Saturday, June 04, 2016

Any sufficiently vacuous evolutionary explanation is indistinguishable from magic

Here. 

26 comments:

Cal Metzger said...

The first sentence in that article told me all I need to know: "Intelligent-design theorists including William Dembski and Stephen Meyer have produced rigorous mathematical, logical, and empirical arguments showing that the mechanism described by the "chance hypothesis" is woefully inadequate to bring about the complex genetic information found in even the simplest life."

And yet you somehow think that its others who are the ones buying Ocean front property in Arizona.

Mkay.

Victor Reppert said...

I sometimes link to Discovery Institute material when I think they make interesting points. That should not be taken as an endorsement of everything in the article. Lots of people think they have proved more than they really have, and leaders in the ID movement are no exception. Unfortunately, some people look at it and say "Oh, those IDiots again" and don't read any further. I haven't studied Meyer's book, but I have read Dembski and have some pretty significant disagreements with him, but I think the attacks against ID by the mainstream scientific community are unfair.

Cal Metzger said...

@Victor, then I think it would be beneficial to your reputation to explicate more in your original post -- all of what you say above is lost when you post as often do. I also think it would lead to more efficient, and productive, set of follow up comments.

Joe Hinman said...

I don't like the ID movement. I see good stuff by individuals sometimes and I just think "darn too I can't use this as documentation for this point." It would be counter predictive because it can never convince an atheist,. They wont listen.

I agree with what Cal said about how you should explain more.

The scientistic types in NAM are so dogmatic and ideological. they are every bit as narrow minded as the fundies they hate so deeply. On Sec Outpost Brad Bowen did a thing abut there re no supernatural anything. I gave a comment box lecture on they true meaning of SN historically in the Christian tradition and how it was hijacked in the enlightenment,. I believe it was basically about mystical experience in the beginning., That I take from William S. Babcock emeritus prof at Perkins.


This launces off on how SN means certain things that he studies in physics. I said you can't just kidnap our term. he essentially said yet I can because I', a physicist. He thinks he's Sheldon Cooper.

B. Prokop said...

Somewhat off topic, but it looks like Bishop Barron agrees with me when I say that Christianity stands or falls on the Truth of the Resurrection. No Resurrection - literal, physical, historical, verifiable - no Christianity.

But once you realize that it really happened... all else follows.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Ilíon said...

"Any sufficiently vacuous evolutionary explanation is indistinguishable from magic"


... and *all* evolutionary "explanations" are long on the vacuous and short on the sufficiency of explanation.

steve said...

I'm waiting to see Cal disprove the technical papers coauthored by Dembski and Robert Marks.

Cal Metzger said...

steve: "I'm waiting to see Cal disprove the technical papers coauthored by Dembski and Robert Marks."

The fossil record, genetics, common descent, cancer research, virus mutations, and who knows what else. Literally, tens of thousands of researchers in all these fields, expanding our knowledge, doing stuff, failing to disprove what would probably be the greatest achievement in science to date (the overturning of evolutionary theory), and you and the Discovery Institute think that they haven't caught on to what you've just now discovered.

Truly, you have to be a paucity of understanding bordering on epic to reach a Dunning Kruger level so grand. 12 years of home schooling, wasted! Kudos.

steve said...

Dembski's credentials:

Graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he earned a B.A. in psychology, an M.S. in statistics, and a Ph.D. in philosophy. He also received a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1988 and a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1996. He has held National Science Foundation graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. He has done postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT, in physics at the University of Chicago, and in computer science at Princeton University.

Not exactly 12 years of homeschooling.

And Robert Marks:

http://www.robertmarks.org/CV/bio.htm

Not exactly 12 years of homeschooling.

Unsurprisingly, Cal was totally unable to rise to the challenge. He can't show a single thing wrong with the technical papers that Dembski coauthored with Marks.

Instead, Cal resorts to rhetorical padding and posturing.

steve said...

BTW, Cal doesn't know the difference between evidence for microevolution and macroevolution. In addition, ID theory is not opposed to evolution. Rather, ID theory is opposed to naturalistic evolution. Some ID theorists are theistic evolutionists, others old-earth creationists, others new-earth creationists, plus David Berlinski, a secular Jew.

Nick said...

“How did ears get their start? Any piece of skin can detect vibrations if they come in contact with vibrating objects. This is a natural outgrowth of the sense of touch. Natural selection could easily have enhanced this faculty by gradual degrees until it was sensitive enough to pick up very slight contact vibrations. At this point it would automatically have been sensitive enough to pick up airborne vibrations of sufficient loudness and/or sufficient nearness of origin” (Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, p. 90).

Case closed.

Cal Metzger said...

@Steve, you missed the point regarding Dembski's paper. He has a map. Evolution is the territory. If his map says the territory is wrong, well, no one cares, because they're too busy being productive (including saving millions of lives, etc.). What's Dembski's contribution, exactly?

Home-schooling was my quick assessment of your probable background, given the content of your comment. It was a childish taunt on my part. Still, given the disjointed and hodge-podge follow ups from you, I don't feel so bad about it.

Ilíon said...

Nick, quoting Dawk: "“How did ears get their start? Any piece of skin can detect vibrations if they come in contact with vibrating objects. This is a natural outgrowth of the sense of touch. Natural selection could easily have enhanced this faculty by gradual degrees until it was sensitive enough to pick up very slight contact vibrations. At this point it would automatically have been sensitive enough to pick up airborne vibrations of sufficient loudness and/or sufficient nearness of origin” (Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, p. 90)."

Isn't it amazing ... and amusing ... how personally credulous evolutionists are (and *demand* that others be)?

B. Prokop said...

"Isn't it amazing ... and amusing ... how personally credulous evolutionists are (and *demand* that others be)?"

For most of my life, I never gave all the debate about evolution much attention. It just didn't interest me. (It still doesn't.)

But lately, in my advanced age (64 years), I've been spending more and more of my time in various doctors' offices. They love to decorate their walls with brightly colored anatomical charts showing the intricacies of this or that body part, and for the first time in my life I've gained an appreciation of just how inconceivably complicated this bag of bone and tissue I've been dragging about really is. It's mind blowing, actually. I couldn't care less about Irreducible Complexity, but damn if the human body ain't the very definition of complex!

The atheist interpretation of evolution fits Boghossian's ignorant definition of faith to a T. (Hmm.. Maybe that's where he got such a stupid definition from. He was just looking in a mirror.) I can only say to a person who believes that the human body came about by blind, purposeless chance, "Such faith I have not seen in all Israel!"

Jezu ufam tobie!

SteveK said...

"Any piece of skin can detect vibrations if they come in contact with vibrating objects."

Skin reacts to the pressure waves of vibrations, sure. So what?

"At this point it would automatically have been sensitive enough to pick up airborne vibrations of sufficient loudness and/or sufficient nearness of origin"

Like skin, the earth is sensitive enough to pick up airborne vibrations caused by sound. We often can't measure those vibrations, but surely they are moving the earth given Newton's third law. Is this also the precursor of ears or does this explanation only work with skin - why or why not?

steve said...

Unfortunately for Cal, I attended public school, K-12, in a blue state. So his armchair theory backfires.

More to the point, notice that Cal is doesn't begin to show that ID theorists have failed to produce rigorous mathematical, logical and empirical arguments against the chance hypothesis. For one thing, he clearly lacks the technical competence to personally demonstrate what's (allegedly) wrong with their arguments.

So he changes the subject. He uses metaphors. He makes bold rhetorical claims.

He says reading the first sentence of the article was all he needs to know. Of course, that's an utterly anti-intellectual reaction. You can't reasonably assess an article by simply reading the first article.

But for people like Cal, it's not about actually being rational, but feeling rational. Cal projects an image.

SteveK said...

Does the theory of evolution also explain why things CAN'T evolve a particular way? I don't know the answer since I do not traffic much in the area of evolution - but I would think that is *should* also be capable of doing that.

Regarding the Dawkins quote above: I would think the theory of evolution should be able to explain why bone (or other) CAN'T evolve into an ear for hearing (or other). Does it do that?

Maybe I'm behind the times. Maybe the theory says that every kind of thing can evolve into any other kind of thing, in which case there is no "can't". Anyone? Bueller?

Cal Metzger said...

This thread:

Evolution can't be right because...

- Someone says they disproved it once!
- You won't chase go chase some rabbit down a hole!
- Someone somewhere has credentials!
- It just all seems too incredible to me, and that's the standard!
- Someone who's supposed to be a bad man said it's true!
- I don't know what evolutionary theory is but I'm sure it must be wrong!

Truly a meeting of great minds. If only the rest of the world were taking notes. So much to learn here.

SteveK said...

Cal,
For me, I admit that I don't know what evolutionary theory is except in the most general sense of the term. I've found that those that do know rely heavily on stories that explain the theory rather than demonstrations that explain the theory.

If a person like Dawkins knows why evolution can turn skin into ears that hear then he likely also knows why evolution can't turn tree bark into a lung - or why it can do that. That's the reasoning behind my question.

Ilíon said...

SteveK: "For me, I admit that I don't know what evolutionary theory is except in the most general sense of the term. I've found that those that do know rely heavily on stories that explain the theory rather than demonstrations that explain the theory."

According to the Holy Talk Origins "science" site, 'modern evolutionary theory' is simultaneously:
1) quite simple and easy to understand;
2) misunderstood by nearly everyone, including even most trained/degreed biologists.

Talk Origins: Introduction to Evolutionary Biology -- "Evolution [sic] is the cornerstone of modern biology. It unites all the fields of biology under one theoretical umbrella. It is not a difficult concept, but very few people -- the majority of biologists included -- have a satisfactory grasp of it. ... Mistakes permeate popular science expositions of evolutionary biology. Mistakes even filter into biology journals and texts. ..."

SteveK said...

Illion,
The parts that are misunderstood by the majority of trained biologists are the parts that cannot be demonstrated. These parts rely heavily on on interpretive models, simulations and in some cases story telling. No biologists in her right mind would deny or argue in the teeth of what has been shown to be true over and over again. I have no issues or disagreements with the easy to understand parts of the theory because those parts can be demonstrated.

Ilíon said...

"No biologists in her ..."

Oh! You're one of those.

SteveK said...

Haha. I occasionally do that on purpose for no reason except maybe to be unconventional, creative or just weird.

Ilíon said...

It's certainly weird, but there is nothing creative about it. And, as for being 'unconventional', that rather depends upon the conventions one is following. If one is following (or pushing) leftist/feminist conventions -- if one is following (or pushing) the conventions explicitly designed to denigrate men and manlihood and manliness -- then one is being very conventional.

Touting oneself as being "unconventional" is not really a positive thing. In certain -- and rare -- situations, "unconventionality" may indeed be good, but most of the time it is bad or even outrightly wicked.

SteveK said...

You're one of those, I see.

Ilíon said...

Yes; I am opposed to leftism in all its guises and guiles.