Darwin Day Devolves?

I have always been perplexed as to why people would want to celebrate Darwin’s day…What has Darwins really accomplished? Was he a savior or enslavor?

Here is what Richard Dawkins wrote about Darwin:

“An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: “I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn’t a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one.” I can’t help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” – Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker

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Swamidass’ ‘genealogical Adam’ vs. Adam’s genealogy: Peaceful Scientism on Display

S. Joshua Swamidass of WUSTL recently received a 1-year grant from the Templeton Foundation for a hypothesis that he calls “the genealogical Adam” and to build his website “Peaceful Science,” which he likes to call a ‘fifth voice’ alongside Answers in Genesis, BioLogos, the Discovery Institute and Reasons to Believe. https://www.templeton.org/grant/the-genealogical-adam-and-peaceful-science.

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Is it possible to ‘falsify’ Darwinism or neo-Darwinism? The ongoing confusion of S. Joshua Swamidass regarding ideology vs. science.

Computational biologist & MD Joshua Swamidass continues to misunderstand ideology. Whether he does so intentionally or not, it reveals a rather important social problem of pseudo-knowledge being presented as knowledge simply because it is being said by a natural scientist. Swamidass has multiple times claimed that “Darwinism was falsified by population genetics back in 1968” (https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/darwinism-falsified-in-science-long-ago/4325). Yet he still doesn’t seem to understand that one cannot actually ‘falsify’ Darwinism. That is the wrong language (likely based on an outdated view of Karl Popper’s notion of ‘falsifiability’) that is rather harming than helping the conversation.

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Evolution doesn’t require experimental verification?

Recently, I have been awestruck by the statement of one of the “reputable” regulars at TSZ that evolutionary theory doesn’t need to be subjected to any experimental testing or experimental verification…

How do you like that?

He erroneously used the famous experiment that verified Einstein’s prediction of gravity’s ability to bend light. Here are the details:
See? Experiments don’t need to be run in the lab, and they can still be valid experiments.

While this kind of statement is nothing new to me that Darwinists deny or ignore the need for the experimental verification of their evolutionary claims, on the other hand, they demand ID to be subjected to the scientific method processes for their claims to be verified…Hypocrisy at its best…

So, why can’t evolution be tested?

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Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting

BruceS’s link to a series of discussions with the leading atheists of our day, about emergence, reductionism, and mostly just about how to make naturalism sound believable to the gathered masses the atheist preachers exist to proselytize to, is a rather entertaining bit of folly to indulge in. Its the end result of what you get when you band together the most well known atheists, each who consider themselves to be solely the smartest person in the world (due wholly to the history of their lucky accidental mutations which have no meaning, they will remind you over and over) and get them all to agree that they believe the same thing, and then listen as they all try to figure out what it is they believe. Madcap slapstick ensues.

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The Case for Cell-Directed Mutations

I recently created a video (sorry, it’s a long one) covering what I view as the evidence that cells direct their own evolution. I’m curious what feedback others have on it.

Sorry about the length, but I cover a large number of topics, and try to explain it in light of all of the misunderstandings about the subject which I have seen.

Do software engineers find ‘Intelligent Design’ theory obvious, trivial or irrelevant? Eric Michael Holloway’s halfway-right, mostly-wrong, double-talking IDist ideology on display

Recently over at PS, IDist Eric Michael Holloway wrote the following to describe himself & why he accepts/believes in IDT: “we software engineers find ID so obvious.” (https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/why-we-do-not-evolve-software/3760/2) I’d like to unpack this statement & challenge the (il)logic behind it & Eric’s views of IDT, given that he is closely linked with the Discovery Institute, Robert Marks & the new Bradley Centre. Personally I find it rather sad & troubling that ideological IDists like Eric are still actively attempting to deceive others with a semantic game, even their fellow religious, while ignoring the ‘game-ending’ points that Abrahamic monotheists who are scholars & scientists, along with not a small # of atheists & agnostics, have levelled at IDT/IDism. IDists have shown time & time again that they either cannot or will not respond to calm, careful, exact criticism, so let us see if Eric Michael Holloway will be any different.

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Faith vs Facts – Craig Venter

Initially, I have been planning to do an OP on the amazing abilities of plants to “resolve the mathematical equations” in quantum photosynthesis…However, since another issue was raised in one of the last OPs, I’d thought it would be a great opportunity to keep the flow of the same theme going…

In the OP “On variant genetic codes”  the author has presented his case that Craig Venter’s doubt for common descent based solely on the genetic code variants (back in 2011 there were 18 of them) is not enough to doubt common descent…
Based on the discussion that took place at the University of Arizona back in 2011, do you get the impression that Craig Venter’s doubt for common descent is based solely on the fact that there are genetic code variants? I don’t … but you’d judge it for yourself:

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On variant genetic codes

Craig Venter has achieved celebrity status in Creationist circles for little more than a slightly embarrassed smile. In a discussion involving, among others, Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss and Paul Davies, Venter makes the eyebrow-raising statement that he does not regard Mycoplasma as the same ‘life-form’ as other prokaryotes, or eukaryotes. His reasoning was that they have ‘different genetic codes’. Dawkins reasonably points out that their codes are ‘all but identical’ (they differ in just one position, Trp for STOP). Creationist videos of the exchange tend to fade on the aforementioned smile given in response. The videos are presented, breathlessly, as “Venter denies Common Descent in front of Richard Dawkins!”. However … one difference? Is that really enough to justify a claim of separate origins? This would be like claiming that Norwegian and Swedish had separate origins on the strength of the difference between æ and ä or ø and ö. Continue reading

How should TSZ handle racism and hate speech?

Elizabeth Liddle, who founded this Website, has recently declared that racist remarks on TSZ should be deleted. Moderator Alan Fox would like to additionally ban hate speech, incitement to violence, and discrimination, where these are proscribed by law. However, at the present time, nothing in the Rules of this Website prohibits racism or hate speech. And how does one define these terms, anyway? In this short post, I’d like to offer a few tentative proposals.

It seems to me that a rule that bans racism alone would be too arbitrary. Why ban racism but not sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia or transphobia?

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2018 Year Summary: Who was converted?

Most pro-ID or pro-evolution blogs have summaries of the year usually with the highlights of the most interesting points or OPs …Larry Moran also has one on the most popular post though of 2017…

If I were in charge of a blog like TSZ my summary of 2018 would ask for the details of the actual conversions: i.e. how effective TSZ has been in what it was set up for. It was apparently set up to attract converts from the support or belief of ID to support or believe that sheer dumb luck in the discussions of life origins…

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A modest proposal for detecting design

I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the recent Max’s demon thread, it might be helpful to revisit that OP for context before continuing on to what follows here. http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/maxs-demon-a-design-detection-riddle/

As promised and for what it’s worth I’d now like to submit my proposal for a method for detecting design in situations like Max’s demon where instead of looking at a single isolated artifact or event we are evaluating a happening that is extended spatiotemporally in some way. Continue reading

ID 3.0? The new Bradley Center at the DI – is Dembski returning from retirement?

Back in 2016, William Dembski officially ‘retired’ from ‘Intelligent Design’ theory & the IDM. He wrote that “the camaraderie I once experienced with colleagues and friends in the movement has largely dwindled.” https://billdembski.com/personal/official-retirement-from-intelligent-design/ This might have come rather late after Dembski’s star had already started to fade. Indeed, it was more than 10 years after the Dover trial debacle and already long after I personally heard another of the leaders of the IDM at the DI in 2003 say he no longer reads Dembski’s books. Yet no doubt Dr. Dembski was one of, if not the leading voice of the IDM for almost 2 decades. Here’s one UK IDist lamenting Dembski’s statement: https://designdisquisitions.wordpress.com/2017/02/19/william-dembski-moves-on-from-id-some-reflections/ Yet when a new paycheck from the Discovery Institute was offered in the Bradley Center, Dembski seems to have gotten right back on the ideological bandwagon in Seattle & reversed his dwindling of IDist camaraderie.

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“I want to know God’s thoughts”- Albert Einstein

Or “I want to know God’s thoughts, the rest are details.”
Recently a personal letter written apparently by Albert Einstein has been sold for close to 3 million dollars here. In it, Einstein supposedly claims that belief in God is a representation of human weakness… If that is true, why so many other statements by Einstein seem to support his belief in at least a god?

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A Disappearing Comment at Amazon

In February 2018, I wrote a comment at amazon for Dr. Robert J. Marks II’s, Dr. Dr. William A. Dembski’s, and Dr. Winston Ewert’s book Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics (1st Edition):

We are all waiting for the ultimate book on Intelligent Design, written by R. Marks and W. Dembski. Instead we get a “textbook”, another attempt to explain the concepts to laymen. I got the impression that the authors used this setting to avoid the necessary rigour: they just do not define terms like “search” which they use hundreds of times. This allows for a lot of hand-waving, like the following sentence on p. 174:

“We note, however, the choice of an algorithm along with its parameters and initialization imposes a probability distribution over the search space”

That unsubstantiated claim is essential for their following proofs on “The Search for a Search”!

And then there are details like this one:

p. 130: “For the Cracker Barrel puzzle [we got] an endogenous information of I = 7.15 bits”
p. 138: “We return now to the Cracker Barrel puzzle. We showed that the endogenous information […] is I = 7.4 bits”

I tried to solve this conundrum, but I came up with I = 7.8 bits. I contacted the authors, but got no reply.

(Details about the Cracker Barrel puzzle – if you are interested)

I gave it a generous two stars. By chance, I looked up my link to my comment today, but I could not find my review – though it was up there for at least a couple of months. Does anyone know what has happened? Surely, The Three Doctores would not steep so low to eliminate unwanted critique!