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April 6, 2006

Darwin fish found
Posted by Teresa at 08:58 AM *

Tiktaalik roseae.

Here’s a big shout-out to all those Creationists who’ve said they couldn’t believe in evolution because there weren’t enough “transitional forms”:

Neener-neener-neeeeeeeeeener!

Addendum, 12 April 2006:

In today’s news, another transitional form—and this one’s in the human lineage: Australopithecus anamensis. It’s a very solid piece of evidence.

Comments on Darwin fish found:
#1 ::: jane ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 09:11 AM:

That is one ugly fish. . .er not fish.

Can I join in neener-neenering?

Jane

#2 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 09:29 AM:

This made me go yippee! (inside my head) on the subwasy this morning. I'm ripping the page out of the paper to show the kid, who thinks this sort of thing is pretty darn neat too.

I particularly like that the Nunavut Council of Elders was asked for input on the name.

#3 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 09:30 AM:

Woo! Something had to restore my battered faith in evolution (long days dealing with people who - well - are better not described further)

#4 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 09:38 AM:

Oh yeah? Then how come there are PYGMIES & DWARVES?.

Sorry - been hanging out at Pharyngula too much... Even better than this being a transitional form? It was a fossil that was predicted. Coz', you know, predictable & repeatable and successful replication and all that.

#5 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 09:41 AM:

Won't change their minds. They'll say it's a fake. Or that it was put there by God to test our Faith. Or worse, it was put there by the Foul Deceiver to undermine said Faith.

#6 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 09:54 AM:

Or, as P.Z. Myers has pointed out, two more gaps in the fossil record, one on each side of this fishapod...

#7 ::: Petter Hesselberg ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 10:15 AM:

theophylact said:

Or, as P.Z. Myers has pointed out, two more gaps in the fossil record, one on each side of this fishapod...

Yeah, verily: For each gap filled, two new chasms open up. And one of these days the National Enquirer will surely report that a hitherto unknown integer has been hiding between 5 and 6 since the early Pleistocene...

#8 ::: Dave Lartigue ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 10:17 AM:

Yes, because all the Creationists really want is some solid evidence, and then they'll support evolution.

#9 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 10:36 AM:

Another happy neener neener dance on the west coast. What an excellently ugly fish!

#10 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 10:50 AM:

Neener-neener-neeeeeeeeeener!

I don't know why, but an image of Teresa conveying this very message was easily, instantly, vividly, and quite clearly, playing in my head the moment I read these words. Except we were sitting in a circle and it had just been revealed that she was, in fact, the thing. Mischief suits you well, I think.

Oh, and by the way, that is one ugly ass fish. Kind of makes me think of what you'd see the evolutionary ladder halfway between a catfish and a crocodile. Still, part of me can't help but ponder the deeper philosophical implications of this finding, such as:

I wonder what he'd taste like battered and deep fried...

I'm also amazed that once again, my new tagline seems perfectly suited for this thread.

Greg "Oh look! A fish!" London


#11 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 10:53 AM:

Wow -- a fish that fights in water and on land! Wonder what sort of lures it would've taken....

#12 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 10:54 AM:

Serge:

Won't change their minds. They'll say it's a fake.
So maybe that means they won't have to deal with it; but they're just begging to have their kids suffer a catastrophic loss of faith when they discover that it's demonstrably not a fake. You can only go so far in inculcating denial. Beyond that, the person has to want to deny the evidence.
Or that it was put there by God to test our Faith.
God Almighty is infinite truth and light, but the God we deal with here on earth is lying to us? Doesn't that make them some unpleasant variety of Gnostic?

Also, could they please explain what other apparently solid data is eligible to be dismissed in that fashion? Yes? And how they can tell the difference? One step past that point in any direction, they'll fall into "some parts of creation are More Real than others": a muddy, fetid philosophical swamp that breeds errors by the swarm.

"What do we know, and how do we know that we know it?": There's a reason it's a classic.

Or worse, it was put there by the Foul Deceiver to undermine said Faith.
Ooooookay, so Satan is a creative force, and had a hand in the creation of the world? That can't be anything but Manichaeanism: a recurrent Christian heresy, explicitly rejected as doctrine by all the major denominations.

There's your real problem with Creationism: it's incompatible with Christianity.

#13 ::: Seth Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 10:58 AM:

so Satan is a creative force, and had a hand in the creation of the world? That can't be anything but Manichaeanism: a recurrent Christian heresy, explicitly rejected as doctrine by all the major denominations.

You gotta admit, it's a really tempting heresy.

#14 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 11:06 AM:

Never argue with a creationist. Wrestling, pigs, you know the story. They don't do evidence. They know the innermost secret of science: that the word 'theory' means 'unprovable surmise'. They already have an explanation for each and every life-form that exists: God made it that way, and that's all we need to know. Indeed, to enquire further is just Wrong.

Pelvic bones in whales? The human appendix? The primate inability to synthesize vitamin C, which humans share? Finger-bones on quetzal birds? Non-functioning eyes in cave fish? The penguin's unique swimming action? The kiwi's wings? Don't you see? One explanation for them all, perfect, neat, covers all cases. God did it.

Why bother to look further?

#15 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 11:07 AM:

fish that fights in water and on land! Wonder what sort of lures it would've taken....

I was thinking I'd lure it out of the water with a laser pointer, force it to run around in circles until it was too tired to move, then whack it with something sufficiently dense, like, say, George Dubya Bush.

#16 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 11:12 AM:

Royal mode on: "Tiktaalik roseae, I dub thee 'Gator-Fish, slayer of creationist bunk'." (tap sword on shoulder) "Go forth and do battle in the name of clear thinking."


#17 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 11:16 AM:

Cliff Claven mode on: Ya know, Normi, the Gator fish lived in areas of water that were close to land such as swamps, coastal areas, rivers, and similar localities, where it was able to evolve limbs and walk on land for brief periods, giving it an advantage over fish who were forced to stay in teh water. It generally fed off of whatever garbage it found at the bottom of the swamp or river, and it's favorite was eating creationists for breakfast.

#18 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 11:29 AM:

Agreed, Teresa... By the way, my original comment was based on years of reading Skeptical Enquirer. It's amazing how some people can choose the parts of Science that suits them and still manage to dismiss the inextricably linked parts that contradict their beliefs. Look at the Shroud of Turin.

Meanwhile, I just came back from my barber. They had the TV tuned to one of those morning shows where they mentionned the Critter and how scientists think it is the link between fish and mammals then, after a very brief pause, added "...including humans."

They actually had the courage to say it.

#19 ::: Captain Slack ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 11:31 AM:

Is it bad that, when I saw protected static's question about PYGMIES & DWARVES, my first thought was that the link would go to "a mountain, trees and a midgit [sic]"?

#20 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 11:34 AM:

between fish and mammals then, after a very brief pause, added "...including humans."

They actually had the courage to say it.

See, I would have heard that differently than you. I would have assumed that they added "including humans" for all the folks out there who don't know what a mammal is.

#21 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 11:34 AM:

God Almighty is infinite truth and light, but the God we deal with here on earth is lying to us?

The version I usually hear is that the details showing evolution and a world older than 6000 years were put there by the Creator to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing cosmos.

#22 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 11:39 AM:

I believe, with the last song listed here, MC Hawking says it best.

"Doomsday, get my gun," indeed.

#23 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 11:40 AM:

The version I usually hear is that the details showing evolution and a world older than 6000 years were put there by the Creator to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing cosmos.

The one I like is to ask creationists how their lightbulbs work (since it's the same physics they claim is false in dating fossils).

#24 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 11:54 AM:

That's a possible explanation, Greg. But maybe it wasn't courage either. That pause they first made could be interpreted as the-fundies-are-going-to-be-mad-at-us-but-let's-say-it, yes, but it might be that the anchor is a fundie who didn't want to say those words but said them anyway because it was in her script and she didn't want to be fired.

#25 ::: Avery ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 12:04 PM:

They'll say it's a fake. Or that it was put there by God to test our Faith. Or worse, it was put there by the Foul Deceiver to undermine said Faith.

Which is funny because all the really out there, high end, really hard to begin to wrap your head around the scope of it phenomenon are part of what drives my faith in a God of some sort.

The alternate, "Hey Rocky! Watch me pull a australopithecus out of my hat!" model would pretty much convince me that it realy was a cold uncaring universe.

#26 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 12:11 PM:

Something must be wrong with me--I think it's kinda cute. (But then I've been trying to concept out some sea monsters in recent times.)

#27 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 12:24 PM:

It has some resemblance to Diplocaulus, a Permian amphibian I've seen described as 'reach out and bump someone'. (It had a triangular head, at its most extreme a 45-degree right triangle with the hypotenuse as the neck edge.)

#28 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 12:24 PM:

"one ugly-ass fish."
I dispute that.
For one thing, it is not ugly to another one of its kind.
For another, it doesn't have an ass, and in fact, there was no such thing as an ass at the time it existed.

#29 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 12:31 PM:

P.Z. points us to "Embrace your inner fish" (as well as some other Tiktaalik art) at Troll Art.

#30 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 12:32 PM:

I don't know about ugly, but that beastie is both Eldritch and Squamous. And very nearly Batrachian.

#31 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 12:38 PM:

You daily dose of dumb-ass Intelligent Design rationalization:

Mean animals, Ebola, and AIDS designed by fallen angles; Panda's thumb, other clumsy stuff designed by good angels who didn't have permission to make drastic edits in God's basic designs.

The linked-to is what science will look like if the ID crowd has its way.

#32 ::: Army brat ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 12:45 PM:

So, you found ONE unidentified fish, and all your desires for a world without God have come true. Pretty big leap if you ask me. There are still millions of other missing links that should be out there!

#33 ::: Luthe ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 12:52 PM:

Fishapod! *loves that word*

#34 ::: Ashni ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 01:10 PM:

The version I usually hear is that the details showing evolution and a world older than 6000 years were put there by the Creator to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing cosmos.

Well, that's the way I do it when I'm writing. And if it's good enough for me, it's good enough for the Almighty.

#35 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 01:13 PM:

you found ONE unidentified fish, and all your desires for a world without God have come true.

Funny, I find the two unrelated. All the fish says to me is that it is yet another piece of evidence to support evolution, that creationism isn't needed to explain how life formed on earth, and that God isn't needed to make it rain.

i have to chuckle every time (then shake my head) every time I hear religious folk take science's sole purpose to be to prove the non-existence of god. It isn't.

But I've had this conversation before. I believe the key word of all that previous discusion would be "orthoganal".

#36 ::: Gag Halfrunt ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 01:27 PM:

Is it just me, or does it look like a Darwin fish?

#37 ::: Kelley Shimmin ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 01:36 PM:

I'm just tired of the whole argument. I'd really like to find a very nice little bumper plate of a Darwin fish holding hands with a Jesus fish walking away into the sunset.

My husband and I are both Christians, he's a scientist, I'm not, he believes the theory of evolution pretty adequately describes how God went about doing things and I don't necessarily believe the same. But, I'm not one of those militant creationists who would question whether someone could be a Christian and believe Darwin got it right. Maybe he did. I don't have a vested interest in figuring out how he was wrong and the Bible was right or the other way around and I'm not really sure anyone else does either... they just think they do.

#38 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 01:56 PM:

"All your desires for a world without God have come true"

What? This is just the sort of thing I do not get. I never have. The Theory of Evolution and the existence of God are in no way mutually exclusive. Creationism and Intelligent Design, on the other paw, try to force God into a shape and size acceptible to our bounded human capacity, to set limits on something your own religion tells you is limitless.
Who can say that evolution isn't God's way of maintaining the Perfection of the omniverse, to keep it from becoming stagnant,from unessential decay. From being damn boring.
"There's your real problem with Creationism: it's incompatible with Christianity." Love you for this, TNH.
In my mind, Creationism and Intelligent Design both indicate a tragic lack of faith.
If I've understood correctly, Darwin was actually a fairly devout gentleman, and his studies point to a faithful man trying to better understand his creator. Not a man trying to disprove the existence of the divine, but to give a graspable framework to divine works.
I personally think Tiktaalik roseae is quite handsome.


#39 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 01:58 PM:

Kelley,
If you draw up the design and put it on Cafe Press, I'm sure you'd be surprised by the number of people who'd want one.

#40 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 02:01 PM:

I expect all the creationists will either

(a) ignore yet another inconvenient fact;

(b) claim that it's a fraud;

(c) bring up the irreducible complexity red herring;

or (d) call for defunding basic science research that conflicts with the narrowest possible reading of Genesis.

#41 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 02:01 PM:

Yeah, Army brat, the folks around here sure do love them some militant atheism.

#42 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 02:06 PM:

J Austin: A lot of fundies believe that atheists and agnostics *really* know there's a god (or a Santa Claus), but deliberately choose to deny it. Evidence for evolution is, on this scheme of things, merely an addition tool for those of us who don't share their faith to deny what we know is self-evidently true.

#43 ::: Kayjay ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 02:09 PM:

I'd really like to find a very nice little bumper plate of a Darwin fish holding hands with a Jesus fish walking away into the sunset.

A friend of mine has this sort of thing on the back of her car, and it is an easy DIY. She took a Darwin fish and an ichthus and placed them so that the fishes were nose-to-nose...kissing. It's a really neat effect.

#44 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 02:17 PM:

Dan - And the next sound you hear will be Army Brat's head blowing up.... If they can comprehend it at all.

#45 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 02:22 PM:

you found ONE unidentified fish, and all your desires for a world without God have come true.

... all our desires for a world where the hard-won separation between Church and State is preserved against onslaughts by opportunistic demagogues -- who see human longing for harmony and love as a lever to gain financial, political, and social power.

... all our desires to maintain a standard of education in the United States that gives its voting citizens a chance to distinguish between sense and nonsense.

#46 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 02:27 PM:

Fragano Ledgister:
Well, they're messing up the rotation--it's puff, puff, give, dammit.

#47 ::: Mark DF ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 02:31 PM:

Ah, another angel has jumped on the head of the pin as far as I'm concerned.

I find the fishapod neither cute nor ugly.

It's definitely smirking though. Now, if only they find a pack of cigarettes in its pocket, everybody will be happy.

#48 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 02:38 PM:

Hey, doesn't that pink Amazon River Dolphin have an articulated neck like that, whereas sea-going dolphins' vertebrae are fused there?

#49 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 02:45 PM:

@ Paula: Army Brat's head might pure neutronium, light and facts bend around it. But no explosions (other than from accretion on the surface.)

@ Army Brat: One fish makes your God go away? Maybe you need to upgrade your Christianity to something a little more resilient. Many of the folks who comment regularly on this blog are quite comfortable with God and Science. I happen to see no need for a God, and oddly don't go on nihilistic rampages. Something about repeated prisoners' dilemmas, what you might have learned as The Golden Rule.

#50 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 03:00 PM:

a Darwin fish holding hands with a Jesus fish walking away into the sunset.

If I were to design my cafepress bumpersticker, it would show the Jesus fish in salt water and the Darwin fish in freshwater, and one does not exclude the other. Sort of put that whole "orthoganal" bit I was talking about into pictogram.

I haven't figured out how to represent that in a simple bumpersticker pictogram though. Maybe that's why the fundamentalists can be so violent to science, there's no simple bumpersticker that shows science/god are unrelated.

#51 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 03:12 PM:

@ Greg: as Gould said, separate magisterium.

#52 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 03:18 PM:

Ooooooo, kawaii!

Fishapod art!

Thanks bOING bOING!

#53 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 03:21 PM:

I sell bumperstickers and buttons that say "God is who, evolution is how".

I *think* I've seen a yin-yang with one half as a Darwin fish and the other half as an icthys/Christian fish.

As for arguing with Creationists, my impression is that a lot of them would lose friends and family members if they started saying they believed in evolution. I'm not sure what arguments are strong enough to convince people who are giving in to that sort of pressure.

Is there any handy source for accounts of switching from Creationism to evolution?

#54 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 03:40 PM:

accounts of switching from Creationism to evolution?

How about accounts of Neo-Cons switching to the progressive party?

Have you ever seen a grown man naked, Billy?

Oh look! A fish!

#55 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 03:46 PM:

Scott re Manichaeanism:
You gotta admit, it's a really tempting heresy.

Most of them are. That's the problem with heresy.

Avram: ideal use of Gilbert & Sullivan.

#56 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 03:50 PM:

Someone in my neighborhood has a bumpersticker of an icthyus (sp?) facing a Darwin fish, 'kissing' a heart. The sticker looks professionally done.

And Army Brat: thanks for moving the goalposts, just as predicted. Is your faith that fragile?

#57 ::: alex ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 03:54 PM:

There's not much point in arguing with Victim Christianists--they're playing to lose. They want to be insulted and re-convinced that the world is going straight to Hell, and they are a beleagured minority...

All for the happy glow of martyrdom without the ickiness of actually being martyred.

#58 ::: Cassie ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 04:42 PM:

I'm an atheist, too stubborn to be anything else (Christianity turns vicious in junior high). My worldview does not exclude a creator-- it does exclude a lot of versions of it, but not the basics. I don't mind it if someone tells me that in the beginning, the word was Bang, and it was good, and then God or whoever sat back and watched the fireworks because there wasn't any need for intervening. If you want an omnipotent deity, I'm going to insist it's really omnipotent and able to set up the dominoes, measure the fuses right, and have just the right type of rabbit in the Rube Goldberg machine. Telling me that God needs to craft every molecule individually to code just makes me think God is either a total control freak or stupid. I don't buy a malicious control freak idiot in the sky. But the Big Domino-Tipper? Doesn't bug me.

#59 ::: Georgiana ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 04:57 PM:

I think it's quite attractive in a rakish sort of way. I would cast Johnny Depp to play its voice in the animated film adapation. The fish would be somewhat grumpy and complain that nobody understands why he has a sore neck and you how irritating it is that you just can't find a good podiatrist anywhere.

#60 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 05:00 PM:

My version of creationism is that every day, every hour, every second is completely new and unused, created *right now* and not recycled from somewhen else. Life, on the other hand, evolved.

But I bet fishapod is too bony for good eating. If it were still around to eat.

#61 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 05:08 PM:

I've been mostly offline for the last couple of months. I wander back in here, and what do I see? Yet another drive-by eejit making a fool of itself by accusing the owners of militant atheism. Nothing changes. :-)

That fish is both ugly and cute. I want a teeshirt. And I confess to being yet another who thought "Mmm, wonder what it tastes like fried with chips?"

(Must remember to post a link to the "Things I believe" post on Easter Sunday. I usually keep my LJ a religion-free zone, but I'm feeling rather more militantly liberal Anglican than usual.)

#62 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 06:04 PM:

The version I usually hear is that the details showing evolution and a world older than 6000 years were put there by the Creator to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing cosmos.

I always think that if God is going to go to all the effort of planting fossils to make us believe that evolution operated, then the least we can do is go along with Him on it. Which is kind of like Teresa said, I guess.

They know the innermost secret of science: that the word 'theory' means 'unprovable surmise'.

Well, that's what 'theory' means in history, and evolution (as opposed to natural selection) is a theory about history. We can show that natural selection operates, and that evolution occurs, and that the kinds of changes that can take place are sufficient to account for most/all of the historical changes we have found. But we are never going to *prove* that humans evolved. Not even if we can evolve new ones from sludge.

But we don't need to. The theory of evolution is far and away the most convincing account of the evidence, and when new evidence turns out to be not just consistent with it but predictable (as protected static said), then it's solid enough for me. In fact, I think it helps to prove it beyond reasonable doubt. Just like in a law court, some theories are more convincing than others. I don't see that anyone needs to be embarrassed about this.

So yay! to the fishapod. And boo! to army brat if he/she thinks (that we think, etc.) that a fish can prove the non-existence of God.

#63 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 06:09 PM:

nobody understands why he has a sore neck

Well, he shouldn't have gone and evolved it. We were all perfectly content living in the water, and then he goes and evolves a neck just so he can stick it out. He'll be sorry when he finds out he doesn't have any lungs.

The only way he'll be happy is if his descendents evolve into some fish-eating reptile creature and kills us all. Mark my words.

#64 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 07:38 PM:

I think he's beeeeyutiful, although I agree he would be way too bony to eat. Poor Army brat didn't get the reaction he'd/she'd hoped for, I guess, judging by his/her silence. For myself, I find the whole incredible universe to be a stunning (though confusing) reflection (warning: metaphor! NOT to be taken literally) of its maker.

The God of the literalists seems to me to be so small...

#65 ::: James Goodman ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 07:49 PM:

That is an amazing find, but it is most definately an ugly beast.

*Joins in chants of Neener-neener-neeeeeeeeeener!*

#66 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 07:55 PM:

So ugly it's cute.

As long as we're saying nanny-nanny-boo-boo, each in our own dialect, how 'bout that Judas Gospel? The fundies' heads got some 'splodin to do!

#67 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 08:05 PM:

So, no one has come up with a knit version already?

#68 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 08:30 PM:

There's not much point in arguing with Victim Christianists....

I worry about the possibility that too many of them are now being manufactured for the legacy systems in the United States (social, political, educational) to deal with.

Drivebys like the "Army Brat" post reinforce a subjective belief I've been developing: the portion of the U.S. population that believes in social and scientific progress really needs to open new lines of communication with the elements who are increasingly being exploited by the Robertsons, Falwells, Bakers, and Roves.

Spending government money to open those communication lines is a tactic that's currently being thwarted by the alliance between Bush/Old Boy Profiteers and Corporate "Christianists." Those guys know who their common enemy is: anyone who questions their methods of amassing personal wealth and power at the expense of an enlightened, democratic society.

What can we do, during a time when the legacy institutions of civilization in the U.S. are being paralyzed by snake venom? Obviously, try to discourage the eco-niches that allow the snakes to flourish: throw the political criminals out and attempt to stop the damage now being inflicted on the public infrastructure.

In the meantime, we may have an increasing number of snake-bite cases like "Army Brat" crossing our paths. It's great that we have a real Darwin Fish. Oddly, we may also have the task of assisting ??% of the U.S. voting population to process the significance of the fish's existence.

#69 ::: Things That Ain't So ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 10:16 PM:

The whole idea of a "missing link," though, is somewhat of a misnomer. I wish they wouldn't use the term. There's no frentic search for some hypothesized "missing link." Fossilization is such a rare process that of COURSE most "links" go missing. Whole species, perhaps whole familes or higher may be missing. But the fossil is an important one that suggests possible origins of modern fish, even if it's not itself THE origin.

#70 ::: Tully ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2006, 10:23 PM:

Judas Gospel--"I was only following orders." Gotta love it.

God Made the Fish to Test Our Faith! Yeah, and He created all those hundred million year old fossils ten minutes ago to test your faith. What kind of God needs to post-date his reality checks?

#71 ::: Wim L ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 12:58 AM:

Presumably the Tiktaalik fish went extinct when the Cycle turned, and was buried by the Greater Sediment of Chaos. Will the next interesting fossil be named Zerika?

#72 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 02:18 AM:

Teresa, would you do that very clever thing you have done to other drivers-by, and reveal Army Brat's secret identity?

#73 ::: Phoenician in a time of Romans ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 02:54 AM:

you found ONE unidentified fish, and all your desires for a world without God have come true.

It's called the Enlightenment, that man should strive to understand the world through observation and reason rather than listening to whatever some loudmouth says the Big Sky Fairy thinks.

Deal with it or get run over.

#74 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 07:18 AM:

"Fossilization is such a rare process that of COURSE most 'links' go missing."

Rather like the way books go out of print, isn't it?

#75 ::: Oliver Morton ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 08:59 AM:

Some of the creationist response aroused the magisterial ire of my friend Henry Gee, who edited the paper at Nature.

#76 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 09:52 AM:
Rock on, rock on, Voltaire, Rousseau; Rock on, rock on--you weren't in vain! Ignorance wanks against the wind, And the wind blows it back again. And every drop begets a Thought That grows within the Human Mind (Of someone else, of course, because That Brand of wanking makes you Blind).

Do I need to do the last four lines of the original? Or is this the appropriate ending?

#77 ::: A.R.Yngve ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 09:53 AM:

Future archaeologists are going to have fun:

"This 4,000-year-old Creationist cranium is extremely well preserved, thanks to its thick bones. Also the brain is perfectly petrified. We suspect it got that way while the Creationist still lived..."
;-)

#78 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 09:54 AM:

Double posted 'cause blockquote didn't work right for me:

Rock on, rock on, Voltaire, Rousseau;
Rock on, rock on--you weren't in vain!
Ignorance wanks against the wind,
And the wind blows it back again.
And every drop begets a Thought
That grows within the Human Mind
(Of someone else, of course, because
That Brand of wanking makes you Blind).

Do I need to do the last four lines of the original? Or is this the appropriate ending?

#79 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 09:59 AM:

adamsj: I have it on good authority that William Blake is laughing fit to burst.

#80 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 10:08 AM:

When I heard about the Gospel of Judas, my first thought, honestly, was Jesus Christ Superstar (which has makes use of the notion that Judas was carrying out Jesus's wishes).

I find the comment about "ONE unidentified fish" puzzling for two reasons. One, this is hardly the first transitional fossil that archeologist have found. (If it were, then I wouldn't have previously read the "well, now you have two gaps in the fossil record to fill" rejoinder and there wouldn't be a discussion about this in the Evolution FAQ.) Two, I don't understand what sort of correlation there is between finding transitional forms in the fossil record and a desire for a God-free world. It seems to me that if transitional forms exist, one would find them regardless of one's desires for the world. If they didn't exist, no amount of desire or belief could conjure up something which would withstand scrutiny by itself. Or is the idea that objects pop in and out of existence depending on the state of one's beliefs?

(In any case, the notion that evolution is compatible with religion is not a new one. I believe the notion of taking religious texts literally is a newer concept. However, I haven't done the research to substantiate this.)

The irony of the "you now have two gaps" defense is that Creationist demand greater physical evidence for evolution than they do for their own idea. That isn't playing fair if they insist that Creationism is, too, a theory.

#81 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 10:31 AM:

Oliver, thank you for the link to Dr. Gee's magnificant response. I love it when someone can answer back with the original Hebrew (actually Aramaic, I believe) and point out that the G-d in the original writing is quite different from their petty notions of Him.

#82 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 10:49 AM:

Oliver Morton: Dr Gee's essay was excellent, and your description of it as "magisterial" very apt. But did you see the creationist attempts at rejoinder?! They should be preserved as fossils themselves. In a millennium or two, teachers could show them to students as examples of the mental processes that went on in the Dark Ages. Everyone would laugh.

..... I hope.

#83 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 11:08 AM:

JC -- What appropriate initials!

Only problem now is that Radio Central Nervous Center will play this:

"Every time I look at you I don't understand,
How you let the things you did get so out of hand,
You'd have managed better if you'd had it planned-
Why'd you choose such a backward time, and such a strange land?"

Or worse:

"Ho-sanna, Hey-sanna, 'sanna 'sanna ho-sanna hey-sanna ho-sanna...Hey JC, JC you're alright by me, sanna ho-sanna hey, Superstar!"

#84 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 11:29 AM:

In a millennium or two, teachers could show them to students as examples of the mental processes that went on in the Dark Ages. Everyone would laugh

Heretic! To the fire with you.

#85 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 12:22 PM:

There's a second major evolution article in the Times today, this one on molecular evolution, and once again the paper gets the point right:

Dr. Thornton said the experiments showed how evolution could and did innovate functions over time. "I think this is likely to be a very common theme in how complex molecular systems evolved," he said.
Christoph Adami, a professor of life sciences at the Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, Calif. who wrote an accompanying commentary in Science, said the research showed how evolution "takes advantage of lucky circumstances and builds upon them."
Dr. Thornton said the experiment refutes the notion of "irreducible complexity" put forward by Michael J. Behe, a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University.
Of course, you might have to know something to understand the argument here; but the point is that intermediate forms with incremental advantage exist at the molecular level as well as the phenotypic one.

#86 ::: Laurence Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 01:26 PM:

This is a marvelous example (from Gee's blog):

Serious proponents of Intelligent Design distinguish between microevolution, where changes occur within a species, and macroevolution, where cows change into dolphins. Microevolution is an accepted fact, but macroevolution is a fairy-tale for those grown-ups who personally feel the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible to be unacceptable.

#87 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 01:49 PM:

I thought dolphins came from wolves? And when it comes to life, I'd rather go with evolution than the Biblical literalists and Genesis. It's so much simpler than having to have special acts of creation for every species, including the ones that are only known from fossils.

#88 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 02:33 PM:

When I heard about the Gospel of Judas, my first thought, honestly, was Jesus Christ Superstar

I thought of the Borges short story, of which (annoyingly) I can't remember the title. But it pretty much takes the Gospel of Judas kind of thinking to its logical conclusion and decides that Judas was far more worthy of worship than Christ - because Christ only lowered himself to be a man reviled (by some) in his lifetime, whereas Judas sacrificed himself to the point of accepting eternal damnation.

All attributed to a fictional theologian, of course.

(Ah, thank you Google: "Three Versions of Judas".)

#89 ::: Renee ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2006, 02:52 PM:

Personally, I find ID and Creationism insulting to God, because it forces Him to dumb down the cosmos to something mere humans can understand.

#90 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2006, 06:28 AM:


Oliver, thank you for the link to Dr. Gee's magnificant response. I love it when someone can answer back with the original Hebrew (actually Aramaic, I believe) and point out that the G-d in the original writing is quite different from their petty notions of Him.

Since it's Genesis Henry Gee is quoting from, it would be Hebrew rather than Aramaic.

Also quite interesting is a link that Gee provided to a short essay of his, here, where he argues that there's commonality and sometimes cooperation between Christian Creationists and similar anti-science fundamentalists in Judaism and Islam.

I'm not certain how widespread the latter really might be, since he only discusses one (Turkish) group -- are they really influential? Are there other such groups in other Islamic nations? (He does point out that some American Creationists have attended conferences organized by the Turkish group, and that the latter's mission statements sound a lot like the Discovery Institute's "wedge document").

This article discusses "Vedic Creationism", though apparently it's mainly active in the US, via US-based Hare Krishnas, hardly an orthodox Hindu group.

#91 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2006, 08:06 AM:

There's a very nice summary of the context for Tiktaalik -- what we knew about tetrapods before, and where the new beastie fits into things -- in science writer Carl Zimmer's blog, here: Walking Towards Land.

So why is Tiktaalik big news and not news at all? It is big news because it blurs the distinction between fish and tetrapod more spectacularly than ever before. It is no news at all, because it is just the sort of creature that one would predict from previously discovered fossils. Its place on our family tree has been cleared and waiting for some time now. And now it's filled.

I also like his (slightly melancholic) comment on being a science writer:

Writing books about science is massive fun, but it is always followed by an unpleasant aftertaste, as you watch all your work become quaint and dated.
#92 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2006, 01:50 PM:

They know the innermost secret of science: that the word 'theory' means 'unprovable surmise'.

Actually, scientific theories cannot be proved in the way a mathematical theorem can be; they can only be supported or disproved. You do the same thing again and again, getting the same results each time, and that supports your theory; but there can always be a counter-example. People thought for centuries that Newton's laws applied in all situations, but now we know that they're a special case when velocity approaches zero.

Paleontology is more like history; you're digging up the bits and trying to work out what happened, rather than what happens (which is where the repeatable experiments come in).

#93 ::: Alan Yee ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2006, 08:19 PM:

Well, I'm kind of stuck right now. I am a Christian, but I'm not a Creationist in the sense that most people here think. I believe that God created everything, but I don't really believe in all the nonsense that's attached to Creationists. I just don't see how the existence of God doesn't necessarily equate with evolution. I don't see how evolution is an impossibility. In fact, if I look at all the scientific and archaeological discoveries and compare them all, it all kind of fits together and makes sense. The newly-discovered fish just confirms my suspicions.

Man, it sucks for me to be a Christian who believes in evolution. I feel so squished in between two different groups.

#94 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2006, 10:02 PM:

Alan, *you're* not strange. The ones having problems with this are the literalists, the one who insist that 'Everything in the Bible is Literal Truth', and won't actually *read* it, beyond the bare minimum that confirms their beliefs. (I think they're confusing 'of'-about and 'of'-belonging-to, but that's my opinion, and YMMV.)

#95 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2006, 10:54 PM:

Man, it sucks for me to be a Christian who believes in evolution.

Well, perhaps it doesn't feel like it, but you are in good company: Charles Darwin, for one, was a convinced Christian. I presume that his stance was that the history of evolution only showed how creative God really was and is. I also suspect that quite a lot of people on this site would define themselves as Christians who believe in evolution. Judging from this link posted earlier in response to army brat, that would include our hosts.

And again: sometimes it may not feel like it, but being stuck between extremes is often a very good place to be. Especially if you've chosen the place your standing on the basis of its own merits. The one good thing about being between the devil and the deep blue sea is the knowledge that you haven't succumbed to either.

#96 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2006, 10:54 PM:

Alan, you have lots of company, including the present Pope, who has no trouble at accepting evolution. (I am at the moment reading Ratzinger's Introduction to Christianity, which was originally published in 1968. In it he approaches the doctrine of the Trinity by discussing and quoting Schrodinger on waves and particles, and then comparing what modern physics says to St. Augustine.) He would, I expect, have a problem with the assertion that all that we can say about the creation of the universe is contained in contemporary science -- but then, most scientists would find that statement objectionable, too, since it implies we have nothing more to learn. I also (and others who post here regularly) believe in God and evolution, and I am not, I assure you, a creationist nor a believer in "Intelligent Design" as defined by those folks who are even now freaking out on Pharyngula. Don't feel lonely.

#97 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2006, 02:26 AM:

It would be really wonderful to be able to discuss a fascinating scientific discovery like this and not have the discussion in the context of "here, this will show the crazy people." I have no interest in creationism or creationists. They shine no light on our understanding of the world -- they only create smoke.

Just ignore their existence, and the discussion morphs into something different entirely: an attempt to satisfy our curiosity, to understand the world. Sure, the feet on the fish are cool. Does the fossil show any other adaptations? What other fossils were found around it? How does it connect with earlier and later fossils? That is, does it seem to have evolved from anything we know, or evolved into anything we know? And so on and so on. Like we would look at a neat discovery in any other field of study.

#98 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2006, 02:54 AM:

"What other fossils were found around it?"

Considering that it took six years (if I remember what I read/heard accurately) to find this one, I imagine there's a whole lot of excitement about going back to Ellsmere Island this summer to continue searching.

#99 ::: Skjeve ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2006, 03:38 AM:

This really is incredibly fascinating stuff, and I don't mean the fishapod, although I can't deny my interest in that as well.

The string of resulting commentary, however, is absolutely intriguing. Greg Ioannou's comment above indirectly touched on what I find so interesting- it's not so much the discovery itself that is so fascinating as the context in which the discovery was made. I wonder what sort of commentary would have been engendered if Tiktaalik had been discovered outside the current cultural/political firestorm of Creationism vs. Evolution?

#100 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2006, 12:37 PM:

I have no interest in creationism or creationists. They shine no light on our understanding of the world -- they only create smoke.

Unfortunately, in the US, at least, they also shape legislation and do a fairly effective job of forcing textbook publishers to conform to their notions of how the universe was created. "Just ignore their existence" is a bad tack to take, IMO.

#101 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2006, 02:44 PM:

Lexica wrote: "Unfortunately, in the US, at least, they also shape legislation and do a fairly effective job of forcing textbook publishers to conform to their notions of how the universe was created. 'Just ignore their existence' is a bad tack to take, IMO."

Yes, I know. But I think those are two separate discussions.

An analogy: An acquaintance of mine -- definitely not a friend -- is obsessed with the Beatles. Any discussion of music with him ends up as a discussion of the Beatles. If you talk about Gregorian chants, he talks about elements of chanting in Beatles songs. And so on. It is refreshing when you've spent too long in his company to discuss music in a non-Beatles context.

Creationists' weird obsession should be confronted head-to-head and squashed in political arenas, in publishing, everywhere. It can be refreshing to have discussions of early biology in an atmosphere that is free from that obsession.

When you think about music in a non-Beatlecentric way, you notice things about the music that you might not otherwise hear. When you think about fossils in a non-creationcentric way, you might similarly make connections that would otherwise be drowned out by the creationists' irrational noise.

#102 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2006, 02:45 PM:

By the way, why do we usually capitalize the c in "creationist"? I think it gives them unwarranted credibility.

#103 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2006, 04:30 PM:

More neener-neener fuel here, in the form of evidence at the cellular level, blogged by tristero here

#104 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2006, 10:40 PM:

There was a very beautiful piece on Nature tonight revolving around the Queen Tree in Africa, a Sycamore fig. unless God (for whatever value of God) is also a master accountant. This ginormous tree is fertilized by a wasp that can fly (!!!!!) through the eye of a needle. And they portrayed a whole array of the marvelous dance of evolution that has to happen to keep a healthy ecosystem going.

One minuscule wasp flies into a fig and the small hole seals up once it's 'irritated' (the wasp has to squeeze in, losing her antennae and wings). and a whole realm of creatures live with/on/in/around the tree out of that.

Unfortunately the creationists/ "ID" folks would have turned off the program the first time they heard the word 'evolve' OR never turned it on because it's on the 'godless' public television.

#105 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2006, 11:20 PM:

Alan, our hosts on this blog are both Christians who believe in evolution.

It is in the creationists' interests for people to think of science and religion as enemies. Don't help them by falling for it.

#106 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2006, 12:22 AM:

Paula Helm Murray: OR never turned it on because it's on the 'godless' public television.

I dunno - I fear the wrath of the Almighty Elmo, and surely the miracles of Sts. La La, Po, Tinky-Winky and the other one (Holding the Wrapt Attention of Toddlers Everywhere) are evidence of the divine on PBS.

#107 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2006, 12:54 AM:

Larry! You forgot Dipsy, man! The only Tubbie that really matters, the green one. The one that gets all the best lines. Geeeeeez.

#108 ::: Cassie ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2006, 01:01 AM:

No, no, no. The sun-god baby is clearly the divine presence.
And as long as we're arguing Teletubbies, Dipsy's the one to watch out for. Tinky-Winky may do as he pleases with no trouble; Dipsy will go after your children.

#109 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2006, 08:41 AM:

I capitalize Creationist the same way I would the name of any other religious cult.

#110 ::: Alan Braggins ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2006, 12:17 PM:

I think of creationism as being a view shared by members of some cults, rather than a Cult itself. But I could easily be wrong.

#111 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2006, 12:34 PM:

I always figured the Teletubbies were Eloi.

#112 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2006, 12:43 PM:

Stefan: Then who are the Morlocks?

#113 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2006, 01:19 PM:

Then who are the Morlocks?

Cookie Monster?

--Mary Aileen

#114 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2006, 01:56 PM:

Mary Aileen: Not Oscar?

#115 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2006, 02:19 PM:

Horrible, skinny, big-eyed Teletubbies with pale gray felt skin.

They have nice voices, though. They're the ones who recite poetry through those loudspeaker posts. And who run the machines that make the toast and pudding.

Hard work, but once in a while they get to feed on great rare slabs of buttery-soft meat carved from the surface tubbies.

#116 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2006, 04:36 PM:

Sure, Oscar, too.

--Mary Aileen

#117 ::: Ken MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2006, 06:53 AM:

Nancy, you can find stories about going from SciCre to science here. The site's front page looks a bit odd, but don't let that put you off. Glenn Morton, a petroleum geologist who used to be a creationist and is a fairly conservative Christian, has his own odd and intriguing take on how to reconcile the evidence with a literal reading of Genesis. He has stacks - strata! - of evidence against Young Earth Creationism and Flood Geology.

#118 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2006, 08:54 AM:

Today's Dr. Fun (part of his annual Peeps Week series) is a delightful tribute to our newly recognized fishy ancestors.

(In further Making Light synergy, yesterday's strip was hamster related.)

#119 ::: Glenn Hopper ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2006, 06:41 PM:

Darwin fish & ichthys symbol getting along:

cafepress.com/darwin_ichthys

#120 ::: Stefan Jones sees a cut and paste comment ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2006, 08:14 PM:

Is there some kind of web robot that posts creationist tracts to any site that mentioned Darwin?

#121 ::: Oh dear oh dear... ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 11:33 AM:

Hmmm, I wonder why they edited out my post? Perhaps it was the truth and they don't want you to know it. Falsehood is always bound to disappear and the truth shall always prevail.

#122 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 12:58 PM:

More cut-n-paste spam.

Gone.

#123 ::: I knew it... Oh dear oh dear ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 04:41 PM:

Why didn't you dare leave the truth so everyone can read it with an open mind? It is impossible for you to argue against the truth. Evolution is a load of crap and every sane person knows it. what a sad website which only wants to impose its own views. Oh dear oh dear...

#124 ::: The truth for the benefit of the readers... ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 04:47 PM:

This is just another missing link myth, Darwinist propaganda and no more than a fantasy culminating from an illusory, preposterous and dogmatic claim of a so-called transition from water to land. The claim of such a transition is merely a dream, because the physiological gulfs between terrestrial animals and fish cannot be overcome by any of the fictitious mechanisms of the theory of evolution. The latest attempt to make Tiktaalik roseae fit this scenario, which is supported out of blind devotion to the theory of evolution and rests on no scientific evidence whatsoever, is based on preconceptions and intentional misinterpretation. There are several important facts the Darwinist media have deliberately concealed in their Tiktaalik roseae propaganda.


A mosaic life form is hardly evidence for evolution. Evolutionists distort these mosaic properties according to their own preconceptions and maintain that the animal is a transitional form between fish and terrestrial life forms. Mosaic life forms, however, are very far from being the intermediate forms required by the theory of evolution. The present-day Platypus that lives in Australia, for instance, is a mosaic creature that possesses mammalian, reptilian and avian features at one and the same time. But nothing about it constitutes any evidence for the theory of evolution. Mosaic life forms are not what evolutionists need to find in order to back up their claims; they need to find ?intermediate forms,? which would have to be with deficient, only half-formed and not fully functional organs. Yet every one of the organs possessed by mosaic creatures is complete and flawless. They have no semi-developed organs, and there are no fossil series that can be proposed as evidence that they evolved from some other life forms.


The picture that emerges from the fossil record is completely compatible with creation. The record reveals that living things appeared suddenly and lived for long periods of time without undergoing any change at all. Some 250,000 fossil species have been collected to date, and there is absolutely no trace of intermediate forms in any of them. Evolutionists are behaving irrationally and unscientifically by ignoring this and embarking on campaigns of missing link propaganda.


When the bodies of vertebrates are fossilized, they generally leave no remains behind apart from bones. However, bones leave traces of only a very limited part of vertebrate biology, about 1%. When evolutionists begin interpreting the fossil remains of an organism, most of the information about its biology has been lost. Evolutionists, with almost no information concerning the organism?s soft tissue biology ?fill? the gap in their knowledge according to the demands of the theory of evolution, which they have adopted as a dogma long beforehand. The intermediate form claims that evolutionists produce solely by looking at bones is no more than vague conjecture. Because soft biology of extinct groups can never be known with any certainty then obviously the status of even the most convincing intermediates is bound to be insecure.


One excellent example of this is the Coelacanth phenomenon. As with the latest fossil Tiktaalik roseae, the Coelacanth is a fish that evolutionists once fondly imagined to be a missing link in the transition from water to land. Evolutionists examined 400-million-year-old fossil Coelacanths, which was once believed to be extinct, and drew a number of evolutionary conclusions from the remains. For example, they maintained that the bony structures in its fins were feet that helped the animal walk across the sea floor, and they also claimed that it possessed primitive lungs. The important point here is this: All these assumptions were made in the absence of any information about the Coelacanth?s soft tissue biology.


The erroneous nature of producing evolutionary fantasies in the absence of any information about the animal?s soft tissues emerged following an important discovery in 1938. A living Coelacanth was caught, showing that it was not, as had previously been thought, an extinct life form at all. Furthermore, many more living specimens were caught in subsequent years. Evolutionists immediately set about examining the fish?s anatomy and way of moving in its natural environment, and saw that the missing link assumptions they had ascribed to it were completely incorrect. The fish, which they had assumed to live in shallow waters and to move by crawling over the seabed, actually lived at depths of around 180 meters, and they also observed that its fins never made contact with the seabed at all. The structure they imagined to be an evolving lung turned out to be a fat-filled swim bladder that had nothing to do with respiration whatsoever.


The realization that the Coelacanth, which had once seemed such a convincing-looking intermediate form for evolutionists, was just an ordinary species of fish clearly shows that the intermediate form claim being made about this latest fossil is also based entirely on uncertainties and speculation, because it, too, is based on imaginative interpretation of soft tissues from the fossilized remains of an extinct life form. In short, the ongoing propaganda through the media is based on nothing more than the exaggeration of scientifically vague information in the light of evolutionist dreams.


The theory of evolution maintains that change in living things is based on the selection of beneficial differences among those produced by random mutations. However, it is a known fact that mutations have no power to cause anything to evolve by adding new information to living things? DNA. Mutations damage the genetic information in living things? DNA, producing effects that leave them deformed or dead. That is because the DNA sequences are exceedingly sensitive, and the effect on these of any mutation based on chance can only be harmful. For example, no random changes to the letters comprising a manual for an electronic device will turn it into a novel; it will merely damage the information in that manual. In the same way, it is totally impossible for mutations in a fish?s DNA to acquire it a powerful skeletal structure capable of weight-bearing, to construct temperature regulating systems or systems for the use of water (involving such a complex organ as the kidney), or to cause gills to turn into lungs.


It is clear that if a fish does not undergo rapid change in different ways, such as in terms of its respiratory system, excretory mechanism and skeletal structure, it will inevitably die. Such a chain of mutations must take place that it must immediately acquire the fish a lung, turn its fins into legs, add a kidney onto it, and provide its skin with a water retaining structure. Systems of such vital importance to the animal either have to change instantaneously, or else not at all. Such a change is impossible through evolution, which is proposed as a chance-based and aimless process. Any rationally thinking person can see that the only possible explanation is to accept that fish and terrestrial life forms were created independently.


In short, the scenario of a ?transition from water to land? is at a complete dead-end. Evolutionists have no consistent fossil evidence they can point to. None of the known fishes is thought to be directly ancestral to the earliest land vertebrates. Most of them lived after the first amphibians appeared, and those that came before show no evidence of developing the stout limbs and ribs that characterized the tetrapods.


the ?missing link? notion is an unscientific one with no factual counterpart in the fossil record and used solely because of the requirements of the theory of evolution. The way that the Darwinist media cling so strongly to the idea is a method they resort to in order to spread their own ideologies among the public. Evolutionists have no evidence with which to spread their theory, which is the greatest scientific deception in history. All these endeavors are a propaganda technique, as described in the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler?s statement that a lie would be believed by many if repeated loudly and often enough.


In conclusion, evolutionists must accept the fact that paleontology demolishes their theory, and must realize that constantly repeating their missing link tales will not alter the fact in the slightest.

#125 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 04:49 PM:

read it with an open mind? It is impossible for you to argue against the truth.

You keep using the phrase "open mind" and "truth". But I do not think it means what you think it means.

You wouldn't be Sicilian, by any chance?

#126 ::: Greg London sees crazy people in comment thread ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 04:50 PM:

I'm not sure if this is better or worse than spam.

#127 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 05:11 PM:

To: oh dear oh dear oh dear,
Subject: profession

Hey, bub, out of curiosity, are you a biologist? Do you work in the field of organic chemistry? Do you get paid by someone to produce empirically sound scientific work in the field around or near the biological fields?

Otherwise, aren't you just an untrained noob spewing dogmatic garbage about something you know nothing about? Or about something that someone evangelicized to you?

No, I don't care if you're a technical person in some other unrelated field. The way I see it, pretty much all the folks who are actually paid to produce results in the field of biology (you know, like people who come up with new antibiotics to fight the bacteria that evolved to be resistant to penicillan, stuff like that) generally acknowledge evolution as a fact to be dealt with.

The folks who oppose the idea of evolution aren't generally paid to produce results in the field of biology. They're generally paid to produce results in some unrelated field like, oh, say, theology, dogma, religion, and such.

Next time you go to the doctor, put your money where your mouth is. Demand nothing but penicillian if the doctor says you need an antibiotic. Because penicillian did perfectly fine when it was first discovered, and the only way to get new and different bacteria that is resistant to penicillian is evolution. And if you don't believe evolution, well, then all you need is penicillian.

#128 ::: Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is NOT an example of evolution! ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 06:07 PM:

Hi Greg and thank you very much for your input. I appreciate your time and effort in writing your views. First of all, bacterial resistance to antibiotics is NOT an example of evolution. I won't bother going into the intricacies and rather cut to the chase. Evolutionists try to present this as the evolution of bacteria by adapting to conditions. The truth, however, is very different from this superficial interpretation.

One of the scientists who has done the most detailed research into this subject is the Israeli biophysicist Lee Spetner, who is also known for his book Not by Chance published in 1997. Spetner maintains that the immunity of bacteria comes about by two different mechanisms, but neither of them constitutes evidence for the theory of evolution. These two mechanisms are:

1) The transfer of resistance genes already extant in bacteria.

2) The building of resistance as a result of losing genetic data because of mutation.

Some microorganisms are endowed with genes that grant resistance to these antibiotics. This resistance can take the form of degrading the antibiotic molecule or of ejecting it from the cell. The organisms having these genes can transfer them to other bacteria making them resistant as well. Although the resistance mechanisms are specific to a particular antibiotic, most pathogenic bacteria have succeeded in accumulating several sets of genes granting them resistance to a variety of antibiotics.

Spetner then goes on to say that this is not "evidence for evolution":

The acquisition of antibiotic resistance in this manner is not the kind that can serve as a prototype for the mutations needed to account for Evolution? The genetic changes that could illustrate the theory must not only add information to the bacterium's genome, they must add new information to the biocosm. The horizontal transfer of genes only spreads around genes that are already in some species.

So, we cannot talk of any evolution here, because no new genetic information is produced: genetic information that already exists is simply transferred between bacteria.

The second type of immunity, which comes about as a result of mutation, is not an example of evolution either. Spetner writes:

microorganism can sometimes acquire resistance to an antibiotic through a random substitution of a single nucleotide Streptomycin, which was discovered by Selman Waksman and Albert Schatz and first reported in 1944, is an antibiotic against which bacteria can acquire resistance in this way. But although the mutation they undergo in the process is beneficial to the microorganism in the presence of streptomycin, it cannot serve as a prototype for the kind of mutations needed by NDT [Neo-Darwinian Theory]. The type of mutation that grants resistance to streptomycin is manifest in the ribosome and degrades its molecular match with the antibiotic molecule.

In his book Not by Chance, Spetner likens this situation to the disturbance of the key-lock relationship. Streptomycin, just like a key that perfectly fits in a lock, clutches on to the ribosome of a bacterium and inactivates it. Mutation, on the other hand, decomposes the ribosome, thus preventing streptomycin from holding on to the ribosome. Although this is interpreted as "bacteria developing immunity against streptomycin," this is not a benefit for the bacteria but rather a loss for it. Spetner writes:

This change in the surface of the microorganism's ribosome prevents the streptomycin molecule from attaching and carrying out its antibiotic function. It turns out that this degradation is a loss of specificity and therefore a loss of information. The main point is that Evolution? cannot be achieved by mutations of this sort, no matter how many of them there are. Evolution cannot be built by accumulating mutations that only degrade specificity.

To sum up, a mutation impinging on a bacterium's ribosome makes that bacterium resistant to streptomycin. The reason for this is the "decomposition" of the ribosome by mutation. That is, no new genetic information is added to the bacterium. On the contrary, the structure of the ribosome is decomposed, that is to say, the bacterium becomes "disabled." (Also, it has been discovered that the ribosome of the mutated bacterium is less functional than that of a normal bacterium.) Since this "disability" prevents the antibiotic from attaching onto the ribosome, "antibiotic resistance" develops.

Finally, there is no example of mutation that "develops the genetic information." Evolutionists, who want to present antibiotic resistance as evidence for evolution, treat the issue in a very superficial way and are thus mistaken.

The same situation holds true for the immunity that insects develop to DDT and similar insecticides. In most of these instances, immunity genes that already exist are used. The evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala admits this fact, saying, "The genetic variants required for resistance to the most diverse kinds of pesticides were apparently present in every one of the populations exposed to these man-made compounds." Some other examples explained by mutation, just as with the ribosome mutation mentioned above, are phenomena that cause "genetic information deficit" in insects.

In this case, it cannot be claimed that the immunity mechanisms in bacteria and insects constitute evidence for the theory of evolution. That is because the theory of evolution is based on the assertion that living things develop through mutations. However, Spetner explains that neither antibiotic immunity nor any other biological phenomena indicate such an example of mutation:

The mutations needed for macroevolution have never been observed. No random mutations that could represent the mutations required by Neo-Darwinian Theory that have been examined on the molecular level have added any information. The question I address is: Are the mutations that have been observed the kind the theory needs for support? The answer turns out to be NO!

#129 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 06:11 PM:

James D. Macdonald #122: More cut-n-paste spam.

The source material appears to have been from a site named Harun Yahya. Google-searching on several of the phrases lead here, and nowhere else. The re-posting is somewhat selective; it omitted “Conclusion: Evolutionists have to realize they will never get anywhere with outmoded propaganda techniques left over from Adolf Hitler”.

It appears to be a Turkish anti-evolution site.

I tried to direct PZ Myers' attention to the post (standard bearer for evolution that he is), as I figured he might have an appropriate cut-and-paste response (probably seen the same post himself more than once). But I have to imagine he's got to have better things to do this afternoon than debating idiots.

For my part (IANAB, B = biologist), the notion of a “mosaic lifeform” seems especially peculiar.

#130 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 06:15 PM:

And the post which followed in response to Greg's post comes from the site Darwinism Refuted.

#131 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 06:23 PM:

And my response to 'Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is NOT an example of evolution!' is:

Have you asked any bacteria what they think about antibiotic resistance, lately? All the rest of us are just bystanders in that area.

#132 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 06:27 PM:

Hm, it appears the thread has an amplifier circuit whereby a simple question is multiplied many times over into sqawking noise. I note the basic question of "what do you do for a living?" has been avoided. Apparently the amplifier also has a frequency filter on it, and cannot hear that question. interesting.

Also, Rob's experiments have shown the amplifier isn't so much an emitter of original material based on conscious thought, but rather a simple repeater algorithm, which can be executed by a robot, human or otherwise.

In short, it's an eliza program, mixed in with cut and paste text from creationism-dogma sites. No thought involved. Questions ignored. No intelligence demonstrated.

how boring. On to more interesting things...

#133 ::: Oh dear oh dear... ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 06:42 PM:

Thanks Rob for your constructive feedback. I find it quite boring to re-invent the wheel and since there are many good websites that prove that evolution is a load of crap, I find it only justified to bring it to light. The sites that I read are well-researched and are the opinions of top scientists and professors in the field. The sites are not anti in any way, but they offer a neutral view in light of all evidence. Rob Rusick, bring all the evolutionists together, and you will NEVER be able to refute the truth. If you have any argument against anything that I have presented, please bring it forward, I shall love to see it. Till then, taraa...

#134 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 07:23 PM:

LOL, "Fair and balanced" by any other name is still bullshit, y mrn.

#135 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 07:58 PM:

bring all the evolutionists together, and you will NEVER be able to refute the truth

There is more than enough evidence for evolution. God is probably laughing at you. Truth wins, every time, even over narrow-minded faith (which is all you have).
[/rant]

#136 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 08:13 PM:

The sites that I read are well-researched and are the opinions of top scientists and professors in the field.

Erm, right. How many nobel prizes in medicine or some such thing have they gotten? Because, you see, the folks who actually produce real results, rather than just spouting dogma, are the ones worth listening to.

No doubt, you have an answer to that as well. Perhaps the prizes are rigged. How many inventions/patents/cures for cancer/disease have your creationsist developed? Oh, right, they're too busy debunking all this evolution nonsense, so they have no time to produce real world results. I forgot. But then that sure does leave a weird gap where all the evolutionists, with their wrong-thinking-ways, are coming up with a lot of useful, real world, biological treatments, doesn't it? If they're so wrong, why are they so right?

And I must apologize. I must have missed it. Could you say what you do for a living again? It's probably buried up there somewhere, but maybe it got buried in teh cut and paste of text. What qualifications do you have, exactly, that would cause me to ignore my own scientific training, and the scientific training of natural scientists and biologists and chemists who view evolution as scientifically sound?

It really is a simple question that could be answered in one or maybe two words. What do you do for a living? Thank you for ignoring this question.

#137 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 08:28 PM:

whoops. Just to be clear, oh dear oh dear, I don't care about creationist organizations with scientific names, I'm really only interested in creationists who have produced real world, scientific results.

#138 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 09:23 PM:

Why didn't you dare leave the truth so everyone can read it with an open mind?

I did, Mr. Anonymous-with-the-hotmail-account.

Why don't you dare accept the truth? What are you so afraid of?

Do you want me to demolish your arguments point by point, line by line? I can do it, though I fear I'd be wasting my time on such a closed, narrow mind as yours.

You say "It is impossible for you to argue against the truth." Well, then, answer me this: Why are you trying to do just that?

You say:

"However, it is a known fact that mutations have no power to cause anything to evolve by adding new information to living things' DNA."

First problem: No one ever said that "new information" had to be added. All that's required is that the information be different. What you present as a "known fact" isn't a fact at all. In fact, it's a lie.

You also say:

"The genetic changes that could illustrate the theory must not only add information to the bacterium's genome, they must add new information to the biocosm."

Neither of these things are true. No one says that information must be added, only that the information be different.

You say, "Also, it has been discovered that the ribosome of the mutated bacterium is less functional than that of a normal bacterium."

Wouldn't you agree that having a "less functional" ribosome is far superior to being dead due to antibiotics? This is exactly what evolution requires, what it predicts, and as you yourself admit, has been observed.

Astoundingly, you then say, "The second type of immunity, which comes about as a result of mutation, is not an example of evolution either."

Are you aware that you've just contradicted yourself?

You say, "The question I address is: Are the mutations that have been observed the kind the theory needs for support? The answer turns out to be NO!"

Unfortunately for your position, based on the cut-n-paste documents you yourself supplied, the answer turns out to be an unqualified YES!

Do you even read the stuff you're cutting before you paste it?

Come on, Anonymous-From-Hotmail. Show us that you're capable of rational thought. Drop the strawman argument. That's the only trick the Creationists have in their bag -- and it's boring.

#139 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 09:31 PM:

Anonym #128: You're so courageous about defending the 'truth' that you can't use your real name? That says a lot about you, and none of it is positive.

#140 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 10:20 PM:

I see your creationist cut & paste and call with an archived discussion with Spetner from talk.origins:

You cite the fact that some bacteria grown under selective pressure of this antibiotic become resistant through a mutation that "degrades the molecular match with the antibiotic molecule" representing "a loss of specificity and therefore a loss of information." Some streptomycin resistance mutations do, as you point out, reflect mutations of the ribosomal protein S12 which cause loss of binding of this antibiotic, which you interpret as "loss of information." However, you ignore other mutations of this protein that do not lead to loss of antibiotic binding (e.g. Timms et al., Mol Gen Genet 232:89, 1992). According to your formulation, these mutations would not represent a loss of information, yet they are represent natural mutations that are adaptive under conditions of exposure to streptomycin. [...]

However, I want to make it clear that I don't buy your interpretation of certain specific mutations as reflecting a "loss of information." You state that the "information content of an enzyme is the sum of many parts, among which are: level of catalytic activity, specificity with respect to the substrate, strength [and specificity] of binding to cell structure, [and] specificity of the amino-acid sequence devoted to specifying the enzyme for degradation." This formulation is vague, non-quantitative, not supported by clear logic, not accepted in the scientific literature (to the best of my knowledge; please educate me if I am wrong), and in my view not useful.

#141 ::: plunge ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 11:06 PM:

Creationist arguments on "new information" rarely even pass the laugh test of defining which sort of information they are talking about (a sure sign that someone is ignorant of information theory is that they think there is only one obvious definition, as opposed to several very different measures, all acceptable, but you still have to specify which you are talking about). Information is especially difficult to define in biology because there are so many different levels and elements to consider as to whether they represent THE "information" in question that changes.

The arguments are especially laughable now in the face of genetic sequencing. It isn't simply a matter of inferring that bacteria evolve new ways to cope with new challenges: we can actually look and see what's changed.

The funny thing is that the papers that demonstrate such evolution are so common and unsurprising today that they have a hard time finding journals interested in publishing them, much less getting fanfare. We've watched bacteria evolve entirely new metabolic pathways. And no, they weren't there before: we not only checked, but we started with a single genetic line to begin with (bacteria reproduce asexually, with mutation being the only way for the genome to change).

#142 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2006, 11:27 PM:

We're dealing with a True Believer. I don't think argument will be fruitful.

#143 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 12:09 AM:

Rob Rusick:

For my part (IANAB, B = biologist), the notion of a �mosaic lifeform� seems especially peculiar.

Brings to mind one of the arguments from "History of Christianity" before I had to drop the class. (The head of the History department taught it which was why I signed up. Unfortunately it turned out that when he lectured he was a snotgurgler, and I could either drop the course or kill him before I developed Post-Nasal Drip.) The short version goes that since animal descriptions and illustrations are all based on existing organisms only God can create an animal that's totally original.

#144 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 12:35 AM:

I AM an amateur naturalist, I keep up as much as I can with the literature and if U. Kan. had given minors when I got my B.S. in Journalism, I'd have had a minor in natural history.

I also had a hard-core indoctrination into trying to deal with a hard core anti-evolutionist (my beloved father). I did not EVER bring it up at home because I didn't want a fight. He always brought up how this and that proves that evolution is Not Right and etc. etc. etc.

You can't fight belief with science, because you cannot change what a person believes as true with all their heart by giving them examples of scientific theory and fact. They think scientific theories are stuff that is just pulled out of thin air, like a lot of the religious teachings (YMMV, that is just what a lot of modern Christian religious teachings sound like to me, especially in the more restricted sects of Christianity).

Evolution is proven out every day in the elegant way that various creatures engage in the dance of their lives, interacting, living, breeding, just doing their thing. Watch any natural history television program. It's all grand and complicated, and very interwoven. And it all happens because of needs and niches and the way creatures fulfill the niche they evolved into filling. The place the theory was tested and found to be a viable theory proves to be a microcosm of evolutionary action because it's an island system.

And you cannot argue successfully with someone who has willfully chosen to ignore facts that can be seen because their faith says that is false testament. Once I realized that, I would just patiently repeat to my father, "we see things differently and I am not going to discuss that topic with you" as if I were a tape recording. He got the point fairly quickly, but I was his only child who could make him stop doing stuff (I also got him to stop making derogatory racist statements too...) It the others said something to him about behavior, he'd just keep digging it in.

#145 ::: kr ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 12:37 AM:

Re #128 -- sorry, but I'm mystified about what you're really arguing about.

Evolution is not a single scientific event, but the total effect of numerous events that occur on genetic, societial, climatic, etc., etc. levels.

Mutations that occur on a genetic level that ALSO provide an organism with a survival advantage contribute to evolution -- you gotta have both things. Bacteria's resistence to antibiotics gives the bacteria a survival advantage. It survives better, therefore its genetic material is more likely to descend to future generations, etc. So, yeah, resistance doesn't PROVE evolution. It is, howver, an illustration of one of the many things that happens as organism evolve.

#146 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 09:28 AM:

Why are we bothering? The stpd sshl isn't listening, probably not even reading this anymore. S/he's a "facts are the enemy of Truth" person. I'm so tired of even bothering with these wilfully ignorant, deliberately stupid Christians-in-name-only.

Anyone with the faith of a grain of mustardseed wouldn't be troubled by evolution at all.

#147 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 10:55 AM:

Anyone with the faith of a grain of mustardseed wouldn't be troubled by evolution at all.

Heck, the nuns were teaching evolution back in parochial school.

#148 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 03:50 PM:

Bruce E. Durocher II #143: Brings to mind one of the arguments from "History of Christianity" [..] [T]he short version goes that since animal descriptions and illustrations are all based on existing organisms only God can create an animal that's totally original.

Maybe he did it once (and I don't mean the platypus). One of the observations which leads to evolution is that all the animals and plants we see are also based on existing organisms (or rather previous organisms). It would look like God's originality is constrained (perhaps by the rules of the game s/he is playing).

The phrase “mosaic lifeform” irritated me, as it sounded like a made-up class. From the Harun Yahya source:

A mosaic life form is hardly evidence for evolution. Evolutionists distort these mosaic properties according to their own preconceptions and maintain that the animal is a transitional form between fish and terrestrial life forms. Mosaic life forms, however, are very far from being the intermediate forms required by the theory of evolution. The present-day Platypus that lives in Australia, for instance, is a mosaic creature that possesses mammalian, reptilian and avian features at one and the same time. But nothing about it constitutes any evidence for the theory of evolution. Mosaic life forms are not what evolutionists need to find in order to back up their claims; they need to find “intermediate forms,” which would have to be with deficient, only half-formed and not fully functional organs. Yet every one of the organs possessed by mosaic creatures is complete and flawless. They have no semi-developed organs, and there are no fossil series that can be proposed as evidence that they evolved from some other life forms.

To say it is a “mosaic lifeform” suggests that it is put together out of separate parts somehow. How would this be done? The phrase seems to be created to explain away “intermediate forms.”

It's ludicrous to say that intermediate forms would have deficient, half-formed and not fully functional organs. Anything that lives had ancestors. Anything that breeds has descendants. It could be viewed as an intermediate form between its ancestor and one of its descendants. The differences between generations will be slight, the differences between thousands of generations may be more profound.

The platypus is offered as an example of a “mosaic lifeform”, and then it is said of mosaic creatures that “there are no fossil series that can be proposed as evidence that they evolved from some other life forms.” I found 13 hits on Google off the phrase “ancestral platypus”.

This is just one paragraph, and I've invested way more effort reading it than rizider did in copying and pasting.

A search for Harun Yahya on the Pharyngula site turns up several hits; the Creationist amorality thread has a lot of interesting information about Harun Yahya (aka Adnan Oktar).

Along the theme of religious objections to evolution: I recall reading that in the 19th century, while geologists were mapping “Deep Time ”, and paleontologists were digging up dinosaur bones and theorizing about earlier eras and extinct lifeforms, there were religious objections that extinction was impossible.

The argument was that the world was perfectly designed by God; every type of animal and plant had its place, and none could be removed. The extinction of the passenger pigeon proved to be an effective counter-argument. At least we don't have “extinction deniers” (please, don't tell me we have extinction deniers...).

#149 ::: Dr M. Khan ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 05:43 PM:

I have noticed there are quite a few devout evolutionists in here and I want to learn more about evolution, and how it fits with modern science. I am however confused and would be extremely grateful if anyone could clarify my position:

Where has evolution or macro-evolution ever been observed? What's the procedure for getting new complexity such as new vital organs? How, for example, could a caterpillar evolve into a butterfly? Evolution nor the statement that "matter has always existed" is unscientific since it cannot be subjected to experiment and observation. Is not evolution therefore simply a belief, a dogma?


Science has proved irrefutably that materialism is simply a dogma since if matter were capable of giving rise to life on its own, then it should be possible to synthesise life in laboratory conditions. However, not even one organelle in a cell can be reproduced in the laboratory, let alone a complete cell. How do you explain this?


If you're theory is indeed correct, where are the billions of the transitional, intermediate fossils? Why cannot we observe a smooth transition among all living creatures and fossil records?

What records do you possess for the evolutionary ancestors of the insects?

Can you provide proof that DNA can assemble itself? What about the billions of pages of ciphered information located in a tiny part of each of your one hundred trillion cells?


How could sensory organs as complex as the eye or the ear or the brain of even a tiny ant ever come about by chance or natural selection? Surely complexity requires an explanation which always results in an intelligent designer?


If the solar system evolved, How can three planets and six moons spin backwards? Why do comets exist if the solar system is indeed billions of years old? Where has all the helium gone?

How do you explain the evolution of sexual reproduction?

If the Big Bang occured, where did intelligence come from which is in and around us?


How do you explain the global flood?


How did the first ever cell reproduce?

Did the atmosphere have oxygen just before life appeared?


If it takes intelligence to build a car, is it not therefore reasonable to assert that it would take much more intelligence to create a human? If I place hydrogen and a mixture of what ever else that takes your fancy into a closed container, I can expect to see the creation of a human being if I wait long enough?


Which came first, the chicken or the egg? DNA, or the proteins required by DNA?

Could you identify one convincing hypothesis on how our moon exists today given all the information we have? Is it not true that all evolutionary theories concerning the existence of the moon have been unequivocally rejected by science?

How do you explain the origin of plate tectonics, the Grand Canyon and Oil for example?

The second law of thermodynamics demolishes the theory of evolution which asserts that life transitions from chaos to order. How do you explain this?

Have you ever thought about the genius construction of a wasp's nest or a spider's web? How does the wasp know what materials are required and how to build the nest? Did it have to attend a special training course to learn this?

How can you get something from nothingness?

How can a watch come into existence without a watchmaker?

How did thought come from non-thought?

How can mutations create new and improved varieties? Jumbling up letters in a novel will never reproduce another better novel.

The Earth's magnetic field is decaying at such a rate that 10,000 years ago, the earth's magnetism would have equaled that of a magnetic star, which is highly unlikely as it would have pulverised the earth. How then could the earth be billions of years old? Does not a young earth discredit the theory of evolution?

If you do not feel compelled to answer any of my above questions, then could you please answer this one without avoiding it: What evidence would falsify the doctrine of scientific evolution? Evolutionists always answer "None!", which leads me to believe that evolution is a direct manifestation of a dogma and not a science in any way, shape or form, because if no evidence exists, then how can evolution be a falsifiable, demostrable and testable scientific theory?


Evolution is not a science by definition, it is a man-made dogma, a dead-end theory which is unfalsifiable and cannot be taken seriously by any sane person. The theory of evolution is no more than a fallacious straw man, the purpose of creationism is to set it on fire and kick the cinders out of it.

#150 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 05:49 PM:

Could you identify one convincing hypothesis on how our moon exists today given all the information we have? Is it not true that all evolutionary theories concerning the existence of the moon have been unequivocally rejected by science?

Dude, I don't think "evolution" means what you think it means.

If you're serious about finding answers to your questions -- and believe me, all of your questions are answered (to the extent to which they are sensible) in any standard undergraduate biology class -- then try reading some books by Steven Jay Gould.

But you're not serious, so I'm not going to argue with you. But just so you know, you are completely misinformed about what evolution is and what it purports to explain.

#151 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 05:54 PM:

The second law of thermodynamics demolishes the theory of evolution which asserts that life transitions from chaos to order. How do you explain this?

Not this chestnut!!

Hint: On earth, energy is supplied from off-planet. The source of said energy has a long way to run before entropy collects the bill.

#152 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 06:05 PM:

Also recommended:

The Diversity of Life by Edward O. Wilson.

Origins of Life by Freeman J. Dyson

Of course, these are books about evolution. They don't answer the phony straw-man "controversies" that creationists cling to.

#153 ::: KristianB ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 06:21 PM:

I am however confused and would be extremely grateful if anyone could clarify my position

Allow me to take a stab at it:
Your position is thoroughly wrong.
There, clarified.

(cough) (returns to lurking)

#154 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 06:21 PM:

The moment someone refers to "devout evolutionists," you know they're a nutbar, and it's time to stop reading. There are other key phrases to the same effect.

What a bunch of mindless morons.

#155 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 06:47 PM:

Evolution is not a science by definition

That's right. It's a scientific theory. Where you're wrong is in thinking that it is a science. It's part of biology and part of paleontology and not all, or even most, of either.
As for the rest of your questions, if you can assume that things change the problems will be much less.

#156 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 07:29 PM:

Just to take one paragraph of that twaddle:

Where has evolution or macro-evolution ever been observed?

Example's already been given of bacteria developing resistance to antibiotics, and proved out of the cut-n-paste documents that the ferverent creationist him/herself provided.

What's the procedure for getting new complexity such as new vital organs?

Gradual change via mutation and natural selection.

How, for example, could a caterpillar evolve into a butterfly?

Dude, you are very, very confused. That's metamorphosis, not evolution.

Evolution nor the statement that "matter has always existed" is unscientific since it cannot be subjected to experiment and observation.

Also confused as to what "scientific" means. Try "subject to falsification."

Is not evolution therefore simply a belief, a dogma?

No, it's a theory. Go look up "theory" before you come back with the sad and sorry "it's only a theory" wheeze.

Creationism, now, is simply a belief, a dogma. It's unscientific, and depends on willful ignorance.

#157 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 10:40 PM:

I was going to let it go. I really was. And then I reread the stupid, and it burned me.

I am however confused

Quoted for truth.

The second law of thermodynamics demolishes the theory of evolution which asserts that life transitions from chaos to order. How do you explain this?

This has to be one of the stupidest of the pseudo-scientific rejections of evolution: the earth is not a closed system. Spotting how energy is input into the earth's systems is left as an exercise for the reader.

Practically all of your other questions are answered at this page: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/index.html

The ones that talk about the moon "evolving", not so much.

How do you explain the origin of plate tectonics, the Grand Canyon and Oil for example?

I have no response here, I just wanted to pause to boggle at "plate tectonics", "Grand Canyon", and "oil" all used apparently interchangeably.

What evidence would falsify the doctrine of scientific evolution?

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA211.html

So, you have an evolutionist site which does not answer "none", which falsifies your "always" statement. See how this works now?

#158 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 11:04 PM:

This has to be one of the stupidest of the pseudo-scientific rejections of evolution: the earth is not a closed system.

It's even stupider than that. Bringing order out of chaos has nothing to do with evolution, closed system or not. Evolution is not "progress," just adaptation. (But then neither is history, but that's a #10 can of worms.) Evolution didn't "work its will" on primitive animals with the "goal" of producing the highest lifeforms, which only Creationists assume would necessarily be us.

They're incapable of seeing that we're not putting up evolution as a rival God to their YHWH (or YahooWahoo as I like to call him). Therefore they assume we're ascribing some kind of thought or will to evolution, with howlingly laughable results.

#159 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 11:30 PM:

Heck, the nuns were teaching evolution back in parochial school.

But Jim, those were Catholics; all good Chinos know what to think of Catholics....

#160 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 12:00 AM:

Rob Rusick: I said it reminded me of the argument. I never said it was a good argument...

#161 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 12:25 AM:

(singing, in partial wry homage to Isaac Asimov, was it)

Testosterone is why I don't love you!"

================================

The Internet does not have all accurate quotes, e.g.

http://www.generationterrorists.com/quotes/delightful6.html

Tell me why the stars do shine,
Tell me why the sky is blue,
Tell me what makes the ivy twine,
And I will tell thee why I love you.

Fusion reactions make the stars shine,
Rayleigh diffusion makes the sky blue,
Auxins and tropisms make the ivy twine,
Gonads and hormones are why I love you.

The last line my memory has as being "Testosterone is why I love you," not the line above.

#162 ::: plunge ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 03:20 AM:

"Where has evolution or macro-evolution ever been observed?"

Asked and answered before.

"What's the procedure for getting new complexity such as new vital organs?"

They adapt from existing tissues and structures, often in much simpler creatures to begin with.

"How, for example, could a caterpillar evolve into a butterfly?"

I'm not an expert on this: I read about it once but don't really remember enough to talk about it authoritatively. But why not ask one of the many many different biologists that study exactly this, or google it, or any of the other obvious resources. You could probably find an entire book on the subject if you looked.

"Evolution nor the statement that "matter has always existed" is unscientific since it cannot be subjected to experiment and observation. Is not evolution therefore simply a belief, a dogma?"

Evolution can be subjected to both experiment and observation. "Matter has always existed" isn't a claim evolution makes: I'm not even sure where you are getting it from.

"Science has proved irrefutably that materialism is simply a dogma since if matter were capable of giving rise to life on its own, then it should be possible to synthesise life in laboratory conditions. However, not even one organelle in a cell can be reproduced in the laboratory, let alone a complete cell. How do you explain this?"

I'm not sure what the point of it is: if we did do it in a lab, you'd just claim that it was intelligent design not evolution, so what are you even getting at? Regardless, there are lots of things we can't easily do in the lab that we know are perfectly possible. Even so, we have, in fact, done all sort of neat work related to these issues (for instance, Speigelman's monster is fascinating stuff when dealing with simple life), and there's no reason to think that we won't be doing more and more as time goes on.

"If you're theory is indeed correct, where are the billions of the transitional, intermediate fossils?"

Um, what are you talking about? Your question doesn't really have any bearing on what evolution predicts or what the fossil record is like. The fossil record is perfectly consistent with the transitions evolution suggests. I suspect that you have a very strange definition of what a transitional fossil is. But for the definition that scientists actually use, there is no mysterious lack of them: we have countless examples illustrating transitions of nearly every major taxa in just the ways evolution would suggest that we would.

"Why cannot we observe a smooth transition among all living creatures and fossil records?"

Fossil records are inherently not smooth, and gradual changes is not the same thing as a steady smooth pace. Again, I think you have a really confusion vision of exactly what evolution is.

"What records do you possess for the evolutionary ancestors of the insects?"

Again, this is a question that it seems odd to answer given that there are lots of great resources on insect evolution that you could look up yourself. Your very question seems to presume that there is no answer, and yet there are countless people spending their lives on the question and studying the evolutionary ancestry of insects. Their jobs and work simply couldn't exist if the implication of your question (that there is nothing to study) made sense.

"Can you provide proof that DNA can assemble itself?"

No one claims that DNA assembled itself. Straw man.

"What about the billions of pages of ciphered information located in a tiny part of each of your one hundred trillion cells?"

DNA isn't pages of information: it's a chemically interacting and responsive medium. But in any case: what about that information? Evolution not only explains how such information could be accumulated, but also how we went from single cells to huge colonies of different types of cells.

"How could sensory organs as complex as the eye or the ear or the brain of even a tiny ant ever come about by chance or natural selection?"

It's not "or" it's both. And again, there are countless good resources explaining how. It's really not even that complicated when you think about it. I bet you could even think up several different ways for the eye to evolve even just on your own if you tried.

"Surely complexity requires an explanation which always results in an intelligent designer?"

Nope.

"If the solar system evolved, How can three planets and six moons spin backwards?"

I hope you don't mean evolved in the sense of biological evolution, because these topics aren't really related at all. But I'm not sure I even understand your question. Why are you incredulous that they do so? As far as I know, this isn't a problem that astronomers or astrophysicists are particularly troubled by.

"Why do comets exist if the solar system is indeed billions of years old? Where has all the helium gone?"

Seriously: have you ever actally browsed through talk origins? They answer all this stuff. Heck, there are even a lot of creationist websites that say that these aren't very good arguments.

At this point, it's pretty obvious that you are not, in fact, very interested in learning more about evolution: these are just a bunch of only vaguely (and sometimes incorrectly!) described creationist claims, all of which have been debunked countless times before.

If you have any actually sincere questions about what evolution is or how it works, I'd be happy to explain it. I think it would be very different from how you conceptualize it, because you seem to have a lot of misconceptions. I'll just take a smattering of your claims at this point:

"How do you explain the global flood?"

We don't. There isn't any evidence of one.

"How did the first ever cell reproduce?"

Almost certainly asexually, the way the vast majority of most cells still reproduce.

"Did the atmosphere have oxygen just before life appeared?"

It always had oxygen to some tiny degree, but there are several raging debates as to how much it had when. Regardless, it's likely that early life didn't require atmospheric oxygen, and in fact saw oxygen as a poisonous waste product.

"If it takes intelligence to build a car, is it not therefore reasonable to assert that it would take much more intelligence to create a human?"

Nope.

"If I place hydrogen and a mixture of what ever else that takes your fancy into a closed container, I can expect to see the creation of a human being if I wait long enough?"

Almost certianly not, since humans are the result of a very very specific set of directions and contingencies taken in evolutionary history. If the closed container is planet sized, and the conditions are similar to the early Earths... who knows?

"Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

Eggs came long before chickens.

"DNA, or the proteins required by DNA?"

Almost certainly proteins (again, this is a variation of your incredulity about organs, but you are forgetting that the demands requirements and the things that they require them can all evolve together gradually as well as anything else).

"Could you identify one convincing hypothesis on how our moon exists today given all the information we have?"

??? Again, where the heck does this come from? It has nothing to do with biological evolution, and furthermore, read a book on astronomy for goodness sakes.

"Is it not true that all evolutionary theories concerning the existence of the moon have been unequivocally rejected by science?"

There aren't any "evolutionary" (in the sense of biology) theories about the moon. The moon is not alive. And no, it isn't true, at all.

"The second law of thermodynamics demolishes the theory of evolution which asserts that life transitions from chaos to order. How do you explain this?"

I explain it by pointing out that 2nd law doesn't assert that, period. Heck, if it did, then ice freezing would be impossible. Good grief.

"How can you get something from nothingness?"

Er, evolution, remember?

"How can mutations create new and improved varieties? Jumbling up letters in a novel will never reproduce another better novel."

Mutation is not the only thing involved in evolution, so your example makes no sense.

"The Earth's magnetic field is decaying at such a rate that 10,000 years ago, the earth's magnetism would have equaled that of a magnetic star, which is highly unlikely as it would have pulverised the earth. How then could the earth be billions of years old?"

The magnetic field decays and then reverses over and over, as we can clearly see from the directionality of iron filings preserved in volcanic rock. The pattern is the same all around the world, btw.

"Does not a young earth discredit the theory of evolution?"

It would if it were true.

"If you do not feel compelled to answer any of my above questions, then could you please answer this one without avoiding it: What evidence would falsify the doctrine of scientific evolution?"

Asked and answered. Evolution makes all sorts of VERY specific commitments to what the evidence will be that make it VERY easy to falisfy. And yet, nothing ever does. That's why it's held up as a theory.

"Evolutionists always answer "None!"'

No, they don't. They might say that none found so far does, which is true, but isn't the same thing.

#163 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 03:31 AM:

The term "mosaic lifeform" represents a desperate retreat into mumbo-jumbo. It is only a manifestation of ignorance, but this ignorance is obdurate and intractable, because it is wilful. The hallucinations that arise from it are in some ways indistinguishable from the fixed ideas of some forms of mental illness.

Demonstration of falsity from verifiable fact makes no difference to the tenure of these ideas; no argument, no matter how logical, no matter how solidly based on empirical observation, can shake the person who holds them. In fact the sources of their beliefs, for the creationist and the dement alike, are an inward certainty that trumps, for them, the operation of mere reason and the observation of mere physical evidence. To a mind afflicted in this way such a belief is not falsifiable by any means. It may be a belief that each and every species was the result of a separate act of a creating deity; it may be that aliens regularly abduct the person during sleep. No matter how absurd, no matter how impossible, no matter how contradicted by fact, the belief can never be shaken.

It is idle, therefore, to argue with these people. To do so is not merely to engage in a dialogue with the deaf; it is to reason with the insane.

#164 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 06:30 AM:

I am not Mike Ford, nor was meant to be, but:

This world of wonders feels so very odd
And populated by things odder still,
That it feels easier to cling to God
As watchmaker as well as source of will.
Nor was creation made to calm your fears:
The heavens tell His glory with a light
Far older than the bare six thousand years
That Ussher counts. Yet still they shine as bright.
The fossils set in stone don't teach of Eve,
But He created them. They are his work.
In what, precisely, do you then believe?
That He has lied to us? I think you shirk.
God gave (evolved) you brains to cross this rift:
You, wasting them, repudiate His gift.

#165 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 06:45 AM:

Always find the typo after posting.

This world of wonders seems so very odd
And populated by things odder still,
That it feels easier to cling to God
As watchmaker as well as source of will.
Nor was creation made to calm your fears:
The heavens tell his glory with a light
Far older than the bare six thousand years
That Ussher counts. Yet still they shine as bright.
The fossils set in stone don't teach of Eve,
But He created them. They are his work.
In what, precisely, do you then believe?
That He has lied to us? I think you shirk.
God gave (evolved) you brains to cross this rift:
You, wasting them, repudiate His gift

#166 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 10:13 AM:

#149: Dr. M. Khan, I thought I should warn you that there is an uneducated interloper running around here with your exact same email address. Either he's posing as you, or maybe he's figured out your email password. Out of curiousity, Doctor Khan, what do you do for a living. Are you an MD or a PhD? It seems awfully hard to get this question answered around here for some reason.


Science has proved irrefutably that materialism is simply a dogma since if matter were capable of giving rise to life on its own, then it should be possible to synthesise life in laboratory conditions. However, not even one organelle in a cell can be reproduced in the laboratory, let alone a complete cell. How do you explain this?

Hm, "science" has "proved" that "materialism" is "dogma". But if science is by definition the study of the world without invoking the supernatural, isn't your statement sort of stupid? Otherwise, one has to start asking questions like, well, "if we don't know why it rained yesterday, should we attribute it to an angry rain god, or should we say we don't know?" I believe science would say "we don't know". Are you saying that approach is dogmatic?


If you're theory is indeed correct, where are the billions of the transitional, intermediate fossils? Why cannot we observe a smooth transition among all living creatures and fossil records?

Erm, what fossil records are you looking at, out of curiosity? If you look at it on the scale of hundreds of millions of years, you start out with very small organisms in fossils, then over millions of years, they get bigger, more complex, and more specialized.

What would prove evolution wrong would be to find a layer of fossils of organisms made of a few cells, and then in that same layer, find a hippopotamous. So far, that's never happened.

By any normal definition, the transitions are "smooth". Perhaps you're using a different definition of that word that I'm unfamiliar with.

#167 ::: kr ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 11:25 AM:

The questions of Dr. Khan -- there are valid answers to all your questions and it is really rather strange to see them posed at all here as if they were some kind of refuting proof.

In fact, they are evidence that, even though your words appear to embrace science, you are doing no such thing.

Explain the flood? It's been explained.

Synthesize life in a lab? It's getting closer than you know (and I do know this having been "on the inside" of biotech for a very long time). Geez! We've only been able to clone a gene for less than 20 years. Give us time.

Intermediate fossil records exist with the same (lack of) frequency as direct lineage records.

I could go on, but I've concluded the same as the others.

Science is the pursuit of knowledge through observation and experimentation.

Through observation and experimentation, we learn things (usually called facts -- but even then, a good scientist will hold "facts" in abeyance until they've been verified by many other scientists). As we learn things, we develop theories that help us explain systems.

Evolution is a broad scientific theory that is firmly rooted in observation, and yes, experimentation. It is a very broad theory, the details of which are still undergoing rigorous scientific analysis. It is a theory that is used to explain the known facts.

Has it been proved the way a mathematical theorem might be proved? No. But it best fits what has been empirically observed and objectived experimented.

Here's how the science game is played (if you wish to join the sacred cirlce) -- you throw ALL of the observations into the circle. No fair cheating and leaving out the inconvenient ones you don't like. No fair choosing one from among two or five things that contradict each other. No, you've got to put all of the things in the circle. And then you get to describe the best-fit theory.

A good scientist will do this, knowing (keenly aware, in fact) what things fit nicely and what doesn't. A good scientist will continue to work on the problem or aspects of the problem, throwing new information into the circle as it is uncovered and adjust the theory as needed.

Oh, yes -- this means that, eh, the theory of evolution has evolved since Darwin first put it forward.

A good scientist knows that there's no such thing as a theory that explains everything. (Because, eh, Bob, theories that fit precisely the known facts tend to become facts themselves.)

Evolution is the best-fit theory when you throw all the anthropoolgical, paleoentological (sp.?), biological, Insert-your-own-ological evidence into the cirlce.

And then there is the flying spaghetti monster theory -- which also fits the evidence. Personally, my bet's on the Flying Spaghetti Monster -- the evidence there is uncanny -- ever notice how much the human brain looks like a pile of spaghetti? It's creepy.

P. S. I do want credit for something I've done here. I often seem the religious-dogma folks fought with science-dogma. But science-dogma is an oxymoron. I can't be that dogmatic, because I was raised among scientists (which can be hairer than being raised among wolves).

#168 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 11:59 AM:

(sigh.) I do grow tired of the "science is materialism" meme that gets repeated by the religious extremists. Science is not atheism. Saying science is atheism isn't a statement of the problems with science, it's a statement of your own stupidity. If you insist that science is atheism, then you don't know science.

That is the fundamental problem here. Dr. Khan, oh dear, and the rest of these types, have no clue what science is.

So, while we could all spend countless hours explaining fossil records and the Miller Urey experiment and all manner of other things, it doesn't change the fundamental problem. Khan thinks science is atheism and because of his misunderstanding of teh basic precepts of science, Khan will resist science.

Khan's god only exists so long as his god gets to claim credit for the creation of the earth, of creation of life on earth, and to explain these processes in scientific terms that do not require Khan's god is to tell Khan he's spent his life worshipping a false idol. Which means he must either admit a lifelong mistake or refute science. His posts here tell us which choice he has made.

If Khan can ever bring himself to figure out that God is more than the 'unmoved mover', the cause of what has no cause, and finds a spiritual reason for the existence of god, then maybe he can accept a scientific explanation for evolution. Until then, all these science lessons are being wasted on him.

What Khan needs is some basic lessons in spirituality so that his god is not simply the god of the gaps, but the god of being, the god of the eternal, the god of the timeless.

#169 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 01:27 PM:

Hegelian Dialectical Materialism IS a dogma. And a stupid one, like most dogmata. It's not particularly stupider than creationism, though.

#170 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 03:29 PM:

Xopher #169: Hegel's dialectic was idealist. The term 'dialectical materialism' was foisted on Marx's inversion of the Hegelian dialectic by Lenin and Stalin.

#171 ::: Dr M. Khan ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 03:32 PM:

Thanks to everyone for all their replies and much appreciated. First of all, the answers I have received are not convincing and they have in fact aroused further confusion, suspicion and anxiety about evolution. Also, if I might add, I find it quite amusing that one would go down the strawman road, when you know fully well it just won't stick.

Moving swiftly on, I am confused, troubled and somewhat concerned as to how one can study something if it doesn't exist. Evolution is only a lame theory since no one has proved it ever happened and never will. I am bewildered with the evolutionists assertion that a giraffe has a long neck because it "evolved" over millions of years as a result of getting to food high up in the trees with its mouth. The neck grew as a means of survival? The absurdity of such a bizarre statement is way too obvious. If it had a short neck, then how did it survive for millions of years? Obviously it would eat from the ground.

Moreover, if the natural selection hypothesis is indeed correct, then surely zebras and horses would have long necks too? Why would only the giraffe have a need to reach the trees for food? This concept alone invalidates the entire premise of the survival of the fittest. Evolution doesn't make common sense nor scientific sense and I reiterate that there is nothing scientific about evolution. Evolution cannot be repeated, demonstrated, observed, experimented nor studied...it is therefore NOT a scientific theory. Evolution makes massive assumptions which cannot be studied nor corroborated in order to falsify it. The only fact evolutionists know for certain about the missing link is that it is still missing and shall always remain so.

The notions that "the universe has always existed" and that "everything in the universe is merely the result of chance", have been irrefutably proved incorrect time and time again, and the fact that materialists and evolutionists today are supporting this 19th century dogma akin to medieval astrology, at a time when there was no recourse other than to depend upon the scanty and unsophisticated scientific knowledge of those days, is quite baffling, they have truly wound themselves back to the dark ages.

The twentieth century has witnessed the demolition of the above 2 preposterous notions. It has been consistently demonstrated since the sixties that all physical equilibriums of the universe and of our planet have been intricately designed to make life possible for humans. Decades of research has discovered that each and every one of the laws of physics, chemistry, biology, of the fundamental forces such as gravity and electromagnetism, and of the details of the structure of atoms and the elements of the universe have been precisely tailored for human existence. Scientists today refer to this extraordinary design as the "Anthropic Principle". This is the principle that every detail in the universe has been carefully arranged to make human life possible.

There is insufficient explanation for the origin of life from dead chemicals. Even the simplest life form is tremendously complex. Fossil records lack any intermediate forms, and all types appear fully formed. The evidence that apemen existed is a hoax. So called apeman fossils turn out to be those of apes, extinct apes, fully man, or historical frauds.

Materialism and evolution collapsed into the pages of fiction as people have awakened. A philosophy so utterly flawed as these two and hideously grotesque ideologies derived from them were doomed to failure from their very inception. Evolution is the biggest hoax in world.

#172 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 03:37 PM:

Dr M. Khan #173: Clearly you have long experience in carrying your own bridge.

#173 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 03:38 PM:

Dr M. Khan #173: Clearly you have long experience in carrying your own bridge.

#174 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 03:49 PM:

Fragano, can we get him to burn it? I want to see gills and fins evolve instantly so he can swim.

Dr Khan, where do you get the idea that evolution is a philosophy? Creationism/'intelligent design' is a philosophy. Evolution is a theory. Big, big difference between them.

#175 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 03:54 PM:

It's for sale, Fragano, if you want it.

#176 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 04:16 PM:

I see. M. Khan is one of those fake religionists who believes that God is not omnipotent, since they deny that He could use natural processes to create the universe. They believe that God is a liar, since they argue that He created this physical planet with false evidence already in place. And their faith in God is so feeble that they can't abide any divergence from a childish, dead-literal word-by-word interpretation of the Bible.

That last one always gets to me. They insist that God -- omniscient, omnipotent, transcendent; maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen -- must be made to fit into the narrow gauge and simple structures of human language on a word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence basis, since anything more nuanced would threaten the foundations of their belief.

#177 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 04:28 PM:

Yay, Teresa!!

#178 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 04:31 PM:

I am now convinced that "M. Khan" is someone pulling our collective leg. (No, M. Khan, it won't grow longer, no matter how long you pull on it.) I simply cannot credit that someone could be enough of a bozo to write

If it had a short neck, then how did it survive for millions of years? Obviously it would eat from the ground.
It just isn't plausible.

If M. Khan really is serious, then he obviously didn't read any of the refutations we've served him with in this thread. Therefore it's useless to describe, again, how it is that creatures fill ecological niches (ground feeder and treetop feeder are different niches in the same environment, for example), or how slight advantages are passed on from generation to generation.

Folks, M. Khan is arguing in bad faith. He (?) brings no evidence of any kind to the table, and doesn't read our explanations. He's committed the sin of willful blindness, and will continue to do so, because he's convinced he already knows all he needs to know. That's one of the Deadly ones, M. Khan. It's called Pride. We Pagans call it hubris, but it's the same thing.

#179 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 04:34 PM:

Also, yay Teresa!

#180 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 04:47 PM:

P J Evans,
>Creationism/'intelligent design' is a philosophy.
>evolution is a theory. Big, big difference
>between them.

"evolution" isn't always a word that means natural selection plus a bunch of related stuff. Sometimes it means a particularly hostile, utilitarian philosophy gussied up with science-y words.* Kahn is confusing the two, probably on purpose. Sloppy reasoning, sloppy rhetoric.

Teresa, about what you said: word, yo. Word! Nice.

*not really common any more, but sometimes rhetorically deployed in the short and cheezy way of using evolution as "proof" that God isn't x, where x is something positive, (is benevolent, does exist, etc.) and the deployer wants merely to say "fundamentalists are nutjobs." This is also sloppy rhetoric. Needless to say fundamentalists embarass the rest of Christendom by rising to the bait. The anti-religious types who use this rhetoric embarass some of the skeptics too, more's the pity.

#181 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 04:47 PM:

To all the pseudonyms which map to rizider@hotmail.com:

What do you do for a living?

the answers I have received are not convincing and they have in fact aroused further confusion, suspicion and anxiety about your position as an expert in the subject. Also, if I might add, I find it quite amusing that one would go down the strawman road, when you know fully well it just won't stick.

Are you a biologist of some sort, sir? A molecular bioligist? An organic chemist? Do you have any expertise in the field that should give us pause that your conclusions are sound? Especially given that your arguments are hollow. Or are you little more than an amature parrot? A copy and paste bozo? Someone with just a little too much time on your hands, a computer, and an internet connection?

What do you do for a living, sir?

I see no need to continue this discussion further if you can't answer so simple a question. I may, if I find your copy and pastes to be boring, find it entertaining to repost the unanswered question, but to engage with what amounts to little more than an Eliza program, whose programming is hard coded and cannot be modified by conversation, makes conversation rather boring.

Show me some new programming. Show me you can answer a question. Show me you can respond to anything specific, and this might be worth continuing.

So far, you've ignored all specific comments and used this thread as little more than a dumping grounds for whatever dogmatic texts you've found. And you're putting me to sleep.

What do you do for a living?

Engage the conversation or paste sermons.

#182 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 04:57 PM:

They insist that God -- omniscient, omnipotent, transcendent; maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen -- must be made to fit into the narrow gauge and simple structures of human language on a word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence basis, since anything more nuanced would threaten the foundations of their belief.

Woah. I just had this weird, WEIRD, vision of God as a run-time engine for a scripting language called the Bible. Moses was a programmer and God was really just a processor/parser. That turns certain things right on their heads, in a very disturbing way.

#183 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 05:15 PM:

Thank you. And did I mention that M. Khan believes that God must needs be incapable of doing something, if we ourselves can't yet understand exactly how it works?

Science has proved irrefutably that materialism is simply a dogma since if matter were capable of giving rise to life on its own, then it should be possible to synthesise life in laboratory conditions.
Right. And if fusion reactions are possible, I should be able to create one in my kitchen. While I'm at it, I'll germinate some Trillium in a dixie cup on my windowsill, and keep species native to hot vents in my home aquarium.

#184 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 05:20 PM:

then it should be possible to synthesise life in laboratory conditions

They've recreated the 1918 flu virus in the lab. It's really nasty stuff: it makes your immune system over-react to it, in your lungs. That's why so many of the people who died of it were reported as having pneumonia following influenza. It may not be synthesizing life in laboratory conditions - are viruses alive? - but it's close.

#185 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 05:48 PM:

I third or fourth the "yay, Teresa!"

Less eloquent, but suitable for a bumper sticker or t-shirt: What part of "ineffable" don't you understand?

#186 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 06:23 PM:

I'd also recommend:

Glacial Lake Missoula and it's humongous floods. (David Alt).

Not global flooding, but pretty interesting anyway, in a "why do these hills look like stream bed ripples" sort of way.

#187 ::: kr ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 06:33 PM:

Hear! Hear! TNH. Well spoke!

#188 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 06:35 PM:

Eric, alas, the Discovery Institute insists that the evidence of the Missoula floods- the Channeled Scablands et al- suppost intelligent design.

People who believe that the Bible is the end all and be all explanation for the creation need to sit down and read the last chapter of Job. Job and his comforters all argue from the existing text, and show great familiarity with it, but when God speaks he tells them, in short, that they know nothing about how he goes about his business.

I used to own a pebble, found at Long Harbor in the Gulf Islands of BC, which was a piece of conglomerate with an included pebble with a snail fossil. What kind of onmiscient being goes to the trouble of creating lies with that degree of detail?

#189 ::: Raven ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 10:47 PM:

Abi, I enjoyed your sonnet.   Here's one of mine from another blog, in return.

#190 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 02:07 AM:

Back at you, Raven. And yours isn't nearly as catty as mine.

#191 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 07:54 AM:

P.J. Evans #174: I'd pay to see that happen! I doubt, however, that he'd be up to the Lamarck.

#192 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 07:55 AM:

Abi #175: Unfortunately, I don't have a river... Or enemies that I want eaten.

#193 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 08:02 AM:

TNH #183: Let me add my voice to the chorus of yeas!

#194 ::: plunge ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 02:11 PM:

"Moreover, if the natural selection hypothesis is indeed correct, then surely zebras and horses would have long necks too?"

Sigh. No.

So far, all you've done in this thread is demonstrated that:

1) You have no idea what evolution is.
2) You have no interest in finding out.

Do you disagree with either of these statements? They both disqualify you from having any sensible opinion on whether evolution is a "hoax" or not.

#195 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 10:34 PM:
First of all, the answers I have received are not convincing and they have in fact aroused further confusion, suspicion and anxiety about evolution.

Genuine scientists, and millions of other intelligent and interested individuals, find the answers completely convincing.

But since we're playing cut-n-paste:

Do people use the theory of evolution to make valid predictions? Yes:

Insect wings evolved from gills, with an intermediate stage of skimming on the water surface. Since the primitive surface-skimming condition is widespread among stoneflies, J. H. Marden predicted that stoneflies would likely retain other primitive traits, too. This prediction led to the discovery in stoneflies of functional hemocyanin, used for oxygen transport in other arthropods but never before found in insects (Hagner-Holler et al. 2004; Marden 2005).

Can evolution be confirmed experimentally? Yes:

For example, plant biologists have long been interested in the origins of crop plants. Wheat is an ancient crop of the Middle East. Three species exist both as wild and domesticated wheats, einkorn, emmer, and breadwheat. Archeological studies have demonstrated that einkorn is the most ancient and breadwheat appeared most recently. To plant biologists this suggested that somehow einkorn gave rise to emmer, and emmer gave rise to breadwheat (an hypothesis). Further evidence was obtained from chromosome numbers that showed einkorn with 14, emmer with 28, and breadwheat with 42. Further, the chromosomes in einkorn consisted of two sets of 7 chromosomes, designated AA. Emmer had 14 chromosomes similar in shape and size, but 14 more, so they were designated AABB. Breadwheat had chromosomes similar to emmer, but 14 more, so they were designated AABBCC. To plant biologists familiar with mechanisms of speciation, these data, the chromosome numbers and sets, suggested that the emmer and breadwheat species arose via hybridization and polyploidy (an hypothesis). The Middle Eastern flora was studied to find native grasses with a chromosome number of 14, and several goatgrasses were discovered that could be the predicted parents, the sources of the BB and CC chromosomes. To test these hypotheses, plant biologists crossed einkorn and emmer wheats with goatgrasses, which produced sterile hybrids. These were treated to produce a spontaneous doubling of the chromosome number, and as predicted, the correct crosses artificially produced both the emmer and breadwheat species. No one saw the evolution of these wheat species, but logical predictions about what happened were tested by recreating likely circumstances. Grasses are wind-pollinated, so cross-pollination between wild and cultivated grasses happens all the time. Frosts and other natural events are known to cause a doubling of chromosomes. And the hypothesized sequence of speciation matches their observed appearance in the archeological record. Farmers would notice and keep new wheats, and the chromosome doubling and hybrid vigor made both emmer and breadwheat larger, more vigorous wheats. Lastly, a genetic change in breadwheat from the wild goatgrass chromosomes allowed for the chaff to be removed from the grain without heating, so glutin was not denatured, and a sourdough (yeast infected) culture of the sticky breadwheat flour would inflate (rise) from the trapped carbon dioxide.

The actual work was done by many plant biologists over many years, little by little, gathering data and testing ideas, until these evolutionary events were understood as generally described above. The hypothesized speciation events were actually recreated, an accomplishment that allows plant biologists to breed new varieties of emmer and breadwheats, and in one instance, create a new cereal grain species, Triticale, by hybridizing wheat and rye and generating a polyploid offspring.

#196 ::: longlurkingadmirer ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 02:51 AM:

As a longtime lurker, coming to a thread that split long ago into camps that both fascinate and make me cry for the humaness of the incomplete comprehension of the cosmos of possibilities, I would like to bravely offer my favorite version of creation:

I see creation as a set of three questions: What did God do (yes, I am a deist); Why did He do it the way he did (here, I have no trouble seeing evolution as being a logical methodology to build on just as the code systems my iBook used to render graphics seem to follow a logical and efficient approach) to the final question: Why did he do what he did.

Different peoples and sects get caught up in different questions.
Those who take umbrass at the word God, of course, assume He/She/It/Nothing could not do any of the things Creationists insist were done.

Those who wholy reject evolution seem to get caught up in the question of how God works -- and I would recommend that they lay on a lawn on a sunny day and simply watch the grass grow to fully understand that all of His works are unique and beautiful, even though they can certainly be classified in scientific systems.

But my favorite question can only be answered in scripture so many cultures treasure, and in the beautiful poetry found in the world He created.

Gen. 30: And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. 31

O clap your hands, all ye people.31 (Ps. 47:1)
Let the floods clap their hands.31 (Ps. 98:8)

There is such beauty in the world we take for granted sometimes. But, as a writier, the very dance of the double helix convinces me that God takes joy and pleasure in the act of creation. I see faces of children taking joy in the faces of funny-looking fish and I believe there is more to a Darwin fish than just an exhibit in an academic paper -- but I also believe the researcher touches that joy too.

And I clap my hands.

#197 ::: Raven ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 04:38 AM:

LLA, thank you for your delightful delight.   Being in an odd mood myself, and not wishing you to take umbrage at any odd comment I might make, could you tell me whether "umbrass" is meant to be "unbrass" (any metal/material completely lacking brass), somewhat parallel to "nonferrous" (any metal/material completely lacking iron)?   I'm not sure I see the need for that specification.   "Nonferrous" is useful because one might want to avoid magnetic effects, but what parallel drawbacks does brass have?   Oh, okaaay, turning one's skin green might be a drawback — so one might want one's personal jewelry to be unbrass.   Got it!   But brass is preferred for ship and boat fixtures because it doesn't rust, even in the face of furiously applauding floods — whose clap can never daunt big brass ones!   Tsk, look at the time, gotta leg it before they turn green....

#198 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 08:15 AM:

Shorter LLA:

Render unto science the things that are science's, and unto God the things that are God's.

#199 ::: LLA ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 09:13 AM:

198: I could live with that.

There are some questions that are not amenable to the scientific method. It is good when scientists know that. There are other questions that bring delight to one's understanding of theology, and it is good when theologians know those, too.

My worship cannot be limited by understanding creation. I recently read a Nature article that described immune cells that grow synapses to recognize and remember configurations of invading cells it needs to fight. Since I was reading the article in the emergency room (bad flu, dehydration, etc.), it seemed a reasonable cause for hope to think that free-floating cells in my body were "learning" to make me well.

I was very glad for science to make me well -- but the knowledge that they were using a system already hard-wired into my body filled me with hope (the big kind).

#200 ::: LLA ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 09:25 AM:

197: I hope 199 answers your question.

#201 ::: Raven ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 10:05 AM:

#199:   “immune cells that grow synapses” ???

#202 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 10:27 AM:

There are some questions that are not amenable to the scientific method. It is good when scientists know that.

A lot of us do. Even in the evolution/creation debate, evolutionists and scientists repeatedly say that science is not a threat to God. There was a magazine article about a year ago when the debate was pretty hot where a scientist said something like "Science and Religion answer different questions." And I thought that describes it pretty well. Science tries to answer "How?". Religion seems to try to answer "Why?". There are a number of scientists in the trenches in the evolution/creation debate who relate to science and religion as orthoganal. as different axis on a graph, as independent and unrelated variables.

There are also some scientists who don't get this, but I think they're in the minority.

There does seem to be a lot of religious folks fighting for creationism who don't get that distinction though. They view science and religion as mutually exclusive. If science explains life on earth, then religion no longer has a place. So they view science as a threat to religion. And it's just a little frustrating.

#203 ::: LLA ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 10:40 AM:

201: try http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7042/abs/nature03727.html, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7042/abs/nature03727.html, or ,http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v431/n7008/abs/nature02916.html. I am not a doctor, and was too sick to steal the hard copy from the people in the white coats.

#204 ::: LLA ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 11:02 AM:

202: I know -- and I am sorry. Reading Divine word is surely the hardest text, and many stuggle and seize on the simple to avoid the complex. There are also scientists with axes to grind (a worldview based on painful childhoods or bad experiences with blue-haired old ladies, or other horrors) who overclaim. No-one is perfect simply because they espouse a particular worldview.

But have you ever watched a rose bloom? Or a sun rise? I have read the science -- and I still wonder.

#205 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 11:06 AM:

Vast Oversimplification Alert!

T-cells (specialized lymphocytes) are involved in fighting disease-causing organisms.

Here's how it works: the pathogens have certain protein shapes. The T-cells take shapes that attach to those protein shapes. (Think key-and-lock, where the key is cut to fit the keyway.) The T-cells glom onto the pathogen on those proteins.

T-cells can become familiar with the shape of pathogenic proteins by being exposed to them. That's how you can develop immunity to certain diseases -- the next time something with that protein on it arrives in your body there's a pile of T-cells ready to attack it before it can multiply enough to cause you problems. That's also how vaccination works -- by presenting your body with pathogenic protein shapes to get familiarized with. (Cowpox can grant immunity to smallpox because cowpox has some shapes that are identical to some shapes on smallpox.)

The site where the pathogen and the T-cell joins, where they actually mesh, is called the "immunological synapse."

#206 ::: LLA ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 11:10 AM:

Actually, the article I meant to reference described the formation of synapses on B cells. I will try to look harder.

#207 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 11:19 AM:

Both B-cells and T-cells are lymphocytes. Both rise from the stem-cells in the bone marrow. T-cells mature in the thalmus; B-cells mature in the bursa. Both are involved in immune responses. While T-cells attack pathogens directly, B-cells produce antigens that go on to attack pathogens. The immunological synapses are the same order of item: places where cells come into close proximity and fit together to act upon one another.

The confusion above is that the word "synapse" usually refers to the small gaps between nerve cells, where neurotransmitters are sent and received to allow the nerve cells to act upon each other.

#208 ::: LLA ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 11:28 AM:

Yes?

I would appreciate an explanation of how a struucture usually associated with neural connections is able to function as a free-floating determinant of differences between acceptable shapes and the dangerous forms of invading organisms.

#209 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 11:36 AM:

LLA @ 208:

It looks like the problem is terminology: the same word is being used for the structures lymphocytes use to recognize things and the (AFAIK very different) structures allowing neurons to 'talk' to each other.

#210 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 12:07 PM:

Folks use the word-cluster "immunological synapses" to differentiate them from neural synapses. The word "synapse" itself just means "fasten together" in Greek.

#211 ::: LLA ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 12:20 PM:

I understand that. What I don't understand is the point the (unfortunately payprotected) article in Nature seemed to be making about the ability of B lymphocytes to find dangerous cells and to communicate those differences to other parts of the immune system -- much as the neural synapses communicate ideas throughout the brain.

#212 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 12:36 PM:

I don't think that it's "much as neural synapses communicate ideas throughout the brain."

Here's a non-pay-protected summary of the Nature article: http://www.nature.com/ni/journal/v2/n6/full/ni0601_480.html

The B-cells seem to be taking the protein shapes from the pathogens then passing those shapes on to T-cells, so the T-cell can form synapses without having first to come in contact with the pathogen.

#213 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 12:55 PM:

Synapse = wall plug.

#214 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 01:09 PM:

LOL TNH! And it's called that because if you're not careful (say, if you stick a fork in one), your head synapse back and you get hurt!

#215 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 04:16 PM:

Xopher #214: Groan

#216 ::: LLA ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 06:31 PM:

Mr. MacDonald, thanks for the reference. This isn't the article I struggled through while I was distracting myself in the ER, but it seemed to be chasing a similar point. The text that interested me in this article was:

Thus, a division of labor may emerge in intact antigen presentation. DC subsets may present antigen to na�ve B cells, whereas the distinct lineage of FDCs may present antigens to activated B cells and evolving memory cells in the germinal centers. B cells may take the relayed antigen and present pro-cessed forms to T cells. Further study is required to establish the physiological importance of this chain of events now that the synaptic basis of a new link has been highlighted by Neuberger and colleagues2. Appreciating the immunological relay race may provide clues to enhancing the collaboration between DCs, B and T cells in vaccine development and provide approaches for strategically fumbling the antigenic baton, to help prevent or treat autoimmune diseases.

Now, I'm not a scientist -- just a person with health problems. But that statement seemed pretty powerful, and it made me clap my hands.

Can you elucidate?

#217 ::: Raven ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 09:08 PM:

Oooookaaaay, fine, it's "synapses" not within cells, which was the idea I was boggling at (what smart little cells we're getting these days, someday soon they may hold a revolution and take over, who's going to be the first against the wall?), but "synapses" as a point-of-contact-or-near-contact where information of some kind passes from one cell to another — here, from a cell that's had contact with the Evil Proteins to the Heroic T-Cell that must activate defenses against the Invaders From Outside &mdash by parallel with how nerve cells send signals over the minute gap between them.

Thank you, James, I'll stop looking cross-eyed at my skin now....

#218 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2006, 01:44 AM:

Okay. Definitions first.

A naïve T-cell or B-cell is one that hasn't been exposed to a pathogen and so doesn't know what shape protein it's looking for.

DCs are Dendritic Cells (that is, root-like).
FDCs are Follicular Dendritic Cells. ("Follicular" means sphere-shaped.)

What's going on here ... you know those little toy things that are filled with tiny pins, where when you press it against a shape you can see that same shape duplicated on its other surface? Something similar is going on here. A B-cell presses up against the antigen and makes a replica of its protein. That B-cell can now go to where other B or T-cells are developing and press up against many to give them a sample of the shape they're looking for, to activate them to find and destroy the protein that it's representing. Think of mass production using a mold, or printing many copies from one master.

A memory cell is a lymphocyte that has been activated for a certain antigen -- and which hangs around in the body waiting for more of that antigen to show up. It's what grants long-term immunity.

They're thinking of using this newly-discovered mechanism to more effectively grant immunity through vaccines, or of disrupting the chain to help prevent or cure auto-immune diseases (such as lupus or type-1 diabetes).

Here, where it says "evolving memory cells in the germinal centers," the word "evolving" means "developing."

#219 ::: Nate ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 10:20 AM:

The fish is not ugly jane. u are a freak

#220 ::: P J Evans sees rudeness ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 10:45 AM:

Probably young, and using an address which doesn't match the name (@ 219).

#221 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 04:41 PM:

P J, I'm wondering if this plus the nonsense by "'poi'p'jlo'" on Open Thread 82 is another round of comment spam by bored, dumb, rude, and completely ignorant youngsters who are about to learn IP addresses can be traced.

#222 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 04:47 PM:

Aconite, I thought that one was the usual cryptic comment spam. But I could easily be wrong (not about the cryptic bit, I don't think, with that name).

#223 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 05:06 PM:

P J, I could be wrong, too, but the e-mail address given for that one was bob (at) hotmail.co.uk. Comment spam usually links to a website if they're after traffic. And this "Nate" gives an address of b.bobschaffer (at) yahoo.com.

#224 ::: PJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 11:23 PM:

Proves nothing!

http://www.internationalreporter.com/news/read.php?id=1107

#225 ::: P J Evans sees something spammish ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 11:35 PM:

or more likely just a driveby.

#226 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 11:37 PM:

This is not the usual PJ (Evans), and the article linked to is ungrammatical ID garbage. Someone found a self-proclaimed "expert" to "debunk" the Darwin fish.

PJ, go do your homework, or you'll never get into the good high school.

#227 ::: Lynne ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 11:55 PM:

Here is another reason, turns out to be another false conclusion like the coelacanth!

"A lobe-finned fish

We are reminded of the history of a lobed-finned fish called the coelacanth considered by evolutionists to be an index fossil that would date sedimentary strata to millions of years (the Devonian, a period in the Paleozoic Era). However, in 1938 a coelacanth was discovered alive off the coast of South Africa. Since then, others have been filmed and coelacanths have recently appeared in the South Pacific. Tiktaalik had lobed fins like the coelacanth and it “would have breathed like a lungfish”, says senior assistant curator Jennifer Clack of Cambridge's University Museum of Zoology (Owen 2006).

Evolutionist Michael Denton states

If the case of the coelacanth illustrates anything, it shows how difficult it is to draw conclusions about the overall biology of organisms from their skeletal remains alone. Because the soft biology of extinct groups can never be known with any certainty then obviously the status of even the most convincing intermediates is bound to be insecure. The coelacanth represents yet another instance where a newly discovered species, which might have provided the elusive evidence of intermediacy so long sought by evolutionary biology, ultimately proved to be only another peripheral twig on the presumed tree of life (Denton 1985).

In his description of this fossil, evolutionist Shubin states the front fins look basically “like a scale-covered arm” with “bones that correspond to a shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm and a primitive version of a wrist” (AP 2006). Shubin is speaking of an unstable macroevolutionary cornerstone called homology. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Zoology defines homology as, “the fundamental similarity of a particular structure in different organisms, which is assumed to be due to descent from a common ancestor" [my emphasis] (Allaby 1992). The word assumed means supposed or taken for granted. The whole theory of homology assumes macroevolution to be a fact.

One should note that the bones in Tiktaalik’s fins have no axial skeleton connections. This is significant because without this direct connection, no true walking could be done by Tiktaalik. Furthermore, the fins of this creature enclose rays, not digits such as toes or fingers. "

http://www.icr.org/article/2962/

#228 ::: Xopher sees another dorky drive-by ID post ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 12:35 AM:

Lynne, this is an old thread. And there's internal evidence that you're just posting this everywhere you can find that discusses this. (My favorite is the "[my emphasis]" after a quote with no emphasis at all. You'll want to watch that next time you go trolling.)

#229 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 12:45 AM:

Ben S----'s new film has got 'em all stirred up.

#230 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 12:54 AM:

Xopher: What that tells me is the original probabaly wasn't hers, and the cut/paste lost the HTML.

But hey, that's just my assumption.

#231 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 06:39 AM:

Lynne and PJ, if either of you are interested, or even return here, I'd like to point you to an earlier post by our Hostess here, and the discussion following: 'Things I believe', from April 2004 (viz, the God of the Burgess Shale©).

Anyone newer 'round here might also benefit from a browse through it too, IMHO it's one of the stand-out parts of the Fluorospherical Canon.

#232 ::: Paul J (not the other one) ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 07:30 AM:

You people make it sound like you found a fish walking upright, look a it's face you can see a reptile, both reptiles and fish go in the water, you don't have fish turning into a deer.

It was Dr. Raj Baldev, that stated "Tiktaalik fish evolved by Crocodiles's cross breeding".

That is micro evolution, that is fact accepted by all, it's a form of The Coelacant. The Earth is very old an a lot of extinct species will be found, I grant you that, eveolutionists jump all over new findings of those that didn't survive. You do the right to believe what you want, a missing link, jumping the gun a bit too much, a cross breed is not result of something changing over time. LOL!

#233 ::: Jon Meltzer sees another driveby creationist ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 08:06 AM:

Paul J: try paying attention in school.

#234 ::: Ginger can't help but laugh at spam ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 08:38 AM:

I had an uncle who looked like a lizard -- just his face, no scales -- therefore I must be related to a missing link!



#235 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 08:55 AM:

A 2 year old thread, and they're ressurecting it using cut and paste arguments they don't understand? Blooming Creationists.

#236 ::: grandpa munster ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 09:11 AM:

It seems they didn't jump to conclusions the way the evolutionist did. Your uncle, I like that, reminds me of the munsters when Herman got caught in the fishing net by the Russian ship and claimed they found the missing link. I found the missing link at KFC, I found a spoon but yet it has sharp points like a fork. Amazing!

#237 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 09:16 AM:

I recently watched David Suchet in Agatha Christie's Murder at the Links.

#238 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 09:18 AM:

Perhaps had he paid attention in his grammar classes, Paul J's post would have made more sense too.

But I doubt it.

I have no problems believing that the creator of our known universe set everything in motion long, long ago, and it's now running along on its own. That includes evolution, dinosaurs, oil, fossils, coelacanths, why Bad Things Happen, etc, etc.

Otherwise, the idea that there's some Omnipotent Being meddling in everyone's lives by making some nice people miserable and bad people happy, and otherwise just doing random terrible things at times, really, really bothers me a LOT.

Which no doubt is the reason why I'm not a devout religious person of any type.

#239 ::: grandpa munster ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 10:42 AM:

They found an old aquatic extinct reptile most likely from a rare crossbreed.

#240 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 10:53 AM:

I guess "it's a rare crossbreed!" is the creatonist equivalent of "a wizard did it!"

#241 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 11:38 AM:

It was Dr. Raj Baldev, that stated "Tiktaalik fish evolved by Crocodiles's cross breeding".

Let's see... Tiktaalik fossil found in 375-million-year-old rocks; earliest crocodile fossils are from the Triassic period, about 200 million years ago...

Oh, my God --

Time-travelling crocodiles!

#242 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 11:42 AM:

They believe in a petty, trivial, and deceitful god. No god deserving of worship would put all those fossils in to fool (oh, excuse me, "test") us.

But the God who conceives of natural laws, with little signposts like the relationship between e, π, and i, and just sets it all off knowing that in a far future age we will come along and use all those hints to figure everything out...the God with the divine courage to just let it unfold according to the laws He formulated at the beginning, and let us live and die according to our choices and our nature...that God, not theirs, deserves worship.

(That's almost what I believe personally, except that I believe in the identity of the divine and the universe.)

#243 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 11:47 AM:

Peter Erwin @ 241... Time-travelling crocodiles!

Or Wally Gator teamed up with Atom Ant to defeat some time-travelling villain and got stranded in the Far Past.

#244 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 12:08 PM:

Peter Erwin @ 241... Time-travelling crocodiles!

Ancient Winslow cultists.

('I could not tell you its size: I was overwhelmed by the mere sense of its blasphemous presence. "Hai hai hai!" the creature cried, and the cultists all moaned in ecstasy. "Hai hai hai!" it called, and my fevered brain could almost make sense of the alien syllables...')

#245 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 12:10 PM:

How about time-travelling alligators?

(OK, admittedly a bit of a stretch.)

#246 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 01:01 PM:

Ah...! The glorious use of authoritative pronouncement, as if the mere aspect of apparent expertise (even when dumbed down to, "rare cross breed" which means this is some sort of mule, and it was rare, but common enough to fossilise? Ok, I'll grant it might be one of those amazing wonders, where the odds all combined so that a really rare creature was fortunate enough to be fossilied but the odds aren't good, and it's not the way the smart money bets) is supposed to overwhelm us.

We, who are either adamantly willing to ignore plain facts, or know a little more than the average joe about the actual mechanisms.

I begin to be more certain it's not about convincing anyone else, but rather to shore up their beliefs by "setting straight" the poor benighted fools who are gulled by the strength of the evidence, and the beautiful simplicity of the means (be it Divine, or mundane).

#247 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 02:00 PM:

Xopher @#242:

the God with the divine courage to just let it unfold according to the laws He formulated at the beginning

I tend to feel that God encompasses time - that the beginning & the end are all one. So the unfolding of life according to the laws of physics is a realtime expression of God's being--God isn't a clockmaker, but is the ensouled universe itself.

"Intelligent Design" makes me totally crazy because it deliberately attacks Science's ability to show the ACTUAL WAY the universe is ACTUALLY DESIGNED, in favor of reverse-engineering stuff to point to a particular type of God figure. To my mind, attempting to understand the workings of the universe is a way of touching the divine, and doing it with a closed mind is akin to sacrilege.

Debbie @#245:

So if you cross a crocodile with an alligator, you get an australopithicene? Makes sense.

*"believe" would be overstating it in my case. I'm mostly an Emersonian transcendentalist, with two scoops of agnostic.

#248 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 02:11 PM:

One of the things which taps into my permanent vein of anger at the universe is the Creationists we have here in the UK. A bunch of them, all known to be YEC's, have adopted ID and tried pushing it into schools a couple of years ago. After lots of people made a fuss the department of education, basically tightened things up so they couldn't. A win for us.

But the Creationists continue to lie and obfuscate in every way possible. If they said "Hey, we think the earth is 6,000 years old, and want you all to worship our god who created it", that would be fine. Annoying, but fine, after all they would be telling the truth. But instead, they have to lie and complain about "darwinism", and misdirect people, to cover the truth up. In fact, one is so insane that he uses the 2Lot argument against evolution, despite being a prof of thermodynamics...

#249 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 02:18 PM:

grandpa munster @236:

You lost me at the spork.

#250 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 02:39 PM:

...with two scoops of agnostic.

Would that make you a diagnostic?

(I think the point is that the spork isn't a common ancestor to the spoon and a fork, but is a "rare crossbreed". In honour of which I give you The Spork of The Gods)

#251 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 02:45 PM:

Neil Willcox @250:

But can I eat spaghetti with it? Flying spaghetti?

#252 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 02:52 PM:

*points out mountains, trees, and midget*

#253 ::: grandpa munster ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 03:05 PM:

those are not gills they are an over lap in it's mouth because the reptile like others unlocked their jaws. There are too many errors in carbon dating. They dated a modern snail at 4 million years and two parts from the same animal at 75,000 years apart. That is an old extinct reptile that went in and out of the water that unlocked it jaws. Aquatic reptile.

#254 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 03:17 PM:

#253

Carbon dating only is good to 14000 years ago. Before that, they use other radioactive-isotope decay series. It's the most accurate form of dating anyone has.

4 million years is not long at all; it's modern in geological terms. The mountains in California, which are very 'young', are about 28 million years old. The tar pits are about 20 thousand years old. The Burgess Shale critters (which are fascinatingly strange) are more than 500 million years old, and they aren't primitive.

#255 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 03:22 PM:

In response to #253:

These are not the droids you seek. Sorry, I mean, these are not the reptiles you seek. You don't need to see their papers..er, fossil records.

Moving along.

[/star wars geekery]

#256 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 03:25 PM:

grandpa munster @253:

They dated a modern snail at 4 million years and two parts from the same animal at 75,000 years apart.

Reliable link, please?

By reliable, I mean nothing where a word search of the page turns up the words "creationist", "creation", "Darwin", "evolutionist", or any such term. In other words, I am not interested in a site that interprets such a dating error—in any direction—but on an original report of such an error so that I can research it and draw my own conclusions.

Because that's what we're doing, right? Looking at the evidence and drawing conclusions?

#257 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 03:33 PM:

P J Evans @ 254... The Burgess Shale critters (which are fascinatingly strange)

Stranger than the Burgess Meredith critters?

Sqwahk!

#258 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 03:51 PM:

I guess "grandpa munster" is a paleontologist directly involved in carbon dating, etc, or he would have come up with some kind of citation, link, proof, etc, to those wild-*ssed claims of his. Right?

#259 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 04:16 PM:

I name my test video servers after Burgess Shale critters. Pikaia. Anomalocaris. Wiwaxia. Opabinia.

I printed up illustrations and posted them in my cube for the edification of my cow orkers

So. Have any creationist tracts turned up that show cavemen fishing for hallucinagenia?

#260 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 04:37 PM:

This won't change the minds of the true believers, but this site debunks Stein's claims and methods:

Expelled Exposed

#261 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 04:44 PM:

Mary Dell 247: My sister! You will love the work I've been doing on what I'm calling Radical Pantheism, which holds the universe and the divine to be one, and scientific endeavor to be an act of worship. Motto: Natura Sola Sufficit.

As to whether the universe is conscious or not, I have this profound answer: who cares? :-)

#262 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 05:33 PM:

Joel Polowin @244 and Debbie @245:

The Winslow!

You know, the alligators in that Fantasia clip look like they belong to a cult of some kind...

#263 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 06:11 PM:

Xopher #261:

Please provide a link or something. I think this is what I've been heading toward.

As to whether the universe is conscious or not, I have this profound answer: who cares? :-)

I'm trying to come up with a situation in which the difference would make a difference. So far, I've failed, but who knows?

#264 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 06:56 PM:

joann 263: Unfortunately I haven't written much of it down yet. It's been my spiritual work for years and years, but it only broke through into my conscious mind a few years ago, and it's still churning around.

Some interesting bits include: context-dependent "belief" structures (for example, history and myth do not conflict, because they're in different modes of consciousness); doubt as a cardinal virtue for the worshipper of the universe (it's really a kind of humility); and conscious, deliberate personification of powerful forces in the appropriate context.

An example of that last: Some years ago, I learned that the center of the Earth is a huge ball of solid iron, that it spins with respect to the rest of the planet, and that this spinning creates the magnetosphere. I learned this in a rational/scientific mode, which is appropriate for doing physics and so on.

However, in a ritual context, the ball of iron became the Hammer of Brigid (Celtic goddess of protection and the forge), the magma became the Forge of Brigid, and the interaction between them creates the Shield of Brigid (the magnetosphere). Because I have a need for religious ritual,* I used these poetic metaphors to bring these scientific facts into my worship life. Uncasting circle, I drop the metaphors, which are no longer appropriate.

Do I "believe in" Brigid, Protectress and Lady of the Forge? In circle, absolutely: she's a person, and I speak to her and perceive that she speaks to me. Outside circle...well, the concept of "believe in" becomes vague. I certainly believe she's a useful metaphor that helps me connect myself on that deeper level with my object of worship, which is the universe itself. The whole thing at once is just too huge and complex to encompass.

I pray to Ra every morning when I come forth from my house. While I'm doing it, I'm speaking to someone I perceive as a person, and thinking of the Sun as a god. Before and after, I think of myself as entering that special consciousness to keep myself in a state of respect not without fondness for the Sun: without respect, I will be more likely to get sunburned; without fondness, I will hide from the light and view those who enjoy it with suspicion (this happened to me years ago; it was the most severe mental hygiene problem I've ever cured with pure magic**).

OK, enough for now. I've really got to start writing this stuff down.

As for the consciousness of the universe...there are contexts in which it's useful to treat it as if it does have consciousness, and contexts in which this is anywhere from less useful to downright counterproductive (doing physics experiments, for example). The most radical thing about my view (so far!) is that I don't buy the notion that consciousness is a criterion for worship-worthiness. Do I believe the Sun thinks? No (not at the moment). Do I believe it's appropriate to worship the source of all life energy on Earth?*** You bet I do, even at my most rational.



*There are those who do not. They won't find this part useful. That's completely fine. I know people who don't like chocolate, too; as long as they don't try to keep me from having it, I won't inflict it on them!

**The magic being the practice of that prayer, which got me over my light phobia in a mere few months. It's never come back, but then I've continued to do the prayer.

***OK, all life energy on the surface of the Earth. The tube worms and such get theirs from the Forge of Brigid! :-)

#265 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 07:42 PM:

It depends on how you read it, but a spirituality "which holds the universe and the divine to be one" might include Taoism. Or taoism might be a starting point, at least.

I think that the best access to spirituality is inner peace, though many pursue spirituality because it gives them inner peace. Once you find your peace with the other aspects of your life, spirituality comes a lot easier.

#266 ::: Paul_J ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 07:49 PM:

1. First of all people say there was no response form the creationists on this matter, simply not true.

2 . This is another Acanthostega

"April 11, 2006

For Darwinian Evolution, It’s One Step Forward, Acknowledging Two Steps Back: Taking A Look at Tiktaalik

I love it when new "missing links" are discovered, because it's then--and only then--that Darwinists admit how precious little evidence had previously existed for the evolutionary transition in question. When reports came out this week of an alleged example of a fossil representative of the stock that might have led from fish to tetrapods -- Tiktaalik roseae -- evolutionists finally came clean about the previous lack of fossil evidence for such a transition:

“The relationship of limbed vertebrates (tetrapods) to lobe-finned fish (sarcopterygians) is well established, but the origin of major tetrapod features has remained obscure for lack of fossils that document the sequence of evolutionary changes.”

(Edward B. Daeschler, Neil H. Shubin, and Farish A. Jenkins, “A Devonian tetrapod-like fish and the evolution of the tetrapod body plan,” Nature Vol 440: 757-763 (April 6, 2006))

Authority Jennifer Clack even admits that before finding Tiktaalik, the large morphological gap between fish and true tetrapods was "frustratingly wide":

"It has long been clear that limbed vertebrates (tetrapods) evolved from osteolepiform lobefinned fishes3, but until recently the morphological gap between the two groups remained frustratingly wide. The gap was bounded at the top by primitive Devonian tetrapods such as Ichthyostega and Acanthostega from Greenland, and at the bottom by Panderichthys, a tetrapod-like predatory fish from the latest Middle Devonian of Latvia (Fig. 1)."

(Jennifer A. Clack & Per Erik Ahlberg, "A firm step from water to land," Nature 440:747-749 (April 6, 2006); emphasis added)

Again Daeschler et al. reiterate the lack of evidence previous fossils provide for a transition, focusing on deficiencies in what was previously considered to be the closest fish to tetrapods (see the diagram below as well):

"Panderichthys possesses relatively few tetrapod synapomorphies, and provides only partial insight into the origin of major features of the skull, limbs and axial skeleton of early tetrapods. In view of the morphological gap between elpistostegalian fish and tetrapods, the phylogenetic framework for the immediate sister group of tetrapods has been incomplete and our understanding of major anatomical transformations at the fish-tetrapod transition has remained limited."

(Edward B. Daeschler, Neil H. Shubin, and Farish A. Jenkins, “A Devonian tetrapod-like fish and the evolution of the tetrapod body plan,” Nature Vol 440: 757-763 (April 6, 2006))

Walk Off The Stage, Acanthostega

The previous darling of the "fish-to-tetrapod" transition-representatives was Acanthostega gunnari--a true tetrapod. Acanthostega has extremely tetrapod-like limbs, feet (with a few extra fingers), and a pelvic girdle. This little guy was a star of the PBS Evolution's episode II: "Great Transformations," where Jenny Clack called it a "fish with fingers" (The only problem is that Acanthostega wasn't a fish--as Daeschler et al. correctly categorize it as a non-fish tetrapod, contrasting "Skull roofs of elpistostegalian fish and the early tetrapod Acanthostega" [Nature 440:759]. Even Clack, quoted above, calls it a "tetrapod" and distinguishes it from fishes, making one wonder what was going on when PBS Evolution showed her calling it a "fish with fingers".)

But only now that we have Tiktaalik will we hear evolutionists boast about the size of the previously large "gap" in this transition, and how Tiktaalik solves all these previously unanswered questions. I'm super skeptical that this new fossil is good evidence that a transition took place: Acanthostega was truly a tetrapod, but Tiktaalik is a fish. As Clack and Ahlberg write, there's still a large gap (and any usefulness a fin had for walking was the result of a lucky pre-adaptation):

"There remains a large morphological gap between them and digits as seen in, for example, Acanthostega: if the digits evolved from these distal bones, the process must have involved considerable developmental repatterning. The implication is that function changed in advance of morphology." (Clack & Ahlberg, Nature 440:748; emphasis added).

I think that Figure 4 from, "The pectoral fin of Tiktaalik roseae and the origin of the tetrapod limb" (by Neil H. Shubin, Edward B. Daeschler, & Farish A. Jenkins Jr, Nature, Vol 440:764-771 (April 6, 2006)) says it all:

(Adapted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: "The pectoral fin of Tiktaalik roseae and the origin of the tetrapod limb" (by Neil H. Shubin, Edward B. Daeschler, & Farish A. Jenkins Jr, Nature, Vol 440:764-771 (April 6, 2006); figure resized to fit the page except for the text; click for the full figure)

This figure, which Nature graciously has granted permission to reprint, reveals the massive difference in the ray-finned fish-fin of Tiktaalik and the true tetrapod limbs of Acanthostega and Tulerpeton. Is evidence of a transition missing? This new fish fossil doesn’t seem to add much--if anything--to bridge the gap between fish fins and tetrapod limbs. In fact, if anything, the fin of Panderichthys appears closer to a true tetrapod limb than does the fin of Tiktaalik. I would assume that documenting how fins turned into feet would be one of the more important aspects of the fish-to-tetrapod evolutionary story.

In conclusion, this is a fascinating fossil which I'm sure will stir up much debate. But the next time we dig up some fossil of a fin-bound fish (possibly with a few tetrapod-ish characteristics), we'll hear again all about the previously existing big gaps and how Tiktaalik didn't really teach us much after all--but how the new fossil solves all the problems. That's how it usually works, and that makes me wonder where we're really left today. Anyone who thinks that we've found the "missing link" or clear evidence of an evolutionary transition has either forgotten history, or isn't looking very carefully at the evidence."

April 6, 2006

Updated: Latest Fossil Find "No Threat" To Theory of Intelligent Design

“This latest fossil find poses no threat to intelligent design.” So says Discovery Institute senior fellow and leading intelligent design theorist Dr. William Dembski, adding:

“Intelligent design does not so much challenge whether evolution occurred but how it occurred. In particular, it questions whether purposeless material processes--as opposed to intelligence--can create biological complexity and diversity.”

The journal Nature is making news by publishing a report today that a group of researchers claim to have uncovered the skeleton of a 375-million-year-old fish in the Canadian Arctic that they believe is a missing link in the evolution of some fishes to becoming land walking vertebrates. The fish has been named Tiktaalik roseae, meaning "large shallow water fish."

Even though this find does not challenge intelligent design, there may be good reasons to be skeptical about it.

These fish are not neccesarily intermediates, explain Discovery Institute scientists I queried about the find. Tiktaalik roseae is one of a set of lobe-finned fishes that include very curious mosaics--these fishes have advanced fully formed characteristics of several different groups. They are not intermediates in the sense that have half-fish/half-tetrapod characteristics. Rather, they have a combination of tetrapod-like features and fish-like features. Paleontologists refer to such organisms as mosaics rather than intermediates.

The anatomical characters of Tiktaalik and similar taxa were "coded" and analyzed by a computer program. Because of the presence of some advanced characters, the analysis placed Tiktaalik next to a group of tetrapod-like fishes. What is clear is that forms like Tiktaalik are a melange of primitive and more developed features. It is not clear whether they are true transitional forms.

According to DI Fellows a number of these fishes—Ichthyostega, Elpistostege, Panderichthys—have been hailed in the past as the “missing link.” Maybe one is a missing link; maybe none are. What remains unexplained is how natural selection and random mutation could produce the many novel physiological characteristics that arise in true tetrapods. "

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/04/

3. Also no one can prove it was not a brief appearance of a new life form created by God that did survive natural selection.

4. You people seem bent on disproving the young earth creationist.

It in no way disproves old Earth creation,

(Fishapod)

"It is not a powerful rebuttal to old earth creationists who are theistic evolutionists...it supports their cause. While it is true that many theistic evolutionists do not hold a literal view, it is possible for theistic evolutionists to hold a literal view. The NY Times fails to distinguish between these different groups of old earth creationists, and instead lumps them all together.

As a whole, I would agree that the NY Times is very anti-Christian, and thus any of their reports that venture into religion should be taken with a grain of salt.

Answers in Genesis makes note that no creationist has yet studied this fossil. They are referring to "young earth" creationists."

http://www.answersincreation.org/rebuttal/aig/daily/2006/20060406_tiktaalik.htm

Or Progressive creation which is "the religious belief that God created new forms of life gradually, over a period of hundreds of millions of years. As a form of Old Earth creationism, it accepts mainstream geological and cosmological estimates for the age of the Earth, but posits that the new "kinds" of plants and animals that have appeared successively over the planet's history represent instances of God directly intervening to create those new types by means outside the realm of science."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_creationism



"It agrees with the former in believing that there was a much longer time frame than six twenty-four hour periods and holds that each new life form was not, necessarily, created out of nothing, or out of previously non-living material. Or at least that the "template" of previously existing life is used again - with adjustments. It agrees with the latter, not only in affirming the verbal inspiration of the Bible, but that God was present at every stage of the creation of life and that every new life form was a deliberate and miraculous act of God."

http://209.85.207.104/search?q=cache:yU2xR0J2EUwJ:www.godandscience.org/youngearth/progressive.html+progressive+creation&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

So God could have used the "template" of an older model for a new one or mixed different "templates".

5. The Earth is old, but carbon dating is OFTEN inaccurate, the snail example is right, but it was not dated at 4 million years. It was 27,000. See other examples

http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/carbondating.html

So that does not disprove Dr. Raj Baldev's, concept that "Tiktaalik fish evolved by Crocodiles's cross breeding".

In the end, this proves nothing against creation, or dogmatically proves any missing link.

So this proves that this does not contradict views of creation. Actually young Earth creationists are correct in viewing 24 hour 6 day periods, they were. The answer is in Einstein's Law of Relativity, it says God is light, so therefore worked at that speed. If he were to work at that speed creating the universe in 6 days of our time, (say our wrist watch on him in the cosmos) 15 billion years would have went by on Earth. For more info on that see this.

http://www.geraldschroeder.com/age.html



#267 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 09:11 PM:

Wow, that's an awful lot of words to not actually say anything meaningful.

#268 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 09:11 PM:

I love watching the Creationists try to argue.

#269 ::: Paul_J ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 09:34 PM:

Good comebacks ... hummmmm! ??? Charlie teach you that? What, not used of a creationist NOT trying to justify a 6000 year Earth, or that God can use an old or 2 different templates to make something go in and out of the water. Throw you off a little?

The lug nuts of a Chevy will Fit on a Pontiac. Why? Because of a common template (blueprint) from the same designer, GM.

Oh you believe it can happen, that the two can be related, your ingredient is "TIME" mine is the same creator using common templates. They are both religions guys, only one is tax funded.

I'll take a bow! Exit stage left Good comebacks ... hummmmm! ??? Charlie teach you that? What, not used of a creationist NOT trying to justify a 6000 year Earth, or that God can use an old or 2 different templates to make something go in and out of the water. Throw you off a little?

The lug nuts of a Chevy will Fit on a Pontiac. Why? Because of a common template (blueprint) from the same designer, GM.

Oh you believe it can happen, that the two can be related, your ingredient is "TIME" mine is the same creator using common templates. They are both religions guys, only one is tax funded.

I'll take a bow! Exit stage left

http://www.geraldschroeder.com/age.html

Einstein's Law of Relativity!

I'll pray for you all!

God bless guys.





#270 ::: Paul_J ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 09:39 PM:

Sorry about the double post in my last one, it's a mystery, really don't know how it happened, it radomly copied itself.

#271 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 09:43 PM:

The answer is in Einstein's Law of Relativity, it says God is light

Which "Law of Relativity" is that, exactly?

#272 ::: Paul_J ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 09:50 PM:

You're right, I'm sorry, I stand corrected in my phrasing. I said it wrong, meant to say the bible says God is light, and related that to Einstein's Law of Relativity. Going by traveling at the speed of light.

#273 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 09:51 PM:

Paul_J, you are specifically forbidden to pray for me. I won't have a man who refuses to use his brain attempting to work magic on me, even if he thinks it's for "my own good".

#274 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 09:55 PM:

So, the "scientific" creationists are arguing that all the species have similarities because God built them that way? That the progression we see over hundreds of millions of years from single celled to simple multi-cell to simple organisms to complex organisms is because... God wanted his creation to be indistinguishable from a progression of natural evolution?

And that proves God created life?

Isn't that like arguing for the existence of "rain gods" because they use moisture evaporating from lakes and oceans combined with warm fronts and cold fronts to make it rain, and it just happens to look like a natural process, but it's really the Rain Gods in action?

#275 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 10:09 PM:

Ah yes, the Watchmaker Argument (I'm surprised the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics misunderstanding hasn't been attempted yet).

Paul J. Who is this Charlie? Because if you're being dismissive of Darwin in that manner, I can ask if it was Pops, the Kid, or the Spook who taught you to be as dismissive as you are inneffective.

As to the issue of religion being tax funded... science isn't religion. I know you don't agree, but since one of the consistent factors of religion is that it is based on tenets which can't be tested (I would say falsified, but so far I haven't seen that you understand the concept, and I don't want to confuse any more than I have to).

Since evolution can be tested, it is, QED, not religion.

As to the tax money supported, churches are supported by tax dollars. They are exempt from taxation, which means they get a subsidy, in that they aren't forced to give over any of their income. This subsidy is further supported by the gov't making donations to religious insitutions a tax deduction, thus encouraging people to give to them.

If it makes you feel better, I pray for you as well, because it strikes me a waste of the talent given by God to use it in the defense of tripe like Creationism, and I recall a parable about not using one's talents.

I don't see the point you are trying to make with the chevy/pontiac claim, because homolgues aren't the same. I can't take my fingers and use them to fly. That a bat can is because they bent one tool to another purpose.

A designer wouldn't use so clumsy a method, such a being would say, "I want this thing to fly, what's the best way to do it," rather than just strech some fingers, shrink some scapulae and then call it a day.

Lug nuts on one car do the same thing, homologues often don't.

#276 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 10:12 PM:

Like Carrie, I forbid any praying for me. I don't want anyone praying for me, period, and particularly not this Paul J character.

#277 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 10:20 PM:

Joel@271: Which "Law of Relativity" is that, exactly?

The one they used to base the theory of gravity off of.

#278 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 10:22 PM:

Paul J, UNlike Carrie and ethan I don't expect you have sufficient ethics to refrain from praying for someone who doesn't want you to. If you pray for me to convert (or anything along those lines), may it turn on you and change YOUR heart instead, and may you turn from long-held beliefs as you've tried to get me to turn.

And by the way, Paulie, it's called Einstein's THEORY of Relativity. It's called that because it's well established, its principles have been demonstrated by experiment, and it's the accepted model (mod some quanta of little quirks). That's what a theory is.

#279 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 10:25 PM:

ethan, the sad part is that it'll probably cause him to chuckle indulgently and resolve to pray for us even more, since we obviously don't know what's good for us. You can't expect his kind* to have any ethics about their magic; they've been taught poorly.

But having said that he's not allowed to do it leads me to hope it'll therefore backfire, or at least bounce off me.

*: By which I mean "Christians willing to show up on a forum that obviously thinks creationism is bunk and make asses of themselves defending it."

#280 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 10:30 PM:

Carrie@279: or at least bounce off me.

Don't worry. I activated the shields just before I posted #274. I've modulated the frequencies so that it will extend to anyone reading this thread.

#281 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 10:43 PM:

Greg, I know you probably didn't mean to belittle the Pagans here by that remark, but only because I know you. On the face of it it's a pretty insulting comment.

#282 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 10:56 PM:

I don't know if there's a god; I have no faith in the matter, either way.

But it's a lot more plausible to me that there might be a god, who is not constrained by our present limited understanding of 4-dimensional space/time, than that a literal reading of the Bible could be made consistent with observed data and our current understanding of 4-D space/time. The former proposition is merely untestable. The latter is... my god, it's full of holes.

That website which tries to use relativity to justify a literal 6-day Creation..? Hopeless. The guy manages to hammer one set of numbers to scale to 6 days, but that warps everything else grotesquely out of shape.

#283 ::: Paul_J ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 06:49 AM:

Sorry, you can't forbid me to pray for you, I have too much love in my heart, I once too a non believer once. Just to address a few of the responses.

#274 ::: Greg London states

"That the progression we see over hundreds of millions of years from single celled to simple multi-cell to simple organisms to complex organisms is because... God wanted his creation to be indistinguishable from a progression of natural evolution?

And that proves God created life?"

You do not see a progression of hundreds of millions of years from single celled to simple multi-cell. That is not demonstrated and proven in science, you see a lot of similarities in life because of a common designer, we all have 2 eyes etc. If you're referring to it raining on the rocks after the Earth cooled and we came from a single cell, sorry, that is a theory.



#275 ::: Terry Karney stated

"Since evolution can be tested"

True, but not even early age creationists dispute micro evolution, that is tested and demonstrative. You can have a change within one kind, a salt water fish becoming a fresh water fish, even a rare crossbreed that did not did not make survival of the fittest. Or an animal created by the creator from 2 pre existing templates he used before. We do not believe you can find macro evolution, it is not demonstrating science facts, it is a theory (find a monkey with fins not an aguatic reptile as stated above) that you do not have conclusive evidence of.

The Pontiac example is simple, General motors is the designer that designed both Chevy and Pontiac. So a lot of the parts will fit on each other, look the same, the lug nuts, the air vents ETC. Now we know here, that one car didn't evolve from the other by millions of years, there are many common similarities because of the same designer. Same here with creation, you look at similarities and say, that evolved on it's own, we say like that car, they are similar because they came from the same creator. Not hard for me to understand.

To the comment,

"And that proves God created life?"



No it does not, I do have some evidences but you would call them a coincidence. Also, it was not meant to be proven, because the bible says, "you shall find me when you shall search for me with all of your heart, there you shall find me". He didn't say you'll find me when I prove it to you, if he were to do that no one would search for him. When they asked him to get off the cross, he didn't did he? If the apostles were making up a story, it would have sounded better if he got off the cross, but again, God doesn't prove himself like that.



What happened is you had some scientific theories that belonged in the science books, remember theories are not proven. Macro evolution got mixed in science but it has nothing to do with it. You can see in a boxing match "budwieser" on the canvas floor, but does it have to do with boxing? Give some of those boxers some bud before the fight and see what they look like during the match. I looked at both sides for a long time. If it makes you feel better to criticize me, go ahead, if you feel that proves macro evolution, do it more. Doesn't make it angry, I have to much love in my heart for that.

Respect one anothers beliefs.

#284 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 07:04 AM:

Paul_J #283 wrote: "If you're referring to it raining on the rocks after the Earth cooled and we came from a single cell, sorry, that is a theory."

That's not a theory, that's you being illiterate.

#285 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 07:06 AM:

Joel @244, Peter @262 Not sure if it's my age or the cult[ure] I was brought up in, but the irresistible reference that comes up hearing/reading the word 'Winslow' is The Winslow Boy.

Lizzy L @64, Xopher @242, etc, Mary Dell, Joel et al, what you describe sounds somewhat like the rather vague and unformed understanding I may have.

My mortality has been very sharply brought to my attention in recent times, but rather than re-work this 'universal understanding' that I'm fairly happy about, I'm more trying to leave something tangible of my work and thought behind, since I have so few family & friends, and no descendants; maybe some betterment of the world. Also to fix up some of the horrible mess the deaths of my parents and partner left behind, so that I won't be the curse of someone trying to clean up after me, and to enjoy the times of wonder or joy or contentment that come.

#286 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 07:17 AM:

I confess to being very amused by the argumentum ad Pontiac. I've noticed that my half-pony half-monkey monsters* never seem to live long before succumbing to tissue rejection. Proof that ponies and monkeys are the products of different designers?



*I made them to please you.

#287 ::: Paul J ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 07:37 AM:

To #284 ::: Fragano Ledgister see

http://www.evolution-facts.org/Evolution-handbook/E-H-3a.htm

The Earth was not in a molten state, see above, it is not fact. It is not proven either way, it's a debate.

Also, one of your famous evolution heros became a creationist, if you think you're going to teach something he didn't believe in, think again.

I'll provide the link later.

A little video for you!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=3MJeanAe9GQ&feature=related

#288 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 07:52 AM:

Paul J #287: Both the English language and the scientific method are impenetrable mysteries to you, it seems.

#289 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 08:00 AM:

At the risk of being thought of as a meddling Organian, I'd humbly suggest that to debate such persons is a pointless use of one's time, and a drain upon one's soul. But YMMV.

#290 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 08:20 AM:

Xopher @#264:

Yes, you really need to write this stuff down. Very cool stuff, and very similar to my way of approaching faith, but I'm nowhere near as articulate about it as you are. I rely on a number of spiritual practices that have nothing to do with my thinkery bits, but they work, therefore are true, as far as my feelery bits are concerned (see? not articulate). Tarot being a leading example.

My ideas about the universe as a soul are pretty much based on 19th century American transcendentalism, plus that Hawking book everybody read 20 years ago and some other popular science stuff. In the unlikely event you haven't read Emerson, I recommend his essays Circles, The Oversoul, and my personal bible, Self Reliance. (They're all over on www.bartleby.com)

#291 ::: grandpa munster ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 08:33 AM:

Go paul j!!!!!

#292 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 09:02 AM:

Paul J:

Sorry, you can't forbid me to pray for you, I have too much love in my heart, I once too a non believer once.

[...]

Respect one anothers beliefs.

I don't suppose you can grasp the contradiction there?

I do pity you, following sheep-like those who, in their hearts, serve the Father of Lies -- as you would put it. But I wish that you would stop copying their lies here.

#293 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 09:16 AM:

(From Hot Fuzz)

[Nick is being introduced to the NWA for the first time and expresses his religious convictions to Reverend Shooter]

Reverend Philip Shooter: Oh, you're an agnostic, then?

Dr. Robin Hatcher: [calling out] I think I've got a cream for that!

#294 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 09:17 AM:

Xopher, mark me down as interested in seeing a completely worked-out description of that philosophy too. I confess that I've always been a bit scornful of organised religion generally, including paganism, except inasmuch as it leads to good music (Bach, etc), though I hope I've managed to keep a lid on it around here. But 264 sounds really rather intriguing.

It reminds me, incidentally, of Enoch Root's philosophy in Cryptonomicon; yes, he says, he worships Athena, but

"So the Athena that you honor on your medallion isn't a supernatural being--"

"--who lives on a mountain in Greece, et cetera, but rather whatever entity, pattern, trend, or what-have-you that, when perceived by ancient Greek people, and filtered through their perceptual machinery and their pagan worldview, produced the internal mental representation that they dubbed Athena. The distinction being quite important because Athena the-supernatural-chick-with-the-helmet is of course nonexistent, but 'Athena' the external-generator-of-the-internal-representation-dubbed-Athena-by-the-ancient-Greeks musthave existed back then, or else the internal representation never would have been generated, and if she existed back then, the chances are excellent that she exists now, and if all that is the case, then whatever ideas the ancient Greeks (who, though utter shitheads in many ways, were terrifyingly intelligent people) had about her are probably still quite valid."

(Makes more sense in context.)

#295 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 09:43 AM:

"And that proves God created life?"

Paul@283: No it does not, I do have some evidences but you would call them a coincidence. Also, it was not meant to be proven, because the bible says

Ah, so, you're not out to prove anything scientifically, you're out to tear down science so that your god of the gaps has a place to live. If science were to prove evolution, then you'd worry that there would be no need for your God.

Meteorologists have perfectly good scientific explanations of why it rains. You're not doing anything other than say "well, it really is God who makes it rain". If you want to thank God for the rain, that's your business. If you want to tell meteorologists how to do their job, then you've got nothing to stand on.

it was not meant to be proven, because the bible says

If you had half a grasp of what you just said there, you'd realize what you're doing has nothing at all to do with science. You are arguing for doubt because the particular version of God you worship is a god of the gaps, a god you've placed in the unknown. A god you've assigned as the cause of something, and you don't want science to take that away from your god.

it was not meant to be proven, because the bible says

Exactly. Which means you aren't going to listen to anything anyone else here says. You've decided what the bible says, and that's the truth. Everyone else is wrong. And those who try to cast a little light in the dark places of nature where you've made your god the cause of some mystery, you attack those people. Because as far as you're concerned, they are attacking your God.

it was not meant to be proven, because the bible says

Here's a question for you: How many chemistry classes have you taken? Biology? Physics? Thermodynamics? How much time have you spent studying science? No, not studying what some creationist says about science, but actual science, in an engineering university, in a lab, in the field, doing something scientific? Ever get paid to do science?

In contrast, how much time and energy have you spent studying and defending the bible?

it was not meant to be proven, because the bible says

#296 ::: grandpa munster ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 10:19 AM:

What is wrong Greg Paul j got you worked up? He never said it does not rain. God of Gaps in your view. He seems to be talking about rain in regard to raining on the rocks to start life The bible wasn't meant to be a science book.

Go Paul j!!!!!!

#297 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 10:32 AM:

grandpa munster, et al

The bible wasn't meant to be a science book.

Good thing, too. It'd make a lousy one. Look, I am sonewhat of a professional expert on the theory of evolution; if you study the field of artificial intelligence as I have as part of my education in computer science, you have to learn about it in some detail. Everything that's been said against evolution in support of creationism in this thread so far has been from a standpoint of complete ignorance of evolution. You are arguing against a dummy you've set up yourself, not against anything real. Go back and learn something about the subject you're trying to debate; you might make less of a fool of yourself.

#298 ::: grandpa munster ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 10:58 AM:

Notice they always resort to insults when they get faced with the facts that both sides can' t be proven What ever system you describe could have been created by God. I don't believe God created me with his own hand but I believe he created life and reproduction is one of the natural forces that God invented and sent out in the universe.

#299 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 11:14 AM:

grandpa munster - So, you're fine with the Flying Spaghetti Monster getting equal time with Creationism in schools and churches? Because that can't be proven either, and (by your argument) is therefore just as valid.

#300 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 11:17 AM:

grandpa munster, Paul J:

I don't know about you all, but I don't want any church with a god who routinely lies to people. Especially when that church claims it's literal truth. The contradiction should be giving you headaches.

#301 ::: grandpa munster ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 11:50 AM:

I agree with you on that one, I don't go to church. I look at God. I will not let the churches mistakes reflect on God. You have a right to believe in what you want to without

me disrepecting you and calling you

names.

#302 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 01:04 PM:

Paul_J 283: Sorry, you can't forbid me to pray for you, I have too much love in my heart

Then, since you call upon us to "respect each other's beliefs," do I have your permission to do magic on you? Nothing baneful, just aimed at getting you to abandon Christianity and turn to the blood-worship of Setesh, starting with your own blood. That OK with you? Because, see, I have love in my heart too, and I want you to have a religion that suits your soul.

Didn't somebody once say "Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you"? Hillel, that's right, and Jesus adapted it into a positive form. Do you think you're exempt from that rule because we're not Christians? Do you know that Jesus never met a Christian in his life? Do you think you owe us less courtesy and consideration than Jesus gave to the Samaritan woman at the well?

If your answers to those questions are Yes, No, and Yes, then you're a lousy Christian and you'd be much better off praying for yourself, to become a better one. There's a beam in your eye, lad, and it's not a beam of light. Stop trying to pray the motes out of ours.

You threatening to pray for us is no less offensive to us than my "offer" to do magic to turn you to the worship of Setesh is to you. Even if you don't think it will work (and I don't think your prayers will have any actual effect on me), it's damned rude. If you want to have any sort of ongoing interaction here, you should refrain from doing that, and say so.

Mary 290: Thanks...I intend to work on this, but I'm famous for unfinished projects. In Wicca (after Starhawk) we call the thinkery bits Talking Self, the feelery bits Younger Self, and the divine part Deep Self. I think these are all one, of course, but it's sometimes useful to think of them separately.

Joel 292: You're probably right, he probably can't. I probably wasted pixels up above.

ajay 294: I need to work it out more, but thank you. One of my explicit goals for this...whatever it becomes, book, article, whatever...is to let highly rational people with scientific minds see that they don't have to abandon reason and science to have a spiritual or even religious life (as the poor unfortunates in this thread have done), and to give concrete methods for how this can be achieved.

Anyone in the Pagan community would probably choke at the thought of Paganism being an "organized" religion!

While I agree with a lot of the passage you quote, I think Stephenson was making fun of NeoPagans there, and indeed for the last third or so of that book. Making fun of us, that is, except when explicitly attacking us. I hope I never meet him; I doubt I could be civil.

grandpa 296: It wasn't meant to be a history book either! Those stories are NOT ABOUT THE PHYSICAL ORIGIN OF THE WORLD. Sigh. Might as well shout down a well, with or without a Samaritan woman standing by.

________ 301: Maybe you should go to church a little, so you can learn a little more about your own religion, because you seem to be rather ignorant about IT as well. And the story about the Serpent and apple and Tree of Life? Read that one, and you'll see that YHVH explicitly and deliberately lies to Adam, while the Serpent tells the absolute truth at all times.

#303 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 01:34 PM:

Sorry, you can't forbid me to pray for you...

Yes, actually, I can and have done so. Whether or not you abide by the stricture is your problem. I'm not surprised to see you being so rude and unethical as to ignore me, because, like I said, you Christians generally aren't taught good ethics about your magic, but I specifically can tell you that you're not allowed to work magic on my behalf.

Tell ya what, though: I'll take a page from Xopher and say that you're allowed to pray for me if I'm allowed to pray for you. That sound good to you?

What is wrong Greg Paul j got you worked up?

Greg strongly dislikes stupidity and willful obtuseness, yes. (Greg, if this is not an accurate description of your feelings, please feel free to correct me.)

#304 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 01:42 PM:

Just to clarify, I was being sarcastic, and I have no intention of trying to convert Paul_J or anyone else to the blood-worship of Setesh, even if he said "sure, do your worst" (which isn't exactly permission, if you think about it). I was trying to give an example he'd likely find as distasteful as I find the idea of his praying for me. Should he do so, I will rely on my mirror shield and the Threefold Law to see him get his.

#305 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 01:56 PM:

Oh, I figured you were, Xopher, but I'm not. Paul can pray for me all he likes if he gives me permission to pray for him in return.

#306 ::: grandpa munster ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 02:47 PM:

Tell me about Setesh. I'm not being cocky, honest. Was he here at one time or always in the spirit world. Again, not disrespecting anyones religion, just asking. I like to hear different view points.

#307 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 02:52 PM:

grandpa: What has us, "worked up" is that Paul J. is pretending to argue in good faith (which can be wrong, and still not be mock-worthy) but isn't actually.

He admits he doesn't care what the truth of the matter is, because he has, "Truth" on his side, and "the bible says" is all he needs.

So it doesn't matter what God may have done (if we accept the existence of same) because what some men wrote down is.

So, since the bible says, which is it?

Shall the law not pass, not one jot, nor one tittle, as Jesus says (which means that one must keep kosher, no lobster, no ham sandwiches. Beef Stroganoff is suspect, how one interprets a cheese sandwich is debateble), because in Leviticus it says,

And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

Pretty straighforward. Jesus (You know, the incarnate aspect of your God) says, The Law is The Law. No shades of gray in that.

Paul, however (a mere man) goes without food for a numbe of days and has a vision where God tells him to eat anything he likes, because nothing God has made is unclean.

So who is it, God (in the form of Jesus) or the fasting Peter, who gets to make the rules?

How, I wonder do you think Mankind was made? Was it Adam first, and then Eve; because Adam was lonely (the common belief), as in Genesis 2:7-8

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Which is followed with the following from Genesis 2:18-23

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Or were they made together, at the same time, as it says in Genesis 1:27-20So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.



And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

The Bible has two tales of the same event (the making of the first two people, and the naming of all things in the garden). In the first they are made together, and together they name the beasts and plants.

In the second they are made separate, and Adam does all the work.

Which is it? The Bible says both, how do you choose?

My God is full of patience. He doesn't need to engage in trivial feats such as making everything at once. He can set things in motion, and wait to see what happens (He may even know all that is to happen, and so why bother being rushed; it will all come out as it will). He was able to set a thing in motion, and leave it for His creation to figure out.

That makes a grand, and glorius thing of the divine.

Your God, with His caprice, and His teasing inclusions of falsities; so as to lead us, His Beloved Creation, to error; this "God of the Gaps" is a miserable and stunted creature, not worthy of the respect you say He demands.

Small minded, and petty is your God. Well you may keep Him (and I wish you joy in your worship), but don't presume that allows you to destroy the teaching of what actually is, with your perverse understanding of what, "ought to be" because, "the bible says".

Esp. because the Bible says a lot of things you don't believe.

#308 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 03:43 PM:

grandpa 306: Tell me about Setesh...Was he here at one time or always in the spirit world?

It's hard to be sure. If the events described in the Ancient Egyptian stories happened in our world, they happened before the Indo-Europeans left central Europe (most likely before Abraham left Mesopotamia), so there's a lot of time there for distortions to creep in.

Setesh (sometimes called Set) was a god who killed his brother Osiris, who at the time was king (Pharaoh, but that's a later term). Setesh wanted to be king, you see, so he also wanted to kill Osiris's son Horus. So Osiris' wife Isis put Horus in a basket and hid it in the bulrushes*, and Setesh was foiled.

Isis then cast a spell which resurrected Osiris. Setesh killed him again, and this time dismembered him and scattered his body parts along the Nile. Isis attempted to resurrect him again, but one part of him (his phallus) was missing, so the spell did not work, and Osiris became King of the Dead.

Setesh did not get to be king though. The gods chose Ra (or Amon-Ra or Re-Herekhte) to be their king, and Setesh was punished, but not executed, because they decided that it was his fate to be as he was, partly because it was Osiris' destiny to be King of the Dead and Ra's to be Pharaoh.

What the story is really about: It explains why the body of a dead person must be kept intact** (an Egyptian belief and custom that persisted for thousands of years), and why the desert (the Red Lands, where Setesh was banished) is such a deadly place. I use it as a teaching story to say that a full life is not possible without sexuality.

*Yes, that's where the Hebrews, much later, got that part of the story...it's intended to show that Moses is a special person.

**Except for the brain, which they regarded as useless and uncermoniously discarded.

#309 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 03:50 PM:

I am amused to see grandpa munster and Paul J proving out Teresa's maxim about how two trolls tend to egg each other on to further exertions that a single one would manage on his own.

The dynamics are really quite transparent, too. Note grandpa munster's switch between referring to the rest of the commenters as "they" in comments like 298 and his earnest protest that he doesn't disrespect said commenters in 301. The over-solicitousness of praying for people who don't want to be prayed for is a nice touch, though; rudeness through kindness.

Of course, the point is not to convince us, since that would require our visitors to read what we say and engage with it. The point is to be able to shake their heads sadly that we don't grasp the "truth", and retreat to treasure the feeling of having tried to improve the world.

Bah, I say, and humbug besides. Feed the poor, comfort the afflicted, make peace where there is war. Adore the Lord* and all his* works. Overcome a weakness in yourself. Practice forgiveness and thankfulness. These are real improvements to the world and to the soul. Posting walls of text on two year old threads, not so much.

-----

* If you possess and are possessed by Him, or Her, or Them. Otherwise delete as appropriate.

#310 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 04:00 PM:

Grandpa Munster and Paul J,

Imagine a day--a fine Saturday, warm, good for the spring-cleaning you need to catch up on--where you start getting door-to-door salespeople. One for meat sales, one for magazines, two for a religion.

You might chat for a moment or a minute, at least with the ones you know aren't suspicious*, glad for the distraction from the dusty garage. Perhaps you'll have a little debate about religion.

But then it keeps on happening, another and another ring at the door. (or if not at the door, ringing on the phone, life before the dnc list).

By the 25th salesperson I'll bet you don't chat- instead you're curt. They don't understand--they've got something wonderful to tell you, so why are you rude? They don't know you've heard it before.

Creationists are that 25th salesperson ringing.

You (plural, old earth creationists and young earth together) don't know how old your arguments are, or how many times we've seen them. Even after they've been refuted, and the refutations put into books, and those books into online FAQs and then back into books again.

You don't know that sometimes you're using arguments that even a creationist group like Answers in Genesis has asked creationists to stop using.

You don't know that we've seen creationist spokespersons make these arguments at debates, get direct refutations and be given the research, and then go on to the next town--the next scheduled debate--and make the same argument.

You don't know that those quotes you use, of so many scientists secretly admitting how wrong some aspect of evolution is, have all been taken out of context, ellipses and cuts making the text say the exact opposite of what the scientist did say. There's a whole Quote-mining Project detailing these out-of-context quotes, who used them that way, and what the full quote is.

You don't know how many of your claims can be directly examined online, so that when you claim that a Tasmanian Wolf is just like a North American Wolf, people can go see that no, the TW is just a slightly tweaked kangaroo. When you claim that a man is more like a plant than a mouse, well, you can now go and get the entire genomes of man, mice, monkeys and rice and do the comparisons yourself.

You don't know that when you claim carbon-dating said some ancient item was fresh, or fresh item ancient, we can look it up to see how radioactive carbon is used, or if Carbon would ever give a date in the millions of years. We can then go on to all the others-- Uranium, Argon, Potassium, Iodine, Lead, Rhenium, Samarium and more-- and see how they are used, and see how they can measure age in the earth, and how this works regardless of the existance of fossils.

You don't know that when you say there's no evidence for macroevolution and that all we have to rely on are fossils, that we also have evidence from anatomy, physiology, developmental biology, biogeography, molecular biology... we have evolution written into our genes, and all of these disparate sciences support common descent.

You don't know that we don't just have shared functions with other creatures, but shared disfunctions. Our pseudogenes and endogenous retroviruses show our ancestors and cousins, and that's all we have, cousins. There's never been a stranger on this earth: we're all related.

You don't know how we've seen speciation now and in the past, and that these transitional species will always themselves be just another species, and all their parts will be functional. always. We are all of us transitional, every living being. You don't know that if we found what you sometimes demand--a creature transitioning like The Thing, half-melted between forms--that would disprove evolution.

And you don't know how much worse this wonderful excess of data is going to get. In 8 years (at most) sequencing a genome is going to cost $1000, and then soon $100. A preschooler today is going to be able to sequence an entire genus of organisms for the cost of a few textbooks when she's in college.

And if you do know these things, well, do you know how lying for Jesus hurts your cause and your children? Do you know what happens if you tell kids theistic evolution is incompatible with their faith, and then let them study science? Do you recall, again, how they can today download the genomes of humans and chimps and at least one monkey, and soon enough every primate that there is? Do you know you'll have to forbid them all of biology, all of medicine and biotechnology, as fields of study, to keep this secret from them?

And do you know how many URLs I could have had linking to each of my claims above? Only 7, given the setup here on Making Light, which wouldn't have covered me past the first 2 "You don't know" paragraphs. The rest is left as an exercise to the reader.

-----------------

* in my town there's been problems with magazine salespeople lying--they're not in school, they are being exploited.

#311 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 04:07 PM:

And, Abi or Xopher, I do now this is an olde threade read by 10 people. I'll be using this textwall later, and have saved myself from a lost weekend of word-by-word links (like the particles can have).

#312 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 04:45 PM:

Xopher, I'd be interested in an exposition of that philosophy too. I've always* believed that the relationship between the inner world of consciousness and memory and the outer world of physical events and actions was the basic stuff of both philosophy and religion (if the two are really all that different), and I have yet to see any really persuasive explanation of how that works. The materialist description is nice, but clearly incomplete; the dualist spiritual explanations are not only incomplete, but highly unpersuasive. And the homunculus got bored and took the day off.

* Well, at least since the age of 13 or 14.

#313 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 05:50 PM:

abi: Bah, I say, and humbug besides. Feed the poor, comfort the afflicted, make peace where there is war. Adore the Lord* and all his* works. Overcome a weakness in yourself. Practice forgiveness and thankfulness. These are real improvements to the world and to the soul. Posting walls of text on two year old threads, not so much

Forget the palm, you've borne away the entire tree. Francis of Assisi didn't say it any better.

#314 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 10:12 PM:

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/007399.html#263484

grandpa: What is wrong Greg Paul j got you worked up?

You haven't seen so much as a hint of me being "worked up" by the likes of you. Your "arguments" and Paul's "arguments" aren't work-up-able. What you are sensing from me is the overwhelming feeling of tediousness in dealing with the umpteenth "science expert" who comes in and says how we've got it all wrong, but is obvious to folks that you wouldn't know an exothermic reaction if it lit a fire under your arse.

You're talking to people here who've worked as engineers for decades. You're talking to programmers. Chemists. Physicists. Biologists. People who've spent years training at universities and then more years using that training to build things, design things, fix things, cure things.

You don't know science. Your posts make that abundantly clear. And I have zero tolerance for someone who doesn't know the difference between mean and median telling me how to do my job.

grandpa: What ever system you describe could have been created by God.

OK. So, the system evolutionists describe is a system by which natural processes of thermodynamics, chemistry, biology, electricity, physics, also known as evolution, is the cause for life on Earth.

if you want to claim that God created the natural laws by which we understand thermodynamics, chemistry, biology, electricity, physics, and so on, to operate, that's fine.

Scientists don't go into the metaphysics of why the laws are the way they are. Science doesn't say God does or does not exist. Science simply says we don't need to understand God to understand why it rains or doesn't rain, because we can observe what causes rain.

We don't need to understand God to understand how life evolved on earth. Understanding how life evolved on Earth has nothing to do with proving or disproving the existance of God.

If you want to give God credit for creating the laws that govern the natural process, by all means, go for it.

#315 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 02:13 AM:

Ooo, check out the evolution tee shirt!

http://www.bustedtees.com/vivalaevolucion

#316 ::: paul_j ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 06:25 AM:

I'm going to try to post this again, could have too many URLS.

To #310 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale you stated

"Do you recall, again, how they can today download the genomes of humans and chimps and at least one monkey, and soon enough every primate that there is? Do you know you'll have to forbid them all of biology, all of medicine and biotechnology, as fields of study, to keep this secret from them? "

Yea that's nice???? That is great science, why would one keep such valuable information from anyone? That doesn't contradict the bible. Most of the science is good science, I love science, but we feel some theories that were mentioned as theories, little by little became taught as fact.

Keep in mind post #297 ::: Bruce Cohen

"I am sonewhat of a professional expert on the theory of evolution"

theory, keep that in mind,"theory" all I'm saying

To #310 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale you stated

"Our pseudogenes and endogenous retroviruses show our ancestors and cousins, and that's all we have, cousins. There's never been a stranger on this earth: we're all related."

"physiology, developmental biology, biogeography, molecular biology... we have evolution written into our genes, and all of these disparate sciences support common descent."

Not proven. Such similarities show a common designer and he used common traits with common templaes, & we are well aware of certain types of evolution. See some of the creation evolution debates and how the evolutionists admitted in the debate there was no real proof.

video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7643068472809350444&q=kent+hovind+3++verses+1&ei=F7sPSP6NEp6KqQKHuoCeBA

Keep in mind I am not an early age creationist like the professor in this debate, so all the arguments about the dinosaurs & the age of the Earth are not relavant to me.

Do you really think you believe in something that Antony Flew didn't believe in or teach? Here is a newsflash for some, the man who wrote books against creation for many years admits he was wrong.

and I say this to #314 ::: Greg London

"You're talking to people here who've worked as engineers for decades. You're talking to programmers. Chemists. Physicists. Biologists. People who've spent years training at universities and then more years using that training to build things, design things, fix things, cure things.

You don't know science. Your posts make that abundantly clear. And I have zero tolerance for someone who doesn't know the difference between mean and median telling me how to do my job."

"Famous Atheist Now Believes in God

One of World's Leading Atheists Now Believes in God, More or Less, Based on Scientific Evidence"

sciencefindsgod.com/famous-atheist-now-believes-in-god.htm

THESE PEOPLE ARE A LOT SMARTER THAN YOU!

For as many times you heard arguments from this side, we heard them from yours, you can go on & on with both sides saying they heard it all..... SUCH AS the dems or the republicans, and you know something they have, doesn't settle their argument.

Your comments about the age of the Earth is not relevant to me, I'm not a YEC.

To the post who said they like watching creationists argue, watch this video.

video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1530991418786520310&q=hovind+debate&ei=lFUKSK3EFpHmqgLzwJW3BA

The evolutionist professor admits at the end that it could very well be from a common designer.

To your claim we are against science is false, we are against bad science, it's out there, Hovind at the end of the video points out the false teaching of the embryo is still in some the text books. So you people are under this illusion we are against science, we point out what we think is false and what is theory.

To those who felt I disrespected them about the praying, let me say I was once a wiccan and understand, I apologize and did not mean to offend you or disrespect your belief. I change that to wishing you happiness!

To post, #307 ::: Terry Karney

"Shall the law not pass, not one jot, nor one tittle, as Jesus says (which means that one must keep kosher, no lobster, no ham sandwiches. Beef Stroganoff is suspect, how one interprets a cheese sandwich is debateble), because in Leviticus it says,

And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

Pretty straighforward. Jesus (You know, the incarnate aspect of your God) says, The Law is The Law. No shades of gray in that.

Paul, however (a mere man) goes without food for a numbe of days and has a vision where God tells him to eat anything he likes, because nothing God has made is unclean.

So who is it, God (in the form of Jesus) or the fasting Peter, who gets to make the rules? "

The answer is in dispensationalism.

"What of verses that say the law is "for ever"? The word used in the Hebrew is 'olam and means, not exactly forever, but "in perpetuity." It is used to describe as well the term of a slave (Ex. 21:6//Deut. 15:17). Unless one thinks that this means that the master would dig the slave out of his grave and put him to work, this clearly does not mean "forever" in the sense that covenant would always be kept, but implies that the Jews would keep these feasts and such as long as they maintained the covenant agreement and didn't break it. At the same time, it hardly indicates that God cannot sign a new covenant/contract with others on different terms. "

tektonics.org/lp/lawrole.html

"The Bible knows nothing of an “age of law” and an “age of grace”. Charles Ryrie, one of the godfathers of Dispensationalism, writes, “Another important benefit of the death of Christ was the inauguration of the faith-righteousness principle to replace the law-works principle. However, Paul's statement in Romans 10:4, that Christ is the end of the Law, might be understood as either signifying termination or purpose. In other words, either Christ terminated the Law, or the purpose of Christ's coming was to fulfill the Law (Matt. 5:17). However, the termination seems clearly to be the meaning in this context because of the contrast (beginning in Rom. 9:30) between the Law and God's righteousness. Paul's argument that follows is not that the Jew was incomplete and needed the coming of Christ to perfect his position before God, but that his position under the law-works principle was absolutely wrong because it sought to establish righteousness by human effort rather than by accepting God's gift of righteousness. Though it is true that our Lord fulfilled the Law, this passage is not teaching that, but rather that He terminated the Law and provided a new and living way to God”1. How does one reconcile this nonsense with the clear scriptural teaching that God law never changes? (Psalm 89:34, Isaiah 40:6-8, 1 Peter 1:22-25). Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:17-18 are very clear. Not one stroke or letter shall be removed."

covenant-theology.blogspot.com/2006/12/dispensationalism-and-law.html

To post, #307 ::: Terry Karney you stated

"How, I wonder do you think Mankind was made? Was it Adam first, and then Eve; because Adam was lonely (the common belief), as in Genesis 2:7-8

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Which is followed with the following from Genesis 2:18-23

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Or were they made together, at the same time, as it says in Genesis 1:27-20So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

The Bible has two tales of the same event (the making of the first two people, and the naming of all things in the garden). In the first they are made together, and together they name the beasts and plants.

In the second they are made separate, and Adam does all the work.

Which is it? The Bible says both, how do you choose?"

First of all I do not believe in bible inerrancy, of course it was written by man, but it says it was God inspired. Parents can inspire their children to do the right thing, because they make a few mistakes in life does not mean it was the parents fault, you have to look at the total outcome. Inspired by God does not make them God, so expect human error. Jesus himself mentioned things in the old testament that he found to be the teaching of men, such as his healing of someone on the Sabbath day. Science admits errors and is always correcting itself, because their were some false truths like piltdown man, I'm not going to disbelieve all science. Same thing here.

However, the Genisis 1 & 2 issue is very old and not a problem. My belief differs from that of the mainstream church view, I believe my way and for the way I see it. I believe Chapter 1 is what Peter referred to as the world of old, the prehistoric era. A time of chaos that old earth creationists speak of, however they put this time between the first and second day of Gen 1.

But the mainstream view has no problem as this is the general view.

"by Don Batten

Between the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve, the KJV/AV Bible says (Genesis 2:19) ‘out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air’. On the surface, this seems to say that the land beasts and birds were created between Adam and Eve. However, Jewish scholars apparently did not recognize any such conflict with the account in chapter 1, where Adam and Eve were both created after the beasts and birds (Genesis 1:23–25). Why is this? Because in Hebrew the precise tense of a verb is determined by the context. It is clear from chapter 1 that the beasts and birds were created before Adam, so Jewish scholars would have understood the verb ‘formed’ in Genesis 2:19 to mean ‘had formed’ or ‘having formed’. If we translate verse 19 as follows (as one widely used translation1 does), ‘Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field …’, the apparent disagreement with Genesis 1 disappears completely.

The question also stems from the wrong assumption that the second chapter of Genesis is just a different account of creation to that in chapter 1. It should be evident that chapter 2 is not just ‘another’ account of creation because chapter 2 says nothing about the creation of the heavens and the earth, the atmosphere, the seas, the land, the sun, the stars, the moon, the sea creatures, etc. Chapter 2 mentions only things directly relevant to the creation of Adam and Eve and their life in the garden God prepared specially for them. Chapter 1 may be understood as creation from God’s perspective; it is ‘the big picture’, an overview of the whole. Chapter 2 views the more important aspects from man’s perspective.

Genesis 2:4 says, ‘These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens’. This marks a break with chapter 1. This phraseology next occurs in Genesis 5:1, where it reads ‘This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man’.

‘Generations’ is a translation of the Hebrew word toledoth, which means ‘origin’ or ‘record of the origin’. It identifies an account or record of events. The phrase was apparently used at the end of each section in Genesis2 identifying the patriarch (Adam, Noah, the sons of Noah, Shem, etc.) to whom it primarily referred, and possibly who was responsible for the record. There are 10 such divisions in Genesis.

Each record was probably originally a stone or clay tablet. There is no person identified with the account of the origin of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1–2:4), because it refers primarily to the origin of the whole universe, not any person in particular (Adam and Eve are not mentioned by name, for example). Also, only God knew the events of creation, so God had to reveal this, possibly to Adam who recorded it. Moses, as ‘author’ of Genesis, acted as a compiler and editor of the various sections, adding explanatory notes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The toledoths acknowledge the sources of the historical records Moses used. This understanding underlines the historical nature of Genesis and its status as eyewitness history, contrary to the defunct ‘documentary (JEDP) hypothesis’ still taught in many Bible colleges. [Ed. note: for a refutation of this fallacious and anti-Christian theory, see Did Moses really write Genesis?.]

The differences in the toledoth statements of Genesis 2:4 and 5:1 affirm that chapter 1 is the overview the record of the origin of the ‘heavens and earth’ (2:4)—whereas chapter 2 is concerned with Adam and Eve, the detailed account of Adam and Eve’s creation (5:1,2). The wording of 2:4 also suggests the shift in emphasis: in the first part of the verse it is ‘heavens and earth’ whereas in the end of the verse it is ‘earth and heaven’. Scholars think that the first part of the verse would have been on the end of a clay or stone tablet recording the origin of the universe and the latter part of the verse would have been on the beginning of a second tablet containing the account of events on earth pertaining particularly to Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:4b–5:la).

Let us apply this understanding to another objection: some also see a problem with the plants and herbs in Genesis 2:5 and the trees in Genesis 2:9. We have already realized that Genesis 2 focuses on issues of direct import to Adam and Eve, not creation in general. Notice that the plants and herbs are described as ‘of the field’ in Genesis chapter 2 (compare 1:12) and they needed a man to tend them (2:5). These are clearly cultivated plants, not just plants in general. Also, the trees (2:9) are only the trees planted in the garden, not trees in general.

Genesis was written like many historical accounts with an overview or summary of events leading up to the events of most interest first, followed by a detailed account which often recaps relevant events in the overview in greater detail. Genesis 1, the ‘big picture’ is clearly concerned with the sequence of events. The events are in chronological sequence, with day 1, day 2, evening and morning, etc. The order of events is not the major concern of Genesis 2. In recapping events they are not necessarily mentioned in chronological order, but in the order which makes most sense to the focus of the account. For example, the animals are mentioned in verse 19, after Adam was created, because it was after Adam was created that he was shown the animals, not that they were created after Adam.

Genesis chapters 1 and 2 are not therefore separate contradictory accounts of creation. Chapter 1 is the ‘big picture’ and Chapter 2 is a more detailed account of the creation of Adam and Eve and day six of creation.

The final word on this matter, however, should really be given to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In Matthew chapter 19, verses 4 and 5, the Lord is addressing the subject of marriage, and says: ‘Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?’

Notice how in the very same statement, Jesus refers to both Genesis 1 (verse 27b: ‘male and female created he them’) and Genesis 2 (verse 24: ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh’). Obviously, by combining both in this way, He in no way regarded them as separate, contradictory accounts."

answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i4/genesis.asp

Peace out!

#317 ::: Paul_J ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 06:51 AM:

#314 ::: Greg London

"You're talking to people here who've worked as engineers for decades. You're talking to programmers. Chemists. Physicists. Biologists. People who've spent years training at universities and then more years using that training to build things, design things, fix things, cure things.

You don't know science. Your posts make that abundantly clear. And I have zero tolerance for someone who doesn't know the difference between mean and median telling me how to do my job."

Famous Atheist Now Believes in God

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SNkxpTIbCIw

pt 1

http://youtube.com/watch?v=XQ2VuQyAeRM&feature=related

pt 2

#318 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 07:30 AM:

Paul@317: You still don't know science.

#319 ::: Paul_J ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 07:36 AM:

He does more than both of us....

"Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for insects as well as for the stars. Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.

What I am really interested in is whether God could have made the world in a different way; that is whether the necessity of logical simplicity leaves any freedom at all.

God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.

I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the unlimitable superior who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."

Albert Einstein

#320 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 08:11 AM:

Mary Dell @ 315... You just reminded me that, in the bowels of my closet(*) is a t-shirt that says "If they outlaw teaching Evolution, only outlaws evolve." As for the origins of Life on Earth, the truth about it all is revealed in the comic-book Eternals(**). Watch out for those mile-high robots though.

(*) That doesn't sound right.

(**) Created by Jack Kirby, and revived by Neil Gaiman.

#321 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 09:10 AM:

Paul@319, look, you copy and paste nitwit, Albert Einstein wasn't a creationist.

"I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals Himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings." --Albert Einstein

The God that Einstein refers to isn't your God who reaches down and makes Adam from the dirt.

Spinoza's philosophy as condensed from wikipedia: "The consequences of Spinoza's system also envisage a God that does not rule over the universe by providence, but a God which itself is the deterministic system of which everything in nature is a part. Thus, God is the natural world and He has no personality.."

The fact that an entire army of lemmings like you have made this exact same invocation of Einstein, and that countless numbers of them have had Spinoza's concept of God explained to them by people who actually understand what Einstein was talking about, by people who've actually studied philosophy of various sorts, and yet you lemmings keep coming, is exactly that bit about "tediousness" that I mentioned before.

The thing is that you won't learn a damn thing by having me explain Spinoza's God to you. Instead, you'll tuck tail and go away to some other forum and bother the scientists there. You won't learn.

You are not unlike one of Mickey's brooms in the sorcerer's apprentice. Endless in number, mindless in task, and with a sufficient lack of self awareness to be able to self-correct. You serve only to cut and paste huge swaths of text and dump them repeatedly, mindlessly, without actually engaging in a mental process, onto anyone who shows a spark of self-generated thought.

#322 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 09:11 AM:

302:Anyone in the Pagan community would probably choke at the thought of Paganism being an "organized" religion!

Oh, as in "I'm not a member of an organised political party; I'm a Democrat"? Fair enough...

I'd forgotten about your animus towards Stephenson. Sorry for bringing it up - for what it's worth, I don't think he'd have put a speech like that into the mouth of his smartest and wisest character if he'd really felt like that about paganism. But I'm not an expert on paganism, and may well be missing something that's obvious to a pagan.

In any case, whatever the author's faults, I like the ideas expressed. Remember the story of Samson: you can find honey even in the heart of carrion.

#323 ::: grandpa munster ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 09:40 AM:

Where did he say in the above post that einstein was of the same befief as him

I saw those videos of the former Darwinst and he didnt claim the bible to hold the truth as well but a belief in a god rather than a random event with no intelligence. Get the point rather than trying to change it into another topic I can see that as my God. There you go again with the name calling. He got you all worked up again.

#324 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 09:41 AM:

Paul_J, the most that science can do is test whether a particular version of God is compatible with the principles of science. And atheism is mo more testable by by evidence and reason than is any theism.

For instance, a God who has created the universe 6000-odd years ago, with all the evidence of great age, and evidence of the processes that support the idea of evolution, is incompatible with science, because science depends on reliable evidence, and such a God has lied, creating false evidence.

And a monotheism based on a Supreme Being who lies is a difficult theological problem. If we cannot rely on the evidence, how can we be reasoning beings. If we are made in God's image, and God is a liar, what are we?

#325 ::: grandpa munster ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 10:01 AM:

6000 years? all I read above is the old earth creationts view and reasons that they believe in an old earth creation.

#326 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 10:32 AM:

Where did he say in the above post that einstein was of the same befief as him

That would be sort of implied by his quoting Einstein in support, no?

Trip trap, trip trap... Why don't you eat my brother instead; he's much bigger than me.

#327 ::: grandpa munster ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 10:47 AM:

support that it was not a random unintelligence that sarted everything.

#328 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 10:59 AM:

If they outlaw teaching Evolution, only outlaws evolve.

I'm of the similar opinion that people are welcome to disbelieve in evolution, but then they shouldn't be allowed to use any genes that evolved.

#329 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 11:14 AM:

Me 302: I realized this morning that the Stephenson book I was talking about was Snow Crash. That book having utterly turned me off to Stephenson, I haven't read Cryptonomicon and have no way of knowing whether he disses Pagans (Paleo- and Neo-) in that book too.

#330 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 11:50 AM:

paul_j 316: TL;DR

ajay 322: Democrats are wayyy more organized than Pagans. The most common Pagan religion is Wicca, and its highest unit of organization (but see below) is the coven, which averages seven people. There's no Pope, no bishops, and everyone is a priestess (or priest). Covens go by traditions (like denominations), but those are more stylistic than anything else; if you want to do things differently than they're done in your home coven, you can break off and form one of your own and do them your way.

The biggest exception to this is the Gardnerian tradition. Among them, a High Priestess who has had one or more priestesses leave to form their own covens is called a Queen; Gardnerians may not change anything about their ritual practices without the permission of their Queen. Some of the most conservative ones can't do ritual unless they read it from the Book of Shadows that they hand-copied from their Queen's BoS, who hand copied it from her Queen's, etc. going all the way back to the Stone Age.*

But even among the "Hard Gards," as I call the conservative Gardnerians, there's a certain level of coven autonomy. Any High Priestess and High Priest can initiate whom they choose, and they don't need the permission or participation of their Queen to do it.

And I'm currently a solitary, which means I practice pretty much by myself. Hard to see how I'm part of an organized religion!

About Stephenson, I had the wrong book. A key point of Snow Crash can be condensed as "Humans couldn't really think until they became monotheists." I very much like the passage you quote from Cryptonomicon, but not quite enough to give Stephenson another try.



*Well, to 1939, but they insist that Old Gerald got his from Old Dorothy, whose lineage goes back to way before there were books.

#331 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 11:52 AM:

grandpa, did you find my information about Setesh useful? As far as I know, no one actually worships him outside horror movies; he's sort of the Egyptian god of Evil.

#332 ::: grandpa munster ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 12:07 PM:

yes I really appreciate it. Egypt was cool.

#333 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 12:24 PM:

A key point of Snow Crash can be condensed as "Humans couldn't really think until they became monotheists."

I think I took that part rather differently - I don't think he's arguing that monotheism is any more true than polytheism; the book seems to imply that they're both false, and there's nothing but humans and the voices which their brains generate, which some humans interpret as the voice of one or more gods. It's all based on Julian Jaynes' rather strange book about bicameral minds.

And I'm pretty sure that there's nothing contentious about paganism and the history of religion in Cryptonomicon... I'd urge you to give it a crack. After all, I enjoy Chesterton even though his religious beliefs are way different from my own rather unstructured blend of Covenanting Stoical Liberal Atheism... (join us now for invigorating outdoor arguments!)

And that's an interesting summary of Wicca's (lack of) structure, thanks.

#334 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 01:34 PM:

paul_j --

You're making a category error.

Science doesn't have what you're describing as facts, something certain to be correct.

Everything in science rests on measurement; sometimes very indirectly, but at the bottom, things are measured. And measurements have error bars.

And since measurements also have mechanism, different mechanisms can produce different error bars.

This gets into the problem I think a lot of people who have trouble with natural selection have; they think of "cat" as a type, rather than a population.

Individual cats vary a great deal, in size, number of toes, length of tail, pattern of coat, dentition (different numbers of teeth), and so on, but continue to form an interbreeding population. No one individual cat is the cat, though; they're members of a population which varies.

The measured thing is that what we're looking at are populations, not instances of a type. This is not what the people doing the intital measuring, back in the late eighteen and early nineteenth centuries, were expecting.

Instances of a type are much easier to think about, but that's not what we've got. Thinking about populations is tough; this is much of why biologists generally feel Charles Darwin was a very smart guy, because he not only realized he needed to think about populations, he worked out how to do it.

The core insights of natural selection are two -- offspring are not identical to their parents, and many more are born than can possibly live.

From that, you get natural selection, and the modern theory of evolution. ("neo-darwinian synthesis") Many very smart people have been trying to get something else for a hundred fifty years now, and no one's managed it yet.

That modern theory of evolution is a theory in the same sense "quantum theory" -- an understanding of which is utterly necessary to building the device you're reading this on -- is a theory; a comprehensive explanation of great power, subtlety and predictive ability, but which is nonetheless not known to be complete or final.

#335 ::: Jon T ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2008, 07:33 PM:

You people look at Darwin as a great scientist, he made stuff up to support his racism!
"Those who argue at school board meetings that Darwin should be taught in public schools seldom have taken the time to read him. If they knew the full title of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, they might have gained some inkling of the racism propagated by this controversial theorist. Had they actually read Origin, they likely would be shocked to learn that among Darwin's scientifically based proposals was the elimination of "the negro and Australian peoples," which he considered savage races whose continued survival was hindering the progress of civilization.
In his next book, The Descent of Man (1871), Darwin ranked races in terms of what he believed was their nearness and likeness to gorillas. Then he went on to propose the extermination of races he "scientifically" defined as inferior. If this were not done, he claimed, those races, with much higher birthrates than "superior" races, would exhaust the resources needed for the survival of better people, eventually dragging down all civilization.
Darwin even argued that advanced societies should not waste time and money on caring for the mentally ill, or those with birth defects. To him, these unfit members of our species ought not to survive."
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/currents/13930496.html


Missing link?
That is a crossbreed between a clarias batrachu (a fish that walked) the coelacanth, & a Periophthalmodon schlosseri (AKA/Mudskipper)!
We still have them today!
If the mudskipper went extinct that would have been the missing link!
They were fish that walked on land & water, breathe air & had gills.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=qy2RTzwMLs8&feature=related

#336 ::: Serge sees fish trolling ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2008, 07:52 PM:

Me, I troll for kitties.

#337 ::: Xopher sees the same ID bullshit posted by a previous bozo ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2008, 09:12 PM:

Seriously, haven't we seen this before?

#338 ::: Kathryn sez yes, points to rant ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2008, 10:01 PM:

I'd point to my rant/ essay upthread at #310. We're not surprised by repeated lies, but we're tired of them.

A crossbreed between a catfish, a coelacanth, and a mudskipper? That's about as good of an explanation as saying that Basilosaurus isn't a whale ancestor, but is just a crossbreed between a hippo and a sea snake.

#339 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2008, 10:41 PM:

Serge@336: Me, I troll for kitties.

I like kittens.

#340 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2008, 10:55 PM:

Greg London @ 339... Me too. Here's my youngest on Tax Day.

#341 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2008, 10:56 PM:

Xopher @#337:

They heard there was trouble with losing some comments on this thread, so they're coming back to re-post, just in case.

They're helping.

#342 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2008, 11:50 PM:

Kittens are good on toast, or diced with salad. They are very versatile. So are coelacanth, actually -- but even better is the hybrid coelacanth /feline/hippo chimera which I have been assured is conclusive proof that Darwin was not only a racist, but also had a forked tongue and ate kittens on toast. Every day. Sometimes twice. 'Cause he was eeeevil. Eeeeeevillll!

*coff* Morons.

#343 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2008, 11:55 PM:

I for one welcome our evil darwinist overlords.

#344 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 12:30 AM:

Jon T: I've read all of Darwin's Origin of Species, so I can, without reservation, hestitation or the slightest inkling of doubt, say you haven't.

Because if you had, you wouldn't be spouting this nonsense.

If, however, you have read Darwin I say (again, with out reservation, hesitation, or the slightest inkling of doubt), that you are a liar, base and pathetic.

#345 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 12:35 AM:

Pretty much everything that this Daily Kos diarist says about climate denialists applies to the ID trolls we've been afflicted with recently.

#346 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 01:06 AM:

Where was it that I read that intelligent design is clearly true - but that the pinnacle of creation is therefore the octopus? Their retina has the nerves in back instead of in front, clearly a superior design, and besides, recent history shows that the world is being set up to provide them with lots of warm, shallow seas with cities already built for them...

#347 ::: hedgehog ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 01:19 AM:

re: #346:

Where was it that I read that intelligent design is clearly true - but that the pinnacle of creation is therefore the octopus? Their retina has the nerves in back instead of in front, clearly a superior design, and besides,

... they have no knees.

#348 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 01:23 AM:

Michael Roberts #342:

Kittecanth!

#349 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 06:43 AM:

Mary Dell @ 348... One of my cats is quite fat. Maybe he is a kitacean.

#350 ::: HR. G ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:37 AM:

Charles Darwin stated.

“To suppose that the eye … could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”
Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life
“A married man is a poor slave, worse than a Negro.”
Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin
“Whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands … the average power of man must be above that of women.”
Charles Darwin, Descent of Man


As far as the fishapod, it's not a missing link, finding out it is an extinct form of the northern snakehead, could have some crossbreeding involved, but this land walking fish the breathes air with teeth is nothing new.
see video,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmU7etSYYqI


If that does not work go to youtube and type in invasion of the snakeheads. Amazing!

#351 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:43 AM:

hedgehog @ 347: "they have no knees"

Heck, they have no joints! That's good enough for me.

And the eye of the cephalopod is indeed reversed from ours. It's not exactly the nerves but the photoreceptors (that pick up the light signals) which are reversed. Our photoreceptors face the back of the eye, and the light bounces off the retinal pigment epithelium. In their eyes, the photoreceptors face the front, and pick up the light as it enters the eye. Independent evolution of the two kinds of eyes..meaning that it's important to perceive visual information. ;-)

#352 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:55 AM:

I suppose we ought to give them points for persistence.
However, they lose more points than they gained by clearly not understanding the subject on which they're trolling. Or the forum in which they're trolling.

#353 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:56 AM:

"A big greyish rounded bulk, the size, perhaps, of a bear, was rising slowly and painfully out of the cylinder. As it bulged up and caught the light, it glistened like wet leather."

"Two large dark-coloured eyes were regarding me stead- fastly. The mass that framed them, the head of the thing, was rounded, and had, one might say, a face. There was a mouth under the eyes, the lipless brim of which quivered and panted, and dropped saliva. The whole creature heaved and pulsated convulsively. A lank tentacular appendage gripped the edge of the cylinder, another swayed in the air."

#354 ::: Xopher is getting SO tired of the damned ID dolts ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:00 AM:

ID Dolt 350: invasion of the snakeheads

I always knew the Goa'uld were just waiting in the wings for the ID morons to break down our science education and cripple our ability to defend ourselves! And you are a Jaffa!

#355 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:02 AM:

353: A big greyish rounded bulk, the size, perhaps, of a bear, was rising slowly and painfully out of the cylinder.

... it reached the rim and toppled over, rolling down the side of the crater, bump, bump, bump.
"Oh, bother," said Pooh, who was feeling the effects of Earth's gravity and starting to regret that he had ignored his Strengthening Exercises.

#356 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:08 AM:

I have, in fact, read that the eye has evolved more than just twice -- I think the number I remember is seven. It's really important to do light imagery.

Lessee... There's the vertebrate eye, the mollusk eye, and the insect compound eye. There's the infrared pits of the snakes, those image. There's the planaria (are those really eyes?) Are the non-insect arthropods separate?

I have a question for HR.G and John T: why do you guys idolize Charles Darwin so very much? It's a sad commentary on the state of our nation's educational system, such as it is, that you don't comprehend that science is not a received truth from an authority 150 years ago, but an ongoing process of investigation, thought, and testing that makes Charles Darwin essentially irrelevant. He was a very insightful thinker, but really -- it's been 150 years. There has been work done since then. Go be pathetic elsewhere.

Yes, yes, I know I'm wasting my time. I know feeding the trolls is useless. It's just a compulsion I have; I like a good troll, preferably for breakfast. But I doubt these guys have any staying power. I doubt they're even real -- their posts feel more like astroturf to me. See how they're even formatted the same-ish?

But hey, here's another question for the watchers of these morons -- do they all think that crossbreeding is the key insight? They don't know much biology, do they? I guess they probably believe in jackalopes, too.

#357 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:08 AM:

Xopher @354 -- Shol'va!

#358 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:09 AM:

ajay @ 355... That would explain the Tiggermen of Mars.

#359 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:10 AM:

Xopher... That scum-sucking snake-assed Apophis! And the bad Tokra too!

#360 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:16 AM:

Yes, the invasion of the snakeheads here has been amazing.

#361 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:36 AM:

Debbie 357: Yeah, well kel mar tokeem! Tel mak kree! Meg tal!

Lo shol'va! Lo tak meta satak Oz!

#362 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:47 AM:

Michael 356: But jackalopes are real.

#363 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:52 AM:

Bah.

#364 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 12:00 PM:

Serge, ajay:

Piglet is Very Small and Very Afraid. He had been sleeping in his room, when he heard a "bump! bump! bump!" in the night. When he opened his eyes he saw a A big greyish rounded bulk, the size, perhaps, of a bear, was rising slowly and painfully out of the cylinder.

This scared him so much he ran from his house (Trespassers Will), hollering "Pooh! Pooh! The heffalump is in my house!"

#365 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 12:02 PM:

Micheal Roberts: There's a strong case to be made that the ability to see is the strongest competitive force out there. The Cambrian explosion seems timed to the evolution of the eye (and the trilobites seem to have an independent evolution, using layered calcite to rectify light; including a wonderful double lens system to deal with edge effects and differential wavelengths of light).

Imagine being able to see, when nothing else could; even a little bit (just a light sensitive spot). A predator would have a huge advantage.

The race is on. Because vision is passive. No need to do anything.

Now, the smart Creationist would use all those independent evolutions of the eye to argue for God, because the all solve a problem in different ways. Ther arguments could be made that each of those was meant to resolve a narrow set of problem and so was a more parsimonious (and tailored) solution.

But no, we just get asked what use half an eye; which is transparently obvious... even a slight advantage, is advantage; and will propagate.

#366 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 12:10 PM:

Ginger @ 364... Somebody should do a mashup of H.G.Wells and A.A.Milne. Just like, last year, someone (you know who you are) here did a photoshop mashup of Lovecraft and The Love Boat.

#367 ::: HR.G ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 01:19 PM:

Retinas of squids are like that because the water that they are in filters out the UV light. With humans it is reversed because that is the way our eyes are protected from UV. If our eye were put together like a squid, our retina would burn out.

Trilobites have been found alive todat BTW

#368 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 01:27 PM:

Oh Ghu.

That's so ... it isn't even wrong, it's so bad.

(If there were living trilobites, it would be headline news in every science magazine, with front covers as well. I think it's assuming horseshoe crabs are trilobites - they aren't.)

#369 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 01:29 PM:

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a trilobyte.

Trollobytes, on the other extensor, are easier to spot.

#370 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 01:39 PM:

Actually, HR.G is making a cogent ID point, though presumably not the one intended.

A human without a brain could not possibly have evolved.

#371 ::: HR.G ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 01:46 PM:

To 356
Why?

Piltdown man was a hoax.
Archaeoraptor was a hoax.
Australopithecines turned out to be an ordinary ape.

"Having studied the bones of these fossils for a period of 15 years, with funding from the British government, Lord Zuckerman and his team of 5 specialists reached the conclusion – although Zuckerman was an evolutionist himself – that Australopithecines were only an ordinary ape species and were definitely not bipedal.48 Correspondingly, Oxnard, who is also an evolutionist, also likened the skeletal structure of Australopithecus to that of modern orang-utans."
"Within the same year, Fred Spoor, Bernard Wood and Frans Zonneveld, all specialists on anatomy, reached the same conclusion through a totally different method. This method was based on the comparative analysis of the semi-circular canals in the inner ear of humans and apes which provided for sustaining balance. The inner ear canals of all Australopithecus specimens analysed by Spoor, Wood and Zonneveld were the same as those of modern apes.51 This finding once more showed that the Australopithecus species is a species similar to modern apes."

Archaeopteryx was a bird.
"scientists in the 1984 International Archaeopteryx Conference agreed that it was a true bird".

Scientists Say No Evidence Exists That Therapod Dinosaurs Evolved Into Birds!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051010085411.htm

Coelacanth was the missing link until they found them alive in 1938, & now you find an extinct snakehead. They have 29 different ones today, imagine how many went extinct from millions of years ago?
Fish walking on land and breathing air is nothing new? Fishapod was a snakehead or part of that line, possible crossbreed,..... micro evolution, bible says they take forth after their kind.

#372 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 02:07 PM:

Re: "snakeheads," a.k.a. the G'Oauld, I thought scientists agreed that they're not native to this planet.

#373 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 02:09 PM:

Using outdated information, too. Clearly has missed the DNA studies of T. rex that came out recently.

#374 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 02:11 PM:

...whoops, I posted before I saw Xopher's G'Oauld post. Hey, since we both are referencing the same work of fiction, it can now be considered truth, right?

Eeek, run! The mothership is coming!

#375 ::: Mary Dell is curious about ip addresses ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 02:15 PM:

Paul_j, grandpa munster, and HR.G all have similarities in their style, capitalization, and punctuation. I wonder if they share an IP address?

#376 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 02:16 PM:

Also Jon T.

#377 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 03:33 PM:

Sadly, most of the IP data for the recent spate of new commenters was lost in the Gooey Kablooey. I can confirm that Jon T and HR.G do not come from the same IP address.

I would suggest, if we are tiring of this particular company, that we do one of two things.

1. Propose an "entrance exam" for anyone who comes here with no posting history and wants to discuss this matter. I would suggest that they describe, succinctly and in their own words, the meaning of the term "evolution"*. If it isn't right, or near enough right to form a basis of a discussion, we write them off as being from an incompatible universe. If they can't be bothered to research and internalize the basics of the matter, we don't waste our time.

2. I close comments on this thread.

-----
* Or another term as chosen by the assembled masses.

#378 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 03:40 PM:

H.G.... How to put this simply... No, you are wrong.

To be less simple, you are either deluded (the most likely explanation) or are a liar (the most pleasant explanation; a I can impute the asininity of your claims to malice and think ill of you; it's that or pity, and on this topic, in this thread, I am fast running out of pity).

So, provide the reports of living trilobites (and horseshoe crabs don't, and some support for the post hoc argument about UV rays (which is utter rot, as the nature of the chordate eye is the same for chordates which live in water as for those which don't... and that sort of screws the whole "designed for best function" argument you are tossing out here).

If you don't make a serious attempt at either of those, I will ignore you (just so no one argues that my future, cricket chirping silence = assent to the stupidities I expect to see).

TTFN

#379 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 03:50 PM:

H.G.... How to put this simply... No, you are wrong.

To be less simple, you are either deluded (the most likely explanation) or are a liar (the most pleasant explanation; a I can impute the asininity of your claims to malice and think ill of you; it's that or pity, and on this topic, in this thread, I am fast running out of pity).

So, provide the reports of living trilobites (and horseshoe crabs don't, and some support for the post hoc argument about UV rays (which is utter rot, as the nature of the chordate eye is the same for chordates which live in water as for those which don't... and that sort of screws the whole "designed for best function" argument you are tossing out here).

If you don't make a serious attempt at either of those, I will ignore you (just so no one argues that my future, cricket chirping silence = assent to the stupidities I expect to see).

TTFN

#380 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 03:58 PM:

abi: I am of a mixed mind. Some one of them might be honestly ignorant, and this might be a place wherein the find some clue as to what they need to invistigate.

But the repetitious invocation of "cross-breeding" and "half an eye" is a useless thing, does get tiresome.

#381 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 03:59 PM:

Xopher: Scanned though on a Find for "Setesh", as I'd never heard of that one. Set, though, sure yah. I believe he was actually worshipped in some of the cities upriver, where he was more of a typical clever/powerful head god; the myths of his Bleak Evil to me have the taste of "our city's god is more l33t than your city's god, and we won the war so nyah."

Curious, though, if sexuality is necessary, what are your thoughts on asexual folks?

#382 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 04:07 PM:

Shame about the IP information, yeah.

But why worry about idiots posting here? I find them entertaining, actually. And really -- "neener neener neener" is kind of baiting them.

But I don't think comments should be disabled. The more we flush out now, the fewer we'll have to worry about come the revolution!

#383 ::: HRG ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 04:14 PM:

Terry, Horse shoe crabs? I pulled out dozens of them when I worked at the dock, unless you're talking about a certain kind. I believe in many extinct species so it wouldn't make a difference either way to me.
They are on display at Dr.Hovind's museum for dinosaurs.
If you go to this site here, they look exactly like the ones I pulled out.

http://www.omniology.com/Apus.jpg

They are from the same family, after their kind.

#384 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 04:28 PM:

Wiki:
Horseshoe crabs are distant relatives of spiders and are probably descended from the ancient eurypterids (sea scorpions). They evolved in the shallow seas of the Paleozoic Era (540-248 million years ago) with other primitive arthropods like the trilobites. Horseshoe crabs are one of the oldest classes of marine arthropods, and are often referred to as living fossils, as they have changed little in the last 350 to 500 million years. They feed on worms, mollusks, and sometimes even seaweed.

So where does it say anything about them being descended from trilobites, or even closely related to trilobites?

#385 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 04:35 PM:

P.J.: It doesn't. Someone positted the nonsense of living trilobites was a confusion of Horsehoe Crabs.

So far HR. G, (or HRG, or whatever nom de screen s/he decides to settle on) hasn't provided any evidence of such living trilobites.

But s/he has seen fit to presume a familiarity.

#386 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 04:38 PM:

Madeline 381: I believe Set is a Hellenization of Setesh, as Osiris is of Us-ar and Anubis of Anpu. For some reason I prefer the unHellenized version in that one case. I expect I should be consistent.

I didn't know that bit about the cities upriver; thanks for the info.

As for asexual people, the truth is I haven't thought very much about them at all. However, I do know that there are deaf people who claim there's nothing wrong with them, that they don't understand why hearing people make such a big deal out of it, and consider it wrong to fix a deaf person's ears so they can hear (cochlear implants sparked a huge debate in the deaf community). Needless to say, these tend to be people who are deaf from birh.

I consider deafness a handicap, and I think deaf people are missing out on an enormously important part of life, and that while it's certainly possible to be happy without experiencing sound, it's a tragic loss, not a trivial variation.

My initial thoughts are that my attitude toward asexual people would be more or less the same,* but I need to think about it more, possibly a lot more.

*No, I wouldn't tell a happily asexual person that they should see a doctor—unless they asked me for my opinion (which would indicate they probably weren't all that happy). But neither would I tell a happy deaf person "you really ought to check out cochlear implants." My evaluation of the completeness of their lives doesn't imply that I think I have the right to criticise their choices.

#387 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 04:47 PM:

Terry, that was me thinking they were confusing the two - horseshoe crabs do look a lot like trilobites with tails, which is why I think they're confused.

#388 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 05:08 PM:

Abi @#377: but this is a fun thread.

#389 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 05:10 PM:

Xopher: The argument you make about deafness (that they are missing something elemental) is one I have heard about all sorts of things (to include heterosexuality).

Would their lives be different if they could hear? Of course. Would they be richer? I don't know.

I spent a lot of time in the deaf community; it's rich and diverse. It's not the same as the hearing community, but neither is the Russian community here the same as the Native USian community.

So I have to disagree.

#390 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 06:31 PM:

Michael Robers wonders: I have a question for HR.G and John T: why do you guys idolize Charles Darwin so very much?

That is the 64-cubit question.

Creationists are big on the appeal to authority. Attacking Darwin to disprove evolution is the act of someone who fundamentally doesn't understand science. Commenters on PZ Myers' blog have used the phrase "cargo cult science" - creationists don't really understand science, so they just embrace the white lab coat and doctorate of the Scientist to advance their agenda. On a related note, a real PhD critiqued Kent Hovind's Patriot University doctorate. Sometimes real scientists say useful things, like the aforementioned Zuckerman and subsequent information is ignored.

The creationist tendency to quote mine is legendary and evidenced in this thread. The mindset that uses out-of-context fragments - even when the greater quote directly contradicts the fragment, as with Darwin's about how absurd it seems that the eye would evolve - is one that I associate with fundamentalism. Fred Clark's addictive "Left Behind" shows how that Darbyist end times checklist is actually biblical quote mining.

At least some creationists are coming from a perspective where every argument is an appeal to authority - so arguments are arguing past each other. Logic has no place here, which leads us to my next point - magical thinking.

Not "magical thinking" in the "Jesus is magic" sense, but in the "argument from consequences" sense that some lines of thought are dangerous. The trendy argument that 'Darwinism' leads to racism and genocide is an example of magical thinking. Even if Darwin's writings led to genocide, negative consequences don't disprove a scientific theory. A lot of people have been killed by gunshots, falls, and car crashes, but that isn't an argument against Newtonism.

I'm see abi's point, because we aren't going to be convincing anyone who doesn't want to be convinced. talk.origins already answered anything we could answer, so those who seek can already find the answers. Still, we might learn something about why these arguments are wrong.

#391 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 09:59 PM:

Here are some more sources.

"There is a new discovery which has overturned the claim that Australopithecus, over time, began to walk upright, evolving eventually into man. Certain apes in our own time are capable of walking upright. According to a study by Dr. Robin Crompton of Liverpool University, published in The Scotsman under the title “Chimps on Two Legs Run Through Darwin’s Theory,” chimpanzees living in the Bwindi region of Uganda also possess the ability to stand on two legs. Dr. Crompton states that this opposes the evolutionists’ assumptions:
This means that the accepted idea of apes on the ground gradually evolving to an upright stance from a crouched position is wrong. (2)
Crompton’s discovery clearly exposes the meaninglessness of the tale that a quadrupedal ancestral ape evolved over a period of time into upright walking man. The said chimpanzees can walk upright to a certain degree and yet they are still chimpanzees or apes. They live in the forest like apes, feed like apes. Looking at it from this perspective, there is no reason not to think of the Australopithecus as a common ape species, capable of walking upright to a certain degree like the chimpanzees Crompton encountered.
The basis for the evolutionists’ “proof” for the evolution of man from the Australopithecus, is the view that it was a species capable of walking upright. As we have seen, it is a wholly meaningless claim, even if it is true. What could an ape fossil, controversially claimed to have been an upright walking species prove anyhow? Obviously, that there were apes in the distant past, that could walk upright to a degree, just like Crompton’s chimpanzees… Evolutionists, on the other hand, by the power of their imagination, put forth the view that the Australopithecus was a stage in the evolution of man. The reason behind this questionable attitude is their acceptance of the dogma of man’s evolution from apes. Evolutionist “experts,” with this dogma ingrained in their minds, superimpose the anatomical features of that species onto this imaginary picture, which existed before the discovery of Australopithecus.
As we have seen, the evolutionist speculations on Australopithecus are based on mere prejudices.
3. Fred Spoor and a team from Liverpool University carried out a wide-ranging study in 1994 in order to arrive at a definitive verdict on the Australopithecus skeleton. Studies were carried out on an organ called the cochlea, which determines the body’s position relative to the ground. Spoor’s conclusion was that Australopithecus did not walk in a similar way to man. (3)
4. A study carried out by B.G. Richmond and D.S. Strait and published in Nature magazine in 2000 examined the Australopithecus arm. Comparative anatomical investigations revealed that this species had the same arm structure as modern apes that walk on four legs.
Comments: The fact that Australopithecus cannot be considered an ancestor of man has recently been accepted by evolutionist sources. The well-known French magazine Science et Vie made the issue its cover story in its May 1999 edition. The magazine considered Lucy, regarded as the most important fossil specimen of the species Australopithecus afarensis, under the caption ‘Adieu Lucy’ (‘Good-bye Lucy’) and wrote that the apes from the Australopithecus species did not represent the origin of man and should be removed from the family tree.

http://www.darwinism-watch.com/index.php?git=makale&makale_id=1221


"Chimps on Two Legs Run Through Darwin's Theory"
September 13 - The report in the well-known newspaper in Scotland, The Scotsman, of a discovery tore down another one of the classical myths of evolution. We have all seen the ape-man diagrams in evolutionist newspapers and magazines, which begin with an ape walking on four legs and then take on increasingly human characteristics, finally arriving at modern man. According to the theory this progression is based on, human beings evolved from so-called apes that walked on four legs. However, one species of chimpanzee discovered by Liverpool University anthropologist Dr. Robin Crompton belied that tale. The researcher encountered chimpanzees in Uganda's Bwindi jungle area that were able to walk on two legs. The Scotsman covered the story under the headline "Chimps On Two Legs Run Through Darwin's Theory." Dr. Crompton commented, "This is contrary to the accepted idea that we evolved from chimpanzees which were knuckle-walking - or walking around on all fours." (5)

The Difference Between Ran and Chimpanzee More Than Trebled
September 23 - There was one story that evolutionists created with false information and one-sided interpretations that was used to make the headlines for decades: The idea that man and chimpanzees were related, based on genetic analyses. One piece of research revealed that the difference between man and chimpanzee was three times greater than had been believed. (6) The way this piece of research widened that difference showed the invalidity of the evolutionists' claims about genetic relationships.
http://www.evolutionisdead.com/darwin.php?did=016

FEET LIKE APE, A. afarensis...The recent description of four articulating foot bones from 3-3.5 Myr deposits in the South African cave site of Sterkfontein support this. ...the divergent big toe indicates some degree of prehensile grasping as in apes. Developmental patterns were also more ape-like...ecologically they may still be considered apes." Nature, 376, 8/17/1995, p.556

#392 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:02 PM:

"To sum it up, here is what Dr. Austin Clark, a leading biologist of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington has to day about the subject: "No matter how far back we go in the fossil record of previous animal life on earth, we find no trace of any animal forms which are intermediate between the major groups of phyla. Scientists have sometimes come up with a few things that they have elected as candidates as transitions, but on a later closer examination these have been seen to be misinterpretations. There are no such things as missing links. ... Missing links are misinterpretations."

#393 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:13 PM:

Creationists are big on the appeal to authority.

Yeah, I know that. I just wonder if they do.

Look, I grew up in rural Indiana, surrounded by fundamentalists. Science is not compatible with the authoritarian mindset -- and most reasonable people really don't seem to get that. This is because authoritarians talk and sound just like them, using the same words and everything, but the underlying world view is so different there's really very little true communication going on.

Your point about magical thinking is well-taken. I'd point out another trait of magical thinking, though -- the notion that the Truth is Out There. That if we discover it written down in a special book (or a special YouTube video nowadays), we become part of the elite insiders who know that truth.

That drive to be one of the elite insiders is really key, and one of the ways you convince yourself that you're elite, of course, is to proselytize, hence these trolls here this week.

I just don't want this thread closed because a couple of trolls thought there was a going conversation. I'd much rather laugh at them, and I truly don't see why they're so offensive in the first place. It's not like the stupid will rub off or anything. I'm living proof of that.

#394 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:17 PM:

Oddly enough, mice and rats see into the ultraviolet. Their lenses protect them from the damage that UV can cause, so the retina is protected. Since we share a common ancestor with rodents, being mammals and vertebrates, there's that idea toasted to a well-done state.

#395 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:24 PM:

"A comparison of this ratio of enamel thickness suggests that Australopithecus ramidus may be characterized as intermediate between the chimpanzee and the Australopithecus afarensis africanus early Homo conditions. [19]
However, Peter Andrews (Natural History Museum, London) disagrees:

…all other hominids, including modern humans, have relatively thick enamel… . So the thin enamel of ramidus is more of what you'd expect from a fossil chimp. [20]
White et al. are using an improper diagnostic tool in seeking to establish the 'missing link' status of Australopithecus ramidus. Several studies have shown that because of genetic variation in enamel thickness in primates and hominids, together with environmental and nutritional factors, enamel thickness measurements should not be used in seeking to establish phylogenetic relationships. [21], [22]

Another line of evidence concerns the first deciduous molar (dm1) found in the child's mandible of the Australopithecus ramidus assemblage. White et al. write:

The dm1 has been crucially important in studies of Australopithecus since the discovery of the genus 70 years ago, and has been used frequently as a key character for sorting apes and hominids. The Aramis dm1 is morphologically far closer to that of a chimpanzee than to any, known hominid. [23]

Obviously, White et al. mean that Australopithecus ramidus is closer to the chimpanzee morphology in this particular area, and hence it is the best candidate for 'missing link' status. However, his statement, together with Peter Andrew's statement above, supports our contention that Australopithecus ramidus is actually a fossil chimpanzee. Given the genetic variation in chimpanzee teeth, how does one determine that a certain tooth is 'close to a chimpanzee tooth' without being a chimpanzee tooth?"

"In each of these cases, the attempt is made to squeeze huge amounts of evolutionary information out of the tiniest of fossil fragments. The evidence for the 'missing link' seems to be more in the imagination of the palaeoanthropologists than in the fossils themselves. The evidence that Australopithecus ramidus is a hominid and the 'missing link' is simply not impressive.

A DIAGNOSTIC PROBLEM
Henry Gee, a senior editor of Nature, presents a problem which is both practical and philosophical and which no one else, to my knowledge, has addressed. Even if we suppose for the sake of argument that human evolution is true, when we get close to the branching point of the human line from the chimpanzee line, how can one tell if a particular fossil individual is a true hominid or just a chimpanzee with a bit of genetic variation?"

"Pygmy chimps, like common chimps, are basically quadrupedal knuckle-walkers when on the ground. However, observations of them in the wild and in captivity reveal that they walk bipedally about 10 per cent of the time both on the ground and in the trees, especially when they are carrying objects or engaged in behavioral displays. The ability of primates like chimpanzees to be bipedal under certain situations may be what evolutionists are mistaking for an alleged evolutionary trend from quadrupedal to bipedal locomotion.

Evolutionists claim that no fossils of chimpanzees have ever been found. The evidence suggests that fossils of chimpanzees have been found, but the blinding power of a naturalistic evolutionary philosophy, and the determination of evolutionists to find evidence for it has not allowed these fossil chimpanzees to be recognized for what they are."


http://christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c029.html

#396 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:40 PM:

Ginger I think we share a common designer.

#397 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:40 PM:

On the proverbial other hand, jon doesn't appear capable of an actual conversation. So maybe Abi's intuition is right. I just hate to kill a thread because of a spammer.

#398 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:45 PM:

Jon T, rather a lot of text you've copied and pasted there. Would you care to walk us through an explanation of what it all means?

#399 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:49 PM:

Ginger, was your comment directed towards my assertion that eyes have evolved multiple times?

#400 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:51 PM:

abi@377: 1. Propose an "entrance exam" for anyone who comes here with no posting history and wants to discuss this matter. I would suggest that they describe, succinctly and in their own words, the meaning of the term "evolution"*. If it isn't right, or near enough right to form a basis of a discussion, we write them off as being from an incompatible universe. If they can't be bothered to research and internalize the basics of the matter, we don't waste our time.

I don't think you need an entrance exam. Just disallow vast cut-and-paste operations from Creationist Websites to Making Light.

A quick look at the posting history of "jon t" shows that the vast majority of his posts are nothing more than mindless cut-and-paste operations from somewhere else. No thinking required. It's little more than spam, but without the link. If they're not going to think for themselves, the entire post can be replaced with a URL to the original text to make it clear where the crap comes from and that the poster is doing little more than meme-spamming instead of thinking or engaging in a conversation with anyone.


#401 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:12 PM:

Michael Roberts: Ginger was replying to the Creo who said the, "reason" we have our optic nerve running backwards is that we don't live underwater, so UV would fry our eyes.

Since various rodents see in the UV...

#402 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:42 PM:

This morning, Minnesota Public Radio had an hour long interview with Neil Shubin, the discoverer of the Darwin Fish. He was talking about his book, "Fish Fingers," which discusses Tiktaalik and what it means in the greater scheme of things.

The whole thing was fascinating, and can be listened to here.

#403 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 12:54 AM:

Michael Roberts #399: She can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure Ginger was responding to H.R. Giger's suggestion at #367 that if human eyes were arranged like squid eyes, "our retina would burn out" because of UV radiation.

#404 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 02:55 AM:

Xopher #386: I think Terry's correct about the completeness of a life. I'm picturing lives as a combination Venn diagram/Escher circle limit thing... Bounded, but infinite nonetheless. Otherwise, why not argue that a person who hasn't been to Paris really is missing an essential part of their life?

It's an interesting comparison you raise, though. What are the implications? Unlike deafness and Parislessness, there's no cure for asexuality. Also, it's not a toggle but a range: there are some people who want sex every month or so, some less, some a bit more but still not so much... Also, how much does one consider other people in bounding oneself? Most people expect to be able to make sounds to a person and have them respond; but most people don't expect to be able to act sexually with everyone they meet.

As for the Hellenizations of the Egyptian names, keen! Thanks for the info.

#405 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 07:12 AM:

"Are the Pectoral Fins of Tiktaalik Really Legs?
The limbs of tetrapods share similar characteristic features which meet the special demands of walking on land. In addition to a distinctive suite of bones in the limbs proper, there are characteristic bones in the ankle (or wrist) and in the digits (fingers and toes).
In order to support the weight of the body on land, and permit walking, the most proximal bones of the limbs must be securely attached to the rest of the body. The hind limbs in particular have a robust pelvic girdle securely attached to the vertebral column. This differs radically from that of any fish including Tiktaalik. Essentially all fish (including Tiktaalik) have small pelvic fins relative to their pectoral fins. The legs of tetrapods are just the opposite: the hind limbs attached to the pelvic girdle are almost always more robust than the fore limbs attached to the pectoral girdle.
It is significant that the “earliest” true tetrapods recognized by evolutionists (such as Acanthostega and Ichthyostega) have all of the distinguishing features of tetrapod limbs (and their attachment bones) and were clearly capable of walking and breathing on land. The structural differences between the tetrapod leg and the fish fin is easily understood when we consider that the fish has no need to support its weight in water where it is essentially weightless.
Finally, no fish (including Tiktaalik) has true finger or toe bones. Instead, fish have slender bony fin rays, which even evolutionists concede are not homologous or related in any way to digits. While fin rays are ideal for swimming in water, they are unsuited to bear weight on land and thus permit only a slithering and belly-dragging mode of locomotion on land (in certain living species) that can be described as “walking” in only the most trivial sense of the word. "
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2007/0307tiktaalik.asp
"Tiktaalik roseae: A mosaic life form which is no evidence for evolution
There are three well-preserved fossil specimens of Tiktaalik roseae. Some 3 meters long, the creature exhibits various mosaic characteristics. (Mosaic life forms contain features belonging to different groups of life forms.) As in fish, it has fins and scales. Features such as its flat head, mobile neck and relatively powerful rib structure are found in terrestrial animals. The creature, whose name is derived from the Inuit language Inuktitut and means “a large, shallow-water fish,” also has bones in its pectoral fins. Evolutionists distort these mosaic properties according to their own preconceptions and maintain that the animal is a transitional form between fish and terrestrial life forms.
Mosaic life forms, however, are very far from being the intermediate forms required by the theory of evolution. The present-day Platypus that lives in Australia, for instance, is a mosaic creature that possesses mammalian, reptilian and avian features at one and the same time. But nothing about it constitutes any evidence for the theory of evolution. Mosaic life forms are not what evolutionists need to find in order to back up their claims; they need to find “intermediate forms,” which would have to be with deficient, only half-formed and not fully functional organs. Yet every one of the organs possessed by mosaic creatures is complete and flawless. They have no semi-developed organs, and there are no fossil series that can be proposed as evidence that they evolved from some other life forms. "
harunyahya1.com/new_releases/news/tiktaalik_roseae.php

We have no idea what is really down there and what kind of crosses occur. Look at what they found washed up after the Tsunami?
Look at some of those fish, you see the fishapod in there. Why aren't they missing links, because they were alive before they washed up and not fossils.
Can you imagine if they found these as fossils? Missing links! Face it, we have no idea what is down there! Watch it real good.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=vX90r12ANjY&feature=related

A cross between any of the crocodile fish

youtube.com/watch?v=e2w6ib6HCb4&feature=related

walking catfish, northern snakehead, Knurrhahn, coelacanth, mudskipper, Plesiops corallicola could form a new kind.
After watching that film from National G, I was wrong, it is the snakehead!
Imagine if they found these as fossils? Dinosaurs! ALIVE!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUP_U6JN9WE&feature=related
www.youtube.com/watch?v=69h2AZTljqc&feature=related
youtube.com/watch?v=dhe3Hy7Q2GQ&feature=related

Although the fishapod is another name for the northern snakehead, even if it's not exact, it's the same kind of animal.

Don't close this thread, I won't come back, just wanted to give you my side of it, the thread does say making light of it, from what I can see it appears as some thought the creo's had no response to this, but the fact of the matter is they do. May have taken 2 years but it shows they didn't rush. I know you don't agree, but I don't agree with your view either.

#406 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 08:02 AM:

I hesitated to link to this, since it's something I wrote a while back and as such may look like an attempt to fish for blog traffic... but it may help the intelligent design fans understand what this conversation looks like from everyone else's end:

Arguing with creationists feels a lot like arguing with a guy who's convinced that James Joyce was a leprechaun.

#407 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 08:40 AM:

Continuing my point at #400, for example, #405 could be entirely deleted and replaced with two url's. It's all cut and paste from Creationist websites. Except for the last sentence that says "just wanted to give you my side of it", which is really giving someone else's side of it, and jon t is acting as a spambot.

Parroting someone else's words does not qualify as taking part in a conversation.

#408 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 09:24 AM:

364: Tigger rolled down his sleeve again, concealing the scar.
"I was aboard the Brain of Pooh," Owl said, slowly, "when it was torpedoed. June 29, 1945. Eleven hundred of Rabbit's Friends and Relations went into the water. Three hundred and sixteen came out. The heffalumps took the rest."

#409 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 09:29 AM:

Michael Roberts: Terry and ethan got it. ;-) I would have responded sooner, but my wireless connection decided to fade as I was writing another item, and I took that to mean that it was past my bedtime.

ajay @ 408: Oooh.

#410 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 09:58 AM:

Jon T, you're welcome to come back, as long as you are an engaging conversationalist. At the moment, you aren't conversing at all, merely cutting and pasting. If you believe something, you should be able to tell us about your beliefs and how they affect you, not just parrot someone else's words.

#411 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 11:19 AM:

I'm really loving the Pooh snippets. Thanks to all of the writers.

#412 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 11:48 AM:

jon t appears to think that "Making Light" is part of the thread title, not the blog name. ("the thread does say making light of it")

#413 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 12:07 PM:

The HG Milne version would, of course, start:

No one would have believed, in the closing years of the nineteenth century, that the affairs of Man were being watched and scrutinised by Entities of Very Little Brain... yet, across the gulfs of space, intelligences small and fuzzy and uncomplicated regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and thought to themselves "Hmm. Eleven o'clock. Just about time for a little something."

You see, the beautiful onyx-and-silver bees of Mars (see Ray Bradbury), which have nourished the Martians for so long, are dying - perhaps due to the cooling of Mars, or the drying-out of its canals, or some mysterious disease. The Martians, therefore, have come to Earth, in order to steal our HUNNY.

I'm still trying to work out how the heffalumps fit in...

"Look," said Pooh, awestruck. "Heffalump blood."
"If it bleeds," said Tigger cheerfully, "we can kill it".
"Ooh", said Piglet in a small voice, not liking the sound of that 'we'.

#414 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 12:49 PM:

Madeline 404: All these objections are reasons I need to think about it some more. Currently I'm leaning toward "Letting someone take away your sexuality makes it impossible to lead a full human life," which is meant to speak of sexual repression, primarily. To take the deaf analogy again, for me to live without music would cause me great unhappiness; for a person deaf from birth it certainly would not.

I've also often said that celibacy is the most grotesque of all the sexual perversions, but it wouldn't be a perversion at all for a completely asexual person, would it? And for varying degrees of asexuality, it would be more or less a perversion, which is kind of an odd concept.

I'm thinking about this because I have a young friend, a vibrantly sexual person, who's thinking of becoming a Roman Catholic priest, and I'm trying very hard not to try to talk him out of it! He knows what I think, but it's not my place to make his choices for him.

#415 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 01:02 PM:

Xopher: When I was studying ASL, one of the things we pondered was which we would rather lose, sight, or hearing.

To lose either, would be horrid. To have never known them, not so much. I am richer for reading Пушкин, instead of Pushkin? Yes.

Would I be diminished if I'd never been able to?

I don't think so.

Loss is different from never having.

#416 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 02:57 PM:

The three members of the away team materialized in the forest. All was quiet among the snow-covered trees.

"Commander Piglet," murmured Pooh, "stay close. I'm not convinced that this area is clear."

"But Captain," replied Piglet, "sensors indicated no heffalump activity in the near vicinity. I think I'll be able to collect some haycorns here while you and Commander Tigger retrieve the hunny."

"Very well," replied Pooh. "Make it so."

As he and Tigger moved off into the woods, their feet crunching through the deep snow, Pooh's communicator beeped. It was Commander Rabbit. "Captain, sensors indicate a large party of heffalumps coming your way. They'll probably be with you in a few minutes. How long do you need to collect the haycorns and hunny?"

"Too long," replied Pooh. "Oh, dear. Now we'll have to get Piglet and go back to the ship." He and Tigger turned back toward the clearing.

Just as they arrived, Pooh's communicator chimed again. "We can't beam you up right now. The heffalumps are too close. They're blocking our sensors and we can't get a lock on you."

Pooh turned to Piglet and Tigger. "Options?"

"I say we fight," replied Tigger. "And if we lose, then at least it is a good day to die."

#417 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 03:22 PM:

abi @ 416... "And if we lose, then at least it is a good day to die."

And then Piglet starts laughing maniacally. When he calms down, with tears of laughter still obn his cheeks, he says:

"Remember that book you always see me read? It's a cook book!"

#418 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 08:48 PM:

Piglet ran through the jungle just in time to see Eyore slumped over, dead.

Piglet looked up to see the eyes of a huffalump glow green.

COOONNTTAAACTT!!!!, screamed Rabbit, then he let loose a hundred round belt from the M-60. When the 60 went winchester, Rabbit threw his hat on the ground, and picked up Eyore's electro-powered gatlin gun. Eyore had managed it as a pack. Rabbit struggled to lift it and let loose 6,000 rounds per minute of flying lead.

Pooh ran up next to Rabbit with his M16 and started firing. Piglet ran up with an MP5 and grenade launcher. Tigger joined them with another M16. Kanga ran up, dragging Roo, and opened up with another MP5. They sawed down a triangle shape of the 40 acre wood, but there was no huffalump to be found.

Huffalump blood, though. Glowing green.

#419 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 08:54 PM:

Owl looked at Tigger, shaking his head.

"That was some of the best jumping I've ever seen," Owl said. "Right up until the point where you go killed. You never leave your wingman."

#420 ::: Edward Oleander ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 09:36 PM:

Ok, HR... Put down the caffeine and back slowly away...

#421 ::: Edward Oleander ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 10:02 PM:

Damn... guess I should hit Refresh just a leeeeetle more often...

#422 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 10:08 PM:

Piglet stopped and unzipped his ammo vest. He dumped it on the ground, picked up the 60, and struggled up hill, mumbling "I'm gonna have me some fun. I'm gonna have me some fun. I'm gonna have me some fun."

#423 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 06:43 AM:

Have a question.
Why is it that it appears some of you think that the finding of a missing link would disprove creation?
Here is a poll from 1991 to 2007, and only 9-10% of the people believe in atheistic evolution.
The creation view is 47% young Earth, & 40% theistic evolution, that is almost half.

Here are those results.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_publi.htm

My point, theistic evolution is the belief that a literal translation of Genesis teaches evolution was God's plan.

Example,
It's states that God put a system in the land and the waters to create, to do it's own thing. A literal meaning of the text doesn't say God created a dog, but let the land do it's thing. Natural selection and adaptation then took its course.

" Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
—Genesis 1:1, 11-13, 20-24, NIV"

http://www.kencollins.com/bible-i4.htm

As far as the 6 days, it's states that they are not 6 literal days but generations.

"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,"
Gen 2:4 KJV

For info on the proof that half the creationists believe in an old Earth based upon a literal reading see here.
http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/longdays.html

The dinosaurs fit into creation by the Hebrew word used on the fifth generation of creation "tanniyn" which is translated " land monster, i.e. Sea-serpent or jackal -- dragon, sea-monster".

As far as humans & apes, the similarity is explained here.

"There are two sides to man's nature. His body comes from the earth like the animals. It's an uncomfortable fact for some Christians to follow that there is conclusive evidence to show that his DNA is 98.2% the same as a chimpanzee and 97.8% the same as a gorilla!

There is something else we must take note of. It is reported that certain pseudogenes, caused by copying "errors" are found in the exact locus spots of the DNA molecule in both humans and chimpanzees. This suggests a link of DNA information but is no proof of the transmutation of species. Whether there is a descending biological link with a huge intervention by God to produce a new species (in this case man) is not important. It is clear from the evidence God did use the same "template" - with adjustments - and I am not insulted!

But (and it's a big but) man was made in God's image (not a physical image). So the other side of his nature, his psyche and spirit comes from God's breath. Yes, "God formed man of the dust of the ground". The word "formed" implies a process, and we need not see God forming man like we would put together a gingerbread man. "Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field". The same word "formed" is used and the human body has the physics of the universe in it.

The word formed could refer to cellular ancestry. However, the inbreathing of God clearly refers to man's spiritual nature which separates him decisively from the animals.


"God created man in His own image". The use of the verb "create" - bara in Hebrew - appears to indicate something more than re-coding. It appears very sparingly in Genesis and appears only twice before: First, when matter is created and second when life first emerges. While it can refer to creation ex nihilo, sometimes rendered "out of nothing", its usage is less restrictive. Its emphasis is on the newness or uniqueness of what is brought forth. Only Homo sapiens sapiens (modern man) can fellowship with the Lord and only we are accountable to Him.

One re-coding of DNA in Scripture is certain. Genesis 2:21 & 22 reads, And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his "ribs" and He closed up the flesh in its place. The rib which the Lord God had taken from the man He made into a woman.... God changed the "xy" factor and by doing so gave modern man a very good hint of progression in creation through the intervention of the Creator adjusting the DNA makeup."
http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/progressive.html


There is more of a battle amongst creationists than there are with creationists and atheistic evolution.
If a missing link is ever found, all that is going to do is push the 47% of the young earth view to join the 40% of the old Earth view.
I read some articles on fisapod that said time is running out for creationists, that facts I presented prove that wrong. It will just prove the old Earth view.

#424 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 06:56 AM:

Have a question.
Why is it that it appears some of you think that the finding of a missing link would disprove creation?

We don't. The phrase "missing link" is a symptom of a gross misunderstanding of biology and the nature of evolution - it's a bush, not a ladder.

Here is a poll from 1991 to 2007, and only 9-10% of the people believe in atheistic evolution.
The creation view is 47% young Earth, & 40% theistic evolution, that is almost half.

And? Because a majority of people believe something does not mean it is right. A majority of people - almost two-thirds - do not believe that Jesus was the son of God - how does that affect your beliefs?

#425 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 07:15 AM:

jon t @423:
Why is it that it appears some of you think that the finding of a missing link would disprove creation?

We don't. Creationists set that goalpost, and keep moving it every time anything turns up that might challenge their preconceptions.

We think that the balance of the evidence proves evolution. But that's complicated, and requires that one use critical thinking and the scientific method. Relying on an uncritical examination of a single text is antithetical to that approach. Sadly, many Creationists don't seem to be able to grasp this. (Thus the periodic tendency to quote Darwin's errors, as though his faults somehow cancel out his discoveries.)

We think the existence and agency of God is unprovable. Many of us are theists, but others are atheists. Our acceptance of evolution has as much to do with the matter of our faith as it does to do with our preference for Coke or Pepsi.

Please don't cut and paste from any more websites here, though; that's plagiarism, and boring plagiarism at that. Use your own words.

#426 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 07:44 AM:

Plagiarism is to present something "as one's own original work". The quotes along with the links they came from and that fact that I never said those words were mine show that. But I see your point. No more cut & paste, in fact, I just wanted to present to you all an idea that you don't seem to be considering, atheists attack young earth creationists. I'm not coming back.
The point was to show that half the Christians believe in what you believe, just that a creator started the process based upon a literal reading of Genesis. It wasn't to prove support in numbers in atheists vs creationists, but to show that the creationist view is almost split, and proving evolution will just unite these two sides.
I promise, I'm not coming back.

#427 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 08:51 AM:

abi @ 425... our preference for Coke or Pepsi

As for myself, I am quite partial to Diet Rite's Raspberry flavor.

#428 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 09:07 AM:

I promise, I'm not coming back.

Bingo!

Serge @427: I like Cherikee Red, myself. It haz a flavr nom nom nom

#429 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:13 AM:

The thing is, nothing could disprove creation. We know that, and that's how we know that creationism isn't science.

(One of) the creationists' problems is that they think that Evolution is a competing religion, and that Darwin is the sacred text. They think that by finding errors in the sacred text that they've somehow disproved evolution.

There isn't, in fact, any competition between Christianity and evolution. The nuns were teaching evolution in parochial school back in 1960 when I was there.

#430 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:37 AM:

Anybody for some Cheerwine? ;-)

#431 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:42 AM:

Ginger... I'm still bummed that the soft drink Surge isn't easily available anymore, if they're still making it.

#432 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:59 AM:

Serge @431: Apparently Coca-Cola (tm) is not making it anymore. There's a recipe for making Surge-like soda from Vault and food coloring, but I'm guessing you'd like the name too. ;-)

#433 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:10 AM:

Ginger @ 432... Coca-Cola (tm) is not making it anymore

I guess most people didn't like the idea of a drink called Surge. Bah humbug.

#434 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:11 AM:

jon t: You are under a misapprehension (probably several).

Creation and evolution are not incompatible.

Science and creation are. Creation can't be disproved (well, no, that's not completely true... the six days, six thousand years ago kind is, unless one posits a tricksy God who wants to fool us into belieiving the world is older than it is. Why He would do this is unclear, but I've seen it argued; a test of faith, or some such other nonsense).

Since "missing link" is a creationist term, it doesn't really apply. It's a shibboleth of creationists, meant to one up those who accept evolution by aiming at the gaps, asking the irresolvalble (see above on issues of rapid speciation and radiation, there are no, "missing links". Yes, there are gaps in the fossil record, but there are gaps in the record of my life. I assure I lived all of it, there was no death of me and then a creation of the new me).

But creationists ask for these mythical transistions (with half a wing, or eye, or lung), and then (as with this example) refuse to accept them when they appear. "Oh no, that's not, "real" evolution, it's just "micro", but they are still recreating after their kind, so it doesn't count".

Which is what annoys us. Ask for proofs, and then say, "yes, but that's not a real proof, you really needed to do this."

When this is shown to be the case (as with the lizards off Croatia), some other, "this," will be instituted instead.

It's cheap, and makes your faith look tawdry; it diminishes you, and makes your God look pathetic, which isn't really all that kind to him, and tends to make the christian/jewishly theistic here a mite testy, since that sort of lese majeste is maligning the God of their beliefs; trying to force Him into a pigeonhole of weakness and small-mindedness.

Which I'd not realised was part of what annoys me with creationists (or at least not brought to the front of my mind), so thank you.

#435 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:18 AM:

"Then why did God plague us with the capacity to think? Mr. Brady, why do you deny the one thing that sets above the other animals? What other merit have we? The elephant is larger, the horse stronger and swifter, the butterfly more beautiful, the mosquito more prolific, even the sponge is more durable. Or does a sponge think?"

- Spencer Tracy in Inherit the Wind

#436 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 12:07 PM:

They (young-Earth Creationists) believe in a cruel and deceitful God. Why anyone would worship such a god is beyond my understanding, except out of cowardice...which I guess is where the term 'God-fearing' comes in.

#437 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 12:17 PM:

436: Or, as Bill Hicks put it...
...Does that bother anyone here? The idea that God might be fcking with our heads? Anyone have trouble sleeping restfully with that thought in their head? God's running around burying fossils: "Ho ho! We'll see who believes in me now, ha ha! I'm a prankster God. I am killing me, ho ho ho!" You know? You die, you go to St. Peter:

"Did you believe in dinosaurs?"
"Well, yeah. There were fossils everywhere. (trapdoor opens) Aaaaarhhh!"
"You idiot! Flying lizards? You're a moron. God was fckin' with you!"
"Aaaaah! It seemed so plausible!"
"Ha ha! Enjoy the lake of fire, fcker!"

#438 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 12:57 PM:

Terry don't let some creationists make you think that all of us are like that, the YEC views get on my nerves too.
I also seen some evolution sites blasphemy Jesus and lobby for creationism to be labeled as a mental disorder, but I work with a couple atheistic evolutionists and they are not like that.
As far God not making it clear, I see what you're saying, but God didn't write it, it is inspired, men wrote it.
I still think it's pretty clear, the 7 days were written in Jewish terminology, everything in sevens.
Actually, it mentions it is sort of an illustration for generations, and that in God's view, where there is no time, it was a day to him.
"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, "in the day" that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens"
Gen 2:4 (in the day)
We see the same with another term called the Day of the Lord, it is the 7th seal of Revelation, and you see that part of it consists of 5 months with just one of the judgements (Rev 9:5). Throughout the old and new testament there many things that happen "in that day" of the Lord. The Hebrew word for day (yom) can mean long time periods. So it is clear if one really studies.
As far as moving goal posts, I don't see it, this Progressive vs YEC has been going on for some time, and many of the early church fathers held to the old age view of the universe.
However if science helps creationists unite to one view I'm all for it. Based upon the literal reading of Genesis you can see the land and waters created life, even the land monsters can be interpreted as arising from the waters.
There seemed to be a conflict with Genesis in regard to the geologic column because it says birds were created first, and they are seen higher in the column, but there really isn't a conflict anymore.
Common sense, birds die on mountains, nests and many other elevated positions and could fall to the ground many generations later.
Also, science has already confirmed that dinosaurs and birds were here at the same time as they had to push back the date for birds by about 80 million years, and that is an estimation, birds were probably here first as the bible states, but because they die in elevated areas compared to dinosaurs, it's going to be hard to really tell, but they have them both here at around the same time now.
See it here I won't paste it.
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/birds/birdfr.html
& that is not a creation site.

So yea it's pretty compatible, I hope we can find a middle ground someday in all areas of this and respect one another.

#439 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 01:29 PM:

Hey, jon t: did you notice you just broke your promise? #426, you: "I promise, I'm not coming back".

Someone having addressed you is not sufficient excuse. If you'd said, "I'm not coming back unless someone starts addressing my points," you'd be all set, but that's not what you said.

Way to represent your faith.

#440 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 01:36 PM:

Carrie S... Time for a Cherikee Red?

#442 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 01:45 PM:

Heck, Serge, I think just about any time is time for a Cherikee Red. It's one of the few sodas I like enough to be worth the empty calories.

#443 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 01:57 PM:

jon t, I thought you were going. Why are you back? If you think this is a debate you can win, you're wrong. You are not going to convince the regulars here, and you need to accept this. I realize, given the difficulty you have had grasping the explanations you have been given here, that you may not be able to understand that, but it's the way things are here. You are dealing with people whose worldviews are quite different from yours and those of the people you are used to associating with. For the most part, they have wider educations than yours, and are better at the use of language and argument than you are at this point in your life.

This is not a place where an argument based on the authority of biblical texts can hope to fly.

Stop and think that sentence through, and consider what it means.

Your main source for this debate is useless to you here.

Your grasp of the science involved is weak, to say the least.

There's a term that gets used on this blog for someone who keeps coming back again and again for more of the same, when they can't win. It's "piñata". They are perfectly happy to keep smacking you until there isn't any candy left inside. Of course, this may give you a nice warm feeling of martyrdom, and you can show this to your friends and impress them with your efforts to witness. So if we are serving your emotional needs there, fine; happy to oblige.

But you will win no converts for your cause here. Everyone who might agree with you was already going to be likely to agree with you. None of them are among the people who have already responded to your posts, or to the earlier posts. It's not going to happen. If you have no better way to spend your free time, fine. It's apparent that you either don't mind looking stupid in front of strangers, or are likely to react to being told that you look stupid doing what you're doing as a sign of the grace you believe you are achieving. That's fine, too.

But don't expect to change the minds of the people you interact with here. Your arguments are not good enough because of what you are using as their basis. Telling us "Because the Bible says so" might as well be the sound of birds chirping, or a cement mixer in high gear, or sound of a pachinko machine. It gets you nothing here.

I realize this may be the first time you've ever had someone say that plainly to you. I realize that it is almost impossible to find a place for it in your world-view. But it's the way it is. Typing more words won't change it. Finding more links to drag over here like a cat bringing us a half-dead mouse won't change it. Cutting and pasting more text from other places on the internet (whether with or without proper attribution) won't change it.

We do not accept your principal authority in this matter as a valid source for information on the formation of the universe in general, this solar system in particular, or the development of any life-form on this planet.

Ur middle ground--I am not buying it. kthxbai.
(insert picture of bored cat to suit)


#444 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 01:58 PM:

Jon T.,

The "evolution" in theistic evolution vs 'atheistic evolution'--as you called it up above--is the same evolution: the same science. The religious beliefs of the person don't change how evolution predicts--and the world shows--that all life is transitional, all life shows strong evidence for common descent from a single ancestor.

i.e. All multicellular life came from one ancestor. Plants come from a common ancestor about 1.8 billion years ago, when plants split off from the common ancestor of Animals+Fungi. Animals come from a common ancestor about 1.5 billion years ago, when animals and fungi split off.

Your writings, above, seem and sound more like old earth creationism. Theistic evolutionists know that Homo sapiens appeared about 300,000 years ago, coming from a long twig of ancestor Hominids (not all of those are on our twig, but we're all on the same small branch on the tree of life).

Each of those hominids is just marginally different from the older ones--there is no clear line where one can say "this one is human, this one not" until you're looking back 3-4 million years. Look at F, G, and H--mostly pretty human, and they were starting to use tools and fire, but they're not us. (note that this is from 2000--it's a bit out of date, but only because more hominid fossils have been found since then.

If you read the '29 evidences for macroevolution' link above and have no problems with it, that's theistic evolution. Probably the most famous theistic evolutionist is kennith Miller--if you read his pages, is that what you mean by theistic evolution? It's just that your cut&pastes seem to suggest otherwise, that you're not agreeing with common descent.

i.e. You mention transitional species as if there are none--they're found each year. Just this week they found a Frogamander, a fossil that looks like the ancestor (directly or its cousin) to frogs and salamanders (cool!). It's certainly neither a modern frog or a modern salamander (frogs don't have tails), but shows the traits that both groups share, and then some groups later lost (i.e. tails in frogs). It looks like mosaic of ancient frogs and ancient salamanders, exactly what palentologists would expect. Just as the set of animals becoming ancestral amphibians look like a blend of ancient fish and ancient amphibians...but you appeared to be saying that they look just like modern fish--not like ancestral fish. That isn't theistic evolution.

(heading out for Memorial day weekend, so back Tuesday)

#445 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 02:06 PM:

We should have had a pool on the time between "I'm not coming back" and the inevitable return. So, who thought it would be five hours?

Oh, and I have one empty square left before my bingo. It's the creationist site posting about "how I tried to talk with those godless evolutionists". But that will come.

#446 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 02:56 PM:

Y'know, saying I can't believe in evolution because there aren't enough transitional forms has the flavor of I can't believe in gravity because I haven't fallen off the roof enough.

#447 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 03:48 PM:

Actually, I was just thinking about this yesterday, and it occurred to me that this a golden opportunity for molecular bio types. After all, here we ostensibly have a single trait evolution where both the "before" and "after" populations are at hand. Surely they could seize the moment and isolate the genetic change(s) involved.

#448 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 04:32 PM:

OK I will now clarify, I'm not coming back after today. Please, forgive me for responding to Terry. Wow.

I'm not here to convince anyone on Christian views. Even if some people here are smarter than me, please remember there are those carry a PHD and MIT quantum physicists that believe in creation that can come here and say the same thing to you, and that would be rude.
I noticed one YEC stated, notice it is always the latest one that proves evolution? He was right on that. There is already a debate amongst scientists if Gerobatrachus is a transitional fossil, it's too new, and as a Dr. posted in a link provided above, that says most of those transitional fossils are the results of crossbreeds. There are probably tons of undiscovered crossbreed fossils.
http://www.internationalreporter.com/news/read.php?id=1107
I am 25% African American and 50% Caucasian, 25% Asian, what if people in 80 million years find me and say I was a transitional fossil? Technically we all share a common ancestor? Acts 17 says all the nations came from one blood. Works for me. We just look at things differently.
Also it says it may be an "Amphibian" Missing Link.
It states that Gerobatrachus's could have descended from a common ancestral group that later branched out. Sounds like a crossbreed between a frog & a salamander. It even says something to the effect of it having frog & salamander features. Couldn't be one of those rare crosses could it? Something like that could NEVER happen in the many millions of years.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/05/080521-frog-fossil_2.html

Funny we are talking about frogs. Ever hear the fairy tale of the frog turning into a prince from a kiss? See, you really believe in the same fairy tale, only difference is other than kissing the frog, the evolutionists magical ingredient is TIME. Same magical story. We believe in a transition, just that there are more factors involved in the change than time.

I stated above that land monsters are described as deriving from the waters in Genesis. Amphibians had to share a common ancestor at one point, that is common sense, of course there had to be a transition somewhere along the line. That doesn't mean all life forms came from one macro molecule. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't, just that "frogs and salamanders" may have branched out from a common ancestor, or it could be a cross.

There are transitional fossils, we just don't believe time was the only ingredient that caused the transition. Adaptation to environment, branching, interbreeding etc, all played a part.

Progressive creationists believe in a long process that span many generations. We believe God has a natural process in the land and in the waters as stated in the scriptures that progressively created new animals from previously existing life forms with divine adjustments over generations, and his spirit and presence was there at every generation of the creation process.
"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created"

The transitional fossils, pose no problems for progressive creationists, as we believe as the bible states God created a process for the land and the waters to create life. Different models of animals were created through progressive divine re coding of DNA, and natural selection and adaptation took it course. I have no problem believing Gerobatrachus is a transitional animal. It confirms the scriptures ....." Let the LAND and the WATERS BRING FORTH life.

#449 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 04:35 PM:

Jon Meltzer @ 445... Bingo?

#450 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 05:05 PM:

Bingo.

#451 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 05:22 PM:

I don't believe in fairy tales, even the ones where kissed frogs turn into princes.
I also don't consider the bible to be reliable as history - they're still trying to figure out that 'census' and why Joseph had to haul down to Bethlehem with a wife who was all of eight months pregnant - and the older the book, the less reliable it is.
The bible as a source for any kind of science is simply a joke. (Consider the sheep and cattle producing spotted and striped offspring after looking at peeled rods, for openers.)

#452 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 05:25 PM:

I knew we'd be back to Raj Baldev* and the Rare Crossbreed theory. Complete bunkum, of course, within the context of the accumulated evidence. But it always crops up, sure as sunrise and the use of the word "evolutionist".

A guy calls himself a scientist and spouts a bunch of quotable nonsense, designed to give the appearance of controversy where there is none. A citation like that is as valid as if I made up some new verses and claimed they were really part of the Bible. How about this bit in Genesis 1, for instance?

32 But on the seventh day God awoke and reviewed all he had wrought, and found it displeasing. 33 For it was too quickly formed, and thus did violate the natural laws which He Himself had established. 34 And such a Creation would be a stumbling block and a hindrance to Mankind, for it would prove His existence, which should ever be a matter for faith. 35 Thus did he extend his hand and wipe clean the Earth and all about it, returning them to their primal state. 36 Then He began anew, coalescing the worlds from the stuff of the cosmos and gradually evolving the life theron. 37 When His design was complete and the process of evolution started, then did He take six days to review the cosmos, from the East to the West and the North to the South. 38 Worlds He saw and cherished, suns and stars did He love, and even the black and empty void rang with His delight.

-----
* "Cosmo theorist" and astrologer to Saddam Hussein, if you believe everything you read on the web. Not that that worked out too well.

#453 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 05:25 PM:

jon@438: I hope we can find a middle ground someday in all areas of this and respect one another.

What you'll likely find is that folks here respect your right to your own religious beliefs. It's the science that you completely fubar.

Dressing your religious beliefs up in a lab coat doesn't make them scientific.


#454 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 05:41 PM:

Greg, I've never seen "fubar" used as a verb before. Is that common usage? I like it.

#455 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 06:04 PM:

jon t (the ever returning: though I am glad of your return..., one I get to see more of how you think, two I've been short of candy): Tell you what... you tell me what YOU specifically believe. Then I'll stop talking about the creationists in general.

Of course that means you have to stop with the cut and paste, and give us your personal thoughts and theories.

Mind you, if this Common sense, birds die on mountains, nests and many other elevated positions and could fall to the ground many generations later. is an example, you are going to have trouble.

Common sense tells me (who has seen a lot of dead things, as I travel to and fro in the world) that your model has a few problems.

Falling to the ground a few generations (is that literal, or biblical... it might be nice if we didn't have confused, and confusing, homonymical terms, but I digress; and will stipulate you mean biologic, not metaphoric, generations) after they died in trees?

Have you been around dead things? They don't stay put. Scavengers rip them apart, the wind and rain move them. Absent life, gravity tends to pull them out of the trees.

And how, pray tell, is it that all off them managed to stay in the trees (dead, and all) until the requisate number of generations had passed for them to (illusorially) make it seem they actually arrived on the scene so much later?

And could you send me some of that handwavium? Because it's so much handier than just saying, "and then a miracle happened."

Am I mocking you? Yes. You asked me to use common sense and then started demanding I accept patent nonsense. It's insulting.

The same is true for the trope that, by carefully (and whiggishly) parsing the figurative language of the Bible we can see the "truth" which science has confirmed.

Doesn't work that way. God hanging the heavens isn't code for the Big Bang. We quickly get to trying to resolve the irresolvable (which of the two creation stories in Genesis is the real parallel... the one where man and woman come together (right after the animals, Gen 1:25-27) or the one where the animals come first, Adam names them; and then Eve comes along to keep him company; which happens after the first seven days of the rest of Creation (Gen 2:1-7).

Just askin'.

About those co-habiting birds and dinosaurs... how is the pterosaurs managed to fall to the ground and be buried when they died, but the birds didn't? Different sorts of trees? Bird carcasses not yummy to scavengers? How is it the whole skeletons are consistently in different levels (which sort of implies they were silted over before scavenging took place)?

Because those ideas fly in the face of that common sense you told me to use. Unless the rules of the game for carcasses have changed, since the days of the dinoaaur (more of that handwavium).

That magical ingredient you call a piece of fairy tale... time... It's been shown to work. Read, "The Beak of the Finch", go to BoingBoing and read about the lizard which did a piece of (punctuated) evolutionary radiation (moving from insects to plants, getting larger, changing social behavior, adding a structure to it's digestion) in 39 years.

Theres a lot of time. Enough time that we have managed, as people, to make breeds of dog as different as the Pomeranian and the Irish Wolfhound (which are only partially interfertile). Time is a big thing. Given enough of it some very small things can add up to a big change (look at the Grand Canyon, heck, just look at a set of stone steps; that unyielding stone will have hollows and dips from the feet of those who tread on it). Telling me that time, and variation, are insuffcient to effect change... (wait for it) flies in the face of common sense.

Here's the real problem (as I re-read your posts) you believe in evolution; but you want it to answer a question it can't (and which I don't demand of it): Whence came, "Life".

You don't want to accept that Life might have just happened. There might not be a God (which is true, no matter what you believe. You might be Wrong). Evolution doesn't try to answer that question.

Until you stop trying to make it do so, you can't really accept evolution. If/when you can divorce that need; then you might be able to better address the other ontological problems.

Me, I don't have a problem. My religious beliefs don't demand such a clear cut thing. If there is a God, well I'm gonna die, at which point; should their be a god, I'll know.

My common sense tells me that using the brain She/He/They/It gave me, to understand the creation laid out before me; in consonance with the evidence presented, ain't gonna be a problem.

What I did to make the world better for the rest of creation; that's important. Piddly shit like who believes what about how the whole thing started, not so much.

But hey, that's only my common sense.

#456 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 06:15 PM:

John Meltzer: I'd have lost. I was figuring about 2.5.

ethan: fubar is a verb-phrase, in it's own right, so moving it is perfectly acceptable.

#457 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 06:24 PM:

Abi, I see your point but bad example, there are no such scriptures. Many people use cults and crazy religious examples to disprove Christianity. What if I kept using the piltldown man example?
Dr. Raj Baldev makes a lot of sense and is a smart man, but I respect your view and your right to differ.
Also, Gerobatrachus will not even be a problem for the YEC, as they believe they take forth after their kind. The frog & salamander are both amphibians.


Kathryn,
To the hominid species, I have two different views if they interbred with modern humans.
I have no quarrel with either side of that.
We believe the hominids were man like mammals created by God on the 6th generation of his creation that went extinct. DNA shows they are not related to us, but I believe they did interbred with humans based on a few studies and that is debatable and really irrelevant to the progressive creationist.

The 29 reasons for macro evolution, have been refuted.

http://www.trueorigin.org/theobald1a.asp

In the same manner that articles that said 50 reasons that prove intelligent design have been refuted.

Again, we are NOT totally against evolution, that article is targeted at the YEC camp.

Talk origins I believe MAY have a lot of Dawkins material, I could be wrong. In a debate I seen Dawkins being a little reluctant to talk about cosmology, he stated something to the effect of, we are waiting for the Darwin of Cosmology to come along.

You know, I see something like that and you know what that tells me, oh yea, he has it all figured out.
Then I seen Gerald Schroeder and Hugh Ross speak volumes on cosmology, the Hugh Ross book The Creator & The Cosmos for one. World famous atheist Anthony flew changed his view to creation and cosmology was one of the factors.
They are not stupid people, and neither is Mr. Dawkins.
Mr. Dawkins is smarter than me & Gerald Schroeder is most likely smarter than anyone here. Stop calling creationists stupid, it's a little old and creationists are guilty of saying the same about atheistic evolutionists, and they are just as wrong for that.
I listen to Dawkins, Hovind, Farwell Till, Ross, Schroeder, I take a little here & a little there, I see a lot of truth in many different views.

In laymen terms, Satan doesn't need me to believe in him, if I believed in him I would believe in God.
The fight is with principalities and powers.
In the billions of years he became a very smart entity, I honestly think he came up with a plan to mess with peoples minds and have them believe they & everything, came from nothing.
Paul spoke about his tricks, the wiles of Satan.
I believe he saw God's science and twisted it to mess with people minds to reject the savior.
He been around a long time!

#458 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 06:34 PM:

Jon T @457:
Abi, I see your point but bad example, there are no such scriptures.

Of course there aren't. I made them up just now. And you don't see my point, which is that Baldev's "science" is equally made up.

#459 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 06:45 PM:

jon t: abi's point is that you can't prove the divine provenance of your scriptures, any more than she can of hers (or vice versa); ergo they are both useless in terms of evidence.

Dawkins on cosmology is perfectly correct (see the last bit of my last post to you).

You know what I never see theists such as yourself explain... where did God come from?

Until you can answer that, I don't think I can believe any of the rest of your fairy-tale (the one where a miracle happens; instead of time being able to make small changes).

Is it unreasonable of me to demand that? Yes.

The same way it's unreasonable of yoy to demand one science (biology/evolution) answer a question which isn't part of its magisterium.

It's not cricket, palming cards, unfair; in short, it's cheating.

Tell me, why should God care what we believe? What is Satan's percentage in creating evolution (and do you believe Satan can create? If so how Satan then different from God?). Is being a good person invalidated if one thinks evolution explains things? Will that damn one to hell.

How is it that people whom God is pissed at are punished by Satan; who is God's enemy... one would think Satan would treat people pretty well; at least not go so far as to carry out the punishments God mandates. In that model, Satan doesn't seem so much the adversary as the employee... in which case the planting of temptations goes back the claims that your god is a petty thug, unjust, unfair, and undeserving of loving worship [though if he's as powerful as you posit, fearful obedience might be in order; in that light Pascals Wager is the way to bet.

All in all, the god you describe isn't all that nice.

#460 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 06:56 PM:

Terry WOW!
I'm a sheep amongst the wolves, but I like that.
I'm not mocking you, & I appreciate your response.
I won't cut & paste, so read the reasons for the 2 chapters of Genesis here.
http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/genesis2.html

There is also the belief of the re-creation after Satan fell to the Earth.

As far as the birds I'll make it simple, they are being dated at about the same time as the dinos now, and as far the question you asked, the ucmp berkeley article stated something to the effect of that the hollow bones of birds have are most likely not to survive as fossils.

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/birds/birdfr.html

#461 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 06:56 PM:

I think Mark 16 past 16:8 is an interesting - and successful - example of making up verses and claiming they're part of the Bible. I do wonder what would have happened if the Gospel of Mary Magdalene was canon and Revelation was left out. Less Paul would be worth inventing a time machine for. ("Les Paul? Excellent!")

Speaking of which, I'd love to see a card game where the object is to construct a biblical canon from the available source material that best supports your randomly drawn goals. Chrononauts for theology geeks.

#462 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 06:56 PM:

abi at 425 said it best: We think the existence and agency of God is unprovable. And this doesn't stop those of us who are theists from having faith in that unprovable, ineffable God.

I love Genesis and find spiritual truths in both creation accounts. As far as I can tell, when God speaks to us, God speaks through poetry, myth, metaphor, mystery, music, the voices and eyes and hands of others, and in the deep places of our hearts. Literal readings of the Bible are impoverished and bleak compared to the great richness and complexities of the ways the Divinity communicates with her/his creatures.

Xopher: I want to disagree that celibacy is a perversion. I don't think it is: and I've been celibate for several decades. Forced celibacy, a celibacy not freely chosen, is awful; celibacy chosen out of fear or pain or mental anguish is a mistake, surely. But celibacy freely chosen by a healthy person can be a reasonable choice.

#463 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 07:06 PM:

jon t: What part of my asking for your beliefs and opinions (they will be graded, show your work) didn't you understand. Cutting and pasting an URL is still cutting and pasting (with the added frisson that I am now expected to chase it down; so I can re-read things I've seen before.

For the record, I do think you dishonest. You say you are not here to convince us of Christian views, but all your evidence is based on interpretations of christian texts. QED, you are trying to persuade that Christian views are correct, and to convince us to believe them.

Honestly... I don't think you a sheep among wolves.

You are either one who doesn't know, or one who refuses.

If the former, well I hope you figure it out.

If the latter, you're among the goats.


If/when you choose to answer the questions I posed, I'll deal with you again; until then it's as fruitful as trying to shepherd the wind.

#464 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 07:17 PM:

abi @ 452... Cosmo Theorist? He isn't as much fun as Cosmo Brown.

#465 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 07:48 PM:

I see your point again Abi,
Yes Dr.Raj Baldev is made up or a theory, and so is many forms of evolution, that is why science is always correcting itself.

What some don't understand about the teaching of Christianity is that the scriptures state that it is not supposed to proven.
Where would faith come in?
It doesn't say I'll PROVE IT TO YOU!

It says

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."

Jeremiah 29:13

Give Jesus a chance.

To answer your question on where did God come from, well there is an answer, even if there was not, I would still believe in a God over nothing.

See the answers here

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/who_created_god.html

But I admit it is a religion.

To answer your question on the 2 Genesis accounts see here.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i4/genesis.asp

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i4/genesis.asp

See, in the end regardless of how much we see evolution and the bible being compatible, it comes down to, a rock or God.
Meaning, it rained on the rocks and a macro molecule became the first origin for life. Where did it find a mate and learn how to reproduce?
Regardless of your answer, I believe in the beginning God, you believe in a rock.
You want to say one is science & one is religion? They are both based in science and require a religious belief.

To answer
"How is it that people whom God is pissed at are punished by Satan"
Satan also goes after the righteous, that is in the scriptures.
The scriptures also says that God punishes the righteous to correct, he is my boss & with that I have no qualms.

#466 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 07:56 PM:

Give it up, folks. He's not listening.

#467 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 08:23 PM:

Lizzy L: Already did. I gave him the chance to come to the table with an open heart, but absent that; hands are washed.

#468 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 08:26 PM:

I agree with Lizzy L; this has turned into a snoozathon.

#469 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 08:30 PM:

To the question of Mark 16, anyone of the 4 four answers in that link could be valid, but my answer, is that it shows all 4 Gospels are close, and each one had different account based upon their view and the angle and situation they were in.
If there was a Christian conspiracy, all 4 Gospels would match. It shows individualism and honesty.

See, is a boxing match there are 3 judges, in a split decision does it prove someone was a liar?
No, they are honest about what they experienced from their viewpoint.
Trust me, I been through every bible difficulty, and there is a reasonable answer for everyone, spare it.

#470 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 09:00 PM:

Terry Karney @ 467... to the table with an open heart, but absent that; hands are washed

"Doctor Ginger to the operating room, Doctor Ginger..."

#471 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 09:24 PM:

Serge #470: You recall that Ginger is a veterinarian?

#472 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 09:27 PM:

#460

You must have missed the pictures of the fossil scissor-tailed birdosaur. It's real, it's very impressive, and those surely are tail-feathers - even non-experts can tell that much.

#473 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 09:39 PM:

Fragano @ 471... Oh, I definitely did remember. Heheheh...

#474 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 09:53 PM:

Fragano: So long as she recalls how many chambers she's working on, most of it's the same basic principle (that whole evolution thing).

#475 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 09:54 PM:

jon_t, I have no doubt that you have an explanation for any rational objection anyone can have. I hope you realize that you've engineered a no-lose situation:

1) If the biblical accounts agree with each other, this shows they're true
2) If the biblical accounts contradict each other, that shows the scholars are honest

From the outside, I see clear evidence of harmonization in the new testament, particularly when the original writers tried to prove Jesus's messiah-hood using Greek translations of the Torah. To me, that seems like a reasonable explanation for the virgin birth of Jesus and the purported census in Bethlehem.

This isn't important if what you're interested in is a philosophy to live your life and poetic myths to tell stories about. If you're interested in inerrancy, this makes life difficult. However, there exists no plot hole or contradiction large enough that fanfic can't find a way to cover it. These blurbs and links you're cutting and pasting here aren't Christian dogma, they're just-so stories explaining why Daniel Radcliffe's appearance in Equus fails to disprove literal Harry Potterism.

Finally, if you believe that science changes while Christianity does not, I have six words for you: Gnosticism. Reformation. Unitarianism. Curse of Ham.

#476 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:08 PM:

471, 473, 474: Since this is an emergency heart transplant, you gentlemen have volunteered to assist me in the operating room. While the technicians are preparing the patient, please scrub in and meet me down the hall.

This will be a technically demanding operation, as we rarely do this on decerebrate individuals -- but this is a new procedure that is supposed to help and the prognosis is unknown. Are you ready to enter the realms of legend?

I thought so. Walk this way.

#477 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:09 PM:

Alive! It's alive!

#478 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:11 PM:

That's the donor.

#479 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:14 PM:

Ginger #476: Decerebrate or anencephalic?

#480 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:16 PM:

Fragano @ 479: Good question. Who's got the CT scan images? Let's put those up on the wall and read them.

#481 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:19 PM:

Ooooh! Can we do an MRI of DOOOOOM!?

#482 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:21 PM:

Hint: "anencephalic" is a congenital disorder, and results in early death. "Decerebrate" is a condition seen at any age, accompanied by rigidity. Which do you think is the proper diagnosis in this case? ;-)

#483 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:22 PM:

To 472

"Copyright 2002"

Perhaps you missed this,

2005 Update

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051010085411.htm

To 475

I really did look at both translations, and I seen vague interpretations to show that the prophesied messiah was Israel and not Jesus, but it seemed to stretch it too far. Interpretation analogies.

I have many Jewish friends that realized that, search Jews for Jesus and you see what I am talking about.
Yup, start your poems again. My Time is short. Anything else??????????????

#485 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:24 PM:

::revs up magnetic engines::

::puts in ear plugs::

::dooooooooooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmm::

IS THIS LOUD ENOUGH FOR YOU? NO?

::DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMM::

#486 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:44 PM:

Fungi: I think we've established that the playing field isn't level, and that jon t thinks cakes can be had, and et (Satan hates the righteous so much that he punsishes sinners, because God thinks it's what they deserve... wha?).

#487 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:48 PM:

Ginger #482: Well, when you've got someone who is in the words of Burns 'unco guid' and 'rigidly righteous' the diagnosis' is obvious. One wonders if the decerebration was caused by deceleration.

#488 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:52 PM:

Fragano @487: Your deduction of decomposition of decerebration is demeritorious.

#489 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:53 PM:

Fragano @487: Your deduction of decomposition of decerebration is demeritorious.

#490 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:56 PM:

Lizzy L: I want to disagree that celibacy is a perversion. I don't think it is: and I've been celibate for several decades. Forced celibacy, a celibacy not freely chosen, is awful; celibacy chosen out of fear or pain or mental anguish is a mistake, surely. But celibacy freely chosen by a healthy person can be a reasonable choice.

I can see that. But I think most people who are celibate do it for bad reasons. I think it's wrong for a person who wants sex to deny it to hirself on an ongoing basis, but that's my opinion. Doing it in exchange for authority or prestige is particularly twisted, in my opinion.

#491 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:57 PM:

Ginger #488/489: De composition of de cerebration is not de problem. De problem is much more cerebratious dan dat.

#492 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:02 PM:

Fragano@491: Clearly, I'm decelebrating too much over here. Perhaps I should desist and delight myself into departing.

#493 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:03 PM:

Nice spin Terry,
Nice try!
Nowhere does it say "Satan hates the righteous so much that he punsishes sinners"

Nice hail Mary,
4th & 23

#494 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:08 PM:

Ginger #492: I find that at this point in the week a bit of rum and ginger would not go amiss. Certainly, keeping Ginger from feeling rum would be a good thing.

#495 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:16 PM:

Fragano @ 494: Rum and Ginger is an excellent choice. And what will you be having? Have you heard of the drink called "Yaws"?

#496 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:21 PM:

Ginger #495: I'll have a rum and grapefruit juice, thanks!

#497 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:29 PM:

Fragano@496: Rum and grapefruit juice? That actually sounds...yummy. Which rum do you use?

#498 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:32 PM:

Fungi #461 -- The card game you'd love to see is called Credo: The Game of Dueling Dogmas, was published by Chaosium in (I think) 1993, and is long out of print and hard to find. Despite that review's claim that the "rules are clearly written and easy to follow", the one group of gamers I saw trying to play the game had a lot of difficulty figuring it out.

#499 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:34 PM:

Ginger #497: Appleton, of course. And now, I'm off to bed.

#500 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:41 PM:

Fragano @ 499: Of course! ::smacks forehead::

Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite.

#501 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:00 AM:

Hmm. Dogma Fluxx?

#502 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:01 AM:

jon t: I asked why Satan was in cahoots with god (in afflicting those whom god has damned; which is the common understanding of how hell works).

You responded that Satan hates the righteous.

Which was either non-responsive (since, by definition, the righteous don't end up in hell), or an attempt on your part to bob and weave; without noticing that you were tripping over your own feet.

Me, I suspect the latter, as your rhetorical abilities have been sub-par, even for the usual run of evo-creos. I'm not even going to address the facile nature of your repsonse that there are answers to everyone who has difficulties with the texts of the bible; because I don't think you have the wit to engage in a reasoned discussion of either theodicy, or the problem of pain.

So, on every front in which you have entertained to educate, you've failed. Your apparent lack of comprehension on the subject of science has; almost unbelievably, been eclipsed by your blindnees to the depth of your failure to understand the facts, history, and questions of the religion you believe in.

I can't even be angry with you, annoyed, frusrated and; almost, disgusted, but that's about it. The pitiable excuses for argument you are offereing up (in both realms) are just so flabby and unsatisfying. It's like you've got a super-sized Christian-lite; where you engage in backwards projection (casting Isaiah as a precourser of Jesus; ignoring that he was writing to a very specific question; that of the fate of the people of Israel, who were suffering the Babylonian exile to expiate the sins of the nation), and massive self-delusions.

You offer glorious arguments that all evidence; be it positive, or negative, is supportive of the Truth of the bible, even while you pretend to agree that anyone can make anything up and call it scripture; but yours is differeent because god inspired it, the council of Nicea ratified it, and you believe it... except where you don't (I could be wrong, you might accept the Apocrypha, but I doubt it).

So to have you accuse me of trying a Hail Mary play; for quoting your argument... it's rich, typical, and predictable, but your words belie you; because anyone who eyes to see, or ears to hear, can look above and compare what you wrote, to what I said you wrote, and discover a consonance.

And that you have, assiduously, not answered my questions; save to suddenly make an aside, unamed, to aspects of them, at the end of a comment to another.

Lizzy was right, there is no longer any merit in speaking with you. You can't even recall (when there are references) what you've said. Good luck, and godspeed.

#503 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:06 AM:

"the 4th century conclave that decided in what direction western Christianity was going to go"


http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/trinity.html


The Church Fathers spoke of it!

#504 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:36 AM:

Ahh Terry, Difficulties, I been through them all, you want to go thorough all 300 like I have, spare us, you have nothing.

You tried some spins as to why "Satan was in cahoots with god" read the word, Terry, he wanted to be like the most high.

In "your" mind I failed, more people read than post my friend, you had nothing to disprove the word.

4th & 42

The Church fathers proved Jesus long before the Council of Nicaea & I am not Catholic. Nice try.

The fate of the people of Israel has been a weak debatable attempt to de-legitimize the Messiah Jesus, but many Jewish people came to see the light.

You tried to spin once again with arguable debatable issues that even Jewish people have come to see the light, you showed how weak your position is and the lack of evidence you have. This was a major victory for the creationists.

The sheep stood it's own amongst you wolves!

4th & 48............ Terry, call in Bradshaw out of retirement! He threw good bombs!
Bye!!

#505 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:49 AM:

One more for your last bomb!

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/megiddo_church.html

#506 ::: Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 01:21 AM:

Just wanted to say, Jon, that I truly enjoyed the fantastic image of all those dead birds festooning trees for *millions of years* -- and the birds never fell down -- and the *trees* never fell down either! -- until it was finally their time to drop to the ground and be incorporated in the geological layers.

Seriously. I will treasure it.

#507 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 01:34 AM:

Fungi @475: Curse of Ham? No, wait, that can't be right, it would be like a "plague of chocolate."

Jon @504 - you have a remarkably low bar for declaring major victory. Your refusing to comprehend evolution while they laugh at you is probably not going to convince any non-creationists of your correctness. But since all you people do is hoot to prove tribal membership anyway, I guess your having been able to hoot here was a victory of sorts.

Welcome to it.

#508 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 01:34 AM:

Never said they never fell, said they die at higher positions, birds wouldn't do that would they?
& keep in mind the berkeley article that stated that they are being dated at about the same time as the dinos now, & it stated that the hollow bones of birds are most likely not to survive as fossils.
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/birds/birdfr.html

& berkeley are your people, not mine!

Remember that! LOL!

#509 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 01:58 AM:

This is why they have trees growing through alleged millions of years of the column.

Wake up!
http://www.algonet.se/~tourtel/hovind_seminar/seminar_part4a.html

#510 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 02:21 AM:

Ummm, yes, early birds and dinosaurs were contemporaries during part of the hundreds of millions of years in which dinosaurs existed. (Yes, hundreds of millions. It's a long time.) If you actually think about it a moment, that would pretty much be a given if one accepts that birds evolved over time from some varieties of dinosaurs.

Why you think that is news to anyone, I don't know; it was known over 40 years ago when I was a kid reading about Archeopteryx. How you think it can prove that birds predated dinosaurs, I don't know. That's where you started out - you have been claiming that birds existed before dinosaurs.

The very page you linked to notes that the earliest confirmed birds are from the upper Jurassic; that would be about 155 million years ago. The earliest dinosaurs are from the previous age, the Triassic; that would be about 230 million years ago, or 85 million years earlier. (To put that in perspective, that difference is around 40 times longer than any even remotely human-like ape has existed, or about 200,000 times longer than it's taken humans to breed wildly divergent varieties of dogs.)

That page also says a single paleontologist has pieced together a single skeleton he thinks is birdlike from a period contemporary with earlier dinosaurs, but that most other paleontologists disagree, particularly as the bones weren't found together and a lot of mistakes have been made in the past from that kind of reconstruction. Is that what you're focusing on? Is this the part you're somehow taking as proof that birds came before dinosaurs, even though instead it's a speculative hypothesis that birds existed at the same time as an earlier group of dinosaurs?

Are you reading the links you post? Are you really unable to notice when you completely contradict yourself? Do you do that in daily life too? You must be quite difficult to work with if so...

#511 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 03:53 AM:

And to think, I gave up on this thread last month, believing the candy was all out of the piñata. I'm very glad I didn't miss ajay's lovely pastiches; the fuzzy intelligences watching Earth and thinking about elevenses fair did me in.

Back to evolution, briefly. It's interesting, isn't it, how fixated all these evolution-deniers are on body shape and matching morphology between species, and completely ignore the last 30 and more years of work on cladistics? Guess it's hard to argue with what you've never heard of, and wouldn't understand if you had.

As I think I mentioned to the last tag-team boneheads to pass through here, for some of us evolution isn't even a scientific question; it's an engineering discipline. That tends to make us a lot more pragmatic about how and whether it works, and lot less tolerant of ignorant babble. Weren't there a lot of people in the 19th century who were convinced that the Bible proved the evil nature of combustion engines? Did any of the Brunels care?

Ginger @ 476

Can't. If I walk that way I'll throw out a hip. So I'll waggle my cigar instead, OK?

#512 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 06:55 AM:

I'd stick around to see if the fun will continue, but I have to go worship the cat.

#513 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 08:03 AM:

Y'know, saying I can't believe in evolution because there aren't enough transitional forms has the flavor of I can't believe in gravity because I haven't fallen off the roof enough.

Damn it, 3 years at university to get my maths up to scrtach to get a passing grade on the general relativity course, and I could have just fallen off the roof a few more times? (My tensor calculus is just like falling off a log - no matter how many times I do it, it still ends up a big mess)

Also, having watched The Reaping (Horror film based on the 10 plagues of Egypt) this week, I can actually come up with some fairly nasty "plague of chocolate" scenarios.

#514 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 08:28 AM:

509... Wake up!

Zzzz... Wha... Huh? What's that about a plague of banjos?

#515 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 09:10 AM:

Avram, thanks for the Credo link. I had never heard of that game; lLet's hear it for parallel evolution.

Terry, jon_t is reminding me more and more of a creationist ELIZA. He has a finite set of replies and links, and he can spit out a response to anything we say. Of course, what he says may not actually have anything to do with the question, but that's a different story. As the man said, "While all answers are replies, not all replies are answers." (JMS 3:09)

It does seem that he answered your question, though - Satan punishes people because he wants to be like God. I think that says more about jon_t's God than his Satan.

I am still surprised at how small and narrow jon_t's Christianity is. For instance, the apologetic for the divinity of Jesus is made from straw. Yes, there were early Christians who believed that Jesus was wholly divine. There were also early Christians who believed that Jesus was completely human. As Bart Ehrman describes in "Lost Christianities", this led to the proto-orthodox compromise position that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. Theology by committee.

Both the world and Christianity are larger and more interesting than jon_t will accept.

#516 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 09:19 AM:

Michael Roberts #507, I believe "Indiana Jones and the Plague of Chocolate" was one of the rejected draft scripts for the fourth movie.

Also "Indiana Jones and the Plural of Nazis", "Indiana Jones meets Wikipedia Brown" (a time-travel movie, I believe), and "Indiana Jones and the Misplaced Constitution".

Which reminds me - John Yoo is not one of 'my people', even if he teaches at Berkeley. Let my people go, indeed.

#517 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 10:03 AM:

Groucho Marx @ 511: You go right ahead. Let me know when I've said the magic word, eh?

#519 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 10:26 AM:

jon, the god you believe in can exist whether he created life on earth or not. All it requires is that the people who wrote genesis couldn't understand what god was telling them and had to put it in their own words.

You said something about the four chapters of the new testament showing different points of view, different individuals. Genesis is someone else's point of view. Someone human. Someone who didn't understand biology, chemistry, thermodynamics.

As long as you desparately try to reinterpret Genesis into different meanings so that it is biologically true, you will play the part of a fool running a fool's errand.

As long as you keep arguing stuff like "day" can mean "a very long time", you're violating the first most important rule of science: direct observation trumps theory and Genesis is someone's theory of creation. They didn't observe it, god told it to them, and they put it into words they could understand.

Today, we have observed fossils, we understand chemistry and biology. We make theories based off of observation. As an old theory is shown to be insufficient, we either upgrade it or discard it and replace it with a new one.

You are desparately clinging to Genesis as if it is the final theory of life on earth, rather than acting like a scientist and allowing direct obsrvation, new observations, to form new theories that replace old theories.

You argue for scientific reasons why Genesis is true by sayign stuff like "day" can mean "long time" and by saying stuff like "birds can die in the mountains". But in the end, you are NOT acting scientifically, you are playign dress up as a scientist, thinking that if you put on a lab coat that you are a scientist and some how that'll let you make scientific arguments.

But everything you do boils down to one completely unscientific thing: You are attached to a theory that is thousands of years old, that was written by men who didn't have the understanding of biology and chemistry that we have now. And you pick through all our observations and choose the bits and pieces that will prove that Genesis is somehow "right", that it is a valid theory.

If linguistic exercises are allowed to make Genesis right, if "day" can be taken to mean a "long time", maybe you ought to consider that bits such as "god created the birds" might actually translate into something like "god created a universe with the physical laws that regulate chemistry and biology, and those laws created the birds". I'm quite certain that if God tried to tell that explanation to someone back then, they would have heard "god created the ... birds"

So, if you're going to answer only one thing in my post, it would be this question:

Is it possible that Genesis contains words written from the point of view of the flesh and blood man who wrote it, and that his point of view wasn't a complete point of view of how life on earth began?

Because if the Gospel contains different versions of what happened to Jesus because each version is told from a different person and a different point of view, then that would mean that the point of view of the man who wrote Genesis isn't neccessarily the entire story of creation, but just the story of creation told from his point of view.

Must all our scientific observations in the last couple thousand years be bent to fit into the point of view of the man who wrote the story of Genesis? Or, like the Gospels, could Genesis be an incomplete story, that took ideas that man didn't understand and try to put into words he did understand?

Back in the day, a guy named Newton came up with some theories about how objects move in the universe. He came up with some equations so that you could predict how objects with mass, travel some distance over time. This was based on what he saw, his point of view. Well, a couple centuries later, it was observed that these rules of newtonian mechanics didn't hold up when the velocities involved approached the speed of light. And the reason Newton didn't put them in his model is that he never saw objects traveling at such speeds. It was never part of his point of view.

You couldn't take these new observations and force them into Newtonian mechanics. It just didn't work. A new theory was needed, that explained this new point of view, a theory of relativity, that described how objects behaved traveling at extremely high speeds.

You're attached to Genesis as the theory of how life on earth began. You're trying to force all the recent observed evidence to fit into this 3,000 old story. And it just doesn't fit, the way the behaviour of objects near the speed of light dont fit in newtonian mechanics.

So, are you attached to the theory of genesis and will force all direct observations to fit into that story? Or are you attached to direct observations and willing to let go of old theories that don't fit direct observations and create new theories?

The first one is playing dressup, putting on a lab coat and pretending to be scientific. The second one is actually demonstrating scientific thinking.


#520 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 10:40 AM:

Coming soon, Roger Corman's adaptation of Poe's The Curse of Ham, starring Vincent Price...

#521 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 10:42 AM:

Serge @ 520: ..also starring Kevin Bacon.

#522 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 10:45 AM:

Poor Jon T. After saying that the 23rd was going to be his last day ("OK I will now clarify, I'm not coming back after today"), here he is back on the 24th. Or was that one of those Biblical days that maybe last millions of years?

Not only doesn't he understand evolution, he doesn't understand theodicity.

One of the things that the Church recognizes is the existence of invincible ignorance. He can be forgiven on that basis. I fear, though, that what we're seeing is affected ignorance. A pity, that.

#523 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 11:22 AM:

Greg at 519: See Spot run. Alas, I suspect patient explication is wasted on jon t. Nevertheless, nice post.

#524 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 11:37 AM:

Greg London @ 519... Like Lizzy L said, that was a very good post. Wasted on its intended target, but not on us who value Reason and Logic.

#525 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 11:48 AM:

Once again I will be accused of breaking my promise of not returning, let me just wrap up Gregs questions, he was very sincere.
You speak as if Genesis is in violation of such laws and it is not, you also make it sound as I'm the only one that is trying to fit Genesis in to today.
Yes laws do get replaced with better science, but the bible isn't really science, it never was, that is where you are wrong.
No it doesn't explain the biology of man, because it never did, doesn't mean it's wrong because they tapped into Gods biology?
It states in the scriptures that man would increase in knowledge (Dan 12).
If he gave all the answers man would never exercise their minds or search for new things. Of course they didn't have the understanding of biology and chemistry, that doesn't violate the bible, just confirms Dan12.
"They didn't observe it, god told it to them, and they put it into words they could understand"
True, but no one observed it raining on the rocks to create the first macro molecule. Genesis is not supposed to be science.
The direct observation of fossils do not violate the views of progressive creation, it may have with the birds at one point but not anymore, forget the dying elevated area thing that I brought up, the Berkeley article stated the hollow bones of birds are most likely not to survive as fossils. (so we shouldn't spend anymore time on that).
The Berkeley article that stated that they are being dated at about the same time as the dinos now, so this is what I mean, it really doesn't contradict Genesis.

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/birds/birdfr.html
Also there is a lot of debate over the column

http://www.algonet.se/~tourtel/hovind_seminar/seminar_part4a.html

"Is it possible that Genesis contains words written from the point of view of the flesh and blood man who wrote it, and that his point of view wasn't a complete point of view of how life on earth began? "
Of course, yes. It was written by man, and he did not "completely" know of how life on earth began, we see Genesis as God "INSPIRED". So it's a quick general overview on the generations of his creation. We even see that in the Gospels, one apostle said that if he had to write all that Jesus did there would be enough books in the world, the entire story isn't told in Genesis, I never said it was. It's a quick general view. God is not committed to share all his knowledge with us..
If you want to read a good article that addresses some of your points see this guys page.

http://www.kencollins.com/bible-i4.htm

You are in error when you said
"As long as you keep arguing stuff like "day" can mean "a very long time", you're violating the first most important rule of science"
That is not a guess, we see the word day (yom)DOES mean very long time in MANY cases.

For a thousand years in Thy sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night. (Psalms 90:4)

The day of the Lord.... we see a 5 month span in just one of the judgements, rev 9

The word yom can mean a general vague "time," 4. a point of time,
The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

& or figuratively "a space of time defined by an associated term" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance)
It is even self explanatory when Gen 2 states there were the generations of the creation.
So, you're trying to make it sound as if I'm trying fit a square peg in a round hole, but official definitions prove I am not.
Thanks for the response, I felt the need to address it.
I think it amazes you how people can see Genesis as not violating Science, it's just a general overview.

#526 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 11:53 AM:

Serge: I doubt Greg was writing to jon t (who has donned the armor of something... with his asking to be spared the questions of theodicy and pain; since he's been through all the difficulties one can have with the bible, all 300 of them; worked them all out, and needs not be reminded of them. His solutions seem to be more in the vein of "la-la-la" than anyhing else, so not having the blessing of them being shared with us is perhaps more of a kindness than a curse, since I've seen what passes for applogetics from him, and it's pretty thin gruel).

No, I suspect Greg is writing for the silent audience who may stroll in. He may be writing it just to polish his skills, for the occaision someone comes in with honest questions.

#527 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:24 PM:

Once again I will be accused of breaking my promise of not returning

No. Once again, you have broken your promise. That you call attention to it, and call it an accusation, makes it no less a fact.

#528 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:39 PM:

Argh. Obviously ridicule doesn't kill nor does it chasten someone into staying away when he keeps saying he'll stay away. I guess we reaped what we sowed by actually paying attention- any attention - to a pathetic loser. I'm staying away from that thread. Elsehwere in ML there's a discussion of pus.

#529 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:40 PM:

I will be accused of calling jon t. a creationist blatherer, once I hit Post on this comment.

#530 ::: Sisters and Cousins and Aunts ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:43 PM:

Xopher@529: You have called jon t. a creationist blatherer! That's an ad hominem attack! You broke the rules! Nothing with a Latin name is allowed! Censor him, someone! J'accuse! J'accuse!

#531 ::: Little Buttercup ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:47 PM:

Xopher #529: How could you! How could you!

#532 ::: Sweet Rose Maybud ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:56 PM:

Xopher at 529: You may not point,* you must not point,* it's manners out of joint to point!*


*...out that someone is being pointless.

#533 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:58 PM:

Neil: I believe in gravity (I've fallen of a few logs), doesn't mean I can explain it's intricacies.

Stick with the tensor calc, someone has too (and better you than me).

#534 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:39 PM:

If jon t could construct an independent argument, based upon something other than the Book of Genesis, he would have before now. He also doesn't even have enough grasp of basic science to be able to tell if any of the things he links to and tries to claim as proof for his position are valid science* or not. His ability to make a coherent and consistent argument isn't much to brag about either; Aquinas he ain't.

I notice he didn't manage to make a response to my statement that we were, in general, rejecting his principal authority. I suppose I've been dismissed as a mocker.

I have to say most of the subpontine visitors on this thread have had a lot of candy in them, but it's generally been fairly cheap stuff, the sort of thing tightwads hand out at Halloween.

*In honor of our visitor's fondness for links: The Scientific Method; jon t appears to be equally committed to Peirce's Method of Tenacity and Method of Authority.

#535 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 09:32 PM:

I think it amazes you how people can see Genesis as not violating Science

It doesn't amaze me. People cling to untruths all the time. You're no different. And yes, you're trying to smash a square peg into a round hole. The thing that separates you from scientific thinking is that you're attached to your theory. Scientists have been known to do that as well. There were things about quantum mechanics that were so weird when it first got bandied about as an idea that many good scientists thought it rubbish. But it's prety much accepted nowadays.

But you're emotionally involved with your theory. You're like a professor who developed a theory and then defends it to his dying days against all evidence to the contrary, because you've invested your own value into your theory being true, and if proven false, your percieved self worth drops like a rock.

And when a scientist does that, they're not being scientific anymore.

But no, your behaviour doesn't amaze me at all. You're acting quite recognizably human. You're just not acting scientifically.

#536 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 07:39 AM:

"MY" theory, like I invented it.
Greg, I'm sure there are a lot of things that piss you off about creationists, but you know what makes creationists laugh, is they act like what they believe is not a theory. The big bang theory, something the progressive creationists believe in is a "theory", many of the science books in the UK & here place a "theory" disclaimer in many of evolution sections of the books.
If you look at many of the progressive creationist sites, the science is pretty much the same as what you would believe, again in the end you believe in the beginning nothing, we believe in the beginning God.
No one is fitting a square peg into a round hole, I showed you that with the official Hebrew definitions of Yom.

The only thing you said that makes sense to me ....

"As an old theory is shown to be insufficient, we either upgrade it or discard it and replace it with a new one."

Granted, it is called progressive creation.
Dawinism is also old, a lot of it is true and does not contradict Genesis, but many recent discoveries of science are trying to make it fit Darwin's view, but some great scientists like Anthony Flew knew better.

People still cling to YEC, & I think atheistic evolutionists like debating the YEC camp. Issues such as the age of the Earth, the big bang, Genetic similarities between species support common ancestry, Species can split from each other from pre-existing variations are issues believed by us. Because a general overview didn't mention it doesn't mean I'm not going to believe in that general overview? Genesis didn't mention insects either, the Genesis writer probably was slapping some off his face when he was writing it. Proves it was just an overview.

Your example on newtonian mechanics does not reflect the Genesis account, you do not have such an example against Genesis as you provided for the newtonian mechanics example. The bible is not science, was never meant to be.

In your posts you appear to try to brush off Genesis as a disproved old belief that some dumb Christians which to hold on to. But this is not the case and it's not that easy. Those that carry a Ph.D and quantum physicists professors believe in creation. Keep this in mind, many of atheistic evolutionists learned from world famous atheistic evolutionist Anthony Flew, who now changed his mind to creation. Do you really think you're going to tell him something that he didn't teach?

Well have to run, to all, go back to the name calling. 10% of the population calling the other 90% idiots, losers, etc, there you go, that will scientifically prove your side.

"MY" theory, look around.
If you look at some real progressive creationist sites you will see it is not my invention.

http://www.geraldschroeder.com/

http://www.answersincreation.org/

http://www.reasons.org/

http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/progressive.html


I didn't invent it.

#537 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 08:45 AM:

*Paws through the latest cascade to fall from the brightly colored papier-maché.*

Failure to understand the word "theory" in a scientific context. Appeals to authority, either the Bible or "smart people" who believe a given thing. Endless obsession with labels (progressive creation, YEC) rather than content. Failure to grasp analogy as an argumentative technique. Excessive literalism.

Not very nice sweeties in this piñata.

#538 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 09:46 AM:

"MY" theory, like I invented it.

Your theory, as in you are defending it because you have a personal investment in it. Doesn't matter who came up with it. You've invested yourself in it being true. If it were shown to be false, you'd suffer some emotional loss.

Note how different that is from a physicist looking at newtonian mechanics and finding that it doesn't seem to work near the speed of light. If the physicist is acting scientifically, then he/she won't have a personal attachment to newtonian mechanics. Imagine if Newton had children and this particular physicist is the great-great-great-...-grandchild of Newton, and they defend newtonian theories because they're personally invested in defending Newton's name more than defending science itself.

You are personally invested in Genesis being true in some form or another, therefore it qualifies as your theory. Not only do you play various translations games like "day"=="long time" to try and stretch the interpretation to still fit, you go out of your way to attack real science, tearing down what biologists have discovered in the years since Genesis was written.

You defend Genesis and you attack any theory that attempts to replace it. If you seriously believed that Genesis was not meant to be scientific, then you'd stop quoting it in debates about evolutionary science. But you do quote it, because you insist that it is relevant. You keep trying to find a way to make it "true", so that it fits in the world as having some real explanation of how life on earth began. And that is why it qualifies as your theory, and that is why that as much as you're playing dress up, putting on a lab coat, and quoting all sorts of scientifically sounding stuff, you are not acting scientifically.

#539 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 10:27 AM:

Oh, look, a brief moment of internet and paper mache.

While he appeals to authority, he didn't even read the link to Kennith Miller, who has written what is one of the most popular college biology textbooks.

Anything that isn't in his theory, including the many Christians who understand that evolution is how God rolls life on this planet, doesn't seem to exist. Hundreds of millions of Christians believe in Theistic Evolution, and hinting that they're atheists, or that they don't exist, isn't polite.

#540 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 12:44 PM:

Theistic Evolution really isn't progressive creation in. Theistic Evolution sees Genesis as an illustration story of how sin entered the world.
Not us.
Based upon a literal reading of Genesis you can see how God invented evolution, it's says he put a process in the land & the waters to create, in other words, let it do it's thing over generations. So "I" am not attacking science.
To see official terms on different creation positions see here.

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/views-hh.htm

Greg, believe what you want, but it seems you are trying to convince yourself that yowm can not mean a long period of time. Remember, it's not the word day that was used when Genesis was written, it was the word yowm.

Below is the link of the official translation of yowm from the Hebrew dictionary.
3117. yowm
Notice where it says...
"or figurative (a space of time defined by an associated term"
"perpetually, presently, + remaineth, X required, season, X since, space, then, (process of) time,"

See it here!
http://strongsnumbers.com/hebrew/3117.htm

Take it up with them & not me, once again, Genesis evens explains it was Generations,
"These were the Generations" Gen 2:4
I respect your right to disagree with Genesis, but you are fighting a losing battle with the officail Hebrew definition of the word yowm.

#541 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 01:40 PM:

I demand a better quality of candy from any new pinatas that show up on this thread.

Also, all chocolate with nougat centers needs to be plainly labeled.

#542 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 02:04 PM:

I said it before, and I'll say it again: snoozathon.

#543 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 02:05 PM:

fidelio

Ooh, chocolate with nougat centers - do you want my not-eating-those pieces?

Yes, we do need better quality pinatas. I think the problem with this one is that it's been here a little too long, and the fun has worn off.

#544 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 02:46 PM:

jon t, you should give it up, too. You are not going to persuade the folks here that Genesis describes something like our scientific knowledge of creation. As a Christian, I see no reason why it should. God doesn't need Genesis to tell us how the world was formed; he gave us reason to discover that.

Evidently it is very important to you that Genesis be recognized as witnessing to scientific truth. However, it is not important to the folks who congregate here. The non-believers truly don't care; the believers have made their peace with a non-literal approach to Scripture, and don't need your arguments.

Have you considered taking up knitting?

#545 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 04:17 PM:

Elsehwere in ML there's a discussion of pus.

Cool! What thread?

#546 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 04:23 PM:

Jim: I think it's 108. Not much detail, though some comments about feline abcess might cover some interesting aspects.

#547 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 04:28 PM:

Jim @545:
Where else? The Open Thread, right about here. Rather light on factual information and heavy on puns, of course.

Please feel to give them more to work with. Or gross them* out. Either would be amusing.

-----
* Not me; I'm ungrossoutable†. I have kids, one of whom was vomiting copiously just last night (Migraines, at 7, from even slight dehydration. Fun!) Uses up the outgrossing allowance.
† Well, apart from exposure to Cream of Wheat, which does it every time. There is a fair case to be made that I left the US purely to escape Cream of Wheat.

#548 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 04:29 PM:

A non literal translation would be to not take the Hebrew definitions at face value. There a non literal translation positions as I stated above, progressive creationism is a literal translation of the actual Hebrew & Greek definitions.
Convince anyone, not the point, all I was saying there no reason not to believe the Genesis account.
Just the fact that the berkeley article is putting the birds here at the same time as the Dinosaurs tells me that the latest scientific discoveries prove Genesis more & more.
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/birds/birdfr.html

From what I can see, I think a lot of people went to college and learned from their professors (like Anthony Flew) who felt it was their job to prove the Christians wrong with the stone age. It appears some had it in their heads that ALL Christians believe the Earth is 6000 years old, so you have made up in your minds that it was proven wrong, well, think again. YEC do not reflect on me or my literal translation.
If you let some Christian fanatics who took the word day as 24 hours periods without studying the Hebrew dictionary and tried to fit the dinosaurs in the garden of Eden give you the wrong outlook on Genesis, don't make that reflect on me or real Christian science, Anthony flew found out. There is different camp out there and it is obvious from the reactions I have heard here that some have no idea how to answer this side of creationism. So if it makes you feel better to tell yourself we have non literal translation, you can believe that, personally, I resent the statement as I do take it literally based upon the actual Hebrew words in the creation overview. I provided the Hebrew definition from the dictionary to prove that.
Garden of Eden a myth? Don't think so, it has been found by Archaeologist David Rohl.

http://www.biblicalheritage.org/Archaeology/eden.htm

#549 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 04:52 PM:

jon t: So, lets look at some literal definitions... According to the bible, rabbits chew the cud (gerah); only problem is, they don't.

QED, some of the, "literal" definitions; aren't.

More to the point... why do you see the need to shoehorn god into the "literal" account(s) of Genesis.

You might want to look at the poetic portions of Job, then again, you might not; because it contradicts the prose portions, and leads to all sorts of unresolved questions about what sort of god the god of the bible is (one who afflicts one of his most faithful followers, killing his children, slaughtering his cattle, destroying his home, afflicting him with grievous disease) just to win a bet.

And when called on it, says, "Because I'm God, and I felt like it; wanna make something of it?" and disappears in a puff of rhetoric.

#550 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 05:13 PM:

FYI, when Answers in Genesis finds your arguments silly and unscientific, that's one of nature's warning signs.

I wonder just how many times the garden of eden has been discovered in how many different places, each time confirming the literal accuracy of the bible.

jon_t, if you believe in a god that created woman out of the literal rib of the first man, and that kept plants alive for a whole 'day' until the sun was belatedly created, why not just go whole hog and treat Genesis as literally literal? What need is met by this veneer of Science?

#551 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 05:22 PM:

Oh God, please that is sceptic 101, please come with a better one.

See the answer here.
http://www.tektonics.org/af/cudchewers.html


Remember a lot of the bible is written on human observation.

Job was one of the best reasons given for one to not lose their faith, as he was told to curse God & die, but he did not, it's there for a reason.

#552 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 05:42 PM:

550
It is obvious that you people liked the 6000 year view better, it's easier for you to mock.
But our view is the literal translation, spend some more time on our sites to see how we mock the YEC view just as much as we see them as a joke and 6000 year fanatics.

Perhaps you need to read the real literal side of creation as we accuse them of the same.

http://www.answersincreation.org/word_study_yom.htm

Remember many translations of Hebrew were influenced by the teachings and views of their time such as the Septuagint, the a translation of the Hebrew to Greek influenced by the then Modern Egyptian view of cosmology in the translation, so they used the many other definitions that are attributed to the Hebrew words.

#553 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 06:09 PM:

#543--No, PJ, I want them labelled so I don't bite into them thinking I'm getting a molasses chew or some other, more desirable piece of chocolate.
Because talking about chocolates is more interesting than watching jon t try to remake Inherit the Wind for the 21st Century:

Russell Stover has a factory about 70 miles or so from here; they have an outlet store where you can buy overstocked seasonal chocolates, novelty items that didn't take off, and chocolates that didn't make it through the inspection process. I once got a two-pound box of flawed chocolates that turned out to be about half nougat centers; they'd had a problem with the filling equipment that day, apparently. They got eaten, eventually, but only after all the others had been consumed.
On another occasion, I stopped in with a friend, who made the happy discovery that there'd been a malfunction on the nut cluster line, resulting in nut clusters that were slightly larger than a saucer. They were pecan, too, and not peanuts.

They don't do factory tours, though.

Also, anyone who has reason to visit Chattanooga should know that up in the Bluff District, past the aquarium and near the art museum (which has a painting called TheWreck of the Old '97) is a place where you can watch chocolate candy-makers hard at work through a window. Then you can go inside and go wild buying their candy, which is quite good.


#554 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 06:35 PM:

To 550
YEC once again focus on the English translation and see it as God created the Sun and Moon on the 4th generation. The Hebrew definition does not go along with that interpretation. The word asah means completed in the past, God had created, other than God made.
God made Sun Moon & expanse visible on the 4th day.
Remember it says "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness"
"Let there be light" God removed at least some of those thick clouds when the Earth was void to fall on the surface of the earth. The YEC fanatic says it doesn't really say God created the Sun but it does. The Hebrew term heavens and earth in Genesis 1:1 is in reference to the entire created universe. They were created in day one.
The 4th day is the statement of appearance.
This is confirmed as you see the same statment of seperating the day & night in both Gen 1:4 & Gen 1:18
Divide the day from the night; v 18
God divided the light from the darkness. v4
As I said earlier, much of Genesis are overviews in many ways, the way they wrote back then is tell the story from a different point while re-capping earlier events, we see this in Revelation as well.

#555 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 07:41 PM:

#553

My brother and his wife sent me a box of filled pyramidish chocolates for Christmzs. They've been in the fridge since - I've eaten one, whjich tasted like creme de menthe filling. (There's a cheatsheet with it; all the fillings are liqueur flavored, it appears.) The confectioner is local to him (Davis, CA) and is really good.

My mother got to do a tour, years ago, of the plant that Hershey had in Oakdale. She said it was interesting.

#556 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 09:13 PM:

Fungi/P. J.: There used to be a wonderful chocolatier at the LHC renaissance faires. It was an indulgence to me to get a truffle (or, on a Sunday, 2; because they were on sale). One was a pleasant pick me up, two would have me flying (I suspect a weekend of 100+ temps, moderate amounts of acohol, and no-where near enough sleep (esp. on the nights the alcohol was consumed with moderate immoderation) probably had something to do with it.

Then again, I was willing to pay $2.50 for a single truffle, in 1986, when the dollor was worth more, and I was worth less.

#557 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 09:34 PM:

There's a really wonderful chocolate place in North Conway, New Hampshire; the Bavarian Chocolate Haus. If you're in the area, it's worth making a stop. (If you're in the area, don't miss the cuff link museum, or the world's largest known glacial erratic either.)

#558 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 09:53 PM:

Terry: I've never really gotten into truffles, but I've just had the packaged kind. There may be a correlation.

I am awfully fond of chocolate fondue, and I had a friend who taught me the art of two-fisted fondue eating: you use one hand with a regular fork to dip fruit or pound cake into the chocolate, and use the fondue fork in your other hand to monopolize the chocolate.

You can make fondue quite easily using a crockpot on the low setting, no double boiling required, and the crockpot can sit on a dining or coffee table. There are a bajillion recipes on the Internet, and I do recommend it.

#559 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 11:25 PM:

I'll join in the laughs, would love to have a drink of soda with you people!
In the next life!

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_it_normal_for_rabbits_to_eat_their_own_feces

#560 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 09:55 AM:

> I'll join in the laughs, would love to have a drink of soda with you people!

We were discussing you, not me.

#561 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 10:01 AM:

jon_t @ 552

It is obvious that you people liked the 6000 year view better, it's easier for you to mock.

What? You doubt our ability to mock you? Read back over this thread and you'll see several Master Mockers in full fig. You're so busy trying to convert us you haven't noticed how much fun we're having.

Creationist
Frequency: Too Common
Number Appearing: 1-4
Armor Class: -6 (head -12 vs. reason)
Move: No
Hit Dice: 4d6
% in Lair: 100%
Treasure Type: Hard Candy, Good & Plenty, 5% nougat-centers, occasional Pez + Dispenser
No, of Attacks: extra on first round for sheer unbelievablity, one gas
Special Defenses: Requires no saving throw vs. either intelligence or charisma.
Magical Resistance: Normal
Intelligence: Let's not be too unkind here.
Alignment: Needs tightening.
Size: XXS
Psionic Ability: Raise Dud.

#562 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 10:06 AM:

The thing I hate about nougat is the really dense kinds that try to suck your fillings out. Actually had that happen once; an old filling that needed rework anyway. A few days before the dentist appointment a corner of the amalgam crumbled and a nougat-centered candy grabbed it. Yuck.

#563 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 10:28 AM:

Terry 556: O Terry, Terry, Terry. You and I are going to be GREAT friends if you and I and my chocolate-making equipment are ever in the same place at the same time! I love making chocolates for appreciative people. Bwah-hah-hah!

#564 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 10:31 AM:

Joel @560: Why do you say we are discussing me, not you? (Ha!)

I could write that. Wouldn't that be fun?

Re chocolate: in Hagerstown, Indiana, there is a caramel factory called the "Three Sisters". They also make chocolates, but historically it's caramel. And you can watch through a window, in one part, or stand in a kind of open bay and watch without a window, in another part. My high school biology teacher's wife inherited the place, so jon t. probably wouldn't feel comfortable there. On the other hand, this is rural Indiana, so perhaps he'd feel quite at home.

Our dentist's office used to be right next door. We always ribbed him about that. Location, location, location!

#565 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 10:35 AM:

The thing I hate about nougat is the really dense kinds that try to suck your fillings out.

I guess the spawn of Ancient Eldritch Horrors need to start somewhere. Spend a few years on fillings, work your way upwards to bigger prey, you know how it goes.

Michael @ 564: An actual software creationist-flavoured Eliza would seem to be redundant, what with all of the wetware ones around, but go for it.

#566 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 11:34 AM:

Bruce, there's absolutely no reason for me to mention this, but when I first saw #562, I glanced at it quickly and thought you had changed your posting name to "Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToNougat).

#567 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 11:38 AM:

Fungi, Xopher and other candy-making folk here may disagree, but it looks to me as if the basic chocolate truffle substance is very similar to a chocolate ganache, which is flavored additionally to taste, shaped, and then rolled/dipped in the finishing project of choice. The packaged kinds do not compare.

There's a basic recipe here on this old thread, and although the liquor used in that recipe is Scotch, you could use whatever you liked better. You could even used orange juice or similar*, if you wanted a non-alcoholic version.

I strongly advise working in a cold kitchen for this.


*Excuse me while I ponder the possibilities of orange oil, or peppermint oil.

#568 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 11:54 AM:

I am not so fond of certain kinds of candy because I was forbidden them in my youth. At 3, or so (I was young, the details are hazy), I tripped and broke one of my middle incisors, just outside the gumline (if I look in the mirror I can see the scar, and recall which tooth it was; all I really recall was the visits to the dentist, with the conical x-ray machine and the toy blocks, and the stairs to the office).

I got a cap, and was forbidden really sticky candies and most gum.

Bruce Cohen (StM) It's not that he doesn't think we are mocking him, but that he fails to see why. I think, actually (though probably not consciously) he's engaging us (so long after both of his instances of flouncing away) because he is getting a small frisson of religious validation. In a way he is, as Paul commends, suffering for his faith (that desire to be persecuted which his letters; with their litany of suffering, [to include "The thorn in his side", which a messenger of the devil gave him, and God refused to remove; that Paul might be humbled to recall all that came to pass was God's doing, and not his... which makes one wonder why God needed Paul in the first place, but I digress from my digression] still drives so many Xtians, and is part of the background which causes them to say; in a culture where they are dominant, that they are oppressed. It's almost a requirement in some stripes of the faith).

So it behooves him to think we are mocking his faith (about which we don't really care) instead of his person. His faith is a noble thing, and a bulwark against pretty much anything (as his facile comment about Job, one of the most difficult, and problematic books in the bible shows), rather than his person.

Xopher: It's my hope to make it to Montreal.

#569 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 11:58 AM:

fidelio: Yeah, that's pretty much it. Most truffles aren't booze infused. I am very partial to a really good noisette truffle (Xopher, pls note)

#570 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 12:21 PM:

fidelio 567: Indeed, all the "truffle" recipes in my annoying candy book involve a ganache either dipped in chocolate or piped into a chocolate shell, or both.

Cautions about ganache: you have to be careful to keep your dissolved-solids to liquefiers proportions appropriate. The ACB says chocolate-to-liquefiers should be 2:1 for dark chocolate, and 2.5:1 for milk or white chocolate.

If you add half as much butter as flavoring (by weight) you get a stabler ganache. Ganache's shelf-life is also improved with the addition of glucose syrup, but if you're making it for a dinner party you don't have to worry about shelf-life!

Contrary to the recipe you link to, it's not best to cool ganache in the refrigerator. If it is let sit at room temperature (in a shallow pan, with plastic wrap directly on its surface), it can be let cool overnight at room temperature. This is a) safe, because of the dissolved-solids content of the ganache (especially if you use the glucose syrup), and b) the best way to get a creamier ganache, because slow crystallization == smaller crystals, and thus a creamier texture.

And though the ACB gives precise gram measurements for each ingredient, I just sort of dump some cream in a measuring cup (because it's Pyrex™, and I know how big it is—I don't really read the markings any more), pour in some Cointreau (my favorite flavoring these days), microwave it until it boils up, and dump it over some chocolate chips in a bowl, let it sit, then do the black-hole stir. If it doesn't emulsify enough or the texture is too watery, I drop in some more chips and stir vigorously (this may require straining the unmelted portion of the chips out later). No nasty glucose syrup, no butter, no careful measuring, delicious creamy ganache.

By the way, I never refrigerate it. Some of it gets poured over ice cream right away, and the rest onto a plate, which I leave overnight and eat the next day. No ill effects.

#571 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 12:31 PM:

fidelio: Aviso

Xopher isn't talking about the ganaches one makes for hot chocolate (which improves from a night/days rest from making to drinking.

I use no butter, and the ratios can be as much as 1:1 with haeavy cream (though 2(3):1 is more common.

I've been known to put those back into the plastic bottle I usually get cream in, and then just squeeze out what I want to make a cup of chocolate.

If you don't have a sqeezable bottle, use a bowl, they don't pour well once cooled.

I use sucrose to sweeten, it too acts as a stabiliser.

#572 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerThroughNougat) ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 12:31 PM:

ethan @ 566

Is this what you meant?

#573 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 12:32 PM:

You know, Terry...I'd never heard of noisette before. It does sound like a tasty thing, though the literal translation of the French took me aback for a moment (I'm violently allergic to hazelnuts).

That seems like it would have to be white or milk chocolate for the flavor to come through. Does that match your experience?

#574 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 01:17 PM:

Xopher: No... white is both to close, and too heavy.

A milk chocolate is nice, but I prefer a moderately dark chocolate, so the hazelnut is moderated a bit (it can get overwhelming).

But they are one of my favorite nuts.

#575 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 01:28 PM:

SpeakerThroughNougat: I'm sorry, I didn't understand that. Say it again? No, get that stuff out of your mouth first.

#576 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 01:34 PM:

OK, Terry, now I'm confused. Admittedly I was using Wikipedia for my introduction to noisette, but it seemed from the description there that the name comes from the fact that it LOOKS like hazelnut, but is actually just burnt butter.

I guess you like the kind with hazelnuts in it. I'm not sure I dare to make it; I taste by instinct while cooking, and unless I get a faceshield making something with hazelnuts in it could risk a trip to the ER for me.

#577 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 01:44 PM:

jon@554: much of Genesis are overviews in many ways, the way they wrote back then is tell the story from a different point while re-capping earlier events

For all your expertise in all the various ways in which one must interpret genesis in order to explain evolution, how much expertise do you personally have in evolutionary biolgy, jon? How much scientific training do you have? What do you do for a living? Are you a chemist? A biologist? A scientist of some kind?

At this point, you will probably try to deflect the question and point out that other scientists are christian. That wasn't my question. They aren't here thumping their bible on my head. You are. And I'm asking you what your training is. Why should I listen to you as some sort of expert on science?

Me, I have a degree in electrical engineering. In addition to all my EE courses, I had to study biology, chemistry, thermodynamics, mechanics, physics, philosophy, history, and literature to get my degree. I work as an engineer in my job. I am paid to solve problems, design circuits, and deal with all the technical issues associated with it.

What do you have for training? What expertise in chemistry or biology do you have that would make my think, hey, this guy knows more biology than me, I should listen to him?

Stop telling me about other biologists. They aren't thumping their bible here. You are. So what scientific training do you have?

This is the only question I need a direct answer from you, jon. What scientific training do you have? University courses? Job related training? You name it. You're the one who keeps shoving their genesis quotes at me and telling me it has something to do with evolutionary biology. Now lets see your credentials that show you know something about evolutionary biology.

And feigning an indignant, insulted, wounded, hurt, or vicimized response is just a game to avoid answering the question. I gave you my background. lets see yours.

The thing is, you keep appealing to genesis as an authority on evolutionary biology, and I'm guessing that's because you don't have a single bit of scientific training yourself. When pressed on your personal credentials, you have deferred to outside sources, and I"m guessing that's because you have no scientific credentials yourself. All you have is a particular ancient text that you've adopted as dogma and you've learned all the little games that you can play to reinterpret it so that it remains true in the face of evolutionary science. Then you happen upon some discussion about evolutionary science and you start quoting your ancient text in lieu of actually knowing any science.

So, time to put the cards on the table, jon. What's your scientific training in the area of biology, chemistry, thermodynamics, physics, etc?

#578 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 01:46 PM:

Greg: Good luck. I tried to get his answer on his beliefs on religion. That was too much for him.

#579 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 02:15 PM:

Terry, yeah, you're probably right. jon's got nothing but a bunch of bible quotes to hit people over the head with. He was acting as a completely cut and paste bot at first, and then seemed to shift tactics, but in the end, he still avoids responding to people in context of what they say. He can only respond in the context of the things he's memorized and can cut and paste.

It's an extremely simple question, "what's your scientific training?" But my guess is he will come back and defer or deflect in some eliza-bot way. I just wanted to confirm for myself that that's what he does even with direct questions.

Even if he comes back and says "I have no scientific training", my guess is his post won't end there and he'll find it neccessary to point out why he's right anyway, why other people who do have scientific training believe what he believes, or some variation of justifying his deference to others who hold his beliefs.

That would pretty much prove my point that he is immune to logic and reason and evidence of direct observation, and that the only way to change his opinion is to change the opinion of the people he keeps defering to.

But I'm a sucker for giving people another chance, since it's pretty clear that he has no scientific training, that his only skill is cut-and-paste, that he defers all knowledge to whoever he cuts and pastes, and that he can't reply to anyone in any context outside of what he has memorized.

I guess I like to explore the limits of an eliza-bot program just to see what it can and cannot do even though it can't really think for itself.

You know what the weird thing is for me? I think a person could probably program up some software that could act to this level of interaction. Cut and paste quotes, avoiding direct contextual questions, basically running open loop except for bits and pieces like "in response to #500" and then more cut and paste.

So, the weird thing about that is would such a piece of software pass the Turing Test? Or would someone like jon fail the turing test?

It's kind of weird when you think about it. We've gotten to the point where we could conceivably write software that could pass the turing test, and we didn't need advanced software to do it, we just needed to find some people that act like eliza-bot programs.

Lower the bar instead of making software jump higher, as it were.

I don't know, the concept just freaks me out.

#580 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 02:24 PM:

But Greg, that a person can fail the test doesn't prove anything. I suspect that, with some effort, I could fail the turing test (or at least make a pretty good emulation of an eliza bot), but it doesn't prove that I actually am not sapient.

#581 ::: jon t ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 02:38 PM:

Greg it is obvious that you are upset that I put you in your place in post 540, and what you are doing just what I heard a creationist say you people do that once they are put in their place.... they attack the creationist. I'm sure Anthony Flew the former world famous atheist professor who changed his mind is a lot smarter than you in all fields, and was smart enough to change is mind and believe in God.

#582 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 02:41 PM:

I could fail the turing test (or at least make a pretty good emulation of an eliza bot

You could fail it if you tried. Play around with an eliza program for a while and then try to keep your responses to that sort of level.

The thing is, at least if the topic of the test were constrained to evolution, I don't think jon could pass the test even if he wanted to. You've asked him specific questions. I've asked him specific questions. He fails to respond in context.

And I'm thinking it's because he can't respond any other way.

And the turing test simply says that to pass the test, the tester must be unable to distinguish the responses from a human. But it doesn't say what kind of human. So, the tester would have to look at something like jon's responses here and take those into account when judging the reponses he gets.

I think it actually lowers the bar significantly for software to pass the test because the possible types of human responses can be very limited, depending on the human being used as the yardstick.

I think the definition for the turing test probably needs some method for excluding certain human behaviours for comparisons, but then you get into the problem of which humans do you exclude?

Either that, or the test would have to say that certain software programs are indistinguishable from certain humans. And therefore we currently have the technology needed to pass the turing test.

#583 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 02:45 PM:

jon t 581: The concept that you put anyone in hir place in this thread at any time is too absurd even to offend.

#584 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 02:54 PM:

Greg it is obvious that you are upset that I put you in your place in post 540, and what you are doing just what I heard a creationist say you people do that once they are put in their place.... they attack the creationist. I'm sure Anthony Flew the former world famous atheist professor who changed his mind is a lot smarter than you in all fields, and was smart enough to change is mind and believe in God.

Three times I said don't tell me about some other expert who isn't here in place of telling me your own personal scientific training. And you couldn't parse that request and end up telling me about Anthony Flew. Three times I said you are the person here quoting genesis against evolutionary biology, so you're the person here whose credentials matter.

You responded exactly as I predicted, ignoring the context of my question and cutting and pasting almost generic posts.

You're either a cut and paste bot who can't parse complicated contexts, or you have no scientific credentials. And the freakiest part of all? I have no idea which one. You've made yourself completely indistinguishable from either option.

I think the ramifications this has on the Turing Test is actually pretty far reaching. And it's freaking me out just a little bit.

#585 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 02:58 PM:

Wait, asking for scientific credentials is "attacking"? jon, I think you need to tweak your parser a little bit, either that, or make your responses slightly more generic. Because that reply is actually out of context of my question and would likely fail the turing test.

Just saying.

#586 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 03:04 PM:

This is just to say

I have cited
Hebrew
to put Greg
in his place.

Meanwhile
Anthony Flew is
smarter
than we are.

Believe me
I thought being rude would
convert
you people.

#587 ::: Eliza ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 03:08 PM:

What makes you think I am upset that you put me in my place in post 540, and what I am doing just what you heard a creationist say me people do that once they am put in their place.... they attack the creationist?

#588 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 03:30 PM:

Xopher @576-- throughout Europe, at least in my experience, 'noisette' refers to something containing hazelnuts. I believe I've even seen this to describe the flavor of a cream liqueur, so be careful if you're allergic! (No Nutella for you, eh?) Also, in Germany at least, nougat almost invariably contains hazelnuts, although it's possible to make it with other nuts. The white confection which is hazardous to teeth tends to be called "Turkish Honey".

Part of me would like to comment on the other line of this thread, but Greg, fidelio, Terry et al. have expressed themselves better than I can, both to content and process. Most of the time I'm not sure what the heck jon_t is even arguing about. He's agreed and then disagreed with his own statements so many times, it looks more like shadowboxing than anything else.

#589 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 03:38 PM:

Xopher #570: Indeed, all the "truffle" recipes in my annoying candy book involve a ganache either dipped in chocolate or piped into a chocolate shell, or both.

At my first scan-through of that line I read "grenade" instead of "ganache". Now that would be an annoying truffle. Too big to pop into one's mouth without dislocating the jaw first, too tough to chew, and it has a rather extreme fiery aftertaste.

As for Eliza wannabes, I wonder if it is possible to submit a "view all by" page for the Loebner Prize? heh.

#590 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 04:01 PM:

I'd like to put in a plug for my favourite local chocolatier, Maison Robert, in Chamblee, Georgia: http://www.maisonrobertchocolates.com/. They are a truly wonderful small business. And they make wonderful chocolates.

#591 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 04:12 PM:

My Creator is
All-knowing and all-perfect
Why do you not see?

Repeat ad nauseam
Because rudeness is a way of
Life, and I must win

For if I do not,
I will not go to Heaven
And that would be hell

Though I cannot see
The mockery of my posts
I will never leave

Repeat ad nauseam
Because rudeness is a way of
Life and I must win

#592 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 09:32 PM:

jon, I'm only asking this a second time because I really need to know if you're willing and able to give a direct answer a direct question in the context it is asked. So, here goes:

Describe in simple words the things that come into your mind about... your own personal scientific training and qualifications.

University degrees, courses, on the job training, professional work, etc.

Not Anthony Flew's training. Your trainging. I mean, if you want to send Anthony Flew over here to discuss things, then we can get his credentials from him. But as long as it's you and I talking evolutionary biology, I think we ought to discuss your credentials and my credentials. And I already gave you my credentials, so it seems only fair that you could list yours.

I know this can be tedious to list all the different things you've had scientific training on, but it's partly that and partly to show that you can actually answer a direct question with a direct answer without resorting to tangental conversations and ignoring the question. You don't have to list everything, just an overview would be good, maybe list a few specifics, and then summarize with your degrees, your job, etc.

Tell you what, if you will give me a direct answer to my question, you can ask me any question you want and I'll give you an equally direct answer. How about that? But I need to see you answer my question first. I already gave you my answer. So what's your answer? What scientific training have you had?

Give me a direct answer to that, and you can ask me any question you like. (course, you'll have to answer your own question, like I answered my question to you) And I'll give you as direct of an answer as you give me. That sounds fair, doesn't it?

I just need to hear one straight answer from you, that's all.

#593 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 01:00 AM:

Earl Cooley III @ 589

oo big to pop into one's mouth without dislocating the jaw first, too tough to chew, and it has a rather extreme fiery aftertaste.

Yes, and it's really the Bombe.

#594 ::: Jen Birren ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 11:14 AM:

Yeah, there's noisette (hazelnuts or hazelnut flavoured) and then there's buerre noisette- browned butter, where you've heated it so as to brown the solids; it's supposed to have a nutty flavour, which is presumably why it's called that.
I've never used buerre noisette in sweet cookery, but I can see it being nice. It's good poured on a fish. (Fish type= dead, cooked, preferably not an oily one)

#595 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 11:43 AM:

593: the liqueur made from grenades is, of course, grenadine. (Just as advocaat is made from lobbyists.)

#596 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 11:53 AM:

There's likely enough material in the wild to collate into a "Cooking With Grenades" cookbook; certainly, an extensively illustrated chapter on concussion fishing would be apropos. Ajay, a discussion of the secret origin of grenadine would definitely fit in.

#597 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 02:42 AM:

Don't stir without an oily pratt.

#599 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 11:17 PM:

It's a miracle!

#600 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 11:19 PM:

Oh, so beautiful!

#601 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 11:32 PM:

Over at Pharyngula, someone commented that the folks in that lab are now wondering what they're going to use for controls now, since the controls have become a part of the experiment.

#602 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 11:33 PM:

from the link: 20 years ago, Richard Lenski took a single bacterium and used its descendants to found 12 lab populations. ... evolving for more than 44,000 generations... Lenski had saved samples of each population every 500 generations...

The man ought to get a medal just for having the foresight of implementing bacteria revision control, faithfully, for 20 years, 44,000 generations, doing a backup every 500 generations.

#603 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 09:24 AM:

Part of what's really neat about this is that they can do gene-sequencing on the bugs and find out exactly what changes occurred. They ought to be able to track the formation of a working metabolic pathway.

(I was going to make a snide comment about "oh, that's only microevolution", but I see that creationists said it -- not as a joke -- as soon as the article was posted.)

#604 ::: Lee sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2010, 02:15 AM:

@ 604-606

#605 ::: praisegod barebones sees non-evolving SPAM ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2011, 09:39 AM:

Not that its a slow afternoon for work on the philosophical front-line or anything.

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