Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Introduction to the Controversy. Part 1

Contributed by Howard Taylor
The present day argument, considered here, is between those who hold to so-called Intelligent Design and those who accept the prevailing opinion that natural processes alone can account for two things (a) biogenesis - the origin of life (before the alleged processes of evolution could get started) and (b) the subsequent development of life.

At the outset I should say that personally I prefer the term ‘Mind’ to ‘Intelligent Design’ because there is a history of thought going back thousands of years linking non-material mind with matter in various relationships. For example in our own time Roger Penrose FRS, formally professor of Maths at Oxford, believes that a non-material transcendent reality is the source of all truth, beauty and goodness. The term intelligent designer is probably included in this view of the transcendent world but the source of matter and life is much greater than this. However, for the purposes of this paper, I will be referring to the modern term ‘Intelligent Design’ (ID).

Opponents of ID includes many Jews and Christians - even evangelical Christians[1] - who believe that natural processes for the origin of life and evolution can be reconciled with Genesis 1. They usually hold that the matter of the universe including the natural laws of nature (such as gravity) were created by God and finally tuned to allow, stars, galaxies, planets like earth, and then life to form. In this view God endowed His creation with a 'fruitful potentiality' to produce all that we see around us today. (For short we refer to this view as TE meaning Theistic Evolution or Theistic Evolutionist.)The first group says that life is so so complex and information-rich, that an Intelligent Design is needed to explain it.
An important part of the argument is that the complexity of the simplest form of life contains information in the form of 'code' or 'words' or 'language' (DNA and RNA for example). It is contended that the origin of any code has to be Mind. If one is examining ancient markings on a rock, which are not just complex patterns but a language, one will conclude that they are the products of an intelligent mind. A detailed support for this view comes from the mathematician Bill Dembski who has written extensively on mathematics and information.Advocates of ID are not proposing a belief in a young earth or a particular religion, even though some of them may hold also to a young earth view that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. They simply are saying that life requires Mind for its origin and also its development as the amount of its information content increases. (There is more information in the DNA of an elephant than of a bacterium.)Against this view is the view of evolutionists and theistic evolutionists that the ID people are invoking the 'god of the gaps'. It is true, they say, that there in no viable theory of the origin of life - but one should not put any 'god' in that gap to explain it. Science is about finding physical causes for physical phenomena, not invoking God every time science is faced with a mystery.Those holding to TE say that to invoke God to explain part of creation is to attempt to introduce Him as part of the data of natural science and that is unacceptable. The Jewish/Christian doctrine of Creation says creation is separate from God and therefore one must not look for God in Creation.To summarise so far: whereas naturalistic science says science is defined as that study, which always looks for physical explanations, ID says 'no', science means 'follow the evidence' and the evidence leads to ID.

It might be wiser for ID to argue like this: As Einstein recognised science examines the rational structure of the material world but it can't explain why it is rational- or has the fundamental properties that it does. (He said: The only thing incomprehensible about the universe is that it is comprehensible.) The intelligent (Einstein's word) non-material source of matter's rational structure, he called The Old One or The Dear Lord.

It seems to me that ID is just taking this one step further. It is saying that the properties of the living world cannot be reduced to the properties (rational structure) of the non-living material world but it has a rational structure of its own.
[1] Written from a Christian Standpoint an impressive book criticising ID is Rebuilding the Matrix, by Denis Alexander, published 2005.

73 Comments:

Anonymous Brian said...

"..whereas naturalistic science says science is defined as that study, which always looks for physical explanations, ID says 'no', science means 'follow the evidence' and the evidence leads to ID."

This argument only holds if you want it to? Science will look for natural explanations and when it reaches the limit of present knowledge it shelves it for future consideration. To invoke an irrational explanation when rational explanations are not yet adequate is the antithesis of science.

10:53 pm  
Blogger Howard Taylor said...

Brian's argument assumes that only physical explanations for physical phenomena are rational. However throughout the history of thought it has been assumed that non-physical realities (minds – which are argued to be non-physical) exist and perhaps interact with physical reality. Physical science examines physical things. It can’t tell you that non-physical entities don’t exist. Only if it reached a complete explanation of physical realities could it reach the lesser goal of showing that non-physical entities are not needed to explain any physical effects. Not only has it nowhere near reached that goal but mysteries about the behaviour of the physical world increase with the advance of knowledge. There is a prophecy that – one day – physical explanations open to physical science will explain everything. But that is based on the irrational assumption (without evidence) that non-material things don’t exist or don’t interact with the physical world. As a matter of interest Karl Popper was an interactionist and was opposed to the materialist view that matter is everything.

9:56 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

Howard, you are partly correct in my assertion; physical phenomena require physical explanations that are rational; It's possible to 'think outside the box' in arriving at those explanations but ultimately they will be tested on rational grounds. Non-physical (supernatural) phenomena are of no real concern to a scientific enquiry, other than for novelty value. That is covered by philosophy and religion. The human mind is capable of rationalising just about anything but rationale is not synonymous with explanation or evidence in science anymore. ID appears to assert the more we learn, the more we learn about the wonders of the designer. Science, on the other hand asserts the more we learn the less we know. If you're going to invoke irrational explanations as a scientist you are shooting yourself in the foot.

10:38 pm  
Blogger Howard Taylor said...

Throughout the history of thought it was argued by the majority that 'thinking' itself could not be reduced to physical mechanisms but must be non-physical. For example 'thoughts' have a property of being true or perhaps false. Physical processes don't have those properties. Therefore thoughts cannot be material or physical but must be something else.
For example Bertrand Russell wrote:

"If we imagine a world of mere matter, there would be no room for falsehood in such a world, and although it would contain what may be called ʽfactsʼ, it would not contain any truths, in the sense in which truths are things of the same kind as falsehoods. In fact, truth and falsehood are properties of beliefs and statements: hence a world of mere matter, since it would contain no beliefs or statements, would also contain no truth or falsehood."


However thoughts do interact with physical things like our bodies. So as well as physical things examined by science, the non physical exists as well, and obviously interacts with the physical world.(Our thoughts affect our bodies' behaviour). Now it simply does not follow that science's success in explaining much of the physical world means that the non-physical world does not exist or interact with the physical world. It is an assumption that goes against the evidence and is "the great prejudice of our age" (Godel)

7:07 am  
Anonymous Brian said...

You can dress this up in any language you like but the bottom line is that you cannot invoke non-natural explanations in conducting science.

The chemistry in your brain (thought?) triggers the body into action (much of it involuntary). You can argue that this is your thoughts interacting with the physical world but it's only your world - your thoughts have no influence on another persons body (unless you can demonstrate telekinesis)
One could also state that the mind is affected by the body - just supply it with drugs and see the results - ask Ted Haggard! Nasa did a study last year showing that drugs affect a spiders ability to make webs - something we think of as being purely instinctive. Given a cause-and-effect process is taking place there could you argue for the existence of 'mind' in spiders? They have a brain too.

The mind is just a manifestation of a biochemical process in the brain that, I freely admit, is very poorly understood at the moment. That doesn't imply we will never understand it's workings. That presents science with a challenge, not an excuse for invoking the supernatural.

9:36 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"Throughout the history of thought it was argued by the majority that 'thinking' itself could not be reduced to physical mechanisms but must be non-physical."

This is Dualism, and the "majority" haven't argued for it for more than a century, Howard.

Incidentally, Russell wasn't a Dualist but a Phenomenalist, taking the view "that all that exists are the representations (or sense data) of external objects in our minds and not the objects themselves."

12:34 pm  
Blogger Howard Taylor said...

"Throughout the history of thought it was argued by the majority that 'thinking' itself could not be reduced to physical mechanisms but must be non-physical." This is Dualism, and the "majority" haven't argued for it for more than a century, Howard.
It is not necessarily dualism, which is only one form of the normal belief held throughout the centuries that mind is non-physical. BR was not dualist yet he clearly held that, as the quote proves, that he regarded mind and body as different realities.
Eg one form of idealism believes that matter emerges from the mind and although existing, is a secondary phenomenon with mind still existing as well. Russell says that science and philosophy will never be able to answer the questions, What is matter? and also What is mind?
Mind has properties of thought, consciousness, purposes and intentions and subjectivity which physical processes don't have. The president of the Royal Institute of Philosophy says that no (his emphasis) progress has been made in trying to understand the mind as an aspect of the brain, because the attempt is unintelligible.
Of course Brian is right in saying the mind acts on the brain - actually it does so every day when we do things with our bodies, directed by our mind. So mind processes are indeed detectable in the brain but they are not identical unless one takes the irrational view (without evidence) that only the physical world exists.
To Brian I ask: Why are only physical causes of physical processes considered rational explanations?

6:56 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

Howard

I would say the mind is a function of brain activity but I wouldn't go so far as to say the mind directs the body. One can decide to stop breathing but eventuallly the body will succumb to instinct and gasp for air. This probably explains why bodily functions are independent of 'thought'?

I think it is only rational to experience the physical world as it is a point of commonality. We all experience dreams yet it is only in the realms of 'Hollywood' where two people can experience the same 'reality' of a dream. The problem is though we all know that isn't reality, beyond the entertainment value (for which we can suspend reality) This is why only physical causes are scientifically acceptable in explaining physical processes. It removes the subjectivity of one persons mind over anothers and replaces it with the objective mind (rationality) that is common to (nearly) all.

Scientific explanations have to be testable - when a process is 'understood' it is possible to expand on the 'explanation' and use it to make 'predictions' which others can verify or refute by observation or testing. If, however, an explanation is conditional on a non-physical element then I, or A.N.Other, am not necessarily predetermined (or able) to verify or refute anything? It may be possible to rationalise an explanation that others cannot verify or dispute but I would suggest that is just a function of the human mind (and its capacity for language and thought) and this takes it outside the realm of science.

12:18 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Howard:

1) Your claims of "physical" and "non-physical" realities is quintessentially dualistic.

2) Dualism has largely been rejected by modern Philosophy of Mind. It had its heyday in the 17th Century, in the time of Descartes. Further, it has no credibility in the scientific community.

3) Russel's statement is phrased entirely in terms of what he would expect from some worldview (apparently Eliminative Materialism or something similar) that he apparently does not agree with. This therefore leaves only a vague impression of what worldview he does agree with.

4) The form of Idealism you postulate merely demonstrates that, certain forms of Idealism blend into Dualism (just as certain forms of Dualism blend into certain forms of Monism). This is hardly surprising, and does nothing to demonstrate that the viewpoint you were expounding is not dualistic.

5) You thereafter make a host of bald, unsubstantiated assertions, which I will ignore until you can be bothered to substantiate them.

"To Brian I ask: Why are only physical causes of physical processes considered rational explanations?"

Because we cannot measure or study "non-physical" explanations, and in fact have no reason (your regurgitation of long-debunked philosophy notwithstanding) to believe that such "non-physical" phenomena exist.

2:07 am  
Blogger Howard Taylor said...

The assertion that modern philosophy has dealt with all the arguments separating mind and body is simply not true. In my neighbourhood I know three secular university teachers of philosophy who don’t accept that mind can be reduced to anything physical – that is they don’t subscribe to the view that Godel called ‘The great prejudice of this age.’ Of course some philosophers do adhere to that view because they start with the materialist assumption that only physical things exist. There is no viable theory of how non-conscious atoms can combine to form something conscious. It is just a prophecy that there will be a theory one day. Again that prophecy is based on the unproven assumption that only physical things exist. Some then conclude that thoughts and opinions must be material and therefore only material explanations are rational. This is a circular argument and in future years we will wonder why we ever subscribed to it.

If all thinking was materially caused (by matter which is neither true nor false but just exists) how could I decide which thought was true and which was false? By thinking? But that too would be caused by physical things.

I do have a prophecy and that is, when future generations took at the materialist philosophies they will find little argument and lots of assertion that, of course, all educated people agree with them. This will be found coupled with insult and abuse.

I once asked my scientific academic colleagues why atheists are so angry. He remarked that they were afraid. That reminds me of the mathematician Pacal's view that 'men hate Christianity because they are afraid that it may be true'

7:24 pm  
Blogger Howard Taylor said...

As to the statement that scientific facts are rational because they can be measured, we know many things that cannot be measured. We know our friends and this is a real way of knowing that leads to knowledge of a person who is real. It cannot be repeated by science. But we really do know something (not everything) by friendship. If we tried to put that knowledge to a test we would soon lose the friendship and a way of knowing an aspect of reality that is not measurable by scientific method.

7:40 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

Facts about who our neighbours are, or what "X" would likely do in a situation, are not relevant in scientific exploration. That's not to say they are not relevant - it means it's not the right context. I agree that you cannot measure, e.g. the 'love' a parent has for its child, but you accept it as 'real'. Can you put a figure on such a thing in the same way you can put a figure on the speed of sound? I would suggest that metaphysical 'reality' is beyond scientific scrutiny but not scientific enquiry (although the inevitable scrutiny will ensue). It uses different and incompatible metrics, one being subjective and the other objective.

9:36 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"The assertion that modern philosophy has dealt with all the arguments separating mind and body is simply not true."

Given that I never made this particular assertion, this is a blatant strawman!

"I know three secular university teachers of philosophy who don’t accept that mind can be reduced to anything physical..."

Three philosophers is a "majority" now?

"If all thinking was materially caused (by matter which is neither true nor false but just exists) how could I decide which thought was true and which was false? By thinking? But that too would be caused by physical things."

The same way that computers can evaluate the truth or falsehood of propositions. "Truth" and "falsehood" are not some magical properties, they are merely abstractions. They have no reality (either physical or "non-physical") but a merely invented, in the same way as language (itself an abstraction and necessary for the invention of logic, and thus the concepts of "truth" and "falsehood").

This sort of woolly-headed fetishism is what led Dualism into eventual disrepute.

"I once asked my scientific academic colleagues why atheists are so angry. He remarked that they were afraid."

Or maybe they are simply sick to death of smug stupidity that has the hubris to consider itself profundity.

Oh, and I could find no reference to either your Godel quote or your Pascal quote on Google. Funny that.

2:34 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

It occurs to me that the only people accepting dualism are probably those who already reject Methodological Naturalism. While this may be internally consistent, it turns into somewhat of a circular argument when applied as an argument against Methodological Naturalism.

4:30 am  
Blogger Mac Guy Software said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:56 am  
Blogger macguy said...

Brian said...
Science will look for natural explanations and when it reaches the limit of present knowledge it shelves it for future consideration. To invoke an irrational explanation when rational explanations are not yet adequate is the antithesis of science.

Looking for natural explanations while not looking to the explanation of whether there is a intelligent being shows the non-objectivity of these scientists. Regardless of how "irrational" they may think of it, the proposition should be considered. Origins, is a total different area of science in which invoking a Creator is certainly the most reasonable explanation for our existence. Science, can't answer life's ultimate questions (an incredible assertion but i'd rather not talk about it now). Whether anyone likes it or not, science itself cannot conceive of a universe without the natural laws and order that are observed. It is the scientists imaginations that try to conceive of a universe without the laws and they are usually put into question. To avoid the possibility of a designer, scientists must flee from a beginning and propose theories such as the string theory. Many, if not all of these theories are purely imaginative with no evidence. The big bang theory, however, has evidence but the exact process is rather questionable since it's mostly aimed at a naturalistic explanation.

Due to the overwhelming amount of atheists in the science community, they have been trying to redefine science as to what it is and what it's not. The primary and most significant assumption is derived from an atheistic philosophy is that science requires a naturalistic explanation. Though, science is defined, in it's broadest meaning as the quest for understanding. Scientific knowledge starts with logic and mathematics. Science cannot observe the designer but it can observe whether there is intelligence in the universe. Many forget that the founding fathers of various science disciplines believed in God and assumed that He created the world for us to understand it. God, in my opinion, has allowed us to proceed this far in science is for us to understand how vast He is. That is, IF a God did exist for a naturalist.

It's as the Scriptures say:

...always learning but never willing to acknowledge the truth. 2 Timothy 3:7

Apologetics, in itself, is doing quite well in defending the authority of Scripture. Science should be willing to accept an alternative to their theory regardless if it's religious in nature for it could be true. Allowing this, would create an honest look at the evidence but this is highly unlikely. So, we will need to hear both sides of argument. Waving off creationism, or ID as a piece of dirt is nothing but a obstinate heart in one's view.

If you can provide a reason why invoking a God with origins science is unreasonable, then perhaps i would take it into consideration. So far, there isn't very many arguments against having religious people in science. The irony here is, that evolutions are willing to accept religious people who defend their theory. In reality, christian evolutionists are a trump card for them. However, when anything that has religious implications, is often mocked repeatedly by evolutionists.

In closing, i wish all the best to angry evolutionists who have nothing else to do but to mock others. Hafn, is basically proof of this. I actually looked at the evidence and found the apologetics of christianity the most overwhelming. Also, the evidence for design was quite amazing but atheists say they have an explanation for it. Having an explanation is not the same as it coming about. Ultimately, you will either believe in a eternal universe or in a eternal God.

Remember Hafn: Get your head out of the toilet! ;)

9:06 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Macguy:

I take it that you are an atheist mocking the stereotypical pompous, self-satisfied theist habit of pontificating from a position of profound ignorance, of both Science and Philosophy of Science (i.e. what science is and how and why it works), about the 'wrong-headedness' of 'evil atheist scientists'?

If so, then the caricature is amusing, if perhaps taken to an unrealisticly bone-headed extreme. :D

2:53 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

Hafn:

I take it that you are an atheist mocking the stereotypical pompous

Maybe... For the most part, it wasn't directed to you.

8:03 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

I agree with hrafn

8:06 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

about the 'wrong-headedness' of 'evil atheist scientists'?

Actually, i never stated that atheists are evil nor would i make such an ignorant statement. Especially since Christianity says ALL men are evil. I just don't agree with their methodology of course.

Brian said...
I agree with hrafn

Why am i not surprised? Of course you'll agree...

12:38 am  
Anonymous Brian said...

macguy

"Apologetics, in itself, is doing quite well in defending the authority of Scripture. Science should be willing to accept an alternative to their theory regardless if it's religious in nature for it could be true."

'Could' be true does not cut it in science (an evidence based process) and appeal to scripture is irrelevant. If you cannot grasp this simple fact what else is there to say to you? Do the work.

9:58 am  
Blogger macguy said...

'Could' be true does not cut it in science (an evidence based process) and appeal to scripture is irrelevant. If you cannot grasp this simple fact what else is there to say to you? Do the work.

First off, it seems everyone has a misconception of the word faith. However, according to Scripture, the meaning of faith is quite different. I don't want to explain it so just go here:

tektonics.org/whatis/whatfaith.html

Christianity, is a evidence based process which can use science to support it's claims. So far, there are quite a few scientific (non-technical) claims of the Scripture that doesn't contradict modern science. Now there is the big bang (the process) which contradicts Scripture. Evolution would be the biggest contradiction in my opinion. The Big bang theory just doesn't seem like a threat to me. For example, Scripture has always stated that there was a beginning despite the claims of others who state the universe is eternal. It also takes it a step further, by explaining that it was created out of NOTHING. Similarities to the big bang eh? No religious text has claimed that the universe was created from nothing. To some, Genesis may seem like a fantasy but that's an unsubstantiated and relative claim. Scripture can be and ought to be the basis of a christian scientist's modern thought. Sure, it's not as technical as science but it's a starting point.

If the Scripture is true, then God was really there to see everything coming into being. I am not really afraid of scientific theories (yes, they have facts) because there are limitations to scientific truth. The idea that science is not compatible with Christianity is a modern idea and it's certainly not what the fathers of science thought. Neither did they stop learning but they acknowledged the truth. When explaining the basics of origins by invoking God, people act like it's the end of science. This is not true but they can think so if they please.

7:41 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

By the way, i acknowledge you're non-bashng so far Brian. But, there's always time for you to do that. I just believe that bashing interferes with a conversation.

7:46 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

macguy

"If the Scripture is true..."

This is where we will never agree. Science moved away from scripture a long time ago. Let's not confuse the two?

I never see the point in 'bashing'. It doesn't achieve anything and the world would be pretty dull if everone agreed on everything.

8:14 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

We atheists can be civil.

8:16 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

We atheists can be civil.

8:17 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

We atheists can be civil.

I never said they can't but those type of atheists seem hard to find during my experience.

This is where we will never agree. Science moved away from scripture a long time ago. Let's not confuse the two?

Science hasn't moved away from the thought of a God creating the universe. Far from it, it is indeed quite the opposite. I suppose most naturalists will not tolerate a God for creating the universe. Partly because they think it's superstition. Therefore, they want to leave no room for an intelligent being.

Science, itself cannot move away from anything. It's the scientists who have moved away from Scripture due to personal reasons and most of these reasons are non-scientific. As i said, either the universe existed forever or there is a creator. That's basically all that we got. Either way, both propositions are not very scientific.

You may very well disagree, but "I" believe that science should look for other alternatives to the naturalistic philosophy. Naturalism is fine as long as it doesn't exclude the possibility intelligent being.

A critique of naturalism would be a very precise and accurate prophecy from the Book of Daniel. Skeptics are fiercely attacking the credibility of the prophecy since it's a very specific prophecy.

Proof that Naturalism is false!

My claims may show ignorance on certain areas but i am always ready to learn. It's not wise for christians to reject reproof which is what the Proverbs say. Then again, the ignorance may be so bad that it's not worth responding. If so, then i apologize. I would leave and continue learning before engaging into a discussion. After all, i still have 20 books to read on the topic.

never see the point in 'bashing'. It doesn't achieve anything and the world would be pretty dull if everone agreed on everything.

Very true.

10:21 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

Science, whilst often difficult in practice, is simple in principle; hypothesise, research, theorise, refine (may need repeating several times). If adequately documented anybody should be able to replicate this process and verify, or refute, another scientists derived explanation(s). If at any time there is need to invoke scripture or supernatural explanations then the process moves from science to theology as the independant experimenter cannot be expected to make the same illogical appeals.

To assume, a priori, the infallability of scripture in deference to advances in knowledge and understanding must always be counter-intuitive to the practice of science; why bother if you already know?

11:53 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

Brian said...
To assume, a priori, the infallability of scripture in deference to advances in knowledge and understanding must always be counter-intuitive to the practice of science; why bother if you already know?

Sorry Brian but are you serious? Perhaps you got religion and christianity confused. If someone excludes intelligent design then that is merely philosophical in nature. Both sides have a priori. To some, not invoking a supernatural being can be actually counter-intuitive. I'm not too sure about this claim but i'll just see how far it goes. Science is looking for truth through the natural empirical world. It appears to me that there is no reason that design cannot be inferred but ID hasn't really perfected or really established as of yet. They have put up a decent start in pushing it forward.

Despite scientist's search for origins through naturalistic avenues, they haven't and probably won't consider a supernatural being.This could actually be counter-intuitive because they could be searching for answers through the natural world but it won't be truth to start with! Scientists think that the God of the gaps argument works but they don't realize the double standard that is being committed. Remember, i am talking about historical science, not observable and repeatable science.

As for christianity being counter-intuitive, this is blatantly contradictory to Scripture. No christian that i know of would state that they know everything about how God created the universe. In fact, Job was rebuked by God for claiming to know. I actually stated that we search for truth on the basis of what we know. That is, we have evidence that the Triune God created the universe out of nothing. Scripture has always stated that even the invisible things reveal his power while others thought the world was simple.

Well, this is a scratchy reply but it might do.

Best Wishes,

Macguy

2:07 am  
Anonymous Brian said...

You can infer anything you like but in explaining the natural world only natural explanations will do for science. Inferring ID shuts the door on further exploration-it was designed, end of story? (that is the complete theory of ID!)I could infer that cancer is designed so should that put a halt to all cancer research?

I agree, you search for answers based on what you know. If 'what you know' is a euphemism for scripture then you're looking to validate what you 'know'. Science is looking to expand on what it knows and in many cases overturns what was known. Science doesn't restrict itself to validation.

10:37 am  
Blogger macguy said...

You can infer anything you like but in explaining the natural world only natural explanations will do for science.

We both agree that the scientific method is used in order to prove empirically proven truth. A supernatural being, as understood by you, exists outside the natural world. Therefore, science can't observe anything outside it's field. Would you define the laws of nature with how we think things work?

Inferring ID shuts the door on further exploration-it was designed, end of story?

This is similar to the god of the gaps argument. First, ID really doesn't want to identify the designer but the design itself which is a completely scientific but incomplete theory. The good thing is that ID can actually be observable if done in the proper way. Second, ID doesn't just say it was designed and end the story. There's a double-standard here. While evolutionists accuse creationists for committing a God of the gaps fallacy, evolutionists are making chance of the gaps/ evolution of the gaps. Evolutionists say" I don't know how actually happened but i know God didn't do it because it evolved". We should all realize that there are gaps.

They're assuming that it is unscientific to use God as an explanation. If God were to work in nature, then science would have to acknowledge that. The fact that scientists don't want to accept a intelligent design is proof of their presuppositions.

Of course, since they create a G of the g argument then they expect science to fill in all those gaps someday. Or more precisely, fill the gaps of evolution. The problem is, our knowledge of the world is getting bigger, not smaller as we see the stunning complexity of the world around us. ID doesn't have a hatred toward evolution per se. Instead, they are attacking the chance-process of evolution. Which i would like to call, chance of the gaps.

"Science is looking to expand on what it knows and in many cases overturns what was known."

There are few things more certain in science than the fact that as the process continues, current theories will be revised and eventually abandoned in favor of new theories. A theory today could be dead tomorrow. Most, if not all recognize this limitation.

8:35 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

Junk DNA, is actually a science stopper for Darwinist's who want to use it as evidence but have no desire if it has any function. This is clearly counter-intuitive to science. <More here.

I would agree that ID may stop some areas of scientific investigation but it's mostly a stop of investigating common descent which is a chance-based process. Some areas are stopped but ID opens new areas of investigation.

3:02 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"First, ID really doesn't want to identify the designer but the design itself which is a completely scientific but incomplete theory."

Macguy:

Can you offer even a SINGLE example of any other, purported scientific, endeavor where they attempt to establish artificial/intelligent manufacture/origins without knowing or hypothesising at least something about the intelligence (e.g. its purpose, technological limitations, etc)?

3:08 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Macguy:

YOU ARE CITING CASEY LUSKIN AS AN AUTHORITY?

That's HILARIOUS! :D

The guy is a notoriously scientifically-illiterate law-graduate who writes ignorant cheer-leading pieces for the Disco Institute.

The trouble with "Junk DNA" is that it not only includes a lot of stuff that we don't know what it does/did do, but also quite a bit of stuff which we know what it did do, we know that it's broken and doesn't do it anymore, and can trace the family of tree of common descent in species possessing it back to when it broke.

An example for this is the gene for synthesis of Vitamin C.

3:18 am  
Blogger macguy said...

YOU ARE CITING CASEY LUSKIN AS AN AUTHORITY?

That's HILARIOUS! :D


Oh boy, here we go again. Look who's here, the laughing hyaena. No, not as a "authority" but just a comment... I have a much better source but you just can't shut your mouth now can you?

Since "junk" dna is not a contradiction to creationism, therefore i see no problem whatsoever. Creationism mixed with ID is my choice whether you like it or not.

we know what it did do, we know that it's broken and doesn't do it anymore, and can trace the family of tree of common descent in species possessing it back to when it broke.


True, which i don't really know how IDers defend but it fits perfectly with creationism.

Can you offer even a SINGLE example of any other, purported scientific, endeavor where they attempt to establish artificial/intelligent manufacture/origins without knowing or hypothesising at least something about the intelligence

Why should they know? You expect them to figure out this intelligent design? Perhaps you never REALIZED the difference between science and theology. Science is a process that observes. Where as, theology is the study of the nature of God. Here is where apologetics comes in handy, they defend and prove that this God is the God of christianity. Simple as that.

Now there are people who have proposed that aliens created us. If you want to take that as a example. ID is detecting design, not detecting the designer.

8:35 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"I have a much better source but you just can't shut your mouth now can you?"

If you had a better source than Casey (not exactly hard, one's mad aunt would probably count), then why didn't you cite it? It'd have saved on the conspicuous hilarity. :D

"True, which i don't really know how IDers defend but it fits perfectly with creationism."

It does? Then could you explain to us why creationism's Creator saw fit to place identical broken DNA in a number of similar (and according to Evolution, closely related) species?

"Why should they know?"

I'll take that as a big fat NO then.

This does rather eliminate any precedent for your 'logical' (and I use the word loosely) leap. :)

10:29 am  
Anonymous Brian said...

macguy

I don't accept ANYTHING supernatural as an explanation - not even the tooth fairy

10:45 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Incidentally, "Junk" DNA isn't a "science-stopper" for scientists.

Firstly, there is its "junk" status to be reverified as and when knew information and technology comes along.

Then, there is the question of what it originally did before it 'broke' to be answered.

Also, as it isn't selected for, it becomes a useful means of tracking things like mutation and genetic drift.

There are probably numerous further questions that a geneticist would ask about "junk" DNA as well.

10:58 am  
Blogger macguy said...

Then why didn't you cite it? It'd have saved on the conspicuous hilarity. :D

Because i know you would've mocked it as well. You mock everyone of course... This doesn't really defend ID but explains why Junk DNA fits into creationism. Want it? Go here then If you have any criticisms then just send it to him.

I'll take that as a big fat NO then.

You ignored my other reasons altogether. Of course they can't identify the designer. That is a whole other area of investigation.

11:22 am  
Blogger macguy said...

Haha, i put the incorrect link. Click here.

11:23 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"Because i know you would've mocked it as well. You mock everyone of course"

This is a completely illogical argument: because you thought I'd laugh at your source, you purposefully replaced it by one that is even more risible? Then why not just cite Krusty the Clown on everything?

"You ignored my other reasons altogether. Of course they can't identify the designer. That is a whole other area of investigation."

Yes Macguy, I tend to ignore meaningless blather. And NO, design and the designer are NOT a "whole other area of investigation" from each other -- the two are intimately related. When we study dead civilisations we study their artifacts, and when we study the artifacts we study the civilisations that made them.

"Haha, i put the incorrect link. Click here."

A mountain of facts, which even if true (and not misrepresented, taken out of context, etc), do not add up to a well reasoned argument. Particularly they do not counter the known examples where the prior function of the junk DNA is known, and known to have become broken.

12:01 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

This is a completely illogical argument:Then why not just cite Krusty the Clown on everything?

I didn't say purposely but it just didn't seem necessary to direct someone to a ID + Creationism website. That is, until you requested it.

Yes Macguy, I tend to ignore meaningless blather.

I am not surprised of your anti-christianity attitude.

And NO, design and the designer are NOT a "whole other area of investigation" from each other -- the two are intimately related.

Oh so what do you expect. A "GOD WAS HERE" sign? We don't need to know the identity of the designer to detect design. We recognize design from today without knowing who the designer is. I already know who the designer is but your quacking mouth won't listen.

Again, where's your brain? Can't you comprehend the difference between science and philosophical questions? You're correct, i shouldn't have a use the world "whole". Philosophy and religion often(or can) cross paths with science.

A mountain of facts, which even if true (and not misrepresented, taken out of context, etc), do not add up to a well reasoned argument

I personally have emailed him and he's a pretty honest individual. Though, i expected you to laugh until your pants fell off.

Particularly they do not counter the known examples where the prior function of the junk DNA is known, and known to have become broken.

Sorry, couldn't find his other link on the topic :(. I agree with you. It seems likely that there is no function assigned to the pseudogenes but that is always subject to chance as is the nature of science.

Who ever said that creationists believe in optimal design? At least, that's what you seem to imply.

8:55 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"Yes Macguy, I tend to ignore meaningless blather.

I am not surprised of your anti-christianity attitude."

No Macguy, it was your failure to articulate a coherent argument that made it meaningless blather, not its Christian content. Many Christian theologians, from St Augustine and Thomas Aquinas through to Alvin Plantinga have articulated coherent arguments for Christianity. I may not agree with them, but I would most certainly consider their arguments worthy of a response.

2:39 am  
Blogger macguy said...

No Macguy, it was your failure to articulate a coherent argument that made it meaningless blather, not its Christian content.

If you had to, all my statements would be meaningless. My explanation for why finding the designer isn't death-blowing but is perfectly reasonable. I've provided a link refuting naturalism yet no one responded. Perhaps i haven't effectively demonstrated why a supernatural being should be invoked but you haven't demonstrated why it shouldn't be invoked.

"but that is always subject to chance as is the nature of science."

ROFL. The things people say when there are typos.

9:32 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"If you had to, all my statements would be meaningless."

This sentence is a textbook piece of inarticulate, incoherent, meaningless blather! If you "had to" WHAT for heavens sake! This sentence just simply does not make sense.

"My explanation for why finding the designer isn't death-blowing but is perfectly reasonable."

This is likewise meaningless. Leaving to one side the fact that using death-blow as an adjective is appallingly bad English, (1) we are talking about not finding the designer, not about finding the designer, and (2) you leave it completely unclear as to who or what (not) finding the designer is not a death-blow to.

This is meaningless drivel. It isn't worthy of an answer.

"I've provided a link refuting naturalism yet no one responded."

Probably because nobody could be bothered reading through Jones' lengthy, poorly written and outlandish drivel to attempt to decipher what it is that he was actually claiming. Given he apparently has no background in biblical scholarship (does he even read Hebrew, so he can read in the original the numerous Old Testament passages he's citing?), I take his claims of having discovered a biblical prophecy refuting Naturalism about as seriously as a non-Physicist's claim to have discovered Perpetual Motion.

The internet is chock full of cranks peddling all kinds of outlandish claims. Cite reputable sources (and the more outlandish the claim, the more reputable the source has to be), or expect to be either ignored or laughed at.

For junk DNA, cite a geneticist or similar, for biblical prophesies, cite a biblical scholar. How hard is that?

"Perhaps i haven't effectively demonstrated why a supernatural being should be invoked but you haven't demonstrated why it shouldn't be invoked."

Occam's Razor. Adding in superfluous supernatural beings isn't parsimonious.

1:04 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:25 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

This is meaningless drivel. It isn't worthy of an answer.

Is that all you have to say?

Probably because nobody could be bothered reading through Jones' lengthy, poorly written and outlandish drivel to attempt to decipher what it is that he was actually claiming

Haha, look who's talking here? This is complete rubbish since you didn't respond to it at ALL. Rather, you just mocked. What a great way to refute a article. Not to mention that it's basically a ad hominem.

a non-Physicist's claim to have discovered Perpetual Motion.

No one is attempting to discover something. This is a prophecy that is so precise that a supernatural being as an explanation is really reasonable.

or expect to be either ignored or laughed at.

I expect to be ignored by idiots who can't respond to it. People such as you, would rather take the bashing alternative since you couldn't respond to it. Don't act like you refuted anything.

For junk DNA, cite a geneticist or similar, for biblical prophesies, cite a biblical scholar. How hard is that?

I already did. And what response did i get? NOTHING. Here, i'll even give it to you again:

tektonics.org

I could but just because he's not a scholar doesn't mean it's wrong.

Occam's Razor proves that a supernatural being shouldn't' be invoked? So just because you say a supernatural isn't useful then i should believe you?

10:27 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"For junk DNA, cite a geneticist or similar, for biblical prophesies, cite a biblical scholar. How hard is that?

I already did. And what response did i get? NOTHING. Here, i'll even give it to you again:

tektonics.org
"

Wrong!

"What are your credentials? I have a Masters' Degree in Library Science."
http://tektonics.org/lp/mission.html

So, you've now cited a Biologist (or strictly speaking a Creationist who later gained a Biology degree) and a Library Science major on the Bible and a Law graduate and a Microbiology major (currently specialising in Immunology, from his publication list) on junk DNA?

2:25 am  
Blogger macguy said...

Wrong!

First, you should realize that a bible scholar isn't needed to realize that a prophecy has been fulfilled. However, you're correct that a informed scholar could go a lot more in depth but you didn't really say how the link i provided was ignorant. That's like asking someone to cite a computer expert for learning how to turn the computer on... It's really not that hard to observe a prophecy that took place. Though, one would need to cite scholars on the dating of this document. Many have critics have questioned the dating fiercely because they know that such a prophecy is basically impossible.

In fact, the skeptics attack it so fiercely that a defense of daniel has to be presented which tektonics has provided by citing scholars on the topic.

So, you've now cited a Biologist (or strictly speaking a Creationist who later gained a Biology degree) and a Library Science major on the Bible and a Law graduate and a Microbiology major (currently specialising in Immunology, from his publication list) on junk DNA?

Yes, he has wrote on biology but his main goal is a defense of the Scripture's authority. So, he's an expert in finding information on a variety of topics and he also cites scholars. I would say that he's an information scholar. I'm not sure about junk dna since it doesn't contradict creationism. In fact, creationism predicts that worthless dna will be found as it is in accord to the second law of thermodynamics.

Well, sorry for the confusion. I thought he was a biblical scholar but at least he quotes scholars.

7:14 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Firstly Macguy, you claimed that you "already did", when in fact you already didn't! That is why I said you were "wrong."

Secondly, the reason why I was demanded a biblical scholar as a source is:
1) because they're the ones who read the passages in the original language, and so know what they actually said and not just what some translator decided was the best English representation of what they said;
2) because a reputable biblical scholar would be putting their reputation on the line in making such claims, so is far less likely to make them recklessly than some random blogger; and
3) because a reputable biblical scholar would make these claims in a legitimate, peer-reviewed journal - so we not only have the added veracity of the peer-review process, we also have any rebuttals or criticisms that the scholar's colleagues might choose to make.

Until you can find a reputable biblical scholar to back these claims, I will consider them to have as much weight as Perpetual Motion, some UN-Black-Helicopters-crop-circles conspiracy theory or any other crank blogger claims.

8:01 am  
Blogger macguy said...

Firstly Macguy, you claimed that you "already did", when in fact you already didn't! That is why I said you were "wrong."

Actually, i didn't say you were wrong so where did you get this? All i said that he quotes biblical scholars.

because they're the ones who read the passages in the original language, and so know what they actually said and not just what some translator decided was the best English representation of what they said;

Every english translation has about the same but different format of how it's stated. The Scripture is translated into english so it has to be translated by biblical scholars who actually read it. How else do you think the Scripture is translated?

) because a reputable biblical scholar would be putting their reputation on the line in making such claims, so is far less likely to make them recklessly than some random blogger; and

The verse itself was not by some random blogger but one who claimed to have revelation from God.

because a reputable biblical scholar would make these claims in a legitimate, peer-reviewed journal - so we not only have the added veracity of the peer-review process, we also have any rebuttals or criticisms that the scholar's colleagues might choose to make.

Peer-reviewed? Yes, but it's not done in a journal. At least, not to my knowledge but i'm sure they're out there. The Scripture is composed of different people who translate the Scripture. They just don't all agree on one interpretation but use the best meaning so in a sense, it is peer-reviewed. Just check the YOUNG Literal translation but it's a bit difficult to understand since it's literal.

Until you can find a reputable biblical scholar to back these claims, I will consider them to have as much weight as Perpetual Motion, some UN-Black-Helicopters-crop-circles conspiracy theory or any other crank blogger claims.

The Bible for the most part is self-explanatory and scholars have translated it. Even tektonics had to compose a defense, as i said before because of the fierce attacks by skeptics.

Here is a quote:

Outside of the Pentateuch, no book of the OT has been subjected to as much scrutiny as the Book of Daniel. The detailed and accurate prophecies contained in that book have motivated many, skeptic and professed believer alike, to subscribe to the theory of a late date of composition for Daniel in the time of the Maccabees.

More here.

9:46 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"How else do you think the Scripture is translated?"

It is translated rather differently by biblical inerrantists trying to explain why (the Book of) Daniel called Belshazzar Nebuchadrezzar's "son" when he is actually the son of the last Babylonian king, Nabonidus, who ruled decades later.

"The Bible for the most part is self-explanatory..."

This is a particularly stupid claim. If it were true, then there would not be so much disagreement between Christians as to what it all means.

"The verse itself was not by some random blogger but one who claimed to have revelation from God."

The claim that this verse disproved Naturalism WAS made by some random blogger.

"Even tektonics had to compose a defense, as i said before because of the fierce attacks by skeptics."

So why should I take tektonics & Stephen E. Jones' opinions over that of these "skeptics" (many of whom I suspect are biblical scholars)?

10:38 am  
Blogger macguy said...

It is translated rather differently by biblical inerrantists trying to explain why (the Book of) Daniel called Belshazzar Nebuchadrezzar's "son" when he is actually the son of the last Babylonian king, Nabonidus, who ruled decades later.

Biblical innerantists translate the same but have different propositions for a certain word's meaning. They are scholars and you seem not be content with that. THere is no debate on the prophecy between Daniel. It's ONLY the skeptics.

Ah, so i see you probably looked at some skeptic bible or something eh? ROFL. Let me refer to tektonics again.

"551. This BTW is a story of Daniel, not the kings he was under! Plus one of these kings was a baby!"See here.

Did you even READ the link i gave you? Or just passed it off just like you did with the blogger? In case you don't know, this is the top apologetic christian website out there. Well, at least it's near there.

This is a particularly stupid claim. If it were true, then there would not be so much disagreement between Christians as to what it all means.

Where's this disagreement? That's a stupid claim, if people doubted it's truthfulness then they would try to get away from it.

"The claim that this verse disproved Naturalism WAS made by some random blogger."

And the claim that it DOESN'T disprove naturalism is made by some random commenter. So far, you're just trying to get away from it.

So why should I take tektonics & Stephen E. Jones' opinions over that of these "skeptics" (many of whom I suspect are biblical scholars)?

Because he has a masters in library science for one. Which means he's good and finding information from scholars. Skeptics are not even close to being scholars. They are critics but not scholars. You're willing to accept skeptics as scholars and not christians eh? LOL. Why don't you try to debate with Tektonics and let's see how you're whimsical argument stands against him.

Boy, this is the worst way to avoid a given prophecy in Scripture. Great job for proving nothing.

Not to mention that there are other 100 fulfilled prophecies.

101 scientific foreknowledge.

What is faith?

The impossible faith

The Scripture is actually historically accurate. Many have tried to attack it but without avail.

9:29 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"Biblical innerantists translate the same but have different propositions for a certain word's meaning."

Hence the need to go directly to people who read the Hebrew and Aramaic in the original, and are therefore familiar with the original meaning of the words. Which was my original point.

"They are scholars and you seem not be content with that."

Not when other scholars disagree with them.

"THere is no debate on the prophecy between Daniel."

This is a meaningless sentence.

"It's ONLY the skeptics."

But you have given no evidence on why the skeptics should be disregarded.

"Let me refer to tektonics again."

No, I won't let you. The author of that website is unqualified to make the claims he does.

"Because he has a masters in library science for one."

My sister also has a masters in this -- that doesn't make her any more knowledgeable on biblical scholarship than I am.

And I am completely disinterested in your further links to amateur rants.

Biblical scholars on biblical prophesy. Theologians on apologetics. NOTHING ELSE WILL BE ACCEPTED.

Provide links to such, and I will read them, but why on earth would I want to waste my time trying to sift through poorly-written and uncertainly researched screeds written by unqualified amateurs with an axe to grind and no reputation at stake, to attempt to work out whether they're talking through their hat or not?

2:46 am  
Blogger macguy said...

Hence the need to go directly to people who read the Hebrew and Aramaic in the original, and are therefore familiar with the original meaning of the words. Which was my original point.

If you're so concerned about it, why not learn hebrew yourself ? You can't refute it, therefore you resort to ask a "professional" but there's no need to. THEY ARE familiar with the original meaning of words. If there was any controversy, they would have different ways to understand the prophecy. The only difference is the format and ease of reading.

Not when other scholars disagree with them.

What scholars? LOL

This is a meaningless sentence.

This is a meaningless sentence.

But you have given no evidence on why the skeptics should be disregarded.

I already provided the link but you ignored it. You're so stupid that you don't read any of the article. READ IT. Try to refute it.

My sister also has a masters in this -- that doesn't make her any more knowledgeable on biblical scholarship than I am.

She probably never even studies the Scripture. This guy has the experience. He's been doing it for years.

Biblical scholars on biblical prophesy. Theologians on apologetics. NOTHING ELSE WILL BE ACCEPTED.

SHOW ME WHERE IN SCRIPTURE DOES IT SAY YOU NEED SCHOLARS? Go ahead. It's pretty straightforward. All you've come up is meaningless blabber and ad hominems.

Provide links to such, and I will read them, but why on earth would I want to waste my time trying to sift through poorly-written and uncertainly researched screeds written by unqualified amateurs with an axe to grind and no reputation at stake, to attempt to work out whether they're talking through their hat or not?

Wow, so you need some scholar to teach you everything about the bible eh? Why should you waste your time? HAHAH. Because you don't want to read it. Therefore, you think it's amateur because you think so. Great logic here. You never read it.

Ignorance, ignorance, ignorance. This is a ridiculous game and i don't intend to play it with you. I'll take my leave until you can present anything useful.

6:36 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"Ignorance, ignorance, ignorance."

Yes. Ignorance is what you have shown and what you have glorified.

"This is a ridiculous game..."

I agree, but it is a game you initiated.

"I'll take my leave until you can present anything useful."

I thought this whole discussion was useless, but it was you who wanted to force a discussion on a crank blogger's claim to have refuted Naturalism. You got your discussion, and you have nobody but yourself to blame if you didn't like the result.

8:50 am  
Blogger macguy said...

Hafn said...
Yes. Ignorance is what you have shown and what you have glorified.

Yes. Ignorance is what you have shown and what you have glorified.

You got your discussion, and you have nobody but yourself to blame if you didn't like the result.

Sorry, you didn't prove anything. I won't go on to explain why but i'm finished talking to you. Boy, you have to be the most obstinate and repetitious person i've ever debated with. You especially think you have something a say on Scriptural matters...

I'll leave it at that unless you feel like debating more but i seriously hope not.

10:41 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Macguy:

Learn basic semantics.

Learn basic logic.

Find some sources who actually have genuine expertise in what they're talking about.

Until you do, I have absolutely zero time for you.

Oh and there's nobody so repetitious as somebody who parrots back whole sentences verbatim and few as obstinate as somebody who insists on repeatedly ramming websites down another's throat when that person has explicitly stated why they consider such websites to be inadequate substantiation.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

And it was YOU who insisted on dragging scripture into this debate. If you insist on admitting scripture as evidence, then you must expect it to be subjected to highly skeptical scrutiny.

12:14 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Oh and Macguy, we haven't really been debating, for the simple reason that you haven't brought anything to the table worthy of having a debate over.

At best we can be considered to have been having a fairly one-sided debate over epistemology, due to this lack of substance.

4:45 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

Oh and Macguy, we haven't really been debating, for the simple reason that you haven't brought anything to the table worthy of having a debate over.

I have but you, like others, would rather skip the link and retort to nothingness. Sorry, but you didn't prove that naturalism wasn't proven false. Until you can refute the article, then it would be fine.

YOU NEVER READ THE ARTICLE. If you did, then you would've noticed that the author QUOTES biblical scholars.

1:16 am  
Blogger macguy said...

If you insist on admitting scripture as evidence, then you must expect it to be subjected to highly skeptical scrutiny.

You didn't present any skeptical scrutiny. Fact of the matter is, YOU CAN'T ANSWER. If you could, then why not take on the article? I presented why it was evidence.

Why skeptics do not deserve the benefit of doubt.

You are willing to accept skeptics as bible scholars without even knowing if they are scholars? How more ridiculous can you get Hafn? You keep on acting as if you presented something that refuted the whole argument. Nothing was refuted. Just pure skepticism on your part. If someone was not a biblical scholar and found a unfulfilled prophecy, we can't say he's lying but must investigate it. You, on the other hand, are basically claiming these guys are liars about this fulfilled prophecy and don't know much so i shouldn't listen to them.

Gee, maybe i should use that type of reasoning when someone points me to a website known as talkdesign. I would state, "Well, the article title "evolution of the flagellum" is not peer-viewed and he's not really a knowledgeable person therefore it's not true". Then i act like i refuted the whole article which is just what you are doing.


Ad hominems are not going to do you any good.

1:26 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Thank you for damning tektonics out of his own mouth Macguy. :D

Is he an expert on Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek? No!
Is he an expert on textual criticism? No!
Is he an expert on literature? No!
Is he an expert on archaeology? No!
Is he an expert on psychology? No!
Is he an expert on social sciences? No!
Is he an expert on history/historiography? No!
Is he an expert on psychology? No!
Is he an expert on theology/philosophy? No!
Is he an expert on logic? No!

So by his own reasoning, tektonics likewise "does not deserve the benefit of the doubt".

It should also be noted that a number of the skeptics (though by no means all) are biblical scholars, and so (unlike tektonics) are experts in one or more of the above fields. In fact the whole issue of the dating of the Book of Daniel is principally a debate within biblical scholarship.

2:56 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Talk.design is a sub-site of the TalkOrigins Archive (http://www.talkorigins.org/), which is maintained by Wesley R. Elsberry (a marine biologist, so arguably possessing some relevant expertise).

Talk.design article contributors include Alan Gishlick, Nick Matzke, Wesley R. Elsberry, Ian F. Musgrave, Steve Reuland, Reed A. Cartwright, Richard Wein, Matt Inlay, Mark Perakh and Pete Dunkelberg. Whilst I am not familiar with all of these names, or their CVs, the majority would appear to be solid experts in their fields.

Further, I would suspect that they collectively possess more expertise relevant to evolution than the entirety of the ID movement.

3:23 am  
Blogger macguy said...

Is he an expert on Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek?

He never stated that the skeptics have to be an expert. Also, this was in regard to topics that skeptics try to attack but they're not so informed on it!

Is he an expert on literature? No!

Tell me, how do you know that he's not?

Is he an expert on theology/philosophy? No!
Is he an expert on logic? No!


Ad hominem since you simply have no idea if he has experience on logic. Until YOU CAN POINT OUT THAT HE'S ILLOGICAL, then that claim stands as childish.

Tektonics
We can anticipate a few pushbacks here. One obvious one is, Well, Holding, isn't that what you are, you jerk? How much do you know? Answer: Enough to know how little these other people with the clown noses know. Enough to know that we spend too much time on our rumps watching television when we should be bettering ourselves. Enough to know that even the best scholars sometimes miss some of these things. And if you think you can catch me on something, well, that's why we have a Critic's Challenge on this page. My own views on various matters have changed over the years as I have learned more (notably, where eschatology is concerned), so an education from a worthwhile source is always welcome. Catch is, such sources are few and far between, and I have yet to meet a critic of the Bible who would qualify on that count, and one that doesn't think that they are more skilled than they are.

Tektonic's advice
Another pushback: So what do you suggest we do, huh? Answer: Well, if you have any spare time, use it. We recommend books here -- pick an area you think will interest you; try to become as good as you can with it, meet up with people who know a lot about their own areas of interests -- if you don't have time to get into a great deal of it, cooperate somehow. If you don't have time at all and can't make it, work with someone who does. Teamwork is better than nonwork.

In reality, he just wants people to do their homework on the topic. Not be an expert on the field.

Until you can demonstrate that he doesn't know, then case is closed.

a marine biologist, so arguably possessing some relevant expertise

The content is not his so that's not relevant.

hilst I am not familiar with all of these names, or their CVs, the majority would appear to be solid experts in their fields.

I'm not very worried whether they are experts or not. Rather, it is if they publish in an notable peer-reviewed journal.

Further, I would suspect that they collectively possess more expertise relevant to evolution than the entirety of the ID movement.

I don't care what you suspect. Can you just keep your stupid opinions out of this?

6:03 am  
Blogger macguy said...

Hafn, you have a tendency to mock someone but never demonstrate anything. In reality, you have nothing good to offer but you really do enjoy bashing.

For once, demonstrate SOMETHING.

6:05 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Macguy:

Robert Turkel, aka J. P. Holding aka Tekton is a prison librarian and notorious internet blowhard.

He has absolutely zero credibility outside the most diehard fringe of biblical literalists, due to his complete lack of qualifications or expertise and his ludicrous grandiosity and paranoia.

As I am not a "diehard fringe biblical literalist," quoting him to me does you as much good as quoting Krusty the Clown.

4:25 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

Robert Turkel, aka J. P. Holding aka Tekton is a prison librarian and notorious internet blowhard.

Well, well, well.. I knew that would've been brought up by you..

First, let's start with a verse that perfectly describes you:

Proverbs 18:2
A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.

Wow, you suffer from JPHOCD eh?

Tektonics
If you are one of those odd people who think this is some worthwhile issue to make a fuss over, I probably don't care if you like this site or not. In fact, you can gauge the shallowness of any critic of mine by how much they obsess on this subject. That's why I don't discourage it. As one more intelligent atheist has put it, such people suffer from "JPHOCD" (JP Holding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). I do all I can to encourage this pathology because it makes certain critics self-destruct and make even more mistakes I can use against them.

May i add that you have absolutely negative 0 credibility on anything in regard to Scripture. Here, retake a class on logic will you?

Tektonics

Ad Hominem

Ad Hominem is Latin for "against the man." One kind of this general fallacy is to discredit an opponent instead of his argument. For example:

1. J.P. Holding claims that the ancient Israelites were a group oriented people.
2. Holding quotes scholars to establish his point.
3. I say, "Holding wouldn't know, he used to be a librarian at a prison."
Therefore, Holding's claim is false.

This argumentation is in error because the character or attributes of a person almost always has no bearing on the validity of his claim. In this case, there is nothing about J.P. Holding's past job that affects Holding's claim, or the evidence he uses.


quoting him to me does you as much good as quoting Krusty the Clown.

Don't fart your pants off Hafn. You obviously are paranoid.

Commentary on the Book of Daniel

Amazon: The prophecy of Daniel: A Commentary

Book of Daniel

Was Daniel written AFTER the events he foretold?

Josh Mcdowell: A SCHOLAR!!

You still haven't showed that J.P Holding's claims are ignorant or incorrect. Instead, all you've come up with is ad hominems. If you're so concerned about having a biblical scholar. why not search for the truth instead of not looking for it? You are just SOO obstinate that you deliberately close your ears as a little child. Do something if the truth is what you really seek.

10:46 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

An additional commentary if i may.

So by his own reasoning, tektonics likewise "does not deserve the benefit of the doubt".

Actually, J.P Holding is not trying to cause any doubt. In fact, he's defending/affirming Scripture's validity. If you actually took the time to read his article, you would notice that he quotes scholars and doesn't add his opinion. He clearly does use information on the topic and adds it but doesn't put his mere opinions that are without proof.

Is he an expert on logic? No!

Did he every SAY you have to be an expert on it? All he stated is that the skeptic has to be informed on the topic. It seems you are NOT an expert in logic because you make baseless claims and attacks on the person rather than on the evidence. Next time, learn to read what a person says instead of providing straw man arguments.

So that's how it is eh? Anyone who doesn't agree with you isn't logical? Wow, some kind of mature atheist you are... All intellectual atheists never say such an ignorant statement.

skeptics (though by no means all) are biblical scholars, and so (unlike tektonics) are experts in one or more of the above fields

Tell me, who are these "biblical" scholars? You make me laugh since A LOT of them aren't scholars at all. Whether one is a scholar or not doesn't make one's claim false. Especially when this person QUOTES scholars to support his proposition.

11:05 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"Now kids, let's go and see Sideshow Mel for some more of his legal, over the counter wake-up drugs!"
- Herschel Shmoikel Pinkus Yerucham Krustofski

1:30 am  
Blogger macguy said...

Hrafn said...nothing

Have fun with nothing.

5:09 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Why should I say anything Macguy? You have said nothing substantive, and thus nothing that would be worth responding to. :)

"No, I got where I am today by naming names in the '50s."
- Herschel Shmoikel Pinkus Yerucham 'Krusty' Krustofski

10:12 am  
Blogger macguy said...

You have said nothing substantive,]

That's fine with me.

"My country sky up in the lion because stop tree in path and I love to eat test three terms "

Ryan Baxter

9:46 pm  
Blogger macguy said...

Why should I say anything Macguy?

Who ever said that you "should" say something? I was just pointing the mere fact that you had nothing to say. Always trying to make something to nothing eh?

You have said nothing substantive, and thus nothing that would be worth responding to. :)

Hafn, are you trying to claim that my claims aren't substantive yet you haven't made a substantive claim? You seriously need to stop acting like you are authoritative. Either you prove this claim or complain like the person you are. Not to mention that it's interested how attached you got to this blog.

I needed to respond to this nonsense.

10:07 pm  

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