Correlation in Political Views

(via Popehat) one of the writers at Balloon Juice offers this test of a "reasonable" Conservative blog

1) Do you believe in evolution?

2) Do you believe that the average temperature on earth has increased over the past 30 years?

A few semi-random thoughts:

  • Count me as a yes for both
  • Is the best test of the likely reasonableness of a political blog really to ask two questions about science that such a blog might never even touch?  This is not an entirely rhetorical question -- just the other day I linked the data that suggested that asking your date about beer might be the best way to test their views on sex.  Sometimes odd cross-correlations exist, but I don't think these would be my first test
  • I find the Left's obsession with evolution as a litmus test for political thought to be funny, as the theory of evolution is largely irrelevant to any political questions except fairly narrowly the question of teaching evolution in schools.   I find it funny as much of the Left does not believe in a science - micro economics (very specifically differentiated from macro) - that is also fairly old and well understood and is much more relevant to typical political blog discourse.  I had a debate on national TV a few weeks ago with a man who claimed, as many on the Left will, that raising the minimum wage will increase employment.   If we want to test blogs based on scientific questions, why wouldn't a far more relevant question in public discourse be "do you believe demand curves slope down" or perhaps something like "do you believe breaking windows stimulates the economy?"
  • The second test is not a bad test of any site writing about global warming and climate change.  I don't know many science-based skeptics who would deny that global temperatures have likely increased over the last 30 years  (from a data base without UHI or alarmist manual adjustments or large data holes, the trend is something like 0.1C per decade).   I say "likely" because it could be argued that 0.1C is within the error bar of the measurement. Even so, this wouldn't be my first test, even for climate sites
  • I would tend to have four tests of the liberal and conservative sites I read
    • Is it interesting to read (after all, this is a freaking unpaid hobby)
    • Is the data-analysis-to-name-calling ratio fairly high
    • Are they willing to step out of team politics and question their own team from time to time
    • Do they have interesting perspectives on individual liberty.  I can plow through Marxist economic posts on progressive sites if from time to time they have a useful perspective on, say, indefinite detentions or gay marriage.  I can plow through some social Conservatism if they have useful posts on economics and fiscal policy.

This post from Nick Gillespie is sort of relevent, in which he talks about CPAC and social conservatives.  One line that struck me

A person's choice of sexual partner in no way means he or she can't be in favor of less spending on farm subsidies.

If I weeded out every blog that held some sort of view with which I disagree (or might even call "unreasonable") I would be down to about 3 blogs in my reader.

  • me

    I'd also posit that political views are vastly more complex than the awful dualism of "left" vs "right". And beyond the basics of openness to new experience, how much one fetishizes authority, where between idealistic and practical one stands and how hung up about sex one is, there's always actual experience. Someone with actual experience in third world countries is likely to have a different perspective on world hunger than a pacific northwestern environmentalist. Someone who actually runs a business will have a different perspective on taxes and unemployment than a San Jose librarian.

  • Brian

    It's funny that they use the word "believe" in both questions; using such a word implies faith in the absence of evidence.

  • morganovich

    i'm not so sure about that 30 years temperature question.

    the land based temperature networks are frankly beyond hope in terms of their likely error rates. 90% of the NOAA's sites fail to meet siting guidelines and have an average error that exceeds the rate of change over the last century. (and it is the best network in the world.)

    watts has made this abundantly clear with his survey project.

    http://www.surfacestations.org/

    there is simply no way to get a valid signal out of a system whose error rates (for 70% of the network) average 4-5 times the reported signal.

    this leaves the satellite systems.

    RSS just released january data:

    http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/RSSglobe.html

    reported temp is an anomaly of +0.08 above baseline. so, yes, i guess you could call that warming, but it's sure not much.

    if the question were "have temperatures risen over the last 150 years, i'd unequivocally say yes.

    however, if you asked me, "is the earth warm right now" i'd unequivocally say no.

    the medieval period was warmer, the roman warmer still, the minoan even hotter, and the 3 millennium long holocene climate optimum much warmer than any of those.

    there is enormous and compelling data that this is true.

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/description.php

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/11/making-holocene-spaghetti-sauce-by-proxy/#more-6961

    we are in an ice age. the whole recent interglacial is still in the coldest level of earth temperatures for the last 500 million years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Climate_Change.png

    the little ice age that ended in 1800-1850 was the coldest period in the last 9000 years. if you cherry pick that as a start point, yes, it looks like it is warming.

    but start from any period from about 1000 AD back, and it becomes clear we are in a temperature downtrend that has been going on for 8000 years.

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/lanser_holocene_figure5.png

    i find that question about 30 year temperature increase to be just the sort of "gotcha" question that oversimplifies an issue and tries to make the jump from "you admit to warming" to "you admit to AGW" through rhetorical sleight of hand.

  • morganovich

    also note:

    the little ice age was a TERRIBLE time for humanity.

    it ushered in the dark ages. colonies failed all over the world due to the cold. (recall that the vikings grew wine on newfoundland and the romans did likewise in london. try either now if you think it's warm) plenty turned to starvation. populations plummeted. storms were more frequent and more intense.

    the LIA was not some edenic period of optimum temperatures. it was awful, cold, and brutal. we could never support earth's current population today at temperatures like that.

    it astounds me that people want to return to it.

    using the rate of change over the last 30 years, we have somewhere between 150-1000 years before we even get to roman temperatures.

    remember how humanity and polar bear alike all died off back then from the oppressive heat?

    yeah, me either.

    if climate is warming, we should be grateful. it's to our enormous benefit.

    if CO2 is increasing (likely as an effect, not a cause, look at the vostok cores - CO2 increases come ever interglacial and follow temperature by 500 years or so - it's the oceans outgassing - warm liquid can hold less CO2 in suspension) then that too is fantastic news.

    CO2 is plant food. commercial greenhouses use CO2 levels 3-4 times that in the atmosphere at the moment because it makes the plants grow better.

  • caseyboy

    Brian, in the case of evolution you must have Faith in the theory because the science is not close to being conclusive. I submitted the below to my local paper recently after a local medical doctor claimed evolution was fact. Should run tomorrow. My apologies, I do not know how to hyper-link to the web article I reference below. If you haven't formed a hard opinion on this subject it is worth the read.

    Agenda driven science has been with us since Pharaoh. Many scientists can be driven by personal motives. Nuff said on that. What I take issue with is the statement that evolution is fact.

    Charles Darwin himself said; “The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, (must) be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” The Origin of Species Since Darwin’s time the fossil record has grown exponentially yet we still lack those transitional fossils necessary to make the theory a “fact”.

    Genetic research is uncovering significant complexity in the design of life suggesting something more than random mutations.

    For those of you not biased on this subject I suggest reading a paper written by self-avowed atheist, Thomas Nagel New York University Professor; of Law; Philosophy & Bioethics. http://philosophy.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/1172/papa_132.pdf

    You either have Faith in the unsettled science of evolution or you have Faith in an Intelligent Designer. Faith that everything you see resulted from unexplained, random phenomenon, that inert matter transformed into living matter and that single cell life forms evolved into nearly 1.6 million different species. Or, you have Faith that everything was created by an Intelligent Designer, who provided an instruction manual in the form of the Holly Bible. Your call, consider it carefully.

  • caseyboy

    How about that, the hyper-link took care of itself upon posting. Live and learn.

  • GoneWithTheWind

    The little ice age was the 32nd global cooling since the last ice age. It followed the 32nd global warming known as the Medieval Warm Period. This current cyclical global warming began about 1850 and is the 33rd naturally occurring global warming since the last ice age. It will end and be followed by the 33rd global cooling since the last ice age. Global warming is a very beniegn cycle but when global cooling comes (and it will) it will be a disaster of biblical proportions. 7 billion people cannot survive on earth during a global cooling event. Perhaps 500-600 years from now the survivng humans will again experience a global warming and enjoy huge crops and ideal growing conditions and live in abundance once again. But just as surely there will be those who will by trick and superstition use climate to scare people into doing their bidding. Those who don't learn from history...

  • Joseph K

    You debated a guy that thinks that raising the minimum wage will raise unemployment? Is this guy an idiot? Scratch that question. He's probably a very smart person who has very sophisticated and complex models that explain why basic logic and overwhelming empirical evidence are mistaken. Very smart people can be quite maddening sometimes because they can come up with very smart reasons why their not-so-smart ideas are true.

  • GoneWithTheWind

    The biggest problem with intelligent design is "who" is behind it? The easy answer of course is "god". The obvious quastion is who created god? It would of necessity have to be someone far more intelligent then god to not only create intelligence but the ability to create intelligent design. Then who created that being/god/whatever and for the same reason it/he/thingy had to be even more intelligent then the super intelligent thingy that invented god who is of course incredibly intelligent. Then of course who invented the thingy??? and on and on ad infinitum.

    Signed
    A "thingy" worshiper

  • mahtso

    To Gonewiththewind:
    It's turtles all the way down.

  • caseyboy

    GoneWithTheWind - The circular argument works for evolution as well. You can spend a lot of time going down that path, i.e., chicken or egg. Myself, I like the God thingy. Better safe than sorry.

  • Doug

    Can ANYONE define "earth's average temperature"? There are all sorts of parameters in this universe which are specifically defined. But "earth's average temperature"? Who is the keeper of this definition? I.e., if no one knows what it means, then how the hell can it be legitimately measured and quantized? Do Al Gore, Warren Meyer, and Dr. Roy Spencer use the same "earth's average temperature" standard for their various Powerpoint presentations?

  • morganovich

    casey-

    i am familiar with the argument you are making and also why it is deeply flawed.

    evolution takes place that the DNA level. this means that A) large jumps without intermediate stages are quite possible (and usually fatal) and B) that many intermediate stages exist for very brief periods until a more stable speciation occurs.

    pretending that the fossil record is complete is ludicrous. we have never even seen the fossils of 99% of species that ever lived. your claim that the lack of intermediate stage fossils are absent is like picking up one handful of sand on maui, finding no shells in it, and claiming there are no shells on the island.

    the proof of evolution comes at the DNA level, not in the fossil record.

    your argument is just a straw man based on unrealistic assumptions.

  • morganovich

    doug-

    "earth's a average temperature" is always, invariably, and estimate.

    the 4 main databases are 2 terrestrial: giss (nasa), hadcrut (hadley), and 2 satellite: UAH and RSS.

    of them, i have a great deal more faith in the satellites as they ahve much more complete coverage and lack the siting problems and focused UHI (urban heat island) effects of the ground stations. see http://www.surfacestations.org for info on this.

    the problem with the satellite data is it only goes back to 1979 and therefore is pretty much all the warm leg of the PDO (pacific decadal oscillation), the largest climate feature on earth. it switches modes every 30 years or so and has an enormous effect on global climate. this means that with less that 90 years of data (to compare like mode to like mode) it's difficult to draw conclusions with a great degree of precision. it takes 60 years to draw a meaningful baseline.

  • Dr. T

    "... I don’t know many science-based skeptics who would deny that global temperatures have likely increased over the last 30 years..."

    I am one, because too many of the temperature monitoring stations are land based ones that have become urbanized.

    To me, the best assessment of the Earth's temperature is the average temperature of the oceans that cover 70% of the planet. If our planet really is getting warmer, shouldn't the oceans be warmer? I have seen no data indicating an ocean warming trend. However, there is data showing that the thickness of ice in Antarctica has steadily increased for the past thirty years. That doesn't refute global warming, but it certainly doesn't support it.

  • caseyboy

    Puzzle me this Morganovich, large jumps in the mutation of species(I think you are saying) are possible, but fatal. Hope the organizism had enough time to procreate and that the offspring had sufficient mutation to overcome dad's fatal flaw. That would mean that dad's sperm contained a modified DNA strand that edited out the fatal flaw. Or maybe it didn't entirely so sonny boy also died, but before he did his sperm passed along a further modified DNA strand and grandson made it. Of course at the same time these mutations were occurring in the male, similar mutations were necessary in the female. I wonder why those simple cells decided to mutate into males and females creating genders among most species (not counting plants and insects).

    If anyone reading this exchange wishes to explore this further check out - http://www.stephencmeyer.org/

    Dr. Meyers makes a compelling case that our life systems are designed on sophisticated information processing capabilities that blow away anything man has devised. Stick with it. You don't have to be a Bible totting automon to get the bigger picture.

  • Skeptic

    Interesting that even here the comment arguments migrate to merits of positions on the questions, rather then the merits of those questions AS a litmus test, or the merits of having a litmus test for people whose opinions you will consider reading.

    In addition to the troublesome word "believe" (pointed out by many BalloonJuice commenters as well) I find the first question just odd. It is like asking someone if they "believe in economics".

    I'm reminded of last autumn's "Nature" poll which found that only 87% of SciAm/Nature readers agreed with the proposition that natural selection can explain all the forms and variety of life. If someone answered "no" to that question, does that make them unreasonable? What if their research specialty is genetic drift? I saw some strong assertions in blogs at the time that a "no" answer to this question was obviously a sign of scientific ignorance, but none linked to crosstabs that would correlate that response with level of education or field of expertise...

  • IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society

    > 2) Do you believe that the average temperature on earth has increased over the past 30 years?

    Ummm, no, since I don't believe the entire concept of "average temperature" is vaguely relevant to anything.

    I actually don't believe it's something we have any capacity to actually, reliably measure, for certain, much less to associate with any particular causation or resultant effect. What source data shall we use?

    Weather stations? Adjusted values from weather stations? (Who adjusts them, and how? Why that adjustment?)

    Weather baloons?

    Satellite data? Satellite data from what altitude(s)?

    Daytime? Nighttime? Mid-day? Year-round? One day per month? Which day(s)? What time(s) of day?

    These satellites -- do they provide instantaneous data from all over at a single uniform time, or are they pointed at various different locations at different times, requiring some kind of interpolation to guess at the data at a specific time for most locations? Can we really, actually interpolate the data to the point where we can actually expect an accuracy to within 1 TENTH of a degree? Really?

    One might just as well ask:
    Do you believe that the average shoe size of Americans has increased in the past 30 years?

    > we could never support earth’s current population today at temperatures like that.
    Actually, I'm sure we could. I'd rather not have to try, however. Expensive, at best.

    Also:

    Morganovich, I believe this, a link probably obtained from here, but perhaps not, from a little over a year ago, makes the absurdity of the case, using simple perspective:
    Hockey stick observed in NOAA ice core data

    HOWEVER:
    > it’s the oceans outgassing – warm liquid can hold less CO2 in suspension

    Um, no. While the other elements of your statement fit the data, the above statement is particularly egregiously incorrect. This is why dew forms on cold surfaces -- they cool the surrounding air and it can hold less water vapor. Water's ability to hold gases is much the same.

  • IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society

    Umm, caseyboy
    > What I take issue with is the statement that evolution is fact.

    No one worth a fig claims it is "fact" -- it is a theory, which is a description which fits the evidence and its current interpretations as to cause. It is, however, vastly better supported than any alternative, and it's rather well established for a reason. One of the key flaws in the supposed arguments against evolution as a theory is that they fail to grasp how closely interlinked many techniques and technologies are. The science of Forensics, for example, which DOES have a great deal of objective support, is very very closely tied to those same techniques used to explain evolution. Deny evolution, and you have to explain not just why you disagree with the facts/explanations used to justify the theory of evolution -- you also need to justify/explain why the results are different from that which fits known data in Forensic sciences. Likely, that's going to result in a big FAIL on your alternative explanation.

    The other aspect of "other theories" -- the Christian religious ones, that is, is that most of them rely on God-The-Incompetent to justify them.

    Simply put:
    "The events in question are so unlikely and so improbable (debatable, but let's go with it for the sake of argument) that the Hand Of A Creator is utterly called for."

    Your own comments suggest you adhere to this notion. This is also argued as the "million monkeys" problem (the response to that is the "limited monkey", but that's another thought track)

    Well, there's a problem with this --

    Assume that God exists -- rather clearly He wants us to believe in Him by sheer Faith alone, not by proof.

    If He wanted to prove His existence, he'd just open up the heavens, and say, in a voice rather clearly that of God: "Hey, Stupid. I'm Here!"

    He does not, ergo, we can assume that He does not wish to be proven.

    Now, from that, one of two possibilities arise:
    1) He created this world with an alternative explanation, including supporting data, built in, so that it wouldn't be possible to prove Him by the mere fact of the universe's (and life's) existence.
    or
    2) He tried to do this but wasn't competent enough to think of that ahead of time, or competent enough to create an alternative so complex.

    So, we're left to assume -- either
    A] there IS an alternative explanation, with supporting data, built into the universe which matches all necessary and sufficient requirements for it to exist,
    or
    B]God isn't competent.

    Excuse me, but I'm going with the "God is competent, therefore I choose 'A'" myself.

    So far as we humans've noted to this point, Evolution, or some variant thereof, is the alternative explanation.

    Thus, it is quite possible to have "Faith" in both.

    What isn't really sensible is to have no Faith in evolution without any alternative, non-Godly explanation to take its place.

    THAT says you really don't have any Faith in God, after all... or that your thinking is typically as muddled on this subject as any libtard's is on AGW. Hopefully, this, in you, is more easily fixed than the libtard's attitude towards AGW.

  • dave smith

    There is not test for a "reasonable" left leaning blog. Because none of them are reasonable.

  • caseyboy

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society - I was wondering if you would chime in on this. I will reply more fully this evening, however, my letter to the editor pasted into my first post was in response to a doctor in my neck of the woods who did indeed say that evolutions is FACT. My belief in God is a result of the actual point I was trying to make. Intelligent Design is gaining scientific momentum as an alternative to evolution. In fact evolution has actually fallen in favor as our understanding of genetic complexity increases. By the way, forensic methodologies are being applied to the study of genetics. I'll have more on this later.

    I kind of expected to take some grief from free spirited and intelligent libertarians.

  • morganovich

    casey-

    no, that's not what i was saying. my point was twofold:

    1. that you are looking at the wrong markers for evolution. evolution occurs at the DNA level. large jumps are possible and often fatal, but sometimes adaptive. such adaptive jumps tend to persist and often lead to a huge variety of new jumps that would previously have been disadvantageous becoming beneficial and therefore accruing as well. this means that change tend to happen in rapid bunches until you reach a new sort of local maxima of evolution from which it takes a large (and uncommon) adaptive jump to move further.

    2. that the fossil record is so incomplete that your argument that we would see these brief flashes of actual evolutionary progress is equivalent to taking one character from each page of the new york times and saying "there was nothing about egypt in there".

    meyer is a philosopher, not a scientist. this is the guy who got his articles pulled for faking peer review.

    read gould and dawkins instead.

    they will show you the actual science.

  • morganovich

    bupkis-

    "it’s the oceans outgassing – warm liquid can hold less CO2 in suspension

    Um, no. While the other elements of your statement fit the data, the above statement is particularly egregiously incorrect. This is why dew forms on cold surfaces — they cool the surrounding air and it can hold less water vapor. Water’s ability to hold gases is much the same."

    um, yes. you are totally, categorically wrong about that.

    try it yourself.

    pour 2 glasses of sparkling water.

    put one on the counter. put one in the fridge. come back in 2 hours and taste them. see which one has gone flatter.

    any and all water soluble gasses become less soluble in water as temperature rises.

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/gases-solubility-water-d_1148.html

    so, perhaps before leveling snark at others, you might want to go get yourself even a rudimentary chemistry education.

    CO2 levels have spiked in every interglacial, long before man was having any effect. this spike always follows temps by a few hundred years. warm the ocean, release CO2, just like on the counter as opposed to the fridge.

    this is hard, provable science. there is nothing even remotely debatable about it.

  • morganovich

    if intelligent design is true, then explain the mole rat.

    it lives its whole life underground and has done so for so long that skin has grown closed over its eyes, but it still has eye sockets and even eyes inside them, but they are totally useless and vestigial as even the neurons in a mole rat's brain that used to process visual signals are not used for other tasks and so they don't even have the ability to perceive bright lights like you or i would with our eyes closed.

    hell, look at the human eye and how incredibly badly designed it is. the retina is backwards (unlike say, an octopus) and the nerves from it pass right in front of it blocking receptor cells for light and impeding vision.

    we can see obvious evolution of the eye from the light sensitive surfaces on worms to the primitive camera eyes of scallops through the multifaceted eyes of insects all the way up to the eyes of vertebrates and cephalopods.

    you don't need to see the fossil record for optical evolution, it is in evidence all around us in living things.

    it seems to me that if you wanted to insult god, describing these designs as his would be a good start...

  • morganovich

    gone with the wind-

    a really creepy way to look at the god creation problem is this:

    in an infinite universe, other intelligent life is a certainty.

    some of that life will be more intelligent than were are and have evolved earlier.

    even a difference of 1000 years from now would give us technology that people today would associate with being gods.

    worse, we will likely be able to simulate human and create superhuman intelligence by that point.

    this blows the god creation problem wide open.

    it also means that there is a very small chance that we are living in a real universe as opposed to a computer simulation.

    perhaps the Planck constant is just a programming parameter.

    perhaps we are all just a sophisticated version of the sims and our god is an alien teenager aided and abetted by the programmers of nargon 9...

    hell, we could be a sim within a sim withing a sim in endless matroishka fashion.

    talk about turtles all the way down...

  • Dan

    Morganovich:

    Nice job refuting the intelligent design argument. I'm enjoying your posts.

    Dan

  • Dr. T

    IgotBupkis replied to "> it’s the oceans outgassing – warm liquid can hold less CO2 in suspension

    Um, no. While the other elements of your statement fit the data, the above statement is particularly egregiously incorrect. This is why dew forms on cold surfaces — they cool the surrounding air and it can hold less water vapor. Water’s ability to hold gases is much the same."

    IgotBupkis does not understand physical chemistry. The colder the solvent, the more dissolved gases it can hold. Cold water can hold far more dissolved carbon dioxide than warm water, which is why warming a carbonated beverage bottle can drive out enough CO2 to blow the top off.

  • caseyboy

    morganovich – Dr. Stephen C Meyer graduated with a degree in physics and earth science in 1981 from Whitworth University and obtained his doctorate in history and philosophy of science from Cambridge University. Perhaps a little more credentialed than you suggested?

    And what a surprise, Dr Meyer writes an article proclaiming ID to be scientifically viable and the evolution establishment gets it pulled claiming insufficient peer support and vetting. What a “flat earther” Dr Meyer must be. Kind of like the global warmers calling folks like our dear Warren “flat earthers” don’t you think? As a follower of this site I would think that you, more than most, would know that agenda driven scientists don’t play nice when their “established science” is challenged. Concerning the article to which you speak:
    Dr. Richard M. Sternberg, was the editor of the scientific journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington who controversially handled the review and editing process of the only article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal advocating intelligent design, the article written by Dr Meyer. Dr Sternberg is an American scientist who believes intelligent design deserves to be part of the discussion about evolution and the origin of life on Earth. Although he is not a proponent of intelligent design, Dr. Sternberg has been critical of the mainstream in evolutionary biology for refusing to even consider alternatives or challenges to strict neo-Darwinism. Poor Dr Sternberg was pretty much ridden out of Dodge for his participation in the affair.

    As for evidence of adaption in a species. One would hope that something intelligent enough to design the very sophisticated econ-system and creatures that live within it would have the forethought to accommodate the need to adapt into the genetic code. Heck even man designs and builds things that adapt to the surrounding environment. Evidence of adaptation would seem to be flimsy evidence for evolution. It is hard to envision adaptation creating whole new species.

    Man’s optics system seems sufficiently designed to meet his needs in combination with the other attributes designed into him. Man dominates the Earth (as God intended). The fact that other species have exceptionally designed characteristics doesn’t mitigate the efficient design of man. I don’t smell as nice as rose, I’m not as pretty as a peacock and I don’t have the eyesight of an eagle, but I have dominion over them all.

    About the fossil record. It sounds like you are not an advocate of Darwin’s “gradualism” theory, i.e., that species evolved over long periods, which is indeed dependent on transition fossils. You appear to subscribe to “punctuated equilibrium”, i.e., evolution occurs mostly in sudden bursts. Of course this theory conveniently mitigates the fossil gap. Interestingly this theory became popular when it was evident that we were not going to find those transition fossils. This kind of reminds me of the global warmers who say it is getting colder and snowing because of man-made warming. Agenda driven science won’t give up the ghost easily. As for punctuated equilibrium, now you are left explaining the “triggering” events. There is much controversy in the scientific community on this point as you probably know. Interestingly ID proponents have some pretty good theories here as well.

    After all is said we are still left with that ancient conundrum, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Where did that first living cell come from? What turned inert matter into life? Yeah, I know who created the Creator? Old IgotBupkis pretty much worked that one around the bend and back. So what is the “Truth”? What can you “Trust”? I’ll finish where I started. Since evolution cannot be proven, nor can Intelligent Design be proven, by the scientific method we are left to choose what to believe. What to have Faith in. My issue is that evolutionists stifle scientific debate on the issue, pooh, pooh anything that doesn’t fit with their paradigm, and ostracize anyone who suggests there is an alternative. And the media gladly aids and abets. All the things that this blog site accuses the global warmers of doing. Strikes me as rather hypocritical.

  • morganovich

    casey-

    i have far more science education than he does and from much better schools, so no, i am not impressed by his science credentials, especially as you leave out the most pertinent part: Meyer graduated with a degree in physics and earth science in 1981 from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-affiliated Whitworth University.

    he did an undergrad in physics and "earth sciences" which is a nonsense major at a 4th rate hack school with a heavy divinity focus.

    schools where genesis is treated as a science text simply are not going to impress me nor satisfy sir francis bacon nor his methods.

    if i told you i was a business major from catbutt community college a branch of the scientologists, would you take my M+A advice?

    his graduate work was all in humanities. the guy is a philosopher, not a scientist.

    this guy does not have a single science credential from a real school. read gould. he literally eviscerates these guys and exposes them for the poltroons and charlatans that they are.

    meyer is a liar with the revoked articles to prove it. faking peer review is certainly not a big confidence booster in the quality of his data.

    your repose on the human eye is just drivel. saying "well, it works well enough" is evidence of evolution, not design. my point is that NO ONE would have designed an eye that way. there are no good reasons to do it and many good reasons not to. who would put the wires for a camera in front of the lens? seriously? did you even think about this for even one second?

    i note you are completely silent on the mole rat. what manner of "ineffable" reason are you going to propose for its eyes that are no longer even hooked to its brain? that god had some spare parts? that he's a cosmic trickster looking to confuse us? please.

    regarding the fossil record, you are still just NOT getting this. the fossil record is so incomplete that it could NEVER be used for anything like what you are proposeing. we have probably never even seen evidence of 99%+ of all species that have ever lived. of the ones we have seen, we have again only seen an infinitesimal fraction of them. i keep trying to find an analogy here that you can understand.

    you are literally making the claim that because you randomly took 26 letters out of the whole book war and peace and got no "Z"s that Z's do not exist in Dostoevsky or that you polled 4 americans and none had blond hair so blonds do not exist in america.

    the sample size of the fossil record is very small and evolution tend to come in jumps making it VERY difficult to find such transitional fossils yet even with this vast impediment, we have found them nonetheless contrary to whatever nonsense you have been reading.

    i suggest you look into the archaeopteryx, which is a clear transitional species between reptile and bird.

    here's a list of a couple dozen more for you to play with:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils

    at a certain point, perhaps you will begin to see that you are being lied to about their lack of existence.

    further, we now have the ability in some special cases to use DNA to verify both dependence and evolution so contrary to your "evolution cannot be proven" claim, yes it can and it has.

    DNA has even been used to verify current evolution and specialization in humans.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/03/0308_060308_evolution.html

    read the study it cites.

    http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.0040072

    then answer me this:

    if there is concrete proof we are evolving now, then what possible argument can you make that this trend just started? why would evolution suddenly start up now if it had not been going on all along?

    ID proponents do not "have some pretty good theories themselves". they all believe in magic. none have even a single shred of evidence and all rely upon the same twisted logic that the IPCC uses to claim humans are causing global warming. (aha, i have tied these two issues together at last!) the IPCC take the single most complex, chaotic, back chained interdependent, non linear system anyone has ever tried to model, runs their primitive, incomplete computer study using data from weather stations that is laughably incomplete, finds things they cannot explain with it and then, instead of saying "well, i guess the model is incomplete, we should keep working on it" say "the rest of the change must have been made by man".

    the creationists are doing the exact same thing. they take something as complex as evolution and a record as limited as the fossil record, and then say "you have no evidence of X" therefore it must be intelligent design. that is NOT PROOF. that does not even belong in the same room as proof. it's just an egregious logical fallacy swallowed by the credulous.

    we don't know why gravity exists either in any real sense, but that is not proof of god either.

    but, unlike gravity, we do know why evolution exists. it is driven by the competition of organisms for survival. you see it in every aspect of life be it evolutionary or social. better still, we have proof at the physical level and the DNA level of its existence in a great number of places. you are essentially arguing with newton that he cannot claim that all objects fall according to certain rules because he has not dropped every single one of them yet. you have ZERO positive proof of creationism, just a dog's breakfast of logical fallacy and intellectual legerdemain. we also understand why what you term "triggering events" occur. they are essentially random. DNA is a sloppy replicator. it makes transcription errors. some precious few wind up being beneficial. alternately, an outside force can drive it like gray moths turning black in response to the soot covering the trees upon which they live. the darker ones are harder for predators to see, survive, and breed. bingo, darker moths. try reading about the peppered moth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth

    your final argument about suggesting alternatives is ludicrous. you can always suggest an alternative. perhaps objects do not fall at 9.8m/s2 in vacuum at earth's surface. perhaps they are instantly destroyed every picosecond and recreated in a slightly different position the next. perhaps the world was created 10 minutes ago and all our memories are false. perhaps we live in plato's cave.

    the reason science requires evidence is precisely to weed out such speculative wastes of time.

    no one can ever prove that the world was not created 10 minutes ago by an all knowing flying spaghetti monster who created us with all our memories for some ineffable reason of his own. but no one can prove that it was either, which is why we require a POSITIVE burden of proof in science. it is the abrogation of that basic principle that makes creationism a parlor game as opposed to actual science.

    no one can ever disprove god, even by proving evolution. perhaps god set a few strands of RNA loose in the primordial soup and sat back to watch the show.

    but you cannot prove him, nor intelligent design either. it is not possible to prove intelligent design unless you find a little note from god somewhere in the RNA.

    you touched at one point on pascal's wager, which is an incomplete and foolish idea.

    to decide to believe in god on a "better safe than sorry" basis is not, as pascal would argue, costless. it subjugates you to all manner of philosophical and social limitations up to and including control by outside organizations such as the church. even if you simply practice a personal religion, if it includes such dogma as creationism, it limits you. there is a price and that price is freedom of action and of thought. there is also a cost in personal development. a man who comes to "do unto others..." on his own has a more developed morality that one who comes to the same belief based on "or i'll smite thee and banish you to hell".

    think about it for a minute: who is the nicer man, one who willingly gives money to the needy or one who does so because his boss will fire him if he doesn't?

    now apply that to religion and you'll see why i think pascal's bet is a loser.

  • morganovich

    here's a really simple way to look at it:

    disproving one theory does not prove another.

    disproving that objects get hotter because they contain more phlogiston doe not prove modern thermodynamics.

    thus, even if you could disprove evolution, it does not do anything to prove ID.

    that's the big logical fallacy you are trying to push.

  • oddjob in NM

    here's another way to look at it, morganovich: over the course of several comments, you've been attacking caseyboy for "his" views on the oddly suspicious lack of transitional species in the fossil record, when - if i read his original post correctly - all he did was quote the 'Genius, Darwin Himself'. this is telling.

  • morganovich

    oddjob-

    that quote from darwin shows 2 things:

    1. that he was a good scientist and therefore both admitted and sought to account for potential shortcomings in his own theory

    2. that darwin lived in a time when ideas such as his were still considered heresy and that he had to be VERY careful about what he said and how it was couched.

    casey is taking the healthy skepticism of a scientist and twisting it in an attempt to demonstrate that his theory is tantamount to gospel in support of the idea of creationism and then arguing through logical fallacy.

    you are also quoting him very selectively by leaving out "The Origin of Species Since Darwin’s time the fossil record has grown exponentially yet we still lack those transitional fossils necessary to make the theory a “fact”." which is utterly untrue both in terms of the growth and regarding the discovery of such species.

    many transitional species have been found. divergent adaptation among humans has been proven at the DNA as well as the physical level. we see numerous examples of differing development in the eye, a favorite attack point for the creationists, just in living creatures today which shows us an evolutionary path. go back and read the links i posted. you are either being highly disingenuous or you did not bother to read the whole argument before chiming in.

    no theory can ever be conclusively proven for all time. all we can do is test it over and over and try to falsify it.

    no amount of evidence ever proves anything forever.

    Einstein's relativity theory did and does seem outlandish. as a result it is perhaps the most and most rigorously tested theory in human history. thus far, it has not been falsified. that is always the best that science can do, but if the theory continues to successfully predict results and satisfy experiments, then it becomes increasingly validated.

    this is true of evolution as every other scientific theory.

    this cannot be said of intelligent design whose entire premise is "i don't understand this, so it must be god". it is a theory with no positive proof at all.

  • morganovich

    ah, my apologies. i posted a lengthy response and it is "awaiting moderation" likely because it has too many links in it.

    i will break it up into smaller chunks and see if that works.

    casey-

    i have far more science education than he does and from much better schools, so no, i am not impressed by his science credentials, especially as you leave out the most pertinent part: Meyer graduated with a degree in physics and earth science in 1981 from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-affiliated Whitworth University.

    he did an undergrad in physics and “earth sciences” which is a nonsense major at a 4th rate hack school with a heavy divinity focus.

    schools where genesis is treated as a science text simply are not going to impress me nor satisfy sir francis bacon nor his methods.

    if i told you i was a business major from catbutt community college a branch of the scientologists, would you take my M+A advice?

    his graduate work was all in humanities. the guy is a philosopher, not a scientist.

    this guy does not have a single science credential from a real school. read gould. he literally eviscerates these guys and exposes them for the poltroons and charlatans that they are.

    meyer is a liar with the revoked articles to prove it. faking peer review is certainly not a big confidence booster in the quality of his data.

  • morganovich

    your repose on the human eye is just drivel. saying “well, it works well enough” is evidence of evolution, not design. my point is that NO ONE would have designed an eye that way. there are no good reasons to do it and many good reasons not to. who would put the wires for a camera in front of the lens? seriously? did you even think about this for even one second?

    i note you are completely silent on the mole rat. what manner of “ineffable” reason are you going to propose for its eyes that are no longer even hooked to its brain? that god had some spare parts? that he’s a cosmic trickster looking to confuse us? please.

    regarding the fossil record, you are still just NOT getting this. the fossil record is so incomplete that it could NEVER be used for anything like what you are proposeing. we have probably never even seen evidence of 99%+ of all species that have ever lived. of the ones we have seen, we have again only seen an infinitesimal fraction of them. i keep trying to find an analogy here that you can understand.

    you are literally making the claim that because you randomly took 26 letters out of the whole book war and peace and got no “Z”s that Z’s do not exist in Dostoevsky or that you polled 4 americans and none had blond hair so blonds do not exist in america.

    the sample size of the fossil record is very small and evolution tend to come in jumps making it VERY difficult to find such transitional fossils yet even with this vast impediment, we have found them nonetheless contrary to whatever nonsense you have been reading.

    i suggest you look into the archaeopteryx, which is a clear transitional species between reptile and bird.

    here’s a list of a couple dozen more for you to play with:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils

    at a certain point, perhaps you will begin to see that you are being lied to about their lack of existence.

  • morganovich

    further, we now have the ability in some special cases to use DNA to verify both dependence and evolution so contrary to your “evolution cannot be proven” claim, yes it can and it has.

    DNA has even been used to verify current evolution and specialization in humans.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/03/0308_060308_evolution.html

    read the study it cites.

    http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.0040072

    then answer me this:

    if there is concrete proof we are evolving now, then what possible argument can you make that this trend just started? why would evolution suddenly start up now if it had not been going on all along?

    ID proponents do not “have some pretty good theories themselves”. they all believe in magic. none have even a single shred of evidence and all rely upon the same twisted logic that the IPCC uses to claim humans are causing global warming. (aha, i have tied these two issues together at last!) the IPCC take the single most complex, chaotic, back chained interdependent, non linear system anyone has ever tried to model, runs their primitive, incomplete computer study using data from weather stations that is laughably incomplete, finds things they cannot explain with it and then, instead of saying “well, i guess the model is incomplete, we should keep working on it” say “the rest of the change must have been made by man”.

    the creationists are doing the exact same thing. they take something as complex as evolution and a record as limited as the fossil record, and then say “you have no evidence of X” therefore it must be intelligent design. that is NOT PROOF. that does not even belong in the same room as proof. it’s just an egregious logical fallacy swallowed by the credulous.

  • morganovich

    we don’t know why gravity exists either in any real sense, but that is not proof of god either.

    but, unlike gravity, we do know why evolution exists. it is driven by the competition of organisms for survival. you see it in every aspect of life be it evolutionary or social. better still, we have proof at the physical level and the DNA level of its existence in a great number of places. you are essentially arguing with newton that he cannot claim that all objects fall according to certain rules because he has not dropped every single one of them yet. you have ZERO positive proof of creationism, just a dog’s breakfast of logical fallacy and intellectual legerdemain. we also understand why what you term “triggering events” occur. they are essentially random. DNA is a sloppy replicator. it makes transcription errors. some precious few wind up being beneficial. alternately, an outside force can drive it like gray moths turning black in response to the soot covering the trees upon which they live. the darker ones are harder for predators to see, survive, and breed. bingo, darker moths. try reading about the peppered moth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth

    your final argument about suggesting alternatives is ludicrous. you can always suggest an alternative. perhaps objects do not fall at 9.8m/s2 in vacuum at earth’s surface. perhaps they are instantly destroyed every picosecond and recreated in a slightly different position the next. perhaps the world was created 10 minutes ago and all our memories are false. perhaps we live in plato’s cave.

    the reason science requires evidence is precisely to weed out such speculative wastes of time.

    no one can ever prove that the world was not created 10 minutes ago by an all knowing flying spaghetti monster who created us with all our memories for some ineffable reason of his own. but no one can prove that it was either, which is why we require a POSITIVE burden of proof in science. it is the abrogation of that basic principle that makes creationism a parlor game as opposed to actual science.

    no one can ever disprove god, even by proving evolution. perhaps god set a few strands of RNA loose in the primordial soup and sat back to watch the show.

    but you cannot prove him, nor intelligent design either. it is not possible to prove intelligent design unless you find a little note from god somewhere in the RNA.

    you touched at one point on pascal’s wager, which is an incomplete and foolish idea.

    to decide to believe in god on a “better safe than sorry” basis is not, as pascal would argue, costless. it subjugates you to all manner of philosophical and social limitations up to and including control by outside organizations such as the church. even if you simply practice a personal religion, if it includes such dogma as creationism, it limits you. there is a price and that price is freedom of action and of thought. there is also a cost in personal development. a man who comes to “do unto others…” on his own has a more developed morality that one who comes to the same belief based on “or i’ll smite thee and banish you to hell”.

    think about it for a minute: who is the nicer man, one who willingly gives money to the needy or one who does so because his boss will fire him if he doesn’t?

    now apply that to religion and you’ll see why i think pascal’s bet is a loser.

  • morganovich

    those posts were all one big post and the one to which you (oddjob) are responding was intended to come after them as a footnote.

    i did not realize they had not been posted.

  • oddjob in NM

    well, _that's_ a huge relief. for a moment there, i thought i'd hit - you know - hit a NERVE or something.

  • morganovich

    oddjob-

    you could only do that by adding something useful to the conversation.

  • oddjob in NM

    well, that might (or might not) be true, morganovich. since you've already demonstrated that your own intelligence and reading comprehension is - shall we say - "suspect", you might wanna ease up on throwing rocks at those who would dare to disagree with your Sacred Pronouncements.

    y'know, i wonder....based on your plethora of (exceptionally wordy) comments attacking anyone who would dare to question the Holy Doctrine of Darwin, i wonder if you're also one of those guys who just HAVE TO have the last word. time will tell, huh, good buddy?

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    "If I weeded out every blog that held some sort of view with which I disagree (or might even call “unreasonable”) I would be down to about 3 blogs in my reader."

    Tell me about it. I was nearly ready to drop you from my reader when you started dissing In-N-Out. But I refrained, knowing that one completely wrong and incomprehensibly batty opinion about cheeseburgers is *not* enough to invalidate everything else you blog about...

  • morganovich

    addjob-

    i'm trying to figure out if you are a troll or just unable to read for comprehension.

    let's go back to the facts, shall we?

    here is what casey said:

    "Charles Darwin himself said; “The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, (must) be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” The Origin of Species Since Darwin’s time the fossil record has grown exponentially yet we still lack those transitional fossils necessary to make the theory a “fact”. "

    here is what you said:

    "here’s another way to look at it, morganovich: over the course of several comments, you’ve been attacking caseyboy for “his” views on the oddly suspicious lack of transitional species in the fossil record, when – if i read his original post correctly – all he did was quote the ‘Genius, Darwin Himself’. this is telling."

    here is why you are obviously and provably wrong:

    casey's comment breaks down into 2 parts. the first, there are two sentences attributed to charles darwin. an even rudimentary careful reader would be able to pick these out owing to the fact that they are in quotation marks.

    second, there is this the third sentence:

    The Origin of Species Since Darwin’s time the fossil record has grown exponentially yet we still lack those transitional fossils necessary to make the theory a “fact”. "

    this is casey's opinion. it is not darwin, nor darwin's argument. it is a factually inaccurate pile of nonsense added by casey. darwin laid out a set of criteria to test evolution and deliberately laid out the weaknesses in the theory based on the evidence of his time. however, the evidence he discussed has since been found in significant amounts. this bolsters his theory, yet you you seem willing to accept that it is refutation.

    it would appear that it is, in fact, your intelligence and reading comprehension that is suspect, even if we leave out the whole issue that when one quotes someone else to make their argument that it is still "their" argument, you don't seem to be able to tell evidence for a proposition from evidence against it. i have yet to see you add even one single valid point of any value to this discussion.

    so, now that your little excursion from our discussion has been shown up for the grandstanding and nonsense that it is, i suspect your response will tell us a great deal about your nature (in addition to the silly vitriol about "holy doctrine of darwin" an argument that is a pure straw man as i never said anything even slightly similar to that and rather went out of my way to describe the limits of scientific theory instead, a fact you would know if you bothered to read what i wrote before chirping in rather than arguing with yourself instead). let's consider it an social experiment. are you a troll or just not very smart? we await data.

    i will let the irony of someone piping up in meaningless fashion to get the last word while accusing others of the same stand for itself. intentional or not, you are a delicious parody of yourself. i could not have made fun of you better myself.

  • oddjob in NM

    suspicion confirmed, morgano. many thanks for proving my point!

  • A Friend

    Morganovich, enjoyed your posts here. I had forgotten the eye design, glad to see someone keeps all these arguments top of mind.

  • morganovich

    nojob-

    was that deliberately ambiguous to make it more difficult to determine if you are a troll or an incompetent and stifle my experimental efforts?

    at this point i'm going with "both" as my working theory.

    there is simply too much evidence to dismiss either alternative.

  • oddjob in NM

    just can't help yourself, can you, morganovitch? after every post, you vow to yourself, "i won't answer back this time, no matter WHAT that awful person says! i just won't! i mean it this time!! I WON'T!!!" but then, after awhile, that old craving; that itchy, tickling....._feeling_ creeps back in, drawing you helplessly, inexorably to the keyboard. try as you might, you find you can't fight it. it's like magnetism. like gravity. "well, maybe just one more rebuttal", you mutter to yourself. "just this one last time - why, i'll call him a *troll*, that's what i'll do! and then they'll see! they'll all see how smart i am, how i wouldn't hurt a fly!!"

    your (obviously uncontrollable) passion on this subject - leaving aside your sad, pathetic obsession with me for the nonce - actually dovetails quite nicely with coyote's headline. to wit, "correlation in political views." it's been my observation that the people who are *compelled* to defend certain scientific precepts, even unto the point of shrill hysteria as you've been doing, are almost always A) hugely liberal, tending towards authoritarianism or B) deeply insecure personalities. or both! there's a "correlation" there, do you see?

    evolution is the accepted scientific doctrine of (i'll keep this simple for you) 'how things came to be as they are". long accepted as gospel, just as AGW has been lo these past coupla decades, until those pesky damning 'coverup' emails leaked out - and proved to the world that not only was AGW not real, it was known to be a hoax. a hoax *vigorously* defended by "the vast majority of scientists" as were constantly reminded. i myself tend to believe that the theory of evolution (lemme emphasize that word. THEORY) is largely correct, although there are enough holes in the theory that i (as opposed to, say, you)(it helps that i'm neither liberal nor insecure) i am at least willing to consider that it might be wrong. because, as i just noted above, there IS a precedent for that sort of thing in the scientific world.

    a few years back, ann coulter wrote what i believe to be one of the bravest books ever written: "godless". in it, she spends the first two-thirds of the book eviscerating liberal morons with their own (usually curiously unreported) words, always a treat, and then adds her usual devastating conclusions to them - an even bigger treat. but in the last third of the book, she goes after the biggest sacred cow of them all: the theory of evolution. she discusses the reasons why this theory is sacred to the liberal mind, and also makes several excellent-to-devastating observations about why this THEORY might be incorrect, which i'll summarize in a second. and they must have been pretty damn valid points, because to my knowledge, not one media asswipe ever dared to challenge her on them, must less air them. (i mean real media types, not halfwit internet buffoons, which is what you'll find if you google it.) you just KNOW if they could have, they would have done so: after sarah palin, coulter is media's "female enemy number 1". ("she just won't think like we instruct her to!!!") ABC/CBS/NBC/MSNBC/et al LIVE FOR a chance to make her look bad, right? but, alas, they just couldn't hack it. too stupid, no doubt. maybe you, the passionate defender of all things darwinistical AND pouty, petulant proclaimer of "trolls", can. let's see, shall we?

    1) evolution, as darwin's proponents describe it, is largely a matter of random mutation. problem is... "the vast majority of mutations are deleterious to the organism. but evolution demands a whole parade of them that are not only individually advantageous, improving upon what existed before, but also lead to an all-new structure that is also better than what existed before." (e.g., the eye.)
    2) speaking of the eye, "darwin himself noted the difficulty of explaining it in 'origin of species', admitting he could not do it. he hypothesized the eye might have began as a patch of light-sensitive cells upon which natural selection could then work its magic", brushing aside the need for an eye socket, the requirement of those 'light-sensitive' (LOL) cells to have the capacity to send an electric signal to the brain, a specialized optic nerve to carry those signals, a brain capable of *processing* these __brand-new heretofore unseen signals__; etc etc.
    3) darwin said there'd be "interminable varieties" of intermediate species, or transitional species. no less an authority than stephen jay gould (himself) says there ain't: "the **extreme rarity** of transitional forms in the fossil record persist as the trade secret of paleontology. the evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches, the rest is inference,(...), NOT THE EVIDENCE OF FOSSILS." (emphasis mine.) gee, that's odd. why would he say such a thing?
    4) the 'cambrian explosion' (massive catastrophe [asteroid strike?] wipes out almost all life on earth at end of pre-cambrian period 500 million years ago, and then, in less than 10 million years - "the blink of an evolutionary eye" - life comes booming back, stronger and more diverse than ever before) is unexplainable in darwinian terms. "in just 10 million years or so, there bursts upon the scene nearly all of the animal phyla we have today." almost as if..as if... as if they were PLANTED there, or some intelligence *designed or created* them. odd, huh?
    5) (i can do this all day, but...gotta work tomorrow.) sharks and crocodiles and cockroaches don't seem to have evolved not...one....BIT over the last 300,000,000 years or so. why not? surely a FLYING shark would have an advantage over a mere swimming one, no? a croc with opposable thumbs would be one _seriously_ bad mutha, wouldn't it? 2-foot-long cockroaches in a swarm would be like...like...like LAND PIRANHAS, dude! they'd be TOtally unSTOPpable!!!!! and yet....they didn't evolve. por que no??

    those seem to me to be valid questions, and since they (evidently) counter darwin's "laws", they're enough for me to at least _question_ those "laws". (although, again, i do largely believe in the theory of evolution.) but then, i'm intellectually honest and don't have my entire self-worth wrapped up in defense of somebody else's mere theory, as you seem to. ah well. gotta run! you know how us trolls are - bridges to be lurked under! children to frighten!

  • morganovich

    actually no oddjob, i keep saying, "i wonder what nonsense i'll have to debunk next"

    you have surprised me by actually trying to add something to the debate.

    and what a fine crop you have come up with. you seem to be just googling this and regurgitating ideas you do not understand.

    agw is not science for the same reason creationism is not science - both rely upon negative proof eg "we can't explain it so it must be X". AGW is essentially nonsense, but at least there are some demonstrable facts in it. earth has warmed in the last 150 years. by how much is debatable, but the trend is pretty clear. CO2 does act to hold longwave radiation in thereby warming the earth. there are at least a few facts there, even if they are being misinterpreted and used to draw flawed inferences.

    the same cannot be said of intelligent design.

    darwin was a good and honest scientist. he freely pointed out the potential holes in his theory. that said, you seem to be under the impression that the science has not changed since then. a great many those holes have been closed. many, many transitional species have been found. i linked to maybe 50 above. the evolution of the eye is also well understood. you (and ann) are quoting inaccurate sources.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye

    further, the eye human eye

    better still, read gould (who you quote out of context) on this. extreme rarity does not mean absence. if we can show evolution in many places, it is reasonable to assume it took place in others just as if you drop a ball and it falls, it is reasonable to assume that dropping a plate will cause it to fall as well. are you going to demand that we drop every single object on earth before you believe in gravity? you are just being deliberately obtuse. nuclear explosions have been extremely rare as well, but that does not mean we don't understand how they work.

    ann is many things, but a scientist is not one of them. she's a gadfly who makes a living being incendiary. (and a religious crank as well)

    she is taking the honesty of a scientist who admits that all science is theory and trying to use it to claim that science is myth which is a fallacy. (see below)

    evolution is more than random mutation. it's also survival of the fittest. surely no one contests that animals vary. some are bigger and stronger than others. (and how could this be so without genetic variation?) big fast lions are more likely to survive and mate than small weak ones. they transmit these characteristics to their offspring. bingo, evolution. the same can be said of light sensitive organs and the "vision arms race" they set off. imagine the advantages of being able to see better than the things you hunt or that hunt you. it is well understood that RNA is an error prone replicator. this fact provides all the variation you would ever need for evolution.

    darwin was unaware of the existence of DNA, so of course his understanding was incomplete. today we can use DNA to prove descendence and heridity as well as evolution as has been done in humans (again linked above) and many animal species as well.

    the fossil record is limited, far too limited to show every link every time. however, what evidence we do have all shows evidence of evolution. why would some species (including humans even now - see link above) experience evolutionary pressure yet others not?

    your cambrian argument seems deeply flawed. you have a huge energy and nutrient rich ecosystem. all it takes is for something major to change and alter the selective pressures. suddenly, you have a new arms race. this exact same thing happened in the oceans when the first life forms became able to extract calcium and grow protective coverings. the whole ocean fauna altered in a very should period as a result. this is called punctuated equilibrium.

    species that don't evolve don't evolve for many reasons, usually that there is insufficient selective pressure. they found a very strong local maxima of evolution. great white sharks don't evolve because there is no pressure to do so. your "winged shark" idea shows that you have no understanding of how evolution works. it is not "evolution towards". it is "evolution in response to". species evolve when pressured (fast gazelles survive, slow ones are lion food) or occasionally due to a random input from sloppy RNA transcription. they don't pick some fanciful future form and strive towards it.

    the fact that puzzles remain does not "disprove" evolution.

    so, let's toss this back at you:

    you cannot prove creationism by disproving evolution. that's not how proof works. proving that something is not a duck does not make it an egret.

    all science is theory. as i started to say above, none can ever be proven conclusively for all time. all that can be said is that the theory fits observed facts thus far. this is true of our theory of gravity and of evolution as well. any and all scientific doctrine is always up for revision (making the claims of "the science is settled" of the AGW crowd all the more ridiculous). good scientists admit that. this is not a basis to claim that science is fiction. newtonian physics built the first airplanes even though it was later overturned by einstein.

    all we can do is say that a given theory has more or less evidentiary support. there is a great deal of very conclusive evidence for evolution and clear evidence at the gross body and the dna level of animals transitioning into other animals as well as numerous vestigial characteristics (like whale legs) that support evolutionary theory and show it in progress.

    there is absolutely none for intelligent design.

    so here is my challenge to you:

    show me even one piece of positive evidence for intelligent design.

    just one.

    i will bet you that you cannot. all you will do is point to things other theories do not explain and claim that because it is not a duck, it is an elephant.

    while you're at it, explain to me why a mole rat has eye sockets and eyes that are covered entirely by close skin and optical nerves that are no longer hooked into it's brain as its former visual cortex is now used for other purposes if it were "intelligently designed"?

    sounds like an awfully wonky design to me, even wonkier than whale legs.

  • caseyboy

    Bad boy Casey, see what you started.
    morganovich, I took the day off yesterday, Sabbath you know. Listen rather than get into a war of url links I’ll accept one of your posts and close this issue, at least on for my side.

    morganovich: "here’s a really simple way to look at it: disproving one theory does not prove another. disproving that objects get hotter because they contain more phlogiston doe not prove modern thermodynamics. thus, even if you could disprove evolution, it does not do anything to prove ID."

    Couldn’t agree more, you cannot prove or disapprove a theory by holding up an alternative theory, unless the alternative can be proven. ID is not fact, nor is evolution fact. However, the “theory” of evolution is being taught to our kids as though it were “fact”.

    “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” Abraham Lincoln

    Abe might have added, and also the philosophy of our society in general. We are privileged to see the results of a “Godless” society. Man without moral brakes is not a pretty picture.

    I can’t resist countering a few more of your points.

    The mole rat, my previous post summed it up, an intelligent designer would program the ability to adapt. Heck, we humans do that with things we design and build, engines that adapt for atmospherics, seed strains that resist infestation, machines that sense an external condition and then respond (adapt their then current status to a different status), computer programs being developed with cognitive attributes, etc. So a rat remains underground in complete darkness and through inactivity its optical system shuts down. Da! Adaptation does not rationalize sudden, drastic mutation to a new species.

    The Peppered Month is another instance of adaptation, but this time at least there appears to have been a survival component. The typica or light colored moth and the carbonaria or dark colored moth pre-existed the so-called transformative events (industrialization and the resulting pollution). The change in the externals resulted in making the typica more visible and the carbonaria less visible. And as one might expect it was easier for the birds to find and devour the typicas. The carbonarias increased in number as they were less visible to the birds. Now days as the pollution of those times has receded the number of typica are increasing, reverse evolution I suppose and the darker version is now more visible and its numbers are going down. Some element of survival adaptation is certainly at work, but it still falls far short of sudden, dramatic mutation into a new species.

    Reptile to Bird here the fossil record may indeed indicate transition. However, in this instance the natural selection principle gets in the way. It would seem that a creature with nubby little wings would be easy prey. How would that flightless creature survive through however many mutation cycles were necessary for the wings to become functional? Personally I think flying would be pretty neat. Why wouldn’t all the species have wanted to mutate to flight?

    Your problem morganovich is that science is losing dominion over the debate. The DNA code suggests information processing attributes. Clearly one’s DNA code provides instructions throughout our bodies. Encoding, decoding, data & code authentication are taking place within our molecular systems. We are the ultimate information system and information is, will let’s look at the textbook definition shall we;

    Information - the communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence
    a (1) : knowledge obtained from investigation, study, or instruction (2) : intelligence, news (3) : facts, data b : the attribute inherent in and communicated by one of two or more alternative sequences or arrangements of something (as nucleotides in DNA or binary digits in a computer program) that produce specific effects c (1) : a signal or character (as in a communication system or computer) representing data (2) : something (as a message, experimental data, or a picture) which justifies change in a construct (as a plan or theory) that represents physical or mental experience or another construct d : a quantitative measure of the content of information; specifically : a numerical quantity that measures the uncertainty in the outcome of an experiment to be performed.

    Yes unfortunately for you evolution zealots, experts in language and information are chiming in on the subject. Even the occasional Philosopher. Information and language has structure, syntax, meaning and intent. Existing information doesn’t mutate into new, improved information without a driver. Consider what we are doing in cognitive engineering and then look toward heaven. You don’t get to make up your own facts anymore.

    I’ve resisted the urge to respond on a spiritual level since you think its all hocus pocus anyway, but in conclusion, I have witnessed the work of the Devil and I have personally experienced the Grace of God. You have hardened your heart to God and your worldly wisdom will prove to be inadequate. I pray that you will not pull more people into damnation with you. I would direct others to Ephesians 6: 10-18.
    Amen and I'm out.

  • oddjob in NM

    i'll pray for you, too, morganovitch. there's a word for folks such as you, who're so convinced of a certain idea that it becomes part of their identity. you see it in fanatic moslem suicide bombers, bravely murdering unarmed women and children; you see it in the "pro-choice" (LOL) harpies defending to the death the abomination that is 'partial-birth abortion'; and you see it in science groupies who squeal shrilly whenever someone attacks their holy trinity: malthusian theory, global cooling...no wait, we mean "warming!" theory, and of course, the theory of evolution. just as with the islamofascist fanatics and the abortion stormtrooperettes, the science groupies (they prefer the term "high priests", i'm told) will brook absolutely NO deviation from the approved party line, ("the reason it's snowing so much and all these record-breaking low temperatures are being set all over the world is obviously the result of global warming! i'd stake my oscar on it! also, buy my carbon offsets!" - al gore), and will resort to ever-more shrill and ad hominem attacks on the infidel Unbelievers who would dare profane their sacred dogma with saucy, insolent questions. and if you disagree, then you, sir, are clearly a nazi.

    we call those people "zealots", and experience teaches us that arguing with a zealot is a fool's errand. again, i'll pray for you. for an epiphany, perhaps? the knowledge that reasonable people can disagree? or maybe i should aim lower, and just pray you'll somehow pick up a little humility along your path.

    feel free to get in the last rebuttal, since we both know you're unable to stop yourself from doing so. ta-ta.

  • caseyboy

    oddjob in NM, don't be too hard on our morganovich. He is a product and captive of his education. Highly educated perhaps, but properly educated, I'm not sure about that. He is definitely holding on to that evolution bone and growling at anyone who takes issue. You are right, he will come out with another half-dozen url links.