Sunday, July 1, 2012

Atheists are the American Taliban

Commentor KW:

To some degree you must “kneel to secular power” or run the risk of a Christian Fundamentalist equivalent of the Taliban enforcing a strict Christian morality and destroying our religious liberty.
Atheists miss the deep irony when they compare Christians to the Taliban.

Government destruction of hated religious symbols-- a prime tactic of American atheists-- is a hallmark of the Afghani Taliban as well. Both groups are fervent intolerant fundamentalist minorities who cannot bear the sight nor suffer the existence of religious expression that they hate.

Neither atheists nor the Taliban tolerate civic expression of religious views other than their own.

Buddhist statue before and after destruction by Afghani Taliban 

Prayer mural before...
... and after censorship by American atheists.



The irony, of course, is that the Taliban-like behavior is that of the atheists.

Christians never invoke government force to remove atheist or Jewish or Islamic expressions from civic life. Christians embrace freedom and plurality in civic life. The First Amendment-- derived from the unique Christian understanding of man's God-given rights-- is an eloquent charter of respect for freedom of expression and of civic pluralism.

Yet the First Amendment-- the eminent protection against government censorship-- is used by atheists to enforce government censorship. 

All civic religious expression that is unacceptable to atheists/Taliban is relentlessly assailed-- using the full force of the government-- until it is destroyed. 

Atheists are destroying centuries of Christian tolerance and pluralism in order to enforce mandatory civic atheism.

State atheism and state Islamism are brutally intolerant totalitarian ideologies. They extinguish all civic expression of religious beliefs that they hate. 

Atheists are the American Taliban.

113 comments:

  1. Michael,

    Typical Egnor bullshit! Comparing a 50 year old poster in a school to a centuries old statue.

    Atheists don't have any trouble in accepting religious art and monuments (such as cathedrals) as being well worth preserving. Can you point to any case where atheists have complained about religious art being displayed in publicly funded art museums as being an infringement of the First Amendment?

    Religious displays are quite OK in publicly funded areas provided they have a secular purpose. I have visited many galleries, and find religious paintings fascinating to study, as examples of art.

    Religious works in art galleries are more prone to be attacked by the religious rather than atheists. Scotland's favorite painting according to public opinion, a Salvadore Dali painting of Jesus on the Cross, was severely damaged by a Christian, because he objected to its unusual perspective, being from above rather than from below, as is usual, otherwise a completely orthodox representation(I first came across this painting because it was on the box cover of my very first recoding of Handel's 'Messiah').

    Do any atheists complain about religious music? Religious music is still music, and very fine music too.

    The prayer poster was just tacky kitsch.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "Can you point to any case where atheists have complained about religious art being displayed in publicly funded art museums as being an infringement of the First Amendment?"

      That's a test of nothing. It doesn't prove that anti-theists aren't on the war path.

      "You can't find me an example of anti-theists censoring under THESE circumstances, so that means we aren't censoring!"

      "The prayer poster was just tacky kitsch."

      Your opinion. The Constitution does not, however, have a not tacky kitsch clause.

      TRISH

      Delete
    2. Sorry, that should say "no tacky kitsch" rather than not tacky kitsch."

      Delete
  2. Atheists are engaged in a massive campaign to remove religious expression from civic life. They have sued countless school districts and municipalities to censor religious speech and remove religious artifacts.

    In many parts of the world (e.g the communist bloc), atheists have been totalitarian and brutally violent in their suppression of Christianity.

    The parallels with the Taliban are genuine.

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    1. Michael,

      Yes, but can you name one case where atheists have insisted that religious items, which have also a secular purpose, be removed from publicly funded areas? Such as religious art in publicly funded art galleries? Or performances of religious music in publicly owned facilities?

      Genuine religious artifacts are fine. Modern religious kitsch isn't, like the 50 year old prayer poster. If a student had produced a fine religious painting or mural, and presented it to his or her school, that would have been OK too.

      The reverse also happens. A student at the Dover school did a fine painting illustrating human evolution and the school's custodian took it upon himself to take it and incinerate it before it could be mounted permanently, because it offended his religious sensibility.

      Answer the bloody question for a change.

      Delete
    2. bach,

      Your argument is self-defeating. The lack of a secular purpose for a religious item censored by atheists simply makes the atheist anti-religious motive even more obvious.

      You need another cup of coffee.

      Delete
    3. "If a student had produced a fine religious painting or mural, and presented it to his or her school, that would have been OK too."

      Riiiiight. A fine painting of Christ could be hung in a school with no lawsuits from atheists. Pretty funny, bach.

      "The reverse also happens. A student at the Dover school did a fine painting illustrating human evolution and the school's custodian took it upon himself to take it and incinerate it before it could be mounted permanently, because it offended his religious sensibility."

      It seems that destroying artifacts that offend (ir)religious sensibility is ok if it's done by an atheist organization and an court, but an outrage if it's done by a private individual.

      And the custodian has a perfect alibi: his job is the dispose of garbage. What better place to start than with Darwinism?

      Delete
    4. "Genuine religious artifacts are fine. Modern religious kitsch isn't, like the 50 year old prayer poster. If a student had produced a fine religious painting or mural, and presented it to his or her school, that would have been OK too."

      So religious articles are okay as long as they are really, really old. If it's a historical relic in a museum that you can take your kids to and point at, and say: "This is what people used to believe," that's fine. Tell me, Bachfiend, what's the cutoff date? How old does an artificat have to be before it's acceptable? Then locate it in the Constitution for me, and I'll believe you. Promise.

      And no, a student can't paint a big mural of Jesus Christ on the wall of her school. It was bad enough to paint a mural of a man and his wife and child, because "that might be a religious thing."

      This is what the anti-theists always do. They pooh-pooh the war on on religion. "Oh please, quit your whining, you can still do (fill in the blank)."

      Actually, they're usually full of crap, and we can't do that. But the point is that they've invented a whole set of ever-shifting, ever-changing extra-constitutional rules that no one seems to understand, much less the supreme court, which creates an environment of confusion. Just to be on the safe side, public officials err on the side of too little religious expression.

      TRISH

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    5. But the point is that they've invented a whole set of ever-shifting, ever-changing extra-constitutional rules that no one seems to understand, much less the supreme court, which creates an environment of confusion.

      The rules are neither ever-shifting, nor ever-changing, and they are easy to understand if you actually pay attention. The cases that you have screamed about (such as the Alquist case)? Everyone who was not on the lunatic fringe of the religious right knew that the precedents were squarely against the mural hanging in a public school. This was a ridiculously easy case for the Judge to decide. The only people "confused" were people who wanted to be. Like you.

      Delete
    6. What was the precedent for Engle v Vitale?

      THe ruling rejected countless of state laws, school district policies, etc using a slogan "Wall of separation..." found nowhere in the Constitution (except the KKK constitution) and nowhere in nearly 200 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence.

      Now the good justices parse the size/location/appearance etc of monuments/prayers to render their Solomonic verdicts, without a shred of Constitutional basis. None of these monuments/prayers represents an Establishment of religion, which is the only religious expression banned by the Constitution.

      If such things are Establishments, you are asserting that the United States,by allowing prayer in schools until 1962, had an Established national religion for 186 years.

      Which religion was it?

      Delete
    7. What was the precedent for Engle v Vitale?

      Everson. Which drew upon Cantwell v. Connecticut, Murdock v. Pennsylvania, Reynolds v. United States, Watson v. Jones, and Davis v. Beason. The only people who are unaware of the jurisprudential line that Engel drew upon are people who are (a) uneducated, or (b) willfully ignorant.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous,

      "The rules are neither ever-shifting, nor ever-changing, and they are easy to understand if you actually pay attention."

      Nope. That's why courts contradict each other. In 2002, a judge ruled that Roy Moore had to remove the Ten Commandments from an Alabama courthouse. Six weeks earlier, another court in Texas ruled that they could stay in the Capitol building. One esteemed jurist says it's okay, another doesn't. One of them obviously doesn't understand. Both are more qualified than you, and so you must defer to them.

      You know what would make it really easy to understand? If we reverted back to what the Constitution already says. You know, the words that were laboriously debated, then voted on, then ratified by the states. Those words were written for common uneducated dolts like me to understand. It's lawyers who have made things difficult. It's called job security.

      "The cases that you have screamed about (such as the Alquist case)? Everyone who was not on the lunatic fringe of the religious right knew that the precedents were squarely against the mural hanging in a public school."

      I notice you said the precedents, and not the Constitution. The reason the precedents support Ahlquist, but not the Constitution, is because the precedents are wrong. It would be like interpreting the 13th Amendment to REQUIRE slavery. The 13th prohibits slavery, and so interpreting it as its opposite would be wrong. Fifty years of interpreting it incorrectly wouldn't make it any less mistaken. Neither would mountains of case law.

      If she had a constitutional case, she's cite the Constitution.

      TRISH

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    9. @Anonymous

      I'm with TRISH on this one. Why can't we follow the Constitution as it's written?

      Congress can't pass a law regarding the establishment of religion.

      Congress, law, establish, religion. Those are key concepts.

      Singing Christmas carols at the post office? Unconstitutional!

      Wait a second here and let me reference my pocket Constitution. The carolers are not Congress, they didn't pass a law, and no religion was established.

      Chaplains praying in the name of Jesus? Unconstitutional!

      Let me see here, a chaplain is not Congress, chaplains don't pass laws, and no religion was established.

      The Constitution is easy to understand.

      Little John

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    10. Nope. That's why courts contradict each other. In 2002, a judge ruled that Roy Moore had to remove the Ten Commandments from an Alabama courthouse. Six weeks earlier, another court in Texas ruled that they could stay in the Capitol building.

      Actually, yep. If you were to actually read Breyer's concurring opinion in the Van Orden case, you would know exactly why that monument was considered okay, but that the Eleventh Circuit found Moore's display to be illegal. But you probably won't. It is much easier for you to shriek about how Christians are being oppressed than to figure out the truth.

      Those words were written for common uneducated dolts like me to understand.

      You mean the words like:

      "The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."

      And

      "The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority..."

      It looks like the establishment of precedents is exactly what the Constitution writers had in mind when they vested judicial power in the courts via Article III. precedents that involve interpreting the text of the Constitution and applying it. Which is what they have done.

      I suppose you have a problem with the framers intentions now.

      Delete
    11. I'm with TRISH on this one. Why can't we follow the Constitution as it's written?

      We do. Article III is part of the Constitution.

      Singing Christmas carols at the post office? Unconstitutional!

      Citation please.

      Chaplains praying in the name of Jesus? Unconstitutional!

      Citation please.

      Delete
    12. And no, a student can't paint a big mural of Jesus Christ on the wall of her school.

      But it is perfectly legal for a student to paint a picture of Jesus in art class if they want to. If mural painting was part of an art class project, it is possible that a mural of Jesus would be fine as well.

      Delete
  3. I haven't visited this blog in months and I just came back. I'm glad to see that Michael Egnor still is a hate-filled bigot and an insane liar.

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    1. Welcome back, Herp! I do try to keep it interesting.

      Delete
    2. Oh by the way, I have disproved your article: as an atheist, I can't be an American Taliban, because I'm not a Taliban, and I'm also not American.

      Delete
  4. Again, Dr. Egnor, I think your comparison would be a lot more valid if you said "anti-theist" rather than "atheist."

    Some atheists are content simply to disbelieve. Other atheists, and we should really call them anti-theists, are driven insane by the presence of religion and wish to wipe it out completely. They like to tell you that they don't care if you believe in God, just don't "force it on them." That's coded language for, I don't care if you believe in God as long as you don't.

    I have long drawn the comparison between the Taliban's destruction of the ancient Buddha with the anti-theist campaign to destroy anything that smacks of religion.

    TRISH

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    1. Trish,

      I agree with the distinction. I was one of the atheists, but not an anti-theist, not too many years ago.

      But it is disturbing that there is no atheist (as opposed to anti-theist) support whatsoever for school prayer, ten commandment monuments on public property, etc., or at least none that I've encountered.

      Where is the atheist equivalent of Barry Lynn, ostensibly a Christian who opposes school prayer? Where are the atheists who support school prayer?

      Delete
    2. ...I was one of the atheists...

      What changed your mind (or heart)?

      I need to know to help my first born child...

      Delete
    3. Michael,

      The reason why there's no atheist support for school prayer is because it's IRRATIONAL. It doesn't accomplish anything.

      It doesn't accomplish anything praying for something worthwhile. It's infinitely better going out and making the effort to accomplish it.

      Last week I was phoned from someone from Mediciens sans Frontiers (I donate $60 a month to them for the past 10 years) who informed me that there's a current measles epidemic in the 'Democratic' Republic of the Congo, with a 20% mortality rate (measles is a serious illness - even in the west, it's got a 0.20% mortality rate).

      Did the representative ask me to pray? No - he just asked me to increase my monthly donation by a trifling $6, to pay for immunization shots.

      Also, I don't believe you were ever an atheist. It's a common ploy of theists to claim that to make their irrational beliefs appear rational. Michael Behe's does the same thing.

      Delete
    4. "Also, I don't believe you were ever an atheist.'

      Oh, gosh bach, I guess I'll have to defer to your superior knowledge of my most private thoughts.

      The reality is that I always found Christianity attractive. I was an Objectivist in college, and it took me many years to drift away from Ayn Rand's spell. Her strident atheism initially appealed to me, but I came to feel that her ideology was unmoored, if God didn't exist. How could we make any sense of right and wrong or reason if there was no Mind that exists independently of human minds.

      I was never a strident atheist, and I really disliked most explicit atheists I met. I had sympathy for Christians and Christianity, but I couldn't bring myself to believe. A lot of that was because of Darwinism-- I believed that Darwin explained human origins, and I had no insight into either the science nor the philosophy.

      I was lied to. That is part of the reason for my stridency.

      Delete
    5. Michael,

      You've just admitted that you were never an atheist. Finding Christianity attractive means that you were never an atheist.

      As an aside, I was once a believer. Not a particularly strong one. It never took very deeply. As a child, I wondered, since Christianity, Islam and Judaism shared some common beliefs, was there some underlying truth?

      And then I read a letter in the local newspaper, asking that since all the religions contradict each one another in often major points, which one is correct. And I realized that none are correct and I became an atheist.

      I'd have more faith in you opinion on Darwin if you weren't so much a science ignoramus.

      Delete
    6. "What changed your mind (or heart)?

      I need to know to help my first born child..."

      Many things, Pepe. The birth of my children, a growing awareness of my own sinfulness and dependence on Someone higher, an awareness of the intellectual sham of atheism and Darwinism.

      The crucial moment was my concern for the health of my youngest son. I encountered God in prayer, and promised Him I would follow Him. My son was healed, and I have tried to keep my part.

      Delete
    7. "I'd have more faith in you opinion on Darwin if you weren't so much a science ignoramus."

      bach:

      Why faith in my opinion? Why faith in anyone's opinion about Darwinism? Can't you think for yourself?

      Delete
    8. Michael,

      So what was wrong with your youngest son for whom you were praying? Was he also receiving conventional medical treatment at the time? My opinion of you as an ignoramus is becoming stronger. I can think for myself. Can you actually think at all? Most of your threads consist of your inane comments to articles written by others, including your idiotic ones on Philip Kitcher's essay on Scientism, which you completely misinterpreted as saying exactly the opposite of what it was actually saying.

      Delete
    9. Mregnor "But it is disturbing that there is no atheist (as opposed to anti-theist) support whatsoever for school prayer, ten commandment monuments on public property, etc., or at least none that I've encountered."
      I support kid's right to pray. I don't support public schools telling the kids what or when to pray. Nor do I support the Ten Commandments on public property (except as part of an open forum where others can be involved).
      See the difference? One side protects individual religious liberty. The other says to all those not of the predominant (or dominant) group "You don't belong".
      As you're a Catholic in the USA (with, I should hope, some knowledge of the historical treatment of your own sect there), I continue to be baffled that you fail to understand why this distinction is so necessary and vital.

      Delete
    10. I was an Objectivist in college, and it took me many years to drift away from Ayn Rand's spell.

      So you're going to go ahead and establish that you are in fact, easily impressed by irrational cults. The only people who are impressed by Rand are people who are willing to join a cult.

      A lot of that was because of Darwinism-- I believed that Darwin explained human origins, and I had no insight into either the science nor the philosophy.

      You still don't. At least in part because you've demonstrated over and over again that you don't actually understand what you call "Darwinism".

      Delete
  5. ...his job is the dispose of garbage. What better place to start than with Darwinism?

    As far as I am concerned, Darwinism is the cancer that has been afflicting mankind for more than 150 years...

    Order out of chaos!

    As Dawkins (the new militant atheist pope) said: THIS IS BARKING MAD!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. As far as I am concerned, Darwinism is the cancer that has been afflicting mankind for more than 150 years...

      Order out of chaos!


      Evolution actually increases the total entropy in the universe. Perhaps you've heard of this little thing called "the Sun".

      Delete
  6. Hmm, I'd say that conservative Christians are a bit closer to the Taliban than atheists are. The Christians have done -- and still do -- a great job of wiping out non-christian religious symbols and people. Inter alia 2000 years of pogroms and holocaust testify to that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Pepe,

    Your first born son with three children is more than old enough to realize that you're barking mad. Evolutionary biology is largely correct; it's not rubbish. Your YouTube video is from the Soviet Union. We're talking about America, remember, or did it escape your gnat sized brain?

    Michael,

    Well, why don't you prove that religious art wouldn't be allowed in a public school? Why don't you commission an art contest for students nationwide, the prize including display in the winning student's school. There are plenty of talented students around. I'm certain there'd be entries worthy of display anywhere.

    The point is; if it's in a publicly funded area, religious items have to have at least some secular value. Not overwhelming, just some. A well executed modern religious painting would be OK. The Cranston High School mural wasn't. And there's nothing stopping anyone from making a thousand or million copies of it and handing it out to students, provided they're not using public funds.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. so, if the school had replaced the mural prayer with, for example, an artistic representation of Christ this would be ok for you?

      Or, if the school had found an art expert critic who had claimed that the mural was to be considered an artistic expression what would you say?

      Delete
    2. Domics,

      I'd be comfortable with a painting of Jesus if it were good art. I think it would be instructive. Jesus certainly would not have looked anything like the depictions commonly found. He certainly wasn't a blue eyed fair haired European. Imagine a short dark middle eastern man ... It would have some secular value.

      Do you think Christ is a proper name? Just asking.

      If the school found an art expert critic who claimed that the prayer mural was art, I'd say that the art critic is meschugge, and ask for a second opinion.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. Darwin can be excused, because 150 years ago the cell was regarded as jello.

      No, it wasn't. Once again, you reveal your complete lack of basic education on the subjects of both history and science.

      Delete
    5. so, if families did a fundraiser, they went to an art gallery or auction house and bought a religious painting and they gave it to the school, could this painting be displayed in the school or not?

      Of course I meant a qualified 'art expert'. As for the 'secondo opinion' this could be true for all modern or pop art.

      'Christ' is the name most frequently used in art.
      i.e. :
      http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/lorenzo-lotto/deposition-of-christ-1512
      http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/m/mantegna/2/dead_chr.html

      Delete
  8. And we're just getting started, Michael.

    Nick

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    1. In many countries, you are just recently finished. Atheism rules hundreds of millions fewer people around the world than it did before 1991.

      You're still trying to stir up hate around the world, but without the political power that totalitarian communism gave you, you've got a much tougher job. You're fighting a faith that has survived for 2000 years against enemies a lot tougher and smarter than you are.

      Delete
    2. Michael,

      No. Communism rules hundreds of millions fewer people. Atheism doesn't rule anything. It's a worldview, which just states there there's no god(s).

      Delete
    3. Oh I forgot. Atheism isn't responsible for anything bad, by definition.

      And 'worldviews' obviously have no consequences.

      How foolish of me to forget atheism's immunity from accountability.

      Delete
    4. Michael,

      Yes, you did forget. Atheism isn't an ideology. To do good or bad, you need an ideology, one with an imagined future utopia. One such as Christianity, Islam, Communism or National Socialism.

      Atheists can be Communists. They can also be democrats. Knowing that a person is an atheist says nothing about his political opinions.

      I tell you what. If you stop blaming me for Stalin's crimes in Russia, I'll stop blaming you for Franco's crimes in Spain (and Franco was supported heavily by the Catholic Church in their opposition to the 2nd republic).

      Delete
    5. "I tell you what. If you stop blaming me for Stalin's crimes in Russia, I'll stop blaming you for Franco's crimes in Spain (and Franco was supported heavily by the Catholic Church in their opposition to the 2nd republic)."

      I'll take that deal, Bachfiend.

      That's what I've been telling the militant atheists for years. Why is that every time religion is discussed, they always fall back on the well worn talking point--Don't you know that religion makes people violent?

      From there it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, the Salem Witch Trials, etc. All of these things happened hundreds of years before my birth in societies far removed from my own. But I'm to blame for them because I'm a Christian and a Catholic.

      The same does not apply to atheism. Nope, because it's a "worldview." So they're off the hook. Religions kill people but "worldviews" never do.

      If you study history you will find that people like to use violence to force other people to live in accordance with their worldviews. Yes, Christians have, at times, converted people by the sword. See the Spaniards in 15th and 16th centuries, in the Americas. Muslims still do convert people by the sword.

      So some people use violence to convert people from one religion to another. Other people use violence to convert people from one religion to no religion. See Plutarco Calle in Mexico in the 1920s. Also, every communist government that has ever existed. See the French Revolution.

      Are we even now? Theists sometimes use violence to make people believe in their god. Atheists sometimes use violence to make people believe in no God.

      But I won't blame Bachfiend for what Stalin did. That would be stupid. Bachfiend wasn't there. Stalin is responsible for what Stalin did.

      Now, if I could somehow be forgiven for the sins of the Catholic Church some nine centuries ago, we'd be making progress.

      I won't blame you for things you didn't do if you don't blame me for things I didn't do.

      Joey

      Delete
    6. And another thing,

      "Atheists can be Communists. They can also be democrats."

      Meh. There are Christians across the globe of every political stripe. There are even "Christians" who are communists. My personal belief is that Christianity and Marx are so irreconcilable that a person can never claim both. What was it that Marx said about religion? It's the opiate of the people?

      But nonetheless, there are people who claim Christianity and Communism at the same time.

      There are people who are Christians but also libertarians, socialists, communists, anarchists, labor unionists, protectionists, free traders, republicans, democrats, and monarchists.

      So I guess Christianity is also a worldview, and not an ideology.

      "To do good or bad, you need an ideology, one with an imagined future utopia."

      All people do good an bad things. It's inevitable.

      But it's interesting that you say that. Yes, Christianity has a future utopia but it isn't imagined. It's called the kingdom of God. There's something you need to know about this future utopia. It comes after this life. As for this world, we believe that it's terribly flawed, filled with sin and malice and poverty. And it always will be because we're fallen creatures.

      That's why we don't make grandiose plans for a brave new world that men can conjure into existence. Those grandiose plans have led to a lot of people dying--Mao's great leap forward for example.

      No, we accept that we live in a fallen world. We understand that the nature of man is not a work in progress. We aren't going to make a better human being. For that reason, it's ludicrous to lump us in with Communism and National Socialism. The concepts are basically polar opposites.

      Joey

      Delete
    7. Joey,

      And your proof that your future utopia, the kingdom of God, isn't imaginary?

      Delete
  9. Both the Taliban and Christians tell small children they will be tortured forever if they don’t believe, teach their followers to deny science and mistrust scientists, use the government to force their religion on non-believers, preach a subservient role for women, make believing things without evidence a virtue, perpetrate acts of religiously motivated terrorism, demand money from their followers if they are to remain in good standing, and allow their followers to be manipulated into political positions that have nothing to do with religion.

    All Egnor has is a week comparison between the Taliban vandalism of an ancient religious shrine, and the lawful removal of a prayer banner from a public school in an act meant to preserve religious liberty.

    This post is months after my original comment and you really have nothing to add beyond your original “you’re the Taliban, asshole”. What a Joke. Proof positive that pretending to eat the flesh of the man-good every week addles the mind. You have become a brainwashed fool with cognitive abilities and penchant for self deception and lying not unlike a troubled 12-year-old.

    -KW

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  10. @bach,

    ...Evolutionary biology is largely correct...

    I have no problem with evolution, it's the Darwinist explanation of it, RM + NS, that is barking mad.

    Darwin can be excused, because 150 years ago the cell was regarded as jello. But with the discovery of DNA code and programming, still arguing that the living is the result of blind undirected forces is like arguing for geocentrism and a flat earth!

    bach, you need to evolve your understanding...

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    1. Darwin can be excused, because 150 years ago the cell was regarded as jello.

      No, it wasn't. But your lack of basic science education means you wouldn't know that.

      But with the discovery of DNA code and programming, still arguing that the living is the result of blind undirected forces is like arguing for geocentrism and a flat earth!

      Funny how people who actually study DNA for their vocation seem to overwhelmingly agree that the existence and structure of DNA is strong confirmatory evidence for the "Darwinian" theory of evolution.

      Delete
    2. @anonymouse,

      Lies, lies and damn lies...

      First lie: No, it wasn't.
      A blatant lie because Darwin assumed that the cell was like a primitive blob of protoplasm...

      Second lie: ...DNA is strong confirmatory evidence...
      A blatant (stupid) lie because materialists take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

      It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."
      (Richard Lewontin)

      Lies and stupidity!

      Delete
    3. A blatant lie because Darwin assumed that the cell was like a primitive blob of protoplasm...

      The blatant lie is the claim that Darwin thought a cell was a "primitive blob of protoplasm". How about we quote Darwin himself concerning the cell:

      "As, however, a cell is a complex structure, with its investing membrane, nucleus, and nucleolus, a gemmule, as Mr. G. H. Lewes3 has remarked in his interesting discussion on this subject (Fortnightly Review, Nov. 1, 1868, p. 508), must, perhaps, be a compound one, so as to reproduce all the parts."

      Oh my, he thought it was a complex structure, with many subparts. That's very different from the lie you have parroted. You probably picked it up from someone like Luskin or Behe, so your ignorance is the result of being misled, but it is ignorance.

      Here are two papers by Darwin in which he clearly displays knowledge that the cell is not a "primitive blob of protoplasm": The Action of Carbonate of Ammonia on Chlorophyll-Bodies and The Action of Carbonate of Ammonia on the Roots of certain Plants. You probably didn't know these facts because you are an uneducated ignoramus, but that didn't stop you from making false claims and repeating blatant lies.

      A blatant (stupid) lie because materialists take the side of science

      Given that not all scientists are materialists, your argument is entirely irrelevant. Scientists who actually study DNA overwhelmingly agree that DNA is strong confirmatory evidence for the theory of evolution by natural selection, regardless of their religious affiliations or philosophical inclinations.

      Delete
    4. Another quote of Darwin:

      Finally, the power of propagation possessed by each separate cell, using the term in its largest sense, determines the reproduction, the variability, the development and renovation of each living organism. No other attempt, as far as I am aware, has been made, imperfect as this confessedly is, to connect under one point of view these several grand classes of facts. We cannot fathom the marvellous complexity of an organic being; but on the hypothesis here advanced this complexity is much increased. Each living creature must be looked at as a microcosm – a little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars in heaven.

      Stop repeating the lies of creationist con men, Peepee.

      Delete
    5. ...a cell is a complex structure, with its investing membrane, nucleus, and nucleolus, a gemmule...

      That's the definition of protoplasm, you moron!

      Darwin didn't know about DNA coding and programming. He also thought life came from a warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity... He did his best with what was known at the time but he was way off the mark and completely wrong.

      ...theory of evolution by natural selection...

      You forgot that random mutations are required for your evolution mechanism myth! It's amazing what closed minded guy like you are prepared to believe in!

      Keep on lying you bozo...

      Delete
    6. That's the definition of protoplasm, you moron!

      Umm, no, it isn't. Structures within a cell are in fact the exact opposite of "protoplasm".

      You forgot that random mutations are required for your evolution mechanism myth!

      And? Do you have a point here? Random mutations happen.

      At this point you're not doing anything more than drooling and raving.

      Delete
    7. DNA coding and programming.

      You don't either, because DNA is only a "code" because we have imposed one upon nature in order to be able to describe it. And there is no "programming". Your ignorance on topics that you feel comfortable spouting off about is astounding.

      Delete
    8. Pépé: That's the definition of protoplasm, you moron!

      You would think that his guy could look it up, but no, he persists in his ignorance! Here is how Encyclopedia Britannica defined the protoplasm in 1911 (emphasis mine):

      PROTOPLASM, the name given in modern biology to a substance composing, wholly or in part, all living cells, tissues or organisms of any kind, and hence regarded as the primary living substance, the physical and material basis of life. The term "protoplasma," from irpcirros, first, and irXiivµa, formed substance, was coined by the botanist Hugo von Mohl, in 1846, for the "tough, slimy, granular, semi-fluid" constituent of plant cells, which he distinguished from the cellwall, nucleus and cell-sap.

      Delete
    9. ...DNA is only a "code" because we have imposed one upon nature in order to be able to describe it. And there is no "programming"...

      That is a lie! Stop writing nonsense.

      Evolution is guided and purposeful and DNA is the best demonstration of that.

      But I will grant you that materialist atheists are master in double talk and just-so-stories.

      Delete
    10. oleg; That would have required the Peepster to have used a reference other than one approved by the Discovery Institute. We can't have that now, can we?

      Delete
    11. Evolution is guided and purposeful and DNA is the best demonstration of that.

      Sadly for you, the overwhelming consensus of people who actually study the issue disagree with you. But I'm sure there's a Nobel Prize waiting for you if you can actually provide evidence that it is "guided and purposeful".

      Oh wait, you can't? Too bad. But then again, neither can Behe, Dembski, Luskin, or any of the other "luminaries" of the Discovery Institute.

      Delete
    12. ...defined the protoplasm in 1911...

      Eh bozo! Darwin died on April 19, 1882! How could he be aware of THAT definition?

      Delete
    13. Peepster: It doesn't matter when the definition was made. You claimed that Darwin thought the cell was a "primitive blob of protoplasm". He thought it was a complex structure composed of many parts. That is not a belief that it was a "primitive blob of protoplasm".

      What evidence do you have that "protoplasm" was defined differently during Darwin's lifetime, and what relevance would that have concerning your claim?

      Delete
    14. Peepster: Besides, the definition that showed up in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica was first used by Hugo van Mohl in 1846, and since he coined the term, that's how people used it.

      Delete
    15. As for the Nobel Prize, here is a list of laureates that know evolution is guided and purposeful:


      ALBERT EINSTEIN, Nobel Laureate in Physics (he believed in a God like Spinoza did, but a God who design echoed throughout the universe)
      MAX PLANCK, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      WERNER HEISENBERG, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      ERWIN SCHRÖDINGER, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      ROBERT MILLIKAN, Nobel Laureate in Physics:
      CHARLES TOWNES, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      ARTHUR SCHAWLOW, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      WILLIAM PHILLIPS, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      SIR WILLIAM H. BRAGG, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      GUGLIELMO MARCONI, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      ARTHUR COMPTON, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      ARNO PENZIAS, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      ALEXIS CARREL, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology
      SIR JOHN ECCLES, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology
      JOSEPH MURRAY, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology
      SIR ERNST CHAIN, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology
      GEORGE WALD, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology (note: he has quotes which defend atheism & deism)
      SIR DEREK BARTON, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
      CHRISTIAN ANFINSEN, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
      WALTER KOHN, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

      Delete
    16. Peepster: I see you don't have any actual evidence to support you claim, just an appeal to authority. How predictable.

      Not only that, your appeal to authority is pretty limp. if they are so convinced that evolution is guided and purposeful, why did Mullikan, Penzias, and Anfinsen attach their names to the Amicus Curiae Brief of 72 Nobel Laureates, 17 State Academies of Science, and 7 Other Science Organizations in support of the appellees in the case of Edwards v. Aguillard? I guess they don't find evolution to be quite so guided and purposeful as you claim they do.

      As usual Peepster, facts are not your friend.

      Delete
    17. Peepster: In other words another just-so story!

      I agree, your historical revisionism is a just-so story. And one without any basis in fact. van Mohl differentiated parts of the cell as early as 1846, separating "protoplasm" from many other observed structures. Your claims that Darwin's "contemporaries" thought it was a "primitive blob of jelly" don't hold up under even the slightest scrutiny.

      Delete
    18. Anusmouse,

      You are free to believe your own lies...

      Delete
    19. Peepster: Considering all you've spouted thus far in this thread is lies, I'm not sure you have any kind of leg to stand on.

      Delete
    20. Pépé: Eh bozo! Darwin died on April 19, 1882! How could he be aware of THAT definition?

      Very simple, Pépé. The definition was given in 1846 by von Mohl and had remained in use through 1911, as the encyclopedia article shows.

      Delete
    21. "Amicus Curiae Brief of 72 Nobel Laureates, 17 State Academies of Science, and 7 Other Science Organizations... I guess they don't find evolution to be quite so guided and purposeful as you claim they do."

      Let's ask to signer nobel laureate Francis Crick what he claims about the origin of life on the earth.
      http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/SC/B/C/C/P/_/scbccp.pdf

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. Peepster: Let's see a litany of your greatest hits:

      you moron!

      It's amazing what closed minded guy like you are prepared to believe in!

      Keep on lying you bozo...

      Eh bozo!

      Anusmouse,


      You lied about what Darwin knew. I provided quotes and papers from Darwin showing you to be wrong. I pointed out where the definition of protoplasm came from originally, and what the person who coined the term said it meant and how that is different from what you have asserted it to mean. You dissembled, lied some more, and ranted.

      So the one who has nothing but "lies, personal insults, diversions, guesses, assumptions, and foul language" would be you. The applicable term for the cartoon you linked to would be "projection".

      Delete
    2. I like to tease atheists and see their shit hit the fan...

      They are so primitive!

      Poor souls...

      Delete
    3. Pépé, you can't comprehend a single paragraph. Short attention span?

      Delete
    4. I like to tease atheists and see their shit hit the fan...

      To "tease" atheists you'd have to actually have something worth saying. You're like a three year old who is proud that he pooped in his pants.

      Delete
  12. Darwin, as was common in his time, believed that offspring inherited a blending or averaging of its parent’s characteristics. He considered this the greatest threat to his theory because favorable mutations would be blended away with every generation. What he needed to bolster his theory was a mechanism of inheritance that would allow mutations to be passed on if full, without being watered down by blending with the characteristics inherited from the parent without the mutation. And what do you know, DNA fits the bill perfectly.

    The theory of evolution effectively predicts the existence of DNA.

    -KW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What crap.

      First, an accurate understanding of particulate inheritance was published by Darwin's contemporary, Mendel, who was a superior scientist. Mendel's discoveries were ignored for 50 years because of the orgy over Darwinism.

      Furthermore, the vast majority of phenotypes are blends of parental phenotypes. An obvious example is height. Particulate inheritance of phenotypes (not genotypes) is the exception, not the rule.

      Actual Mendelian inheritance of phenotype is relatively rare in nature. Are you asserting that complex phenotypes that are not passed in a Mendelian manner are not selected via Darwinian mechanisms? That would be most phenotypes.

      'Shit happens and survivors survived' didn't "predict DNA".

      Pure crap.

      Delete
    2. Mendel's work was unknown because it was not widely publicized. Mendel worked in Moravia, which was not exactly the center of the scientific universe at the time (and still isn't). He was a monk first and a biologist second.

      Delete
    3. Pure crap.

      You have an extremely keen talent for self-description. Every post you make demonstrates that you simply don't understand the theory of evolution by natural selection, and in your ignorance, you rail and rant.

      Delete
    4. Michael,

      Typical Egnor bullshit. Mendel's work wasn't ignored for 50 years. It was just published in an obscure journal in German. There's also some doubt about his work being fudged. He derived results far too close to 3:1. I personally suspect that he didn't fudge results, but was expecting a 3:1 result, and just counted enough seeds until he got his desired result. Not accepted practice today, but acceptable then.

      Do you actually understand genetics? I doubt it. The appearance of blending only occurs because most traits are determined by more than one gene (they're multifactorial). Traits are also influenced by environment and epigenetic factors determining how long a gene is turned on or off.

      Your example of height being an obvious example of blending is just nonsense. There are many genes determining height and there's also a strong nutritional component too, with people in developed countries growing taller over the centuries.

      Genes are particulate. Their effects are determined by other genes and the environment.

      Anyway, Darwin deed have an idea of particulate inheritance, noting in a letter to (?) Asa Gray that since time memorial males and females have had offspring who are either males or females and never (strictly speaking rarely as in hermaphrodites) a blend of the two.

      You illustrate perfectly the principle that for everything there are good explanations and bad explanations. The bad explanations are easy to understand (goddidit) but just wrong. The good explanations are a better description of reality, but more difficult to understand.

      Explanations are the theory, they're just a description, in the same way that a scientific theory isn't 'reality', it's just a model of reality. A scientific theory can never be said to be proved. All that can be said is that it hasn't been disproved, that all the data so far is consistent with the theory.

      You confound your confusion (deliberately perhaps?) by giving a distorted truncated version of evolutionary biology.

      I suspect you learnt your genetics in the '70s and haven't learned anything since then (except perhaps for the fiction of hylemorphic dualism ...)

      Delete
  13. "Mendel's work was unknown because it was not widely publicized".
    Very wrong. Mendel's work was well known (he sent copies of his book to the most prominent scientists of the time) but it was rejected by the community of scientists.
    See for example his relationship with Von Nageli:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Wilhelm_von_N%C3%A4geli

    ReplyDelete
  14. Domics,

    You need to improve your reading skills. I looked at your reference. Mendel didn't write a book, so he didn't have one to send to the most prominent scientists of the time. He published in German in obscure journals. His work wasn't ignored but it was barely noticed being cited only a few times over 35 years. And then it was 'rediscovered' in 1900. Von Naegeli wrote a book in which he failed to recognize the work of Mendel even though he was well aware of it (scientists are human, and humans do from time to time behave badly).

    Mendel abandoned his genetic studies mainly because he was made abbot of his monastery. His administrative duties took up most of his time, including a campaign he was waging against the Austrian government which wanted to tax religious institutions (sound familiar?) despite the fact that there was a simple and legal tactic that would have eliminated most of the tax imposed.

    One scientist isn't most of the prominent scientists of the day. Darwin certainly wasn't aware of Mendel, and he was one of the most prominent scientists, having written a two volume work on barnacles and having communicated widely collecting information.

    Your 'very wrong' is very wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. uch,
      ok, yes it was not a proper book, but it is the journal "Proceedings of the Natural History Society in Brün" (Verhandlungen des naturforschenden Vereins) where Mendel published a long paper taken from his two lectures at the Society's meetings.

      "... although the volume containing his work was only the fourth of a new publication, it was widely distributed by exchange arrangements with 115 universities, academies and scientific societies in Europe and the United States, so that every prominent biologist of the mid-nineteenth century had access to the paper".
      (in "A Century of Mendelism in Human Genetics" by Milo Keynes et al., p. 3)

      Delete
    3. Domics,

      Access to the paper doesn't mean that anyone actually read it. Also, was it in English or German? Not everyone at the time would have been able to read German. The title apparently had more to do with hybridization, so it was generally overlooked, but as I said, it wasn't entirely ignored because it was cited a few times.

      Delete
    4. the Royal Society and the Linnean Society were two of the 115 institutions...

      Delete
    5. Domics,

      Having access to a journal does not guarantee that one will read, especially when the journal is a complete unknown. Transactions of the Natural History Society of Brünn just started publishing back then and had not yet established itself as a scientific powerhouse (it never did). People just don't feel a sudden urge to read an obscure journal when there are plenty of other, more reliable publications are available in their library.

      Indeed, if you flip through the book you cited you will find this:

      "Two copies of the Transactions of the Natural History Society of Brünn of 1866, received in 1867, were available to Darwin in London (at the Royal Society and at the Linnean Society), but there is no evidence that he, or other Fellows for that matter, took them from the shelves."

      Furthermore, those people who had read Mendel's obscure paper did not understand his breakthroughs and treated it as just another ho-hum contribution to applied biology. We read further:

      "A sentence in Hoffmann's book dealing with Mendel, `He believed that hybrids have the tendency to revert in later generations to the parental species,' missed Mendel's important points, such as constant numerical ratios of dominant and recessive characters, and of non-blending character transmission, and was hardly likely to have aroused Darwin's interest sufficiently for him to have consulted the original work."

      Delete
  15. Certainly there are hints of non-blended inheritance beyond the sex of the offspring that should have been obvious to Darwin; eye color comes to mind.

    Dr. Egnor’s denial that the subsequent discovery of DNA and genetics fit perfectly with the theory of evolution is truly astounding. Is there lead in communion wafers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blended inheritance is ubiquitous in nature. Strict Mendelian inheritance of phenotypes (traits that natural selection "acts" on) is relatively rare.

      If Darwin's theory is incompatible with selection of phenotypes transmitted by blended inheritance, then most phenotypes in nature cannot be explained by Darwin's theory.

      At least try to make your crap theory not contradict itself.

      Delete
    2. Blending inheritance is an outdated term from the nineteenth century. You are more than 100 years behind the curve, Mike.

      Delete
    3. oleg:

      Phenotypically, most inheritance is blended, in the sense that most traits on which natural selection can act are polygenetic with variable penetrance.

      Clean Mendelian inheritance of traits in nature is not common.

      If Darwin's theory requires discrete Mendelian inheritance of traits (and thus predicts DNA), then most traits can't be explained by Darwinian mechanisms.

      Logic, oleg.

      Delete
    4. Pure logic is not a replacement for science, Mike.

      Inheritance is not blended. What's passed on from parents to offspring is genes, which in turn determine traits. Some traits are determined by single genes, others by multiple genes. Polygenic traits are still subject to selection pressure.

      It's not hard to understand. Let's define fitness in a two-dimensional space (x,y). If a given trait is influenced by both x and y, with the fitness varying as 1-−(x-y)^2, then selection pressure will push the population toward the line x=y, where the fitness is maximal. The population will have a spectrum of alleles but the trait will be the same.

      Delete
    5. Darwinism is like play doh. It can take any shape you desire (to prove you are right)!

      It is also recommended for ages up to 10!

      Delete
    6. Phenotypic expression of inheritance is a blend. Discrete Mendelian inheritance of phenotypes is uncommon.

      The commentor made the case that Darwinism inherently predicted DNA. I point out that Mendel inherently predicted DNA.

      Darwin did not "predict" DNA, and in fact the poor correlation between the inherited genotype and the expressed phenotype on which natural selection acts is the basis for Jerry Fodor's critique of Darwin's theory, which is powerful.

      Mendel's work, Chargaff's rules, and a host of biochemists and physical chemists predicted DNA. Darwin had nothing to do with it.

      Furthermore, the assertion that Darwin predicted particulate inheritance is undermined by the widespread application of the concept of natural selection to processes which replicate in a very non-particulate manner, such as memes, etc.

      Stop trying to defend Darwinism by making up crazy shit about it.

      Delete
    7. Dr. Egnor, materialists will hate you for your ironclad logic.

      Here is what will happen.

      Delete
    8. I am not sure what point you are trying to make by pointing to polygenic traits. Like monogenic traits, they are subject to selection pressure. You don't select for a single allele in this case, but you still select for a single phenotype. Selection works all the same.

      Delete
    9. My point is that the comment that Darwin predicted DNA is crap.

      The complex relationship between genotype and phenotype for most traits causes a real problem for the coherence of Darwin's theory. (Fodor's What Darwin Got Wrong-- http://www.amazon.com/What-Darwin-Wrong-Jerry-Fodor/dp/031268066X- is a powerful argument.)

      If shit happened and survivors survived, the more complex the relationship between the agent of inheritance-- the gene-- and shit that happened -- the phenotype--renders the theory not merely banal and tautological but so weak and imprecise as to be worthless.

      Worthless for science, that is. It is still damn useful for polemics.

      Delete
    10. I don't see what the problem is and you have not explained what the problem is. Furthermore, it is not difficult to see that there is no problem in this direction.

      For monogenic traits, the phenotype is encoded one-to-one by the genotype. By discriminating for phenotype, selection chooses one specific genotype.

      For polygenic traits, the phenotype is still encoded by the genotype, but not one-to-one. Selection still works in the exact same way as above at the phenotype level. The population has a variety of genotypes, but all the different genotypes correspond to the same phenotype.

      If you accept that selection works for monogenic traits there is no reason to deny that it works equally well for polygenic traits. There will be a greater variety of genotypes in the population in the latter case, but that's not exactly an argument against selection.

      Try again?

      Delete
  16. Michael,

    Darwin was 'predicting' DNA (or at least something similar. He was predicting discrete units of inheritance being passed from parent to offspring.. The alternate mechanism was Lamarck's, who postulated that traits could be acquired by use and passed unchanged to the offspring by some unknown mechanism.

    That DNA was the genetic material wasn't known till 1944. In fact Stanley was awarded the 1946 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 'proving' that protein was the genetic material. Avery's work on Pneumococcus had been overlooked, even by the selection committee of the Nobel Foundation. Ironic really, since Avery et al actually worked in Stanley's lab.

    You still don't get the point. Genes are discrete. They're inherited complete or not at all. They produce their effects in a whole organism, not singly in isolation. They produce their effects in combination with all the other genes in the organism and the environment. Gene variants (alleles) aren't good or bad on their own, they're good or bad in combination with all the other genes and the environment. Anything that changes the phenotype is open to selection, whether natural or sexual. It doesn't matter if a trait is due to one gene or many, because a combination of genes is still under selective pressure.

    Darwin was predicting that evolutionary change is slow and gradual. That's still the case. Even when change is due to mutations, the change is small, because a large change is much more likely to be very bad than good (hopeful monsters don't exist).

    Evolution doesn't work on individual organisms. It works on species. Just as natural selection doesn't care whether one individual will survive or not, evolution doesn't care whether an individual species survives or not (there are many more individuals and species around, and after all, all eventually die. 99.9% of previous species are now extinct).

    A species lives in an environment, with a small range of climate and other species. There's a range of variation within the species. Some individuals are better adapted, some less. If the environment changes slightly, then the frequency of the different variants changes too (which again is largely genetic, regardless of whether due to a few or many genes).

    If the environment changes a lot (for example climate change as in the K-T event 65 MYA which did in the non-avian dinosaurs) individual species migrate, evolve or go extinct (usually go extinct, because there are plenty of other surviving species).

    I suspect you don't like evolutionary biology because it disturbs your delusion that humans are special, loved and cared for by a benevolent god. We're not. There have been plenty of hominid species that have gone extinct. Humans can also go extinct. Wishful thinking won't prevent it.

    I'll make a prediction. In a million years, Homo sapiens will be either be extinct or a completely different species.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. [Darwin was 'predicting' DNA (or at least something similar. He was predicting discrete units of inheritance being passed from parent to offspring..]

      Reference please.

      [The alternate mechanism was Lamarck's, who postulated that traits could be acquired by use and passed unchanged to the offspring by some unknown mechanism.]

      You don't know what you are talking about. Darwin called his own theory Pangenesis, which was similar to Lamarckism. Lamarck's nemesis was Mendel-- remember him?

      [Darwin was predicting that evolutionary change is slow and gradual. That's still the case.]

      No. That's why Gould and Lewontin developed Punctuated Equilibrium, to explain the lack of evidence for gradual change in the fossil record.

      [Evolution doesn't work on individual organisms. It works on species. Just as natural selection doesn't care whether one individual will survive or not, evolution doesn't care whether an individual species survives or not (there are many more individuals and species around, and after all, all eventually die. 99.9% of previous species are now extinct).]

      Gobberish. NS "works" on genes (Dawkins), individuals, groups, species, any damn thing you want. Survivors survive.

      [I suspect you don't like evolutionary biology because it disturbs your delusion that humans are special, loved and cared for by a benevolent god. We're not. There have been plenty of hominid species that have gone extinct. Humans can also go extinct. Wishful thinking won't prevent it.]

      I oppose Darwinism because the theory is junk science. It's crap metaphysics in a cheap tuxedo.

      Delete
  17. Michael,

    Answers:

    Darwin's letter to Asa Gray in which he noted that inheritance is discrete not blended. Males and females have been having offspring that are either male or female; never a blend.

    No. Darwin's theory was that traits are inherited, passed down from parent to offspring, not acquired.

    Punctuated equilibrium is still consistent with slow gradual change of species. The fossil record is a record of geological time which is slow by human time. Species are more or less adapted for their environment, and don't change much, and then their environment changes, due to climate change or a new predator, and they go extinct to be replaced by a new species from elsewhere or a newly evolved species filling a now empty niche (ever heard of adaptive radiation?)

    No, you don't understand Dawkins. Evolution doesn't work on single genes in isolation. It works on genes in their environment, including all the other genes in the genome, all the other individuals, all the other species including predators prey competitor species in the same niche, the climate. See 'the Selfish Gene'. Genes are potentially immortal. The same gene performing different functions can be found in species ranging from bacteria to humans. The species is the level at which evolution works because it's the only level that can survive over long periods of time and still change (besides the gene of course, but the individual gene isn't unique).

    Darwin wrote 'On the Origin of Species' not 'On the Origin of Individuals' remember?

    'Survivors survive' is a bullshit statement if applied to individuals, because no individual survives. All individuals eventually die. But very appropriate if applied to genes and species, which are potentially immortal.

    'Crap metaphysics in a cheap tuxedo?'. No, you're thinking of Intelligent Design...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. [Evolution doesn't work on single genes in isolation. It works on genes in their environment,]

      Yea. You don't see many naked genes floating around in the void (would the void be the "environment"?)

      You'd think, bach, that after 150 years you guys would finally figure out what your Victorian "theory" really means. Besides survivors survive.

      Rank pseudoscience.

      Delete
    2. Michael,

      Rank pseudoscience is what intelligent science is, not evolutionary biology. Darwin was writing about species in 1859, and that's still what evolutionary biology is concerned with.

      Species survive, evolve or go extinct.

      I wrote what the environment is for a gene. It's all the other genes in the genome in the individual, it's all the other individuals in the species, it's all the other species in its habitat, it's its climate. Are you thick?

      Species are the level at which evolution works because it's the only unique level which are potentially immortal but still can die. Consider the large number of hominid species which have gone extinct over the past 3 million years leaving just one, us.

      Genes aren't unique although they are potentially immortal, being shared over a wide range of species ranging from bacteria to humans.

      Darwin didn't know of genes, but he would have loved to have done so because they're a brilliant confirmation of common ancestry and descent with modification.

      Delete
    3. Egnor: You'd think, bach, that after 150 years you guys would finally figure out what your Victorian "theory" really means. Besides survivors survive.

      That's a pathetic response, Mike. You cannot argue on substance, so you poo-poo the time period. Well, you know what? Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism is also a "Victorian theory." It was formulated about the same time as Darwin's. No shame about the timing.

      Delete
  18. Hole Molé,
    I guess I missed this posting due to the festivities? 108 comments! Wow.

    Here's my (layman's) two pennies worth.
    Evolutionary theory (modern) is a giant leap of faith in the adaptation theories of Erasmus Darwin, later adopted by his grandson. It is an attempt to fit the 'how' into the 'why hole. Intelligent design is only slightly better as it offers a cause - this apparent guiding immaterial intelligence that provides the information required by life forms to function.
    But, in all honesty I see BOTH endeavours as categorically incorrect in their conclusions. In mathematical terms they are 2+X= X, with X equalling the unknown.
    What is X, and more importantly WHY is X? No answer from either camp. No surprise there.
    They both just run counter to the real world experiences of living beings and of physical reality. No amount cataloguing of chemicals, proteins, peptides or quarks, bosons, or gluons will ever explain the WHY or to what end. They simply tell us how, and that is only if we are correct in our current measurements and previous assumptions.
    The philosophical implications of these ideas are passed of as 'science', when in fact they are conjecture and projection.
    They do, however, make for an interesting read and result in some really cool story telling.
    If I had to choose between ID and Darwinism, I suppose I would say ID makes far more sense.... but I am a creationist, and see both as alien faiths.

    ReplyDelete
  19. CrusadeRex,

    You're overcharging. Your two pennies is worth no more than a halfpenny at the most.

    Evolutionary biology has been shown to be true by the amazing convergence of evidence across a wide range of scientific disciplines, in particular genetics, of which Michael demonstrates his profound ignorance, which is part of the reason why there's so many comments.

    For example, the same gene performing the same function exists across a wide range of species. All genes are prone to a slow rate of mutation, and provided they're neutral or very nearly so, the mutations persist and accumulate, so that species that split earlier have genes that differ more than species which have split more recently.

    The gene for cytochrome C (concerned with energy production) is equally dissimilar between mammals and ray fin fish (such as salmon) and between lungfish and ray fin fish and the difference between mammals and lungfish is LESS than the other two.

    This is exactly the result expected by evolutionary biology, and the opposite expected by intelligent design creationism (or young earth creationism for that matter).

    I'm only commenting, hopefully for the last time on this thread (I want to read about the discovery of the Higgs boson ...) to correct my error in my previous thread. I referred to 'intelligent design' as 'intelligent science'. This is a gross blunder (I was in a hurry to go for my exercise fix), if anything I should have written 'extremely non-intelligent pseudo-science'.

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  20. Bach,

    For you? Three million Australian Dollars.

    "Evolutionary biology has been shown to be true[...]"
    It COULD be correct. But again you have mixed up your terms. Truth is not the goal of science or scientific theory. Wrong tool.

    "...by the amazing convergence of evidence across a wide range of scientific disciplines, in particular genetics, of which Michael demonstrates his profound ignorance, which is part of the reason why there's so many comments."
    Again...convergence of evidence is not proof, but rather an indicator that you are at least partially correct in your approach. Consider the proofs of now defunct and countered theory. Just because the ground is wet and the sky is cloudy does not PROVE it has been raining. It merely indicates this may be a sound assumption.

    All your following commentary is based on current theory. None of it answers WHY these functions exist or even to what end. That truth is not the target of the research, evidences, and resulting conjecture.
    Regarding intelligent design, it is no more a pseudo science than Darwinism. In fact both are pseudo philosophical. The research done by both sides may be scientific, but the assumptions they begin with have nothing to do with science and everything to do with the intended GOALS of that science: Evidence for a philosophical position.

    You can have the two pennies back. You did not drink your fill.

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    1. crus: Regarding intelligent design, it is no more a pseudo science than Darwinism. In fact both are pseudo philosophical.

      You're half-right, crus. Darwinism as a philosophical position isn't particularly scientific. Theory of evolution, started by Darwin, is.

      On ID, you're 100% correct. It does not exist as a scientific theory.

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    2. CrusadeRex,

      Wrong again. Reality and truth are always the aim of science and scientific theories.

      You've stated you're a creationist. Which particular flavour? How do you know that your creationist worldview has anything to do with reality or truth?

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