A Challenge to the Censors of Uncommon Descent

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nothing...@gmail.com

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Dec 6, 2007, 8:28:53 AM12/6/07
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Background
----------
I am a graduate student in a biology program. A religious friend
encouraged me to look at the claims of Intelligent Design and pointed
me toward the Uncommon Descent website. It didn't take long to
realize that the people supporting ID were doing so for reasons other
than good science. While discussing the case of Guillermo Gonzalez on
UD, I wrote the following comment:

DaveScot wrote:
"ID predicts that no evolution of complex structures will occur by
chance & necessity within the temporal and geographical constraints
imposed by the earth due to the statistical improbabilities involved.

What is the ID theory that predicts this? The reason I ask is the
following statement from a senior member of the Discovery Institute,
Paul Nelson:

"Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a
full-fledged theory of biological design. We don't have such a theory
right now, and that's a problem."

DaveScot continues:
"ID can be falsified by the observation of a single complex structure
built by mechanisms of chance & necessity."

What, exactly, constitutes a "complex structure"? Michael Behe has
admitted that a new viral protein-viral protein binding site has
evolved in HIV. This resulted in new function (an ion channel), a
form of complexity that Behe claimed was beyond the "Edge of
Evolution". That falsifies your prediction.

DaveScot continues again:
"This prediction appears to have been confirmed by the observation of
P.falciparum over the last 50 years during which time it replicated
billions of trillions of times, which represents more opportunities
for mutation than the entire sequence of reptile-to-mammal evolution,
and nothing beyond trivial changes were observed."

Could you please provide a cite with more details? For example, how
was this experiment performed? By whom? what selection pressures
were the populations subjected to? What calculations support the
claim of "more opportunities for mutation than the entire sequence of
reptile-to-mammal evolution"?

{ end of comment }

I was immediately banned by a moderator named Patrick:

What, exactly, constitutes a "complex structure"? Michael Behe has
admitted that a new viral protein-viral protein binding site has
evolved in HIV. This resulted in new function (an ion channel), a form
of complexity that Behe claimed was beyond the "Edge of Evolution".
That falsifies your prediction.

What the . . . did you even read what Behe wrote? He clearly said, "I
explicitly pointed out in Chapter 8 of The Edge of Evolution that HIV
had undergone enough mutating in past decades to form all possible
viral-viral binding sites, but commented that apparently none of them
had been helpful (now I know that one of them helped)." As in, this
example was fully expected to be within the limitations of Darwinian
mechanisms but when writing the book Behe was not aware of the
example. Never mind that the discussion surrounding HIV was a small
portion of the book. Why can't you people understand that simple fact;
or would that require you to actually read what Behe is saying instead
of regurgitating the same crud I see all the time. It's obvious at
this point you have nothing left to say, so you're just lashing out
with the usual talking points that are distortions of the real issues.
Adios!

{ end of comment }

While it will never be seen on UD, here is my response to Patrick's
action:

To the moderators:

It appears that Patrick has banned me from this website, for the
unpardonable rudeness of asking for evidence and pointing out flaws in
the ID position.

Do you realize how poorly this reflects on the quality of your
arguments? You have to resort to censoring a grad student because your
claims cannot stand up to even minimal scrutiny. If you had evidence
on your side you wouldn't need to fear this very polite give and take,
let alone the much harsher interactions that take place in the peer
reviewed literature.

If you can't answer my questions and address my relatively mild
criticisms, that should suggest to you how weak your position, and
your own confidence in your position, actually is.

{ end of comment }

It appears that UD does not welcome even mild dissent. Instead, it is
a place for like-minded people to reinforce their beliefs without
considering alternatives. That describes a church, not a scientific
forum.

The Challenge
-------------
I publicly challenge Patrick and any other Uncommon Descent moderators
or posters to defend their claims in a neutral venue. I suggest the
talk.origins Usenet newsgroup, but any forum that will preserve,
complete and unaltered, the debate and that is not subject to control
of any participants is acceptable.

If Intelligent Design really is a scientific theory that is backed by
the evidence, prove it. Show that you have the intellectual honesty
and courage to discuss your views when you can't silence your critics.

Fnord,

Maya

er...@swva.net

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Dec 7, 2007, 7:45:19 AM12/7/07
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The official ID reply is "ruk-buk-buk-buk-bukka."

Eric Root

Ron O

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Dec 7, 2007, 8:02:57 AM12/7/07
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No one expects integrity from the ID supporters that know the score
and still support ID when the ID scam artists that perpetrated the
scam have a new creationist scam that doesn't even mention that ID
ever existed. When the guys that lied to you about ID are running a
new scam it should tell any rube it is time to find a new scam, but a
certain fraction don't get the message or don't care.

Ron Okimoto

chris thompson

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Dec 7, 2007, 8:19:44 AM12/7/07
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On Dec 6, 8:28 am, nothingbutm...@gmail.com wrote:

I predict you will get no reply.

Now, to be honest, they don't feel this is a neutral venue. There are
too many people who read t.o. who will call them on their BS.

If you want a truly neutral spot, start your own Yahoo Group. You
might get one of the goons there for a little while- that is, until
you point out that "there's no place like home! there's no place like
home!" is not a theory. Then you can look forward to insults, the
aforementioned goon declaring victory, and the goon racing back to UD
at lightspeed.

Chris

Desertphile

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Dec 7, 2007, 11:01:09 AM12/7/07
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On Thu, 6 Dec 2007 05:28:53 -0800 (PST), nothing...@gmail.com
wrote:

Alas, you are assuming the people at the Discovery Institute
Church are honest in their inquiry into "intelligent design" as
well as "irreducible complexity:" they are not. The whole ID scam
was and is designed to inflict Christian occult superstition into
the USA government. The people at "Uncommon Descent" have ZERO
interest in science: they therefore have zero interest in learning
anything.

> Fnord,
> Maya


--
http://desertphile.org
Desertphile's Desert Soliloquy. WARNING: view with plenty of water
"Why aren't resurrections from the dead noteworthy?" -- Jim Rutz

Seamus

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Dec 7, 2007, 11:44:40 AM12/7/07
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> Eric Root- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -
Apparently Ron O. can be a subject expert on ID in more than way :-)

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