left biblioblography: UNCOMMON DISSENT

Monday, January 22, 2007

UNCOMMON DISSENT

I was reading this over at Uncommon Descent, and I’m just…well…startled. I shouldn’t be, but I am.

So I read this:

“Indeed, this is evolution in action. But it is small-scale microevolution that no one disputes and that is irrelevant to the really big claim of evolutionary theory, namely, that the bug that developed antibiotic resistance and you, the poor human whose immune system cannot resist the bug, are both offspring of some common ancestor in the distant past and that the process that brought you and the bug into existence is Darwinian, operating by chance and necessity and without plan or purpose. In particular, you, your aspirations, and the entire human family to which you belong are simply an accident of natural history, here for a brief moment and destined for extinction. This is Darwinism in its full glory.”

I won’t quote Dawkins’ oft repeated statement about non-randomnicity. The entire piece is just poor writing. It’s not smart: it doesn’t back any of its claims with anything other than an Ozzian Scarecrow factory. It’s just…sad. Let’s bypass the known fact that we share the genetic make-up of the fly, along with just about everything else that flies, swims, crawls, or just plain moves. Clearly an appeal to the reader: Darwin says you’re not special! Those mean old evolutionists want to deprive you of your individuality!

Pathetic indeed, was this bit of hogwash:
”At this point, valiant defenders of evolution, of which there are many, usually play the “overwhelming evidence card.” Accordingly, they tell us that there are “mountains and mountains of evidence for evolution” (Darwinist Richard Dawkins used precisely those words in his recent attack on religion for the BBC series titled The Root of All Evil?). When I hear Darwinists use the phrase “overwhelming evidence” to tout their theory, I think of a story that my colleague Del Ratzsch at Calvin College tells about the wife of an entertainer who, according to a tabloid, descended from aliens. The key piece of evidence cited to support this hypothesis was that the woman had slightly lower than average blood pressure. Obviously, the problem with such an argument is that there is no rational connection between blood pressure and alien descent.”

But of course, no citations. A buddy telling a story about an unnamed entertainer's wife that he read about in the National Enquirer. I mean, this is something you talk about over a pint at a pub, not as a representative of a ‘scientific community’ on the web, fer chrissakes. It’s not only stupid, it’s misrepresentative, it’s…oh hell, you figure it out.

All through the piece, Dumbski blathers on about the ‘mad scientist’ conspiracy (I could rework the entire piece on another subject, and send it to him: he’d probably dismiss it as the ravings of a schizoid, if he didn’t know it was him), all the standard tinfoil hat crap.

Here’s another sampling:
”Indeed, the grand claim of Darwinian evolution has never been tested: all the evidence and experiments cited to support it have no rational connection with it. At best, they support that there was a gradual progression of living forms. But they do not support that such a progression occurred without the need for intelligent input.”

Can any of you tell me what’s wrong with that last sentence? Read it carefully.

More laughable nonsense:
”Yet, in fact, as this book makes clear, intelligent design is the real science here. Intelligent design studies patterns in nature that are best explained as the result of intelligence. As such, it merges the natural sciences (such as physics, chemistry, and geology) with the engineering sciences (such as information theory, communication theory, and computational intelligence). Intelligent design makes testable predictions about the forms of complexity we should find in biological systems and the inherent limitations we should observe in evolutionary processes not controlled by intelligence. As this book demonstrates, these predictions are now being consistently borne out.”

And just where are all these ‘testable predictions’? Where’s the science? Where’s the evidence? Has it been released? Oh, yes, it has: internally, a deep dark secret, not yet declassified. Because all their ‘work’ to date has been debunked. We’ve seen diddlysquat except strawmen, false dilemmas, and paper-mill degrees. Oh, and millions spent on propaganda, and nothing other than the occasional vague biblical quotation.

Here’s a paragraph from 1 of the commenters, it bugs me, it does:

“To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times [why not say billion?] until it is twenty kilometers in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings, like the port holes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings, we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity. We would see endless highly organized corridors and conduits branching in every direction away from the perimeter of the cell, some leading to the central memory bank in the nucleus and others to assembly plants and processing units. The nucleus itself would be a vast spherical chamber more than a kilometer in diameter, resembling a geodesic dome inside of which we would see, all neatly stacked together in ordered arrays, the miles of coiled chains of the DNA molecules. A huge range of products and raw materials would shuttle along all the manifold conduits in a highly ordered fashion to and from all the various assembly plants in the outer regions of the cell.”

We would wonder at the level of control implicit in the movement of so many objects down so many seemingly endless conduits, all in perfect unison. We would see all around us, in every direction we looked, all sorts of robot-like machines. We would notice that the simplest of the functional components of the cell, the protein molecules, were astonishingly, complex pieces of molecular machinery, each one consisting of about three thousand atoms arranged in highly organized 3-D spatial conformation. We would wonder even more as we watched the strangely purposeful activities of these weird molecular machines, particularly when we realized that, despite all our accumulated knowledge of physics and chemistry, the task of designing one such molecular machine — that is one single functional protein molecule — would be completely beyond our capacity at present and will probably not be achieved until at least the beginning of the next century. [Well, we are now 7 years into the next century, have we designed a functional protein yet?]”
pp.328-329

Clearly an appeal to incredulity. Here’s these guys, they go on and on and on about the ‘lack of evidence for macroevolution’, but they bloody well wax philosophic on the microcosmic scale, literally drooling at the mouths about it. Cells die, clearly a rejection of irreducible complexity on a diminutive scale: we function fine without the dead cells, due to an overabundance. Hell, we’re still functional, even if we lose an eye, or an arm (not optimal, but you get the point). Forest for the trees, etc.

This next one made me laugh out loud; it was so stupid:

“The capacity of DNA to store information vastly exceeds that of any other known system; it is so efficient that all the information needed to specify an organism as complex as man weighs less than a few thousand millionths of a gram. The information necessary to specify the design of all the species of organisms which have ever existed on the planet, a number according to G.G. Simpson of approximately one thousand million, could be held in a teaspoon and there would still be room left for all the information in every book ever written.”

All that’s true and well and good, but for one thing: 97% of it is broken! An intelligent designer, let alone a loving deity certainly wouldn’t break the strand of DNA that forces us to take Vitamin C, or eat fruits, else we die of scurvy? I’m sure there’s some obscure passage in the Apocrypha that makes some vague mention of mankind having to eat fruit (besides the obvious one: oh, hey! Wait! Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, that’s what broke that particular strand! I’m a freakin’ genius! Too bad I’m an atheist).

I guess it's no secret: 'Divine Wind' Dembski shot hisself in the foot,  "after much pre-trial bluster about how, in an open forum, he would shred the arguments of the “Darwinists,” when he was actually presented with a wonderful public opportunity to do exactly that in the Dover courtroom, Dembski declined to show up!"  Also, that he actually provided that Banshee of Bullshit, Ann Coulter, with her more inaccurate anti-science polemic in that Neocon Necronomicon, Godless: The Church of Liberalism (and then denied any culpabity). Or that he managed to actually alienate an ID-friendly crowd in Kansas, of all places. He also bans dissenters from his blog: that's not the sign of a true scientist. That's a sign of a ______ (you fill in the blank).

This self-styled 'Isaac Newton' has neither the grace, wit, nor intelligence of that worthy, by any stretch. I'll be clear: I don't like the guy. Not because I disagree with him, oh, no sirree. Let's put it this way: whether he's a creationist or an evolutionist, the man is simply a clown. One only has to read his history to figure that part out. If I were an ID advocate, I'd be pissed, no, I'd be through the roof if this bozo was representing my interests.

I don't care much for Behe, but I'll give him this: he showed up for the scuffle, and made the attempt to prove his point, albeit he copped to the fact that his 'open definition' would actually allow astrology a foothold! But he gets points for honesty.

Latest episode of Dembski foot-in-mouth disease:
"the performance is poor, but poor design is not the absence of design"

Till the next post, then.

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7 comments:

karen said...

It's odd that gawd no longer intervenes in the daily lives of his "best" and "dearest" design, yet he still takes time to make sure each and every snowflake is different.

But wait...IS each snowflake different? How do we know that one which fell in Kansas last week was not identical to one which fell in China 3000 years ago? Hmmmm. Could gawd be cheating?

On another note, we can always hope that Dumbski cheated on his taxes with the reasoning that all he has belongs to god...

remy said...

I'm shocked and appppalledddd. I mean it really is beyond comprehension that anyone could read about evolution and not even begin to see logic, yet there it is, and, he's not alone!



My cat just added his two cents:
][[[[[[[[[[[433333333e\544444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444bn bvvvvvvvvvvvv
I think there might be some performance art in here someplace.

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen - that's a good point. How DO we know each & every snowflake is different? We don't have photos going back to the beginning of time.
We can call it the 'Snowflakes of the Gaps', hehehehe.

remy:
I mean it really is beyond comprehension that anyone could read about evolution and not even begin to see logic, yet there it is, and, he's not alone!
Some folks are just willfully ignorant, I suppose.

karen said...

remy
My cats were simply agog at your cat's work. I showed it to each of them and they were speechless.

You MUST get your cat some paint and a canvas! I smell $$$ in the making!
That feline is a genius!

Krystalline Apostate said...

So your cats are usually somewhat verbose, karen?
Uh-oh....;)

Zac Hunter said...

Just the idea of a 'prediction' made by ID made me laugh out loud at my desk. What kind of prediction would it be? Teleological?

Krystalline Apostate said...

Hey, Zac! You should drop by more.
I guess it would have to be teleological, wouldn't it?
All of this folderol is simply an extension of the Watchmaker analogy anyways.
Once these yobbos start actually contributing something besides long-winded diatribes against evolution, I'd be more than happy to listen.