Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests


Darwinists and Their Strategy of Intimidation

posted by David Klinghoffer

Some commenters on an earlier post have expressed doubt that believers in Darwinism seek to intimidate dissenters. Give me a break! Of course that’s exactly what Darwinists try to do whether in academic life or in the humbler context of a comments thread on this blog. And the strategy works — not with me but with plenty of other people. I reproduce for your illumination excerpts from a piece I did for Townhall Magazine last year:

Evolution’s Glass Ceiling
 
Experienced scientists who support intelligent design theories literally have to disguise themselves in order to perform their research.
 
By David Klinghoffer
 
A biologist I know recently bleached his hair and changed his appearance in other ways so as to be almost unrecognizable. I’m being deliberately vague about his looks and identity because he was going undercover. When I last saw him, he was ready for a stint of researching and lab work on intelligent design at a university that he declined to name. On returning to the lab after winter break, he said he would adopt a different disguise.
 
I asked how he planned to alter his appearance this time. “If I told you,” he answered mildly, “that would kind of defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it?”
 
The purpose is to avoid being spotted by scientists hostile to intelligent design (ID). If Darwinists realized that this stealthy biologist was working in their midst, as the guest of a professor at the same university, they could make that host professor pay a heavy career price.
 
Welcome to the underground world of Darwin-doubting scientists, who say they fear for their professional future. The challenges faced by these academic nonconformists have implications that go far beyond the faculty lounge.
 
A criticism often leveled at intelligent design is that ID theorists haven’t done the research or the writing in peer-reviewed scientific journals that would make their view a serious contender to overturn Darwinism. This proves — say ID’s opponents-that intelligent design is nothing more than religion masquerading as science. If such “pseudo-science” were taught in public schools, that would amount to the establishment of a state religion.

What is ID, exactly? In brief, it asks whether unguided material processes alone were sufficient to produce the history of complex life on earth. ID argues that an intelligent cause, operating in nature, is the best explanation for the scientific evidence agreed on by Darwinists and Darwin critics alike….
 
I asked leading ID-critics whether Darwin-doubters face any hurdles, beyond the strength or weakness of ID itself, to researching and testing their ideas. Kenneth Miller, a Brown University biologist, emailed me with a withering reply: “The conclusion of ‘Design’ should follow from well-done research on comparative genomics, molecular biology, gene expression, and biochemistry. There is, as you surely know, no barrier to such research.”
 
Francisco Ayala, a biologist at the University of California, Irvine, was emphatic: “I cannot imagine any serious scientist or academic administrator trying to dissuade anybody else from carrying out any well-designed research project.”
 
However, ID-sympathizers in academia say they face disturbing limits on scientific inquiry. Those limits work a bit like an invisible pet fence, popular with suburban homeowners who want to keep their dog from wandering out of the front yard. The pet wears a special collar. If he tries to cross over an underground wire around the perimeter of the yard, he gets an electric shock. Dogs and scientists learn quickly.
 
This April the feature-length documentary Expelled will open in theaters, telling stories of scientists whose colleagues punished them for questioning Darwinism. One evolutionary biologist featured in the film, Richard Sternberg, was penalized by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History for editing an article favorable to ID in a technical peer-reviewed biology journal housed at the Smithsonian.
 
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel investigated the case in 2005 and reported that Dr. Sternberg’s Smithsonian colleagues created a “hostile work environment” for him “with the ultimate goal of forcing [him] out of the [Smithsonian].” His supervisor questioned others about Sternberg’s political and religious beliefs, with a view to discrediting him. The museum confiscated his key to the facility and obstructed his access to research specimens.
 
Even a peripheral association with Darwin-doubting can destroy a scholar professionally. Take Guillermo Gonzalez, an astronomer at Iowa State University. He lost his bid for tenure in 2006 because he co-wrote a book, The Privileged Planet (Regnery), making a scientific case for the intelligent design of the cosmos. The book wasn’t about Darwin or about biology.
 
Was Dr. Gonzalez qualified for the job? Actually, Gonzalez outperformed the tenured members of the astronomy faculty in basic measures of scientific reputation and scientific productivity. He exceeded his department’s tenure standards, which measure “excellence” in terms of publications in refereed science journals, by more than 350 percent. Yet his department chairman flatly instructed the faculty voting on his tenure request that intelligent design is a litmus test, “disqualify[ing] him from serving as a science educator.”
 
Some campuses are forthright in limiting academic freedom. In 2005, at the University of Idaho, biologist and ID proponent Scott Minnich was the target of a ban on challenging Darwinism in science classrooms. The university’s president, Timothy White, rejected any view other than the orthodox evolutionary one as “inappropriate in our life, earth, and physical science courses or curricula.”
 
Apart from these high-profile cases, scholars who have felt the effects of evolution’s Invisible Fence fall into three categories: the untenured who fear professional ruin; those who have already been ruined; and tenured scholars who, in principle, can research freely.
 
The untenured will, as a rule, speak only on the condition that neither they nor their institution be named. I asked one such scientist if he felt free to pursue his ID-related research interests. He said, “No, absolutely not. It presents a problem for me.”
 
Part of his problem is that, before he felt the shock of the Invisible Fence, he wrote some things critical of Darwinism that are still on the Internet. He’s now most of the way through a six-year tenure-track process. But in seeking work before he got this job, “I was told directly [at another university] that the views I had expressed were the reason I was no longer being considered there for a research position.”
 
Another biologist told of how, immediately after his interest in intelligent design became known, he had his lab space withdrawn. The assistant to the director of the facility emailed him that, due to an unexpected “space crunch,” he had to be out in two weeks.
 
Asked about the statements of ID-critics that research critical of Darwin may be conducted freely, the biologist looked amused. “That’s a huge joke,” he said. He explained that professional science is “prestige driven and [scientists] don’t want a knock to their prestige. You do well by impressing your peers, so you are reluctant to jeopardize that.”
 
Being thought of as sympathetic to ID represents a blemish on a scientist’s reputation. Thus an academic department or a scientific journal will be very reluctant to sponsor or publish research or writing that challenges Darwinism. A sort of intellectual paralysis results.
 
Caroline Crocker, a biologist with a specialty in immunopharmacology, can speak openly because she’s given up hope of returning to academia. In 2005, Dr. Crocker discussed the scientific critique of Darwinism with the students in her cellbiology course at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va. When colleagues got wind of it, she was first forbidden from teaching either evolution or intelligent design. Then her contract was allowed to expire.
 
“I was absolutely shocked,” said Crocker, “I was careful to let no one know what side [of the evolution controversy] I was on.”
 
Her story was written up in the Washington Post and the science weekly Nature. When she later sought a research job at the National Institutes of Health, her reputation preceded her: “A friend, someone with connections at the NIH, told me, ‘Don’t bother applying. You’re blacklisted now.’”
 
“There are so many bodies by the side of the road that people get the message,” said Robert Marks, who teaches engineering and computational intelligence at Baylor University. One of his research interests is simulating evolution on computers. Without additional information (a/k/a design) being included in the simulation, he finds, the evolutionary process doesn’t produce results as Darwin promised.
 
Dr. Marks has tenure and was lured away from the University of Washington in 2003, in an attempt by Baylor to upgrade its academic image. His latest book will be published by Oxford University Press. You might think he’d feel secure. Yet when I asked to interview him, he agreed only on the condition that his attorney listens.
 
At Baylor, Marks said, he has suffered “viewpoint discrimination, violation of academic freedom, persecution.” In 2006, Baylor canceled a $30,000 grant Dr. Marks had received, which was intended to let him hire a famous ID theorist, mathematician William Dembski, to assist him. In 2007, the university disconnected a website Marks had put together about “evolutionary informatics,” featuring ID-related work done by Dr. Dembski and himself.
 
As it happens, Dembski had been booted from Baylor once before. That was in 2000, when Baylor’s faculty got him fired as director of an academic center on campus. It was Dembski’s criticism of Darwinian evolution that r
oused the other professors’ ire.
 
Dr. Dembski probably won’t be invited back to Baylor soon. Robert Marks remains, but describes the campus atmosphere in dark tones that would, it seems, apply equally well to universities elsewhere. “I know a number of people here who are interested in ID,” he said, “but I’ve advised them to stay away. It would destroy their tenure chances. It’s a career-killer.”



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Turmarion

posted July 24, 2009 at 6:18 pm


And the tradition continues:
David, in his post on Francis Collins: “On the other hand, that life has an evolutionary history including billions of years of change — that is unassailable as science and unobjectionable to me as a Jew.” Please explain to me how this is one whit different from theistic evolution. David, you said on that same post that you’d like to see someone debate Collins or ask him some pointed questions; yet you resolutely avoid all such questions and attempts at debate here. This one, which seems to me a statement of what almost anyone would refer to as theistic evolution, is especially egregious.
Finally, this does not count as a response to what we’ve been asking you about Maimonides (as I said above, a one-sentence quote from an author of a biography about him isn’t arguing his philosophical statements!). We’re still waiting. Also, I’m still waiting to hear you speak to the issues of randomness and alien intelligence vis-à-vis the “image of god”.
I know this is getting repetitive, but I think anyone reading this will agree that I’m not using nasty language and that I’m being perfectly polite. Don’t you think the civil thing is at least to acknowledge the questions, even if for some reason you don’t want to answer them? And if you don’t want to answer them, you might at least give us an idea why not.



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Turmarion

posted July 24, 2009 at 6:56 pm


As you can see here in this article by Jeffrey Schloss (a former DI Senior Fellow, I might point out!), and in some of the references which you can find on this page, the Sternberg and Gonzalez cases are, to say the least, open to interpretation. I’m not familiar with the others listed here, but I suspect that if one investigated there might be different perspectives on them, too. I might point out that Schloss’s article also effectively refutes the movie Expelled! and its claims of systematic intellectual witch hunts and suppression of ID believers.
But let’s consider this: if the evil “Darwinists” are suppressing noble research in ID, then why don’t organizations like the Discovery Institute commission and fund such research themselves?
It’s like the way that conservative critics moaned and groaned about how Hollywood made movies that went against mainstream cultural values and that a movie displaying such values would never get made. Then Mel Gibson came along, put up his own money to make The Passion of the Christ, and had one of the biggest hits of the year. In fact, several movies that have been more in accord with the conservative cultural critics have since come out and done well. It’s just another example of the adage, “If you want something right, you’ve got to do it yourself.” It also proved the adage, “Put your money where your mouth is”!
So, if the Discovery Institute and other anti-evolution groups are so concerned about this purported censorship and eager to get research out there that proves their point, why don’t they take the advice in the old Nike commercials and just do it?



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Turmarion

posted July 24, 2009 at 7:09 pm


I’m still hearing crickets with regard to my questions, David. I know you read these threads to some extent, and I have repeated the questions and often got them at the top of the threads. You have to be aware of them. They are not science-based, but philosophical and theological (the orientation of this blog, right?), as well as questioning a statement out of your own mouth.
You also have to be aware of how this is making you look. If you think I am being rude or nasty (like all those horrible, awful, evil demonic “Darwinists”), then say so and explain how. If you can’t answer the questions, well, hey, none of us can answer everything. Better to admit it, don’t you think? If for some reason you don’t want to answer them, then say so and tell us why. If you can’t even do that, you could at least say, “Yes, I see the questions. Now leave me alone!”
We’re all waiting, but also getting on with our lives….



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Unaplogetic Catholic

posted July 24, 2009 at 8:14 pm


Here’s the Intellgient Design peer reviewed jornal.
http://www.iscid.org/pcid.php
Lots of activty recently.
Here’s the “Reseach Lab”
http://biologicinstitute.org/research/
Crickets chirping there out there, too.
Reseacrh ID.org: last updated 2006.
http://www.researchid.org/index.php/Main_Page
IDEA Center conferences:
http://www.ideacenter.org/news/conferences_archives.php
Does sarcasm count as “intimidation?”



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Turmarion

posted July 24, 2009 at 10:39 pm


Unapologetic Catholic, thanks for the post. I notice at the IDEA website you link to, under the “Our Beliefs” link, is the very interesting following statement, emphasis added:
So, we admit, IDEA does have an agenda and a bias. And, just as we encourage each other to admit bias at our events, the leadership of IDEA freely and publicly acknowledges its own bias: We believe that life is not the result of purely natural processes, but that it was in some way designed by an “intelligence.” And because of religious reasons unrelated to intelligent design theory, IDEA Center Leadership believes that the identity of the designer is the God of the Bible.”
So much for disinterested, objective science, huh? Not that IDers would ever push an agenda like those, horrible, evil, awful, nasty “Darwinists”…. (more sarcasm!)



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Misha

posted July 24, 2009 at 11:18 pm


I’m disappointed to see a Jew bandwagoning with the right wing “christians” about creationism. I thought we, as “curators” of the Jewish bible, had more sense, depth of thought and dedication to a tradition of scholarship than to buy into the fad-driven rubbish.
G-d created all that is, and he created laws of science to explain and gain understanding of that which is outside our knowledge. The laws of G-d and laws of science are in perfect harmony. Evolution is not fact, only because we have not observed it long enough to see species change into new species over hundreds of generations. The evidence is abdundant, clear, and reveals a much more interesting, nuanced and spectacular scheme than the shallow literalism that believes that the world was created in six 24 hour days. But Tanakh is not, in any way, in conflict with the idea of natural selection, and to say it is, is to minimize the complex glory of Hashem’s universe.
This debate is a non-issue. It is fueled by rightist political posturing and an intense desire of some to hide behind absolutism and the false reassurance of simplistic responses to extraordinarily complex issues. Many people prefer the world in entirely black/white/good/bad/right/wrong terms. It’s not even close. The creation of Hashem shows that life develops, alters and changes to deal with changing environments and circumstances. This is a wonderful and amazing thing. I’m really sorry to see a Jew of some intellect allowing himself to buy into the mindlessy hostile, one-ups-manship thinking that has infected Christianity.



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What's Good for the Goose

posted July 25, 2009 at 12:21 am


Don’t mind them David. McCarthyites never look in mirrors.



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kenneth

posted July 25, 2009 at 1:31 am


I would suggest that ID-driven scientists face discrimination not because of some grand ideological conspiracy, but because they are not doing serious science at all. The question of whether evolution and selection unfold according to the will of the Judeo-Christian God (or any other supreme intelligence) is utterly untestable by the methods of science. Darwinism, by the way, places no prohibitions on the possibility of an ultimate purpose. It simply says there is none readily apparent.
No so-called ID scientist has ever arrived at that conclusion by neutral scientific means. All of them have a literalist Christian agenda. The basic core of evolutionary theory is so well established that skepticism can only be arrived at by absurd contortions of the standards of evidence. As in the topsy-turvy world of HIV-deniers and conspiracy theorists, the absense of the evidence they seek becomes ironclad proof. The obvious fact of nature’s complexity becomes an argument that nature itself is incabale of doing anything without the direct intervention of a Semitic sky god!
The very fact that someone would pursue research on an untestable hypothesis shows that they have some agenda other than science, or a fatally flawed understanding of what science is about. They have no place in the scientific departments of academia. That should not be taken to say that Darwinism is unassailable dogma. All someone has to do is come up with a model that explains our observations of nature better than mutation and selection. Maybe that would take the form of some new branch of mathematics which would reveal an underlying logic or symmetry to the whole thing (fractals anyone?). If, however, your “theory” relies on the hand of an unseen diety, you’re not doing science anymore but theological musings.



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Alan Stillman

posted July 25, 2009 at 8:41 am


JIM: “Since you appear to be an insufferable ass, Glen, I see no point in continuing the “conversation.”
Marjorie, as I read it, JIM threw the first stone, yet it is he that is not without sin. or does this allusion not belong on a blog that reports to be about Jewish Philosophy and the Torah?
Torah is mostly metaphor. Judaic thought, as I was taught it, is always open to interpretation. science not so much. if I choose to believe that the Torah’s telling of God’s creation is true, then yes, She made everything in 6 days. I don’t choose to believe this because empirical evidence pretty much tells me otherwise. I do not need to read any new book about ID because I have read enough to tell me that it is not science.
if it were, maybe this blog would be found on a host site like sciencenet. but it isn’t – this is belifnet. religious discourse.



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Alan Stillman

posted July 25, 2009 at 8:53 am


I do not understand why this post, which I wrote several days ago on a different posting of David’s came back today instead of the one I wrote this morning and which seems lost into the ether. I am sorry if I screwed things up….



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Daniel Mann

posted July 25, 2009 at 7:04 pm


David,
You’re taking a courageous stand against a determined and desperate opponent. Keep up the good work and take a look at my related posts: http://www.Mannsword.blogspot.com.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 25, 2009 at 7:24 pm


News flash for David:
Alchemists face invidious discrimination in chemistry departments.
Astrologers face invidious discrimination in astronomy departments.
David, if your caricature of science were true, how would new theories like plate tectonics get accepted? (You won’t answer.)
Before geophysical evidence started accumulating after World War II, the idea of continental drift caused sharp disagreement among geologists. Wegener had introduced his theory in 1912 at a meeting of the German Geological Association. His paper was published that year and expanded into a book in 1915. In 1921 the Berlin Geological Society held a symposium on the theory. In 1922 Wegener’s book was translated into English and then it received a wider audience. In 1923 the theory was discussed at conferences by Geological Society of France, the Geological Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Geological Society. The theory was carefully but critically reviewed in the journal Nature by Philip Lake. On November 15, 1926, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) held a symposium at which the continental drift hypothesis was vigorously debated. The resulting papers were published in 1928 under the title Theory of continental drift. Wegener himself contributed a paper to this volume.
One of the main problems with Wegener’s theory was that he believed that the continents “plowed” through the rocks of the ocean basins. Most geologists did not believe that this could be possible. In fact, the biggest objection to Wegener was that he did not have an acceptable theory of the forces that caused the continents to drift. He also ignored counter-arguments and evidence contrary to his theory and seemed too willing to interpret ambiguous evidence as being favorable to his theory. For their part, the geologists ignored Wegener’s copious body of evidence as it contradicted their assumptions.
Plate tectonics, a modern update of the old ideas of Wegener about “plowing” continents, accommodates continental motion through the mechanism of seafloor spreading. New rock is created by volcanism at mid-ocean ridges and returned to the Earth’s mantle at ocean trenches. Remarkably, in the 1928 AAPG volume, G. A. F. Molengraaf of the Delft University of Technology (formerly Delft Institute) proposed a recognizable form of seafloor spreading in order to account for the opening of the Atlantic Ocean as well as the East Africa Rift. Arthur Holmes (an early supporter of Wegener) suggested that the movement of continents was the result of convection currents driven by the heat of the interior of the Earth, rather than the continents floating on the mantle. According to Carl Sagan, it is more like the continents being carried on a conveyor belt than floating or drifting. The ideas of Molengraaf and of Holmes led to the theory of plate tectonics, which replaced the theory of continental drift, and became the accepted theory in the 1960s (based on data that started to accumulate in the late 1950s).
However, acceptance was gradual. Nowadays it is universally supported; but even in 1977 a textbook could write the relatively weak: “a poll of geologists now would probably show a substantial majority who favor the idea of drift” and devote a section to a serious consideration of the objections to the theory.[17]
Long story short, Wegener thought the continents had once been joined together but could not convincingly explain how they could move. When the mid-ocean ridges were discovered, it became clear how they could move.
Wegener did not run off and start the Continental Drift Institute, refuse to do any research of his own, and tell lies about what geologists think and say.



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Vulgarian

posted July 25, 2009 at 11:04 pm


There are two types of people in cpl Klinger’s world, Darwinists and non Darwinists. I hope he finds another line of work. It’s going to be hard to make a career out of this, even with all his monied Jewish connections.



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Your Name

posted July 26, 2009 at 9:08 am


I’m currently reading “The Touble With Physics” by Lee Smolin. He writes that all the senior positions in physics are held by proponents of string theory, and that anywho who questions string theory soon finds himself without a job.



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Alan Stillman

posted July 26, 2009 at 9:25 am


I am trying this again.
at the holiday season, David, do you wish your colleagues “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” and do you insist on being responded to with “Happy Hanukkah”? if you desire a spiritually appropriate salutation directed towards you, do your colleagues claim that you are trying to destroy Christmas or that your not observing their religious celebration interferes with their own?
I ask this because that is what I see going on here – the same attitude. saying “Happy Holidays” is an attack on Christmas. gay people marrying harms heterosexual marriage. when people who point out that ID is not scientifically testable with well thought out and referenced examples they are ‘failed academics, unemployed, and mean intimidating bullies. oh – and they should learn to be civil and not call people unjustified and nasty names’.
there is nothing nasty about calling someone who lies a liar – that is empirical. I realize that in this particular debate there may be a subjective component – when we are talking about opinions – but when facts are the subject lying is empirically provable.
it can be very uncomfortable to be on the wrong side of the truth, David. especially when the truth is incredibly well documented and when that truth caused major cognitive dissonance with one’s core religious beliefs. all I have ever seen of the ID argument is basically ‘life is so complex – see how complex it is? – there had to be a designer and the proof is the complexity of it all and that is science because God and I said so’. not science. sorry.
I support ID being taught in a philosophy class or a religion class at the college level, because that is what it is – theological philosophy. I do not want my school tax dollars going to support the teaching of ID in a high school science class because it is not science. I want my son to learn the scientific method and to be able to point out the strengths and limitations of that method.
one could never, and should never, attempt to prove the existence of the designer, or God, or whatever one believes in to the rigors of scientific study. it is an inappropriate endeavor.
I am a social scientist, not a physical or biological one. but I do understand the scientific method and how to apply it to appropriate questions about our world. I am also deeply religious. I have a very strong personal relationship with the Goddess. this is based on experiences I have had, through meditation and other such practices, that are very subjective but nonetheless real. but they are not replicable and they are not testable. they are not science.
in my opinion, the Goddess also reveals Herself to us in ways that are empirical. evolution is one of those ways and science is an avenue we have to better understand Her. in my opinion, there is no difficulty merging science and my thealogical (thea being the feminine form of theo) beliefs. but if someone else does not believe in my personal revelations, that is fine with me. it does not diminish in any way my personal faith.
faith. that is why this discussion is taking place on beliefnet, and not sciencenet.
I know when and where to pray. I know when and where to do and seek research. I know to keep these two, equally valid, practices separated.
and when someone wises me a “Merry Christmas” I see the good cheer sentiment in the gesture and say “Thank you – you too”. but when someone insists that I HAVE a ‘merry Christmas’ or tries to tell me that my non-observance interferes with their personal experience of the holiday you can bet that I will get all “Blessed Yule” on their tuchas.



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Alan Stillman

posted July 26, 2009 at 9:26 am


I am trying this again.
at the holiday season, David, do you wish your colleagues “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” and do you insist on being responded to with “Happy Hanukkah”? if you desire a spiritually appropriate salutation directed towards you, do your colleagues claim that you are trying to destroy Christmas or that your not observing their religious celebration interferes with their own?
I ask this because that is what I see going on here – the same attitude. saying “Happy Holidays” is an attack on Christmas. gay people marrying harms heterosexual marriage. when people who point out that ID is not scientifically testable with well thought out and referenced examples they are ‘failed academics, unemployed, and mean intimidating bullies. oh – and they should learn to be civil and not call people unjustified and nasty names’.
there is nothing nasty about calling someone who lies a liar – that is empirical. I realize that in this particular debate there may be a subjective component – when we are talking about opinions – but when facts are the subject lying is empirically provable.
it can be very uncomfortable to be on the wrong side of the truth, David. especially when the truth is incredibly well documented and when that truth caused major cognitive dissonance with one’s core religious beliefs. all I have ever seen of the ID argument is basically ‘life is so complex – see how complex it is? – there had to be a designer and the proof is the complexity of it all and that is science because God and I said so’. not science. sorry.
I support ID being taught in a philosophy class or a religion class at the college level, because that is what it is – theological philosophy. I do not want my school tax dollars going to support the teaching of ID in a high school science class because it is not science. I want my son to learn the scientific method and to be able to point out the strengths and limitations of that method.
one could never, and should never, attempt to prove the existence of the designer, or God, or whatever one believes in to the rigors of scientific study. it is an inappropriate endeavor.
I am a social scientist, not a physical or biological one. but I do understand the scientific method and how to apply it to appropriate questions about our world. I am also deeply religious. I have a very strong personal relationship with the Goddess. this is based on experiences I have had, through meditation and other such practices, that are very subjective but nonetheless real. but they are not replicable and they are not testable. they are not science.
in my opinion, the Goddess also reveals Herself to us in ways that are empirical. evolution is one of those ways and science is an avenue we have to better understand Her. in my opinion, there is no difficulty merging science and my thealogical (thea being the feminine form of theo) beliefs. but if someone else does not believe in my personal revelations, that is fine with me. it does not diminish in any way my personal faith.
faith. that is why this discussion is taking place on beliefnet, and not sciencenet.
I know when and where to pray. I know when and where to do and seek research. I know to keep these two, equally valid, practices separated.
and when someone wises me a “Merry Christmas” I see the good cheer sentiment in the gesture and say “Thank you – you too”. but when someone insists that I HAVE a ‘merry Christmas’ or tries to tell me that my non-observance interferes with their personal experience of the holiday you can bet that I will get all “Blessed Yule” on their tuchas.



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Dennis

posted July 26, 2009 at 11:35 am


The ID theory is untestable in principle, thus is non-science–nonsense. ID leads to infinite regress. What designed the designer? Such silliness!



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harrietb98

posted July 26, 2009 at 2:53 pm


I thought that it was the other way around. I thought that it was the people who believe in Darwinism who are intimidated, by those who don’e.



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Turmarion

posted July 26, 2009 at 5:09 pm


Gabriel’s example of plate tectonics is a good and apt one. Let me give another which is perhaps an even closer analog to the ID-evolution debate.
At the beginning of the last century, the near-universal consensus among physicists, astronomers, and cosmologists was the Steady State theory. This held that the universe was eternal. It was infinite in size, had always existed, and had always been pretty much as it is now.
Then, in the 1920′s the physicist and Catholic priest George Lemmaître proposed that the universe was expanding, which implied that it had not always been as it is now, but must have started at one point, which we now call the “Big Bang”. The opposition to him was fierce, since this was seen as smuggling the religious notion of creation into science. Einstein himself, on meeting Lemmaître, told him, “Your math is correct, but your physics is abominable!”
Well, time went on and the evidence accumulated, from the work of Hubble and others, in favor of the Big Bang. Even Einstein (grudgingly, it must be said!) gave up his opposition, saying that the cosmological constant (his attempt to preserve a Steady State universe) was the biggest blunder of his career. Finally, shortly before Lemmaître’s death in 1966, the background radiation that is the remnant of the Big Bang was discovered, pretty much clinching the Big Bang theory.
Now consider: Like ID, the Big Bang theory was excoriated for illegitimately mixing science and religion and for being proposed by a priest (who might be presumed to have ulterior motives). Almost all major names in physics at the time rejected it, and its supporters were pariahs. However, research was done, evidence accumulated, and the Big Bang won the day. Even atheists and agnostics accepted it (since there are non-theistic interpretations of it–that’s another issue).
Now if ID is really, truly based on science, so-called discrimination and intimidation shouldn’t matter. It is no worse than that faced by the Big Bang theory, and for many of the same reasons–and yet the evidence won out in the case of the Big Bang. That hasn’t happened for ID. That indicates to me that it’s not the big, bad, evil “Darwinists”, but the lack of acceptable evidence by the



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Glen Davidson

posted July 26, 2009 at 5:30 pm


Wow, David quotes himself as an authority. I’m so impressed, especially by someone who can never keep from calling names, or making charges against the “others” that he can never back up. That is, perhaps, the biggest pile-of up fallacies that an the English language can support, at least without looping fallacies.
So pseudoscience is discriminated against by science. That’s actually a responsibility of scientists to do.
The impasse, of course, is that the pseudoscientists can bear the truth–that they’re dishonest people (the leaders are, either through not learning what they must in order to properly discriminate, or because they don’t care about the truth–most rank and file are probably duped, however willingly) who can never make a case for ID being understood as anything but dishonest pseudoscience.
The fact that they cannot demonstrate that ID is either honest or of any value is not something that IDists can accept–and many cannot even understand it. Hence the gross dishonesty of their attacks upon honest science and honest scientists is not something that they can both accept and comprehend, and their ignorance of what real science is causes them to demand that pseudoscience be accepted as science, even though it manifestly is not. Since it is not accepted as legitimate, cries of persecution are leveled against honest science.
If you’re like David, with no acceptance of proper standards of evidence in science or anywhere else (he rarely supplies sufficient evidence for his pre-judged “conclusions”), it’s all blame blame blame, and never accept any responsibility for dealing honestly with these matters. He seems even to supposes that unbacked ad hominems are reasonably, while it is unreasonable for us to call his unsupported ad hominem what they are.
David, like most or all of the DI pro-pseudoscience religionists, is quick to level dishonest charges (like in his present article), and simply dismisses reasonable claims to the contrary. He’s a prime example of ID, demanding respect for what is untrue, inability to deal with science on a competent level, and happy to smear all of those who take pains to be fair and honest.
He will never meet any meaningful intellectual standards, because he now associates honesty with dishonesty, having too long blamed everyone who was honest for keeping out dishonest claims in science. He may even begin to censor those of us who honestly answer his unsupported and dishonest attacks, but increasingly I think that hardly matters. We’ll have leave if “being polite” is now defined as effectively lying that dishonesty is truth, but that claim appears to be the only “standard” that David holds to in intellectual “discourse” (he appears incapable of intellectual discourse, in fact), and the mere ad hominems which David seems incapable of understanding as both false and as what would be fallacious even if the claims were true, is becoming boring and insufferable, as well as being of what ID is comprised.
It is useless to continue to try to have honest discourse with someone whose entire modus operandi is that honest standards are unfair. It may soon be impossible even to point out the dishonesty of his demands–as well as of his bare unsupported attacks upon people who actually care about truth–and anyway, it is becoming overly repetitive.
We can’t respect ID with its dishonesty, and they can’t bear our condemnations of, let alone our copious evidence for, the intellectual bankruptcy and mendacity of ID. Eventually, it seems inevitable that David will move to prevent honest discussions of ID on this site, for ID cannot bear scrutiny.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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Glen Davidson

posted July 26, 2009 at 5:42 pm


I thought that it was the other way around. I thought that it was the people who believe in Darwinism who are intimidated, by those who don’e.

It’s what’s tried, hence the huge numbers of false charges against science that the DI has put out from the beginning.
Intimidating truth is difficult, however. Actually, it’s pretty hard to intimidate pseudoscience as well, which is why we have ID and a host of other junk “science” in this society. Truth, though, has the added bonus of being able to make a case, thus it rarely is intimidated overly much. Btw, there were continuing problems with “continental drift,” a big reason why it laid low and worked on the problems for some time (Europe also was less opposed to it, fortunately), only to resurface with great answers that the reigning theories could not answer.
We are especially difficult to intimidate by all of the dishonesty coming from IDists, because we’re both right and science knows that. I think that’s why the nastiness of ID tends not to be our focus, however it is amazing how truly defamatory of science IDists are and always have been. But anyway, we know that none of the IDists has made a reasonable case for ID, and really can do little against evolution except to point out the obvious, that much of it remains to be fully understood.
It’s so pitiful as to be laughable–if they weren’t gulling large numbers of people into a hatred of honest investigations into the matter of origins.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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Glen Davidson

posted July 26, 2009 at 5:53 pm


Shorter post #20: Our side can’t act tolerantly toward endless dishonesty, and David’s side can’t handle the truth.
That’s why they nearly always end up censoring us.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 26, 2009 at 8:29 pm


I’m currently reading “The Touble With Physics” by Lee Smolin. He writes that all the senior positions in physics are held by proponents of string theory, and that anywho who questions string theory soon finds himself without a job.
This is utter nonsense. I know personally more than one physicist who questions string theory, besides myself.
The vast majority of us work in fields that have nothing to do with string theory anyway.



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What's Good for the Goose

posted July 26, 2009 at 8:35 pm


I am always amazed at the obsession and anger exhibited by Darwinists about this. What’s to be so upset about? It will all work out in the wash.
Meanwhile Vulgarian, your comment bordered on the anti Semitic. Besides, I have seen David accused of having radical Christian connections. Now it is monied Jewish connections. Why not just take him at face value, an Orthodox Jew by choice (as opposed to birth), who is interested in religious, cultural, and political issues?
As for ID not being science, I think that is wrong. As I understand it, and I am not real knowledgeable here, it uses the scientific evidence to test a different hypothesis than random forces and natural selection being the answer to all of life’s questions. I thought that WAS science.
That being so, ID proponents should be able to point to evidence that backs up their claims. They should be able to project out about what science will find if they are right–even if it appears not to be true now.
Example: I have often heard that the appendix is a useless vestige organ that has no purpose, thereby demonstrating a lack of design. Except, now the appendix DOES appear to have a purpose in storing good bacteria we need in digestion (or something like that). If that is so, it supports the idea of an designer. It could also support evolution. But the evolutionists pointed to the appendix as proof that ID was wrong. Oops.
I am not emotionally engaged in this issue, as it were. As I said, I think it will all come out in the wash. But I find the hysterical attempts to suppress ID discussions, papers, advocates, very interesting. What are the neo Darwinists afraid of? Oh, we will become utterly stupid in science and fall behind the world. What claptrap. I think they are afraid that ID might have more going for it than they pretend. At least, that’s how they are acting.



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Your Name

posted July 26, 2009 at 10:53 pm


GH:
Should I believe you or Lee Smolin? Your biht scientists.



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Alan Stillman

posted July 26, 2009 at 11:28 pm


to Good for the Goose:
what we are afraid of is the erosion of the separation of Church and State. because we “neo-Darwinists” understand what ID is – it is a kinder and gentler (supposedly) mechanism of getting Creationism into public education. Creationism is not science, it is religion. and its proponents would love to see this country move in the direction of a theocracy.
David should be very wary about hanging with these folks. I am pretty sure that it is not his religion that would end up on the approved list were their wishes become policy.



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Mike McCants

posted July 27, 2009 at 1:55 am


“And the strategy works — not with me but with plenty of other people.”
It also failed with Don McLeroy – “Somebody has to stand up to those experts!”.
Yes, the invincibly ignorant will always find an excuse to disbelieve the scientists who actually know what they are talking about.



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kernestm

posted July 27, 2009 at 5:13 am


(kenneth posted :
I would suggest that ID-driven scientists face discrimination not because of some grand ideological conspiracy, but because they are not doing serious science at all. )
Kernestm:
Because you start with evolution and refuse to research real science, you accept and parrot the evolutionary lie that highly qualified scientists doing serious, scientific research, piecing together the intricacies of the processes of life, to an extent vastly beyond anything Darwin could have imagined, are not actually doing “science” The science you are demanding is anything which support evolution, but unfortunately real science has progressed past fables, onto real science, leaving evolutionists stuck in the mud of 150 year old assumptions, which they have not been able to find scientific support for.
ID strictly avoids any search for a possible source of an intelligent source for life, but there so many who believe in God who support ID as it shows the total failure of evolution, that evolutionists routinely use the lie that it is not science, as this is their only defence against the onslaught of modern science.
(kenneth posted :
The question of whether evolution and selection unfold according to the will of the Judeo-Christian God (or any other supreme intelligence) is utterly untestable by the methods of science. )
Kernestm:
Since chemical evolution can never occur, as there is no directive source for the information that must be encoded in the DNA, on how to make proteins etc, or to direct the chemicals into the complex formations needed for life, then it never happened. So it does not unfold according to the will of the Judeo-Christian God, and does not need testing in that regard, and there in no other entity claiming to have created.
The real test, which you can do if you want to, is to study the prophesies and history, and particularly the present compared to the Old Testament prophets from Daniel onwards to see what is happening in the world, and soon to happen. Why is Israel being attacked, and lied against world wide? The Bible tells you what will happen once the Jews return to the promised land, after their dispersion, and have all nations against them, the reason being so that God will identify those nations who oppose Him and His chosen people, and destroy those who are against Israel. Read Malachi and Revelation. The USA is being stupid in its demands on Israel, supporting those who have frequently declared that they will destroy Israel, kill all Jews, and take all the land for themselves, thus directly taking on God is His territory, for the eventual destruction of USA. The Arabs have vast areas, and do not need Israel, and have no real connection to the land, they only came in number when the Jews made it flourish. This is an ancient war started between half brothers, which has continued through the centuries.
(kenneth posted :
Darwinism, by the way, places no prohibitions on the possibility of an ultimate purpose. It simply says there is none readily apparent.)
Kernestm:
As Richard Dawkins explains, evolution has no plan, cannot plan for the future, it is all by random chance, except he sees the choice of which random path to be non-random. How can unguided randomness have any ultimate purpose? The only thing evolution says is everything goes downhill towards extinction, decay and immoral values and standards, hence ever changing laws to allow what was formerly prohibited.



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Pet Supplies

posted July 27, 2009 at 9:43 am


Invisible Dog Fences have evolved over the past 25 years. The expensive and somewhat ugly chain link dog fences have fallen by the wayside in favor of the new electronic dog fences, which use invisible radio waves. Dogs have a habit of jumping over or digging under chain link dog fences or other solid barrier dog fences. An Invisible Fence is a good idea if you want to keep your dog safe.



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Joe

posted July 27, 2009 at 11:53 am


KernestM said among other things: “The only thing evolution says is everything goes downhill towards extinction, decay and immoral values and standards…”
These comments remind me of a campus preacher (one of those who travel from one college campus to another, preacher evangelical fundamentalist Christianity on whatever public space they have available). I can’t reproduce his speech word-for-word, but it boiled down to “The wages of sin is entropy”. If this is truly indicative of the conservative Christian understanding of science, it’s more than just understanding (and research into and teaching) evolution that’s at stake here.



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kernestm

posted July 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm


Joe posted:
“The wages of sin is entropy”. If this is truly indicative of the conservative Christian understanding of science, it’s more than just understanding (and research into and teaching) evolution that’s at stake here.
kernestm:
Good quote, do you have any conclusion, or can better define what is at stake?



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm


Since chemical evolution can never occur, as there is no directive source for the information that must be encoded in the DNA, on how to make proteins etc, or to direct the chemicals into the complex formations needed for life, then it never happened.
Nylon-eating bacteria.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon_eating_bacteria
Nylon didn’t exist before the 30′s. Bacteria have evolved that can eat it. Did the “Designer” intervene to make this happen?
This evolution has been observed in the laboratory, by giving an unrelated strain of bacteria that couldn’t eat nylon nothing but nylon to eat.
So the “Designer” stepped in to make sure they evolved the capability–using a different set of enzymes than the wild bacteria did–clearly the “Designer” wants scientists to believe that evolution can happen under laboratory conditions.
Now you go right ahead, kernestm–who doesn’t know enough about science to figure out that a snowflake also has information in it–and tell us that because a dog didn’t turn into a cat that this wasn’t “evolution”.
And explain to us why the “Designer” wants bacteria to eat nylon, and why the “Designer” did it a different way each time.



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kernestm

posted July 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm


David Klinghoffer’s article:
” Being thought of as sympathetic to ID represents a blemish on a scientist’s reputation. Thus an academic department or a scientific journal will be very reluctant to sponsor or publish research or writing that challenges Darwinism. A sort of intellectual paralysis results.
Caroline Crocker, a biologist with a specialty in immunopharmacology, can speak openly because she’s given up hope of returning to academia. In 2005, Dr. Crocker discussed the scientific critique of Darwinism with the students in her cellbiology course at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va. When colleagues got wind of it, she was first forbidden from teaching either evolution or intelligent design. Then her contract was allowed to expire.”
kernestm:
Caroline gets 7 pages in Slaughter of the Dissidents V1, by Dr. Gerry Bergman.
An inch thick book on the dishonest and illegal lengths evolutionists go to to stop any research that might reveal some of the problems of evolution. Mentioning ID is a death sentence to your career, but the tide is rising, the truth will come out, and evolution be disgraced.
Denial of tenure, refusing to grant earned degrees, removing teachers to a non-teaching role, because they just asked if they could mention supposed problems with Evolution.
No wonder that science and science education, in the USA is falling behind, when highly qualified researchers are banned from research or excellent honest teachers from teaching.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm


Okay, kernestm, just ignore observed evolution in the lab and pretend it’s all a conspiracy.
I might hire a biologist who believes in alchemy, but I wouldn’t hire a physicist or chemist who did.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 27, 2009 at 7:16 pm


More about Caroline Crocker:
The dean of the College of Arts and Sciences stated that the university did not have a policy or a rule on whether certain topics should be discussed, but questioned whether a concept with theological underpinnings belonged in a science course. He added “I’m a Buddhist, but I don’t think we should teach reincarnation in biology classes.”[5]
Her lecture which raised concerns included statements that macroevolution was not established as “No one has ever seen a dog turn into a cat in a laboratory”, that many scientists believe that complex life reveals the hand of an intelligent designer, that experiments that she said were supposed to prove evolution, including the Miller-Urey experiment and peppered moth evolution, had been found to be false. She said that “The problem with evolution is that it is all supposition – this evolved into this – but there is no evidence”, and that anti-Semitism, eugenics and death camps in Nazi Germany had been based on Darwin’s ideas and on science.[7] The biologist and critic of creationism PZ Myers described this as educational malpractice and a lack of basic scientific competence.[8] If a dog turned into a cat, that would contradict evolution theory,[9] and her erroneous claims about experiments appeared to come from a list by intelligent design proponent Jonathan Wells, based on his book Icons of Evolution, which had been refuted by the National Center for Science Education in 2001.[10] Myers described her claims about anti-semitism and Nazis as contemptible, noting that Hitler claimed to have been motivated by religious views such as those of Martin Luther and not scientific ideas; indeed, racist ideas long predated Darwin.[8][11]
Later in 2005, her contract as a part-time faculty member at the university was not renewed. A university spokesman said this was for reasons unrelated to her views on intelligent design, and that though they wholeheartedly supported academic freedom, “teachers also have a responsibility to stick to subjects they were hired to teach, and intelligent design belonged in a religion class, not biology.”[7]

She told the same lies about evolution, in a science class, that Klinghoffer and the other ID fellows do outside of them.
If I taught a physics class and I said that no experiment had ever demonstrated relativity, that Einstein stole his ideas from Poincare, that nuclear war is the inevitable consequence of belief in relativity, and that no one has ever observed one twin being younger than the other–I hope I would be fired, and deservedly so, because I am saying things that are not true, not because I’m criticizing relativity.



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kernestm

posted July 27, 2009 at 10:43 pm


Some relavant quotes on evolutionist stratigies:
“Frankly, I don’t like fundamentalists, especially Baptist, Church of Christ types, Pentecostals or other 17th century retrogressives. If we find out we hired one, especially if they start talking to the other research scientists about their beliefs, I would terminate them within the month. Usually they leave without much of a protest. And I’ve never had one bring suit, even though firing on religious grounds is illegal, and I know that it is. But who cares, several guys I told straight out. “We don’t want any creationists working in this lab, so if you don’t turn in your resignation letter tomorrow, we will have to fire you. You better just find a position elsewhere.” Besides, if they appeal to the EEOC and win, we’ll just hire them back. No one has, so I’m not worried about it.”
Slaughter of the Dissidents, Dr Jerry Bergman.Page 346.
Research shows that this type of discrimination is also prevalent even at elite colleges. One University of Texas professor related his personal experience with what he calls academic bigotry as follows:
During my first year in graduate school as an atheist and a communist, professors at the University of Michigan called me a genius: they were wrong. When I left as a Christian and a conservative, one professor believed I had become a moron: he also was wrong, but he tried to keep me from receiving a Ph.D. and probably would have succeeded but for the intervention of the one outspoken conservative on campus. Ever since then I have been very sensitive to ideological bias in grading… [from] what students have told me and shown me concerning other courses . . . such bias occurs elsewhere. This is not to say that I’m a more virtuous grader than others; since I work in hostile territory and know that everything I say or do is examined critically.244
Slaughter of the Dissidents, Dr Jerry Bergman.Page 109.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 27, 2009 at 10:59 pm


So, about those nylon-eating bacteria, kernestm?
Let’s review for the class:
Nylon didn’t exist until the 30′s. Bacteria evolved to nylon. Scientists duplicated this evolution in the lab using bacteria that did not eat nylon and given them only nylon to eat, but they evolved a different set of mutations in order to do so.
Can you explain why “the Designer” chose to make bacteria capable of eating nylon? Can you explain why the “Designer” chose to intervene in a lab experiment to make it look like evolution is true?



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Turmarion

posted July 27, 2009 at 11:24 pm


kernestm, I would also direct you to my post above regarding the Big Bang theory. It was initially opposed for the same reason as ID is opposed, that is, for purportedly smuggling religion into science under the cover of a new theory. However, as evidence came in, it was confirmed, with the result that even former critics came to accept it. ID has never even been close to confirmation on the basis of evidence or anything else. Thus, it is false to claim that discrimination or resistance to it in the scientific community would be enough to hold it back if it could be proved.



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kernestm

posted July 28, 2009 at 5:06 am


“Gabriel Hanna Posted:
July 27, 2009 4:39 PM
Now you go right ahead, kernestm–who doesn’t know enough about science to figure out that a snowflake also has information in it–”
Kernestm:
You really make a fool of yourself. The snowflake has formation in it according to the inter-nuclear attractions of the atoms. there is no deliberate information pattern, just randomness according to nuclear forces. This is not information, except an outside intelligence can deduce that conditions were right to form snow. In has no information in the real sense, you cannot get information from the flake, there is no encoding or decoding for the language as in science or maths, or computer programming. Interrogate each flake to get information that it has stored, it is only random formation according to nuclear forces.
You probably got this idea from some evolutionary web site where it is claimed that clouds and caves and snowflakes or crystals contain information, but for there to be information there must be an agreed encoding system, so information can be encoded and decoded. Information is a non-material thing, it may be transmitted in many ways, but the transmitting force or energy is not the information, but a snowflake has not been encoded with information, even though you can deduce information about the molecules, but that takes your intelligence.
NOW you tell me the information that a snowflake has transmitted to you.
“Gabriel Hanna posted:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon_eating_bacteria
Nylon didn’t exist before the 30′s. Bacteria have evolved that can eat it. Did the “Designer” intervene to make this happen?”
Kernestm:
There is considerable variation in species, and a lot of the bacteria would have died from starvation. but if one has a variation that allows it to survive then that one will reproduce and probably most of its descendents will have that ability. This is the same as antibiotic resistance, which is usually due to the loss of control of some function, (always is a loss according to most experts) which makes the bacteria less able to survive than the normal version in the natural conditions. If taken away from nylon they would probably be outbred by the normal strain, in fact they might have lost some control and be unable to survive under normal conditions. This doesn’t need designer interference.
I can’t recall what nylon is made from, I think it is from oil, which is thought to be from plant origin, and therefor edible to some bacteria. Some bacteria are used to clean up oil spills. Bacteria or some growth sometimes clogs up diesel tanks, I have been warned. I know that there is a cooking oil from petroleum, but most is poisonous. It is not the “designer who wants bacteria to eat nylon, but people wanting to salvage the product.
So the next question is how much is actually required to breakdown the nylon, is it a simple chemical process that the bacteria can do and scientists can now copy, as the secret has been revealed.
Now you tell me how life started, a scientific reasonable explanation, because without it there would be no bacteria.
To Gabriel:
PS I have more in my life than blogging, so there is often some delay. Also I was replying to someone else, so don’t be so impatient.



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Your Name

posted July 28, 2009 at 7:13 am


I undertand that the nyln eating enzyme is smaller and less efficient than the protein digestng enzyme. So it may very well been the result of the loss of information and functin that in this case worked out well for the bacteria. And it is still the same species, not a new species. To say that this is the same process that can turn a bacteria into a blue whale is a stretch.



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Your Name

posted July 28, 2009 at 8:20 am


And the nylon eating enzyme doesn’t actually eat nylon, it eats one of the by-products of nylon manufacture.



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Turmarion

posted July 28, 2009 at 2:18 pm


Kernestm: There is considerable variation in species, and a lot of the bacteria would have died from starvation. but if one has a variation that allows it to survive then that one will reproduce and probably most of its descendents will have that ability.
Which is exactly what evolution is. You refute yourself.
The snowflake has formation in it according to the inter-nuclear attractions of the atoms. there is no deliberate information pattern, just randomness according to nuclear forces.
This is most certainly not random. Water always makes hexagonal crystals (that’s why snowflakes are always six-pointed stars). This is because the shape and polarity of water molecules cause them always to align in a certain way when they move into close proximity (that is, “freeze”). Ditto all other crystalline substances.
You should read some information theory. Regarding “information”, as Iñigo Montoya might say, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” There is more information in a snowflake than in the drop of water from which it formed. For the drop, you could say it’s just random water molecules moving around in a drop. For the snowflake, you have to specify the crystal lattice, the shape, etc. etc. It take more information to specify the flake than the drop. Whether an intelligence is there to do the specifying is beside the point.
Your Name: And it is still the same species, not a new species. To say that this is the same process that can turn a bacteria into a blue whale is a stretch.
Give it a few billion years. This is somewhat like arguing that since I’ve never walked more than five miles at a time, it would be impossible for me to walk to Mexico (had I the time and inclination), since taking steps has never got me that far in the past!
And the nylon eating enzyme doesn’t actually eat nylon, it eats one of the by-products of nylon manufacture.
Which byproducts also never existed before in nature. The point is still valid.



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R0b

posted July 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm


Mr. Klinghoffer,
I’m saddened to see that you’ve been taken in by the misinformation being propagated by some on the ID side. I hope that you find the time to avail yourself of the readily available information from the other side, regarding both the content and the reported persecution of the ID movement.
Dr. Ayala’s statement stands. I challenge you to find a viable ID research proposal that has been rejected. If you offer up Marks and Dembski’s research as an example, I would agree that Baylor acted poorly in reneging on its approval of the funding, but their work has involved very little substance and some embarrassingly bad propaganda. Baylor should have rejected the project from the get-go.
(BTW, when you say, “Without additional information (a/k/a design) being included in the simulation, he finds, the evolutionary process doesn’t produce results as Darwin promised,” is that your claim or Dr. Marks’? Except for the “a/k/a design”, which has no basis whatsoever, the statement is tautological. Translated, it says that unless evolutionary processes produce results, they don’t produce results.)
As to “It was Dembski’s criticism of Darwinian evolution that roused the other professors’ ire,” you might ask yourself why other untenured professors can criticize Darwinian evolution and keep their jobs. There is more to the story of Dembski vs. Baylor.
Academics are sometimes not careful or tactful in their efforts to keep pseudoscience out of their institutions. I agree with Gonzalez’s former department chair that tenured scientists should understand what constitutes science and a scientific theory. But in saying what he said, he gave ammunition to writers such as yourself. As much as I hate to say it, scientists need to practice political correctness so that ID proponents have no basis for claiming martyrdom. It’s a shame that it has come to this.



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Your Name

posted July 28, 2009 at 7:39 pm


Scientists should be the last to practice political correctness of any kind; the toleration of idiotic beliefs may be a kindness to the believer, but does not resolve the issue. The belierfs are still idiotic. Evolution by natural selection (with the genetic components of the synthetic theory) explains the history of life on this planet through its 3.5 billion years. To tolerate the teaching of astrology and astronomy, or chemistry and alchemy, or phrenology and physiology or neurology, is simply absurd. The perverted mythologies of special creation and its shadow, intelligent design” has about the rational as looking at phrenology. It is time to realize that geologists, paleontologists, biologists, etc., are really on the correct path and leave the silliness behind.



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kernestm

posted July 29, 2009 at 5:31 pm


(Turmarion posted:
July 28, 2009 2:18 PM
Kernestm: There is considerable variation in species, and a lot of the bacteria would have died from starvation. but if one has a variation that allows it to survive then that one will reproduce and probably most of its descendents will have that ability.
Which is exactly what evolution is. You refute yourself.)
kernestm:
This is not an upward evolutionary process, only a loss, the opposite to your claim. As Your Name said “And it is still the same species, not a new species. To say that this is the same process that can turn a bacteria into a blue whale is a stretch.”
Evolution does not progress by mutations as they degrade, it is just one of the favourite lies of evolution, which science has long disproved. You need to do some scientific study away from the narrow minded evolutionary web and magazines, try something scientific. http://www.iubmb-nicholson.org/gif/11.html to see what research has discovered. Also there is a whole lot of scientific papers on http://www.trueorigin.org/ covering many subjects. Evolutionary subjects are discussed on http://www.evolution.htmlplanet.com So go and learn something.
Turmarion how about you produce proof that mutations add completely new information to make upward progress of life forms?
(Turmarion posted:
Which byproducts also never existed before in nature. The point is still valid.)
No not valid, it depends on what the byproduct is, and it is still going the wrong way “nylon eating enzyme is smaller and less efficient than the protein digesting enzyme”.
Evolution is still impossible as mutations degrade.
(Turmarion posted: Give it a few billion years.)
Time is your enemy as mutations degrade, conditions change, the evidence of the fossil record is death and extinction. Now some scientists are concerned that the human race will perish, because of increasing fertility problems, as degrading mutations increase, and spread throughout the population. Extrapolating this there comes a time when a reproductive couple cannot be found. Hopefully it won’t happen like that.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 29, 2009 at 8:03 pm


This is not an upward evolutionary process, only a loss, the opposite to your claim.
kernestm, you argue with your caricature of evolution. Evolution is not “progress”. There is no “upward” or “downward”. There is only adaptation to an environment. When cave fish lose their eyes, which are expensive to make and serve them no purpose, that makes them more fit for their environment.
At any rate, you cannot deny that bacteria GAINED AN ABILITY they did not previously possess, because natural selection acted on them.
They could not eat nylon. They had nothing to eat BUT nylon. They developed the ability to eat nylon, through natural selection acting on variations in the bacterial population.
All the other things you said are just name-calling, intended to dismiss what happened TWICE-once in nature, once in the lab.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 29, 2009 at 8:08 pm


“And it is still the same species, not a new species. To say that this is the same process that can turn a bacteria into a blue whale is a stretch.”
Moving the goalposts again. You guys said evolution is BIOCHEMICALLY impossible. We show you irrefutable evidence that it happens on the biochemical level, and then YOU say this is never what you were talking about!
Besides, nobody thinks that natural selection can “turn a bacteria into a blue whale”, except ID proponents and creationists (but I repeat myself,”cdesign proponentists”).
At any rate, kernestm, YOU DIDN’T READ THE PAPER, so how do you know that they just “degraded”? You don’t know anything, so you feel free to make stuff up.



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Turmarion

posted July 29, 2009 at 8:10 pm


kernestm: This is not an upward evolutionary process….
This is a common misunderstanding, which occurs sometimes even among evolutionary biologists who should know better. There is no upward or downward evolutionary process. “Higher”, “lower”, etc. imply teleology (direction), when there is none. The only “direction” is toward whatever helps an organism survive and leave more offspring. In this sense, a bacteria is not a “lower” life form than a mammal. The mammal is much more complex, but each organism is fitted to its environment as a result of evolutionary forces.
Two examples for clarity: Blind cave fish once had eyes, but lost them over time. This does not mean the “devolved” by losing sight. They merely lost a faculty they had no need of. This also, BTW is a strike against ID, since the Designer should have made them without eyes to begin with, rather than with the vestiges of former eyes, right?
Two: It rains and streams form at the top of a mountain. Some courses down the mountainside (e.g. waterfalls) are faster–the water gets to the ground sooner. Other routes (down a grassy hillside) are more circuitous and less efficient. However, it’s not a matter of faster or more efficient paths. Some water goes over the waterfall, some down the grassy hill. Likewise, some life forms follow one evolutionary path, some another, depending on the genes available, the selective pressures, and so on. It’s not a matter of “better” or “worse” evolutionary paths, any more than it is about “better” or “worse” ways for water to go down the mountain (from the water’s perspective, as opposed to that of a human who wants the water!). It’s just what works for the particular organism in the particular context.
No [bacteria eating byproducts of nylon production is] not valid, it depends on what the byproduct is, and it is still going the wrong way
Same error–there is no “wrong” or “right” way. As Gabriel pointed out, pandas don’t digest vegetation as efficiently as cows, but that’s because their ancestors were carnivores and the selective pressures (to use metaphorical language) had to work with what they had. In the sense that a panda is not as efficient a vegetarian as it “ought” to be, this is “wrong”–but the process produces what it produces, just as water flows whichever direction it flows.
Turmarion how about you produce proof that mutations add completely new information to make upward progress of life forms?
If a sequence in a genome is, for example, ACGGTGUUAATTGAC, and as a result of a mutation it becomes ATGGTGUUAATTGAC, that change of base is new information. Both Gabriel and I have been through this–you don’t seem to be getting what “information” means.
Time is your enemy as mutations degrade, conditions change, the evidence of the fossil record is death and extinction.
Most mutations are harmful, that is, they “degrade”, but not all. Over billions of years, the beneficial ones are selected for. The evidence of the fossil record is indeed death and extinction and also vitality and new life. Consider the explosion of mammals after the extinction of the dinosaurs.



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Turmarion

posted July 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm


Gabrel, sorry to repeat your point about cave fish! I didn’t see your post until after I made mine. Great minds think alike, huh? ;)



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 30, 2009 at 12:02 am


When I last saw him, he was ready for a stint of researching and lab work on intelligent design at a university that he declined to name. On returning to the lab after winter break, he said he would adopt a different disguise.
David, I don’t believe you. I work at a university, right?
If you are doing lab work at a university, you have a name and an ID number which you have to use for everything. Where does his money come from? How does he have access to equipment? Who gave him a key to the building? What name does he put on the peer-reviewed papers he will no doubt soon be publishing? What name and ID number did he use when he signed all the waivers and forms he needs to sign to do research? What name goes on his paycheck?
Given that your name and your university ID, which is linked to your Social Security number, go on every piece of paper pertaining to you, and that at universities it is impossible to get anything done without lots of pieces of paper, what good does it do to change your appearance?
I don’t know what ANY scientist looks like unless I’ve met them or they are very famous indeed (I know what Carl Sagan looked like).
Your reputation in the scientific world follows your NAME.
Based on my experience doing research at a university, either this guy is lying to you, David, or you are lying to us about him. You cannot just walk into a “lab” and start doing research. Every lab “belongs” to a department or a professor and access is controlled, based on your name and ID number.
There are three labs I primarily spend time in. I have a key, physical or electronic, to each one. Even though I am a member of the Institute for Shock Physics I don’t have access to any of their labs. If I were in there unaccompanied I would be asked, by the people who DO work there, what I am doing there, even though they know me. If I just started using their equipment, without them knowing who I am or what I am doing and who I am working for, I could expect to be hauled away by security.
So I don’t believe in your mysterious ID researcher who works in disguise. A disguise won’t help him. He needs keys and access and a budget, and those go with a name and an ID number. Unless you work with people on a regular basis they won’t know who you are by sight.
In order to do research he has to be known to the people already doing research there.
I challenge you to provide enough information that we can believe you, David.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 30, 2009 at 12:13 am


David, here’s an example of some of the paperwork you need to get into the lab I’m standing in at this moment:
http://sbs.wsu.edu/fmic/ProposedResearchProjectFORMmaster.doc
Look at what you need: Name, phone, email, status (faculty, grad student, undergrad, staff), department, a faculty director or advisor, whom to bill, the budget number for that bill, nature of proposed research.
You fill this paperwork out, submit it, and it works its up the chain for review, and then once it’s all sorted out, then they give you an electronic key.
What good would it do to dye your hair?
Your “source” is taking you for a ride–if you’re not taking us for a ride.
I would look into this, David, because your journalist credibility can suffer from something like this. Anonymous sources are sketchy enough, but anonymous sources that tell wildly improbable tales, which anyone with any experience can easily spot; well, you haven’t done due diligence.



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Glen Davidson

posted July 30, 2009 at 11:31 am


Don’t mind them David. McCarthyites never look in mirrors.

No, you only have projectors, no mirrors.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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Glen Davidson

posted July 30, 2009 at 11:42 am


So I don’t believe in your mysterious ID researcher who works in disguise.

“ID researcher” is the first tip-off that it’s probably a crock.
You’d have to have a proposed causal mechanism to do research on something like ID, and as we well know, Dembski and crew won’t stoop to the “materialist’s” “pathetic level of detail,” they stay in the realm of the ideal and the magical.
In Expelled some “researcher” claimed to be doing ID research too, and you’re just thinking–if anyone’s really using ID to do research (and not doing normal science while misrepresenting it as ID research), surely they could for once tell us the theoretical underpinnings of their research. They never do.
Indeed, Phillip Johnson, Michael Medved, and Paul Nelson are all on record noting that ID has no theory. Already a misunderstanding, of course, since ID would be a theory itself if it were really science, just as evolution is a theory (yes, fact in another sense). But oh well, scientific illiteracy is expected from that bunch, and the point is that ID simply has no basis from which to do reseach.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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Your Name

posted July 30, 2009 at 3:07 pm


But if the nylon eatging enzyme is smaller and less efficient than the enzyme it evelved from, that is a net loss, even if it gives teh bacteria an advantage. Its like knocking down a wall in yory house, and using the brick as a doorstop. It acquire an ability it didn’t have before. The problem is in saying that this ame process can create more complexity, more function. That hasn’t been demonstrated. That is what is needed for a bacteria to evovle into a blue whale.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 30, 2009 at 3:23 pm


But if the nylon eatging enzyme is smaller and less efficient than the enzyme it evelved from, that is a net loss, even if it gives teh bacteria an advantage. Its like knocking down a wall in yory house, and using the brick as a doorstop. It acquire an ability it didn’t have before. The problem is in saying that this ame process can create more complexity, more function. That hasn’t been demonstrated.
First, your characterization is just made up. You don’t know anything about the “efficiency” of that enzyme. You didn’t read the paper. You’re just copying something somebody else told you.
Secondly, “net loss” only makes sense from the perspective of the bacteria’s fitness. In an environment where reproductive fitness requires the ability to eat nylon, the bacteria developed it.
Thirdly, you said something couldn’t be done, for biochemical reasons. It has been done. Now you are saying it doesn’t count, moving the goalposts. Now you say we have to evolve a “blue whale from a bacterium”. In the lab, I presume.
If I cite the HIV adaptations you are just going to make up some new excuse. There is no form of evidence you will admit is valid.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 30, 2009 at 4:54 pm


David, I wish you would answer my challenge about your biologist in disguise.
If he has to hide his identity, how does he get keys to buildings, access to labs and equipment, budget numbers…
Is he the Jason Bourne of biologists, with endless numbers of fake university IDs and NSF budgets?
Sounds more to me like the Scott Beauchamp of biologists.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Thomas_Beauchamp_controversy
Any response, David?



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David Klinghoffer

posted July 30, 2009 at 5:24 pm


Gabriel, think about it. Let’s say there were someone affiliated with the institution, acting as his host. The hosting was kosher, all arranged according to protocol. But if the guest’s identity–his ID, shall we say–became well known, along with what he was working on, I trust you can imagine that this would be seen as reflecting on the host. The host wanted to help but not to get hurt in the process by having his name associated with ID. I’m confident that you can grasp the situation without my giving further details.



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Your Name

posted July 30, 2009 at 5:25 pm


I read that the nylon enzyme is smaller and less efficient than the enzyme it evolved from. Now I would like to see the developemt of a bigger or more complex protein, or structure, or function. I’m not setting the goalposts. Nature is. We have to explain how blue whales evolved from bacteria.
And Michael Behe does discuss HIV in his book. He says that HIV resistance to drugs is the result of jsut one or two mutations. He predicted that HIV would have trouble evolving resistance to a three drug cocktail becuase the chances of getting that many mutaions is very slight. So far, his prediction has held.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm


The host wanted to help but not to get hurt in the process by having his name associated with ID.
But his name IS associated already, because not even a professor can get approval for random people to do research at a university.
So this mysterious biologist has already had his research program, etc, approved by the University bureaucracy–under his own name and that of his host.
Which kind of undercuts your claim that ID people have to disguise themselves to do research.
This guy is paranoid to the point of mendacity if he thinks anyone is going to know him by his appearance.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm


I read that the nylon enzyme is smaller and less efficient than the enzyme it evolved from.
Where did you read it? In the original paper? That isn’t hard to find. I’m not a biologist and I found it.
He predicted that HIV would have trouble evolving resistance to a three drug cocktail becuase the chances of getting that many mutaions is very slight. So far, his prediction has held.
Every “Darwinian” biologists predicts the same thing! Note your use of weasel words, so that if the resistance does evolve you don’t have to admit you were wrong.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 30, 2009 at 5:52 pm


Your name, please log in with some kind of name even if you have to make it up.
Through selective cultivation with 6-aminohexanoate linear dimer, a by-product of nylon-6 manufacture, as the sole source of carbon and nitrogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO, which initially has no enzyme activity to degrade this xenobiotic compound, was successfully expanded in its metabolic ability. Two new enzyme activities, 6-aminohexanoate cyclic dimer hydrolase and 6-aminohexanoate dimer hydrolase, were detected in the adapted strains.
Prijambada, et. al, Applied and Environmental Microbiology 61, 2020 (1995)
The original paper says the bacteria expanded its metabolic activity. This is the opposite of what you said happened. Bacterial metabolism gained a new function.



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Nat (better?)

posted July 30, 2009 at 6:10 pm


What I meant was that it was less efficient at digesting nylon by-product than the original enzyme was at digesting protein.
And if HIV does evovle resistance to a thre drug cocktail, then I’ll have to admit Behe was wrong. And why do evolutionists say that it can’t develop resistance to a three drug cocktail? Evolution can turn a bacteria into a blue whale. All you need is time.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 30, 2009 at 6:30 pm


nat, don’t you read what you wrote?
This is what you wrote at 5:25:
He predicted that HIV would have trouble evolving resistance to a three drug cocktail becuase the chances of getting that many mutations is very slight.

At 6:10 you say:
And if HIV does evovle resistance to a thre drug cocktail, then I’ll have to admit Behe was wrong. And why do evolutionists say that it can’t develop resistance to a three drug cocktail?
You’ve turned a statement about “having trouble” into a statement of “impossible”. If you did it on purpose, it is a childish lie. If you did it by mistake, it suggests reading comprehension problems.
I agreed with “have trouble” and “the chances are slight”. I never agreed with “it can’t develop”.
Typical ID tactic.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 30, 2009 at 6:35 pm


nat: Once again, moving the goalposts. Earlier you said the adaptation was “like knocking down a wall and making a doorstop out of a brick”.
You clearly said the NEW FUNCTION was at the cost of A PREVIOUS FUNCTION.
Now you are saying something completely different; “less efficient at digesting nylon by-product than the original enzyme was at digesting protein”. (Which is not supported by anything in the paper, you’re making it up, or your cut-and-paste source is.)
The bacterium STILL CAN DIGEST PROTEIN. It developed NEW ENZYMES. It DID NOT LOSE old ones.
I posted the clear statement from the original paper. You get your own lab and your own bacteria, you write it up, and then you can say what you want if it supported by the evidence.
You don’t get to make up statements about an experiment that happened 15 years ago and you’re just now hearing about it.



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Sandi Patron

posted August 6, 2009 at 11:10 am


Many of these commenters look like people grasping at anything because they want to get attention off of ANYTHING having to do with God and His existence. I believe they know in their hearts that He DOES EXIST, and they WILL BE JUDGED BY HIM. They just don’t like it. Fact is fact. It is appointed for man to die once, and after that – THE JUDGMENT.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted August 6, 2009 at 3:37 pm


Many of these commenters look like people grasping at anything because they want to get attention off of ANYTHING having to do with God and His existence.
I thought ID vs evolution has nothing to do with religion; but here you are falling back on Pascal’s Wager.
What if you backed the wrong God? Me, I’m hoping Catholicism is true, because I don’t have to be a Christian to be saved.



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Kristine

posted August 16, 2009 at 6:18 pm


Sandi, I believe that in your heart you know that Buddhism is really true and are afraid of it, constructing your little myth of judgment to protect your self-righteous self.
There, how did that feel?
Don’t speak for others. You obviously don’t know anything about them and you’re projecting.
Nor does Klinghoffer know anything about the Sternberg “controversy,” which has been completely manufactured. By what right did Sternberg handle the peer-review process on his own (defeats the purpose, no?), ramming through an article without anyone else’s input? Then, when he was to step down from the journal and change offices anyway (which is precisely why he chose that time to ram through Meyer’s article), to claim that he was forced to resign and was involuntarily moved to another office? Sternberg was never an employee of, but merely a researcher for, the Smithsonian. Get your facts straight.
Gonzalez was turned down for tenure? Big deal – that happens every day. For pity’s sake, Carl Sagan was turned down for tenure! That was at Harvard, after which he didn’t whine and show up in some sour grapes “documentary” but went back to work and continued to act like a scientist until he did get tenure, at Cornell.
You don’t get to call yourself a scientist just because you have a Ph.D. You have to act like one and produce scientific results – and grant money – just like the rest of them.
By the way, I wouldn’t go around whining too much about how those ruthless Darwinists win every time. It’s hard to argue with success, no matter how “unfair” you want to portray it. Instead, make a beneficial discovery or two. When ID wins some Nobel Prizes (ID advocate Bill Dembski in 2006: “We’ll see who’s winning the Nobel Prizes in 15 years” – yeah, it’s a bet, Bill!), then I’ll pay some attention.



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Free Timers For Teachers

posted September 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm


Have you ever considered writing an ebook
or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based on the same ideas you
discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information.
I know my readers would enjoy your work. If you are
even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.



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how to prevent stretch marks fast

posted May 4, 2014 at 3:23 am


Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?
I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information.
I know my subscribers would appreciate your work.

If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.



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