NCSE: Eugenie Scott And Science Standards

In her review, How Science Works: Evolution. A Student Primer by R. John Ellis (Springer, 2010) Eugenie Scott states her concerns that Americans are not embracing evolution as she would like, “The public misunderstands and mistrusts the scientific explanation of evolution more than any other branch of research, particularly in the United States.”

Back in 2006, there was a report from the U.S. National Academy which stated something similar…

“Most people in this country lack the basic understanding of science that they need to make informed decisions about the many scientific issues affecting their lives. Neither this basic understanding—often referred to as scientific literacy—nor an appreciation for how science has shaped the society and culture is being cultivated during the high school years.”

It’s important to note, the NSF believes that students need to embrace evolutionary science to a level where countries like the United States can avoid an economic and security meltdowns!  However, recent meltdowns have really nothing to do with science at all. European countries are known to embrace evolution more so than the United States, but problems with deficit spending has no connection with evolution.

For example, the Greek economy is failing because it’s government is spending more than it can raise in taxes so other countries are offering bailout money so they don’t default on their loan. Ireland proposed a second budget in 2009 by putting away six billion dollars in an attempt to control it’s deficit.

What about the United States?  It’s market crashed two years ago and it wasn’t because of people being skeptical of evolution rather it was the government, private businesses and house buyers who were all at fault in crashing the United States market.

The government used sub-prime loans as a way to boost on how many people owned houses, businesses didn’t care who they gave a loan to because houses would sell so quickly and normally higher than what a person asked thus making a huge profit. People were able to afford houses beyond their wildest dreams which was really beyond their means of what they could actually afford. So it’s not a refusal to embrace evolution that brings down an economy, it’s greed and socialism.

Eugenie Scott basically believes in the same philosophy she did back in the 1980s saying that Science is not an ideology, but science requires methodological naturalism, the only methodologically naturalistic view of biology available is Darwinian evolution, because it does not involve supernaturalism, therefore according to her worldview people must teach Darwin in the schools and keep out creationism and intelligent design.

However opposition to her view point came from Casey Luskin who is an intelligent design proponent stated these excellent points about how science should be taught…

1. The inquiry method of teaching science stresses process over content.
2. There are no legal obstacles to teaching scientific critiques of prevailing theories.
3. There is ample evidence of controversy in evolutionary literature.

A surprising agreement came from Science magazine which stated…

“Argument and debate are common in science, yet they are virtually absent from science education.  Recent research shows, however, that opportunities for students to engage in collaborative discourse and argumentation offer a means of enhancing student conceptual understanding and students’ skills and capabilities with scientific reasoning.

“As one of the hallmarks of the scientist is critical, rational skepticism, the lack of opportunities to develop the ability to reason and argue scientifically would appear to be a significant weakness in contemporary educational practice.  In short, knowing what is wrong matters as much as knowing what is right.  This paper presents a summary of the main features of this body of research and discusses its implications for the teaching and learning of science.”

Instead of indoctrination of evolution as Eugenie Scott proposes, abductive reasoning is also part of science which was used quite a lot in such books as Signature of the Cell by Stephen Meyer.  A creationist rarely agrees with science magazine but in this case, the writer is correct on science standards which include challenging theories and critical thinking among students.

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55 thoughts on “NCSE: Eugenie Scott And Science Standards

  1. Hi Michael !

    I can see that you can make numbered lists as well …

    Here is ours, with four outstanding questions:

    (1) Blog readership numbers

    (2) Your qualifications to discuss any scientific subject, in response to the challenge to Olorin.

    (3) A substantive review of Signature in the Cell, promised for August 2009.

    (4) outstanding question from Upson Downes on mitochondrial Eve

  2. “, but we problems with deficit spending has no connection with evolution.”

    You’re kidding me, right ?

  3. Instead of indoctrination of evolution as Eugenie Scott proposes …

    She may be forgetting that science education has been entirely dominated by evolutionists for the past 30 years at least. Who can she blame for the failure to indoctrinate students but evolutionary-science teachers themselves?

    Clearly, the theory does not have enough substance to attract or convince students.

    Maybe she could propose that students who do not memorize evolutionary dogmas will be arrested and jailed until they profess complete and total belief in Darwinism.

  4. creationbydesign,

    “Clearly, the theory does not have enough substance to attract or convince students.”I agree, they try so hard to convince students about evolution for the past 30 years, by opposing critical thinking and debate till one reaches the college where it’s a bit more open but certainly a rare moment in major science publications that shuns it as well.

  5. Michael

    but in this case, the writer is correct on science standards which include challenging theories and critical thinking among students.

    LOOK WHO’S TALKING ABOUT CRITICAL THINKING!

    Could it be the same person who is so blindered that he crows about “soft tissue” discovered in a 125-million year old fossil, when the article he quotes plainly says “mineralized” material and metals, and mentions no soft tissue at all?

    Creationist critical thinking = 0

    Could it be the same person who trumpets a 10-thousand year age for Titan on the basis of methane conversion, when 15 minutes of checking reveals a 50-million year age, even given all of Michael’s (refuted) assumptions?

    Creationist critical thinking = 0

    .

    These are but two of Michael’s most obvious failures of “critical thinking,” confined to just the past few days.

    Michael has been apprised of these failures so often that he practices deliberate gross hypocrisy in accusing others. First remove the log from your own eye, Michael, before you tweeze out the mote from others’.

  6. Michael:
    “Sorry Eelco,
    But “we” was a typo…”

    That was not my point ! My sarcasm was aimed at the whole sentence, ignoring the typo (one has to, in your case, as there are so many).

  7. Michael . . . . . . . . . . . . on May 23, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    “Clearly, the theory does not have enough substance to attract or convince students.”I agree, they try so hard to convince students about evolution for the past 30 years, by opposing critical thinking and debate till one reaches the college where it’s a bit more open but certainly a rare moment in major science publications that shuns it as well.

    WRONG-WAY CREATIONIST PROVES OPPONENTS’ POINT

    NCSE’s Eugenie Scott notes that ““The public misunderstands and mistrusts the scientific explanation of evolution more than any other branch of research, particularly in the United States.”

    Michael says that evolution is indoctrinated at the K-12 level, but students begin to see through it at the college level. Unfortunately for his thesis, acceptance of evolution is lowest (about 25-35%) for those with only a high-school education. College graduates accept evolution at about a 50% higher rate than that. Graduate school, presumably even more open and critical than undergraduate, marks significantly higher acceptance rate than among undergraduates.

    .

    So, Michael. Tell us again how openness and critical thinking in higher education thinking favor creationism?

  8. This is one of my favorite quotes from Eugenie Scott:

    “There are no weaknesses in the theory of evolution,” said Eugenie Scott, an anthropologist and executive director of the National Center for Science Education.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/legislature/stories/DN-evolution_22tex.ART.State.Edition1.4e90af7.html

    Nothing like some mindless propaganda to try to rally the troops and increase one’s own credibility. No weaknesses at all … and you must believe it! :-)

  9. @creationbydesign:

    You must believe it ? Of course not, that is not how science works: it does not rely on believe at all, so you should certainly not ‘believe’ in any scientific theory, including evolution. ‘Believe’ is part of religion, not science.

    But at the moment, with all the evidence we have, the theory of evolution has no weaknesses. There is no known evidence contradicting the theory. Obviously there is a lot we do not know yet, and there are lots of observables we do not understand yet, but SO FAR nothing has conclusively falsified the theory of evolution.

    Of course the theory itself evolves: it does need to be adjusted from time to time. This is exactly how science works, and how it should work.

    Remember that evolution is both a fact and a theory. You can’t argue with the first, but you certainly can with the latter. Do bring convincing evidence, though, if you try to falsify the theory of evolution. It would be fun if that would happen, actually, but there is an aweful lot of evidence that currently backs up the theory. Remember that you cannot just dismiss that.

  10. To demonstrate the existence of “weaknesses” in evolution, creationbydesign references a challenge by a couple of Texas Board of Education members, from Dallas News article.

    What is boils down to is that the politicians say there is controversy, and the research scientist (Scott) says there is not. If a dozen MDs say I have cancer and it needs chemotherapy, but my auto mechanic neighbor says I don’t …. whom should I believe? Who has more credibility.

    Creationby design will remonstrate that Barbara Cargill has taught high-school science for 25 years. But there is a huge difference between doing research—where errors and failed hypotheses wreck your career—and teaching something that you have never actually investigated for yourself. I can teach anything I happen to prefer if there are no personal consequences when I’m wrong. John Huffner is a high-school math teacher. Well respected, yes. But a scientist? No. (Mathematics is not a “science.” It uses entirely different tools and procedures.) And, again, Mr. Huffner has never been active in research of any kind.

    .
    One would certainly think that a theory so full of weaknesses would have disappeared after 150yearts. Yet it produces 2,100 research papers per year. Of the 484,000 research investigators in the area of biology and geology, creationism manages to count less than half a dozen. The total number of papers—only in creationist journals—in a decade is less than what one single senior mainstream scientist would be expected to write in a year.

    Also, no one hears creationists calling for the teaching of weakness in creationism alongside the weaknesses in evolution. Of course, there is really only one weakness in creationism—THERE IS NOT A SINGLE STICK OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE FOR IT. Creationists hide this uncomfortable fact by trying to tear down evolution. But the fact remains nonetheless.

  11. Of course the theory … does need to be adjusted from time to time.

    Eelco, you’ve stated above that there are no weaknesses at all in evolutionary theory. Here you state, however, that the theory needs to be “adjusted” from time to time. Adjustments (error corrections) are necessary because of the weaknesses in the theory. There are many failed predictions in evolutionary science — they happen all the time. These point to major weaknesses in the theory. There are many prominent evolutionists who think that an entirely new theory is needed since the current version does not fit the data.

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=103×370774

  12. creationbydesign>
    There are many prominent evolutionists who think that an entirely new theory is needed since the current version does not fit the data.

    On the other hand, there are NO creationists who think that any new or modified theory of creation is needed.

    Even though the current theory has never found any positive evidence for creation, has no model for predicting future data, has never once led to any insight toward controlling any physical phenomenon, and is inconsistent with, oh, relativity theory, all of cosmology and most of astronomy, atomic physics, geology, biogeography, all of paleontology….

    Priceless, CbD, just priceless.

    Would you like a mirror? I thought not.

  13. CbD hopes to discredit evolution with the Konrad Lorenz Institute conference in 2008.

    If he would bother to read something—anything—else beside creationist third-hand screed of the conference, he—well, not CbD, but any careful reader—would come away with an entirely different view of their goals and results..

    Massimo Pigliucci, who was a participant, demolished the creationist interp of the conference. I can’t cite the article offhand, but meanwhile you might look up the actual report in Science, vol. 321, pp.196-97, “Modernizing the Modern Synthesis.”

    Talk about “critical thinking”! Entirely absent among creationists. Whom do you think you’re fooling, CbD?

  14. @creationbydesign:

    You’ve not been reading carefully, have you ?

    I said:
    But at the moment, with all the evidence we have, the theory of evolution has no weaknesses. There is no known evidence contradicting the theory. Obviously there is a lot we do not know yet, and there are lots of observables we do not understand yet, but SO FAR nothing has conclusively falsified the theory of evolution.

    At the moment. SO FAR.

    Which does not preclude that in the FUTURE, i.e. not now, new evidence may come to light that forces adaptions to the CURRENT theory of evolution.

    There are also things that the theory does not explain yet.

    But there CURRENTLY is nothing that falsifies the theory of evolution, which is what is meant by ‘no weaknesses’.

    I think I was pretty clear about all this …

  15. At the moment. SO FAR. [the theory has no weaknesses at all].

    At the same time:

    Of course the theory … does need to be adjusted from time to time.

    Why?

    new evidence may come to light that forces adaptions to the CURRENT theory of evolution.

    But supposedly, no new evidence has ever come to light that forced adaptations to the current theory of evolution, so it has no weaknesses at all. Every evolutionary prediction has been fulfilled to 100% accuracy and continues to do so today.

    There are also things that the theory does not explain yet.

    And that is not a weakness at all. If evolutionary theory could only explain .00000000000000001% of the data found in nature, that wouldn’t be a weakness. We would simply say “it doesn’t explain everything”. Even if the tiny amount that it did explain was found to be wrong — that wouldn’t be a weakness either. Why? Because that’s the way science works — we protect evolutionary theory no matter how badly it fits the data. We can’t admit the slightest weakness because that would threaten our worldview.

    Ok, I do fully understand!

  16. Evolutionists predicted that the spleen was a vestigal organ. That rock solid evidence for evolution. Who could doubt it?

    Well, that claim was made before the “current evolutionary theory” we have today. It was from a long time ago, all the way to 2009. That when the theory did have some weaknesses, but now we know it doesn’t have any more.

    Ulrich H. von Andrian, an immunologist at Harvard Medical School who was not involved with the research, agreed that the findings were a surprise. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/science/04angier.html

    Oops! The prediction and “evidence” supporting evolution is proven false. So, we certainly made a good “adjustment”.

    The latest work also sounds a cautionary note against underestimating a body part or dismissing it as vestigial …

    Thankfully, the theory is now completely fixed. We won’t dismiss any body part as “vesigal” any more, ok? Good! Now we really have a theory that has no weaknesses at all.

    And by court order, force of law and threat of prison you had better believe it!!

  17. @creationbydesign:

    Lovely attempt at sarcasm, but you are mostly shooting yourself in the foot. You do not seem to understand how science works at all. I think I am not going to repeat myself again, I have explained how theories are adapted as new evidence comes to light, but you do not seem to get the idea.

    Your rant about court orders fail to register with me: what on earth are you talking about ??

  18. It’s really very simple, Eelco. Creationbydesign takes an experiment that yields a result not expected by the researcher, and manages to “falsify” the entire field of science in which the experiment is conducted. Finding an unexpected fossil falsifies all of paleontology, for example.

    Consider traffic lights. We drive around for a while, observe the traffic, and form a hypothesis that green lights allow cars to go, red lights make them stop, and yellow lights make them speed up. We confirm this hypothesis over a period of months, under all conditions of traffic, weather, and road conditions.

    Then one day we come to an intersection where all the lights are flashing red. Zut alors! We find that, contrary to our–by now—theory, the first cars in the N-S direction stop, then proceed across the intersection. Then a pair of E-W cars do the same.

    Creationby design now proclaims THAT OUR ENTIRE THEORY OF TRAFFIC LIGHTS HAS BEEN FALSIFIED! Like a pigeon playing chess, he knocks over the pieces, craps on the board, and flies off squawking victory.

    We scientists, on the other hand, try to find out why this apparent anomaly occurred. We find that the light’s controller has malfunctioneded, and it has gone into a fail-safe mode. We then MODIFY our theory to account for this case: in general, red does mean stop until the light changes. However, a flashing red light means stop and then proceed, even though the color does not change.

    Some time later, we observe an intersection where the light is green, yet the cars are slowing and pulling to the side of the street. We then observe a fire truck blaring its siren. Hm.

    We modify the theory again. Green means go, IF there is no siren nearby.

    The theory continues to be modified as new unexpected results accrue. Eventually, we have a theory that can explain many more situations than the original. It has a wider field of applicability—it can accommodate flashing lights, and sirens, and jaywalking creationists. In other words, the theory becomes stronger with modification, not weaker.

    .

    Do you think CbD will understand that? Probably, but he still won’t believe it. The principle being that you can’t argue a person out of a position that he didn’t argue himself into.

  19. I have explained how theories are adapted as new evidence comes to light, but you do not seem to get the idea.

    No, I think I get the idea very well. You have claimed that there are no weaknesses in the theory of evoluion. Whenever a weakness is exposed, then suddenly that is “the old theory” — or better yet, evolutionary theory is 100% correct even when it is wrong. Because that’s how science works. Evolutionary theory has no weaknesses at all – every claim and prediction is 100% correct and it is impossible for it to be otherwise.

    It all makes perfect sense to me!!

  20. the theory becomes stronger with modification, not weaker

    That’s the best one yet.

    There are no weaknesses at all in evolutionary theory. It’s 100% correct.

    But then, of course, there are “modifications” — and these are great because the theory just got stronger. We took something that was fully correct and “modified” it. Why? Well, certainly not because there was any weakness in the prior version. Of course not!

    We didn’t discard any of those previously strong things either, we just use other things now. Like Haeckel’s idea that human embryos had “gill slits”. That was 100% correct, not a weakness in evolutionary theory at all. We just “modified” evolutionary theory and made it stronger by never mentioning Haeckel’s idea again. This doesn’t mean he was wrong at all though.

    So now with all the modifications, evolutionary theory 110% strong — no, that is, 20,000% strong. It’s a big number strong. And the great thing is, it still has no weaknesses at all. None.

    That’s just how science works. I mean, it’s almost like mathematics, except better because when we “modify” or “adjust” an evolutionary claim it doesn’t mean the old one was in error. Not in the slightest!!!! :-)

  21. @creatiombydesign:

    Indeed, you do not get it at all.

    When a weakness is exposes by some NEW evidence, obviously the theory is adapted to account for that NEW evidence.
    You keep ignoring the component of time in all this, and the human activity uncovering previously unknown evidence.

    If that turns out to be impossible, then you need a paradigm shift (a new theory perhaps, or a radical adaptation of one or more of the basic principle of the theory).

  22. Eelco,

    Creationbydesign is right on about theories! Take classical physics in the 17th century, it’s explanatory power on how objects moved worked until it was discovered that high speeds was a problem for classical physics. Relativity and quantum mechanics came into being. Was classic physics rendered useless as a result? No, because it still works well with common types of problems. So we see an upgrade that improved the theory.

    Geocentrism was a theory that many believed in. They observed objects rotating around in the sky so it was concluded that the earth was the center of the Universe. However, there was some falsification in this theory for example, planets would move backwards. Many falsified predictions, lots of complexity as a result. The question is, would more modifications in the theory of Geocentrism improved knowledge on how the Universe works? Later on, Heliocentrism replaced it, but it wasn’t accurate rather it was easier to use.

    Both classical physics and geocentrism had their falsifications but classical physics was still workable under limited conditions whereas geocentrism became more work than actually explaining how objects move. Generally, scientists become suspicious when a theory becomes increasingly complex to accommodate failed expectations when particular explanations are needed to adjust to contradictory findings. Evolution doesn’t fit the mold as Classical physics rather it fits the mold of gecentrism which is what you don’t get, Eelco…

  23. Hey Michael, you managed to reply to me !!!

    Well done !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So you can hit the reply botton !

    Now for those four outstanding questions ….

    Oh, and Michael, you are just repeating what I said, with the only difference that you use the term ‘upgrade’, where I use ‘adaptation’.

    Obviously evolution was a paradigm shift, all those 150 years ago, as was going away from geocentrism. Didn’t I explain paradigm shift above ? Yes, I did.

  24. I love it. “Paradigm shift”. There are no weaknesses at all, but the “paradigm” had to shift because … ???

    Orolin’s comment is even more hilarious.
    He starts:

    It’s really very simple, Eelco.

    Thus trying to explain this to Eelco (because an explanation is obviously needed).

    Then, Orolin compares evolution with his Traffic Light Theory. In this, it is predicted that traffic lights make cars move. Then, when evidence comes in that refutes the claim, the theory is “adjusted” or “modified” or its “paradigm shifts”. :-)

    Was the claim that traffic lights move cars a “weakness” in the theory? No, not at all!!

    Even though the claim was totally wrong? No — there were no weaknesses in the theory. There are none now, even though the new claim is more speculative than the old one. More qualifiers are added to cover-up the gaps in the predictive power of the claim. “Traffic lights might have evolved from street-lights”.

    Ok, it’s too ridiculous to really take farther but any honest, rational person can see that evolutionists are just lying.

    They have to defend their theory at all costs, because it is their worldview. This means, even after evolutionary predictions are falsified, they claim that there is “no weakness” found there. Errors, absurd claims, fantasy stories — none of these are a problem.

    A few scientists will admit that evolutionary claims have been found in error and many more likely will be. But they won’t use the word “weakness”, because they’re afraid of that word.

    In Eelco’s case, he actually re-defines the word “weakness” to mean “having zero truth”.

    So, as long as evolutionary theory can make some trivial claim that is proven true, there are no weaknesses!!!

    Apple Theory: two apples plus three apples equals ten apples.
    Lab testing puts apples together and finds that 2+3 apples equals 5.
    Ooops!
    Time for a “paradigm shift”. :-)

    Hey, I predicted 5 and it was ten. But 5 is a part of 10 so my theory is partially correct!

    Now, I “modified” my claim and I include 10 as a possible answer also. No weaknesses at all here!!!

    The final question remains: Why would anyone want to bother arguing with evolutionary liars and con-men?

    Well, it does have its entertainment benefits.
    Oorlin and Eelco have provided a lot of great comedy and a perfect view of the evolutionary deception that is at the heart of their “flawless theory”.

    I’m not singling them out though. I’ve seen exactly the same reaction from evolutionists in a variety of forums.

    When pushed against the wall, they’ll then try to divert attention by attacking creationism. That does help to take the focus off of their own bogus claims.

    Nice job — keep it up!! Now that you’re in a hole — just keep digging!!! :-)

  25. As I said Eelco, just keep digging.

    When a weakness is exposed by some NEW evidence, obviously the theory is adapted to account for that NEW evidence.

    Here you even use the dreaded word! You have admitted that “weaknesses are exposed”. Unbelievable.

    Again, any honest person can see this. You claim that there are no weaknesses. Now you claim that “when weaknesses are exposed” by new evidence.

    That’s the problem with a theory. It has to explain the data, not bend with it. It’s supposed to be predictive, not descriptive.

    You admit here that evolutionary claims are exposed as “weak” when new data contradicts them.

    Now, as a good evolutionist, I will expect you to continue to lie and twist the truth of what we can all see as clear as day.

    Let’s hear it now — “weaknesses exposed” in evolutionary theory are “not really weaknesses” at all!

    In any other theory they are, sure. But not in evolution. Why? Because evolution is important. I believe in it. I trust in it. And I don’t like hearing anyone say that it has “weaknesses”, even if it’s true.

    Great job. This just keeps getting better all the time.

  26. creationbydesign:
    “I love it. “Paradigm shift”. There are no weaknesses at all, but the “paradigm” had to shift because … ??? ”

    I wrote that the evolution theory itself was the paradigm shift, as the previous ideas were shown to be flawed. This was 150 years ago. So why do you use the present tense in your sentence (‘are’) ?

    There WERE weaknesses with the old ideas about species before evolution came around. Evolutionary theory currently shows no weaknesses. This might change in the future, obviously, in case new evidence comes to light that does show it to be flawed. Hasn’t happened so far.

    Could you please try and read what I write, and in what tense ? That would certainly help. Thanks !

  27. creationbydesign: “Here you even use the dreaded word! You have admitted that “weaknesses are exposed”. Unbelievable.”

    You really do have a reading problem. I wrote (you cite this yourself !!):
    “When a weakness is exposed by ….”

    When. Can you read this word ? It is a little small, but it sits at the beginning of the sentence, which should help.

    So I did not at all write that “weaknesses are exposed”. Then ‘when’ makes this hypothetical, a possibility. There are no known weaknesses at the moment. But when (here it is again !) we do find weaknesses, then (and only then) will the theory be adapted, or replaced if necessary.

  28. blockquote>
    creationbydesign . . . . . .

    Then, Orolin compares evolution with his Traffic Light Theory. In this, it is predicted that traffic lights make cars move. Then, when evidence comes in that refutes the claim, the theory is “adjusted” or “modified” or its “paradigm shifts”. :-)

    Was the claim that traffic lights move cars a “weakness” in the theory? No, not at all!!

    Here we have crwationbydesign demonstrating his opponent’s claim.

    To summarize the bidding:

    == Observations: Cars stop for red lights, go for green lights. Theory: Traffic lights make cars move.

    == Unexpected, observation: Cars stop then go for flashing red lights. Theory: Traffic lights make cars move.

    That is, the original theory is still valid. The new evidence does not refute the original claim, but extends it.

    The modification extends the specifics of how the lights control the traffic. The original theory covered steady lights; the modification covers flashing light as well. The lights make cars move in a different way than originally predicted, but it is still true that traffic lights make cars move. The theory is stronger, not weaker; it covers more situations.

    .

    The link to evolution is this. Evolution says that all present living organisms have a common ancestry. Occasionally we find from more complete evidence that the ancestry of certain specific organisms differs from what had been predicted on the basis of previous partial evidence and extrapolations. Does this invalidate the theory of common ancestry? No. The new evidence makes the theory of common ancestry stronger, because we now have a better idea of howthese two specific organisms are related.

    A recent study, by the way, analyzed a dozen proteins found in a wide variety of animals, to distinguish between two hypotheses: (a) all the proteins have a common ancestor, (b) not all of the proteins have a common ancestor. The results show that the odds for (b) are so small that the assembly of a 747 from a junkyard by a tornado would be child’s play in comparison.

  29. Eelco,

    You claim…”Evolutionary theory currently shows no weaknesses.” That’s a philosophical statement not science. Weaknesses exists with evolution, since there is no alternative that is within the natural framework, the dogma tag (which as you claim there were but no weaknesses exists but maybe in the future) is invoked…Unlike you, Darwin himself admitted weaknesses during his day but thought it would be answered in the future which is another thing why the dogma tag is invoked.

    Basic weaknesses include…

    1) There is not one viable hypothesis that can be tested for proposed mechanisms.

    2) It lacks an explanation and experimentation for evidence on origins which has a direct impact on evolutionary natural processes.

  30. A philosophical statement ? You’ve got to be joking … it is just a scientific statement, nothing more, nothing less.

    And backed up by loads of evidence, which you choose to ignore.

    Have you actually even browsed in a biology book on evolution ?

    Oh no, stupid me, you have no scientific qualifications whatsoever, and you don’t even try.

    Quick answers:
    1) yes, there are
    2) that’s abiogenesis, not evolution

  31. And your quick answers to the four outstanding questions are:

    1) …
    2) …
    3) …
    4) …

  32. Michael: “Basic weaknesses include… 1) There is not one viable hypothesis that can be tested for proposed mechanisms.”

    MICHAEL HAS PLUNGED OFF THE DEEP END!

    What do you think natural selection is? A hypothesis that can be, and has been, tested.

    What do you think heritable variation is? A hypothesis that can be, and has been, tested.

    What do you think sexual selection is? A hypothesis that can be, and has been, tested.

    What do you think the Fischer-Wright equations are? A hypothesis that can be, and has been, tested.

    What do you think the 20-year Lenski experiment was? A tested hypothesis on the evolution of bacteria.

    The list goes on and on, of course, and gets much more detailed 2,100 research papers per year propose and test hypotheses as to hoe evolution occurred in specific circumstances. You might remember Fra Dom’s mendacious excursion into the Karl Popper’s opinion on testability of evolutionary theory.

    .

    Time to change the subject again, Michael. The laughter is building at your endless repetition of the creationist mantra on falsifiability. Whom do you think you’re fooling? Are you even fooling yourself anymore?

    Go back and read krissmith777’s comment dated May 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm in your post of May 26. God has nothing to fear from science. Why are you and Dom and CbD unable to see the hand of God in evolution? Probably for the same reason that you cannot see past the literal words into the deeper truth of Genesis.

    Since you seem ignorant of church history as well, you probably haven;’t heard that the church fathers uniformly (e.g., Augustine, Origen, Eusebius) cautioned against reading Genesis literally. Augustine in particular noted that non-believers may be put off from converting because they read only the literal words and find obvious errors. (The errors were obvious even 1600 years ago!) Augustine said that we must look to the deeper truths in Genesis.

    .

    Here’s a little question for Michael in an area he should know at least a little about. Yo, Michael! What is the overall broad theological concept that God wishes us to understand from Genesis 1? What is the take-away message, as the MBAs say? Any of a couple of answers will be worth full credit. (Hint: “God created the universe in six literal days” is not even close.)

  33. Michael: “2) It lacks an explanation and experimentation for evidence on origins which has a direct impact on evolutionary natural processes.”

    As Eelco notes, abiogenesis is not part of Darwinian evolution, because Darwinian evolution presupposes the existence of heritable variation, overfecundity, and selection.

    So this is again unadulterated ignorance on your part.

    Abiogenesis has no relevance to any hypothesis within the ambit of evolution. Wishing it were otherwise will not make it so.

  34. Ah, here it is. Michael, you should refresh your memory. Over at Creation Ministries International is a list of “Arguments we think creationists should NOT use”. About two-thirds down the page is “Natural selection as a tautology”–that is, that natural selection cannot be tested. A similar list appears in Conservapedia, at “Arguments creationists shouldn’t use”. The tenability argument is listed under “Evolution,” without further reference.

  35. Creationbydessign might be interested in this snippet from Answers in Genesis—

    “Evolutionists continually revise their theories because of new data, so it should not be surprising or distressing that some creationist scientific theories need to be revised too.”

    If all theories become weaker when modified, then presumably creationism does too. Sauce for the coelacanth is sauce for the Paluxy tracks.

  36. “If all theories become weaker when modified, then presumably creationism does too. Sauce for the coelacanth is sauce for the Paluxy tracks.”

    Sounds like evolutionary philosophy not empirical science.

  37. “Ah, here it is. Michael, you should refresh your memory. Over at Creation Ministries International is a list of “Arguments we think creationists should NOT use”.

    Creation science fits into “Classic Physics” mold, a point that seems to have alluded you!

  38. Michael: “2) It lacks an explanation and experimentation for evidence on origins which has a direct impact on evolutionary natural processes.”
    “Eelco notes, abiogenesis is not part of Darwinian evolution”

    Spontaneous generation was embraced by Darwin. Your answer lacks explanation and experimentation for evidence!

  39. Olorin,

    By posting in three different screen names may delight yourself, but in reality it’s foolishness. People are learning how you protect evolution by holding it’s value to cult-like status.

  40. Michael: “Spontaneous generation was embraced by Darwin. ”

    Who cares ? Abiogenesis is still not part of the theory of evolution.

  41. Eelco,

    Your answer had nothing to do with my statement, putting up a strawman is not going to help you either. By the way, Spontaneous generation (which is explained as early evolution here) was falsified before Darwin was even born (John Needham, 1713-1781 and Lazzaro Spallanzani, 1729-1799) and then again in 1859. To this day, there are still no observational data which is why you have such a shallow reply…

  42. Strawman ??

    I most definitely answered to your second statement, and my point remains.

  43. Michael . . . . on May 27, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Creationbydesign is right on about theories! Take classical physics in the 17th century, it’s [sic] explanatory power on how objects moved worked until it was discovered that high speeds was a problem for classical physics. Relativity and quantum mechanics came into being.

    ONCE AGAIN MICHAEL PUTS HIS TOTAL IGNORANCE OF SCIENCE ON DISPLAY.

    High-speed discrepancies were NOT the reason that scientists abandoned any aspect of classical physics. Right through the discovery of relativity, no on knew there were any high-speed discrepancies. There are discrepancies, but they were discovered during tests of Einstein’s theory. What a crock, Michael!

    (For anyone who might be interested, Einstein began the inquiry that resulted in relativity (a name that he never liked), in an entirely different way.[1] Einstein was concerned that Maxwell’s recently discovered laws of electromagnetism violated Newtonian relativity, because Maxwell required the speed of light to be constant, whereas Newton disallowed any preferred frame of reference. The purpose of Einstein’s theory was thus to save Newtonian relativity. The tests of this theory involved the Lorentz experiments, perihelion of Mercury, gravitational lensing—and high-speed discrepancies. But they were not motivating factors at all, and high-speed effects were not even known beforehand. Sorry, Michael—another fatal collision of ignorance with reality.)

    .

    Second science gaffe: Quantum mechanics has no relationship whatever to “high-speed discrepancies” of any kind. In fact by far the biggest problem in physics today is that relativity theory is fundamentally incompatible with quantum dynamics. Thousands of cosmologists have struggled for decades to come up with a theory[2] that incorporates both. Apparently Michael needed a sciency-sounding makeweight and tossed quantum theory on the pile with relativity.

    This is characteristic of Michael’s reckless disregard for truth. If it sounds good, say it. Who cares whether it’s correct? Certainly not Michael.

    THIS IS WHY CREATIONISTS ARE KNOWN AS “LIARS FOR JESUS.”

    ===============

    [1] See, e.g., the definitive biography, “Einstein: His Life and Universe,” Walter Isaacson, Simon & Schuster, 2007, and the more technical bio written by a colleague, “Subtle Is the Lord…” by Abraham Pais, Oxford University Press, 1982.
    .
    [2] String theory, quantum loop gravity, twistor theory, and a dog’s breakfast of others. (Yes, Roger Penrose’s twistors have popped up once more; see Penrose, “The Road to Reality,” Knopf, 2004, pp 072-1009.)

  44. Olorin, I cannot agree more.

    Throwing in ‘relativity’ and ‘quantum mechanics’ sounds interesting, but you shoot yourself in the foot if you then show such ignorance on how these theories came into being.

  45. Michael . . . . . on May 28, 2010 at 4:39 am l

    Olorin,

    By posting in three different screen names may delight yourself, but in reality it’s foolishness. People are learning how you protect evolution by holding it’s value to cult-like status.

    Can anyone make any sense out of this? I’m not sure I can even winkle out the grammar. Michael, three screen names have absolutely nothing to do with the cult status of anything. (Although I am aware of a cult where a single person has three names.)

    .

    Michael . . . . . on May 28, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Michael: “2) It lacks an explanation and experimentation for evidence on origins which has a direct impact on evolutionary natural processes.”

    “Eelco notes, abiogenesis is not part of Darwinian evolution”

    Spontaneous generation was embraced by Darwin. Your answer lacks explanation and experimentation for evidence!

    a) Michael again confuses theology, where authority rules, with science, where evidence rules. How many times must we correct this? Seventy times seven, it seems.

    b) Eelco’a answer that “abiogenesis is not part of Darwinian evolution” does not require explanation; it is a simple fact. Likewise, what kind of “experimentation” would you envisage for a historical fact? Must we recreate Darwin’s life and see if he still thinks the same thing?

    .

    Michael . .. . . . on May 28, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Creation science fits into “Classic Physics” mold, a point that seems to have alluded you!

    In what way does creationism fit into classical physics? Does it disbelieve in relativity and quantum mechanics?

    In what way does your point “allude me”? What part of me does your point make an indirect reference to?

  46. Eelco,

    lol, really…Do you know what you missed in your assumption? I didn’t mention one thing about spontaneous generation or Abiogenesis being Darwinian in origin. Just like the writer who is pro-evolution whom linked using the term “early evolution” in describing how life through a miracle arose. Let me tell you something, without chemical evolution, there is no Darwinian evolution. Do you know what I mean? Having no observational data for origins renders the rest useless in explaining nature when it comes to science. Now philosophy doesn’t require that. It can get by by filling in stories that you believe are true or factual in it’s present form in vast complexity but maybe not in the future. You hold to a different standard when it comes to evolution or consensus theories (such as the big bang which will more complex as more falsifications continue) verses common ones.

  47. Michael, do you not even remember what you wrote ?

    This is what you wrote:

    “2) It lacks an explanation and experimentation for evidence on origins which has a direct impact on evolutionary natural processes.”

    And that is what I commented on. I can only comment on what you wrote, right ?

  48. Michael . . . . . . on May 29, 2010 at 2:24 am

    lol, really…Do you know what you missed in your assumption? I didn’t mention one thing about spontaneous generation or Abiogenesis being Darwinian in origin.
    </blockquote?

    Indeed, Michael can't seem to remember what he said.

    Michael . . . . . . on May 28, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Spontaneous generation was embraced by Darwin.

    As to abiogenesis, Michael makes a category error. Spontaneous generation is a theory about how abiogenesis happened. Abiogenesis is merely the event itself, not a theory about the event. .

  49. Olorin,

    His response came from this statement about weaknesses not of which he believes does exists in it’s present form but maybe in the future about the theory of evolution and other theories connected to the same cause naturalism, this is what I posted (one of two)“It also lacks an explanation and experimentation for evidence on origins which has a direct impact on evolutionary natural processes.” There is nothing that makes this a “category error” only his response was which was built upon a strawman that he invented. I suggest you go back and re-read what he responded to first and not take such a position based on bias and blind faith…

    “Spontaneous generation was embraced by Darwin.”

    This is not a “category error” either which is why he responded something along the lines of “who cares.” Unless the both of you are hiding from the world, you two should know better than to say stuff like that based on those two original statements, one of which was re-quoted for memory purposes…

  50. Sure, Michael, reread the replies !

    By the way, my ‘who cares’ reply was aimed at the use of ‘Darwin’, i.e. it does not matter what Darwin embraced or not. That is completely irrelevant for the validity of the theory of evolution, or any scientific theory.

  51. So again, Michael, the origin of life (abiogenesis) is not the same as the origin of species, which is what evolution deals with.

  52. I can’t begin to parse the grammar in Michael’s comment of May 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm, let alone winkle out any wisp of logic that may have become inadvertently trapped therein.

    So I’ll just restate the problems with Michael’s earlier comment of even date, at 10:09 am.

    (a) Michael’s comment on May 29 at 2:24 am claims that Michael never said that the theory of spontaneous generation was Darwinian. Yet his comment on the previous day, May 28 at 4:36 am, stated that spontaneous generation was embraced by Darwin. We call this a CONTRADICTION.

    (b) Michael’s comment on May 29 at 2:24 am claims that Michael never said that the theory of abiogenesis was Darwinian. But abiogenesis is not a “theory” at all. Abiogenesis does not propose any kind of an explanation as to how life arose from nonliving matter. We call this a CATEGORY ERROR.

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