Is Peaceful Science carefully (enough) scripting its politicking with the Freedom From Religion Foundation?

What role does the Freedom from Religion Foundation play in the evolution, creation and intelligent design conversation?

I ask for feedback on this here because it would seem that one of the main ‘partnerships’ at what Dr. S. Joshua Swamidass calls ‘Peaceful Science’ (his description is scientistically utopian, but let’s leave that aside), appears to be mainly a politically convenient one between Dr. Swamidass and an atheist named Patrick, who is a representative for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. If was difficult to figure this out because as a non-USAmerican citizen, that organisation is off my national radar. Continue reading

Squawk box

I sense a disturbance in the force.

This thread is for people to tell me what they think is going on, going wrong, and what they think we should do about it.  I’m listening.

Lizzie

[Edit added 18.40 pm CET 20/08/2018 by Alan Fox]

As the comments have ballooned, Lizzie would very much like members to summarize their thoughts and suggestions into one statement and there is now a dedicated thread, “Summaries”, where they can be posted. Please just post one summary and please do not add other comments. You are welcome to comment on other people’s summaries in this thread. The idea of the “Summaries” thread is to make it easier for Lizzie to get your input. Comments judged by admins not to be summaries will move to guano.

Members who would rather keep their thoughts confidential are invited to use the private messaging system. Lizzie’s address is Elizabeth.

This post violates site rules

Statement from administrator team:  This post is in violation of site rules, that we should discuss the message, not the poster of the message.

In the interest of transparency, we are making the post public.  We want to be clear that the administrator team does not agree with the accusations made in the post.  Our initial reaction was to make the post private, to give us time to review the situation.  We are now making it public again, but comments are closed for this topic.  If the original author of this post requests that we make it private once again, that will be considered.

We have kept Elizabeth informed of what we are doing.  And she has given one brief email response, which I am taking as tacit approval of our initial reaction.

Neil Rickert.

Original title: Swamidass caught lying at PeacefulScience.org

If you need some entertainment, here’s a story that follows a familiar Uncommon Descent plot line:

Charlatan lies; charlatan gets caught; charlatan digs the hole deeper; gets caught some more; and charlatan, in desperation, finally bans the messenger.

In this case the charlatan is Joshua Swamidass, the blog is PeacefulScience.org, and the ban is for a week, not permanent. But it’s basically the same old UD story.

It starts here. I hope the comments don’t get deleted. Given the recent censorship kerfuffle there, Swamidass will be feeling pressure not to delete them. But the evidence is pretty damning, and it will be painful for him to leave them in place. We’ll see what happens.

Carter, Lee, Sanford’s ICC 2018 Adam and Eve paper, Congratulations Bill Basener

Bill Basener (a participant here) co-authored a paper with John Sanford. He was given the honor of delivering a KEYNOTE ADDRESS at an international SECULAR biology conference. A video of his presentation is available in a link inside my write up of his presentation below. He alluded to some of the helpful input from his critics at TheSkepticalZone in his talk:

http://crev.info/2018/07/keynote-speech-falsifies-darwinism/

John Sanford is sort of the “Papa John” of creationist genetics. It is customary for the leader of a research group to be listed as the last author in a publication. That convention is seen in a variety of papers and books such as Rupe & Sanford; Basener & Sanford; Carter, Lee & Sanford; Montanyez, Fernandez, Marks & Sanford; and let’s not forget the Legendary High Velocity Team of Klein, Wolf, Wu & Sanford that permanently ensured the infusion of intelligently designed genes into a sizable fraction of Genetically Modified Organisms on planet Earth.

And perhaps one day in the distant future there will be a paper, “Cordova & Sanford”! 🙂

Below is a link of a paper from Papa John’s team about Adam and Eve which will be presented this week, July 29,2018 – August 1, 2018 at the 8th International Conference on Creationism

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ICC 2018, mtDNA hetero and homoplasmy

In the link below are the abstracts with links to the papers presented at the International Conference on Creationism 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA July 29-August 1, 2018. Those presenting are professors at Christian colleges, professors already expelled from secular colleges, or professors at secular colleges who (by God’s grace) can’t be expelled. 🙂

http://www.creationicc.org/icc18_abstracts.php

A topic I will raise among the population geneticists there (John C. Sanford, Rob Carter, Nathaniel Jeanson, and others) is the issue of heteroplasmy in mtDNA as they are presenting on these topics.

Mature human cells have 100,000 to 600,000 mitochondrion. So how can a cell be mostly homoplasmic yet have mtDNA mutations that are reflected in lineages whereby an individual has a mostly homoplasmic mtDNA that enable us to identify the 7 daughters of Eve (to quote Oxford Geneticist Bryan Sykes).
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Does embryo development process require ID?

Jonathan Wells, who is an embryologist and an ID advocate, has a very interesting paper and video on the issue of ontogeny (embryo development)  and  the origins of information needed in the process of cell differentiation…

Wells thinks that a major piece of information needed in the process of embryo development can’t be explained by DNA,  and therefore may require an intervention of an outside source of information, such as ID/God…

If you don’t want to watch the whole video, starting at about 40 min mark is just as good but especially at 43 min.

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How much Adam could an uneducated evangelical Adam if an uneducated evangelical could Adam Adam?

For those interested in discussions of evolutionism, creationism, Intelligent Design as they impact science, philosophy and theology/worldview in society and education today, please find below a small piece of news.

In short, IDism isn’t really all that hard to counter. Most of you have done it here already countless times against IDists. As for me, I’m batting 100% against IDists in person and 99.5% against IDists online. Only Cameron Wybrow in Canada is the lone holdout. I have questions for every IDist that CSC’s John West would (not) ‘expel’ me for!

The DI is afraid of me because I saw it on the inside. But who could ever see the inside of quality, rigorous, ‘good science’ that is done ‘peacefully’, when there is no institutional centre currently available to hold such an abstract utopia, even better than IDism?

No, what is really difficult is to counter IDists who are actually TEists & ECists also at the same time. This combination is much more difficult than just arguing here with lowbrow IDists or mainly heterodox theists. And this, folks, is where you will find them: https://discourse.peacefulscience.org

Vincent J. Torley is already there and he has an offer to co-author his first scientific publication since his PhD with the site host. So it can’t be too hard to handle for TSZers since Vincent is now officially (yet?) a moderator at TSZ. So that’s a perfect introduction for you to show Peaceful Science what you think about their “Science of Adam.”

When the California-born & accented Dr. Swamidass gets the money, as he is already asking for at Peaceful Science, then let me assure the vast majority atheists here they had better be ready to buckle their belts in the North American “creation war” as Swamidass repeatedly calls it. Why? A recycled neologism known as “Genealogical Adam” is coming to a theatre near you & guess what: if your worldview doesn’t like it, then Swamidass cares. http://peacefulscience.org

Swamidass openly welcomes atheists at Peaceful Science. He even prefers them over thoughtful religious critics that don’t play ball his way, displaying why he was not long ago banned by Deborah Haarsma at BioLogos for refusing to bow to former BioLogos biology-lead and Haarsma’s current darling, Dennis Venema, who has blindly followed his Canadian counterpart Denis Lamoureux into becoming what Swamidass calls “no Adam Christians.” Let’s just say the evangelicals at BioLogos and Peaceful Science aren’t getting along right now and with the ASA meeting about to come up with “The Science of Adam” on the agenda, fireworks could result.

It’s almost as if ‘ideologically self-contradictory’ is something evangelical Protestants of the Swamidass, Venema, Lamoureux, BioLogos-variety deny they ever could be accused of themselves.

BioLogos banned Swamidass for claiming what IDist Ann Gauger did: “We could have come from two … A bottleneck of two [A&E] that is older than 500,000 years ago is possible … based on analysis of the genetic data”. What do the biological scientists here say about that?

So, Swamidass is busy preparing either a noble or an ignoble (depending on who you are) place in history by intentionally relativising Adam and Eve with Genealogical Adam. Will anyone ask him what his qualifications for becoming, finally in these previous @18 months, a ‘scientific genealogist’ as he is now claiming to be?

Go to this site, but ask him nicely. Atheists can be nice, good people about Adam and Eve most times too.

https://discourse.peacefulscience.org

Help the gliding snake grow wings

Evolution “…is as much a fact as the heat of the sun…”– Richard Dawkins

Unfortunately, what evolution no doubt is missing to be such a fact is the actual proof that evolution can do what its supporters claim it has done and can do…
Simply pointing to a fully developed organism and saying – “evolution did” – is just as good a claim as saying – “God did it, or ID must have done it”- unless there is some kind of falsifiability for the claims…Otherwise, such claims remain in the realm of optimism bias, blind faith, or simply science-fiction…and give science bad name at the same time…

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Why does the soul need the brain?

Why does the soul need the brain seems like a logical question especially in the context of the belief held by the leading ID proponent of the Discovery Institute Michael Egnor. He has written extensively on the theme of the immaterial soul that, in his view, is an independent entity, separate of the human body. What Dr. Egnor consistently fails to acknowledge is the obvious connection or interdependence between a functioning brain and self-awareness or consciousness. I wrote about it here.

If certain parts of human brain are damaged or disabled, just like in case of general anesthesia, the human brain loses the sense of consciousness or self-awareness either permanently or temporarily. The immaterial soul fails to make up for the damaged or disabled brain…

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Can the future affect the past?

According to Quantum Mechanics future can affect the past.
There are many names for this “QM weirdness”; retro-causality, time flying backwards and so on…

Experiment Shows Future Events Affect The Past

There are just as many interpretations of this supposed weirdness that QM presents scientists with…Some say that we don’t know enough about TIME…Others say there is no such thing as time; at least on quantum level…

Though initially opposed or uncomfortable to with the problems QM presented him with, Einstein, just before he died, made the following statement about TIME itself.

Einstein once wrote, in a letter to comfort the widow of a recently deceased friend, “Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

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The Death Evolution

Death has been on everyone’s mind at one time or another… It’s unavoidable…
Some are fascinated by death; mainly  the possibility of better afterlife. Some, or the great majority of people, are frightened by it. It seems the unknown of after-death is one of the main factors causing many to tremble…

However, it turns out that Craig Venter, the pioneer of  the human genome project and the supposed creator of artificial life, turned his attention and efforts toward decoding death… here

It seems obvious Venter believes that death is be caused by genetics; some genetic mutations that could be fixed and we could live forever, otherwise he wouldn’t be digging in the genome looking to fix the death code…

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The Simulation Hypothesis

This video outlines and explores the philosophical and scientific history of the idealism vs materialism, and shows how the scientific evidence much better fits idealism – meaning, that everything we experience as physical reality is the result of the processing of information via a nonphysical mind (outside of space-time). I think the big problem with this perspective is that it not only challenges various forms of materialism; it also challenges many religious perspectives – at least in terms of what the fundamental nature of our existence is.

IMO, one of the interesting implications (not expressed in the video) is that if what we actually experience is indeed generated by mental processing, feedback loops could be a normal, even essential aspect of our experience. IOW, if you believe in and process information from a particular ideological/personal perspective (we all do), it may be that the experiential reality you encounter is actually being physically (not just psychologically) sustained and supported as a result of having those views and beliefs.

One wonders what the limitations would be if our “reality” experience is determined by mental processing of information (both conscious and subconscious).

What is the purpose of life?

The question of the purpose of life has preoccupied philosophers, poets, thinkers and the like, for thousands of years. Clearly, it’s a tricky one. It is surprising that pharmaceutical companies have not addressed this issue… yet… 🙂

From the materialistic/atheistic/evolutionary perspective, the answer to this question is clear: Since the universe and life are the products of purposeless, random processes, life itself has no purpose or meaning either…
While materialists could argue that it is still possible to find some kind of meaning in life, in the end there doesn’t seem to be an ultimate purpose in life without some kind of hope that theistic supporters look forward to…

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Suicide evolution and determinism bamboozle

Many recent, and not so recent, suicides of celebrities, stirred up some questions whether humanity is actually progressing, or evolving, especially when the noticeable increase of mental health issues is taken into consideration, such as depression or anxiety disorders that often lead to suicidal thoughts and suicide…

My question is: How does suicide fit into the evolutionary theory?

Also:

How does suicide fit into the deterministic notion popular among many evolutionists and materialists who claim that humans have no free will?

Here is how one article Why Doesn’t Evolution Discourage Suicide? elaborated on the issue of suicide in light of evolution:

“Humans, like all animals, are designed to pass along genes to the next generation. But ending your own life means, in stark evolutionary terms, cutting off, or harming your future reproductive success. When young people kill themselves, their genes are eliminated from the gene pool; when adults kill themselves they can no longer care for dependent children; when elderly people kill themselves, they, too, abdicate the role of caring parent for the next generations.”

So, suicide, even thoughts of suicide, makes no sense, at least from an evolutionary point of view…

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The Heart is Not a Machine, it is a Work of Art

In the following video Alexander Tsiaras calls the development of the human heart magnificent oragami as the heart forms with cells developing  at a rate of one million per second.

Conception to birth — visualized

It is generally believed that the heart acts as a pressure pump forcing an inert fluid through the lungs and through the bodily tissues and organs. There is evidence that this is not the case and that it is more accurate to view the heart as an organ which regulates the dynamic activity of the blood. Continue reading

Hate the sin, love the sinner

Notice. Masterpiece Cookies sells baked goods, not the services of specific artists. There is no guarantee that any particular artist will be inspired to produce a masterpiece that meets your needs and desires. Masterpiece Cookies sometimes enters into contracts with other businesses to fulfill special orders.

Masterpiece Cookies does not mention that it takes no profit on orders that its owner, Jack Philips, finds morally objectionable. In other words, Jack walks the extra mile, and stores up riches in heaven. He does not regard marginalization of sinners by society as an effective means of winning them over to Jesus.

Does quantum entanglement violate relativity?

Ever since the implications of quantum entanglement between particles became unavoidable for physicists and cosmologists, the doubt of the accuracy or completeness of Einstein’s general and special theory of relativity became real… Einstein himself called quantum entanglement “spooky action at a distance” because the possibility of faster than speed of light transfer of information between two entangled particles (no matter what distance between them) would violate relativity and the fundamentals of one of the most successful theories in science…

Recently, however, several experiments have confirmed that entanglement is not only real but it seems to violate relativity.

The results of the first experiment have provided the speed of entanglement, which was measured to be at least 10.000 times faster than the speed of light. here

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Climate change killed the aliens and will kill us too: a case study in GIGO

Ever wondered why we haven’t met any aliens yet? Live Science Senior Editor Brandon Specktor thinks he knows the answer: technologically induced climate change (caused by excessive energy use) may have killed them all off, and it’ll kill us off too, if we don’t get our act together real fast and switch to sustainable sources of energy. In an eye-catching article titled, Climate Change Killed the Aliens, and It Will Probably Kill Us Too, New Simulation Suggests (Live Science, June 6, 2018), Specktor breathlessly reports on the findings of a new study by Adam Frank et al., titled, The Anthropocene Generalized: Evolution of Exo-Civilizations and Their Planetary Feedback (Astrobiology, Vol. 18. No. 5, published online May 1, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2017.1671). Dr. Adam Frank is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester, New York.

Spektor’s summary of the study’s findings is sobering:

The results, as you might expect, were generally pretty grim. Of four common “trajectories” for energy-intense civilizations, three ended in apocalypse. The fourth scenario — a path that involved converting the whole alien society to sustainable sources of energy — worked only when civilizations recognized the damage they were doing to the planet, and acted in the right away.

“The last scenario is the most frightening,” [leading study author Adam] Frank said. “Even if you did the right thing, if you waited too long, you could still have your population collapse.”

But a model is only as good as the foundation upon which it is built. And it turns out that Frank’s model is built on a foundation of sand.
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