Junk, Consensus, and Jurassic Park

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, May 28, 2015 40 comments

by Steve Risner

“The art of junk science is to brush away just enough detail to reach desired conclusions, while preserving enough to maintain an aura of authoritative science,” according to “Criminal Law Forensics: Century of Acceptance May Be Over,” an article in the January 8, 2009 issue of the New York Law Journal.

Evolution is a fact! Seriously, we see things “evolve” all the time. That is, of course, if by “evolve” we mean change. Things change all the time. This is true if we’re talking about the development of the automobile, the fork, writing, and even life. One of the issues with the debate of creation vs evolution is the issue of terms. VERY frequently, an evolutionist will point to “evolution” and say, “Look, this E. coli bacteria evolved over 10,000 generations to be able to survive in a different environment.” Then they’ll claim this is the same thing as molecules to man evolution. Or we’ll be shown the Peppered Moth and they’ll say, “Look! Natural selection has caused the population to change over time. This is evolution.” And this is somehow support that non-living chemicals arranged together spontaneously to birth the first life form (whatever that must have been) and over billions of years changed (evolved) into the 9 million different species of organisms we know of today.

When I say, “Evolution is a fact!” what I am saying is that life has been designed to adapt to changes in its surroundings. This is the grace of God in action. When we see the Italian Wall Lizard develop a cecal valve in just a few decades so it can survive (a cecal valve that other very closely related lizards have) we’re seeing what some call “pre-programmed” changes. This is epigenetics—a very young study of how genes are expressed. It’s pretty exciting stuff, and nearly everything I’ve read on it confirms for me the masterful hand of our Creator. All that to say that terms need to be explained before a proper dialogue can be conducted. Many times we find a conversation is going nowhere simply because we’re not speaking the same language.

Evolution from a single common ancestor is a religious proposition. But evolution happens all the time. You see, when I say “evolution” I mean two different things. Yes, antibiotic resistance is evolution in action. However, it has absolutely nothing at all to do with molecules to man evolution. The two are not actually connected at all. But the evolutionist will tell you one is proof of the other. You’re a science denier if you don’t believe this. This, of course, is far from true. The famous Lenski experiment is another “triumph of evolution in action,” but it’s really not supportive of pond scum to people evolution at all. In these two particular cases, we have degenerative changes that allow for a change in function. What that means is the organisms in question actually lost some sort of function and, as a result, they work differently. Keep in mind that both of these examples are artificially created by man.

Darwinian evolution allows for three different kinds of mutational changes—what we will term upward (increased information), neutral, and downward or degenerative (loss of information). Creationists believe two of the three actually happen—the two that we have seen happen in the real world. That is neutral and degenerative changes. For Darwinism to be correct, the first type of mutation (never before seen) is necessary and the last two are allowed for. Interesting how the creationist, whose ideas are based on reality, are called science deniers when the evolutionist hangs his hat on something we’ve never observed.

I spent the last few weeks discussing what facts and opinions are as well as what historical and observational science are. This week, I’d like to throw out there that the “science” of Darwinian evolution is “junk science” if we are forced to call it science at all. It’s consensus science, which, in my opinion, is anti-science. If you ask an evolutionist about the reasons they believe in Darwinism, they’ll very likely get around to telling you that almost all scientists believe it so it must be true. This, of course, is nonsense. Popularity doesn’t have anything to do with truthfulness. In fact, it’s easy to see that a very small portion of the “99%” of scientists who support or believe in Darwinism actually do something in their work that is related to it.

Let’s take a quick look at what Dr. Michael Crichton said about consensus science:
“…I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had…
Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus… In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus…
Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough…”

This brief explanation of how anti-science consensus can be is brilliant. I’ve read several articles on this very quote. Dr. Crichton is not specifically speaking on evolution here, but be sure that Darwinism is nothing more than consensus as is Big Bang cosmology or any other origins study. That’s right! Even creation isn’t “science” by a strict definition. We’ve been saying that all along. It’s religion. It’s philosophy.

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40 comments:

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

>"...but be sure that Darwinism is nothing more than consensus."

No. The Theory of Evolution is about evidence.

In fact, I would state without hesitation that it is based on more evidence and more kinds of evidence and arguments than virtually any other theory in all of science.

[I've yet to meet anyone who denied this who was also familiar with what evidence/arguments support The Theory of Evolution. I'm not saying that such a person doesn't exist. I'm simply saying I've never met such a person. If I had to pick a Young Earth Creationist who actually does understand at least some of the evidence for The Theory of Evolution, it would probably be Dr. Todd Wood--but I've never met him. (I have a high opinion of him because of his honesty and ideals. I so wish I could say that all or even most "creation science" ministry leaders reflect what I've seen of Dr. Wood's honesty. He stands in sharp contrast to the pathological dishonesty I've seen spiral out of control since the days when I was in the "creation science" movement as a young professor enamored of Dr. Whitcomb.)]

God chose evolutionary processes as an important part of his plan for his creation. How do I know? I've seen the evidence. And I refuse to believe God is a liar or trickster. I do not believe that he would fill his creation with piles and piles of evidence to deceive me about what he did.

And when God's other great work, the Bible, says nothing to deny evolutionary processes, I choose to believe the answers God has provided. God created evolutionary processes when he created the Laws of Physics. God did it. Creation says it. I believe it. That settles it.

Moreover, the claims of "observational science vs. historical science" can't be found in any science textbook as standard terms because nobody promotes this imagined dichotomy except creationists. (When some scientists have used those words in peer-reviewed contexts, they apply very different meanings than those we see in "creation science" websites.)

Obviously, scientists know that all science is observational science. And for that matter, all science is historical science because all data which we collect reaches us from the past. (And that's why nobody finds many scientists talking about this imagined dichotomy but plenty of non-scientists do. If they understood how science operates, they wouldn't make these kinds of errors.)

And yes, I was a science professor before becoming ordained as an evangelical minister and changing fields. (I became a seminary professor and linguistics professor. In retirement I continue my involvement in Bible translation consulting.) I mention this to avoid the typical "second round" of exchanges I experience on most forums: being called an atheist and someone telling me that "You're not a scientist either." Yes, I'm retired so because my next book reflects my second academic career on the humanities side of the university campus, I am no longer considered a publishing scientist. Yet, in the 1970's and 1980's I was and I also taught for the Dept of the History & Philosophy of Science, the academic field where we deal with how Christian philosophers of the Middle Ages developed Natural Philosophy (which today we call Science) and defined the Scientific Method. So, yes, I'm familiar with the development of science and the terms I've used above.

Also for the record, I left Young Earth Creationism because I have a high view of scripture and my study of Hebrew brought me to realize that the "creation science" and YECism that I was promoting was based on man-made traditions, not the Biblical texts.

Steve said...

As a result of threats made to this ministry (for free publicity) no comments will be published on this blog until June 1. Please feel free to leave any comments. They will be read and, if appropriate, approved but no earlier than June 1.

David J. said...

//Yes, antibiotic resistance is evolution in action. However, it has absolutely nothing at all to do with molecules to man evolution. The two are not actually connected at all. But the evolutionist will tell you one is proof of the other.//

No evolutionist who knows what they are talking about will make that claim that "one is proof of the other".
Scientists don't just look at some smaller scale evolution and extrapolate out and say "therefore we know that all known life on earth shares a common ancestor."

This paragraph from the conclusion of the talkorigins.org article "29+ Evidences for Macroevolution" explains it this way:
"These previous points are all evidence of macroevolution alone; the evidence and the conclusion are independent of any specific gradualistic explanatory mechanisms for the origin and evolution of macroevolutionary adaptations. This is why scientists call universal common descent the "fact of evolution". As explained in the introduction, none of the predictions directly address how macroevolution has occurred; nevertheless, the validity of the macroevolutionary conclusion does not depend on whether Darwinism, Lamarckism (i.e. inheritance of acquired characaters), or something else is the true mechanism of adaptive evolutionary change. The macroevolutionary conclusion stands, regardless."

Also, when are you going to post a correction about your oft repeated claim that the Lucy skeleton was an amalgamation of parts found at multiple locations?
//Keep in mind that the knee joint was not found with the rest of the skeleton. These parts were found 1.5 miles away and over 200 ft deeper.//


Charlie said...

//No evolutionist who knows what they are talking about will make that claim that "one is proof of the other".//

I can say, David, that here we COMPLETELY agree. That being said, I hear such claims all the time, from the laymen level to the PhD level. And there is a reason Steve mentioned anti-bacterial resistance as being a cited evidence for Evolution. Because both he and I keep hearing it. So if you want to suggest that no evolutionist who knows what they are talking about will suggest this, then I assume you agree that Ken Miller and Joseph Levine, the authors of the most well-used Biology textbooks in both high school and college do not know what they are talking about. Because they include anti-bacterial resistance as one of their evidences for molecule-to-man evolution. They also use the peppored moth and other very clearly mere 'adaptations' that fit perfectly with the Creation model as evidences for Evolution, very contradictory to your claim in your next sentence.
//Scientists don't just look at some smaller scale evolution and extrapolate out and say "therefore we know that all known life on earth shares a common ancestor."//

Now if they don't merely look at some smaller scale Evolution and extrapolate out, why don't they use better evidence for their books? Why are the highly publicized evidences this small scale stuff that works for Creation as well? Why is it that when we go to the PhD's for their best examples, they give us this "smaller scale evolution" and follow it by extrapolation? Why is that Gail Kennedy tells us that the reason we don't believe in Evolution is because we lack imagination (her words, not mine)? If there is such hard core evidence, why is it that only laymen like you think it is there? Why does every piece of evidence cited not actually prove Evolution is true but merely is proclaimed as why Evolution is true? We aren't making this stuff up, David.

Here is their website with several of their books.
http://www.millerandlevine.com/

The 29+ Evidences for Evolution by Talk Origins is the biggest "scientific" joke. It's not even peer-reviewed and each one has been long debunked. Here is a direct refutation of it.
http://www.trueorigin.org/theobald1b.php
The arguments are so old and out of date that even textbooks and museum displays have passed them. They still use archaeoteryx as a "transitional" species when it has been a long time since I've heard anyone worth his paycheck cite it as one. That was long proven to be a mere bird where the "transitional" parts were nothing more than an artists depiction. Don't come to us asking about scientific peer-review if you are going to use Talk Origins as one of your resources.

Steve said...

David said "Scientists don't just look at some smaller scale evolution and extrapolate out and say "therefore we know that all known life on earth shares a common ancestor.""
Yes, David. They do all the time. This is, in fact, the entire basis for the theory. The only "evidence" for Darwinism are on a very small scale (and are all explained equally by creationism). The fossil record tells no tales of Darwinism. Observation doesn't tell any tales of Darwinism. So what does if not just the imagination?

Your paragraph on the 29 evidences isn't helpful for you. It makes claims and nothing more. Have you read the response to the 29 evidences? There is NO "evidence" for Darwinism that is not easily explained by creation. Therefore, your 29 evidences are not much help for the religion of Darwinian evolution.

There is no reason to suggest my blog on Lucy is not accurate. Her discoverer defended why he included bones from 1.5 miles away at a much greater depth from a year earlier. And they are the only reason to not conclude she was just a chimp or a close relative. If you leave out the leg bone (which I personally don't care one way or the other) then the case is settled--she is a chimp and nothing more....except a baboon. But nothing more than that. That we know of. So far.

Steve said...

Talk Origins (a total joke for information) has 121 articles on bacterial resistance. Sounds like someone is talking about it...a source you used actually.

David J. said...

//Her discoverer defended why he included bones from 1.5 miles away at a much greater depth from a year earlier.//
Can you show me where he made that defense? Did he ever claim that the knee was part of the skeleton now called Lucy? Did he lie about where it was found? Maybe you're right, and I just haven't found one of the resources that show that anyone ever claimed that the knee joint was part of the Lucy skeleton.

David J. said...

//why don't they use better evidence for their books?//
They do. How many books have you read on the subject?
Any of these?
Only a Theory
Why evolution is true
The greatest show on earth
Your inner fish

Or are you just asking about high school biology textbooks? I haven't read any of those since high school biology, and my public high school biology teacher was a creationist, (and so was I at that time) so I don't think we spent much time on the topic of evolution. I can't really comment on textbooks.

David J. said...

Steve, bacterial resistance studies are important science on the mechanism of evolution. Showing that something can happen is different than showing that it did happen. There is evidence for both, but it often isn't the same evidence. That's all I'm getting at.

ashleyhr said...

Evolution has not been scientifically falsified whereas young Earth creationism has.

"The only "evidence" for Darwinism are on a very small scale (and are all explained equally by creationism)." I do not know what you mean by 'small scale' (presumably Galapagos finches and peppered moths etc?) but if that statement was true you (you and YECs in general) could convincingly show it to be so eg in a ground-breaking book or peer-reviewed science paper. For instance with respect to the fossil record and the observed pattern of which layer(s) particular fossils are consistently found in, patterns of biogeography seen today (where animals and plant species do and don't occur now), slow and gradual continental drift and the lack of any plausible mechanism to 'speed it up' in the recent or distant past, caves originally formed on land that are now under the oceans, massive polar ice caps, strong evidence for multiple past ice age glaciations, massive meteor craters yet no human record of massive nuclear-winter type environmental chaos following these impacts, results consistently obtained from a variety of radiometric dating methods applied to meteorites and igneous rocks (including cases involving zircons), distances travelled by light we see in outer space, chimp versus human chromosomes and evidence for past chromosome fusion, or the massive numbers of species which have gone unbiblically extinct. That explanations offered by (young earth) creationism are not only equally convincing as those put forward by 'Darwinism' ie science in general but more so (and not just to certain evangelical or fundamentalist Christians).

"And they are the only reason to not conclude she was just a chimp or a close relative." Except that the species was almost certainly bipedal:
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6018/750.abstract
And not similar to any extant great ape found in Africa:
http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12121.abstract

You need to address some of the most recent research.

(I have saved this text.)

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

Charlie wrote:
>"Why does every piece of evidence cited not actually prove Evolution is true but merely is proclaimed as why Evolution is true? We aren't making this stuff up, David."
>

Because EVIDENCE and PROOF are not the same thing! If you took an intro course in History & Philosophy of Science, you'd find that "evidence" and "proof" are not at all synonyms to a scientist. Proofs are found in mathematics but not in other areas of science---where COMPELLING EVIDENCE (not "proof") is the standard.

Therefore, yes, one can easily arrange a list of 29+ compelling evidences for The Theory of Evolution--but NONE of them are "proofs". If you want "proofs", enroll in a mathematics course.

>The 29+ Evidences for Evolution by Talk Origins is the biggest "scientific" joke.

It is not a "joke" among scientists. It's only a "joke" among mockers who deny science and aren't found in the top echelons of the academy in the relevant fields of science.

If you seriously believe that you have found serious errors in the peer-reviewed science which has survived decades of falsification attempts, by all means PUBLISH your ground-breaking discoveries and win yourself an endowed chair at any top university. (A Nobel Prize will come your way a few years after that.) You see, anyone who demonstrates a major shortcoming in a long-held scientific theory wins nearly instant fame and fortune. That's what Einstein did with Newton's theories. He showed them valid but incomplete--and now his name is used as a synonym for "spectacular genius."

Yet, UNTIL you publish and defend your claims before the academy, all of your bluster is just empty talk. (As a Christ-follower, I also call it disappointing hubris. But for now I will restrict my comments to only the most obviously ridiculous of your claims.)

I can name plenty of colleagues from paleontology, microbiology, geology, astrophysics, biochemistry, and other fields who have read extensively on TalkOrigins.org and were impressed by the contents. Several of them include it on relevant syllabi (as I did also until I retired.) The information there is becoming a bit dated--as even ten years represents a tremendous period of progress and discovery in science--but compared to the typical "creation science" website, which is typically a century or more behind and hopelessly obfuscated, TalkOrigins.org is quite adequate for most purposes in getting readers familiar with the fundamental issues.

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

>There is NO "evidence" for Darwinism that is not easily explained by creation.

Face-palm. Then explain how "creation" better explains nested hierarchies in our biosphere.

Are you a fan of the Omphalos Hypothesis? Do you believe God is a deceiver? Does he plant deceptive evidence "and even dinosaur bones that look very old in order to test the faith of his people and to confuse the evil atheist scientists?" That is what some pastors were preaching back in the 1940's and 1950's. I would ask them after a sermon if they were truly serious about such a claim. They assured me they were. Even THEY recognized that the EVIDENCE points to a very old earth and a long history of evolutionary processes. They assumed God was testing us by trying to fool us.)

You pretend that The Theory of Evolution is somehow the opposite of creation because you clearly don't know what the theory explains. God's creation of the universe and all life is by no means in contradiction to changes in allele frequencies in populations over time (the fundamental definition of evolution.)

Abiogenesis refers to the origins of life from non-living matter. Both science and the Bible claim that all life comes from non-living ingredients, so there is no conflict in terms of abiogenesis. (Indeed, abiogenesis is described about a half dozen times in Genesis 1 and 2. God commanded THE WATERS and THE LAND to bring forth life---and HADAM ("the red-soil human") came from "the dust of the earth",that is, the chemical elements of the earth's crust. No conflict there. Biological life has NOT existed forever. It had a beginning. So says the Bible. So says science. The origins of life are in non-living ingredients from the earth's crust. And that's what the word "abiogenesis" is talking about. It is not a "dirty word" that Christ-followers should fear.

The Bible deals with ULTIMATE CAUSATION: God. Science deals with PROXIMATE CAUSATION: the natural processes which explain how God's creation operates.

Obviously, this is why most Christians have no problems with any of this and why so many Christians who are professional scientists (and science professors) have no beefs with evolutionary processes. God didn't create a creation that is full of lies. We can trust the answers we see all around us. They tell us much about the history of life on earth and how God chose to diversify the life which came from the non-living ingredients of the earth's crust.

Of course, this is why FOOD is made from dirt. Dirt is what we came from! The Bible says we are made from dust and to the dust we will return. Science says exactly the same thing. You are frustrated at the fact that science is not theology and doesn't make comments or observations about theology. You don't understand that science is methodologically naturalistic because the Christian philosophers which first defined natural philosophy [now known as science] provides more useful explanations when it goes beyond "God did it" of theology and examines the evidence of the natural processes that operate all we observe. They realized that theology and science thrive at their best when operating under their own methodologies. [The Bible says that God is transcendent, and therefore, cannot be observed and investigated empirically. The created universe can be. That is why Christian philosophers like Bacon, Newton, Descartes, Priestly, Lavoisier, and many others developed the scientific method. Yet, so many "creation science" ministries are oblivious of history and try to attribute methodological naturalism to "materialistic atheists." What rubbish. They should give credit where credit is due---and recognize the value and importance of proximate versus ultimate causation. Centuries of Christians who helped pioneer new fields of science understood this. Why can't today's mockers of science who shame the name of Christ by their hubris?]

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

Regarding TalkOrigins.org:
> "It's not even peer-reviewed and each one has been long debunked."

It is painful for those of us who are Christ-followers to watch you embarrass yourself in this way. Again you show your need for some first year undergrad-level, if not high school level, science---at the very least.

OF COURSE Talkorigins.org is not peer-reviewed---just as no university textbook is "peer reviewed"! Peer-review applies to that which expands the boundaries of our present knowledge. It is not some sort of "professional fact-checking service".

Textbooks and information summaries present material which has already gone through the peer-review process! The information has already appeared in academic journals and has passed the test of the scientific method and rigorous attempts at falsification. There is no need to send already-known-science to journal editors for publication and review! (Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound when you make such illogical taunts? I can't help but think of the Proverbs which speak of the mocker who refuses to accept instruction. Please don't dishonor the name of Christ in this way. Most non-believers read such meaningless taunts and thing them somehow attributable to the scriptures. Discredit your own reputation, if you wish--but don't associate such claims with the Bible or the Gospel of Jesus Christ.)

I wish I could say that "TalkOrigins.org is not even peer-reviewed" was the most ridiculous of your claims. I will say that it's only the tip of the iceberg. Each paragraph of your posts reflect a discouraging misunderstanding of basic science and basic logic. Sadly, they show a profound disrespect for God's creation as a rich source of answers to our questions.

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

If you think you have something to contribute to science on origins topics, I recommend that you first:

1) Master the basic terminology and methodologies of science.

2) Investigate and learn what the word "evolution" means.

3) Learn the major categories of evidence and arguments which make the Theory of Evolution one of the best supported of all scientific theories.

4) If you think one or more of those major "pillars" which form the foundation of the theory are flawed, explain why. Do you have evidence which undermines any of those foundations?

5) Do you have an alternative theory? My guess is that you are trying to describe something akin to the 1960's "creation science" hypothesis which I would describe as "THe Theory of Special Creation of Fixed Species". (Of course, in the half century since, it has become clear that evolution has been observed at every level of taxonomy. So even Drs. Morris, Gish, and Whitcomb quietly changed from "fixed species" to "fixed kind"---though they continually frustrated scientists by refusing to define the word "kind" in taxonomic terms [though they insisted that it WAS taxonomic!] and to define the barrier which prevented "microevolution" from becoming "macroevolution" [yet another set of terms they refused to nail down.])

If you claim "fixed kinds", you need to establish them in terms of the Hebrew text of scripture [good luck with that] and in taxonomic terms. Why do nested hierarchies appear at EVERY level of taxonomy, with ZERO regard for any sort of "kind boundary"? And why do those same nested hierarchies appear at the molecular level as well? (Genome mapping provided yet another dazzling evidence of the evolutionary processes God in his wisdom created.)

6) In the light of #5, why would God try to fool us with so much evidence for evolutionary processes and billions of years of history if they never happened (and aren't happening now)? Does that sound like the God of the Bible? [I hope you realize just how much your claims conflict with scripture revelation. Science and the Biblical text harmonize quite well. Science and Young Earth Creationist TRADITIONS do not harmonize at all. There is zero evidence for a young earth, zero evidence for "special creation of fixed kinds", and zero evidence for a global flood. (And when I say "zero evidence", I am referring to both scientific evidence and scriptural evidence. So far, your traditions are 0 for 2.)

I continue to favor the Biblical text over relatively recent TRADITIONS of particular denominations and movements focused primarily in North America.

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

Pride inspires us to think "I know the science better than all of the world's top scientists. I see the errors that they can't see." Sadly, this is a misunderstanding of scripture. Knowing the Creator does not impart to anyone a superior knowledge of the creation. Yet this is an attitude and misunderstanding that is easy to find in the "creation science" world.

If we TRULY believe that God authored the Bible and that God authored the universe, we should be willing to listen to God's answers in both. We should also recognize that just as "The rain falls on both the just and the unjust", so does the mastery of scientific information fall upon all according to their abilities and devotion to that study. The Bible tells us much of the WHO of creation and very little of the when, how, what, and why. (The fact that even creationists who agree on Biblical inerrancy reach very different conclusions about the WHEN questions of creation. The first IMAGO DEI creature, HADAM, apparently lived just a few thousand years ago--but the Bible does NOT claim that he was the first hominid or even the first Homo sapiens. We only are told that he was the first to be endowed with the Image of God (which Christians through the centuries have disagreed upon the exact meaning---but all agreed that it is NOT an "anatomical" image because God is a spirit, not a biological organism.)

"Creation science" has remained mired for a half century now---with absolutely ZERO contributions to scientific knowledge---because it has been devoted to DENIAL and on obfuscation of a few obscure phenomena which they can convince non-scientists are somehow problematic for scientists. (Obviously, what may have started as honest ignorance of the science has festered to become an appalling exercise in lying and deception. Satan has used that to create barriers to the Great Commission---because non-believers assume that the Gospel is linked to science denialism and pathological lying.)

Meanwhile, The Theory of Evolution has enjoyed one success after another, with entire industries based on evolutionary processes. Genome mapping and comparisons have been the ultimate slam-dunk confirmation of The Theory of Evolution. Predictions published years ago have been found accurately demonstrated in the genomes, exactly as described. At the same time, NOT ONE prediction of "special creation" has produced a single scientific discovery.

My former colleagues have told me that "If we had the big grant money, we would have produced many discoveries!" Yet, I can point to various "creation science" projects with budgets over a million dollars. What did they produce? What did they choose to pursue? In the case of the Discovery Institute, they wasted it on the RATE PROJECT: an embarrasing effort to prove their own presuppositions that radiometric dating was flawed. All they did was burn through $1.2 million+ and produce NOTHING qualifying for peer-reviewed publication, because they simply repeated the bumblings of a second year undergrad who was ignorant of a half century of refinements in radiometric laboratory procedures. As one of the board members said at the beginning of the project "We will show that radiometric dating is unreliable and inaccurate." (Great science, guys. That's how its done.) He genuinely thought that scientific research was just glorified public relations and press conferences.

It is time for "creation science" to put up or shut up. For the sake of the Great Commission, we can pray that they will finally resort to the latter. It is time they heeded the words of the Apostle Paul.

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

>They still use archaeoteryx as a "transitional" species when it has been a long time since I've heard anyone worth his paycheck cite it as one.
>

Real scientists know that ALL organisms are transitional---unless they fail to reproduce. Once again, you use terms improperly and betray your misunderstanding of what evolution means and how evolutionary processes operate. Repeating these long discredited mantras of "creation science" denialism convinces non-believers that we as Christ-followers are pathological liars. Please stop.

Yes, it is fun to pretend that all of those world-class scientists are wrong and that repeating what professional "creation science" lecturers claim (most of who have negligible scientific knowledge of the relevant fields) will somehow prove to be correct...eventually. But you sound like the D student who comes in after an exam and tries to argue why he deserves credit for each of his wrong answers---and it is the professor who doesn't know the topic. That may be fun to dream about but the Bible calls it the way of the fool, the mocker who refuses instruction.

Augustine warned believers in his day and thereafter about the folly of denying what those who are far more knowledgeable know to be true---and thereby undermining the reputation of the Bible and Gospel itself. The Church has had this problem through the Church Age. There have always been false teachers diverting some into foolish tangents which will later be lamented as damaging to the Great Commission.

The Apostle Paul said that he would only preach the cross because he said that we are to be known as fools for only one reason: the foolishness of the cross. He knew that there would be false teachers who created other kinds of fools who would appear foolish for all the wrong reasons. Augustine saw this happening in the scientific arena a few centuries later.

Consider following Jesus Christ, not the millionaire entrepreneurs who have developed very unfortunate reputations. "Creation science" has had a half century now to bear fruit. It has only born folly. It has yet to produce any discoveries because lies and folly never do.

Bible.and.Science.Forum@gmail.com said...

>Why is that Gail Kennedy tells us that the reason we don't believe in Evolution is because we lack imagination (her words, not mine)?
>

Because she is exactly right! Understanding how simple processes produce complexity calls for cognitive abilities that the students caught in rote memory and simple intuition will never grasp. That's why I assigned my students exercises which exposes their personal myopias and the boundaries of their intuition. EVERY great scientist has been a genius of not just knowledge but of imagination. The fact that you think Gail Kennedy's statement about imagination was some sort of gaffe makes me feel embarrassed for you. Is it really that difficult to understand what she described so aptly?

You remind me of the many mockers who say "Evolution is ONLY a theory!" and think that they have stated something profound. You are saying "She thinks imagination is important to understanding evolution!" OF COURSE IT IS! Just as it is important to every paradigm-expanding or paradigm-shattering theory ever proposed by the great scientists of history.

As the Proverbs remind us, the mocker hears those with knowledge share their wisdom and all they do is laugh at them. They make sport and play the fool.

I'll join Dr. Kennedy: Those who understand science recognize the importance of imagination. I fully expect the foolish to mock those who posses that knowledge and imagination. (Sometimes the Biblical truth hurts.)

Steve said...

David, I don't think bacterial resistance is evidence for anything other than bacteria can acquire a degenerative change, losing an ability that happens to be beneficial in a man made environment. It has nothing whatsoever to do with universal common descent. Thank you for clarifying. I hope I've cleared up my take on it a little.

ashleyhr said...

Steve

Thank you for approving new comments by myself and others.

I note your repeated mention of 'degenerative change' vis a vis (I assume) the E. coli bacteria in the Lenski experiment.

I did state the following on 28 May (not approved because I challenged previous moderation decisions and that is your right; the new version is PART of the post ONLY):

""Evolution from a single common ancestor is a religious proposition. But evolution happens all the time. You see, when I say “evolution” I mean two different things. Yes, antibiotic resistance is evolution in action. However, it has absolutely nothing at all to do with molecules to man evolution. The two are not actually connected at all. But the evolutionist will tell you one is proof of the other. You’re a science denier if you don’t believe this. This, of course, is far from true. The famous Lenski experiment is another “triumph of evolution in action,” but it’s really not supportive of pond scum to people evolution at all. In these two particular cases, we have degenerative changes that allow for a change in function. What that means is the organisms in question actually lost some sort of function and, as a result, they work differently. Keep in mind that both of these examples are artificially created by man."

A key finding from the ongoing Lenski experiment was that in one strain of E. coli bacteria (one known not to be able to use citrate as an energy source in an aerobic environment) developed a way to transport citrate for use as an energy source in an environment that was not devoid of oxygen. By what definition is that change 'degenerative' or a 'loss of function', and even if it was how does that falsify evolution (in the molecules to Man sense)? (I am aware that some creationists and ID proponents have suggested that some mutations affecting bacteria involve loss of function or 'information' but in these cases the E. coli bacteria were able to carry out a new function and other bacteria were sometimes able to adapt to and resist antibiotics used against them by humans.)

And antibiotic resistance does not involve degeneration or loss of function for bacteria either. And neither is antibiotic resistance 'artificially created by man' - yes, Man has developed antibiotics from nature but that does not make antibiotic resistance 'artificial'.

"Darwinian evolution allows for three different kinds of mutational changes—what we will term upward (increased information), neutral, and downward or degenerative (loss of information). Creationists believe two of the three actually happen—the two that we have seen happen in the real world. That is neutral and degenerative changes. For Darwinism to be correct, the first type of mutation (never before seen) is necessary and the last two are allowed for. Interesting how the creationist, whose ideas are based on reality, are called science deniers when the evolutionist hangs his hat on something we’ve never observed."

That is simplistic and misleading. For starters you ought to use the phrase 'beneficial mutation' rather than 'upward mutation'. And you are ignoring the reality of beneficial mutations (including some where a normally harmful effect can sometimes confer selective benefit for some individuals who may pass on the mutation to the next generation). Such as the gradual development of lactose tolerance - via lactase persistence - in adult humans when cattle were first domesticated."

(I said that I would not re-submit the post - but NOW it is MORE relevant than before, so felt I had to change my mind.)

Steve said...

Ashley:
You're very welcome and thank you for some great comments!

You said, "A key finding from the ongoing Lenski experiment was that in one strain of E. coli bacteria (one known not to be able to use citrate as an energy source in an aerobic environment) developed a way to transport citrate for use as an energy source in an environment that was not devoid of oxygen. By what definition is that change 'degenerative' or a 'loss of function', and even if it was how does that falsify evolution (in the molecules to Man sense)?"
--I see the Lenski experiment not so much falsifying molecules to man evolution as not supporting it at all. The change was degenerative because the bacteria lost the regulatory ability it once had--not being able to consume citrate in an aerobic environment was due to a regulatory protein. This regulation ceased. Hence, loss of function just like bacterial resistance.

You went on to say, "And antibiotic resistance does not involve degeneration or loss of function for bacteria either. And neither is antibiotic resistance 'artificially created by man' - yes, Man has developed antibiotics from nature but that does not make antibiotic resistance 'artificial'"

Antibiotics often work at the protein synthesis level. Mutations may prevent an antibiotic from binding to the ribosome or allow the ribosome to function even while the antibiotic is bound. Although it appears these mutations are beneficial and provide an advantage to the bacterium possessing them, they all come with a cost. Ribosomal mutations, while providing antibiotic resistance for the organism, slow the process of protein synthesis, slow growth rates, and reduce the ability of the affected bacterium to compete in an environment devoid of a specific antibiotic. Furthermore, a mutation that confers resistance to one antibiotic may make the bacterium more susceptible to other antibiotics. These deleterious effects are what would be expected from a creationist model for mutations. The mutation may confer a benefit in a particular environment, but the overall fitness of the population of one kind of bacterium is decreased as a result of a reduced function of one of the components in its biological pathway. The accumulation of mutations doesn't lead to a new kind of bacterium—it leads to extinction.

In terms of word usage, I'm fine with using the words "upward" more than "beneficial" because that, I feel, is misleading and too general. Beneficial changes could be the loss of the ability to do something necessary unless the environment drastically changes. The Lenski experiment is a perfect example. A LOSS of function turned into a beneficial change (in an artificially created environment). I'm not ignoring "beneficial mutations." I'm simply calling them what they are--a loss of function or degenerative. I hope you can at least see what I'm saying here. I'm not saying you're not right, but I'm saying you're conclusion is something I don't buy. In this instance, you would have to argue that all genetic info was present with the first living thing and since that time, due to loss of function over and over again we've arrived at humans. I'm not explaining this well, but that's the bottom line. Not new, novel info. It's a loss of genetic information.

Again, thank you for the comments. These are good.

Steve said...

Bible Science person: I have no time to argue against strawman arguments. Please take them elsewhere. I've asked you to do this more than once. Most of what you've said in your last several comments are just not worth responding to as I don't care to defend things that are not my position.
I essentially allowed your comments because of how ugly they were. My desire was for others reading to see your true colors. You're holding hands with atheists and/or God haters to attack people you should consider brothers and sisters in Christ. This is very telling concerning who you really may be. Take that how you choose.

ashleyhr said...

Ah yes - http://www.icr.org/article/evolution-antibiotic-resistance/

Criswell's article is not about the YEC 'no new genetic information' but 'net loss of genetic information' claims at all I don't think.

Charlie said...

Ashley, this is one of the reasons why I keep asking how well you actually understand what you are reading. Criswell's article DOES speak about what you think it does not. Though not directly. There are other ICR articles that dwell more directly about it. But this is from the third paragraph in the article you cited.

//Failure of DNA to properly separate during these processes results in a bacterium not being able to divide normally or produce functional proteins.//

This is precisely "loss of genetic information". It's just not explicitly stated as such. And this is what all YEC that I know speak about on this topic. The immunity comes not from evolutionary processes as claimed, but from genetic breakdowns. And we have to make sure we have something clear. Information, in context of DNA, is the instructions for how to build a protein. In no example anywhere in the world do we see a natural cause for instructions to build a protein that was not supposed to be there. What we see are breakdowns in the instructions and then the proteins themselves. This particular protein being referenced has to do with bonding which is how the antibiotics attach to the bacteria.

What it appears you did is you looked through the article and did not see "no new genetic information" or "loss of genetic information" explicitly referenced and thought this article does not address it all. It actually does, but you need to understand the science to know what is being referenced when it is not explicitly stated. You may have read the article, but your comment shows you did not understand it as well as you think you did.

ashleyhr said...

I did not read the Criswell article, Charlie (perhaps I should have spelt that out). I simply skimmed it after identifying that Steve was quoting a section from it in his last reply to me.

Your rather tired mantra that "I cannot understand what I read" is not doing you any favours.

Having now looked more closely at it, I accept what you say about the paragraph. That the general effect upon bacterial cells of antibiotics is that they are rendered unable to produce normal functional proteins. So those bacteria which fail to become resistant to antibiotics will fail to survive. But - as far as I know - those which become resistant WILL survive ie their ribosomes will still be able to produce functional proteins and some of the bacteria have developed IMMUNITY and have NOT 'broken down' genetically (which is why antibiotic resistance is such a pressing international health issue as few new effective antibiotics have come on stream in recent decades). However, because in some such cases genetic information is lost, this does not prove that the new genetic information needed for evolution (in the 'macro' sense) to be possible cannot ever be produced via gene duplication events.

The Lenski experiment which has studied E coli bacteria over time, also mentioned by Steve in his blog (but he fails to give details or a link), was not anything to do with using antibiotics against bacteria.

You state: "In no example anywhere in the world do we see a natural cause for instructions to build a protein that was not supposed to be there." Are you unaware of this or are you of the opinion that it has been in some way refuted by creationists?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon-eating_bacteria

Incidentally I rather suspect that YECs use the word 'new' to mean 'newly created out of thin air' and then say if this is not the case this proves creation because a newly acquired enzyme was genetically possible all along. But even if it was that would not disprove evolution ie evolution does not need to produce 'new' genetic information that is 'newly created out of thin air' ie it works upon what is already present (even if the change is in response to new materials in the environment, such as nylon and its byproducts, that are artificially created by humans).

Charlie said...

//I did not read the Criswell article, Charlie (perhaps I should have spelt that out). I simply skimmed it after identifying that Steve was quoting a section from it in his last reply to me.//

If this is really the case, then you should have made no comment on it. Because stating you didn't read the article actually made your case look even worse. I have no issue with lack of understanding of the articles. I have no issue with referencing authorities when we don't understand it. I don't even have a problem with skimming articles. But I do have a problem with making claims about articles you haven't read.

//Your rather tired mantra that "I cannot understand what I read" is not doing you any favours. //

When you start showing that you are actually understanding what you are citing, let alone actually reading them, I'll stop addressing it. In fact, if you quit suggesting you are well read and an 'expert' on this, I'll stop addressing it too. You talk a big game, your hand shows to be empty, and you clearly don't like being told you as the emperor have no clothes on.

I think you still lack an understanding of antibiotic resistance. Yes, the antibiotics will prevent proteins from being formed, but that does not give them immunity. What gives them immunity is a malfunction in the bonding peptide BEFORE the antibiotics were introduced.

Yes, Lenski has no relation to antibiotics and Steve was not suggesting it was. He was just citing it as another claimed example of Evolution when it does not do what is needed to prove it to be true. The Biblical model makes just as much sense of citrus-eating bacteria as it does nylon-eating bacteria. The information for that is already there. It just wasn't expressed at the time. It's not a whole lot different than being in the cold and seeing goosebumps on your arms and legs then moving to a different environment and you start sweating. You weren't sweating in the cold environment and you don't see goosebumps in a hot environment. But there's no new information here. It's always been there. Same is true with the bacteria.

What we mean by "new" information, is something that was not there before. Not talking about expressions at a given time, but genetic capabilities. In computer terminology, we are looking for a program that was not there before, a function that was not there before. You seem to think "new" means something as simple as changing "red" to "read" because "read" was not there before. The problem here is that the recipient is expecting a color and is instead getting a verb. That's not "new" information. That's corruption of the information that was already there. Having a 6th finger is not "new" information. It is a corruption of information that was already there. Every example we have is either from information already present or is a corruption of information that was already present.

David J. said...

//Why is that Gail Kennedy tells us that the reason we don't believe in Evolution is because we lack imagination (her words, not mine)?//

//The fact that you think Gail Kennedy's statement about imagination was some sort of gaffe makes me feel embarrassed for you. Is it really that difficult to understand what she described so aptly?... ...I'll join Dr. Kennedy: Those who understand science recognize the importance of imagination. I fully expect the foolish to mock those who posses that knowledge and imagination. (Sometimes the Biblical truth hurts.)//

I'm reminded about this video of Richard Feynman. Watch at least the 40 second introduction.
FUN TO IMAGINE
"In the case of science, I think that one of the things that make it very difficult, is it takes a lot of imagination. It's very hard to imagine all the crazy things that things really are like."
The video is about about physics. Nothing about origins or so-called "Historical Science"

David J. said...

//Keep in mind that the knee joint was not found with the rest of the skeleton. These parts were found 1.5 miles away and over 200 ft deeper.//

Steve, I'm still waiting for the source of your claim that anyone said that the knee joint was part of the Lucy skeleton. If you don't want to give me your source, fine, just tell me that.

ashleyhr said...

"If this is really the case, then you should have made no comment on it." I have every right to comment on an article that Steve quoted directly from (without acknowledging that he had done so). Did you not actually notice that Steve quoted directly from this article and realise that that was the sole reason why I posted the link?

"Because stating you didn't read the article actually made your case look even worse." "But I do have a problem with making claims about articles you haven't read." You are trying to imply dishonesty on my part. There was NO dishonesty. I did not make a claim about what an article I had not read in full SAID. Re-read what I wrote: "Criswell's article is not about the YEC 'no new genetic information' but 'net loss of genetic information' claims at all I don't think." The article was about antibiotic resistance.

Your claim that I cannot understand what I read means nothing in a case where I informed you that (at the time) I had NOT read the article in question.

I have already said that "I did not read the Criswell article, Charlie (perhaps I should have spelt that out). I simply skimmed it after identifying that Steve was quoting a section from it in his last reply to me" and "Having now looked more closely at it, I accept what you say about the paragraph".

But you are attempting to EXPLOIT the situation to try and make me look bad. Because your position is an extreme one. "You talk a big game, your hand shows to be empty, and you clearly don't like being told you as the emperor have no clothes on." Propagandist garbage. I AM well read on young earth creationist claims whether you like it or not (if I was not I certainly would not make the claim).

As for the real issues.

Nit-picking possibly, but I feel I should point out that your response confuses citrate with 'citrus'. I did not spell this out but the Wikipedia link on nylon-eating bacteria states: "Nylon-eating bacteria are a strain of Flavobacterium that is capable of digesting certain byproducts of nylon 6 manufacture. This strain of Flavobacterium, Sp. KI72, became popularly known as nylon-eating bacteria, and the enzymes used to digest the man-made molecules became collectively known as nylonase". These enzymes were not previously seen in nature.

Just saying in effect as a retort "this does not refute 'the Biblical model'" is certainly NOT any refutation of this event being part of evolutionary change over time. Evolutionary theory does not claim any acts of ex nihilo creation along the way.

Your final paragraph does not directly address my final paragraph. Which of course is fine by me because the points I made still stand.

Charlie said...

//The fact that you think Gail Kennedy's statement about imagination was some sort of gaffe makes me feel embarrassed for you. Is it really that difficult to understand what she described so aptly?... ...I'll join Dr. Kennedy: Those who understand science recognize the importance of imagination. I fully expect the foolish to mock those who posses that knowledge and imagination. (Sometimes the Biblical truth hurts.)//

There is nothing wrong with imagination as is. But there is something greatly wrong with calling that which is imagination as fact and to mock/ridicule those who point out is precisely that: imagination. Imagination without experimentation is NOT science. Yes, it does take imagination to grasp some of these things but unlike Evolution, the practical, observations sciences are backed by experimentation. They actually do what the imagination suggests it is supposed to do. So join Dr. Kennedy all you want. You've lost any remaining respect for having knowledge of any science that you had left. And it wasn't much to begin with. Yes, Biblical truth does hurt, especially went it warns about the idle babblings and imaginations of men who hate the authority of Scripture. Sorry, "Bible and Science Forum" you cannot win this one.

Charlie said...

Ashley, just cool it with your incessant claims about censorship. It is a rather worn-out claim with no intelligent basis for it. Much like your claims about us lying and being bigots. You still have a very strong tendency of reading what is not being said and completely missing out on what is being said. I have never said you cannot understand what you are reading. I am simply pointing out that you...are not understanding it. I never said you are not capable of it. I believe you are and I really wish you would. But you seem (this is opinion and if you call me a liar about it, you are the one you needs to learn the meaning of the word) to try to see how badly you can misrepresent us. I let this slide in an earlier thread but I made a comment how I do not follow Ken Ham like a guru and you said that I said he is not worth following. That is reading comprehension problems at best, and outright dishonesty at worst. I did not say that he is not worth following. I said I don't follow him like cult followers do as we are often accused of being. There are times I don't agree with Ham or other YEC orgs and the reason why is that my foundation is not YEC, but Scripture. YEC makes for great walls to my house, but it's not my foundation. When the storms of reality show up, my house will remain standing because its on a firm foundation. Yours won't and can't because the foundation it is on does not stay put.

But I am going to make this one clear. Any further posts that whine about censorship will not be posted. We'll get to you when we get to you and you have done a great job at putting yourself rather low on our priority list. You want us to deal with your comments. Earn it...if you can. I would certainly love to see you prove me and the rest of us wrong about our opinion of you. That was not sarcasm. I really would love it if you could change my mind about you by proving it wrong.

ashleyhr said...

Well, instead of directly addressing my latest post here dated 8 June I see that Charlie is trying to lecture me and belatedly trying to claim that previous arguments I won were 'not' won at all (without referring readers to the precise exchanges in question). Charlie is now falsely accusing me of deliberately not understanding what is written by him and Steve and of 'misrepresenting' them. I have NEVER deliberately misrepresented EITHER of them and he has no examples of me doing so.

I guess Charlie would have preferred that Steve continued to hide my post since this is all he can come up with by way of a reply.

Charlie is also misquoting me from a previous thread. Although that IS my opinion, I did NOT say "Ken Ham is not worth following" as alleged now by Charlie. I said I was glad Charlie did not follow him. But Charlie is now falsely accusing me of saying the former and is whinging "I did not say that he is not worth following" (I never said that you DID so what are you complaining about). But he now alleges that I was wrong or was 'mispresenting' him (I was not and my original comments never said anything about gurus or about cults). How typical.

The above is written from memory. I then searched for the posts (the posts by myself) in question but was unsuccessful (a whole series of posts by me under the blog dated 23 April were deleted by the site administrator). If however Charlie can show that my memory is faulty, let him do so.

New comments from myself and David are taking a week to appear, whereas replies by Charlie appear immediately. How long does it take to moderate three comments that don't contravene any of the rules of the site?

I am posting this at the thread about Worldview Warriors at the British Centre for Science Education community forum, making clear that my preceding post HAS now appeared.

My post 'whining' about censorship was only made because of APPARENT censorship. I have NO problem with such posts being censored - IF the original posts EVENTUALLY appear. (And I thought these exchanges were being moderated by Steve not by Charlie.) Unless he is expressing himself unclearly and/or I am unintentionally reading too much into his words, Charlie also appears to think that David is part of or is somehow speaking for the bible.and.science.forum - that's certainly news to me and I suspect it is news to both David and 'Professor Tertius' as well.

ashleyhr said...

Charlie

I have now found the exchange regarding Ken Ham, at this thread:
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4582953863643137208&postID=2067864150415865024 (posts dated 1 May)

Charlie's words:
"And, Ashley, listen to this and listen to this good. Never accuse me of following Ken Ham or others like him, like some guru. I don't". My authority is the Word of God".

My reply:
""Never accuse me of following Ken Ham". Glad that you don't think him worth following. And I never said that you DID follow him."

Although my recollection of the exchange was not 100% accurate, it WAS clear from YOUR words that you did not think it worth following Ken Ham or anyone else as a 'guru' and that your authority instead was 'the Word of God'. Thus I hardly 'misrepresented' you - and, as you acknowledge, you did not say at the time that I had 'misrepresented' you (I was simply trying to summarise your stated position and welcoming the fact that you said you did not follow Ham as any kind of guru).

Yet now, six weeks later, you protest: "I let this slide in an earlier thread but I made a comment how I do not follow Ken Ham like a guru and you said that I said he is not worth following. That is reading comprehension problems at best, and outright dishonesty at worst. I did not say that he is not worth following. I said I don't follow him like cult followers do as we are often accused of being." If you follow Ham's blogs purely out of interest and not as any kind of guru, fine, but you also now appear to be saying that my claim that you think him 'not worth following' was false. No - it was simply an attempt to summarise your very firmly stated position, and one which you are only arguing with a month and a half after the event. It appears that in some sense - despite your comments of 1 May - you DO follow Ham (but not as a guru - and I never ever suggested that you regarded him as a guru).

Ashley

ashleyhr said...

Correction to my first attempted comment replying to Charlie.

He wrote: "you said that I said he is not worth following". I mistakenly - not deliberately - reproduced that as "I did NOT say "Ken Ham is not worth following"". But I now see that I did say on 1 May "Glad that you don't think him worth following" as alleged - a statement Charlie now disputes the accuracy of.

But I hold up my hand and admit I made an error on 16 June (one which cannot purely be blamed on me not having rediscovered the exchange dated 1 May) and I now wish to correct my error.

Charlie said...

Ashley, you continue to miss the point. You are quick to zoom in on one little thing but in doing so, you miss the forest for the trees. My point was you keep getting our position wrong. I will admit you finally did get one right just now. You finally understood what I was saying about not following Ken Ham like a guru. So I applaud you for that (not sarcastically). But such moments are rather lonely and rare. I really do wish they weren't. When you get something wrong, there are only two options: You understood the point being made or you didn't. If the former, you are deliberately misrepresenting the point. Because you cannot understand a claim/point, get it wrong when you address it, without being dishonest either about the point itself or about understanding it. The reason I kept saying "You don't understand it" is because I was trying to avoid calling you dishonest. But when you insisted you do understand our claims and our positions, I had no other option but to call you dishonest because you keep (as a whole) getting it wrong.

I have no problem with people not understanding. But those that don't understand and recognize it, do one of two things: don't comment on it, or ask questions. You may think you understand it, but if I am to believe your claim that you never deliberately misrepresent us, I must believe you don't have a clue about what we are actually talking about. Being 'well-read' implies comprehension, to the level where you can accurately represent our position and our arguments, regardless of whether you agree with it or not. You may have read the articles, but your comprehension is lacking, because of your inability to accurately present our claims. And to be honest, I really am not seeing much of an effort to try. The only time you do is when you are called out on it, such as what you showed with the "like a guru" point. In reality, all that does is show you trying to cover your hide. You want to be treated like you are honest, show honesty BEFORE being called out. Show you are trying to understand us so we have no reason to consider you being dishonest. I don't like calling people dishonest and you aren't giving me reason to think otherwise. Please give me reason to change my mind. Your last three posts did very little to do that.

And one the moderation issue, both Steve and I (and some others) have the authority to do so. Blogspot has the comment about "All comments must be approved by the blog author." That's not us. That's the default statement for how Blogspot does comment moderation. So both Steve and I can approve and reject comments (and Jason and others as necessary). The reason my posts show up so quickly after yours is I respond them to them right after I formally approve them. When Steve responds, it's often the same thing. He will approve the posts that need approving and then respond while he is still on. But it may be time between when we check things out. Again, as I said before, you have not earned a spot high on our priority list. What are are earning is a spot lower and lower. Only you can reverse that trend.

Steve said...

Ashley said "...belatedly trying to claim that previous arguments I won were 'not' won at all."---I'm sorry you think this is about "winning" arguments. It's far more than that. And I can't think of a single point you've landed that actually had any depth or was of any consequence. Perhaps I'm just forgetting. Please refer me to the arguments you've "won." Thanks

"I guess Charlie would have preferred that Steve continued to hide my post since this is all he can come up with by way of a reply."---What on earth are you talking about? You really think a lot more of yourself and your comments than others do. It's making it very difficult to have a meaningful and interesting conversation with you.

"New comments from myself and David are taking a week to appear, whereas replies by Charlie appear immediately. How long does it take to moderate three comments that don't contravene any of the rules of the site?"--first of all, I don't think a comment has taken a week at all (David claimed weeks) and Charlie's comments appear (I'm not sure how quickly you think that happens or what info you have on that) because he's an admin for the comments. Makes sense, right?

ONLY comments with name calling, character attacks, or that are just nasty are censored. NOTHING has been or will be unapproved because of the actual content beyond those things. Does that make sense? You've been asked repeatedly to recomment without using name calling because the rest of the comment was at least worth reading. You've generally refused to do so. So the tired and childish claim of "censorship" is actually disingenuous.

ashleyhr said...

The fact that you persistently call me 'dishonest', when I know for a fact that I am not and you have not demonstrated that I am, tells me a lot about you Charlie.

But I am, as hinted at on 1 May, glad that you do not follow Ken Ham like a guru (because the Bible is your authority rather than Ken Ham). You now admit: "You finally understood what I was saying about not following Ken Ham like a guru". No - I understood it on 1 May. When I wrote: ""Never accuse me of following Ken Ham". Glad that you don't think him worth following." Maybe I should have written "Glad that you don't think him worth following as some kind of guru (because your authority is the Bible instead)" but I did not misrepresent your stated position. My words on 1 May did not say that you pay no attention to him or that you hate what he says.

Do you have any other examples of me in your view 'misrepresenting' your position? I mean specific examples not just generalities. Where you quote back to me my exact words and then can show that they misrepresented your position (either because I did not comprehend it properly or because I was being 'dishonest')?

In a way I hope that you do (even though no example has come to mind). Because I too don't like calling people dishonest but you so far aren't giving me much reason to think otherwise.

ashleyhr said...

Only just seen Steve's post. By 'won' I simply mean cases where you or Charlie said something, I said something else (either stating an opposite point of view or trying to summarise your comments), and neither of you objected to my response (at the time anyway).

I have nothing to add to my previous comments and stand by them.

Charlie said...

//Because I too don't like calling people dishonest but you so far aren't giving me much reason to think otherwise.//

Do you stand by this?

ashleyhr said...

Unless and until you can demonstrate the misrepresentation of your position or dishonesty on my part (probably deliberate) that you refer to in eg your post at 2.11 pm on 15 June and 12.39 pm on 18 June - or perhaps admit that I haven't acted in such a manner. (Or at least I would say that you want and expect to find dishonesty on my part because you believe that non-Christians or ex Christians or atheists 'are' liars, thus you search hard for it.)

In the case of my comment upon your emphatic comments re Ken Ham I still do not believe I misrepresented you, but would admit that I probably oversimplified your position (as since outlined in my earlier post above). In the case of that article about antibiotic resistance, I did not misrepresent its central message rather I speculated inaccurately that a particular topic touched on within it was not present anywhere in the article (I have admitted that at the time I only skimmed the article and that the only reason I posted the link at all was because Steve was quoting from it).

(I'm not seeking to prolong these exchanges.)

Charlie said...

This will be my last comment on this, Ashley. "Oversimplification" IS misrepresentation. Speculating inaccurately IS misrepresentation. It doesn't have to be intentional or not. It is still not accurately depicting the points being made. In logic, they are known as Fallacy of Hasty Generalization and Strawman Fallacy. In reality, the only arguments you have "won" are those that are against figments of your imagination, your inaccurate perception (a strawman) of what we actually believe.

//(Or at least I would say that you want and expect to find dishonesty on my part because you believe that non-Christians or ex Christians or atheists 'are' liars, thus you search hard for it.)//

I do not believe non-Christians or ex-Christians or atheists are liars because unlike you, I actually know what a liar is. And I use the term appropriately when necessary. It took comment moderation to get you to not use it every other breath. As you so frequently claimed, it is there for all to see. Do you even have a clue how many times you used the words "liars" and "bigots"? Steve counted in one short sequence over 16 times. And it was too the point where we could easily say: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." What I do believe is people like you have exchanged the truth for the lie (Romans 1:25). This does not make you liars, but believers in a lie. What is means is that what you believe is true is actually false and what you believe is false is actually true. A liar is someone who KNOWS what they say is false and say it anyway. I truly do not think you actually know what is true or false at all, Ashley. And how can you? The only standard you have cited to discern what is true or not is from people who have no standard of what is true or not and talk out of both sides of their mouths. When your standard (such as science) keeps changing, you truly are standing on sinking sand. I have a solid foundation. Do I get stuff wrong and do I butcher things? Absolutely. We all do. But when I do, I retreat to a foundation that does not change and does not move, and it is a foundation I can trust and rely on. And it has never failed. And it is this foundation that I am able to discern accurately what is true and what is false.

I will not be responding to any further comments on this thread.