samedi 24 novembre 2012

Do Evolutionists Ever Make Unfalsifiable Claims?

Dawkins made a challenge, on knowing the past.
On Reading The Greatest Show by Dawkins - Parts of it!
Overlooked in Previous, about Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth
Medieval Matters for Richard Dawkins
Do evolutionists ever make unfalsifiable claims?
Two bishop Richards in dialogue (tongue in cheek)
Dawkins said Edgar Andrews had his book "well written" and that is one true word from him
Assortedretorts : ... on "Science Works" quote c/o Dawkins
... on Side issue to "Science Works"

I think it was Dawkins who said: "evolution would be disproven if we found a rabbit fossile in" (whatever the geological period was) "and so far this has not happened."

Hasn't it? Or has it but expertise has guessed at other explanations?

[Quoting Talk Origins Article, link here] : Clifford Burdick, of course, once argued for "The Discovery of Human Skeletons in Cretaceous Formation" (Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 10, Sept. 1973) or, as the skeletons were nicknamed, "Moab Man." Human skeletons found in rock from the Cretaceous era? According to the geologic time scale, not even humanity's earliest human-like ancestors appeared until well after the Cretaceous. However, this case turned into yet another instance in which creationists had to recant due to the evidence pointed out by mainstream scientists. For instance, a professor of anthropology examined the "Moab Man" skeletons as soon as they were first uncovered (when some ground was being bulldozed). The professor agreed that these were indeed human skeletons, but that they were just Indian skeletons that had been buried in a rock crevice, the surrounding rocks dating back to the Cretaceous, but not the buried skeletons, which were merely slid in between the rocks, and which were later covered by sand, etc.

OK. A man's skeleton was found in Cretaceous layers, but he is not reckoned as having lived in the Cretaceous because sandstone layers could have dissolved into sand and later solidified as sandstone around him. One argument used is:

The bones themselves were not fossilized and there had been no replacement of bone calcium by mineralization. They were soft, friable and partly decayed -- in short, of rather recent vintage, probably historic Paiute or Ute, or possibly of Euro-American origin, since no associated artifacts were found." Later, a femur from one of the skeletons was carbon dated to around 210 years ago +/- 70 years. A few other such skeletons have also been found -- the same story applies, as outlined above.

What about dino's recently found with intact soft tissues? What about dino's C14 dated way later than Jurassic, also recently? That was recently featured in But more in same vein:

One of Baugh's more famous claims, aside from the dinosaur tracks, is an alleged out of place artifact of an "18th century miner's hammer" found in million-year-old Ordovician rock (he has also claimed it is in Cretaceous rock) found in 1934 from London, Texas.[18][19] Baugh asserted this as evidence against scientifically known ways that rocks form.[18] However, laboratory tests discounted his claim about the hammer's being formed in the rock.[18][19] J.R. Cole wrote, "The stone concretion is real, and it looks impressive to someone unfamiliar with geological processes. How could a modern artifact be stuck in Ordovician rock? The answer is that the concretion itself is not Ordovician. Minerals in solution can harden around an intrusive object dropped in a crack or simply left on the ground if the source rock (in this case, reportedly Ordovician) is chemically soluble."[20]

That was from the wiki on Carl Baugh. The references are given as:

Obviously it is possible that both the man in cretaceous layers and the hammer in ordovician laters London, Texas (not to be lightly confused with the capital of England, of United Kingdom and of British Commonwealth) are later.

But with this method it is not quite clear that if a rabbit from carbiniferous were found it would be accepted as genuine. In other words, the claim Dawkins (if it was he) makes is not necessarily as "easily falsifiable" as he claims.

Now, when it comes to rocks, there is a series of such. Triassic and Jurassic are supposed to be two different ages, the one older than the other. Carboniferous and Cretaceous are further apart. Here is a chart of it (linking to someone else's work), on

Do we find a believably testified timescale herein? Just perhaps if you trust radiometric dating. But then it would seem that is as dependent in discovery of methods on the geological scale as C14's half life on previous dating of Pharao Joser's (? or someone, in the fourties at least) mummy. Not to mention that "erratic measurings" are discarded as erratic. But of course, a nice relative dating can be made if you have finds with two major layers: Cambrian never under Ediacaran, Ordovician never under either of before and so on up to Quaternary, but always and everywhere the reverse order: Ediacaran above nothing, Cambrian above Ediacaran, Ordovocian above Cambrian or Ediacaran (or both) in plenty of examples of at least two different major layers like these. Or if Quaternary were never found lower than five feet under ground, Jurassic always at least ten feet under it, and so on. But that is very much less likely, and apart from Grand Canyon (and maybe one other site in the Americas) I have found no claim about this. But, I look through the fossile digs in wikipedia, and I find very few sites "from more than one period."

I would like to have seen a graph showing all the possible superpositions of period layers and for each or most of them a list of places where they had been found in relevant order but also a list of places where purported reverse order has been explained otherwise, i e through rocks shifting position over time.

Have we got that? So far not as I have seen.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Mouffetard Library, Paris
St John of the Cross

4 TBS: 4 Causes 4 Beginners, Crea-Debate 4 Advanced

TheoreticalBullshit : Why I don't Debate Creationists

Most quotes not directly quoted but summed up from memory, and TBS is giving the lines of Creationist Nick in his version:

Crea-Nick: small changes need not accumulate to large changes. If you move back and forth between two poles you will be doing very many small changes of position but not accumulate them to getting far away from where you started.

TBS: The analogy fails to adress evolution. We do get a large way on it, that is precisely the kind of change we are talking about. You are presuming changes are regressive, which in this case they are not.

Mind if I bump in? Here: one standard creationist argument against the possibility of evoloution is precisely that changes we have observed are regressive. Try to breed smaller and smaller chihuahuas, they won't get smaller but either stop breeding or start getting bigger instead. Try to breed bigger and bigger Golden Retrievers, after a while the same thing will happen there: they will start getting smaller or stop reproducing.

His argument is basically that as evolution (macro-wise) never happened because it is impossible. Yours is that evolution is possible because it happened. Which begs the question of knowing whether we have other evidence it happened.

Just as he could as easily have said: we know creation happened, so it is obviously possible for God to create ex nihilo, where you would have answered that God never did that because everything getting into existance needs what a Thomist would call a material cause and what you would simply call material. Which is short for precisely material cause, and the older word for material was matter (causa materialis respectively materia in Latin).

Here is how Saint Thomas Aquinas dealt with that, wonder if Lane Craig mentioned it:

I answer that, As said above (Question 44, Article 2), we must consider not only the emanation of a particular being from a particular agent, but also the emanation of all being from the universal cause, which is God; and this emanation we designate by the name of creation. Now what proceeds by particular emanation, is not presupposed to that emanation; as when a man is generated, he was not before, but man is made from "not-man," and white from "not-white." Hence if the emanation of the whole universal being from the first principle be considered, it is impossible that any being should be presupposed before this emanation. For nothing is the same as no being. Therefore as the generation of a man is from the "not-being" which is "not-man," so creation, which is the emanation of all being, is from the "not-being" which is "nothing."

Source: I, Q 45, A 1 of ST=Summa Theologiae.
And where in A1? corp.=in corpore articuli, in the body of the article
as opposed to "ad 1" or any other "ad n", which is replies to objections

Next article, I quote obj 4 and ad 4:

Objection 4. Further, infinite distance cannot be crossed. But infinite distance exists between being and nothing. Therefore it does not happen that something is made from nothing.
Reply to Objection 4. This objection proceeds from a false imagination, as if there were an infinite medium between nothing and being; which is plainly false. This false imagination comes from creation being taken to signify a change existing between two forms.

Hope this makes better sense to you than Mr Craig did. Before we get on, just to eliminate mere verbal misunderstandings between you and any Thomist whatsoever (and if he did not explain this to you, but only commented over your head, I think that was rude and certainly not what St Thomas would ahve done):

Every table (to take your exemple) has four causes. Each efficient cause is the carpenter, except in so far as some efficient causes are tools in his hand. He is obviously more primary than they. They are secondary to him. Secondary efficient causes are, expecially if lifeless, called instrumental causes.

Each final cause is what you want the table for. Put plates and glasses and a hot dish on? Put a computer on and a mousse and a mouse mat or even to serve as mouse mat if such is absent? It may slant if you want to put writing or drawing material on it.

Formal cause is the property in the table which is intrinsic as a product of efficient cause and as an adaptation to final cause, like slanting for writing or being straight horizontal to eat on. It means having one leg with a big foot or four legs or two double legs that are foldable, and so on.

And material cause does so not mean an efficent cause that is a material thing but is the other intrinsic cause of the table, namely what it consists of as pre-existing material. To the table that would very often be wood, but it could also be glass and metal.

Actually, the wood in relation to the table made of it are not a perfect example of the relation material cause and thing. Because the shape of the table is not a form per se, it is a form per accidens. Wood is at once a material cause per se for a tree, while it lives, just as muscle tissue is for a man, and a formal cause in relation to things like cellulose, lignine and such matters as are included in all living things. Between wood and lignine etc. you have what is formal in relation to lignine etc. but material in relation to wood, namely things like cells and the grain. You know the lines that you use a saw across but a hatchet along.

When you say that "man is 75% water" you are referring to the material cause of a living person. And here is a funny thing: while a creature is living, every part of it is being exchanged on the material account. Your total amount of chemistry's atoms may be exchanged for every period of seven years while you live. For water, the total exchange is going much faster than that. So, is the formal cause yourself identical or not after the seven years when the material cause most certainly is not? That is a matter for thought, right? Thomism says, yes it is, and also, the more that is true of a being the more essential is its formal cause, the more essential is its essence, the nobler it is. And as all variations of degree are between extremes ranging from null to maximum, there is such a thing as the noblest thing, and that is God (forth way of St Thomas' five ways, see I, Q2, A3 for them all, and remember St Thomas uses 43 questions between proving God exists and proving that when being emanates to something else it does so by creatio ex nihilo).

Now back to your video and your dialogue with "Crea". Or rather to your enumeration of what you consider his strawmen.

TBS: strawman, like 1) asserting that natural selection has a goal.

Mind if I bump in? Here: If natural selection has no goal, how come it could: a) anyway make small changes it produces fortuitously lead up to a large change such as walking a far way from home by taking several small steps away? And b) produce certain things like - eyes. (Fifth way of St Thomas is by the way=Intelligent Design AND Government of Nature).

Before going on to the other strawmen, lets get on with natural selection:

TBS: Natural selection explains big changes. Crea-Nick introduced a new strawman about "direction of survaviability", but survivability is no direction it is a feature. Genetic changes occur, and because of the environment they either are survivable or they aren't.

Mind if I bump in? Here: That does not make "survivability" a feature of a creature, but rather a sum of features that together tend to net result actual survival. Just as infallibility in the Pope is not a feature in his mentality, but a net result of features excluding pertinacious heresy which together with special protection make fallacious definitions non-occurrent. But you might call "infallibility" also a feature of features in the Pope's mentality, i e of those he choses to share with all faithful as binding in faith, like Christ being of same substance as the Father, according to the Godhead. And similarily you may refer to survivability as a feature either of any feature produced by mutation or of any feature already present before mutation.

Now, in that sense survivability could not have the same direction time after time after time, except by chance. Which is why survivability has no overall direction. Which is why small changes over time do not add up to big changes, because they are regressive as environment changes.

You could of course have answered that "being a better hunter" is one feature with a constant direction which again and again is likely to have survivability. That is how one evolutionist does explain the rise of mammals.

TBS: The evolution of whales is not the result of a movement towards survivability. It is not a result of movement towards anything. If a population can procreate it already has survivability.

Mind if I bump in? Here: Oh?

TBS: If they have to live in water, you can bet that mutations advantageous to swimming and diving are passed on and those that are not are not.

Mind if I bump in? Here: Oh? First of all, you seem to be giving survivability a direction. Not a once and for all same direction in all animals - this direction being obviously obverse to the one counted by evolutionists in Crossopterygia and Tiktaalik up to Amphibians - but a certain direction in a certain environment.

And for another thing, saying that survivability goes in a certain direction does not guarantee that mutations will actually occur in that direction.

TBS: ... Because members (of the population) without such an advantage will not be able to compete for food and will not live long enough to procreate.

Mind if I bump in? Here: Two things. First of all this seems to be a scenario in which every species is in constant food shortage and mutations saving species from extinction continually occur quasi miraculously so evolution can go on, but somehow this never fixes the problem of continual food shortage.

I do not believe that for a moment. Neither the food shortage, nor that time after time when it occurs species after species is saved by mutation into clearly different not just species but kinds. The obvious result to be expected of a shortage in which a species dies out if it does not mutate is that it does not mutate in the needed direction far enough and so dies out.

But if you speak only of food shortage in unmutated exemplars in the situation of having to compete with such as had made an advantageous mutation, again that won't do. Such mutations are not all that common. If it does not occur, the unmutated ones are at no disadvantage because there is no mutant competition.

TBS: There is no light at the end of the tunnel, no net survivability and all life is funneling toward it.

Mind if I bump in? Here: There is very much net survivability in the kinds as extant. Without mutations or without mutations that are very changeful. A change of colour here, a change of pattern (in feathers or scales or whatever) there, et c. Very much back and forth. Back and forth between what environments the colours melt into or contrast with, back and forth between need of camouflage in order not to get eaten and need of conspicuousness to attract females. If you have read Dawkins, the Greatest Show on Earth, you will know what I am referring to. But even when there is no back and forth, as is maybe the case with the crabs in Japan, referred to by Sagan and disbelieved by Dawkins, if these have got shield patterns more and more like faces of Samurais, mutations and natural slection are basically "skin deep."

Now, let's go on to the other strawmen of the list.

TBS: strawman, like 2) asserting that speciation can happen in one mutation...

Mind if I bump in? Here: In plants a chromosome mutation of changed polyploidy does produce a new species. That and hybridisation between close species are the two main observed ways of speciation in plants. Obviously a creationist does not deny this speciation, only that this speciation produces another "kind" of plant. And obviously such speciation is not exactly the same thing as asserting a common ancestry for dogs and bears.

TBS: strawman, like 3) asserting that adaptation does not count as change in form unless a new species has been produced, et c.

Mind if I bump in? Here: I am not sure it is a strawman of your position at all. It may be a Thomist position of his own. Some Thomists would argue that the formal cause is the same (though not individually the same) in all men and that the differences are a difference in material cause only. But if Socrates was white and Martin Luther King black due to material cause only, probably they would have the same skin colour if eating the same things, which is not the case. I find a Scotist perspective helpful here.

TBS: which made it clear to me how very uninformed you are about evolution, prompting me to suggest you do some reading. [And lots later:] I am not answering questions about evolution, I am educating you about evolution and I am not educated enough for that. [Admission under video, in description:] I'm kind of a dick in this one.

Here I am no longer bumping in, as I will now continue with my reply till end of this essay.

Creationist Nick, at the very worst, was about as below you in evolution as you were below Craig in Kalam argument. If you complain about being treated unpolitely, being polite yourself might help. However, that is not my main point, and you did make the admission yourself after doing the video.

My main point is this: if you know what an average American needs to know about Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, that means obviously that you can correct misunderstandings of very basic things. For instance, if someone were to say "if 1*1=1, then 2*2=2" or inversely "if 2*2=4 then 1*1=2" you would be able to explain that "times" and "plus" are not the same operation. If a Frenchman would pronounce "shout it out, chief" as "soot it oot, sheff", you might be able to explain that "ou" in English is pronounced, most often, "ow" and not "oo". If a German were to pronounce "boot" as "bawt" and thought it meant something you put into the water and yourself into, even if you did not know that "boot" in Geman is "Stiefel" you would no doubt have figured out that he was thinking about "boat" and you would show him how to spell and pronounce it, adding a voiced example of correctly pronounced "boot" and explaining or showing it is something you put on your feet.

But apparently learning what every American should know about evolution does not help you to attack very basic misunderstandings of evolution.

Which is where I ask myself, is that attitude simply repeating the behaviour of your science teacher towards a creationist in class? I don't know. But judging from how P. Z. Myers dealt with one creationist objector, much same attitude as above, I think it just might be the case.

People with OUR position are not just right, they are EDUCATED. People with the OTHER position are not just wrong, they are IGNORANT. Well, that is not very much like what happens in most areas in life otherwise, but it is very much an attitude which stops debate.

As I speak about P. Z. Myers, I will give you an extra argument - linking to it - that I argued in a comment thread on his blog. I also tried to get it published in Nature/Genetics, but that failed. So far.

Creation vs. Evolution : Letter to Nature on Karyotype Evolution in Mammals

Oh, one more coming back to you. You said that this is not philosophy or theology where everyone is entitled to his own opinion, this is science. If one is no expert one has no hope of getting taken seriously.

Now, how come science is entitled to being dogmatic and theology or philosophy isn't? Because a scientist who was also atheist and evolutionist told you so? Because he told you philosophy and theology have no firm foundation in observed fact? Because he told you evolution has, since "fossiles and genetics prove it" and they are observed facts? Well they are, but does that prove that it is evolution they are proving? Because he told you any story of miracles was written generations later, so miracles are never observed facts? What if they were, how would you know with such an attitude? Wouldn't you just deny the evidence rather than remotely dealing with it, in the fashion I have not much seen among creationists, such as saying fossiles and genetics are made up stuff, you only know that from hearsay, nobody's ever seen that stuff, though some pretend to, and so on? That is how we creationists do not deal with fossiles and genetics, usually, but we see a lot of that among people denying the miracles in the Bible - and in other texts.

Enough for today.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Mouffetard Library, Paris
St John of the Cross,

jeudi 15 novembre 2012

thunderf00t, did you really say that? (part 2)

Creation vs Evolution :
thunderf00t ... did you actually say that? (part 1)
thunderf00t, did you really say that? (part 2)
Trivium, Quadrivium 7 cætera :
Thunderf00t on futile questions
Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere :
... against Thunderf00t on Dembski
... on Thunderf00t having a point on feminism - and then a few not so on Ken Ham

"thunderclouds can hold up to about four inches, that is about ten centimetres of water"*

No more? Where do we get that from? How is it measured? By rain fall after it? I would like to know, because this is one of the facts that may be facts although they sound phoney.

I am actually methodologically curious. Not just what science is saying about nature, like in this case the thickness of a cloud counted in water level - you said four inches - but how come science is justified in saying it. If it is, that is. You see, when I was still an evolutionist, and mistook evolution for science, at age eight and somewhat beyond, I got an evolutionist book on the origins of man with not a little information both on what makes scientist believe Australo-Habilis-Erectus-Heidelberg-Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon form a series (brain volume deduced from inner cavity of skull), but also on its investigation techniques like 14C. Then at age twelve, when already a Creationist, ma gives me this gorgeous book by Edgar Harold Andrews, a Swedish translation of an earlier edition than the latest of his From Nothing to Nature. It has the standard creationist debunking of radioactive dating techniques as applied to the pre-historic. Look it up if you ignore it. Since then I am pretty wary of bad techniques of investigation.

Now, how do you deduce that a cloud has four inches of water if you compress theoretically the aerosol to a running level collection of liquid?

One method I could imagine would be to measure the downpour, which is done with those rain-metres or whatever you call them in English. Such and such a contraption catches rain as it is falling without letting it escape into the water source layers below the ground. It is transparent or has a transparent side. It has a scale in either millimetres or in inches and lines. Such and such a very heavy storm cloud looses all its water over a determined area of land and at any point you measure "four inches" and note it as a record.

Now, for one thing it is not a record, except locally, in so far as there are floods.

For another there is the displacement of the cloud which thus spreads its rain over a greater area than its own horizontal limitations.

And then there is the question whether the cloud really lost all of its water onto the ground or if some stayed rather in the air, even after it clears up. I am not at all sure this last thing is a valid refutation of this measure of the "four inches of water", but I would like to know your answer to it.

And as to previous, that may be one of the things that have been taken into account already by meteorologists. People whom, excepting the forecasts, I respect as scientists. When it comes to forecasts, they are not knowers, only, at best, good guessers.

But you maybe thought it was something you could calculate from "thickness of aerosol as compared with height of cloud as compared with thickness of water as pure liquid without the aerosol gives ..." by the Regula de Tribus. I am very far from sure that approach is very good. However, your point could be made (or unmade) by measuring the background radiation on sunny and cloudy days.

However, even if so, I recall pretty much not being councelled to put on sun screen lotions on cloudy days, preserving it for the sunny ones.

Even if he was in error, it was not an unfathomable one, nor incompatible with teaching high school science for fifteen years.

Every teacher has his forte and other areas where he will rely on hearsay if his professional training does not send off his factoid alarm bells ringing.

I am not quite convinced about your speculation in order to refute another point by Hovind though: that falling ice would be burning hot before it reached the ground. I mean if it heats, it melts, and dissolves into an aerosol and if it still heats after that it evaporates fairly high up, and at least then slows down, right?

The point about gas pressure in blood vessels being higher before the flood than after, as made by Hovind (something he deduced from the water canopy theory as an explanation of beings growing larger and partial explanation of them growing older before flood), was supposedly refuted by you insofar that "if so all would have had blood vessels just bursting out of the body as soon as water canopy was removed", but the adherents of the Hovind theory do usually hold that the Arc, apart being a device for floating above the sea rather than drowning below it, was also a pressure chamber, ensuring that the gas pressure in the blood vessels evened out without any divers disease in any being present inside the box it actually formed.

I suppose you were so eager to refute mister Hovind, that you did not wait until posting your refutation until after he had on same video answered it: or that he did not answer it on that video but on another one.

By the way, you are making this answer to some of his arguments while he is in prison, but do you happen to have videos posted on youtube while Kent Hovind was making these points? And while he had the full freedom to answer "your" answers? "Your" meaning not specifically answers by you, thunderf00t, but by anyone in Atheist-Evolutionist or even Theistic-Evolutionist communities who was obviously as shocked back then at Kent Hovind's arguments as you are?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Public Information Library
Georges Pompidou, Paris
St Albert the Great

*From, I think, still this one:

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 6).

Funny fact on visit stats last week:

 top ten visiting countriesvisitstop ten visited messagesvisits
1)USA42Kent Hovind, Dear Sir!21
2)France27AronRa, did I mention you are worthless on history?8
3)China13On Reading The Greatest Show by Dawkins - Parts of it!7
4)Russia13thunderf00t ... did you actually say that? (part 1)*6
5)United Arab Emirates6Lost In Translation6
6)Saudi Arabia6Have "Humans Interbred with Neanderthals and Denisovans"?6
7)Germany5Funny How Some Systematically Answer the Wrong Questions5
8)Taiwan3Verifiable Does Not Equal Material and Natural5
9)Canada2Overlooked in Previous, about Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth3
10)Indian Union2Was St. Jerome Calling Genesis a Myth, and if so in what sense?3

Another funny thing:

As you noticed, two Islamic Countries are pretty high among top ten visitors. And the funny fact is that one Muslim whom I know by sight and name and dislike at an association, when he stepped in to the place where I was sitting was praying diverse prayers in Arabic as if he was afraid of something.

I walked away because I dislike him, and because I suspect him of being an undercover shrink onto my case. Now, why would I be seing from shrinks who go undercover? Well, perhaps they know very well what I think of their profession. Perhaps they know very well how little I would respect their professional authority if put in a tight place by them as well as the fact that I am not a pacifist.

Of course, this time it could be mere coincidence. So could each of the other times I have seen him. He could very well not be a shrink, just happen to give me the same rattle snake impression that shrinks do give me.

I did not attack him (in case that was what he was afraid of), but I walked away very quickly without saying hello to him.

But you must agree that the stats from six of the ten countries are a pretty funny fact. US and Canada, France and Germany are a bit like home to me. The other countries are not. Which does in turn not mean I would want to block people in these countries from reading either.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
BpI, Georges Pompidou
St Albert the Great

*Parts beyond 1 are not written yet, but I plan to go through all of thunderf00t's series.

Here are same stats (about an hour later a week ago to an hour later today) from other blog:

top ten visiting countriesvisitstop ten visited messagesvisits
1)United States99Sects, Historical Critical Method, Post-Confessional Christianity23
2)France47Mater et Magistra Ecclesiarum22
3)Netherlands46A Christian Also Could Say: ...17
4)Ukraine21On Polish and Church Slavonic14
5)Sweden15Linguistics for Romanides: Greek, Latin, Patois12
6)Germany12"Afin d'inciter à une croisade", Golias?11
7)Algeria3St Augustine was a Geocentric ... in face of what, Mr. Sungenis?9
8)Poland3Tradition versus Protestantism8
9)Russia3Qui fut Dom Gaston Aubourg - et qui sauva Bayeux?5
10)Belgium2Difficultés entre l'allemand et le français5
pages: 1 b)Huius Autoris Bloggi6
2 b)Misunderstanding Begging (Some Cultural History of, Blog Theme Obliging) and This Beggar4
3 b)"filolohika"?2
4 b)Answering a Muslim who asked "If Jesus was [=is] GOD ..."2

mercredi 14 novembre 2012

thunderf00t ... did you actually say that? (part 1)

Creation vs Evolution :
thunderf00t ... did you actually say that? (part 1)
thunderf00t, did you really say that? (part 2)
Trivium, Quadrivium 7 cætera :
Thunderf00t on futile questions
Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere :
... against Thunderf00t on Dembski
... on Thunderf00t having a point on feminism - and then a few not so on Ken Ham

"even if we hadn't known the cause of aging for over thirty years"

That being, not X-rays but end pieces of telomeres getting shorter. Wonderful observation, but what if X-rays shorten end pieces of telomeres faster? Not as if I were either a PhD or a natural scientist or anything, as I think I have mentioned before I am a linguist at academics and one without degree at that.

"the giant tortoise ... trees ... some of the shellfish"

A tortoise has a shield and a thicker skin than we. Trees have barks. Shellfish are called shellfish because they have ... shells! (Yeah, I grant you linguistics has its strange quirks, but somehow this is not one of them. And if you think the use of the word "fish" is, well, no, in linguistics a fish is a creature that is not a plant and does not look like a plant either and which lives in the water, no backbone needed at all. Just as linguistic Latin does not put Rosa or Canis on repeat unlike the Biologists' variety, which also is deficint in the verbs that the real linguistic Latin had about 143 finite forms of each complete one).

Now, it may come as a surprise to you, but shields, shells and bark is somewhat better at getting X-rays or other cosmic radiation out of the way than same thickness of mere air or water would be. And the shells of shellfish are already shielded off by the waves above them.

"[citing hovind:] started off tiny and getting bigger and stronger and smarter [reacting:] ugh"

Would apply to the supposed evolution from amoeba or any creature that size. Would, except possibly for strength, apply to supposed evolution from Australopithecus Afarensis.

0:46 same video, Invention of Modern Science (somewhere between 1500 and 2000) and a Years of Life Expectancy statistics curve close to twenty years is shown. Well, if infant mortality is counted, medium life expectancy was lower, but for people surviving infancy and not getting killed in wars and epidemics life expactancy was pretty close to present one.

You make heavy weather out of fact that medium length has risen by six inches in industrialised countries last fifty or hundred years, conveniently forgetting that ... before that it had sunk. Also by a few inches. Might be the weather which went colder and reached a real ice peak in the years after thirty years war, now getting warmer again.

And of course in modern life expectancy you are not counting fetal death by voluntary abortion.

"[sth about the inventions that very recently helped increase life expactancy] ... which were evidently beyond our 'stronger' and 'smarter' forefathers."

1) Being capable of making an invention does not necessarily equal making it.
2) Who says these inventions were beyond the forefathers in the Land of Nod? Or in Atlantis if that was a continent? Noah may have had an Amish attitude about the top of technological achievement in Nod.

"Genes for largeness are gone, for whatever reason"

What if they were no legitimate species but rather pre-flood GMO's? In that case "genes for largeness" were not there in the first place either. Until some cooky scientist whack put them there from another organism which had more legitimate use of them - and even at that maybe less of them. Which would explain a possibly somewhat Amish attitude in Noah pretty well, as well as the fact that T Rex shows in only thirty exemplars. Not the fault of 65 million years of destruction but of being a GMO experiment gone wrong and scarce in the first place.

The creationist point about a hundred aminoacids in the right place, is not quite comparable to the chance of crystals having their atoms in a particular state. Granted that aminoacids would have to be in a state, but who says it would be anything like a state with a long string, and who says if it were the order of aminoacids on the string would make biological sense, i e be useful for a living creature?

Then there was your video with the slogan "respect for science" and in the very next video you knock down on quote mining. Well, Dawkins gave that phrase a specific meaning. He had stated what can schematically be referred to as "I grant a but I observe also b". He deems quote miners those who have quoted only a but neglected or never heard of b. Now, that creationist was mentioning and even quoting Isaac Newton. And just maybe, he was not in that sense quote mining Newton.

When did Rejection of Supernatural Explanations of Anything Become Part of Scientific Method? If Ever, That Is?

The question I pose in title is not answered in very much detail. I have not come across any date at which any country's scientific academies or societies said "from now on, supernatural explanations are not accepted for anything any more". I know that in Russia there was a marked difference between pre- and post-1917 science. I also know that Isaac Newton was not on the post-1917 side of Russian scientific standards. I do link to the source for my quotes, which is a documentary about Newton.

Did you say the scientific credentials of Newton were not shared by Creationists quoting him? What if Isaac Newton was a creationist rather than an atheist? And what about you hoping that the credentials of rocket scientists should rub off on you? And why play it with Bach? Were you hoping the credentials of that Christian Fundamentalist in musical genius should rub off on the rocket scientists?

Your case about avoiding snake oil salesman techniques in academic circles since an argument stands on its own merits becomes somewhat ludicrous when compared to your own snake oil salesman techniques in this series. So thank you a bunch for making it. If you feel free to use rhetoric to impress public of your video series, because they are not all academicians, why should he not have the same freedom?

"It has no place in the academic arena" is a prime example of rhetoric and scoffing presenting no scientific argument at all. But maybe you find you are only explaining things to laypeople, who might need an extra nudge for having no academic training. Guess what the audience of those creationist guys was?

As to your next example, some of the science books were precisely attributing the beauty of snow flakes (chrystals, not living creatures) to ... an infinite wisdom who knew how to fashion processes that breed chrystals. Obviously written by creationists, but to us your parallel argument is no parallel about "not really needing a designer".

Now, you claim there is one naturalistic explanation for life, called evolution. But in other instances you refuse to refer to "abiogenesis" as "evolution". And not just life but eyes and a few more things are not very convincingly explained by life and reproduction including a variable for variation and death and reproduction including a variable for selection. Not very convincingly at all.

Sorry if this is too rhetoric by the way! I am not trained in Natural Science Academics, and when I wrote my first academic essay (on Erasmus' de Conscribendis Epistolis) I was censored and had to rewrite it because it was too rhetoric.

And yes, we do believe God designed liquids in part to fit glasses and other things that make them drinkable without too much bending your body down. Also we believe they were created so as to fit perfectly around bodies. By the way, where except Earth have you found water in all three states of aggregation, especially liquid water?

Now, your example of "can it evolve" does not explain how life arose from things that cannot evolve because they do not reproduce. Whether a particular life form was designed or evolved, the argument that life itself was designed rather than evolved has not been given any satisfactory answer by you.

Yes, even unicellular beings can evolve. We call it microevolution, not because they are observed in microscopes (I have genuinely met that confusion) but because that is a kind of evolution which does not change much and does not explain the difference of tortoises from mammals. So, on your view, how did creatures able to reproduce and therefore evolve at least in microevolution arise from such that cannot do that?

Here is the video where I stop this list for now, due to library closing:

[started from part 1 of series, and am back now]

One can of course add that thunderf00t gives a conspicuous graph of background radiation right now in US (360 mRem/year is US average. Of those 54% come from Radon, which is not uniformly present all over Earth, but either present in certain rocks (granite volcanic is bad, especially if on top of that you have an uranium mine in it) or in building materials, some of which very recent, from those rocks. Sweden banned a modern building material because it was precisely too rich in radon. X-rays meaning artificial X-rays from medical apparatus add 11% of US average. Also added very recently. Where those other 11% labelled "Internal" come from, I do not know. Nuclear medicine and consumer products treated with radiation are recent.

It seems the clearly natural sources for radiation are Cosmic 8% and Terrestrial 8%. Radon levels vary, 54% of 360 mRem/year being an average. I am not sure whether you find areas on earth with 0 radiation from radon, but you sure find areas with far less than 180 plus something mRem/year. Other, I know not. Internal I know not.

8+8=16, 11+1=12, 12+16=28. So the dose of radiation somewhere after the flood may well have been between sixteen and over 28% of present average dose in US. It seems pretty clear that choice of habitation plus choice of modernity can account for more than half the dose.

I think both cosmic and terrestrial radiation can have been turned on by God after the Flood. But if I were to account for cosmic rays reaching us less before flood by the water canopy theory (which I do not believe, but you are making publicity for it), it would account for a maximum of half the radiation reaching man immediately after the flood - depending on radon levels.

The US average is not the world average. And even in US, it is only average. Meaning that you have areas with higher levels too: maybe more than 360 mRem/year and radon accounting for more than 54% of it.

Some of the radon part and all of the nuclear medicine part, consumer products part, X-ray part come from modern high tech lifestyle. more infor on background radiation.

Oh, the internal radiation source seems to mean body internal. 40K and 14C account for it, with one fifth from 14C. Which is in the atmosphere in the first place due to ... cosmic radiation! But those two percents would of course add up to the 8% directly from cosmic to the 10%, so that you have already taken into account.

Now, I am not sure about your science teacher. But some teachers do say something wrong and when challenged "oh, I was testing your attention". The cloudy days might have been that or might have been an intro to saying the X-rays are a little stopped on cloudy days, but there still are such.

A bit like the humour when I said in a title "I take it the gravitational constant is below zero ..." and only in the text added "... point zero zero one ...". When you cut that way, I cannot tell. If you attribute what you use correctly, you do not just attribute the video in general to Kent Hovind, by showing his face on it, you may for instance also link to it or show title in some other way. Some of us might like to check that out.

Well, will be back on this after watching another video by the very funny thunderf00t (the 00 are really not two O's, though they look so here, but two zeros).

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Audoux, Paris
St Serapion

mardi 13 novembre 2012

Kent Hovind, Dear Sir!

I am currently watching a video of thunderf00t about stupidities by creationists. Obviously he cites you. And he mentioned you are in prison for tax fraud "currently", which of course means I wanted to know if you still are.

Which seems to be the case.

I was reminded of St Peter in Chains. St Peter was in prison on two occasions, once in Jerusalem as described in Acts 12, once in Mamertine prison in Rome. Empress Eudocia found the chain relic in Jerusalem, brought it to Rome under Pope St Leo I, who already had the chain relics from the Mamertine Prison. He compared the chains, which miraculously fused. They are still there. A better attested fusion than that of hydrogen into oxygen or carbon, don't you think?

I owe you.

First of all, collecting evidence for dinosaurs - as such skeletons are called (sometimes petrified sometimes even with blood vessels in them) - living side by side with men or being sighted as "dragons" and Nessies is a boost to one aspect of Creationism, which Edgar H. Andrews had failed to provide. I was twelve when reading his "From Nothing to Nature" (Swedish translation of an edition previous to his last one of that book: "Ur Intet").

Second, though you have not provided my main argument against macroevolution, you provided a handy reminder of the fact on which I base it.


I had a dream one night ...

Another possibility

I tried to send links to all of the above essays as well as to my refutations against P Z Myers to Nature (something) Genetics. Just to make sure I got it peer reviewed - or that peers felt too superior to review it.

Letter to Nature on Karyotype Evolution in Mammals

The first of above articles contains a link to the page where I got the facts from, the one where you spoke about chromosome numbers in different creatures. Apparently tobacco has more of them than man, but tobacco is irrelevant to my argument. Tobacco is a plant and such creatures simetimes have high polyploidy. Mammals gone polyploid have so far not been directly attested.

Though the rodent known as Red Viscacha Rat, which is not red, not a viscacha and not a rat, is supposed to descend from a tetraploid version of some other rodent from the area.

I hope you don't mind me telling you I agree a little with your critic about the water canopy covering Earth before the flood. At least if you really did describe it once as being made of ice. But that might be him making it up. Waters above the firmament to me anyway mean the H2O you find so generously throughout the Universe in non-liquid form. Your critic mentioned himself, when someone else misstated that argument as Earth being the only place where you find water at all, that water is the second most common molecule in the Universe. A k a "Ha-Shamayim" in Hebrew, "Oi Ouranoi" in Greek and "Coeli" in Latin. With the Hebrew word as very much punning on "Ha-Mayim", the Waters or Seas, as I heard from someone better in Hebrew than I when I was young.

Now, to the tax fraud issue. I am reminded of the LaRouche affair. Certain people stoned prophets long ago. Now it's a question of tax fraud imprisonment rather than stoning, if you ask me. Of course, if I were writing to him in prison - but he is released - I would tell him that my opposition to depending on electricity does not mean opposing the Haber process while we have electricity. Now I am writing to you. I think you and he are visibly outside the Church for not being Catholic, but I have neither in him nor in you seen vehement attacks on Catholicism. What you generally attack, either of you, Evolutionists or Malthusians, I think Catholics should attack also.

My solution to the so called Starlight Problem was written already before I left Sweden on my Yahoo Message Boards, on Netscape Message Boards, or on Both. I left Sweden in March 2005 and Christopher M. Sharp, whom I should be able theoretically to adress as a fellow Catholic ignores my solution.* If parallax is made by the angelic spirits such as those guiding the stars (or such as those in that psalm you quoted guiding waters in the heavens), rather than a parallactic view from a supposedly moving earth, then stars need not be very distant at all.

Which is one case for being thankful for the Galileo case. As far as I can tell, you have not been treated as well as he was, but that is not demonising your detention officers, that is just refusing to demonise unduly the Inquisition.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bibliothèque Audoux, Paris
St Didacus and St Brice

*Here is my answer to him:

Distant Starlight Problem - Answered by Geocentrism

By the way here are the links I was watching/reading about you: