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Friday, April 19, 2013

PZ Myers throws out Darwin

As I have predicted for years that they would, biologists are beginning to turn away from Darwin's dangerous idea of evolution by natural selection.  Even self-styled champions of evolution such as PZ Myers have reached the point of giving up on their erstwhile secular saint:
We aren’t using Darwin’s model anymore; he had no accurate notion of how inheritance worked, for instance — genes and alleles, the stuff of most modern theory, are not present anywhere in his works. “Darwinian” is also problematic. It does have a specific, technical meaning, but it’s often applied thoughtlessly to every process in evolution.
Today Darwin, tomorrow "natural selection", and, sooner or later, the entire concept of one species coming into existence from another less evolved species through mutation and environmental pressures will be cast into the incinerator of scientific history.  It is merely a matter of time.

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146 Comments:

Anonymous dh April 19, 2013 4:31 PM  

evolution by natural selection

evolution = speciation, is that the context here?

Anonymous Andre April 19, 2013 4:40 PM  

On the topic, I'll post here the contents of an e-mail I sent VD recently:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/science/far-from-junk-dna-dark-matter-proves-crucial-to-health.html

From the article:

"And that, said Dr. Bradley Bernstein, an Encode researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, “is a really big deal.” He added, “I don’t think anyone predicted that would be the case.”"



Actually, ID defenders have been predicting it for a long time:

http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1437


While the evolutionist crowd predicted precisely the contrary:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2010/05/junk-dna-is-sti.html


Interesting times.

Anonymous CInco April 19, 2013 4:41 PM  

Their next theory will be: (SACbAbaJG) or Spontaneous Appearance Caused by Anything but a Just God..

Anonymous Salt April 19, 2013 4:46 PM  

When is Morris going to throw out PZ Myers?

Anonymous bw April 19, 2013 4:49 PM  

The important part of these (bowel) movements is to note the religious nuttery that gets dis-proven and to note that they once claimed it was infallible "science". Goal posts and all that...

Anonymous Crispy April 19, 2013 4:49 PM  

A quote from the pharyngulan-in-chief:

"A clam is as “evolved” as I am."

Anonymous dh April 19, 2013 4:50 PM  

Their next theory will be: (SACbAbaJG) or Spontaneous Appearance Caused by Anything but a Just God.

That's really witty. I really liked "Just".

Anonymous Amanjaw Marc*ntte April 19, 2013 4:56 PM  

Off-topic, but I know Vox just loves these "Google owns your soul" stories.

Anonymous Mavwreck April 19, 2013 4:59 PM  

Vox, if you don't believe in Darwinian evolution or natural selection, what do you believe in?

I found your post from October where you proposed Intelligent Genetic Manipulation as a mechanism for speciation (or was it just biological change throughout history?). What do you believe was the initial source of life? What's the mechanism for IGM?

Anonymous Stickwick April 19, 2013 5:04 PM  

Gotta love how Myers effectively says Darwin was wrong, but then in the next paragraph says how stupid it is to ask whether Darwin was wrong.

Anonymous Crispy April 19, 2013 5:14 PM  

I've already heard some people talking about a continuum of life on earth, and that the boundaries between species are artificial creations useful only for categorization, and not actual boundaries found in nature.

Except that many different species have different numbers and arrangements of genetic material. It's hard to claim a "continuum" between the 48 chromosomes in gorillas and chimps and the 46 in humans.

Anonymous Can pick a name April 19, 2013 5:20 PM  

@Anon

You're an idiot.

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 5:27 PM  

"Even self-styled champions of evolution such as PZ Myers have reached the point of giving up on their erstwhile secular saint:"

How do you get this so wrong? Were you trying? I presume so.

There's nothing on the post you linked to that suggest the writing is abandoning evolution by natural selection. Nothing. He simply noted that the more simplistic model that Darwin outlined has been augmented by a much more sophisticated understanding.

In a lot of ways this is worse than "creation science".

What's the point of deliberately misleading? Strange.

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 5:32 PM  

Gotta love how Myers effectively says Darwin was wrong, but then in the next paragraph says how stupid it is to ask whether Darwin was wrong.

It's the sort of tension created by idiots who relied on Darwin as a stick to beat Christians with in the intellectual arena. So much has been invested in Darwin - not just evolutionary theory generally, but Darwin specifically - that, even when he was obviously wrong, it's regarded as blasphemy to actually say he was wrong. At this point, too many eggs are in the Darwin basket for it to be thrown out easily, much less gracefully.

Anonymous BigWheat April 19, 2013 5:34 PM  

He simply noted that the more simplistic model that Darwin outlined has been augmented by a much more sophisticated understanding.

How does this not constitute giving up "on their erstwhile secular saint:"?

You contradict yourself, and know one should believe anything you write.

Anonymous Stephen J. April 19, 2013 5:34 PM  

I see nothing wrong with retaining the presumption that mutation, natural selection and environmental pressure are factors in species development. I just think it's a good idea not to assume they are the only or even primary factors in species development.

Not that that distinction will be worth much. The primary point of conflict is existentialist/nihilist materialism vs. objective-morality supernaturalism: that is not an issue that science alone can settle, and the frantic insistence that it is such an issue is one of the things that forces me into a reluctant skepticism of people's motives for so insisting.

(I say reluctant because I much prefer to assume the best possible motives of people when I can, but all human hearts, including mine, have a streak of venality that it does not do to forget.)

Anonymous BigWheat April 19, 2013 5:36 PM  

Or, rather, to fix my typo - no one should believe anything A. Man writes.

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 5:36 PM  

If something really revolutionary comes up, you’ll know it because the mobs of excited scientists flocking to the new idea and turning it into significant advances in our understanding will make it obvious.

And this quote is just hilariously naive.

Yeah, because scientists just love revolutionary ideas, right? EO Wilson offered up an idea that wasn't suitably orthodox, and Dawkins crapped his pants over the ordeal.

Scientists do not love challenges to scientific orthodoxy, especially when they are emotionally and intellectually invested in a given idea. Hence Max Planck's view on things:

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

“Science progresses funeral by funeral.”

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 5:37 PM  

"He simply noted that the more simplistic model that Darwin outlined has been augmented by a much more sophisticated understanding.

How does this not constitute giving up "on their erstwhile secular saint:"?"

Just because you build a new and stronger framing on top of a homes older foundation doens't mean you are giving up on the foundation. I mean, this is just non sense this post.

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 5:43 PM  

Just because you build a new and stronger framing on top of a homes older foundation doens't mean you are giving up on the foundation.

Darwin's model has been thrown out, A. Man - by the words of Myers himself. He's not alone. This was no mere incidental change: "he had no accurate notion of how inheritance worked, for instance — genes and alleles, the stuff of most modern theory, are not present anywhere in his works."

Darwin was wrong. He was gloriously wrong, and he was ignorant about quite a lot of things related to evolution. There's no problem admitting that, but I'm sorry - your secular saint is toast.

Let's bury him gracefully, eh?

Anonymous Daniel April 19, 2013 5:44 PM  

Myer's figured that it wasn't homicide if he only tossed Charlie Darwin under the short bus.

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 5:55 PM  

"Darwin's model has been thrown out, A. Man - by the words of Myers himself. He's not alone."

You are incorrect. Furthermore you know it. If you can show me where the post indicates he has given up on evolution by natural selection, well that would be a trick.

What's the point of misleading on this issue? What's the point of lying? There's no point.

Anonymous Daniel April 19, 2013 6:00 PM  

"We aren’t using Darwin’s model anymore; he had no accurate notion of how inheritance worked, for instance."

A. Man, do you seriously still cling to the notion of favored races as a scientific principle? What do you have against black people that you would defend a man whose theories have been so rejected by science?

I'm telling you, nursing racism in such away is not going to win you any friends among such minds of science as Myers.

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 6:04 PM  

You are incorrect. Furthermore you know it.

I guess we need to quote PZ Myers a third time: "We aren’t using Darwin’s model anymore; he had no accurate notion of how inheritance worked, for instance — genes and alleles, the stuff of most modern theory, are not present anywhere in his works."

Are you saying that PZ Myers is a liar, A. Man? Or that he's too stupid to know whether or not Darwin's model is still being used?

Are you going to make the claim that the fact that Darwin's model is no longer used does not mean that Darwin's model has been thrown out? Or are you going to try and wordsmith this into 'so long as Darwin wasn't 100% utterly wrong, then any model that comes afterward is still Darwin's model' - a view which would end up with us saying that geocentrism was never thrown out, but merely given some tweaks here and there?

What's the point of misleading on this issue? What's the point of lying? There's no point.

In your defense, I'm not sure you're misleading or lying intentionally. Judging by your posts here, I think the most obvious bet is you're just scared and pretty ignorant. PZ Myers said something that shakes you up a bit - it wrecks the narrative. So now you're lashing out.

In a word, man: Relax. Darwin was wrong. His model is no longer being used. And that's okay. The world will still spin. Science will still carry on. You can still accept evolution (like I do), you can still deny God (as I do not).

But please... for your own sake, stop freaking out over the fall of a secular saint. He's down, and he's not getting propped up again.

Blogger chuck April 19, 2013 6:04 PM  

Don't be silly. That particular battle was fought out in the 1930's and pretty much settled by 1950. The synthesis of Darwinism and Mendelian genetics is a long done deal.

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 6:10 PM  

"
In your defense, I'm not sure you're misleading or lying intentionally. Judging by your posts here, I think the most obvious bet is you're just scared and pretty ignorant. PZ Myers said something that shakes you up a bit - it wrecks the narrative. So now you're lashing out."

No, I'm just curious as to why you guys and Vox Day are working to mislead. It's an honest question.

Blogger Taylor Kessinger April 19, 2013 6:13 PM  

In what sense is anyone "giving up on" Darwin? He got a very large number of things wrong; for example, he believed new traits arose via "pangenesis" (i.e., Lamarckian inheritance) rather than mutations. This is stuff every undergrad biology student knows; it's only news to the uneducated.

Anonymous Charlie Darwin April 19, 2013 6:15 PM  

"I beat a puppy I believe, simply from enjoying the sense of power."

-Autobiography, p.27

Anonymous VD April 19, 2013 6:15 PM  

You are incorrect. Furthermore you know it. If you can show me where the post indicates he has given up on evolution by natural selection, well that would be a trick.

As usual, you are not only wrong, you are demonstrating your usual idiocy. Myers hasn't given up on natural selection yet. He hasn't given up on evolution yet. He has only abandoned Darwin's model... as I predicted he and other evolutionists would.

Next they will give up natural selection; cracks in the wall are already beginning to appear. And once that falls apart, they will finally, reluctantly, abandon the whole shebang.

The "junk DNA" pretty much seals the deal, but it's going to take them a few decades to come around to accepting the inevitable. Their model has failed, repeatedly, they just don't have the courage to throw it out because there is no easy replacement for it.

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 6:16 PM  

No, I'm just curious as to why you guys and Vox Day are working to mislead.

I don't speak for Vox. I speak for myself. But "working to mislead"? You're a liar, A. Man. And here's the worst part: you're not a particularly good one.

Let's go yet another round of "Quote PZ Myers": We aren’t using Darwin’s model anymore; he had no accurate notion of how inheritance worked, for instance — genes and alleles, the stuff of most modern theory, are not present anywhere in his works.

Quoting me: Darwin's model has been thrown out, A. Man - by the words of Myers himself. He's not alone.

And finally, quoting you: You are incorrect. Furthermore you know it.

Look, you blundered. You made a stupid move owing to either not reading and not comprehending, and now you've got two pages to select from in the dumb little "Choose your own adventure book" you're unwittingly taking part in.

If you wish to insist that Darwin's model has not been thrown out, turn to page 87 whereupon you'll be forced to say PZ Myers is an idiot and was wrong when he said that Darwin's model was no longer being used, citing gross deficiencies.

If you concede that Darwin's model is no longer being used, turn to page 176 where you say "I'm sorry, Crude. You're right. Evolution is still true, but Darwin's model was wrong."

There are no more pages for you to go to. You can't play the "Darwin was wrong, but evolution is still true!" card on me - because I agree with that anyway. (Vox, I don't speak for.) You can't accuse me of misleading anyone - I quoted Myers straight up, and my claims matched exactly what he said.

You were wrong. If it makes you feel better, you now have something in common with Darwin.

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 6:21 PM  

This is stuff every undergrad biology student knows; it's only news to the uneducated.

The uneducated are precisely the ones people are petrified about. The last thing - the absolute last thing - groups like the NCSE, or idiots like Myers and Dawkins want, is to admit that evolutionary theory is quite complicated, filled with blind spots, areas of active study, out and out mysteries, and that Darwin was wrong or misinformed about a whole lot of things. This isn't about mere science - if it was, we could just say 'Darwin was wrong' and move on.

But Darwin is a secular saint. He is very, very important. Which is why even common sense claims about what Darwin got wrong - like the magazine cover a while back - leads to a lot of people freaking out. Because if the uneducated get a glimmer of the idea that Darwin was wrong about evolution in some pretty important ways, it wrecks a popular narrative.

Anonymous Myrddin April 19, 2013 6:21 PM  

YECs (at least the biologists as opposed to the pundits) have no problem with 'speciation via natural selection' as such. Species is a man made category. They would say that a great deal of variability is designed. The YEC alternative to evolution's Tree of Life is not a lawn of life with each species persisting unchanged through all history, but rather a garden full of shrubbery. For instance, megabats might be one shrub and microbats another, and horses another still. In fact, given that this theory is needed to explain how Noah got everything on the all, YECs propose that speciation happens a hell of a lot faster than Evolutionists predict.

Guess which prediction holds true.

Speciation by natural selection was proposed by a YEC named (something) Blythe years before Darwin proposed it. But: shrubbery. It doesn't turn arms into wings. And it isn't driven by mutation, but by the recombination of existing genetic information. As a population adapts it loses genetic information and thus variability.

Anonymous Horse April 19, 2013 6:22 PM  

This is ridiculous Vox. In other news, Astronomers throw out Copernicus.

Anonymous VD April 19, 2013 6:23 PM  

In what sense is anyone "giving up on" Darwin?

When they announce that they want to stop using the term Darwinism and admit publicly that they are not even using his erroneous model.

This is stuff every undergrad biology student knows; it's only news to the uneducated.

Which is 99 percent of the rest of the population. We know it too, we are simply amused by the fact that the evolution propagandists are finally starting to admit it to the public.

We also know that there is almost no scientific evidence for natural selection. When are you evolutionists going to start admitting that to the general public as well? I figured out that it was nothing but a logical, philosophical argument, not a scientific one, long before any biologist openly admitted it.

I read more than 30 papers that were recommended to me as "proving natural selection". Not a single one did anything of the kind. And most of the statistical studies, (which were dubious from the start), purporting to do so were subsequently shown to be mathematically flawed.

And the papers all sound the same; at this point I could write a more convincing fake paper than most of the real ones. "My cat shat on the front lawn three times yesterday; this is entirely consistent with evolution by natural selection...."

Anonymous VD April 19, 2013 6:26 PM  

This is ridiculous Vox. In other news, Astronomers throw out Copernicus.

It's not ridiculous at all. You are failing to understand that St. Darwin was never anything but a rhetorical tool. This has nothing to do with science per se, and has everything to do with their old rhetoric becoming a liability.

Astronomers never depended on Copernicus to sell their theories because their predictive models based on those theories actually worked. Your analogy betrays your failure to understand the matter.

Anonymous David April 19, 2013 6:33 PM  

"You are incorrect. Furthermore you know it."

"No, I'm just curious as to why you guys and Vox Day are working to mislead. It's an honest question."

A. Man, why do you act as if you can read minds, and furthermore, why are you so bad at it?

It's an honest question.

Anonymous Matthew April 19, 2013 6:34 PM  

Copernicus was a bad choice of example, Horse:

Myth: The Copernican system was simpler than the Ptolemaic system. Some things were clearly simpler, but he actually used more epicycles

http://www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/teaching/copernicus.html

Anonymous Chris S April 19, 2013 6:34 PM  

Are they going to issue a recall on those Darwin-fish car decals?

Anonymous Red April 19, 2013 6:35 PM  

Could you expand a bit on this post, Vox? Are they trashing Darwin and evolution to the myth of equality? Or are they finally looking at the actual evidence for Darwinian evolution? I find the second idea unlikely as they don't seem to give a damn about evidence these days.

Anonymous bub April 19, 2013 6:35 PM  

PZ helps ban 'The Science Delusion' TEDx talk

Blogger stareatgoatsies April 19, 2013 6:40 PM  

He has only abandoned Darwin's model... as I predicted he and other evolutionists would.

You can't abandon, give up on or turn away from something you never professed faith in in the first place so it was a vacuous prediction to begin with.

The only way to give it the apparence of meaning is to misuse the terminology, which ironically is the actual subject of Myer's post: "Darwin's model" is long superseded (e.g. whatever Myers was taught in college). "Darwinism" is long defunct. "Darwinian" is commonly used in situations it's technical meaning does not apply.

Also, junk DNA "seals the deal" in the same fashion as the discovery of the double-helix sealed the deal - which is to say, not at all.

Anonymous Red April 19, 2013 6:41 PM  

Are they trashing Darwin and evolution in order to serve the myth of equality?*

Anonymous bub April 19, 2013 6:42 PM  

That's quite a set of dance moves you've got there, goatie

Anonymous VD April 19, 2013 6:50 PM  

Also, junk DNA "seals the deal" in the same fashion as the discovery of the double-helix sealed the deal - which is to say, not at all.

You're wrong. As is so often the case with mathematically and logically illiterate scientists and science fans, the significance of the complexity aspects that arise from this clearly escapes you. There wasn't time for the latest incarnations of evolutionary theory to function as it was. The idea that it could be forced to account for even greater complexity in the same time frame is downright ludicrous.

I will give you an example. Let us say I am designing a game. Now imagine that the developer quite literally does not grasp that from a decision-making standpoint, American football is two orders of magnitude more complex than European football. 500 decisions per game must be made instead of five. This has all sorts of very significant ramifications for the development process that cannot be ignored.

You're in the same position as the hypothetical developer, looking at the junk DNA and saying "well, I don't see how that makes any difference, since DNA is DNA." Sure. And football is football....

Anonymous Red April 19, 2013 6:52 PM  

It seems A.man misread what VD wrote:
"Today Darwin, tomorrow "natural selection""

PZ is not saying natural selection has been abandoned but VD is pointing out that biologists eventually will abandon it.

Anonymous Godfrey April 19, 2013 6:53 PM  

Me no longer believe in fish that walk out of primordial ooze onto ground. Me now question existence of great walking fish. But me still believe in politician men that will bring perfect equalitarian utopia in future.

Please not you act like man. It make me uncomfortable and scare. Me use government to control you and make me feel more secure.

Me tell secret… me hate father.

Anonymous Niall April 19, 2013 6:58 PM  

Apart from "junk" DNA, isn't there also a great deal of our DNA consisting of the remnants of ancient viruses that afflicted our ancestors?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17809503

This article claims that one of these vestigial viruses is found not only in humans but also in apes and some other primates, which is suggestive of some common ancestry between the various species.

Anonymous Beau April 19, 2013 7:06 PM  

@ A.Man

No, I'm just curious as to why you guys and Vox Day are working to mislead. It's an honest question.


No, It's not an honest question. It's a veiled accusation of dishonesty, utterly baseless, and yet, facile upon your lips.

Anonymous Joe Doakes April 19, 2013 7:09 PM  

Darwin's theory was abandoned because it lacked epicycles to explain retrograde motion. No, wait, that was a different guy whose fundamental idea also was dead wrong. Same problem, same solution: replace the easy theory with increasingly convoluted ones until nobody can keep a straight face anymore. Myer's day is coming.

Anonymous mannaz April 19, 2013 7:13 PM  

Misrepresenting what people say again? Shut the fuck up A. Man.

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 7:19 PM  

No, It's not an honest question. It's a veiled accusation of dishonesty, utterly baseless, and yet, facile upon your lips.

That's the annoying part. People trying to bullshit is bad enough, but when it's someone who isn't even good at it it's just sad.

Anonymous Zartan April 19, 2013 7:24 PM  

@Niall

That article set off my BS detectors almost immediately:

"The work established that many of these viruses lost the ability to transfer from one cell to another." <- Then it ain't a virus.

"By modeling the relationship between proliferation and replication mechanism in detail within one group, the intracisternal A-type particles (IAPs), and performing simple correlations across all ERV lineages, we show that when ERVs lose the env gene their proliferation within that genome is boosted by a factor of ∼30. We also show that ERV abundance follows the Pareto principle or 20/80 rule, with ∼20% of lineages containing 80% of the loci. This rule is observed in many biological systems, including infectious disease epidemics, where commonly ∼20% of the infected individuals are responsible for 80% of onward infection. We thus borrow simple epidemiological and ecological models and show that retrotransposition and loss of env is the trait that leads endogenous retroviruses to becoming genomic superspreaders that take over a significant proportion of their host's genome."

You can cut the assumptions and presuppositions with a knife in this one.

Anonymous Matthew April 19, 2013 7:25 PM  

It's a veiled accusation of dishonesty, utterly baseless, and yet, facile upon your lips.

Shades of The Mask of Sanity. Psychopaths are always surprised when people don't believe their lies, because they assume that everyone is constantly lying.

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 7:30 PM  

"It seems A.man misread what VD wrote:
"Today Darwin, tomorrow "natural selection""

Anyone notice that Darwin used the idea and term "Natural Selection" in "Origin of Species".

You can go away.

And you still have to wonder why all of you want to misrepresent some blogger. Very strange and very misleading.

Blogger Doom April 19, 2013 7:30 PM  

Freud, Darwin, Einstein, and the rest. Each has been proven wrong, one of them knew he was wrong, which doesn't help people who don't even understand what he suggested (including most physicists). In time the scientific Nietzschean heroes and societies are falling. They had to fall. The base nature of man, the gravity of sin, and the limits of the mortal realm meant that the higher they went, the further they got from God's grace (which was only ever very far in their fervid imaginings), the harder they fall. It isn't so much a matter of distance as it is a matter of inertia, in this case.

In time, scientists will be seen in their rightful place again. As mere monk-like advisers to generals, and to some minor extent people who might have a bright idea once in a while, that married to common sense and tried on a small scale, can help prevent, mitigate, recover from the overuse of land, the difficulties of a growing population, and such. They need to be stripped of even an indirect link to political power, even political association, which has become their new god.

I am half hoping they find the academic ties to the Bombings. This will go a long way toward the beginning of the divorces needed to end the financing of an American hating (people hating, actually) "scientific" community. Americans are merely hated more because we have freedoms that make technocrats queasy. We can, and sometimes do, block their attempts to force issues.

As I said, there will always be a decent place for Godless in academia. It's just that it shouldn't be the only game available, or even dominant. Of course, that has to be to curry dark favors to elicit the end times. Breeding immorality and amorality in the leaders of tomorrow will be required to bring the thing. Then again, that is on God's version of time. And even if it was God's time, our job would still be to fight it.

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 7:32 PM  

"That's the annoying part. People trying to bullshit is bad enough"

Absolutely! Why bullshit about what some blogger wrote. No need to mislead. One can continue to believe that some god snapped his fingers and everything came into existence. But what's the point of writing misleading stuff about what some blogger wrote? It is annoying. Agreed.

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 7:33 PM  

"The base nature of man, the gravity of sin, and the limits of the mortal realm meant that the higher they went, the further they got from God's grace"

Now we are really talking science. Tell us more about this "sin" and "God's grace" theory.

Anonymous MendoScot April 19, 2013 7:35 PM  

Claiming that evo-devo or epigenetics or genomics or molecular biology will completely “revolutionize” or overturn antiquated notions or throw the entire field of evolutionary biology into complete chaos are also nonsense...

So, apparently science does not advance. It only fills in the details left by Arist...I mean, Darwin.

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 7:36 PM  

"end the financing of an American hating (people hating, actually) "scientific" community."

Yes, those medical researchers and scientists, they just hate people and have never done anything to benefit folks.

Bring on the leeches and blood letting.

Anonymous VD April 19, 2013 7:36 PM  

And you still have to wonder why all of you want to misrepresent some blogger. Very strange and very misleading.

It isn't misrepresenting anyone. It's neither strange nor misleading. It is simply over your head. Which is hardly new.

Anonymous *THE* Man April 19, 2013 7:36 PM  

"Anyone notice that Darwin used the idea and term "Natural Selection" in "Origin of Species". - A. Man


I also noticed "or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life."

Anonymous Zartan April 19, 2013 7:39 PM  

"Now we are really talking science. Tell us more about this "sin" and "God's grace" theory."

When you answer my simple question regarding your warrant on "good".

Anonymous Niall April 19, 2013 7:40 PM  

@Zartan: I'm not an expert in this field by any means, but when you write:

"The work established that many of these viruses lost the ability to transfer from one cell to another." <- Then it ain't a virus."

Aren't the researchers contending that it was originally a virus, regardless of what it ended up as once embedded in the human genome?

A slightly more involved article on the same subject can be found here:

http://tinyurl.com/ygnwjdh

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 7:41 PM  

"It isn't misrepresenting anyone. It's neither strange nor misleading. It is simply over your head. Which is hardly new."

or

"IT'S NOT ME, IT'S NOT ME (Hand waving frantically)...I didn't do it.

Of course it's misleading.

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 7:43 PM  

""Anyone notice that Darwin used the idea and term "Natural Selection" in "Origin of Species". - A. Man

I also noticed "or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life."

Good....I see you noticed the use of the term "natural selection" also. So, if it's "darwin first", then natural selection", isn't it still darwin if natural selection remains.

Well of course it is.

It's just bad thinking this criticism of the blogger.

Blogger tz April 19, 2013 7:44 PM  

I'm not quite sure what is left of Darwin (post DNA) other than "Natural Selection".

In Phillip Johnson's book "Darwin on Trial", the whole first chapter is trying to cut through the fog of Natural Selection.

First Natural Selection is true, therefore Evolution is true (false, you have to have something to select from, specifically something better).

Second, what is meant by "Natural Selection", or "Survival of the Fittest". Is it merely a tautology - whichever organisms survived were the most fit? Or is there some other standard. Plants that survive drought might not survive flood or vice versa, but the weather conditions might be random or cyclical. Is it a hypothesis?

Most of not all is readable at google (and maybe Amazon):

books.google.com/books?id=YtrGVVwk5HsC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

You cannot abandon a tautology. If there is no clear definition of "natural", what kind of selection is really meant?

The scientists have already abandoned "Natural Selection" as they abandoned "Darwin", except they keep the name like the grin of the disappeared Cheshire Cat.

Darwin did posit a positive feedback loop (which DNA disproves), describing it briefly, the germ plasm (sperm and eggs) would receive input from the organism and change themselves in response to the environment - if it got colder or hotter, something in the "black box" would produce information leading to offspring more adapted to the environment.

This actually happens but INSIDE the genome and not by evolution (See "Survival of the Sickest" http://books.google.com/books?id=-S-tYNGP_k8C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false ). Fat mothers have fat children. I forget the name for the genes that regulate other genes, but there is something at work. There is also something that does some randomization (like the immune system trying to create an antibody) when the organism is stressed. This does NOT add up to something which would be evolution, but if one wanted to argue, this book is the best argument FOR I have found, though it doesn't attempt to argue, just present examples.

Anonymous E. PERLINE April 19, 2013 7:44 PM  

In my relatively short lifespan I've seen species change, and become "endangered" and even to go extinct. Big changes are slow but Mother Nature has had millions of years
allowing life to make adjustments. Darwin was not a theologian. He was a scientist who had to come to that realistic conclusion.

Anonymous Zartan April 19, 2013 7:45 PM  

So, Anthropologists find the evidence for human evolution very weak.

Junk DNA and organs have been found to have a purpose, contrary to Evolutionary Theory.

Molecular Biology has devastated the "Tree of Life" by showing descendants and ancestry aren't.

Modern evolutionary theorists are avoiding "Darwinian" as a term.

Geologic evidence makes evolution of life on the earth impossible - evolutioists float intergalactic Panspermia as a way to "avoid" the problem.

Seems like a theory that is on it's last legs to me.

Blogger tz April 19, 2013 7:46 PM  

A.Man - It isn't "Survival of the specious".

Anonymous Beau April 19, 2013 7:47 PM  

Yes, those medical researchers and scientists, they just hate people and have never done anything to benefit folks.

Another attempt to change the subject, the topic is the abandonment of Darwin's model, and by increments, the theory of evolution by natural selection. Is it possible for you to contribute anything of substance?

Anonymous *THE* Man April 19, 2013 7:49 PM  

A. Man "Good....I see you noticed the use of the term "natural selection" also. So, if it's "darwin first", then natural selection", isn't it still darwin if natural selection remains."

Wasn't arguing against it - merely continuing your argument to it's logical, racist, conclusion. [run hamster run!]

Anonymous VD April 19, 2013 7:49 PM  

Good....I see you noticed the use of the term "natural selection" also. So, if it's "darwin first", then natural selection", isn't it still darwin if natural selection remains.

No. Amusingly enough, you understand considerably less about Darwin and natural selection than I do. Natural selection has a number of different definitions, some of which fit with Darwin's original hypothesis and others which don't. Have you ever actually read On The Origin of the Species or The Descent of Man?

It is very clear you have not even read the Wikipedia entry on Natural Selection.

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 7:50 PM  

Absolutely! Why bullshit about what some blogger wrote. No need to mislead.

As funny as it is to see you try and pretend your reading comprehension is even worse than it is for the sake of clumsy wit, I remind you: you suck at this. That's not going to change anytime soon.

And, once again, to put your mistake in full relief:

Let's go yet another round of "Quote PZ Myers": We aren’t using Darwin’s model anymore; he had no accurate notion of how inheritance worked, for instance — genes and alleles, the stuff of most modern theory, are not present anywhere in his works.

Quoting me: Darwin's model has been thrown out, A. Man - by the words of Myers himself. He's not alone.

And finally, quoting you: You are incorrect. Furthermore you know it.

You're not helping your cause, A. Man. You are one of those guys who tries to pipe up and act like the good ol' culture warrior in favor of Your Side, thinking that if you just give it your all and whine that you're helping. But really, everyone on 'your side' just looks at what you write and grits their teeth while muttering 'Will this idiot sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up?'.

They barely like defending Dawkins or Myers when they screw up. They do not want to have to play apologist for you too.

You were wrong. Everyone knows it, because the exchange made it clear. Darwin's model is no longer used, by PZ Myers' own account. This wasn't the fight you should have picked - it was your mistake for doing so. Owe up to it, and learn a lesson.

Or hell, don't. Just continue to blatantly lie and whine and try to spin, so everyone else can see just what happens when a 'science-lover' gets caught not actually knowing the state of science. I'm sure that just fills 'em with confidence about evolution.

Anonymous Godfrey April 19, 2013 7:51 PM  

How dare you question Great Walking Fish! Great Walking Fish walk out of primordial ooze and become man.

All hail Great Walking Fish!

Anonymous MendoScot April 19, 2013 7:52 PM  

Comment:Darwin is to evolution as the Wright Brothers are to the Airbus A380. Laid the groundwork but, unlike religion, vastly improved by others.

Apart from the hysterically funny inversion, would you agree with the alternative as John Maynard Keynes is to Quantitative easing?

Anonymous Zartan April 19, 2013 7:52 PM  

If I may

"Natural Selection" isn't.

Chaos Theory has more to do with guided evolution of species than "Survival of the Fittest". A drought that wipes out all the prey has little to do with the selective pressures on all the predators that die of starvation.

Is a tsunami that wipes out breeding colonies natural selection?

Anonymous Eric Ashley April 19, 2013 7:56 PM  

There is a Preference Cascade a-coming. In the few years that it takes, the world will be uneasy, but on the other side, hopefully there will be great opportunities for revival and for limiting gov't..

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 7:57 PM  

"No. Amusingly enough, you understand considerably less about Darwin and natural selection than I do. Natural selection has a number of different definitions, some of which fit with Darwin's original hypothesis and others which don't. Have you ever actually read On The Origin of the Species or The Descent of Man?"

Modern Evolutionary Synthesis is in fact a combination of traditional darwinian evolution, including natural selection, as well a more contemporary discoveries in the field of genetics and microbiology.

So please, what you suggested about a blogger moving away from darwin is nothing but nonsense. Absolute, misleading, nonsense and the question still remains, why mislead??

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 8:00 PM  

So please, what you suggested about a blogger moving away from darwin is nothing but nonsense.

PZ Myers, for what, the sixth time? Here he is: "We aren’t using Darwin’s model anymore; he had no accurate notion of how inheritance worked, for instance — genes and alleles, the stuff of most modern theory, are not present anywhere in his works."

True or false, A. Man: We are not using Darwin's model anymore. Keep in mind that if you admit we aren't, you're going to be contradicting yourself in this very thread. If you insist we are, then apparently PZ Myers is clueless about Darwin's models.

Take your pick.

Anonymous Godfrey April 19, 2013 8:01 PM  

@Zartan
"Is a tsunami that wipes out breeding colonies natural selection?"


Can't a tsunami be considered a natural occurrence? And isn't a breeding colony that establishes itself in an area prone to a tsunami more threatened with extinction than one that doesn’t? And wouldn’t the fittest be more likely to survive a tsunami?

Anonymous Alexander April 19, 2013 8:06 PM  

Never Chris, because they still believe in being douchebags and publicly mocking the beliefs of white, middle-class suburbans. *That* at least hasn't changed - wouldn't want to rock the boat too hard for A. Man, would we?

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 8:17 PM  

"True or false, A. Man: We are not using Darwin's model anymore. Keep in mind that if you admit we aren't, you're going to be contradicting yourself in this very thread. If you insist we are, then apparently PZ Myers is clueless about Darwin's models."

The question is has Meyer "reached the point of giving up on" Darwin (has vox day wrote) based on Meyer writing "We aren’t using Darwin’s model anymore; he had no accurate notion of how inheritance worked, for instance — genes and alleles, the stuff of most modern theory, are not present anywhere in his works"?

Anyone, anyone...who believes this is the case simply can't be trusted to cross the street alone.

What Meyers is saying is that a far more detailed theory of evolution has been built on the foundation of Darwin's original theory due to more recent discoveries and research.

Vox's claim on the other hand is akin to claiming that the act of cooking over an open fire has been abandoned because we no have microwave ovens. We don't do out cooking over open fires any more, but the idea of heat cooking food is still important and foundational.

Holy cow.....this is basic. Again, why mislead?

Anonymous Zartan April 19, 2013 8:25 PM  

@Godfrey

Ahh, but that's the problem... If Natural Selection is defined as "Natural" A Tsunami is. If it is defined as "Survival of the fittest" then it isn't.

Evolutionary biologists tend to want it whatever way is convenient for the sub-point they are trying to prove as true.

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 8:31 PM  

A. Man,

The question is

No, that's not the question. Do I really need to keep repeating myself? Because I'm more than willing.

I said: "Darwin's model has been thrown out, A. Man - by the words of Myers himself. He's not alone."

You responded: "You are incorrect. Furthermore you know it."

Now, I know you're not only kind of slow, but scared right now. Oh my God, admitting you got something wrong in the comments section of a blog to a c-c-c-c-CHRISTIAN. But, them's the breaks. Next time, read before you write.

So again I ask: True or false, A. Man: We are not using Darwin's model anymore. Keep in mind that if you admit we aren't, you're going to be contradicting yourself in this very thread. If you insist we are, then apparently PZ Myers is clueless about Darwin's models.

Is there some blog rule about this? I'm not totally familiar with the Vox Day rules, but I remember something about how if a person is asked a direct question, they have to answer it? This seems totally relevant if so. I'd like to hear A. Man respond either 'true' or 'false' here.

Anonymous Zartan April 19, 2013 8:33 PM  

"Anyone, anyone...who believes this is the case simply can't be trusted to cross the street alone."

Then can you come hold my hand then? I'll even let you skip while we cross if you'd like.

A. Man - you are immensely unread in the field of evolutionary biology (and the non-sequiter regarding the physics and chemistry of food preparation is odd)

Anonymous JI April 19, 2013 8:34 PM  

I'm sorry, I just don't get it. Why does Vox say evolution by natural selection is a "dangerous" idea? To whom is this idea a danger and how?

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 8:38 PM  

Why does Vox say evolution by natural selection is a "dangerous" idea? To whom is this idea a danger and how?

I believe that's a reference to this book.

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 8:38 PM  

"So again I ask A. Man: We are not using Darwin's model anymore."

The foundation is still well intact and in use. And it's been expanded.

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 8:41 PM  

The foundation is still well intact and in use. And it's been expanded.

Hey, nice editing of my question. Completely dishonest on your part, of course, which illustrates just how afraid you are to answer it.

Again: True or false, A. Man: We are not using Darwin's model anymore. Keep in mind that if you admit we aren't, you're going to be contradicting yourself in this very thread. If you insist we are, then apparently PZ Myers is clueless about Darwin's models.

True or false, A. Man. Which one is it?

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 8:47 PM  

"Again: True or false, A. Man: We are not using Darwin's model anymore."

False, we continue to use the foundational theory but with significant modifications as it has been expanded as over the years.

Anonymous Q April 19, 2013 8:49 PM  

A. Man

Repeating falsehoods do not make them true. Let me say this slowly: YOU. DO. NOT. KNOW. ENOUGH. ABOUT. EVOLUTIONARY. THEORY.

One question test to prove the point:
True or false: Darwin's theory allows for the inheritance of acquired characteristics.

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 8:51 PM  

False

Wonderful. Then PZ Myers, who said...

"We aren’t using Darwin’s model anymore; he had no accurate notion of how inheritance worked, for instance — genes and alleles, the stuff of most modern theory, are not present anywhere in his works."

...is so ignorant of evolutionary theory by your reckoning, he can't even tell what is or isn't Darwin's model. Or, you know - you are.

Thanks for playing, kiddo.

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 8:55 PM  

"
Repeating falsehoods do not make them true. Let me say this slowly: YOU. DO. NOT. KNOW. ENOUGH. ABOUT. EVOLUTIONARY. THEORY."

Well, I just school Crude and demonstrated that Vox Day was misleading in his post and was the only person willing to point out the obvious fact that darwin's natural selection is a significant part of evolutionary theory.

What do you have? Capital letters?

Anonymous Q April 19, 2013 8:58 PM  

Scooling 2 others does not make any hay with me. I'll take your evasion as a yes to "You don't know enough to answer the question"

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 8:59 PM  

Well, I just school Crude

You just, after being harassed and backed into a corner, reluctantly answered a question that demonstrates one of the following must be true.

A) PZ Myers is absolutely clueless about evolutionary theory, particularly Darwin's theory.

or...

B) You are.

Here's a lesson you should really learn if you want to be a liar, A. Man: only tell lies that have a chance of convincing anyone. But hey, thanks for demonstrating to any lurkers here why 'defenders of science' should be treated with suspicion. Much like you, they tend to not only lie, but not know what they're talking about.

Granted, they tend to be better at bullshitting than you. Maybe you should ask 'em for tips.

Anonymous *THE* Man April 19, 2013 9:00 PM  

Shut up Tad

Blogger Doom April 19, 2013 9:04 PM  

A. Man,

Tell you about that which you already know? Why? You have rejected it. You believe you are the power of your universe in spite of knowing you are an impotent worshiper of a false religion. You believe in a science you can no more prove than you can disprove God, and should know if you understood science that it never was an answer, merely a question.

Riddle you? You are riddled. More, you don't even understand the question, so the answer is well and truly beyond you. No? Disprove God. Or prove science. Your call.

Anonymous wcu April 19, 2013 9:08 PM  


Lol!

Anonymous A. Man April 19, 2013 9:13 PM  

"Disprove God. Or prove science. Your call."

I'm busy disproving the Easter Bunny, I'll get to god later.

Anonymous kh123 April 19, 2013 9:35 PM  

Here comes the Cargo Cult, swaying and gyrating to that strange bearded white man that done ascended to literary fame - while descending into those stratified layers he spun yarns 'round. And never quite grasping who or what they've prostrated themselves towards. He jus' done come and gave us dee keys to da yunivahse, y'see. Dat towah, it be Babeelon.

Anonymous David April 19, 2013 10:10 PM  

"I'm busy disproving the Easter Bunny"

How are you going to manage to do that A. Man?

Anonymous bw April 19, 2013 10:18 PM  

they tend to be better at bullshitting than you

Perfect.
A.Man can't even fake it. I bet its shemales can though.

Anonymous bw April 19, 2013 10:20 PM  

There wasn't time for the latest incarnations of evolutionary theory to function as it was. the Vox

Indeed. Which is why they have been (for decades now) pushing the "life on other planets" bullshit. It was transfered here, don't you know?
T I M E. N E E D M O A R T I M E !


Anonymous HH April 19, 2013 10:42 PM  

Can anyone point to a scientific theory that has remained the same over time ? ... probably not because the nature of the science process is such that as new knowledge is gained, the old theories are updated -- that does not invalidate science.. its a testament to its beauty.

Darwin developed a model that help define and explain many things for many years --- maybe its been shown to be simplistic.. ( based on what I read here -- I am no biologist) .. but can we really blame him for not understanding and taking into account things like genetics, DNA, mutations etc. Every theory builds on the last one, every generation stands on the shoulders of those that came before them. Ever area of human study has simplified models that are useful under certain circumstances and not others - even theology.

But the problem here is this science or God attitude. There is no truer search for God than science. Study the creation to understand the Creator. Its not either or...


Anonymous Andrew April 19, 2013 10:49 PM  

Vox, you have me convinced on natural selection being bunk and on the greatness of the Christian religion. I'm serious about that. I do have a question though. Do you believe the earth is around 6,000 years old or do you believe it is around 4 billion years old? Or do you believe it is another age entirely?

Blogger IM2L844 April 19, 2013 10:49 PM  

Well, I just school Crude and demonstrated that Vox Day was misleading in his post

You've done nothing of the sort. I could quote everything you've written in this thread, word for word, and any reasonable reader would conclude that it contained absolutely nothing substantive. Rhetorical devices do not count toward making a convincing case.

What would you consider the single most convincing piece of documented evidence for Darwinian evolution? Let's walk through it together. Mmm'K?

Anonymous Anonymous April 19, 2013 10:56 PM  

@VD

Evidence for natural selection abound:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23288-birds-evolve-shorter-wings-to-survive-on-roads.html

http://science.halleyhosting.com/sci/ibbio/ecology/notes/natselect/evidence.htm

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/13/63/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth_evolution


Natural selection acts on existing variants. Leading to a change in the species. Having been shown all the evidence at my STEM subject it is pretty sound to me.

Anonymous Crude April 19, 2013 11:11 PM  

HH,

Can anyone point to a scientific theory that has remained the same over time ? ... probably not because the nature of the science process is such that as new knowledge is gained, the old theories are updated -- that does not invalidate science.. its a testament to its beauty.

Who's saying that it invalidates 'science'? Certainly not myself. But the progress of science damn well sure does invalidate models at times. By PZ Myers' estimation, Darwin's model is not used. Darwin's model was wrong.

but can we really blame him for not understanding and taking into account things like genetics, DNA, mutations etc.

Nope. Maybe we can blame him if he presented his model as obviously true or mostly complete. But then, he's actually not who's getting the heat here. It's people whose asses clench up when we say that Darwin was wrong, or Darwin's models are defunct, and who treat him as a secular saint.

I say this as someone who accepts common descent, quite a lot of evolutionary claims, etc.

But the problem here is this science or God attitude. There is no truer search for God than science. Study the creation to understand the Creator. Its not either or...

Tell that to the Darwin defenders, because a lot of them have spent quite a lot of time and energy insisting that is IS either-or. Which is why blasphemy against Darwin - saying he was *gasp* wrong about various things - drives them bonkers. It's not about science for them.

Anonymous Mr. Rational April 19, 2013 11:15 PM  

Today Darwin, tomorrow "natural selection", and, sooner or later, the entire concept of one species coming into existence from another less evolved species through mutation and environmental pressures will be cast into the incinerator of scientific history.

Vox, Vox... you realize that
a. Darwin knew nothing of DNA and his own theory was developed in ignorance of Gregor Mendel's studies on inheritance,
b. The "modern synthesis" dates from decades after Darwin's death, and
c. All you're doing with this straw-man argument is giving PZ more ammunition to make fun of you?

If you can't paraphrase your opponent's position in terms they agree with, you are wasting your time trying to argue with them.

Anonymous Anonymous April 19, 2013 11:19 PM  

@Zartan

The "survival of the fittest" relates to the environment it is subject to it doesn't however imply perfection despite what the term suggests but that the organism manages to produce live offspring, it is more accurately "survival of the good enough" perfection never is achieved because the organism is limited by the existing variants that come as a result of mutation. And if a species become extinct without survival too bad. Evolutionary history documents that according to fossil records 99% of all species have become extinct as a result of mass extinction events.

Anonymous Obvious April 19, 2013 11:31 PM  

You're right, though. It makes a lot more sense to assume that some benevolent creator figure just caused all the beings to come into existence at the same time.

Anonymous acritic April 19, 2013 11:38 PM  

Today Darwin, tomorrow "natural selection", and, sooner or later, the entire concept of one species coming into existence from another less evolved species through mutation and environmental pressures will be cast into the incinerator of scientific history. It is merely a matter of time.

That may turn out to be the case. But what is just as certain is that it won't be replaced with "God did it". Because it is simplistic to the point of uselessness, satisfying only to idiots, tells us nothing about life, let alone God, and, within the realm of science, is totally unprovable. So while Myers may lose, so will you, and at least he is betting on something with the promise of knowledge. That makes him sensible, whereas your position is futility embodied, hopeless, cynical, and risky to the point of recklessness. Like everything else in the Christian world view, it can only be redeemed by the most empty hope - that the unknowable will be personal, that the invisible will care, that the silent hears, that nothingness will become something. One day, far away. Meanwhile people like Myers live in the real, material world, and although they aren't right all the time, or even most of the time, at least they are making an effort to push the rock up the mountain.

Anonymous Robert April 19, 2013 11:40 PM  

Cladistics is a much more useful science in any case. The evolution argument has been outdated since Watson and Crik. Besides it's usually more revealing to discuss the way things differ from each other, instead they are similar.

TO say "Man evolved from apes" also contains no useful information. The statement implies that something came from something that it is not. It's useless (apart from the lol-worthy effectiveness when used to troll your local christian evangelical. Always fun at parties).

As genetic science develops, Darwin might be remembered with other formerly revolutionary and now defunct notions as craniometry, phrenology, and "ontogony recapitulats phylogeny." (Hopefully we can toss the reified notion of "IQ" and "EQ" in the bin with those other useless relics.)

Then again maybe not. He was among the first to describe adaptation, which is still relevant to biologists of any persuasion.

Anonymous Beau April 19, 2013 11:55 PM  

Via HH

But the problem here is this science or God attitude. There is no truer search for God than science. Study the creation to understand the Creator. Its not either or...


At last, something of substance and worthy of discussion. Contrast contra A.Man drooling, "I'm busy disproving the Easter Bunny." Good on ya, HH.

Anonymous HH April 19, 2013 11:57 PM  

"Darwin's model was wrong" ... outdated, simplistic maybe.. wrong .. not so sure. I am not even sure how to declare a something wrong that cant be expressed as an equation :)

"It's people whose asses clench up when we say that Darwin was wrong" .. I would suspect part of this has to do with the next step that always happens .. (1) Darwin is unproven (2) so lets teach creationism in science class too as a competing model.

What I need to know at the start of any conversation regarding Darwin, biology or any other science argument is whether the arguer believes that the model of creation as written in bible is correct.

I am a believer, but I have not problem with science -- I have no delusion that the world is 7000 years old or was created in 7 days. The bible is barely a history book, its never a science book. I also never.. ever.. ever expect to be able to prove the existence of God via any tool of math, science, technology .. its faith, its the basis of my moral code, its not the basis of my science. My understanding of the universe tells me its governed by laws, many that we don't understand yet. I personally find it unlikely that such a universe exists without some designer and I choose to believe it to be God but that is a matter of faith, not fact and I will not argue faith because there is not true answers.








Anonymous Beau April 19, 2013 11:58 PM  

And welcome also to Robert.

Anonymous acritic April 20, 2013 12:00 AM  

What it really boils down to is whether a material explanation, any material, physical explanation of the origins or even just the workings of life itself can ever be acceptable to a Christian like Vox. Ultimately, Christians want to anchor it to God, because it makes them feel closer to Him. But it may not be the case, and it certainly isn't yet decided one way or the other.

Anonymous Toby Temple April 20, 2013 12:51 AM  

Ah! The smell of a dead horse getting beat up again in the morning!

Anonymous Crude April 20, 2013 12:52 AM  

HH,

"Darwin's model was wrong" ... outdated, simplistic maybe.. wrong .. not so sure. I am not even sure how to declare a something wrong that cant be expressed as an equation :)

It's not exactly difficult. If I accuse you of having regular anal sex with dogs in public parks, are you going to sit there going 'gosh, I really don't know how to say you're wrong - I mean to a degree it's true'? If so, well. You have some problems.

I would suspect part of this has to do with the next step that always happens .. (1) Darwin is unproven (2) so lets teach creationism in science class too as a competing model.

What does 'Darwin is unproven' mean? That Darwin was wrong? He was. What's the need to bend over backwards and refuse to flatly say that he was wrong, while explaining what that means? To hear you put it, falsification never happens in science. After all, who can falsify anything? That would entail saying a prediction was wrong - but that has to be expressed as an equation.

And no, 'let's teach creationism' does not 'always happen'. Further, do you advocate lying about the state of science to people in order to avoid political consequences you don't like?

What I need to know at the start of any conversation regarding Darwin, biology or any other science argument is whether the arguer believes that the model of creation as written in bible is correct.

What the fuck does that have to do with anything? Pardon my language, but it's absurd. It's a straightforward question about a scientific model, but oops, your answer's going to differ based on your audience? "Are you an atheist who accepts evolution? Okay, well, then I can say Darwin is wrong to you. Are you a Christian who's a YEC? Then nope, Darwin was right!"?

Whatever you're engaging in, it's not discussion of science. You're in evangelist mode on behalf of, not even a scientific theory, but some other worldview.

I personally find it unlikely that such a universe exists without some designer and I choose to believe it to be God but that is a matter of faith, not fact and I will not argue faith because there is not true answers.

Great. I am not and never have been a YEC. I accept evolution just fine. I reject this fideistic 'it's faith not fact' attitude, as if there are not many arguments - philosophical, theological, metaphysical, and yes, sometimes even empirical - that indicate the existence of God or a designing mind.

If you want to embrace some extraordinarily vague, fideistic faith, go right ahead. Not all of us do. And if you're doing it in some vain hope that Cult of Gnu style atheists will think they're your buddy if you just completely wall off your beliefs about God from the slightest bit of rational discourse, bad news: it won't happen.

Blogger Michael Z. Williamson April 20, 2013 1:23 AM  

Watching Creationists criticize evolutionary theory is like watching the Brady Bunch criticize the Heller Decision. It would be cute if they didn't take themselves so seriously, and pose a serious threat to society.

Anonymous Inane Rambler April 20, 2013 1:24 AM  

Probably the silliest logic chain I've seen yet.

"Darwin is outdated" somehow equals "Evolution is not real".

I do not follow the logic chain.

At all.

Blogger Michael Z. Williamson April 20, 2013 1:25 AM  

BTW, Einstein was also wrong--Dirac, Forward and Hawking proved that. He was also right.

One of the (many) major problems with religion is that its followers insist there has to be a right and wrong answer, and only one of each.

2 + X = (more than 5). Solve for X. One answer only, please.

Anonymous Mudz April 20, 2013 1:27 AM  

@ Inane Rambler

Possibly because you just made it up on the spot.

@ Crude

Well said.

What I need to know at the start of any conversation regarding Darwin, biology or any other science argument is whether the arguer believes that the model of creation as written in bible is correct.

Sounds similiar to PZ's apparent requirement that his opponents say that evolution is true before he'll argue with them about evolution.

Anonymous Cecil Rhodes April 20, 2013 1:49 AM  

Andrew April 19, 2013 10:49 PM

Vox, you have me convinced on natural selection being bunk and on the greatness of the Christian religion. I'm serious about that. I do have a question though. Do you believe the earth is around 6,000 years old or do you believe it is around 4 billion years old? Or do you believe it is another age entirely?


How cute! What the Fuck difference does it make?
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.

What is your Ego-Identity Status?? What is your Essence??

Age of the Earth, Indeed!


Anonymous Toby Temple April 20, 2013 2:18 AM  

How old is planet earth?

I don't know.

There. That was not so hard, was it?

Anonymous John Ruskin April 20, 2013 2:27 AM  

I don't know.

There. That was not so hard, was it?


Cecil's point Exactly.
It matters not.
How big of an Ego do you have?
Is there something wrong with the way you Exist or you "results".
What are YOU, exactly?

Anonymous Stickwick April 20, 2013 3:06 AM  

It would be cute if they didn't take themselves so seriously, and pose a serious threat to society.

What threat to society is that? What have creationists actually done that threatens society?

BTW, Einstein was also wrong--Dirac, Forward and Hawking proved that. He was also right.

One of the (many) major problems with religion is that its followers insist there has to be a right and wrong answer, and only one of each.

2 + X = (more than 5). Solve for X. One answer only, please.


There is only one answer: X > 3. Every other possible answer is wrong: it's not X = 3 and it's not X < 3.

It's absurd to point to our limited understanding of nature and say that since one person had it partially right and someone else had it partially right, therefore there is more than one answer. You don't know that. And you'll be hard pressed to build a convincing case, let alone prove, that there is ultimately more than one right answer to something. Science doesn't proceed that way. Also, since when have religious people insisted there is only one wrong answer?

Anonymous VD April 20, 2013 3:10 AM  

What I need to know at the start of any conversation regarding Darwin, biology or any other science argument is whether the arguer believes that the model of creation as written in bible is correct.

No, you most certainly do not.

"It's people whose asses clench up when we say that Darwin was wrong" .. I would suspect part of this has to do with the next step that always happens .. (1) Darwin is unproven (2) so lets teach creationism in science class too as a competing model.

Since I believe that the public schools should be outlawed and the school buildings demolished, you need not fear that. And I don't believe there is any point in science classes being taught below the college level.

Worrying about what science is taught to children who cannot read, do math, or identify the Constitution is incredibly stupid.

Anonymous VD April 20, 2013 3:26 AM  

"Darwin is outdated" somehow equals "Evolution is not real". I do not follow the logic chain.

It doesn't. It isn't a train of logic. It is a prediction of a train of related events as per Kuhn.

Anonymous map April 20, 2013 3:31 AM  

Darwinism is not about natural selection as we normally understand it. The sound version of the NS theory argues that mate selection and environmental pressures determine what genes eventually live to reproduce. This is simply the older concept of growth and change that humans have always accepted.

Darwinism, however, is not about how an existing species changes over time. Darwinism is about how a new species comes into existence. The process goes from simplicity to complexity; complexity grows through the process of natural selection through random mutation, eventually becoming so complex that a new species emerges. The magic of this process is hidden in the mists of time, which is why you hear about "millions of years" in geological terms.

But Darwin's conclusions make no sense. It implies that, at some point, a man and a woman will give birth to a child that is a completely different species from the parents. Not only will this happen once, as a mutation, but it would happen millions of times to ensure a population of this new species can reproduce non-incestuously. It simply isn't plausible.

In fact, under Darwinism, Bigfoot should exist.

Anonymous sprach von Teufelshunden April 20, 2013 5:28 AM  

Eventually, Myers et al will be admitting the following: (It is only logical. They will have no choice.)

"We were all created by space aliens."

And, here are your space aliens

Any questions?

Now, on Darwin ...

Anonymous Loki of Asgard April 20, 2013 7:01 AM  

Do you not all realise that, should A. Man's cherished belief in his descent from apes be rejected, he would have no more excuse for his style of debate--flinging filth?

This is not a trivial insult. Think deeply on its implications, not merely for him.

Anonymous Joe Doakes April 20, 2013 7:45 AM  

Darwin was wrong but the foundation was right. It's just been expanded.

Yeah, with epicycles, to explain observed retrograde motion.

Clinging to an ever-more elaborate theory that flies in the face of observation isn't science, it's religion. A-Man is its disciple and we're all heretics.

good with me.

Anonymous Buttholefan April 20, 2013 9:22 AM  

we will never have a shiny utopia with flying cars, world peace and gay overlords with all this "jeebus" talk. only savages believe in a sky-daddy

but if this savagry is surpressed, then st. darwin can get us there.


Blogger Fergus Mason April 20, 2013 10:51 AM  

"It implies that, at some point, a man and a woman will give birth to a child that is a completely different species from the parents."

No it doesn't. It implies that parents will give birth to children who are almost, but not QUITE, identical to them. If you're genuinely confused about this I can explain it more clearly, but if you're just regurgitating a creationist lie I won't waste my time.

Anonymous Confused April 20, 2013 11:23 AM  

Is my labordoodle the same species as a wolf or coyote?

Blogger Chuck Morse April 20, 2013 6:24 PM  

The Monkey Trial - Evolutionary Politics in the post-Traditional Age
http://amzn.com/B00B0O6AJU
The Monkey Trial examines the political and social consequences of the Theory of Evolution. By utilizing the brilliant closing statements of William Jennings Bryan in the Scopes Trial, known as the Monkey Trial, Morse highlights the relevance and impact of the theory of evolution on society today. This book is not about creationism per se but rather focuses on the Theory of Evolution as a political idea and as a governing principle. While the author draws into question the validity of the science of evolution, The Monkey Trial focuses instead on the post-evolutionary emergence of Eugenics, Nazism, and Communism and the role that the evolutionary idea played in those political movements.

Anonymous Robert April 20, 2013 7:53 PM  


Things have changed so dramatically since darwin. Let's use a modern example. If he looked at the fossilized remains of a prehistoric chihuahua vs. those of a great dane, would he conclude that they are the same species? He would be mistaken, but they are. The two breeds have immense phenotypic differences but can breed together. Looking at fossils alone or species on an island as Darwin did, that point wouldn't be so clear.

Science is so far beyond darwin, the equivalent of reaching back to Darwin to proof a theological point is akin to comparing the nextgen air superiority fighter to the workings of orville and wilbur wright.

I'll give you a minute to stop laughing. This is why Darwin is outdated. Evolutionists of a certain bent, i.e. the coffee shop type of evolutionist/atheist who never bothered to learn about more than Darwin, are acting like someone shot the easter bunny (or insert the equivalent atheist icon here...oh, heck...Richard Dawkins).

Well, evolutionists should consider, if they are honest, that no matter how strong their evidence is, it cannot entirely discount the existence and influence of an all-seeing, all-knowing, all powerful force who works in mysterious ways.

In the end it's the most subjective of decisions. I can't believe thoughtful people are willing to tear others down for the personal choice, but here we are. Honestly neither a confirmed believer or skeptic is qualified to answer the question of God's existence scientifically. Both have admitted a bias, and thus their untrustworthiness, before they even start.

But the answer the evolutionist is looking for is this simple: Belief in God is irrantional. You believe in God, thus you are irrational. God Doesn't exist, ergo you are dumb. God is dumb. I don't believe in god, so I am smart. Get another latte frappe, rinse and repeat.

For the creationist it's even simpler: You don't believe in God you're going to hell.

Anonymous Anonymous April 20, 2013 9:27 PM  

@map

Say for example the same species are separated geographically and hence different selection pressures commence. Then each will have different available variants prevailing due to selection and mutation. Suppose then those 2 variants breed with each other. But then the intermediary are not as well adapted to either of the 2 environments. Intermediaries are thus eliminated and somewhere down the line from mutation and selection eventually evolve reproductive isolation mechanisms or continue to be separated by selection.

Anonymous dh April 20, 2013 10:21 PM  

It's the sort of tension created by idiots who relied on Darwin as a stick to beat Christians with in the intellectual arena. So much has been invested in Darwin - not just evolutionary theory generally, but Darwin specifically - that, even when he was obviously wrong, it's regarded as blasphemy to actually say he was wrong. At this point, too many eggs are in the Darwin basket for it to be thrown out easily, much less gracefully.

This is exactly it. There is no reason to proclaim that Darwin's theory is so rock-ribbed solid, unless you are a liar or trying push an agenda. It is not unscientific or even incompatible with atheism to simply say that we do not have a proper scientific model of how speciation occurs.

Making this statement is God-neutral. And that's the problem. It does not confirm or deny anything, and that's a problem to a lot of supposedly scientific minds.

Anonymous robert April 20, 2013 10:26 PM  

@dh correct, too many eggs in the Dawkins Darwin basket.

Frankly the critical minded person should be astounded that Darwin is still taught in schools, out moded and irrelevant as he has become in the last 10 years of genetics.

Time to make an omelet.

Blogger Ddog April 21, 2013 12:05 PM  

Good grief! "A. Man" can not logically follow a thread of thought. All quotes, vocabulary and syntax, but no ability to stay on point in a cohesive passage. How does someone learn facts but cannot construct an argument? He simply goes off pint and proclaims some random point of his pet prejudice. Is this what passes for intellectual ability and rigor in many academic circles now?

Anonymous map April 21, 2013 5:50 PM  

Fergus Mason -

"No it doesn't. It implies that parents will give birth to children who are almost, but not QUITE, identical to them. If you're genuinely confused about this I can explain it more clearly, but if you're just regurgitating a creationist lie I won't waste my time."

We can already observe that parents give birth to children that are phenotypically different from themselves. This does not change the fact that the children are still genotyipcally the same as the parents as well as any other group of humans that are contemporaries of that generation of parents.

This is what speciation is all about. The base distinction between species is the inability of its members to crossbreed with member of another species.

Remember, Darwinism is about how anew species comes into existence. The argument suggested is that parents will eventually give birth to offspring that are genotypically different from the parents. How this is possible is never explained.


Anonymous map April 21, 2013 5:57 PM  

Anonymous -

"Say for example the same species are separated geographically and hence different selection pressures commence. Then each will have different available variants prevailing due to selection and mutation. Suppose then those 2 variants breed with each other. But then the intermediary are not as well adapted to either of the 2 environments. Intermediaries are thus eliminated and somewhere down the line from mutation and selection eventually evolve reproductive isolation mechanisms or continue to be separated by selection."

But, again, this geographical isolation does not imply speciation will occur. An isolated population may still be expressing unique phenotypic difference due to selection and perpetuation of recessive traits (remember Mendelian genetics.) But, if this isolated population is introduced to a larger, less isolated one, then those traits will be subsumed. Why? Because they are still the same species.

This is Darwin's false interpretation of the Galapagos Island finches. He was looking at the wide variety of phenotypes and assumed that these were all different species, when they were not.

Consider my question this way: how many generations of drosophila would you need to breed before a new species comes into existence?

Anonymous Anonymous April 23, 2013 12:07 AM  

more evolved? Is wheat more evolved that humans because wheat has more genes? the question is of better adapted, not more evolved.

some races of humans have a kind of outbreeding depression when they hybridize. horses and donkeys make mules, which are usually sterile.

how much longer would africans have needed to evolve in isolation from europeans before mulattoes would have been usually sterile?

Anonymous MikeM August 16, 2014 5:54 PM  

Characterisitcs that are picked up from the progenitors have zero to do with any kind of evolution, at all. Characteristics such as the well known gloominess of some Welch is well attested. This is a characteristic and not an evolutionary trait.
Isolated gene pools actually have less genetice information than others that have interbred. I cite poodles versus mastiffs. Isolated gene pools in animals have produced less successful variants than mutts, for instance. This is not evolution, it is Mendelian genetics.

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