The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#41  Postby Jonathan McLatchie » Sep 16, 2013 1:00 am

@Rumraket,

I would dispute this claim. But evolution by natural selection doesn't really offer much help in explaining the chemical origins of life. So it's not a contender for the best explanation in any case.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#42  Postby Rumraket » Sep 16, 2013 1:05 am

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:@Rumraket,

I would dispute this claim.

Really? How can you? You'd have to deny all three mechanisms of evolution, mutations, drift and natural selection.

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:But evolution by natural selection doesn't really offer much help in explaining the chemical origins of life. So it's not a contender for the best explanation in any case.

But in that case your "hallmark of design" merely amounts to an argument from ignorance. Until we've found out how life began, you're going to assume it was designed.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#43  Postby Jonathan McLatchie » Sep 16, 2013 1:26 am

Of course I don't deny the mechanisms of mutation, selection and drift. But I don't think they are adequate to account for significant biological innovations.

ID is not, contrary to your claim, an "argument from ignorance". I show why this claim is mistaken here:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/01/wh ... 68151.html
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#44  Postby Onyx8 » Sep 16, 2013 1:27 am

So Jonathan McLatchie, you accept common descent but you also claim that Adam and Eve were real, historical people who were the first humans as required by your faith in Christianity with the fall and redemption etc. When do you suppose they existed?
The problem with fantasies is you can't really insist that everyone else believes in yours, the other problem with fantasies is that most believers of fantasies eventually get around to doing exactly that.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#45  Postby Jonathan McLatchie » Sep 16, 2013 1:33 am

@OnyxB,

Theologically I think the historical existence of Adam and Eve (from whom all modern humans are descended) is important. But I don't take a position on when they existed. I don't generally get into "creation apologetics". Not my field.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#46  Postby Onyx8 » Sep 16, 2013 1:36 am

But you accept common descent. The two positions are mutually exclusive, no?
The problem with fantasies is you can't really insist that everyone else believes in yours, the other problem with fantasies is that most believers of fantasies eventually get around to doing exactly that.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#47  Postby Jonathan McLatchie » Sep 16, 2013 1:54 am

@Onyx8,

No, I don't think so necessarily.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#48  Postby Onyx8 » Sep 16, 2013 1:59 am

How so?
The problem with fantasies is you can't really insist that everyone else believes in yours, the other problem with fantasies is that most believers of fantasies eventually get around to doing exactly that.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#49  Postby THWOTH » Sep 16, 2013 2:29 am

Hiya Jonathan, welcome to the forum.

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:@Rumraket,

Such as the digitally-encoded information intrinsic to the hereditary molecules of DNA and RNA. In every other realm of experience, complex and specified information uniformly traces its origin back to an intelligent source.

How might such a 'source' evolve to the necessary level of complexity to determine and encode the information in DNA/RNA - let alone create a complex and evolving substrate in which such information could consist?

Invoking an intelligent, intentioning and creatively potent agency appears indistinguishable from a wishful fiction in the face of the far more parsimonious, not to mention empirically rigorous and epistemologically secured, explanations afforded by our current understanding.

Is the ID project not simply a ideological exercise in which the trappings of science are employed in order to undermine the credibility of the scientific method's usefulness as an explanatory mechanism in a specific area of scientific discourse (to wit; the area of discourse which impacts on origins) and by so doing also attempts to shift the burden of evidence that would otherwise justify magical claims? Is the ID project not just another way of creating a gap or niche in which the epistemologically bankrupt mechanism of Faith can be imbued with a veneer of (automatic or default) credence and credulity?

In other words, the ID project necessarily proceeds from Faith, rather than arriving at its conclusions by doggedly following reason wherever it might lead, and it is knowing where the ID project will and must lead that renders the whole endeavour theology, not science.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#50  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 16, 2013 2:38 am

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:I find the evidence for design in biology compelling, and that is what is important as far as I'm concerned.


In other words, you find that your subjective impressions of design are compelling. Just say no more, Jonathan. What sort of response will you find otherwise compelling? You don't say, do you?

Discursive negligence is given short shrift around here.

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:But I don't take a position on when they existed. I don't generally get into "creation apologetics". Not my field.


That they existed is the essential theological tidbit, whereas biology tends to focus on the common ancestor (singular). There is some philosophy wrapped up in the requirement for a breeding pair, presumably of 'human' properties, and it is spelled out 'd-e-s-i-g-n', which you do own. Philosophically, which is what this problem is for you, it's a chicken-egg problem. I would instead expect the biologists to be talking about the common ancestor for a particular allele, or something like that.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#51  Postby Shrunk » Sep 16, 2013 10:59 am

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:@Shrunk,

Regarding the claim that the concept of specified complexity is meaningless, I suggest you read my blog post here:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/08/tw ... 75771.html


Ah, so according to that "specified complexity" simply means "did not arrive by chance". And since you admit that evolution is not a purely chance process, then it is perfectly capable of producing SCI without involving intelligence at all.

So maybe you should explain that to your fellow ID creationists, who keep saying SCI can only arise thru intelligence.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#52  Postby trubble76 » Sep 16, 2013 11:02 am

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:Of course I don't deny the mechanisms of mutation, selection and drift. But I don't think they are adequate to account for significant biological innovations.

ID is not, contrary to your claim, an "argument from ignorance". I show why this claim is mistaken here:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/01/wh ... 68151.html


If you don't think they are adequate, you must have some reasons to think that, yes? Does this mean that you have seen some biological innovations which cannot be explained by those mechanisms? Would you care to share? If your reasons are compelling, then you will only have to write a paper about it and you will earn yourself fame and fortune (well maybe not the fortune) while also helping mankind advance it's knowledge. it would be a win-win situation.

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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#53  Postby Shrunk » Sep 16, 2013 11:07 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
Jonathan McLatchie wrote:I find the evidence for design in biology compelling, and that is what is important as far as I'm concerned.


In other words, you find that your subjective impressions of design are compelling. Just say no more, Jonathan. What sort of response will you find otherwise compelling? You don't say, do you?

Discursive negligence is given short shrift around here.

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:But I don't take a position on when they existed. I don't generally get into "creation apologetics". Not my field.


That they existed is the essential theological tidbit, whereas biology tends to focus on the common ancestor (singular). There is some philosophy wrapped up in the requirement for a breeding pair, presumably of 'human' properties, and it is spelled out 'd-e-s-i-g-n', which you do own. Philosophically, which is what this problem is for you, it's a chicken-egg problem. I would instead expect the biologists to be talking about the common ancestor for a particular allele, or something like that.


My main point, of course, is that the Adam and Eve article demonstrates that Jonathan was inaccurate when he denied that he "attempt(s) to read scientific data through the lens of a particular interpretation of Scripture." Now, this could be because he lied, or it could be because he simply cannot remember the things he has written himself. Perhaps he would be so kind as to clarify which it is.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#54  Postby THWOTH » Sep 16, 2013 11:19 am

Indeed. :coffee:
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#55  Postby Shrunk » Sep 16, 2013 11:42 am

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:Of course I don't deny the mechanisms of mutation, selection and drift. But I don't think they are adequate to account for significant biological innovations.

ID is not, contrary to your claim, an "argument from ignorance". I show why this claim is mistaken here:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/01/wh ... 68151.html


That argument only confirms ID creationism as a god of the gaps argument.
What you essentially write there is "Some things exist that exhibit specified complexity. And I can't think of any way that specified complex things can exist, unless God made them. Oops! I should say, unless they were 'intelligently designed'."

The gap is your ignorance over anything else that could cause "specifed complexity." Evolution happens to fill that gap quite nicely. But your religion won't allow you to accept that. Just as it won't let you accept that your earliest human ancestors might not have been named "Adam" and "Eve".
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#56  Postby Shrunk » Sep 16, 2013 1:16 pm

Onyx8 wrote:How so?


He can take the Michael Behe approach, which is to accept common ancestry and some role for non-directed change in alleles frequency over time. However, Behe believes that there are certain events that can only occur with the intervention of God. That includes speciation and mutations that result in structures that he calls "irreducibly complex."
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#57  Postby Shrunk » Sep 16, 2013 2:15 pm

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:I dispute the power of selection, mutation, drift, etc, to craft fundamentally new genes and proteins.


Actually, no, you don't dispute it. From your own article:

A further complication with the proposed hypothesis is that some exons are absent from the GULO pseudogene, and it's not entirely clear to me how they could be created by RNA editing. While my original hypothesis is probably incorrect with respect to this particular pseudogene, it remains possible that the human GULO pseudogene yields RNAs that perform some other function in the cell.


BTW, why does that article still contain this blatant inaccuracy, which has been brought to your attention several times:

I had consulted the Ensembl Genome Database regarding the GULO pseudogene in humans, and that database reported that it produces a transcript but no known protein product.


The database does not say GULO produces a transcript. You misunderstood the database, because you did not know how you use it until you were educated about this on your Facebook page, by people whom you subsequently banned and whose posts were deleted.
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#58  Postby Rumraket » Sep 16, 2013 2:15 pm

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:Of course I don't deny the mechanisms of mutation, selection and drift. But I don't think they are adequate to account for significant biological innovations.

Well, first of all it's not at all clear what you mean by "significant" or "innovation" in this context.

But since we were talking about the amount of "CSI" in gene-sequences, you'd have to deny mutation, selection and drift in order to consistently support the claim that evolution can't produce them. That, or you have to posit there's some mysterious hitherto unobserved barrier that prevents the accumulation of mutations through drift and selection. Good luck with that.

This is essentially a variation of the micro-but-not-macro-evolution argument that young earth creationists use. A ridiculous argument that amounts to the proposition that it's possible to have steps but never a staircase, or that pennies can never add up to a dollar.

If, as you have already functionally conceded when you don't deny mutation, drift and selection, evolution CAN actually produce "complex specified information", just not in any "significant" degree, how could that claim even make sense? If it can produce a little, why can't it simply produce more given more time? No doubt you have some math here right?

Would you care to take a stab at calculating the amount of "complex specified information" in some given arbitrary sequence of protein coding DNA and then tell me why evolution can't produce it?

Jonathan McLatchie wrote:ID is not, contrary to your claim, an "argument from ignorance". I show why this claim is mistaken here:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/01/wh ... 68151.html

Uhm, sure it is. It rests intrinsically on the idea that evolution has not been directly observed producing your "significant" degree of "complex and sequence-specific information". Presumably, had we directly observed it doing so, you would not be making the argument? (I hope, for your sanity's sake).

So, it IS an argument from ignorance. You just don't explicitly state it, nevertheless your case amounts to it.

You write:
"In all of our experience of cause and effect, we know that complex and sequence-specific information, when it is traced back to its source, uniformly originates with an intelligent cause."
Well, actually, we don't know that. You're assuming what you're trying to prove. Since you've already conceded evolution can produce it (when you accept mutation, drift and selection), you're even contradicting yourself. The key point is that you seem to be saying it can't produce "enough" of it to match what we observe. Which means we're back to the mysterious "barrier" type argument creationists use against macroevolution when they "accept" microevolution.

So, say I postulate mutations can accumulate in a gene, and fundamentally change the protein coding sequence, leading either to new structure, new sequence and/or new function, you would respond that it can NOT do this, right? So my question then is, where does it stop? Supposing, as you must, that genes DO mutate, that selection DOES retain them, and that drift CAN fix deleterious and nearly-neutral alleles in populations, where does the mysterious barrier suddenly drop in and prevent evolution into fundamentally new genes?
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#59  Postby trubble76 » Sep 16, 2013 2:22 pm

I believe the current terminology is "lol pwnt!!11!"
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Re: The most shocking thing a creationist has ever done!

#60  Postby Shrunk » Sep 16, 2013 2:49 pm

Never mind the well-known incident in which Ann Gauger, a member of Jonathan's "research community (sic)," admitted to observing evolutionary processes produce a "significant biological innovation" in her own lab:

Gunther Wagner congratulated Dr. Gauger on doing some great experimental work, but noted some logical inconsistencies in inference. The first is a phylogenetic comparative issue; it is necessary to know the ancestral state of the two proteins. If you are dealing with two proteins each derived separately from a common ancestor, then the experiment involves a minimum of two steps, backwards to the ancestral condition and then forwards to the alternative derived condition. It seems unlikely that you would be able to do that experimentally, especially if you have no idea of the environmental conditions under which the evolutionary diversification took place, and no idea if there were any intermediate forms that no longer survive. In response, Gauger admitted that the two proteins she studied are quite old and that studies of enzymes that are more recently diverged from each other report a lot of functional co-option, but only on a small scale.

She was then prompted by one of her colleagues to regale us with some new experimental finds. She gave what amounted to a second presentation, during which she discussed “leaky growth,” in microbial colonies at high densities, leading to horizontal transfer of genetic information, and announced that under such conditions she had actually found a novel variant that seemed to lead to enhanced colony growth. Gunther Wagner said, “So, a beneficial mutation happened right in your lab?” at which point the moderator halted questioning. We shuffled off for a coffee break with the admission hanging in the air that natural processes could not only produce new information, they could produce beneficial new information.
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