February 02, 2013

Top Problems with Evolutionary Teaching Today

Darwin's birthday is coming up February 12th and many creationists will celebrate it as Question Evolution Day as a platform for pointing out faults with the theory and raising awareness of these faults in the public arena. For me, Darwin's birthday immediately reminds me of how his views have been misrepresented by atheists in order to attempt to prop up atheistic belief. For example, Richard Dawkins offers false statements such as the following one in his book The God Delusion:

"Unlike anyone before them, they [including Darwin] provided explanations of our universe that completely rejected supernatural agents."

Contrary to Dawkins' claim, it is a matter of the most obvious historical record that Darwin's own explanation of life and evolution did not reject supernatural agents. Quite the opposite, Darwin made it clear in his final quintessential 6th edition of On the Origin of Species that he believed there must have been divine agency involved in the origin of life. And, well, there could not have been any form of evolution if there was no life to begin with.

Contrary to Dawkins' claim, Darwin's theory promoting macro-evolution was presented in a pro-theistic context. Both the introduction and the conclusion of the 6th edition of On the Origin of Species promulgate the opinion that the theory of evolution is dependent upon God's existence as a metaphysical starting place. For specific quotes and page references regarding these issues, see article, "How Dawkins Reinvents Darwin".

We not only have problems today with historical revisionism and the context of evolutionary teaching, we also have serious problems with the content of evolutionary teaching. I outlined in a previous article, "Why Atheists Fear Debate", how Ernst Haeckel's 19th Century erroneous drawings and theories are still being supported in public school textbooks and by university teachers such as P.Z. Myers.
 
But these issues are just the beginning of the problems. Evolutionary News and Views has summarized a number of foundational problems in their article, "What Are the Top Ten Problems with Darwinian Evolution?" I prefer to discuss and debate more philosophical types of questions. But, if you like discussing scientific issues related to evolution, I suggest you go to their website and post some comments. Also, Bob Sorensen welcomes civilized debate on evolution at The Question Evolution Project Facebook Page.

There are a number of foundational problems with evolutionary teaching today and one of the main problems is that students in public schools and in many colleges and universities aren't permitted to point out such problems. This is not to mention the fact that students are not permitted to discuss Darwin's belief in God. In my opinion, political correctness and secular atheist hegemony in academia are perhaps the biggest problems of all.

Note: Bob Sorensen explained that the Question Evolution Project centers around  15 Questions for Evolutionists and will include a recorded oral debates which would be distributed to tens of thousands of people. Bob said, "If you are confident in your evolutionary beliefs, please make the necessary arrangements via this free chat room. You can make the necessary arrangements with the chat room moderators Shockofgod or VivaYehshua. Alternatively, you can email Shockofgod via his YouTube mail. If you want to know more about the debate, any and all questions should be directed to Shockofgod or VivaYehshua."

After posting this challenge on my blog, so far, not one ant-creationist who frequents my blog was willing to register and publicly debate. At my blog, there was the usual heckling from the peanut gallery, but not one anti-creationist was able to offer any evidence regarding the first two important questions of the fifteen. The main answer to the first two important questions has been, "We don't know yet..."

(updated 02/06/13)

Tags: Richard Dawkins' historical revisionism, Darwin believed in God, top problems with evolutionary teaching today, foundational problems with evolutionary theory, Question Evolution Day 2013, atheist hegemony in academia

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49 comments:

  1. Both the introduction and the conclusion of the 6th edition of On the Origin of Species promulgate the opinion that the theory of evolution is dependent upon God's existence as a metaphysical starting place.

    Debunked here:
    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-dawkins-reinvents-darwin.html?showComment=1329170489015#c7296722234284939334

    Ernst Haeckel's 19th Century erroneous drawings and theories are still being supported in public school textbooks and by university teachers such as P.Z. Myers.

    Based on another evolution opponent's position. Citation from Myers, please.

    Evolutionary News and Views has summarized a number of points in their article, "What Are the Top Ten Problems with Darwinian Evolution?"

    Which consist of a number of summaries of long-discredited points. Indeed, it's pretty clear that that article, much like this one, hopes that the readers don't dig further, and find out what the other side has said.

    In my opinion political correctness and atheist hegemony in academia are perhaps the biggest problems.

    Are you prepared to have the theory that Odin formed the earth out of the body of a frost giant taught and discussed in school?

    It has exactly as much evidence as the Christian claims.

    If so, then you are at least consistent.

    If not, then you are being a hypocrite.


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    1. Imnotandrei has proven himself to be unwilling to carrying on a civil debate without consistently resorting to slander and name calling.

      After a prolonged game of cat and mouse, Imnotandrei finally admitted on September 10 that he had made a false and slanderous claim that an article of mine had been "discredited" without showing any evidence of this whatsoever:

      If it is so important to you, I'll say it -- on August 28th, it had not been formally discredited.

      Yet, even though he admitted this at 7.44 AM, by 10.26 AM he was back at it,  calling me a liar.

      Imnotandrei has claimed my article here is a lie because famous atheist apologists today do supposedly utilize logic properly and adequately in their lives and arguments. Though not in my article, he cited Stephen Law as an example. However, Law had displayed a low regard for logic and logical principles in his attitude as a professional philosopher.

      In a post of his, Stephen Law had claimed that he was "more impressed" by Dawkins' chapter in the God Delusion outlining his central argument after Law had read it for the second time. Later, however, when repeatedly asked to comment on the logic of the chapter, Law stated,"I think Dawkins argument is non-scientific, and probably flawed..."

      When I asked Law to present a summary of his favorite argument , his EGC argument, he stated, "The argument is already out there in various forms, Rick." In accordance with the bare minimum of logical consequence, the form and wording of an argument are highly important and so we can see that Law does not seem to hold a high regard for very basic logical principles. Thus, Imnotandrei's knee-jerk claim that I am a "liar" is shown to be unsubstantiated.

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    2. Continued

      I simply do not have time to regularly chase down all of Imnotandrei's false claims and slander and correct him. I find his knee-jerk and habitual slanderous statements to make it quite impossible to carry on a civilized discourse. I welcome civilized discourse and debate with atheists who are interested in keeping it civilized.

      As far as his comments are concerned, he claims Darwin's own comments on a creator breathing life into creation have been "debunked" which is quite amusing. It's almost as amusing as Anonymous claiming that Peter Singer does not promote infanticide even though Singer's books plainly state he does support it in personal quotes.

      Imnotandrei claims that a noted article has been debunked: "What Are the Top Ten Problems with Darwinian Evolution?" If so, will some civilized defender of his point please offer one example of the first point on the list and show exactly where it is debunked? Here is the point:

      1. Lack of a viable mechanism for producing high levels of complex and specified information. Related to this are problems with the Darwinian mechanism producing irreducibly complex features, and the problems of non-functional or deleterious intermediate stages. (For details see: "The NCSE, Judge Jones, and Bluffs About the Origin of New Functional Genetic Information," "Do Car Engines Run on Lugnuts? A Response to Ken Miller & Judge Jones's Straw Tests of Irreducible Complexity for the Bacterial Flagellum," "Opening Darwin's Black Box," or "Can Random Mutations Create New Complex Features? A Response to TalkOrigins");

      When I have briefly perused posts critical of the above article, I have seen a lot of hyperbole and name calling, but I have not seen one example that challenges even the first point of the article. As I mentioned in the article, I generally do not debate on the subject of evolution, but if there is any civilized person who wishes to defend it, you are welcome to post your evidence.

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    3. R:Lack of a viable mechanism for producing high levels of complex and specified information.

      And what do you mean by that word salad? If you are talking about DNA, then the answer is chemistry. If you are also thinking that from something simple, something complex cannot arise you are also mistaken.

      R:Related to this are problems with the Darwinian mechanism producing irreducibly complex features, and the problems of non-functional or deleterious intermediate stages.

      There are no such things as "irreducibly complex features", that point was also addressed during the Dover trial.

      R:Contrary to Dawkins' claim, it is a matter of the most obvious historical record that Darwin's own explanation of life and evolution did not reject supernatural agents.

      As always you continue to lie. Dawkins never claimed that Darwin himself rejected supernatural explanations. And yes, the evolutionary explanation on the diversity of life on the planet does reject the supernatural idiocy even by Darwin.

      R:I outlined in a previous article, "Why Atheists Fear Debate", how Ernst Haeckel's 19th Century erroneous drawings and theories are still being supported in public school textbooks and by university teachers such as P.Z. Myers.

      And you are an ignorant fool, Rick. Yes, Haeckel did make some minor mistakes in his drawings, but they were corrected long ago. Do you even know the stages of developement of a foetus?

      R:There are a number of foundational problems with evolutionary teaching today and one of the main problems is that students in public schools and in many colleges and universities aren't permitted to point out such problems.

      Ehhh...Which problems?

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    4. 1. Lack of a viable mechanism for producing high levels of complex and specified information.

      As Anonymous cited, when in a court of law under penalty of perjury, the *originator* of the term "irreducible complexity" admitted that his scientific simulation work with David Snoke suggested that, given the amount of time and space evolution had to work with, the evolution of the feature discussed was possible.

      So, there; one of the prime scientific lights of ID admits that his own work supports an evolutionary premise.

      Read the testimony here:
      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day12am.html

      There you go, Rick.

      And that took me 5 minutes of Google. Like I said; a collection of long-discredited points.

      Speaking of ad-hominem:
      "so we can see that Law does not seem to hold a high regard for very basic logical principles. "

      He doesn't hold a high regard for your desires for form. As you've been told again and again, they're not the same.

      And if *that* is what you're basing your claim I'm "slandering" you on, I think you're the one who's due to apologize. To me, and to Stephen Law.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the mention of "The Question Evolution Project". We're pressing toward "Question Evolution Day" on February 12 (Darwin's birthday), and momentum is pretty good, much better than last year.

    One note of clarification, if people want to debate just for the sake of being contentious or trying to convert us to atheism or evolutionism at the Facebook Page, they'll meet Maxwell's Silver Banhammer. It is primarily a resource, but honest questions are welcome.

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    1. translation: anyone who will doubt creationism will be kicked out 8)

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    2. >"if people want to debate just for the sake of being contentious"

      - Thanks for emphasizing that point. Unfortunately, no matter how many times I ask for atheists at my blog to try to discuss issues in a civilized manner, it seems somewhat futile. If anyone doubts this, just look at some comments from the last post:

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2013/01/peter-singers-infanticide-at-princeton.html?showComment=1359893460194#c6032024783833006452

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    3. You know, if dozens of people end up in the same pattern with you, maybe the problem lies in you and not in them? 8)

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    4. "translation: anyone who will doubt creationism will be kicked out 8)"

      "You know, if dozens of people end up in the same pattern with you, maybe the problem lies in you and not in them? 8)"

      Case in point, this guy is impugning my integrity by simply asserting things. Also, we have seven Admins, so it's not "my problem". Third, we have atheists, agnostics and others who like the page and join in. When they act like jerks, they'd be shown the door. Especially when they lie. When they come back under another fake name, that shows up quickly and gets banned as well. Don't like the way we do things? Make your own Page, then I can come along and tell you that I don't like your rules, you should do things MY way. Yeah, we get several control freak atheopaths.

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    5. The second post was addressed to Rick and not to you, Stormbringer. Most of the people Rick engages in sooner or later just snap out.

      You can do whatever you want on your page, Stormbringer. However, your reputation is already as low as it gets on the net and it is considered as a little club for ignorant creationists. It does not matter if the members are theist, atheists or agnostics. The people gathered have no knowledge whatsoever on biology and most of them have a theistic vested interest in the matter. They remind me of people, claiming that no human being could have built the egyptian pyramides and only aliens could have done this. The denial of evolution is even more embarassing than the denial of gravitation.

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    6. Ad hominems and prejudicial conjecture noted. Funny how bitterness, bigotry and basic lack of logic are applied by angry people, whether it's me, Rick, God himself, Christians in general or whatever.

      As for my reputation on the Web... Why should I care what unemployed bigoted atheopaths acting like angry schoolchildren plotting revenge on the headmaster that caught them torturing a cat on the playground think of me? They're not the ones I care in the least about impressing.

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    7. Stormbringer, perhaps you ought to look at who you're defending before you go into complaints about "Ad hominems and prejudicial conjecture."

      The original point was that again and again, people who try to debate Rick (a debate he *invites*) come to the conclusion that he lies, bends and twists evidence, and runs away from points his opponents make.

      When it happens over and over and over again, from people who come from disparate circumstances -- some atheists, some not -- is it not a reasonable conclusion that there's something going on with Rick?

      Or, to put it in his favorite form:

      Premise: Many different people come to argue with Rick Warden.
      Premise: The vast majority of these people come to the conclusion that Rick Warden is a liar and dishonest debater.
      Conclusion: This tends to suggest the high probability that Rick Warden is a liar and dishonest debater.

      When they act like jerks, they'd be shown the door. Especially when they lie.

      So, Rick would be shown the door at your site, as he repeatedly resorts to the argument ad hominem and distorting facts, along with outright lies.

      Thank you.

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    8. Atheopaths love to resort to crying, "LIAR!" whenever they are bested in discussions, do not agree, do not understand (common), or someone presents something they just don't like. So, prove he is lying. Don't forget to give proof that he intends to deceive.

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    9. So, prove he is lying. Don't forget to give proof that he intends to deceive.

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/reg-hyde-rode-up-mountain-atheist-and.html?showComment=1347298010498#c5305657635629701242

      You can follow the thread from there. That's just the example Rick cited *himself*.

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-rutherford-institute-challenges.html?showComment=1344077909365#c3698043702279294806

      For another example.

      Rick repeatedly misrepresents other people's statements, and when called upon it -- does not alter what he does. That is lying, pure and simple.

      Oh -- and let us not forget his endorsement (unless he's withdrawn it) of noted academic fraud David Barton, just as further evidence of his respect for truth. ;)

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    10. And if you need further, Stormbringer, I'll go dig them up; I spent just a few minutes on this, because I find it hard to believe that you really are likely to change your opinion of Rick based on this evidence. I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.

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    11. Stormbringer,

      When asked to prove I am lying, Imnotandrei offers a link to an article by Stephen Law in critique of Alvin Plantinga. Does a critique of Alvin Plantinga represent a formal argument by Law against God's existence? No, it does not.



      If anyone didn't notice, Imnotandrei did not even address my point in calling me a liar here. Sadly, Imnotandrei is just a time-waster. That's why I don't even bother attempting any new debates with him:

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/reg-hyde-rode-up-mountain-atheist-and.html?showComment=1359932681306#c6606832466144411960

      This is what I wrote:

      "Show a clear example of a quote and a link where Stephen Law uses a valid logical form and structure in one of his arguments. Show where he at least summarizes his arguments in a logical sequence of premises."

      Question: When Stephen Law critiques another philosopher, does that offer "his arguments" in a logical format? No. Does Law's own famous EGC argument offer any sense of cohesive logical syntax or logical consequence? No, it does not. Law actually claims that any "various forms" of his argument that may be found on the Internet and would offer a valid representation of his argument! - As noted at this link:

      http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=1645439856635422478#editor/target=post;postID=6387764403501300692

      Obviously, the wording and syntax of a logical argument is of immense importance. Hence , Law's low regard for logical principles is well documented. And, the premise of my argument that began the whole "liar" name calling remains true:

      "P1. The top atheist apologists mainly avoid or misuse logical laws and principles."

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/03/why-top-atheist-apologists-avoid-logic.html

      The most prominent atheists do in fact avoid and misuse logical laws and principles as documented in that article and Law does not offer much of a hope at all with regard to changing that perception, rather, he reinforces it.

      So, Imnotandrei still has no valid support whatsoever for his noted slander regarding that article. Because such secular detractors continue to repeat false accusations, it seems another article is in order to set the record straight once and for all complete with a full list of referenced comments.

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    12. When asked to prove I am lying, Imnotandrei offers a link to an article by Stephen Law in critique of Alvin Plantinga. Does a critique of Alvin Plantinga represent a formal argument by Law against God's existence? No, it does not.

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/pastor-teesdale-wins-three-year-battle.html?showComment=1347196635653#c6703879728345926064

      You didn't say "Law was not presenting a formal argument by Law against God's existence."

      You have *repeatedly* asserted that Law "doesn't use logical principles."

      And, when you were called on it, you repeated it.

      And the paper linked in the comment above is using logical principles; not the *form* you prefer, but the *principles*.

      Since you have repeated the claim over and over again, one of two things is possible: 1) You simply do not understand the concept of logical principles, or 2) you are a liar and serial misrepresenter of the truth.

      Pick one, Rick.

      Hence , Law's low regard for logical principles is well documented

      No; Law's lack of desire to use your preferred format (which you use poorly, when you use it) is documented by your claims. Again, you persist in your falsehoods; this makes you a *liar*.

      hatsoever for his noted slander regarding that article.

      Calling you a liar isn't slander, Rick. It's just simple truth.

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  3. Back to the main point, "Question Evolution Day" evolved (heh!) from an inspiration from the "Question Evolution!" campaign of Creation Ministries International.

    Wanna fight about it? Let me help.

    Here is a challenge from Question Evolution:

    Are you willing to have a debate centered around the 15 Questions for Evolutionists via a recorded oral debate which would be distributed to tens of thousands of people? If you are confident in your evolutionary beliefs, please make the necessary arrangements via this free chat room. You can make the necessary arrangements with the chat room moderators Shockofgod or VivaYehshua. Alternatively, you can email Shockofgod via his YouTube mail. If you want to know more about the debate, any and all questions should be directed to Shockofgod or VivaYehshua.

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    1. >Are you willing to have a debate centered around the 15 Questions for Evolutionists via a recorded oral debate which would be distributed to tens of thousands of people? If you are confident in your evolutionary beliefs, please make the necessary arrangements via this free chat room.

      - I seriously doubt any of the active posting atheists at my blog would be willing to register their real names for such an event because they would likely fear being publicly embarrassed. However, if any here do wish to take up the challenge - post your names here so we can all see. :)

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    2. I don't have time for it, and I do not think that "oral debate" is the best way to handle matters of science; but I do not fear embarassment. I just don't see the point in it.

      It would be rather like debating David Barton; by the time you'd refuted one of his lies in debate, he'd have made ten more.

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    3. Of course you'd have to defend yourself against slander like you just did to Barton and you'd have to actually use logic. No wonder they fear the debate. I don't see the point in debating here because they can't think straight.

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    4. I defy you to go here:

      http://freethoughtblogs.com/rodda/2013/01/31/a-debunking-of-pseudo-historian-david-bartons-book-on-the-second-amendment/

      *read* it, rather than dismiss it out of hand, and then come back and tell me I "slandered" Barton; it is full of his misrepresentations of the historical record.

      And considering that you're at the blog of someone who believes that the syllogism is the only valid form of logical argument, but then includes the idea that "tends" and "seems" are valid logical connectors, I am amused by your concerns about "using logic."

      I don't fear a debate. But I also don't think that oral debates on science prove much of anything; it is far too easy to come to them with one's own set of "facts" and ignore the ones actually on record.

      I refer you to the technique known as the "Gish Gallop" for further upon this point.

      But first, read Rodda, and then come back and tell me why I am "slandering" Barton.

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    5. Those 15 points are a hoot!
      So much stupid in one place.
      Here's my quick answers (there wasn't much thought put into the questions, so they don't deserve thoughtful answers):
      1. We don't know how life originated, but many pieces of the puzzle have been discovered, and investigation continues.
      2. We don't know exactly, since we don't have all of the steps worked out (see 1).
      3. There are a number of different means of change to DNA. Point mutations are just one. If we have 2 organisms with the same DNA sequence, and one of them has a mutation, the information content appears to have increased, regardless of whether the mutation is bad, neutral or good.
      4. Naturali selection is not evolution on it's own, and it is one mechanism, though an important one (netural drift beng another fairly important mechanism of evolution).
      5. Look at Lenski's long running experiement, where a new biochemical pathway was evolved, allowing e coli bacteria to consume citrate.
      6. We don't know for certain they aren't designed, but we have a successful explanation which makes no reference to design, and no succssful explanations that do refer to design.
      7. Bacteria today often form colonies and display similar behaviour to multicellular organisms.
      8. Sex allows genetic recombination, which increases the available genetic diversity.
      9. Fossilisation is a rare event. We now have many more fossils which show obvious transitional features than Darwin had.
      10. We do not know they are "unchanged". That claim is based upon little change to the phenotype of the current organisms from the ancient coparison organisms. If a population of organisms doesn't become subject to new selection pressures, the current selection pressures will simply be selecting for the same traits, and semi-stasis would not be unusual.
      11. Mind is a result of brains. Meaning is the result of minds, therefore of brains. Altruism is an evolutionary strategy which increases the success of the group. There doesn't appear to be any transcendant meaning to life, but each person seems able to find their own personal meaning.
      12. If we can provide a plausible evolutionary scenario for something then, even in the absence of confirmatory evidence for that story, we have shown there is no need to resort to unfalsifiable claims such as invoking the supernatural.
      13. Antibiotics - we keep having to change them because we know bacteria become resistent. AIDS drugs, which are taken as a caocktail to reduce the chances that the virus will evolve resistence.
      14. Science is not about experiementing. It's about observation, hypothesising and hypothesis testing. we can do this in the lab, or historically.
      15. Evolution is not fundamentally religious, not dogmatic, and explains the evidence rather well. There is no competitive scientific theory.

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    6. For anyone who actually is interested in a longer, more detailed version of the answers to such questions, they may want to read the series of posts that starts there.

      Note how he says that to fully answer those questions he'd need to make a huge post, so he cut his reply up into three posts.

      That's why creationists insist on verbal debates, while real scientists insist on written debates: In written debates and peer-review and, as creationists found out in the Dover trial, in courts of law, the written format allows each side to check the claims of the other side and then to cross-examine the other side.

      Delete
    7. Part of the answer, from the linked site, that deals with the first question: How did life originate?

      The theory of evolution says absolutely nothing about the origin of life. There. Question answered, with regard to evolution. Now, as for my answer to the actual question? I don’t know how life originated, and no one is actually sure what the answer to that question really is. But evolution is not claimed to explain the origins of life; rather, it is intended to explain the diversity of life. You are assuming that, because the theory of evolution deals with biological life, it must therefore explain where biological life comes from. That’s about the same as saying that, because the theory of gravity deals with matter, it must be able to explain the origins of matter, despite the fact that the theory itself has nothing to do with the origins of matter, whatsoever.

      For those who are not satisfied with the answer, as I know every creationist will not be, he recommends reading about abiogenesis, which is a different topic.


      For the hell of it, from Bob's Question Evolution facebook page:
      Evolutionism dominates the media, education and so on. Pages like this are "equal time" to present information that is ignored and often suppressed. We attempt to help raise awareness that true science is not afraid to examine contrary evidence and allows alternative theories to the interpretation of the evidence (such as creation science). Specifically, evolutionists should not have the right to shout down, censor, censure or intimidate creationists / ID proponents.
      Ok. Read the part in bold. Now, take a gander at where Bob got those questions from. Creation Ministries International.

      Now, have a look at the CMI's Statement of faith:

      By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.
      So, anything that goes against Genesis is automatically tossed.

      Now, what was that about "true science" not being afraid of contrary evidence and looking at alternative theories again?

      Delete
  4. Stormbringer: ...via a recorded oral debate
    What is it with idiots like you and Rick and your love of oral debate?
    Answers to ALL of those questions can be found in the scientific literature. To explain each one in depth takes far more time than it takes for someone like you to spout of an ignorant question or assertion - it's such a common strategy from apologists that it has a name, the Gish Gallop.

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    1. You know, it's almost tempting to take him up on it -- because I have no credentials.

      I mean, I never took a college biology course.

      So, if *I* can adequately challenge them, well....

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    2. The CMI's responses to those questions just as full of fail as the questions themselves :-)

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    3. So far, we have a very revealing summary of comments. I couldn't help but add an addendum to the article:

      After posting this challenge on my blog, so far, not one ant-creationist who frequents my blog was willing to register and publicly debate. At my blog there was the usual heckling from the peanut gallery, but not one anti-creationist was able to offer any evidence regarding the first two important questions of the fifteen. The main answer to the first two important questions has been, "We don't know yet..."


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    4. BTW, how life originated and DNA has originated has little to do with evolution. That is abiogenesis, at least learn the ABC.

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    5. but not one anti-creationist was able to offer any evidence regarding the first two important questions of the fifteen.

      1) Miller-Urey. The statement: "Even if every atom in the universe were an experiment with all the correct amino acids present for every possible molecular vibration in the supposed evolutionary age of the universe, not even one average-sized functional protein would form." is simply fallacious, and appears to follow the traditional creationist canard that either things happen by design, or by pure random chance.

      2) Sometimes the answer is "We don't know." What you are engaging in is the fallacy of the argument from ignorance -- "You don't know means you're wrong." Claiming to know something unverifiable is not a stronger position than admitting to a gap in one's knowledge.

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  5. so far, not one ant-creationist who frequents my blog was willing to register and publicly debate.

    Also; there are challenges not worth answering. If I called up William Lane Craig, and challenged him to a written debate, to be published in pamphlet form when we were done, what do you think his response would be?

    Or, to make the metaphor better; what if I challenged WLG to a trial by combat? He would refuse because it would not be relevant, in his mind, to the truth-finding process. Debating people who demonstrate, from their very premises, that they're not paying attention to the scientific process, about science, is much the same.

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  6. Rick: ...so far, not one ant-creationist who frequents my blog was willing to register and publicly debate.
    I provided responses and you've ignored them.
    I would be happy to engage in a written debate. An oral debate would make it too easy for people like yourself, who care more about their ideology than engaging in honest dialog to approach what is likely true, to engage in a Gish Gallop.

    Rick: At my blog there was the usual heckling from the peanut gallery, but not one anti-creationist was able to offer any evidence regarding the first two important questions of the fifteen.
    That's because there is no current successful explanation. your favourite, "God did it" hasn't been developed past a short sentence, let alone expanded to the sort of detail, and being supported by the quality and quantity of evidence that would make it a successful explanation.

    Rick: The main answer to the first two important questions has been, "We don't know yet..."
    "...and neither do you, and at least we're working on it".
    Lets see, we know the organic building blocks can be formed abiotically under a number of conditions. We know that these building blocks can self assemble under a number of conditions. We know that short segments of these building blocks can replicate. We know that abiotically formed fatty acids can spontaneously assemble into "bubbles". We know these bubbles can grow and divide. We know these bubbles can contain and concentrate the short segments of building blocks. We know these building blocks can undergo mutation and selection for better replication.
    We know all of that, which is basically enough to say "Well, life can form naturalistically". We don't know exactly how DNA came about. We don't know that RNA preceeded DNA, but it's a reasonable assumption, as it is both simpler, and can act as a replicator and enzyme. We don't know if it was metabolism the came first. There are unanswered questions, but as I pointed out, we do know about the pieces of the puzzle.
    Now, as far as the "God did it" hypothesis. The hypothesis itself lacks any sort of detail, so we cannot make any sort of meaningful predictions. We cannot test this hypothesis. The hypothesis is unfalsifiable, and can be used to explain any piece of evidence that might be found. We don't even have any reasonable independant evidence that the putative agent actually exists, let alone is willing, able, and motivated to create life exactly as we find it.

    The comparison between abiogenesis and supernatural genesis is not a fair comparison at all. "God did it" simply does not stand up to scrutiny, and no one seems willing to develop the hypothesis such that it can be tested (probably because it might then be falsified).

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  7. Rick, since you're basically calling all the atheist commenters here cowards, perhaps you'd be willing to man up and present a detailed explanation of your own for the first 2 questions?

    You should provide a similar level of detail as you would expect from a non-supernatural explanation, otherwise you're simply playing favourites with your god hypothesis.

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    1. 5 days and still waiting...

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    2. Oh, I bet he's never coming back; he's posted something else, and after all, he can only pay attention (it seems) to one comment thread at a time. Of course, he also took the time to repost his last article to his xanga.com address, running away from all the people who responded to him here.

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    3. We can also add to the equation the problem with laws of nature and miracles here. If we assume the appearance of life is a miracle that defy the laws of nature, then we have no way of knowing if our understanding of the laws of nature are flawed or it was just divine meddling. We have no way of telling the difference between a miracle and a process we do not understand the mechanism.

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    4. Notice how Havock demands that I debate on a subject that I stated from the outset I prefer not debate on. The article states:

      "I prefer to discuss and debate more philosophical types of questions. But, if you like discussing scientific issues related to evolution, I suggest you go to their website and post some comments. Also, Bob Sorensen welcomes civilized debate on evolution at The Question Evolution Project Facebook Page."

      As far as I can see, not one secular atheist here at my blog who offers to be knowledgeable of evolution is willing to debate creationists who have an interest in doing the same.

      If any such secularist at my blog has taken up the challenge, do post your name here so we can all see it.

      Havock seems to be too busy making absurd demands regarding support for his slander here at this blog:

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2013/02/slander-logic-and-venn-diagrams.html?showComment=1360588561073#c3974435927590708237



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    5. Notice how Rick demands that people debate only on things of his choosing, and in his preferred manner, including ignoring people defending themselves against his defamation:

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2013/02/slander-logic-and-venn-diagrams.html?showComment=1360167020127#c9064299636873530321




      As far as I can see, not one secular atheist here at my blog who offers to be knowledgeable of evolution is willing to debate creationists who have an interest in doing the same.


      As usual, moving the goalposts.

      I'd love to debate; I prefer not to do so orally, because an oral debate, by its very nature, permits well-known creationist tactics that aim, not to reach truth, but to win debates.

      Perhaps I'll go over and do just that, in writing, and then you'll be quiet.

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    6. I would like to remind that Rick himself refuses to take part in oral debates. Yet he somehow criticizes his opponents, who also do not like to take part in oral debates. Double standard anyone?

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    7. Rick, you called the atheist commentators here cowards for not taking up the challenge. You said that there had been no answers for the first 2 questions apart from "I don't know".

      Since there actually are no successful explanations for those questions presently, an answer of "I don't know" is correct and shows humility.

      I was asking whether you or Stormbringer had explanations for those questions. You obviously believe you do, else you wouldn't have pointed out the "I don't know" responses as being somehow inadequate.

      I won't hold my breath waiting for either of you to provide a response.

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  8. Doing copy-n-paste from pooling of ignorance sites like (ir)RationalWiki and propaganda.talk.origins does not count as answering the questions. Neither does guessing, being insulting, bloviating or making stuff up. The fact is, the questions remain unanswered, if you bother to check at creation.com. So...no takers on the debate challenges?

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    1. Like I said above, perhaps this evening I'll wander over and discuss in writing; though I notice that you are already poisoning the well by ruling out your opponent's evidence; why is your linking acceptable, and other people's not?

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    2. >Doing copy-n-paste from pooling of ignorance sites like (ir)RationalWiki and propaganda.talk.origins does not count as answering the questions.

      - Posting actual quotes and ideas would be above average for the secular comment posters at this blog. Over the years I've noticed it's usually more like, "Here is a link to an article that disproves you!"

      And, when pressed to clearly point out where in the article the proof lies, there is no actual proof in the article at all.

      There probably won't be any takers on your challenge, Stormbringer.

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    3. Stormbringer: The fact is, the questions remain unanswered, if you bother to check at creation.com.
      The fact remains, the people are Creation.com would be unable to accept any answers due to their ideological commitments.
      The fact remains that answers to their questions exist in the primary academic literature, but they (and you) seem too lazy to bother looking for it.

      Would you like to discuss any particular question, or are you happy celebrating your own lack of knowledge?

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    4. Stormbringer
      Doing copy-n-paste from pooling of ignorance sites like (ir)RationalWiki and propaganda.talk.origins does not count as answering the questions.
      So you want to ignore all the information those sites have? No surprise. Would you rather we make shit up??

      Neither does guessing, being insulting,...
      *Ahem* Pot--kettle--black time Stormy

      ...bloviating or making stuff up. The fact is, the questions remain unanswered, if you bother to check at creation.com.
      Ah. So evolutionist sites are NOT allowed, but creationist sites are? Yeah. Nice example of a censorship-free standard by Stormy.

      So...no takers on the debate challenges?
      How can there be, really? You won't allow evolutionary sources to be used.

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  9. Oh, yes; Rick; do remember that "unwilling to debate" and "unwilling to have an oral debate on a topic" are different things. I'm more than willing to have a written debate.

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