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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:32 pm 
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krabapple wrote:
You admit complete incomprehension but feel free to criticize anyway?

I chose that passage to illustrate that the theoretical reasoning behind "molecular evolution" is filled with complex processes and hypotheses that are difficult to fully understand. And it is within complex hypotheses (as Darwin implied) where "obscure ideas" can naturally hide. It's an observation, not necessarily a criticism. I have no reason to think that molecular evolution theorists are deliberately trying to obfuscate.

I was amused, though, at seeing yet another term for "spontaneous generation" -- biopoesis.
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...yes, and that's still the argument from incredulity:
"It is inconceivable that ____ (fill in the blank) could have originated naturally. Therefore, it must have been created/designed."

Well, I'm sure you would make an exception for what is an obvious creation of man. For example, if I said "It is inconceivable that the Great Pyramid could have originated naturally. Therefore, it must have been created/designed," you would agree, right?

Here's a few of the arguments against intelligent design, as explained by talkorigins (an impressively thorough site, BTW).

"The Darwinian mechanism of natural selection is part of the normal design process. Evolution is a designer (but not an intelligent one). The only example of known intelligent design we have is human design. Archaeologists and forensic scientists look for patterns which they know, from prior observation, are the sort of patterns that human designers make. The same goes for all other sciences that detect design.

Purpose does not indicate design. Functional integration does not indicate design. Complexity does not indicate design."


To sum up: Earth was once without life. The raw materials for life (amino acids, RNA, DNA) evolved. Life that is incapable of intelligent design (all life except man, by definition) evolved out of these raw materials. Life capable of intelligent design (man) evolved from this life. Man is the origin of all intelligent design.

If that chain of events is true, then I submit there can be only two conclusions: either evolution is an intelligent designer, or the concept of any intelligent design (perhaps even intelligence itself) is meaningless.

Since all life on earth is the result of natural processes (not created/designed), than all the actions of life are also the result of natural processes -- for example, a spider web. The spider is not intelligent, neither is the spider's designer (evolution). Therefore, the web is not an example of intelligent design. Why should any of man's works be considered differently? Because we say so?

Reconsidering the Great Pyramid, what other objective criteria we can use to determine intelligence? Purpose? Functional integration? Complexity? Beauty? What distinguishes it from a beehive, or a 20 foot high termite mound (besides size)? I could easily make the argument that the pyramid is less sophisticated, and contains less design knowledge, than either of those.

Man is no different than the spider, and the Great Pyramid is no different than the web. All were designed by evolution. There is nothing on earth that is "intelligently designed," because all is a consequence of, or a continuation of, evolutionary processes. There is no plausible scientific definition of "intelligent design." Suggesting that intelligent design is only human design, and vice versa, is a baseless fiat statement that arises from our vanity.

However, if we accept that the earth does have examples of intelligent design, then evolutionists can only find one origin for that design -- evolution.
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So, God set the whole thing in motion, but has pretty much sat back and watched since then? Or are you saying the God created life on earth, directly? OR did he create species directly, or did he create man directly?

In the case of the snowflake (or any other non-living thing), the natural laws that govern its creation (all natural laws, in fact) were in place at the moment of the big bang. Life on earth was created much later. If we define creationism in terms of the Bible, "gap creationism" (see talkorigins) is the explanation most consistent with biblical verse, IMO. Gap creationism does allow for evolution, even transmutation, during the billions of years before the creation of Adam, as the Bible appears to be silent on this subject. However, man was created directly by God, and almost all the modern species were (re)created directly (some may have been identical or slightly modified from the ones that existed and died before Adam). Not enough time has passed since then to allow for any major evolutionary changes.
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Then perhaps you shouldl include some reading on on god's 'mistakes'.

I think I've seen the major, oft-mentioned ones (panda's thumb, junk DNA, whale teeth, urethra passing through prostate, vestigal organs, 'jury-rigged' organs). I find it curious that evolutionists have trouble identifying intelligent design (unless it is man made), but they have no problem identifying "unintelligent" design. It's almost as if they're nitpicking, saying, "See? How can God be perfect if he designs such things?" The ironic thing is that they fail to mention God's biggest 'mistake' -- man. Of course, you could argue that man is also evolution's biggest mistake, as man is the only species capable of singlehandedly extinguishing most/all life on earth.

I perceive "form follows function" to be the main argument that labels these things as mistakes. I don't question this principle, but it requires a determination of the function, which may be near impossible.

Let's take as an example (since I work in it) the automotive/truck industry. Suppose you're changing your oil. You notice a pierced hole on one of the frame components of your truck, and it doesn't appear to have a function. It's just there. I'll list some of the possibilities of the function of that hole. I would guess that, unless you worked in the biz, some items would never occur to you.

It is used to hold a part that is not on your truck due to option package or configuration (A/C or larger fuel tank)
It is used as an access hole for a tool or a fastener
It is used as a tooling/fixturing hole for manufacturing
(at the stamping plant)
It is used as a guide hole for assembly (at the assembly plant)
The part is used on both sides of the frame (LH and RH), but the hole has a function only on one side. This is common, in order to avoid plant complexity.
The part is a carryover (used on a previous model year), and the hole originally did have a function.
It is used to intentionally weaken the frame in that area, so that it collapses in such a way as to absorb crash forces.
It is used as a drain hole (allowing the liquid frame coating to drain) when the completed frame is dipped.
(The frame I'm working on has dozens of these).
It is used as a tie down point for ocean shipping. We try to use an existing hole for this (such as on a safety chain plate), but that is not always possible.
It is used for shipping the frame to the assembly plant. Frames are generally shipped by rail car, and they are stacked. A special double headed shipping pin spaces and aligns the frames so that they aren't damaged by banging into each other. These pins need unique holes that would be very difficult to utilize for some other purpose.

This is why automotive engineers sometimes don't suffer fools and their "kibbitzing" gladly. Designing a single subsystem, such as a frame, takes thousands of man-hours, and the many requirements are mind boggling, from which way the front left tire twists in a frontal crash, to resonancy target frequencies, to total inches of weld. One thing I've learned in this business -- changes always affect more than the area you are changing, and forseeing all the consequences is extremely difficult. That's why 20 (or so, it varies) engineers have to "sign off" on every change.
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...we are talking about the physical process of *how* you came to exist. That;s all science is interested in, becaseu that's all that can reasonably be answered by scientific means. As for 'why': there are so many possible answers...none of them are testable. So people tend to simply choose the one that makes them feel best. So long as they don't start making testable claims about the physical world, based on that, science doesn't care.

Agreed on all points.
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If you posit a creator, you have to either posit the creator as being eternal, or as having been created...in both cases you've only raised the same questions again.

It's difficult to stretch your mind and imagine the nothingness that would result if the physical universe didn't exist.

But if God can exist outside of the material world, than he must be eternal, because time is a property of the physical universe. For instance, if we accept that God existed before the big bang, he must have been eternal, because time didn't exist before the big bang.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 3:07 pm 
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Dob, it's time for you to start posting to the talk.origins newsgroup on Usenet.

Also, I recommend Richard Dawkins' 'The Blind Watchmaker', perhaps his most
direct critique of the idea of intelligent design.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:58 pm 
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I read the first few pages of 'The Blind Watchmaker' on Amazon, and I'm intrigued. Looks like a worthwhile read...thanks.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 1:14 pm 
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Almost all Dawkins is orth reading -- I'm loving his new one 'The Ancestor's Tale".

And i fyou get the imprssion I'm fobbin you off on someone else ... I am. I'm going away for the next few days and need to relax ;>

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:18 am 
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http://objective.jesussave.us/creationsciencefair.html

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:54 am 
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1st Place: "My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve (Not A Monkey)"

Cassidy Turnbull (grade 5) presented her uncle, Steve. She also showed photographs of monkeys and invited fairgoers to note the differences between her uncle and the monkeys. She tried to feed her uncle bananas, but he declined to eat them. Cassidy has conclusively shown that her uncle is no monkey.


I weep for the future.

Ryan

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:02 am 
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1st Place: "Life Doesn't Come From Non-Life"

Patricia Lewis (grade 8) did an experiment to see if life can evolve from non-life. Patricia placed all the non-living ingredients of life - carbon (a charcoal briquet), purified water, and assorted minerals (a multi-vitamin) - into a sealed glass jar. The jar was left undisturbed, being exposed only to sunlight, for three weeks. (Patricia also prayed to God not to do anything miraculous during the course of the experiment, so as not to disqualify the findings.) No life evolved. This shows that life cannot come from non-life through natural processes.

2nd Place: "Women Were Designed For Homemaking"

Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets; biology shows that women were designed to carry un-born babies in their wombs and to feed born babies milk, making them the natural choice for child rearing; social sciences show that the wages for women workers are lower than for normal workers, meaning that they are unable to work as well and thus earn equal pay; and exegetics shows that God created Eve as a companion for Adam, not as a co-worker.


If I didn't know the source I'd swear I was reading the Onion.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:17 am 
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Rspaight wrote:
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1st Place: "My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve (Not A Monkey)"

Cassidy Turnbull (grade 5) presented her uncle, Steve. She also showed photographs of monkeys and invited fairgoers to note the differences between her uncle and the monkeys. She tried to feed her uncle bananas, but he declined to eat them. Cassidy has conclusively shown that her uncle is no monkey.


I weep for the future.


I don't know. I just looked at the picture and Steve looks rather simian-esque to me. I'm impressed that he declined the invitation to eat bananas. However, I'd like some proof that he never shat in his hand and threw it at someone.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:58 pm 
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I'm pretty sure it's a joke.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 4:12 pm 
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I'm pretty sure it's a joke.


I'm really not sure if it is or not. I didn't think it was at first, but the more I look at it, the more I think it might be (the whole site, that is). If it *is* a joke, it's utterly brilliant.

Ryan

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 4:13 pm 
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OK, yeah, it's a joke. From the online store:

http://www.cafepress.com/objectivemin.3749749

Ryan

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 4:23 pm 
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Damn, that is one of the best satirical websites I've ever seen. I'm feeling pretty insecure right about now... :cry:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 4:33 pm 
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lukpac wrote:

If I didn't know the source I'd swear I was reading The Onion.


More like reading The Onion & biting the lemon.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:13 am 
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I've spent a couple of hours perusing this "Christian Ministries" site, and I'm mightily impressed.

Addressing the question of whether this site is a hoax -- I couldn't find anything (through google) that definitively states that it's a hoax. In fact, many folks indignantly quote the infamous article that explores the links between Apple computers and Satan as if the author, Dr. Richard Paley, really exists and is a real professor of "theobiology."

I think it's safe to say that it is a hoax, though. See this article for a thorough summation.

Yeah, there are obviously some people out there that take their parody/satire very seriously. More seriously than I ever would. Christian Ministries has absurd banner ads (Bible granola, "convert the beatnik", Clowning for Christ, the adventures of Bibleman) mixed with others that are just odd (churchchair.com) but most lead to seemingly real sites, or sites that are just as intense in their parody. Even the example mentioned by Ryan (Ruby matrimony thong) seems to be a real item that you can order.

Check out the 4 Kidz page to see the level of detail these pranksters are capable of. Or the Zounds! page, detailing the exploits of a Christian rock band that has released such titles as "Miracles And The Infinte Radness" and "No Sympathy For The Devil." Don't miss the lyrics to "Wacky Wacky Wicca Chick."

Plus, there's a ficticious "Bible controversy" regarding "triclavianism," which argues that three, and only three, spikes were used to nail Jesus to the cross. There's even a parody blog of a student at "Fellowship University" -- run by a fellow who says he used to make fun of Christianity (he provides a link to his old site) but has since seen the light.

All this makes our Rancid Snakepit seem quite feeble and amateurish in comparison.

The one thing that disturbs me, though, is the satire is so "hard" that it's difficult for many people to believe that it's a joke. They have a logbook/prayerbook ("see all the wonderful things people are saying about us!") that has an awful lot of vitriol. The idea of the religious right running this country is no longer a laughing matter, and older articles such as this one have become downright scary.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:50 am 
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Even the example mentioned by Ryan (Ruby matrimony thong) seems to be a real item that you can order.


Yes, it is. (Cafepress is a wonderful thing.)

Ryan

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