Natural Selection- What is it and what does it do?

Well let’s look at what natural selection is-

 “Natural selection is the result of differences in survival and reproduction among individuals of a population that vary in one or more heritable traits.” Page 11 “Biology: Concepts and Applications” Starr fifth edition

“Natural selection is the simple result of variation, differential reproduction, and heredity—it is mindless and mechanistic.” UBerkley

“Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view.” Dawkins in “The Blind Watchmaker”?

“Natural selection is therefore a result of three processes, as first described by Darwin:

Variation
Inheritance
Fecundity

which together result in non-random, unequal survival and reproduction of individuals, which results in changes in the phenotypes present in populations of organisms over time.”- Allen McNeill prof. introductory biology and evolution at Cornell University

OK so it is a result of three processes- ie an output. But is it really non-random as Allen said? Nope, whatever survives to reproduce survives to reproduce. And that can be any number of variations taht exist in a population.

What drives the output? The inputs.

The variation is said to be random, ie genetic accidents/ mistakes.

With sexually reproducing organisms it is still a crap-shoot as to what gets inherited. For example if a male gets a beneficial variation to his Y chromosome but sires all daughters, that beneficial variation gets lost no matter how many offspring he has.

Fecundity/ differential reproduction- Don’t know until it happens.

Can’t tell what variation will occur. Can’t tell if any of the offspring will inherit even the most beneficial variation and the only way to determine differential reproduction is follow the individuals for their entire reproducing age.

Then there can be competing “beneficial” variations.

In the end it all boils down to whatever survives to reproduce, survives to reproduce.

Evolutionists love to pretend that natural selection is some magical ratchet.

So what does it do?

The Origin of Theoretical Population Genetics (University of Chicago Press, 1971), reissued in 2001 by William Provine:

Natural selection does not act on anything, nor does it select (for or against), force, maximize, create, modify, shape, operate, drive, favor, maintain, push, or adjust. Natural selection does nothing….Having natural selection select is nifty because it excuses the necessity of talking about the actual causation of natural selection. Such talk was excusable for Charles Darwin, but inexcusable for evolutionists now. Creationists have discovered our empty “natural selection” language, and the “actions” of natural selection make huge, vulnerable targets. (pp. 199-200)

Thanks for the honesty Will.

Chapter IV of prominent geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti’s book Why is a Fly Not a Horse? is titled “Wobbling Stability”. In that chapter he discusses what I have been talking about in other threads- that populations oscillate. The following is what he has to say which is based on thorough scientific investigation:

Sexuality has brought joy to the world, to the world of the wild beasts, and to the world of flowers, but it has brought an end to evolution. In the lineages of living beings, whenever absent-minded Venus has taken the upper hand, forms have forgotten to make progress. It is only the husbandman that has improved strains, and he has done so by bullying, enslaving, and segregating. All these methods, of course, have made for sad, alienated animals, but they have not resulted in new species. Left to themselves, domesticated breeds would either die out or revert to the wild state—scarcely a commendable model for nature’s progress.

(snip a few paragraphs on peppered moths)

Natural Selection, which indeed occurs in nature (as Bishop Wilberforce, too, was perfectly aware), mainly has the effect of maintaining equilibrium and stability. It eliminates all those that dare depart from the type—the eccentrics and the adventurers and the marginal sort. It is ever adjusting populations, but it does so in each case by bringing them back to the norm. We read in the textbooks that, when environmental conditions change, the selection process may produce a shift in a population’s mean values, by a process known as adaptation. If the climate turns very cold, the cold-adapted beings are favored relative to others.; if it becomes windy, the wind blows away those that are most exposed; if an illness breaks out, those in questionable health will be lost. But all these artful guiles serve their purpose only until the clouds blow away. The species, in fact, is an organic entity, a typical form, which may deviate only to return to the furrow of its destiny; it may wander from the band only to find its proper place by returning to the gang.

Everything that disassembles, upsets proportions or becomes distorted in any way is sooner or later brought back to the type. There has been a tendency to confuse fleeting adjustments with grand destinies, minor shrewdness with signs of the times.

It is true that species may lose something on the way—the mole its eyes, say, and the succulent plant its leaves, never to recover them again. But here we are dealing with unhappy, mutilated species, at the margins of their area of distribution—the extreme and the specialized. These are species with no future; they are not pioneers, but prisoners in nature’s penitentiary.

Not such a powerful designer mimic after all.

But there is one thing it can do- it can undo what artificial selection has done.

557 thoughts on “Natural Selection- What is it and what does it do?

  1. LoL! All you can do is spell “science”- you sure as hell don’t know a damn thing about it.

    And thanks for agreeing that you are willfully ignorant- although I didn’t need it as your posts speak for themselves.

  2. William J. Murray: I have been observing ID/creationism since nearly the beginning of its formal attack on science ….
    IDists and creationists aren’t attacking science. They’re attacking materialism. The two are not the same.

    You apparently think most people are really stupid and were born only yesterday.

    Clearly you have no perspective on the history of ID/creationism before Kitzmiller v. Dover. Besides your complete, willful ignorance of science, you remain either willfully ignorant of the constant evolving tactics of the ID/creationist movement, or you really think your amateurish pseudo-philosophical arguments about “materialism” bamboozle everyone.

    As a series of court cases have demonstrated repeatedly, there is no ID/creationist science; there never was, and there never will be. Sectarian pseudo-philosophy is just the latest tactic in the ID/creationist’s war to discredit science and scientists. It is one of ID/creationism’s latest attempts to bamboozle school boards and judges in order to get around the courts and the law.

  3. You apparently think most people are really stupid and were born only yesterday.

    No, just most materialists.

    Clearly you have no perspective on the history of ID/creationism before Kitzmiller v. Dover.

    Yes, teleology in nature was discussed thousands of years ago.

    As for our tactics- LoL! all we are doing is asking YOU to support the claims of your position. But you can’t so you prattle on as if your raw spewage is some sort of refutation.

    Also only the small minded could even think that what is and isn’t science can be decided in a Courtroom.

    But anyway Mike, why don’t YOU lead by example? Show us this alleged science of materialism. Give us some testable hypotheses it generates.

  4. Joe G,

    Joe G: “As for our tactics- LoL! all we are doing is asking YOU to support the claims of your position. But you can’t so you prattle on as if your raw spewage is some sort of refutation.”

    But you and the ID community don’t have a position yourselves!

    What argument do you have that isn’t an argument knocking evolution?

    Show it to us.

  5. LoL! Again with the wilfull ignorance as if that means something.

    1- IDists have stated the positive ID position

    2- ID does NOT knock evolution

  6. The criteria for inferring design in biology is, as Michael J. Behe, Professor of Biochemistry at Leheigh University, puts it in his book Darwin ‘ s Black Box: “Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.”

    He goes on to say:
    ” Might there be some as-yet-undiscovered natural process that would explain biochemical complexity? No one would be foolish enough to categorically deny the possibility. Nonetheless, we can say that if there is such a process, no one has a clue how it would work. Further, it would go against all human experience, like postulating that a natural process might explain computers.”

  7. Joe is right! ID says, positively, that someone somehow sometime in the past or maybe the present is doing something undefined by means unknown and unknowable, but which are clearly deliberate and intentional because ID says so. And it doesn’t knock evolution, it just attacks it, denies it, misrepresents it, distorts it, lies about it, denigrates it, and works hard to redefine or remove it in schools. But knock it? Why, of course not.

  8. LoL! Nice unsupposrtable spewage:

    David Berlinski once said that the “theory” of evolution is too vague to be considered a theory. Why would he say such a thing?

    Well, when you get down to it, all the “theory” says is:

    Somehow, some things happened at some point in time, kept happening and keep happening to make things the way they are now.

    Sure, it has a nice narrative- “Long ago, in a warm pond not so far away, the first living organisms were busy trying to survive the violent, early earth.” But that is about it.

    What else would you expect from a “theory” that would be falsified by finding a pre-cambrian rabbit- meaning not by any actual scientific research program?

  9. same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components

    Like the weather. Meets every one of Behe’s requirements, and indeed there have been many weather gods.

    Might there be some as-yet-undiscovered natural process that would explain biochemical complexity?

    Again, Behe is right. It’s always possible that the natural processes that HAVE been discovered, and found to fully, completely, and satisfactorily explain that complexity are all wrong. As are all the simulations ratifying it, all the experiments testing it, all the observations supporting it. But I’m as doubtful as Behe that such an undiscovered process will ever be found, or even looked for. Certainly Behe isn’t looking and never has!

  10. Joe G:
    LoL! Nice unsupposrtable spewage:

    David Berlinski once said that the “theory” of evolution is too vague to be considered a theory. Why would he say such a thing?

    Well, when you get down to it, all the “theory” says is:

    Sure, it has a nice narrative- “Long ago, in a warm pond not so far away, the first living organisms were busy trying to survive the violent, early earth.” But that is about it.

    What else would you expect from a “theory” that would be falsified by finding a pre-cambrian rabbit- meaning not by any actual scientific research program?

    Uh, Joe, this is NOT a positive argument for ID. This is nothing but a knock on evolution. Care to try again, but after THINKING first? Take your time. Look up the concept if you need to.

  11. No, the weather doesn’t meet Behe’s criteria. He was talking about BIOLOGY.

    And no “natural” process- ie necessity and chance- has been discovered to be able to produce a flagellum. All that has been discovered doesn’t amount to much of anything- slight changes, nothing more.

  12. Duh Flint, I was responding to your nonsense. I was not trying to make a positive case for ID in that response. I made it already, many times over, including what Behe said, duh.

    OTOH your position still has nothing.

  13. oops, my bad- your position does have promissory notes- “someday we will have the answers! someday I tell you!”

  14. Joe G:
    ID is not anti-evolution.

    I just love statements like this. The pope is NOT anti-abortion. The sun does NOT shine during the day.

    I’m reminded of Molly Ivins’ definition of a Military Denier – someone who can look you straight in the eye, tell you you’re not there, and sincerely believe it. Joe has that special ability.

  15. Thank you for continuing to prove that you are an ignorant ass.

    Just how are you defining “evolution” that would make ID anti-evolution?

    ID is OK with a change in allele frequency over time- ie evolution

    ID is OK with descent with modification, ie evolution

    Behe, an IDist is OK with universal common descent, ie evolution.

    So obvioulsy you are just ignorant or dishonest.

  16. Intelligent Design is NOT Creationism
    (MAY 2000)

    Scott refers to me as an intelligent design “creationist,” even though I clearly write in my book Darwin’s Black Box (which Scott cites) that I am not a creationist and have no reason to doubt common descent. In fact, my own views fit quite comfortably with the 40% of scientists that Scott acknowledges think “evolution occurred, but was guided by God.”- Dr Michael Behe

    Dr Behe has repeatedly confirmed he is OK with common ancestry. And he has repeatedly made it clear that ID is an argument against materialistic evolution (see below), ie necessity and chance.

    Next Dembski and Wells weigh in:

    The theory of intelligent design (ID) neither requires nor excludes speciation- even speciation by Darwinian mechanisms. ID is sometimes confused with a static view of species, as though species were designed to be immutable. This is a conceptual possibility within ID, but it is not the only possibility. ID precludes neither significant variation within species nor the evolution of new species from earlier forms. Rather, it maintains that there are strict limits to the amount and quality of variations that material mechanisms such as natural selection and random genetic change can alone produce. At the same time, it holds that intelligence is fully capable of supplementing such mechanisms, interacting and influencing the material world, and thereby guiding it into certain physical states to the exclusion of others. To effect such guidance, intelligence must bring novel information to expression inside living forms. Exactly how this happens remains for now an open question, to be answered on the basis of scientific evidence. The point to note, however, is that intelligence can itself be a source of biological novelties that lead to macroevolutionary changes. In this way intelligent design is compatible with speciation. page 109 of “The Design of Life”

    and

    And that brings us to a true either-or. If the choice between common design and common ancestry is a false either-or, the choice between intelligent design and materialistic evolution is a true either-or. Materialistic evolution does not only embrace common ancestry; it also rejects any real design in the evolutionary process. Intelligent design, by contrast, contends that biological design is real and empirically detectable regardless of whether it occurs within an evolutionary process or in discrete independent stages. The verdict is not yet in, and proponents of intelligent design themselves hold differing views on the extent of the evolutionary interconnectedness of organisms, with some even accepting universal common ancestry (ie Darwin’s great tree of life).
    Common ancestry in combination with common design can explain the similar features that arise in biology. The real question is whether common ancestry apart from common design- in other words, materialistic evolution- can do so. The evidence of biology increasingly demonstrates that it cannot.- Ibid page 142

    And from one more pro-ID book:

    Many assume that if common ancestry is true, then the only viable scientific position is Darwinian evolution- in which all organisms are descended from a common ancestor via random mutation and blind selection. Such an assumption is incorrect- Intelligent Design is not necessarily incompatible with common ancestry.- page 217 of “Intelligent Design 101”

  17. It was said of Napoleon that he became such a skilled liar that one couldn’t even rely on the opposite of what he said. Joe is, sadly, no Napoleon. The opposite of what he says is dead-nuts correct without exception, in every post. You can set your watch by it.

    But let’s keep up the fun stuff.
    There is NO evidence for evolution.
    All of those textbooks are all wrong
    All of that research is invariably misunderstood
    The “scientists” who have done NO research in support of their claims are the most reliable.
    There IS positive evidence for ID, but it’s found elsewhere!
    Keep the good stuff coming, Joe. Extend yourself, lest your comic relief run thin.

  18. You are psycho-liar, Flint.

    There is NO evidence for evolution.

    I never said that. Obviously you have some deep personal issues. And I provided the positive evidence for ID. YOU tried to change it to some stupid weather thing.

  19. Joe G mocks

    But anyway Mike, why don’t YOU lead by example? Show us this alleged science of materialism. Give us some testable hypotheses it generates.

    Nobody here is going to waste time trying to teach you anything. You already think you know everything. You will get no free handouts from me.

    I think everyone here has a clear picture of your tactics and your attitudes. Every insult and sucker punch you attempt to inflict on others, every name you call others, and everything of which you accuse others is simply a projection of your own inner demons. You’ve made that pretty clear to everyone.

    But you make a good case study of what abject ignorance can do to a person. Do you remember how you gloated about melting water? You really thought that was an insult, didn’t you; a really satisfying gotcha for you, wasn’t it. We let it stand – along with all the many other insults you have made – and watched to see if you would learn anything. You didn’t.

    Well, take a look at page 36 of the California science standards, under “The Structure of Matter.”

    Eighth graders know things you don’t; including the fact that elements and compounds can exist in different states. And they are always called by their elemental or compound names when their melting points and boiling points are given. Here is an example.

    Notice that iron is not called water when it melts. Lead is not called water when it melts. Nothing, except water, in that table is called water when it melts. Water is the common name of a compound made up of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. Children know this; you don’t

    In fact, many elements and compounds can exist in all three states simultaneously. For example, the triple point of water occurs at – 38.8344 Celsius and at a pressure of 0.2 mPa. It is still called water. These are basic vocabulary and basic elementary facts. Children know this; you don’t.

    This is but one small example of the many ways you betray your ignorance. That you do not have even an eighth grade education in science is glaringly obvious. Whether that is the source of all your hatred and anger is not particularly relevant. But the fact that your entire demeanor here, whether it be a persona or it is really what you are, reveals more about you than you can possibly know.

    Attempting to be an obnoxious bully doesn’t hide your ignorance; but you don’t seem to care. That’s pretty bad. And it’s getting really boring.

  20. It is too fucking bad that people like Flint, Creodolt, Thorton, Mike Smellyfinga, Rich, olegt- well any of the evo posters here, will never be a witness for the evolutionary position in any given trial.

    That would be something worth paying to see…

  21. LoL! Nice bluff Mike. If you can’t support your tripe just say so. No need to act like a cry-baby coward.

    And water does not melt Mike. Ice does. Steam doesn’t.

    If water melts, Mike, what does it become when it melts?

    And YOU are the bully, except you are nothing but an intellectual coward.

  22. Joe G mocks:

    If water melts, Mike, what does it become when it melts?

    What is lead called when it melts? What is iron called?

    You didn’t even look at that table and the footnotes, did you. You just had to get in another insult and sucker punch.

    Do you have any clue about what your behavior is revealing to everyone here?

  23. Like I say, you can rely on the exact opposite of everything Joe says. Problem is, Joe’s arrogant stupidity is too puerile even to serve as a springboard for others to say something interesting, informative, useful, or even particularly intelligent in response.

    Problem is, we see only three flavors of creationists here. Those with enough intelligence to recognize the substance in the arguments they must answer, and to realize they cannot do so intelligently. This flavor (that’s you, Gil) runs back to UD where his assertions are blessed rather than analyzed.

    Second, those who crawl into their navel (hi, WMJ), defending their minds against reality with solipsistic fervor, or who repeat refuted assertions (hello, UB) as though nobody else wrote a word. Discussions rapidly become ships in the night.

    And of course the angry ignorami (that’s you, JoeG) whose conviction that denying evolution will make magic “right” is reflected in his conviction that trying to insult others will make HIM “right”. But talking to Joe is like poking the button on one of those dolls that shits whenever the button is poked. Not real entertaining.

  24. Joe G,

    As long as you have witnesses like Behe on your side, we don’t actually NEED any on ours.

  25. Joe

    Materialism’s “un”holy trinity is father time, mother nature and some unknown process. You have faith that that trinity can explain the universe and all that is in it.

    I have no ‘faith’ in the ability of anything to do anything. Either it can or it can’t; what I might believe about it really does not come into it.

    Faith is a form of worship.

    Is it heck! Carrots are a form of bicycle. Insects are a form of mammal. Confidence is a form of income tax. Faith might move one to worship, but they are hardly synonymous.

    All hail … stuff! (or, since you’ve thus characterised my ‘religion’ on my behalf, all hail … imaginary stuff!).

  26. William J. Murray,

    Allan:That is hardly a massive, unjustifiable leap! A short stroll round UD, ENV, the writings of ID leading lights etc would quickly dispel any notions that they are talking of anything else.

    WJM: You mean, besides the fact that they explicitly deny that to be the case? You are conflation what they say about ID philosophically with what they say about it scientifically. Because some philosophers believed that Darwinism meant that the white races were superior doesn’t mean that was what Darwinism as a scientific theory meant.

    Who explicitly denies that the designer they have in mind is the Creator of their religion? As I say, if any individual does deny that that is the case, I will take that in good faith. But it takes about 10 seconds for the typical UD debate to spin round into something religious. So, yes, ID is not a religious theory per se, regardless of what its adherents may believe in. But I was respoding to your statement:

    So, when the IDists say that Darwinists haven’t shown RM & NS up to the task, the Darwinists are befuddled because … well, what else is there? This is, IMO, why Darwinists so often leap to the conclusion that IDists are referring to god and supernatural agency, [...]

    So, your opinion was that Darwinists leap to that conclusion (that ID-ers mean God) because they (the Darwinists) can’t think of anything else up to the task. MY opinion (as one of said dread Darwinists) is that we leap to that conclusion because they never bloody shut up about religion! I’ve been at UD, and it is a frigging monster task trying to stick to the science!

  27. Who explicitly denies that the designer they have in mind is the Creator of their religion?

    Again, you’re conflating their admitted metaphysical views with what they specifically limit the scientific theory itself to. You are apparently incapable of compartmentalizing arguments about science away from arguments/discussions about metaphysics, which I suggest is a lot of the problem on both sides.

    So, your opinion was that Darwinists leap to that conclusion (that ID-ers mean God) because they (the Darwinists) can’t think of anything else up to the task.

    No. That’s not what I meant at all. Again, this demonstrates the interpretive barrier I’ve mentioned before. To many Darwinists that are arguing from (either known to them or not) metaphysics, natural = everything except the supernatural, so when IDists argue against the “natural” part, there’s nothing left, from the metaphysical materialist point of view, but god.

    So they immediately think the IDist is trying to hide or camouflage a religious argument, and are trying to insert a religious argument into school & science – when they are not. For the materialist, ID can only be a religious position – but, it is not.

    It doesn’t help the confusion that they are also advancing a social agenda, but that confusion isn’t their fault; they are no more required to be silent about their metaphysical interpretation of ID than materialists are required to be silent about their metaphysical interpretation of Darwinism.

  28. You apparently think most people are really stupid and were born only yesterday.

    No. I have a healthy respect for confirmation bias. Nobody is attacking science, they are only attacking the metaphysics that have crept into the policies of the institution of science. Materialism is like the church now (in regards to science, guarding the gates of the materialist paradigm), and Behe, Dembski et al are like Galileo. Ironic.

    Because a judge makes a ruling doesn’t make something true, any more than because a group of Cardinals decree something it makes it true. I’m quite well informed about the history of ID. Most of modern science was invented by IDists, even though they didn’t call themselves that.

    The association of the current ID movement with what we normally term fundamentalist creationism is largely just a convenient political meme, like associating Darwinism with Eugenics or racism.

  29. Joe G:
    It is too fucking bad that people like Flint, Creodolt, Thorton, Mike Smellyfinga, Rich, olegt- well any of the evo posters here, will never be a witness for the evolutionary position in any given trial.

    That would be something worth paying to see…

    Why don’t you file a lawsuit against evolution, evolutionism, materialism, or “Darwinism”, joe? You might as well start at the top and petition the US supreme court to hear the case. Why waste time with lower courts? I’m sure that they would put all other cases aside to hear your brilliant arguments against the evils of those things, and your strongly evidenced case for IDC. LMAO

    You keep saying that you’re going to see to it that evolution, evolutionism, materialism, or “Darwinism” are brought before a court and crushed once and for all. Please do take it to court joe, and please subpoena all of us “evotards” so that you can personally grill us on the witness stand. Tear us to pieces with your rapier wit and your unsurpassed skill at separating the chaff from the grain. Make us admit, under oath, that you and all the other highly accomplished and respected IDC scientists are right about absolutely everything and that we “evotards” are just making shit up so that we can control the world with our materialistic spewage.

    Just think joe, when you’ve exposed the evil, unsupported, materialistic, evolutionistic, “Darwinist” agenda in a court of law, and the whole world sees that you, a lowly toaster fixer and basement tick breeder, have single-handedly destroyed the evil materialistic agenda for all time, you will be supremely famous, and worshiped as the all knowing god, science master, stud-muffin, and war hero you really are. Powerful men will grovel at your feet. Beautiful women will throw themselves at you. Statues will be erected in your honor the world over. Parents will name their kids after you. Talk shows will pay millions to have you as a guest, and newspapers will tout your accomplishments on their front pages for years on end. The internet will be renamed to ‘Joe’s playground’. Cage fighters and grizzly bears will cower when you walk by. ID will be the only subject taught in all schools around the world for all time. Evotardism will be abolished and outlawed and all current evotards will be publically flogged and keel hauled. Numerous books will be published about your fascinating life ,and your countless adoring fans will beg on their knees for your autograph. Babies will swoon when you kiss them. Your popularity will make Einstein and The Beatles look totally insignificant by comparison. Even jesus will be jealous of your popularity. allah will offer you a special suite in muslim heaven along with all the slaves and submissive virgins you could possibly desire, and you won’t even have to die to receive those perks. You’ll want for nothing, and will be revered as the ultimate authority on all matters great and small. All the other gods will get together and agree to extend the life span of the universe indefinitely and will then step down as gods and hand over all universe governing power and magic to you, forever.

    Let me know when you’ve initiated the lawsuit and I’ll tell you my name and address so that service of a subpoena can be done.

  30. If people could be taken on their claims only, no one could be convicted in a court because they would explicitly deny guilt.

    That defense of ID just won’t do.

    I’m separating what ID proponents believe metaphysically, and what they explicitly claim as a matter of the science. If you’re going to dismiss scientific claims due to personally held and argued metaphysics that are in relation to those claims, you’d have to ditch most of our scientific knowledge. because both theists and non-theists make such metaphysical arguments.

  31. Every major ID proponent will tell you that the scientific theory of ID doesn’t refer to god or any supernatural force, but rather something we already know exists – human like intelligent/intentional design. Every one of them.

    Most of them will also be happy to make explicit their philosophical/religious views on what the theory of ID indicates to them in a metaphysical/religious sense. They also aggressively pursue an anti-materialist social agenda and use ID theory as a focus for that.

    Neither of these things – their metaphysical inferences and conclusions personally drawn from ID theory, nor their social activism, are any more a proper part of the debate about the scientific theory of ID (as explicitly proposed) than it would be proper to bring up the materialistic beliefs and social activism of Darwinists in a debate about the scientific theory of neo-Darwinism.

    Dembski, outside of his scientific pursuits, is a religious advocate; Dawkins, outside of his scientific pursuits, is an advocate of anti-theistic materialism. So? Because ID advocates might be religious advocates of a social agenda doesn’t make the theory any more or less valid on its own merits. However, anti-ID advocates IMO have a very hard time assessing the theory on its own merits, because their gaze and their mind is firmly fixed on what they see as a religious threat.

  32. I speak only for myself, but I couldn’t care less what ID proponents believe metaphysically. I do care when they make untrue statements about biology abd ask that untrue statements be included in school curricula.

    I differ somewhat from many evilutionists in thinking that ID should be taught in its historical perspective. I’d like to see Paley taught as a precursor to Darwin, just as Ptolemy is taught as a precursor to Copernicus. I think history of science should be as important as American history.

  33. William J. Murray: No. I have a healthy respect for confirmation bias. Nobody is attacking science, they are only attacking the metaphysics that have crept into the policies of the institution of science. Materialism is like the church now (in regards to science, guarding the gates of the materialist paradigm), and Behe, Dembski et al are like Galileo. Ironic.

    Because a judge makes a ruling doesn’t make something true, any more than because a group of Cardinals decree something it makes it true. I’m quite well informed about the history of ID. Most of modern science was invented by IDists, even though they didn’t call themselves that.

    The association of the current ID movement with what we normally term fundamentalist creationism is largely just a convenient political meme, like associating Darwinism with Eugenics or racism.

    Do you eat material food, or immaterial food? Do you excrete material stool, or immaterial stool? Just wondering.

  34. William J. Murray: I’m separating what ID proponents believe metaphysically, and what they explicitly claim as a matter of the science.If you’re going to dismiss scientific claims due to personally held and argued metaphysics that are in relation to those claims, you’d have to ditch most of our scientific knowledge. because both theists and non-theists make such metaphysical arguments.

    What exactly is “the matter of the science” in ID?

    What “scientific claims” are there in ID, exactly?

  35. Do you eat material food, or immaterial food? Do you excrete material stool, or immaterial stool? Just wondering.

    I don’t deny that a material world exists, but I do not believe that the material world is the limit of what exists. What materialists believe to be all of what exists is a small subset of all of what I believe exists. I think that materialism is the new geocentrism.

  36. What exactly is “the matter of the science” in ID?

    What “scientific claims” are there in ID, exactly?

    Like that hasn’t been explained 10,000 times to no avail.

  37. What exactly is “the matter of the science” in ID?

    What “scientific claims” are there in ID, exactly?

    William J. Murray: Like that hasn’t been explained 10,000 times to no avail.

    It should be no problem for you to repeat those scientific claims or provide an explicit reference to them then.

    Personally I have been following the ID movement for years and have never seen any hypothesis with testable entailments presented by any ID proponent.

  38. The biggest problem with immaterialism is that it asserts the existence of agencies for which there is no evidence. Put simple, ID is a direct intellectual descendant of animism.

    Science departed from the spirit haunted world several centuries ago, and is not likely to return, despite the objections of people who find it offensive to be related to monkeys.

    The assumption that unseeable capricious agents are active in the history of biology is simply not productive. It leads nowhere; it suggests no lines of research.

  39. William J. Murray:
    Every major ID proponent will tell you that the scientific theory of ID doesn’t refer to god or any supernatural force, but rather something we already know exists – human like intelligent/intentional design. Every one of them.

    Of course they will, because they’re trying to perpetuate the lie that ID isn’t totally based on religious beliefs and a dominionist agenda.

    There is no “scientific theory of ID”. That’s what you just don’t get.

    And are you claiming that “the designer” (god) is “human like”? Which human is it like? Charles Manson? Mitt Romney? Einstein? Ted Bundy? A boy scout? Rick Santorum? Charles Darwin? Barack Obama? Jim Jones? Bambi the street corner prostitute? Thomas Edison? The pope? Anne Frank? Sarah Palin? Idi Amin? A little old lady? A ten year old child dying of cancer? Conjoined twins? Osama Bin Laden? Richard Dawkins? joe g? A slaughtered Canaanite? Hitler? A new born baby? A stillborn baby? Me? You?

  40. Patrick,

    YOUR position cannot produce a testable hypothesis nor any positive evidence.

    Perhaps YOU should start with that si we will know what you will accept.

  41. LoL! Water does not melt Mike.

    Ice melts, water does not. Water is a liquid, Mike.

    And Mike ALL you do is insult and throw sucker punches. It is obvious that you cannot suport materialism.

  42. Nice projection.

    Unfortunately your position doesn’t have anything to do with science.

    If it did you would be presenting its science…

  43. The biggest problem with you is that you just babble on as if it means something.

    Why is it that not one of you can support your position?

  44. Joe G:
    Patrick,

    YOUR position cannot produce a testable hypothesis nor any positive evidence.

    Perhaps YOU should start with that si we will know what you will accept.

    You really need some new material joe. Maybe you should ask your Stonehenge building alien friends for some suggestions. If they don’t have any, try asking the “we” ghosts that haunt your head.

  45. LoL! Having YOU on the stand would be worth the lawsuit. Well when my oldest starts being taught the ToE that is when I will act.

    But most likely I will just be putting a disclaimer on the school’s textbooks. The sticker will say “Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution. Rather ID says that evolution proceeeds by design as opposed to necessity and chance.”

    And I am looking forward to that day…

  46. I do not say the designer is the God of the Bible. I say the designer does not have to be any God at all.

    I say the design does not mean there is any chance at eternal salvation.

    But anyway it is OK if some or even most IDists say the desgner is God. They make it very clear that is a PERSONAL choice.

    As for sticking to the science, well obvioulsy your position cannot because there isn’t any science to stick to.

  47. The biggest problem with immaterialism is that it asserts the existence of agencies for which there is no evidence.

    Nobody that I know has advocated for anything called “immaterialism”. Please note that there is only “no evidence” of non-material agencies if all such evidence is dismissed on an a priori basis. IOW, testimony is acceptable as long as it is not about things that conflict with one’s belief system.

    The assumption that unseeable capricious agents are active in the history of biology is simply not productive. It leads nowhere; it suggests no lines of research.

    It leads to attempts to discover the purpose of biological devices via the expectation that they serve some function; it leads to theories based on reverse-engineering and engineering design theory; it provides a conceptual framework for investigatory research based on the idea that similar design theories and devices can be found in non-related organisms, it provides a heuristic that doesn’t require a branching distribution of organic information; it provides an information-based heuristic of gene and control-system research.

  48. Joe G:
    YOUR postion doesn’t have anything to do with science nor reality. THAT is the whole problem.

    Let’s see you describe my “position” in detail. Get those psychic powers of yours cranked up and get busy.

    And your problem isn’t my problem or science’s problem to solve. It’s your problem, and it’s a big one.

    Tell me joe, what exactly is “reality”? Don’t hold back, and don’t be afraid to include your scientific “position” on ghosts, hauntings, demons, angels, aliens, body snatching, zombies, monsters under your bed, flying saucers, near death experiences, out of body experiences, psychic spoon bending, allah, mohammed, the koran, the bible, the flud, jesus, prayer, miracles, a talking snake, a rib woman, what happens after death, souls, sin, evil, black holes, Bigfoot, Nessie, the age of the Earth and the universe, crop circles, the ultimate purpose of design and creation of the universe, life, and humans, the ultimate purpose of ticks, and don’t forget Stonehenge and other ancient structures, Erich von Däniken, orbital mechanics, quantum stuff, and what women really want.

  49. William J. Murray: Again, you’re conflating their admitted metaphysical views with what they specifically limit the scientific theory itself to.You are apparently incapable of compartmentalizing arguments about science away from arguments/discussions about metaphysics, which I suggest is a lot of the problem on both sides.

    No. That’s not what I meant at all.Again, this demonstrates the interpretive barrier I’ve mentioned before.To many Darwinists that are arguing from (either known to them or not) metaphysics, natural = everything except the supernatural, so when IDists argue against the “natural” part, there’s nothing left, from the metaphysical materialist point of view, but god.

    So they immediately think the IDist is trying to hide or camouflage a religious argument, and are trying to insert a religious argument into school & science – when they are not.For the materialist, ID can only be a religious position – but, it is not.

    It doesn’t help the confusion that they are also advancing a social agenda, but that confusion isn’t their fault; they are no more required to be silent about their metaphysical interpretation of ID than materialists are required to be silent about their metaphysical interpretation of Darwinism.

    william, who do you believe is “the designer”?

  50. I’m closing this thread, as I simply do not have time to moderate it, and the software doesn’t put Joe G in the moderation queue for his own thread.

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