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In the news: Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'

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John Wilkins

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:00:49 AM10/21/05
to
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126

Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST

Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.

More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
school curricula.

The theory, advocated by right-wing Christian groups in the United States,
says that complex biological organisms cannot be explained by evolutionary
chance alone and must be the work of an intelligent designer.

It is not currently taught to Australian school students but federal Education
Minister Brendan Nelson, a Christian, revealed in August he had met a group
called Campus Crusade for Christ and would support it being taught alongside
Darwin's theory of evolution.

The scientific community's open letter said it would be gravely concerned if
intelligent design was taught in schools.

"To do so would make a mockery of Australian science teaching and throw open
the door of science classes to similarly unscientific world views - be they
astrology, spoon-bending, flat-earth cosmology or alien abductions - and crowd
out the teaching of real science," said the letter to national newspapers.

The letter said intelligent design ignored the basic scientific principle that
a theory should be testable through observation or experimentation.

"Not being able to imagine or explain how something happened other than by
making a leap of faith to supernatural intervention is no basis for any
science -- that is a theological or philosophical notion."
--
John S. Wilkins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biohumanities Project
University of Queensland - Blog: evolvethought.blogspot.com
"Darwin's theory has no more to do with philosophy than any other
hypothesis in natural science." Tractatus 4.1122

Elf M. Sternberg

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:21:39 AM10/21/05
to
John Wilkins <jo...@wilkins.id.au> writes:

> Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
> theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
> it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.

Damn. But not astrology? How could they miss that? For the
next five years we'll be able to bludgeon them with the fact that one of
the ID Trinity (Johnson, Dembski, Behe) believes that astrology is also
a science in the same way that ID is a science.

Still, it's good to know that some people are sane but, John,
scientists in the U.S. have done the same.

Elf

TomS

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:39:09 AM10/21/05
to
"On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 23:00:49 +1000, in article
<djaopc$30uk$3...@bunyip2.cc.uq.edu.au>, John Wilkins stated..."

>
>http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
>
>Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
>Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
>
>Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
>theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
>it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
>
>More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
>Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
>school curricula.
[...snip...]

70,000 in Australia?

That's impressive.

By the way, does anyone have a website which gives more
information about this? Like the entire letter, how long it has
been in the works, ...


--
---Tom S. <http://talkreason.org/articles/chickegg.cfm>
"It is not too much to say that every indication of Design in the Kosmos is so
much evidence against the Omnipotence of the Designer. ... The evidences ... of
Natural Theology distinctly imply that the author of the Kosmos worked under
limitations..." John Stuart Mill, "Theism", Part II

APOCALYPSE

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:42:30 AM10/21/05
to
Haven't they been condemning it since its inception?

NashtOn

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:39:45 AM10/21/05
to


In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.

Nicola

Kleuskes & Moos

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:51:13 AM10/21/05
to

NashtOn schreef:

> In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.

Can you how me a single example of anyone being tortured or executed
for not accepting a scientific theory?

gregwrld

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:55:08 AM10/21/05
to


So show us the science...

-g(regwrld)

scooter

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Oct 21, 2005, 10:16:05 AM10/21/05
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Yea..huh, huh...good point. Except most of us live in 2005 instead of
the "days of the Holy Inquisistion".

Ian H Spedding

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Oct 21, 2005, 10:24:25 AM10/21/05
to

Getting nostalgic for the good old days?

Ian

--
Ian H Spedding
>
> Nicola

NashtOn

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Oct 21, 2005, 11:03:49 AM10/21/05
to

Nowadays the "punishment" is much more subtle. It would be in the form
of ostracism and ridicule from the other scientists. In essence, they
would lose their livelihood or have a difficult time making a living as
scientists.

Nicola

Mike Thom

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Oct 21, 2005, 11:34:24 AM10/21/05
to

TomS wrote:
> "On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 23:00:49 +1000, in article
> <djaopc$30uk$3...@bunyip2.cc.uq.edu.au>, John Wilkins stated..."
> >
> >http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
> >
> >Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
> >Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
> >
> >Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
> >theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
> >it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
> >
> >More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
> >Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
> >school curricula.
> [...snip...]
>
> 70,000 in Australia?
>
> That's impressive.

Well I don't mean to niggle, but actually there were 4 signatories who
represent institutions with more than 70,000 scientists/teachers
between them.

Also, Australia's government may be conservative but the implication
isn't quite the same as in the US - I can't see it becoming mainstream
government policy...

Kleuskes & Moos

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 11:38:07 AM10/21/05
to

NashtOn schreef:

> Kleuskes & Moos wrote:
> > NashtOn schreef:
> >
> >
> >>In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> >>cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
> >
> >
> > Can you how me a single example of anyone being tortured or executed
> > for not accepting a scientific theory?
> >
>
> Nowadays the "punishment" is much more subtle. It would be in the form
> of ostracism and ridicule from the other scientists.

Oh Booohooohooo!

Yes, i can see how *that* equals branding irons, stretch-banks and
"burning at the stake".

> In essence, they would lose their livelihood or have a difficult time making a
> living as scientists.

So basically you cannot point to a single instance of anyone being
tortured or executed for not believing a scientific theory?

Can you point to one instance of anyone loosing his/her job because of
not believing a scientific theory?

Behe still holds his job and he deserves every bit of ridicule he gets,
given his statement that Astrology is a valid branch of science.

Dana Tweedy

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Oct 21, 2005, 11:40:00 AM10/21/05
to

"NashtOn" <na...@na.ca> wrote in message
news:pr76f.111879$Ph4.3...@ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...

Not if they produce the evidence. Also, I don't see Michael Behe
starving...

DJT

Elf M. Sternberg

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Oct 21, 2005, 11:58:45 AM10/21/05
to
NashtOn <na...@na.ca> writes:

> Nowadays the "punishment" is much more subtle. It would be in the form
> of ostracism and ridicule from the other scientists. In essence, they
> would lose their livelihood or have a difficult time making a living as
> scientists.

Y'know, if you say something mindbogglingly stupid, you
*should* be called to the carpet for it.

Elf

mur...@tntech.edu

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Oct 21, 2005, 12:08:15 PM10/21/05
to
NashtOn wrote:
> Kleuskes & Moos wrote:
> > NashtOn schreef:

> > Can you how me a single example of anyone being tortured or executed


> > for not accepting a scientific theory?
> >
>
> Nowadays the "punishment" is much more subtle. It would be in the form
> of ostracism and ridicule from the other scientists. In essence, they
> would lose their livelihood or have a difficult time making a living as
> scientists.

Okay then, give us a single example of *that*. Then we can discuss
whether the treatment was justified.

---DPM

> Nicola

hers...@indiana.edu

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 12:25:32 PM10/21/05
to

NashtOn wrote:
> Kleuskes & Moos wrote:
> > NashtOn schreef:
> >
> >
> >>In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> >>cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
> >
> >
> > Can you how me a single example of anyone being tortured or executed
> > for not accepting a scientific theory?
> >
>
> Nowadays the "punishment" is much more subtle. It would be in the form
> of ostracism and ridicule from the other scientists.

When someone makes ridiculous (or even simply even slightly erroneous)
arguments wrt science, other scientists are *supposed* to call them on
it. That is the way that science works to progressively get closer to
an accurate description of material reality and how it works. Most of
the time, of course, the errors that people get called on are only
slightly erroneous. But when scientists (or even putative or
ex-scientists) make ridiculous assertions, they should expect those
assertions to be called ridiculous.

Obviously Behe has dealt with the ostracism by cultivating a whole new
class of friends who like what he says. Kooks associating with kooks.

> In essence, they
> would lose their livelihood or have a difficult time making a living as
> scientists.

Only if they stop doing good science. There are many scientists who
have had nutty ideas about fields other than those they did science in
who still managed to do good science, get grants, etc. Even, in one
case, where many in Congress thought a scientist was a communist
traitor and refused to give him a passport (which may have prevented
him from discovering the double helix), yet that person (a two-time
Nobelist) still got grants and did good science, even in an area
(vitamin research) where he was somewhat kooky. And there is always
the church (or UFO or other) lecture circuit for real kooks who have
given up on doing science, like Behe.
>
> Nicola

NashtOn

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 12:33:59 PM10/21/05
to


All this sidetracking is irrelevant to this discussion.
My point is obvious, you seem to be the only one who missed it.

Nicola

Mike Dworetsky

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Oct 21, 2005, 12:36:09 PM10/21/05
to
"Elf M. Sternberg" <e...@drizzle.com> wrote in message
news:87r7af0...@drizzle.com...

Isn't there also David Berlinski? Do I have that spelled right? Or is he a
straight creationist/astrology advocate?

--
Mike Dworetsky

(Remove "pants" spamblock to send e-mail)

Kleuskes & Moos

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Oct 21, 2005, 12:48:10 PM10/21/05
to

NashtOn schreef:

Me and five other people...

So far that's six out of six.

Mark VandeWettering

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Oct 21, 2005, 12:58:30 PM10/21/05
to
On 2005-10-21, NashtOn <na...@na.ca> wrote:
> Kleuskes & Moos wrote:
>> NashtOn schreef:
>>
>>
>>>In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
>>>cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
>>
>>
>> Can you how me a single example of anyone being tortured or executed
>> for not accepting a scientific theory?
>>
>
> Nowadays the "punishment" is much more subtle. It would be in the form
> of ostracism and ridicule from the other scientists.

If you'd like to propose something which is ridiculous, who is to blame
when the result is ridicule?

> In essence, they
> would lose their livelihood or have a difficult time making a living as
> scientists.

That's because they aren't scientists.

I have the same problem trying to make a living as an opera singer.

Mark

> Nicola

Larry Moran

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Oct 21, 2005, 11:59:18 AM10/21/05
to
On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 13:39:45 GMT, NashtOn <na...@na.ca> wrote:

[snip]

> In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.

What's wrong with the theory of egocentricity?

I still believe in it. :-)

Larry Moran

Lee Oswald Ving

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Oct 21, 2005, 1:34:40 PM10/21/05
to
NashtOn <na...@na.ca> wrote in news:XL86f.111920$Ph4.3426665@ursa-
nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca:

> All this sidetracking is irrelevant to this discussion.
> My point is obvious, you seem to be the only one who missed it.

We *all* got it. Smarmy, pseudo-martyrdom. Claiming a prestige for ID that
it lacks. Soundbites instead of evidence. Puerile demogoguery. Tantrum when
called on it.

IOW, your own little imitation of ID's best.

It's unimpressive, to say the least.

john.1...@gmail.com

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Oct 21, 2005, 1:50:39 PM10/21/05
to

>From conversations I had with him about 10 years ago, I believe that
David
Berlinski is a guy who attempts to increase book sales by making
inflamatory statements.

His scientific background is almost nonexistent. His math background is
mathematical logic, so it seems he tends to have a dislike, bred of
nonmathematical science.


>
> --
> Mike Dworetsky
>

John Harshman

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:25:36 PM10/21/05
to
Larry Moran wrote:

And you should, because you seem to be the only respondent to notice the
typo. You must think the earth revolves around you. Or is it the sun?
I'm confused.

david ford

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:00:58 PM10/21/05
to
John Wilkins wrote:
> http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
>
> Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
> Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
>
> Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
> theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
> it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
>
> More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
> Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
> school curricula.

IDiocy might corrupt young minds and aspiring scientists. It's
dangerous.

ID as a metaphysical research program
http://groups.google.co.in/groups?selm=dford3-1129317540.779352.231140%40f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com

> The theory, advocated by right-wing Christian groups in the United States,
> says that complex biological organisms cannot be explained by evolutionary
> chance alone and must be the work of an intelligent designer.
>
> It is not currently taught to Australian school students but federal Education
> Minister Brendan Nelson, a Christian, revealed in August he had met a group
> called Campus Crusade for Christ and would support it being taught alongside
> Darwin's theory of evolution.

Essay on Problems with Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=Pine.LNX.4.10A.B3.10005310900310.17702-100000%40jabba.gl.umbc.edu

> The scientific community's open letter said it would be gravely concerned if
> intelligent design was taught in schools.
>
> "To do so would make a mockery of Australian science teaching and throw open
> the door of science classes to similarly unscientific world views - be they
> astrology, spoon-bending, flat-earth cosmology or alien abductions - and crowd
> out the teaching of real science," said the letter to national newspapers.

Belief in spontaneous generation, blindwatchmaking, and mental
spoon-bending is scientific.
http://www.google.com/groups?selm=b1c67abe.0401291120.41a6d843%40posting.google.com

> The letter said intelligent design ignored the basic scientific principle that
> a theory should be testable through observation or experimentation.

ReMine, and Birch & Ehrlich on the unfalsifiability of the ToE
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=Pine.SGI.3.96A.990620062330.18490880A-100000%40umbc9.umbc.edu


> "Not being able to imagine or explain how something happened other than by
> making a leap of faith to supernatural intervention is no basis for any
> science -- that is a theological or philosophical notion."

Is this "a theological or philosophical notion"?:
[1949 Simpson]"man is the result of a purposeless materialistic process
that did not have him in mind"

Simpson cite in
Timeline of Materialism, Spontaneous Generation, and Blindwatchmaking
Views
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-348jecF47mfcjU1%40individual.net

> --
> John S. Wilkins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biohumanities Project
> University of Queensland - Blog: evolvethought.blogspot.com
> "Darwin's theory has no more to do with philosophy than any other
> hypothesis in natural science." Tractatus 4.1122

John's erroneous beliefs can't hide.
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-1127704575.828237.280060%40g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
Don't make me laugh.
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-1127877013.477499.48130%40g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com

david ford

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:08:09 PM10/21/05
to
John Harshman wrote:
> Larry Moran wrote:
> > On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 NashtOn <na...@na.ca> wrote:
> >
> > [snip]
> >
> >>In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> >>cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
> >
> > What's wrong with the theory of egocentricity?
> >
> > I still believe in it. :-)
>
> And you should, because you seem to be the only respondent to notice the
> typo. You must think the earth revolves around you. Or is it the sun?
> I'm confused.

I am "confused," as well, as always.
Larry, were you going to become a "respondent to" this?:

replies to Larry Moran posts
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-39lhabF61ut8sU1%40individual.net

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1992 1997 Richard Milton
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=Pine.LNX.4.44L.01.0311082031310.9519-100000%40linux1.gl.umbc.edu
followup questions for a talk.origins heavy hitter
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=Pine.LNX.4.44L.01.0311160022220.23666-100000%40linux1.gl.umbc.edu
questions on Larry's "The Modern Synthesis of Genetics and Evolution"
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=b1c67abe.0404121927.4b34084b%40posting.google.com

dgen...@hotmail.com

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:07:26 PM10/21/05
to

John Wilkins wrote:
> http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
>
> Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
> Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
>
> Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
> theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
> it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.

spoon-bending and alien abductions?
Teach the controversy!!!

Dave

Walter Bushell

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:09:56 PM10/21/05
to
In article <87r7af0...@drizzle.com>,
"Elf M. Sternberg" <e...@drizzle.com> wrote:

> John Wilkins <jo...@wilkins.id.au> writes:
>
> > Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative
> > evolutionary
> > theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms,
> > comparing
> > it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
>

> Damn. But not astrology? How could they miss that? For the
> next five years we'll be able to bludgeon them with the fact that one of
> the ID Trinity (Johnson, Dembski, Behe) believes that astrology is also
> a science in the same way that ID is a science.


That's funny so do I and from all indications so do you. In a boar's
rectum.

> Still, it's good to know that some people are sane but, John,
> scientists in the U.S. have done the same.
>
> Elf

--
Guns don't kill people; automobiles kill people.

Kleuskes & Moos

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 2:12:24 PM10/21/05
to

david ford schreef:

> John Wilkins wrote:
> > http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
> >
> > Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
> > Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
> >
> > Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
> > theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
> > it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
> >
> > More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
> > Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
> > school curricula.
>
> IDiocy might corrupt young minds and aspiring scientists. It's
> dangerous.

Wow! For once I actually *agree* with you!

<snip self-referencing diatribe>

Ray F-L

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:50:26 PM10/21/05
to
>From dictionary.com:

3 entries found for egocentricity.
e·go·cen·tric adj.

1. Holding the view that the ego is the center, object, and norm of
all experience.
2.
1. Confined in attitude or interest to one's own needs or
affairs.
2. Caring only about oneself; selfish.
3. Philosophy.
1. Viewed or perceived from one's own mind as a center.
2. Taking one's own self as the starting point in a
philosophical system.

ego·centric n.
ego·centric·al·ly adv.
ego·cen·trici·ty (-trs-t) or ego·centrism n.

Cheers,

Ray Freeman-Lynde


A.Carlson

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Oct 21, 2005, 3:03:06 PM10/21/05
to
On 21 Oct 2005 08:58:45 -0700, "Elf M. Sternberg" <e...@drizzle.com>
wrote:

>NashtOn <na...@na.ca> writes:

Yeah, but then NashtOn and company just simply ignore what you said
and continue to go on revealing that they are mindbogglingly stupid.

Tracy Hamilton

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 4:39:07 PM10/21/05
to
david ford wrote:
> John Harshman wrote:
>
>>Larry Moran wrote:
>>
>>>On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 NashtOn <na...@na.ca> wrote:
>>>
>>>[snip]
>>>
>>>
>>>>In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
>>>>cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
>>>
>>>What's wrong with the theory of egocentricity?
>>>
>>>I still believe in it. :-)
>>
>>And you should, because you seem to be the only respondent to notice the
>>typo. You must think the earth revolves around you. Or is it the sun?
>>I'm confused.
>
>
> I am "confused," as well, as always.
> Larry, were you going to become a "respondent to" this?:
>
> replies to Larry Moran posts
> http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-39lhabF61ut8sU1%40individual.net

[warning - this post is in reverse chronological order]

Why should he waste his time with somebody who can't carry their
end in a discussion?

<quote>
"Tracy,

You're addressing someone who is completely incapable of understanding
your point. We've been over and over the same ground in the past five
years. He will never get it.

Ford will keep posting articles that attack adaptionism and the object
to the idea that natural selection is the only mechanism of evolution.
All this does is prove to the world that he doesn't understand modern
evolutionary theory. We all know this by now."
<end quote>

Your link, which you asked me to reply to, got no follow-up. I said
in response to that link:

<quote>
"Wherein you repeat Richard Milton's question that really has nothing to do
with whether evolution is supported by the evidence? Then rephrase a
phrase Larry says is misleading to the point of prevarication? What is
there to answer? Well, what there is to answer is my post, which is about
EXACTLY the same issue.
I asked you to to REWORD something to remove ambiguities (an old
trick of prevaricators) to CLEARLY show what you think. Now that
can't be a bad thing, can it? Are you a prevaricator or not - it
should be easy to prove by a straight-foreword response. Not a
specially crafted response to avoid the issues. Perhaps that is what
Larry Moran does not care for.

I am sure that Larry believes there are old earth creationists who are
idiots, and "evolutionists" who are idiots.

So, how about replying to my points, if you wish?

If you happen to amaze either me or Larry Moran, I am sure we would
be glad to discuss more about Richard Milton's incompetence."
<end quote>

The "explanation in your own words" this refers to was from:


<quote>
david ford <dfo...@gl.umbc.edu> wrote in message
<news:Pine.LNX.4.44L.01.0311...@linux3.gl.umbc.edu>...
> Eldredge, Niles. July 1980. "An Extravagance of Species"
> _Natural History_, 47-51. Paragraphs from 48, 50, and 51:

I agree that 1980 was a good time to re-examine the role of natural
selection. What do *you* think the outcome was, since this has been done?

Please use your own words, as we have seen no evidence of any understanding
on your part.

Tracy P. Hamilton"
<end quote>

A quote from you (no big surprise). Followed by
an offer to discuss the issue brought up by the original speaker quoted
(Examine Natural Selection), about what it means (meant),
and the result of that examination. Followed by a demonstration
of why your quoting is worthless in general - it is based on YOUR
inability to discuss what they say and reason whether they are right or
wrong.
To us it is merely a collection of things people have said, some
right some wrong. Some very old, some not very current, some
only bringing up things that appear to be problems that were resolved
long ago. Some profound, some shallow, some deliberate misrepresentations.

Anyway, your draft 1:
<quote>
"Except for a few fervent believers such as Dawkins, those that have
considered the major problems with the theory of natural selection have
concluded that the theory cannot account for the _how_ of how the
biological world developed in the course of the earth's 4.5 billion year
existence, and have concluded that the theory does not find confirmation
in the fossil record, particularly at those locations in the fossil record
where we have particularly good and numerous specimens. Materialists that
have concluded that the theory of natural selection/ the neo-Darwinian
mechanism cannot account for the biological world believe that a superior
theory of a blindwatchmaking mechanism or cluster of blindwatchmaking
mechanisms will eventually be discovered."
<end quote>

My request for removing ambiguities:

<quote>
"Frankly this is an inadequate response because it is ambiguous.
Please rewrite with these issues in mind:

How *can* (not is!) natural selection be confirmed by the fossil
record?
(what should be seen and *why* it follows from natural selection
and taphonomy) If it *can't* be, then not confirming it is a red
herring. You certainly wouldn't want to use such a rhetorical device,
now would you?

Are there no gradual changes, or is there no *pattern* of gradual
change
(that is, gradual change everywhere).

What are the major problems with natural selection? If it is that NS
*alone* cannot explain all of evolution, that does not mean that
natural selection has been invalidated *in any manner* (in trouble, or
about to collapse, whatever). This is precisely what
Eldredge was talking about, and which you still seem unaware of.
Is it a major problem that a hammer can't be used as a saw, but that
both
are needed to build a house?

This lack of awareness is precisely why John Wilkins wants you define
what you mean by neo-Darwinism: if it is a theory that *only* has
natural selection as the mechanism, nobody thinks that.
Not even Dawkins.

Drop the blindwatchmaking as an adjective. It is stupid.

To be fair, I will summarize Eldredge in MY words:

A common view [one could argue whether it was common or a
caricature] is that evolution is gradual *constant* accumulation
of small improvements driven by natural selection. The fossil record
does not bear this out. Rather than assume it is a fault of
the fossil record, examine the theoretical assumptions. Natural
selection
is still valid, but not the driving force for *speciation*, when
genetic isolation occurs. Once isolation occurs, there are two random
walks (with some selection, so not completely random) rather than one,
so they wind up at quite different destinations,
the further apart as time progresses. This is what the record, both
fossil and genomic, shows. "
<end quote>

By the way, if any of my words above are ambiguous, lay out the two
alternative interpretations for me to distinguish between.

[snip two more URLs]

Tracy P. Hamilton

Al

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 6:17:08 PM10/21/05
to

"Mike Dworetsky" <plati...@pants.btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:djb5dp$s6f$1...@nwrdmz02.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com...
> --tell me, does astrology get more consistent results than say
meteorology, SETI, earthquake prediction, cosmology, pre NASA planetary
geology?
Al

Al

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Oct 21, 2005, 6:18:42 PM10/21/05
to

<john.1...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1129917039.1...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

Like evolution?
>
>
> >
> > --
> > Mike Dworetsky
> >
>


Al

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 6:21:49 PM10/21/05
to

>
> > John Wilkins <jo...@wilkins.id.au> writes:
> >
> > Still, it's good to know that some people are sane but, John,
> > scientists in the U.S. have done the same.
> >
> > Elf
>
> --
> Guns don't kill people; automobiles kill people.

I would ask someone who has been shot about this one.
it seems you don't like logic or maths
Al
>


Cyde Weys

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Oct 21, 2005, 5:18:44 PM10/21/05
to

Cyde says:

I like the mindboggling hypocrisy inherent in their view of all
possible scientific hypotheses should be discussed equally without
ridicule, but what is the FIRST thing that happens when you start
talking about the wide variety of religions?

Here's a hint: "WE ARE THE ONE TRUE RELIGION! THE REST OF YOU ARE
HERETICS AND GOING TO HELL!"

Frankly, I think'd it only be fair that we scientists get to condemn
intelligent design proponents to science hell.

Stuart

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 5:36:04 PM10/21/05
to

No.


Tell you what Al. TUne out all weather broadcasts. I just hope you
don't live in the Flordia keys.

Second, this is an argument about methods. Astrology doesn't use the
scientific method.

THe other things mentioned above do or did.


Stuart

Ernest Major

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 6:01:58 PM10/21/05
to
In message <djblgr$6id$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk>, Al
<alm...@warndon83.freeserve.co.uk> writes

>> --tell me, does astrology get more consistent results than say
>meteorology, SETI, earthquake prediction, cosmology, pre NASA planetary
>geology?

Apparently astrological predictions are no better than can be achieved
by chance. Meteorology does much better than that. Earthquake prediction
is not (yet) very precise, but I'd guess they're better than chance. I'm
not sure why SETI (a research program, which so far has achieved
consistently negative results), cosmology and pre-NASA planetary geology
are on the list.
--
alias Ernest Major


--
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.344 / Virus Database: 267.12.4/143 - Release Date: 19/10/2005

Elf M. Sternberg

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Oct 21, 2005, 7:07:22 PM10/21/05
to
Ernest Major <{$to$}@meden.demon.co.uk> writes:

> I'm not sure why ... pre-NASA planetary geology are on the list.

I'm not sure either, other than to assume htat prior to the
invention of the satellite geologists had very little data to work with.
It's a poor assumption. Plate tectonics, the ultimate planetary
geology, was a robust science before Sputnik. Mineral geologists had a
much-better-than-astrology track record. The subject of their study
was, after all, all around them.

Elf

Al

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:08:29 PM10/21/05
to

"Stuart" <bigd...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1129930564.7...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

Hi Stu
I'm still trying to find out what the scientific method is.
This is something that you can enlighten me on.
However, I'm sure that many astrologers would argue with you on that one.
I was in Florida early on this year, but I was thinking of the weather
reports here in UK.
It wouldn't be hard to get better results with astrology.
>
> The other things mentioned above do or did.
Tell me about earthquake prediction? I have Pakistan in mind at the moment.
Al
>
>
> Stuart
>


Al

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:13:19 PM10/21/05
to

"Kleuskes & Moos" <kle...@xs4all.nl> wrote in message
news:1129902673....@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>
> NashtOn schreef:

>
> > In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> > cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
>
> Can you how me a single example of anyone being tortured or executed
> for not accepting a scientific theory?

There are many examples of black balling, character assassination, ridicule
and so on. I have already given many examples on this very NG.
Al
>


Walter Bushell

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:17:14 PM10/21/05
to
In article <djblpi$pfa$1...@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk>,
"Al" <alm...@warndon83.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

I would point out that that if you can survey the person who has been
shot, he didn't die at least yet; but that would be as stupid a misuse
of rhetoric as your comment on my sig.

John Wilkins

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 9:17:40 PM10/21/05
to
Mike Thom wrote:
> TomS wrote:
>
>>"On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 23:00:49 +1000, in article
>><djaopc$30uk$3...@bunyip2.cc.uq.edu.au>, John Wilkins stated..."

>>
>>>http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
>>>
>>>Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
>>>Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
>>>
>>>Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
>>>theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
>>>it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
>>>
>>>More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
>>>Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
>>>school curricula.
>>
>>[...snip...]
>>
>> 70,000 in Australia?
>>
>> That's impressive.
>
>
> Well I don't mean to niggle, but actually there were 4 signatories who
> represent institutions with more than 70,000 scientists/teachers
> between them.

True.
>
> Also, Australia's government may be conservative but the implication
> isn't quite the same as in the US - I can't see it becoming mainstream
> government policy...

I can. There is an increasingly strong thread of sectarianism in the current
government, who make their individual religious views a point of political
play. The last time that happened in Australia was when Archbishop Mannix, a
very doctrinaire Catholic, dictated labor politics for a generation here, back
in the pre-War era.

The PM, several ministers, and worryingly, some of the opposition party on the
left (we have *real* leftists here) have made play on religion. Recently, a
Muslim was unable to get preselected for the conservatives.

The Federal education minister has come out publicly in favor of ID as this
article suggests, but has backed down to say he wants it taught only in
religious classes (we hae Religious Education in public schools - it's
optional and nonsectarian, so far).

John Wilkins

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 9:19:19 PM10/21/05
to
NashtOn wrote:

> John Wilkins wrote:
>
>>http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
>>
>>Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
>>Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
>>
...

>>"Not being able to imagine or explain how something happened other than by
>>making a leap of faith to supernatural intervention is no basis for any
>>science -- that is a theological or philosophical notion."
>
>
>

> In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.

You think they were for or against the rotation of the universe around my ego?

John Wilkins

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:19:59 PM10/21/05
to

You have to identify the right ego. Hint: It's not in North America...

R. Baldwin

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 10:12:31 PM10/21/05
to
"John Wilkins" <jo...@wilkins.id.au> wrote in message
news:djc41v$1e8l$2...@bunyip2.cc.uq.edu.au...
> NashtOn wrote:

I nominate this exchange on a beautiful typo.

John Wilkins

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Oct 22, 2005, 12:07:03 AM10/22/05
to

*bows*

an...@sci.sci

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Oct 22, 2005, 1:53:32 AM10/22/05
to
> I don't see Michael Behe starving...

I understand the only reason he's still on the payroll is because he
has tenure, which forbids firing him. Is that correct?

But is there any way he could be censured? He'd be forbidden to have
any contact with any paying students, and he'd be forbidden to
represent himself as faculty of that college in any public forum
including court trials/hearings. He'd be given a laboratory (a
converted outhouse), with no equipment, no InterNet or other services
except electricity for a single 100-watt lightbulb (or equivalent
lower-wattage flourescent bulb), and he'd be assigned to preform ID
research, with only a manual typewriter for preparing reports, no staff
to help him, and no access to the college library, no place to park his
car. He'd have to use public transportation to get between his office
and the public library, walking a half mile each way between his office
and public transportation, and pay his own way. He'd be required to
spend 8 hours per day in that tiny office, and he'd be required to
present reports once each month as to progress in ID that he's achieved
and plans for further research.
.

A.Carlson

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Oct 22, 2005, 3:24:46 AM10/22/05