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December 06, 2005
Science issues primal scream...
Filed in: Civil War, Politics, Science

Back in August after Time magazine published this cover:

Timecover10001

I suggested in a satirical piece that an organization representing the grand poo-bah of science in mechanistic Material Nature would have preferred a cover like this:

Timecover20002

I did so because this is the actual kind of dialog that is currently conducted by those who call themselves 'scientists'. Instead of actually having a discussion about scientific ideas offered by dissident scientists, the mainstream scientists have punted on discussing science and instead just offer fear mongering and ad-hominem attack. It's really indistinguishable from political moonbattery.

Don't buy that this is the way it is? Well, as it is said, truth is stranger than fiction. I've already pointed out an analysis of the TIME image that castigates TIME magazine for going so far as to actually allow that there is a debate.

And now, the November issue of SEED magazine features this cover:

Dsc_0002

Apparently, the editors of SEED got the letter - not mine - the real letter that went out.

This iconic image serves to represent how 'science' has approached the controversy in the public square. The chimpanzee represents the accepted assertion that humans descended from non-human ancestors (this despite the fact that no one, not even evolutionary gradualists believe that humans descended from chimpanzees. It is asserted that they have a common ancestor - one which we have no evidence or proferred model for.) and that such facts (representing the entire scientific community) are enraged, incredulous, and frustrated with the co-opting of 'science' by the disguised thumpers. And there's no worry about the relative positioning of science and God in this image - there is only science - nothing else.

So this is it, Public Square:

ID Scientist: So, can we discuss, say, irreducible complexity?

Scientist: Of course not, I won't even participate. You are just trying to sneek in the baby Jesus.

ID Scientist: No, I mean can we talk about several examples of organic structures, like flagellates, the mammalian eye, and components of living cells that have interdependent macro structures which are problematic for an explanation that involves gradual additive actions over a period of time.

Scientist: No, look, Intelligent Design equals the baby Jesus. Irreducible complexity is the baby Jesus.

ID Scientist: Well, can you proposed a model, a theoretical model that accounts for interdependent organic macro structures developing over time?

Scientist: Baby Jesus! Baby Jesus! You are forcing me into Sunday School!

So much for the practice of science. Science is supposed to reflect a process of thesis-antithesis-synthesis. Instead we get demagoguery.

Curiously, SEED asserts in this issue that it (the magazine) has a new design. The editors have intelligently realigned layouts and content in the magazine to make it more likely that it will survive in the plethora of magazine species. Using the current logic of science, it would be reasonable to suppose that if we were to peel back that top right hand corner, we'd see a picture of the baby Jesus.

(Actually, it's a picture of the Dahli Lama holding a baby Buddha* - just shows the stretch that science is making to confront the numinous - but that's another story.)

*I mean figuratively - there is an article touting the scientific value of Buddhism in the issue.



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People Pulling

I've argued this point with the geologist up here at work for the last 5 months.

"When did a 'theory' become unasailable, undebateable and untestable?"

I pointed out the evolution, ha, of our understanding of matter and the progression of science from element to sub atomic particle. If we just sat back and said "Hydrogen is as small as it gets" where would we be now?

It does go to show that the culture war against religion is alive and well, but it has suprised me that the christian faith is the only one pushing ID considering that Muslim and Jewish faiths have a common belief in creationism.

EMCEE: Thanks for your insights Rob. We do live in the age of the New Inquisition.

Posted by: Rob B. at Dec 6, 2005 7:31:56 AM

It's not demagoguery, its defensiveness. And I'm embarrassed by my fellow scientists for the attitude. It's a poor scientist that doesn't welcome questions, and a dishonest one that won't admit that there are many things that we don't know yet and many holes in our knowledge and theories. On the other hand, asking that a scientist explain what is currently unexplainable over and over and over is pretty much guaranteed to make them defensive (and is not really a positive reflection on the one doing the asking).

Here's an interesting and thought provoking read for the open minded:
http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/godsdebris/


EMCEE: Thank you for your thoughts Jan. I don't think that retreating to irrationality just to retain power can be classified as 'defensiveness'. Holding on to a model of a living cell that is contemporary with the Civil War rather than what we see through an electron microscope isn't about unanwerable questions, it's about something else.

I have sometimes suspected that Scott Adams has been smoking the same stuff that his spiritual brother Douglas Adams does. Now I know :). I appreciate the stimulus, but his singular Avatar really makes pretty weak arguments. But how can you argue with the only level 5 aware being in the universe you know? Cheers!

Posted by: jlb at Dec 6, 2005 4:50:04 PM

When and if you can show me that Creationism/Intelligent Design can be proved wrong (is falsifiable), I'll admit that it's science.

Science is a method, not the end. The key to any scientific theory is that it can be proved wrong; in other words, the theory does not resort to supernatural faith-based explanations for validity. A theory must make predictions and lay out the experiments needed to prove/disprove the theory. There's no possible experiment that can disprove a faith-based view of human origins.

Creationists/IDers focus on the inability to "prove" evolution yet are remarkably silent on the much more cogent issue: Is there a way to disprove Creation/Intelligent Design?

Find a way to do this and you'll have some science. Answers found only in faith are not scientific.

EMCEE: Thanks for your comments Captain Ned. Your faith in falsifiability is staggering :). I'm sorry but this is just another straw man that is tossed about that somehow is supposed to render science based arguments against the status quo untestable. Is Creation/ID falsifiable? Of course it is. Produce scientific evidence of an expected number of transitional forms between species. (And please don't point me to Kathleen Hunt's post at talk.origins - that's just a list of distinct species. I'm saying: Assert a specific species transition - say this common ancestor to the human species. Proffer the number of species forms that exist between the two. Find fossil examples of the forms. You know: do some science.) Produce a probability mathematical model that demonstrates how natural processes can assemble simple organic materials by chance combination, then how natural processes can assemble simple organic materials into working cells by mechanistic combination, how natural processes can assemlbe cells into organisms, etc. - and that such probability trials do not exceed the chance combination a few trillions of times a second of every particle in the universe for the currently proferred age of the universe. Minus a probability model, offer a testable organizing principle that demonstrates a non-probabilistic mechanism for evolutionary process (and shouting "Life will emerge!" or "Well, we're here aren't we?" are insufficient) that contradicts the observable laws against spontaneous generation (for example). Doing these things would certainly falsify Creation/ID and I, for one, would alter my point of view if these things were done.

Of course, I would assert that the scientific evidence on these very issues has falsified evolutionary science as it currently stands. Since it has been falsified, why can't we have open dialog in the public square?

Posted by: Captain Ned at Dec 7, 2005 6:39:18 PM

it does go to show that the culture war against religion is alive and well.

There is not "culture war" against religion. What a paranoid moron you seem to be!

Posted by: Chris Mankey at May 24, 2006 5:41:50 PM

"What a paranoid moron you seem to be"
That Chris Mankey is reduced to name calling is a sure sign of his rational defeat as he degrades to attacking people, not defending arguments.

Scientific theories are disprovable, but evolution as an explanation for the origin of species/genetic info is neither science nor disprovable. NS (natural selection) predicts the survival of those organisms that have traits that encourage survival; a self-evident fact that has no explanatory power. If beetles with wings survive because they can fly away from predators, evo is said to have been the "cause". If beetles without wings survive because flying beetles get blown into the sea, evolution is again the “cause.” Whether complex or simple, when organisms survive, evo told us it would happen Evo even says it might not happen. (Man! This theory explains every thing!) Evo does not predict an increase in genetic info over time. Yet that’s what we find in the fossils record according to some evolutionists (some have been looking thru evolutionary glasses for so long they think the interpreted increase in fossil complexity is synonymous with evolution). According to Gould’s punk eek we find stasis and sudden appearance in the fossils. Well evolution fits that too! Whether we find change, stasis, an increase in complexity, or a decrease in complexity, evolution did it all, baby! The empirical evidence requires evo to explain the increase in genetic info over eons. And what does evo say? Evo tells us it happened by chance. Yep, it is because it is. There’s no knowable law governing genetic info. We might as well stop science ‘cause there is no cause whatsoever. This is just the way it turned out; its magic. Claiming chance as a scientific cause is a reduction of science to mere sorcery. Why is evo true? Evolutionists say, “we’re here aren’t we?”

But tell me, can nothing be known about my car because it was intelligently designed? I guess my computer is beyond the realm of scientific investigation. You know, the last time I tried to measure my house to obtain its square footage my measuring tape just disappeared. Yeah, the evolutionists are right, things designed by an intelligence really are beyond empirical investigation! I guess will just have to stick with the evolutionary explanation: Chance; the certainty that we’ll never know. At least we can be sure of something :)

Please tell me a single experiment that can disprove evo.

Posted by: stevedoetsch at May 25, 2006 2:58:36 PM

Just bring it on Steve Douche. I don't fear you or any of your bible-thumping rednecks. I gotta PC in my parents' basement, lots of Mountain Dew, abd I'm feeling really bold now. Just watch me. Care to look me up? Here you go, Douche.

1136 Supornick LN
St. Paul, MN 55106
(651) 774-1935 (home)
whovian222@gmail.com
whovian222@msn@com (notice a pattern here?)

Bring it on, gook bastards!

Christopher M. Mankey, age 37 (but I'll be 38 soon!)

Posted by: Christopher M Mankey at Jul 12, 2008 8:02:56 PM

Hey! A 779 day retort! Way to go Chris! What've you been doing the last couple of years? Spankin' your Mankey?

Posted by: MC at Jul 13, 2008 8:34:55 PM

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