The Un-Wedge

While I do not accept Elizabeth’s analysis of what divides us, I do share her desire to engage in a manner that values dialogue over diatribe.

Elizabeth:

So how to heal the rift, rather than drive the Wedge in further? It was always part of my vision for this site that we would try to do the former rather than the latter. It’s not easy, and we have not always been successful. But I am not despondent.

I don’t believe the rift can be healed. I believe the wedge is being driven in by multiple sides and it’s not possible to prevent the various sides from taking swings at it and driving it in further. Claims of “she hit me first” are childish at best, and unproductive.

So how to proceed. Well, first, I suggest a mutual respect. I think the desire for this is expressed in the site rules, in which respect each other becomes respect the rules, because the rules are worthy of respect, because we are each worthy of respect. Is that circular?

Think before you respond. Do I have something of substance to contribute? Is it possible I do not understand? Am I sure I am not misrepresenting the opposing view? Reduce trollish behavior.

Seek to understand. Dismissiveness is not a virtue. What are the propositions? What is the argument? What is the evidence?

ok, so far i’ve probably not said anything that anyone can disagree with, lol! This demonstrates that I am never wrong.

I do believe that in a past life I suggested a “book swap” approach. You pick a book then I pick a book. That went nowhere.

So what interests the regulars here at TSZ? Is ANTI-ID the general purpose of this site? I have lots of anti-ID books. We could look at their arguments.

I can’t promise that I’ll have time to engage deeply in any given topic, but I did try to come up with a list of topics of potential interest:

Biosemiotics
Causation
Code Biology
Genetic Algorithms
Materialism
Organisms and Artifacts
Philosophy of Science
Scientism

Other suggestions?

81 thoughts on “The Un-Wedge

  1. Mung: I don’t need to. ID is blatantly obvious. Are you going to be making a case for why you deny it?

    Pretty much for the same reasons we deny the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

    Not positive evidence, no case for ID. Only a moron would disagree. Do you disagree Mung?

  2. Mung: I disagree. I have enough of a history here at TSZ. What’s been so offensive about it?

    The blatant hypocrisy between what you post here and at UD to start. Actions have consequences and you don’t post here in a vacuum.

    Respect is a gift. It’s not something that can be earned.

    Maybe you can ask Santa for some next year.

  3. Mung,

    Sure. I think ID can be put in a “who, how, where, when, why” framework.

    I do see any any convincing answers or support. Lots of things that seem “obvious”, aren’t. This is where science helps us, but not ID.

  4. Mung: Mung on June 7, 2015 at 6:15 am said:
    [quotes OMagain:]

    The only way you are going to achieve what you claim you want to achieve is to sign up with another pseudonym and start over.

    I disagree. I have enough of a history here at TSZ. What’s been so offensive about it?

    You have plenty of history at UD too. But OM has agreed to suspend judgement and give you a clean slate.

    Respect is earned.

    Respect is a gift. It’s not something that can be earned.

    I agree with OM that respect can only be earned. I respect those who, in my judgement, have earned it. (Of course I then freely give that respect so Mung is not wrong to say respect is a gift). One reason that I never became religious was the discrepancy I perceived between what those in authority demanded from me as behaviour and how they behaved themselves. They had my compliance (I’m talking school, 8 – 18, say) but little respect.

  5. Mung: I don’t need to. ID is blatantly obvious.

    Presumably it is also blatantly obvious why heat shock proteins could not have evolved. It seems you are prepared to make that statement but not defend it or explain how you came to it as a conclusion or even acknowledge you made that statement. But then again, why would you? It’s obvious!

    Mung: These are now my primary area of interest.

    You have a strong claim – HSP could not have evolved. Why not start there? That claim can be tested. I’m sure there are people here with knowledge of such, and you must also have such knowledge to make such a clear, specific claim.

    Mung: What’s been so offensive about it?

    If you want to go there, we can go there. And it’s not just me, as per the responses on this thread alone. But I’d rather talk about HSP and your very specific claims regarding it’s origin. But if you’d rather talk about anything except your specific claims regarding ID I will understand.

  6. “ID is blatantly obvious.”

    The only ‘ID’ that is ‘blatantly obvious’ is lowercase ‘intelligent design’. Notice, Mung, that *no one* here denies that?

    [Aside: maybe Mung really doesn’t know what that even means?]

    Of course, if one is an atheist, they don’t accept ‘intelligent design’ as in the theology/worldview ‘design argument’ for a Creator. However, *everyone* here accepts ‘intelligent design’ by human beings from both a scientific & philosophical perspective. The question of ‘how intelligent’ is simply another conversation.

    [Aside: maybe taking IDists seriously is not such a smart idea, given how they equivocate, double-talk, ignore, avoid and disrespect?]

    IDists, like Mung, continue to equivocate between these two distinct meanings of uppercase ‘Intelligent Design’ and lowercase ‘intelligent design’. In so doing they disrespect both non-IDist design theorists and theists who reject IDism.

    Mung hasn’t shown any care to respond to this charge. He appears happy instead just to ‘debate’ atheists as a kind of quasi-apologetics masquerade, as if “everything is ok in IDist lala land.”

  7. Mung,

    Sadly, Patrick, I’m not interested in politics. To me they are all two sides of the same coin. So not going to happen. Bet you thought I was a Republican, right? LoL.

    Actually, I thought you were a troll, but you seem to be trying to turn over a new leaf. Good for you.

    That doesn’t change the fact that intelligent design creationism is a political ploy to get around separation of church and state in the U.S. If you don’t recognize that, you’re unlikely to make any progress in healing the rift.

  8. OMagain: In another thread I mentioned a comment that Mung had made at UD regarding heat shock proteins, where my reading was that Mung was stating that they could not have evolved. This was in relation to Larry Moran calling them deeply homologous.

    Given that you can’t even get the basic facts straight I see no reason why I should discuss heat shock proteins with you.

    First, I was responding to a comment by Zachriel, not a comment by Larry Moran.

    Second, I did not say that heat shock proteins could not have evolved.

  9. Mung,

    Does anyone have any links? Surely, the original text will confirm who said what to whom on the evolvability of heat-shock proteins.

  10. Patrick, to Mung:

    Actually, I thought you were a troll…

    So did I. What a coincidence!

  11. Alan Fox: Does anyone have any links?

    Primarily this:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/timaeus-exposes-larry-moran/#comment-567263

    Deep homologies. Code words for “have not evolved.”

    Can’t be explained by evolution? Push it back into the last common ancestor. An entity of ever increasing mythical proportions.

    Anyway, Mung:

    Mung: Given that you can’t even get the basic facts straight I see no reason why I should discuss heat shock proteins with you.

    Don’t discuss it with me then. Discuss it with people who already know what they are talking about.

    Mung: First, I was responding to a comment by Zachriel, not a comment by Larry Moran.

    I know. And that’s why I used the phrase “in relation to”.

    Mung: Second, I did not say that heat shock proteins could not have evolved.

    No, you are correct. You did not use those exact words. And yet that’s the meaning I read into your comment. What did you mean then? That they can’t be explained by evolution? Well, how hard have you looked for an explanation? And if no reasonable explanation actually exists, must they therefore have been designed? I don’t want to put words into your mouth, so clarify or not as you see fit.

  12. OMagain: Discuss it with people who already know what they are talking about.

    Maybe someone should invite Professor Moran over, as this is his field of expertise.

  13. Perhaps Mung has nothing interesting to say about HSP.

    Is it possible I do not understand? Am I sure I am not misrepresenting the opposing view?

    I was careful to couch my suggestions of Mung’s opinion re: HSP in that manner.

    What is the argument? What is the evidence?

    All I’m asking Mung is what is your argument re HSP. That’s all. What is your argument and what is the evidence. If you don’t want to play your own game with my topic, then pick your own.

  14. OMagain:
    Perhaps Mung has nothing interesting to say about HSP.

    People can go read the thread for what I had to say about HSP’s. I don’t have anything further to add. If by conserved you choose to think I mean “could not have evolved” I can’t stop you. But yes, it’s true, I did not say they could not have evolved.

    Did anyone there ever respond to this:

    “…the search for homologous genes is quite futile except in very close relatives”

    – Ernst Mayr

    Guess he was wrong eh? One wonders why he would ever think such a thing.

  15. Mung: Did anyone there ever respond to this:

    [Ernst Mayr writing in 1996]

    “…the search for homologous genes is quite futile except in very close relatives”

    – Ernst Mayr

    Guess he was wrong eh? One wonders why he would ever think such a thing.

    Well, he wrote this before gene sequencing was possible. Scott Gilbert (et al) wrote a paper in 1996 which seems to cover the issue but I haven’t yet found how to access the allegedly “free” full text. The paper is mentioned in this PT thread.

    ETA PDF of Gilbert et al 1996

    I suggest Mung has a look at the section entitled The Rediscovery of Homology.

  16. Alan, if you think I’m denying homologous genes you’re missing the point.

    I’m asking why Mayr thought looking for deep homologies was pointless. And it didn’t have anything to do with lack of technology.

  17. Alan, page 222 of the Amundson book? What am I supposed to find there? Believe it or not I’ve actually read that book and have it right here.

  18. You mostly quoted and highlighted phrases in quotes in that thread. Personally I found it difficult to see what you were implying. If you don’t want to dumb it down for me and talk about how HSP et al relate to ID, however tangentially, that’s fine.

    What shall we talk about then?

  19. keiths,

    Actually, I thought you were a troll…

    So did I. What a coincidence!

    However, Mung has been engaging more substantively of late. It looks like Joe G and Phoodoo will have to find a new third poo flinger.

  20. Reciprocating Bill: Mung, regarding your thoughts on promoting civil discussion, from where I sit your internet persona within this circle has consistently come across as “mlldy clever internet dipshit,” sort of a Joe G. Lite. That’s a woeful image to project. I don’t ordinarily engage in name calling and apologize if that remark comes across that way – but there is no other way to express how I perceive your contributions. For most of your run I’ve found your snark unproductive in the context of discussion and best ignored.

    Mung at UD:

    “212
    MungJune 7, 2015 at 1:22 am
    Is stupid a prerequisite for being an ID critic?”

  21. Mung,

    I came across it via Google books. Unfortunately when try to access it now, I’m informed I’ve reached my page limit and can no longer see that page. It’s not important, though you might still like to glance at it. You’ll note also that Amundson acknowledges Mayr’s “generous support and advice” though “in full recognition of the fact that my conclusions were much at odds with [Mayr]”.

  22. Mung:
    Alan, if you think I’m denying homologous genes you’re missing the point.

    Don’t have the mind-reading powers of some here. Unless you tell me, I don’t know what you think.

    I’m asking why Mayr thought looking for deep homologies was pointless.

    Because he thought they couldn’t be found? Though I am as able to read Mayr’s mind as well as I can yours. What’s your answer? Please don’t be coy! 🙂

    And it didn’t have anything to do with lack of technology.

    Do tell!

    Though gene sequencing and comparison has revolutionised the study of homology and cladistics.

  23. Alan Fox: Don’t have the mind-reading powers of some here.

    As this is obviously not going anywhere interesting, I’ll second this thought. It seems to me as if Mung is deliberately vague, then when you fill in the gaps as an attempt to have a conversation you’ve got it wrong and Mung’s won.

    If that’s the game Mung want’s to play I’m happy to leave it to it.

  24. OMagain: It seems to me as if Mung is deliberately vague, then when you fill in the gaps as an attempt to have a conversation you’ve got it wrong and Mung’s won.

    @ Mung

    Have to agree with OM here. If you are not prepared to commit to expressing a view clearly, how are you or I (or OM) going to learn anything?

  25. “Is stupid a prerequisite for being an ID critic?”

    How about thoughtful, patient, careful, rigorous, especially, but not only, theist ID critics; y’know, the ones that IDists hate to face the most?

    Is double-talking disrespect a prerequisite for being an IDist?

  26. Thanks for this OP Mung. Lots of interesting questions there. As for what interests me personally:

    I’m interested in the neuroscience of intention and decision-making, and in the neural underpinnings of the construction of self.

    I’m interested in ethics and how we arrive at them.

    I’m absolutely fascinated by the creative power of the evolutionary principle (as used in algorithms for solving real problems, for instance).

    I’m interested in the power of metaphor.

    I’m interested in learning (I mean in learning as a topic of study, also in learning stuff!)

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