Gun Control!

I don’t think this is an appropriate subject for this blog (although Barry Arrington and KF found it quite suitable for UD).  However, it interests me and I have written a small piece on my own blog. So I thought I would take the opportunity to advertise it here.

[Comments closed for this topic.  Please comment at Mark’s blog (link above). – Neil Rickert]

I assume most here are atheistic materialists

Michael Todd has joined our discussion, and makes the assumption in the title of this thread.  Michael introduced himself with “Greetings all. I’m new here. I’m also a Christian.”

Here’s the rest of what Michael said in that comment:

I assume most here are atheistic materialists. Fine. However, the dilemma is yours. Why? Glad you asked. Materialistic determinism. Everything that happens, according to the necessary tenets of your creed, is a result of the properties inherent in matter. This would include all of your mental life – personality, memory, and perceptions. This would mean that all of your assertions are nothing more than expressions of an unrelenting matter/energy cascade.

The discussion started by Michael will be moved to this new thread.

On Paul Nelson on macro-evolution

Paul Nelson has argued against macro-evolution, and I sense that some folk here want to discuss it.  So here’s a thread where we can do that without taking other threads off-topic.

First, some references.  There are three UD threads on this:

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Why Mung is an ID supporter

In the tradition of offering threads to our visitors from Uncommon Descent (Gil Dodgen, Upright BiPed, gpuccio and others), I’m creating a thread in which Mung can explain why he is an ID supporter.

Mung continually complains that we misrepresent ID at TSZ.  Here’s his chance to set the record straight, to tell us what ID really is, and to explain why he thinks the case for ID is strong.

Take it away, Mung.

(Thanks to OMTWO for the suggestion.)

Things That IDers Don’t Understand, Part 2a – Evolution is not stranded on ‘islands of function’

Intelligent design proponents make a negative argument for design.  According to them, the complexity and diversity of life cannot be accounted for by unguided evolution (henceforth referred to simply as ‘evolution’) or any other mindless natural process.  If it can’t be accounted for by evolution, they say, then we must invoke design. (Design, after all, can explain anything.  That makes it easy to invoke, but hard to invoke persuasively.)

Because the ID argument is a negative one, it succeeds only if ID proponents can demonstrate that certain instances of biological complexity are beyond the reach of natural processes, including evolution.  The problem, as even IDers concede, is that the evidence for evolution is too strong to dismiss out of hand. Their strategy has therefore been to concede that evolution can effect small changes (‘microevolution’), but to deny that those small changes can accumulate to produce complex adaptations (‘macroevolution’).

What mysterious barrier do IDers think prevents microevolutionary change from accumulating until it becomes macroevolution?  It’s the deep blue sea, metaphorically speaking.  IDers contend that life occupies ‘islands of function’ separated by seas too broad to be bridged by evolution.

In this post (part 2a) I’ll explain the ‘islands of function’ metaphor and invite commenters to point out its strengths and weaknesses.  In part 2b I’ll explain why the ID interpretation of the metaphor is wrong, and why evolution is not stuck on ‘islands of function’.

Read on for an explanation of the metaphor.

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