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Author Topic:   Meyer's Hopeless Monster
PaulK
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Posts: 15567
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 91 of 207 (142713)
09-16-2004 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by ID man
09-16-2004 11:28 AM


Re: Wrong?
I have provided adequate evidence - Steve Jones own posting to his own list. If you won't accept that then why should we accept Behe's claims as evidence ?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by ID man, posted 09-16-2004 11:28 AM ID man has not yet responded

  
AdminNosy
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Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 92 of 207 (142716)
09-16-2004 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by PaulK
09-16-2004 11:22 AM


Clarification
You were asked for a clarification of your position.
It can be as short as the response in post 67.

The central point seems to be:
Is ID a form of creationism only if ALL the proponents are creationists? If a few are, is it creationism; if only a few are NOT creationists is it creationism?

You dispute the story of Jones' resignation. If it is true would that make the ID movement creationist? I didn't say that it was true but IF it was would that settle the issue?

Please respond with simple answers to these questions. Then we can do some fact checking.

I think PaulK's clarification could use a bit more too. He is saying, in my interpretion:
No, it doesn't take all of them to make it a creationist movement just a lot of them.
He is going on, not individual views, but what the organizations have stated and how they have behaved to one with discenting views.

However, I don't remember what references he has posted to support what he is saying.

Both (all) of you. Before arguing about IS, ISN'T, IS. Let's try to agree on what criteria we would use to determine which is correct.

So far there seem to be these things to choose from:

Proportion of those in the movement that have a particular view.
Writen statments of the organizations.
Behavior of organizations to those who disagree with creationism.

Are those the only criteria? Do we all agree they are useful in settling the question? How would you use them to settle it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by PaulK, posted 09-16-2004 11:22 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
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Posts: 15567
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 93 of 207 (142717)
09-16-2004 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by ID man
09-16-2004 11:07 AM


Re: a response to Meyer's critics
Let us note that:

1) The alleged "positive arguemnt" comes nowhere close to meetign the requirements stated in the paragraph under attack. It provides no model of what happened, how or when.

2) The article attempts to insinuate that "An unintelligent, non-guiding force did something, somewhere, somehow, for no apparent reason" IS accepted as a valid model. This is a complete falsehood.
A serious attempt at providing a model for the evolution of the flagellum is here:
http://www.talkdesign.org/faqs/flagellum.html

Where does the ID movement offer anything with equivalent detail ?

In short the allegations of "double standards" are completely false, and are based - at best - on ignorance of the actual situation.
G


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 Message 84 by ID man, posted 09-16-2004 11:07 AM ID man has responded

Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 18989
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 94 of 207 (142718)
09-16-2004 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by ID man
09-16-2004 11:07 AM


Re: a response to Meyer's critics
ID man writes:

The premise is false in that ID has presented the positive evidence for its case.

What you quoted wasn't a premise but an entire indictment.

The underlying assumption of ID is the insufficiency of natural causes to account for biological structures and processes. This is just old-style God of the Gaps theology. We can't figure out how it could have happened naturally, so God did it.

Of course, ID doesn't actually say God did it, they just say some intelligence did it.

Where your quote characterizes ID as, "An unknown intelligent designer did something, somewhere, somehow, for no apparent reason," is not hyperbole, because it is supported by Dembski's very own words:

"By contrast, intelligent design nowhere attempts to identify the intelligent cause responsible for the design in nature, not does it prescribe in advance the sequence of events by which this intelligent cause had to act." William A. Dembski, The Design Revolution, page 41.

The ID terms complexity, contingency, specified, and specified complexity are all just invented, pulled out of thin air. And ID simply assumes an agent that has never been observed performing an action that has also never been observed, let alone defined.

And this isn't the only mumbo-jumbo. ID isn't satisfied with inventing terms, they even have to play with the definition of "intelligent". Intelligent design, says Dembski, does not mean a good design or an optimal design. Intelligent, in fact, doesn't necessarily mean intelligent. An intelligence might design stupidly. This, of course, displays yet another inherent contradiction within ID, since Dembski claims to be able to detect any sort of intelligent design, stupid or otherwise.

ID attempts to erect a technical foundation by quantifying specified complexity, but the resulting structure is ad hoc (I'm talking about ID-style information theory), basically pulled out of thin air. And nowhere does ID ever escape its fatal underlying assumption that I mentioned a few paragraphs ago: that natural processes are insufficient.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by ID man, posted 09-16-2004 11:07 AM ID man has responded

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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15567
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 95 of 207 (142720)
09-16-2004 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by AdminNosy
09-16-2004 11:45 AM


Re: Clarification
Let me make a simple point. You can't say that all members of the Democratic Party agree with every item of Democratic Party policy.
Nor can you say that something is not Democratic Party policy just because you can find one Democrat who disagrees with it.

Given Philip Johnson's standing in the ID movement if he asks a member to resign for endorsing Common Descent then we have strong evidence that Common Descent is against the ID movement's "official line" even if they permit others holding similar views to remain.


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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 96 of 207 (142723)
09-16-2004 12:00 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by PaulK
09-16-2004 11:55 AM


Re: Clarification
Ok, ID Man, do you agree with this method of settling things?

If an ID organization (or prominent member) uses common descent as a filter to remove some individuals does that suggest that the movement is trying to support a basic creationist belief?

Are we perhaps using different definitions of creationist?

We have used OEC and YEC to separate different types of creationists before? OEC'ers are mostly taken as being creationists even if they don't believe in a 6 day creation and flood. ID Man, are they still creationists?


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18989
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 97 of 207 (142724)
09-16-2004 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by AdminNosy
09-16-2004 12:00 PM


Re: Clarification
I'm getting confused. Your last two messages read like they're addressed to ID Man, but they're actually replying to messages from PaulK.

--Percy


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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2413 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 98 of 207 (142728)
09-16-2004 12:20 PM


Richard Sternberg has a website addressing some of the concerns voiced about the process by which Meyer's paper made its way into print.

It doesn't exactly clear everything up but it clarifies his position on a few things at least. He also goes to some lengths to distance himself from YEC.

TTFN,

WK


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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4137 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 99 of 207 (142745)
09-16-2004 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by ID man
09-16-2004 11:32 AM


He is? Any evidence for that assertion?

Maybe, maybe not. However we do have evidence that YOU are a creationist.

Not sure if you missed my last reply to you or not, but I will repeat the point again here.

You stated that a person who does NOT believe in common descent would be in the creationist camp. As I CORRECTLY pointed out, YOU SAID that YOU DID NOT BELIEVE IN COMMON DESCENT. Logic seems to put you in the creationist camp then, no?

Still waiting to see you spin your way out of that one... so far it's just been the fast exist stage left.

This message has been edited by holmes, 09-16-2004 12:38 PM


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by ID man, posted 09-16-2004 11:32 AM ID man has responded

Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 18989
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 100 of 207 (142756)
09-16-2004 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by Wounded King
09-16-2004 12:20 PM


Thanks for the link. Sternberg mounts a solid defense at his website, but what he says doesn't jive with reality. Ultimately, he's using the excuse of being openminded to suspend normal scientific criteria.

If you read all the material, he spends a lot of time describing the peer review process at BSOW, and he repeatedly mentions a) talking several times with a colleague at the National Museum of Natural history who encouraged him to publish the paper; and b) the three peer reviewers, who found problems with the paper (described as corrected by Meyer) but thought it contained merit and was worth publishing.

Who *are* these people that seem to have no scientific judgement whatsoever, and how is it that Sternberg knows so many of them? How did he manage to discuss the paper only with people who urged publication? How good could a peer review process be when some huge percentage of evolutionary scientists find no merit in ID, yet Sternberg manages to select 4 who are sympathetic and not one who isn't.

You only have to look at the paper itself to see the non-scientific nature (here's a link: The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories). For example:

The ease with which information theory applies to molecular biology has created confusion about the type of information that DNA and proteins possess. Sequences of nucleotide bases in DNA, or amino acids in a protein, are highly improbable and thus have large information-carrying capacities. But, like meaningful sentences or lines of computer code, genes and proteins are also specified with respect to function. Just as the meaning of a sentence depends upon the specific arrangement of the letters in a sentence, so too does the function of a gene sequence depend upon the specific arrangement of the nucleotide bases in a gene. Thus, molecular biologists beginning with Crick equated information not only with complexity but also with “specificity,” where “specificity” or “specified” has meant “necessary to function” (Crick 1958:144, 153; Sarkar, 1996:191)

This is the first mention in the paper of information theory, and Meyer is laying the groundwork for introducing specified complexity, but nowhere is there a link to the type of information theory Meyer is talking about, which of course is the type promoted by Dembski, which of course has never been published in peer reviewed journal, and so of course Meyer provides no reference.

And of course sections like this would set off alarm bells for any scientist on a peer review committee interested in fulfilling his responsibility to make sure that significant claims in any paper are supported by citations. And this is just one example. When Meyer actually broaches specified complexity, there is only a reference to Dembski writing in a venue outside the scientific arena. So I ask again: Just who were these peer reviewers that Sternberg managed to find?

Here's another example of apparent Sternberg openness that is actually just more spin. He writes that BSOW president, Roy McDiarmond, sent him email saying, "Finally, I got the [peer] reviews and agree that they are in support of your decision [to publish the article]." A little more detail would be helpful. McDiarmond had probably not read the paper, he was just overseeing the process. Sternberg showed him peer reviews supporting publication. The key questions are unanswered. Did McDiarmond know anything about the content of the paper? Who are the peer reviewers chosen by Sternberg? Did McDiarmond know anything about these peer reviewers?

I can't spend more time on this just at the moment, but this is all just incredibly fishy. Sternberg's website gives the superficial appearance of frankness, but you have only to poke a little bit for the incredible inconsistencies to surface. If I have time later I'll comment more about his self-serving self-praise about his own openmindedness. And why does nothing at his website sound anything like his words quoted at the Discovery Institute website when he commented about the scientific "thought police"? That quote sure made it sound like he was well accustomed to being scientifically marginalized, and this is in stark contrast to Sternberg's website where he tries to come across as perhaps more openminded than some, but otherwise just part of the scientific establishment.

--Percy


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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 101 of 207 (142757)
09-16-2004 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by Percy
09-16-2004 12:04 PM


Re: Clarification
They are noting what PaulK has said. Then asking ID Man about them.

It seems to me that it is hard to settle the issue the way things are going. I'm suggesting that we agree (without worrying about what facts there are ) just what we would consider reasons for and against the ID movement being creationist. As we all know there are many definitions of the word creationist. If we don't agree on one then we will continue to argue past each other.


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Ooook!
Member (Idle past 4133 days)
Posts: 340
From: London, UK
Joined: 09-29-2003


Message 102 of 207 (142759)
09-16-2004 2:39 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by ID man
09-16-2004 11:07 AM


Re: a response to Meyer's critics
What we will find, as with endo-symbiosis and the alleged origins of eukaryotesis that what is being looked for has to be assumed in the first place

This is at least the second time that you've made a comment like this and failed to expand on it. Care to expand on it in a new topic? We could even throw in your interpretations of common ancestry (also used as a throw away line earlier in this thread), as the two are kind of related.


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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3351 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 103 of 207 (142761)
09-16-2004 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by AdminNosy
09-16-2004 2:32 PM


Re: Clarity
Perhaps this would then be about what was recently reported in ACTS AND FACTS that ICRers were able to speak with IDers without conflict.

see
http://www.icr.org/pubs/af/pdf/af0409.pdf

"Dr. Vardiman and Dr. Humphries discovered that the presentation of objective evidence...were able to avoid rhetoric..." when speaking at an ID conference.

The coverage was on page Four.

This message has been edited by Brad McFall, 09-16-2004 01:47 PM


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18989
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 104 of 207 (142780)
09-16-2004 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Percy
09-16-2004 2:20 PM


Answering myself where I write:

Percy writes:

And why does nothing at his website sound anything like his words quoted at the Discovery Institute website when he commented about the scientific "thought police"? That quote sure made it sound like he was well accustomed to being scientifically marginalized, and this is in stark contrast to Sternberg's website where he tries to come across as perhaps more openminded than some, but otherwise just part of the scientific establishment.

I found where Sternberg says the part about "thought police" at his website. It's in a letter to Trevor Stokes at The Scientist, see last paragraph: http://www.rsternberg.net/TheScientist.htm

He actually refers to those who reacted negatively as extremists. He also says, "I'm a scientist, not a politician." The evidence is more equivocal. He seems more like Wallace, the man who forced Darwin into print when he independently arrived at the same conclusions about evolution. Wallace was brilliant but evidently not schooled in the methods of science, for he shortly after fell into pseudoscientific beliefs, promoting seances and such. Sternberg may be like Wallace, a brilliant thinker in the field of process structuralism, but productive only because of his brilliance, and not because he has any comprehension of what comprises good science.

--Percy


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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2413 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 105 of 207 (142881)
09-17-2004 5:31 AM
Reply to: Message 104 by Percy
09-16-2004 3:51 PM


Percy writes:

Wallace was brilliant but evidently not schooled in the methods of science, for he shortly after fell into pseudoscientific beliefs, promoting seances and such.

Sadly this doesn't neccessarily mean he was unschooled in the methods of science, merely that he may have been selective in what areas he chose to apply that learning to, an all too common occurrence.

I have to say I wasn't impressed by Sternbergs characterisation of the reaction to the publication. He gave us four groups:

1) The extremists who denounced the fact that any work mentioning ID could get into a peer reviewed journal.

2) Those following the herd and influenced by members of the first group, who only objected because they were told they should be.

3) People whose work isn't impacted by evolution and therefore don't care one way or another.

4) People sympathetic to ID who offered their wholehearted support.

It seems that the only people who could object on any grounds must either be sheep or extremists.

Surely having recognised that the paper would be controversial it would have been wise of Sternberg to consult further than his one anonymous colleague who now appears to have decided not to put his head above the parapet.

TTFN,

WK

This message has been edited by Wounded King, 09-17-2004 04:39 AM


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