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Author Topic:   Intelligent Design explains many follies
kjsimons
Member
Posts: 665
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 91 of 302 (296790)
03-20-2006 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by ramoss
03-20-2006 10:33 AM


Re: True Ignorance
I believe RAZD was quoting the term 'irreducibly complex' to indicate that he was refering to the negative of the term. In other words the so called irreducibly complex systems, not actual irreducibly complex systems.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by ramoss, posted 03-20-2006 10:33 AM ramoss has not yet responded

nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 92 of 302 (296798)
03-20-2006 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by Parasomnium
03-20-2006 10:32 AM


Re: A slight correction
Parasomnium writes:

jar writes:

John 10:10 writes:

To rest one's case on adaptation and imperfections as the reasons how organisms evolve is pure folly.

Why? What makes you think anyone does that anyway?

I agree with the 'why' question, Jar, but your second question has me worried. I think adaptation and imperfection are indeed the basic things that evolution is built on. Perhaps you could point out how you think this might not be the case.


Wow! We are getting into some interesting stuff here. To pursue it would probably take us off-topic, but a new thread could be opened if people want to discuss it further.

Adaptation, imperfection, competition - these are the underpinnings of traditional neo-Darwinism. They are what Dawkins emphasizes. They are also what Gould and Eldredge thought they were criticizing in their "Punctuated equilibria" paper, and what Gould and Lewontin were criticizing in their "spandrels" paper.

If ToE were a slam dunk - if it were completely obvious that the neo-Darwinist theory accounted for biological diversity - we wouldn't be having this evo vs. creo debate. Most conservative Christians would simply accept some alternative understanding of the Genesis story. Sure, there might still be a few die-hard creationists, but not enough to be a cause for concern.

It is pretty easy to say that the debate is due to a small group of unrepresentative extremist fundamentalists. But that's a serious misunderstanding of the problem. The fact is, that those fundamentalists manage to get the ears of politicians, and those politicians see enough support for the idea that they believe it will help them in their election bids. That could not happen if the case for evolution were a slam dunk.

Many people find the adaptation, imperfection, competition account to be implausible. Many mathematician find it implausible. Fred Hoyle went into details on why he found it implausible in his "Mathematics of Evolution". I find it implausible.

I don't doubt that evolution occurred, and is occurring. If you look at the details of the biology, there is plenty there to explain it. But the biology is complex, so most people settle for the traditional neo-Darwinist account, and that is what the critics of evolution find implausible.

Maybe I should try to find time to write up my alternative theory. However, my sense is that most evolutionists don't welcome this kind of discussion. They are satisfied with the status quo, and resist change.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Parasomnium, posted 03-20-2006 10:32 AM Parasomnium has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by John 10:10, posted 03-20-2006 2:19 PM nwr has responded
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John 10:10
Member (Idle past 1104 days)
Posts: 766
From: Mt Juliet / TN / USA
Joined: 02-01-2006


Message 93 of 302 (296818)
03-20-2006 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by nwr
03-20-2006 1:05 PM


Re: A slight correction
I too do not deny that the universe has evolved since the beginning point in time. In believing this, I believe there was a beginning to our universe. I do not believe in multiple beginnings or that the universe has always existed. Most scientists now believe there was a beginning to our universe.

The main point of ID is this:

How did we get from the beginning of the universe to where we are now?

Those who want to look at very small pieces of the big picture and draw conclusions that these very small pieces give confirming proof to their theories is truly implausible.

I have no objection whatsoever to evolution being taught in science classrooms as "theory," but I strongly object to evolution being taught as "fact" in science classrooms, which is now the case in most science classrooms.

ID is the most plausible reason how we got from the beginning of the universe to where we are now.

If evolution was taught as "theory only" in science classrooms, ID would not be asking for equal time to present an alternate reason how we came to exist.


The evil one comes to steal, kill and destroy; but I Jesus have come that you might have eternal Life and have eternal Life more abundantly - John 10:10
This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by nwr, posted 03-20-2006 1:05 PM nwr has responded

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sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 94 of 302 (296822)
03-20-2006 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by John 10:10
03-20-2006 2:19 PM


To bring a question to light
John 10:10

ID is the most plausible reason how we got from the beginning of the universe to where we are now.

I am sure now that you missed my post to you back a ways but since you made this statement I felt it necessary to bring back the post that you may have a chance to respond to the critique therein.

sidelined writes:

Intelligent design holds that the world is too complex to have come about naturally in the first place. Therefore the intelligent design hypothesis holds that such complexity could not have come about by chance {which is a faulty understanding of how chance generates the world we see} but necessitates that an intelligence of greater complexity than the design {as is exemplefied in the many references to machinery or computer programs that could not have just happened} itself must exist.

The difficulty then comes when you apply the principle of the hypothesis to the intelligent designer you used to explain the complexity of the world. Since the intelligent designer is more complex than the world before us{as per your arguement} we need to invoke the ID hypothesis to explain where that intelligent designer came from since we cannot say that such complexity simply happened. {because that is the naturalistic stance}

You therefore run afoul of the fallacy of ad infinitum.

This message has been edited by sidelined, Mon, 2006-03-20 12:37 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by John 10:10, posted 03-20-2006 2:19 PM John 10:10 has not yet responded

ramoss
Member
Posts: 3100
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 95 of 302 (296828)
03-20-2006 2:39 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by John 10:10
03-20-2006 2:19 PM


Re: A slight correction
You say that 'I.D.' is the most pausbile explaination.

How do we test this (an assertion is not enough)

What is the evidenc for it (Saying things are too complex for it to be otherwise is not evidence for it)

What testable statement, if proven true, falsifies I.D.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by John 10:10, posted 03-20-2006 2:19 PM John 10:10 has not yet responded

nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 96 of 302 (296836)
03-20-2006 3:15 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by John 10:10
03-20-2006 2:19 PM


Re: A slight correction
John 10:10 writes:

I too do not deny that the universe has evolved since the beginning point in time.


We need to distinguish between "the universe has evolved" and biological evolution. These are two different meanings of evolve, the first the natural language meaning of change over time and the second the technical meaning from the biological theory.

The main point of ID is this:

How did we get from the beginning of the universe to where we are now?


That's not a point, it is a question.

The principle objection to ID is that it is not science, and thus does not belong in the science class. Many also object that the proponents of ID are mostly creationists who are trying to do a sneaky end-run around the establishment clause of the U.S. constitution.

I have no objection whatsoever to evolution being taught in science classrooms as "theory," but I strongly object to evolution being taught as "fact" in science classrooms, which is now the case in most science classrooms.

Evolution is both theory and fact. However what is meant by "evolution" when speaking of it as theory is different from what is meant by that word when speaking of it as fact. Evolution, as theory, is a scientific framework and a system of empirical principles for studying biological systems (including speciation). Evolution as fact is what has actually been observed or inferred from evidence, on biological change.

ID is the most plausible reason how we got from the beginning of the universe to where we are now.

To a scientist, it is no reason at all. People used to say things such as "nature abhors a vacuum" and "what goes up must come down". Science has long since rejected these as false reasoning, because they do not get at the mechanisms. ID as reason is just like the anger of the gods as reason for a volcano (or a hurricane). It has no scientific merit.

If evolution was taught as "theory only" in science classrooms, ID would not be asking for equal time to present an alternate reason how we came to exist.

The trouble is that you are probably thinking of "theory" as "unproven guess". But that is not what the word means at all when talking about scientific theories.
This message is a reply to:
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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 805 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 97 of 302 (296884)
03-20-2006 5:37 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by nwr
03-20-2006 1:05 PM


Re: A slight correction
nwr writes:

Many people find the adaptation, imperfection, competition account to be implausible. Many mathematician find it implausible. Fred Hoyle went into details on why he found it implausible in his "Mathematics of Evolution". I find it implausible.

I don't doubt that evolution occurred, and is occurring. If you look at the details of the biology, there is plenty there to explain it. But the biology is complex, so most people settle for the traditional neo-Darwinist account, and that is what the critics of evolution find implausible.

I think the seeming implausibility lies not so much in the principles of evolution themselves, as it does in people’s understanding of it. The mathematics of evolution, especially the mathematics of the probabilities involved, are often misunderstood. Likewise, the wide-ranging biological aspects of evolution, such as biochemical, biophysical, physiological and ecological aspects, are all difficult to grasp sometimes, especially for those who are not very well versed in the sciences.

Not wishing to blow my own horn, I must say I find nothing more plausible than the fact that, if hereditary information randomly changes, which is a fact, and if the environment can only sustain the better adapted, which is also a fact, then the adaptive changes are preserved at the expense of the less well adapted. A long cumulation of these changes naturally leads to extremely well adapted, very complex structures.

Maybe I should try to find time to write up my alternative theory. However, my sense is that most evolutionists don't welcome this kind of discussion. They are satisfied with the status quo, and resist change.

Being science-minded, they will certainly not resist your theory if it stands up to rigorous scientific tests and explains things better than the theory of evolution does. But those are very tough demands and no competing theory has yet surpassed the theory of evolution on both counts. I somehow doubt that your theory will do the trick. But you’re welcome to try.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

This message is a reply to:
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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 805 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 98 of 302 (296886)
03-20-2006 5:39 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by John 10:10
03-20-2006 11:06 AM


Of old cities
John 10:10 writes:

There is a difference between matter evolving deterministically, and matter that exists evolving over time and space.

Could you explain what you mean?

Cities do evolve over time and space. Some are designed very well, and some are not. The fact that cities exist is proof that man's involvment participated in the process. How well they were designed and built is not the issue.

On the contrary, that is very much the issue. Didn’t you say before:

OK, show me one intricately complex "man made thing", not a pic of some nature scene, that exists without man first designing and then constructing his design.

and

I was simply pointing out that intricately complex man made things must have been first designed by man's creativity, then put together by man's ability to build what he has has designed.

London is an “intricately complex man-made thing”. Yet it was not “designed by man’s creativity, then put together by man's ability to build what he has designed.” You asked for an example and I gave you one.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by John 10:10, posted 03-20-2006 11:06 AM John 10:10 has responded

Replies to this message:
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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 805 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 99 of 302 (296889)
03-20-2006 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by jar
03-20-2006 10:56 AM


Defining 'design'
Jar writes:

He (or she) tends to leave out the filtering part of the equation. That variable filter, one that changes with time, location, and circumstance is as important as the changes in the critters themselves.

Wouldn’t you agree that “the filtering part” is included in the notion of ‘adaptation’? After all, adaptation presupposes an external pressure to which it is a reaction. Perhaps I shouldn’t have repeated the exact terms John 10:10 used, but should have opted for the more usual combination of ‘random mutation’ and ‘selective pressure’. These two terms may better convey John’s notions of ‘imperfection’ and ‘adaptation’, and they are perhaps more acceptable as a description of the general principles of evolution. Anyway, I think that’s what John was hinting at.

I think the key here is that first sentence. {My sentence, or rather phrase “It all depends on how you define 'design' of course”, P.}If some IDer can one day come up with a definition of design that is applicable to what is seen, they might be able to, at the least, begin a discussion and debate. But so far that has not happened.

I think that is indeed the crucial point here. I’ve mentioned it before in these forums that I think you could say that there is ‘design’ in nature, but only if you take ‘design’ to mean functional form, not something planned in advance. The eye clearly has a function, namely to enable it possessor to see things. I don’t think there’s any way around the notion that the eye has a very sophisticated design to that end. But that doesn’t mean I think the eye was planned in advance by an intelligent designer. We need a definition of ‘design’ that doesn’t presuppose a designer, and we need to get rid of the notion that design necessarily implies an intelligent designer.

Take for example the stone arches or rock bridges. They serve no function. A man made bridge is designed to cross an obstacle to allow folk, critters and things to get from one side to another. The rock bridge though serves no function. It just is.

But I don't agree that we start from a knowledge that design exists. There is a reason that we find natural bridges wonderous, and that is precisely because they are unusual, out of the ordinary.

I don’t think you can compare stone arches with forms of biological design, because there is a huge difference between the way either of them comes to be. Stone arches don’t procreate and do not compete with one another.

To look at your example of gravity, it is something we know because we can observe it. It's a word we invented to explain what we see. It's not a preconception, but rather a result.

The word ‘gravity’ does not explain gravity, it describes it. Newton’s and Einstein’s theories explain it. Likewise, the word ‘design’ describes the relation between form and function in biology, the theory of evolution explains it. So I think design – as functional form – is comparable to gravity in that both are phenomena we see in nature, and both find an explanation in the form of the respective theories we have for them.

If IDers could first come up with some definition of what design is similar to the definition we use for gravity, "The thing that makes things fall down", then we could begin. The simplistic working definition of gravity above is still specific enough that all of us can then test it, and at the least, agree that is a working definition of the word, but not an explanation of the phenomina.

Right now we have no such definition for design. We could make one that is really broad, and say "Design is that thing that gives things form or makes them work or determines how they will react with other things." The problem is that such a definition is so broad as to be meaningless.

The definition I would like to see of ‘design’ in biology is one that defines design as an effect rather than a cause. Like gravity is an effect of space-time curvature in the presence of mass, biological design is an effect of the process of evolution. Design doesn’t do something, design arises.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by jar, posted 03-20-2006 10:56 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by jar, posted 03-20-2006 5:53 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded

jar
Member
Posts: 30935
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 100 of 302 (296895)
03-20-2006 5:53 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by Parasomnium
03-20-2006 5:44 PM


Re: Defining 'design'
I think we are but wandering around common words and explanations.

If he is including all of the things that lead to what results are seen in his notion of imperfections and adaptations, then I don't have much of a problem. It was not, and from his other messages is still not clear to me that he in including all those factors.

And on gravity, I did not say the word explains gravity, but rather it is a word we coined to explain things we see, like things falling. The explanation of gravity itself is still one of the unanswered question TTBOMK.

On the rest, I guess we wil have to wait and see what the definition of design turns out to be once it's designed.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19818
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 101 of 302 (296994)
03-21-2006 6:31 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by ramoss
03-20-2006 10:33 AM


... just another ID folly .... exposed and explained
what biological system is 'irreducibly complex'?

According to the definition of the term, by Michael Behe in his 1996 book Darwin's Black Box,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducibly_complex

The term "irreducible complexity" was originally defined by Behe as:
A single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning". (Darwin's Black Box p9)

Behe uses the mousetrap as an illustrative example of this concept. A mousetrap consists of several interacting pieces—the base, the catch, the spring, the hammer—all of which must be in place for the mousetrap to work. The removal of any one piece destroys the function of the mousetrap. Likewise, biological systems require multiple parts working together in order to function. Intelligent design advocates claim that natural selection could not create from scratch those systems for which science is currently not able to find a viable evolutionary pathway of successive, slight modifications, because the selectable function is only present when all parts are assembled.

According to this definition a number of biological systems are "irreducibly complex" and can be demonstrated as such by the removal of one part. The question is whether or not this rules out evolution as a possible answer to how the system came to be used.

It doesn't, and evidence of this is that at least one such system has been observed to evolve:
http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/DI/AcidTest.html

In 1982, Barry Hall of the University of Rochester began a series of experiments in which he deleted the bacterial gene for the enzyme beta-galactosidase. The loss of this gene makes it impossible for the bacteria to metabolize the sugar lactose. What happened next? Under appropriate selection conditions Hall found that the bacteria evolved not only the gene for a new beta-galactosidase enzyme (called the evolved beta-galactosidase gene, or ebg), but also a control sequence that switched the new gene on when glucose was present. Finally, a new chemical reaction evolved as well, producing allolactose, the chemical signal that normally switches on the lac permease gene, allowing lactose to flow into the cell.

Does Barry Hall's ebg system fit the definition of irreducible complexity? Absolutely. The three parts of the evolved system are:

(1) A lactose-sensitive ebg repressor protein that controls expression of the galactosidase enzyme
(2) The ebg galactosidase enzyme
(3) The enzyme reaction that induces the lac permease

Unless all three are in place, the system does not function, which is, of course, the key element of an irreducibly complex system.

This of course means that the concept of "irreducible complexity" has been totally falsified as evidence of a system that cannot evolve (and therefore {somebody\something\oh-god-I-hope-it's-GOD} did it).

A point actually recognized and conceded by Behe:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducibly_complex

In the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial Behe testified under oath that irreducible complexity did not rule out known evolutionary mechanisms and that there are no peer-reviewed articles supporting his argument that certain complex molecular structures are "irreducibly complex."

All "irreducible complexity" ever amounted to was incredulity (how did that happen!) coupled with lack of imagination (can't imagine how that happened!), and now it has been shown to be falsified incredulity, now that the lack of imagination has been taken care of by actual experience.

Enjoy.

{fixed typo}

This message has been edited by RAZD, 04*24*2006 09:52 PM


www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=14&t=1157&m=1>Join the effort to unravel {AIDS\HIV} with Team EvC! (click)

we are limited in our ability to understand
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to share.


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19818
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 102 of 302 (296995)
03-21-2006 6:37 AM
Reply to: Message 90 by John 10:10
03-20-2006 11:06 AM


Re: A slight correction
Cities do evolve over time and space. Some are designed very well, and some are not. The fact that cities exist is proof that man's involvment participated in the process. How well they were designed and built is not the issue.

And a beehive is just another complex nest for another species to gather in.

One could argue that trees participate in the process of building a house, does that make trees intelligent designers?

Enjoy.


www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=14&t=1157&m=1>Join the effort to unravel {AIDS\HIV} with Team EvC! (click)

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
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ramoss
Member
Posts: 3100
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 103 of 302 (297007)
03-21-2006 7:50 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by nwr
03-20-2006 1:05 PM


Re: A slight correction

Many people find the adaptation, imperfection, competition account to be implausible. Many mathematician find it implausible. Fred Hoyle went into details on why he found it implausible in his "Mathematics of Evolution". I find it implausible.

I am sure he did. Fred Hoyle was not a biologiest though. We also know a lot more about biochemistry than in his day.

So, why should I worry about how an astrophysist from the 1950's tried to explain the 'mathematics' of biology? Plus, the 'mathematics' of evoution' wasn't published by him, but was a compliation of a number of notes he took.


This message is a reply to:
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John 10:10
Member (Idle past 1104 days)
Posts: 766
From: Mt Juliet / TN / USA
Joined: 02-01-2006


Message 104 of 302 (297058)
03-21-2006 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 98 by Parasomnium
03-20-2006 5:39 PM


Re: Of old cities
(1) Sidelined wrote,

"We need to invoke the ID hypothesis to explain where that intelligent designer came from since we cannot say that such complexity simply happened."

On this point I disagree completely. Reality tells us that intracately complex matter exists, both organic and inorganic. If one looks at why intracately complex matter exists from a non-ID viewpoint, then one still has to stop at where the matter came from in the first place that somehow deterministically changes/evolves over time into all manner of intracately complex structures.

The same is true for those of us who believe ID is the most plausible explanation behind all that exists. We stop at where the matter came from because the Intelligent Designer declares He has eternally existed.

(2) Ramoss wrote,

"You say that ID is the most plausible explanation. How do we test this?"

We can't test ID as the most plausible explanation of why intracately complex design exists any more than others can "completely test" that it does not. Complete proof testing works both ways, not just for those who believe in ID.

(3) Parasomnium wrote,

"John 10:10 writes:
There is a difference between matter evolving deterministically, and matter that exists evolving over time and space.

Could you explain what you mean?"

What I mean by matter evolving deterministically is this: How did all the smallest parts of organic and inorganic matter determine how they would be built into intracately complex atoms, compounds, and living structures?

Matter that exists evolves over time due to wind, rain, floods, volcanic erruptions, decay, pressure, heat, earthquakes, etc.

Man's creative involvement with matter can build things, albeit imperfectly, for man's good or for man's evil.

For those who do not believe in ID, cities simply declare man was/is here.

For those who believe in ID, intracately complex structures that man uses declare that ID is here.


The evil one comes to steal, kill and destroy; but I Jesus have come that you might have eternal Life and have eternal Life more abundantly - John 10:10
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ramoss
Member
Posts: 3100
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 105 of 302 (297061)
03-21-2006 11:23 AM
Reply to: Message 104 by John 10:10
03-21-2006 11:16 AM


Re: Of old cities
That does not answer the question.

Rather, that avoids the questions all togather.

Give me an experiment. Show me how 'I.D' will make a prediction about how that experiment will fall out.


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