know nothing of science.

Your dodge is noted.

As for Dawkins, you do realize that he has interviewed and debated you people before, right? Only whenever he's appeared on camera you people fuck around with the editing of the film to twist what he said: First with that "From a Frog to A Prince" then again in "Expelled". Even so, he has talked with that Purdom character from AIG.

Myer's challenge is still up. Are you going to accept or not? After all, you claim that Coulter's book is accurate when it describes evolution, and Myers is giving you the chance to show it.

Mhich said...
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Mhich said...

JD Curtis,

I’ve been looking into Vox Day’s blog and he indeed knows nothing about science. Even a fifth grader knows more about science than Vox Day’s.

And another thing: the only person I see that is dodging the challenge is you. If you know so much about evolution and consider Coulter’s book to be accurate, accept the Myer’s challenge. What do you have to lose?

I remembered: did you read Darwin’s complete quote in its proper context? You asked for the link and I gave it to you.

JD Curtis said...

Second Attempt

"I'm sorry Reynold, but is this debate challenge coming from someone who has repeatedly adopted the Run And Hide method of argumentation when challenged to a debate by someone who has a Bachelors degree in economics? Yes or no?"

If you do not know the answer then perhaps you should utilize search engines to find out the answer.

Please note that I asked you for an answer Reynold, not rationalization.

Reynold said...

Please list and discuss what my "rationalization" was, please. I want to be able to make sure that you know what the hell you're talking about.

Myers mopped the floor with one of you people who supposedly knew something about science, and I posted a link to where Myers shows that Vox is ignorant as hell about science.

Now, how about taking Myers up on his challenge? this is my THIRD ATTEMPT to get you to do that.

Or are you still going to dodge?

JD Curtis said...

Your rationalization is done by attributing possible reasons why Myers would Turn Tail and Run and speculating on a posible outcome. Please answer the question in either a 'yes' or 'no' format.

And besides, Mr. Day has responded to remarks made by both you and Mhich here in case you are interested.

Reynold said...

Nope, Myers explained why he won't waste his time with Day. And as for what Day himself says, I don't give a shit, since he keeps showing himself to be ignorant as hell.

As far as I know, he can go post on Myer's blog and straighten him out if he wants.

Check out what he says about Archeopteryx here. It's his point #6 I believe.

So, are you or are you not going to take Myers up on his challenge? (Fourth attempt).

Reynold said...

Hey wait a minute. I asked you to show just what my "rationalization" was, and you never answered.

Wait another minute...why am I surprised?

In fact, even though I've done so already, why in hell should I answer your question? The challenge is still open, and it was made first.

JD Curtis said...

Myers explained why he won't waste his time with Day

Reynold, I've already explained your rationalization of PZ's cowardice and your own is becoming apparent.

I'll tell you what, why don't you go and post over at the screechbox and ask Myers if there is ANY way possible under ANY circumstances he will debate Day? Thats a fair question.

I won't waste my time with Myers. Ann Coulter won't either.

Now, is that response valid? If not, then why is Myers allowed to use it and Coulter and I cannot?

More rationalization gymnasitcs in 3..2..1..

Reynold said...

Uh...my cowardice? I'm arguing with you on two damn blogs. I'm the one who's throwing you the challenge that PZ issued...you're the one who refuses to accept it.

Guess what? Vox Day has nothing to do with this. There's nothing stopping him from posting on Myers' blog.

The only "rationalization gymnastics" I see are the ones you give..."I won't debate Myers because HE won't debate my hero Vox Day".

So be it, coward.

JD Curtis said...

Since you have an entire thread dedicated to your own, personal stupidity at Vox Popoli, then why don't you take him up on his generosity and explain to him how incorrect he is?

I know youre not chicken, right?

Where's my thread at PZ's?

PZ Myers said...

The last thing I read by Theodore Beale was his pathetic and deeply ignorant reaction to Xiaotingia. It was enough to reveal that he is profoundly inane.

So, no...I've addressed Beale's stupid arguments enough on the web to know there's no point in ever sharing a podium with him. Also, of course, there's the fact that he's a complete nobody, a wacky strange guy way out on the fringe, and not even the creationists think much of him. That he's whining and demanding that I debate him is simply laughable.

PZ Myers said...

Who the hell is JD Curtis and why does he think he deserves a thread on Pharyngula?

There is one way to get it, though.

1. Copy a paragraph from Coulter's critique of evolution in Godless.

2. Write an explanation for why you think it is accurate and a solid argument against evolution. No rambling squinking, either: focus. Give me that ONE strong argument.

3. Email it to me, with the subject line "Coulter challenge"

You'll be the very first person in 5 years to take the challenge. I'll post it on my site for sure.

JD Curtis said...

Wow! PZ Myers!

I feel like Navin Johnson the day he found his name in the phonebook! I AM SOMEBODY!

Mr. Myers, I would be pleased to offer up a critique of macroevolution in the near future for your perusal/posting and would welcome your thoughts on it.

However, I wouldn't like to be hemmed in (exclusively) by arguments offered by another, in this case Coulter.

That is if this actually IS PZ Myers. The profile for the above comments looks like it was created about an hour ago so you'll pardon me if I'm at least a little suspicious.

there's the fact that he's a complete nobody, a wacky strange guy way out on the fringe, and not even the creationists think much of him

Do you know enough about the arguments raised by Day to posit that he is arguing in favor of creationism and should be lumped in with them?

Or is he merely pointing out flaws, perceived or otherwise, in your pet theory?

Reynold said...

I know that he fucked up royally on Archaeopteryx, that's for sure. So, it'd be "perceived" flaws that he's pointing out. And yes, I did post there. He goes off on how science isn't needed for technology or some such shit, and claims that xianity is responsible for science.

Wow.

JD Curtis said...

Never mind Vox Day's arguments re: Archaeopteryx Reyn.

Either answer the direct question that was put to you or don't comment at all.

Reynold said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JD Curtis said...

You have NOT answered the question and your pattern of evasion continues.

Reynold said...
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Reynold said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JD Curtis said...

Reynold, you neither answered Day's questions nor mine. Please do not comment here until you do and until then, feel free to roll around in your own, predetermined biases.

I couldn't possibly care less.

Reynold said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JD Curtis said...

Apparently Social Autism is a strong suit of your's Reynold.

If you were to ask me a direct question like 'What do you think is the strongest argument against macroevolutionary theory?' and I answered 'Red', I could then piss and moan about having

A. Answered your question and,
B. It's now a case of you just not liking the answer.

Comment moderation is now enabled. Way to 'Strike a Blow for Free Speech', Chumley.

Start by answering Day's direct questiions that you have thus far refused to answer. When you have done so, you can attempt to answer mine.

There are alot of blogs out there that will probably welcome your commentary Reynold. Until you answer the direct question in the yes/no or either/or format as they were put to you, I suggest that you take up commenting on one of those.

JD Curtis said...

Mhich, your direct question that you refuse to answer is this...

'A cursory internet search utilizing a common search engine yielded a motherlode of information when the terms [Slavery in Brazil] were entered.


Provided the information is correct, I would like to reposit my question too you utilizing a history that should be much more familiar to you.


Were slaves in Brazil, whether they were from Africa or indigenous peoples, voluntarily entering into agreements with masters in which at the end of said agreement's term, they could then fully expect to be manumitted and made citizens and thus enter Brazilian society?


Or would they more accurately be described as victims of a practice strictly forbidden in the Bible known as manstealing?'

Please answer this direct question before commenting on anything else Mhich.

JD Curtis said...

Mhich, feel free to post your response to the direct question to you timestamped above at 9:25.

Reynold, I'll check out your 'answers' later. I'm still in NI.

Mhich said...

JD

No, I won't answer you about that. I'm done debating with you people. Like I said I posted this answer on VD's blog a lot of times and someone there deleted it. It seems you have more free time on your hands than me and if you didn't read it because my answers to you were deleted, sorry. I won't post it again here, in VD's blog or in anywhere else.