Phillip Johnson interview (Communiqué, Spring 1999)

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jaro...@my-dejanews.com

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Apr 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/2/99
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Communiqué: A Quarterly Journal
Spring 1999, Issue No. 6

Communiqué Interview: Phillip E. Johnson
by Jeff Lawrence
http://www.communiquejournal.org/q6/q6_johnson.html

---

David Buckna

"Darwinian theory is the creation myth of our culture. It's the officially
sponsored, government financed creation myth that the public is supposed to
believe in, and that creates the evolutionary scientists as the
priesthood...So we have the priesthood of naturalism, which has great cultural
authority, and of course has to protect its mystery that gives it that
authority--that's why they're so vicious towards critics."
-- Phillip Johnson, on the PBS documentary _In the Beginning: The Creationist
Controversy_ [airdate: May 1995]

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maff91

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Apr 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/2/99
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On 2 Apr 1999 00:41:09 -0500, jaro...@my-dejanews.com wrote:

>Communiqué: A Quarterly Journal
>Spring 1999, Issue No. 6
>
>Communiqué Interview: Phillip E. Johnson
>by Jeff Lawrence
>http://www.communiquejournal.org/q6/q6_johnson.html

What does lawyer Johnson know about science?
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/johnson.html

z@z

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Apr 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/2/99
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> Communiqué Interview: Phillip E. Johnson
> by Jeff Lawrence
> http://www.communiquejournal.org/q6/q6_johnson.html

Here some interesting quotes from the interview with this
outstandig critic of science, for those who don't want to read
the whole interview:

Please try to read without prejudice what Johnson is saying!

"We're asking for something other than bluff and promises
to demonstrate that unguided and purposeless material
mechanisms can really do work that is beyond the capacity
of human software designers and engineers.

And we want to focus on that rather than on other questions
that tend to distract us from the main point. We don't want
to talk about the biblical chronology, the age of the earth,
whether or not there is a relationship among living things,
and so on.

The mainstream scientific community manages to get this
whole issue tremendously confused by stating the question
as being whether evolution has occurred. Well, evolution then
just means any change whatsoever, so of course when it is
put that way, well yeah, some change has occurred."

"Ask the important questions and examine the answers to
those questions to see whether they are true or not, instead
of getting off on these confusing sidetracks that has prevented
the truth from coming out."

"And if you are arguing the Bible vs. Science, then people
think that you are arguing for blind faith against objectively
determined knowledge or experiment. That's the way the press
always presents it, and so the argument's over before it even
gets started when it is phrased in those terms."

"What we want to do is to explore the difference between good
science and bad science without bringing the Bible into it at all,
because that just confuses the issue. So, I want to ask questions
like:

Does natural selection have the fantastic creative power that's
assigned to it?

Can it add vast amounts of genetic information that weren't there
before?

Does it have this creative power, more so than any other human
designer?

The moment you ask that question, you see, then you open up
to scientific investigation what natural selection can and can't do.
And you immediately see that there is this huge gap between
what natural selection is supposed to be able to do and what it
has actually been seen doing, which is practically nothing. That's
why the whole field is so crazy."

"It's just amazing to me when I got into this field that the scientists
couldn't see that or couldn't see the importance of it. I found it
hard to believe that otherwise intelligent scientists really believed
that the micro-evolutionary examples of mutations that could make
a bacteria resistant to antibiotics or something really are the same
thing as the creative process that created bacteria and human
beings in the first place, but they do seem to believe it."

"It was an enormous shock to me getting into this to see, in fact,
how bad the reasoning really is, how illogical the whole scientific
field of evolution is and how resistant the scientists are to having
any logic brought into it."

"Biologists who spend their lifetimes studying biology will be
legitimate authorities, obviously, on the details of what they've
learned in that investigation, and an outsider can't really challenge
that, but an outsider definitely can challenge their thinking,
particularly when it turns out that they believe in what they believe
in not because of what they know as biologists, but in spite of
what they know as biologists. It's a philosophical movement
based on materialism."

"So, my basic inclination is to follow the evidence wherever it leads,
and then live with the consequences of that."

"One of the things I had noticed as a professor of law was how
unsuccessful science was at explaining human behavior and the
human condition on the basis of material factors or scientific ideas
of causation.

We saw this in the insanity defense and in the efforts to reform it
into a scientific model in which we would have science tell us that
crimes and even non-crimes--all human actions--are the product
of physical causes.

Or, perhaps it's psychological causes in early childhood as in
Freudianism, perhaps it's training as in behaviorism, perhaps it's
chemical reactions as in modern neuroscientific theories of the
brain, but these are all responsible for human action. And
whenever you go in this way, you end up in madness very quickly.
You actually cannot explain human behavior on the basis of
cause and effect relations like that."

"The physicalists, you know, scientific materialists tell us you can't
have thought determining action because we don't know of any
way in which a spiritual or immaterial thing can influence the
physical world. Only physical things can influence the physical
world.

Well, this to me just shows that your philosophy is totally inadequate,
because there is nothing we are more directly conscious of than
first thinking of something and then acting to bring it about. That's
simply true as a matter of our basic direct experience. Any theory
that doesn't account for it is a defective theory."

"If our mental capacities are produced by natural selection or by
chemical reactions in the brain, how in the world would we ever
have developed the capacity to produce true scientific theories?
This has no ability to increase the organism's powers of
reproduction so that they could breed more viable descendents
or whatever."

"The first thing is that the Galileo episode has been greatly
misunderstood. The idea that there has been a warfare between
Christianity and science is an artifact of Darwinist propaganda.
They made this story up in the nineteenth century in order to
promote their theory and their atheism. But the church has always
been the patron of science and of scientific thinking."

"Galileo got in trouble with the professoriate of his day because
he was a cocky, arrogant theorizer who treated everybody else
with contempt. He was brilliant, of course, and he was right about
important things, but people who've studied the history of the
Galileo episodes don't find it too surprising that he eventually got
into trouble."

"So, there were political currents that were unique to that
particular time, but more than that, if you want to think of what
the College of Cardinals of Galileo's day was like, the analogy
today, the equivalent body today, is not the College of Cardinals
in Rome, it's the National Academy of Sciences in Washington.

See, that's our College of Cardinals--the official government and
power-wielding leaders of the intellectual world. And they will
always crack down on heresy that threatens their position.
So, the Darwinists are the College of Cardinals today. They're
the ones who are trying to keep their belief system going by
censorship and the use of their power. And they're analogous
to the Aristotelian professors whom Galileo got in trouble with."

"But you find the notion that non-Western ways of thinking must
be treated with respect, that even ancient traditions of tribes
may have their truth value--these are healthy developments,
I think, and they help open up the universities to challenges to
the dominant scientific materialism."

"Oh, I often say that in 1859, Darwin published the Origin of
Species. In 1959, there was a very triumphalist celebration of
the centennial of its publication at the University of Chicago,
and the scientists came from all over and every message was
"Darwinian evolution has conquered all, it has defeated Christianity,
it has taken over science, it is the wave of the future." I think that
in 2059, there will be another vast convention on this subject and
the theme will be "How could we ever have let this happen?" "


Wolfgang
(An old (mono-, pan, a-)theist, atheist only in the spirit of
Ludwig Feuerbach)

http://members.lol.li/twostone/links.html

Del

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Apr 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/2/99
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In article <7e2fmn$65b$1...@pollux.ip-plus.net>, "z@z" <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:

> > Communiqué Interview: Phillip E. Johnson
> > by Jeff Lawrence
> > http://www.communiquejournal.org/q6/q6_johnson.html
>
> Here some interesting quotes from the interview with this
> outstandig critic of science, for those who don't want to read
> the whole interview:
>
> Please try to read without prejudice what Johnson is saying!

Thanks. It was painfully typical of creationist dishonesty.
Didn't you notice? If you promise to admit he was being
dishonest, and not to go off on a tangent, I'll point out
one or two of his consciously deceptive statements.


z@z

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Apr 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/2/99
to
>> Please try to read without prejudice what Johnson is saying!
>
> Thanks. It was painfully typical of creationist dishonesty.
> Didn't you notice? If you promise to admit he was being
> dishonest, and not to go off on a tangent, I'll point out
> one or two of his consciously deceptive statements.

I promise to "not to go off on a tangent". Please let me
know which statements of Johnson you think are consciously
deceptive.

Wolfgang

Joe Zawadowski

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Apr 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/2/99
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In article <7e2r3s$ajr$1...@pollux.ip-plus.net>, "z@z" <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:

> >> Please try to read without prejudice what Johnson is saying!
> >

> > Thanks. It was painfully typical of creationist dishonesty.
> > Didn't you notice? If you promise to admit he was being
> > dishonest, and not to go off on a tangent, I'll point out
> > one or two of his consciously deceptive statements.
>
> I promise to "not to go off on a tangent". Please let me
> know which statements of Johnson you think are consciously
> deceptive.
>
> Wolfgang

How's this last paragraph for an example?

"Oh, I often say that in 1859, Darwin published the Origin of
Species. In 1959, there was a very triumphalist celebration of
the centennial of its publication at the University of Chicago,
and the scientists came from all over and every message was
"Darwinian evolution has conquered all, it has defeated Christianity,
it has taken over science, it is the wave of the future." I think that
in 2059, there will be another vast convention on this subject and
the theme will be "How could we ever have let this happen?" "

Please substantiate that "every message" given by the "scientists" (who of
course remain nameless) in 1959 indicated the views attributed to them
above. I think you will find that your hero Johnson is beating a strawman
to death.

Joseph Zawadowski, a.a.#249

--
"Freedom begins between the ears."
"I'd rather kill a man then a snake. Not because I Iove snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion."
Edward Abbey, author of "The Monkey Wrench Gang"


Del

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Apr 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/3/99
to
In article <7e2r3s$ajr$1...@pollux.ip-plus.net>, "z@z" <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:

> >> Please try to read without prejudice what Johnson is saying!
> >

> > Thanks. It was painfully typical of creationist dishonesty.
> > Didn't you notice? If you promise to admit he was being
> > dishonest, and not to go off on a tangent, I'll point out
> > one or two of his consciously deceptive statements.
>
> I promise to "not to go off on a tangent". Please let me
> know which statements of Johnson you think are consciously
> deceptive.
>

"Can [natural selection] add vast amounts of genetic

information that weren't there before?"

Science doesn't claim that natural selection "add[s]
vast amounts of genetic information," nor does it.
Natural selection is the mechanism behind adaptive
changes. But for natural selection to work there must
be genetic variation to begin with. Selection merely
favors those genetic changes (caused by mutation for
example) -- when they occur -- which offer differential
reproductive success. Natural selection does not cause
these beneficial genetic changes to appear. Johnson
knows that science doesn't say this. Johnson shows that
he knows the relationship between mutation and natural
selection in the following:


"Of course, God *could* make some use of random mutation and
natural selection in a fundamentally directed creative process. God
can act freely as He chooses: that is just the problem for those
who would constrain God by philosophy. God could employ mutation
and natural selction or act supernaturally, whether or not His choice
causes inconvenience for scientists who want to be able to explain and
control everything. -- Johnson, Phillip: First Things, 1-93 p.12

Ergo, Johnson makes use of a straw man he knows to be
to a false depiction of the scientific view.


I also find this interesting:

"The first thing is that the Galileo episode has been greatly
misunderstood. The idea that there has been a warfare between
Christianity and science is an artifact of Darwinist propaganda.
They made this story up in the nineteenth century in order to
promote their theory and their atheism. But the church has always
been the patron of science and of scientific thinking."

Compare

"In short, the reason that Darwinism and theism are fundamentally
incompatible is not that God could not have used evolution by
natural selection to do his creating. Darwinian evolution might seem
unbiblical to some, or too cruel and wasteful a method for a benevolent
Creator to choose, but it is always possible that God might do something
that confounds our expectations. No, the contradiction between Darwinism
and theism goes much deeper. To know that Darwinism is true (as a general
explanation for the history of life), one has to know that no alternative
to natural evolution is possible. To know *that* is to assume that God
does not exist, or at least that God does not or cannot create."
-- Johnson, Phillip: First Things, 1-93 p.14

-----

This revealing statement is useful, too, in evaluating
Johnson's claims on their face such as:

"We're asking for something other than bluff and promises
to demonstrate that unguided and purposeless material
mechanisms can really do work that is beyond the capacity
of human software designers and engineers."

"What we want to do is to explore the difference between good


science and bad science without bringing the Bible into it at all,
because that just confuses the issue."

It is clear from his previous statements regarding the
incompatibility of his religion and evolution that his
motives derive from something other than a desire to

"explore the difference between good science and bad

science." Johnson sees it as an either or situation:
Either his god belief is right or evolution is.


Mark Borok

unread,
Apr 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/3/99
to
In article <7e2fmn$65b$1...@pollux.ip-plus.net>, "z@z" <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:

> > Communiqué Interview: Phillip E. Johnson
> > by Jeff Lawrence
> > http://www.communiquejournal.org/q6/q6_johnson.html
>
> Here some interesting quotes from the interview with this
> outstandig critic of science, for those who don't want to read
> the whole interview:
>
> Please try to read without prejudice what Johnson is saying!

Okay.


>
>
> And we want to focus on that rather than on other questions
> that tend to distract us from the main point. We don't want
> to talk about the biblical chronology, the age of the earth,
> whether or not there is a relationship among living things,
> and so on.

Who is this "we"? Every Creationist I've heard on the subject so far has
brought up the bible, age of the earth, etc. There seem to be some who are
actually doing research, but these aren't the ones who are "talking" as
Johnson is.


>
> The mainstream scientific community manages to get this
> whole issue tremendously confused by stating the question
> as being whether evolution has occurred. Well, evolution then
> just means any change whatsoever, so of course when it is
> put that way, well yeah, some change has occurred."

This is totally grabled. There is no connection between the first and
second sentences.


>
> "And if you are arguing the Bible vs. Science, then people
> think that you are arguing for blind faith against objectively
> determined knowledge or experiment. That's the way the press
> always presents it, and so the argument's over before it even
> gets started when it is phrased in those terms."

Those are the terms in which Creationists choose to argue (see above.) Why
blame the press?


>
> Does natural selection have the fantastic creative power that's
> assigned to it?

It has a modifying power, but maybe that's just my nitpicking.


>
> Can it add vast amounts of genetic information that weren't there
> before?
>
> Does it have this creative power, more so than any other human
> designer?

Since natural selection is being used by researchers to design new drugs
and software programs, then yes.


>
> "Biologists who spend their lifetimes studying biology will be
> legitimate authorities, obviously, on the details of what they've
> learned in that investigation, and an outsider can't really challenge
> that, but an outsider definitely can challenge their thinking,
> particularly when it turns out that they believe in what they believe
> in not because of what they know as biologists, but in spite of
> what they know as biologists. It's a philosophical movement
> based on materialism."

He keeps harping on how materialism in science is a bad thing, but I've
never heard of any justification of how non-materialistic (spiritual?)
thinking can improve the scientific method. What advantages are there in
positing the existence of a creator deity when you're doing science? It's
useless.


>
> "So, my basic inclination is to follow the evidence wherever it leads,
> and then live with the consequences of that."
>
> "One of the things I had noticed as a professor of law was how
> unsuccessful science was at explaining human behavior and the
> human condition on the basis of material factors or scientific ideas
> of causation.
>
> We saw this in the insanity defense and in the efforts to reform it
> into a scientific model in which we would have science tell us that
> crimes and even non-crimes--all human actions--are the product
> of physical causes.

Okay, then, what's an objective way to determine if someone is insane? Or
should insane criminals be punished in the same way as sane ones?


>
> "The physicalists, you know, scientific materialists tell us you can't
> have thought determining action because we don't know of any
> way in which a spiritual or immaterial thing can influence the
> physical world. Only physical things can influence the physical
> world.
>
> Well, this to me just shows that your philosophy is totally inadequate,
> because there is nothing we are more directly conscious of than
> first thinking of something and then acting to bring it about. That's
> simply true as a matter of our basic direct experience. Any theory
> that doesn't account for it is a defective theory."

Who has said this and when? It's a self contradictory statement. A
scientific MATERIALIST by definition believes that everything can be
explained without invoking the spiritual or immaterial. Therefore, thought
must be part of the material world.


>
> "If our mental capacities are produced by natural selection or by
> chemical reactions in the brain, how in the world would we ever
> have developed the capacity to produce true scientific theories?
> This has no ability to increase the organism's powers of
> reproduction so that they could breed more viable descendents
> or whatever."

WHAT???? First of all, our hyper-developed brains give us a clear
evolutionary advantage. Even if scientific theories didn't have value in
themselves, they could be accounted for as a by-product of our high
intelligence. Of course, those theories lead to technological innovations,
which increase our survivability as a species. The last sentence shows a
very selective understanding of how natural selection works.


>
>
> "But you find the notion that non-Western ways of thinking must
> be treated with respect, that even ancient traditions of tribes
> may have their truth value--these are healthy developments,
> I think, and they help open up the universities to challenges to
> the dominant scientific materialism."

Interesting that he defends multiculturalism. In any case, it has no
bearing on scientific methods.

--Mark

> Wolfgang
> (An old (mono-, pan, a-)theist, atheist only in the spirit of
> Ludwig Feuerbach)
>
> http://members.lol.li/twostone/links.html

--
Mark Borok
"Restless Graphics"
Animation and multimedia design
http://www.mindspring.com/~mborok
Remove "spamless" from email address to respond


z@z

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Apr 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/3/99
to
Hello Del!

>>>> Please try to read without prejudice what Johnson is saying!
>>>

>>> Thanks. It was painfully typical of creationist dishonesty.
>>> Didn't you notice? If you promise to admit he was being
>>> dishonest, and not to go off on a tangent, I'll point out
>>> one or two of his consciously deceptive statements.
>>
>> I promise to "not to go off on a tangent". Please let me
>> know which statements of Johnson you think are consciously
>> deceptive.
>

> "Can [natural selection] add vast amounts of genetic


> information that weren't there before?"
>

> Science doesn't claim that natural selection "add[s]
> vast amounts of genetic information," nor does it.
> Natural selection is the mechanism behind adaptive
> changes. But for natural selection to work there must
> be genetic variation to begin with. Selection merely
> favors those genetic changes (caused by mutation for
> example) -- when they occur -- which offer differential
> reproductive success. Natural selection does not cause
> these beneficial genetic changes to appear. Johnson
> knows that science doesn't say this. Johnson shows that
> he knows the relationship between mutation and natural
> selection in the following:
>
> "Of course, God *could* make some use of random mutation and
> natural selection in a fundamentally directed creative process. God
> can act freely as He chooses: that is just the problem for those
> who would constrain God by philosophy. God could employ mutation
> and natural selction or act supernaturally, whether or not His choice
> causes inconvenience for scientists who want to be able to explain and
> control everything. -- Johnson, Phillip: First Things, 1-93 p.12
>
> Ergo, Johnson makes use of a straw man he knows to be
> to a false depiction of the scientific view.

I do not understand well your criticism. It cannot be denied
that the (genetic) information which is necessary for living
beings such as humans did not exist some billion years ago.
Where does this information come from according to you? At
least the majority of neo-Darwininists explain the emergence
of this information by (random mutation and) selection. Do you
think that such an explanation constitutes a straw men?

But probably your criticism is solely based on the fact that
Johnson shortens 'blind mutations and selection' to 'selection'.
With such a petty-minded attitude you can find "deceptive
statements" everywhere. (Furthermore the criticized
sentence is formulated not as a claim but as a question.)


> I also find this interesting:
>

> "The first thing is that the Galileo episode has been greatly
> misunderstood. The idea that there has been a warfare between
> Christianity and science is an artifact of Darwinist propaganda.
> They made this story up in the nineteenth century in order to
> promote their theory and their atheism. But the church has always
> been the patron of science and of scientific thinking."
>

> Compare
>
> "In short, the reason that Darwinism and theism are fundamentally
> incompatible is not that God could not have used evolution by
> natural selection to do his creating. Darwinian evolution might seem
> unbiblical to some, or too cruel and wasteful a method for a benevolent
> Creator to choose, but it is always possible that God might do something
> that confounds our expectations. No, the contradiction between Darwinism
> and theism goes much deeper. To know that Darwinism is true (as a general
> explanation for the history of life), one has to know that no alternative
> to natural evolution is possible. To know *that* is to assume that God
> does not exist, or at least that God does not or cannot create."
> -- Johnson, Phillip: First Things, 1-93 p.14

What's wrong with these two excerpts? Both seem completely sound
to me, although I myself would not write something very similar to the
second. And they are certainly not mutually contradictory.


> This revealing statement is useful, too, in evaluating
> Johnson's claims on their face such as:
>

> "We're asking for something other than bluff and promises
> to demonstrate that unguided and purposeless material
> mechanisms can really do work that is beyond the capacity
> of human software designers and engineers."
>

>"What we want to do is to explore the difference between good
> science and bad science without bringing the Bible into it at all,
> because that just confuses the issue."
>

> It is clear from his previous statements regarding the
> incompatibility of his religion and evolution that his

> motives derive from something other than a desire to


> "explore the difference between good science and bad

> science."

I don't think that your conclusion is a logical consequence
of Johnson's previous quotes.

I would accept (reductionist) Darwinism as a general
explanation for the history of life not even in the case, that
no alternative theory was conceivable because of the
limitation of our human mind. Nevertheless I have a strong
desire to "explore the difference between good science and
bad science."

> Johnson sees it as an either or situation:
> Either his god belief is right or evolution is.

It would rather express it in this way: "Either his basic
convictions are right or reductionist Darwinism."

In any case you have not shown that your claim "It was
painfully typical of creationist dishonesty" was justified,
therefore you should retract it.

Cheers
Wolfgang

http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html

Del

unread,
Apr 4, 1999, 4:00:00 AM4/4/99
to

Yes, I think you do.


It cannot be denied
> that the (genetic) information which is necessary for living
> beings such as humans did not exist some billion years ago.
> Where does this information come from according to you? At
> least the majority of neo-Darwininists explain the emergence
> of this information by (random mutation and) selection.

You demonstrate here that you understand what I am
saying with your parenthetical addition (above) to what
Johnson said.


> Do you think that such an explanation constitutes a straw men?

Let's leave out your parenthetical:

"At least the majority of neo-Darwininists explain the emergence

of this information by selection."

Clearly it is now a straw man -- at best. Show me a
scientist working in an evolution-related field who
explains the emergence of this information "by
selection."

Furthermore your paraphrase of Johnson is convenient.
He doesn't accuse science of claiming "selection"
"explain[s] the emergence" of genetic information,
which is bad enough. He sets up the larger straw man
that science claims natural selection "add[s] vast
amounts of genetic information that weren't there
before."

Provide an in-context quote of a scientist in the field
saying what Johnson insinuates, please.


>
> But probably your criticism is solely based on the fact that
> Johnson shortens 'blind mutations and selection' to 'selection'.

You say "Please try to read without prejudice what
Johnson is saying!" but you reserve the right to pre-
judge in his favor, making excuses for him that are not
supported by anything he says in the interview. In
fact, what he says belies your interpretation:


"What we want to do is to explore the difference between good
science and bad science without bringing the Bible into it at all,

because that just confuses the issue. So, I want to ask questions
like:

Does natural selection have the fantastic creative power that's
assigned to it?

Can it add vast amounts of genetic information that weren't there
before?

Does it have this creative power, more so than any other human
designer?

The moment you ask that question, you see, then you open up
to scientific investigation what natural selection can and can't do.
And you immediately see that there is this huge gap between
what natural selection is supposed to be able to do and what it
has actually been seen doing, which is practically nothing. That's
why the whole field is so crazy."

----- End Quote -----

Note: "what natural selection can and can't do..."

"what natural selection is supposed to be able to

do..."

Clearly a straw man.

"Mutation is the process by which fresh genetic
variation is offered up for selection" -- [Dawkins,
1996]

"Bringing about a change in the gene pool assumes that
there is genetic variation in the population to begin
with, or a way to generate it. Genetic variation is
'grist for the evolutionary mill.' For example, if
there were no dark moths, the population could not have
evolved from mostly light to mostly dark. In order for
continuing evolution there must be mechanisms to
increase or create genetic variation (e.g. mutation)
and mechanisms to decrease it (e.g. natural selection
and genetic drift)." -- Chris Colby: An Introduction
to Evolutionary Biology FAQ

Note: natural selection as mechanism to DECREASE
genetic variation.

> With such a petty-minded attitude you can find "deceptive
> statements" everywhere.

Typical. If you had evidence to refute my analysis; if
you could show that I was being "petty-minded," or
holding Johnson to a higher standard than those he
attacks, you would. You would _not_ be reduced to
merely asserting your ad hominem name-calling
conclusion as you are here.

> (Furthermore the criticized
> sentence is formulated not as a claim but as a question.)

Disingenuous. Did you read the article?:

"And you immediately see that there is this huge gap between
what natural selection is supposed to be able to do and what it

has actually been seen doing..."


> > I also find this interesting:
> >
> > "The first thing is that the Galileo episode has been greatly
> > misunderstood. The idea that there has been a warfare between
> > Christianity and science is an artifact of Darwinist propaganda.
> > They made this story up in the nineteenth century in order to
> > promote their theory and their atheism. But the church has always
> > been the patron of science and of scientific thinking."
> >
> > Compare
> >
> > "In short, the reason that Darwinism and theism are fundamentally
> > incompatible is not that God could not have used evolution by
> > natural selection to do his creating. Darwinian evolution might seem
> > unbiblical to some, or too cruel and wasteful a method for a benevolent
> > Creator to choose, but it is always possible that God might do something
> > that confounds our expectations. No, the contradiction between Darwinism
> > and theism goes much deeper. To know that Darwinism is true (as a general
> > explanation for the history of life), one has to know that no alternative
> > to natural evolution is possible. To know *that* is to assume that God
> > does not exist, or at least that God does not or cannot create."
> > -- Johnson, Phillip: First Things, 1-93 p.14
>
> What's wrong with these two excerpts?
Both seem completely sound
> to me,

I'm sure they do. Others may have less problem seeing
the dichotomy, however.


> although I myself would not write something very similar to the
> second.

> And they are certainly not mutually contradictory.

How so?


> > This revealing statement is useful, too, in evaluating
> > Johnson's claims on their face such as:
> >
> > "We're asking for something other than bluff and promises
> > to demonstrate that unguided and purposeless material
> > mechanisms can really do work that is beyond the capacity
> > of human software designers and engineers."
> >
> >"What we want to do is to explore the difference between good
> > science and bad science without bringing the Bible into it at all,
> > because that just confuses the issue."
> >
> > It is clear from his previous statements regarding the
> > incompatibility of his religion and evolution that his
> > motives derive from something other than a desire to
> > "explore the difference between good science and bad
> > science."
>
> I don't think that your conclusion is a logical consequence
> of Johnson's previous quotes.

You say that as if you thought I expected a different
reaction! I'm not here to convince you -- an impossible
task in any event -- nor are you here to be the arbiter
over my arguments. If you want to be taken seriously,
do some work: ARGUE for your position, don't merely
assert it, as if I am obliged to overcome your fact-
free objection.

I'm not.

>
> I would accept (reductionist) Darwinism as a general
> explanation for the history of life not even in the case, that
> no alternative theory was conceivable

Which is, in fact, the case (if you have an alternative
theory, cite it).


> because of the
> limitation of our human mind.

But you reject modern evolution (not Darwinism) without
regard to the same limitation. Interesting.


Nevertheless I have a strong
> desire to "explore the difference between good science and
> bad science."

That implies you can tell the difference, and that you
know something about science. Tell me: what is the
simple, one sentence definition of evolution, the one
that used by biologists and found in college-level (or
even high school) introduction-to-biology texts?

>
> > Johnson sees it as an either or situation:
> > Either his god belief is right or evolution is.
>
> It would rather express it in this way: "Either his basic
> convictions are right or reductionist Darwinism."

"reductionist Darwinism" is a theistic anti-
evolutionist phrase, not a scientific one. My analysis
is correct: He rejects modern evolution, and he does so
for theistic reasons. He prefers to play this down, and
indeed, it bears not at all on his _arguments_. However
when he offers no argument, i.e.: no reason or evidence
in support of his claims, just the claims themselves as
he did in his interview, then he is asking us to take
his word for these things. When he does, then his
personal biases become germane.

And a bias so great as his -- for him to accept the
scientific view means he must give up the most profound
thing in his life -- is notable in such a context.


> In any case you have not shown that your claim "It was
> painfully typical of creationist dishonesty" was justified,
> therefore you should retract it.

On the contrary, I have shown just that. All you've
offered in rebuttal is name-calling and blatant
assertion. Therefore I think you should admit he was
being dishonest as you promised.


z@z

unread,
Apr 4, 1999, 4:00:00 AM4/4/99
to
Hello Del!

>>> Ergo, Johnson makes use of a straw man he knows to be
>>> to a false depiction of the scientific view.
>>
>> I do not understand well your criticism.
>
> Yes, I think you do.

Only now I completely understand why our opinions are so
different. Your criticism is based on the following premise:
You take literally Johnson's expression 'natural selection'.

But Johnson uses this expression nine times in his article
( http://www.communiquejournal.org/q6/q6_johnson.html )
and always synonymous with 'THE evolutionary theory' or
Darwin's theory. He uses only five times the word 'theory'
in the article.

The use of 'natural selection' or 'selection theory' as a
synonyme of Darwinism is quite normal (also in German).

Used in such a way, 'natural selection' does not only imply
selection and random mutation, but also reproduction and
the rest. Without reproduction neither selection nor mutation
is possible. That reproduction is a concept based on finality
is another inconsistency of modern Darwinism.
see: http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html#a04


> "At least the majority of neo-Darwininists explain the
> emergence of this information by selection."
>
> Clearly it is now a straw man -- at best. Show me a
> scientist working in an evolution-related field who
> explains the emergence of this information "by
> selection."

Also in my statement 'selection' represents at least
'selection, mutation and reproduction'.

So it is you who erroneously knocked down a strawman!

However, the fact that you suppose that Johnson tries
to refute Darwinism by such absurd means, clearly shows
that you do not at all understand him. Johnson is a good
logician and epistemologist and he would never make
intentionally or unintentionally such a catastrophic error.

> Furthermore your paraphrase of Johnson is convenient.
> He doesn't accuse science of claiming "selection"
> "explain[s] the emergence" of genetic information,
> which is bad enough. He sets up the larger straw man
> that science claims natural selection "add[s] vast
> amounts of genetic information that weren't there
> before."
>
> Provide an in-context quote of a scientist in the field
> saying what Johnson insinuates, please.

If follows by logical reasoning that 'natural selection', i.e.
the principles of Darwinism are responsible for the addition
of vast amounts of genetic information.

>> But probably your criticism is solely based on the fact that
>> Johnson shortens 'blind mutations and selection' to 'selection'.
>
> You say "Please try to read without prejudice what
> Johnson is saying!" but you reserve the right to pre-
> judge in his favor, making excuses for him that are not

> supported by anything he says in the interview. ...

I understand Johnson more or less correctly, I think,
but you apparently not.


> Note: natural selection as mechanism to DECREASE
> genetic variation.

There is, however another aspect: the creative power must
be attributed rather to selection than to mutation. Random
mutation could create at most 'Shannon-like' information
(the more random, the more informative), but certainly not
the information needed for a human body.


>> With such a petty-minded attitude you can find "deceptive
>> statements" everywhere.
>
> Typical. If you had evidence to refute my analysis; if
> you could show that I was being "petty-minded," or
> holding Johnson to a higher standard than those he
> attacks, you would. You would _not_ be reduced to
> merely asserting your ad hominem name-calling
> conclusion as you are here.

I'm sorry, it was only a misunderstanding of you!

But there is a general rule: one always should choose
the most coherent interpretation of a text, even if the text
is written by a person one does not agree with!

>> (Furthermore the criticized sentence is formulated
>> not as a claim but as a question.)
>
> Disingenuous. Did you read the article?:

My remark would make sense if Johnson was imprecise in
the corresponding statements, as I assumed because of
your criticism. But he is very precise (I've checked it now),
so my remark in parentheses is superfluous.

Now I see your dichotomy:

"The idea that there has been a warfare between
Christianity and science is an artifact of Darwinist
propaganda."

"No, the contradiction between Darwinism and theism
goes much deeper."

You equate Darwinism with science. However, one must
not confuse science itself with the concrete scientific
theories or hypotheses such as Darwinism.

...


>>>
>>> It is clear from his previous statements regarding the
>>> incompatibility of his religion and evolution that his
>>> motives derive from something other than a desire to
>>> "explore the difference between good science and bad
>>> science."
>>
>> I don't think that your conclusion is a logical consequence
>> of Johnson's previous quotes.
>
> You say that as if you thought I expected a different
> reaction! I'm not here to convince you -- an impossible
> task in any event -- nor are you here to be the arbiter
> over my arguments. If you want to be taken seriously,
> do some work: ARGUE for your position, don't merely
> assert it, as if I am obliged to overcome your fact-
> free objection.

If I write somewhere: "It is clear from ... that ..." and someone
doubts my statement, then I'm able (or at least I believe that
I'm able) to explain and to defend my statement. It was
you who challenged me with this statement:

"If you promise to admit he was being dishonest, and not
to go off on a tangent, I'll point out one or two of his
consciously deceptive statements."

Anyway, I have done some work on the whole evolution issue:
http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html

>> I would accept (reductionist) Darwinism as a general
>> explanation for the history of life not even in the case, that
>> no alternative theory was conceivable
>
> Which is, in fact, the case (if you have an alternative
> theory, cite it).

How can you believe that no alternative to Darwinism is
conceivable? See my work for instance. Darwinism does
not equal science!

>> because of the limitation of our human mind.
>
> But you reject modern evolution (not Darwinism) without
> regard to the same limitation. Interesting.

What's 'modern evolution'? I do not reject the fact of a
continuous evolution or creation, but I reject the prevailing
theories, because they are based on many erroneous and
even absurd premises.

>> Nevertheless I have a strong desire to "explore the
>> difference between good science and bad science."
>
> That implies you can tell the difference, and that you
> know something about science. Tell me: what is the
> simple, one sentence definition of evolution, the one
> that used by biologists and found in college-level (or
> even high school) introduction-to-biology texts?

What's the importance of this definition? I'm interested
in nature, life and evolution, but not in arbitrary definitions.
To know many orthodox definitions has absolutely nothing
to do with exploring the difference between good science
and bad science.


> And a bias so great as his -- for him to accept the
> scientific view means he must give up the most profound
> thing in his life -- is notable in such a context.

The bias you recognize in Johnson's opinions is primarily a
consequence of your own biased view on Johnson. Please
try to understand that the 'scientific view itself' is not identical
with the currently prevailing scientific world view. Such an
identity has never existed in history, why should it exist now?


>> In any case you have not shown that your claim "It was
>> painfully typical of creationist dishonesty" was justified,
>> therefore you should retract it.
>
> On the contrary, I have shown just that. All you've
> offered in rebuttal is name-calling and blatant
> assertion. Therefore I think you should admit he was
> being dishonest as you promised.


Cheers
Wolfgang

http://members.lol.li/twostone/links.html

Del

unread,
Apr 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/5/99
to
In article <7e8dbr$ie2$1...@pollux.ip-plus.net>, "z@z" <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:

> Hello Del!

> > > >> I promise to "not to go off on a tangent". Please let me


> > > >> know which statements of Johnson you think are consciously
> > > >> deceptive.
> > > >
> > > > "Can [natural selection] add vast amounts of genetic
> > > > information that weren't there before?"
> > > >
> > > > Science doesn't claim that natural selection "add[s]
> > > > vast amounts of genetic information," nor does it.
> > > > Natural selection is the mechanism behind adaptive
> > > > changes. But for natural selection to work there must
> > > > be genetic variation to begin with. Selection merely
> > > > favors those genetic changes (caused by mutation for
> > > > example) -- when they occur -- which offer differential
> > > > reproductive success. Natural selection does not cause
> > > > these beneficial genetic changes to appear. Johnson
> > > > knows that science doesn't say this. Johnson shows that
> > > > he knows the relationship between mutation and natural
> > > > selection in the following:
> > > >
> > > > "Of course, God *could* make some use of random mutation and
> > > > natural selection in a fundamentally directed creative process. God
> > > > can act freely as He chooses: that is just the problem for those
> > > > who would constrain God by philosophy. God could employ mutation
> > > > and natural selction or act supernaturally, whether or not His choice
> > > > causes inconvenience for scientists who want to be able to explain and

> > > > control everything. -- Johnson, Phillip: First Things, 1-93 p.12

> >>> Ergo, Johnson makes use of a straw man he knows to be
> >>> to a false depiction of the scientific view.
> >>
> >> I do not understand well your criticism.
> >
> > Yes, I think you do.
>
> Only now I completely understand why our opinions are so
> different. Your criticism is based on the following premise:
> You take literally Johnson's expression 'natural selection'.
>
> But Johnson uses this expression nine times in his article
> ( http://www.communiquejournal.org/q6/q6_johnson.html )
> and always synonymous with 'THE evolutionary theory' or
> Darwin's theory. He uses only five times the word 'theory'
> in the article.
>
> The use of 'natural selection' or 'selection theory' as a
> synonyme of Darwinism is quite normal (also in German).

No it isn't. Not in science, and that's what we are
talking about. Learn a little about the subject.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/darwinism.html

>
> Used in such a way, 'natural selection' does not only imply
> selection and random mutation, but also reproduction and
> the rest.

Wrong. Sorry, but you do not, nor does any other
theistic anti-evolutionist, define terms for science.
This excuse doesn't wash anyway.


> Without reproduction neither selection nor mutation
> is possible.

Straw man.


That reproduction is a concept based on finality
> is another inconsistency of modern Darwinism.
> see: http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html#a04

Red herring.


> > "At least the majority of neo-Darwininists explain the
> > emergence of this information by selection."
> >
> > Clearly it is now a straw man -- at best. Show me a
> > scientist working in an evolution-related field who
> > explains the emergence of this information "by
> > selection."

You ignore this and do so for reasons that are obvious.


> Also in my statement 'selection' represents at least
> 'selection, mutation and reproduction'.
>
> So it is you who erroneously knocked down a strawman!

How clever. Leave out the preceding text, without
noting the deletion, then accuse me of committing a
fallacy. Let's put it back in, in context:

> > > I do not understand well your criticism.
> >
> > Yes, I think you do.
> >
> >

> > It cannot be denied
> > > that the (genetic) information which is necessary for living
> > > beings such as humans did not exist some billion years ago.

> > > Where does this information come from according to you? At


> > > least the majority of neo-Darwininists explain the emergence

> > > of this information by (random mutation and) selection.
> >
> > You demonstrate here that you understand what I am
> > saying with your parenthetical addition (above) to what
> > Johnson said.
> >
> >
> > > Do you think that such an explanation constitutes a straw men?
> >
> > Let's leave out your parenthetical:
> >

> > "At least the majority of neo-Darwininists explain the emergence
> > of this information by selection."
> >
> > Clearly it is now a straw man -- at best. Show me a
> > scientist working in an evolution-related field who
> > explains the emergence of this information "by
> > selection."

----- End replaced text -----

Quite a bit different meaning now, isn't it?

>
> However, the fact that you suppose that Johnson tries
> to refute Darwinism by such absurd means, clearly shows
> that you do not at all understand him.

Oh I see. I am not allowed to evaluate his words
because I don't "understand him" and you do. You are
right because you say you are.


> Johnson is a good
> logician and epistemologist and he would never make
> intentionally or unintentionally such a catastrophic error.

This blatant assertion is your defense? I note the
similarity between this and defending Biblical errors:
it just can't be an error because God wouldn't make an
error. Sorry, but I don't believe (in) either one of
your gods.


> > Furthermore your paraphrase of Johnson is convenient.
> > He doesn't accuse science of claiming "selection"
> > "explain[s] the emergence" of genetic information,
> > which is bad enough. He sets up the larger straw man
> > that science claims natural selection "add[s] vast
> > amounts of genetic information that weren't there
> > before."
> >
> > Provide an in-context quote of a scientist in the field
> > saying what Johnson insinuates, please.
>
> If follows by logical reasoning that 'natural selection', i.e.
> the principles of Darwinism are responsible for the addition
> of vast amounts of genetic information.

Begging the question. You can't provide an in-context

quote of a scientist in the field saying what Johnson

insinuates. So you offer this blatant assertion of
yours, which is nothing but a re-statement of your
premise (begging the question) in lieu of actual
argument or actual evidence.


> >> But probably your criticism is solely based on the fact that
> >> Johnson shortens 'blind mutations and selection' to 'selection'.
> >
> > You say "Please try to read without prejudice what
> > Johnson is saying!" but you reserve the right to pre-
> > judge in his favor, making excuses for him that are not
> > supported by anything he says in the interview. ...
>
> I understand Johnson more or less correctly, I think,
> but you apparently not.

Now there is a good "argument:" "I'm right, you're
wrong," improperly appealing to your own "authority"
for the claim. No reasons, no evidence deemed
necessary. Geeze, how many fallacies have you now
committed so far?

Regardless, the evidence of your double standards --
your prejudice in favor of whatever your demi-god
Johnson says -- stands, unrefuted.


> > Note: natural selection as mechanism to DECREASE
> > genetic variation.
>
> There is, however another aspect: the creative power must
> be attributed rather to selection than to mutation.

Sorry. I can't take 'MUST' as an argument. Especially
not from one who admits he does not even know the
definition of evolution. I also can't help but notice
you once again omit my text that offers evidence for my
conclusion -- and you do so without notice. Was it
because it refuted your blatant assertion, above? Here
it is, again, beginning with a quote from Johnson from
the interview that you posted:

----- Begin Replaced Text -----

> > Note: natural selection as mechanism to DECREASE
> > genetic variation.

----- End Replaced Text -----

Random
> mutation could create at most 'Shannon-like' information
> (the more random, the more informative), but certainly not
> the information needed for a human body.

Need I point out that, once again, you offer nothing
but blatant assertion? If you wish to contradict
science you will need to offer more than your own
personal "authority" to do so. Much more, as it turns
out, given that you are ignorant of what science
actually says. I'll bet you haven't read a single book
on the subject that wasn't an anti-evolutionist rant --
like Johnson's -- full of lies, misinformation, and
refuted claims -- again like Johnson's -- have you? If
you have, name them. If you have not you better ignore
this point: too embarrassing to you.

>
>
> >> With such a petty-minded attitude you can find "deceptive
> >> statements" everywhere.
> >
> > Typical. If you had evidence to refute my analysis; if
> > you could show that I was being "petty-minded," or
> > holding Johnson to a higher standard than those he
> > attacks, you would. You would _not_ be reduced to
> > merely asserting your ad hominem name-calling
> > conclusion as you are here.
>
> I'm sorry, it was only a misunderstanding of you!

> But there is a general rule: one always should choose
> the most coherent interpretation of a text, even if the text
> is written by a person one does not agree with!

Whether applied to Johnson or myself, "most coherent
interpretation" apparently means to you: "whatever the
most favorable interpretation to z@z's position is,
whether it is actually supported by the text or not."


> >> (Furthermore the criticized sentence is formulated
> >> not as a claim but as a question.)
> >
> > Disingenuous. Did you read the article?:
>
> My remark would make sense if Johnson was imprecise in
> the corresponding statements,

Which must be why you deleted my in-context quote of
his (which I replaced, above,) that was the smoking-gun
evidence of his deception.


as I assumed because of
> your criticism. But he is very precise (I've checked it now),
> so my remark in parentheses is superfluous.

Oh yes, "very precise." From a review of Darwin on
Trial:

"Sometimes Darwin on Trial uses 'Darwinism' to mean
evolution by natural selection, sometimes to mean what
scientists call the 'synthetic theory of evolution'
(the union of genetic theory with natural selection
theory), sometimes to mean gradual evolution, and
sometimes 'Darwinism' means evolution itself. Sometimes
'evolution' is used as a purely scientific idea, and
other times it is confused with evolutionism, a
naturalistic ideology that excludes the possibility of
divine intervention. Just as science is not equivalent
to philosophical naturalism, so evolution does not
equal evolutionism." -- DARWIN ON TRIAL: A Review
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D., Executive Director, NCSE

No, you equivocate the meaning of Darwinism, as Johnson
does. I don't find the term useful, you do. Ironic,
too, since it seems pretty clear you don't know what it
means from a scientific perspective, and or you think
you have the right to define it in terms convenient to
your anti-evolutionism.


However, one must
> not confuse science itself with the concrete scientific
> theories or hypotheses such as Darwinism.

A sentence rife with unstated and unique assumptions,
assumptions which amount to claims about the nature of
more than a few things, including science. You
apparently see no reason why you should have to qualify
any of them, let alone show your qualifications for
making them.


> >>> It is clear from his previous statements regarding the
> >>> incompatibility of his religion and evolution that his
> >>> motives derive from something other than a desire to
> >>> "explore the difference between good science and bad
> >>> science."
> >>
> >> I don't think that your conclusion is a logical consequence
> >> of Johnson's previous quotes.
> >
> > You say that as if you thought I expected a different
> > reaction! I'm not here to convince you -- an impossible
> > task in any event -- nor are you here to be the arbiter
> > over my arguments. If you want to be taken seriously,
> > do some work: ARGUE for your position, don't merely
> > assert it, as if I am obliged to overcome your fact-
> > free objection.
>
> If I write somewhere: "It is clear from ... that ..." and someone
> doubts my statement, then I'm able (or at least I believe that
> I'm able) to explain and to defend my statement.

Then defend YOUR assessment "I don't think that your

conclusion is a logical consequence of Johnson's

previous quotes." Odd, that you didn't see any reason
to do so here and now, after what you said, above!

The misconception you are laboring under is that I must
go beyond successfully arguing my point. That I must
ALSO force you to admit that I have. I'm telling you I
do not. (Trust me on this)

As I have pointed out in the above, over and over, you
have not offered ANYTHING in the way of rebuttal --
just assertions of the type: "I don't think that your
conclusion is a logical consequence..."

That is not rebuttal. That is gainsaying. Gainsaying is
not argument, so I assume you have no argument to
offer. Therefore my argument stands, unrefuted.


It was
> you who challenged me with this statement:
>
> "If you promise to admit he was being dishonest, and not
> to go off on a tangent, I'll point out one or two of his
> consciously deceptive statements."

And I made my case, remember? That text of mine, above,
whole blocks of which you selectively removed without
notice? Does that ring a bell?


> Anyway, I have done some work on the whole evolution issue:
> http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html
>
> >> I would accept (reductionist) Darwinism as a general
> >> explanation for the history of life not even in the case, that
> >> no alternative theory was conceivable
> >
> > Which is, in fact, the case (if you have an alternative
> > theory, cite it).
>
> How can you believe that no alternative to Darwinism is
> conceivable?

I assume you mean by "Darwinism" the current state of
the science of evolution in it's multiplicity of forms,
given that you did not choose to offer any definition
yourself. That's what I am talking about.

Now share with us your alternative theory.


> See my work for instance.

Give me a reason to believe it won't be a complete
waste of time. Show me, for instance, you know the
first thing about evolution. You haven't yet.


> Darwinism does not equal science!

Define your unique meaning for the word "Darwinism," so
we don't have to take your word for this, as you expect
us to do at virtually every juncture.


> >> because of the limitation of our human mind.
> >
> > But you reject modern evolution (not Darwinism) without
> > regard to the same limitation. Interesting.
>
> What's 'modern evolution'?

"Modern scientists accept that evolution occurred, but
differ over the relative importance of natural
selection and other mechanisms, over whether the
pattern of evolution is smooth and gradual or jerky and
punctuated, over which characteristics link modern
groups, and so on." -- Eugenie C. Scott ibid.


I do not reject the fact of a
> continuous evolution or creation, but I reject the prevailing
> theories, because they are based on many erroneous and
> even absurd premises.

Well if you say so it must be true!


> >> Nevertheless I have a strong desire to "explore the
> >> difference between good science and bad science."
> >
> > That implies you can tell the difference, and that you
> > know something about science. Tell me: what is the
> > simple, one sentence definition of evolution, the one
> > that used by biologists and found in college-level (or
> > even high school) introduction-to-biology texts?
>
> What's the importance of this definition? I'm interested
> in nature, life and evolution, but not in arbitrary definitions.

Ah. So you don't even know what the definition is. I
see. Furthermore you are not interested in knowing.


> To know many orthodox definitions has absolutely nothing
> to do with exploring the difference between good science
> and bad science.

I rather think it does. Not knowing what you are in
opposition to is a serious defect. That you don't care
to know is a fatal flaw. Sorry, your demand for
credibility, revealed in you expecting us to take your
word for every proclamation you make (which are many)
is rejected -- for cause.


> > And a bias so great as his -- for him to accept the
> > scientific view means he must give up the most profound
> > thing in his life -- is notable in such a context.
>
> The bias you recognize in Johnson's opinions is primarily a
> consequence of your own biased view on Johnson.

More blatant assertion.

Message has been deleted

z@z

unread,
Apr 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/6/99
to
Hello Richard (C. Carrier)!

Why do you write your posts anonymously (is also 'Bud' a
pseudonym of you?). Do you yourself possibly know, what
an arrogant pseudo-scientific stuff you write?

If I'm in error, and you are not Richard, please forgive me!

Yours posts, however, remind me even much stronger of
Richard than the posts of mcoon remind me of Ian Musgrave.
Such a combination of erudition, good style, naivety, dogmatism,
arrogance and intentional (or instinctive) misrepresentation is
very exceptional.

Because I think that it is much more probable you are Richard
than you are not, this post is based on the 'Del equals Richard
hypothesis'.


Do you remember our discussion on entropy:

I wrote:

"Billions of years have not been enough for the earth to remove a
temperature difference of many hundreds of degrees Kelvin."

You answered:

"What qualifies you to say this? What is your source? Show me
the math.

As far as I can see, you are a talker and have no acquaintance with
doing. So prove me wrong: how do you know your statement here is
true? Why should anyone believe it?"

I answered:

I hope that our dabate will show you that it is 'dangerous' to defend an
inconsistent view such as modern science. Because of its inconsistent
basis, logically correct conclusions can lead to strange claims. The
most extreme case of such a strange conclusion seems to me the
following passage of your last email (or should it be a joke?):

>> Billions of years have not been enough for the earth to remove
>> a temperature difference of many hundreds of degrees Kelvin.

> What qualifies you to say this? What is your source? Show me
> the math.

> As far as I can see, you are a talker and have no acquaintance
> with doing. So prove me wrong: how do you know your statement
> here is true? Why should anyone believe it?

You answered:

I AM STILL AWAITING AN ANSWER FOR THIS:
"Billions of years have not been enough for the earth to remove
a temperature difference of many hundreds of degrees Kelvin."
What qualifies you to say this? What is your source? Show me
the math.


Now back to you, Del. The following extract is representative for
our whole debate:

>> Only now I completely understand why our opinions are so
>> different. Your criticism is based on the following premise:
>> You take literally Johnson's expression 'natural selection'.
>>
>> But Johnson uses this expression nine times in his article
>> ( http://www.communiquejournal.org/q6/q6_johnson.html )
>> and always synonymous with 'THE evolutionary theory' or
>> Darwin's theory. He uses only five times the word 'theory'
>> in the article.
>>
>> The use of 'natural selection' or 'selection theory' as a
>> synonyme of Darwinism is quite normal (also in German).
>
> No it isn't. Not in science, and that's what we are
> talking about. Learn a little about the subject.
> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/darwinism.html
>
>>
>> Used in such a way, 'natural selection' does not only imply
>> selection and random mutation, but also reproduction and
>> the rest.
>
> Wrong. Sorry, but you do not, nor does any other
> theistic anti-evolutionist, define terms for science.
> This excuse doesn't wash anyway.
>
>
>> Without reproduction neither selection nor mutation
>> is possible.
>
> Straw man.

Look for instance:
http://www.sprl.umich.edu/GCL/paper_to_html/selection.html
especially:
Figure 2: The Process of Natural Selection

And even if Johnson's use of 'natural selection' were uncommon,
you would have no right to criticize Johnson's LOGIC based on an
interpretation of 'natural selection' which is not his.

I don't want to apply your method which consists in defending
one's own view by increasing the length of the posts (maybe in the
hope people will not read them carefully).

You really should take to heart what I have written in my previous
post:

"But there is a general rule: one always should choose
the most coherent interpretation of a text, even if the text
is written by a person one does not agree with!"

I'm sorry for my aggressive tone. I do not like to attack anyone's
personal authority, but there are cases where I feel obliged to do so.


Cheers
Wolfgang

http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/evidence.html

Adam Noel Harris

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Apr 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/6/99
to
z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:
:Hello Richard (C. Carrier)!

:
:Why do you write your posts anonymously (is also 'Bud' a
:pseudonym of you?). Do you yourself possibly know, what
:an arrogant pseudo-scientific stuff you write?
:
:If I'm in error, and you are not Richard, please forgive me!

Actually, "we" are all just one poster. "We" are faking multiple
personalities and email addresses just to make you look bad. "We" are
being funded by the pharmaceutical industry, which wants the HIV myth to
be perpetuated. You are seen as a great threat.

-Adam "Ian Richard Bud Del" Musgrave-Harris
--
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Stanford University.
PGP Fingerprint = C0 65 A2 BD 8A 67 B3 19 F9 8B C1 4C 8E F2 EA 0E


z@z

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Apr 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/7/99
to
Adam Noel Harris wrote:
> z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:
> :Hello Richard (C. Carrier)!
> :
> :Why do you write your posts anonymously (is also 'Bud' a
> :pseudonym of you?). Do you yourself possibly know, what
> :an arrogant pseudo-scientific stuff you write?
> :
> :If I'm in error, and you are not Richard, please forgive me!

"please forgive me" is a quote from a post of mcoon. Unfortunately
after having installed today a new version of my email program, I
have lost all old posts (apart from my own).

> Actually, "we" are all just one poster. "We" are faking multiple
> personalities and email addresses just to make you look bad. "We" are
> being funded by the pharmaceutical industry, which wants the HIV myth to
> be perpetuated. You are seen as a great threat.

I know that, but I'm funded, too. And our organization is more
careful not to make statements which can be proven wrong,
because we are interested more in truth than in scientific power.

> -Adam "Ian Richard Bud Del" Musgrave-Harris
> --
> Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Stanford University.
> PGP Fingerprint = C0 65 A2 BD 8A 67 B3 19 F9 8B C1 4C 8E F2 EA 0E

Wolfgang

daveg...@my-dejanews.com

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Apr 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/7/99
to
jfa...@NOSPAM.earthlink.net (Del) wrote:
>
> "Can [natural selection] add vast amounts of genetic

> information that weren't there before?"
>
> Science doesn't claim that natural selection "add[s]
> vast amounts of genetic information," nor does it.
> Natural selection is the mechanism behind adaptive
> changes. But for natural selection to work there must
> be genetic variation to begin with. Selection merely
> favors those genetic changes (caused by mutation for
> example) -- when they occur -- which offer differential
> reproductive success. Natural selection does not cause
> these beneficial genetic changes to appear. Johnson
> knows that science doesn't say this.

Well I note your addition of the word "beneficial" but
besides that I think you might be a bit too hasty here.

While it is true that Natural Selection as casually
observed is a mechanism that removes diversity from the
gene pool it is also noted that genetic diversity is
an advantage to populations facing and unpredictable
future as there are more potential avenues of adaptation
available. It therefore seems possible that selective
pressures over time have favored replication modalities
with greater propensity to add new genetic material that
wasn't there before.

Dave Greene

daveg...@my-dejanews.com

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Apr 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/7/99
to
"Wesley R. Elsberry" <w...@cx33978-a.dt1.sdca.home.com> wrote:
> Eric Von Schrondger <e...@news.mia.bellsouth.net> wrote:
> >Wesley R. Elsberry wrote:
> >>In article <7e7or1$a8o$1...@pollux.ip-plus.net>, z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:
>
> [...]
>
> W>That information has been created somehow is a fact, but it
> W>is also a (logical) fact, that this information cannot be
> W>explained by random mutation and selection.
>
> WRE>Really? And the evidence which supports this contention can
> WRE>be referenced where? Be specific.
>
> EVS>No body asked me, but I hope this is an open forum. I am
> EVS>not familiar with the protocol of Talk Origins. But a
> EVS>common sense definition of *information* would be
> EVS>synonymous with instructions. I would say that
> EVS>*information* is the instructions to manufacture; to
> EVS>construct; to fashion; or to organize. Information
> EVS>contained in DNA is why we Homo sapiens are constructed
> EVS>with a form distinct from that of an alligator and an
> EVS>alligator is different in form than that of or a damsel
> EVS>fly. And a damsel fly is different than a mosquito. I read
> EVS>this on a newsgroup somewhere. Probably Johnson used such
> EVS>a common sense defination of the word.
>
> Anybody is welcome to participate at any time here. That
> doesn't mean that anybody gets a bunch of slack. Wolfgang
> made a claim that mutation and natural selection obviously
> could not account for certain biological information, and I
> asked for his substantiation of that claim. Eric's interposed
> commentary is fascinating, but also fails to be relevant to
> establishing what Wolfgang was claiming. Try again?

I'll have a go. How does mutation and natural selection account
for the biological information of abiogenesis?

Ed. Stoebenau

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Apr 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/7/99
to
On 3 Apr 1999 12:19:48 -0500, jfa...@NOSPAM.earthlink.net (Del) wrote:

<snip Johnson quotes>

Here are yet some more Johnson quotes, which should give more than
sufficient reason to realize that he doesn't know what he is talking
about.

*****

"Guided evolution isn't evolution at all." Phillip Johnson, on "Janet
Parshall's America" 7-31-1997 4:00 EST

"Evolution is a theory to do creating without God." Phillip Johnson,
on "Janet Parshall's America" 7-31-1997 4:00 EST

"Darwinian evolution is not a matter of scientific investigation."
Phillip Johnson, on "Janet Parshall's America" 7-31-1997 4:00 EST

"If there is no god, then... in the beginning were the particles [so]
there has to be random changes, ... and a designing force.... They
ignore all the vast amount of evidence which contradict [evolution.]"
Phillip Johnson, on "Janet Parshall's America" 7-31-1997 4:00 EST

"Let's first establish that the present scientific regime wants to get
God out of the picture, regardless of the evidence." Phillip Johnson,
on "Janet Parshall's America" 7-31-1997 4:00 EST

"It's clear... that when you look at the fossil record as a whole,
it's completely against Darwinism." Phillip Johnson, on "Janet
Parshall's America" 7-31-1997 4:00 EST

"The reality is that Darwinism is built on [a] dogmatic adherence to
materialism." Phillip Johnson, on "Janet Parshall's America"
7-31-1997 4:00 EST

"My experience speaking and debating on this topic at universities has
taught me that scientists, and professors in general, are often
confused about evolution. They may know a lot of details, but they
don't understand the basics. The professors typically think that
evolution from molecule to man is a single process that can be
illustrated by dog breeding or finch-beak variations, that fossil
evidence confirms the Darwinian process of step-by-step change, that
monkeys can type _Hamlet_ if they are aided by a mechanism akin to
natural selection, and that science isn't saying anything about
religion when it says we were created by a purposeless material
process." Phillip Johnson, _Defeating Darwinism_, p11

"Many ordinary people are also confused about these subjects, of
course, but they do tend to grasp one big truth that the professional
intellectuals usually seem incapable of seeing. The people suspect
that what is being presented to them as 'scientific fact' consists
largely of an ideology that goes far beyond the scientific evidence."
Phillip Johnson, _Defeating Darwinism_, p11

"_Naturalism_ and _materialism_ mean essentially the same thing for
present purposes.... [T]here is no difference between naturalism and
materialism." Phillip Johnson, _Defeating Darwinism_, p15-16, fn

"Arguments defending Darwinism often seem to beg the question because
they assume the point at issue, which is whether the scientific
evidence really does support the theory.
Here's a typical example:
_Question_: What evidence proves that life evolved from nonliving
molecules?
_Answer_: Don't reject a scientific theory just because you have a
religious prejudice.
The answer assumes the point in dispute, which is whether the evidence
for the chemical evolution of life is so overwhelming that only a
prejudiced person would be skeptical of it." Phillip Johnson,
_Defeating Darwinism_, p42

"Let's consider two possibilities. One is that 91 percent of the
public consists of ignorant people who ignore the evidence and just
believe what they want to believe. On that assumption, democracy is a
farce. We are like children who think we can set fires and not be
burned. In that case we ought to be ruled by a scientific elite, who
will protect us from the consequences of our folly. The other
possibility is that the evolutionary naturalists are the ones who
believe what they want to believe, and they are likewise the ones who
are less than assiduous in exposing themselves to contrary evidence."
Phillip Johnson, _Defeating Darwinism_, p48

"I am amused by self-styled 'skeptics,' who invariably seem able to
believe the wildest nonsense if it supports Darwinism." Phillip
Johnson, _Defeating Darwinism_, p74, fn (On analogies to natural
selection)

"The gospel of John begins with the memorable statement that 'In the
beginning was the Word.' That is exactly how we would describe the
creation of a literary work, or a computer program, or a building. In
the beginning was the concept and the working out of that concept in
the mind of the author or designer. [....] The Word (information) is
not reducible to matter, and even precedes matter. If only matter
existed in the beginning, then the first verse of the Gospel of John
-- and the worldview of the Bible -- is false." Phillip Johnson,
_Defeating Darwinism_, p71

"Truth (with a capital _T_) is truth as God knows it. When God is no
longer in the picture there can be no Truth, only conflicting human
opinions. (There can also be no sin, and consciousness of sin is that
built-in moral compass Rorty rejects as illusory.) We can know
something about what is useful for getting whatever we happen to want,
but false beliefs have often been extremely useful." Phillip Johnson,
_Defeating Darwinism_, p89

"To say that a statement is false is to concede that it could
conceivably be true. This can be dangerous. Focusing the mind of an
unbeliever on the question whether Christ's claims are true has often
had unanticipated consequences." Phillip Johnson, _Defeating
Darwinism_, p101

"We might say that the point of Darwinism is to refute the otherwise
compelling teaching of Romans 1:20, which is that God's eternal power
and deity have always been evident from the things that were created."
Phillip Johnson, _Defeating Darwinism_, p113

*****

And one big whopper:

"In early 1997 I participated in an internet debate with Brown
University biology professor Kenneth Miller in connection with the PBS
NOVA television show _The Ultimate Journey_. [....] Professor Miller
did not defend the program but tried to change the subject to talk
about hominid fossils and other stock arguments for Darwinism."
Phillip Johnson, _Defeating Darwinism_, p123-124

"NOVA Online asked two leading spokesmen in the evolution/creation
debate to discuss the question, "How did we get here?" The
participants have agreed to keep their letters to less than 500 words
and have been given equal time to write them. The debate will
continue into December with a new letter every 3-4 days. It should be
noted that neither Miller nor Johnson were involved in the production
of NOVA's Odyssey of Life." From "How Did We Get Here? (A Cyber
Debate)," http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/odyssey/debate/.

*****
I think these two quotes make Johnson's dishonesty very obvious.

--
Ed. Stoebenau
a#143


John Wilkins

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Apr 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/7/99
to

What biological information, exactly? If life began as a hypercycle or
catalytically closed cycle of reactants, selection will increase the
efficiency and complexity of those reactions (even in the absence of a
"gene" molecule). What is the information? Sure, there's structural
increase in complexity, but surely that's not a problem?

--
John Wilkins
Head, Graphic Production
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Melbourne, Australia
<mailto:wil...@WEHI.EDU.AU><http://www.wehi.edu.au/~wilkins>


Matt Silberstein

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Apr 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/7/99
to
In alt.religion.christian I read this message from
daveg...@my-dejanews.com:

[snip]


>
>I'll have a go. How does mutation and natural selection account
>for the biological information of abiogenesis?
>

It does not. Mutation and Natural Selection are processes that happen
to living organisms. Abiogenesis is the process by which life appeared
from non-life.

Matt Silberstein
-------------------------------------------------------
The Killing, Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr Strangelove,
2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon,
The Shinning, Full Metal Jacket, and, last of all, but I hope
not the least, Eyes Wide Shut. I will miss him.


Wesley R. Elsberry

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Apr 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/8/99
to
In article <7egae8$ibt$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
<daveg...@my-dejanews.com> wrote:
>"Wesley R. Elsberry" <w...@cx33978-a.dt1.sdca.home.com> wrote:
>> Eric Von Schrondger <e...@news.mia.bellsouth.net> wrote:
>> >Wesley R. Elsberry wrote:
>> >>In article <7e7or1$a8o$1...@pollux.ip-plus.net>, z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:

WRE> [...]

W>That information has been created somehow is a fact, but it
W>is also a (logical) fact, that this information cannot be
W>explained by random mutation and selection.

WRE>Really? And the evidence which supports this contention can
WRE>be referenced where? Be specific.

EVS>No body asked me, but I hope this is an open forum. I am
EVS>not familiar with the protocol of Talk Origins. But a
EVS>common sense definition of *information* would be
EVS>synonymous with instructions. I would say that
EVS>*information* is the instructions to manufacture; to
EVS>construct; to fashion; or to organize. Information
EVS>contained in DNA is why we Homo sapiens are constructed
EVS>with a form distinct from that of an alligator and an
EVS>alligator is different in form than that of or a damsel
EVS>fly. And a damsel fly is different than a mosquito. I read
EVS>this on a newsgroup somewhere. Probably Johnson used such
EVS>a common sense defination of the word.

WRE> Anybody is welcome to participate at any time here. That
WRE> doesn't mean that anybody gets a bunch of slack. Wolfgang
WRE> made a claim that mutation and natural selection obviously
WRE> could not account for certain biological information, and I
WRE> asked for his substantiation of that claim. Eric's interposed
WRE> commentary is fascinating, but also fails to be relevant to
WRE> establishing what Wolfgang was claiming. Try again?

DG>I'll have a go. How does mutation and natural selection
DG>account for the biological information of abiogenesis?

Well, the discussion is about normal biological issues and
information, not abiogenesis. But maybe if Dave were to show
how "mutation and natural selection" could be properly said to
apply to pre-biotic chemistry, and also show that there is
information content to be analyzed in pre-biotic chemistry,
then the question could be addressed as a separate topic.

Beyond that, I notice the lack of specific references that would
substantiate Wolfgang's claim.

--
Wesley R. Elsberry, Student in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences, Tx A&M U.
Visit the Online Zoologists page (http://www.rtis.com/nat/user/elsberry)
Email to this account is dumped to /dev/null, whose Spam appetite is capacious.
"In a hotel room that costs as much as my apartment"-O97s


daveg...@my-dejanews.com

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Apr 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/8/99
to
ske...@efn.org (Ross LaHaye) wrote:
> Buckna quoted PJ as saying:

>
> "So we have the priesthood of naturalism, which has great cultural
> authority . . ."
>
> Great cultural authority? That must be why there are so few creationists
> around anymore and why the general public is so sympathetic to the concept
> of evolution . . . get real . . .

Perhaps it is you who should get real. Modern twentieth century science has
often changed the story of the origin of modern man according to the current
cultural mythos in vogue at the time.

daveg...@my-dejanews.com

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Apr 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/8/99
to
jfa...@NOSPAM.earthlink.net (Del) wrote:

>"Mutation is the process by which fresh genetic
>variation is offered up for selection" -- [Dawkins,
>1996]

A couple of points should be made here:
1.) Mutation is not the only process which offers up
genetic variation for selection.
2.) Mutation also creates genetic variation that is
invisible to selection.

>"Bringing about a change in the gene pool assumes that
>there is genetic variation in the population to begin
>with, or a way to generate it. Genetic variation is
>'grist for the evolutionary mill.' For example, if
>there were no dark moths, the population could not have
>evolved from mostly light to mostly dark. In order for
>continuing evolution there must be mechanisms to
>increase or create genetic variation (e.g. mutation)
>and mechanisms to decrease it (e.g. natural selection
>and genetic drift)." -- Chris Colby: An Introduction
>to Evolutionary Biology FAQ

Well there had to be a first dark moth then? One should
not assume that evolution is hogtied to pre-existant
phenotypic expressions.

>Note: natural selection as mechanism to DECREASE
>genetic variation.

Natural selection can also act to PRESERVE genetic variation.
Case in point: Hybrids are often more robust organisms.

Goyra

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Apr 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/9/99
to
Wesley R. Elsberry <w...@cx33978-a.dt1.sdca.home.com> wrote in article
<1999040814...@cx33978-a.dt1.sdca.home.com>...


Let me introduce here an analogy showing
how information is added to the genome by natural
selection.

The solution of the Rubik's cube is
information, and a solved cube can be said to
store this information (especially if we
assume an electronic cube with a memory).


Take 100,000 such cubes, and have them
randomly twisted by monkeys. Pile them all up.
Have you created or moved information around?
No.

Now, select the one cube that is solved
and put it in a box marked "solved cubes look
like this". NOW you have created information.
How did you do it? The choosing of the one specific
cube was the action that inserted information into
the system.


With this analogy, it becomes clear that
information IS added to the genome - information
about how to build a working animal. And this
information is added at the moment when natural
selection weeds out the unsuitable animals. So
the processes of fighting, hunting, eating etc
are the sources of information.


These processes are driven by energy that
is given to us free from the Sun. Free energy is
mathematically capable of countering (local)
entropy and creating information. So there is no problem.

Goyra


z@z

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Apr 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/9/99
to
Hello Wesley (R. Elsberry)!

You have invited me to substantiate my claim:

"That information has been created somehow is a fact, but

it is also a (logical) fact, that this information cannot be


explained by random mutation and selection."

I'll do it in a new thread "Darwinism smashed by probability
arguments" which I intend to start in the near future.

I garantee you: the assumption that random changes can create
humans from simple matter is very similar to the assumption
that a mechanical perpetuum mobile can provide huge amounts
of usable energy.

Here some quotes from what I have written until now:

"If it cannot be denied that the probability for random emergence
of a system (e.g. a living organism) is unrealistically low, the system
is taken apart to smaller and smaller sub-systems until random
emergence gets realistic. But it is ignored that the probability for
the whole system is calculated by multiplying the probabilities for
the emergence of all systems from their respective sub-systems.
Reductionist causal laws do not explain why sub-systems which
are useful for the whole reproduce themselves instead of
disappearing after having appeared by chance."
http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html#a03

"That repair enzymes are advantageous to living cells cannot be
denied. But if the origin of such enzymes is explained by this
advantage, the explanation is based not on reductionist causal
laws but on finality. In the same way, every attempt to explain
evolution by a tendency of genes (or other units) to spread is
based on finality. A reductionist causal explanation must derive
what seems to us a tendency to spread from physical and
chemical laws."
http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html#a04

"Final (teleological) laws of nature are not apriori less scientific
than causal laws. Theorists explaining evolution without final laws
of nature, are either not aware of the finality used in their
explanations, or they extremely overestimate the creativity of
pure chance. To be consistent, they would also have to explain
scientific and cultural progress by random errors (e.g. in thinking
or copying data). The hypothesis that teleological principles have
always been effective in evolution is much more consistent and
elegant than the hypothesis that such principles appeared only as
a result of organisms having emerged themselves by pure chance."
http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/reductionism.html

"One cannot doubt that an innate behaviour pattern cannot
be stored directly in the DNA. So all the (certainly complex)
principles by which DNA sequences are transformed into read
only memory of the brain must also be coded in the DNA (and
are subject to negative mutations). And there cannot be a
miraculous mechanism increasing the amount of information
during the transformation from the original DNA information to
the final read only information. There should rather be an
information loss.

Some scientists assume that there is such an information gain
in the case of protein folding. They are right insofar as the
information corresponding to the protein behaviour is much
larger than the information corresponding to the amino acid
sequence. I, however, would prefer as a last resort the
hypothesis 'God' to such a mysterious information increase
violating common sense and logical reasoning.

Four base pairs can store only 1 byte! Because at least several
bytes would be necessary to code a behaviour pattern in the
DNA (think about the bytes which would be needed for
simulating such a behaviour in a robot!), the probability that
behaviour patterns could evolve would be rather low. For
macroevolution to work many enzyme types, many cell types
and other structures must evolve at the same time together with
behaviour patterns. Because it is generally accepted that negative
mutations are more likely than positive ones, macroevolution
would be impossible."
http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/evidence.html#instinctive


> EVS>Conversely, if it can be demonstrated that new information
> EVS>has been added in measurable quantities through random
> EVS>mutations and natural selection then nothing more is
> EVS>required.
>
> Measurable quantities?
>
> [Quote]
>
> This point deserves careful attention. Suppose that an
> organism in reproducing generates N offspring, and that of
> these N offspring M (1 f M f N) succeed in reproducing. The
> amount of information introduced through selection is then
> -log2(M/N). Let me stress that this formula is not an case of
> misplaced mathematical exactness. This formula holds
> universally and is non-mysterious.
>
> [End Quote - WA Dembski,
>
<http://www.dla.utexas.edu/depts/philosophy/faculty/koons/ntse/papers/Dembsk
i.html>]

Can I assume that "1 f M f N" should be "1 <= M <= N".

In any case the quote itself is complete (logical) nonsense (at least
out of context). Unfortunately the online article uses a character
set incompatible with my browser.

Why do you appreciate this quote?

Cheers
Wolfgang

Wesley R. Elsberry

unread,
Apr 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/9/99
to
In article <7elacg$eau$1...@pollux.ip-plus.net>, z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:
>Hello Wesley (R. Elsberry)!

W>You have invited me to substantiate my claim:

W>"That information has been created somehow is a fact, but
W>it is also a (logical) fact, that this information cannot be
W>explained by random mutation and selection."

I did so by this response to the above:

Really? And the evidence which supports this contention can

be referenced where? Be specific.

W>I'll do it in a new thread "Darwinism smashed by probability
W>arguments" which I intend to start in the near future.

Uh-huh. Yeah. Right. Wolfgang doesn't know how many times
I've heard promises like this that never come to fruition.

W>I garantee you: the assumption that random changes can create
W>humans from simple matter is very similar to the assumption
W>that a mechanical perpetuum mobile can provide huge amounts
W>of usable energy.

Notice the claim was concerning "random mutation AND
selection", not just "random changes". Notice also that the
original discussion was about *biological* information, not
pre-biotic chemistry.

W>Here some quotes from what I have written until now:

Will they have anything to do with showing that random
mutation and selection are incapable of adding biological
information?

W>"If it cannot be denied that the probability for random
W>emergence of a system (e.g. a living organism) is
W>unrealistically low, the system is taken apart to smaller
W>and smaller sub-systems until random emergence gets
W>realistic. But it is ignored that the probability for the
W>whole system is calculated by multiplying the probabilities
W>for the emergence of all systems from their respective
W>sub-systems. Reductionist causal laws do not explain why
W>sub-systems which are useful for the whole reproduce
W>themselves instead of disappearing after having appeared by
W>chance." http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html#a03

What do "reductionist causal laws" have to do with the topic?
Are "mutation and natural selection" classified as
reductionist causal laws by Wolfgang? If so, Wolfgang's
final assertion is just plain wrong.

That doesn't appear to show that random mutation and selection
are incapable of addng biological information.

W>"That repair enzymes are advantageous to living cells cannot
W>be denied. But if the origin of such enzymes is explained by
W>this advantage, the explanation is based not on reductionist
W>causal laws but on finality. In the same way, every attempt
W>to explain evolution by a tendency of genes (or other units)
W>to spread is based on finality. A reductionist causal
W>explanation must derive what seems to us a tendency to
W>spread from physical and chemical laws."
W>http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html#a04

Is this bafflegab supposed to be impressive to someone?

That doesn't appear to show that random mutation and selection
are incapable of addng biological information.

W>"Final (teleological) laws of nature are not apriori less
W>scientific than causal laws. Theorists explaining evolution
W>without final laws of nature, are either not aware of the
W>finality used in their explanations, or they extremely
W>overestimate the creativity of pure chance. To be
W>consistent, they would also have to explain scientific and
W>cultural progress by random errors (e.g. in thinking or
W>copying data). The hypothesis that teleological principles
W>have always been effective in evolution is much more
W>consistent and elegant than the hypothesis that such
W>principles appeared only as a result of organisms having
W>emerged themselves by pure chance."
W>http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/reductionism.html

What's all this bullshit about "pure chance" doing in this
thread?

That doesn't appear to show that random mutation and selection
are incapable of addng biological information.

W>"One cannot doubt that an innate behaviour pattern cannot be
W>stored directly in the DNA. So all the (certainly complex)
W>principles by which DNA sequences are transformed into read
W>only memory of the brain must also be coded in the DNA (and
W>are subject to negative mutations). And there cannot be a
W>miraculous mechanism increasing the amount of information
W>during the transformation from the original DNA information
W>to the final read only information. There should rather be
W>an information loss.

Wolfgang might be surprised at what I can doubt. That will
be pretty much anything Wolfgang has to say that touches
upon biology, apparently. If Wolfgang told me that the sky
was blue, I'd open the window to check it.

That doesn't appear to show that random mutation and selection
are incapable of addng biological information.

W>Some scientists assume that there is such an information
W>gain in the case of protein folding. They are right insofar
W>as the information corresponding to the protein behaviour is
W>much larger than the information corresponding to the amino
W>acid sequence. I, however, would prefer as a last resort the
W>hypothesis 'God' to such a mysterious information increase
W>violating common sense and logical reasoning.

This appears to be a simple digression away from the topic.

That doesn't appear to show that random mutation and selection
are incapable of addng biological information.

W>Four base pairs can store only 1 byte! Because at least
W>several bytes would be necessary to code a behaviour pattern
W>in the DNA (think about the bytes which would be needed for
W>simulating such a behaviour in a robot!), the probability
W>that behaviour patterns could evolve would be rather
W>low. For macroevolution to work many enzyme types, many cell
W>types and other structures must evolve at the same time
W>together with behaviour patterns. Because it is generally
W>accepted that negative mutations are more likely than
W>positive ones, macroevolution would be impossible."
W>http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/evidence.html#instinctive

Wow. Is Wolfgang aiming for some "highest density of logical
fallacies in one paragraph" award? He is up against stiff
competition, but the above should put him in the running.

That doesn't appear to show that random mutation and selection
are incapable of addng biological information.

OK, so Wolfgang's quotes don't exactly help him out with his
assertion. Did anyone expect something different? Notice
that Wolfgang provides no references to evidence at all, as
was requested originally.

EVS>Conversely, if it can be demonstrated that new information
EVS>has been added in measurable quantities through random
EVS>mutations and natural selection then nothing more is
EVS>required.

WRE> Measurable quantities?

WRE> [Quote]

This point deserves careful attention. Suppose that an
organism in reproducing generates N offspring, and that of
these N offspring M (1 f M f N) succeed in reproducing. The
amount of information introduced through selection is then
-log2(M/N). Let me stress that this formula is not an case of
misplaced mathematical exactness. This formula holds
universally and is non-mysterious.

WRE> [End Quote - WA Dembski,

WRE><http://www.dla.utexas.edu/depts/philosophy/faculty/koons/ntse/papers/Dembski.html>]

W>Can I assume that "1 f M f N" should be "1 <= M <= N".

That looks reasonable.

W>In any case the quote itself is complete (logical) nonsense
W>(at least out of context). Unfortunately the online article
W>uses a character set incompatible with my browser.

W>Why do you appreciate this quote?

The quote shows that a major figure in the ID hierarchy does
believe that mutation and natural selection adds biological
information, contra Wolfgang's claim. What Dembski is
attempting to do in the passage being quoted is to establish
an *upper limit* on the amount of information added by
mutation and natural selection per generation. Various
problems in Dembski's approach to analysis were pointed out at
the 1997 NTSE conference by Bill Jefferys. The quote, though,
fulfills my purpose of showing that even those who reject
Darwinian explanation as inclusive of all adaptive phenomena
do still recognize that mutation and natural selection add
biological information.

I'm still looking for Wolfgang to provide specific references
to evidence that supports his claim. Those have been
conspicuous by their absence.

Of course, there are changes in biological information content
whose most natural explanation is simply mutation (if
discussing an individual as compared to a parent, for example)
or genetic drift (when discussing a population). I've talked
before about increase in information due to polyploid events
in orchids. See
<http://x15.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=424416762>. I'm
assuming that Wolfgang is trying to get at non-banal support
of his claim, though, and will provide as his examples
observed *adaptive* change. If, though, that's all that
Wolfgang meant by his claim, then I will be happy to stipulate
that mutation and genetic drift explain biological information
increases that mutation and natural selection do not.

--
Wesley R. Elsberry, Student in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences, Tx A&M U.
Visit the Online Zoologists page (http://www.rtis.com/nat/user/elsberry)
Email to this account is dumped to /dev/null, whose Spam appetite is capacious.

"I've got a timebomb\In my mind mom\I hear it ticking but I don't know why"-O97


z@z

unread,
Apr 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/10/99
to
Hello Wesley (R. Elsberry)!

> W>"That information has been created somehow is a fact, but


> W>it is also a (logical) fact, that this information cannot be
> W>explained by random mutation and selection."

> Really? And the evidence which supports this contention can


> be referenced where? Be specific.

Why a reference? For a logical argument, logical reasoning and
some knowledge of maths and epistemology must be enough.

> W>I garantee you: the assumption that random changes can create
> W>humans from simple matter is very similar to the assumption
> W>that a mechanical perpetuum mobile can provide huge amounts
> W>of usable energy.
>
> Notice the claim was concerning "random mutation AND
> selection", not just "random changes". Notice also that the
> original discussion was about *biological* information, not
> pre-biotic chemistry.

But "random mutation AND selection" certainly cannot explain
the emergence of biological information. There must be
reproduction and inheritance. And these principles are based
on finality, a principle incompatible with neo-Darwinism. If you
do not understand this, then it is your problem, not mine.

The distinction between abiogenesis and evolution is rather
arbitrary. Also the immense information of the first self-
replicating proto-cell must be explained somehow. It is a
prerequisite of the information needed for a human being.

Within neo-Darwinian framework one must not take it for
granted that the proto-cell certainly would have been vastly
overpowered and driven to extinction by its more advanced
children who were born after successive mutation and selection.

In a sound evolution theory as my own there is no such
artificial distinction as between abiogenesis and evolution.

> W>"If it cannot be denied that the probability for random
> W>emergence of a system (e.g. a living organism) is
> W>unrealistically low, the system is taken apart to smaller
> W>and smaller sub-systems until random emergence gets
> W>realistic. But it is ignored that the probability for the
> W>whole system is calculated by multiplying the probabilities
> W>for the emergence of all systems from their respective
> W>sub-systems. Reductionist causal laws do not explain why
> W>sub-systems which are useful for the whole reproduce
> W>themselves instead of disappearing after having appeared by
> W>chance." http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html#a03
>
> What do "reductionist causal laws" have to do with the topic?
> Are "mutation and natural selection" classified as
> reductionist causal laws by Wolfgang? If so, Wolfgang's
> final assertion is just plain wrong.

Neo-Darwinism states that reductionist causal laws can explain
the evolution of life (no teleology, no souls, no God, no
purposefulness and so on).

Your main problem, Wesley, is that you confuse empirical facts
with predictions of neo-Darwinism and logical facts.

Neo-Darwinism claims that it can explain "why sub-systems
which are useful for the whole reproduce themselves instead of
disappearing after having appeared by chance." But at the same
time the principles neo-Darwinism is based on entail that sub-
systems useful for a self-replicating system would disappear
again after having appeared by chance.

> W>"That repair enzymes are advantageous to living cells cannot
> W>be denied. But if the origin of such enzymes is explained by
> W>this advantage, the explanation is based not on reductionist
> W>causal laws but on finality. In the same way, every attempt
> W>to explain evolution by a tendency of genes (or other units)
> W>to spread is based on finality. A reductionist causal
> W>explanation must derive what seems to us a tendency to
> W>spread from physical and chemical laws."
> W>http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html#a04
>
> Is this bafflegab supposed to be impressive to someone?

At most to those sensible enough to understand it.

> W>"Final (teleological) laws of nature are not apriori less
> W>scientific than causal laws. Theorists explaining evolution
> W>without final laws of nature, are either not aware of the
> W>finality used in their explanations, or they extremely
> W>overestimate the creativity of pure chance. To be
> W>consistent, they would also have to explain scientific and
> W>cultural progress by random errors (e.g. in thinking or
> W>copying data). The hypothesis that teleological principles
> W>have always been effective in evolution is much more
> W>consistent and elegant than the hypothesis that such
> W>principles appeared only as a result of organisms having
> W>emerged themselves by pure chance."
> W>http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/reductionism.html
>
> What's all this bullshit about "pure chance" doing in this
> thread?

But "pure chance" is the 'basic principle' not only of neo-
Darwinism but also of orthodox quantum mechanics, the
basis of chemistry and biology. (Such 'basic principles' are
used to characterize theories or to distinguish them from
other alternative theories.)

Furthermore, the first system capable of undergoing
reproduction, mutation and selection must have appeared
by pure chance according to neo-Darwinism. Do you
know one single non-living thing undergoing reproduction,
mutation and selection. Computer simulations are not
convincing. Convincing, however, would be self-
replicating machines.

> W>"One cannot doubt that an innate behaviour pattern cannot be
> W>stored directly in the DNA. So all the (certainly complex)
> W>principles by which DNA sequences are transformed into read
> W>only memory of the brain must also be coded in the DNA (and
> W>are subject to negative mutations). And there cannot be a
> W>miraculous mechanism increasing the amount of information
> W>during the transformation from the original DNA information
> W>to the final read only information. There should rather be
> W>an information loss.

> W>Four base pairs can store only 1 byte! Because at least


> W>several bytes would be necessary to code a behaviour pattern
> W>in the DNA (think about the bytes which would be needed for
> W>simulating such a behaviour in a robot!), the probability
> W>that behaviour patterns could evolve would be rather
> W>low. For macroevolution to work many enzyme types, many cell
> W>types and other structures must evolve at the same time
> W>together with behaviour patterns. Because it is generally
> W>accepted that negative mutations are more likely than
> W>positive ones, macroevolution would be impossible."
> W>http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/evidence.html#instinctive
>
> Wow. Is Wolfgang aiming for some "highest density of logical
> fallacies in one paragraph" award? He is up against stiff
> competition, but the above should put him in the running.

You are bluffing here, so it's very probable that you bluff
regularly.

Please try to explain at least in principle my logical fallacies!

> WRE> [Quote]
>
> This point deserves careful attention. Suppose that an
> organism in reproducing generates N offspring, and that of
> these N offspring M (1 f M f N) succeed in reproducing. The
> amount of information introduced through selection is then
> -log2(M/N). Let me stress that this formula is not an case of
> misplaced mathematical exactness. This formula holds
> universally and is non-mysterious.
>
> WRE> [End Quote - WA Dembski,
>
>
WRE><http://www.dla.utexas.edu/depts/philosophy/faculty/koons/ntse/papers/De
mbski.html>]

> W>In any case the quote itself is complete (logical) nonsense


> W>(at least out of context). Unfortunately the online article
> W>uses a character set incompatible with my browser.
>
> W>Why do you appreciate this quote?
>
> The quote shows that a major figure in the ID hierarchy does
> believe that mutation and natural selection adds biological
> information, contra Wolfgang's claim. What Dembski is
> attempting to do in the passage being quoted is to establish
> an *upper limit* on the amount of information added by
> mutation and natural selection per generation. Various
> problems in Dembski's approach to analysis were pointed out at
> the 1997 NTSE conference by Bill Jefferys. The quote, though,
> fulfills my purpose of showing that even those who reject
> Darwinian explanation as inclusive of all adaptive phenomena
> do still recognize that mutation and natural selection add
> biological information.

Neither Phillip E. Johnson in the original quote ("Can [NS] add
vast amounts of genetic information that weren't there before?")
nor me have denied that pure chance (with or without selection)
can add information. My specific argument is based on the
fact that by pure chance an information increase is certainly not
more probable than an information loss and that the principles
neo-Darwinism is based on necessarily entail an information loss
in the long term.

The quote you cited from "a major figure in the ID hierarchy"
clearly shows that you don't understand well what you write
about. Even after having read some paragraphs before and
after the quote, it's difficult for me to figure out a context where
this paragraph could make sense, but it certainly does not make
sense in our discussion.

> I'm still looking for Wolfgang to provide specific references
> to evidence that supports his claim. Those have been
> conspicuous by their absence.

Read my work on evolution on the internet. There you will
find enough logical arguments which support my claim. But I
suppose you read only scriptures having received the official
approval of orthodoxy.

Cheers
Wolfgang

http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html

Matt Silberstein

unread,
Apr 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/10/99
to
In talk.origins I read this message from "z@z" <z...@z.lol.li>:

>Hello Wesley (R. Elsberry)!
>
>> W>"That information has been created somehow is a fact, but
>> W>it is also a (logical) fact, that this information cannot be
>> W>explained by random mutation and selection."
>
>> Really? And the evidence which supports this contention can
>> be referenced where? Be specific.
>
>Why a reference? For a logical argument, logical reasoning and
>some knowledge of maths and epistemology must be enough.
>

Here is a hint: when your logic and reasoning lead you to a conclusion
that contradicts observation you should probably take a second look at
the logic and reasoning.

>> W>I garantee you: the assumption that random changes can create
>> W>humans from simple matter is very similar to the assumption
>> W>that a mechanical perpetuum mobile can provide huge amounts
>> W>of usable energy.
>>
>> Notice the claim was concerning "random mutation AND
>> selection", not just "random changes". Notice also that the
>> original discussion was about *biological* information, not
>> pre-biotic chemistry.
>
>But "random mutation AND selection" certainly cannot explain
>the emergence of biological information. There must be
>reproduction and inheritance. And these principles are based
>on finality, a principle incompatible with neo-Darwinism. If you
>do not understand this, then it is your problem, not mine.
>

Mutation implies both reproduction and inheritance.

>The distinction between abiogenesis and evolution is rather
>arbitrary.

Lets see. Abiogenesis means the emergence of life from non-life.
Evolution means the change in life over time. Sounds like a rather
clear distinction. Yes, I suppose we could use different terms for
these processes, but so what?

> Also the immense information of the first self-
>replicating proto-cell must be explained somehow. It is a
>prerequisite of the information needed for a human being.
>

However, it is not requisite for the description and explanation for
the changes that occurred between that first cell and the first H.s.

>Within neo-Darwinian framework one must not take it for
>granted that the proto-cell certainly would have been vastly
>overpowered and driven to extinction by its more advanced
>children who were born after successive mutation and selection.
>

Not only do we not have to take that for granted, I am not sure it
means anything.

[snip]

>Neo-Darwinism states that reductionist causal laws can explain
>the evolution of life (no teleology, no souls, no God, no
>purposefulness and so on).
>

Not in any absolute or a priori sense. It does state that we can
explain certain aspect and then explains them.

>Your main problem, Wesley, is that you confuse empirical facts
>with predictions of neo-Darwinism and logical facts.
>

What in the world is a "logical fact"?

>Neo-Darwinism claims that it can explain "why sub-systems
>which are useful for the whole reproduce themselves instead of
>disappearing after having appeared by chance."

Where is that a quote from? It seems so odd. What does it mean for a
sub-system to reproduce itself? And the reason for something to
continue verses "disappear" is rather neatly explained by Natural
Selection and/or Drift.

> But at the same
>time the principles neo-Darwinism is based on entail that sub-
>systems useful for a self-replicating system would disappear
>again after having appeared by chance.
>

Why?

[snip]


>
>Furthermore, the first system capable of undergoing
>reproduction, mutation and selection must have appeared
>by pure chance according to neo-Darwinism.

Not at all. Not only does Neo-Darwinism (or Darwinism or any
evolutionary biology) not care about the origin of the first
reproductive system but none of science says it happens by "pure
chance". It happens because events are strongly constrained by
physical laws. If Kauffman is right then given a rich enough set of
interactions and a system far from equilibrium you get life as the
expected result, not as a surprising one.

> Do you
>know one single non-living thing undergoing reproduction,
>mutation and selection.

Well it all depends on how you define life.

> Computer simulations are not
>convincing. Convincing, however, would be self-
>replicating machines.
>

Why machines and not computer programs?

[snip]

Tim Ikeda

unread,
Apr 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/10/99
to
In article <1999041003...@cx33978-a.dt1.sdca.home.com>,
w...@cx33978-a.dt1.sdca.home.com says...
[...]
> I'm still looking for Wolfgang to provide specific references
> to evidence that supports his claim. Those have been
> conspicuous by their absence.

I saw that Wolfgang (z@z....)responded:...
[...]
Z> Why a reference? For a logical argument, logical reasoning and
Z> some knowledge of maths and epistemology must be enough.

I don't think Wesley meant that Wolfgang had to find a specific
reference in a literature. Certainly a logical/mathematical
argument would work just as well.... provided, of course, that
Wolfgang can put one together and present it. I haven't seen that
happen yet.



> Of course, there are changes in biological information content
> whose most natural explanation is simply mutation (if
> discussing an individual as compared to a parent, for example)
> or genetic drift (when discussing a population). I've talked
> before about increase in information due to polyploid events
> in orchids. See
> <http://x15.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=424416762>.

[...]

See also:
http://www.calvin.edu/archive/evolution/199903/0092.html

Where I discussed examples of gene duplications as "positive
generators of genetic information." They are not that hard
to find if one bothers to read the literature rather than
speculate about what is and isn't possible. The trouble with
logical/mathematical arguments is: Garbage in = garbage out.
Wolfgang, judging from your past responses in this thread
and the AIDS thread, I think that you might benefit from
a little more background reading about biology/biochemistry.

Regards,
Tim Ikeda
tik...@sprintmail.hormel.com (despam address before use)


Bonz

unread,
Apr 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/10/99
to
On 10 Apr 1999 16:39:24 -0400, "z@z" <z...@z.lol.li> wrote in
message <7eod1b$rhv$1...@pollux.ip-plus.net> :

>Hello Wesley (R. Elsberry)!
>
>> W>"That information has been created somehow is a fact, but
>> W>it is also a (logical) fact, that this information cannot be
>> W>explained by random mutation and selection."
>
>> Really? And the evidence which supports this contention can
>> be referenced where? Be specific.
>
>Why a reference? For a logical argument, logical reasoning and
>some knowledge of maths and epistemology must be enough.
>
>> W>I garantee you: the assumption that random changes can create
>> W>humans from simple matter is very similar to the assumption
>> W>that a mechanical perpetuum mobile can provide huge amounts
>> W>of usable energy.
>>
>> Notice the claim was concerning "random mutation AND
>> selection", not just "random changes". Notice also that the
>> original discussion was about *biological* information, not
>> pre-biotic chemistry.
>
>But "random mutation AND selection" certainly cannot explain
>the emergence of biological information. There must be
>reproduction and inheritance. And these principles are based
>on finality, a principle incompatible with neo-Darwinism.

No, they are based on chemistry.

>If you
>do not understand this, then it is your problem, not mine.
>
>The distinction between abiogenesis and evolution is rather
>arbitrary.

No, abiogenesis is when life starts. After that is evolution.

> Also the immense information of the first self-
>replicating proto-cell must be explained somehow. It is a
>prerequisite of the information needed for a human being.

Uh... so what? Do you think evolution had to produce humans?

>Within neo-Darwinian framework one must not take it for
>granted that the proto-cell certainly would have been vastly
>overpowered and driven to extinction by its more advanced
>children who were born after successive mutation and selection.
>

Why? Sounds idiotic to me.

>In a sound evolution theory as my own there is no such
>artificial distinction as between abiogenesis and evolution.

I see. Then why don't you publish this theory?

>> W>"If it cannot be denied that the probability for random
>> W>emergence of a system (e.g. a living organism) is
>> W>unrealistically low, the system is taken apart to smaller
>> W>and smaller sub-systems until random emergence gets
>> W>realistic. But it is ignored that the probability for the
>> W>whole system is calculated by multiplying the probabilities
>> W>for the emergence of all systems from their respective
>> W>sub-systems. Reductionist causal laws do not explain why
>> W>sub-systems which are useful for the whole reproduce
>> W>themselves instead of disappearing after having appeared by
>> W>chance." http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html#a03
>>
>> What do "reductionist causal laws" have to do with the topic?
>> Are "mutation and natural selection" classified as
>> reductionist causal laws by Wolfgang? If so, Wolfgang's
>> final assertion is just plain wrong.
>
>Neo-Darwinism states that reductionist causal laws can explain
>the evolution of life (no teleology, no souls, no God, no
>purposefulness and so on).
>
>Your main problem, Wesley, is that you confuse empirical facts
>with predictions of neo-Darwinism and logical facts.

Your main problem seems to be that you try to drag in things that
have no relevance: teleology, "souls", Gods, purposefulness and
so on

>Neo-Darwinism claims that it can explain "why sub-systems
>which are useful for the whole reproduce themselves instead of
>disappearing after having appeared by chance." But at the same
>time the principles neo-Darwinism is based on entail that sub-
>systems useful for a self-replicating system would disappear
>again after having appeared by chance.

Huh? Where is your support for this?


>
>> W>"That repair enzymes are advantageous to living cells cannot
>> W>be denied. But if the origin of such enzymes is explained by
>> W>this advantage, the explanation is based not on reductionist
>> W>causal laws but on finality. In the same way, every attempt
>> W>to explain evolution by a tendency of genes (or other units)
>> W>to spread is based on finality. A reductionist causal
>> W>explanation must derive what seems to us a tendency to
>> W>spread from physical and chemical laws."
>> W>http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html#a04
>>
>> Is this bafflegab supposed to be impressive to someone?
>
>At most to those sensible enough to understand it.

Ah. "Nuts just like me"

>
>> W>"Final (teleological) laws of nature are not apriori less
>> W>scientific than causal laws. Theorists explaining evolution
>> W>without final laws of nature, are either not aware of the
>> W>finality used in their explanations, or they extremely
>> W>overestimate the creativity of pure chance. To be
>> W>consistent, they would also have to explain scientific and
>> W>cultural progress by random errors (e.g. in thinking or
>> W>copying data). The hypothesis that teleological principles
>> W>have always been effective in evolution is much more
>> W>consistent and elegant than the hypothesis that such
>> W>principles appeared only as a result of organisms having
>> W>emerged themselves by pure chance."
>> W>http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/reductionism.html
>>
>> What's all this bullshit about "pure chance" doing in this
>> thread?
>
>But "pure chance" is the 'basic principle' not only of neo-
>Darwinism but also of orthodox quantum mechanics, the
>basis of chemistry and biology. (Such 'basic principles' are
>used to characterize theories or to distinguish them from
>other alternative theories.)

They are? Can you support this?

>
>Furthermore, the first system capable of undergoing
>reproduction, mutation and selection must have appeared
>by pure chance according to neo-Darwinism.

Wrong.

Mostly, what you say just has no foundation at all. You pull half
baked ideas out of your ass and proclaim them to be true.

Stephen R Gould

unread,
Apr 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/10/99
to
z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote in message news:7eod1b$rhv$1...@pollux.ip-plus.net...

> Hello Wesley (R. Elsberry)!
>
> > W>"That information has been created somehow is a fact, but
> > W>it is also a (logical) fact, that this information cannot be
> > W>explained by random mutation and selection."
>
> > Really? And the evidence which supports this contention can
> > be referenced where? Be specific.
>
> Why a reference? For a logical argument, logical reasoning and
> some knowledge of maths and epistemology must be enough.
>
If indeed your reasoning power is unlimited. But if it is limited, then
what appears to be a logical argument may merely be fallacious. Example:
someone with limited reasoning power and some knowledge of maths - the
epistemology is irrelevant here - would find it logical that one cannot
devise a set of three dice A, B, and C such that when comparing rolls, A
will on average roll a higher number than B, B a higher number than C, and C
a higher number than A. It may appear logical, but it's also wrong.

<snip>


> But "random mutation AND selection" certainly cannot explain
> the emergence of biological information. There must be
> reproduction and inheritance. And these principles are based
> on finality, a principle incompatible with neo-Darwinism. If you
> do not understand this, then it is your problem, not mine.
>
> The distinction between abiogenesis and evolution is rather
> arbitrary. Also the immense information of the first self-
> replicating proto-cell must be explained somehow. It is a
> prerequisite of the information needed for a human being.
>
> Within neo-Darwinian framework one must not take it for
> granted that the proto-cell certainly would have been vastly
> overpowered and driven to extinction by its more advanced
> children who were born after successive mutation and selection.
>
> In a sound evolution theory as my own there is no such
> artificial distinction as between abiogenesis and evolution.

The environment itself may be considered as having indefinitely large
supplies of information. Selection can sometimes be viewed as a net transfer
of information from the environment to the genes. End of story.

S.

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