Tuesday, December 17, 2013

L.A. Museum's "God's creatures" sign enters witness protection program

The Darwinist Stasi seem to have succeeded in ripping down a sign in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County that celebrates God's creatures. The sign read:
"The Nature Lab is a gift to Los Angeles to celebrate all of God's creatures and enable NHM to broaden our understanding of the natural world through the process of scientific discovery." Anonymous Donor 2013
Jerry Coyne exalts. He quotes an anonymous source:
The anonymous donor quote at the NHM has been removed. My second-hand source tells me it will not be replaced. No doubt your efforts, coupled with those of a science reporter at KPCC looking into the mess, compelled the administration to finally do the right thing. Without doubt, you and your WEIT audience were the driving forces, for which I’m grateful.
Anonymous sources, frantic censorship, legal threats. This is Coyne's version of the scientific method.

While removing the sign has proven to be tractable, removing the evidence for intelligent agency in nature is proving to be more difficult

46 comments:

  1. This Coyne sounds like a real nutjob.

    I've read and reread the first amendment to the constitution and nowhere does it say that a museum in Los Angeles can't have a sign mentioning God. That's a rationale invented by the bigoted anti-God crowd.

    TRISH

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    1. Trish,

      There weren't any museums when the Constitution was being written. Let alone Los Angeles.

      So it's not unexpected that the wouldn't be a reference to museums in the 1st amendment.

      The curators decided to remove the sign in response to criticism not in response to legal action involving the 1st amendment.

      Delete
    2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 7:14 AM

      bumfight, first a small note...

      The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. The museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759 in Montagu House in Bloomsbury...
      --- Wiki: British Museum

      Coyne himself said "[T]he invocation of God in a public museum could be seen as be a violation of the First Amendment.", which is precisely Trish's point.

      Delete
    3. It just struck me... the British Museum was founded by the founding Sloane Ranger. Get a load of this natty dude.

      Amazing.

      Delete
    4. I figured you were full of it, Bachfiend. The first amendment merely says that congress may make no law regarding the establishment of religion. It has been interpreted to mean all sorts of ridiculous things, like no singing Christmas carols at the post office, and Christian students not being allowed to include Bible verses on flyers that advertise extracurricular prayer events. It's nonsense. This "separation" which was apparently written in invisible ink, is always invoked to stifle religious expression. It is a sword to wound people of faith, when it should be a shield to protect them from their government.

      Coyne is clearly making a first amendment argument that this sign is not just distasteful to his bigoted sensibilities but in fact illegal. So you're wrong about that.

      Finally, musuems certainly did exist in 1789. For a know-it-all you seem to know very little.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum#History

      TRISH

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  2. Egnor,

    You did read the paper in Science, didn't you? And the accompanying editorial?

    If you did, then it's only your complete ignorance of genetics that would make you think that it's evidence of intelligent agency in nature.

    Basically, the genetic code is redundant, with each amino acid being encoded by more than one triplet. And it's the base in the 3rd position that is variable, with the first two bases being the same for each amino acid.

    So often, the base in the third position can be changed by a mutation without affecting the amino acid sequence in the protein product and hence its structure.

    It's also known that mutations in the 3rd position aren't neutral with changes affecting the amount of protein product eventually produced. The paper shows that transcription factors directly bind to the coding part of genes (the exons) with varying avidity, according to the triplet involved.

    How could anyone think it indicates intelligent agency when the paper refers explicitly to 'evolutionary constraint'. It's just another way of stating 'natural selection'.

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    1. How is "evolutionary constraint" inconsistent with ID? Does "evolution" inherently mean "godless"?

      If so, we can't teach it in public school biology classes.

      Delete
    2. Egnor,

      Nothing is inconsistent with ID, because ID 'explains' everything, and hence explains nothing.

      Evolution isn't inherently godless, as is demonstrated by the existence of religious evolutionary biologists.

      Robert Asher in his book 'Evolution and Belief. Confessions of a Religious Palaeontologist' specifically notes the God is the agency, Darwinism is the mechanism used.

      'Evolutionary constraint' means under 'selection pressure'. That is - natural selection.

      Delete
    3. bach:

      [Nothing is inconsistent with ID, because ID 'explains' everything, and hence explains nothing.]

      You Darwinists should meet sometime and get your claims coordinated. "ID explains everything" is an interesting assertion, but today is Tuesday so this must by your Tuesday version of evolutionary theory.

      ID merely asserts that some aspects of biology are best explained as the consequence of intelligent agency. That's not "everything", just some things.

      Does Darwinism explain everything in evolution? If not, could you point me to the evidence against it?

      Delete
    4. But of course the ID hypothesis explains everything. A Designer with a capital D can design things any way He pleases. He can even make it look lie the work of chance, and you wouldn't know it. He may have created the world in six literal days 6 thousand years ago and then added fake light coming from stars millions of light years away.

      That's what makes ID and creationism unfalsifiable in principle: "it was designed" isn't specific enough to test and rule out.

      Hoo

      Delete
    5. Egnor,

      Hoo has nailed it. Anyway, the comment that a theory that explains everything, explains nothing goes back to Karl Popper.

      And that certainly applies to ID. Or as you claimed, ID 'predicted' that there's no junk DNA in the human genome. Or as you later amended it to, ID 'postdicted' that there's no junk DNA in the human genome, which is basically just 'explaining'.

      And then Stephen Meyer lied in 'Darwin's Doubt' when he claimed that ENCODE showed that at least 80% of the human genome is functional, including being transcribed at least once in a cell, whereas it was between 20 and 80% (I'd tip closer to 20%).

      Delete
    6. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      Hoots: "'it was designed' isn't specific enough to test and rule out."

      I agree. It's much more scientific to say "it happened by chance", "this little story explains it perfectly", or "given an infinite number of universes, it was unavoidable."

      Now that's falsifiable.

      Delete
    7. Darwinism is in its essence the denial of design. It's the "no" to the ID "yes" on the question of purpose manifest in evolution.

      If ID is untestable, Darwinism is untestable, for the same reasons.

      But of course intelligent design in nature is testable-- think SETI, bioterrorism detection, cryptography, forensic medicine.

      Delete
    8. ID is testable if we understand the limitations and habits of the designer. With the Designer (capital D) we have no such luck. Everything is designed, even the atoms and their chance collisions. This makes the ID hypothesis absurd.

      Hoo

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    9. Bachfiend,

      The Science article is behind a paywall, but most editorials say the paper discusses the way DNA codes for gene expression (the "hidden new language") in addition to protein creation (the "old language"). Correct me if I'm wrong, but this doesn't sound like new knowledge.

      I've long thought pop-science journalists (and even some peer reviewed journals) do more damage to science and scientific literacy than any creationist think tank ever could.

      - Curio

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    10. Curio,

      I subscribe to 'Science'. The digital edition isn't expensive (around $100 per year). Agreed - the work isn't surprising. It's been known for some time that neutral mutations are 'neutral' regarding the gene product synthesised but not 'neutral' regarding the amount of gene product produced.

      At least it doesn't create a new term for something that has been known for over a century and already explained and pretending that it's new knowledge, such as 'punctuated equilibrium'.

      'Dual encoding' isn't bad as a term, provided it is realised that it means that the gene encodes for both the specific product and its amount simultaneously, not relying on control mechanisms flanking the gene, as in bacteria.

      Delete
    11. Egnor,

      OK, how is ID testable?

      Anyway, the 'Intelligent Designer' has been tested in the fossil record and has been found not to exist.

      Possibly, a non-intelligent designer exists, who is a serial incompetent creator, creating new species, allowing them to go extinct abruptly, and then replacing them with new species, often very similar, equally abruptly.

      For example, an incompetent serial creator who deliberately created trilobites about 540 MYA, tens of thousands of species of them, and then killed off the last of them in the end of Permian mass extinction 250 MYA, along with 95% of species.

      Delete
  3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    I have a question...

    Suppose that there is a team of people (we won't call them scientists yet) monitoring microwave-band emissions from outer space. Suppose they receive a burst of energy that is recorded and translated (by appropriately-designed software) as the first 50 - no, let's say 100 - digits of pi.

    Bottles of champagne are uncorked and the team immediately calls a press conference to announce that a signal, almost surely from an alien intelligence, has been detected.

    Should we call this team a team of scientists, and are they doing science?

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    1. As long as we are dealing with the hypotheticals, why not imagine a team of scientists discovering the entire Bible encoded in all that extra DNA of onions? That would show those Darwinists!

      Hoo

      Delete
    2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      A team of X listening for deep space signals is not a "hypothetical":

      BERKELEY —
      Now that NASA’s Kepler space telescope has identified 1,235 possible planets around stars in our galaxy, astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, are aiming a radio telescope at the most Earth-like of these worlds to see if they can detect signals from an advanced civilization.

      --- UC Berkeley News Center

      Delete
    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      N.B.: What these astronomers (who may or may not be scientists, per my original question) are listening for is evidence of design.

      Delete
    4. Hoo:

      Is SETI research science?

      Delete
    5. No, SETI research is a shot in the dark. There is no testable SETI hypothesis that I am aware of.

      Hoo

      Delete
    6. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      Then gales of mockery will have the imprimatur of the Real Science community. Those Berkeley astronomers are in for a shock, I think. I can't wait to see the responses from the anti-ID crowd.

      And we should sue the National Science Foundation and the State of California, both of which got sucked in to this fraud.

      Glad we all agree here.

      Delete
    7. I thought the Quran was coded in our DNA? Or was it the Bhagavad Gita?

      Curio

      Delete
    8. Yeah, knock me over with a feather, grandpa.

      What's the testable SETI hypothesis?

      Hoo

      Delete
    9. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      Good Heavens! (no pun intended) Look at this!

      What is SETI@home?
      SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

      --- setiathome.berkeley.edu

      Can you believe this is being sponsored on a university website?

      But there's more!!!

      Berkeley SETI scientists will be at the California Academy of Sciences this week. Dan Werthimer will be giving a talk Thursday night (Oct 10) at Nightlife at the Academy. Eric Korpela, Andrew Siemion, and other SETI scientists will be there as well to answer questions and chat about SETI. Nightlife runs from 6pm to 10pm and is for people aged 21 and over.
      ---- ibid.

      Over 21, eh? I guess you have to be drunk to believe that shit. And to think, these poseurs call themselves "scientists".

      Good call, Hoots. You da man.

      Delete
    10. Grandpa,

      You have avoided answering my question and resorted to a fallacy known as the argument from authority (Berkeley people call it science). I am not very impressed. Not that I am surprised: you are a lazy bum, we all know that. No signs of intellectual curiosity.

      Hoo

      Delete
    11. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      Here's a little Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) SETI video, where sw engineer Jeff Cobb (Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory) explains how SSL-SETI "scientists" look for "radio signatures" of alien intelligences (Korpela's words, 0:50).

      Maybe they'll publish a book and title it "Signature in the Skies". :-)

      Delete
    12. One more attempt to argue from authority.

      Grandpa, what is the testable hypothesis in the case of SETI? If it's indeed science, you should have no trouble answering this question.

      Hoo

      Delete
    13. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      Hoots, I'm not "avoiding" your question. You'll need to ask the so-called "scientists" at Berkeley what their testable hypothesis is. It's a "signature" or something.

      So I'm not calling SETI research anything, science or otherwise. I merely asked a question. If you say it's not science, I'm OK with that. :-)

      I'm sure you feel like it's a damn shame they let 'em publish that unscientific crap in Acta Astronautica and The Astrophysical Journal. You should write an outraged letter to the editors.

      For Pete's sake, who would believe in extraterrestrials anyway? There is absolutely no empirical evidence they exist, and, as far as we know, no possible way to go look for them. I'm sure you agree.

      Delete
    14. I see, grandpa. You were mumbling to yourself, as usual. Sorry, old pal. Carry on!

      Hoo

      Delete
    15. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      It takes a Hoot to confuse mumbling and an appeal to authority. :-)

      Delete
    16. No reason why an appeal to authority can't be mumbled.

      Hoo

      Delete
    17. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      I guess not. But confusing them is not a problem most people seem to have. Sorry about that. Must be a burden.

      Delete
    18. Not at all, grandpa. With you, nothing is a burden. You are the pupil of my eye. We all love you, old fart knocker.

      Hoo

      Delete
  4. Has the museum offered (at least) to return the donation after the removal of the plaque? Has Coyne offered to replace the donated funds?

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    1. It’s not a Supernatural history museum. If the donor does want the donation back it would be tacit admission that the donation was to buy space for a godly quote intended to counter any inklings toward naturalism the museums may engender.

      -KW

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    2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      Popeye: "If the donor does want the donation back it would be tacit admission that the donation was to buy space for a godly quote,,,"

      So what? People and companies donate money for many reasons. Think about Coors Field. Or the Hirschorn Museum.

      Delete
    3. Some reasons are better than others. Coors Field isn’t so named to undermine baseball or make a mockery of the law. Asking for the donation back would show that the intent of the donation was to undermine both the mission of the museum and the first amendment of the Constitution. I’m sure you think that’s perfectly reasonable, but if the quote was a condition for the donation, it should have never been accepted in the first place.

      -KW

      Delete
    4. If a donor gives money and is offered a plaque in return (to commemorate that donation), but then the plaque is removed due to ideological differences with the donor - the donation should be offered back. After all, there was no law suite. No criminal or illegal content on the plaque. No violations of code.
      The simple truth is that it may be the donor does not mind having his plaque removed (I doubt it) and still would like to contribute. Maybe they would like to reword the plaque in some way as to appease the ideologues involved.
      It may be (more likely) he/she feels targeted for their beliefs and feels that if their sentiments are rejected, then their monies are better donated elsewhere to foundations and/or museums not so beholden to PC censorship.
      The offer of a return alone would speak to principle.
      Without the offer, all I see is capitulation to pressure by a fringe group. A lack of principle.
      Further, Coyne should offer to replace those funds. To, essentially, 'buy out' the donor if he is so opposed to the mere mention of God on a plaque in a Museum.
      Again, principle... or lack thereof.
      So I ask again: Has the donation been returned? Has Coyne offered up the sum to replace it?

      Delete
    5. KW,
      "It’s not a Supernatural history museum. "
      Nor is it the "Atheist history Museum".
      The donor had every right to note what he/she wanted on his/her plaque. The plaque did not promote a state religion. It did not exclude people. It was a simple expression of WHY he felt the need to donate his/her money. if his his reason for donating is somehow a violation of museum rules, they had best return the funds. If it is not....

      Delete
    6. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      Popeye: "Some reasons are better than others"

      And you don't get to pick.

      Delete
  5. Your wrong there Admiral, when it’s public property the choice doesn’t automatically go to the one with the biggest bankroll. I do get to pick.

    -KW

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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 17, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      No, Popster. The politicians that tell you what to think get to pick.

      Delete
    2. Grandpa,

      'The politicians that (sic - ever heard of the relative pronoun agreeing with the subject?) tell you what to think get to pick'.

      No. You get to pick the politicians. The media, whichever one(s) you prefer tell you what to think, with varying degrees of success.

      Delete